Well, that didn’t go well.

Two years ago, Yann took me for a ride through the fall colours of Bromont, QC. The old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest may be more impressive, but in the autumn a mountainside of decaying deciduous trees cannot be topped.

Bromont 2016
Bromont, QC in October 2016.

This was one of the best bike rides I’ve done. With fond memories of biking in Bromont, I was thrilled to go back. As a bonus, the hills of Bromont would help us prepare for all the climbing we’ll have to do on our bikes in less than two weeks from now.

Nearly two years later, a ride in beautiful Bromont ended up being one of the worst bike rides I’ve done. The worst being the Lac-Joinville portion of last month’s overnight trip in the Laurentians. Yes, the one that landed me in the hospital.

In my post about the Lac-Joinville accident, I over-estimated how quickly I had gotten help after my fall:

“Within a minute, Yann jumped off his bike to help me move my stuff off the road. At the same time, a couple stopped in their pickup truck to offer help.”

I later learned that Yann stopped when he noticed that I was no longer in his sight and waited 3-4 minutes before circling back to check up on me.

The last memory I have before crashing was the blur of the ground. The next thing I remember is Yann running towards me while I was trying to collect one of the panniers that had fallen off my rack from the middle of the road. I had blacked out. I might have laid in the middle of the road for 3-4 minutes before I woke up.

Before our Bromont ride, Yann made me promise that I would be extra careful; another bad fall could mean cancelling our Pyrénées tour. Yann proposed inviting a co-worker, Thomas, along. Thomas is not someone I know well as he doesn’t work in the bike shop, but as far as colleagues go, he’s one of the few who has made it into my “good books”. (A lot of the people I work with are intimidated by the deaf anglophone combination that I am.)

I didn’t think Thomas did a lot of long-distance cycling, but if Yann didn’t feel that Thomas would have trouble keeping up with us, why not?

bromontbros
Thomas is French, but the tropical kind, as indicated by his jersey.

I was smiling at the beginning of the ride as the weather was perfect and I was about to spend an entire day in a beautiful place!

10km into the ride, we hit Chemin King where the gravel road became atrocious. I had cycled this portion two years ago but didn’t recall it being in that bad of a shape. “Don’t worry, this is the hardest section,” Yann reassured me.

I made it through this portion, and sure enough, our riding conditions improved but my confidence didn’t.

Purposeful contact with the ground.
Purposeful contact with the ground.

The photos Yann took of this ride was like a visual timeline of my diminishing confidence.

I spent the majority of the ride gripping my handlebar with white-knuckled intensity and therefore didn’t take as many photos as the guys did. Here’s an intergalactic narwhal that looked cool upon first passing, but was downgraded when I returned for a closer look.

Narwhal.
Ready to make a kebab out of children.

My body tensed up with every slip on the gravel. Riding with your upper body locked in place is the opposite of what you’re supposed to do when navigating the bumps, dips, and cracks of a route. Also, it was making me feel really sore.

Yann had to give me a pep talk at the 80km mark, “We can slow down. I know you’re not enjoying yourself, but I also know if you’re able to finish this ride, you’ll feel proud of yourself.” Thereon, Yann rode alongside me. We made it up a huge hill together; at the top, there was this sign:

15% slope.
So… 500m of utter terror?

“100% NOPE.”

We dismounted and walked alongside our bikes and found Thomas at the bottom of the hill frolicking among giant bales of hay in a field. I didn’t ask, but I am certain he gleefully bombed that hill.

I wanted to punch him and ride off with his confidence. I’m glad I didn’t because I waved the proverbial white flag at the 98km mark (with a total elevation of 1700m) and he was the one who rode the last 10km and came back for us with Yann’s car so that Yann could stay with me.

I didn’t realize it until yesterday but the Lac-Joinville fall had hurt my confidence the most. I’ll get it back… somehow. With drugs? Therapy? Is Jesus the answer?

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I don’t want to hurt your kid.

On Sunday, I had the urge to use the Reseau Vert path, so that I could pass by my favourite abandoned garbage incinerator on my bike. This is a car-free gravel path frequented by joggers, cyclists, and the occasional slowpoke pedestrian.

