Before I go any further into this blog, I need to address an important fact.
I am the queen of unfinished projects.
I get an idea…
I think it’s THE BEST…
I start it…
Tell people about it…
I give up.
That’s right. I bail on myself. Take THAT, people of Los Angeles.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but that’s usually what happens. I have a shit ton of abandoned creations. Sometimes I get scared my high school friends will finish raising their kids before I even do anything noteworthy. I can’t imagine why my country song, “I’m Not Good Enough For Most Guys, But I’m Good Enough For You,” didn’t sell. I have no instrumental skills and can’t sing, but I believed I had a hit on my hands.
I’ve dreamt of writing a book since I was a kid. I think I got into stand up because at it’s core, it’s a forum for writers. (Plus I’m too tone deaf to become a rock star.) Stand-up is a swift creative outlet, that can jizz all over your ego. (It doesn’t matter if you interpret that as a positive or negative- both check out.) Sometimes I get mad at myself for not completing a book sooner, but then another year passes and I’m so glad I didn’t. Every extra year only brings a better chapter.
Being the Queen of Unfinished Projects (a face that isn’t on any Canadian dollar bills) is not limited to creative endeavors. There are also domestic things that most civilians could complete in a single day, but I can’t. Take for instance, my bathroom.
My bathroom isn’t in the entertainment business, per se, but it has created some comic relief in my life. (Privately, of course.) When I moved into my first ever, one bedroom apartment in Toronto, I took on the project of painting. It was the first time in my life living alone. I always had roommates. This was a huge accomplishment, even if it was only $745/month. (Don’t try to track down my old landlord- he has raised his rates.)
I actually like painting. I didn’t know until my house in Miracle Mile with fellow comedian and BFF Melissa McQueen, Miss Kansas 2002 Lindsay Douglas, and MTV’s sweet Road Rules sensation, Kendall Sheppard. Now THAT was a household. We lived in an Orthodox Jewish community, so we were strategic throwing our parties on the Sabbath so the neighbours couldn’t call the cops. Kiefer Sutherland even showed up at one. I was a huge 24 fan at the time, so when I answered the door and he was standing there, I yelled,
“THE BOMB IS IN MY BEDROOM! HURRY!”
The four of us roommates had a great time expressing ourselves by painting this gorgeous house. Unfortunately, our landlord disapproved of our colours. He angrily claimed “This isn’t Pee-Wee’s Playhouse!!!!” And painted over ALL our work, including Kendall’s room which was brown, pink and vanilla in honour of Neapolitan ice cream.
So now that I was finally living on my own, and my landlord actually encouraged tenants to paint (probs to save him work,) I was going for it. I started with the living room, since the guy who lived there before me had stenciled his personal poetry on the wall. The room was brown, and in white block letters, one wall said,
“People say size doesn’t count, but my heart is a house.”
I obviously had to paint over it. Not just because it sounded stupid, but since I also slept with him. (How do you think I knew what the apartment looked like before I moved in? My real estate techniques are not to be scrutinized.) I managed to finish painting the living room in full, a deep blue with one grey accent wall. It always looked nice at night, but during the day it looked like Smurf Village.
Now on to the bathroom. I invited over my friend Sheree to help. We were co-workers at an Irish pub in the financial district. She’s hilarious, likes to drink, smokes pot and is a Sagittarius, like me. I felt as though painting would be more of a party than a chore with her. I picked out a nice shade of lavender, soothing for the morning after too much dirty draught beer.
The paint day started off easy. I was in charge of the green tape around the edges. Sheree was basically doing everything. (Must have been good pot.) We were killing it, BUT- my ceilings were high, and we didn’t have the couch to stand on like we did in the living room. We dragged a kitchen chair in to stand on, but it wasn’t tall enough.
“Let’s take a break. Hit Canadian Tire and buy a ladder.”
(Canadian Tire is like Home Depot, for Canadians. They should change the name to Canadian Depot.)
It was April, which is a tease of a month in Toronto. It can be deceitfully sunny. You can look out the window, believe it’s a gorgeous day, then walk outside and get whipped by wind so fierce you end up in tears. It was one of those days, but we walked anyway, because we’re a little drunk and a little high. AKA “Canadian Invincible.”
We get to Canadian Tire at Yonge & Davenport, a corner which I will later shoot my first ever half hour comedy special. Am I bragging? Absolutely not. That place has since been turned into condos.
Our shopping adventure seems too easy.
“Look! This ladder is so small! Easy to carry home! And only twenty bucks! Perfect!”
When we get back into my apartment, we crack another Strongbow and smoke a little more pot. Then Sheree steps on the new ladder.
The ladder that we were so excited about being small, and easy to carry home?
It was the same height as standing on a chair.
It’s worth noting that I am NOT a return/exchanger of any sorts. If I buy something and it doesn’t work out, it just goes in my closet. Or I give it away. But I don’t really have the storage space for multiple ladders, so back into the wind we go.
The second ladder requires a cab ride home. (Pre-Uber days I spent a LOT on cabs in Toronto.) We get back inside, Sheree takes a few more hoots, I continue drinking the rest of my Strongbow that I put back in the fridge while were out, the same way I used to save unfinished juice boxes as a kid.
We continue with Paintapalooza 2008, then…
We run out of paint.
Fuck. Neither one of us feels like another trip back to Canadian Tire. We’ll finish painting next Sunday.
It was a pretty solid plan, except…
Tuesday is garbage day. I played a lot of garbage games in this apartment, cuz we could only leave our trash out the one night of the week, after 4pm. I was very careful to make sure no piece of rubbish was left behind. I made sure those paint cans got tossed. Which seemed smart at the time, but…
The following weekend I head out to buy more paint. And guess what? I forgot to write down the name of the colour. No problem. I’m sure I can eyeball it. Surely I will be drawn to the exact shade of lavender I picked last time, right?
Sheree returns with pot and Strongbow. We have a few sips, take a few hoots, and back to work. But…
When the roller hits the wall, it’s not the gentle lavender that’s already on half the room. It’s Hannah Montana purple.
Oh well. The colour is a little strong for a bathroom, but who cares? I live alone. No roommate to complain, and I don’t really give a shit. I love Miley Cyrus. (Even more true after her latest album, Plastic Hearts.)
A few hours later, we run out of paint again, because of course I bought the same size can as last time.
But it’s raining. And I already spent a lot on cabs that week.
I never finished painting that bathroom. I just lived there, with three different colours on the walls for eight years.
So if I never finish writing this book, I’ll just look at it as finally having a second bathroom.