Author: Monique

Monique lives in Southern Ontario with her high school sweetheart and her two lop eared rabbits. When she’s not writing, she’s getting tattoos, dyeing her hair, or travelling. She is an avid concertgoer and has way too many houseplants.
Baby’s First Giveaway

Baby’s First Giveaway

So, I recently did my first giveaway, which was weird. It was exciting! But weird. It was with Goodreads and thankfully Tellwell took care of everything because I would have no idea where to even begin. Only applicable to the US (Canada, I’m coming), people entered for a chance to win a free eBook of Inked Caffeine. Running for the entire month of April, 100 people were then randomly selected by Goodreads on May 3rd.

Honestly, I thought 100 was a lot and there was no way that many people would enter.
Weeeellll I followed along pretty intensely, and I passed 200 people in the first week. I know that’s not single headedly because of Inked Caffeine (no one even really knows about it) and it’s more because people like free books, BUT it still felt good! Fast forward to the 3rd and over 700 people had entered, and I went from zero to almost 80 followers (on Goodreads). The winners were selected and got their eBook copy, and just like that the giveaway was over.

A million thank yous to everyone who entered and congrats to those who won! It’s weird for me to think about strangers reading my story. Like…all my family and friends have already bought it, and that was weird all on its own, but at least that was familiar territory. Now it’s out in the hands of the world (well, since last August) and I’m VULNERABLE! Something I’ve had a ‘secret’ for so long, and now I’m like “here. read this.”

I hope everyone likes it, and I hope everyone can connect with or relate to at least one character. A lot of personal emotion went into this bugger. I have a variety of playlists made for different moods and I’d listen to whichever playlist to help me get the right atmosphere and vibe. I’m hoping this is reads true.

Reviews help me out tremendously. Your lil opinion could help someone else decide if they wanna read it (or not). Especially as someone who SUCKS at talking about their own story…you’d think because I wrote the damn thing, it’d be easy for me to talk about. WRONG! People ask, and I freeze up. It’s like I instantly forget the entire plot, or I remember too much all at once.
But  it’s also hard for me to separate the first book from the rest. When I’m asked to summarize, I want to summarize the plot as a WHOLE which is a big no-no because wow that’d throw some spoilers around.
So anyways. I love reviews, hahaha
Whether it be Goodreads or Amazon or WHEREEVER! Authors love when you talk about their shit.


So, welcome to the party! And enjoy the chaos!

I’d love to know what you think 🙂

Hair Murder 101 (it’s a doozy)

Hair Murder 101 (it’s a doozy)

My hair extensions are so grown out, but I’m riding these bad boys out for as long as possible. Plus, they still don’t look half bad. We’re currently red (Wrath + Poison by Arctic Fox) and have been since the middle of February. IT’S APRIL! That’s a long time for me to have one colour…I’ve contemplated adding black tips…but no. I have FAR too many bottles and jars of dye (open and unopen) to be buying more.

But in shorter news, I’m pleased to say my natural hair is finally showing some growth. Sad, really, because I need to be blonde by September, so……if you direct your attention to the title: Hair Murder 101 (it’s a doozy) (strictly because there’s at LEAST 800 pictures), because I am GOD AWFUL to my hair. It shocks me every day that I’m not bald *knocks on wood*

So come with me on this journey as we learn What Not To Do 🙂

The very first colour I did was red (on my natural dark brown) in 2006. Please enjoy this BABY picture of me.

Then I believe I dyed it black? Maybe black first, then red? Either way, I didn’t first bleach it until 2007, more specifically for my Grade 8 graduation. I bleached it, bleached it, dyed it blue, straightened it, then went to grad.
Off to a good start, no?

Then it started fading to this beautiful aqua.

Theeen it started to fade to this yucky swamp colour. But never once did I not like it. I was so happy to have different hair and to be able to express myself at such a young age.

Although there were definitely some downfalls to being a 13-year-old with green hair. Parents saw me as a BaD iNfLuEnCe.

Dyed Hair = Does Drugs + Crime.

It’s funny because when I look back at pictures, the moment I bleached and dyed my hair, I gave myself a side part. I have the same side part today. It’s like, the moment I dyed my hair, I instantly found that puzzle piece of myself. I kinda lucked out finding that puzzle piece early on.

We’re walking 2007! It’s 2022 and I’m still up to the same reckless hair shenanigans! The only people in my life who have seen my natural hair colour are my family, and that’s hilarious to me.
(And although my roots grow in dark brown, and my EYEBROWS are dark brown, I’ve had people ask me what my natural hair colour is. I tell them it’s blue.)

Come 2008, my debut into high school, I bleached out the swamp (as best to my ability) and dyed it green. This became my first nickname in the halls. “Green”. I was okay with it. I was also the only person with a whole-ass head dyed a weird colour. Plus GREEN! I feel like that’s a blunt start, haha!

(I’m so obviously cropping other people out of some pictures, please bear with me)

The addiction was there, and I was dyeing my hair all the time. I’d get bored and add colour or bleach it out entirely to do a completely different colour. But for the most part, I stuck with the cold tones. I had found my love for blue come 2009.

Come 2010, I stepped into the warmer tones.


Thankfully, it faded to a light enough colour that I could bleach it to blonde, and come the summer, I asked my boss if I could dye it pink and blue.
She thought I was joking.


This went on to be Very Important Hair because I got on stage at Green Day with it, and people were referring to me as the girl with cotton candy hair.
(That picture is actually taken in the line up for that exact concert)

The rest of the year was hard on my hair. We went all over the place, and it was around this time in early 2010 that I was starting to notice the damage.

Did that stop me? NOPE!
Grade 12 birthed the split pink and orange, which I think next to Nils Blue (which comes later) is my favourite. By this point, we were DEAD.
Short, sad, fried, split end galore…

This was the shortest point for my hair (up until recently). I didn’t have a care for the damage I was causing (lowkey still don’t) and I was constantly adding and changing and straightening. Do as I say, not as I do.

More blondes. More pinks. More pink/orange. I did half yellow and half orange come the summer after graduation, but then Brian and I went to a pool party, and I lost it after the first swim.

2012 was back to cool tones with lots of purples and blues…

2013, I couldn’t tell you why, but there was some growth, it wasn’t like I was doing anything different. Maybe my hair had just accepted it’s fate and decided to power through.

