Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Simple Pleasures

There’s this thing that happens after I have a week of highs. The week of The Low. No writing, minimal cleaning, and way, way too much TV. I am completely useless. I waver on the thin line between actually doing something about it or just leaving it as it is.

I have two jobs on deck, one just two weeks, the other six months. I’m looking forward to neither. They LOOM. That’s probably why I’m in this mood come to think of it - the realization that I have to go back to being productive for other people. The suspicion that I just may have wasted the magical ‘get out of jail free’ card I was given all those months ago.

Simple pleasures, simple pleasures. New tarot deck coming any day now (I love packages in the mail). The likely over-consumption of this earthy, just-ginsengy-enough tea my sister sent from Korea. New books from two of my favourite authors and a new author in the wings.

Oh, and there’s ¾ of a bottle of Sumac Ridge in the fridge, a full one in the wine rack. Really, I can't complain.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Wedding Brain

We got engaged less than a week ago. Suddenly my brain was replaced by a 24-hour bridal channel. It’s all wedding-wedding-wedding, my personal version of hell and I can’t stop it. Who have I become? Are a meringue dress and floral arrangements in my future after all?

Not if I can bloody help it.

On the plus side, the wedding is basically planned from start to finish. We know what and when, just figuring out the how and where. I’ve even named my Maid of Honor*. So God willing, by Canadian Thanksgiving this will all be over and we will be onto the next phase of our lives, one in which telemarketers will still ask, “Is this Mrs. A---?” and I’ll still hang up, even though I will indeed be Mrs. A--.**

Now to the point of this entry. Of the weddings you’ve been to, especially your own, what did you like about them? What didn’t you like about them?

* You know you picked the right MoH when a day later she sends you a complete "critical path", which is essentially an event action plan. It made Trevor break out in a sweat, though.
** Technically. I haven’t decided on the whole name issue. My name with his last name actually doesn’t work so well. He doesn’t really care either way. Whole lotta bloody help he is.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Funny Man, My Fiancé UPDATED

WORKING: I’m so glad we’re engaged.
TREV: I’m glad we’re engaged, too, honey.
WORKING: And no overwhelming feelings that asking me was the wrong thing to do?
TREV: Some underlying feelings, but no overwhelming feelings.

Regarding the ring. The one presented at the time was a massive 'ringer ring' (heh), meant in to sparkle madly on my left hand until a suitable replacement was found. We spent all day shopping and I confirmed that I don't really care for diamonds.

The most inspiring stone I saw was a star sapphire. But I don't want it with diamonds, which seems to be the only way they set them. So we found a local jewelry artist who will bring in some star sapphires for me to chose from, then draw up some designs for a setting in white gold. Meanwhile, I've replaced the ringer with my Claddaugh ring because I kept scratching myself with the big sparklies.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Done Deal

I started the day with two gifts - first, the Sex and the City DVD box set. Second, a ring. THE ring. In our jammies, with bed-head. Pre-coffee. I was so stunned I just sort of blinked at him and said, "but you already got me the DVD's!"

Best birthday ever.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

30 Years

This is the last day of all the twenties I get in this life.

By now I assumed I'd be:
- Married
- A mother
- A published writer
- Permanently employed
- Richer
- Svelter
- Living in Europe

To file under “well I’ll be gol-durned”:
- I have Hashimoto’s disease
- two pints of beer or one cup of coffee are now about my limit
- I care a lot less about what I look like, especially when I go to the dog park
- I can’t remember your name or recognize your face. Yeah, you. What’s-your-face.
- I either have to start doing those eye exercises or get reading glasses
- I can’t comfortably (or respectably) drink milk or eat ice cream
- I’m at least 30 - 40% grey
- Depression kicked my ass for a year and a half.
- Tomorrow, I'll be 30 years old.

But I won't freak out because of:
- Trevor
- All 15 members of my immediate family.
- My fuzzy-wuzzy-snookum-pookums-squishy-faces, Charlie and Kiwi
- Olives
- Coronation Street
- Peter Robinson , Jacqueline Winspear, Jasper Fforde , Elizabeth Peters, PD James
- Dr. Spicer, ND
- My new obsession and the Universal Waite, Haindl , Fairytale decks
- Tina and Richard
- The little projects Trevor and I have going
- The fact that 30 suits me.

