Medusa (of a different sort)

So I’m in Cambridge, ON for the holidays.  I was born here, most of my family still resides here so of course when Christmas rolls around I make the obligatory trip home.  Which never ceases to amuse me more often then not.  The vast differences between Cambridge and Montreal are huge.  Cambridge has a population of about 130,000 vs Montreal which has a population of  1,620,693 as of the 2006 census.  You’re likely wondering why this matters…  Let alone what the hell this has to do with Medusa.

I’ll tell you why…

When I walk the streets of Montreal, I seem to ‘blend in’ more.  It’s a larger city, which is also a lot more open minded then my hometown, which seems to be on occasion, still stuck in the dark ages.  So the other night when I was at a local bar with some friends, standing outside.  I happened to grab the attention of someone and he took one look at my face and zeroed in on my Medusa piercing.  The rapt, childlike fascination he had with my piercing was pretty priceless (I’m going to assume he was also pretty drunk)   He said something to the effect of: “Holy fuck, don’t tell me that’s pierced for real!?!” ‘Yes, it most certainly is.’  “Wow!  That must of hurt?” Your damn right it did (most painful piercing I have to date as a matter of fact)’ “Wow! That’s crazy.  Oh my God, you have your tongue pierced too? wow!”  “You must be crazy!?!” Me: With the most diabolical, sinister look on my face that I could muster (think Jack Nicholson in the Shining) ; looked at him dead on and said: “Why yes, yes I am”.

The look on his face was so precious it was priceless!  He looked frightened ha ha!  He looked at me on last time with that same awe struck look on his face and said “wow, I should stay away from you!!” Enter creeper face  and I said: “Yes, yes you should.” He looked so terrified I thought he was going to wet his pants!  He hightailed it back into the bar so fast and I’m pretty sure he left soon after that.

Amy & I got a good laugh out of that one!  That’s the beautiful thing about being on vacation, even if it’s just in your hometown.  You don’t live here, so it doesn’t matter what you do or how much you mess with drunk people (within reason of course, I don’t set out to be malicious in any way) it can be pretty entertaining.

It’s a shame that it wasn’t summer or at the very least warm enough to warrant showing this off:

My Medusa tattoo

 She tends to freak people out.  Medusa is pretty awesome all around mind you.  Too bad I didn’t posses the ability to turn people into stone.  Not all the time mind you, just on occasion. I’m thinking that would come in handy someday. No?

In any case, it’s good to be me 😉

Pirates of the tattooed kind.

I have my right arm dedicated to a theme.  That theme being pirates.  I had a conversation with someone not too long ago about this and they simply ceased to get it.  That conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Pirates are cool, who doesn’t like pirates?
Dan (in a snotty tone): Ugh I don’t!
Me: Why not? What’s wrong with pirates:
Snotty tone Dan: Ugh because like I grew up in Quebec like and like that’s not a part of Quebec/French Canadian culture (you mean not a part of your household ‘culture’ douchebag?) so I was like never exposed to them.  Pirates are only cool these days because of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Me: Well OK then… I don’t expect you to get it, but don’t be so fucking judgmental Dan; it makes you look like a total ass bag.
Snotty tone Dan: Ugh well like whatever Steph! (sounding like a valley girl)

Then he goes onto tell me some story about a robot chicken episode where there’s a pirate and he’s smelly because he hasn’t bathed in an eternity and has scurvy or some shit.

I honestly don’t really know what he was saying because at one point I just started to tune his ass out because I couldn’t stand his over use of the word like and sounding like a fucking valley girl.

His bottom line: Pirates aren’t all that glamorous and shit.

I never said they were.  

