Traveling Haikus

Squashed tight spaces

Though little I am crushed

In with a baby

 

Babies hate stillness

Discomfort, bedlam follows

Airborne Smarties, toys

 

At least he’s quiet

Quietly throwing objects

Hate me, I chose this

 

Babies shouldn’t fly

People shouldn’t fly period

But babies for sure

 

Even now, still flat

Air travel has crushed me

Junk food, wine, gossip

 

Only a Band-Aid

My two dimensional soul

Formerly 3-D

 

Tired drama queen

Say thanks for the right to fly

Travel is fun no?

 

Your regularly scheduled Unwashed shall return next week. Tragically, passage by plane has all but stolen her will to live.  In the meantime, you can find her convalescing on the couch while her son watches endless episodes of Peppa Pig. Sweet alcohol and pictures of high fashion can be shipped directly to her house. She will answer the door in pyjamas, with wild, unkempt Medusa hair.

My Friend Tom : A Fan Letter That Foams At The Mouth

I have a new obsession. And for once it doesn’t involve these girls.

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Don’t worry ladies, I still adore you, I just think about other topics sometimes now. (Photo Credit people.com)

Let’s just say his name. Tom Bricker. Or as he’s being referred to in my house currently “my friend Tom”, in the same tone that the acne covered, coke bottle glasses wearing girl who was just invited to sit at the popular lunch table would confidently and hopefully say “my friend Brittany”.

Anyway so this Tom fellow, we’re totally BFFs and by that, I mean he has no clue that I exist. Anyway my friend Tom runs a wildly popular website disneytouristblog.com. I suggest you pay a visit, even if Disney isn’t your bag. Because everyone loves good photography. And robots.

Did I forget to mention that my friend Tom is a robot? Yes he claims to be a human being with a job and the like, however in reading the Disney Tourist blog, this electronic side of him slowly became apparent.

Case and point. Tom is a lawyer. While not the most beloved job in the world, it’s a difficult one and requires a lot of education, thus we can all conclude that Tom is smart and well spoken. Robots incidentally are well spoken and extremely smart, take for example the Googles, totally brilliant and also a robot.

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You can rely on me for this one; I’m well informed when it comes to the interwebs. (Photo Credit : updatealways.com)

Now, being a lazy, layabout artist, I’m not too familiar with the rigors of being a lawyer, but the phrase 100 hour work weeks have been bandied about before. When this is considered, the fact that in addition to working full time, that Tom runs a successful blog and posts regularly, one must conclude that he is a definitely a robot who doesn’t sleep.

On top of being the world’s busiest, almost-human writer, Tom takes beautiful pictures. He takes theme parks and makes art. It’s beautiful; my friend Tom’s photos make me wish I knew how to operate my phone so that every image didn’t look like this.

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What is this? It appears to be a marine creature. I don’t even know, yet images like this appear on cameras operated by me ALL THE TIME. (Photo Credit : I wish I could say the The Drunk Unwashed but I don’t drink and breastfeed, so it’s just me and my terrible skills.)

I’d post an example of Tom’s work but that would be stealing, so you’ll just have to visit his website HERE. At first, this talent for photography made me question the whole “my friend Tom is a robot” conclusion, because robots don’t have souls and therefore are incapable of creating art like Tom’s. But then it came to me- Tom is a Martian robot. While our meager earthling robots are limited by their inability to feel the beauty of a sunrise, aliens are a superior race and thus their robots outpace ours in many respects.

Anyway, being a Martian-robot-lawyer and celebrated blogger wasn’t enough for Tom, after all, he was still getting about three hours of sleep per night or whatever it is that Martian-robot-lawyers do in the wee hours. Tom and his alien motherboard thirsted for more, so he bit the Flash. Or at least, I think that’s what happened, I mean isn’t that how Peter Parker became Spiderman? By biting? Or maybe Tom was bitten, seems unlikely given that his skin is made of Depertron the hardest element known to Martians. Regardless, some sort of exchange occurred between my friend Tom and the Flash because in addition to being a Martian-robot-lawyer-writer, Tom started running marathons. Without training. (Click the link to read about it.) And he began using all of those hours that he’d previously wasted “sleeping” each night to zip around the world. While the rest of us mortal earthlings were sleeping, Tom scaled the Great Wall of China and then he swam around Alcatraz.