It does not need to be said that you are to stay on the right side of the path, as you would on the roads. Unless you are British, Australian, Cyprian or from any other country that drives on the left. No matter where you are from, if you are under 10 years old, then your parents definitely should have mentioned this to you.

I don’t know if she was Cyprian, but she looked to be about 8 years old. I saw her in the middle of the path, slowly pedalling in my direction. As she was looking over her shoulder wondering why her adults weren’t supervising her, she did not see me.

There was still room to pass safely. I slowed down and moved further to the right, getting closer to the chain link fence on my right. The girl then turned her head and realized she was about to ride into oncoming traffic. Instead of getting out of the way, or stopping, she panicked and started pedalling like the devil towards me, determined to have a head-on collision.

When I was a kid, I thought to break your arm and mummifying it in plaster was kind of cool. You’d get showered with attention. Your classmates would all want to autograph your cast. If it happens to be your dominant arm, you’d even get the teacher to act as your personal secretary for two weeks!

Perhaps this little non-Cyprian had the same thought, but she quickly abandoned her plan and bailed off her bike without my assistance. I now had a fighting chance to stay on my bike.

Except, when she fell, her bike slid across the gravel and in front of me. I shifted my weight to the left, then to the right… too far right. It was my turn to slide across the gravel.

I slid on the same arm that had just finished healing from my last accident, ripping off the patch of newly formed skin. Time to seek sponsorship from Band-Aid®.

The girl? She’s not going to end up with a cool plaster cast. I don’t think she will even need a bandage, but what she does need is a bike her size, a helmet that actually fits, and adult supervision. I’m well-versed in the first two but struggle with being an adult, much less one that supervises a child.

For a good 30 seconds, Yann and I thought we were obligated to look after the girl who remained sitting on the ground in the middle of the path, too shocked to move. When her parents finally caught up to her, they demonstrated how you’re supposed to knock a child back into consciousness: with a hug. I’m not sure that would have been appropriate for me to do, particularly since I’d have bled all over her.

Anyway, as a non-parent, I don’t have the right to question their parenting choices, but as a cyclist and a bike mechanic, I question their bicycle and safety gear choices.

Buying a too-big bike for a kid to grow into is like buying a pair of flip-flops two sizes too big for them to run around in. It might do the job, but faceplants are imminent.

Your best bet is to go to a real bike shop. It does mean spending more money, but with so many parents willing to buy an iPad for their kid, why not a proper bike? And, to protect the things the iPad has taught your kid, why not buy a helmet that fits?

Otherwise, your weak stance on bike safety tells me, “I love my kid… but not THAT much.”

Mosaic custom balance bike.
Custom titanium push bike with Chris King headset and hubs.

After an experience like that, the girl probably no longer needs her parents to remind her to watch where she’s going.

I hope she has not been deterred from getting back on a bike, just maybe the too-big one she was riding.

As for me, my arm is healing well, and my bike still looks fabulous.

Out of the saddle and on to a boat.

Smug on a boat.
Casually elegant.

At last, I can see clearly on clear days! No more choosing between being able to see fine details while being blinded by the sun, or protecting my substandard vision from the sun’s glare.

I upgraded my sunglasses with prescription lenses and a gold mirror finish (to match my medal). Up until now, I wasn’t recklessly dodging blurry objects on my bicycle as I am only slightly far-sighted. My new lenses allow me to see just how concerning an upcoming pothole is; I also don’t have to get too close to read a street sign before I figure out I’ve gotten lost. In retrospect, this could have even prevented the crash I had last month as I would have probably noticed how soft the gravel was getting before my front wheel had the chance to sink in it.

Now to take the focus off my eyes, here’s Yann rolling past a historical Montréal landmark:

7 short of a dozen.
Two wheels, five roses.

Why is it historical? It’s just a flour factory.

Not to Montréalaises: they put this logo on postcards, framed canvases, pillow covers, t-shirts, tote bags, and themselves. I’ve even seen two people with this logo tattooed on them, which is two people too many.

