Monday, February 27, 2006

Whirlwind Weekend

Things that truly rocked about my weekend:

• Kingston, ON, and specifically the area around Queens
• Rediscovering Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground
• Nailing 4 out of 5 Tarot readings (my first for other people)
• The fact that Trev’s sister Kerri's new fiancé, Jihao, is a very cool guy.
• Their friend Amanda’s decadent double-chocolate torte
• Being carded in the Kingston LCBO. I turn 30 next month. Ha!
• At this same magical, mystical LCBO, finding Sumac Ridge Gewurztraminer and immediately purchasing 5 bottles (because Toronto doesn't believe in BC wines). Oh right, gotta pay Trev back….
• A truly beautiful 20-minute power nap on Sunday. I’ve been known to nap but this was just one of those rare ones, completely refreshing and energizing.
• Waking up from power nap to a delicious Thai and fresh dumpling lunch because Kerri and Jihao and Amanda ROCK so much.

Things that really kind of sucked about the weekend:

• Blowing the 5th Tarot reading. It was for someone’s love life, an unfortunate time to completely suck. In my defense, my brain was total mush. I probably should have taken a break first. Lesson learned.
• Hitting a blizzard on the 401. I seriously though I was going to get us killed.
• The fact that Kiwi-the-cat seemed to deteriorate in overall condition during our mere 30+ hours away. Thankfully his coat returned to normal within two hours of our reunion.
• Getting carded at LCBO was great, sure, but realizing I forgot my ID was freakin' humiliating. I had to ask my boyfriend to pull for me! Because I'm 30 going on 15! I should have gotten a bottle of Baby Duck .
“Kingdom of Heaven” What the hell was that, besides a horrific mess?
• The fact that our lovely weekend is already over. Bye weekend! We'll miss you!

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Such a Fool

It’s been a weird week. I feel like the Fool’s footprints are all over it.

Did I mention I took up the Tarot again? I got seriously stumped in my writing a couple weeks ago and in a frustrated attempt to distract myself, I threw myself into Tarot study. I’m fascinated by the symbols, the mystery, the history. How it inspires me to spend money I don’t have. I ordered books, bought the Rider-Waite deck so I could understand the books (everything’s about the Rider-Waite deck. Even people who dismiss it have to refer or compare to it). And it worked - creative block loosened, brain functioning, energy renewed.

So here’s an example of where the Fool comes in: I read that he / she is sometimes known as the trickster. Within minutes of posting my last entry about not wanting to work again, I got a phone call about a job the ol’ trickster knew I wouldn’t refuse. They wanted me to write a test. In my sheer surprise, I forgot to ask crucial questions like ‘what kind of test?’ When I showed up, in fact two tests were planted in front of me – Grammar and Spelling.

See, Fool tricks you with a carrot, then reminds you of your weaknesses. That’s the whole point. What’s the lesson? First, I see my 8th grade English teacher shaking her finger at me, saying, “see? Should have paid attention.” Oh, it's probably deeper than that - something about releasing expectations, shattering fantasies for a more realistic view. Sure, I could pick up some grammar books and actually read those Word of the Day emails I get so that I’m better prepared if there is a next time.

Or, I could just buy more Tarot gear. Yes, yes. Way more fun.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Unemployment Rules

Last night, I made a completely successful Lotusland Linguine from the Rebar cookbook . I know! Me! I was slightly nauseous all night but that was purely coincidental.

I’d like to give a shout out to Aleksi and Jeff. We three make up the writing club that meets the first weekend of every month at The Old Nick for organic brunch, two pots of coffee and lots of writing talk (they also have a new waitress, fresh from Nova Scotia. She hasn’t yet developed that Toronto crust). Because of this group, I’ve written more consistently this week than ever.

And yesterday I cleaned up the dog poop in the back yard (I don’t want to talk about it) and scrubbed the couch and sad looking, pet-demolished living room rug with environmentally friendly cleaner. I now have time to volunteer for an after-school 'Run and Read' program (not at the same time. That would be mayhem. They run, then read). So you see, it turns out I’m very good at this unemployment thing. I feel more consistently happy and stimulated than ever. There is a chance I may never go back to work.

Don’t tell Trevor.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Really Naked People

It took us three attempts. Three times we caught the #’s 72 and 25 busses and headed up to Don Mills.

On the first trip, we waited in line only to find out it was sold out for the day. Pissed off and cursing Toronto for being so full of people, we left.