I had some pretty ombre shit going on at the beginning of the year…then I just absolutely butchered it.
Pink/orange, blonde, highlighter green, yellow, back to blonde, then I added pink tips, then dyed it all pink, added some blue, then ended the year strong with dark…turquoise? Dark green?
This was the same year I peer pressured Brian into letting me bleach his hair >:)


The dark turquoise/green colour faded to a lighter green, so I dyed it blue…theeeen bleached the shit out of it to go BACK to pink and orange. I think this was my fourth time? And still, my hair was growing??

It’s wild looking back, because you can see when my hair is happy and when it’s not…sometimes there’s shine aaanndd sometimes no. I stopped getting trims because I was tired of getting lectured—plus, my split ends give me all the trimming I need (I make jokes because I’m SAD! My hair truly hates me).

It seemed that after trying so many colours, pink and blue were my two favourites. I’d have pink for a bit, bleach it back to blonde and go blue. Be blue for a bit, bleach it back to blonde and go pink. I stayed pink for a while near the end of 2014.

Brian and I were planning to go to New Zealand and I didn’t want to stand out like a beacon in a foreign country for three months, so I allowed the pink/orange to fade to blonde. It faded to a nice strawberry blonde.
Although it was short lived, because once in NZ, I saw blue dye for sale, and while we couldn’t afford it, I bought a jar and dyed my hair that night in our hostel. Everyone loved it!

Blue is 100% my go to colour. When I’m not sure what colour to do next, I go blue. I think right now, even though I’ve been red for a month and a half, I have like…five different blue dyes, some open, all different brands…JUST IN CASE, Y’KNOW?

So I stayed around blues and purples, very dark…my roots atrocious—AND THEN BLEACHED IT PLATINUM!

(I should’ve documented my hair journey from day one. I could have so many brand deals right now. Hashtag sponsor me.)

But this time, Manic Panic (because that’s who I’ve been using this entire time) came out with a new colour called Siren’s Song.
I was OBSESSED! I’m still in love with it. It’s one of my favourite colours to date, but shit fades quick. Although, in the dyes defense, when I first used it, Brian and I went to Wasaga a few days after and…y’know. But the dye held onto my roots and faded at the ends, so I had this cool accidental ombre from blue to white.

Honestly, sometimes the fade is just as good as a fresh dye.

The end of 2015, I was pretty mean again. I had lost interest in the pink and blue switchbacks and wanted to try something else. But y’know, instead of buying dye, I decided to mix what I had at home and make? My own? Colour?
(I did not mix these ALL)
So. You called it.
BLEACH! And honestly, it could have been worse. This blurple combo I made was kinda nice.

But it’s okay, because it GOT worse. One might say that pastels are pretty…
Yeah. They are. On clean, healthy, shiny hair! Look how lifeless my hair is! (You can laugh. I am.) I’m a poster child for split ends.

So, Brian and I were heading to Destin, Florida to see Hollywood Undead, and my blurple experiment had faded to puke.
So. You know the drill.
Only this time, I wanted RED! But the bleach job didn’t get totally platinum like I had intended, and I still had a faint green hue. I don’t know if you know, but red + green = gross.

This is the only picture I have, ft. eyelash extensionsAWFUL!
I remember wearing a hoodie all day at work…AND THEN BUYING BLEACH!!
I bleached it as soon as I got home and it turned this awful tennis ball colour.
Don’t ask me how I did it, but I got purple and pink to cover my tennis ball head BEAUTIFULLY!

People always want to touch my hair, assuming it’ll feel differently because it’s a fun colour… and yeah. It does. It feels like dehydrated strawy. No touchy.

Spring of 2017, I got my first hair cut in…a very long time. That when I met wonderful Mel!
While I saw her for a very overdue trim, she gave my hair the best treatment of its life—after bleaching it and dyeing it, hahaha!
We were going for a smoky blue, and she NAILED IT using all Joico colours.

Then it faded to GREY with BLUE ROOTS and makes #3 on my list of favourites.Buuutttt nothing can last forever and BAM! Back to my natural root of ’08. Only this time around, I tried “Argan Oil Perfect Intensity”. I’m not sure why. I think I went to Sally’s Beauty and grabbed whoever had the best green to offer. Plus, argan oil AND hair dye? Yes please.“Mullet Phase” has entered the chat. This kind of…uhm…style? Seems to be where my hair has plateaued. Most likely because if it’s not down and straight, it’s up and in a bun.

I added some blue and that was fun. I don’t appreciate this colour combo enough…

For the first time…ever, I let my hair have a “break” (it’s like “THANK GOD!”) and allowed the blue and green to fade and wash out on its own. No bleach involved.
It did some weird shit, but at least my growth was happy.*pause for effect*


Some more pinks, oranges, reds, purples…and then my hair was so sad and short and dead— but I REFUSE to go to my natural colour— so I dyed it black.
First time in a long time and TRULY ALWAYS a bad idea. Especially when you’re like me and get bored easily and need to switch it up every now and then.
But! This was a purpose of Dye Black and Leave Alone. And truth be told, I love black hair. Always have, always will.

While there was definitely an attempt to allow my new black hair to grow, I dyed it November 2018 and was already on Operation No Black by the end of January 2019.
Before you freak, no, I didn’t just try to bleach the black out, but the thought had crossed my mind. I bought “colour removal” and gave that a good honest try.
The purple underneath snuck through and while my hair was still very black, it looked wicked in the sunlight.

I shouldn’t brag about this, honestly. But I will brag on her behalf.
You’re not supposed to go from black to blonde. You shouldn’t, anyways. However…and Mel was very specific while explaining that what we were doing was awful for my hair…but y’know what? I had a road trip to California underway, and I needed to be blonde to get hair extensions, to later dye blue.

(I’m a psycho. Maybe I should title this “Why Aren’t I Bald?”)

The jokes have always been there…

And while we didn’t go blonde, we did the next best thing!

I got a healthy trim aaaand she did 8 million treatments.
Mel is a hair MAGICIAN! Xoxo

It faded to peach, then to blonde (hair science) then I went back to her for the final touch. We could’ve left it blonde, but I opted for blue toning since I’d be dyeing my whole head blue shortly anyways.

That same say, I sped downtown to Love’s In The Hair where I sat for 4.5 hours getting fusion bond extensions installed.


New obsession unlocked.
The stylist didn’t take any pictures since my hair was toned blue and the extensions were not, but I didn’t care. I was on CLOUD 9.