Then because all of that awesome can’t be contained, it must be shared, our favourite superhero-Martian-robot-lawyer-blogger created ANOTHER website that he frequently posts on; Travel Caffeine in case any of you are interested.  With all of this busyness, I did question whether Tom was time traveling to get all of this done, but quickly rejected that idea. My friend Tom is far too generous a superhero-Martian-robot-lawyer to keep such a wonderful life changing concept as time travel to himself.

Now that everyone knows what I’ve been spending my time on, you should go check out each of my friend Tom’s blogs. I’m not greedy, I can share him. And to conclude, a message specially for my new pal; sorry to blow your “I’m a normal human” cover Tom, but it had to be done. No doubt your lovely wife will be surprised however I imagine you will quickly subdue her shock with an offer to jet her to Jupiter for your wedding anniversary.

Domestic Packing Battles and Unhygienic Oral Practices

A funny thing happens when I begin to pack. My thoughts become disorganized and suddenly the idea of wearing only a multi-coloured afro and suspenders for a weekend seems entirely appropriate. Tex had yet to witness this phenomenon until last night. Frankly I’m surprised that we are still together. Prior to becoming a cowboy, Tex was an engineer, as such, he approaches life problems like packing systematically, whereas I take the hippie-artist scattershot route.

Obviously a shirt would be overkill, but otherwise the perfect ensemble for any occasion. (Photo Credit : fancydress.com)

Obviously a shirt would be overkill, but otherwise the perfect ensemble for any occasion. (Photo Credit : fancydress.com)

7:00 PM – My flight leave in less than twelve hours

Tex “Have you started packing?”

Unwashed “No, why would I do that?”

7:45 PM – A 4:20 wakeup call dictates an imminent bedtime

Tex “You need to start packing”

Unwashed sitting on the couch reading “I’m getting there”

8:03 PM

Tex “Where’s your suitcase?”

I take the suitcase from its spot by the front door and choose to lay it on the futon which is only the second most inconvenient place in the apartment, the first being in the middle of the kitchen table.

Then I commence throwing random articles of clothing onto the shag carpet in the other room.

8: 21 PM

Tex, who is busy doing dishes and being helpful, calls from the kitchen “You’re busy packing right?”

I stop lolling around on the soft carpet for a moment to throw a pair of rainbow striped socks onto the mixed up pile next to me. “Yes, I’m so busy, in fact I’m almost done.” I call back.

Tex “So you have tights?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “A skirt?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “A dress?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “Underwear?”

Unwashed inwardly “Does one really need more than one pair for four days?” aloud “No”

I spend the next twenty minutes walking back and forth between the bedroom and the living room where I’ve put my suitcase, depositing random items into it, like a pair of high heels, a camera battery charger but no camera. Tex watches all this with amusement and just a hint of concern.

A half hour passes, inexplicably I am no more ready to leave and I have somehow lost the capris and shirt that I was wearing in the process. It’s at this point that I decide to fine tune my twerking form in my underpants. Watching my leopard print butt wiggle back and forth in a manner that one could neither describe as dancing nor twerking Tex asks “And this helps you fold sweaters and shirts how?”

Unwashed stops bouncing “Ummmm”

Tex “Do you have pyjamas?”

Unwashed “No”

Tex “Do you have a toothbrush?”

Unwashed “I don’t need one”

The look of horror on Tex’s face necessitates an explanation. “One should replace their toothbrush every three months, I travel on average once every four to six, so I buy a new one when I arrive.”

Tex looks skeptical of my determination to buy a toothbrush upon arrival “I’ll get your travel one out of my bag.” He lays the orange toothbrush on the kitchen table, where it can’t be missed.

After nearly half an hour more of cajoling from Tex, I am packed and Tex is oddly exhausted. I don’t know why, he wasn’t the one running back and forth everywhere trying to find passports and the like.

This post is dedicated to my more hygienic half, who shows patience and kindness in the face of my ridiculousness and disorganization.

Ridiculous Debates and Second Hand Underpants

I’m currently preparing to leave Quebec, which means only one thing; it’s time to put all of my possessions into a suitcase that seems to shrink in size with each passing second. Packing also leads to one of my most loathed activities; lifting objects. My deep seated hatred of carrying anything heavier than a bag of marshmallows leads to bizarre thoughts because I will go to any lengths to lighten my load.

