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Pie Night

I first celebrated Pie Night in 2004.

It was glorious.

“That is lovely,” you may be saying to yourself, “but what is Pie Night?”

The answer to that question is fairly simple, as the name of the event, Pie Night, is kind of self-explanatory. Pie Night is a night on which many pies are purchased and then eaten. It was born out of indecisiveness and a craving for pie. Unable to choose between apple, pumpkin, lemon, cherry or any of the other flavours that Sobey’s had displayed in their baked goods section, I just bought one of each.

When I approached the register to make my purchase, the checkout boy looked at me inquisitively. “Having a party?” he asked.

“No,” I replied, “these pies are just for me.” But this was only true in part. The pies were largely for me, but I fully intended to return to my apartment, wake up my roommates (it was 3 a.m.) and force them to eat pie with me. Eating eight pies by yourself at 3 a.m. is sad and may indicate that you are suffering from emotional issues. Eating eight pies with your college roommates at 3 a.m., however, is making the kind of memories that will last a lifetime.

The downfall of Pie Night is that there is always pie left over the next day. While living in residence at university, this problem was easily solved by leaving leftover pie in the kitchens of the unfortunate souls on our floor who happened to leave their apartments unlocked at night.

I will tell you a secret, Interweb: I have a dream of entering a pie eating contest. I do not think that I would be able to eat more than one pie, but I feel like a pie eating contest is the only time when it is socially acceptable for me to stick my face into a pie, and this appeals to me.

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Sparkles

Nothing in the world causes me to experience a rush of euphoria quite the way that sparkles do. Actually, that is not true. I can probably make a list of things that cause me to experience a rush of euphoria similar to the way sparkles do: puppies, winning money, high-fiving and finding great things on sale. But there is just something about sparkles that makes me so happy inside.

Maybe referring to them as sparkles is not being specific enough; I enjoy glitter. I will be even more specific and state that I am not referring to “Glitter,” the Mariah Carey movie. I do not enjoy that. Although I will admit that I have not actually seen the movie “Glitter,” and I have no intention of doing so in the near future. I am not going to say that I will never watch the movie “Glitter” because I may one day find myself on a plane where “Glitter” is being shown as the in-flight entertainment. At such a time, it is more than possible that I will choose to view the film.

But I digress. Glitter.

Wikipedia defines glitter as “very small pieces of paper, glass or plastic painted in metallic, neon and iridescent colours to reflect light in a sparkling spectrum.” It also states that glitter is often used in craft projects because of the brilliant effects which can be achieved relatively easily by using it.

I have used glitter in several craft projects that I have undertaken. My favourite “craft project” is making encouraging signs for people using poster board, glue and glitter.

I made my first glitter sign for my younger brother to encourage him to do well as he played in a high school football game.

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His team lost that game, just as they lost many more games that season, and I feel it can be directly linked to my brother’s bad attitude about sparkly signs bearing his name.

After adamantly refusing to hold the sign I made him so that I could take a photo, he finally agreed to stand in front of the camera while my mother held the sign up beside him. I will tell you, Internet, that, if someone made a sparkly sign for me, I would hold that sign proudly for any and all photos people wanted to take of me. In fact, this past June I made myself a sparkly sign bearing my name and bribed my brother into holding it for me while I ran my first five kilometre race. After the race, I walked all around downtown Burlington with my sign and refused to put it down. The sign is currently sitting on a shelf in my garage. Every so often, I go to visit it in my garage and simply bask in its glittery glory.

Hamsters

Three years ago, just after I made the joyful move back into my parents’ house (please read the former with just a hint of sarcasm), I let it be known that I had an overwhelming urge to purchase a hamster.

“No,” my mother stated firmly. And so I ended up going out and spending several thousand dollars on a saltwater aquarium instead. Now that several years have elapsed, and I have some perspective, I can tell you, Internet, that, without a doubt, getting a hamster would have been a much better choice.