I had to wait like…3 days or something before dyeing the extensions, but once allowed to do so, I bought 4 jars of Manic Panic’s Siren’s Song, and voila! Nils!

This takes the cake.
This is #1 for me.

I redyed it while we stayed in LA, and it’s funny…if I’m TRYING REALLY HARD not to make a mess in my own bathroom, impossible. But ANYWHERE else and I don’t leave a drop.
I added some purple later on in the summer, and just as I’m doing now, rode the hair extension ride for as long as possible.

The blue faded to blonde over time…I removed the extensions and went RED! That faded to pink, which I then later bleached because it had ALMOST (8 months) been a year since I last did that.Because hear me out…while my short lil nubby hair had been denied all growth progress…ENTER ARCTIC FOX HAIR COLOUR!

The dye itself looks like highlights orange, and then to slap it on your head and as it sits, you watch it change to highlighter pink. That picture doesn’t really do it justice with HOW NEON IT IS!

(You’ve made it this far. It would be silly not to continue ‘till the end…)

2020! Everyone’s favourite year!

I rode the Electric Paradise for a while. I added blue tips, added purple tips, then said fuck it and dyed the whole thing purple. Then my hair did…this:

Which NATURALLY lead to THIS:

So I could do this:

HATED IT. Hated it. Tried to fix it – no. Sooo BLUE IT IS! Which ended up being such a win, because with the fade, I got GREY ROOTS and BLUE HAIR!

I ended 2020 as a blonde and by February 2021, I had Electric Paradise roots that faded into purple then blue then a green colour 🙂
Another successful experiment, using dyes I already had.
Jump to turquoise:Darker jump to blue and purple:Jump all purple:JUMP PLATINUM – THANKS MEL!ENTER EXTENSINOS, EPISODE 2

These were in preparation for our LA/LV trip in December, so I got this set in November to have a little fun with them before the trip.
Then BOOM baby! Pink and orange get a glow up!

I allowed one redye:

Then once it faded a second time, I dyed it the current red and my Little Mermaid obsession is still SCREAMING.

I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed going down my hair memory land. I fucking love my hair, even though I abuse the absolute shit out of it. It’s a trooper.

I’ll probably get these extensions removed soon, let my little nub hair have a break…beeeeefore I bleach it.
Brian and I are going to Hawaaii (and LA and LV) this September and I want a fresh batch of extensions before then, and I’mma go back to Nils Blue!

Viva Las Vegas!

Viva Las Vegas!

It’s strange because Brian and I have only been to Vegas three times, but because each time we’ve stayed for so long…I feel like we’ve been there a hundred times.

In 2017/2018 we went for TEN DAYS to celebrate our anniversary and New Years. In 2019 we were there for four days during our six-week road trip. Then just recently, we were there for five. Just the ten days alone was a lot. A lot for Vegas, I mean. Like…don’t people normally only got for a weekend? Three days max?

We’re not your typical Vegas travelers. We’re not huge gamblers and not huge drinkers. We’re not ones to go to bars or clubs, etc. We DO, however, like hikes, walks, and climbing shit (not to say we don’t like the casinos or drinking, we just don’t do that every day). It’s the desert! There are playgrounds everywhere. We’ve come to fall in love with Red Rock Canyon and after the first time in 2017, we always go back. ^2017

< 2019


It’s a giant playground, and I say that with the most respect. Like, don’t vandalize or be a dick. We usually spend a few hours there before sunset and leave before dark (the way out is a scenic drive and hella curvy/bendy).

Personally, this visit to Vegas felt more nostalgic than I was expecting. I think because it felt so good to be back after Covid. Other than not having concerts, not traveling was really hard. I’m very privileged to be able to go where I go and Brian and I work hard to make it happen (mainly Brian), but MAN! Not being able to go ANYWHERE for that long?
It still felt risky when we went and we had to be extremely careful every day. It was strange, for sure.

I was thankful to see that masks were mandatory EVERYWHERE! This time around (understanding why Brian referred to it as the Fuck It trip) we stayed at Caesars. 2019 was The Stratosphere (for one night) and Luxor, and before that was Flamingo. We’re slowly checking the casino/hotels from the main part of the strip off our mental list.

Every casino had a sign at the entrance saying how masks were mandatory and scattered throughout the building were security guards with boxes of masks, handing them out to anyone who wasn’t wearing one. It was a beautiful sight.

Caesars is huge. Like, it’s fucking enormous. We were there for five days, and I swear it took us three just to be able to comfortably navigate our way around it. And that’s not including the mall. The mall is its own beast. We checked in just past midnight and it was surprisingly NOT busy for it being the day after New Years. The interior of this place is BEAUTIFUL, and our room was beautiful—my favourite was the bathroom. We were pretty beat from being in the car the entire day, so we walked around for a bit, saw the Bellagio fountains do their thing, then went in for the night…morning? It was almost 5 a.m.For this leg of the trip, while still relaxed, we did a lot of walking. Again, we don’t mind walking. Originally, we had a few things planned, but we canceled them due to STUPID Covid. So, our schedule opened up…for a lot more walking.
            We walked around Caesar’s mall and window browsed (not shopped. browsed) the ridiculously overpriced brand shit, then went down to the opposite end of the strip to New York New York to get Shake Shack. We love Shake Shack. Canada doesn’t have Shake Shack…the closest one is in Michigan. So…we made sure to stock up this trip, haha! Now, the bathtub in our hotel room…when I tell you I lived in this thing…I wouldn’t be overexaggerating (thank you menstrual cramps). My long-ass 5’9” fit perfectly, and then some, AND it was a Jacuzzi.
(side note: we had to buy this indie brand body wash (that I also used for bubbles) because the other shit was locked? up? Because…America? I have no idea, hahaha)

(I know you ask for someone, but we couldn’t find a staff member anywhere)

The following night we had dinner reservations at the Strat’s 360-degree restaurant. My cramps were trying to kill me, but they were nothing some Robax, weed, and vodka wouldn’t fix (temporarily).

