Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Four years ago today, I sat on the couch in a yellow fuzzy bathrobe, eating cornpops, and you were born.
In the years since, I've turned to you in times of angst, of jubilation, drunken celebration, naked joy and unemployment. I wrote exams, marked exams, wore a ridiculous graduation hat. I wrote cover letters. I moved, moved again, moved AGAIN...and one more time for good measure, at least. I dated several men whose names all started with the letter J- untrustworthy letter, that J, all loopy at the bottom. Easy to get snagged on, J, much like a fish hook.
Toss them back.
I was single, I was not. I met someone whose name did NOT start with a J. I was bitter, I was blissful. I ate cupcakes, craved butter chicken, gave up Starbucks and bumped my addiction up to six cups of drip coffee a day.
I bought a car, a sofa and a zillion fashion magazines that made me feel shitty about myself.
I've had five different business cards.
I started over, again and again. I failed, I failed better, I failed worse, but at least I tried.
And here we are, blog, four years later and no stupid book deal like that ridiculous woman Julie - all SHE did was cook her way through a collection of recipes! I lived a LIFE!
But here we go again. Year 5. Maybe this year, we'll get it right.
Or maybe not. But what would be the fun in no mistakes?
Hugs and kisses,
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
We drove back from BC yesterday, wearing in those winter tires something fierce on completely dry roads. What a bust- but of course, if I hadn't bought them, we would have gone careening off a cliff somewhere and that would be the end of this blog. Not a fitting end, eh?
Gary's gone back to work, but I'm still off until January 4th, sitting about drinking coffee heavy on the flavoured non-dairy creamer, eating fererro rochers, reading Irish chick lit (sooo the best kind) and back issues of Cosmo and boogie-ing to Weezer around the living room.
This is the stuff holidays are made of.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This is how I know I'm in a long-term relationship, people - I can eat the stinkiest salad ever, and still get into bed and snuggle up beside someone with no guilt.
I mean, I brushed my teeth and hit the Listerine, but still. No guilt! Amazing. Soon, we'll enter into that beloved sweat pants and no caring about our attractiveness phase!
Wait. Already there. Ooops.
Anyway, while we were at dinner it hit me that there were only a handful of days left in the year. In the DECADE.
I'm staring straight down the pipe into a fresh new decade and I feel...nothing. I mean, I was psyched for the start of the '90s. I was only 6, but my mom's Lady Fashion Magazines proclaimed loudly that the Woman of the '90s was independent, smart and fashionable.
The new millennium rocked my socks, and during the last decade I got my driver's license, went to Europe twice, graduated from high school and university, had four 'career' jobs, bought a brand new car and lived in a gazillion different apartments. I also suffered tremendous heartbreak, epic job failure, broken friendships, bouts of angsty depression and my hair started to turn this awesome silvery colour.
But I can't seem to get worked up for the '10s. While my assistant pointed out that the next ten years of my life are probably going to be the most exciting - the wedding, baby and family years, where I'll really hit home on that career thing and might even buy a home to raise said family in - it just doesn't seem monumental.
Because, honestly - everyone is walking around in leggings, inner-eyelid eyeliner and ripped plaid flannel. Bon Jovi will be here in July. It might as well be 1989 all over again.
Monday, December 21, 2009
The moral of every holiday movie is the same - cheer, goodwill, blah blah blah, love, kindness, etc. I keep thinking that I'll come around, that I'll wake up on Christmas morning, look out the window at the quiet world blanketed with snow, and be filled with joy.
But after bursting out into tears in the parking lot at Denny's while wishing my parents a Merry Christmas/safe drive, it seems unlikely.
I've been completely unfair to my boyfriend, who is a lovely person who volunteered to go to Fountain Tire, purchase and have winter tires installed, and then walk back to work AND walk back to Fountain Tire to pick up *my* car.
(I'm a bit bummed that all the money I have in the world right now, including my christmas money from my grandmas and my parents, is going to pay for stupid snow tires instead of a netbook and new lip gloss, but at least we won't die (hopefully) while attempting to cross through two mountain passes in BC on Thursday.)
But I've been a total Grinch. I've been in/on the verge of tears for a week, and I keep saying some variation of "Christmas SUCKS." Poor Gary is super excited for us to spend our first Christmas at his Mom's house, together, and I'm ruining it.
I don't know how to suck it up and deal and get over myself and smile, so I've decided that I'm going to cry my little eyes out in the bathroom all I want, but then I'm going to put my big girl santa pants on and try to be merry.
Though honestly...the only thing worse than NOT being Merry is TRYING to be Merry when you are most definitely not.
Friday, December 18, 2009
The meat was so delicious that I am contemplating driving up there right now for another plate of brisket. Mmmm. Brisket.
Mom and Dad also gave me my gifts for Christmas. They are sitting, wrapped, under our rubber tree plant, because our house is where Christmas Traditions go to die.
I will try my very best not to open them before Christmas, but it's reaaaaally tempting. I mean, who would know? Only Gary.
But the guilt! Oh, the seasonal guilt. What to do?
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
2. Drink 3 glasses of wine at your office Christmas Lunch.
3. Go back to work for 4 hours after said Office Christmas Lunch and attempt to actually DO THINGS.
4. Drink a can of Crush Cream Soda in an attempt to 'straighten up'.
5. Spend the afternoon coding invoices. Sorry, accounting department....
Monday, December 14, 2009
arrrhhhh 2000 exploding snowglobes arrhhhh minus forty four errehhghhh wtf, batman ehhggghhh what do you mean I can't park in the loading dock ghhh why are the bridges in and out of downtown edmonton one way ghhhhhhhhhhh what do you mean you have bronchitis bghwhehdhgheggg RESPECT THE SAFE FOLLOWING DISTANCE RULES HIGHWAY DRIVERS aeasdlkgasd why is it so bloody cold in Red Deer ghghhhhwhhwwwwwwwwwwttttffffff SHIT. BLACK ICE. grrrrr where are the 10,000 playbills I ordered aahh I hate driving to Edmonton ghhhhhhsshshhhssshhh don't phone me at home gooososososssaskjhasdf going to work on Saturday arglkajsddflasdfghhhhhhrrrrrrr Martha Stewart, you are a LYING BITCH.
That felt good.
In other news, yesterday I went and bought myself the biggest fricking cubic zirconium stud earrings I could find. Because I'm a girl. And girls like shiny things they can wear in their ears.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I live downtown. I transit or walk to work. We do drive, but I like to walk where and when I can, because it's hella easier than parking downtown.
But the moments when I stop myself and go, Hey, Small-town, You've Made It! are far and few between.
Today at lunch I was running errands, walking through the softly-falling snow, gettin' my business done. I was wearing a grown up lady wool coat, a dress, high heeled boots, a jaunty hat. I was swinging my handbag and bustling and hustling with the best of them, up and then back down 9 city blocks.
I'm livin' the big city dream.
(The big city dream that today screams HAAA, SUBURBANITES, It took me 10 minutes to get home and you are still stuck on the road trying to get out of downtown!)
Monday, December 07, 2009
(And the volleyball team, and the track team, and the badminton team, and the yearbook committee, and the drama club, and the spirit committee, and the student council. And I worked about 15 hours a week. Idiot, that's what I was.)
