Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Some notes for shoppers:
Don't ask me to tell you what Twilight is about unless you are older than 45. However, if you are a 12 year old boy, don't get offended if I ask you if you're wasting my time.
And if you're waiting until the last minute to do your shopping, don't get offended when we're sold out of all the best sellers.
And...here's the big one...if I'm helping someone else, don't interupt me to ask a 'quick question'.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Also, that one of the Giller Prize nominees was a first novel, by a 26 year old woman (her mother came into the bookstore, very neat experience for me).
All of this to say, that if I want to be a writer, I have no excuse not to be one. I suddenly realized that it is a goal that is completely within my grasp. I could be a published, successful author by the time I'm 28 if I put the work in.
(28 is not a random number, it's actually been my mental goal for a while.)
(Coincidentally, the year I turn 28 is the year my mother will turn 50, and that is her magic number for being a published author too. I picked the number 28 before I realized this. Insert Twilight Zone music here.)
Now my goal is online. People can see it. People will know if I succeed or fail.
I'd better get to work.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I'm glad I went to church today. I'm glad I have friends like the one who went to church with me.
The message was one I needed to hear. I am plagued with fears - still, goddammit - and today the pastor spoke on the fear of insignificance, which is one of mine.
I have to choose one, or be ruled by the other.
Isn't growing fun? I know fun times are being had by all on this end of the keyboard.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
The return of bitch mom with her whiney little girl; the man who had a stroke who can write but can't speak clearly; the strange dynamic at work.
I know that if God wasn't a part of my life I would have a hole in my heart.
I wouldn't say he's a huge part of my life...I don't do the external stuff like read the Bible or pray a lot or go to Church (so according to everything I learned in Sunday School I should be shrinking or something)...but now I know that if I cut him out of my life I'd have a hole.
A surprisingly large and painful hole.
I'm not at peace. I wish I was. But instead of the active rage and dissatisfaction I now feel...silent surprise. That's not quite right. It isn't surprise so much as a discovery of something I didn't know was there, something I'm not sure I expected or wanted to find and now I have do something about what I've found.
Like apologize. Or repent. Or something equally unpleasant.
That's what I'm pondering on tonight. That and the unexpected well of pain and hurt and anger I have right next to that not-a-hole-today.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Might have just had the flu.
Might have had the dreaded and feared Swine Flu....(insert scary music here).
It's amazing to me people's reactions to hearing that someone had the flu. I was hanging out with some people a few days before I got sick (so while I was the most contagious, sorry guys), and we were all talking about the hysteria surrounding this H1N1 'epidemic' and how it was taking focus from everything else, and what the government was trying to sneak past us while we were all in a paralysis of fear. We were all scoffers at that table, none of us afraid of the flu or of getting it because quite frankly, it's the flu. It hits a bit harder but in most cases people are sick for a few days or a week and then they get over it. I've even heard that most of the cases of flu right now are H1N1 because that's the strain going around, and that most people who have it think they have the regular flu (but that may not be true, I can't remember my source and thus have no way of knowing how accurate this is - but it makes sense to me).
Within hours of our scoffing, when we were hanging out with a few other people who had not been privy to our conversation, I mentioned that S. had the flu and wow, everyone straightened and pulled away from me in minute amounts and asked if it was the Swine Flu - even the scoffers from earlier.
I don't get it. When I say I'm not afraid of getting the Swine Flu I mean it. I'll do all I can short of hermitting myself in my apartment to avoid getting it, but in the end it's kind of outside my realm of control so what's the point of getting all twisted up about it? If I end up in the hospital or if I am one of the small, miniscule percentage who die from it, well...I can't do anything about that. I will either stay healthy, get sick and get better, or get sick and die. That's life in community. That's life in general. You live, you die, you don't always get to choose how that happens.
But apparently some people scoff the fear to hide their fear from themselves and others.
I understand that.
I don't understand their fear in the first place but I understand their hypocritical scoffing.
Either way, I feel better today. Off to work I go. I've been more worried about experiencing some kind of negative reprocussions for calling in sick three days in a row than about ending up in hospital, but if there's one good thing about this fear-mongering, there was no pressure from my employer to go to work once the word flu left my mouth. Hopefully that means I'll still have a full-time job when I look at the schedules today.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Blair Witch Project.
Handing out candy dressed as a priest, with S. as my special nun friend and another friend dressed as a skier (basically because he wanted to wear his new ski boots).
We got 34 kids (well, 32 kids, one adult and one adult who may have been a crack head)! We were expecting 12. Maybe 15.
I'm glad we didn't run out of treats until after the crack head was gone. Although we didn't really have to worry. The treats were lined out as if they were a shrine, only missing the candles. It was great...over two dozen small bags of chips, over a dozen cans of Pepsi and 16 big chocolate bars, plus a couple dozen teeny chocolate bars. At the end we were down to 4 bags of chips, 2 cans of pop, 1 big bar and 4 little ones.
We were also told we had the best pumpkins in the city of Calgary which either means that everyone else carved lame ass pumpkins or ours were really awesome - one was an evil tree and the other a hissing cat, and then an evil clown face.
Job well done I think.
Yesterday we went to Scream Fest and I screamed multiple times. It was great! A guy with a chainsaw chasing people, a clown in a car who drove at you and stopped just before he hit you, air guns blasting air in your face, four amazing haunted houses and one that was all outside. Someone was dressed as the Joker and he was pretty scary too.
Tomorrow I start National Novel Writing Month for the second year in a row so I may not write here much as I frantically write a 50,000 word novel before December...but I'll try to throw a note up here every week at least.
Again, Happy Hallowe'en, until next year!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
My faith takes such a beating when I'm stressed about money.
I hate this feeling.
Is this what I've doomed my life to be? Does this have to go hand in hand with being an artist? Do I constantly have to be struggling on a financial level?
