Bittersweet In Stockholm

While our reason for travelling to Sweden is a tragic story, and there is plenty of tension and emotional disturbance to go around, there are these moments of wonder and delight.

I sit on the back steps with my glass of wine and take in the smells and sounds of a foreign land.

In our own back yard, the cousins, aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents are speaking to one another in Swedish, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Norwegian.

Some of us have no common language at all and communicate only with offerings of food and hugs.

I find the Swedish public a bit strange. They return my smiles with blank stares or implied confusion.

I find the weather perfect. And the Indian food delicious. Who knew?

I was disappointed to find that so many of the shops are the same as the ones in North America, H&M, Zara, MANGO etc…

It reminds me of how generic the world is becoming and that makes me sad.

I was pleased to find that the chocolate here is a tasty as I remembered it.

I think it’s fun that the city buses here have drapes in every window and are cleaner than the lobby of the Hilton in Montréal.

They have Magpies here. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen one in real life before but here they are everywhere.

I love That dogs are allowed on the Metro.

That the escalators only move when people are on them.

That if you misread the signs in the boutique windows that read Final Sale in English and Slut Rea, in Swedish, it says Slut Sale.

Because if ever there was something that should come as a bargain…

I wish tomorrow we weren’t going to the cemetery.

I want to stay here for another month.

I want to go home tonight.

I enjoyed this café

And this boat

And these ones…

Boats In Sweden

And a few other sights…

The visit has been great but intensely overstimulating, shopping, sight seeing, family activities, feelings, eggshells, late nights, early mornings, and what-have-you, and I look forward to taking some mindful moments soon.

If I can find some of those moments that aren’t already spoken for. I will savour them. Maybe I will share them with you… maybe I’ll keep them for myself.

Jennifer June

Life Planning And Wishing For Fame

For the last few weeks, I’ve been harassing myself to revise/refresh my “Life Plan”. It’s on my To Do list every day but keeps getting bumped to the next page in my agenda.

I put a ton of pressure on myself to have it done before we left for Sweden but as it turns out, I don’t respond well to be aggressed. Not even by my self.

Tuesday I gave myself permission to do it on Wednesday’s trip. What with our 5 hour layover in New York in the morning and then 8 hour flight. I figured there would be plenty of time for nostalgia, regret, and life-planning.

I go through this often, but there has been a particularly panicked feeling accompanying my drive to get organized lately. I think it has something to do with the passing comment I dropped a few weeks ago. The one about how I’m too old to do most of the things that I dreamed my whole life of doing.

It seems I’ve hurt my own feelings again, subsequently giving myself something to prove.

Most of my negative core beliefs about myself and my future are unfounded but the dream, since I was in utero, of becoming a famous Hollywood Movie Star is probably somewhat out of my reach now that I”m almost 42 (yikes!) years old.

Although, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t take it as a clear message from the universe when Marie-Hélène showed up at my place with this beauty in hand, on Sunday night.

“I like it,”
She assured me,
“after it numbs all of the taste buds in your mouth, it’s quite nice…”

And it was, after the burning sensation… or any sensation at all really… died down.

Also, we washed the Fame down with these Vegan Cherry Cream Cupcakes that I made early that day, and I have to say, they were pretty f@£€ing brilliant.

As it turned out, our layover in New York was closer to 6 or 7 hours long, on account of a ferocious thunder and fork-lightening storm but I was so stoned with exhaustion and stress that I didn’t get anything done at all, in the Life-Planning kind of way.

Due to our visit here in Sweden having been completely jam packed with excitement and activity since the moment our feet hit the ground, there haven’t been any quiet moments for mindful self-reflection, let alone planning out of my entire future, but I will absolutely and most definitely take some time to at least get it started.

And, while I’m still not entirely sure what that plan will entail, I assure you, it will include plenty more cupcakes. Nuff said.

I’m going to bed to rest up for tomorrow’s family day at the beach.


Jennifer June

Taste Nirvana

Try new things.

As you know, my last attempt at coconut water was a bit of a fail.

But let me tell you… a beautiful thing has happened since.

The good people at Taste Nirvana, after reading my blog, and out of the goodness of their coco-nutty hearts, were kind enough to send me 3 bottles of their coconut water to try out.
Coconut Water

I’m not going to lie. I was hesitant. But I love coconut so very much and I so wanted to love coconut water and what if Taste Nirvana was The one?

And also, who in their right mind would turn a blind eye to Happiness In A Bottle?