To be honest, we weren’t 100% satisfied with our food, which was odd because last time we ate there, it was delicious. The vegetarian options, like most restaurants, were a disappointment, but that’s also something I’m used to. However, I got wasteypants and that’s always a good time. But, like I said, my cramps were trying to kill me, so after our dinner, we went back to our room and went to bed. The 4th was Red Rock Day. We went in the afternoon and climbed and climbed. It’s all done at your own risk. There are some paths to follow but for the most part, you’re finding your own way up and your own way back down. That’s half the fun. That night was a struggle to find what to eat. While I love The Vegas, it’s either super hella expensive, requires a nice dress attire, OR piss-shit broke. There’s not really an in between. But we eventually found a Mexican restaurant in the corner of Planet Hollywood and YUM! (I can’t remember the name) Our last day, we drove out to The Valley of Fire and spent a few hours there before our flight home. Another giant rocky playground with a bunch of different hikes and view points. We prefer fucking off on our own and doing our own thing. This was the second time I drove the Challenger. Long open roads with almost no one on them. I gave it some gas and felt the power, but nothing crazy. Brian definitely had more fun with it than I did, but honestly, I was just as happy being a passenger.

I don’t know why I was so psyched out to drive the car. First off, Brian only paid for one driver, so I wasn’t even insured under the damn thing to begin with. And it wasn’t so much that I was nervous about me driving it, I was nervous about everyone else around me.

Los Angeles was FILLED with auto collision shops. Like, I felt like every corner was an auto collision shop, and all the cars on the roads would be covered in dents and bangs and fender benders. I didn’t want to risk it. Even as we were driving on the highway in Vegas, I think I made the comment that I would feel more comfortable driving in Nevada than California, and a few minutes later, someone almost (dangerously) cut us off and Brian had to slam on the brakes and the horn and change lanes very quickly and it was all very dramatic. I laughed out loud and said I was never driving the car. We had to get Covid tests before flying home because if we were positive, we weren’t going anywhere. For a while, we both had a fear that we actually had it because for almost the entire trip, we both had slight sore throats. But we spent one week by the beach, and then another week in the desert. Our throats were bound to be sore.
So, $250USD ea later, we had booked earlier in the week to assure we had appointments and drove to Henderson to wait in a car line-up in a parking lot. It was very well organized and for the most part, everything moved quickly. We got to stay inside the car and a nurse came to our windows to perform the test. She commented on my hand tattoos and asked me what “Inked Caffeine” meant. I AWKWARDLY EXPLAINED THAT IT WAS MY BOOK THAT I HAD JUST RECENTLY PUBLISHED, AND SHE SOUNDED INTERESTED and that is still such an odd interaction for me to have.

We filled out some forms and a few hours later got the negative results emailed to us. When we got back to Caesars, we took advantage of the parking lot to empty out the car and clean it up a bit before giving it back. Enterprise is right near the airport, but we still needed to take a shuttle from point A to point B. I was honestly SO SAD to see the Challenger go.

It was a very long and tiresome adventure home, but after a five hour layover in North Carolina and some uncomfortable sleeps on the plane later, we were finally back in cold (January) Canada.

I always love going out West and this was another successful trip! And I get to do it all over again in September when we go to Hawaii for Sarah’s wedding! Wee!

Serotonin Boost

Serotonin Boost

            The serotonin trip to LA/LV ended up being more serotonin than my little black heart could handle. We had an early morning flight to LA and my wonderful father dropped us off at Pearson for 6a.m. Bag check was simple, but we got pulled aside for a random security check. Originally, I was inwardly shitting myself, but the chick we had was super cool, and we all had some pretty good laughs. In the end, it helped us pass all the security line-ups, so it was a win. (We left on Boxing Day, so you could imagine how busy parts of the airport were)            Boarding was simple, flight was uncomfortable simple, and all the other boring airport stuff was also simple. We took a shuttle to Enterprise where Brian already had a car rented, and I was already all smiles. It felt very nostalgic being back.

            We’re being brought out to the parking garage (it’s blue skies and sun outside) and I’m looking around at all the different car options, and beside me was a black Porsche GT3. So, I joked to the guy “what about the Porsche?” then instantly felt like a douche and quickly backed it up with “sorry, you probably get that a lot.”. He found it amusing and said, “people normally ask for the Lamborghini Urus.”, and points to it parked behind me (it was bright yellow). I love me a good Ghini, but I’m more of a Huracan gal.

            So, we’re ouing and awing at the Lambo, and Brian asks, “do you have any Challengers?”, and if my obsessive Instagram story posts weren’t a big enough indication, I’m IN LOVE with Dodge Challengers. Specifically, the Hellcat (a 1969 is also fine). I kinda tripped at the question because WHAT IF THERE ARE CHALLENGERS?! AND WHAT IF I SEE THEM BUT CAN’T HAVE THEM?!

I should also mention our current car rented out was a Mitsubishi Mirage…and nothing against the Mitsubishi family, but…

            So sure enough, dude points to a black one, a red wine one, and a white one. Like GOD DAMN that’s a sexy car. I’m in my own little car heaven, and dude says it’s onLY $20 EXTRA A DAY. ON OUR MITSUBISHI MIRAGE PRICE?! (I think the red baby was a Hellcat, the black baby was a NOTHING RT and whitey was a Hemi. Hemi is my #2 crush.) SO BRIAN IS READING OVER THE NEW RENTAL FORMS, AND I’M FIVE FEET BACK, HYPERVENTILATING! We fucking got it, and I wouldn’t shut up to the guy how much it meant to me, and how it was my favourite car, and what this meant for the trip, and good god I was probably so annoying. We tipped him, I thanked him 800x more, and off we went (Brian driving. No WAY was I going to be the first driver. Sounds backwards—you’d think I’d be hyped to drive…I’ll circle back to this).            First stop was Ocean Inn & Suites in Huntington Beach. Only one night, but we were a 30 second walk to the beach. When it comes to swimming, I’m not the biggest fan. I love a good pool, but oceans/lakes/rivers/ponds/whatever, no bueno. BUT! Beach walks and sitting and watching the waves, and the sound of waves…I love all that shit. It’s probably what I miss the most whenever I come home, because a walk along Wasaga just isn’t the same as the pacific coast.            We watched the sunset on the beach, watched the sunrise the following morning, then packed up, checked out, and made our way to the pier (10mins drive). We were here on the road trip two years ago, and already knew what to expect. I knew this beach was good for shell hunting, and we walked up and down the beach on the shoreline for an hour. Slight breeze, blue sky with the odd cloud, and SUN! The sun disappears in Canada every November, and doesn’t come back until March, so the warmth of the sun felt nice. Getting a headache from squinting in sunlight is a good headache (I forgot my sunglasses at home).            Late afternoon, we got some showers, but by that time, we were driving to our home for the week, Dream Hollywood. It’s a 20mins walk to Dallas’ apartment, a 15mins walk to Jimmy’s apartment, and like…a 1min walk to Hollywood Blvd., and if you don’t know what any of that means, you’re doing something wrong. Once again, Brian successfully accidentally got us a place in the area I know best.
+10pts for Brian.