Around the time that my suitcase was half full, I started to question the utility of garments like underwear and whether I could justify donating them to Goodwill.

Underpants are like cars right? They’re better value when they’re used. (Photo Credit : copyblogger.com)

Underpants are like cars right? They’re better value when they’re used. (Photo Credit : copyblogger.com)

Or whether I actually needed hygienic items like my toothbrush. After all, I only use it twice a day- are clean teeth truly necessary? Bulky or oddly shaped objects were subject to the most scrutiny. Staring at my hairbrush, I weighed the utility of looking like a swamp monster against the additional room and decreased weight of my luggage.

So worth not carrying a hairbrush. (Photo Credit :sodahead.com)

So worth not carrying a hairbrush. (Photo Credit :sodahead.com)

When my suitcase was almost full, I contemplated becoming a fully-fledged hippie and going braless, however I figured this freewheeling lifestyle might not go over well at my work, thus the horror that is brassiere shopping to replace said bras won out over the reduced weight and bulk of getting rid of them.

As I laid across my suitcase, willing my body to be larger and thus able to make the zipper close, I had a long debate with myself over whether I actually needed my sweater and coat. Who needs body warmth when you can happily wheel a light suitcase through a train station? I also came |thisclose| to leaving my second pair of shoes at the Salvation Army in the name of carrying less.

Even after I dropped off all of the books I brought with me at the local second hand store, my suitcase still weighed an ungodly amount.  Scouring my possessions for anything that I could be rid of, I spotted them; my shampoo and conditioner. What right do I have to call myself the Great Unwashed when I’m schlepping cleaning products back and forth between provinces? Into the recycling bin they went. With that final act, I realized I had chucked, donated and compressed everything that I could and for better or worse my elephant sized suitcase was packed.

My suitcases once I finished packing. (Photo Credit: trekearth.com)

My suitcases once I finished packing. (Photo Credit: trekearth.com)

The Summer of My Amazing Luck

I broke another bicycle. Well actually if we’re being specific I broke three bicycles. With the latest bike, the chain got caught in between the gears and the frame. This of course occurred at the most opportune moment; in the middle of the night in the pouring rain. After trying in vain to fix it and covering myself in bicycle grease up to the elbows, I concluded I needed help, or at the very least a Kleenex. So I walked home.

Or perhaps a paper towel. (Photo Credit: andreafrazetta.com)

Or perhaps a paper towel. (Photo Credit: andreafrazetta.com)

The next day, for the third time during the program, I diligently walked the bicycle back to the home of the man who rented it to me. Tragically the man wasn’t home, however his wife was, she was prepared to lend me my fourth bicycle in four weeks. But then another student with more skills than either of us, swooped in and saved the day. And off I rode. Ostensibly happily ever after into the sunset.

I looked exactly like this. Only I didn't have a horse, or cowboy boots and I don't own a lasso. And my bike made "SCCCCREEEEEE" noises every time I changed gears which marred the fairy tale vibe. (Photo Credit: iamtemp.tumblr.com)

I looked exactly like this. Only I didn’t have a horse, or cowboy boots, also I don’t own a lasso. And my bike made “SCCCCREEEEEE” noises every time I changed gears which marred the fairy tale vibe. (Photo Credit: iamtemp.tumblr.com)

Only not really, because I got a flat tire two days later. For the record this was my third flat tire. I’m not entirely sure what is causing this problem. I wish I could tell you I was performing derring-dos on my two wheelers

I take curb jumping to a new level. (Photo Credit: tumblr.com)

I take curb jumping to a new level. (Photo Credit: tumblr.com)

but the more likely explanation is that I’m a magnet for nails and other sharp objects. Once again I wheeled my bicycle back to the garage of the owners, this time expecting some sort of speech about proper treatment of bicycles. Fortunately they merely gave me yet another bicycle. As soon as I hopped on the new bicycle, the handle bars fell forward and nearly off.  Rushing towards me with a screwdriver in hand the bicycle lender said “I’ll just fix that for you”.

Of course, two hours later the handles were flopping about like a fish on the bottom of a boat while I peddled along. Given that I could still ride the bike, I decided to just live with the wiggly steering.

