She’s Black He’s Jewish Oh Vey!

Date #343 - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

NOTE: B talks about sexually specific issues in this post.

A: B and I went to see She’s Black He’s Jewish They’re Married Oy Vey! at the Fringe Fest this year and it was… interesting. It was about married couple - she’s black, he’s jewish - and their performance was about successful marriage and how, if two people stemming from arguably the most repressed histories can come together and be incredibly happy in life and love, then you can too. In that regard it was funny. I enjoy sexually humorous and adventurous content, especially in public, but I am so passionate about not fitting into a box that I get a little turned off when shows are simply about heteronormative love. I think we live in a day and age where we no longer have to fit into boxes and follows formulas and there’s a freedom in that. I know a lot of people don’t see this or understand it or have had the opportunity to learn about this sort of approach to life and that heteronormative art/shows/stories take away from the possibility of people learning that there’s more to life and love than that.

I was happy to be there with B. I hope that we can spend the rest of our lives going to shows and seeing art and experiencing people in this way.

B: OH MY GOSH this play was hilarious! I laughed so hard!!

I think a play featuring people making fun of themselves, talking crudely about their own sex-lives, and ultimately offering up some great relationship advice is the perfect date. I’m so happy that we went.

I understand A’s observations about things being slightly heteronormative, but I also think these two were trying to say “this is our story and here’s what we learned that may help you too.”  There were a few times where they made broad statements that painted all couples as woman + man. 

There was one point where I felt somewhat uncomfortable that I haven’t talked to A about…It was when the two went on about the lesson “never let him cum first.” It was a lesson based off the idea that when a man ejaculates he doesn’t want to do anything else. Taken further and more broadly, this could be meant as “always put your partner’s needs in front of your’s”…or not.

Anyways, I know this feeling well. It’s quite often true. I don’t know what it is or why, but when I ejaculate I do loose most of my sexual interest. It has nothing to do with A and I am happy to kiss her and cuddle, I just don’t really want to do anything sexual after. 

I love making A happy in all ways. Sexually, I know she often pays a lot of attention to me (with no pressure or suggestion from me at all). So when this came up in the play I felt like I was blushing a lot and thinking “Oh no! I cum first all the time. We’ve never talked about this!”

Looks like we need to have a conversation…

Guardians Let Down + Deliver Us From Evil

Date #342 - Monday, July 7, 2014

A: I got intel on a preview of Guardians of the Galaxy and found out how to get tickets. I went two hours early, B meeting me there, only to find out that it was a 17 minute preview of the scene - and we didn’t even like it. I was so many. I hated that we wasted so much time there and no one even said once it was only 17 minutes. Multiple people were confused, too. Well I wrote IMAX later and complaint that their wording was off. The ticket read: Guardians of the Galaxy - first look with an exclusive 17 minutes of footage. What do you think?

IMAX ended up compensating us with two tickets which was really nice. We also went to see Deliver Us From Evil which I thought was funny. It was our first horror in the theatre (and second overall). When we first met I asked B if he liked horror movies and he said yes. I was stoked to have a buddy to get scared with! ……but every time I suggest a horror movie B looks at like and says, “But that’s scary.” It’s adorable so I can’t get mad but, finally, we’re watching them! What should be our third??

B: I pay a lot of attention to customer service. I’ve worked for a lot of companies and I currently freelance in Media, so I really obsess over intended messages, audiences, and connecting with people.

I think Marvel Studios’ “preview” was a MASSIVE fail. I think it set the wrong expectation and, as a result, let a lot of people down. Also, they missed out on an opportunity to get a bunch of fans talking about the movie super-early.

But, it’s killing at the box-office and we were nicely reimbursed for our time so that’s all good.

What is more important is how A and I noted the one female character (and I include all background characters in this statement) we saw during our 17-minute scene. Yes, only ONE. It was an indicator of what I already suspected, a studio who in its ten releases has yet to release a film with a female lead, still doesn’t get it. Not having seen the entire film, I’ll leave you with a quote from this Salon review:

Gunn genuinely went out to create a film with “strong female characters” and was savvy enough to include a basic Bechdel pass. But then secure in the knowledge that he was meeting that goal, he failed to realize that jokes about prostitution and background characters like the Collector’s assistant and Peter Quill’s one-night-stands would serve to undermine those intentions.

