so it’s been a while!

let’s do a quick recap of what’s been going on for the last month or two:

scratched
jackalope

1. i don’t remem­ber what sil­ly thing hap­pened, but noses were scratched and lips were pout­ed. /​/​ 2. i picked up embroi­dery and needle­point again for the first time since i was 12.

elephant
niece
 

3. i drew an ele­phant (pho­to was a w.i.p.) for a friend. /​/​ 4. i spent a week with my ‘step-sis­ter’ and her daugh­ter, and rekin­dled my love for blue’s clues.

bobbins
ratselfie

5. i cut up three decks of cards to cre­ate bob­bins for all the embroi­dery floss i’ve col­lect­ed. /​/​ 6. sin­clair tried to take a self­ie.

queens
lisafrank

7. i had a girl’s night with my mom­ma and went to an ‘acoustic only’ live show at a club in town and lis­tened to some great artists. /​/​ 8. i chan­neled my inner lisa frank.

momma
jesuschrist

9. at my kid brother’s 22nd birth­day din­ner, he and my mom­ma played a game of knuck­les... she lost. /​/​ 10. my lat­est fin­ished embroi­dery project was inspired by the lyrics of ‘jesus jesus christ’ by brand new.

(for a good laugh, you’ve got­ta click that pho­to of my mom­ma to see it full-size) so that’s a vague look at what i’ve been up to late­ly, some flash­es of my life that may go through my head if that’s tru­ly what hap­pens when you die and if that’s the case? for the most part, feb­ru­ary and march of 2015 are two decent months to reflect back on.

KEEP RIOTING, XO. SHILO CHRISTINA

you’re the tops and that’s that (meet sinclair)

(props to any­one who knows what the title of this post is ref­er­enc­ing)
sinclair-2

This is Sin­clair. He is the ugli­est thing I’ve ever fall­en in love with.” — I wrote on Jan­u­ary 23rd, 2015, on my way home with a card­board box fid­get­ing on my lap, a tiny nose now and then peek­ing out to sneeze at the sit­u­a­tion. It’s weird to think that, come tomor­row, he’ll have only been home with me for three weeks. Hope­ful­ly, he’ll have many more years to come.

I won’t lie; a part of Sinclair’s charm is that he was an impulse adop­tion. I had been left to wan­der on my own for about a half hour, which you would think, “How much trou­ble can a 25 year old with about $80 in her pock­et real­ly get into?” Well. I prac­ti­cal­ly bee-lined my way to the pet store to see if there were any pup­pies there to cud­dle with for a while, or maybe a fer­ret or two. There were not, but I had time to kill, and I can spend a lot of time just look­ing at all the lit­tle crea­tures. I don’t care much for rab­bits, or ham­sters. I’ll side-eye the lizards and snakes, and I’ll gath­er up all my courage to glance at the scor­pi­ons and taran­tu­las and toads (ugh, I hate toads!). I do absolute­ly adore hedge­hogs (and even had one, the infa­mous San­cho Pan­za, a grumpy lit­tle thing that I had to rehome because I didn’t have the time or means to look after him any­more). But, to cut things short, I spent the most of my time look­ing at the rats.

Now, pre­vi­ous­ly, I hat­ed the things. Beady-eyed, long-toothed, sharp-clawed, with those long, creepy tails! Ugh! I thought they were the worst. And then I vis­it­ed my mom for a week­end, and she had recent­ly adopt­ed one, named Lady (or, as I liked to call her, Fid­dy-Fid­dy, because she was hood­ed). My first night, I bare­ly got any sleep, hav­ing been stuck in the same room as her in her lit­tle cage that I was absolute­ly cer­tain she would sneak her way out of and bite me to death. I want­ed noth­ing to do with her. I had ham­sters as a child, and the nov­el­ty of small fuzzy crea­tures is entire­ly lost on you when you get bit­ten every time you try to touch them. I thought the same about Lady. Until my broth­er took her out of her cage, and dropped her right into my lap.

Love. Absolute awe.

After Lady, there came Dash(board) and Lit­tle One, who are still kick­ing around. They’re down­stairs togeth­er as I type this, my mom’s girls and sweet things. Dash­board got her name thus­ly from get­ting out of the box the day we picked her up, and hid­ing in the dash­board of my mom’s truck for the entire dri­ve back to the house. We’re lucky she made it. And I was hap­py to move back home and be around the two of them more often, as well as my pup­py Lexi, of course (she’ll get her own post one day). Still, I real­ly want­ed a pet of my own, I was just wait­ing for the right time... or so I thought.

Back at the pet shop, I crouched down to get a look at the rats they had. A pile of fuzzy hood­ed males, maybe half the size of my fist each, all cud­dled up togeth­er to keep warm while they napped. Okay, cute— but! Wait! What is that thing!? That mass of wrin­kles back there, sit­ting on top of three lit­tle rats?! I need to see this thing!! OH GODS IT MOVED.sinclair-1 As soon as I saw him, twice the size as any of the oth­ers, and the only one of his breed in the whole store, I fell in love. It was instan­ta­neous. He was hideous and all I want­ed to do was hold him! It took me ten sec­onds to make up my mind, just as long as it took for the girl work­ing there to make her way to the back of the store. “That ugly lit­tle guy, I need to take him home now!”