I hate how financial stress makes the rest of my life feel stressful too.
I really wish our society wasn't money based - but things are too big for us to change that.
When the zombie attack happens money won't matter anymore. Until then I'll scrape along somehow.
And keep a supply of weapons and food in my apartment. You know. Just being prepared.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Just two people and me.
New manager. New assistant manager. New co-workers.
One of whom swears on the sales floor.
One of whom stands at the tills and doodles.
One of whom looks up LOL Cats at the front till computer.
Is it a real surprise that work is either crazy hectic or boring as hell?
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I can hardly wait.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
2 pairs of socks.
A long sleeved shirt.
A skirt in the style of the 1870's.
A bodice in the same style.
A bustle fluff thing.
1 knitted shawl.
2 capes, one long and thin and one short and wool.
1 1870's hat.
1 pair long gloves.
1 umbrella - I didn't exactly wear it but I had it on my person all day so it almost counts.
And I was still cold. So I added a little bag with a pocket rock in it. Pocket rocks are rocks that you heat up on a woodstove until they're too hot to touch and you have to hold them in little quilted bags. They warm your hands and are the best invention in the world.
Today I have the day off and I have finally warmed up. There is no way I could live here all year round. No way at all.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
we bicker and squabble and pull and twist
of ourselves and each other
isn't what love is about
i can't let go
not without a fight
but i don't want control
i'm just afraid
afraid of what will happen when i let go
it's all new.
we let go
those moments sustain
keep me hoping
knowing that the struggle for freedom
is worth it
in the end.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Oh, and a lot of them are half-naked. Not pretty half-naked either.
And they play bongo drums late at night outside our window. And sing weird hippy songs all over the place. And there are going to be loud metal concerts at midnight (and later) at the Community Hall next to our house.
Remind me never to live next to a Community Hall ever, ever again.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
My dog Emma died yesterday after a few days of violent illness. We think it was poison. She was 10.
I got her when she was a puppy. My brother’s dog had babies unexpectedly – how we never once noticed she was pregnant, ever, until two days before she gave birth was something I’ll never understand but it happened every time. I really liked the little blonde one with the retriever’s nose but I didn’t expect to be allowed to keep her. It was always my dad and my brother who got to keep pups against all logic. Dogs and cats weren’t something I got to keep when it didn’t make sense.
When my parents told me I could keep her, if I wanted, I was shocked and deeply moved. That they had even noticed how much I liked her meant a lot to me. More than I could really express. That my dad was willing to give up the puppy he liked so that I could keep mine touched me too. I gave it a few days of serious thought because having a dog is a big decision, and then I said that if the offer still stood I would like to keep her, thanks.
I took a few days to name her too. The name came from a Jane Austen book that I had actually not read. The tag line – a beautiful meddler – was what inspired me to name her Emma. She was beautiful. Somehow the vagaries of Golden Lab, Chow, Terrier and Poodle had combined to create a 30lb white blonde retriever. Right from the beginning she was my dog. She looked to me first for everything. She didn’t like children because she’d been briefly tormented by a visiting child and she had a good memory. She was extremely protective of anything she deemed to be our property, to the point of biting our landlord’s brother in the butt when he came to borrow some tools. When she killed a chicken at the age of six months, she took the scolding with a confused expression – but she remembered it (until she was about a year old and killed another one…but that’s an impressive memory for a puppy, and she never killed another one after that). When she realized I didn’t like something she did her best to fight instinct and obey my inscrutable whims. I could put an egg on the ground in front of her and she’d do everything in her power to not even look at it, though I could see the hunger for it in her face.
She went nuts when I first put a collar and leash on her. She was so frightened, being restrained. But when she got used to it and realized that the leash meant quality time with me, she’d go nuts for a different reason. I had to walk her at heel for at least ten minutes before I could get her to listen to any other commands. But once she learned to stay I could make her lay on the lawn while I herded sheep or dealt with other animals that were spooked by the presence of an overly helpful dog.
When I went away to school she moped around and stopped eating for a while. I think she thought I had died, because eventually she moved from sleeping below my bedroom window to sleeping outside my parents’. They didn’t appreciate being woken up by her barking in the night but it meant she was eating again so I didn’t mind. When I came home for Christmas she treated me with disdain for a day before deciding I had been punished enough and whole-heartedly welcoming me back into her life. After a few trips away and back home she had figured out the routine and no longer withdrew, although she no longer greeted me with the same enthusiasm either. I wasn’t the reliable pack leader I had once been. I think instead of transferring that role to another human she took it on herself, bossing the other dogs around with aggression and the attitude of a much larger dog. Even though her pack mate Phoebe was at least twice her size it didn’t seem to phase either of them that Emma was the leader. It was the accepted order of their world.
It doesn’t surprise me that Emma was the one to die. When she and Phoebe were out wandering the fields and forests, if they had come across some piece of rotten or poisoned meat, Emma would have never allowed Phoebe, or the pugs, to eat any of it. Instead she would have claimed it all for herself. She protected the other dogs lives with her firm belief that as leader, she should have all the best things in life. It was an accidental act of nobility which caused her death.
I just wish that I could have been there to take care of her as she died. She suffered a lot as she went, more than any animal deserves. If there is an afterlife for our pets I hope she’s got a good one – a place in rabbit hell would be perfect for her, as that was the only animal on our farm that I never succeeded in training her to not chase. And maybe someday I’ll get one last chance to let her know that she was, indeed, a good dog.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I think I actually have some buttons from my Uncle John’s death. I had no idea that his death had affected me in any way. I feel that I didn’t really know him, that it was the death of a stranger to me that nevertheless ripped my father apart. Most of my pain from that death arose from the pain I saw my father, my grandmother, my cousins experiencing. But I have buttons, buttons about respecting the privacy of the family to mourn. Buttons about giving people space. Respecting the process, the death, the loss and the grief for even just one fucking day before that gossip mill starts up again, just one fucking day, people, that’s all I ask.