But anyway. I was on the basketball team. And I SUCKED at basketball. I was a terrible, pathetic excuse for a basketball player. But every winter, for four to six months, I laced up my sneakers and practiced several times a week. In high school, I had morning practice twice a week, and evening practice two to three times a week, and then played in tournaments almost every weekend from December to March.
And I hated basketball.
I wanted so badly to be part of a team. I wanted to be good at something. I wanted to be liked, to be included, to have friends. Being on the basketball team gave me something to do in a tiny town of 400, helped me get an occasional invitation to a party, and got me out of the house in January. And while my previous statement up above may cause you to believe different, I actually do really enjoy the sport. Watching it, that is. From the sidelines.
And I tried. I tried so hard. I tried, and tried, and tried again. I did my best, and then I kept going. BUT I STILL SUCKED. And I still went home and cried my little eyes out almost every single night after practice, because I just wanted to belong, be better. My feet didn't do what my brain wanted them to, I was bigger and slower and less coordinated than everyone, and I was ashamed of being the laughingstock of the team for SEVEN YEARS.
I played in a grand total of 10 games in my Grade 12 year- and we played close to 3 games a week for 5 months.
So the lesson here that I've learned, almost 10 years later is this:
If something makes you cry and hate yourself and wish you were dead, and even if you give your very best effort, YOU STILL SUCK AT IT, there is no shame in calling it off.
And so, on that note: I am quitting adult ballet classes.
Yeah. This year I'm totally not feeling it.
I'm not going home for the first time in my life. By home, I mean to wherever my parents are going, because we alternated years between their sides of the family. I'm going to BC with Gary to his mom's, which will be really nice and I'm very excited about it, but it won't be the same.
No zillions of cousins, no twenty kinds of cookies, no stockings, no angry dominoes, super competitive jigsaw puzzling or Bailey Family Shinny/Curling Bonspiel/Snowman Making Contest/Cribbage Tournament/Nature Walk. (By the way, this sounds awful, but those activities are a lot more fun now that I can drink festive boozy beverages!)
Top that off with a seasonal work schedule o' crap, no tree in our tiny shoebox of an apartment, limited ambition to bake more than one kind of cookie (so far I'm at two, but the first batch required 'quality control' testing measures and won't make it past Friday), no time to watch Love Actually and the fact that we are so broke that we are not exchanging gifts with almost anyone, and I've got a serious case of Tinsel Ennui.
Friday, December 04, 2009
And it runs for pretty much the entire month of December.
Given that I could probably work from 7 AM until 8 PM every single day, seven days a week, and not run out of things to do, I'm feeling a little burned out. So to avoid going all Jack in the Shining on you and everyone else I love/tolerate/am forced to see on a regular basis, I took today and Monday off before I leave for almost a week in wonderful snowy Edmonton.
I have a gross amount of overtime in lieu, but anyone that works in a kind of organization that actually allows you to bank excessive amounts of overtime (one of my coworkers has SIX WEEKS worth of time banked) realizes that it's incredibly difficult to ever take that much time off, particularly when you're sort of a workaholic/control freak.
So here I am. 7:30 AM on my Friday off. Freaking out, resisting the urge to call the office, pick up my voicemail, check my work email. I'm up way earlier than I get up on a normal workday.
This always happens when I take days off. Woe. Woe is me.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I know where to get pizza, burgers, sushi, a donair, a Vietnamese sub, a croissant, bagels, a crepe - savoury or sweet - and poutine, but I have no idea where to get me some cheese toast.
This is not going to make the rest of the day any easier.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I don't like to watch the movie when I'm feeling glum, because its magic wasn't designed for that purpose and I'm afraid I'll use it all up someday.
But anyway, I'm spending my Saturday morning/early afternoon cleaning the kitchen and wailing along to Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell and hoping my blues clear up by the time we get to Mariah Carey.
Friday, November 27, 2009
ps- that's the perfume and watch I would like for Christmas, if anyone is taking notes.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Well, Mexico proper. I've been to Tijuana. But I'm not sure that counts, plus I don't like to think about it because those memories inevitably just glom together into a mess of confused 14 year old after being propositioned in an alley emotion.
But I love Mexican food.
It's truly unfortunate then, that I live in Calgary, which is a barren wasteland of Mexican food delights. We have some high-gloss tex-mex eateries- like Julio's Barrio and Chilis and Avocado Grill, but they don't scratch my itch.
We have some smaller family-run restaurants that are more authentic, but difficult to get to, out of my price range or open sporadically.
But last night Gary and I tried out a new place that opened on 17th Avenue. Los Chilitos Taco and Tequila House opened a few months ago. We were on our way to grab dinner at Moxies when we took a detour and decided to try something different.
I am so glad we did.
The restaurant is small, with a handful of tables in two small rooms. It's a bit sparsely decorated, but feels warm and a mix of blind daters, families and groups of studenty-looking people were scattered about.
While the portions were small, the prices were right. My steak burrito with rice and beans was nicely spicy, tender, juicy and delicious for $12.95, as was Gary's taco platter. We shared a flan for desert and with two sodas, our total was under $40.
My one gripe, other than small portion sized entrees? No free chips and salsa.
We left satisfied, but not stuffed. Next time we go back - and there absolutely will be a next time - I think we'll order an appetizer to share. And perhaps peruse the tequila menu.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I wish Gary would let me put up a Christmas tree.
I wish we actually had room for a Christmas tree.
I wish I wasn't so rational and understanding and willing to make this Christmas tree related compromise.
I wish playing Rock Band didn't give me so much wrist pain.
I wish I could curl up between the words on the pages of the book I'm currently reading, swathed in woolens and flannels and dusty lace. I wish I was damp to the bone, toes clutching a hot water bottle. I wish I could steep tea properly and owned a cameo brooch. I wish I lived in a faux-Victorian London fairyland.
I wish Colin Firth was there, too.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I used to travel a lot for work. Once upon a time I had this swishy job that I hated. I hated it, I hated the work I did, I hated the company, I hated myself, I was miserable and then, surprise, I was laid off. Ultimately, the only good thing to come out of the whole experience was the knowledge that the Arts world is where I belong. And Platinum Status with the Fairmont Hotel's President's Club.
And a really firm grasp on business travel survival strategies.
But anyway. Here I am, in Vancouver, where I've been dozens of times, walking up and down the street I used to, swishing around in the puddles, hauling out my business lady luggage, strategic packing tactics and sturdy, yet sexy walking appropriate shoes.
And then, I totally forgot a coat. And an umbrella. And some anti-frizz cream for my hair.
I am wet, I am frizzy, I am cold and I am cranky.
These, my friends, are rookie business travel mistakes. And I'm no rookie.
On the upside, I totally remembered my very best push-up bra and cocktail attire, so Vancouver: be prepared to meet my cleavage.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Last night I was at a photo shoot and flipping through the book. The back cover tells me that over 150 different endings are possible, and to be choose wisely. Horrible things happen in this story, but great plot lines exist, too.
