Is Everyone Finished Grunting In Public and Picking Chia Seeds Out Of Their Teeth?

You are? Excellent, then let’s talk. I’m a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, January first is a great time to try and improve one’s self and become a better person. Normally I have about three or four personal goals to start the year, this year is a bit different though, there are twelve. Based on the sheer number of them, we can conclude that I was a pitiful human being last year.

None of my resolutions have to do with dropping pounds or fitness. Losing weight has only ever made me chronically hungry, so I walk around all day feeling like Oprah only with less money. Also chia seeds result in an excessive amount of flossing- there’s no need to make my dentist that happy. As for fitness, if spending an hour or more a day sweating next to people throwing heavy objects about and giving sideways glances to the woman who spends her entire life on the same elliptical is your happiness, more power to you. My personal take on all that is- it’s what hell looks like, only with air conditioning. The music is probably the same though.

I tend to make resolutions for my own happiness, or so that my life aligns better with my personal beliefs. For example my first and biggest resolution was about my phone.

  1. 40 Screen Unlocks a Day And Less Than 90 Minutes Of Usage Including Phonecalls

Ostensibly I was given a smartphone to take photos and videos of my son. While I have filled my phone with videos of Mini-Tex whacking every item in our house with his xylophone mallet, the majority of the time, I use my phone to check what these girls are up to

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Hey ladies, lookin’ good! (Photo Credit : pintrest.com)

and whether this man has died.

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This man is getting on in years, I have little time left to meet him ( Photo Credit: kokosoup.com)

Which is concerning, a little macabre and worst of all takes attention away from the little boy creating a symphony using the kitchen table legs. Initially I downloaded the “Break Free” app, but that only tracks a person’s data usage. Now I’m using the “Quality” app which locks smartphones for agreed upon periods of time. Before anyone gets upset, unless something in on fire, people can wait to talk to me. In addition, I should not be the first point of contact, my firefighting training is limited to the time I ran past the crazy guy in the park making a bonfire.

 

  1. Pinch Tex’s Butt More Often

I spend a chunk of the day carrying, holding, hugging, snuggling and touching my son. This has coincided with a steep drop off in the number of times I hug my husband. So I vowed to hug/grab/pinch and just basically show Tex that I love him more often each day. I aim for about five hugs. I’m managing four on average.

 

  1. Abusing Canada Post’s Good Natured Attitude And Mailing Bizarre Items

Sending cards to everyone and their distant second cousin who I met once at an opening for a hair salon is my hobby. Recently, with my new lack of free time due to raising a child, I’ve become complacent in my environmentalism. To combat this laziness, I’ve decided to reuse all paper, envelopes and wood pulp products that come my way. My personal goal is to reuse and repurpose items to the point that Sula would be mortified by my sending them to the government. She once saw the package I was sending my tax return in and remarked that the Canadian Revenue Agency would take it for a joke. Come to think of it, this may be why I was audited twice in the past year. Moving on.

 

  1. Hug a Homeless Person

Then give him five bucks. I’m on extended mat leave, in other words, I’m raising my son while making bupkis, but the thing is, I have everything; a loving husband, an adorable little baby, a roof over my head and a metric tonne of farm squash grown by my mother-in-law  (Would anyone like a butternut the size of a smart car?). I’d be hard pressed to find a luckier person. Consequently, no matter my means, it’s my job to give back. So sometimes I find a homeless person and hand them whatever is in my pocket, other times I choose an artist to support on Patreon. Whatever the act is, sharing my good fortune makes my life better.

 

So those are my resolutions that are bringing me joy this year, for all of you still sweating it out at the gym, eating kale and chia seed salad like it’s going out of style, good-o on you, someone needs to able to strut the runways and beaches, and it certainly won’t be me. Mostly because I’m a vampire, the beach is an exquisitely painful place for me.

What are your resolutions for this year my Unwashed public? Share them in the comments below!

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My Painful, Stiff, Beaverless Death -Part Two

Surprise of all surprises I did not die. Although my muscles are still so tight that my toe touch in yoga has become a “reach just past your hips” touch. I’ve also developed the ungainly habit of rubbing my inner thighs in public. This wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t pair it with groaning “Oh God that’s good” while I massage my sore legs.

After hearing about all the fun I had cross country skiing with Natalie*, my friend Sula* decided she wanted to try the sport. Even after I showed her my almost death note, she kept insisting that it sounded like a good time. Seeing as Sula thinks that weekends spent in shacks without running water and indoor plumbing are a “getaway”,  it was unlikely I could convince her otherwise.

