Category Archives: NB

Springtime By the Sea at the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal

st. joseph's hospital auxiliary, springtime by the sea, marco polo cruise terminal, craft sale, art sale,

This coming Saturday on May 11, 2013, I will be selling at the Marco Polo Cruise Terminal in Uptown Saint John. This event is in support of St. Joseph’s Hospital Auxiliary.

Only a limited amount of teatime tickets are sold for this event. And they do have a few tickets remaining. You can phone (506) 632-5716 to buy your ticket.

Teatimes are for:

  • 11:00AM – 1:00PM,
  • 1:00PM to 3:00PM
  • or 3:00PM to 5:00PM

I’m looking forward to seeing you all at the event. I have many new artworks and newly created locket sets to share with you. I’ll also have a good selection of Spring themed art and greeting cards on hand just in time for Mother’s Day.

Below is a shot of my table at the Qplex Spring Stop & Shop just before the show opened from last weekend. Thanks to everyone who stopped by.

Qplex Stop and Shop, craft sale, quispamsis, jessica doyle art, booth setup, display

A New Brunswick Diary

Dear Diary,

Aug 12 – Moved to our new home in New Brunswick. It is so beautiful here. The northern woods are so majestic. Can hardly wait to see snow. I love it here.

Oct 14 – New Brunswick is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves have turned colors – shades of red and orange. Went for a ride through the country and saw some deer. They are so graceful…certainly they are the most beautiful animal on earth. I really love it here.

Nov 11 – Deer season will start soon. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it will snow soon. What a beautiful place.

Dec 12 – Snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed with white. It looks like a postcard! We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snowball fight (I won), and when the snow plow came by, we got to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place – I love New Brunswick.

Dec 14 – More snow last night. I love it. The snow plow did his trick to the driveway again. It’s so great here.

Dec19 – More snow last night. Couldn’t get out of the driveway to get to work. I am exhausted from shoveling. Fucking snow plow.

Dec 22 – More of that white shit fell last night. I have blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snow plow hides around the corner and waits until I’m done shoveling the driveway. ASSHOLE!

Dec 25 – Merry Fucking Christmas! More friggen snow. If I ever get my hands on that son‐of‐a‐bitch who drives that snow plow, I swear I’ll kill the bastard. Don’t know why they don’t use more salt on the road to melt the bloody ice?

Dec 27 – More white shit last night. Been inside for 3 days – except for shoveling the driveway after that snow plow goes through. Can’t go anywhere – the cars stuck in a mountain of the white shit. The weatherman says to expect another 10” of this crap again tonight. Do you know how many shovels of snow 10″ is?

Dec 28 – The fucking weatherman was wrong. We got 34” of that white shit this time. At this rate, it won’t melt before next summer. The snow plow got stuck up the road and that bastard came to the door and asked to borrow my shovel. After I told him I had broken six shovels already shoveling all the shit he pushed into the driveway. I broke my last shovel over his bloody head.

Jan 4 – Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on the way back a damned deer ran in front of my car and I hit it. Did about $3,000 damage to the car. Those fucking beasts should be killed. Wish the hunters had killed all of them last November.

May 3 – Took the car to the garage in town. Would you believe the thing is rusting out from all the fucking salt they put all over the road?

May 10 – Moved to Georgia. I can’t imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever live in that God‐forsaken province of NEW BRUNSWICK.

author unknown…

My Dad handed this joke to me last night, typed on three worn sheets of paper. After reading it I couldn’t help but publish it to the blog! Haha! I did find many other adaptations of this joke that take place in other northern US and Canadian locals but could not find the original author of this joke. The photo above is the front of my house… enough said…

Day Dreams

Deep guttural industrial clanks and crashes escape the fog of night traveling upwards into the residential neighborhood where I reside, from the shipyard, refinery and paper mill lining the coast.

Day Dreams

The fog is thick.

It is near impossible to see across the street at night. The only light that pierces is those yellow and orange ones that dot the city streets. Many years ago the city of Saint John adopted a new orange hued lighting system on it’s main thoroughfares as white street lights didn’t cut it in one of the foggiest cities on earth. Never drive here with your high beams on in the fog for you will be blind.

