Crustaceans are near and dear to me, because in many ways I am one. I am a Cancer, for one, and I grew up being referred to as a crab or crabby, by my mother. As I grew into the weird adolescent I was, (with blue hair and baggy band shirts, black lipstick, big boots and short skirts) my mom started to give a death stare to give my blue hair while she was driving, always making me worried we would end up in an accident. That stare was akin to attempted murder and no less! I was disturbed by the obvious correlation I noticed between the energy and intent of that stare and how my mom would go to the Asian market and come home with a bag of live crabs and tear them apart and cook and eat them.

My mom loves to laugh about this now, but it was traumatizing to me back then. The utmost animosity was palpable and I’m sure she wouldn’t have minded breaking my dangerous claws and cooking me too. I would have been a lot more manageable on a plate rather than out in the world tempting fate.

I relate to crabs for their skittish sideways movements that doesn’t allow them to ever simply move forward. A rare few species have this ability, but the majority lack it. This inability to move forward effortlessly from point A to B is somewhat true for all of us humans in our lives. No matter how straightforward a path seems, it is always a bit meandering with little turns and stops and things that set us back after we’ve been launched forward.

There is also of course, the way a crab likes to sit in warm water, like me. And of the hermit variety, have a shell to retreat into at will. A shell that always goes with them, allowing a crab to perpetually be home, my favourite place to be.  The shell is a desirable tough exterior that protects their endearing soft insides. I am fascinated by these crustaceans’  sensitive, snappy nature. Their strength and simultaneous delicacy. I love duality, as demonstrated by many of my previous posts. Complexity is the spice of life. The behavior patterns of these crustaceans are often referred to as complex. Yet since they can’t make sounds or give kisses, they communicate by drumming or waving their pincers. Oh how I envy them for that language! Crabs never say the wrong thing, are never remorseful, wounded or wound up by words.

According to WikiAnswers, there are over 5000 species of Crabs in the whole world but only 4500 species are true crabs the other 500 crabs are hermit crabs which are not even closely related to ‘true’ crabs.

Who can blame a crustacean for wanting to be a crab, even when they’re not? 6,793 different species of crabs are known.  In addition there are about 850 species of freshwater or semi-terrestrial crabs.

Like people, crabs come in all different colours and sizes – from just a few milimetres – The Pea Crab:To a few metres (Japanese spider crab):

This guy, the biggested crab in captivity is a Giant Japanese Spider King Crab.  He was found in Toyko back in February this year. They called him called “Crabs Kong”at a UK aquarium.

While  the biggest crab species in Britain is a rare deep-sea crab, normally found at depths of three kilometres. He is The Giant Box Crab.

There are cutie crabs:

Beauty crabs:

Ugly (but still loveable) crabs:

Hairy crabs:

And Boxer crabs (wouldn’t want to battle him!):

Coconut crabs look like they’re kinda made of coconuts!

While researching crabs for part of my novella that I submitted as my MA thesis, I learned some other things. That crabs have been around for millions of years and learned to live in some of the harshest conditions on the planet, in hydrothermal vents deep in the sea. This was a valuable epiphany for me, at a time in my life when everything is changing, and with my history of handling change rather poorly and taking forever to adapt to things. So as in my thesis, the crab has grown from being a creature I can relate to or liken myself to, to being my mascot.

Is there a creature you feel this kind of connection to?

boozer’s heaven

Highly recommended: The Distillerie. My favourite place for drinks in Montreal. As a thrifty connoisseur of yummy, girly drinks, this is a pretty notable honor for me to bestow on a place. It’s not often I can afford the drinks I truly crave. Every boozehound has a place they consider boozer’s heaven, and for me, this is certainly it.

The prices are great for the quality, variety and originality of these thirst-quenchers. The drinks are lovely, vibrant, smooth, smell heavenly and its entertaining to watch them being made by the often attractive, showy mixmaster men behind the bar.

