Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's what I do

Word of the day: im-por-tant (adjective) Of considerable influence or authority, as a person or position.

It's a very quiet day at the office today and my last day before 11 glorious days off, but I still have a full day's work to slog through. It's not so bad though; I'm putting together price estimates for 2010 for one of the magazines I work on and it's something I love.  When combined with the peacefulness at work, it's not a bad way to spend a day.

As I was putting the numbers together, I was struck by an almost overwhelming feeling of importance because the small role I play in putting out this magazine is actually kind of a big deal.  I'm looking at the costs for 2010 and preparing to send my account team estimates that run into seven figures and that's only for the manufacturing.  Making magazines ain't cheap, that I can say for sure.

It's times like this that I really love what I do because I really see not only how much I know about print production but how much the information I provide will influence decisions made by the highers-up.  I have to be sure to catch all the small things, like blow-ins or a cover split, because missing those things can make a final invoice rather unpleasant. 

I'm not trying to inflate my own importance or anything.  I just love the feeling of knowing the seemingly mundane and often repetitive things I do on a day-to-day basis really do mean something.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Of gifts and giving

Word of the day:  giv-ing (verb) To present voluntarily and without expecting compensation.

You know what's great about Christmas?  Presents.  You know what's not so great about Christmas?  Coming up with the list of presents I want.  It's not like I'm seven any more and all I want are Barbies and He-Man figures.  And since my parents are divorced, I have to come up with two exclusive lists, one for each.  The tough part is that the things I want as an almost-30-year-old are not easily broken down into the kind of things my parents like to gift. 


I had Snake Mountain as a kid; isn't it great?

What I would like is a lump-sum, pay-it-all-off payment made to my student loans; a trip somewhere warm and sunny and food-and-drink-laden; my own swanky condo; or even just the winning lottery numbers.  Thing is, my folks like getting me stuff I can open on Christmas morning (as most folks do) but I really don't need any more books or socks or tea towels or sweaters or movies.  They're both loath to the idea of just giving money (fair enough) but, in a perfect world, I would get a whole whack of gift cards.  Indigo, the LCBO, Shopper's; with gift cards for these places, I could try the expensive shampoo without breaking my own budget or buy a variety of beer just because or wait until the book I REALLY want is released. 

I figure the easiest way to train them in this way of gift-giving is to have a baby.  That way, they can be all goopy towards the kid and have someone to rip open all those gifts on Christmas morning and just give Momma (i.e. me) gift cards because they can't be bothered to think of what to get me when there are toys and tiny outfits to be bought. 

I think it's a brilliant plan.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's the end of the year as we know it

Word of the day:  best (adjective) Of the highest quality, excellence, or standing.; (verb) To get the better of; defeat; beat.

As it's the end of the year, all the best-of lists are popping up.  But because it's also the end of a decade AND the end of the first decade of the 2000s, the stakes seem to be that much higher for the best-of lists.  I always read them and always feel indignation over most of the picks but I never really care beyond that.

This year, though, two things jumped out at me:  Tiger Woods as the best athlete of the decade and Nickelback as the best band of the decade.

Let's start with the latter.  So, Nickelback...WTF!?!?!

Billboard has named Nickelback the best band of the decade.  Now, I'm into music but I'm not into music (not like some people I know) but I do know a couple of things: Billboard seems to be pretty important in the whole music thing (hell, they even have their own awards) and Nickelback is absolutely horrendous.  So how the hell does something like this happen?  Well, it's because Nickelback was the band of the past decade to have the most staying power on the Billboard 100, meaning "best" was awarded to the band based on numbers and ranking power rather than on talent, musical quality, listenability or any of the things that most people think of when they think "best".  (As an aside, I feel it is necessary to point out that Nickelback hails from Alberta.  You know who else hail from Alberta?  Conservatives.  In fact, it's a Conservative province.  Has been for awhile now.  So if you vote Conservative, you're letting bands like Nickelback win.  Just saying.)

I once saw in an article about Nickelback that, even though they're bad, they're good at the whole arena-rock thing, so you can hate them all you want; they are still good at something.  You know who else is good at something?  Rush Limbaugh.  He's good at being an ignorant blowhard.  Still doesn't make it okay.

The fact remains, though: Nickelback is terrible, no matter what Billboard says.

Now, about Tiger Woods: does anyone else find it suspicious that he's names athlete of the decade (okay, so it was only by Associated Press, but still) after all the tabloid-y stuff about his shagtastic infidelity?  But that's not really my main beef.  The biggest problem I have is that he's a golfer and even though golf is a sport, it's not like he has to exert himself or anything.  I mean, he doesn't even carry his own clubs and he just has to walk from hole to hole.  It's not like he's Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt and has to move really fast or anything.  He's nowhere near like David Beckham, having to run all the time (well, when the guy's actually on the football pitch).  Lance Armstrong ranked second and he beat cancer and won the most grueling cycling race there is.  Seriously now.  Good thing there wasn't a speed walker who had cheated on his wife recently, else poor Tiger would have been demoted on the list.

So why is he the best athlete of the decade?  Apparently it's not just because he needs some kind of good press, but because he won a bunch of times.  Well, so did #3, Roger Federer, and he did it under much more difficult circumstances than Mr. Woods.  In fact, Mr. Federer has won more championships than any other male tennis player, ever.  Tiger, well, he won a bunch but there are still other players who have won more. 

But regardless what the Associated Press says, come 2010, everyone is going to remember Tiger as a cheating jerkface idiot loser and I'm going to bite my thumb at his whole "best athlete" thing.

So there.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Christmas!

Word of the day: pres-ent (noun) A thing presented as a gift.

The first two weeks of December always seem to fly by, only to have the remaining days of the month crawl by oh so slowly.  But it's all because of Christmas, really: getting ready at the beginning of the month then waiting and waiting and waiting for the holidays (read: not at work) to roll around so I can get out of the city for a few days, spend time with my family and shower my loved ones with gifts.

I'm pleased to say that I finished my Christmas shopping over the weekend (except for a couple bottles of wine but those can be picked up any time) but now I must wrap all those presents.  This year, I decided to make use of the plethora of magazines I have laying around my apartment and stacked by my desk at work and fashion wrapping paper from their pages.

I found that saddle-stitched magazines work best for this; once the stitches (staples) are removed there are two pages already attached, making for larger starting sheets.  With perfect-bound books, the pages have to be either ripped or cut out and then you only have one sheet.


Working at Rogers gives me access to several saddle-stitched titles so I grabbed a few copies of Hello! (well, hello Kate Middleton!), Maclean's, Profit and Canadian Business and started separating the pages.



Once I had some pages separated, I started to put them together.  (I see you, Jim Balsillie!)  I played around with the best method for this, using first scotch tape then double-sided tape but I finally settled on running a glue stick along one edge and sticking the pages together.  Easily the quickest method.  And the beauty is that, because I was going to recycle the magazines anyways, if I ripped any of the pages I could just blue bin them and start again.

Et voila!  A few of the wrapped gifts.  (Can you find Eva Longoria?)  I cheated a bit and bought gift tags from the dollar store but I'm okay with that.  It's also pretty fun to mix and match the pages to get a business-y vibe (I like the graphs) and some celebrity goodness in the wrap.  I'm looking forward to Christmas morning to see how much my mom and brother read their wrapping paper.  How often do you actually read or even notice what is on the wrapping paper?  Usually, we just look for our names on the tags and rip away, so this just makes it a bit more fun.  One of Mom's presents has a recipe for - and a picture of -  roast lamb. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Filler

Word of the day:  fill-er (noun) Journalism: Material, considered of secondary importance, used to fill out a column or page.

You know those times when there's a lot of stuff going on but it feels like there's nothing going on?  I'm kind of there.  Stuff has been happening in my life, as stuff is wont to do, but nothing has felt significant enough to justify a blog post.  But it is enough for me to share some random snippets of the stuff of my life of late.