We needed… space

Date #341 - Sunday, July 6, 2014

A: Brian and I were having internal dialogues with ourselves that completely clashed once the words came out. I drew this self-portrait on an app I found because I was looking for a distraction and wanted to seem busy. We don’t have other photos because it was one of those days. Do you take photos on those days?

I ended up leaving B and biking home crying. When I got home I paced a lot and cleaned my apartment until I decided to go to TURF anyway, even if I was going alone (Good idea because Jeff Tweedy is incredible and bad idea because Wilco songs make me cry a lot). I wanted to make things right with B but I’m learning that space is good, sometimes. In the beginning I would press and we would argue and nothing ever got solved until we had some space. Well we had some space. And it got solved. I am awful at remember the small details, but I knew I missed him very much while listening to Jeff Tweedy. I even sent him a song whose lyrics I cried to while standing in the crowd and I held my phone so tightly waiting for a response, hoping it was positive and loving. I felt like I was 15. I know we’re only on date #341, but I would be utterly heartbroken without B. It was an emotional day. 

B: I was so happy when I found out that A ended up going to see Wilco. We had one of those arguments where a bunch of stuff builds up and you can’t really say what you’re fighting about. After things and I was sitting on my bed feeling sad I thought, “I caused this and A shouldn’t miss Wilco because of that.” She didn’t and that was good.

One of the things I’ve learned is to focus on how you’re feeling and what you need. I realized in this moment that I needed my own space. I remember feeling like I was being pulled in a million different directions and completely overwhelmed. I’m not sure why but I know in those moments I have a tendency to take it out on the people closest to me and blame them for my feelings. NEVER blame others for your feelings. It will get you no where.

So A and I took some space and I started to accept that that was what we needed and I was totally afraid to admit that. I’m afraid sometimes that I will loose A and I’m afraid to be alone and so I hold on to things so tightly that they can sometimes reek havoc. 

What I learned is that A and I need to accept that sometimes we need time apart and that is OK. The big question is how we will get this “alone time” when we live together….

TURF Day 2! Gaslight Anthem, Violent Femmes, and The Strumbellas

Date #340 - Saturday, July 5, 2014

A: I felt awful but really wanted to go to the second day of TURF. It was a beautiful day and we took it easy. I love going to these things with B. He knows people, we mingle, sit around, I occasionally see someone I know, usually drink beer (except I had the flu)… I am happy to spend these summer days with B outdoors listening to incredible music. It makes me feel lucky and un-alone. Like I’m part of this big group of awesome, talented, and hip people who are all there because we have something in common and, for the first time, I’m going to these events with a partner. An actual person that I’m trying real hard to build something with. And I’m really proud of it. There was a time when I didn’t think I’d ever have or feel this.

Gaslight Anthem was incredible although I wish the other band members, or at least one or two, spoke more. Maybe they don’t like to speak, so I shouldn’t assume what I’m assuming (lead singer syndrome!). Last time I saw them at Sound Academy I had recently been dumped and my friend ditched me so I cried the entire set. This show was way better and definitely a highlight of my summer. I liked singing to B too, even though my voice sounded like a million dying drones in the desert.

B: Looking back on this day I can already tell what was building to Sunday…

Anyways, this festival has an unreal lineup but I was so tired I could barely enjoy the festival. Yes, A was sick but she seemed really energized by the bands. I, on the other hand, was happy to just laze around. I was also still really sore from my bike accident and was trying to stand as little as possible. Even writing this now I can’t believe how hard it was to stand even for a short while.

Anyways, I was happy I got to see The Strumbellas. They are awesome. I left A to listen to them. I really like that we are confident and independent even together.

Here’s a track for your enjoyment:

Sick. Again.

Date #339 - Friday, July 4, 2014

A: It was Independence day AND the first day of TURF… And I had the flu. TURF is my favourite summer festival in the city and I wanted to go so badly but B encouraged me to rest up for day 2 and 3 of the festival instead. It was a good choice, since I was really sick. I never used to get the flu… I guess that’s long gone. I’ll never forget date #2 when B convinced me to come over, even though I had the flu. We watched a movie that used to make me bawl my eyes out as an adolescent. Where the Heart Is. Have you seen it? I think I’m due for a re-watching. Or a re-reading. The book is heart-wrenching. 

