Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First day of school-- adult version

I've taken yet another small leap into adulthood and bought my first couch. My first couch was my college boyfriend's futon in the apartment we shared our last year of school, which was achingly uncomfortable. And really, it was his couch.

My next couch came in the form of a large, heavy, seemingly permanent monster of a sofa that came with the apartment. It was my first place in Toronto, I moved in with a friend and we had no couch of our own, so this leave-behind suited our needs. My cats tore it a new one, and we left it behind two years later.

My third couch I bought used off a friend of a friend. It was a blue Ikea Ektorp and I got it for a whopping $500, haggled down in the 11th hour from $600. Why so much? Because I'm a sucker. The friend paid $700 plus tax and delivery for it a year earlier. Having never bought anything so large off someone and too shy to haggle with someone I know, well... anyway, it was $500. This was in 2006.

Three years later, the couch is now sitting on the side of the road. The cats murdered it some time ago, in the large window of time when I didn't have a scratching post for them, and it stopped smelling right some time this year.

So now I have a spiffy new couch from Urban Brick. A real live grown-up couch that has never been owned before. It's got an ottoman, it's sectional AND it turns into a double bed.

I went shopping for this couch with two friends of mine, lovely men who both had an inner Rolodex in their heads of all the good furniture stores in the downtown core. One of them took a picture of me buying the couch ("First grown up couch") and put it on Facebook. I was charmed and felt like a kid going to their first day of school.

All that's left for this godforsaken move is packing up and throwing things away.

As for the old couch, it's still on the curb, missing a couple cushions we kept to sit on until we move. It's been drizzling rain and the old ratty thing is a pathetic sight. I'm somehow reminded of this commericial.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Paint + Melodrama = Ouch

Okay, I'm so ready to die.

That was perhaps a little melodramatic. I'm in pain, I'm grumpy and hungry and yesterday was a small slice of hell.

This is called moving out and painting the new apartment. It's comprised of ignoring where you currently live, not buying anymore groceries so you won't have to move them, focusing entirely on changing the way the new place looks and eating a lot of crap. Yesterday? Harveys and pizza. The day before? Yogurt-covered almonds and appetizers and cookies.

This past year I've grown accustomed to curries and soups and wraps, all with lots of vegetables. I never used to be so into vitamins and minerals, but as opposed to being 20, I'm now concerned about my health in a more long-term way. I actually had a dream last night about tomatoes and zucchini. I miss them. I really do.

Last night in a fit of productivity and bravado, I hurt myself painting the hallway. We got the living room and bedroom done and were feeling mighty good about ourselves. The Dude suggested I go in today to pick things back up. So in my wisdom I figured the more we got done then, the less I'd have to do in the morning. "Let's finish the kitchen!" "On to the hall! We can do it!"

No, we could not. Rather, I could not. Halfway through, a sharp pain shot up my back and when I went to lie down and lengthen my spine (Thank you, Pilates) I realized I was in far worse shape than I had imagined. Now, nothing in life is nearly as satisfying and delightful as a good back crack, and sweet Jesus did I need one. Nothing came, nothing happened and the pain kept a shootin'.

The Dude finished the hallway while I writhed in pain in the living room and admired the new colour.

When we left, my feet also also given up. The arches were burning and protesting each step. Then my elbow started to give and soon all my rolling had caught up to me. I was a hot mess. Pardon the use of the phrase "hot mess", but I've always been really fond of it. But to be fair, there was nothing hot about the state I was in.

I'm not going in today. I can't straighten my elbow. I feel frail and wimpy. I'm going to snuggle with my cats, and finish off those almonds. I'm sure the paint gods will understand.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The catalyst of the couch

T-minus four days until I move and I'm nursing my anxieties with yogurt-covered almonds, at 220 calories and 15 grams of fat per nine pieces. I've eaten about half the container for breakfast this morning.

We all have our ways of convincing ourselves we're not really getting chubby. I've known of women who claim that since their breasts are large, they're really 10 pounds lighter. When I see my expanding waistline, I think to myself, "Goodness, I'm bloated." What other explanation can there be with all the chocolate I've been eating?

I'm thinking that all this moving is really bad for my health. I can't imagine why I continue to do this to myself. It's a really patient method of masochism. Every year I must cause myself some mental pain, uproot, readjust and try again. My dad constantly moved around. As a kid when I'd go to visit him, every year or two he'd be somewhere else. In contrast, I lived in the same house from practically birth to 16 years old. In this respect, I suppose I'm just as much a vagabond as my father. With my mother's taste in furniture.