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I was vaccinated yesterday.  No H1N1 for me.  At least I hope not.  My arm hurts more than I'd really like it to.  It's the kind of dull achy pain that is just kind of there.  And, as I was putting on deodorant this morning, I couldn't lift my arm above my head.  It's pretty much isolated to my left bicep but it's still sore and it's still annoying.

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There were a whole whackload of layoffs at Rogers last week.  900 people across the country, in all divisions.  Mostly middle and upper management, which is actually pretty smart.  My boss was part of the cuts and, I must say, I'm not too upset about it.  No more being micro-managed!  Thing is, if you have people who do the day-to-day work and you have people who do the executive-y work and all these people can communicate, why do you need a middle man?  The biggest shock, though, was that the editor-in-chief of Chatelaine was let go.  Her I liked and her I will miss.  But the plan is to make big cuts now so there are no cuts in 2010, so hopefully that means I'm employed for another year, at least.

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I'm almost done my Christmas shopping.  I just need to pick up a couple more things for my brother and get a Secret Santa gift and I'm finito.  I'm pretty excited about this, actually.  Now I can concentrate on making wrapping paper out of old magazines.  I have an idea in my head of how to make it work but that doesn't mean it will work.  I will share, though, whether it is a success or a failure.  I've also got ideas for gift tags.  And I need to become acquainted with the awesomeness of Mod Podge (not for my Christmas craft, but for other crafty plans I have).

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My beau has the sweetest cat in the world. 

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I have Secret Santa coming up with my friends in a few weeks.  This time around, I wanted to up the ante with the gift-giving.  We already have some basic rules: $20 limit, buy for anyone, no booze.  So I suggested that each person buy a gift that starts with the letter of his/her's first name.  While this seemed like a brilliant idea when I suggested it, I've now discovered that gifts that start with J are not necessarily gifts that reflect my, erm, unique personality and ideals of gift-giving.  That said, I also haven't put a whole lot of effort into finding something.  Being the brilliant person I am, I'm sure I'll be able to come up with something awesome.

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Otherwise, my life is the mundane thing it generally seems to be and I'm pretty much okay with that.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Words of Another: Ross Rebagliati

"We're sending our Canadian soldiers overseas to create a democracy in a foreign land, and a lot of them are paying the ultimate price.  And we can't even bring ourselves to vote here, when we have the right and privilege?  To me, that's unacceptable."

-- From an interview in Maclean's, November 16th issue

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy happy joy joy

Word of the day: hap-pi-ness (noun) Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

Sometimes bad stuff happens and when it does, it really sucks. But sometimes, from the bad stuff, good stuff arises. This is what has happened to me recently.

My weekend was a little rocky. There’s no need to dwell on that because it happened and it can’t be un-happened. But from all the rockiness, I’ve found I’ve emerged with a renewed sense of optimism. I don’t know why it took bad stuff to make me realize there are things in my life that I need to fix, but I’ve realized it now and I’m actually a little thrilled to have figured it all out and to be working towards bettering certain relationships in my life.

The main one is the relationship with my mother, which has been rocky recently. After this weekend, I’ve made the necessary grown-up steps to start fixing this and I feel so good about it. Why, oh WHY, didn’t I do this sooner? Sometimes I wonder if my depression battles keep me down more than I realize, even when I am managing it. It’s like if something bad happens, I let it permeate every aspect of my life and just wallow in the badness and sadness. And that, my friends, just sucks.

I’m also working on the relationship I have with my brother, who I love so very, very much but who I’ve fallen out with lately. He’s a bit of a challenging personality and I’ve let that get in the way (bad big sister!) but no more! I want to have a better relationship with him and I’m more than capable of making the first step to fixing it, so I’ve done that.

And I feel ridiculously happy about all of this. It’s contagious too; I’ve started feeling happier about my job (I’ve felt in a bit of a funk lately) and I’m feeling great about other things, like my tiny, messy yet gloriously bug-free apartment and the upcoming holidays (which in the past have stressed me out more than they ever should have) and even the fact that it’s dark when I leave work. I kind of love this feeling and so I think I’ll hang on to it for awhile.

I’m also hoping to see other things in my life get better and better: other relationships (platonic and romantic), my opinions of myself, my health and fitness, even my sleep patterns.

In fact, my sleep is already getting better. The past two mornings I have woken up with my blankets still on me, rather than in a messy heap on the floor due to me tossing and turning all night.

And, honestly, I don’t care if this sounds cliché or Oprah-esque. This wonderful November weather is definitely helping too.

It’s a happiness WIN!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A little off the top

Word of the day: pro-gress (noun) A movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage.

Here I am, two weeks into my healthy kick and my endeavor to lose 30 pounds by the time I turn 30. 

Two weeks in, I should have lost 4 lb, to ensure I meet my goal.  So far I have lost...2.5 lb.  So it's not the required 4 lb but hey - I lost 2.5 lb!  I'm actually pretty damn proud of that number. 

I'll be completely honest, I haven't exactly been going all-out.  There were a couple of nights when I was feeling a little down and decided a dinner of bad-for-me-burritos was needed to cheer me up.  However, my most excellent beau dissuaded me from buying ice cream on Saturday night, for which I am (now) grateful.  At the time it was tempting to overrule him but I'm glad he was encouraging of my goals. 

Even though I'm not on track the way I had hoped to be, this just might work for the best because everything I've done so far is something I can maintain and that is what's most important.  And I've also realized that I need to weigh myself weekly.  Many weight loss schools of thought discourage this because the number can be depressing and slightly skewed (since muscle weighs more than fat); instead, you should go by the way you feel and the way your clothes fit.  With me, I gain and lose weight all over so I need to lose quite a bit of weight to really notice I've lost.  Because of this, getting on the scale weekly and seeing the number go down is a pretty positive thing.  So I'll keep doing it.  Who knows, I just might make it after all!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Words of Another: a Rogers employee

"I'm getting into an elevator and I think I'm losing you.  So much for the commercials with the guy in the elevator talking on his phone on Rogers."

- Overheard in an elevator at work

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Empty

Word of the day: help-less (adjective) Unable to help oneself; weak or dependent.

Sometimes, things are just really shitty.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Eggs-ellent

Word of the day: yolk (noun)  The yellow and principal substance of an egg, as distinguished from the white.

I've been really into eggs lately.  Many dinners over the past two weeks have consisted of veggie omelets and weekend breakfasts, of course, have also involved eggs.  And again tonight I am having eggs for dinner but since I'm not feeling all that well - due in part to fighting off yet another cold and in part to still hurting from having dropped a board game on my face** - I'm cheating and having a fried egg sandwich.

Mmmm...fried egg sandwich...

I really do love eggs.  And last night at the gym, I overheard a trainer telling her trainee why it's better to eat the entire egg and not just egg whites.  (Why bother with trainer sessions when I can just eavesdrop on conversations and covertly stare during the exercise part?  At least that's the excuse I give myself.)  But the trainer said that there are all kinds of good bits in the yolk, like vitamins and stuff, that you don't get from the white.  And while protein is split 50/50 between the yolk and the white, there are things in the yolk that help you better absorb all the good things in the entire egg.  (To be more specific, the yolk contains most of the calcium, iron, zinc, B6 and B12 that is found in an egg and all of the carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D, and K.)  This made me feel a bit better about my egg consumption because I've always thought the yolk was the best part.  Especially when it's a bit runny and I've got a slice of flax bread to dredge through it. 

Mmmm....runny yolk...

Eggs make me happy.