This revelation was triggered by the death of one of the people in Barkerville. One of the
And the insincere comments of grief. Okay, I know some people were upset, some were really upset; but funnily enough they weren’t stopping to talk to anyone who wanted to talk about what had happened. They stuck to themselves and stayed out of sight for most of the day. But the ones who were whispering on the street – “She was so nice. I’m going to really miss her. I didn’t even know they were married.” This, verbatim, from a lady who has been working here for years. Years. I’ve been here two months and I didn’t know the deceased. I’d met her twice. She served me in the restaurant once, and sold me a fan from the shop. Yet I knew who her husband was. I wanted to ask, “Just how much are you going to miss this woman whom you obviously never got to know, who you just saw when you ate at the Duck when she took your order with a happy smile and a polite greeting, how much can you miss her? You knew nothing about her life. You don’t care, you just want to gossip about her death and her family, you stupid bitch.” But I didn’t. I walked away instead and avoided all the gaggles on the street for the rest of the day.
Maybe I’m too cynical.
But when I overheard a shop keep telling the story (a gossip version, so full of inaccuracies no less) to tourists – plain ordinary tourists who don’t care, who don’t give a shit about the family or who died, they’re just callous voyeurs in someone else’s pain – I got infuriated. Again, I wanted to shake them and scream in their fat ugly face, “How dare you? How dare you say, ‘It’s a big family here in Barkerville, when someone dies we all feel the pain’ when you aren’t even doing the bare minimum to respect the family, the actual family who are in actual pain, you don’t even respect their right to grieve privately without a bunch of curious eyes on them, eyes from people they don’t even know?” Again I held my tongue and kept walking, walking away from the idiots who I think would change their tune if it was their mother/daughter/sister/wife who had died. But maybe not.
This isn’t Michael Jackson, who the world felt they had a right to (whether they did or not); this is an everyday woman who I would bet most of the people in town didn’t know anything about, didn’t spend a moment’s thought on when she wasn’t serving them in the restaurant or the shop.
They didn’t even wait for the corpse to cool. Gossip flies in this town, to the point where the lady who runs the Wells General Store came into Barkerville to share the latest news as soon as she got it. She couldn’t even wait for people to get off work and come into the store, in case they heard it somewhere else first; no, she had to come into our working place, interrupt our work day to tell us all the newest gossip. Not professional. Not polite. Not respectful, but it makes her feel important and she doesn’t care about the people at whose expense she feels big. She just knows something we don’t know, and can’t wait to share it with us. I walked away before she could talk to me. I have another two months here. I don’t want to say something I’ll regret.
I don’t know the woman or her family. I am not in pain or upset or grieving but out of respect for those who are I feel it’s wrong to comment on her death and guess at what happened. It’s just rude to speculate on the guilt those who were involved must feel. But all day that’s what I heard and it made me furious, absolutely furious, to the point where S. had to tell me to stop ranting and just accept that small towns are vicious with their gossip.
The thing is, I’ve lived in small towns before. I grew up in a small town community and spent the last four years of my life in Rosebud which is almost as small as they get. The gossip mill was (and is) alive and well in Rosebud too. But it felt different. I thought about it for a while and I think it’s because in Rosebud the people you are gossiping about are usually your classmates, roommates, cast mates or friends. Or all of the above. Rarely in Rosebud is there someone who is only involved in one of your spheres of existence. There’s a more personal connection to everyone you’re likely to hear gossip about. I won’t deny that I’ve heard some downright nasty and cruel rumours in Rosebud. No town is immune to that kind of thing, unfortunately. But to gossip about death? Not something the town would do with such rabid ferocity. It wouldn’t have been treated like a piece of entertainment, a piece of news to liven up the day. Not like here in Barkerville. I’d like to think that in Rosebud we would instead get together and comfort each other and the bereaved; pray; go on with our lives without telling the patrons of the theatre about the death in all it’s details instead of speculating on things until four different stories of the event were circulating throughout town.
I think the difference there though is that in Rosebud people have a vested interest in each other. There the lives of the people around you touch you in some way and when you actually know the person who is suffering, you are less likely to just stand around and whisper about their loss; their loss is in a way your loss too. You at the very least feel echoes of their pain. Here in Wells and Barkerville people don’t live together. They work together. Whatever the shop keeps might say, there is a difference. Working together doesn’t make you family. If I had any doubts, the rumour mongering this weekend proved it to me. Family doesn’t gossip about the death of one of it’s own. Family doesn’t spill the news to strangers just for the thrill, or to feel important. Family bands together and weathers the emotional storm. Family holds each other up instead of ripping each other down for every last nugget of information.
When my uncle died there was a bit of both, I guess. He died in unusual circumstances which meant that strangers thought they had a right to know what had happened – in reality they couldn’t control their curiosity and for some reason that was our problem to solve in the midst of grief. It didn’t help that some of those strangers were from the press. One reporter phoned every person with our last name in the phonebook, asking the same questions which (I believe) we all declined to answer. They didn’t give up but they ended up getting their information from some satellite ‘family’ member who didn’t know what was going on…and it got printed in the paper, gossip presented as journalism.
On the other side of the coin were the people coming in quietly with support, food, hands to hold and shoulders to cry into, stories to make us remember my uncle and stories to make us laugh. Those people were the true friends, the family, the ones who maybe didn’t claim to share our pain but who respected it and let us know they were there for us. All without agenda. They didn’t come grieve with us so they could feel important or whisper about the circumstances of our grief with their curious neighbours. They came because they actually gave a damn about us, about our loss and about my uncle.
