Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'll just have a water.

Trev and M. met at the dog park this morning and decided we should all go for brunch so we all headed to Wimpy’s on the Danforth. M. is the kind of guy who makes me laugh until my stomach hurts and today he told us stories about his mail route with Canada Post. Did you know they have Canada Post security guys who randomly follow their delivery personnel?

There was little choice for my new no sugar, caffeine or wheat diet, so I settled for the bacon, egg and sausage special.
“Um, did you know sausage is processed with tons of wheat filler? And that bacon was cured with sugar,” M. said as I dug in. Apparently even my home fries were coated in flour and sugar. There wasn't a single thing I could eat on their whole menu.

So tonight before heading to a pub to watch the game, I cooked myself a nice, wheat / sugar / caffeine free meal. But thanks to the smell of chicken wings and fries, it took me about two minutes to become hungry again. And everything on the menu was clearly out.
“Do you have anything that doesn’t have wheat or sugar?” I asked the server doubtfully.
“Oh, I’ll get you the special menu,” she said like it was the most regular occurrence. Sure enough, they had a menu designed especially for people who suffer Celiac Disease . I do not, but it suited my diet restrictions perfectly.

Really, this city surprises me every day. Special menu! At a pub! For me and all the other 30-going-on-80 year olds.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

The Bitchy Blues

I can’t believe it’s Friday. I’ve been unemployed for one week. Sorry – I've been in the ‘changing times’ for one week.* The first three days were great. The last two days were kind of downers. No, I haven’t been obsessing about my state of joblessness. I’ve been keeping busy enough with other projects. It’s just that the past two days have been all about little irritations that set my teeth on edge.

Yesterday I went to the One of a Kind Show at the CNE. I haven’t been to a craft show in ages and you know what? I remember why: I hate shopping. Four and a half hours of non-stop, aisle after aisle after aisle of just stuff was enough to make me completely loopy. Which is my excuse for why, on a handmade gift that was meant to represent my entire, expansive family, I FORGOT ONE SISTER. Ack! Sh!t! F^ckity f^ck!

I jumped off the streetcar, froze my ass off to get back to the CNE, begged my way back into the show because I didn’t get a hand stamp, and had the gift fixed to include her. Why all the hassle? Because I love my sister and I spent $80 on the non-returnable gift. Problem solved. But my attitude was in the dumps.

Today I'm in a nasty mood. I’ve been scanning photos all day for another sister’s wedding, which is in less than a month. I’m desperately behind on the project. I didn’t think I was, but after a full day I’ve only scanned 170 pictures and have 200 to go….**

So here’s what was so f*cked up about this week. I LOST MY JOB and I couldn’t have been happier. I blissed out for three solid days. So why, then, did the little things suddenly make me crazy? I barely sweat that I’m out of work, then I throw a bitch-fit because we don’t have a meat thermometer to cook the roast that Trev brought home for supper and now we have to have tofu?

I don’t know what to say.

* Why does that sound completely dorky? It sounded great a few days ago.
** I have a whole new appreciation for the prep editors I used to work with. Dudes, you need to be paid more!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sleepless

Charlie kept sneaking onto the bed in the middle of the night. She settles on my legs and she’s 60 lbs, so understandably I try to get out of her way in my sleep. I wake up half hanging out of the bed or with my knees pulled up to my chin, Charlie sprawled out on 30% of the bed.

Last night I had just fallen asleep when the neighbour turned up the heat and started smoking. We share the furnace system and we get blasted with her cigarettes. Only apparently she doesn’t get enough heat up there because she turns it up to 25 degrees, so that within a few minutes we’re sweating and throwing off the covers, choking from the smoke.

Then there are the mice. They are have abandoned the cold for the toasty warm drop ceiling of our basement bedroom. Nothing wakes me up faster than the scrabble of rodenty feet, followed by the 16 lb cannonball that is Kiwi in hot pursuit. He nails the bladder every time.

This is one of the rare times in 17 years that I have nowhere to be in the morning, no job to worry about. Shouldn’t I be getting luxurious amounts of sleep?

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Changing Times

It’s my first day as UNEMPLOYED…. I woke up thinking that word and immediately I felt desperate, panicked, all grown-up in a downer, ‘gotta get a job’ kind of way.