Do you remember the show “Tales of the Riverbank?” Of course you do. But just in case you are having “one of those days,” I will remind you that it was a children’s television programme that ran intermittently from the early ’60s all the way until 1998. You will recall that it starred Hammy the Hamster and featured other notable characters such as GP the Guinea Pig, Roderick the Water Rat, Turtle, and Berti and Herbi.

So what made this show so remarkable? I will tell you what: those rodents captained boats! Sailboats, ferryboats, steamboats and motorboats were only a few of the water crafts these clever little mammals handled. But their genius was not limited to chauffeuring aquatic vehicles. I watched one episode where Hammy the Hamster and Roderick the Water Rat used power tools to assemble and erect a clock tower. Even I have difficulties when using tools such as power saws, so you can imagine my amazement (and jealousy) when I witnessed a rat use one with ease.

“How?” I thought to myself. “Rats do not even have thumbs.” And yet, the lack of an opposable digit did nothing to hinder this animal’s carpentry ability. In fact, as shown in the clip below, the rat was even able to use a drill and a hammer without the aid of a pollex.

When not building clock towers, episodes of the series indicated that Hammy enjoyed spending his time fishing. Prior to watching this show, I had never realized that rodents were even able to fish let alone use it as a means of unwinding. But the exposure to Hammy’s past times got me thinking: where did this hamster even get the money to buy a boat? After all, Hammy owned at least two boats and one car. Fine, I am willing to admit that it is possible he merely leased them, but even so, how did he earn the money required to make his monthly payments? And what kind of deals do insurance companies offer hamsters?

I feel that the show missed out on a great opportunity to explore the working world of rodents and the real obstacles they face.

Highway Sweater

I used to clean an office building that was located on the opposite side of town from where I live. It took me several weeks of trial and error before I finally found a route to work that allowed me to avoid traffic and shave as much time off of my drive as possible. I tried the highway and cutting straight through town, but, in the end, it was the South Service Road that proved to be my most efficient means of travel.

One afternoon, during my daily commute, I noticed a lonely sweater hanging on the rusty chain-link fence that separated the service road from the highway. The sweater was all kinds of ugly, mixing colours together in such a way that it felt as though someone should be jailed for such a travesty. There was mustard yellow, pea green, fuchsia, turquoise and brown. I felt certain that the individual responsible for the sweater’s inception was surely colourblind or maybe even full-on blind. It was that bad.

The sweater hung on that fence for over three months. Driving passed that stretch of road became the highlight of my commute, as I would excitedly look out the window to see if the sweater was still perched at its post. With each day that passed, my affection for the sweater grew. It had become a symbol of resilience, as well as a prime example of the unnaturalness of man-made fibres. After all, it had endured deluge after deluge that summer, and, by all outward appearances, had eluded decay and all other signs of aging.

Every so often, I would be overwhelmed by the inclination to pull over to the side of the road and take the sweater for my very own. Well, not my very own. I would not keep it for myself. Doing so would surely be a crime. Instead, I pictured myself giving the sweater to a friend on their birthday or perhaps as a Christmas gift. “What is this?!” they would ask me, in a mixture of shock, horror and just a little bit of awe. 

“It is a highway sweater,” I would reply.

Leaf Piles

Let me tell you a story, Internet. But be forewarned, this story does not have a happy ending.

It was the fall of 2005, or maybe it was the fall of 2006. The year is actually irrelevant because in all reality this same event occurred both in the fall of 2005 and the fall of 2006, but I digress. It was fall, and it was sometime between 2004 and 2007. The leaves had turned from rich greens to lovely shades of orange, red, yellow and brown (if the colour brown can ever be termed “lovely”).

I was sitting inside of my parents’ house, gazing out the window at our large maple tree, watching as the foliage slowly floated from the limbs of the tree down to the ground. Seeing that our lawn was completely covered in leafage, an idea struck me: A leaf pile.

A leaf pile was exactly what I needed. My plan was to rake all of the leaves on my lawn into a giant pile and then jump in them, perhaps even throwing some of them over my head and standing still as they rained down upon me. It would be magical.