At least the Vancouver equivalent of “Farine Five Roses” is more succinct: the letter “W”. When I was a very young suburbanite, my opa pointed to the “W” and told me that the building was his; after all, his name was Willy. I accepted this to be true and shared my newfound knowledge with my fellow mini-suburbanites who quickly knew it to be hogwash before they knew what the word “hogwash” meant.

Montréalaises’ fondness for the Farine Five Roses sign would somewhat explain the public’s penchant for kitschy front lawn display. When you’re used to being welcomed into your city by a neon sign owned by a flour factory, welcoming guests to your home via a driveway guarded by two sailfish seems reasonable.

After passing the beloved flour factory, Yann and I continued southwest on Route Verte #1 until we reached Lachine where we turned south onto Route Verte #5. This took us through Montréal’s rich neighbourhood which Yann explained to me was where all the Anglophones lurked. If I had money, I guess I’d have felt “right at home”.

But, we didn’t want to pass through the area twice, much less through the Old Port on a Friday night; thus, we continued riding to Hudson.

Yann on a boat.
Yann making sure nobody steals our bikes.

I clipped my shoe into Yann’s ass for stability while ferrying over the Ottawa River to Oka.

This was the moment of truth for our new Garmin Edge 1030 GPS device: was it smart enough to recognize that we were going over water where there was no bridge?

Nope. We remained moving at a pace of 13km/h even though we were off our bikes.

Keeping my location secure.
Censored by my bitmoji for privacy reasons.

Instead, we relied on my CatEye Strada Wireless cyclocomputer to give us our distance total of 130km, making it our tenth 100+km ride of the year.

Since July 29th, the current leader of The Transcontinental Race, James Hayden, has covered a distance of 2510km.

transcontinental
I’m exhausted just looking at this map.

Give me until the end of 2018 to beat his one-week total, please.

Moose hunting.

Another Saturday was spent under the sun in spandex. Yann and I gave Route Verte #5 a try; we’re going through all the route numbers, almost in order.

#5 took us through a forest of refineries to the northernmost (or easternmost if you have that much faith in Montréal’s cartographers) tip of the island. Just before we exited the island of Montréal, we happened upon a small park inhabited by anthropomorphic animals in baseball shirts standing on stumps.

Jean-Robert Drouillard sculptures.
Feeling out of place.

I’ve already posted this picture on Instagram: apologies for not giving you the variety you strive for when you come here.

In the Montréal area, you don’t have to visit a park to see random sculptures, they’re everywhere:

fig 1 …and 2.

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Here are the sailfish bros, with their very prominent anal fin, guarding somebody’s driveway. The alternating red and white flowers behind bro #2 appear to say, “Welcome, but not really.”

I like to imagine the conversation that might have taken place before the purchase of these driveway ornaments:

“I think the entrance to my driveway is lacking something.”

“Lions?”

“Fuck lions! I hate cats! Got anything in fish?”

“We recently got these hand-painted concrete sailfish in from Italy.”

“I love them.”

This was found in Laval, where the property bylaws appear to be much more relaxed than anywhere else. There appear to be a good number of lawn ornament enthusiasts in Montréal and surrounding areas.

Fig 3.

My Little Pony of Laval.

If you’re not new to this blog, you’ll have already been familiarized with this pony; after all, this is her third appearance. Not only do I crosspost, but also I repost.

If you are new, consider this my formal declaration of being somewhat of a lawn ornament fanatic. Yup. Since I don’t have a lawn of my own, I get high off other people’s lawns.

Fig 4.

Gardener/Football Player.
For your favourite gardener/football player.

In the Parc Ex (short for Parc Extreme, probably) neighbourhood of Montréal, you’ll find a garden with a perfect balance of masculinity and feminity. What better way to display your flowers than in car tires and a giant football vessel?

Fig 5. and 6.

Moose x2.
A pair of moose.

When Yann and I first met My Little Pony of Laval aka Figure 3, I asked him whether he had ever seen the moose sculptures by the Olympic Stadium. Non!