B: It’s really hard to tell how sick A is because she HATES being sick and hides her sickness really well. Should we have gone to TURF? Well, Beirut, Born Ruffians, Deer Tick and more were playing. If you don’t know, those are bands that we both LOVE. 

That is how sick A was (and how completely tired I was). I was really tired. I only know this now because I’m asking myself “Did you really miss out on Beirut?”

Andrea gets the flu - from B’s sister???

Date #338 - Thursday, July 3, 2014

A: All of this cost me $80 which I thought was a lot at the time but I later realized one or two pill or even a bag of protein could cost $65 or $100 easily! Over the past few years I’ve gotten into herbal remedies. I’ve never been one to take meds - ever - not even advil unless my headache is exploding - so working with people and meeting B who are/is interested in similar approaches has really inspired me. For example, I never knew about oil of oregano until I worked at my last job. It’s a miracle. Take it when you’re sick, and when you feel like you’re getting sick. Two hours after you take it, have a probiotic like kombucha or even a probiotic supplement. Oil of oregano kills the good and bad cells - everything - and the probiotic will restore the good cells. It works wonders.

Also - if you’re anemic or take iron - take it with vitamin C! You absorb 100% more of it!

We watched Orphan Black all night. I had the flu. It was legit. B was on all the pills too to ensure he didn’t get sick. What a lovely man, for keeping me company. Looking back fondly on date #2……. We were so eloquent in that entry. (If I could rewrite it, it’d include: I thought B was nuts for inviting me over having the flu, and I felt even more ridiculous driving over to his house as sick as a dog. We watched one my my favourite books-turned-movies and he was so open and accepting about how corny it was and how awful I was feeling that I was totally aghast and smitten. He told me was an intense person. I wanted to tell him I was difficult. Instead, I thought, maybe this will work out.)

B: I don’t know why, but I like taking care of people when they are sick. I think the body is remarkable and I’ve always been especially interested in how nutrition can help. I’m a big supporter of natural remedies and maybe part of me treats treating A like an experiment…sorry A but it seems to be working.

My little sister totally gave the flu to A. Luckily our friend Nathalie Niddam has given us an awesome routine that involves Oil of Oregano (followed by probiotics 2 hours later) Vitamin C, D, Zinc and an immune booster featuring Rishi Mushrooms. It totally works (especially if you start right when symptoms present).

Also, taking care of a sick person can be awesome. You get to sit around and watch movies and eat soup and drink orange juice but you don’t feel sick. Anyways, A got better and I didn’t get sick and now we have a pharmacy in the kitchen.

1st Anniversary Jays Game

Date #337 - Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A: B’s parents got him a ticket to this game. I wasn’t originally supposed to go but when my schedule freed up my pal and I used our seasons pass to get in. We ended up sitting together and it was so much fun. We were in the same place but with new people and different seats and it was a really refreshing and fun game. 

Two weeks prior I had emailed and called to set up a visit from Ace, the mascot, and Jays force for Brian, and I waited the entire game for him to show up. He never did. I can’t lie. I was really upset, though I hid it. I ended up texting the guest services number that they have plastered everywhere and their team came by with a postcard wishing us a happy anniversary. B was really pumped and grateful and, although I tried to hide it, I can’t help but feel as though I came of as an ungrateful child. Oh well. Maybe next year Ace will come for a visit.

B: My Mom had planned to go to the Jays game with my Grandparents for awhile and she gets really good seats and A was supposed to be working and so I said “OK.” Well, it turned out A wasn’t working and this was the 1 year anniversary of when A asked if I would be her boyfriend right before I got off the subway.

I was actually really worried about this day being special. You see so many things in the media about anniversaries and I didn’t have anything like that planned. I think this day was perfect though. It was filled with things and people we love and we got to share our celebration with all of them…including the Blue Jays!

Yeah, I sent them a tweet about our anniversary and then they came and brought A and me a card. I thought it was the tweet but it turns out A wrote them awhile ago! (she’s great) Then the Jays hit a walk-off home-run in the 9th to win it all.