            This place is new. She was not here in April 2019. Absolutely beautiful inside. All the décor was animated NTFs, and I felt like I was in the future, haha! Our room was beautiful, although the view was nothing special.            We later made our way down to Santa Monica, mainly just to walk on the pier and look at all the lights (the pier is a good vibe), but because of the ass weather we had, everything was closed. The lights were left on, but there was almost nobody around. The stairs leading to the beach were also closed except for one set down by the boardwalk, and we never figured out why. I just assumed it was Covid related.

            We walked down closer to the shore, and something Brian has always been great for is taking candid pictures of me. Or another Instagram favourite, the “fake candid”. The “I’m Going To Do Something And You Take A Picture And I’ll Pretend To Not Know”. So, he tells me to look at the rides on the pier so he can get a silhouette shot of me, and I’m like yes, this picture will be sick and walk ahead of him. There’s a pause, and I’m so euphoric about being back, my cheeks ache from smiling. Brain says “okay”, and I turn around expecting him to be showing me the picture he just took, but HE’S ON ONE KNEE, HOLDING OUT A RING!!??!? I think I mentally blacked out because it took me a second to realize what I was looking at. Then it hit me, my hands covered my mouth, and I took a minimum ten steps backwards (he also got this all on video). He had to tell me to “come back” in the most oh my god, you’re ridiculous tone ever, hahaha! I walked up. Saw the BLACK DIAMOND RING and walked away again so I could start crying.

            Unfortunately, the ring didn’t fit my chubby lil finger, but DAMN, it’s absolutely gorgeous. I’m obsessed. Shout out to Sarah, Brian’s sister, who not only helped design the ring, but made it! (@kirk.bydesigns on Insta). We continued to walk the beach and empty pier, then went to Bubba Gump for dinner. Here, I proceeded to text EVERYONE! I should also mention that this was December 27th, which was also our 11-year anniversary. Like, what a way to start a vacation!            The following day, we woke up early to drive 45mins to Malibu. We wanted to go back in ’19 but couldn’t make it fit with our schedule. So, we made sure to go this time; for no other reason than it’s beautiful there and we wanted to experience it. We walked the beach for a bit (no shells here), and some of the beach-front homes were unreal!             We grabbed something quick to eat, then drove an hour back south to Manhattan Beach (we went while we were staying in Huntington, but that’s when the rain started, so we left (plus, we have a Challenger. Driving is no burden.)). Very wide beach. Also beautiful, and yes, shells! Here, we grabbed pizza for a late lunch, then went back inland to go to the observatory for sunset.            This particular experience was slightly overwhelming. The weather was perfect, the sky was perfect, and what started as a potential crowded sunset view at the observatory turned into a hike and a solo location on a hilltop with no one around us. We stayed until dark and got so many amazing pictures. This was another euphoric feeling for me. The last time we had this view was two years ago at the Hollywood sign. It was hot, and the smog over DTLA was so intense, you could barely make out a building. This time was cool and clear. Plus, the sunsets are always better in the winter. I was sitting and taking it all in, and Brian got a butt-load of pictures of me. Truly candid because I was so distracted by the view.            Later that night, we got more rain, but we decided to go see the new Spider-Man movie in Imax at TCL Theatre. Last time we were in Hollywood, we saw Avengers: Endgame at TCL, so we seem to have created a tradition.            The following day was supposed to be museum day, but the rain was still with us and EVERYONE decided it was museum day. So, we fucked off to Beverly Hill for have lunch. We had dinner reservations later downtown, so we basically took it easy until it was time to start getting ready.

            I took approximately 3 hours to get ready. Brian took 20mins. We went to this place called The Capital Grille and I 10/10 recommend. Our waitress was the absolute best, and the food was delicious. Brian got a steak and I got French onion soup. As well, he got a mojito and I got a cosmopolitan. We were asked if we were celebrating anything special, and I EXCITEDLY told her that we were recently engaged. With that, we got free champagne, and a free mini cake for dessert (with a plate that read ‘congratulations’ in chocolate).            Afterwards, we went to Little Damage and got black ice cream (flavour: strawberry), then went to LACMA to take pics with the lampposts.           The next morning, we got to Santa Monica pier for 8a.m. so we could enjoy it with less people. We walked down to Venice and back but took our time. More of a stroll, really. This was our 2nd last day in Cali, and we were driving to Vegas with stops along the way tomorrow, so this day was pretty chill. We got back to the car parked at the pier around noon, and it was packed. This is why getting up earlier to start your day is always better…            We went to the observatory, mainly out of obligation. Last time, it was closed for construction, and although we were just in front of it for that sunset hike, we hadn’t actually been to the physical building yet. So, we suffered the line-up of cars getting to the parking lot up top just to realize that the observatory itself was closed because it was New Years Eve. Fuck my life hahaha. But it’s still fine because the views up there are beautiful. We’ll just have to go back again.            We originally planned to hike to the H sign for new years fireworks but didn’t know those hikes closed at sunset. So, Plan B was the observatory hike we did the other night, but that was also closed at sunset. So, PLAN C was Pacific Pier in Santa Monica, but they only had a countdown planned and no fireworks because of Covid??? Which doesn’t make any sense, cause like…you were literally a full house earlier, but WHATEVER. We were perfectly content in our nice-ass hotel room. Plus, we were in Los Angeles, California, and Covid was (is) still a thing, and I felt safe in my hotel vs. the top floor club across the street that was an overflowing can of sardines. (Ew, it’d be so hot and sweaty in there, and just the thought of that + Covid = gross)

            Our last day, we packed up and checked out, and made our way to Joshua Tree National Park. It’s about a 2.5h drive, getting us there around noon. This was when I drove the Challenger for the first time. Somewhat open road, no traffic, and single lanes. It’s beautiful. It’s comfy. It’s FAST! My obsession has only amplified since…

            Joshua Tree is the bigger, less red version of Red Rock Canyon in Vegas in my opinion, although I personally think Red Rock is more fun. We spent the day climbing and exploring, then set up base to get a timelapse/pictures of the sunset. Once the sun was down, we still had 3h to get to Vegas, and our maps took us the bum-fuck nowhere route. I was on edge because it was SO DARK and like NO CARS, but Brian gave it no thought. The stars were incredible though. Light pollution? We don’t know her in the middle of the desert at 7p.m.