How had he not yet seen Montréal’s grandest lawn ornaments, in the 29 years he’s been alive? Had Yann been ambitious enough to create a “30 before 30” list, a visit to the moose would’ve been on there.

We rode into the moose’s neck of the woods after work. I couldn’t remember their exact location, but Yann easily spotted them grazing in the front lawn of an otherwise ordinary-looking house. On the balcony of this house was an older woman hanging out minding her own business, with a dog who desperately wanted our business.

Standing in between the two life-sized moose sculptures, Yann was compelled to request verbal permission; he asked the lady if we could photograph her moose. I think if he had simply asked her if we could take a picture, she would know what he was referring to.

Interestingly enough, she appeared to be a bit insecure about the moose and pointed out that they were her husband’s idea. I take it she hasn’t met the owner of the swordfish driveway.

Returning to the subject of cycling: Saturday’s ride totalled 104km, making it my 9th century ride of the year.

While patting myself on the back, I’m keeping track of >200 strangers’ double, triple, and quadruple century rides. I am “dot chasing” the participants of this year’s Transcontinental Race. I find this event more exciting to follow than Le Tour de France as it is an entirely self-supported race. From the Transcontinental Race website: “Outside support is prohibited, riders must only use what they can carry with them or what they can find at commercially available outlets.”

Last year’s winner did 3800km in under 9 days: an average of 422km/day. Even if the winner didn’t sleep a wink, he would have still been going at a speed of 17.5km/h.

I don’t dream of being fast at cycling as much as I dream of having the stamina that would allow me to explore the world’s lawn sculptures. This is going on my “40 under 40” list since my 20s are long gone.

Chin down.
Sorry excuse for a Millennial.

Maybe it’s just a Laura thing.

Attending a social gathering, especially one composed of mostly Francophone hearing people, is decidedly not a Laura thing. But if it’s a friend’s birthday, I try to give the gift of my presence at their party.

At last Sunday’s party, the birthday boy, Paulo, looked at me in the eyes and challenged me to the “Circle Game”. This is the game where someone dupes you into looking at their hand as they press thumb and index finger together to form a circle, which happens to also be the sign for “asshole” in ASL.

Circle gamer.
My dirty fingernails are a side effect of being a bike mechanic.

I lost. I let Paulo call me an asshole… again. I work with Paulo, which means I get tricked into playing (and losing) the Circle Game all the time.

That evening, I finally confronted him. “You’re taking advantage of my deafness! Of course, I am naturally drawn to handshapes! That’s how I “listen”!”

I could see the guilt flash in his eyes. He knew there was truth in what I had just told him, but he didn’t realize I wasn’t truly upset. After having called me an asshole many times via the Circle Game, I finally made Paulo feel like an asshole. On his birthday, no less.

I assured him that I wasn’t upset, but he has not played the Circle Game with me since.

It’s a Deaf thing to look at people’s hands when they appear to be signing. It’s even more of a Deaf thing to refer to this as a “Deaf Bing”. For further explanation, watch this short captioned video by The Flipside.

I am fairly confident that performing poorly at the Circle Game can be attributed to my deafness, but I can’t blame all my quirks on being deaf. I have been somewhat absent from the Deaf community since graduating high school in 2001, so sometimes I ask myself, “Is this a Deaf Bing… or just a Laura thing?”

For example, I have a skill that isn’t really useful for hearing people but is beneficial to deaf people who communicate by paper and pen often. Years of communicating with hearing people by passing a piece of paper back and forth across a table has made me extraordinarily good at reading upside-down. I can read entire blocks of text upside-down in the same way many avid readers can absorb full sentences at a glance.

Deaf Bing? Laura thing? Bookworm skill?

If the piece of paper is big enough, I sometimes interject with an answer by writing upside-down. Of course, most people tilt their head expecting to have to read an upside-down sentence. “What the fuck?!” is the usual response once the person realizes that I have conveniently answered right-side-up for their hearing brain.

Advanced mindfuckery.
Advanced mindfuckery.

