I love tattoos. I just wrapped up number four and am currently working on designing my half-sleeve. But I’m terrible at sitting through them. For as much as I love the aesthetic of body mods (too much to ever back out of them), I am certainly not a trooper when it comes to handling the process. I don’t cry, say “ow” or pass out, it just reads all over my face. I’m not exactly cool as a cucumber.
Which is why I got my friend Jane to come with me on my journey to Kitchener to get my newest tattoo done this Saturday.
My artist in Kitchener, Darryl, is a friend of my family’s and not someone I’d be willing to let go. He did my amazing CBC tattoo and we have a great bond. So I’m not going to bother finding a “new Darryl” in Toronto — I’ll make the hour drive to Kitchener any day.
Jane, who has never been to Kitchener (but has friends there) was excited to come, and she brought along her friend Jessie to join us.
The day started relatively early (both Jane and I had been at separate parties the night before and had varying degrees of functionality) with a gym sesh followed by some serious writing for me at Broadview Espresso. Yes, I truly cannot let go of that place.
(Like seriously, how yum is that looking?!)
I may have to eventually share some of my fiction writing on here — I have a lot of rambling feelings about NaNoWriMo and why I don’t participate, which are actually covered in the latest set of fiction prose I hammered out.
Picking up Jane and Jessie resulted in yet another detour — some hangover food for Jane and Jessie (and just plain food for me!) at The Beaver, a bar/restaurant/cafe/whatever near Parkdale (I don’t know if it counts as Parkdale since it’s just East of Dufferin). I rather enjoyed a lot of the imagery in there.
Please note and embrace this beautiful picture of Jane crying into a breakfast sandwich in front of a quilted David Bowie beaver.
I have always been a political person. The importance of voting was instilled at a young age and I have voted in every possible election since I turned 18. But nothing compelled me quite like the 2011 Federal election. I was a huge supporter of Jack Layton, and when he passed away I found myself for the first time crying over someone I never knew.
It was weird.
My mother and I differ quite a bit politically, and on my stance on tattoos. But when I told her I wanted to get “hope is better than fear” as a tattoo, she thought it was very lovely. It’s always summed up the way I look at the world. That’s not to say I don’t feel fear. As a matter of fact, I am a very fearful person. But I’ve always tried to choose optimism over fear, to not let fear be the factor in what makes my decisions. That’s why I voted for Jack Layton’s widow, Olivia Chow, in the Toronto municipal election last month, even though I knew in all honesty that she probably would not win. Olivia lead her campaign with a message to vote based on our heart and our values, not on strategy and out of fear that we would have another four years of a Ford administration (and we almost did)! In the end, though she did not win, I felt so proud to watch a strong woman who came from a poor immigrant life to becoming a successful politician and always being true to herself, even when every critic said she was too meek, too soft, that her campaign lacked the passion to go with her ideas.
Just a few pics to wrap up — we hit my favourite café in the whole wide world, Cafe Pyrus in Kitchener (Jessie is vegan too! Yay! ONE OF US! ONE OF US!) and then to my old haunt from the student journalism days, Ethel’s. I ended up having a single Rum and Coke and some water for “dinner” because, holy crap, their “vegetarian” selections were all covered in cheese. The things you take for granted when you’re still eating meat! Anyway, our waiter was really cool and slapped a princess sticker on my water, and Jane looked really cute drinking her Caesar.