            We drove through the Mojave desert, which is where the Kelso Dunes are, which was kind of neat because last time we were here, we climbed the sand dunes and watched the sunset. I felt better once I realized we were in familiar territory, because I dead-ass thought our map was leading us to our death.

            Vegas was another 5 days, so I’ll have to leave that for another post. I feel like this one has already gone on long enough (my bad), but I hope you enjoyed!



          I recently got cute little knuckle tattoos. Laura has been a friend, and an artist I frequently get work from for a few years now. (@lolotattos on Insta) The new knuckle tatts are on my right hand and were spicy, but over with quickly. I’ve also always wanted lil dots under my cuticles, so I got two stacked. (The dots hurt more than the symbols.)

          A few months prior, I got another tattoo done by Laura. It’s her own design of a realistic rose and geometric shapes. It’s by far my favourite. She also put “Inked Caffeine” on both thumbs—I’m realizing right now how many tattoos I’ve gotten in the last few months that have changed my appearance, and I’m laughing. Your hands can change your appearance quite a bit, and I know some people would consider them “risky” tattoos, but I’m in love with them and wouldn’t change a thing (maybe adding more). Along with the galaxy succulent on my left, I love staring down at my hands while I write, or type, or whatever.

           I have a list (mental & physical) of ideas for more, but tattoos are expensive, and I am not rich. Although the other day, I realized that since 2011, I’ve gotten a tattoo(s) every single year except for 2017 (reckless year of spending).

2011: – first ink baby is a little blue star on my right ankle/side of foot. Not my favourite but hurt like a bitch and I have no good cover-up ideas. (Pain: 5/10)
2012: – number two is “Disney” on my ribs on the left side. I’m a 90’s baby and grew up with the classics. This one also hurt like a bitch, and the artist didn’t fully colour in the letters, so I went for a touch-up a month later. I know it’s not huge by any means, but damn I hate the ribs! (Pain: 7/10)
2013: – third is Green Day on my left inner bicep. I can’t say they’re my #1 anymore, but there was a time where I would die for Green Day. On August 18th in 2010, I got pulled up on stage at the Molson Amphitheater in Toronto (now Budweiser Stage) for their song Are We The Waiting. Life changing moment. Did I mention Mr. Billie Joe Armstrong himself smooched me on the lips? (Pain: 1/10)2014: – probably my biggest regret, but my smallest tattoo. On the outside of my right wrist is an outline of a bunny. My lop Thumper passed away that May, and this was very spontaneous. Brian was getting his shoulder piece done, and I was that dick in the background like “hey, can you just throw this on me real quick?”. Gonna cover it later with a better bunny. (Pain: 1/10)

– got a Silver fern behind my left year in NZ when Brian and I backpacked for three months. This particular location makes your brain vibrate. (Pain: 4/10)
2016: – “petite soeur” above my right elbow. My sister has matching “grande soeur” on her left. (Pain: 3/10)– left ribs/underboob are the lyrics “love just a little bit more” from the Hollywood Undead song Sing. (Pain: 7/10)– the top of my left foot has the outline of an elephant and “elephants can’t jump” text. This was the first tattoo Laura did for me. Brian and I were downtown Toronto and went for dinner, and I was like “this is my idea and I want it.”. Originally I was thinking I’d get it somewhere on my arm, but last minute, I decided on my foot. Adrenaline Tattoo on Queen St. W takes walk ins, and Laura was the artist available at the time, and boom! Reference to my favourite USS song Damini, but strictly the live version. IYKYK (Pain: 5/10)

– left shoulder/back is a rainbow watercolour monarch butterfly. (also Laura) (Pain: 4/10)
2018: – my right thigh has a mallard duck feather and guinea fowl feather. I’ve had pet ducks my whole life, and although the guinea fowl were only a few years, they were extremely memorable. This is also Laura, and in the first session (we did two), we added colour to the Damini elephant.
(Pain: 6/10 & 7/10)
2019: – on my left forearm are three trees, representing the different terrains Brian and I camped in on our road trip out west. Done at HIGH VOLTAGE in LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA! (this emphasis is mainly for myself)
This was my birthday present to myself. (Overpriced in my opinion, but worth the experience and bragging rights)
(Pain: 5/10)

– back of my right arm (above the sister), I have a ‘tired but caffeinated’ watercolour fish. Brian has a similar one on his left arm, with different colours, but his fish is distinguished with a top hat and monocle. Both are done by Michelle (@michromatic on Insta)
(Pain: 7/10)

2020(the year from Hell part I): – I got my galaxy succulent on my left hand. Michelle’s own design (@michromatic again). For Covid safety, we both wore masks the whole time, and it’s that little addition of discomfort to make a painful tattoo just that much shittier. Two sessions (one for outline and shading, and one for colour) and very ouch 🙂
(Pain: 8/10)
2021(the year from Hell part II): – I got the realistic rose, Inked Caffeine, and the knuckles and dots from Laura.
The rose and IC were in August.
(Pain: 4/10 & 5/10)
Then the knuckles and dots were just this past December.
(Pain: 8/10)

2022(please behave): – ya’girl has tons of ideas, but ya’girl needs money.

Do you have any tattoos? If so, of what, and where??

Alexa, play the opening theme song from The OC

Alexa, play the opening theme song from The OC

54 days.
54 more days until I’m drowning in serotonin.
Brian and I both have a horrible case of Travel Bug and have since we first met. After only 5 months of dating, we planned a trip to Disney World for a week (and didn’t get cancellation insurance, which was a big deal for people at the time because wHaT iF wE bRoKe Up BefoRe We WeNt).

From 10h bus rides to New York City to celebrate New Years
18h road trips to Florida for a single concert
3 months backpacking/camping in New Zealand
to just recently doing a 6 week road trip to California and back…sometimes our trips are planned, sometimes not so much.