My bottom line: I can’t stand talking to the guy anyway.  This is why he’ll never get laid (especially by me), he’s obnoxiously  judgmental, whines constantly, makes the most ignorant statements ever and sounds and talks like a fucking valley girl!  Needless to say, we don’t talk anymore.  I don’t care how judgmental I sound, I WILL judge you for butchering the English language, it’s sad that in today’s day and age that using proper sentence structure and grammar and not sounding like an extra from Legally Blonde is actually hot…

Random Fact:  I’ve never seen ANY of the pirates of the Caribbean movies.  In other words…  Johnny Depp and his hotness, let alone ANY of those movies had ZERO influence on my sleeve.  I wanted something to represent my niece and nephew.  I also LOVE skulls and Jolly Roger style flags and regardless of all the negative aspects of pirates, they are seriously bad-ass.  So on came the original plan: two pirate /Jolly Roger styled flags one girly, one more manly with the text : Death before Dishonour.  That was really all I wanted in the beginning and then Tim (my brilliant tattoo artist)  got right into it and so did I.  Thus my sleeve was born.

I had always intended to sleeve out my arm, I just wasn’t sure how to incorporate an entire pirate theme into one sleeve.  Not as simple as it sounds.  The internet didn’t yield much inspiration in that regard and it’s essentially been a collaboration of Tim & I pulling idea’s out of thin air and using reference material that other clients never ended up using.  Needless to say with my ship, the compass rose, the two flag, text and my new bad ass, sword wielding skeleton with a treasure chest, things are well under way!  I need to get a proper picture of the whole thing so I can show it off in all it’s glory.

I don’t give a shit if you don’t like it.  It’s MINE!  My tattoo designed by my tattoo artist and myself. It’s pretty damn awesome and I love it!  😀


Becoming humble

A little while ago a friend of mine had posted on facebook that she was going to be helping out at the bridge’s  on Christmas eve.  Serving Christmas dinner to the under privileged and the homeless.  She lives in Cambridge and while I currently reside in Montreal I always come home for the holidays, this year was no exception.

So I send her a message and mentioned that I would love to help and to let me know what I can do.  Christmas eve isn’t the same without my grandmother around anymore and this year I didn’t have any solid plans, so what a better way to kick start the holidays then to give back to my home town community?

My mom had asked what I was doing and when I told her, she asked if my sister and herself could tag along.  I didn’t see the harm, the worst that could happen would be that they said no, they had all the help that they needed.  It was a bitterly cold day and at 3:30 pm we arrived at 26 Simcoe street in Galt armed and ready.  We were all put to work and banged out a turkey dinner with all the fixings, along with salad, cheese & veggie platters and some delicious looking  home made desserts.

We split ourselves up into sections and made sure that everything was ready to go.  Then we opened the doors to the public.  There were ALL walks of life, from the young to the seemingly very old and all age groups in between.  Some looked ashamed to be there, perhaps lonely…  In any case, every single one of them looked grateful.  I dropped their food off to their tables with a smile and a merry Christmas.  Everyone said thank you and you could tell that they meant it and wished me a merry Christmas and I went on my way.

It was interesting to watch these people interact with each other.  I’m always curious about human behavior and for the most part, most people seemed to be in high spirits and had a jovial attitude in spite of their circumstances, whatever they may be.  The one’s that made me the most sad however were the one’s that were all alone and another one that really stood out was this young man who was only 19.  Nineteen years old.  It’s not right.  A good thing was that there wasn’t a lot of people there, that was awesome because that meant that they had somewhere (hopefully better) to go.  Even if it’s just for the night, no one should ever be alone at Christmas.

It made me think.  Hard as a matter of fact.  We all take things for granted in this life, it’s human nature and some things simply can not be helped.  Tragic circumstances however changed things for me.  When Jason died, I learned a very valuable lesson: friends are important, tell them that you love them because you never know what day could very well be their last.  It was a painful lesson to have learned but it stuck with me.  Helping out at the shelter however, has made me appreciate all that I have that much more.

Society as a whole these days have become driven by greed, a need for all the latest gadgets and toys among other things.  We have also become quite wasteful too.  It’s shameful really when you think about it.  I have a really good life, I have a good career, a nice home, wonderful family and some pretty exceptional friends.  After having experienced what I did last night, I could care less about what is or isn’t under the tree this year.