**I suppose you're wondering how I managed to drop a board game on my face.  Let me tell you...last night I was tidying up and reorganizing some stuff, which included putting board games away on a shelf in my closet.  I had a stack of three of them and as I was putting them on the shelf, Trivial Pursuit began to slide off towards me.  I tried to brace the game with my forehead but I missed and the edge of the box caught me across the bridge of my nose.  It hurt like a motherfucker and broke skin and I now have a lovely little red gash across the top of my nose.  It also made my head hurt and chewing hurt for a bit this morning.  But I'm pretty much better, except for said red gash.  I'm wearing glasses, which helps hide it, but if I push my glasses too far up my nose (read: where they are most comfortable) it hurts.  Stupid Trivial Pursuit.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Love thyself

Word of the day: na-ked (adjective)  Being without clothing or covering; nude.

I'm at home sick today so I'm making the most of it by seeing what daytime television has to offer.  One show I've seen on the TV Guide channel but never watched is How To Look Good Naked, on the W Network.  I've avoided this show based on the title, mainly because I didn't want to watch another show that has women nipped, tucked, primped, primed and otherwise altered into a manufactured kind of beautiful.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that How To Look Good Naked doesn't actually involve any kind of surgery or extreme dieting or weeks of bullying exercising; instead, it's just about making women feel good about themselves just the way they are.  (Yes, eating properly and exercising are good habits to have, but sometimes it's okay to feel good about yourself the way you are.  Really.)


I feel I must note, though, that the show is British; I find that any shows coming from across the pond tend to feature more ordinary folk and are more accepting of the "imperfections" that are frowned upon here in North America.  (Just Google Image Coronation Street and you'll see what I mean.)


So it doesn't surprise me that the Brits have made a show that makes women feel good about themselves without sucking all the fat out of their midriffs.  And - AND! - most amazingly of all, the show never once calls women plus-sized or emphasizes that they wear a size 12 or 14 or numerically measures anything. 


It's a little mind-boggling actually, but in a good way. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Channeling my inner Richard Simmons

Word of the day:  trans-form (verb) To undergo a change in form, appearance, or character; become transformed.

Remember when I posted about getting all healthy and weight-loss-y, starting November 1?  Well, I really did mean it and I really am trying.  Really.  It's just a little daunting right now. 

I think I've mentioned before that I am the least patient person I have ever met.  I'm just not good at it at all.  So when it comes to something like losing a chunk of weight, I get impatient and wonder why it can't just all happen all at once.  C'mon, body, get thinner dammit!  So this will be a huge exercise in patience for me, for sure - unless I just lop off a leg.  That would definitely do it.  Hmmm....

I have weighed myself so I know my starting weight and I know my target weight and I'm not sharing any of those numbers (at least not yet...and likely not ever).  I have said I want to drop 30 lb and that's about all I'm going to say.  I respect people who can blog about that kind of thing, who are comfortable listing their starting weight and measurements; I'm just not one of those people. 

But I've got a bigger issue to deal with than sharing numbers and that's the little nagging voice in the back of my mind saying, "You can't do this! Nyah-nyah-nyah!"  Stupid little voice.  To be quite honest, it is much easier to buy larger clothes and tuck into a pizza but I'd just rather not.  So I'm going to try.  I will slip up.  I will not reach all my weekly targets.  I will eat chocolate.  But I will keep trying because, in the long run, it really is good for me. 

Or I could just lop off that leg.

Trick or Treat!

Word of the day:  Hal-low-een (noun) The evening of October 31; the eve of All Saints' Day; Allhallows Eve: observed esp. by children in costumes who solicit treats, often by threatening minor pranks.

Isn't Halloween just so much fun?  I always enjoy it that much more when I have a costume that I really love and think is great.  This year I went as the Paper Bag Princess:

Aren't I adorable?

I also had the opportunity to hand out candy while in full costume glory and I was pleasantly surprised to find that children of the next generation knew who I was.  Of course, I think all children should know the awesomeness that is Robert Munsch; in fact, it should be required that all children, upon exiting the womb, be gifted with The Paper Bag Princess and Love You Forever.  When I become Supreme Paper Bag Princess of the World, this will be the first law I pass. 

And isn't my dragon just the best?  Many thanks to the beau for his excellent crafting skills in transforming a dollar-store alligator puppet into a ferocious, castle-eating, snooty-prince-snatching fireball of power.  Grrr.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Making a list and checking it twice

Word of the day: ju-ve-nil-i-ty (noun) Juvenile state, character, or manner.

You know how when you're young and madly in love with the cutest boy in your class and you spend all day doodling your first name with his last name, inside a heart?  You would spend math class getting used to writing a different last name (because who needs integers anyways?) and then geography class colouring in the hearts (after all, you only needed blue and green to colour in the maps; that red pencil crayon needed love too) and then, during history you would add the necessary swirls and curlicues and arrows through the heart.  And then you would spend all night doing the homework you ignored during the day because it was far more important to express your undying love and adequately prepare for your name change.

Well, I have decided I am far too old for such hijinx.  No, what is more appropriate for someone my age is to make faux wedding guest lists.  Actually, I did this more out of curiosity of how many family members I'll have to invite to my wedding.  (I should note that I am not planning on getting married any time soon.  I was simply bored at work.)

I have a large family.  My mom is one of six kids and my dad is one of 11.  Add in partners and cousins and cousins' partners and suddenly there are A LOT of people to invite.  With only aunts, uncles and first cousins considered, I have 75 family members to invite to my wedding.

SEVENTY-FIVE.

That does not include any friends or even my bridal party, let alone my husband's family and friends and groomsmen.

Holy crap, that is a lot of people.  Good thing I'm not getting married soon; means I've got more time to save up for the larger-than-anticipated wedding I hope to have one day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Words of Another: George and Michael

Michael Buble: I know this song.  Is this a Tragically Hip song?
George: Close.  It's a Jay-Z song.

-- George interviewing Michael Buble on The Hour, October 16

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

30 in 15

Word of the day: di-et (verb)  To select or limit the food one eats to improve one's physical condition or to lose weight.

A few weeks ago, during my annual physical, I was weighed.  It was not a pleasant experience.  While I try to eat well and exercise regularly, lately I just haven't been doing anything that is conducive to getting and remaining in shape.  So it is time to really truly do something.

The other thing that has been weighing (ha!) on my mind is my impending 30th birthday (boo!).  I feel like I need to reach 30 having really accomplished something or earned something or done something really cool.  So I give to you the challenge I have set before myself: I am going to lose 30 pounds by my 30th birthday.

Gulp.

Healthy weight loss is 1-2 lb per week, so if I can hit the 2 lb/week mark, that means in 15 weeks I will have achieved my goal.  I'm going to start on Sunday November 1; 15 weeks from that date brings me to Saturday Feburary 13, which is a full week before my birthday.  I think I can do this.  Well, I know I can do this but whether or not I do do this remains to be seen.  By writing about it here, suddenly other people know and I might actually have to be accountable for my actions.  I'm not a big fan of that which is why writing about this is all the more important.

I'll likely write about it more but this isn't about to become a weight loss blog or anything...at least I don't think it will.  I'm trying to go about this with as few rigid rules as possible and mainly stick to overall lifestyle changes that I can maintain.  And I will likely make things up as I go, depending on what works and doesn't work for me.  Oh, and there will be no diet plan, no personal trainer, no nutrionist, just me.  I know what I need to do, it's just a matter of doing it. 

Right now, I have three main guidelines:
  1. Get to the gym at least three times a week, but four times would be better.  And while there, learn to love (or at least tolerate) cardio.
  2. Be more aware of portion sizes, especially what a portion size actually is.  Simple yet difficult, all at once.
  3. Cut down on the pizza.  This will be a challenge, no question.  Right now I'm considering a No Pizza November, but that might just be wishful thinking on my part.
So this is what I'm going to try.  I'm trying not to think about winter coming up and how I'll want to cuddle up in front of a movie with some chocolate covered almonds and not move for a weekend.  I'm also trying not to think of the 10 birthdays, plus Christmas and New Year's, that will occur between Nov 1 and Feb 20. 