In the fall of 2019, we spontaneously decided to drive to Vermont, strictly for the autumn views. We didn’t book a hotel, we just packed clothes and our giant-ass sleeping bag. We spent the weekend and drove around taking pretty pictures, and Brian flew his drone, AND THE CITY OF BURLINGTON IS BEAUTIFUL. 10/10 RECOMMEND!
We’ve traveled a ton for concerts and have become comfortably good at driving for long periods of time. The longest stretch we’ve done so far was to Colorado.
We left my place around 4am and drove 8h to Chicago. Parked and saw what Millennium Park had to offer, got deep dish pizza (obviously), then got back in the car and continued another 16h to Garden of the Gods in Colorado. I believe on the way to Chicago he drove the first four and I did the remaining. Then to Colorado, we did the same, but 8h each. We were incredibly lucky with our weather (it was the end of March), although I hate driving at night when it’s raining, and I strictly remember driving through road construction for like…a solid hour. At night. In the rain. But the speed limit remained highway limit, so everyone was going hella fast and I was so alert about everything and so on edge. Wasn’t a fan. But in case my mom reads this, let’s not freak her out.

I prefer road trips 1000% over flying. I don’t mind flying—I actually enjoy it (airports, not so much), but driving is the way to go in my opinion. Obviously if it’s an option. The trip we have planned in 54 days is driveable, but not realistic. So flying it is. Which is fine. But since Covid is still kickin’, I am a bit anxious. Once we arrive at our destination, I’ll be fine, but I know the airport and airplane are going to have me extremely on edge.

People who know me are probably so sick of hearing about “The Road Trip”, but honestly it was such an incredible adventure. We had just purchased our new Mazda a few months prior because even though it was in the works anyways, we knew we wanted a reliable ride for the 15 something thousand kilometers we had ahead of us, and she did not disappoint. Very comfortable to sleep in too, which was a bonus.

Please find yourself listening to Drinking In LA by Bran Van 3000. The trip started as a week in Los Angeles for my birthday in April because there is a line in that song that says “what the hell am I doing drinking in LA at twenty-six?” and I said to Brian that I wanted to be in LA for my 26th birthday. We started planning and the one week turned to two, because we realized all the things we wanted to do. We branched further and further out from the city, to the national parks, then decided we’d go back to Vegas because it was “right there”. Fast forward to booking 42 days of a road trip, hitting 16 states, and almost hitting 16,000 kms. I scratched off a few bucket list items and experienced things I’d never dreamt of.

Hollywood fucked me up. For some reason, it had always been a fantasy that I’d ever go there. It never made even a mental bucket list because I literally thought I would never go. So when we passed the Welcome To Hollywood sign, I was driving, at a red light, hyperventilating. It’s so silly thinking back to it. I was frustrated that I couldn’t take it all in, because I had to pay attention to the evening traffic. Brian had booked us an Air BnB at this beautiful new apartment on Highland Avenue, which excited me but also terrified me because I had already written Jimmy living in his apartment on Highland. And Brian didn’t do this on purpose. It was just a fluke.
(Please read my book Inked Caffeine: Melrose and Vine if you have no clue what the fuck I’m talking about 😊)
Even the room was a trip because it was two furniture arrangements away from how I pictured and described Jimmy’s apartment. All too weird.
So, we were in LA for a week and the whole time I was scanning and bookmarking and taking in as much as I could because I didn’t know if I’d ever be back, and this was the time to make my story that much more authentic. My Holy Binder™ came for the trip as well and I was constantly making notes and adding and adjusting. We went to certain locations that were in my story, mainly for my sake (fun fact: Dallas’ Starbucks is a gas station and No Regrets is a mechanics. the Mazda needed an oil change and that’s where we went) and like I said previously, I could navigate us around pretty easily without any maps. How sad because I can’t even do that with Toronto…

My birthday was weird because on one hand I wanted to try and “recreate” Jimmy’s birthday with the Taco Bell and the beach and dressing nice and whatever, but I also wanted the day to just play out however it wanted. That being said, it was the only gloomy day of our whole week in LA. I sat in wet paint because I’m stupid and there was no drinking (y’know…the whole drinking in LA at 26…). Which I don’t actually care about. Brian and I aren’t huge drinkers anyways, but it still would’ve made a killer Instagram caption hahahaha!
The wet paint thing upset me way more than it probably should have, but whatever. Brian did a great job at cheering me up and I basically forgot all about it. (Please note that the West Coaster is the smallest little roller coaster I’ve ever been on, but I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in my entire life.)

We packed up to carry on the rest of the trip the following day and stopped at Lake Tahoe, Yellowstone, and a spontaneous stop at Badlands National Park in South Dakota

I remember being extremely sad when we got home because it meant that life had to unfortunately go back to reality, but it also meant that I could start editing IC with all my new ideas and notes. To my surprise, there wasn’t really much to change, but a bit to add. Things like…Jimmy, Dallas and Nils going for a walk to the Hollywood Sign, I changed Jimmy’s apartment to be more like The Highland because that’s just fun, so I added the rooftop pool and gym, and SCOOTERS! Scooters were very important for me to add, mainly because they were everywhere in California, and they’re so stupidly fun. Once we rode them once, we wanted to ride them everywhere. I’m still sour Toronto never got them…

Do you have a favourite place to travel? Or somewhere you’ve never been but are dying to see?

California Dreamin’

California Dreamin’

When I first started writing Inked Caffeine, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that it would take place in LA. I’ve just always had this odd obsession. I fantasize about going to Disneyland (Disneyworld will have to do), I’ve always wanted to go to Pacific Pier in Santa Monica, and I’ve always wanted to go to Hollywood. Not even for the ‘glitz and glamour’, because I honestly just don’t care (but I do think it’s cute that North America has its own little Rich Club: Members Only). The national parks that the state has to offer are breathtaking. The weather, the beaches, the art, the architecture…
I could go on.

Once I got the idea, the first thing I did was open Google Maps, go to Hollywood, and plan out where I wanted everything to initially take place. Melrose, Vine, and Highland caught my attention, having no idea how iconic they all were to the city. The research carried on from there and I made it that geographically, everything was realistically distanced (there are obviously some places I made up (and some loopholes I created because it’s my story and I can do what I want), but for the most part, everything is a real location with real distances (walking/driving) apart from one another).

I’ve studied Hollywood so many times in Google Maps (street view included), pictures, movies and video games (predominantly GTA5), that when Brian and I went in the spring of 2019, I could navigate us around without the use of a map. Sad? Perhaps. Beneficial to my story? Absolutely! Plus, it was fun.

The series Inked Caffeine is ­very heavily influenced by Hollywood Undead and Green Day (if you know, you know) and I grew up watching The OC and The Hills in the early 2000’s (I know I’m not alone in that), which I’m sure only fed my growing fascination with the state.
That being said, I didn’t want to write ‘the stereotypical Hollywood vibe’. I didn’t want to get into the rich and famous side of things, or gangs and drugs. I wanted to try and write my own version of ‘an average joe’ living in Hollywood, California. Which honestly, I think I did a pretty good job of doing.