Away we went at eight thirty in the morning. Sula insists on arriving a minimum of thirty minutes early to any destination, so we pulled into the park before it opened. Rather than waiting thirty minutes for the rental shop staff to appear, we decided to embark on a five kilometer hike through the snow to add to our day of excessive physical activity.

When we returned, the chalet had opened, so we suited ourselves up and away we went.  Once again I did two trails. And once again it was exhausting and long. At one point the trail seemed so endless that I laid down in the snow and waited to freeze to death. Unfortunately this proved to be a slow way to go, even slower than my speed of skiing, so I sat up and continued on. At last Sula’s truck came into view and the torture was over.

With all three of my layers sopping wet and squishing with every step, I made my way toward the rental hut. Having marinated in my own juices on the car ride home with Natalie last time, I came prepared with dry clothes to change into for the ride back. What I had not bargained on was how tired I would feel and my lack of desire to walk the two hundred feet to the change room after skiing.

Out of the corner of her eye, while unlacing her boots Sula thought “I think Unwashed is changing in the middle of the rental shop”. A flash of my fleshy, pasty midriff confirmed this a moment later. Luckily I had just pulled on my clean, dry-fit shirt when a bus full of tourists burst into the shop.

The point of this post was to say I am fine, I am still probably coated in sweat and other disgusting things and I have kept up my habit of giving unsolicited shows of nudity. Essentially all is well in the Unwashed world.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those who chose not to throw society’s shackles to the wind and eat me alive on the cross country ski trail for energy giving sustenance.

We Have Come to the Painful, Unmoving, Beaverless End

My Beloved Unwashed Public,

I’m writing to you from my probable death bed. This past weekend, I made the decision to try cross country skiing despite the fact that it was rumored to be the only activity more vigorous than running.

The day started off reasonably well; I questioned the girl renting Natalie* and myself the skis about her experiences.

The Great Unwashed “Has anyone ever laid down in front of your desk and perished from exhaustion after cross country skiing?”

Underpaid Youth Renting Me Equipment “Umm no?”

Strapping on our skis Natalie and I began the trail. We were quickly passed by a gentleman four decades our senior. We had only just begun the trail and already a part of me (my ego) was sore.

Then a little later on I saw this.DSC01372

“Look!” I cried “A beaver!

I paused and added more quietly “Was here.”

This led to a full minute of Natalie turning this way and that shouting “Where?! Where’s the beaver? I don’t see it.”

After that Natalie suggested that we rest for a moment. Although I no longer run marathons there’s a part of me which thinks “I can still move so I should”. When we stopped, I realized how sore my muscles were becoming and how badly I had needed the break. So I was really happy we had listened to Natalie rather than my marathon running voice. Multiple times along the trail Natalie suggested we stop for a breather. These breaks are likely the reason why I’m still with you and able to pen my last words at this moment.

After resting for a handful of minutes that first time, we soldiered on. It was around then when I noticed that even my knees were sweating. Uphill, then uphill again, perplexingly we continued uphill with no downhill in sight for many miles. Possibly eighteen. Two of my layers were soaked through with perspiration and a wet patch was becoming visible on the back of my jacket. Then we went downhill but only briefly.

At last, the end of the trail and the chalet came into view. Though Natalie and I were both exhausted beyond comprehension, we raced towards it. At the end of the trail, without speaking to one another, both of us removed our equipment and lay down face up in the snow. I felt my pulse in my face while my heart thudded almost violently in my chest, as I waited for the oft spoken of bright light to flood my vision. Once I realized I wasn’t imminently going to expire, I sat up, keenly aware of the squishing sounds that my wet clothing was making and my desire for water.

Then the horrible endurance athlete part of me spoke “Shall we do the trail again?” I asked Natalie. “I don’t want to at this moment” she replied. “Never under estimate the restorative powers of lunch” the marathon running, work horse voice in me added. Having decided that she too was not going to move towards the white light, Natalie sat up “Let’s go have lunch”.

The light reflecting off the snow filled our vision to begin with. Really it would have been only a short hop to blinding white light.

The light reflecting off the snow filled our vision to begin with. Really it would have been only a short hop to blinding white light.

For whatever reason, the evil marathon running voice that which had repeated “You aren’t dead yet – Keep moving!” all morning prevailed and Natalie and I skied the trail once more after lunch.