On the second trip, the bus windows were so muddy that we couldn’t see and got off a stop too early. I didn't wear a toque so I froze my face. We arrived in time for another long line. Then:
“Dammit, look! It’s sold out again!”
“What should we do?”
“I don’t know. This fucking sucks. We should just give up. This isn’t meant to be.”
“Excuse me. Are you two looking for tickets?”
“Really? Sure! How much?”
“$20.”
“That’s a deal…. Wait - why aren’t you going?”
“We’re tired. We’re going home.”
“Uh, okay. Here’s $20.”
The guy disappears.
“Wait a second, these aren’t for the show! These are for a stupid Omnimax movie!”
“Goddamn you, Swindler!” But it was too late.

The third trip. We wised up and bought advanced tickets so we were guaranteed entry. Still we arrived 45 minutes early. We were second in line. We paid extra for the special audio devices and elbowed our way in. The place was packed to capacity. It was hard to see some of the exhibits. But after all that, we finally got to see people with their skins off .

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Watching '24'

WORKING: I don’t understand. If the missile is launched, how come they can’t tell where it’s headed?
TREV: Well, a shift in course of only a few degrees could change its path entirely. They know it’s heading east.
WORKING: Oh. Couldn’t they just set up a big net between two fighter jets and catch it?
TREV: Or why don’t they just get Superman to grab the missile and take it into space? Oh wait, a nuclear explosion in space would destroy the Phantom Zone, releasing Kryptonian criminals to wreak havoc on Earth.
WORKING: Hmmm.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

The Essence of Communication

Trev’s just drifting into sleep so I roll over, prop my head on my hand and ask, “whatcha thinking, Hon?”
He groans. With great effort, he rolls over and rechecks the alarm. It’s midnight. The alarm is set for 6 AM.
“Anything on your mind lately?” I ask.
“You mean like sleep?”
I take this as a cue to dive into a heavy ‘us’ topic. He has closed his eyes again but I’m sure he’s listening.
“…and that’s what I was thinking,” I conclude, “you?”
Trev blinks, “Huh?”
“What have you been thinking about it?”
“I think there are good things in our future.” It’s a generic, standby answer. He won’t get away with it.
“Do you love me?” I ask pathetically.
“Yes, I love you.” Pause. “Why are you staring at me?”
“Scanning for verification.”
“God. I hate when you do that,” he pulls the covers over his head, “It makes me nervous.”
“Do you love me the MOST?”
“A little less every time you do this, but, yes, you’re still in the lead. Good. Night.”
“Goodnight, love!” I return to my book.

7:30 AM, I enter the kitchen pulling on my housecoat. “You know, love,” I say as I fill the kettle with water, “you really gotta stop dragging me into the deep talks late at night.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” he says with sensitive eyes, “I just feel insecure sometimes.”
“Well,” I say, “I need my sleep. You know I have lots of stuff to do during the day. There are these dishes, for one thing.”
“I know, babe. I’m sorry.” Pause. “I took a massive dump this morning,” he says matter-of-factly.
I nod and set the kettle to boil. Charlie farts.
* * *
EDITED TO ADD:
Trev just told me that what he actually said was that CHARLIE took a massive dump this morning. He says my error proves some sort of point. Shrug.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

DOG FOR SALE

Available for immediate sale:

One nearly two-year-old female dog. 60+ lbs.. Short labrador coat, border collie colouring, beagle body, spaniel head and hound ears. Enjoys her ball, long, long runs, peeing on concrete and her ball.

Slight flatulence.* Otherwise perfect in every way.

Oh, comes with companion cat.

* 12:02 PM: “Charlie! That’s gross!”
1:38 AM “Jeezus, Charlie!”
2:00 AM “Oh for the love of God!”
2:15 AM “I can’t breathe. I can’t BREATHE!”
3:04 AM “Fuuuuuck! Get OFF the bed, Charlie.”
3:06 AM “I didn’t mean go on the floor by our heads. Oh! Shit! Charlieeeee!”
8:00 AM “’Mornign babe. Rough night, huh?
“Completely polluted.”
“What should we do?”
“We could try changing her food again. Get her tested for worms. Again.”
“Or…”
“Or…”
A look of understanding passes between them.
“I’ll log onto eBay.”
“Already done.”

