Tuesday, July 24, 2012


[vol-uh-tl, -til or, especially Brit., -tahyl] Show IPA
evaporating rapidly; passing off readily in the form of vapor: Acetone is a volatile solvent.
tending or threatening to break out into open violence; explosive: a volatile political situation.
changeable; mercurial; flighty: a volatile disposition.
(of prices, values, etc.) tending to fluctuate sharply and regularly: volatile market conditions.
fleeting; transient: volatile beauty.

There it is. In all its glory. That's all that is me at the moment. I'm embracing it. It's just how it is.
Interesting how it manifests as being problematic within my lifestyle. For example, please apply "volatile" as my main behavioral trait while reading over this pretty-much verbatim transcript of a conversation from my weekend. (NB: This is not completely atypical as something people tend to say to me):  

Him: "Hey.. uh... you're that stripper girl or whoever, right? Do you remember me? I know so-and-so {old friend of mine who I actually quite like}." 
Me: (laughing sort-of): "Oh yeah, uh.. hi. I'm Crystal."
Him: "Yeah. I always had a little crush on you."
Me: "I see."
(literally 5 minutes later)
Him (totally serious): "So uh... do you wanna go hang out somewhere maybe?"
Me (laughing again): "You mean like, to have sex? (his face doesn't really change). Oh. Um, no. I'm good. Thanks anyway tho."
Him: "Yeah. You're a stripper alright."


So normally I would take a step back and assess this situation before reacting to it. Like, at this point I'm usually just kind of amused, with a mild side of judgement that this dude is probably somewhere on the asshole scale, but knowing that WHERE, exactly, is pretty hard to gage from this one interaction.  My compassionate and caring side asks: is it really his fault that strippers are misrepresented everywhere for being hustlers and teases and whores who should really just put out after 5 minutes of conversation? Maybe dude just needs a little schooling, bless his misconstrued little heart. He's probably never even seen a really good strip show. Hell, he probably doesn't even have very many girlfriends with lace underpants. He doesn't know we're smart and complicated humans! I should blame the internet. Let's go post something on it. Yayyy Naomi Wolf is super. Etc. Etc. 

And then, to be fair, I do have to consider my own occasional (albeit now definitely outgrown) forays into casual sex before I lay full judgement upon the man. If this was 2003 and the dude was SUPER hot, I might not have given a fuck. Let's be honest. There's a reason I kept condoms in my purse for years and years. 

But... back to this particular interaction. He's not super hot, it's not 2003, and I'm VOLATILE. So this  kind of hmm-haw social acceptance / one love narrative that's usually going on in my head is not happening today. Instead I am having a narrative that says, "PUNCH THIS FUCKER IN THE FACE".
So yeah, you know. Kinda problematic.
Another problem with being volatile: I cannot drink more that three alcoholic beverages in a row at the moment. It's really interesting. Right now if I have three, I'm good. If I have even just one more than that I'm off the edge like a fucking cartoon coyote. The heavenly numbness of Drink #4 is like rubbing baby angel wings on my crotch -- and I will chase that feeling til noon, you'd better believe it. Drink #4 is like sitting at the top of a waterslide with all the water rushing up against my back and then trying NOT to push off into the sooooooper sexy pools of blacking out... ohhhh yes. Those deep dark holes of not feeling a thing. I could swim there for weeks I tell you. I could build a hut there even. What's the name of that volleyball that became Tom Hanks' friend in Castaway? ...Yeah, NOT ALLOWED to go there. For at least another ten days. At least. Then a re-assess. We shall see. 

 Seeing as how I work at the greatest cocktail lounge ever as well as parties, almost exclusively, this is also problematic. Not impossible, but problematic. Very much hoping this passes by Bass Coast. Glenfiddich has plans for me; I lost a bottle before Diversity and have needed a rematch ever since. 
I guess I feel lucky to be conscious enough to see all this go down in real time and not a step too late. The joys of experience and well, of getting older. I'm wise enough to know that black holes and broken noses just put the game on pause. You don't get to skip any levels. Still gotta do the work when you get back. Except now your fingers and thumbs are all confuse-y and your head hurts. And you don't want anyone's blood ruining you manicure. It's fucking glitter tips, ummkay. They're pretty.