When people feel the need to share intimate details of loss with voyeurs to make themselves look and feel important, they aren’t family and never have been. The sad thing is that some of them can’t see the wrong in what they’ve done. People like that get no respect from me but bigger than that I think they’ve lost sight of something precious, something compassionate that makes us humans noble.
This whole event has done nothing to make me less jaded about human nature, that’s for sure.
Right now I feel that even if the rest of this place…it’s remote natural beauty…the easy job…the general friendliness of the people…even if it all begged for me to come back this one incident is enough to make me turn my back on this town forever and never come here to work again.
That might change as time goes on. We’ll see. But right now I think I’ll leave and not be sad to go.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
There's people around all the time and I can't be sure that no-one is reading over my shoulder.
That's one of the things I really miss about being home. That and having a house all to ourselves, with only our dirty dishes on the counter.
And the heat.
It's so cold here, even though it's a sunny day. I've been told July gets warmer. It had better be true.
But life is good. Even if I'm cold. And the job is good as well. So I'll stop complaining now.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
I do appreciate the bitter irony of the car situation.
The actual trip to BC was made without incident. We drove through the mountains with snow and rain and sun each taking their turn. We didn’t see any animals much to my disappointment. I did see birds – a Great Blue Heron, a few hawks and some ducks of various breeds – but no animals that run on all fours. Unless you count squirrels, in which case I saw one.
The hotel we stayed in was small and much, much dirtier than the images on their website led me to believe. I walked in and said, “I have a reservation.” The woman at the desk said, “You have a reservation? Here?” She sounded so surprised. I knew right then that things were going to be a bit squibby. When she looked down at her papers and called me by name, it clinched it. Obviously the place is not a well-used hotel, as the three vehicles in the parking lot implied. (One of them was ours.) We watched some television and went to bed.
The rest of the trip was also without incident. We ate breakfast in a place that had no fruit on the menu which normally I wouldn’t have noticed but I really wanted French toast with fruit that morning (damn); we commented on the remote farmhouses and ranches and wondered who in their right mind wanted to live out there all year round? Or at all? We kept a sharp eye out for the turn Google Maps had told us about – but when we got to Prince George we realized that the road didn’t exist. (I have since learned that Google Maps was directing us to a road built in the 1860’s which is no longer in use if it even still exists.) In Prince George the highway was being used as a parking lot and we had to drive carefully to avoid hitting mirrors. I have no idea what was going on but apparently it was a big deal, as everyone in town was there. With their dog and their dog’s car.
We explored Quesnel briefly and then went to Wells. The road was long and curvy but we made it there in one piece and found the house we are staying in – the yellow house next to the even yellower community centre. It was indeed easy to spot, as we had been told it would be. We met our roommate, Tim, who is a nice guy and reminded both S. and I of someone we know. It took us almost the entire evening to figure out who – the art teacher from our Certificate year! I don’t think he sleeps much, as we’re always in bed before him and he’s always up before us. When we wake up at night he’s either not home or he’s up eating or drinking coffee. I don’t understand it but that’s just because I like to sleep 10 hours or more a night.
The snow here. Wow. The snow! When we got here it was piled up against buildings, laying in thick white blankets on the baseball diamond – six to ten feet near the house and probably four out in the open. I wish I’d taken pictures as now, after a week or so of sun and (mostly) rain it has shrunk considerably. (Near some buildings it was piled up to the eaves!) It was cold our first few days of work.
We got costumes after a few days, which actually made it warmer. A corset holds in a considerable amount of heat and the dresses hide all the civvies I care to wear underneath them. On the coldest day I was wearing two pairs of socks, long johns, jeans, two shirts, a corset (as well as the necessary modern underwear), a heavy petticoat, my green dress, a scarf, gloves, a wig (to keep my ears warm), a hat, rubber boots and a thick woollen cape.
It was warmer today so I wore my blue dress. I like it quite a bit. It has a lace collar and cuffs and a lacy bustle as well. Those women in the 1870’s sure liked their bustles. Not to sound vain, but I look good in period costumes. A part of me wants to wear those kinds of clothes all the time, except for how sore my back and shoulders get. They’re heavy and really, I couldn’t wear a corset all the time. I like being able to tie my shoes and lean back on chairs and snuggle up on a sofa with a book, all rendered impossible with a properly fitted corset.
However, I was not the only person who thought I looked fine, much to my dismay. Today I collected a follower of the male persuasion, much to the amusement of all my co-workers. I can’t remember his name but apparently he latches on to a different pretty girl each summer and I’m the unhappy target this year. The fact that I have a boyfriend isn’t likely to deter him – one year his object of affection was clearly and obviously married. My boss has had to talk to him before about bothering actors who are working, so if I can’t shake him on my own at least someone will deal with him for me. Actually, my boss gave me and S. permission to kiss – full on French – in front of this guy; this while we are portraying an era where men and women didn’t even touch in public.
Hopefully I won’t need to resort to that.
I’ll try to keep this blog up to date through-out the summer. It’s a bit hard – I have to bring my laptop to the local general store to access the internet and after work it’s the last thing I feel like doing. However, like I said, I’ll do my best.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
I have a super-power - the invincible migraine! My last prescription migraine pill, Advil by the (over)dose, Aspirin (even though I'm not supposed to take it), Robaxacet, to relax my tense muscles...all it does is make me sleep really well and wake up to -
Oh well. It'll go away eventually.
(Just for the record, I didn't take all those drugs at once. That's, like, two days worth of headache fighting.)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
It was so nice to see her again. I went from living at my parents to seeing them every four months to now, where I see them every...eight months? Every year? It can be a long time in between visits now that my schedule is no longer ruled by the school semester but by work and all too infrequent holidays. If we lived closer geographically it would be different but alas, this is how life goes sometimes.