The Dude is painting right now. He's insisted I go to a friend's party tonight as I'm too tightly wound to help. He might be right. I had a small panic attack coming home from Sears after being shut down by the Sears guy. All I wanted was a couch that could fit up a narrow stairway. In a neutral colour. Maybe something that could be taken apart. All he'd do was shake his head no at me.

And walking home, my world suddenly consisted only of this absence of a suitable couch and I got home, laid down on my stomach and laughed and cried. If this were a scene in an indie movie, the audience would know it's not just about the couch, but a symptom of a larger psychological working of the mind and the couch and unhelpful Sears man were only the catalyst for this maniacal laughter and tears, which had been held in over other matters, which had been repressed over an indeterminable amount of time.

But it's not an indie movie and the Dude had no idea what to do with me. So he made me spaghetti, put on some Entourage and worked out some kinks in my shoulders. When I was sensible he more or less banned me from painting today.

I could use the break from worrying. And my friend always has cupcakes at his parties.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Moneys

Sometimes I want to be an angsty teen again, only because I never had to pack up all my belongings and pay the bills. Sure, I cried for no reason and had pimples and went to high school and over-analyzed my crushes, but whateves. I spent my money on candy. And to get said money, I babysat and worked at a pita place occasionally. Oh, and a hot dog cart. I really liked working at the hot dog cart.

I also spent money on clothes, movies, slushies, poutine, temporary tattoos, hair dye, highlights, nail polish and alcohol I bought on the sly. I miss that. I miss being an irresponsible frivolous person.

And now I'm off to go buy paint for my new apartment, and putty for the walls. Yep.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

STFU

Okay, so I'm moving in a week, blah, blah, blah. Stress, stress, stress. I'm barely packed, other than my books, still haven't curbed or sold everything that needs to get its useless self outta my house, and we get the keys to the new place a week later than we thought we would. Still have to clean, patch walls, paint, pack, and basically haul our sorry asses all over God's countryside to get everything done. We won't have a couch for a few days and apparently it's nearly impossible to move one in to the new place. Can't wait to see if my new designated work area will actually be big enough. Excited to see if the closet space will be adequate and if there really is room in the bathroom for the litter box.

But I'm cool. Chill, even. And I hate that word "chill." Like when people say, "I like him, he's chill." I feel like giving that person a small slap on the cheek. But anyway, moving sucks. Everyone knows that.

What doesn't suck are blogs. I'm devotedly attached to STFU blogs. STFU Marrieds, STFU Parents, STFU Believers. I love them. Love, love, love. I can't start my day without reading their updates. Fill me with the bullshit of people who I don't have to know personally. Yes, please! And for good measure, top me up with some Lamebook.

I've learned a lot from STFU Parents, in particular. And from new parents on my friend list on Facebook, who are now updating their status more frequently. Or at all. Prior to parenthood, I suppose they didn't feel they had much they wanted to say.

Anyhoo, one of the things STFU Parents (and the young New Parents I know) is that babies explode poop. I did not know this. It seems to happen on some kind of regular basis. I never would have imagined that small little critter people (babies) expel more than their weight in excrement at various intervals. I will never hold someone's baby again. Imagine, all this time when I accepted offers to hold someone's infant, I was actually craddling a ticking poop bomb. And wasn't warned! WTF?

Another one of the things I've learned is that parents are fascinated by said poop: it's smell, texture, frequency, inconvenient places it happens... That and vomit. Many of the updates I've read in my own newsfeed are about disgusting bodily fluids, only presented as though these things are funny, and not making people like me question yet again whether having children is a good idea.

Frankly, right now the jury's still out. My uterus is really weighing its options right now, as the more gross parenthood sounds, the less I want to do it. And my womb can be pretty prissy, boy howdy.

In any case, I've signed a two-year lease for a one-bedroom apartment. Ain't no chance I'll be creating any new life for a wee while. I don't want one of those dresser drawer babies. My dresser's full.

I kid... I kid... But no really, I'd need a bigger dresser.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Three Things

Three things:

1. I am part of a craft club. I spend the evening with friends at one of their homes and we spent our Saturday night making bean frames. We had five varieties of beans and glued them on a few frames and then discussed our next craft.