Every single time I've read this book, every single decision I've made- from whether to go to art school or travel Europe, get married, join a cult, kill my rapist or have a Lesbian affair- the end is always the same:
Lately I've been struggling with decision making. I am capable of making decisions. I'm quite good at it, actually. But recent events at work and play make me doubt myself and my judgment. I've wavered back and forth, concerned that I'm not doing the right thing, or that I thought I'd done the right thing but it's now become apparent that it is in fact, the wrong thing. I'm losing sleep over the small choices, because I believe it's never one big mistake that causes life to go awry, but a string of small bad decisions.
But hell. If no matter what I decide to do, I'm going to die at the end of the story- why sweat the details?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Today it was announced at work so I can officially share that I was promoted! Hoo-rah! Now I have a "Manager of..." title and will have a direct report. Which means that I'm supposed to be a Grown Up Lady who is in control of her business.
This also means no more jeans and ponytails at the office.
Which is a bummer. I was really getting used to not wearing pantyhose and high heels everyday.
This is my problem, folks. I can do casual. I can do business appropriate (actually the official dress code at a former job). I totally fail at business casual, even more so considering I work in a "creative field". Okay, I work in the Arts. So nothing sexy like advertising going on over here...
Any of my fashionable hard-workin' lady/man (I don't exclude) friends have any opinions about rocking out jeans and a ponytail/clipped up hair do while still looking all professional, respectable, funky, grown-up lady like? because I'd love to hear them!
I'd, uh, also like to be comfortable and able to get dressed in like, 10 minutes, if possible.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Starbucks released their seasonal holiday drinks yesterday. I'm sipping my first Gingerbread Latte of the year, only to discover with disappointment that I'm finding it too sweet. Christmas is ruined.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The first time Gary held my hand was on our fourth date. (How gentlemanly!) Remind me to someday tell you the horrifying tale of our first kiss. Because let me tell you, it's a miracle he even called me again, let alone that we're still dating and share a postal code.
So anyway. On that magical fourth date evening, the first words out of his mouth upon clasping my hand were, "ooh, clammy hands."
This is relevant because last night, I was forced against my will to HOLD HANDS with another woman over the age of 20 and SKIP.
Did I mention that we are encouraged to wear tights and leotards?*
And the whole time, running through my head was:
Adult ballet is HARD, people. Not only because it requires grace, class, and elegance, but also because it makes you want to die on the inside.
*tease. I wear yoga pants. But I get glares from Miss Ballet Instructor, who is alarmingly scary and I might actually consider the leotard and tights combo to avoid any further scorn.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Please stop prompting me to "reconnect" with ex-boyfriends. Um, thanks for the daily reminder of my youthful stupidity?
Hugs and kisses,
I leisurely had breakfast, did up my hair, put on makeup, even dressed myself in an outfit with coordinating accessories. It was going to be a good day!
Then I got ready to leave our apartment and noticed, on my way out the door, that I had a giant run in my tights. We're talkin' knee to ankle. Brand new tights. Why do I even bother?!
I hate you, tights, for making me scramble to choose a different outfit, fussing up my hair and making me miss the early bus. I arrived not early to work, looking mussed and haggard, as always. Thanks. A LOT.
Secondly, what is it with me and bringing random cans to work for lunch? Last week I brought a can of fruit cocktail. To work. For lunch. This is not an appropriate lunch. Today at least I have a can of soup. But that's it. Grumble.
Thirdly, the sound of the printer at work is driving me crazy, but everyone else has either a) deserted us for greener less insane pastures or b) has the H1N1 and is too sick to come to work. Dang you all.
I'm the Marquess of Grumpsalot today, peoples. And I'm wearing cheap synthetic new shoes from Payless that are blistering my tiniest toes juuuust in time for my ballet class tonight.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I didn't realize that I was providing important procrastinatory reading materials- but noted.
Today it is windy and cold and I still have a headache. I am looking sadly at my frozen entree lunch (not smelly version) and dreaming of a time, say 5:30ish, where I'll be able to strip off this pantyhose and put on fleecy pants and eat tacos.
Oh, Tuesday. Half way to Wednesday which is half way to the weekend. The only good thing about you is the promise of Tacos.
What's the good thing about your Tuesday?
Monday, October 26, 2009
One thousand blog posts. That's insane, peoples. Can you believe that I can't commit to writing a mere 10,000 words of fiction, but I can churn out a thousand posts full of mindless drivel in a mere 3.75 years?
Well, I did. And to celebrate, I'm sitting at home with a migraine that has lasted about 22 hours. Red wine didn't kill it, advil didn't kill it, caffeine didn't kill it, tylenol did nothing, sleep didn't help. I'm out of ideas, people, and that doesn't bode well for the next thousand blog posts.
Anywhooodle, the end of October looms, and with it the promise of my favourite month of sulking, brooding and jazz-listening shimmers softly in the distance. November is upon us, bringing the annual Butter Chicken and Love Actually marathon, the red wine and sad bastard music pit of despair, and the annual anxiety over how I could possibly procure meaningful, touching, one-of-a-kind and yet, cheap holiday gifts for my family members.
Also, I'm kind of wavering on joining NANOWRIMO this year. For those not in the know- that's a pledge to write an entire novel in the month of November.
Because being a novelist would finally give me the excuse I've been looking for to consume even more coffee.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Gary was in the shower and I was minding my own business, blow drying out my massive head of hair when the lights went out.
After a year of running my blow dryer on the RAZOR ONLY outlet in the light fixture, THAT was the day the breaker blew.
Now, I thought the whole reason I moved in with a man was to avoid the following situations:
Negotiating with Vermin
Anything involving electricity
I am perfectly capable of dealing with all of the above on my own, but y'know, sometimes it's refreshing to not have to worry about standing in the dark trying to remember where the breaker box is.
The breaker box, for the record, is down the hall.
Gary, being in the shower so both wet and unclothed, did not volunteer to get out of the shower and resolve our situation.
So I padded down the hall, swung open the door to the utility space and started fiddling with switches.
Did I mention that the garbage chute is in this same room? And that the door closed behind me? And that the room is pretty creepy to begin with? And that when the really nice lady who lives at the end of the hall flung the door open to throw her garbage down the chute I scared the CRAP out of her?
So anyway. Note to self. Try to hold door open with foot when restoring light to apartment.
Or get boy to do it.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I don't reply to emails.
My facebook status goes un-updated, I don't RSVP to events, my Tweets are lame and poorly thought out.
But the most significant sign of my incredible level of busy is my poor neglected blog.
Romeo and Juliet opens on Thursday and then I'll be back. Promises!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Gary and I talked at lengths this weekend about all of the things that have changed since we went from two single individuals living completely separate lives in two different households to two individuals living lives that intersect in one household.
A subtle thing that both of us noticed is the fact that we don't listen to music anymore. I've lived my life with music playing - my dad is in a band, people. Silence was a rare thing around my house. Gary worked in one of the biggest music stores in Western Canada. And now, we sit in silence staring at each other almost every night of the week.
So Gary went out and bought like, actually at a store! a bunch of CDs.
And I am currently listening to Chopin.
Which brings us back to finding some classical music to love.
Does anyone have any favourites they'd like to share? I'm also looking for Jazz, or really, anything. In terms of other musical genres, I tend to sway to the moody, depressed Canadian Indie Rockers that bemoan the harsh realities of the middle class.