It took me all day but I’ve changed it around. Now I’m happy, buzzing in fact. It’s all in the words. I’ve decided I’m in the CHANGING TIMES. Just saying it makes me feel good – hopeful, excited. There is a momentum to it, a faith that everything is happening exactly the way it should. There is all the time in the universe. This is how it is.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

The House Is Clean, Let's Socialize.

My friend Nonitucker laments the demise of the social call. It got me thinking.

Trev and I only invite people over when our house is clean, top to bottom, which is rare. It’s a small space with two animals and, well, me, so ‘messy’ is more like ‘Disaster Zone.’ It’s like that more often than not. So we don’t often have people over.

I remember my parents used to throw parties and there were always people coming over to visit. My mom was a homemaker at the time, though I’m not sure if she had more time than I do considering that she had 5 kids to wrangle. At least she knew how to get organized - I think she usually had stuff in the fridge and made things from scratch. I haven’t developed that skill. It took us all day yesterday to get the place back up to hygienic levels. We are going to someone else’s house for supper and we’re scrambling to make a green salad….

I don’t need much as a guest. I know I’d be happy with a place to sit, maybe chips, conversation and some wine. But as a host this isn’t good enough. It’s gotta be 10 hours of cleaning and $100 in groceries. And if someone does catch a glimpse of the much-less-than-perfection that often abounds behind our front door, I find myself apologizing profusely.

I think it’s because I watched HGTV that one time.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Trev's Menu for Last Day of Work After 4 ½ Years Celebration


Appetizer

Sautéed white onions and kale
(Served with Veuve Clicqu0t champagne)

Main

Garlic mashed potatoes (with skins and lumps)
Herb breaded chicken fried southern style in fresh butter and olive oil.
(Served with Veuve Clicqu0t champagne)


Dessert

Chocolate fudge gateau
Crème glacée au chocolate chip dynamo
Crème glacée au dulce de leche
(Served with Veuve Clicqu0t champagne)


DVD

‘Mad Hot Ballroom’
(with last drips of Veuve Clicqu0t sucked right out of the bottle)

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Defective Item

I’m doing dishes while Trevor types up a list of Christmas hints, as requested by his parents.
Trev asks, “How do you spell ‘Odyssey’?
I reply, “Why don’t you control click?”
“What?”
“Control click.”
“It doesn’t -.”
“No, hit control, then click.”
(He does and Spellcheck corrects the word) “Oh. It’s with a ‘y’”
“Why do you want ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ anyway?”
“If you’re going to have a decent DVD library you gotta have the classics.”
“I hated that movie.”
“Well it’s not for you, it’s for me.”
“Yeah, but I have to live in this house and watch your stupid movies.”
Trevor picks up the phone and in a 1930’s newspaper reporter voice says, “Hello? New Girlfriend Store? I have a defective girlfriend. Will you send over a new model?” he hangs up, then he turns to me, “Get your coat.”

Funny guy.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

And By Shoes I Mean Work

Four years ago, I went to a local shoe store and found a pair that looked good. They rubbed a bit. Sometimes they gave me massive, open blisters and I swore to God I’d pitch them into the nearest garbage bin, preferably in flames. But as soon as I started looking for new shoes, the old shoes seemed to evolve a little and I could live with them. And they carried me all right. I was even proud of them once in awhile.

But now the shoes are telling me it’s really, really, really time to go. There are better shoes for me. Maybe nice Blundst0nes or even Fluev0gs. I do like shopping for shoes.

What was I talking about?

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Second Last Friday of Countdown to Unemployment / Freedom!

I just went through this thought process - "I am thirsty. Did I have my big mug of tea? No I didn't. I should make some. That sounds familiar.... Didn't I already do that? I remember picking Earl Gray. Dammit, there it is on the counter. It's too strong and it's cold. How do I always do this?"