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Post-Valentine's Rant

I actually stared at my birth control pills for two minutes thinking, it says Wednesday. It can’t be Wednesday. It’s only Tuesday. No it isn’t. Yes it is. Wait - what did I do Monday? Oh yeah, sat around watching Olympics. Riiiight - yesterday was ‘get off your ass Tuesday’. That’s why it smells a better around here. So it would follow that today must be Wednesday.

Thank god for birth control or I’d have no clue. And yet, doubt lingers – maybe I’m in this kind of dream where I’m being asked to swallow (ha!) questionable reality? Unemployment is like being on a very mild (and utterly pointless) hallucinogen.

Trev and I celebrated Valentines yesterday with a ½ lb of mixed olives (for me), a massive Reeses Peanut Butter heart (for him) and a bottle of fizzy water (shared). Oh, and sushi, which was also for me (Trev settles for ‘chicken don’).

We have trouble with Valentine’s day. We don't need the day - we're good in the fun and romance department. But every year the blasted day rolls around and we panic. Should we do something, go for dinner? Should there be roses? Should I do something for him? What the hell?!? It’s a forced day, drowned in several tons of food that’s bad for us. I think we’re going to have to come up with our own tradition around it. Something that takes the piss out of Valentine’s (a saying, not a technique).

Which brings me to ‘24’ (which is what we rented as part of our Valentine’s evening). We’re still catching up on Season 4 and I gotta say, it is a shit season so far. I mean, “Amnesty Global” as a threat to national safety? I'm tired of those themes, ‘vague middle eastern men threatening malls filled with American children’ and ‘the President is in DANGER’ and ‘oh my God, there’s a LEAK at CTU’. Oh gee, look, they’re calling out Richards and his syringes again. Jack Bauer, that lovable rogue, gets over a drug addiction in 24 hours – no, more like 4 hours – and never, ever misses a shot. And he never says the wrong thing to women or dying men because he's a HERO. Got a fuzzy shot of a vehicle half a mile away? Call in Awkwardly-Lovable-but-Super-Duper-Amazing Chloe - all she needs are 3 keys and 4 seconds to pull off a license plate, clear-as-day. 2 seconds later, the Database-of-Everything-in-the-World will tell you exactly what you need to know about who's driving that car. And what the hell is “chatter”? If these chatterers know so damn much, why not go after them?

It was a good show. I don’t understand why it’s become this caricature. Maybe that just happens to good shows after three seasons. Like how my third marshmallow-filled valentine chocolate wasn’t nearly as good as the first. I still ate it. For breakfast.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

BIG NEWS: The Return!

James is back! James is back! Quick, everyone to your browsers!

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Youth Misspent on a Tuesday

Do you ever get the feeling someone else is inhabiting your body? Take my current iPod playlist:

'Blitskrieg Bop' – The Ramones
'Smooth Operator' – Sade
'Free Bird' – Lynyrd Skynyrd
'Mama, I’m Coming Home – Ozzy Osbourne
'Abacab' – Genesis
'Clampdown' – The Clash

Last night I ate a Cadbury’s Cream Egg, a tube of Pringles and half a bottle of Ginger Ale. This morning, I seriously overslept and put on the same sweats I’ve been wearing for days. So what the hell is going on here? A second youth?

And if so, whose? Do you recognize it? Because I certainly don't. If it's yours, I’m so sorry I grabbed it by accident. Email me and I’ll send it back to you via Canada Post.

In other news, a jogger in the park was running in perfect time to Hayden’s 'Home By Saturday'.* Charlie, on the other hand, is a Stevie Nicks dog. She moves in perfect time to “Edge of Seventeen.”

*If you aren’t downloading CBC Radio 3’s Podcast, go do it now! I'll wait.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Tuma Lodge is On the Air

Matt and Trevor have published their podcast! This is what he gets up to when I leave town.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Welcome to Seattle

We hit a storm in between Anchorage and Seattle. That, or the pilot forgot how to fly. Whatever the case, my first move on solid ground was to park my ass in a bar and order a vodka on the rocks, double olives.
"Wanna make it a double for $2.50 more?"
"Hook me up."
I never drink hard alcohol except after flights like that one, and then only as a way to convince myself to get on the connecting flight. Trust me, it's better than this potential phone call:
WORKING: Hi babe. It's me. I'm sorry, I can't do it.
TREV: Can't do what?
WORKING: Get on the next flight. I'm done. The flights stop here. I now live in Seattle / Tacoma.
TREV: What are you talking about?
WORKING: I am never leaving solid ground ever again. Except maybe to change a lightbulb. But that's it.
TREV: Hon, you have to.
WORKING: No I don't.
TREV: Yes you do.
WORKING: No I don't.
silence.