Breaking News: The Great Unwashed Spotted In A Metropolis

The Great Unwashed disappeared late last week. Family and friends first noticed her absence when the The Great Unwashed blog had not been updated. A visit to the author’s house confirmed suspicions. Based on the items missing from The Great Unwashed’s home the Antarctic, Tahiti and Quebec were thought to be possible destinations for this unclean writer. Further investigation into her medicine cabinet turned up multiple tubes of sunscreen, consequently Tahiti was ruled out.

Neighbours could not comment as they were elbow deep in a set of barbequed spare ribs. But when reached via phone, her cousin Candy, of the stripper nom de plume, stated “Unwashed hates travelling, you should really stop looking for her. Seriously, she might bite you out of spite and jet lag.”

Yesterday The Great Unwashed was reportedly spotted exiting a car in Toronto while lugging two large bags. At first this sighting was falsely dismissed as this often disheveled blogger loathes large cities, cars and lifting anything heavier than a box of Q-tips. However the Unwashed sighting was confirmed when later a separate passerby overheard the following comment being made to a train station employee. “Sir, your promise that my luggage will meet me at the end of the trip had better be a good one because there is exactly one pair of underwear in my carry on and they’re not even clean.” This type of extensive, off colour overshare could only be made by one woman.

Further news of The Great Unwashed’s whereabouts is welcome, sightings can be reported using the hotline 1 888 NO BATHS. Bystanders are advised to use caution when approaching as The Great Unwashed is carrying hardcover books that she may brain people with, depending on her mood, which is assumed to be poor given that she hasn’t slept in her own bed for days.

The Whereabouts of The Great Unwashed

The Great Unwashed went missing last week. Recent reports have placed her in Tahiti, Quebec and the Antarctic. These suspected locations were based on the articles of clothing missing from her wardrobe.  Neighbours would be worried but cook out season has begun so their thoughts have been taken up by the art of perfectly grilling a steak. Friends close to the Great Unwashed gave the following statement “She’s gone? Thank heavens that woman was as curmudgeonly and disagreeable as they come.Also have you tasted this T-bone? Divine.”

It is suspected that The Great Unwashed is travelling, currently her location is unknown, When the press spoke with family members, relief was the only emotion expressed. Diana,who purportedly claims to be The Great Unwashed’s sibling despite a complete lack of resemblance told the press that “The Great Unwashed is a nightmare to travel with, I’m glad I’m not with her.”

 

The reasons surrounding her departure are shady, it is thought that the impending barbeque season forced Unwashed to colder climates where outdoor grilling is not an expectation. Another camp hypothesized that drugs, specifically Gravol may be involved. Murmurs of foul play with dodge balls and a rogue acrobat group also abounded. This was all the information available at the time of printing.

It’s a Vase, It’s an Oven, It’s a Mausoleum Where We Keep Your Great Uncle Arnie

Welcome my Unwashed Public, to another indistinguishable Monday; here we have an image taken while I was on vacation. I’m not entirely sure what this object is but clearly it wasn’t that important because I cut off the top. Sometimes while wandering around museums with my family I would take pictures of pieces that the guides would point to even if I hadn’t heard what it was. Otherwise I would have come home with a bunch of images that I thought were important like four pictures of a man’s moustache or a photos of part of someone’s hand. Mind you I came home with those same photos anyway but that wasn’t intentional.img006

My guess is this was taken in Europe. Or possibly on the Titanic. A place with old things at any rate. Europe is probably the better guess because I’ve never been on the Titanic. Although apparently that boat had grand staircases so it’s entirely possible that it had ornate vase-oven-mausoleums aboard to keep the flowered dead baked goods fresh too.

 

The Crackhouse Chronicles

With the news of Rob Ford’s second favourite vice next to food coming to light, crack is very in vogue here in the North right now. As such I’ve decided to trade the comforts of beer and late night greasy food that are the hallmarks of the Student Ghetto for the other end of town where only thing more plentiful than the grow ops are the muggings.

It seemed like the most appropriate way to pledge my allegiance to Toronto’s shady mayor. Not only that but I’m house and dog sitting.

My friend who crouches in the woods at night with bears has chosen to fly to the Caribbean to crouch on the beach with her mother. I’d say I’m jealous but that would be a bald face lie. Much like how mothers have to forget the pain of childbirth before considering another baby, I have to forget the pain of air travel and jet lag before thinking of going any further than around the corner.