Saturday nights about six years ago used to be spent either drinking, wanting to drink, or recovering from drinking on Friday night. There was some expectation of shenanigans. Now shenanigans make me feel the shame and pain, and I'm more preoccupied with making my new apartment-to-be look pretty. I believe this is called nesting.

2. The Dude came home yesterday and told me he went to a yard sale (Didn't I tell you?) and that he brought home a vintage KFC Colonel collectible piggy bank for $5. He preempted my protests by saying there was nothing I could say or do to make him throw it away. He has spent this morning on Kovels.com looking up old crap he's found on the side of the road and which I have made him sell or throw away. So far the biggest complaint is the chair. For an investment of $200 for materials, he could have repaired the chair 10 years down the road and it would be worth $400. For the record, the website said the Colonel is worth $18 American.

3. Today is an anniversary. I wanted to save it for last because it's the most important. 10 years ago my mom died. My younger brother and I were teenagers. I remember feeling lost, incapable of getting out of bed some mornings and thinking about the future was too hard. And now the future that I couldn't bear thinking about is here. I'm living it.

And I've learned something about grief, the real kind of grief that changes you. When you lose one of the few people in your life who truly and utterly matter to you, you never really get over it. You learn to adapt, to cope and to find joy in other areas of life. But you never feel less sorrow over your loss. You just know how to deal with it and keep moving forward.

I've been trying these past 10 years to become the sort of woman my mom would want to know. I will never get the chance to become her friend in my adult years now, but I can at least try to be someone she'd like. It's made me think a lot about my moral compass. Some people look to religion or the law or their parents. I'm using her memory.

I also know that at the 20-year mark, and the 30-year mark, I'll still miss her as much as I do now. And while it hurts, it's a comfort. Love is sometimes measured by how much pain you feel in its absence.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Flash

Okay, like I said I would, this is the time I got flashed.

So I'm 12 years old and I've been walking to school for about a month. A new school got built nearby and I was aching for a chance to sleep in instead of catching the bus. My mom was pro exercise, responsibility and such so off I'd go, later and later each day. Sleeping in was bitchin'.

To get there, I had to leave my subdivision and enter the one adjacent, where the school was built. There was this beautiful walkway, tree-lined, gravel path, winding and turning, with lights built in for evening strolls. It was about a five-minute walk and a nice way to start the day.

So I'm walking through this path and I see a crouched figure in the brush. At first I think it's a kid. Nope. Then I see he's kind of shaking. Then I see he's definitely an adult. Then he stands up and I see the first erect penis I've ever encountered. Being 12 doesn't seem to guarantee such innocence these days, but back in the ancient times of 1995, it was pretty much a given that I was seeing something new.

I once heard how the natives couldn't see Columbus' ships because their eyes had no basis for understanding what they were looking at. Same deal. I stared at this protruding thing that looked like a fat, over-boiled hotdog and tried to figure it out. I really didn't know. Apart from being an innocent 12, I also attended Catholic school and this is not the sort of detail either my mom or my teachers ever revealed: that penises could look this weird and ridiculous.

So the man gets affronted, imagine that, and asks me what my problem was. Hadn't I ever seen a thing stick up before? It was an interesting question to ask an elementary school girl. I really hadn't ever seen anything like it. Which reminds me of the time I was 15 and babysitting a toddler and a passing woman asked me if he was mine. I mean, seriously.

Moving on, I ran like the wind. Adrenaline pumping, mind racing. "I just saw a penis! A PENIS!" I walked the rest of the way to school and this girl in my class rode by on her bike and told me I looked like I'd seen a ghost. No, not a ghost, I replied, a penis. A PENIS!

So she dragged my sorry ass to the office where I had to relate the whole thing, about the penis, the comment about the penis, how I ran from the penis.

So of course they call my mom and she cries. The girl cried, because the man had apparently said hi to her. Everyone was upset I'd seen a penis. They called the police. The police wanted a description of the man. And this of course was impossible because I spent all my time staring at his penis.

Long story short, there was a to-do throughout the school, memos were sent home, I rode the bus to school from then on, and my beloved path was cleared of all the trees so no more penis perverts could hide in them.

I was sad to move away from that neighbourhood, but I sure did make my mark on the scenery. Bummer.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Weiners.