The most important thing I'm going to do, though, is not beat myself up or be too hard on myself if I slip up or if I don't end up reaching my goal.  I want to lose 30 lb, but maybe my body doesn't want me to.  Maybe I need to be a certain weight or size or whatever to be at my prime operating capacity.  Who knows?  When this is all over, I guess I will.

Movie Fail

Word of the day:  hi-lar-i-ty (noun) Cheerfulness; merriment; mirthfulness.

Wicker Man, you are a terrible movie.  Yes, I had a pretty good idea you would be awful because you star Nicholas Cage, but I watched you anyways.  However, I need you to know that I did not watch you because I wanted to see a creepy, twisted, serious movie; no, I watched you to laugh at you.  And laugh I did, because you were as terrible as I thought you would be.

First, we must address this issue of Nicholas Cage.  Really?  REALLY?!  He's the best you could get?  Was your kid sister's hamster not available?  How about an old gym sock?  You know, even Tom Cruise would have been better because he at least has more facial expressions than "possibly constipated".  Can we also talk about his name: Edward Malus.  Edward is just fine, but Malus?  Is that some combination of "male" and "phallus"?  Are you trying to make some overreaching statement about men and manhood by naming Mr. Cage's character after a penis and making him into a pretty big dick?  I hope not, because that would be stupid.

But you insisted and Nicholas Cage starred as Edward Malus and here we are, one horrible movie later.  You know, I can't even go through you chronologically because that would imply some kind of logic in your story and there really isn't a lot of that.  So I'm going to start with what bothers me most: where the hell did Edward get the damn bike?  I mean, he spends the first third of the movie running around the damn island then all of a sudden he's got wheels?  Not only that, but he later feels the need to bikejack a woman?  Isn't one bike enough?  He has to pull a gun on someone?  For a bike?  Come on, that's just being a big fat jerk, that is.   See, I don't care how the doll got burned; I just care "Why's he have a bike?  WHY'S HE HAVE A BIKE? Why's he have a bike?  Why's he have a bike?"

And was it really necessary to put Edward in a bear suit?  Everyone else on the island opted to wear masks but it just so happened that the dumpy barmaid had a bear suit?  Although it was nice of Sister Ugly to have the bear suit as it conveniently gave Edward a way to blend in with the parade of women content on burning some symbol of manhood so they could get their honey back.

Yes, Wicker Man, that is what you are about, isn't it?  An island full of pseudo-hippy women who worship some Earth Goddess and control the men and need to sacrifice a man to get their honey back.  I don't care if you are a remake, that is a terrible idea for a movie...but we already established that you're awful so allow me to continue.

I'm sure you were hoping to create some kind of dramatic tension when you revealed that Edward is allergic to bees when he is on an island of crazy bee ladies who would probably worship the bees if they weren't too busy worshiping the Earth Goddess, or whatever.  I'm going to assume they worship her as you are apparently about worship and ritual and sacrifice (to get the honey back) even though you only have one sacrifice.  But back to the bees and Edward's allergy.  I'm still a little confused as to why he ran into the bee fields after getting buzzed by a few.  I mean, if the little bastards can kill you, wouldn't you run away from them?  As my beau put it, running into the bees is bee-tarded.

Of course, it would have been more than okay if you had ended the movie right there, with Edward being stung to death.  Although if you had done that we would have missed Ellen Burstyn looking like the bastard love child of William Wallace and Dame Edna.  Doesn't she just look peachy?

I guess I could get upset with you, Wicker Man, for showcasing so much violence against women but when it's Nic Cage punching them out it's just so hilarious.  I don't know what I like better: when he kicks Lee Lee Sobieski across the room or when he sucker-punches the chick while dressed in the bear suit.  Watching Nicholas Cage "fight" is like watching Flava Flav and Brigitte Nielsen kiss; you know it's fake and it's a little disturbing but you can't turn away because it's so riveting and when it's over you laugh and say, "That was pretty awful."

However, my dear Wicker Man, if you did not exist, then we would not have the clips below.  And these are some of the best scenes ever captured on celluloid.  For that, I will thank you.  And because I have these clips I will never have to watch you again, for which I am also thankful.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Words of Another: Scott Feschuk

But Palin refused to be a slave to oratory or grandiloquence or basic syntax.  She liberated the English language from the rigid orthodoxy of meaning, because in America even words should have freedom - the freedom to appear wherever they'd like, almost as if emerging by chance or random draw.
-- from Maclean's, Oct 26 issue

Saturday, October 17, 2009

October = awesome

Word of the day: Oc-to-ber (noun) The tenth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar.

October has been a good month so far.  It's only the 17th today but lots of good things have happened.

October 1 - I officially became a full-time employee of Rogers Publishing.  The relief that this brought - not to mention the benefits, vacation time and Rogers employee discount - was huge.

October 6 - my boyfriend's twin nephews arrived!  I love babies (as can be evidenced over my cooing and gooing at any tiny human I see) and the arrival of two brand new people was just awesome.

October 10 - two very awesome and amazing friends of mine, Laura and Paul, got hitched.  It was a beautiful wedding for two beautiful people and, even though my ear infection antibiotics kept me from imbibing, it was still a whole bunch of fun.  See, aren't they cute?

October 16 - Where the Wild Things Are FINALLY opened!  I haven't seen this movie yet but I've been impatiently waiting for it to arrive and now that it's here...I don't have solid plans to see it (yet) but I'm pretty sure I can finagle my beau to accompany me.  Seriously, doesn't it look awesome?  (And the inclusion of The Arcade Fire doesn't hurt either.)


Oh October, what will the latter half of you bring?

A change 17 years in the making

Word of the day: change (verb) To become different.

There are two men in my life that I will never cheat on: my boyfriend (of course) and my hair stylist.

I seriously love my stylist, Sergio.  It's so nice to walk into the salon and say I don't know what I want except that I want to look cute and to know that I will walk out looking cute (and maybe even borderline hot).  And he also give the most amazing shampoo-cum-head massage a person could ever want.  He knows it's my favourite part of the whole haircut experience and I like to think he gives me an extra-long shampoo.  But seriously, I get goosebumps.

Sergio gave me yet another fantastic haircut last night and we made a serious change to my style: I now part it on the right.  I have had a left-hand part in my hair since I was 11 or 12.  It was all because of Carolyn Waldo and a Sears catalogue from the early '90s.  Carolyn Waldo had released a clothing line with Sears which I loved and in several of the pictures of her, she had shoulder-length blonde hair, parted on the left and with bangs.  I promptly got my hair cut like that because it was so awesome.  I also drooled over the most amazing clothes she was hocking, which consisted mainly of tights and tunics (some were even off-the shoulder - scandalous for a 12-year-old!) and brightly coloured sashes to wear as belts or hair bands.  (This is perhaps why I have eschewed the return of the belted tunic and tights look; I am scarred by my love of it 17 years ago.)

Now, I have scoured the good ol' interwebs for pictures of Carolyn's most awesome clothing collection and could not find anything to showcase the superb duds or her fabulous hair.  But I did find this from the kids collection she did:


I remember this too and I remember seriously wanting that zip-front bathing suit.  I did have a two-piece suit similar to the one shown, but mine was solid lime green up top with a black zipper and black bottoms with a lime green band.  It was pretty amazing.

But Carolyn's influence over my own hair has ended.  I'm pretty happy with the new right-hand part I've got going on. 