Taste Nirvana

The package arrived in the mail about a month ago but life was so stressful and hectic and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sit down and truly honestly and mindful savour the moment and write about it yet, so I saved the precious green bottles for weeks, with strict warnings to all of my children, to keep their mittens off the Nirvana in the fridge OR ELSE!

Well, the weekend of July first arrived and with it, it brought Moving Day.

It was a hot and sweaty day. We were running up and down stairs, driving back and forth from one address to the other. The boxes were flying, the sweat was pouring and the beer was disappearing faster than ice on the Sahara.

Finally, I heaved my aching body up the last flight of stairs, last box in hand. I crawled out to the back patio, where I found my boyfriend – Empty little green bottle in hand.

“That coconut water stuff is so good!”

And I died a little bit inside. Especially because he drank the one with the pulp in it. I love pulp.

I, obviously, chained,, locked and duc taped the refrigerator door closed and plastered it with Crime Scene signs.

And the next day…

Before Taste Nirvana Coconut Water

After Taste Nirvana Coconut Water

*Insert the sound of Angels voices*

I’m pretty sure the pulpy water would have been my favourite if somebody hadn’t robbed me of it. I was excited about he idea of Coconut water with Aloe because I could drink an ocean of Aloe water (it’s that good people) but it was a bit saltier than the regular Coconut water, which I LOVED!

In case just tasting awesome wasn’t enough, *insert 50′s radio broadcaster voice here* Taste Nirvana coconut waters are made of natural ingredients, contain essential electrolytes, have zero cholesterol AND they are caffeine and preservative -free!

I know right?!?

Taste Nirvana, you give and you give… And I thank you for that. And also for restoring my faith in Coconut Water.

Jennifer June

Maybe one of these days it will take….

Got the call this morning informing me that the organization that I work for is in the same financial situation as last year, meaning they might not have the money to keep me, and 2 other employees, on past September.

The coordinator on the other end of the line was a bit taken aback by my enthusiasm.

“Good stuff!” I chirped, while visions of unemployment insurance cheques danced in my head.

The timing of the call was perfect, what with me being in one of my somewhat manic states these days. I say somewhat manic because it’s all in my head. Big dreams, little action.

I get these rushes from time to time – I think it’s called inspiration – where I get sick and tired of curling up on the curb with a bagged bottle and watching life pass me by like a sick and twisted parade of unfortunate events. I realize that I have my whole life ahead of me and I get all righteous about not taking it for granted anymore.

The trigger can be anything from an earth shattering event, to the most superficial of things. I’ll listen to the new Tenacious D album, or eat a killer spring roll, or perform in a brilliant burlesque show, or watch an episode of Weeds, and next thing you know, I’ve got writing exercises and index boxes and self portraits, and my mountain of crushed dreams laid out before me, on the kitchen table.

1.Get Head Shots

2. Acting agent

3. 13 finished songs ready for recording

4. Create 3 new Burlesque Acts – Including new music

5. Finish Writing Book that I started 10 years ago

6. Finish Writing One-Woman-Play that I started 8 years ago

7. Lead in a full-length feature film

8. Recurring role on episodic –preferably comedy, or True Blood, or Weeds, or Mad Men, or a series of Animal documentaries.

9.Merch for Burlesque Shows

10. Quit day job (or get laid off)

11. Publish a Vegan Cookbook

12. Sand and stain liquor cabinet

13. Re-Name the cat

14. Learn how to swim

15. Learn how to nap

16. Get mobbed by paparazzi

I’m pumped and motivated and rearing and ready to go and then subsequently paralyzed because I have no idea where to start or what to do or which of my aspirations in life are realistic and which are ridiculous pipe dreams.

*Also, . I need a life-planner, a manager, an agent and a personal assistant, just to get the dishes done around here, never mind an actual career of any sort.

So instead of taking the epiphany and running with it, I lament my lack of energy and funding. I feel sorry for myself for not having the right “contacts”, and I watch a marathon of documentaries about celebrities who went from rags to riches by merely being in the right place at the right time. This usually subdues me into a comfortable state of depression.

I used to be excited by these moments of clarity but now I greet them with an eyore-esque tone –

“ Oh, you again…..”

I pull out the loose-leaf, mutter to myself about romantic notions and irresponsibility, and start charting the baby-steps required to achieve my goals.

Here I go (again, again, again…) ready to take on the world, from the comfort of my sofa, with a box full of pencil crayons and Jack Black crooning through my headphones.

Maybe one of these days it will take….

*Does anyone know where I can find a a life-planner, a manager, an agent and a personal assistant, willing to work in exchange for cupcakes?

Jennifer June