I've been thinking a lot about kids in general, only now it's thinking about what I would do or not do, rather than thinking about children in the abstract. You know, the little people that exist around us, make noise and say cute things in tiny clothes, and what is the deal with all their issues?

Like okay, walking to school. I went on a walk recently and all the kids were coming out of class and their parents were picking them up! And not in cars, on foot, so they were close to home. This is in a residential neighbourhood and I'm not referring to the 5, 6, 7 year olds who probably need some supervision. These kids were 8, 9, 10... They couldn't get home themselves? None of them? I did see one about to hit the road alone, but then he took out his cell phone and I died a little inside.

I got my first cell phone when I was 25. If I could get through life without one until then, every kid can. I mean, come on! Kids are coddled. And I know there's a lot of paranoia about children being carted off by strangers, but your kid probably has a better chance of drowning in a neighbour's inground pool than getting snatched off the street by some random pervert. Risk assessment, man.

Know what I think is a risk? Making children grow up in a risk-free environment where they never face situations alone. All this crap about keeping kids safe is bogus nonsense. Kids are supposed to get hurt, get lost, cry, make errors and then learn from it. If you're a parent, you'll probably suffer worse for watching it happen, but you make the choice to be a parent, so live with it!

I've heard of elementary schools no longer allowing kids to walk home alone. It's either the bus or getting picked up by your parents. Lame, lame, lame. And this is coming from someone who got flashed on the way to school one day when she was 12. It's become my favourite story. Not that I'm angling for kids to get flashed, but in all honesty, every shitty experience a kid has is just something that will either build character or give them a great ice-breaking story for adulthood.

I have a distinct memory of "running away from home" when I was 5 or 6. That is, I took my baby blanket, wrapped my favourite toys inside of it and tied it to a stick like a hobo. I then announced my intentions to leave and never come back and marched into the sunset. I went far off into the neighbourhood, out of my mom's sight.

I came back in about 10 minutes. My mom never chased me down or asked me to come back. Inside the house she informed me how ridiculous I had behaved. Mom: 1, Me: 0.

Today's mother apparently doesn't let her child out of her sight. Today's mother in that case would miss out on the opportunity my mom had for a smooth passive power play in which she emerged victorious and I defeated.

I'll tell the story of the flashing another time. It really is a goodie.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gray skies are going to clear up, with red hair colouring

Like I mentioned earlier, the Dude found a gray hair or four on me not long ago. I think this was in retaliation for me finding a small collection of grays on him first. But whatever his motives, evil though they may be, they were there. I've started to go gray. This is ridiculous.

I colour my hair somewhat regularly, so A. I'll be covering it up anyway, and B. it's no wonder it's escaped my notice. Except right after he found the last one, I went to the bathroom and found one right in front of me, just hanging out, all gray and shit, not a care in the world. I'm 26! WTF! And of course I reflected I was almost 27 and I could envision an older me.

There were a few things I thought of that shame me when I saw those gray hairs. One, I'm not married. I'm going gray and I'm in my 20s and I'm unmarried. Two, I have not had children. I'm becoming a white-haired old lady and my uterus is still in factory mint condition.

These were passing thoughts, but damn if they didn't shoot into my head. I don't think this happens to men. They don't have "best-before" dates the way women walk around feeling like they have.

It made me think of some Discovery Channel specials on sex and attraction and how hair was an indicator of health and youth. So my hair is supposed to advertise my fertility and such. Well, it's failing! I mean, come on.

But on the flip side, beyond my hair turning on me and signalling the beginning of the end of times for my womb, I've been wondering if I even want kids. The Dude says it's my call because he could go either way. He doesn't feel any looming timeline and he is unconcerned. But I do have to decide. I wouldn't want to experience pregnancy in my late 30s. The recovery is supposed to be ass as you get older, and the toll it takes on your body is supposed to be worse. I'd also want to space them out, because caring for two small diapered kids is my idea of hell.

I don't really have parents to make happy or unhappy with grandchildren. I like sleeping in. I enjoy travel. I don't drive.

At the ovarian cancer walk, I saw a lot of moms. Tons. I overheard some of them talking and I watched them interact with their kids. It hit me that I find most of them terribly boring. Is this what happens? Do children make you boring? Or is it that a lot of boring people have kids? Is it because a lot of women lack a sense of self and then find identity in their kids and families? Occasionally do I encounter a mother (with kids at home) who I think is vibrant and interesting, in and of herself. They're out there, and they fill me with relief. Why aren't there more of them? Why are the majority mombies (zombie mommies)?