(Okay, I'm still trying to find pictures of Carolyn and the clothes I loved but my Google Image search is coming back with a variety of unrelated images, including Michael Ignatieff.  Seriously?!  Alas, no pictures.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Words of Another: Terry Pratchett

'Yes, yes,' said Bethan, sitting down glumly.  'I know you don't.  Rincewind, all the shops have been smashed open.  There was a whole bunch of people across the street helping themselves to musical instruments, can you believe that?'
'Yeah,' said Rincewind, picking up a knife and testing its blade thoughtfully.  'Luters, I expect.'

-- from The Light Fantastic

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Feel the burn

Word of the day: phys-i-cal  (adjective) Of or pertaining to the body.

I finally dragged my lazy self back to the gym last night after too many weeks of not going due to pest control issues, ear infections and telling myself I will work out in the gym at my boyfriend's condo then ending up on the couch watching Jeopardy and Buffy.  But I made it back tonight and it felt good.  No, not good...goooood.  Good the way Barry White would say it good.  I weight-trained the shit out of my muscles.  So GOOOOOOOOD.

I would be going back to the gym tonight but I have been invited out for sushi and really, who can say no to sushi?  But I do need to start going again regularly and not just because my ass is getting too big.  I sleep better when I work out regularly and it just makes me feel healthier.  Of course the weight loss is also a lovely side affect (effect?  I get those two mixed up) but I decided long ago that I can't work out just to lose weight because it just won't work out for me.  I will lose weight, which is fine, but I also want to lose inches and get better muscle definition and not have back pain. 


Although maybe, just maybe, if I work out enough I'll be lucky enough to look like this:




Um, yeah.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shopping is hell

Word of the day: meas-ure-ment (noun)  Extent, size, etc., ascertained by measuring.

I think the reason I love shopping for shoes and other accessories is because I can generally find them in my size.  Despite my wonky proportions elsewhere, I have been blessed with normal-sized feet; I generally wear a size 8 1/2 or a 9, which I can usually find in shoe stores.  As for earrings and necklaces and bracelets and scarves and the like, even if I don't buy or wear them with regularity, I know they will always fit me. 

I know there are tons of people out there - both female and male - who have difficulty finding clothes in their size when they shop.  It just feels like I'm the only one I know who actually experiences this.  Maybe it's because most of my (female) friends fall in the size 4 - 8 range, so if they go down to a size 2 or up to a size 10, they can be pretty sure clothes in most stores will fit.  Me, I often feel like I should be shopping at Tents'r'Us. 

Remember that episode of The Simpsons, where Homer gets super fat on purpose and starts wearing muumuus?  I feel like I can relate to that more than I really should.

I have recently stumbled upon another blog that is honest about the whole weight/weight loss/being fat/not wanting to be fat thing (her name is Jennifer too!) and she recently posted about women's clothing sizes.  I know that I really shouldn't pay attention to the size on the tag but it can weigh on a person's mind.  Even if something fits me perfectly, just knowing it's a certain size that I'm not happy with is enough to make me hate it and never want to wear it ever again.  Fortunately, I don't buy these things.  Unfortunately, I don't buy these things.  Really, if something fits perfectly, who the hell cares what size it is?  Well, I do. 

I've been exceedingly lazy of late and I've got my gym bag packed and sitting by the door so I'll be back at it tomorrow after work.  I feel incredibly unhealthy and out of shape right now so maybe that is adding to my clothing gloominess.  Life would just be so much easier if I was rich and could have all my clothes tailor-made. 

But since I work in publishing and therefore am not even slightly rich (at least not money-rich) I'll do my cardio and my weights and work towards feeling better about myself and I'll continue to not let my worth be measured by the number on the tag of my pants (shudder) or the number on the scale (SHUDDER).  To be honest though, I've been trying to do this for the better part of 15 years with little sustained success. 

Guess I've got to keep trying, right?  It's a good thing I like tricep dips.

Go higher than high, go lower than deep

Word of the day: mis-cel-la-ny (noun) A miscellaneous collection or group of various or somewhat unrelated items.

Sometimes I have a whole bunch of random thoughts running through my head.  They don't connect to one another nor do they follow any kind of order.  They just are.  And since I'm currently lacking a pensieve I figure this is as good a spot as any to empty the miscellany in my head.

*****
Pat Sajak has the most ridiculous hair.  Sure, he's an annoying little man in general, but that hair is something else.  How does one stay in television for as long as he with hair like that? 

*****
The TTC has increased the fines for rudeness while riding the Rocket.  I would be more okay with this if there was actually some enforcement and if people actually paid the fines.  The number of people I see with their feet on the seats or who don't give up their seats to the elderly or infirm are more than I care to think about.  But I never see anyone get busted.  And how will the TTC compel people to pay the fine?  Ban them?  Or just lock them in the bathrooms at Yonge & Bloor until they cough up the cash?

*****
Everything cannot be gourmet.  Because if everything is gourmet, then nothing is gourmet.  And no frozen potatoes are ever going to be gourmet.

*****
I really want to be on Jeopardy.  I think I would do really well, too.  Not because I think I'm some genius or something but because I'm pretty good at trivia-type things.  But if I did get on the show and did really badly, I wouldn't want anyone to know.  And I would be really disappointed in myself.

*****
I haven't kept a journal since I was 21.  I really want to start writing in a journal again but I'm scared.  That's because, back when I was 21 and journaling, I was also going through my first and worst round of depression and my journal was filled with lots of awful, horrible, hurtful, unhealthy, unhappy things.  And that experience has stayed with me.  Now I'm scared that if I start journaling again, I'll devolve into that person again.  And I really don't want to ever be that person again.  

*****
I will never ever EVER be able to understand how anyone could ever hurt a child or hurt an animal.

*****
Every time I leave the city for more rural surroundings, I find it increasingly harder to come back.  It makes me wonder how much longer I will last in the city, even though I have very good reasons for staying in the city. But the fresh air, the quietness, the night that actually looks like night, the trees and the seemingly endless fields are a powerful draw. 

*****
Chocolate-covered almonds will forever be my Achilles heel.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I do

Word of the day:  mat-ri-mo-ny (noun) The state of being married; marriage.

Tomorrow I will attend my third wedding of the 2009 season.  Prior to this year, I had not been to a wedding since my cousin's nuptials in - oh man - I think it was 2002.  That seven-year gap represents a time when all my family that was going to marry young had married young and all my friends hadn't decided it was time yet. 

There have also been a steady stream of former classmates and colleagues and acquaintances getting married, as seen in my Facebook news feed as more and more pictures were posted.  It's really made me start to think more about my own wedding and I've found it interesting that I don't really care to daydream about it too much.

It seems my priorities lie in the marriage, not the wedding, which I'm fine with.  I do want to get married one day.  Sure, a wedding is expensive but it's also a wonderful and fun celebration to share with friends and family.  (That sounded a little corny but I don't care.)  And I've already thought about some little things, like the kind of centrepieces I'd like and the colour of my bridesmaids' dresses.  I know I don't want anything lavish or big or over-the-top.  But I also know that the guest list won't be all that small because, with family alone, I'm looking at 50 guests at least.  Then add in my friends and the friends and family of my betrothed and the numbers would grow hugely I'm sure. 

One of the really great things about so many recent weddings is seeing what people have done.  One couple planted a tree after the ceremony; another paddled away in a canoe.  At my cousin's wedding on Labour Day, there were no favours on the table; instead the couple made a donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.  I know a few weddings that have/will feature(d) handmade goodness.  The wedding I attended in June was logistically awesome: everything happened in one of two spaces and they were both connected to the hotel we were staying at.  The fact that the rest of the wedding was awesome too was also pretty great. 

I think the best part of all the weddings I've attended or seen photos of has been the intimacy of them all.  Sure, if I wasn't there I can't really speak to that but the impression I get is that the weddings were on the small side, were simple yet elegant and were focused on the marriage rather than the wedding.  It's really nice to see people moving away from expensive and lavish and garish and look-at-me-outdo-my-best-friend nonsense. 