As you can sort of see by the above gif, I can handwrite upside-down at a fluid pace. It is admittedly much sloppier than my already sloppy regular handwriting.

handwriting
A teacher once told me that I had nice handwriting. I never trusted a teacher again.

Yann gave me a little experiment the other day that had me write: normally, upside-down, left-handed, and finally, upside-down and left-handed simultaneously. My upside-down left-handed text came out looking pretty terrible, yet still neater than the right-way-up left-handed version.

Deaf Bing? Laura thing? Artistic cognition?

How about strategic seating? I have the tendency to take a seat where there won’t be people behind me, whether it be against the wall or in a room corner. I can’t have my back to a doorway, nor do I care to face away from a window.

At my old job, my desk was placed against the wall, forcing me to have my back to about 50 co-workers. It bothered me so much that I set up a mirror next to my computer monitor. This makeshift rear-view mirror made me feel so much more at ease knowing that nobody could peer over my shoulder and realize that I had no idea how to do my job. (Just kidding, I had some idea.) I briefly considered cutting a hole in the ceiling to stick a periscope though. If I can hear nothing, I should be able to see everything!

Deaf Bing? Laura thing? Extreme paranoia?

It takes me a very long time to feel comfortable enough to use my voice around a hearing person. I had some speech developed before I became deaf at the age of three, but because it’s been over 30 years since I last heard my own voice, sharing it is the most intimate thing I can do for someone else.

When I verbalize my first word around a hearing person, their eyes light up as if I were a baby saying “mama” or “dada” for the first time. Except, I usually say something brash like “heeeey!” or “fuck!”

The thrill of hearing me speak wears off as soon as I get so comfortable that I start making random noises for the sake of asking the poor hearing soul to describe them. This is how I came to learn how to sound like a horse, pig, elephant… and a motorcycle. One day, I’ll happen upon the quacking sound effect, and my hearing friends are going to long for my silent era.

Deaf Bing? Laura thing? Bored child syndrome?

Toast blog poast.

Original Logo.
It was either this or “Nut Plaster”.

I know none of you have tested my granola guide, otherwise, I would have been awarded a medal by now.

You probably found the idea of combining honey, nuts, dried fruit, and rolled oats to be too daunting, so I’ll be sharing an even easier recipe. (Easy if you have a food processor; impossible if you don’t.)

Introducing… my nut butter how-to:

The trickiest part is finding a good nut dealer. I have three very conveniently located nut dealers, my favourite being The Nut King. In his kingdom raw almonds are offered at $8.99/pound.

Next, you will need a food processor. This will probably cost a lot more than $8.99/pound and it will definitely not be sold by the pound.

I use a five year old Black & Decker Power Pro. It’s the only food processor I’ve ever owned so I don’t know how it compares to the others.

unnamed (677x677)
Well-loved food processor.

As you can see, I don’t use the “Low” setting very often for I am an impatient person.

20180723_210952 (800x800)
Make some noise for nut butter!

I have just barely enough patience to set my oven to 350° to give my raw nuts a 15-minute roasting, and another 15 minutes to cool down.

The amount to be roasted is dependent on your food processor’s capacity.

I do recommend dumping the nuts onto a metal pan straight from a glass jar to ease your neighbours into the noise that comes with making DIY nut butter. I once tried making chickpea flour using dried chickpeas and it was akin to making sand out of pebbles. It was hilarious, but probably only for my extremely deaf self.

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Freshly roasted cashews surrounded by five-week-old nut butter residue.

As my food processor makes nut butter almost exclusively, I don’t bother washing the jar attachment. I’m cleverly lazy and just stick the jar in the fridge in-between uses.

When I first started making my own nut butter about three years ago, it would take less than 2 minutes in the processor for the nuts to go from ridiculously crunchy to smooth. I once forgot about the processor and inadvertently made nut oil; I ate soggy toast for breakfast for a week following that. Now with the worn blades (probably from that time I made chickpea flour), it takes about 5 minutes for the nuts to reach spreadability.

Don’t freak out when and if the nut dust gathers into a cluster and starts do-si-doing the blade column:

video2gif_20180723_202746.gif
Clusterfucking around.