Kiwi (pushing at the screen door and rolling his head back): MEOOOWWWWWWWWWWW!
Me: Shhhhhhh.
Kiwi: Arrrrooooowwwwwwwwww!
Me:Shhhhhh!
Kiwi: Meow!
Me: Sh!
Kiwi: Meow!
Me: Sh!
Kiwi: Me-!
Me: sh!
Kiwi: M-!
Me: SH!!!!!
Kiwi: (growls)
Trevor: Kiwi needs to get a job.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Funny Story

The iMac, that ol’ girl, is bound for greener pastures. Trevor had her for years before we moved in together. When he bought a Powerbook, I gladly adopted her for my work which, if it’s not obvious, I do from home. And the ol’ girl has served me well.

But lately the screen has been going and we’ve had a few scares when she’s crashed (yes, I know you’re supposed to do a back up!). I can’t afford to have her go kaput when my job relies so heavily on computer access.

So yesterday, I did something that made my heart race and my knees go weak. I bought a brand new G4 iBook. She’s a cute young thing and she’ll serve me well for the next few years. Last night, Trevor was able to transfer all my work files with relative ease and I was back online in time for the start of the business day.

Just in time to be dismissed from my job.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

DST

I spent 28 years in a province that didn’t DO Daylight Savings Time. I’m slowly adjusting to the concept. It’s only an hour but it makes a big difference, especially when you lose that hour in the spring. Your alarm goes off at 7:00 but it feels like 6:00. The dog whines for a walk an hour before you can reasonably leave the house. You try to fall asleep at 11pm, but your body thinks it’s 10pm. So you read until midnight. Then the alarm goes off again at 7:00, which still feels like 6:00, and on and on…. Sure it’s lighter earlier, but you’re too bitchy to enjoy it.

I have to admit I like the Autumn change when we set our clocks back one hour. Suddenly I’m wide-awake at 6:00. I’ve added a full hour to my mornings without feeling any consequences. I get a lot more done before breakfast and I’m far more chipper. Even better, I’m dog-tired by 10PM, too sleepy even to read. This whole DST is really trippy.

One drawback –Charlie is on her own clock. Even if it says 5:23 on the alarm and it’s pitch black outside, it's walk time. She’s not fooled by DST. Not like me. I don't even know if I got the changes in this post correct.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fright Night

Yesterday was the first time that I was at the centre of conversation at the dog park. I was surrounded by people. I was witty. I was energetic. I had stories to tell.

And I had a big piece of black crap stuck to my front tooth the whole time.

“You could hardly notice it,” said Trevor, who had politely alerted me to the matter when I returned home. But he was only fibbing so I’d stop with the wailing.

But I sure got the scoop on Halloween from my neighbours*.
“I hate kids,” admitted a Boston Terrier owner, “so I shut off all my lights and lock my doors.”
“I bought way too much candy last year and only one kid came,” said a Shepherd owner, “This year I didn’t buy any and now they’re probably going to come in droves. So I’m hiding out at the dog park.”
“Two friends who live in condo’s are coming over to have drinks and help me hand out candy,” said a Lab puppy owner (then somehow we got into a conversation about how she found herself sitting on her couch between her Israeli ex-boyfriend and Turkish roommate).

“Besides, all the kids are going to Browning Street,” said another dog owner. Even I’ve heard of Browning Street. Browning Street puts on some sort of block party and the kids go apeshit over it and 'it’s the place to be'. Not that my neighbourhood is chopped liver – there are also rumors that families from the suburbs rent busses to bring their kids in for the ‘good candy’. While it’s true that some houses around here go crazy with the decorations, it’s not like we’re giving out Godiva chocolate.

Of course, Trev and I are on the ‘other’ side of Pape, so we only had about 30 kids. One kid dressed as himself. Presumably so did the group of Muslim girls wearing headscarves. But I don’t discriminate – Halloween is for kids and candy and running around at night (and for saying 'thank you', you little turd pre-teens) and I’m not going to make you prove your costume. Though, I’ve thought about doing a trade next year – 5 treats in exchange for one from your bag, my pick. That way I get a nice variety for myself and see what the takings are around the ‘hood.

The other idea conceived at the dog park was adult trick or treating. I picture neighbours setting up Halloween tables with little shots of liqueur in plastic shot glasses. And you take around a plate and ‘trick or treat’ for hors d’oeuvres 'n drinks. Maybe you even have to sing for it (which could get easier the more houses you visit). I think that would be magical.

*Paraphrased. Yes, all of it.

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