The only downsides are the small location (though I love the atmosphere and the everything-black-ness of the space, and the casualness and lack of club hos) which means you have to get there obscenely early to get a spot, and having to choose only a few drinks if you’re on a budget. It’s almost impossible to choose just 3 or 4 ! I notice they knocked one of my favourites off the lis it seemst; their take on an apple-tini (complete with elaborate apple-slice spiral dusted with cinnamon). Here’s one of my utmost favourites I’ve had there so far – Word Up. Featuring “London Dry Gin, Noilly PRATT Dry, Chartreuse Verte, purée de framboise, cordial de sureau, poivre moulu”.

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our eggy friend, quiche

It doesn’t get much better than a bunch of baked eggs and cheese in a delectable flaky crust! This weekend I made a quiche and was astounded as I always am, by how simple and divine it is. This time I did spinach, spring onion, chives and goat cheese. Mmmm. I bought the crust so all I had to do was cut up and sautee a few things and dump it all in the crust and then pour a mixture of eggs, chives, salt and milk over top. You can put in whatever you want and it looks lovely. I am always one for warm meals, but quiche is an exception. It’s equally good room temperature or even cold. Quiche is always sure to impress, whether you do mini ones for appetizers for an evening in with the ladies, or sophisticated slices for a romantic dinner with a new or old flame.

My dad used to always say, “real men don’t eat quiche” while he was enjoying some quiche. I don’t know what his point was, I guess that it’s effeminate? But aren’t most good things anyway?

tryin to relax (emphasis on tryin)

A plant that gets too involved and is encroaching on one’s space. A tropical setting. Birds in the distance. Then bombs are dropping in the distance. Fireworks we think. But the sounds are too sporadic. Then it’s a calm South Western evening. A skunk stinks up the place. And the smell miraculously disappears.

Violet’s a rock star, and when she’s not, she’s a detective. I said I didn’t know where the water kept coming from, just that I kept drinking it. She figured out she was the one fetching it for me.

Pierre is the calm one. He is always taking it easy. It drives me nuts. Since I try so hard to relax. I keep saying “I’m just out here trying to relax” and everyone says “You are!” and I say disbelievingly “That’s what everyone keeps saying…” When someone asks what I was in relation to the detective, alll I can say is “I’m just the guy in the corner doin nothing but trying to relax.”

When Violet is a rock star she throws things around her bedroom in her leather jacket. She bumps into things. She makes me laugh. We tell her to settle down with her rock star ways. Pierre says it’s a good thing I took my leather jacket off or we both would have been raising hell. “What about the music, it’s not about that anymore!” Pierre says to Violet. She says she’s all worn out and washed up, as she flops on the bed. We tell her she’s learned things from travelling the world. She should be wiser than us now. “The women, the drugs” she says and stares at the ceiling. “Damn grid vision” she says. I scold her “There’s more to life than just staring at the ceiling! Get yourself together!” But when I look up I realize the ceiling is pretty interesting too. But not as interesting as my tree across the street that keeps me grounded. That looks like willows that looks like static electricity that looks frozen that looks like nothing stable but makes me feel safe all the same.

Everything shakes and nothing looks real. Pierre says what we’ve ingested isn’t poison. He defends the shriveled things that tasted like feces. The reason my stomach feels like shit, according to Pierre is because “it’s like eating a vegetable from another country you’re not used to.” It’s nothing like that. He says, “Drink some orange juice.” I say, “What the hell is that going to do?” I am numb and go from feeling a warm desert breeze to feeling nothing at all. “It’s good for you.” He asks me if it’s cold out. I can’t feel a thing. Moments later I’m freezing.

Violet finds a piece of origami paper. Then the directions to a toaster oven. Our minds are all blown. Where’d that come from? We debate whether I gave her one or not in the past. Pierre says Marc has a toaster oven. I say he has a baby. “A baby and a toaster oven… woah. That’s just too much.” I think of his fake teeth. His fixed teeth. Whatever it was that happened to his glowing white chicklet teeth. He was upset no one mentioned they’d noticed the change from the decrepit enamel things that once disgraced his face.