It’s all a part of the process.

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As spreadable as celebrity gossip.

I don’t understand why the nut butter recipes I’ve found online require the addition of other stuff. You could add chocolate, maple syrup, or spider eggs but this really is a one-ingredient wonder. Don’t fuck with a good thing.

You can give your family and friends the gift of homemade nut butter, but before you do so, you’ll want to spend some time on presentation. Colourful tulle might work great for Jordan almonds, but would be impractical for nut butter.

20180723_210423 (800x800)
The eyelashes on the toast distract people from the unappealing product name. At least I avoided making a pun.

Homemade nut butter is definitely much more appreciated than homemade jam. Anytime I’ve ever been over somebody’s home, and they had homemade jam on hand, it would have been a gift from 3 Christmases ago. A jar of Toast Lotion gifted at Christmastime would never make it to the New Year, I promise you that.

This millennial is going to single-handedly destroy the jam industry with this very blog post.

Caution assorted reptiles xing!

reptilecrossing
Clockwise from top: snake, lizard, turtle, frog.

Instead of continuing to argue with Yann about the varying quality of stunt mattresses, I am going to write about today’s bike ride in explicit detail.

Since my crash two weeks ago, this was the first bike ride worthy of wearing bib shorts. On Tuesday, I finished my antibiotics like a good patient, but came up with a new reason to visit the doctor: “My arm looks better but feels so much worse!”

This new doctor prescribed me some pale yellow tablets and promised me I’d be ready to wrestle a ManBearPig in under a week. As I was absolutely sure I wouldn’t be able to find a ManBearPig in the city, Yann and I cycled out to Oka (118km round trip).

I think everybody in Montréal headed for Oka today, only most took their cars. Yann and I passed a long string of motorists and their families (visible in the above photo) struggling to get to the waterslide park or the beach.

I miss being excited about scooting on my ass down a wet chute. How did I ever not mind standing in a long line-up wearing nothing but a wet bathing suit? Who taught me to be this annoyed by people?

offsetmouth
The dreaded non-drive side angle.

I didn’t have to feel nervous about being back on my bicycle: my accident wasn’t caused by a car. Anyway, the waterslide park goers were moving slower than the turtles the sign warned us of.

Yann still needs to teach me how to do a proper bunny hop but for now, I’ll continue to unclip and lift my bike onto the curb like a dork.

fatbobcat
Chubby bobcat.

Honestly, I’m not cool enough to be a part of Team Dream but their chubby bobcat logo was too cute to not stick on my road bike.

…I never did wrestle a ManBearPig.

What you don’t need to know about Montréal.

Since my accident, I’ve been spending way more time on the love seat than in the saddle. Likewise, I am on way more drugs than usual. I was hoping the painkillers the small-town doctor hooked me up with would evoke some blog-worthy introspection. Alas, painkillers don’t do that. Not even morphine. At best, it made sulking on the love seat a little less uncomfortable.

It took exactly a week before I felt I had recovered enough to go on a benign adventure. On Saturday I found myself back on a gravel path, only I didn’t have a bicycle beneath me.

This particular path– Le Réseau-Vert–runs alongside the Canadian Pacific Railway line for about 3km through the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie. Up until the beginning of spring, it was a simple unmarked car-free path. The city then decided to add some gimmicky park benches, tables, a playground for doing calisthenics, and information panels.

Le Réseau-Vert.
Le Réseau-Vert map.

Being without my bicycle forced me to slow down and appreciate this $1 million upgrade. I was able to stop and smell the roses/learn a bit about my ‘hood. In French.

I was not disappointed.

For more than a year, I had been cycling past a giant building with twin smokestacks that never seemed to emit smoke. I knew the building belonged to the city, but my best guess was that it was a place where all the traffic cones were stored, and where more could be manufactured should the city’s supply ever run low.

incinerator
Garbage fire enthusiast.

Nope.

Between 1929 and 1993, this building spewed burning garbage. Not the best smell to attract cyclists and joggers to Le Réseau-Vert. So, after 64 years of garbage burning fun, the city decided the pollution was getting a trifle excessive and shut it down. Instead of converting it into something better-smelling, like a cookie factory, the building was deserted.