So yeah, that's how it all is at the moment. I expect this level of "volatile" won't last forever. I must say that I feel like I might be kind of killing it at the music thing right now though. Recording is like the best thing ever. All that raw makes for serving good voice it seems. And writing is still fun, apparently. ;) I get to play festival dressups in my house this week and that's like, my favorite thing to do EVER. Also Sunshine Coast - I get it. So it's not all bad. Plus you're reading this right now, and that's cool. So you know. 

Me & Chelsey's dog, Boo, in Winnipeg at the beginning of the month. He's safe and sound at my mom's house. Not sure why I took this then, I think maybe to show her he's ok. You know? It's just... he's ok. I don't know. 

It's something.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

In Winnipeg

Every morning that I wake up and happen to be Canadian is like winning the lottery over and over again.

I write this in my formative city of Winnipeg, two thousand miles away from my home in East Van. Been a minute since I've been here in the summer and I am very grateful for the comforting warmth of the sunshine after the persistent spring rains of the lower coast. The plus 30 days are too hot for even the prairie's infamous mosquito armies. Our sunshine days are coming out West, I know, but it's just so lovey to have the sun around as an ally right now, in these moments.

Riding the streets, huge elms hug over the long sidewalks and the thoughtful strangers on them. Same as the day I left; the spicy, confident men & sassy, capable women you meet over and over in this city. There was an open, joyful and unmistakably mischievous vibe in the streets on Canada Day. All the stores are closed. Corydon Avenue & Osbourne Village blocked from traffic. The bars open. Music playing in the streets everywhere. My old city, crowned in the blue collar of endless horizon. No ocean, no mountains, just skies.

I'm very, VERY grateful that a cozy cork-floored yoga studio has somehow popped up within biking distance of my mom's little house, and that Kegan just happened to have a semi-rusted 1950s cruiser lying around in his garage with a basket that actually has the word "Vegetables" carved into the front. These do not seem in the least like coincidences. He pumps the tire and oils the chain. I look up and give thanks.

I am grateful to still have Kegan here, now and always... that best friend here since childhood, who reminds me he is by my side or within one phone call's reach. I tease him about being the only person alive not on Facebook, especially now that my mother has joined the ranks. He laughs and says I should get a T-Shirt that says, "My Best Friend Is Not On Facebook" and wear it everywhere at every minute of every day. Fucking Kegan. So. Fucking. Grateful for him.

I am grateful for my beautiful mother who insists on keeping her sense of playfulness firmly rooted at the base of all her actions, even now, albeit understandably weakened at present. I look in awe at the recent photos of her performing for rows of impossibly-attentive children and ask "How do you get them to stay so quiet and still?" to which she scoffs, almost shaking off the question, and replies matter of factly, "Well, you know, magic and stuff."

I am grateful for my youngest sister, Heather, whose love and careful attention is evidenced in every nook and corner of my mother's house. It's almost like the house gives a sigh of relief when she walks in the door, the car parked safely in the little carport and the dogs jumping happily up and down the way dogs do when they they love the absolute fuck out of you, and they can't wait to feel your hands ruffle over them.  

Above all I am grateful for this life. And I am grateful to have had the chance to spend so much of it with my sister Chelsey.

And, finally, I am BEYOND grateful for my incredibly loving, unbelievably supportive friends. After a several attempts (and trust me, I tried) to describe it, I am resigning to the fact that words just cannot adequately describe how much your kindness & support has helped me in the past few days. It has made SUCH a difference, not just for me but for all three of us. The love we have felt has brought me to a whole new level of understanding. It's astounding. It astounds me.

I am humbled by you, by the universe, and by pretty much everything at the moment.

Thank you.

In love,

Chelsey's memorial service will take place on Wednesday July 4th at 7:00pm CST at Coutu Funeral Chapel, 680 Archbald, Winnipeg MB. Please feel free to come by & light a candle; or, if you wish, light one for her from wherever you may be.