But really, any suggestions at this time will be investigated. And I promise to report back my feelings on any suggestions you may have!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The weekend was spent eating and relaxing. And eating. And then more relaxing. I read all day on Sunday, starting and finishing the new Dan Brown book. Which is good, but if you're looking to buy it, I'd wait for the paperback. It's not that good.
We drank wine and shared laughs and my mom spent the entire weekend playing Farmville on facebook. We napped and watched the Riders kick some icy Toronto butts and enjoyed several documentaries about animals in HD.
But something was missing.
Something that I was surprised to miss.
My little brother and his lady-friend are backpacking through Europe, and contrary to the opinion of several people who asked my mom, did not return to Canada for the weekend. (duh.)
I didn't realize how much I missed that little annoying arrogant opinionated bullheaded...lovely brother of mine until he wasn't around.
And so, Thanksgiving teaches me something yet again. Last year I learned not to gesture wildly with my fork hand while eating pie with whipped cream. This year...the importance of family during family holidays.
Christmas - my first away from the clan - is going to be rough.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Saturday afternoon I came home and stared blankly at Gary. What to do? What to do? Friday night we both worked late and then watched some sit-commery and ate gummi peaches. But surely we couldn't do the same thing two nights in a row- and plus, it was only 4:00.
So we decided to go look at new furniture.
This seemed like a trap. There we were, a twenty-something couple who clearly live together. Dual incomes. No kids. Furniture salesman's delight. There was no way this was going to end well.
One store, awful service and 15 minutes later, we had selected a couch. The salesdude we were talking to pretty much left us to our own devices and spared us the up-sale, while six other hungry Brick employees circled us like sharks.
But the couch was good. The price was right. The style was right. We both felt it was comfortable, stylish-ish, and exactly what we both required from a couch. For me, it's nappable. For Gary, you can bolt a bass engine to the frame without destroying the structural integrity of the couch.
Plus, it wasn't forest green polyester.
But it wouldn't be appropriate to just buy a couch like that, would it? Isn't furniture buying supposed to be an arduous, drawn-out task that takes weeks and ends with us breaking up? I mean, yeah, I bought a car without test-driving it, but this is a couch, people! It's completely different!
So we took a pause and did what rational, grown-up couples do: we went to Ricky's for dinner to talk it out.
Well, we hadn't ordered our food and it was decided. (by the way, don't order the "traditional pasta" at Ricky's. Trust me on this one)
Our new couch will be delivered sometime in the next 10 days or so. Please, feel free to drop by and feel it's luxurious leathers on your bottom.
But please wear pants. After all, the couch is new.
UPDATE: Click here to view the couch. Also note that we got a sweet deal and only paid $450 for it.
Friday, October 02, 2009
I am having one heckuva week. Things at my 9-5 are exploding, imploding and messin' all over the place, and all of it requires so much mental attention and creativity and enthusiasm that I have so little left over for you.
But at 7:20 this morning, as I lay in bed in the dark quietly plotting the least messy and most efficient way to end it all, I remembered how many people I do have around me that love me and support me and like to see me happy. So at the risk of getting all kumbaya on you here, I'm making a list of things I am grateful for, things that make me smile, and things that remind me that my life is worth living.
At least until Monday, when the other big deadline explodes all over my cubicle, bringing joy to the world yet again.
1. I am very lucky that my tastebuds have developed a dislike for sweet lattes. This means no more Starbucks in the morning. I have swapped out plain ol' free office coffee for Pumpkin Spice with Whip Soy Lattes, saving myself about $5 a day in the process. Hurray!
2. Things that smell like grapefruit make me happy. Things that smell like grapefruit and clear up the unfair breakout of adult acne I've been battling of late? Super happy. Neutrogena Acne Wash with Grapefruit or whatever is awesome. Go buy it.
3. It's fall! Next weekend is Thanksgiving! I'm going home to my Momma, who makes without any argument at all, the BEST stuffing in the entire world. And pie. Yum.
4. I'm almost done using my stock of body wash, which means I get to buy more. Hurrah, and a bath and body works opened near me. Yay!
5. Ray LaMontagne's Gossip in the Grain has been lifting my mood for almost a year. If you don't have it, go buy this album. Your soul will thank you.
6. For the first time in my life, I have a hairstyle that a)looks even better after I style it at home versus in the salon b)doesn't require a flat iron to make it look fab c)takes advantage of my natural hair texture. I love you, hairdo. So much.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
To help them prepare for their trip, which includes a long stop in Germany, Gary and I took them out for dinner and passed on some valuable Surviving Abroad With Your Significant Other advice.
We decided that it was also a good idea to teach them some important German language skills: Food and Beer.
So before they left, we met Al and Julia at the Heidelberg Haus, the restaurant in the German Canadian Club.
First lesson: How to take photos of yourself in front of historical monuments!
Now, for $19.95 each we ate as much as we wanted from a buffet of authentic German eats. The food at the Heidelberg Haus was good, but the worst food we ate in Germany was still better.
Second lesson: How to identify delicious foods that won't kill you! (Julia is lactose intolerant)
That said, I'd go back :)
We talked about taking the train, where to find cheap food, how to say things like "beer" and "fork" and survival strategies for not breaking up while abroad.
(Full disclosure: I broke up with Gary while we were in Germany. It was hot, I was tired, and he made me climb 700 steps to the top of a hill when we CLEARLY could have taken an alternate, stair-free route. We got back together 15 minutes later.)
It's hard to talk to my brother, if you've ever met him- and it's even harder to talk sense into the boy. But I feel that buttering them up with schnitzel and kuchen helped get the final point of our conversation across:
Don't get wet, don't get lost, and because those two things are going to happen regardless of any preparations, don't take it out on each other.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Peoples, I don't wear shorts IN the summer. I'm not a shorts person. It has to do with my strong, fundamental belief that after 14, the upper thigh shouldn't be seen in mixed company.
Uh, or my cliche hatred for my thighs, whatevs.
But here it is, unusual Indian Summer and I spent the day napping and washing dishes. I had a lot of dishes to wash. It needed to be done.
But it occurs to me that next week will be October, and I didn't sit on a patio and drink endless pitchers of fruity wheat beer this summer. I didn't sunburn my nose and laugh until my sides hurt; I didn't do shots with new friends and stagger home without a coat, my ears ringing.
Oh, well. Next year.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
My dad laughed out loud. He guffawed, people. This was not a titter, or a "hehehe", or even a coy LOL. This was full-out, gut-busting laughter.
And so began the build up to my first Adult Beginner Ballet class.
Gary accompanied me on my quest to find ballet slippers. We timidly entered the Dance Supply store recommended by the school and after a brief misunderstanding where I was presented with a children's size 9 ballet slipper, I was on my way.
So yes, blog friends, every Monday night for the rest of the year (and into 2010 if I don't kill myself first), I will spend 75 minutes bending, stretching, standing on tippy toe and generally feeling like a jackass.
An ungraceful, clumsy, hippopotamus-in-a-tutu jackass.
But secretly, I love every second of it, and on top of it all...more blog material! Win-win for all.
And no, there will not be a recital.
The dream I had was startlingly real. Living in my car, sleeping in the parking lot at my work, or when it got too cold, on the floor in my office. Showering and getting ready for the day in the dancer's locker rooms. Doing all the above in secret.