I have yet to decide if 57 days of rain in the Winter or 57 days of fog in the Summer is worse. Rain in Vancouver or fog in Saint John. Saint John has sunny Winters but it can have foggy cold Summers. All one has do is drive 20 minutes in any direction away from Saint John and you’ll most likely be met with gorgeous blue skies. And to narrow that drive down drive anywhere outside of the East Side of Saint John and be met with glorious sunshine.

We had one sunny day last week. Other than that one blissful day it has been down right cold, raining and miserable. And I was sick on that day. Dammit!

Funny thing with fog is that only deep noise penetrates it. A baritone’s voice would do well in such conditions while a soprano not so good.

The foghorn was invented here. A man named Robert Foulis happened to be walking one very foggy night in the 1800’s and heard piano keys tapping. He soon realized that only the deep keys traversed the fog while the higher notes were inaudible. And so the story goes that lighthouses soon after had a foghorn installed within. Funny that Wikipedia doesn’t mention the piano keys. Maybe it’s just locally known or an urban myth we were taught in elementary school.

Lucky me.

It’s a good to day to dream in Photoshop.

Day Dreams - original ink drawing

Above is the original ink drawing before I played with it in photoshop. The original sold back in March 2008 and belongs to an art collector in the United States.

Archival prints of Day Dreams are available in the art shop.

If I was Elected Mayor

When I am elected mayor of Saint John, New Brunswick…

I will triple public transportation.

I will double the tax the Irving Corporation’s pay to the city for polluting it.

I will force fines and public cleanup on people who think it cool to camp out and swim in our drinking water on the East Side of the city. I admit I went once about 7 years ago and left flabbergasted at the destruction and garbage, broken glass and trees I saw surrounding that fresh water lake.

I will introduce a blue box program and educate the public on how to properly use it.

I will open up zoning in more populated residential areas to ensure people could operate home based businesses of all kinds to reclaim the wealth lost when the malls came in the seventies. I will urge grocers at a local level to open up shop there within walking distance in these forgotten neighborhoods.

I will increase funding to the arts community at a grass roots level employing city artists to decorate this grey city with sculpture, wall paintings, metal and music. Free Public art to appease the needs of the decaying malnourished populace.

I will make our streets safe by promoting daily community night walks.

I will allot public green spaces in every community for growing organic food targeting the poorest neighborhoods and offer them the education to know how to sustain it.

I will push for federal and provincial funding to help the addicted of this city. There is nothing here to help you if you are addicted to anything other than alcohol or gambling. I will increase finding to help the mentally ill on all levels. Resources and treatment programs are almost non existent here.

I will pass a law that no more fast food joints can open in this city.

I will fight to have minimum wage raised to $10 per hour.

I will continue uptown waterfront development.

I will work with industry making sure federal environmental laws are being met or exceeded.

I will continue to improve the city‘s old infrastructure saving, repairing or replacing the irreparable.

You know, we all want the same things; happiness.
We must think about us and not just me, me, me.

There is a municipal election in this city on May 12th, 2008. Sadly, I don’t fully believe in any of the candidates.

What would you do?
Would you vote?

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Now for the Positive and the Smiling Woman Portrait

It wasn’t all gloom and doom where I worked. There were times and days when things were good and not so bad. Here is a list of positively great things associated with where I was employed.

Smiling Woman

1. I paid one of my student debts totaling $3700 off in full in the six months I worked there.

2. I am in awesome physical shape from the physical labour. Only another $18,500 to go!

3. I worked with some great people; people who made me laugh; people who worked as hard as I did.

4. They gave me a part-time job when I needed one.

5. I was surrounded by art supplies!

6. Everyday I was inspired by art, prints, photos and oddities customer’s brought in to have framed.

7. I got to cut glass.

8. I learned to be efficient in the time frame I was given for varying tasks.

9. I got to use air powered tools!

10. I met and spoke with many local artists weekly.

11. They were understanding when things got rough for me while nearing the end of tapering off Paxil last November.

12. They gave me time off (unpaid) when my grandmother passed away.

13. They are marking me off as a good employee because I gave written notice.

14. If I ever want to work for them again I am always welcome to come back.

15. Finally, having this job gave me the confidence to know that I can work and do a good job at it.

For the next three weeks I’ll be working with my Dad and brother renovating a building they own. I’ve worked with them before and enjoy doing so. I’m a good worker and when able to have always given a hand. Women are just good at paying attention to the small details that men may miss. Now don’t go attacking me for saying that but I know my Dad and brother and you don’t. They do fabulous restoration work. I’m so excited. This building is near 100 years old.