Later we got coffee and had dinner and other people who saw our Instagram posts wished us a happy anniversary too. I think I’m so lucky to both have found someone who I love so much and who inspires me to share that love so much.

Loon Choir & Fireworks on the water

Date #336 - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A: We played the train game again but this time B’s dad didn’t play. He totally wanted to after we were 20 minutes in so he hopped on to B’s grandma’s turn and it was hilarious. I was dying of laughter. Had to be there, I think, unless the photo above is any indication. It was adorable.We headed to the Oshawa Canada Day festival - and how few photos we have! - to see B’s sister’s incredible band, Loon Choir, play the gazebo stage. It was lovely. Oshawa reminded me a lot of London. That is all.

Later, we went to the harbour and sat on the front of B’s parent’s sailboat to watch the fireworks. It was really sweet. I felt really lucky to share this memory with B. I keep thinking, “It’s crazy that I’m on a boat right now with a sexy man in some suburb of a huge city. How did I get here???” And then I remember that everything happens one step at a time and then all of a sudden you’re knee deep in all the good things.

B: This was a really great day. I’ve realized with holidays that it is important to keep things simple - surround yourself with people you love. I love watching my sister play with Loon Choir. She is and the band are really talented. Plus, we were on a lake and that is awesome.

Watching the fireworks with my parents and Grandparents was pretty great too. It was a triple date and that was kind of funny and nice. Watching the fireworks my Mom kept remarking at all the smoke and how beautiful it was. I kept saying how we were watching massive pollution.

I liked the moment and am really grateful for that, but do wish for a more environmentally friendly way to celebrate our Nation’s birth.

Swinging Life Away - literally!

Date #335 - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A: Canada Day! We went to the beach/park with B’s family. It was so lovely. Until B and his sis were all, “Hey, you HAVE to go on this spiny park toy. It’s SO fun.” So I did. And it was AWFUL. You don’t even know (and never will because I made B delete the video). I couldn’t stop spinning and my feet didn’t reach the ground, and there was nothing for me to reach for to stop myself, so I freaked out. Literally. I was in a weird headspace from the night before and I know it was completely selfish and unfair of me to act the way I did. I was always really embarrassed which didn’t settle well in my stomach. It was an off day. And I feel so silly for not acting like a grown up, but I guess we all have these days every once in a while. I just… usually try to have them alone in my apartment and not in front of my boyfriend’s entire family. Hah.

B: I wrote about the whole “playground incident” in the last post so I won’t get in to that here. Instead, I will tell you about the awesome things that happened. We walked along this beautiful peer and we laughed and we all spent time together - A and I and most of my family.

My Grandparents have little arguments about a lot of things. They are both opinionated individuals and so they but heads. I think it is hilarious…despite feeling very awkward at times. A got to see this. What was best was that one of these arguments was going on when A and I asked my Grandparents to swing together so I could take a photo of them. My Grandfather pouted while my Grandmother pleaded. I saw A and I in that moment.

Eventually they got on the swings and had a great time. They laughed while I took pictures and forgot about their argument. It gave me hope that if you are willing to just stop and joke around for a moment, you can always come back to the person you love.

Andrea’s secret cry

Date #334 - Monday, June 30, 2014

A: B just snuck this date in the list, didn’t he. I guess I’m forced to talk about. (My OCD-tendency won’t let me delete it due to the long list of dates we have in the queue.)

Well, this is what happens with me: I struggle with the fear of having an alcohol dependency. Alcohol dependency is rampant in my family, and it’s always been a fear of mine. As an incredibly social person, I sometimes find it hard to say no. It was Pride weekend and I soaked in the sun with sangria and craft beer which is, honestly, something that rarely happens these days! 

We all know how we feel after weekends of drinking. Monday is Monday for a reason. When I had a glass of wine at B’s parent’s place, I had another, then another. And then I felt guilty. I don’t have a drinking problem, just the fear that I could have one. I’ve been told that I am in complete control of this.. that I don’t need to have that fear because I can always stop it if I wanted to.. but that’s not how addictions work. I am happy to have the support and courage to talk to my friends and to know that they’re there for me in times like this. B was really great about it all. Feelings of guilt and feelings of fear are all normal and what helps me the most in times of internal peril - should I have another drink, should I not - are listing the things I know to be true. Try it, if you ever find yourself stuck in a hard place that you can’t see to pull yourself out of for even a second to ask for help.