This is reality for some. Apparently it was the reality for one of my coworkers, many years ago.
Thankfully, it's not my reality. At least, it's not today. But it's frightening that my brain could capture the details so crisply.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Gary had planned a surprise date to celebrate the amount of time we've been together. We received much mocking and some scorn from friends who reminded us that once you're no longer in high school, you're not allowed to celebrate monthly anniversaries.
But to the haters, I say boo.
I'll take any chance I can get to actually put on pretty clothes and have a nice, romantic evening with my boyfriend, and I feel that anyone would do the same.
By nice and romantic, I'm not necessarily excluding Panago delivery and three episodes of the Big Bang Theory, but variety can be a nice change...
Also, I ate the best steak I have ever encountered IN MY LIFE.
So Friday night we settled in at Vintage here in Calgary. (Tap) Water and Red Wine, crab cakes and great service later, I was convinced to trade in my favourite cut o' beef (prime rib) for a rib-eye steak.
BEST FOOD EVER.
Like butter. Steak flavoured butter. It was the best meat I have ever eaten in my life, people, and I have eaten a lot of steaks. Gary's filet mignon paled in comparison.
So here's to another 18 months, more steak, and more romance. For all of us.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
But when your new hairstylist- who you are seeing only because your old and trusted hairstylist fell off the wagon and mysteriously moved to a different province- tells you that suuuure, she could cut bangs for you, IF YOU WANT, because, well, you DO have the forehead for it...
or the waiter at a fancy shmancy romantic restaurant offers you a choice between bottled or tap water, and when you say that tap is fine, tells you that he knew you'd say that, he could tell you were tap water people...
what the hell do they mean by that, exactly? Do I have a huge forehead? Do I look like I don't appreciate water with bubbles? Are you trying to suggest that I'm low classy and have a giant face?!!
Maybe I'm wavering on the bangs issue because of a cowlick. Maybe I'm not in the MOOD for San Pellegrino!
I have the Sundays.
Friday, September 18, 2009
In fact, I'm not wearing any as I type this, sipping on a smoothie and moisturizing my face to prevent crows feet.
Here is a list of things I do on a regular basis without pants:
Style- blow dry and flat iron- my hair
Brush my teeth
Apply cosmetics (and by this I mean lip balm and mascara, but somedays I go all out with Carmindy from What Not To Wear's 5 steps to a made-up face)
Check my email
Do yoga when no one else is around
Pack my lunch
Pluck my eyebrows
Talk on the phone
Pay the bills
Watching Gossip Girl
Practice my fierce dance moves
Things I do not do without pants:
But because I'm a Lady, I only do the above when it's just me at home. If G's around, I at least put on some stretchy pants.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I apologize. I try really hard to make you like me. I don't want to be Sally Field liked, but liked well enough. Or hated. Or whatever. I just want my ego stroked. STROKE ME!
But I digress.
This spills over to every part of my life. I am a people pleaser. I just want to make the people around me happy and fulfilled. This should, in my pea brain, lead to Megans being happy and fulfilled, but more often than not, it leaves Megans feeling crusty, cynical and drained.
And sometimes without any scathing blog content.
So. Blog readers. What do you want to know about me, my life, my blog? What do you want me to write about? What are you here for? Ask me anything. I'll try to answer it. (With some caveats...like I'm not revealing my home address. You need to come visit me and bribe me with beer for that info!)
I am going home this evening to a dinner that I threw together in the crockpot before I so much as brushed my teeth. I hadn't even peed yet and I had dinner on the go. How is that for super-homemaker-of-the-year?
And then I'm going to proofread. For several hours. Until my big eyes roll out of my head.
So I anxiously await your questions. They are what I am looking forward to, the bright light at the end of my tunnel, what might prevent me from sticking my head into the collating part of the xerox machine and hitting staple- for tomorrow, I have more proofreading to do.
And I know there are about a hundred or so of you reading and about five of you (two being my PARENTS) are regular commentors!
And we all know that everything French is chic, sophisticated and stylish.
Even hair that might not even be fit for the gym.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Image from Victoria's Secret
Though I am oddly attracted to the concept of a romper for Fall-Winter. I know that technically it's a jumpsuit, but it's a close relative of the romper, yes?
Monday, September 14, 2009
And not just for those back muscles. Or tight, tight pants.
Anyone want to come over and watch Dirty Dancing on Bluray?
Saskatchewan gets a lot of flack. I give it my fair share, too. My boyfriend frequently comments on how boooooring it is to drive through, and how much better his home province is. Yes, BC is Canada's Golden Child, and everything there smells like fresh nature and green trees and joy rains from the skies and unicorns run free. I get it.
But the flat, stark beauty of the prairies shouldn't be ignored.
Jake and the Kid was a show that won me over with bling. The set design was marvelous. The wide-open feeling of the prairies that I found so suffocating as a teenager was captured with a multimedia display projected on stage. We saw the town of Crocus through the eyes of The Kid, at the scale of The Kid. Barn doors towered and the sky stretched out beyond belief. Only the chill of the Max Bell theatre reminded me that I wasn't in the dirty, dusty, dry prairie.
The production had some challenges- relationships that would have added depth to the production weren't explored, the show moved at a slow, loping pace- but Jake and the Kid is what it is.
And at the heart of it, it's a play that reminds us of the importance of faith, of community, and what happens when the two are combined.
At least, that's my take.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Obviously I have not seen dramatic results from any workout regime.
Last week, my friend Angie convinced me to try something different. Hot Yoga is mighty trendy, and- well, if all the cool skinny kids are doing it, it can't be wrong.
Unless it's drugs. Or premarital, under-aged sex. Or, marital under-aged sex. But I digress.
Done in a room heated to about 115 degrees F, with very high humidity, hot yoga is supposed to be incredibly beneficial to the entire body, mind, and yadda yadda yadda.
I thought this would be a good opportunity to expand my horizons, de-stress and maybe get a good workout out of the deal. And cross a list item off! A class is 90 minutes long- what could I possibly lose?
Apparently, my dignity. And balance.
At any rate, I'm writing this while I dry off from a second shower and while the water boils for the GIGANTOR pasta dinner I'm going to consume in a few minutes. I thoroughly encourage you to try hot yoga, even if you've never tried plain old boring yoga before. But before you do, you should know the following things:
1. You will sweat like you have never sweated before. This is not a ladylike glow. This is not a flushed-cheeks, glistening forehead. This is the most you've ever sweated PLUS all the sweat of an entire junior varsity football team. To the power of seven.
2. But you won't stink. The room, hot and muggy as it was, smelled like...nothing. This is important because a significant amount of time is spent inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. I tried really hard not to laugh when the instructor encouraged us to try to sound like Darth Vader on the exhale. I failed.
3. You will feel light headed, dizzy, and vomitous. You will want to die. You will want to pass out and give up. This will happen within the first three minutes. Stick it out! The feelings will reoccur approximately every ten minutes after that, but hey! You get a good 10 minutes of non-vom headrush.
4. Everyone will be thinner, bendier and less sweaty than you. Get over it. Also, try not to stare at anyone else's incredibly toned sweaty backside. It's rude.