I think of my mom, moving away from her family and going years without seeing them. I don't think I could go years. Of course my family will come see me sometimes too so the onus isn't all on me to do the travelling like it was on her. That helps a lot.
The next time I see my family might be this summer. I'm going to Barkerville BC to work for five months. It's a place my family likes to visit so they'll kill two birds with one stone and I'll get to see them again. Except for my youngest brother, who is now beginning to experience the constraint of a working schedule too.
But there's always Christmas. I hope.
Friday, April 24, 2009
I had an audition with ATP...I still work at the bookstore...oh, the french guy who gave me his number and then asked me out on a date who I then turned down but then stupidly decided might be friend material is 'still hoping' as my co-worker put it, and worse, still showing up at work to chat aka flirt when I've done everything I can think of (other than freezing him out) to show him I'm not interested...I'm preparing to go to Barkerville BC for the summer...S. opened a show tonight in another city and I really hope it went well...I'm preparing for another audition next week...my mom is coming to visit me tomorrow!
My life in one long paragraph with lots of elipses. I love elipses.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
A married couple was in a car when the wife turned to her husband and asked, "Would you like to stop for a coffee?"
"No, thanks," he answered truthfully. So they didn't stop.
The wife, who had indeed wanted to stop, became annoyed because she felt her preference had not been considered. The husband, seeing his wife was angry, became frustrated. Why didn't she just say what she wanted?
Unfortunately, he failed to see that his wife was asking the question not to get an instant decision, but to begin a negotiation. And the wife didn't realize that when her husband said no, he was just expressing his preference, not making a ruling. When a man and woman interpret the same interchange in such conflicting ways, it's no wonder they can find themselves leveling angry charges of selfishness and obstinacy at each other.
When I read this, I laughed out loud because it was almost verbatim a conversation S. and I had about a year ago. We figured it out within the half-hour - but it's nice to know we aren't alone in our misunderstandings!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
It's so hot in the apartment. I can't handle it. I turned down the heat to 15 and it's still hot in here. Damn heat malfunction. I want to stand out on the balcony in my pajamas but I'm not sure what the bylaws are on that sort of thing. I'll settle for opening my bedroom window and letting the cold air soothe my overheated brain.
Apparently St. John New Brunswick is the happiest place in Canada. The people have various reasons. One guy said it was because people were friendly. One 17 year old said there was nothing to do. He wanted to go to Calgary, but couldn't leave his girlfriend. "She's having my kid," he said. Is he scared? No. He's so happy about it, about giving that kid the life he never had. Weird, but he sounded happy anyway, even if he was bored with St. John.
One old guy said the key to a long, happy life was sex and lots of it. Maybe that's why the 17 year old was so happy sounding.
Yesterday they talked about a study on cheating, and how when they asked people to recount the 10 commandments and then gave them chances to cheat or steal, they didn't. Even if they couldn't remember any of the commandments. And that when you are one step away from actual money, you are more likely to steal. What would you take from work? A pencil, or 10 cents from the till? The pencil! And when they made people aware of the monetary value of objects in the office, theft went down. And that giving people huge bonuses makes them less efficient at their work because they spend time being stressed out at the thought of losing the bonus instead of spending time thinking about how to do their job. It was fascinating but I can't remember the name of the study author now.
My computer is literally falling apart - the tiny screws in the bottom are falling out. I wonder why. And why is it hot to the touch? Does that have anything to do with the fact that the battery is unrecognizable to the system? Should I take the battery out? I have no idea. What I don't know about computers could fill a warehouse. Although they are making a quantum computer that can hold way more information than the computers we have now. I do know that, thanks to Quirks and Quarks.
I feel high. Drugs kicking in but I'm still unable to function at a normal level.
I have no more random thoughts. I think I'm going to go back to sleep until my brain is normal again - well, that could take eternity. Until it's back to my normal, at least.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
What am I supposed to do? I'm already busy. Legitimately helping someone, doing my job - I wish I could point out how rude they're being but I can't. Although today I came really close. Some guy, who had already interrupted me once - when I was mid sentence, I kid you not - then proceded to yell at me from across the store, asking "Is there anyone who will help me with this?" He was very impatient. And rude. And I was the only one he could see, and we were all busy with other people.
So I said, as he turned away, "Can you not see I'm busy with someone?" and felt bad instantly only because my customer was so nice and I hated to expose my frustration in front of her. Oh well. Guess what, I'm human too, customer. And idiots annoy me.
At least there were no Children of the Exorcism today.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Later a man barged into the 'staff only' area, made a beeline for our bathroom and started using it without shutting the door first. How did he even know there was a bathroom back there? It's not advertised and we don't tell customers about it, much less let them use it. We quickly realized he wasn't quite all there, so at least he wasn't a creep who wanted to expose himself to the Coles girls. But still. It was...surreal. And then he left the store without saying a word.
Just to round things out, the fire alarm in the mall went off twice. It's loud. We have an alarm in our ceiling and it flashes a blue light as it beeps. Beeps is too kind a word. As it shrieks on par with Devil Girl it blinks a calm blue light. If that's for deaf people they get the better end of the deal. Except if I were deaf, I wouldn't realize that meant fire. It's too calm and blue.
That's been my day. The things I would tell S. about if he were here. Sigh.
Monday, March 23, 2009
"If this computer says we don't have it, the other computer won't give us a different answer!"
"Why are you here?"
"Why didn't you follow me - do you think the book will just hover over to you?"
"How am I supposed to find a book based on, 'it's got a silver cover'?"
"Are you buying this book or not? And if so, will you please come back to the till, you moron?"
"Did you not hear what I just asked you?"
