Begin at the beginning

welcome newfoundland 2
Or not. I can’t even remember the beginning anymore.

I was gone for 2 weeks. I’m sure nobody here noticed, but I did. Maggie isn’t talking to me, and the other two cats don’t even know who I am. I was supposed to fly back Saturday night, but we crashed out of the race in practice and Rick Bye was hurt, so we had to rearrange the drive home with the rig. Newfoundland is a wonderful place. Truly. Loved it, and in spite of allllll the stuff that happened (wanna see a video of the crash? I don’t, but here) we had an amazing experience. We were staying in a spectacular house we rented as a home base, and I’m beyond grateful that we didn’t go the hotel route. I’ll post pics of the house later – you can rent it by the month, and I’m going back sometime; there’s room for Rozzy and Gilly and everybody

We had booked the ferry back for Saturday night, but once they had us trapped on board, they announced a weather delay. Instead of leaving at 5pm, we were leaving at 7. AM. The next day. A 15 hour crossing just turned into 27. I curled up into my bunk and read two books. No wifi, no phone, and I’d had the good sense to bring a bottle of wine. I actually kind of enjoyed myself, but don’t tell anyone. We landed in North Sydney, N.S. at 11 at night and head out for the 24 hour direct drive home. It rained for the first 18 hours. In the dark. On windy dark highways full of moose. Oh, and did I mention the fog? Pitch black, high-beams are useless as they reflect the light off the fog, signs keep warning me to look out for moose, and I’ve been trapped on a ferry for 27 hours.

Thanks to Webgod Jeff for manning these pages – and yes, you miseries, those videos were and are hilarious. I used them to lighten the mood in Newfoundland, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one laughing. Not that I would have cared…

So, back in one piece, there will be more stories to come, and thanks to a wonderful community of friends and colleagues who offered their help and caring to Rick and all the team as we sorted through everything. He’s okay, we’re all exhausted but it was a great experience in a spectacular place.

Oh, and I never did get to wear my zebra boots. Bummer. This is the view from the living room.
view living room

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More Hilarity Ensues

In addition to the previous post, Lorraine also wanted me to keep the laughs flowing by posting this Mexican soap opera video, which she also finds funny.

*SPOILER ALERT* Bad acting, bad editing, bad script (I assume), bad braces, bad set design, bad stunts, etc.

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“I Can’t Get Into My Blog…”

WebGod Jeff here.

I received an email from Lorraine one night at 9pm. “I can’t get into my blog from my iPad and I’m leaving for Newfoundland in the morning for 11 days. Would you mind inventing a blog and putting this up? It’s hilarious.”

In addition to calling BS to her claims she couldn’t log on to the site, I said that I would. So here is a video that Lorraine believes to be hilarious. I may call BS on that too.

*blank stare*

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I have too many aigs

Okay, eggs. But ever since I heard someone pronounce it like that, that’s how I say it in my head.

I decided to hard boil a bunch because I have too many. Easy enough. I have mastered this. I poke a little hole in their bums with the egg poker thingee (if you don’t have one, you need to get one; it’s magic) and cook ‘em.
That’s what it looks like.

I poked too many because I just eyeballed which pot I would need, so the last couple were kinda stranded on top. No big deal, I figured I’d just get to them at the half way mark and pull the old switcheroo and mix them up a little.

Except I just went to do it, and all of them are sitting happily in the bottom of the pot, burbling away. All even. Eggs in shells do not shrink when you cook them, like bacon or something. There should still be two eggs riding high. Instead they’re all tucked in there.

Just what I need. A mystery for a Saturday night. Oh, and did you read that Rob Ford is going to be mayor for 14 more years? That’s not even full election cycles, but whatever. I always thought if you were good at English, you could be kind of crappy at math (like me) and vice versa. We always knew Ford wasn’t exactly hooked on phonics, but here comes the exception to what I’d always believed. Regardless of the outcome of this election, you really have to want to be inside the heads of those people he beats.

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I’m off to Newfoundland next week

Going to Targa. Finally. Always wanted to go, now I have an active role in a team driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart. More details in the coming weeks (I’ll be working on Twitter as we go, for anyone who isn’t still saying “I hate Twitter; I’m at TweeetLorraine). Two of us are actually driving the car out (I’ll be flying home; I’m not that crazy) but I’m juggling a thousand things before we head out. Because it’s a week-long event, with the drive and pre-race stuff, it’s turning into nearly two weeks.
The weather in Newfoundland this time of year can be crazy, so I bought these:
I know you want them. They are zebra. For when I’m blending into the scenery.

I love my new boots.

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Okay, this might be the ickiest thing I’ve ever seen on Craigslist, which I realize is saying a great deal:
Under Missed Connections. I was looking there because I was joking with a friend about it for entirely different reasons. No really; nothing creepy, just wondering if this service could actually be used for non-romantic things. I have since realized I have been using the word ‘romantic’ all wrong:

“Looking for grandma with grandchild at mapleview – m4w – 61

age : 61 body : average height : 6’4″ (193cm) status : married
I had. Brief conversation with you while you were feeding your grandson at mapleview food court Sunday. While we talked I could not help looking up your short skirt and saw a wonderful piercing. Your daughter came back and sadly you were gone. If you want to show me more please reply to this. I enjoyed the view and would like to see more.”

Sooo much information in so few lines.