5. There is no shame in spending a significant proportion of the class lying flat on your back trying not to puke. You're a newbie! Embrace that newbness. Also, if you get really good at it, you will no longer have an excuse to lie on your back, soaking wet with sweat, in a really hot room.
Doesn't that sound like fun?
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
The long weekend came and went, with it several days of driving and sitting and more driving and getting sort of off track on secondary highways in Alberta and a harrowing drive through the Kootenay Mountain Pass after midnight. And eating at McDonalds, TWICE. (We never ever ever eat at McDonalds, but not much is open in Fernie at 10:00pm. Who knew?) But hey! There was also a Ferry ride, fresh corn on the cob and some delicious spaghetti, so not all is lost.
Anyway, I'm back in Calgary, and I have oodles of housecleaning to do, and it's cold enough now that I can't walk to work with wet hair without my little ears getting chilly. I have a semi-formal cocktail event on Thursday night and I have nothing to wear; I have my first hot yoga class on Wednesday night and I have nothing to wear; and I'm contemplating getting bangs.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Anyway, every morning I arrive to work at the same time as one of these hot (and very, very nice) people. He is from France. And every morning, he holds the door open for me and I walk through and up the stairs.
And every morning, I am convinced that he looks at me and thinks in his head,
"Zat woman has zee widest ass I have ever seen IN. MY. LIFE. Zat ass is much, much different from zee bums of my ozherrr coworkers. Sacre bleu."
And every morning I try to climb the stairs out of sight in a hurry, unsuccessfully shielding my bum with my purse or some files- managing to only call more attention to it, awkwardly sloshing coffee all over myself until I arrive at the top of several flights sweaty and in a panic.
I know that he is not thinking that. In fact, I know that *no one* I work with or encounter on a daily basis is thinking to themselves about the remarkabilty of my backside. No one is thinking about my backside, period.
But lord love a duck, every SINGLE morning that is what crosses my mind.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Friday night at *fingers crossed* 4:00 *yeah, right* Gary and I are packing up ship and heading west to the Kootenays for the long weekend. I am super excited about the weekend in the mountains, less excited about the super long drive. Oh, well. Time to sleep, yes?
If you can sleep while your vehicle is hurtling through a dark mountain pass at 1:00 am on the Friday of the long weekend.
Did I mention that I need a break?
Monday, August 31, 2009
In my mind, it's always late summer. Early fall. Harvest. Everything shines gold and warm, brightly coloured and faded around the edges. It's pleasant, but a chill around the corner suggests you bring a sweater; everything smells like apple pie.
By the time I make it home again, it'll be too late for my favourite season. The gold will be gone, replaced with beige and grey and the chill will bite through your scarves and mittens.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Because other humans are strange. Particularly the ones that live in our apartment complex.
For example, you've got the elderly gentleman who brings his twittering, vodka-sauced, bedazzled lady friends home with him, after treating them to the early-bird dinner at the Legion.
Then there's the odd ball couple of duuuudes that live a couple floors below us who seem to spend every single weekend moving furniture in and out of the building.
And who can forget the very short dude with glasses who is just a wee bit too friendly in the elevators. And by wee bit too friendly, I mean, hyper-paranoid and convinced the government is watching him, me, Gary, you, and the rest of the nation. And when the government is done watching us it plans to have us all killed.
But possibly the weirdest people of all are the couple we encountered mid-swim.
They appeared normal, by all measures available to the naked eye. They walked into the room with towels, strolled across the deck and opened the door out on to the patio off the pool area.
Then they proceeded to roll out those towels. Did I mention that the towels were wiggling?
Okay, well, in those towels? A cat.
And a bunny.
Cat and bunny were tied to the patio with shoelace leashes while their owners went for a dip. I could not believe my eyes.
The indignity became too much, and thankfully, the He in this pet-owning couple got out of the pool.
And untied the leashes.
Do you know how you can tell it's time to cut a swim short?
Unleashed felines and rabbits running amuck about the indoor pool.
Friday, August 28, 2009
So here's exciting tidbit of Meganry- at every single job I've had since graduating, I was paid on a bi-monthly schedule, 24 paycheques a year.
This job has a fun, every-two-weeks schedule, so 26 paycheques a year. When I heard this, I did a happy dance of joy!
Except the same paltry sum divided 24 ways or 26 ways is still the same damn paltry sum.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This morning I got out of bed around 4:00 to drink a large glass of water and take a tylenol.
How I missed the wonderful, awesome, beautiful surprise waiting for me in the kitchen when I staggered through the door last night, I'll never know...
But there is something really awesome about coming home from the bar half-cut to a clean, sparkling kitchen. A clean sparkling kitchen you did not clean yourself. Especially when you've made a giant, spaghetti-sauced mess of it and tend to lie on the floor and whine about how much you hate cleaning the kitchen.
Thanks, Gary! I knew there was a reason I'm planning on keeping you.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
To the bar.
On a Tuesday.
This makes me feel both age-appropriate and really, really old. The last time I went out on a work night for a non-work related activity that involved loud music, cold beer and people I didn't know was, oh, I don't know, DECADES AGO.
I'm pumped to finally meet Pat, but at the same time, today was a crazy enough day that I am equally excited to blow off some steam and drink me a good, frosty brew.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I read more than my fair share of smutty paperback romance novels, mysteries and thrillers. I've probably read almost everything written by Sidney Sheldon and Danielle Steele- and let's not start on the Young Adult Vampire Smut. But I always have something on my coffee table or in my purse that appears considerably more intellectual.
I do it because I want to stretch my mind and expand my literary horizons. But I also do it because I want people to buy into the idea that I'm an intelligent woman. Smart people read smart books, yes?
I thoroughly enjoy reading. Reading might be my favourite hobby, except for some reason, I don't consider it to be a hobby. I consider it to be a requirement of life. It's something I do for pleasure, for education, even sometimes for work. Sometimes it's not easy, and I find myself slogging through endless boring chapters.
Right now I'm reading The Grapes of Wrath. I am reading it because I feel that carrying it around in my bag, leaving it on the nightstand and toting it from train to coffee shop and back gives me an air of intelligence. This isn't a self-help book or a fashion magazine. This is some serious, 400-page shit.
I was prepared for months of hauling this tome around, commenting casually on what I'm reading in conversations at work, sprinkling my day-to-day with some trade-paperback cred.
I am possibly more suprised than anyone that I am LOVING this book.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I guess the high point of the week was spending nearly 2 hours in the waiting room of a Walk-In Clinic. I've lived here for, oh, 7 years. I have no family doctor. I haven't had a family doctor since I was but a wee tot. I may not have had a family doctor since I sprung forth into this world, giant head first. I'd have to check with my mom.
I was there to get a particular, ladies-only prescription refil. After my epic wait, where I calmly flipped through a copy of FLARE and worried about exposure to H1N1, I finally got to see the doctor.
Tragically, the doctor didn't ever really SEE me, and as far as he knows, he prescribed 3 months of birth control to a man with a high-pitched voice. How one can assess the medical needs of a patient without ever looking at them is beyond me- though that doctor's over-the-shoulder prescription passing skills were phenomenal.
On the upside, however: I didn't have to PAY to see a doctor. But that's another post altogether.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
We ordered pizza (sans chicken!), watched Die Hard 4, and then I lamed out and hit the sack, because I knew I had to be up with the birdies on Saturday.