Really, 30 years are what happened while I was making other plans. I’m quite happy with how it turned out anyway.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sweet Sunday

A quick update:

The fast has ended. We ended it after midnight with pieces of bread slathered in peanut butter and jam. Wanna appreciate food again? Overdose on fruits and veggies for 6 days straight. It was the best goddamned piece of bread I’ve ever eaten and as close to enlightenment as I came during the whole experience.

And this cup of coffee sitting beside my computer just single handedly ended a 5 day-long headache. Oh, blessed, blessed elixir of the gods! I hate that I need it. But here I am functioning, alert and pain-free. So what can I do?

In other news, I took the job. Mostly because I couldn't think of a decent reason not to, and "I don't wanna work!" isn't a decent reason for a person in my financial situation. In April, I start the new gig that will last until December. I don’t know what I’m in for. It could be more of the same, it could be jumping into the deep end. But it promises to allow me time to write and that’s what’s important right now.

On that note, I’m going to walk the dog, do the dishes, finish my laundry, and a whole assortment of other things that will likely distract me from ever sitting down to write today. I’m my own worst enemy. I'd go into it, but I usually save it for Write Group, where a pint of Caffrey's * helps the purging of sins.

Trev and Matt have done it again!

*pictured in can form. I prefer it draft. And it should be mentioned that I tasted my first pint of this, my favourite beer, while visiting with my friend Naomi at the Blarney Stone in Regina. A moment of silence for the Blarney Stone.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Apple, This Is Your Last Day

Last day of the Inner Klean Diet, a gorging of fruit and veggies designed to flush out the liver system. I’d like to tell you that I feel like a million bucks, that I have been overcome with a feeling of health and wellness, that I have touched God just a little. But I’d be lying.

Last night was probably the biggest test. It was our friend Matt’s birthday party held at a restaurant in Little India. Trevor’s a sucker for Indian food. I’m a sucker for a nice cold beer on a Friday night. It was hell. We sat with our hand politely folded in our laps as everyone around us gorged from the buffet. Of course, the guy beside me got smashed to the point of disgusting, which pretty much killed my urge to drink a beer. So that was nice. But I sure drooled when the lady across from Trevor loaded her plate with pakoras. And the waiter kept dropping baskets of fresh, steaming naan in front of us. Presumably to catch the drool.

Just when I thought I was going to lose it, the two year-old sitting across from me puked all over the table. I didn’t feel so much like eating after that. Thanks, little kid!

Trevor started one day later than me, so tomorrow is his last day and I might stick it out in solidarity. After all, he didn’t have to do this cleanse but he did. Or, I might brew a pot of coffee, whip up some pancakes and bacon and gorge myself in front of him. Oh come on – it’ll be good for him. Builds character.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

I Need Something Fried. Stat.

I’ve been feeling like shit for three days. Even today, I have this tight band around my head and this strange urge to pop out my eyeballs, put them on ice, and pop them back in. I reread the ‘symptoms to expect’ from the Inner Klean Diet and yes, headaches and nausea are mentioned. But nothing about hot eyeballs. 3 ½ more days to go! Yay!

I was laid off shortly after I started this blog. I assumed this blog would therefore end up misnamed because I would inevitably have to leave my house and go into the Big Bad World to find a job. No more working from home. And dog walkers would have to be hired and Metro passes purchased and would there be a place to buy a decent cuppa tea at my new job as a [insert title here]? Oh my. The anxiety.

But that scenario may not unfold because, well, I have an offer on the table to work from home on the second season of a fairly successful little TV show. The offer came to me very serendipitously. They need my answer today.

- I could do it in my sleep (Yes, I realize I just jinxed myself).
- I would make terrific contacts in a city and industry that can otherwise seem impenetrable.
- It’s an established company with very cool projects.
- I would get to work from home, keep my own hours.
- I would be creatively involved in the show, get to go to story meetings with multiple directors.
- Way less pressure and responsibility for approximately the same income as my last job.

- I’m over qualified. I had this title 3 years ago. My ego protests!
- Part of me really wanted to start leaving my house every day.
- Another part of me thinks unemployed suits me.
- No vacation until (gasp) December! I know I’ve been unemployed for the better part of four months but it’s not the same as GOING somewhere! It isn’t! Whine-whine-whine!
- What about the tarot? Of course, this way I could actually afford my little obsession….

