Wild mood swings

I sent two email replies I shouldn’t have sent yesterday. Even while writing them, I knew it was a bad idea. The tone was wrong — off, somehow. It didn’t sound like, well, like me. I didn’t even know why I was choosing to write the words I was writing, and I knew I shouldn’t have sent either one. And then when I re-read them, hours later, I realized it:

I was miserable yesterday, and I wanted everyone I communicated with to be miserable too.

And that’s not the kind of person I want to be, even though I know sometimes it’s inevitable. The past few weeks have been a terrifying roller coaster ride of highs and lows. Elation at having friends around me for four days of Birthday/Bumbershoot awesomeness, coupled by the truth that it’s supremely fucking unfair that I get to celebrate another year alive when someone I love so much can’t.

Some days I wake up and I feel great, and I’m remembering a million amazing things about Candice, and I get up ready to spread SO MUCH love everywhere, and other days I just want to stay in bed and cry for all the lost moments. And then I think of how everyone else who loves her and misses her is feeling the same way, and I just crumble.

And then there all the lasts. The last time I went shopping with her, the last time I got a text from her, the last time I hugged her, the last time she was at my house. The last, the last, the last. The lasts are the hardest, because, depending on what side of the coaster I’m on, I can think of them as these great memories, a celebration of the time I got to spend with her (such as, the last time she made me laugh so hard I blew beer out my nose – true story), or I can think of them as final, knowing there won’t be any more.

And this is grief, right? This is how it goes. I’m not wholly unfamiliar with it, it’s just been a bit buffered for me before, so this time feels even more raw.

I’ve started writing about Candice so many times, and I’ve put it off and off and off. Because writing about her makes it more real, somehow. But tomorrow is her memorial, and writing is how I work things out, and boy howdy do I need to work some things out. The hows and whys of her leaving us are all jumbled up in my heart and some days I still wake up thinking it was a dream and that she’s still here.

Candice Bailey, I still cannot believe you are gone. Every day without you hurts. But I’m so fucking grateful I knew you and loved you, and so fucking grateful I love and know Joe. And I promise you I will try really, really hard to be happy, and share that happiness, and help people whenever they need it, and hold my friends close, and tell them I love them, and value every single second of every single day. Just like you did.

And when I feel myself going down that roller coaster again on the wrong, terrifying side, I will smile. I will put on a fabulous retro dress, call someone, and make fun all-day plans involving French macaroons and St. Germaine.

Love you forever, girl.

Candice


Dive Bar Memories: why I’ll miss The Canterbury when it closes

Canterbury Pirate

DRINK MORE! YARRRR

There have been rumors for a while, but last month, the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog posted that The Canterbury would be closing at the end of the year for SURE. *sob*

After living for over 10 years in a horrifyingly depressing apartment just south of Everett (where my car got stolen not once, but twice), my roommate and I made a pact to save money and get ourselves the hell out of the ‘burbs and back into the city. Because OHMYGOD THE CITY. We lucked out and found a cheap’ish apartment on 19th & Roy, which just happened to be the perfect stumbling distance from The Canterbury on 15th.

It didn’t take long before The Canterbury was my home as much as my apartment was.  Sticky, dark, and (loosely) Medieval-themed with mismatched chairs and tables, it was the perfect place to drink yourself silly, soak up the booze with a greasy cheeseburger and a giant plate of fries—and then start all over again. For the five years that I lived in that apartment, it was where I planted myself at least 2-3 times a week. Continue reading


Feeling all nostalgic about Christmas traditions

crying santa

I was really not feeling this Santa.

In addition to being super grateful that I am not spending this year recovering from major surgery (I can walk around! And go places! And do things!), I’m feeling super nostalgic for all the Christmas Eve rituals that mom and dad and I used to participate in.

Santa photos took place from the time I was a(n ugly—according to mom) baby until I was 12 at the Frederick & Nelson downtown (Nordstrom now occupies that building. It’s a really beautiful building!), sometimes in outfits my mom made herself. When I was 10, I wanted to wear jeans instead of the skirt that went with the satin blouse mom made. I remember her being really upset about this, but I wouldn’t budge.  My favorite thing about the Santa pics was that it meant we were going to the F&N café for lunch, which involved Frango CAKE afterwards. That, and the awesome windows that you could place your hands on to control the trains (Macy’s STILL has these!).

Christmas Eve always involved cookie making in the morning (sugar cookies cut into Christmas shapes; butter spritz, jam-filled thumbprints) and wrapping the last of the gifts to place under the tree. And this was ALWAYS done to the same three holiday albums: Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas and just his plain Christmas Album, and of course, Christmas with the Chipmunks—ALLLLVVVVINNNN!

We listened to them so much that whenever I hear a song from one of the Elvis albums, my brain immediately expects the next one on the album to come up and gets totally confused when it doesn’t.

 Christmas Eve also involved food, and lots of it. Traditionally baked ham, but without any of that pineapple slice bullshit; mashed potatoes; the ever-present 70s green bean casserole, white dinner rolls, and fruit salad (canned fruit salad mixed with COOL WHIP, fresh bananas added). Plus, pre-dinner snacks—lots and lots and lots of them. Continue reading


Why theme parks are wonderful and awful

My name is Amie. I am 41 years old, I don’t have kids, and I still LOVE to go to theme parks.

My grandparents used to live in Southern CA, and I visited them pretty much every other summer, so that meant I got a trip up to the magical happiest place on earth almost every time I went to see them. And also Universal Studios, SeaWorld (which makes me too sad now), and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Because of this, going to theme parks as an adult makes sense to me. They are wonderful! But they can be really awful too—depending on a variety of things, and the type of people who happen to be there when you are. I happened to be there recently, and loved-hated it, like usual.

 The awful
Sometimes, people are dicks. People are especially dicks when it’s 90+ degrees, because Disneyland doesn’t have much shade, and they don’t have those awesome misting cool down stations like Universal Studios has. And people are even bigger dicks when they want their kids to get on rides before adults, and complain loudly about it when they’re behind you in line.

I get it—you’re spending upwards of $80 per kid, per day, per park. That would make ANYONE crabby, not to mention the $200 you shelled out to dress your daughter up like a princess, $100 for food and drink, another couple $100 for toys, souvenirs, hats, etc. It costs a lot of fucking money to go to Disneyland, and I appreciate that you’re stressed about it, and then get pissed when your kid doesn’t want to wait in a 2-hour line to sail through the wondrous world of Peter Pan. But hey! I’m here to enjoy it too. I really am. I’m not here just to jam up your day, man. Continue reading


39 notes from 23 years ago

From 17-year-old me to my 16-year-old boyfriend.

For reasons I cannot fathom, my boyfriend from 1989-90 held onto the many “love notes” I wrote him. After reading through them, it is INCREDIBLE to me that he kept all of these for over 23 years. Because THEY ARE TERRIBLE.

And I don’t mean terrible in a “I could totally read these at Salon of Shame” kind of way. There’s no bad poetry, and definitely not enough sappy confessions of teenage romance to be entertaining. They are all utterly mundane. Most of the time, they are just records of what my friends and I are doing while we hang out. Which was to primarily drink and smoke, and watch a lot of TV, apparently.

There are 39 of these notes—a little piece of history from a time when I was still so insecure and emotionally crippled that it’s completely strange to read them and remember what I was like back then. Continue reading


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