And this is the chain of thoughts spawned by a few gray hairs. Life is funny.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Walk

Today I walked the Winner's Walk Of Hope. It was 5km for ovarian cancer. I raised somewhere around $600-something. I felt really proud of myself. I think it's the first really worthwhile thing I've done all year.

My mom died of this cancer when I was a teenager. In a week's time it'll have been 10 years. She was 49, I was 16.

When I was working in an office, my co-worker of some years would bring me April daffodils from the Cancer Society and I'd watch them bloom in my basement office. I have a daffodil tattoo on my hip, which I got when I was 19. But otherwise, I've not done very much other than remember her, and feel bad on Mother's Day.

Today was different. I bought a sunflower for the walk and when it started, I turned on my iPod and listened to music that inspired me. I had my sunglasses on and I cried a little behind them, as I wondered if my mom was proud of me, and I saw people wearing shirts saying things like "Team Colleen," and "For Mama."

I made really good time. I finished in under an hour. I was exhausted, but I felt like I gave it my best effort. My mom was always really happy when I was active outdoors. I was a pretty sedentary kid. I remember how excited she was when I joined the track team.

I don't have much more to say. I hope she was watching.

This is actually crossing the finish line.
I used that sunflower to harass Dude all the way home.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, take your business elsewhere

I'm protective of my skin. I'm like helicopter parent protective of my skin. It started when I was 13 and I would wear my jacket over top of my head to shield my face from the sun. My friends thought I was crazy, I knew they were right, and I did it anyway.

When I was 16 I went on some acne meds that suggested I avoid the sun. Oh boy! Medical advice that told me to do something I was already doing, but now with clout! Seriously nothing more awesome than being able to justify what has always been neurotic behaviour with announcing it's doctor's orders. I took the liberty of spending even more time in the shade. I crossed the street if the trees on the other side seemed to offer more cover from the sun. I'd plot walking routes according to the time of day and tall buildings and trees to stay out of the sun the most.

As a kid I was slathered in sun screen at my daycare (Which I was stuck attending till I was 10, which is another story for another day), and my mom was militant about SPF. My dad in contrast used to burn his skin on purpose to "build a good foundation." He used to get my brother and I to peel off his sunburns. I think it had a bit of an effect on me. In addition to having a strong aversion to the sun, I now greatly enjoy picking at things.

By the time I left high school, I was preoccupied with premature aging. We're talking creams, facials, moisturizers with SPF, masks, the works. And all while avoiding the sun. I never took up smoking for the sole reason of not wanting to damage my skin. Plus it was smelly and tastes like sour wet dog. But even if it made my soul sing, the skin damage alone would have put the kibosh on that. I brought home some expensive anti-wrinkle cream in college and weeks after asked my college boyfriend if he noticed anything different about my skin, and said I'd been using this cream. He said it worked miracles on my terribly wrinkled 20-year-old face. I probably had that one coming.

It's not that I'm afraid of looking old... exactly. It's not even that I'm against natural aging. It's just that it's the one thing that I've been aware of my whole life, whereas every other natural thing about getting older I simply assumed would just not happen to me. Gaining weight? Pfft, as if. Gray hair? Ha! Maybe when I'm 50! (That's another story, a dark tale of woe)

But getting wrinkles, now there is a battle I'm going to be prepared for. And wouldn't you know, I have the beginnings of crows feet and a nice long line in my forehead. It hardly seems fair.

Mr. Sun, you win this round. But it's not over.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just like grandma. Not my grandma, but someone's grandma.

There are two things I want to learn how to do: needle work and cake design. I'm aware this makes me sound like grandma. Not my grandma, but someone's grandma. But lately as I sit around wasting my time and watching the days pass without anything to show for it except dead skin cells, I think it would be nice to have something tangible I can see or touch to mark the passing of time.

Most of the things I do are about self maintenance. I have started Pilates because I'm getting pudgy and I've never been able to touch my toes. I'm getting pudgy because I can no longer eat everything I want, and yet I still do. I can't touch my toes because God hates me. Actually, I don't know why I can't touch my toes. I have a distinct memory of kindergarten gym and my teacher pointing me out to show the other kids that not everyone can touch their toes. That's how I know I've never been able to do it, both freeing me somehow from the responsibility of my current failure to bend, and also discouraging me at the same time.