You can see the pros and cons are evenly divided. The decision is overwhelming. I feel weak from lack of both coffee and anything half decent to eat.

I must rest. Maybe eat an (ugh) apple.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I Sounded the Alarm... Again...

I can’t believe I did it again.

In my defense, that Tarot card reader I saw last week mentioned (shoved in there with a million other things she said, including “a blond man will show up on your doorstep and announce his feelings for you") that there was going to be a fire.

And when the two guys pounded on our door last night and said, “your house is on fire!” the first thing I thought was, holy crap, that Tarot lady was right.

Then of course I ran to check out this fire, which was actually a whole lot of stinky smoke seeping out of either the neighbour’s house or ours. “Are you going to call 9-1-1?” the guy called out.
“Yes!” I yelled back and ran into the kitchen and in my typical calm fashion, said (calmly), “hangupthephonetrevorNOWtheresafire!” Which Trevor did. I called 9-1-1, thinking oh my, this is getting familiar.

See, it’s my third time in about a year and a half. The first time the element in the oven was on fire. I didn’t know what to do and I couldn’t find the breaker. I pictured the bright, electrical flame inching its way to the end, to the hole in the back of the stove, where it would enter the wall and start burning down the house. Trevor was in Regina at the time so I called him. “trevortheresafireintheovenIhavetocallthefiredepartmentgoodbyeCLICK.” The nice firemen showed me that the breaker is in a separate panel.

The second time was just last summer when the carbon monoxide detector went off. I was stripping the paint off a door. The nice firemen confirmed that indeed, fumes can set off the detector.

This time Trevor, our upstairs neighbour and I stood on the deck as once again the sirens came from all directions. By this time, the smoke had been replaced with steam that was obviously coming out of the neighbour’s dryer exhaust.
“It wasn’t like that five minutes ago!” I said to the 5 or 6 confused firemen, “ask that guy….” I looked around. The guy who had sounded the alarm was gone.
“Are you sure?” the fireman said.
“Yes. It was smoke.”
“Well, there’s nothing there now.” The nice firemen told us it could have been the neighbour’s high efficiency furnace belching something out. I think they were just being nice.

I don’t know what it is about fires and me. But if you suspect a fire, call me up and I’ll raise the alarm for you. Guaranteed the nice firemen will show up to find absolutely nothing

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Waiting it Out

Charlie is desperate for her walk. Actually, beyond desperate. She’s reached the point where she’s given up on the whining and pacing and has settled on the couch too gaze mournfully out the window. Every time I move the slightest inch, her head whips around and she studies me intently for any indication of leash-grabbing activity.

Which hasn’t happened yet because it’s pissing rain out there. I don’t want to go out. I don’t want to squelch my way across the water logged soccer field to the dog park. I don’t want to feel that cold sensation of dog pee infused water soaking into my socks. I don’t want to stand up to my ankles in mud and God knows what else, getting pelted with rain, throwing the ball over and over while she races around like she’s on a massive, park-sized ‘slip ‘n slide’, effectively covering herself from snout to tail in muck.

And I especially don’t want to deal with the homecoming process. The towels, the mud, the puddles, the dead-grass-meets-wet-dog smell, the dog that won’t “STAND STILL” and “WAIT” like she’s told, and when I finally give up and say “bloody good enough”, jumps on the couch to prove to me that no, indeed, that was NOT good enough.

So cross your legs, dear dog, and hold on for dear life. You won’t get to pee until tomorrow.*

It's Day 1 of the Inner Klean Diet. Trev starts tomorrow because I didn't get off my ass and turn 42 carrots into soup last night. The diet says to start the day with 8 ounces of pure fruit juice, 5 tbsp. of plain yoghurt and one half pound of fruit. So far I've had a cup of coffee and been eyeballing the four day-old pizza in the fridge.

* I’m not cruel. She has a backyard. She’s just decided to boycott it until I take her for a walk. Stupid dog. Her suffering is of her own doing. She’ll beg to go outside soon enough, won’t she? I mean, it’s not like she’ll pee on the couch, right? Right?

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Episode 4!