It took hours to rake each and every last leaf into that pile, but I did it. And after I was done, I headed inside in search of a refreshing drink of water. I stood at the kitchen window and admired my leaf pile from afar. It was a sight to behold. It was the kind of leaf pile that minstrels wrote songs about, or at least it would have been had minstrels written songs about piles of leaves instead of courtly love.

And as I stood there, gazing at my pile of leaves, I heard the shouts of children in the distance.

I took several gulps of water while under the enchantment of my leaf pile, not really paying attention to anything around me. However, this soon changed when I saw the group of children the shouts belonged to slowly begin to make their way across my lawn, eyeing my leaf pile.

‘They would not dare,’ I thought to myself.

But they did dare, Internet. Boy, did they ever dare.

Two children, approximately five or six years in age (or maybe they were ten. I am not very good at determining ages), had abandoned their path on the road and run straight into my beloved pile of leaves. They immediately began to hop around and throw clumps of leaves into the air.

I felt an odd twitch develop somewhere in the vicinity of my right cheek. Those were my leaves they were jumping in. That should have been me dancing around under a rain of foliage. Those little kids were jerks. And why were they on my lawn any way? Who does that?

Full of rage, I ran to my front door, threw it open and made my way towards the children.

“Get out of my leaf pile!” I yelled at them. “Get out of my leaf pile right now!”

The children stopped their play. Their eyes were wide with shock. I did not care. ‘Let them be shocked,’ I thought.

“Why are you on my lawn? Why are you in my leaf pile? Who is going to rake these back up? Why are you still on my lawn? This is not okay!”

Perhaps I should have felt guilty as their eyes filled with tears, but, alas, I did not. Instead, their ocular moisture spurred me on.

“You do not run onto the lawns of strangers and destroy hours of their hard work. You are delinquents. I am going to have you arrested.”

Obviously, I knew my statement to be false, no one was going to arrest two kids for jumping in leaves. Regardless, the threat of jail time scared the children enough that they ran away as quickly as their little feet would carry them. At least I am assuming that it was as quickly as their little feet would carry them.

After they were out of sight, I approached the wreckage of my leaf pile. I could barely bring myself to look at it. Leaves were carelessly strewn everywhere. The magic was gone. Internet, if I were capable of tears (which I am not, being that I lack both tear ducts and a heart), I probably would have shed one right then and there.

I did not jump in a pile of leaves that year. I did not toss them over my head and spin around, arms wide open, as they floated in the air all around me. Instead, I received the nickname “Crazy Leaf Pile Lady.” It is a title I wear proudly. And each time those children walk past my house, I glare at them.

Turtles

baby painted turtle

Up until a few weeks ago, I had a painted turtle that I kept in my pond. He was just a little guy. We had found him wandering along the steps, probably in search of a larger body of water, and decided to keep him for the time being in our 1,000+ gallon water monstrosity.

keith

I decided to name him Keith Richards, as I imagined numerous people had probably found Keith Richards wandering around in a disoriented state much like we had discovered my beloved turtle. For two weeks, I visited the pond every day in search of Keith. I would eventually find him sunning himself on a floating log or rooting around in the various plants found within the pond. And in those two weeks, we became as close as a turtle and a person who stares at said turtle once a day for approximately three to four minutes could become. 

keith richards

That is why a little piece of my heart broke when, upon one of my daily visits to the pond, I was unable to locate Keith. He’d wandered out of my life just as he had wandered in. At least, I choose to believe that he wandered out. It sure is more pleasant to presume that he left our pond of his own accord rather than accept that there is a chance he was eaten by a larger animal or expired in some other unpleasant fashion.

Alginate

Alginate is typically used in dental offices to assist in the process of making casts of the teeth. However, I like to use it to make moulds of my hand(s).

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I have made several moulds of this nature, but I have yet to actually master the art of hand-mould-making. 

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I recently rediscovered some plaster casts I had done of my hands using alginate. However, I have decided that these hands are useless on their own. Because of this, instead of giving them away individually, I will combine their sheer awesomeness by joining them into a single piece of art that I will entitle, “The Clap.” 

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I will then give “The Clap” to someone for Christmas.


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