As many abandoned buildings in Montréal end up being revamped into overpriced studio apartments, why not this one? The smokestacks already have balconies in place. The spiral ramp would be fun to sledge down in the winter. There’s ample parking!

It would cost millions to clean up the contaminated soil, which is apparently okay to jog and cycle next to but not live on. Turning this incinerator inside-out and burning it down wasn’t an option, so the city has decided to let it slowly erode.

With the addition of the information panels along the bike path, the city has inadvertently turned incinerator #3 into an attractive nuisance. Up until now, I was okay with leaving it alone. Now, I desperately want to go inside.

Knowing Montréal, there are probably cops inside the building waiting to ambush trespassers with fines.

One of the other information panels described a former local celebrity who went by the name of The Great Antonio. He was a Hagrid-looking man famous for pulling loaded city buses using two ropes made of hair… still attached to his head. Initially, Antonio was Croatian, but he later decided that being Italian would be more marketable in a neighbourhood like La Petite-Patrie. That is until his inflamed hair follicles affected the little sanity he had, compelling him to declare himself an extraterrestrial.

Since aliens don’t have fancy technology like voice mail, in his later years Antonio used Dunkin’ Donuts employees as his personal messengers. If this isn’t weird enough, Antonio also sold postcards and brochures of himself at metro stations. He was his own biggest fan.

Sometimes I feel goofy about having a blog where I write about myself, but I’m far from being so confident in my allure that the city of Montréal will posthumously devote a park bench to me, paint a mural, and print my photo on an information panel erected next to an old garbage incinerator.

Act like you’re famous, and eventually, people will start believing it.

Please pass the gas.

An unexpected side effect of missing a week of work due to injury/being on stupefacient drugs is not knowing what to do with myself.

At the beginning of the week, I was in too much pain to be productive. Along with numbing the pain, the medication I was on was also numbing my cognitive abilities. I even succeed in losing loaf of bread immediately after putting it away someplace odd.

It had been a long time since I’ve managed to get so little done in so much time; however, yesterday I was able to grasp a pencil and rub some graphite into my sketchbook.

Those who knew me during my teenage years knew me as an art prodigy. (I was 13 when I did this. 15 when I did this.)

Now I get asked, “Can you draw?” or “Are you good at drawing?”

Sort of. My skills went from being exceptional for my age to somewhat better than average. I follow many artists on Instagram and often think to myself, “Had I stayed passionate about art, I could have been this good.”

I’ve become far too impatient and critical about my work to enjoy drawing or painting. Most of my recent work is satire. My illustration from yesterday is no exception:

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Illustration showing me in bed, wide-awake, being forced to whiff Yann’s butt fumes. The cat–Bubble–is shown peacefully napping at the foot of the bed as the stench is being directed away by a floor fan.

This started out as a simple sketch to explain to Yann why he shouldn’t sandwich himself in between me and the fan if he can’t control his bedtime gas output. The fan especially should not be positioned so that it lines up with his butt and my nose.

Now that I am in my crusty mid-thirties, my trademark has shifted from being a skilled illustrator to being an accomplished suppressor of my own farts. Ask anybody who has ever lived with me: “Has Laura ever tooted outside of the washroom?” They’re going to think about it and go, “Actually, no.”

To summarize, I am fart-shy and a has-been illustrator.

A survey of the damage.

Yann gave me a peck on the cheek just before he left for work yesterday. I had to remind him, “I’m not sick.”

It’s been four days since my accident. Physically, I’m doing much better but mentally, I’m either all fogged up from the painkillers, or plainly bummed.

As my right arm got the worst of the impact; I can’t use it for very long before it starts to throb. My full-sleeve is surely camouflaging the severity of the wound. When I pulled off the gauze, there was an imprint of the tattoo on the fabric. I did not know it was possible for ink to leak out a fully-healed tattoo!

If you’re not into mildly gory healing photos, stop here.

Continue reading “A survey of the damage.”