(That last one I think almost every day with more and more irritation. Why? Because I am developing a new pet peeve. I'll ask a customer, "Can I help you?" and they'll say, "Yes, I'm fine," and walk away as fast as they can. Did they not hear what I asked? Do they think I'll pressure them into buying Twilight? God Almighty, it makes me want to punch them in the face. It's not like they don't speak English. The ones that don't speak English usually just smile and nod, or say, "Browsing!" like it's a magic word that will protect them from pushy sales clerks. But I don't get a commission from selling books. All it does is give me something to do.)
On a side note, today I actually chased a woman away from the store. All it took was a "Are you finding everything okay?" and she nodded and barely had time to say, "I'm fine thank you" before she was out the door and gone.
I don't understand.
Maybe on my last day I'll say what I'm thinking - but I say that about every job and I never do it. Too polite and professional I guess. Too used to repressing my real thoughts and showing a happy smiling face to a world that doesn't bother to look beneath the surface.
I'm not sure why my thoughts are so dark. I started out the day happily enough. I had way more happy customers than unhappy ones. I had a fairly uneventful benign day at work. And yet I'm just frustrated and fed up with not living the life I want. Not paying my bills with my writing. Not getting paid to tell stories in one form or another.
I enjoy working with books all day.
But I really don't want to do this forever, and every job I get that isn't what I want for my life wears on me quicker and quicker.
Maybe that was the one thought I should have repressed today - just for the sake of my short term happiness.
And maybe it's the one thought I should be most aware of.
Monday, March 16, 2009
I want to look that content while I go my way through the world.
Today I was met by my boss without a smile, not even in her voice. I think now that she must have had a stressed morning but this morning I took it personally and the first hour or two of my day were terrible. I wanted to quit. I wanted to throw books at stupid people. I wanted to gouge the eyes out of wailing children. And then I realized that my boss has always greeted me with a smile and a friendly word and that there was nothing I could have done in the first thirty seconds of my day to make her upset, so it must be from a cause outside myself. I am very egocentric. I must be two years old. That must be why I look so young. ;) Although if I keep taking everything personally it will age me before my time.
I was told by an older man that I was wise beyond my years. He doesn't know me, so he doesn't know all my faults - that I have the ego of a toddler. We talked about the school system and the lack of balance therein. He teaches shop, and the troubled kids 'get better' in his class because instead of trying to build with letters and numbers and failing, they build with their hands and succeed. The school wants him to take his counselling degree but he doesn't want to because he cannot counsel out of the context of his class. Or he doesn't think so. He was so easy to talk to. He said not many people believed in the need for balance. That's why he thinks I'm so wise. Because I know that balance is a need, even if I can't acheive it myself. He asked how I got so wise and I said I'd just always been a thinker. He said him too. He'd always stood on the edge and watched others, and half-wanted to get involved but holding back because most of the stuff others were doing looked so damn stupid. I added the damn. It's the first time I've met someone who put in words what I've lived my whole life. It was exhilerating and sad. I don't know why it was sad. Perhaps because I know that there is a cost to being the watcher and I'm not sure I want to pay it, even if I don't know any other way to be.
He seemed happy. He said if I ever had time and saw him around the mall, we should go for coffee.
It made me wonder why the only guys who ask me out for coffee are either older than me by decades, or younger than me and socially awkward. Even though he didn't ask me out on a date. It didn't feel like that, anyway. More like he enjoyed our conversation as much as I did and would like to chat with me again sometime. That I wouldn't mind.
Now I'm down because I'm an observer. Like Britney says, there are two types of people in this world. The ones that entertain, and the ones who observe.
Who would have thought wisdom could come from pop stars. But if it can come from the mouths of babes, perhaps it can come from anywhere.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Our upstairs neighbour is not a quiet man. He's either blowing his nose or he has a baby elephant up there. (Maybe that's what happened to the baby elephant at the zoo.) He gets up and stomps around at 5 in the morning on a regular basis. (I've even been woken up by a string of swear words, cause unknown. Not the best way to face the world in the early morn.) He spends his weekends listening to truly terrible music late into the night, as though unaware that there are other people who have to work on weekends (every weekend, thanks boss...) and need to get to sleep at a reasonable hour - not one in the morning. And he cheers for the Flames. Which is bad enough on its own. And he cheers loudly. With a lot of swear words.
The guy downstairs is either dying of lung cancer...or he's just got a really terrible cough.
I wonder if they secretly want to stomp on the floor to shut us up, but I really doubt it. We're pretty quiet people, S. and I.
I think good walls make good neighbours.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This morning, although I don't remember what happened on the news (except for a school shooting in Germany), I did lay in bed and listen to half an hour of Q. They were going to interview some Monty Python people but couldn't get ahold of them, so instead they aired an interview they had already done with David Sedaris.
Working in a book store (which I may not be for much longer but that's another story) I see books and authors all around me every day that I was previously unaware of. David Sedaris is one of those authors. He's in the humour section. Guys are the ones who pick up his books so I had relegated him to a pile in my mind labled, not interesting.
What a mistake that was. The interview was fascinating. He's a morbid guy. Morbid and funny and all he does is observe the world around him. And when he writes about his friends and family, which he does a lot, he always clears it by them first. Gets them to read it and tell him if there's anything they want him to change. Why? Because he values his relationships over his writing. What he's going to share with the world, he clears with the ones he loves first.
That level of respect impressed me greatly.
I don't think I've done a very good job of doing that. So now I'm going to start.
It doesn't cramp my creativity. I write what I want and no-one stops me. But if I'm going to share that writing with the world? There is a fall out from that, and it had better be one that I, and those who are important to me, can live with.
Thank you, David Sedaris. You will probably never read this (unless you have that Google thing that lets you know anytime someone writes your name online) but thank you anyway.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I have a pretty good record so far. Hurrah for the retail world. Just doing my part to stimulate…the economy.