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Nobody wants to end their life: they want to end the pain

Since telling you five years ago that I live with bipolar disorder, I’ve said little else about it. I’m noisy and public, but Motherlode is about my life and being bipolar is merely one facet of it.

In the days following the suicide of Robin Williams, I started receiving notes. People were asking me if I was OK, if I was I going to write about it, would I please write about it.

“But he had everything to live for,” some say. No, he had everything we’re told you should live for, if fame and family and fortune were truly everybody’s goal. He was reportedly facing other major health issues, but by 63, most of us are. I made the mistake of believing he had outrun something I know in my heart can’t be outrun; it merely sits in the shadows waiting to re-emerge.

Robin Williams was open about his struggles with depression and addiction. His standup comedy used his damage as material, and laughing at him — and with him — made it possible to laugh at my own demons. His loss has not just saddened me, it has scared me. There was vindication in hearing your thoughts and fears coming from another.

Loving someone whose broken mind leads them down dark paths wears you the hell out. You can exhaust yourself looking for reasons, answers and ways to help. The sad truth is you can’t prevent someone from taking their own life using guilt, fear, anger or love. Knowing those things becomes not a reason to stay alive, but yet another burden. It’s a desperate, reflexive answer — if you kill yourself, you will break my heart — yet when you can’t bear your own despair, being responsible for someone else’s is crushing, and ultimately impossible.

Robin Williams’ death has rocked a lot of people already perched on an emotional ledge. It felt personal because he seemed like such a decent human being, as a friend of mine put it. His dark side was his literal dark side, which he shared in his humour as well as his more reflective roles. He exposed his own melancholy, a word both beautiful and barren. He gave us pieces of himself we used to light our own way while he disappeared into the dark.

I rage against the language that swirls around mental health, around suicide. It is not weakness, nor cowardice, nor selfishness. It is a desperate bid to not be those very things. It is being a foot soldier in a war so overwhelming, those trained to fight it can barely define it.

With the tragic passing of Robin Williams we’ll say, again, that now is the time to talk about it. And we’ll let it slide back to the shadows, because we’ll go on pretending we don’t need to find answers if we can keep believing those we lose are weak, are cowards. I’ll never be cured of my disorder; I manage it with good days and bad, but I will challenge anyone who says I don’t live it with all the strength and dignity I possibly can.

So, here is my proposal to you. Look inside your own heart and your own family. Recognize that depression and other mental-health issues thread their tendrils deep into family trees. Shake out the family secrets; shed the cloak of things we just don’t talk about. Grandparents, turn a light backwards through the decades, and reveal histories that could help your children and grandchildren be safe. Imagine the power of a teenager being told a grandparent understands. Have mental-health discussions openly and often; make avenues of help available even if they preclude confiding in you; prioritize reaching out for help over keeping secrets.

We need early, correct diagnosis. We need a medical community dedicated to working in tandem to supply treatment, and we need patients and families who commit to working that treatment. We need workplaces openly supporting their employees. Don’t let this conversation slip away, and let the loss of my favourite sad clown remind us to be vigilant, to be kind and to be open.

Ultimately, I can’t stop anyone from killing themselves. But I can let them know that many of us are often holding on for morning. You aren’t alone.

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Sorry. Been busy. And boring.

These cracked me up. Show ‘em to all your real estate friends…

Though I do know more than one person who would consider the first pic with the horse a good thing.

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Robin Williams

Damn you, Robin Williams.
How dare you let me down? How dare you not just be there so I can take you for granted as most of us have all these years? How dare you spend a lifetime making movies that sometimes were awesome and sometimes weren’t but that we still had as a way to judge you? How dare you live on only in Youtube videos that now will jack to the top of the ratings instead of two days ago because we’ve always taken for granted that there would be more?
How dare you stop getting older? I fucking needed you to keep holding the light so I could always think to myself, “well, hell, if someone like Robin Williams can stay ahead of his demons and keep being so funny and aware and so genius, that gives me hope on the days when I think my demons may eat me alive.” How dare you make me face my demons on my own? What if mine eat me alive like yours did?
Broken makes funny. We know why. Comedy, the kind that makes you weak with laughter when you hear it, is not about being outrageous. It’s about telling the truth. We are drawn to great comedians to face our fears, not escape them. You dove deep into the well of depression yet still managed to holler that you’d be right back.
It must be hard to know the cost. No, that’s wrong. We know the cost. You just paid it.
Damn you. You won’t be right back. I’ll miss you.

I put this on FB the other day. This one has hit me hard. It’s hit a lot of us hard. Not just the nutters – everyone. That doesn’t make me weak or weird or dramatic. It makes me human. I looked back over the past ten years or so, and realized while some deaths of famous people have made me sad – like James Garner, man I loved that guy, and the rather spectacular Molly Ivins – there have been a handful that have stopped me cold. Phil Hartman; John Ritter; Heath Ledger; Philip Seymour Hoffman, and now Robin Williams. It’s not the cause of their deaths, it’s the fact of them. Just, sadness. For most, the water closes over us after we’ve left for all but those closest to us. As it should. I’m not gonna hold up a lion cub and start singing, but it’s the way it should be. But Robin Williams has been hard. Keep an eye on each other.

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Batter up

Baseball, not pancakes. Awesome piece from my new love affair, Roger Angell.

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