It's The Charlie and Percy Show, dedicated to my two favourite dogs and starring my favourite guy and another guy I like a lot (though not in that way, Adrienne!):

Following up episode #3 with the predictable episode #4. Matt and Trev discuss crazy last names and sports we shouldn't play. Trev also sets up where he might go on his upcoming holiday. We're tired and gassy in this one, though, so be warned.

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Lock 'n Load

I just heard the Lawyer speaking for the Thunder Bay women who are the prime suspects in the Mexico murders. He said in the event of having a Canadian authority confirm the women are not suspects, “we are prepared to release a sigh of relief.”

This had me laughing over my toothbrush.

“Here comes a Person of Authority. Lock ‘n load, ladies. Lock ‘n load. Oh, he’s about to say something. Inhale, ladies, inhale deeply. Now hold it. Hold it! Steady! Wait for it! What do you mean, ‘remain suspects in this case’?! Ladies! Abort sighs! I repeat, abort sighs! Do not release the sighs of relief! Stand down! Stand down!”*

* Yes, I picture the lawyer as Agent Jack Bauer.

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

It's too Early For Boobs, I Mean, Conversations

WORKING: Phrase of the day - "acting Dread Pirate Parton" for Dolly Parton.
TREV: what does that mean?
WORKING: She looks like a pirate? I dunno. I just thought it was funny.
WORKING: It was here.
TREV: I see no Dolly
TREV: I see Pam Anderson though... wow
TREV: those are big
WORKING: Get past the breasts to the underlying paragraph, wherein you'll find a comparison to Dolly Parton.
TREV: oh wait, there it is
TREV: I was stuck on the boobs
WORKING: No kidding.
TREV: ah, I get it now
TREV: funny
TREV: now back to the boobies
WORKING: I'm blogging you just for that.
TREV: oops

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

File Under "Dog For Sale"

WORKING: Ew! Ew! Gross! Yuck-yuck-yuck-YUCK!!!
TREV: holy shit, what?
WORKING: I was sitting here, doing my cards and I happened to glance up to look out the window. There was Charlie, rolling blissfully away.
TREV: I see where this is going
WORKING: Well I didn't. I went back to my cards. A second later I looked back up and she was chewing on something.
WORKING: First thought - stick.
WORKING: Second thought - sticks don't have tails.
TREV: eeee
WORKING: I threw on my shoes and ran outside and sure enough she was... it was... disemboweled... half...
TREV: was it a squirrel ?
TREV: mouse?
WORKING: Ding-ding-ding! A mouse. Probably Kiwi's kill. Fresh. Blood. Guts.
TREV: and she rolled all over it too?
WORKING: She didn't just roll, she DIVE BOMBED IT. Really mashed it into herself but good.
TREV: Mika used to do that with whatever Oscar killed.
TREV: ugh
WORKING: Then the poor puppy didn't LIKE when I freaked out and scrubbed her down with a towel drenched in dish detergent.
TREV: tough shit
TREV: the poor puppy is a disgusting ANIMAL
WORKING: She smells lemony.
WORKING: I still think we can trade her in. I hear goldfish are nice. Or a lovely houseplant?
TREV: Bit of a body count on the houseplants. Perhaps a poster?

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Brand New Crop

It's like spring has sprung. Three fresh, new podcasts posted this morning:
The Charlie and Percy Show
Jamespod by James Whittingham
CBC Radio 3

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Nine of Swords

Another day where I sat at my computer and thought, blah. Nothing. What’s the fuckin’ point?

Then I read this news about Dana Reeve. I saw an interview with her once. She was an amazing woman. Yes, she was an inspiration to us all but I was really thinking, I hope, I hope I never have to be tested the way she was.

At the same time, I’m NOT being tested that way. Not even remotely. Not even a fraction of a fraction of what that woman's gone through. So what’s the problem with today? The problem is in the Nine of Swords. The image, a person who hasn’t left his or her bed, hands pressed to face, nine swords nailed to the wall. A warning that there are no real problem. So get on with it!

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Pizza and Tissues

I have a sinus infection and a (paid) project due by the end of the day. These things are putting a serious damper on my unemployment.

I won't talk about the Oscars except to mention that the host of the party we attended had friends visiting from Home. These friends brought pizza from Home. Just for the Oscar party. A pizza delivery that spanned 2800 km's (1741 miles).

Worth it? Oh hell yes. Half of the people at the party are from Home and we almost wept to see the very pizzas we can't shut up about. The other half of the guests had no clue what the fuss was. Until they tasted the pizza.