He peed on me. I had him on my shoul­der for less than three sec­onds, and he drenched me. And still, I loved him and need­ed to call him my own. So, alone and deter­mined, though unsure what the reac­tion would be, I called my mom. In fact, I woke her up from a nap, and while she was still grog­gy, I sim­ply asked her, “Can I buy a rat?” and she gave me her bless­ing, and prob­a­bly went back to sleep.

Sin­clair is a hair­less rat. He’s now sev­en months old (rough­ly 18 in human years), and right now, he’s curled up in a navy blue leg warmer sleep­ing, because I rude­ly woke him up this morn­ing while chang­ing his water. He already answers to his name (which was inspired by a char­ac­ter from the video game Bioshock 2), and he loves yogurt drops and banana chips. Arguably, he’s soft­er than reg­u­lar rats, his skin almost has a vel­vet-like feel to it, and this spoiled lit­tle brat gets a mas­sage once a week with extra-vir­gin olive oil to keep his skin from dry­ing out or get­ting scratched up.

Even when he wakes me up in the mid­dle of the night chew­ing away at his food or lick­ing at his water bot­tle, all I can do is smile at him. When he sneezes (he has aller­gies, some­thing com­mon with hair­less rats, and some­thing I’m keep­ing a very close watch on), I sneeze back. He runs around on my bed (with a tow­el, because he’s yet to learn there is a time and place to poop and my bed is not it), and I tick­le his back and scritch above his nose, his favourite spot. I nev­er, nev­er, would have fig­ured myself a ‘rat per­son’ but here I am, with the ugli­est lit­tle sweet­heart ever. Here’s to many years of us keep­ing each oth­er com­pa­ny. sinclair-3

KEEP RIOTING, XO. SHILO CHRISTINA

like an open book (part i)

donotmy 2nd mole­sk­ine, red with unlined pages

I’ve always kept some form of jour­nal, whether I real­ly meant to or not. I nev­er was one for diaries, per se, or the idea of writ­ing down my thoughts or the events of the day, but it nev­er felt right to not have some­thing near­by to jot down what­ev­er came to mind. There was a point where I car­ried at least three dif­fer­ent jour­nals in my purse at any time. Each one had a sep­a­rate pur­pose: there was one for writ­ing sto­ries, one for per­son­al moments, and anoth­er was a sort of catch-all. I still car­ry one or two with me when I go out, though they’re not always the same one (that’s an entire­ly dif­fer­ent post, though, the amount of emp­ty jour­nals I have...).

My par­ents bought me my first mole­sk­ine when I was 18, and I cried, like the lit­tle elitest hip­ster that I am some­times. They’re absolute­ly an over­hyped prod­uct, but I’ve yet to meet a writer who hasn’t used one, or want­ed to own one, or isn’t in love with the one they have, now in sham­bles and bare­ly held togeth­er by its elas­tic band. I kept my first one pris­tine for the longest time. It took four months before I actu­al­ly wrote in it, and for a long time I made sure not to dog-ear, rip, smudge, or waste a sin­gle page. It was an ordeal. Noth­ing that came to mind was ever good enough to write inside its pages. I had bare­ly writ­ten my name on the ‘if lost, return to’ page before my imag­i­na­tion had wan­dered. I pic­tured myself, decades from now, with book­shelves filled with my own jour­nals, all burst­ing at the seams and dat­ed, full of all my ideas, dreams, and thoughts. Not in a Kevin Spacey in Se7en way, mind you. But I want­ed shelves lined with my life and every­thing in it that had inspired me.

nananaa line from my chem­i­cal romance’s “plan­e­tary (go!)”

I even­tu­al­ly start­ed to do what I want­ed, and more impor­tant­ly, what I need­ed to, when it came to writ­ing in my jour­nals. Pages got ripped, whole lines would be scrib­bled out, I start­ed to write down my favourite words, lyrics, I played tic-tac-toe against myself (and lost), I learned that what I want­ed wasn’t per­fect words, but a visu­al rep­re­sen­ta­tion of myself. Some­thing tan­gi­ble that could scream out for me: this is who I am, this is who I want to be!

portrait1self por­trait from octo­ber 2014

Every time I reach for one of my jour­nals now, I don’t have any expec­ta­tions, no set idea for what needs to be writ­ten in it that day. Some­times I don’t even write any­thing down, I just flip through the pages for inspi­ra­tion. Even at 25 years old, jour­nals are still a learn­ing expe­ri­ence for me and I hope they always are.

KEEP RIOTING, XO. SHILO CHRISTINA
1. we are broken bones looking to meld together
hairline fractures fitting with impossibility
except we can't get to this point with you
too afraid or too stubborn or too this-isn't-a-good-time
to let me rip you open from the throat to gut to get at your heart
when i told you i was broken you didn't say you would fix me
you said you were too and it was like someone saying
thank you
yes please
let's set this straight

2. animals
we are animals
violent. and if we fight for anything we fight for love
we are teeth and claw and blood
our ribcages are the antlers of deer who want their way
crashing together, locking, and struggling
and one of us will die wearing the other like a crown

3. i am a universe where you kissed me the day you met me
eye to eye without a hello, just how i asked you to
you are a lifetime where you never know my name
and something always feels off
i am a vowel at midnight that just doesn't sound right
and you are nobody's favourite colour
(i saw you in shades of green)

4. i chose not to grieve for you
and that's all i want to do

5. we are what i said we would always be:
shameless
and desperate
              - s.c