I take belly dance classes, and have for over a year, but even that feels like it's about exercise in a lot of ways. Afterward, instead of reflecting on what I've learned, I think about how many calories that must have burned and boy could I go for a waffle and ice cream.

So taking up needlework would be an inexpensive, possibly rewarding hobby for the sake of learning and having some skill to speak of. As for my other desire, cake decorating, that may spiral me to need even more exercise. And since I only exercise under supervision and I'm not sure I can afford more classes of whatever offers supervision if I take cake classes too, this may be problematic. I still want to do it, though, because I like cake.

Also, I find myself zoning in and out of reality. I've always been like that, losing my focus during inappropriate times: school, work, conversations with people, hearing instructions. Yeah, I don't have my driver's license. All I need is to get distracted on the roads in Toronto. I don't need my face on the news. I don't want my obituary to state that I when I kicked the pail, I took down a bushel of strangers with me.

But I've found that when my mind is partially occupied with something my hands are doing, I'm suddenly more alert. I learned this when I was using my laptop in college during class and I was playing Dynomite online. One hand was kicking ass, and the other was raising in the air to answer questions (my teachers didn't care for this habit). Maybe needlework is the answer. I can't exactly tote my laptop around everywhere and conduct conversations that way. But I can get out some knitting needles. Even if they make me look like an old lady in training.

When I was younger I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. I thought it would be cool. But of course I'm not cool, and I couldn't even get past level 2 in piano after five years. Now all I want is to have something to do while I sit around vegetating that will enable me to pay more attention to my surroundings. Also, I think my life could use more cake.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

True Twilight, Larry style

If you're a teenager, or even in your 20s, you're probably very into Twilight. Well, not everyone. Differing tastes and everything. I can think of tons of people who would probably applaud if some random hobo gave Stephenie Meyer a bop in the nose for her trouble.

But aside from that, I think it's fair to say that this book series and now the movies are angled towards the young and young at heart and despite the adult fans out there (and embarrassingly I must admit I am one) Twilight is for teen girls. And does it deliver. Perfect boyfriend, no money problems, marrying into a family that totally accept her, romance, intrigue, excitement, devotion...

The main draw, I think, is the destined love. Love you don't need to question, doubt, consider against other options. Yes, there's all the peril, but it's just background noise. Teen girls care about relationships. One where everything's perfect and the love is unwavering and the loyalty undying (literally) is irresistible.

I've been watching True Blood. I read Twilight to get lost in the fantasy of perfect love. I watch True Blood because I can relate to love being complicated, complex, and often a choice, where there are other options and sometimes you have to weigh them against what is known and familiar. Also they're older, working, not in high school, and I can take those relationships much more seriously.

Obviously the demons, shapeshifters, vampires and serial murders don't cut much ice in the reality department, but that's just more of that background noise that surrounds what is desired: a good love story and complex characters. Creative language. Some laughs. Intrigue. But really, it boils down to love.

I don't think it's even the high school aspect that makes Twilight so ideal for teens and less palatable for adults. I think it's the fact that love is not perfect, it's not always smooth, it's often rocked by problems from within and it makes you question yourself, your beliefs, your actions, your needs and sometimes who you are. So the leap that is required to accept the love in Twilight is something that in most people is too far, too long, too difficult. You don't have to believe in the supernatural, but you do have to believe all-encompassing, dependent, unselfish, unyielding eternal commitment is possible, and all without doubts, fighting, weakness, causing hurt or misunderstanding. And waiting till marriage. I mean, really.

I'm finding myself drawn to True Blood, where the couple fights, isn't perfect together, aren't destined, but choose to be together out of love. I don't believe in fate. I could believe in forever existing in some abstract concept. But I'm with Larry David on this one.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Caption the fun

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm at the lake and in the company of 30-somethings. I was, anyway. They drove off into the horizon not long ago.

The morning was spent discussing the career of the married man. There was a round table discussion, as most there had careers which were well in place. There was mention of blogging your company's progress and inspirations, creating a bio for potential clients and what sort of photo such a bio should have.

The Dude is beginning just such a career in photography. I have no such thing. My job is to watch television at home. This in many ways is what I would have put down as my dream job when as a child I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, had I known this would actually be a option. My mother had always insisted to me that it was not an option when she wanted me to be more productive with my time.