I have all that I need.    

Define necessity…

I seen this on facebook & this is what prompted this post:

I find with it being the holidays people are seemingly a little more generous.  Usually.  However I personally try to be generous all year round and extra generous when the holidays roll around because that’s when the sting of not having much, if anything at all seems to hurt the most.  I also find that those who have the least are always willing to give the most.

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to buy things for me.  Who doesn’t?  However somethings I’ve had to wait years to obtain.  Like my bad ass kitchen Aid mixer.  However being the procrastinator that I am, doing one’s taxes in late November can have a huge pay off.  Not just for me mind you, but others.

I’m a firm believer that charity begins at home and while I do feel sorry for those children in the picture above, I am also grateful that I have a lovely home, food in my fridge and friends and family who accept me for who I am.  Some charities and not for profits can’t afford mass amounts of media coverage that make people feel sorry for others and encourage them to give.  These are the people that I think of the most often when I am able to give back in the hopes that someday, somehow that it will be paid forward.

This year for Christmas, instead of spending my substantial tax return on myself and myself alone I did/doing three things.  I helped save a dog from being put to death hours before he was due to hit the gas chamber.  Myself, along with a friend, my dad and the help of an animal rescue I am pleased to say that Shamrock will be getting a new home for Christmas!  Between my father and I, we were able to pony up the adoption fee money weeks before the holidays.  Money that I could have spent on a new tattoo or some other thing for me.  Instead Shamrock and I will be making the trek to Ontario along with friends and 2 other dogs to his new home in Cambridge, ON so that he can meet his new dad and his new sister Belgium.  Had it not been for the money and the sheer generosity of a ride to Ontario Shamrock would have been placed in a rescue once again waiting for his forever home.

I have a friend who lives in Tennessee.  I absolutely love her, she brightens my day with her presence and seemingly knows when I’m down and need a pick me up or just a smile.  She & her family, like so many others are struggling to make ends meet.  It broke my heart to read her husbands plea on a public forum asking for help.  It’s never easy to swallow one’s pride and ask for help and while I’m not comfortable with sending anyone money (including registered charities) I do like to pitch in and help just the same!  She has two children and while I am not a parent myself I do have ‘my kids’ and I couldn’t imagine how I would feel not being able to do something.  Christmas is the most magical thing for children and I can fondly recall waking up in the wee hours of the morning and running downstairs with anticipation with my sister to see what Santa has left under the tree.  There’s a care package en route from Canada to the US to that family & while it’s not much I know that they appreciate it so much!  Which is why I took it upon myself to do this and told her about it after I had done it.

Simply because I could.       

I’m also donating and/or ‘re-gifting’  some items I have gotten from other people as presents that I would have no use for or things that I had purchased for a different project and no longer need.  Mostly bath items and the like.  I ALWAYS appreciate the thought behind the gifts that I get from the ‘clients’ at work, it’s always nice to be thought of any time of year.  However I would feel terrible if it was just to sit around my apartment and never get used.  So for those things, I am passing them onto an abused woman’s shelter.  Some of these woman have no choice but to flee with the clothes on their back and little else.  We tend to take the simple pleasures in life for granted.  Something as simple as a bottle of perfume or a nice smelling soap, something that adds that feminine touch to your day.  So while I am thankful to be thought of, I know that these items will be that much more appreciated because I have them in abundance and others do not.

These are the forgotten one’s.  So next time when you think about giving, try to give locally and to those that don’t get the attention that they need and certainly deserve.  I didn’t write this post to ‘brag’ about what I did.  Because I don’t need to do such a thing to feel better about myself.  I don’t require countless amounts of praise from anyone.  I just feel good inside knowing that I made a difference, even if it’s just a small one in the lives of others.  I also didn’t go about it alone either.  I am grateful & thankful that I have such generous people in my life!  The bottom line?  If I can do this, so can you!

Pay it forward, not just today but everyday.