B: I could tell something was bothering A but I didn’t know what. I’ve realize that other people’s moods really effect me and that it is hard or impossible to ignore that. When I asked A she initially said it was nothing. I had a deep feeling this wasn’t the case and I also knew that “nothing” sometimes means “something but I don’t want to talk/deal with it.”

Actually, it started the night before and when A still seemed disturbed the next day I really thought something was up. I told her that if something was going on it is OK to say so and that she doesn’t need to talk about it. I also said if she did want to talk I would listen. I think it is important to let others know you are supporting them.

Eventually A said to me what she said above. I honestly did not know what to say and so I just tried to ask her questions and keep her opening up. It was hard and she pulled back many times, which was hard for me. When the person you love is so upset and troubled and all you want to do is day one thing that pulls the out of the funk, but you can’t, it can be upsetting.

We went to the lake with my whole family and played on the swings and spinning contraptions at the playground. My little sister and I love spinning and getting dizzy and making videos of the fun. I was filming A spinning when she demanded to be stopped. My little Sister helped and A yelled at me for not helping. She then said she wanted to be alone. My family asked what happened and I said that she just felt sick from dizziness. They said I should go help her but I wanted to give A space. I also was upset that she yelled at me and I wanted to stay away so I wouldn’t get angry at her.

On the walk back to the car I did get upset and called her selfish. I immediately regretted saying this. In the car ride home I showed her that I deleted the video. When we got back to my parents she waited back and talked a bit more. I apologized and told her it was hard but that I am trying to support her. Eventually she started feeling better and we hugged and it was good.

I’m happy A confides in me and I’m realizing more and more that you have to be patient with feelings like that. Concern and worry creeps up and all you can do is keep moving forward. I have to believe it will eventually pass with enough forward movement. So far that has proven true.

Game night in Whitby!

Date #333 - Monday, June 30, 2014

A: We took the GO-train in rush hour on a Monday - a first for me! It wasn’t fun. I don’t know how people could commute… daily. 

B’s grandparents were visiting so we stayed up and played board games and hung out. I love nights like these, and I’m so excited to play games with more than one person (my mom and I always had to stick to 2-player games, which aren’t as fun at times!).

B: I didn’t realize that because A didn’t grow up I a suburb of Toronto she missed out on the joy that is the Go Train commute. It actually is kind of interesting and there was a fictional, “The Office” style TV show made about it called Train 48.

Anyways, we rode the train to my parents where my Grandparents from Kansas/Alabama and already arrived. The best part was them looking skeptically at my sleeve tattoo but saying nothing. They are very opinionated and intelligent people, and I really love how they are learning how to properly support someone who lives a very different lifestyle from them, like me.

I know A loves games and my Grandmother loves games and so it was great to play late into the night with them and my Dad. My Dad plays slow and always checks the rules and it is irritating and hilarious. I love that I can share these oddities of my family with A. I am so impressed with how nimble the minds of my Grandparents are despite being over 80. I think games and travel play in to this and I hope to keep playing games and exploring late into my life like them.

p.s. The game above is Ticket to Ride.

World Pride Parade 2014!

Date #332 - Sunday, June 29, 2014

A: It was an epic day of celebration! I love this city and I had all these amazing friends and family to share it with. I hosted a sangria brunch that B couldn’t make it to (what were you doing again??) but we managed to meet at our friend’s place. I’d never seen the parade from this angle, and it was great. This was B’s and my’s first pride together. So stoked for more. I think this might be one of my favourite days of the year!

B: World Pride was a huge week of festivites that ended with the Pride Parade. This is my favourite parade because everyone is always so happy and festive. I was worried this year because standing was still difficult because of my bike accident.

Luckily, A’s friend has a sweet apartment on Yonge St. and we got to watch the Parade from his place. I was so stoked when I got there to find his entire family playing “water-balloon catch” with people in the parade and shooting water guns. 

Everyone is so happy. Many of the police officers joined in and the crowd cheered at them taunting us to throw the balloons. Some politicians, including Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow, were also having a huge blast. 

The parade was ridiculously long but it was super fun. A got pretty tipsy and was so happy and I thought it was adorable. We were at the bar and she was sassing the server and I felt so in love with her. I love when A is happy.