I ask Violet what’s the deal with this plant beside me, which I refer to as ‘this guy’. Pierre is annoyed and says “that guy is an attention hog.” Though moments before everyone felt bad for him and I had said, “I’m sick of everyone feeling bad for him.” Violet comes out and shows the plant who’s boss. I ask her where she got it. She said it was a weed. It was tropical. “Which is it?” I ask her I ask her. She looks freaked out when I say, “Well you should know, it’s your plant, you put him here!” It’s the truth though. And then she says, “I don’t have such a complicated history with him as you do.” Which is true. Though that history only started less than an hour ago. Which feels like a lifetime ago.

Every time someone suggests we’ve gone forward or backwards in time I tell them, “Shut the fuck up!” I’m the elder out on the porch keeping it cool while inside the kids are jumping on the bed. I tell everyone I’m wise and they tell me I’m younger than them. But I’m not the one looking at shit to freak myself out more. But later I will regret that I didn’t. While the madness goes on I sit outside and try to ignore them, though they’re having more fun, I’m just happy to not be losing my shit, or worried I’m a thought that will cease to exist if I forget about me. I just sit slumped in my safe corner on the balcony. Trying to relax. Drinking some water. As if it will help reclaim my sanity.

We all agree Dr. Who is cool and that Violet’s memoirs on her rockstar days “To the Southwest and Back” sounds like a title of a Rupaul book.

Violet’s mom has two kinds of peas. She’s growing them in these big fields. “Two kinds of peas! That’s crazy. I mean, I guess there must be a bunch of different kinds of peas. But two… that’s a lot!… I like peas.”

Then there’s the pirate/coconut. I ask, “Well what is he, a pirate or a coconut?” And Violet says he’s both. He’s complex. Everything is complex. Violet was a rock star but was also really nice. Now this. Then she asks if he’s a pirate or a bandit – I say “You should know, he belongs to you!” Again that freaked out look. Then I touch him and he feels like Styrofoam. Half an hour passes where we discuss if he’s a pirate or a coconut or a bandit, and in the end we don’t know his profession but he is a piece of Styrofoam that wants to be a coconut, and he is a head on a stick in some dirt, and it’s cool he’s in the dirt. He wants to be a coconut, because he came from the shore, and that makes sense to all of us. As much as anything can in this state.

Once I’m inside I wondered how I managed to stay out on the balcony so long. But when I was out there, I couldn’t possibly brave the indoors.

We are all glad we didn’t go to the park. No one wanted to go to the park in the end. People would have thought we were freakin crazy. And we were.

black lions

“Say what you want, don’t say what you wanted.” This lyric fits in well with a lot of my pondering and meandering about growing and changing and staying the same and all that as of late.

Even with a track title as not-up-my-alley as “Black Lions” this song has struck a particularly hard to locate chord in me for the last two weeks. It is a go-to track that I can easily listen to 3 times in a row with no risk of redundancy. There is an epic raw sort of power and also pulls off alt-rock climaxing elements well (ala Pumpkins in their heyday). The breakdown that goes into a real wankfest ala Death from Above I could actually do without, as I’m not sure how well it translates on account of the clean, resonant atmosphere of the rest of the song. Which possesses a refined sort of drama, despite how emotional it is. It’s amazing what Paul Mullen can get away with in terms of drama in my books (no matter how hideous he looks with a beard…) It takes a lot for me to say he’s overdone it because it takes a lot for me to say anyone has overdone it in this sense.

The wankfest should have been more of an interlude rather than an actual part of the track. See for yourself here:

I keep putting off reviewing this album, Crisis Works, not because it doesn’t deserve a great review, but because procrastinating is my favourite past time lately. Well, that and watching Rupaul’s Drag Race (said while giving a look that expresses the shock of not knowing entirely who one is anymore, after thinking one knew oneself most intimately only moments before).

All that aside, Young Legionnaire’s release is worth checking out, albeit, not quite as much as their live show (if they ever end up in Canada). Moreso, of course, if you haven’t already, check our Yourcodenameis:milo. Because in my books, this is the band to beat. 2:07 is when it the live version of their song “2-Stone” (below) really hits the mark, though granted, not as much so as on the album version of this track. When I met the band I thought the pun was ‘to stone’… They did kinda mean that, but they’re british, so they also meant the weight.

The money I would pay to go back in time and be at this show. Where’s Dr. Who when you need him?