So, if you know of any part-time work email me or leave a comment on this post. I am open to all types of work. The summer is coming and I’ll be planting and maintaining a huge vegetable garden again. That in itself is backbreaking work. A part-time office or contract work at home gig would be grand.

And to clarify why I choose part-time over full-time work. I need time to write, draw and paint. Without doing those three things I do and have become very sick. I stay healthy this way which is better for me and also great for the people who employ me.

The smiling woman semi self portrait will be available in my art shop later today. She is looking a little magenta though. I must rescan her.

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I Quit My Job RANT

I quit my job last Saturday giving the store manager one week’s written notice as a courtesy per New Brunswick labor laws. My last day will be this coming Saturday.

I feel thwarted of success there. This will be my only vent, rant and annoying post regarding this decision. I am fully aware that my writing negatively only perpetuates any negativity surrounding my aura. We all need to let go of it somehow for without doing so will surely lead us down that lonely road of past coping skills and delusions.

There is no truth in staying somewhere when you are not happy. No happiness in trudging through the motions with no reward. And certainly no reward earning one dollar over minimum wage with 17 years arts related experience.

I feel the calm of solitude ebb around me and it feels soft and nice, not fearful and anxious. Surprisingly, this afterthought, well may it last beyond tomorrow.

When you work at a job there are things that make it feel worthwhile, worth getting up in the morning to go to work for. A happy customer is always nice, especially one that has been wowed by a molding you chose to frame their painting in. Another is knowing you do a good job and actually enjoy doing custom picture framing. Another is having great co-workers to work with. But none of these things mean anything when you are not rewarded financially for your efforts put forth and will only be given another 29¢ per hour at your year end review, if that.

I’ve been rewarded in many ways at my job. One being that I get to scrub public toilets every night that I am scheduled to work. And only custom picture framers get to scrub the john. We are a special lot of picture framers you see. Another is not being able to eat my lunch at lunch time because there are too many customers and only one custom picture framer. There is a difference between choosing to not eat lunch because you are not hungry and customers asking why your hands are shaking.

Do you know what it is like to be doing backbreaking labour unpacking box after dirty box from China stocking shelves upon endless shelves? …and then throwing the cardboard into a cardboard compactor that smells like rotting vomit.

This store will hire a person to mop and POLISH the floors but not the toilets and sinks. They tell you, you need to earn your hours to work in the frame shop but then they tell you to stop production at 8:00 and go and scrub the toilets until 9:00. How is scrubbing toilets earning valuable time custom picture framing time? Fuck.

They have the audacity to schedule you from 9:00 to 5:00. Great. That is fine. I have always believed in a full days work. Honestly. You get an unpaid half hour lunch and one paid five minute break when scheduled to work that shift. But then they schedule you from 9:00 to 5:30 and you get another break on top of the lunch and initial break. I always had a hard time with this one. It’s like schedule me the extra half hour you twit! A worker is much more productive when she can step away from her work every two to three hours.

I threw up twice at work last Thursday and continued to work. I had been going to work feeling sick to my stomach for weeks, months? I couldn’t keep up with what was expected of me. Each week a new task, a new paperwork assignment, a new toilet to be cleaned was being added to my task list of things to do. My wage was not being increased to meet these new demands even though I was required to do “it” all in the same amount of time.

You know, close to THIRTY or more employees have quit working where I work since mid-December. The store itself employs thirty people. I have been through six managers, four of which were the Store manager.

I asked for a raise three times only to be met with “Well, we would all be living a better life wouldn’t we if we all made a little more money.” Fuck. More than a raise I wanted a standard schedule. A reliable schedule where I knew the days and hours I was expected to be at work. I can be scheduled to work anytime between 9AM to 9PM, seven days per week. All I wanted was a set three or four days that I was scheduled to work. I didn’t even care if it was night shift or day shift. Just the same god damn shifts week in week out so I could plan my life accordingly.