I do closed captioning. I've been doing closed captioning since I was 22. In fact I was hired just prior to my 22nd birthday. I'm in my fifth year of this profession. I need not advertise, I don't have to keep samples of my work. Hell, I can turn on the TV and find samples of my work any time.

I never thought I would be doing this sort of thing for a living. I used to have to at least leave the house and go to an office. Now that's a thing of the past and I live in my pyjamas and every time I go out of doors, it's kind of an event. I will carefully select an outfit, apply makeup and mosey around until I'm good and ready to make an appearance to the world, which will not notice what I look like anyway because this is Toronto and no one notices anything about anybody. But still.

By now doing closed captioning is terribly easy for me. I still have an entry level position and would enjoy some new challenges. As it is, I can churn out my work at top speed and sit back and marvel that I'm getting paid for this. I use dictation and can now speak in grammar, "Hi comma have you been waiting long question mark new line no comma not really period new line." I sometimes "caption" real life to annoy the Dude, repeating everything he says in caption speak. In absence of him providing me any material, which usually follows him saying, "Shut up! Stop it!", I then "caption" various noises around us.

"Shut up exclamation point stop it exclamation point"
(Footsteps)
(Groaning)
(Chuckling)
"Knock it off exclamation point"
(Sighing)
(Pause)
(Extended pause)
(Traffic din)
(Exasperated sigh)
"I hate you period"
(Chortling)

One finds one amusements where one can period

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Home on the range

I'm at the lake. This is my one real summer excursion. I'm at the Dude's parents' place, his dad and stepmom. There is going to be a horseshoe tournament this weekend, and Dude's stepbrother and his fiancee and two of their friends are also here. They're older than the Dude and I, married, homeowners and such. Another event happening this weekend is Drink-All-Day Day. I'm missing this in Toronto to be at Bob's Lake to play horseshoes with the Dude's family and his parents' cottage friends.

This is an annual tradition, this tournament. So is Drink-All-Day Day. They both fall on the same weekend each year. I will presumably miss Drink-All-Day Day for the rest of the foreseeable future. Horseshoes is the direction my Labour Days are going.

I'm the youngest person in this house right now. Not long ago, the other four non-senior adults huddled over a laptop to look at couches on the internet. The married couple discussed buying cedars for their home. After dinner, there was wedding planning discussion. Last night over the campfire they discussed home renovations.

I've been observing quietly, having nothing much to contribute to these conversations. It's been something to think about for me. What do I normally talk about with my friends? What do we discuss together? Honestly, I couldn't tell you. I suppose friends just have a rapport with one another, and conversation follows. Without that rapport, topics jump out at you, and you can sit amidst it and watch.

I do know, though, that home ownership is something that has come up with great interest. My pal owns a condo. My best friend owns her own home. This is talked about and I truly care. Maybe the difference is age. My late-20-something friends who own property own it as a stepping stone and it's still new. The mid-30 crowd own property as their permanent home. It's a different stage of life.

Maybe it just scares me a little.

Owning a home is a dream of mine and I am overwhelmed by the prospect, and nervous on the other hand that it may never come to fruition. I guess I'm afraid of growing up.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I don't understand Twitter.

I used Myspace. I blogged back in 1999. I have Facebook. Of course I email. I'm on message boards. I shop over the internet. I do online banking.

I just don't get Twitter. Either it's pointless, or I'm just simply not important enough to use it. I think it must be both. I immediately got a few followers and this confused me. Especially the Lesbian Mafia. Why would they add me? And some random teen girls I don't know. And then suddenly, they were gone, following me and my doings no more. I felt a vague sense of rejection.

I joined to see what the shebang was all about and suddenly got a glimpse of my future. Not the future where I'm going to be "tweeting", but the distant future when I'm about 65 or so and I'm trying to use a a technology and I feel lost, confused and would like someone to hold my hand and tell me that it's okay I don't know how to use this program because it's really, really complicated.

Between not having anything to say on a constantly changing basis that would be of interest to others, and not really understanding how to use the site, I was defeated for the first time by a social networking site.

But upon writing this, I've taken a peek back at it. I read various tweets, most of which are not relevant to my interests, and I added-- sorry, tweeted, "Inglorious Basterds rocked my socks." You know, if anyone wanted to know.

Now this is worth talking about.