We spent the car ride home taking turns shaking each other out of unconsciousness. That evening I managed to stay up to the late hour of six o’clock, at which point I collapsed face down on the dining room carpet while en route to brush my teeth. Upon opening my eyes the next morning I thought “I don’t know if I can walk to the library” after sitting up I thought “I don’t know if I’m going to the library.”

Gradually over the course of the day my muscles have tightened and it’s becoming clear that this is the end. As you all are my faithful followers, I thought it best to leave you a note. My dear Unwashed public, let my demise be a lesson to you; when faced with the societal pressure to combat obesity and try a new activity, stay right where you are. Don’t move a muscle or you may end up like me, slowly stiffening into nothingness.

I leave you all my love but only half my dirt and grime (I’m taking the rest with me)

Sincerely,

The Great Unwashed

*Names have been changed even though the unnamed are likely near the end as well.

Lighting Fires In Public Places

Another perk of living in the student ghetto along with the cast of Shakespearean inspired characters that grace my presence during the wee hours is the area around the house.

Needle and Junky Park boasts riverside picnicking, summer music festivals and countless people some with permanent residences and some without. It also has a needle drop box. The needles don’t always make it in.

This lush spot is one of my favourite places to run. It’s also the meth heads’ favourite place to run after me. As of yet I haven’t been caught.

So there I am running through the park, almost to the playground which marks the end of Needle and Junky Park and the beginning of Soccer Mompreneur Park when I spied a man carrying a GIANT branch. He also had with him a soiled grocery bag packed to the brim. Rather than being weary of the man, I concluded that he was an artist, hellbent on creating the perfect scene with just the right branch. However he was quite heavy and as a rule most starving artists are just that- starving and very skinny. With all of these factors indicating something else, I clung to my hopeful idea; he was an artist there to create incredible and heartfelt images with nature.

And then he gave me crazy eyes as I passed him. So I picked up my pace a little bit and decided he was a crazy artist. I continued on my run for a while then turned around. I didn’t think of the man again until I saw the thick cloud of smoke next to the river on my way back. Next I saw the fire, and watched Crazy Eyes pick up more branches to add to it.

Now in school they educate people on things like “Don’t eat poison.” “Don’t talk to strangers.” “Don’t play in traffic.”

They never covered what to do if you see a man start and tend a fire in the middle of a public place. What made the whole situation worse was that no one else batted an eye.

I came up with two conclusions;

  1. Building fires in public parks is a normal and acceptable practice, my life has been incomplete up to this moment and I am probably a little unpatriotic for never having done this myself.

    Fire in Dumpster

    Fires; not just an ingredient for a romantic evening under the mantle.  (Photo credit: benwatts)

  2.  He made crazy eyes at the people around me and they were equally terrified and refused to pull out their cell phones to call the police in front of him.

Walking until there was a fair amount of space between me and the crazy eyed arsonist, I phoned 911. Then immediately felt guilty because I had been taught never to call 911 unless it was an emergency and I still wasn’t sure this was an emergency.

“Hello, Emergency 911. Do you need police, fire or ambulance?” asked the operator.

I hadn’t thought I would need to make a decision, that if it was an actual emergency the operator would be comforting me because I would be going into shock.

“Uhhhhhh police?” I said, thinking that the only thing needed was a stern man in uniform to walk down to the park and say “Hey! Stop that!” At which point Crazy Eyes would cease tending the fire and dig through his soiled grocery bag for a bucket to gather river water in. Or possibly a fire extinguisher, for all I knew Crazy Eyes could have been an organized man who plans ahead.

“A man has built a fire in Needle and Junky Park.” I said into my phone as inconspicuously as I could.

“I’m transferring you to the fire department” said the 911 operator humorlessly.

What made the whole situation worse was that the fire department operator didn’t seem at all fazed by my story. “Is the fire out of control?” She asked.

“No” I said now thoroughly convinced that this was not in fact an emergency and may very well not even be illegal.

“Thanks ma’am we will try and send someone to check it out.”

The “try” in the last sentence before she hung up now has me questioning whether making campfires in public is something that people do.

I guess the only way to find out is to go get my own giant branch and light it aflame in the middle of the park.

 

 

 

This post is a part of the Student Ghetto Chronicles series. To read more about living in a place where items like pants are unnecessary click below.

Bongs, Dirty Laundry and Elmo

Midnight Thespians; profanity, moaning and sprinklers

This is also the last post in the 2013 Top Five Great Unwashed Countdown. Tomorrow starts the Unwashed-a-palooza in which I release five new posts in five days. You’re all invited to the party.