Why, you ask?
Because tank tops were on sale at Old Navy for $2.
That's right, I planned my weekend around a Door Crasher sale at Old Navy. I got up, got dressed and left the house to arrive at the mall about 30 minutes after the stores opened.
I can see the future, people. In this future I am that lady with the mitt full of coupons, screaming at a woman and trying to grab that last package of 15 cent looseleaf, then promptly being escorted out of Superstore. My un-conceived future offspring are so ashamed.
I left the mall on Saturday with 5 tank tops.
I left my dignity behind.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Worth the effort:
Shaving my legs
Not worth the effort:
Shaving my legs above the knee unless I'm expecting company or it's a special occasion
Worth the effort:
Homemade tomato sauce paired with homemade chicken parmigiana
Not worth the effort:
Homemade tomato sauce paired with homemade chicken parmigiana on a Monday night
Worth the effort:
Lovingly hand-written thank you cards
Not worth the effort:
Lovingly hand crafted gifts for each one of my coworkers. Sometimes a Timmy's gift certificate says enough
Worth the effort:
Blowdrying my hair and applying mascara
Not worth the effort:
Blowdrying my hair and applying waterproof (LIES!) mascara, then walking 20 blocks to work in the rain
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I love dogs. I wish I had a dog. I frequently (on a daily basis) ask Gary if we can get a dog, despite the fact that our building forbids them.
This morning on my walk to work, I saw a rather round man with a rather small dog. This dog was up on his hind legs, yapping his poor little heart out. Up the block, I saw a woman who matched the man rounding the corner, moving out of sight.
The man was repeating, "She's coming back, I promise! She is coming back! I promise!" in increasing urgency to the small yapping hound.
Being a dog must be like living in a constant state of Latino Soap Opera. The drama! The tears! The tearing at one's blouse, one's hair, the clawing of the hands in desperation!
I do not live in a Telenovella. I know with reasonable certainty that when I leave my house, it is not for the last time. I will probably be back within 10 hours or so. Though I am prone to whining when Gary leaves in the morning, it is less out of "MY LOVE! I WILL NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME! OLE!" and more out of "aaaaaaahhwww. If you're leaving for work this means that I have to get out of this warm, soft bed and also leave for work. Crumb."
On the other hand, when that roly-poly lady DOES come back,that dog will notice. He will not casually look up from the computer, acknowledge that the door has opened, and turn back to the computer. Oh, no. He will fling himself at her legs, chanting a constant doggy chorus of "YOU HAVE RETURNED TO ME! MY LOVE! YOU CAME BACK! I DIDN'T THINK I'D EVER SEE YOU AGAIN! YOU RETURNED!"
Might be nice to have a dog.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I work in a largely open-concept office. We have offices around the perimeter of the space, and then a little cube-farm in the middle. It works for us, as people who like quiet (accounting) have doors they can close, and people who require the constant hum of creative genius (me) are always in the thick of it.
And if all else fails, one can wear their iPod.
The downside to this office plan, aside from the occasional need to have confidential, closed-door meetings, is an issue desk jockeys across the planet face every day.
The smelly lunch.
I'm trying to save money, so I bring my own lunch to work. It's working remarkably well, closing in on the middle of week four of employment, and I haven't gone out on a lunch run to a fast food/pizza joint yet. I'm saving scads of cash, people. Scads.
But because I'm a busy gal and I hate both sandwiches and salads unless they are prepared by other people, I'm left with two options.
Soup and frozen dinners.
And in the world of frozen dinners, I like things that have a bit of international flair. I like to spice up my day. Who can blame me? Making excel spreadsheets dance is only so exciting. A little flava added to the day makes Megans happy!
So today I heated up my frozen Chicken Korma. And immediately, I regretted it.
Our entire office smells like curry. I'm so sorry, coworkers. This is exactly like the time that I came home on Friday night from a friend's house in high school. We had made sweet potato curry won tons. Saskatchewan. There wasn't a lot to do.
My mother made me take my clothes off outside of the house because she told me I smelled like the apartment building she lived in back in 1975.
I promise, from this point forward: non-smelly lunches. No more sauerkraut or Korma or delicious, worldly treats. PB&J may not be all that thrilling, but at least it will help me avoid scenarios where I get naked in the office.
(some of them, anyway...)
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Save the world through a trivia game!
I had to ask a room of normal, average people a series of rapid-fire trivia questions to determine the fate of the human race and the planet earth. The catch? I had to come up with the questions. In real time. Under pressure.
And the best I could come up with?
What is the smallest member of the cabbage family?
I am so, so sorry, World.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee x
6 The Bible x
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Epectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger x
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell x
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams x
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll x
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini x
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden x
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne x
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving x
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins x
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood x
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding x
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan x
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel x
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon x
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck x
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold x
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Aleandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding x
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens x
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker x
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett x
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens x
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle x
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton x
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Eupery x
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Aleandre Dumas x
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl x
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
And then I remembered.
He's not a REAL PERSON.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
In the end, though, I have WAAAAY more family than he does (let's see...Megan: 8 aunts and uncles, 10 first cousins, a bazillion second cousins, Gary: only child, extended family lives in Germany), so Gary will end up with the short end of the wedding stick.
I am in no way prepared to go to this weddding. I'm also unprepared to have Gary's mom arrive in about 6 hours. And then meet my parents, who are arriving Sunday night.
I have to go breathe into a paper bag and do shots of tequila now. Oh, and finally settle the red-patent-pumps vs. polka-dot-slingbacks shoe debate.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Seriously, Angry Young Man, do you really think that the fifteen-year-old boy behind the counter wearing his jaunty little paper hat and a nametag has ANYTHING to do with the pricing of the Chicken Caesar Salad at this INTERNATIONAL fast-food chain?
Monday, July 27, 2009
I would like to tell you that because I am so very excited about my new gig, I did not get the Sundays yesterday. But that would be a lie. Amid the cleaning (Gary did a rock-awesome job of scrubbing the floors in our apartment by hand) and grocery shopping and other general chores, the Sundays crept in a little.
But I kicked them with a nap and a salad and a swim in the pool.
And so, here I am, heading back in, praying that the Tylenol Sinus Cold meds kick in soon and that I don't spend the entire day sneezing. Our HR person asked me if I was allergic to my new work environment.
Sadly, no. Swine flu? Mayhaps.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I had hoped that the 40 bucks I spent would encourage Gary and I to try new restaurants! Go to new local attractions! Own new leather coats! Live our lives to the fullest! This coupon book was a doorway- on one side, our current lifestyle of going to the same pub two nights a week and slowly crawling closer to death; on the other, a whirlwind of excitement and wish fulfillment and half-price curry takeaway!
I now realize the truth. That's a lot to ask from a coupon book.
So last night, when we both came home from work around 6 and opened the door to a blast-furnace of a beastly hot apartment, I grabbed that coupon book, dusted off the cover and found us a two-for-one Mexican restaurant.
Should you find yourself seeking relief this summer, may I recommend El Sombrero Mexicano on 17th Avenue? They have aaaawesome air conditioning.