And yesterday I got a phone number out of the deal.
Too bad I’m a) not single and b) 15 years younger than him.
At least he was good looking. He was from Montreal and has a steady job as a flight attendant for West Jet. When I said I’d thought about trying to get hired on there he said he could get me a job.
That was why he gave me his number…or at least the pretence.
I’m not sure whether I can follow up because I don’t know for sure that he had no ulterior motives. He was flirting pretty heavy by the time he gave me his number. At least, most guys don’t say they’re good marriage material in regular conversation.
Oh well. It’s not like I can work for West Jet right now anyways. I’m going to BC for the summer to work as a street performer. Maybe when I come back. If I have no acting work.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
I think I might be laughing along with now. Sheepishly, but laughing.
As Hope mentioned in her comment - free will and choice, not either/or. It's true. It's annoying sometimes but it's true.
And maybe that's what sparks the laughter. Realizing that I'm basically throwning a tantrum. I'm 25 now - I thought tantrums were supposed to be in my distant past?
Apparently not. So I'll go from banging my heels and screeching to ROTFL instead.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
If I am honest with myself I know that the steady path also bores me. The thought of spending my life that way fills me with a greater fear - that I will die unfulfilled because I chose to. Because I chose the easy, safe path.
I hate having to make choices where there is no right answer. Why can't God actually give me direction instead of free will and the ability to choose what I will do?
He drives me nuts.
I'm not sure I'd have it any other way. Difficult human that I am, I would rebel against any path set in front of me unless I set it there myself.
Back to square one, and somewhere, God is laughing at me. I know it.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
At least I know my love is stranded in a hotel while the storm rages outside.
Even if he isn't in the city he was supposed to be in right now.
But I'll take stranded far from home over never coming home any day.
Friday, February 13, 2009
It's been a good day. It's been a lot of fun. Wonderful. Kind of beyond descriptors.
I convinced a homeschooling mother to read Twilight so her 12 year old has a chance to read it too. She then offered me a job. She had me write my name and number in the back of the book she hadn't yet purchased so she could give me a call and set up a meeting. I'm intrigued; that's why I actually wrote down my info.
I watched my boss get flowers from her significant other. It was sweet, and cute, and so endearing. Especially since I didn't know she had anyone, and she seemed so blushingly shy and thrilled about it all.
I saw a little girl in a plaid pleated skirt, with really cute boots and a tam o'shanter on. I suddenly wanted a little girl that I could dress up in cute outfits. I've never felt a maternal urge before. It's strong. Later I saw a little girl with such red hair, and it happened again. Hmm.
I saw an old man flirt with my manager and he was so smooth and wonderful at it, younger men should take lessons. Although I think it maybe takes a lifetime to learn. He also had a French-Canadian accent, and was talking about a large house, with an ocean front, and a huge library - things that appeal to women who work in bookstores.
I heard a brogue today that made me want to melt.
I slept in and still made it to work on time. It makes me wonder what I do for 45 minutes every morning - I could be sleeping.
I got to see my love again after almost four days apart. He walked in the door and my heart leapt.
I made chocolate chip cookies and ate the dough.
I told S. of my inexplicable maternal urges and he didn't respond. He was busy figuring out tax stuff - I've figured out when to spring things on him from now on.
I had a smoothie from Jugo Juice. It was good.
Ahh. If I had any worries about Fridays mixing with 13's, they ought to be gone by now.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
It's fitting that I miss my family today, I suppose. Today, 27 years ago, my parents got married in the living room of the local Justice of the Peace. Rumour has it they had a fit of the giggles; that my mother took my father as her awfully wedded husband; that they forgot they needed more than one witness and had to get the daughter of the JP to sign the papers for them. Not what most would call an auspicious start to a marriage.
But hey. They must have done something right. 27 years of marriage is not a common achievement anymore. Probably because it takes a hell of a lot of work. Work that my parents have not always done with the gusto and enthusiasm that they have for it today. There were times when I was small that I was so afraid they'd get divorced and I'd never see my dad again. Or worse, I'd have to choose one of them to live with, and how does any child make that decision? It weighed on my young mind.
I am so grateful to them that I never had to make that choice. That they did do the work, and they did stick it out, and that they are still together today. And happy. They are happy, and that is something too because not all couples who have made 27 years are happy about it. Not every long-lasting marriage is as healthy as my parent's. Not every long-lasting marriage has two partners in it.
That's what my parents are. They are partners, and it makes my eyes tear up - why? Pride? Love? Joy? Probably a bit of all of those. Relief too. It is such a relief to see that in two people. I take a lot of hope from seeing my parents in their lives and their relationship. Nothing, or nearly nothing, is insurmountable in love if you are committed to making it work.
I see them together, knowing each other. My dad looks for something and without asking what he's looking for my mom will tell him where to find it. And she's right, and she just knew what he was after, without being told. I see my dad, loving my mom, and the joy and playfulness that is there makes the world an alright place to be.
It makes me have hope for myself. As a person. As a lover. As someone in a relationship. Possibly as a parent someday.
It gives me hope for the world.
So today - raise a glass with me to my parents, to their 27 years of growing together. May your joys increase. Your love always fill you up past overflowing. And may you share at least another 27 years together. I love you very much.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Note 2, at home: I have bruised my temple from pressing it so hard when I had a migraine. I had no comprehension of my own strength. And wow, my head must have hurt to not notice that I was pushing my skull in that hard.
Note 3, at work: I don't have time to listen to a lecture on evolution. I'm here to help you find books, not listen to you pontificate on books you already own. Unless I've read them, liked them, and we have a conversation about them. Then I'll spare the time.
Note 4, at work: Some really strange people come in here. Some really strange people read books.
Note 5: Are children getting more spoiled? Or am I turning into an old lady - "Back when I was a kid..."