I hope that every couple that has said "I do" has a long, happy marriage full of love.

You say "O", I say "Don't care"

Word of the day:  peace (noun) The normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.

So Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize. 

There seems to be a fair amount of outrage and confusion and doubt about this.  I'm not going to comment on this on either side because I really don't know enough about politics or the Nobel prizes or anything like that to make any kind of intelligent argument.  What I do think, though, is that people can be as outraged and confused and doubtful as they want; they won't change anything.  It's not that they don't want to change anything.  It's that change takes time and no one is going to be interested in this long enough to try and make any changes.

Twitter and Facebook feeds will be full of indignation, people will blog away their frustration and tomorrow something else will come along and we'll all be consumed by some other unfairness.  (Yes, I'm cynical.  Deal with it.)  Maybe some people will be happy about this.  All I know is that I really can't bring myself to care one way or another.  Maybe it's because I'm still recovering from my ear infections and I need to focus my energy on that.  Or maybe it's because I'm neither American nor European and I don't really know what winning a Nobel prize means for Obama, other than a bunch of money and his name in the paper for a few days for something other than destroying America by bringing in health care. 

This whole post is rather ill-informed (I'm not even bothering with the Wikipedia page about the Nobel Peace Prize) but if some Europeans want to give this to Obama, go for it.  If it's their money, no problem.  If it seems to lessen the achievements of previous winners who had actually done something to work towards peace, well, let's go lynch those awful people who gave Obama the award.  And then we can form a Facebook group like "Petition to Revoke Obama's Peace Award!!!!!!!!!"  or "Obama Hasn't Done ANYTHING for Peace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" or something like that.  You know that all those exclamation points will make something happen. 

My generation is smart and capable and involved but if it can't be done in 140 characters or less, it just doesn't seem to be worth the effort.

The best thing that will come of this is it will get people talking.  And I don't mean arguing over whether or not he deserved it but actually having a dialogue about world politics and the current lack-of-peace situation and how that will affect us all.  Obama has his prize and that's that.  Talk about it, sure, but don't harp on it and get drunk and then hop on some soapbox and rant to the bar crowd about the unfairness of it all.  Be interested, try to get informed, form an opinion, be able to defend it without insulting everyone else and respect those who may not agree.  And when some celebrity dies tomorrow, you can go focus on that.  

(Hey, maybe this is the Nobel committee's way of apologizing for hating on American literature.  Now that the President has been honoured, they're pretty much covered.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What do you REALLY mean?

Word of the day: doubt (verb) To be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe.

I’ve never been able to take things at face value.  No matter how simple, how straightforward, how obviously one-dimensional, how completely superficial, I always have to dwell on things and mentally dig down beneath the surface to come up with some deeper (often non-existent except to me) meaning. 

This can be a problem.

I think the biggest reason this becomes a problem is because I’ve been pretty lucky to fill my life with people who aren’t one-dimensional and superficial.They’re all smart, successful and interesting and add quite a lot of good to my life.(This is good for me overall, as I’ve had some pretty awful people in my life in the past.)  But when I surround myself with people like this I really have a hard time just accepting what they say and do.

Like when someone is having a bad day I wonder what I might have done to cause or contribute to it.

Like when someone does something wonderful for me I wonder how I’ll pay them back and if it will be enough.

Like when someone makes a general comment about something that that pertained to me and I take it as a dig at me personally.

Like when friends or coworkers around me are talking in hushed voices and I wonder if they’re talking about me and what awful thing I might have done.

Like when someone tells me s/he loves me and I wonder “Why?”

Like what I have to add to the lives of those around me is bad.

I don’t know if this makes me some kind of reverse narcissist or a paranoid lunatic or just someone with a really bad self-image but it’s not a fun way to be.  It makes me wish I had a switch for my brain and I could just turn it off when I start to get like this, all analytical and determined that there is something more.

I know there are people out there who care about me and want me in their lives and who are truly good and genuine and honest and wonderful.  I'm not trying to slag my family and friends, not at all.  I love them all very much and I'm incredibly grateful for them.  This is just something I seem to do and can't figure out how to stop.

All my life, people have told me that I’m smart. But if I’m so smart why do I persist in doing something this stupid?

Friday, October 2, 2009

I shall be shod

Word of the day:  sea-son (noun) A period of the year marked by certain conditions, activities, etc.


Autumn is my favourite time of year.  I love the cooler weather, the refreshing breezes, the brilliant colours as the leaves change, the chance to bundle up in cozy sweaters during the day and snuggle up under piles of blankets at night.  And Halloween is included in autumn, of course, and right about now it starts to smell like Halloween outside.

I only have one fall fail: I have to wear shoes.  All the damn time.

Don't get me wrong, I love shoes.  I own far more pairs than I really need to (seeing how I only wear about 50% of them) and I often slow down whenever I pass a shoe store.  But I am really, truly, honestly most happy when I am barefoot.

Being barefoot is just so wonderful.  The cool, damp feeling of backyard grass, the warm scratchy feeling of beach sand, the coarseness of rocks, the sharpness of gravel, the smoothness of hardwood floors -- I absolutely adore the way they feel on my bare footsies.  I like the way my painted toenails look.  I like the ridiculous sandal tan I get every summer.  I like the unencumbered joy my feet feel when they are loosed from their socks and shoes and given free reign over any and all terrain.  (Except sidewalks.  Shoes on sidewalks are required.  Because EW.)


Not only have I been wearing full shoes all week but I'm also back in socks.  Socks I can tolerate better than shoes, mostly because I wear thin socks with silly prints on them, which make me happy and still allow my feet to feel whatever is being walked on.  But socks don't work so well in backyards so shoes must go on.  And because I'm back in full shoes I'm also in full blister glory.  Ugh.

Even though it's October I'm still hoping for a few more sandal days before I'm forced into the shackles that are my shoes.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The (lack of) pitter patter of little feet

Word of the day: off-spring (noun) Children or young of a particular parent or progenitor.

I think I've written about compromise before and how I struggle with what I want out of life and what I think I can get out of life and where I'll have to make my compromises. (I'm too lazy to look at past posts to figure out if I have posted on this before so if I'm repeating myself, sorry!)

I've always thought that one thing I could never compromise on was children; I must have them and that's that. While I would love to have kids one day I've been thinking about it a lot lately and I've started to realize this just might not work out for me.

One thing that I can't do anything about is biology, namely the fact that once a woman is over 35 she has a significantly harder time trying to conceive. This combined with my own fertility issues means I've pretty much got to start trying for babies in the next year or so.

This leads to my own set of criteria for having kids:

1 - Marriage is required. I know there are plenty of women out there who have babies on their own, whether by choice or by circumstance and they do a bang-up job of raising them. And I'm not faulting them for any reason. Heck, my mom is a single parent so I know what it's like. And it's for that reason that I want to be in a committed, secure relationship before I have children. I don't want to do it alone.

2 - Financial stability is pretty important. Life costs money and I haven't exactly done the best job of keeping my finances in order. So I've got some debt to pay down. Then I would have to start saving for the aforementioned required nuptials. Then I'd have to make sure my husband and I were financially ready for little'uns. That's not an easy thing to do, especially in a city as expensive as Toronto.

3 - We would both have to want them. I don't want to force my husband into fatherhood; he'd have to be as ready for it as me. It's a big step and a big responsibility. Despite Hollywood's best efforts to prove otherwise, babies are not just the latest "it" fashion.

It's not like all these things have made me change my mind about having kids. If it works out, great. But I've recently (i.e. yesterday during a rather boring meeting) decided that I can compromise on motherhood. If I don't have kids I think I'll be okay with that. Maybe later in life I'll investigate adoption. But what is important is that I cultivate a strong and happy relationship with someone who I care for and want to spend time with and want to eventually be legally bound to. This is what is really important to me and what I hope to one day have.