Oh, and the Combo plate is pretty darn good, too.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
My parents didn't ask that too often, as they both taught at the school I attended from Kindergarten straight through to Grade 12, and taught me frequently. So they knew when I'd had a bad day or gotten a stellar mark on an exam. Word gets around that staff room.
School was AWESOME. Er, I mean, my NEW JOB was AWESOME. I am so excited about the energy and the projects and the productions and the possibilities. I also think I did more exciting things yesterday (saw first costume sketches and set designs for the BIG BIG show, dropped in on a rehearsal, previewed Christmas merch, scouted out a new tradeshow booth, etc, etc, etc) than I did in six months in my last job.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Bushpies. Make mine PB&J.
Oldies radio, The Eagles on tape. Maybe some Billy Joel, the Beatles for good measure.
Camp stove cookout, fried eggs in bacon grease. The way God intended.
Hot chocolate with a marshmallow in plastic mugs, olive green, brown and orange. Little fingers wrapped around to keep warm.
Shower shoes, bar soap- probably Zest.
Fighting over who does the dishes. I can't, I broke my arm! followed the next year by I can't, I have stitches in my leg!. Not a good excuse.
Tarps, bungee cords, elaborate campsite markers. Stacks of bikes. Velcro-pad catch with a fuzzy tennis ball.
More patio lanterns. Vegas looks dim in comparison.
I'm anxiously preparing my back-to-work outfit. I still haven't decided- will the blue cotton top from H&M look better with the black pencil skirt or the black bermuda shorts? Or should I skip to a navy tie-neck top with a brown skirt and cute, retro-looking pumps? Definitely not a suit, though.
So many decisions. Such a limited closet.
Straight hair or curly? Do I remember how to apply eyeliner and not look like a racoon? (I am mostly opposed to wearing makeup on weekends and days that I don't go to work, so it's been a while)
I've got my lunch plans laid out (PB&J, for luck) and comfy shoes for the walk. I've got a clean new notebook, some good pens, and a coffee cup. I'm set to go. Wish me luck!
Friday, July 17, 2009
I'm really, really, supremely excited to start my new job on Tuesday. As nice as it was to have most of the summer off, it'll be even nicer to be contributing to society again. (Oh, and getting a paycheque sometime this year would be super nice, too.)
I've pretty much run out of things to occupy my time with. Granted, I still have 10,000 words of fiction to write- I got to about 4,500 words and then came up with a brilliant, completely different idea that I am burning to persue.
I didn't read The Grapes of Wrath, but I did get through Pride and Prejudice. And the last two Harry Potter Novels. A trashy romance novel (or 4), and the greatness that is The Book of Negros.
Seriously, READ IT.
I'm looking at the start of our recycling project. Can you believe that Calgary just recently adopted curbside recycling, but it doesn't extend to apartment buildings? And our apartment building has no recycling program?!
(Something deep inside me tells me that I'm the one who needs to spearhead that campaign)
All in all, my May-July term of kickin' it, burden-to-society style was both relaxing and productive. I needed that. Time to heal after my last experience was really important, I have realised, to prevent me from being imbittered and unproductive for the rest of my working years.
I'm excited. I'm enthusiastic. I'm wound up and feel really fresh. I can't wait to get started...
and now I just have to think of something to do with the 4 remaining days of leisure I have left.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
G: Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie you're going to tomorrow?
M: YES!!! Are you a wizard?
G: Uh, no.
M: Are you a squib?
G: No, I am not a Squib. What is a squib?!
M: Are you a muggle?
M: But you're not a wizard.
M: OR a witch.
M: So then you're a muggle.
G: I don't know this terminology! Leave me be, crazy one!
M: From this angle, you sort of look like Alan Rickman.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Gaaahd, I love you.
You dirty old bastard.
Wrong on so many levels,
Hugs and kisses,
ps- yes, even in Die Hard. Maybe even especially in Die Hard. Not so much in Harry Potter, but a girl's gotta make do.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
When I start to feel angsty about it, my mother reminds me that someday, I too will get to haul a scanner gun around the Bay and select homegoods, towels, and other grown up things that my distant relatives will feel obligated to purchase for me. What fun.
But after the gift giving and cute little party games and drunken debauchery involving driving to Edmonton (of all places) for a Bachelor party (gross), real life sinks in and our friends are faced with the realization that they are a) Married or b) Parents.
If B is the option selected, well ho! What sleepless fun abounds!
Eventually, a few weeks pass and they trot out the little bundle of joy to their single urban amigos inner city barbecue party and watch the awkwardness ensue.
So, to help my peers get through this life stage, here is a field guide I put together, titled, "How to Approach a Baby in Your Own Home". Enjoy.
1. You have spotted a baby! Congratulations. Please mix yourself a strong alcoholic beverage. You'll need it.
2. Approach the baby from the side. Allow it to become accustomed to your scent. Remember, they look cute, but they can smell your fear.
3. Moving slowly, scoop the baby into your lap. It might help to make a weird face and point at random things in the distance, as to confuse and distract the baby.
4. At this point, if you feel a rapport has been developed with the baby, you may move into a full-frontal snuggle. However, don't be alarmed if baby confuses you with its mother and attempts to get to second base.
5. By now, you have bonded with baby. But no bogarting that tot! Time to pass baby off on your unsuspecting partner!!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
By the fourth date, one should have figured out if they are interested in actually "dating" someone. You've become invested enough to enter someone's contact info into your phone, you've referred to them in conversation with your friends by just their name, not by "___, the guy/gal I'm seeing", you've shared numerous things including several meals, likes and dislikes, and potentially a toothbrush (but not me, that's weird, and also, I'm a devout Catholic. Minus the living-together-before-marriage thing. UNLESS we actually ARE married. Wouldn't that throw you all for a loop?).
But if it occurs to you on date four that your paramour is already boring...my friend, you have a long and desperate road ahead. Now you're facing a real 'break up' scenario. You're a jerk if you end it abruptly on date four, using my favourite tactic of "Fade Away", whereby you merely fade. away.
Someone pulled the Fade Away on me once after three months of dating, and the words I refer to that gent as in my own head are none too kind and would probably get me excommunicated.
But I digress.
Fourth date. Bad time to be bored.
An equally bad time to be bored? The fifth inning of a baseball game.
You've got a loooong way to go, brother. You haven't even reached the bit where you're allowed to stretch yet.
Let's see. During an exam. Bad time to be bored.
During an awards ceremony that you are hosting. Not an ideal situation to experience ennui.
As a contestant on Jeopardy.
As a member of a bridal party DURING the ceremony.
Oh, and at 10:30 or so on a Sunday night when you don't work the next day.
Too early to go to bed, too late to start to do anything. And if you're me, your roommate/domestic partner/boyfriend/secret hubby/whatevs is getting up at 4:45 to go to the gym and told you, without actually using words because that would be cruel, to stop squirming and sighing and tossing around in bed already and go out to the living room where you can be awake and LEAVE HIM ALONE.
This sucks. I'd ALMOST rather be on a mind-numbing fourth date right now. ALMOST, because while I wouldn't have to be verrrry verrrry quiet...I would be on a crappy fourth date, listening to some dude tell me some lame story about his childhood experiences with the neighbour girl and how they shaped his attitude towards women, lemon gin and the Liberal party. True story. That was one relationship that was clearly going nowhere.