Tense moments during World Pride

Date #331 - Saturday, June 28, 2014

A: My mom came to town and was completely overwhelmed and swept up in the festivities. It was a big day, as B was working and I was following my eccentric mother around as we sipped our covert beers out of coffee mugs. It was a lot of fun, actually, except I was a total dink. B told me I owed him for our cell bill, as it’s in his name, so I wasn’t aware it was due.

I’m OCD about budgets and finance so I got upset when he didn’t tell me right away. He said he was learning how this whole shared cell plan worked, but I was all, “Blah blah you have to tell me blah blah mean things,” and he left. I don’t blame him! It’s hard hanging out with my mom and I when we’ve had a couple drinks. The crappy end to our “date” with my mom (haha) was 100% my fault. I’m still learning when to bring certain things up. I always want to deal with whatever’s on my mind right - this - second!

B: If you’re wondering why I was in a Captain’s uniform it is because I was working the Saturday of Pride promoting Kingston Tourism. I met up with A and her Mom after my shift.

I was really tired (being on my feet after my bike accident has because super exhausting) and I probably should have just went home. A’s Mom can get so excited to see me and I love that. When I met up with them I had no idea they were as drunk as they were and  knowing that now puts things in to perspective.

Everything was chaotic and I really just wanted to relax. Awhile ago I learned not to bring up private matter with your partner in front of family. A kept going on about the bill, which admittedly I should have told her about sooner and not even mentioned. I tried to explain that it was a mistake and I was learning and she took a really stern tone and I just left. 

A is so amazing and understanding that she knew why I needed to leave and needed space. We calmed down and talked and learned and that’s really all you can ask for.

Trans March

Date #330 - Friday, June 27, 2014

A: World Pride was in full swing and, after getting a text from my Aunt who came to the city for the weekend, we headed to the Trans March. I had no idea there were marches and parades every day! We dropped our bike off, picked up swag at the meeting point, which happened to be on my street, and joined in the march at Yonge. 

"We’re going in the march?” B said, as I walked right into the thick of it. We both fight for equal rights and it’s an incredibly important belief we both share. I loved this day. It was a great moment, and we even caught up with my family who was standing alongside watching.

B: I think any movement that is promoting equality is incredible. I want the world to be a place where everyone has an equal opportunity and I know we’re not there yet.

So often trans-people are completely left out of the discussion, segregated, and often violently discriminated against. 

I was so happy when I realized that we could actually be in the march. The whole event was so beautiful and happy and an image of a world I want to help create. Seeing A’s Aunt and Uncle there was a total bonus.

Cobourg and Ghost Road

Date #329 - Thursday, June 26

A: I’ve been wanting to visit Cobourg for months and I’m so happy this was our last #discoverON trip with Autoshare. The pier was beautiful, the beach was lovely, and B and I sauntered through a carnival set up for the weekend, but completely abandoned when we were there. It was romantic and serene. Ghostly, even. Which fit in with our overnight plans to go to Ghost Road up on Scugog Island. 

This was one of those afternoons that I want to keep in my pocket and bring along with me wherever I go. I really want to be all, “I love Brian,” but.. is that corny? I feel so corny. Blah. I’m so not that type of girl! I really like this man! (How was that??)

B: What a fantastic trip! We headed out to Cobourg, which is a few hours East of Toronto, on a beautiful day. 

On the way we stopped to get coffee at Mercury Chocolates and met this amazing chocolatier and had great coffee. 

When we got to the pier it was like being swept back into childhood. I felt like a kid in a dream with A. I had such a blast taking photos with her. I got a bunch of tiny fish bones stuck in my feet and sunscreen kept dripping in my eye and I was getting frustrated that I couldn’t take a selfie and then I just started making joked about everything.

A was patient enough to wait while I set up the last shot you see in this post. I’ve enjoyed learning how to frame self-portraits (something A loves) on these #discoverON autoshare trips.

After we ate at The Oasis Bar and Grill and had a nice slow meal. We met the owner and she was super sweet.

Going out to Ghost Road was super creepy and scary and I’m so happy A is in to that kind of stuff. I didn’t see anything but she says she did. We’ll have to go back…