That's pretty much all I have right now. But I wanted to share it anyway.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
1. Now. I am learning to love now, anyway. I have spent so much of my life in the past or the future. Yoga is helping me to appreciate that all I have, the only real thing in my life, is the now.
2. ‘Nog. I didn’t used to like egg-nog, but I have been introduced to it, with milk and a bit of Baileys, and it’s quite good. There are those who think I’m a wiener for not drinking it straight. I’m sorry. It reminds me too much of the first milk from a ewe, all thick and sweet like sugary glue. And if you’re wondering how I know what that looks like, I’ve had to milk a ewe when her lamb wouldn’t nurse. And yes, I tasted it. People use to drink sheep milk, and I wanted to know if it was sweet like the books said. It is. Like egg-nog. So now I dilute my ‘nog, and all is well with the world.
3. Nails (as in fingernails). When they’re pretty and not breaking, that is. I had my first ever manicure last year and it was so nice. I just use my hands so much that it isn’t easy to maintain a well-groomed hand. Every time I see someone with beautiful hands I wish mine were like that too. Kind of.
4. News. I like to listen to the news on CBC Radio when I wake up. Yes, it’s depressing sometimes, but it makes me feel like I’m aware of and connected to the world around me. I started this habit when I was in Rosebud, where if you don’t make an effort to be aware, the world just passes you by and suddenly there’s a new prime minister and you didn’t even know there was an election. Okay, it’s not that bad…but almost.
5. Nosegays. That’s an old word for flowers, and it encompasses two things I love, flowers and old words. Especially flowers picked out of the wild, which then bring that wildness into the house, and old words used naturally and with no thought of trying to appear intellectually superior to the surrounding throngs.
6. Northern Lights. The first time I saw red northern lights I was sitting up in bed at the house my parent’s very nearly bought, looking through my large window in awe at the sky above the Hawthorne trees. I think the first time I heard northern lights was at that house too. We lived there for the last few years that I lived with my family. It surprises me that it took that long for me to hear the lights I saw every winter until I moved to Southern Alberta.
7. Novels! How could this one come so far down the list…well, it’s not in any particular order. Novels. I love reading books, and I really love reading fiction. The latest on my reading list has included Ender in Exile, Bird by Bird and Twilight. Yes, I’m reading Twilight. And yes, it is very enjoyable. If I had my way, I’d actually get a comfy chair at work and sit and read novels all day long until I had read 80% of the books we have (the other 20% don’t interest me…reference books, books on sports, etc.).
8. Numbers. Certain numbers, anyway. I have this weird things about numbers and days of the week, and certain months as well. Some seem to me to be round and soft; other are sharp and adventurous. I prefer (generally speaking) the sharp and adventurous numbers, week days, and months. Unless they are perfect in their roundness, and not dorky at all. February 28th is perfectly round. September 17th is perfectly sharp. May 5th is a stupid mix, trying to be sharp when it really should just give up and be round, but it never will and so it makes me feel irritable and jittery. I have no problem living through the day of May 5th – I just don’t like how it looks on paper, or how it sounds, or how it feels in my mouth or ears. M should make up it’s mind instead of sitting on the fence. Gah. My favourites? 7. 7 and maybe 9. 4 is decent too. And Thursday wins for days of the week, hands down. I’m not sure on months, since so much depends on what day of the month it is. My least favourite numbers are 5, and 3. And Monday.
9. Necks. I notice necks on men, the way they slide into shoulders and arms and torsos. Necks, manly necks, are so amazingly hot. I cannot describe my attraction to necks. And a beautiful graceful neck on a woman will capture my attention and I’ll find myself staring. Perhaps I am a vampire at heart. Necks are beautiful.
10. Nuzzle. This could go along with necks, I guess; a seductive nuzzle on a neck is pretty nice (ha! Alliteration!). But there is something so tender about nuzzling too. Just watch a newborn lamb being nuzzled by it’s mother, and you see right there how immediate the bond is between the two of them. I know they’re animals but I think they feel love too. And to see love between anything outside myself fills me with a peace about my life and the world around me – that it will all be okay somehow, because other people (and beings) love.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
It shocked me that I had to hand out over 20 resumes before I heard from anyone. Of course, then I heard from 5 of them. Which is apparently good odds, but still a little blow to my ego. Fortunately one of those jobs was the one on the top of my list, and that's the one I got. Yeay! Especially since I was beginning to think I was unemployable.
So now I spend my days shelving books, finding books for people, selling books to other people, ordering books for some other people, and then shelving some more books. Surrounded by books all day is very relaxing to me. The only down side so far is how dry my hands are getting from handling paper all day. I'd forgotten about that until my skin started to turn white. Ouch. But hand lotion was invented for book-sellers and now I use it excessively.
It's a relief.
Now I just have to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life and I'm all set.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
We. S. and I are living together now. It's something that four years ago I wouldn't have thought I'd do but I am really enjoying this now. I'm not sure what changed. Well, I did, I guess, but I'm not sure why. I just know I'm happy I made this decision and that is all I can go by.
It's going to be a vast learning experience though. I know that already. We are so different in some ways and too similar in others. I notice this keenly as we unpack. I am slow and relaxed, finding, in an almost zen fashion, where things want to live. He is all go-go-go, wanting to get it all unpacked before bedtime.
However, I am very particular with the kitchen and where things go - I've moved enough times to know the feng shui of kitchens and how dishes and food need to be oriented to the stove, fridge and sink - and so is he, but in a different way, and we have our first fight in our new place. It's short lived. We compromise. I put things that are important to him on lower shelves so he can reach them easily and the rest goes where I want it to.
My interlude is over and the unpacking must continue. I'm going to Banff tomorrow for the day so I'll get my rest and relaxation then - but now I'll go. Happy New Year, everyone!