If children get thrown into the mix, I will of course be ecstatic. But if it doesn't happen, I think I'll be okay.

My mom, on the other hand...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Seriously?!


Word of the day: a-poc-a-lypse (noun) Great or total devastation; doom.

Sarah Palin has written her memoirs.  And I thought Dan Brown’s books were a waste of trees.

It’s titled Going Rogue, which makes sense.  Much like Rogue from X-Men, Sarah Palin manages to suck the life force out of anything she touches, leaving it a dead or dying shell of its former self.  But unlike Rogue from X-Men, I still don’t like her.  Sarah Palin I mean.

But really though, what the hell can she have to say that can take up 400 pages?  There are only so many chapters that can be devoted to stupid baby names.  Maybe there’s an extensive primer on how to get your teenage Christian daughter knocked up? I can see it now:

Chapter 32: Pregnancy

Abstinence doesn't work.

Or maybe she talks about what lipstick colour is best to differentiate hockey moms from pit bulls.  Or how she didn't seem to have a problem with rape victims in Wasilla having to pay for their own rape kits.  (But if there’s no hard evidence to charge a rapist, no charges can be laid, ergo crime rates go down.  So it makes sense, right?  I hate her.)  Or maybe she writes about how she’s an embarrassment to women in general and to women in politics specifically. 

Although anyone could fill 400 pages if they’re using a 72 pt font.

While I would never in a hundred-million-billion years ever spend money on this drivel, if a copy were to be within my reach I would feel compelled to pick it up and read a few pages.  Really, you can’t deny the entertainment value of a book like this. 

I sure hope she tries to run for President in 2012, if only for the sound bites and to guarantee Obama a second term.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Once more, with feeling

Word of the day: e-mo-tion (noun) An affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.

I'm in a weird place, emotion-wise, right now.  The past few weeks have been filled with more peaks and valleys than I really care for and it is making me long for the days when my emotions were the equivalent of Saskatchewan.

I've always been a fairly emotional person and over the past decade or so I've gotten better at actually showing my emotions.  This means that I feel and exhibit both the good and bad things that happen in my life, which is great when there's something worth celebrating (full time job, anyone?) but really damn well stinks when something bad happens (extermination X 3...so far). 

I've also been dwelling a lot on my future too.  (Sigh - what else is new?)  I made a promise to myself when I turned 29 that if, at 30, there was nothing to hold me to Toronto I would leave.  Funny how things have worked out in the seven months since I turned 29, as I now have one already-solid reason for not leaving Toronto (hate the corporate world all you want, but I could [and plan to] build a very happy career at Rogers) and one steadily-firming reason to kick around (holy relationship Batman!).

I've got a job-cum-career, a fantabulous beaufriend (I like that better than "boyfriend"), a cute but tiny apartment in an apparently up-and-coming neighbourhood, enough debt to prove I have an education but probably too many clothes and some good, solid friendships with people I truly love. 

So why is is that instead of relishing in my borderline 20-something cliche-dom, I'm a jittery, bubbling, insecure meat sack of emotion?

I've been contemplating Halloween costumes recently and have been tossing around the idea of going as Medusa and that's pretty appropriate right now because it's like I have a head full of emotion snakes, slithering around, all tangled and messed up and wriggling to be sorted out and freed.  (Is it ironic that I just made a snake analogy even though I loath and detest snakes with every ounce of my being?  I'm a little disturbed I did this, but it works.  Ugh/sigh.)


I hate snakes and I hate my emotions so I really hate my emotion snakes and I just don't know what I need to do to sort them all out.  It all comes to a head when I'm trying to fall asleep and I have nothing to distract me from all the thoughts and feelings and doubt that I have running through my brain.  As I lie awake pondering them all, I think I come up with some answers but I know deep down that they're all temporary solutions that will only lead to more snaky emotions. 

You know what, screw the snakes.  It's more like a big castle slowly being covered in ivy and vines and prickly bushes, waiting for the brave knight to show up and rescue the trapped princess.  Yes, I like that one so much better.  The problem is, once the knight gets through all the suffocating flora, I don't know what kind of princess he's going to release. 


Whether snakes or ivy or castles or whatever, I'm more than a little sick of my emotional ways.  Eff you emotions!  Eff you and the horse you rode in on! 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stupid emotions

Sometimes being patient and optimistic and upbeat about things wears me down.

Sometimes I want to throw a big-ass temper tantrum.

Sometimes I want to scream and cry and throw things and swear and blame everyone else for every little thing that might have ever happened to me in my life that might have caused me even the slightest amount of grief.

Sometimes I want to be able to let my guard down and actually be vulnerable and let someone else take care of me.  I mean really take care of me.

Sometimes I don't want to have to think about what the next step is because someone else will take care of that for me.

Sometimes I don't want to find the silver lining to whatever crap has been dumped in my lap - even if it's not really crap but it feels like crap because my mind is set to interpret everything as crap.

Sometimes I want to put my feelings and wants and needs (or perceived needs) ahead of everyone else and be the central focus, even though, deep down, I hate being the centre of attention.

Sometimes I want someone else to make it all better.

Sometimes I want my whining and complaining to actually make things better.

Maybe that sometimes is now.

Maybe I won't get to do any of this because that's just not me.

But maybe I will.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fail?!

Word of the day: fair (adjective) 1. Free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice. 2. Neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good.

I read an article in the Globe and Mail today that really irritated me. It’s about a study that found out girls study more and study better than guys; therefore they get better grades; therefore universities should cut guys some slack because they won’t do as well as girls.

Pardon me?

Sure, let guys get into university with lower grades because they can’t seem to get their shit together enough to actually earn an A. Then, when they get into the workforce and are working with women, since they didn’t work as hard to get there, they don’t get paid as much.

Hmmm…

Perhaps this is the answer to the pay equity issues that still exist in the working world. Equal pay for equal work, right?

Monday, September 21, 2009

A conversation with my blog


Word of the day:  gim-mick (noun) An ingenious or novel device, scheme, or stratagem, esp. one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.

“Hello, Blog.  How are you today?”

“I’m doing very well, thanks.  And you?”

“I’m well, thanks for asking.  I apologize for neglecting you for the past little while.  Things remain chaotic in my life and, unfortunately, it’s the same buggy reason.  So while I could update you, I would just be updating on the same things I’ve written on more than once already.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.  Don’t worry, I understand why you haven’t been posting.  I can’t say I blame you.  After all, who wants to read the same whiny stuff about bugs over and over again?”

“Too true.  Although it’s a little depressing that I don’t have anything else going on in my life that I can write about.  I really am that boring.”

“No, don’t say that Jen.  You’re not boring.  Why, I bet there are plenty of interesting things you’ve done since your last post that you could tell me about.”

“While I appreciate your optimism, there really isn’t much.  But for the sake of argument, I’ll try and tell you about what I’ve been up to.

“Let’s hear it.”

“Well, yesterday I went to a baby shower for my beau’s sister-in-law.  She’s expecting twins in November and she’s huge!  But she looks great and the shower was fun.  It’s always fun to see cute little baby things.  I’m often amazed at just how tiny the clothes are!  Of course, they’re meant for tiny little humans so it’s understandable and necessary.  But still…the stuff was damn cute.”

“There you go!  See, you are doing fun things.  What else, what else?”

“Um, well, I dressed up as a saloon girl for a friend’s birthday party.  I danced around in a black bustier and red-and-black striped bloomers, and I had elbow-length black gloves and a feather in my hair and lots of beaded necklaces.  Oh, and fishnets.  It was…an experience, that’s for sure.”

“Wow, I’m sorry I missed that!  Pictures?”

“No dice.”