I did my best to write accurately. It was a challenge, what with being Canadian and uhm…not living in LA. And even once I thought I had it all perfect…after our trip, I came home and added sooooo muuuucchhh mooooreeee. So many edits.

I hope an Angeleno will read my book and tell me I did a good job!

If you wrote your own story, would you stick to the more realistic side of things, or would you create your own world with your own rules?



How do you even start a blog? I feel like once it’s up and going, it’s smooth sailing. But starting it? It’s gotta be something to attract attention, right?
“Hi, my name’s Monique. I’m a Red Bull addict, and I love long walks on the beach…”. But in all seriousness, those are both true. I’m a sucker for caffeine, particularly in the energy drink department. More specifically, the Red Bull department. Primarily the Red Bull department, actually. And I love walking along the beach, in the shallow end. I don’t necessarily always swim at said beach, but that’s okay.

I have a love for piercings and tattoos and have been bleaching and dyeing my own hair since I was 13 years old. I love traveling and concerts, even more so when I get to travel for a concert! Double whammy! As for the writing thing…that started after I discovered QUIZILLA!

I discovered Quizilla in like…2005? 2006? Does anyone remember that or even know what I’m talking about?! It was a website where people could create their own quizzes, but over silly things like…what kind of pizza are you? Or what Hogwarts house you’d be in orrrrr what character from Friends does your personality resembled the most? They were so stupid. I remember the multiple choices would be so obvious too, so if you knew what you wanted the results to be, you’d just pick those corresponding answers and ta da! Yet I’d always feel so proud of myself at the end if I got the result that I wanted…

Either way, people started using it to write short stories; some original and some fanfic. Sometimes they’d have a lot of thought and work put into them where they’d stick to the multiple-choice layout and depending on what you picked, that would change how the story went. It felt more personal that way. (I know there are a bunch of video games like that, and isn’t there a Black Mirror episode like that? (I wanted to write multiple endings for Inked Caffeine and still might, just for my enjoyment though…)) But then the effort got more and more…I don’t want to say lazy, because the story was still written, but…thoughtless? Sure, we’ll go with thoughtless. The multiple choice turned into one answer only and it’d usually say “Ok :)”. Regardless, I was addicted to them.

So, it was 2006 and there was this girl named S (I don’t know if she wants her legit name in here, so let’s call her S), and she wrote this story that I was so incredibly invested in, I dedicated all my free time to reading it. It was all I talked about to family and friends, until one day I asked my sister (who’s an artist (whether she agrees or not)) to draw the story characters, and I scanned the picture, contacted S through Quizilla and asked her if I could email it to her. AND THE REST IS HISTORY! Hahaha, but no, actually. S is 100% the SOLE reason I started writing, and I can say that confidently. I was so obsessed with her story, that I wanted to create my own.

She stopped posting on Quizilla, we talked to each other on MSN (R.I.P) and she’d email me new additions of her story; sometimes even new stories she was coming up with. It wasn’t until a year later when I wrote my first story. It was terrible. It is terrible. I resurrected it from my old-ass laptop a few months ago and I skimmed it and I cringed. The layout and set up are enough to make your eyeballs ache, and the lack of flow and the plot are just…yeah, we won’t be looking at that again.

Then I wrote a much better story in 2009. That one I can actually read and honestly, maybe if I ever find the time (or energy), I’ll rewrite it to be something legit. It’s pretty lengthy. The following year was a big year for creativity, and I wrote three more stories; although neither one of them are finished, because my brain decided to put them all on hold while it molded the idea for Inked Caffeine in 2011. From that point on, anything that happened to me, any conversation I was involved in or overheard…anything that could influence me in any way, became a part of Inked Caffeine. Some things made the cut, others not so much, but I have everything written down. I just authentically put myself into everything. Every character either has a bit of me, or a bit of someone I know, and the funny thing is, I didn’t do it on purpose or ‘plan’ it. I’m easily influenced, I guess. Or just remember people really well?

That being said, a lot has changed since the original draft of the story. The title, first of all, is totally different than what I originally had (thank god), character names, character appearances, parts of the plot changed a lot…but all changes I am 100% grateful for, because I’m actually extremely pleased with the end result.

I used writing as an outlet for almost everything in life. S was the only person who knew about my writing and was the only one I’d let read it, until I’d start bringing my laptop with me everywhere and continuing to write whenever I was given the chance. I’d write during class, and because I’ve been writing and typing on a computer (whether it be actual writing or talking on MSN) since I was a pre-teen, I’m actually a really fast typer. Unfortunately, fast continuous typing does not sound like note-taking in class, so I’d get called out for it all the time.

People started noticing, would ask what I was doing or what I’m writing, and I’d always lie my way out of it and would never show anyone. There was a pause for almost all of high school while I discovered myself and my independence. Interests changed and there were new life priorities at hand. Relationships came and went until I met Brian in the spring of 2011. We started dating that winter (and are happily still together today) and the writing stopped all together. I had this new chapter in my life and writing just wasn’t what I wanted to focus on anymore.

Fast forward to 2013 and I told Brian how much I used to write and how passionate I was about writing, and he said I should start. I didn’t think too much about and probably honestly said “yeah, okay…” but he’s the reason Inked Caffeine came back to life. I sometimes wonder if I would have gone back to writing on my own…maybe eventually? But I’m so glad I did when I did.

It’s an amazing creative outlet and honestly, has helped me emotionally and mentally on so many different levels. If you’ve ever considered starting to write or have something already started and have stopped, whether it be a journal, poems, short stories, or full-blown novels, all I can say is DO IT! Just do it *Nike symbol* and you won’t regret it. You can write for yourself (like I did for many years) or share what you create with others. I find both rewarding! And you don’t need to have your degree in English or writing or whatever. It’s art! Have fun with it and do what you want.

Aaaand scene! That’s me. In sum, I guess. Blogging is totally new to me and I kind of suck at following any kind of guidelines, so follow along patiently as I try my best not to write full essays. I want to make this thing authentically me, so buckle up because there’s a lot to unfold. Hopefully you’ll be able to relate to some of the things I talk about, but if not, I hope I’m entertaining enough that you’ve at least made it this far!