Instead, I drink double-vodkas. And it works. Unless my friggin' flight is CANCELLED. Then I get a buzz just as I need to logically work my way onto the next available flight. And then intoxication kicks in when they try to explain how complicated it's going to be to get my bags out of customs in time to make the connection to Toronto. Oh, and then the hangover hits while I'm waiting at the gate. I'm left in a depressed, dehydrated funk just in time for boarding.

And I'm only half way there.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Superbowl Sunday in Alaska

If we work really hard this morning, we might get to watch some of the Super Bowl. With American beer, American chips, and American commercials. I mean, I gotta try it at least once.

Go Hawks! Or whatever.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Not As Dark As I Thought

Some memories from Day 1:

- A 39 year-old woman flying to Calgary to pick out a dress for her girlfriend’s wedding. She already missed her young daughters. As we parted ways at Calgary airport, she said, “Jesus wants me to tell you he is real.”
- On that same flight in the seat ahead of me was a man in his mid to late 20s taking digital photos of one blond flight attendant. He must have taken at least a dozen shots of her as she leaned over to hand people their drinks.
- Sitting at Calgary airport in a very crowded waiting area when over the loudspeaker came the blaring announcement, “would the person who forgot a black jacket and a big bag of chips please return to customs security.” Repeated 4 times. I wrapped the chips in the jacket and tried to look casual returning to the waiting area.
- My only real impression of Seattle, a seagull with orange legs standing on an airplane.
- My last flight of the day, a lucky last minute flight after ours was delayed, delayed, delayed again, then cancelled. Squished between two old guys. Someone farting. The guy to my right with no sense of personal space and really horrible, day old coffee breath expelled in loud, unsuppressed yawns.
- First impressions of Anchorage, intense, snow-crunching, jacket crackling, sinus clearing COLD. It’s been awhile.
- Completely exhausted, falling asleep with a bag of Old Dutch Popcorn Twists snagged in Calgary.
- The bright pink light of sunrise over the snowy mountains. Spruce boughs heavy with snow.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Going Dark

A vcry quick update as it’s already 8:56 pm and I still have to download the Northern Exposure soundtrack and watch Coronation Street….

- Dad is doing great. He felt a hundred times better just having the bones in his face put back in place.
- I leave for Anchorage, Alaska at 6 AM tomorrow. Well, the plane leaves at 8:15. I’ve got to get myself to the airport in time.
- What am I doing there? Actual work! Paid work!
- The travel memo says I gain 4 hours. Can that be right?
- I HATE flying. HATE, HATE, HATE flying. So of course it takes 4 separate flights to get there....

Wish me luck. I won't be updating for the next 7 days or so. I expect big things on your blogs in the meantime. Get to work!

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Wednesday's Who's-Who

TREV: my new iPod is making me paranoid
WORKING: Why?
TREV: I don't want anyone to steal it. I don't change the volume or the track when other people are around. It’s weird.
TREV: I just keep it in my pocket
WORKING: Hmm. That new toy paranoia will likely wear off, huh?
TREV: I think so
WORKING: Especially when the new iPod comes out next week.
WORKING: The one that brings you the news and makes you coffee.
TREV: haha
TREV: and wipes your bum-bum
WORKING: You're going to have a cardboard box full of used iPods.
WORKING: That sounds dirty.
TREV: but sort of hot. in a postmodern cyborg way
* * *
TREV: the lead singer from the Watchmen is here
WORKING: really?
WORKING: why?
TREV: he's composing music for one of our shows. He's going over a cut.
TREV: I guess that's what he does now
WORKING: I'm sorry to report there are no lead singers in our kitchen.
TREV: I know, I've been meaning to talk to the Landlord about that.
* * *
WORKING: Wow.
WORKING: Just called N-the-dog-walker.
TREV: and?
WORKING: She'll probably take Charlie on for next week while I’m gone. But she's having a rough time.
WORKING: She's been in Edmonton. Her brother was one of the soldiers hurt in Afghanistan. Crazy, huh?
TREV: no way
WORKING: So she's not feeling 100%.
WORKING: I mean, she just mentioned it lightly, as in, "I'll probably still take your dog on." She just wants to check her schedule.
WORKING: She's going to call a bit later. She was out walking a dog.

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