“C’mon, please?  I promise I won’t show anyone!”

“Er, you’re a blog.  You’re on the internets.  You can’t help but show people.”

“Valid point.  So I’ll show everyone.  Can I still see a picture?”

“Well…just a small one…”












“Ooh, saucy!”

“It’s something, that’s for sure.  But enough of that.  On Labour Day weekend, my cousin got married.  It was a really beautiful wedding.  I cried.  It’s a little weird for me to see my younger cousins getting married.  I mean, I remember Craig when he was an annoying kid and now he’s all grown up and married with a house and he’s a cop…it makes me feel old.  And I’m still too young to feel old.”

“Save the feeling old until you turn 30.”

“Thanks for that.  Jerk.”

“Just want to keep you grounded.”

“Mm-hm.  So that’s about all I’ve got so I’m going to leave it there.  It was nice chatting with you.  And you’re not a jerk.  Well, not always a jerk.”

“I’ll take that.  It was nice to have you back for a bit.  Do visit again soon, won’t you?”

“Sure thing, Mr. Rogers.”

“Now you’re being a jerk.  You should go before this gets worse.”

“Will do.  Bye for now!”



Thursday, September 10, 2009

And now for some good news

Word of the day: good (adjective) Right; proper; fit.

You know when a bunch of crappy things happen and it just sucks the life right out of you?  And you feel yourself being dragged down into a black hole of awfulness?  And just when you think things are getting better - KABLAMO! - things get even worse?  And all you need is one, just one, good thing to happen to buoy you enough to get out of that black hole?

Well, my friends, that good thing has happened to me.

I've been working contract for just over a year now and, watching the economy and magazine industry get hit hard, I've been more than a little worried about my employment status.  But today I received my offer letter for full time employment.

YES.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

10 years later

Word of the day:  dec-ade (noun) A period of ten years

On my way home from work today, I happened to land on a subway car full of froshies. At first I was a little annoyed at their constant yelling and stomping and cheering, then it hit me - that was me. Ten years ago. That's right, 10. Ten years ago this month, I moved from my teensy home town to the big bad city. (Okay, so I only moved to York University campus, but to a girl from a town of 6,500, a campus [CAMPUS!] of 50,000 is like a big bad city.)

I almost can't believe that it's been 10 years since I came to Toronto.  A lot has happened in that time: the schooling, the apartments, the roommates, the jobs, the schooling (again), the friends, the boyfriends, the career.  The career is the important part because that is what's most likely to keep me here for a few more years, at least.

I never thought I'd end up moving to Toronto for school and especially never thought I'd end up living here.  In high school, I wanted to go anywhere but the T-dot.  I ended up here mainly out of spite; my mom wanted me to be a journalist and, despite getting accepted to Carleton, I didn't really want to be a journalist.  I could have gone to Guelph and lived with my aunt but I didn't want to do just an English degree.   Now - what do you know? - York has a concurrent education program...so I'm going to be a teacher!  So I went to York.

I'm not a teacher now.  I will never be a teacher.  During Reading Week in first year, I started filling out my concurrent ed application and the first question was, "Why do you want to teach?"  I spent the entire bus ride to Parry Sound thinking about this and never did have an answer at the end.  And so ended my teaching aspirations.

Despite graduating with a B.A. in History (history? really?) I opted to stay in the city and work a few different jobs that a B.A. in History qualified me for: call centre, retail, receptionist, serving.  When I finally discovered that I could parlay my love of books and magazines into a career, I was back in school and suddenly staying in Toronto.  All the good publishing jobs are here, don't you know.  (Okay, maybe not all the good jobs, but definitely the lion's share of the publishing jobs.  And a girl's got to start somewhere.)

So even though I not only never wanted to live in Toronto but specifically said (in my teenage  years) that I never would live in Toronto, here I am.  And I really don't know where the past 10 years went.  But this kind of retrospective is good for me, as I've been overreacting lately about my lack of accomplishments and not being where I want to be in my life.  I've done some pretty fun/cool/interesting/random/ridiculous/flat out stupid things in the past decade and I wouldn't change any of it because all those things have made me who I am today, brought me to where I am today, filled my life with the people I know today and created a fantastic base to help me build who I'll be tomorrow.  (That sounds a little more Oprah then I'd like, but I'm going to go with it.)

Ten years since I wore bright orange coveralls and tramped my way across Toronto, chanting and singing and discovering myself.  Ten years since I was fascinated at the tininess of TTC tokens.  Ten years since I really started nurturing my love of coffee.  Ten years since I bought my first couch - it was pink and inflatable.

I wonder what the next ten years will bring.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A vicious cycle


Word of the day: cul-pa-ble (adjective) Deserving blame or censure; blameworthy.

By now, I’m sure everyone not living under a rock has heard something about the Michael Bryant-Darcy Allan Sheppard incident earlier this week.  It’s a horrible tragedy for sure.  And, of course, it has led to the inevitable outcry from the cycling community for better bike lanes in the city.
  
I’m not a cyclist (because biking in this city terrifies me) but bike lanes are needed.  Here’s what I’m curious about: why is it, every time there is an accident involving cars and bikes, that it’s only cyclists who demand better bike lanes?  Why don’t motorists want them too?  Is it because they don’t want to share the streets with cyclists?  If so, I’ve got news for you: bikes aren’t going anywhere.  Whether it’s for transportation, exercise or employment, cyclists are here to stay.  So shouldn’t all sides want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to get around? 
  
As a pedestrian, I sure as hell want better bike lanes because I want cyclists off my sidewalks (see, they’re called sideWALKS not sideRIDES – get on the street). 
  
Maybe there are motorists out there who are advocating bike lanes; I guess it’s just because the media rarely/never highlights their arguments.  I suppose it makes for better news to pit cars against bikes in the battle for asphalt. 
  
Regarding battles – to go back to the Bryan/Sheppard tragedy – what kind of outcome can be expected when the victim isn’t so victim-y?  Depending on where you get your information, Sheppard was more than a bit of a jerk and was as antagonistic (if not more) than Bryant.  Unfortunately, Sheppard’s death makes it impossible to ever know what really happened between them and it’s hard to say both parties are guilty when one lost his life. 
  
I’m not trying to say Michael Bryant isn’t guilty because he pretty clearly is.  It’s just that Darcy Allan Sheppard isn’t the martyr some people would like to make him out to be and there’s more to this than a bad ol’ car taking out a poor innocent bike. 
  
Of course, people will fight and point fingers and try to lay blame instead of accepting responsibility where they should and then moving on to work towards a solution. 
  
Oh, and I’m pretty tired of hearing that Michael Bryant got special treatment when he was arrested and released and such.  Of course he got special treatment.  He’s a former politician and Attorney General; therefore he gets special treatment.  If you haven’t realized that’s the kind of society we live in, you really do need to come out from under your rock a little more frequently. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Helpless

Word of the day: help-less (adjective) Unable to help oneself; weak or dependent.

I am frustrated and overtired and annoyed and bummed out and irritated and anxious and worried and stressed.

But most of all, I feel completely, totally, utterly helpless.  And I damn well HATE feeling helpless.

I really thought that by this time I would be done with those effing bed bugs.  I really, truly did.  But alas, I am not.  I will be exterminated again on Friday, which is good, but in the meantime there is nothing I can do.  They should be gone after a second treatment (ha, should) and I really hope they are.  I really would like to put my life back in order, get back on a regular sleeping schedule (hell, just get back to sleeping in my bed), get back to a regular eating schedule (no more dinners that consist of spoonfuls of peanut butter, straight from the jar), get back to the gym so I feel human again.

And I'd really like to stop dreaming about bugs.  I'm sleeping poorly enough as it is, I don't need to have my dream world invaded by bugginess that only causes additional restlessness.

Most of all, I just want my home back.  Sigh.