I am good at what I do. I proved it. I won the framing contest. I sold close to $200 an hour during the contest week. When you finally realize that regardless of how hard you work, good you are at what you do and how happy your customers are at the end of the day you still need to pay your bills.

And I’m worth more than minimum wage.

When I was hired I was not told I would be cleaning toilets nor was I told I would be cleaning the staffroom, stocking shelves or throwing away ungodly amounts of recyclable material. Janitors earn more than minimum wage where I live. I have a skilled trade. Sadly 10 years ago when I emplyed at this same trade I earned only $1.25 less than what I am earning where I work now. I don’t understand it and I’m done beating my head against a brick wall trying to make sense of corporate garbage.

My last day to work is this coming Saturday. Tomorrow I will write about the positive. Yes, my friends there is a positive to working where I have worked and it will be written and saved in pixels for generations to read!

Muahahahahahahaha

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The economics of happy

First, smile, then roll up your sleeves and begin painting one wall at a time.

Over the last few days I have cleaned, painted, washed, scrubbed until sparkling and sweated it out with my Dad over town in the vacant two bedroom apartment that came up for rent this month. The apartment is beneath my maternal grandmother’s flat. Above that there is another rental flat.

About 20, maybe 25 years ago my folks purchased this building in the rundown core of the city and have been restoring it back to it’s original lustre ever since. Uptown Saint John is a mix of poverty and wealth at the moment. Streets can mark the change but more often than not, today you see people taking pride in their properties as the old, dilapidated structures are being deemed not safe for habitation and torn down or revitalized and repaired if possible.

Over the years I’ve migrated back to Saint John on numerous occassions to live. This time feels different. It feels good. It is grand. The city feels prosperous. It certainly is not the same as it was 15 years ago when I first moved away.

Many call this gentrification. I tend to agree. It is happening right now.

I had only read about gentrification and hadn’t ever had the experience of being (living) a part of it. The thing is this: if you arrive in a city after the bubble’s burst the cost of living is surely extravagant to say the least.

But if you are ever presented an opportunity to be a part of a region’s growth fueling positive cultural and economic iniatives, take it. It may never materialize in your’s or your children’s lifetime again.

The Secret to Distilling Fog

Fog surrounds every fiber of Saint John this night. The city is quiet. Only the street lights are visible a block away. I look out the deck doors to the trees illuminated by one particular street light; they say nothing yet tell me so much.

I was born and raised here. My mind was elsewhere. It didn’t find solace. Does it now? The fog is soothing, quiet and forbids quick movement except in stealth mode perhaps.

I stare in disbelief at the remnants of Vancouver, arriving in boxes daily that I shipped through Canada Post a week ago there. Every one must be carefully sorted outside, rebagged for laundering or placed in the deep freezer for two weeks to rid them of potential stowaway bed bugs. Those last couple of weeks living in Vancouver opened my eyes to real social issues facing the poorer citizens of the city. During the Moving BACK-EAST Sale neighbors came up to wish me well and say I was lucky to be able to leave and get away before it gets worse. Aquilini Investments has no right being a landlord. The city handed them $10 million dollars to prep the skydome for 2010. These people can afford to buy a bottle of wine for $12K yet they can’t or won’t pay to properly de-infest their rental properties of bugs. UPDATE – no stowaway bed bugs were found :)

I think about my friends living in that building, a few of whom are covered from head to toe with itchy bites, rashes and scabs all because the whole building has not been treated all at once. One apartment at a time. This really only pushes the bugs into another of the 59 dwellings.

Fog is filling me up. This is good I suppose. I want to jump. Something doesn’t feel right with the world. Then again it could just be me. Then again, now is the time to make a change for better and live my life the best way I can. Time to squeeze the water out of that sponge letting the bad evaporate and the good distill.

My family is kind. It’s good getting to know them all over again. I was never estranged but developed different ideas than they did about living or so I thought I had. I’m discovering we have much in common and that is inspiring. On a humorous note, I can diagnose every last one of them with some form of anxiety, attention deficit or obsessive disorder. We Easterners are dysfunctional. It’s GREAT!

I’ve lost and let go of an awful lot over these past months. The grieving process feels genuinely honest amidst this coastal fog. The many years of heartache, struggle and shame seem to melt away when you really have the time to rest your head on a clean comfy bed.