Virtually identical to creating new life no? (Photo Credit: Randymayfield.com)

Virtually identical to creating new life no? (Photo Credit: Randymayfield.com)

Yes I just compared the agony of pushing a human being into existence to flying and a couple days of grumpy exhaustion. Moms of the world are free to hunt down my address and stone me. I’ll make it even easier on you by giving directions to the place I’m staying at; go across town, drive until you feel like you should lock your car doors, then turn left. At the local penitentiary turn right. There should be loiterers and shady looking individuals on most corners. I don’t suggest stopping for directions. Keep going until you see a partially dilapidated strip mall. The convenience store in there sells delectable sticky buns. Tragically they are unavailable after dusk what with the store being a hangout for the resident gang. The street is your second left after that.

My friend’s house is the one across from the grow op with the wooden board for a window and two doors down from Terrence the neighbourhood drug dealer. He gives excellent and reliable directions but word on the street is he over charges for a dime. Also Terrence spends the odd night in jail so often he isn’t at home.

You can find me there for the next week.

From Snakes On A Plane to Zombies On A Train; Travel With The Great Unwashed

My day started out normally, as most days involving Zombie Apocalypses do. I got up at five AM and had my oatmeal. Filling my metal SIGG water bottle in case of hungry cougars or bobcats, I set out on my walk to the train station. When I got there the train was late. Finally the locomotive pulled up to the platform, having already picked up passengers from other cities.

 

Stepping carefully up the tall metal steps, I boarded the train with my book and my French exercises tucked neatly into my purse. Walking down the aisle I searched for someone who looked both quiet and petite like me because there’s nothing worse than having to share an arm rest or horror of horrors, a  part of your seat with someone larger than you.

 

I settled down next to a young woman wearing tights that were dyed to look like acid washed jeans. Unfortunately she was watching a live-action, whodunit movie. The constant flipping of scenes and light coming from her tablet was distracting, it was difficult to read my book let alone concentrate on learning another language. Quickly as the train started to move I hopped into the next empty seat I saw.

 

You know that feeling when something isn’t quite right? Maybe it was the heavy manner that my new neighbor breathed in. Maybe it was the blood shot eyes and the mouth that hung slightly open. But it was probably the fact that he looked like he enjoyed kidney and small intestine salad for breakfast which caused me to suspect he was a zombie.

 

Remembering the metal SIGG water bottle I had packed in case of cougars, I reached into my purse. SIGG water bottles are excellent. BPA free and good for the environment, they also function as weapons in the event of an attack.

Melbourne Zombie Shuffle

Zombies get lonely, so they often travel with friends. I probably should buy another water bottle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A handful of years ago a Mom and her son were hiking in Algonquin Park when a wildcat decided that the nine year old boy would make a delicious appetizer before his venison main course. As the animal’s jaws bit into her son’s head, the mother attempted to bash the cat’s head in with her half full SIGG water bottle. Freshly concussed, the predator took off, leaving the boy who needed ten stitches and a funky hat to cover the thread train tracks before starting school the next week.

 

This is why I always carry a full metal container of water with me. Reaching down into my purse I weighed the possibility that my seat-mate was a zombie against the likelihood of my bludgeoning an innocent passenger when he stood up to use the bathroom.

 

While I was ninety-eight percent certain this man was moments away from feasting on my brains, I remembered an incident of mistaken identity from earlier in the week.

 

~Four days prior~

 

The Great Unwashed hears rustling while walking up the steps to the house – “AHHHHHHHHHH!!! There’s a wolverine under our porch!”

Wolverine in Skansen

The wolverine. It’s hobbies are; looking fuzzy and tearing off faces.(Photo credit: existential hero)

The Great Unwashed runs up the stairs faster than the speed of sound and slams the door repeating her message at top volume.

 

Roscoe emerges from the office – “What’s this about Hugh Jackman?”

 

The Great Unwashed in a flustered manner- “Not Wolverine, a wolverine. If Hugh Jackman was under our porch I would already have crawled under there and offered to have his babies.”

Hugh Jackman at the X-Men Origins: Wolverine p...

I wish this man hid under my stairs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Moral of the story: We have unconscionably large squirrels.

 

Loosening my grip around the neck of my water bottle on the train, I sat up in my seat, still feeling very wary of the man next to me but not quite ready to beat him over the head with a blunt object.