The host was a little disappointed - "They should be bleeding!" he lamented (he meant sauce). It doesn't matter - they were still good. Fun had by all.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Two Posts in One

So I fought with Blogger for hours to post this. And now successful, I have to wonder if what follows was actually worthy of the effort :

So I peeled a hard-boiled egg, buttered some toast, and boiled water to add to my coffee. I always cut my coffee in half with hot water, sometimes even adding more hot water as I drink it. Yes, I understand that’s more like drinking dishwater. That’s the way I like it.

I ate the toast, then the egg and reached for my coffee. It wasn’t there. I got up to look by the stove, but it wasn’t there either. Or on the island. Or buy the coffee machine. There were several cups sitting out, but none of them held fresh coffee. I paused. I could SMELL it, why couldn’t I see it? I retraced my steps. No coffee. Did I actually make it? Yes, yes I did. I could remember pouring the hot water.

I finally found it behind a pot. Today is house cleaning day.

* * *
Yesterday was Thursday, my day to volunteer at Run and Read. During the run, I was a human pylon. One kid kept grabbing my hand and smelling it whenever he passed. I never figured out why.

For the Read, I was told to help out with the Grade 3's since it was a big group. I hesitated because, well, I know all the Grade 4's names. And these aren't Brittany's or Jason's, these are Tanvir's and Naima’s and I'm stoopid. It takes me ages to get names. But along I went to the Library with the Grade 3's, where the rather frustrated head volunteer assigned me to Keesha, a little black girl with cornrows and big eyes.
“I love that kid,” said Keesha’s teacher, shaking her head, “but she’s a handful.”
"I don't want to write my word of the day," was the first thing Keesha said to me.
"But it's an easy one today. 'Patience'. You must have loads of examples."
"No. I'm never patient."
"Really,” she said emphatically.
"There must have been once when you had to wait a really long time...?" I ask.
She launched into a convoluted story almost completely devoid of nouns. Something about 'purple' and 'waiting in line'.
“See?” I leapt on the ‘waiting’ part, “you had to be patient. Write that down!”
“But I wasn’t patient. I’m probably going to be expelled for what I did. Or at least suspended.”
“Okay, well how about your hair? That must have taken forever.”
“It did.”
“So, you must have been patient for that.”
“No I wasn’t. I kept getting up and making my sister really mad,” She kicked at the table and threw down the paper, “I don’t understand ‘patient’”
“Well, it’s what I’m being right now. Get to work, Keesha. Then we can get to the reading.”
“I hate reading. I like math.”
“Then it’s unfortunate you chose to be in ‘Run and Read’.”
“Never mind. WRITE.”
“I hate this.”
“Come on, get it done.”
“But I’m NOT patient. Ever. I’m lazy and I make trouble and there is no hope for me.”
“Are you serious?” She stared at me. Totally serious. “Well if you keep saying it, and then not trying, you’re definitely making it come true. Why not try and prove yourself wrong?”
“There’s no hope.”
“There’s always hope. I have great faith in you. You have potential.”
“No I don’t.”
“Yes you do.”
“No I don’t.”
“WRITE!” I almost swore, too. But this time she did write something down. It said, I was patient when I waited for the purple and it came down. I blinked. It made absolutely no sense. “Good job!” I said, “let’s read!” I handed her the book the head volunteer had picked for her, a 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' book.
“I hate this book.”
“Have you read it?”
“It could be good.”
“I never saw it on TV.”
“Why does that matter?”
“I don’t read anything that’s not on TV.”
Oh, for the love of God, kid. “Come on, read me the story. I want to know what it’s about.”
She read for a bit. She was a good enough reader. She came across a word she couldn't read. “I don’t read adult words.”
“Sure you do. You read really well. Sound it out.”
She did. She was close. “See? You did it.”
“I want to read Laura Ingalls," she dropped the Clifford book on the floor.
“I don’t see it in here,” I rifled through the Grade 3 box.
The head volunteer came to our table, “Keesha! Enough of this! READ!” She had a teacher voice. Even I felt like I was in trouble. But it was time to pack up anyway. I guess I'll never get to know what happened to Clifford and the ice cream problem. We walked back to the gym, Keesha with her arms wrapped tightly around my waist.

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