The List of Steff -- Volume 2
Unable to sleep, and not wanting to write on all the things I need to write on, I’ve decided to cop out and make yet another list.
When I’m writing or trying to sleep, I’ll often listen to one song on repeat. Right now, it’s Faith No More’s cover of “Easy Like Sunday Morning.” I’m singing it as I type.
I’m the only person I know, I think, without caller ID on my home phone.
I’m also the only person I know with a fully functional rotary dial phone. It’s a 1950s, black, desktop rotary phone that belonged to my grandma. When people are over for the first time and it rings, it always gets a great reaction. I love the sound of it.
My writing desk is 7 feet long. I designed it based on something I saw in a book. The surface is all hardwood, which I stained with loving attention and looks gorgeous.
It’s held up by two 2-drawer filing cabinets that I covered in decoupage. I used only handmade chocolate brown paper and the effect is that the cabinets look like they’re brown leather.
I’ve gotten more spider bites this summer than I’ve ever had. Ironically, I think they’re under my desk. My big fucking long desk. Grr. It’s always my legs that have the bite marks.
I’m a reference book junkie but I’m depressed I have so few of them. Withdrawal. Gasp. The coolest one is my 1,000+ page “Slang” dictionary with more than four pages of “fuck” terms.
Little of my dinnerware matches. It’s all odds and ends. Funnily, I have a 8-piece setting in storage but it bored me ‘cos it was matched.
My silverware is all ritzy antique silverware. I use it daily. New people to my house think they’re getting special treatment. Sadly, no. My mom always said “Using it means not having to polish it.” Fuckin’ a, Mom.
I have a small collection of elephant figurines, mostly from India and the rest of Asia.
The first piece of furniture I ever bought was a giant cow-pattern beanbag chair, which I still own but is residing elsewhere temporarily. It needs to come home in time for winter so I can be a bum and lie around and read in it, just like I did all year in the Yukon, where it first entered my life.
The first antique I ever bought was my Shaker-style plant stand that holds no plants. Instead, a pile of select art books and candles sit on top, and my elephants hang out on the bottom shelf.
I have a stained lamp circa 1890. It rocks.
I once did a roadtrip to California where I deliberately stopped in Ashland, Oregon for their terrific Shakespeare festival on the Bard’s birthday. Willie rocks. It was Othello with Anthony Heald as Iago.
I was the coolest babysitter ever in my teens. I’d tape rock videos and wrestling and take them over to the kids’ houses. We’d bake cookies and dance through the house until it was time to wrestle each other on the living room floor, which we’d cover in couch cushions and blankets. We always had a blast. Then I got paid for having fun.
I once dove into a glacial lake in the Yukon, went into shock, and was rescued by two very cute male friends. Swoon.
When I drove home from the Yukon to Vancouver, a 30-hour drive, I did the whole thing solo in 36 hours, stopping only to eat and to have one two-hour nap, which I took in the driver’s seat with a sleeping bag over me. What a crazy fucking two days.
God, I wish I could do it again.
Some of my favourite words in real life, when talking, include: Groovy, spiffy, peachy, ducky, swank, nifty, and anything else you can dig up from the ‘50s.
I really want to learn to surf. When I lose a little more weight and have some cash, I’m gonna do it the Canadian way: In Tofino. I’ll go to the only all-girls surf school in Canada and learn on the waves in the ancient virgin temperate rainforests of Clayoquot Sound. God’s country.
When I chat with my 9-yr-old nephew, I don’t mince words. I’ll explain philosophy and such to him without even batting an eye. He always looks at me baffled-like, but digs the non-patronizing tone I use. Sometimes he even gets it.
I introduced my nephew to punk rock music. He now loves Me First and the Gimme-Gimmes and the Ramones.
I did an interview with the director/editor/producer of End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones. It was cool. So was the movie. Check it.
I don’t look like a sex advice-column writing punk-rock girl. In fact, most parents love me to death. Everyone trusts me implicitly. Silly people.
I was once told that my honesty is “disarming.” I don’t lie. I don’t even try to soften the blow. I say what I think. Some people can’t handle it. Tough.
My bedroom is a creamy-sand colour with one wall chocolate brown.
When I eat my Smarties, I eat the red ones first.
I’m a very scattered, cluttered person in day-to-day life. Organization is the bane of my existence and the thing I strive for most right now.
I don’t own a calculator.
I’d love to have a talk show one day. Something on the radio, I think. Anyone, anytime, on anything. It’d rock.
I have a pretty deep voice for a chick. A cross between sultry and husky, I guess, with a Bostonian twang, apparently. I don’t know what the hell that’s about. My voice fluctuates a lot depending on my mood, though.
I once walked several kilometres up a Californian beach in order to see a beached Baleen whale. I don’t know why it fascinated me, but I felt compelled, so I did. The person had told me that the lungs had floated several hundred metres down the beach from the corpse. They were right. It was strange, surreal.
I stole a bag full of pebbles from that beach, next to the whale -- Pebble Beach, actually -- and later fashioned a bottom to a glass table that would allow me to have the pebbles as the filler. Looked cool. Still have the pebbles.
I stayed in a lighthouse once. It was one of the most haunting experiences I ever had. It was like you could feel the souls of all those who’d died off those rocky crags in the centuries past. I shuddered in my bed and left the next day. I sort of loved the experience, though.
I like travelling alone. I love travelling alone. I always meet the coolest folks. It never, ever feels lonely.
I once hit a teacher in the face with an elastic band. I was trying to hit my boyfriend in the back of the head and missed by 10 feet.
As a kid, I played baseball for years. Usually second base or outfield. I’m wicked with a bat.
When I was eight, I flew across the country alone and didn’t know I was supposed to wait for a stewardess to take me to the waiting area to meet my uncle. I sauntered off all alone into Pearson International in Toronto and wandered the airport for a half-hour, completely unconcerned about myself. I saw a giftshop and bought myself some Garfield writing paper. My uncle saw me and nearly fainted with relief.
My parents went up one side of the airline and down the other. I never did bother to find out what they got out of their hassling of the airline for all those weeks after I’d returned home.
When I was six, I wandered off from my parents in Tijuana, Mexico. I was gone for an hour and a half or more. Meanwhile, my parents were in the police station trying to get help to find me and some fucker stole $500 from my mom’s wallet. This was 1979 -- a lot of dough. I don’t really remember what I did with my travels that day.
My favourite dish to make, which I only do once every year or two, is chicken b’stilla, a Moroccan chicken dish that sets my heart a flutter and puts my wallet into convulsions. Almonds, chicken, filo, currents, ginger, and lots of awesome stuff. God. Now I’m hungry.
I don’t care about money. I’d love to be rich and I’d be an incredibly classy, cool, and hip rich person, but I only want money if it comes without me compromising my values or selling out to a system I loathe. But if it comes... Man. I’m down with wealth.
I wouldn’t buy a new car if I had the money to buy a car tomorrow. I’d love to get an old Ford Fairlane or a GT or something else from the late ‘60s.
I had this crusty history teacher in high school who always had these too-tight poly-blend shirts that wouldn’t really let him raise his arms. As a result, he’d have these long b.o. stains under his arms. He spoke in a fake British accent (and had never even left Canada -- I knew his daughter), and was very proper. I remember him talking about the Russian revolution in this nasally fake-Brit voice, and recounting the the events of 1917 when the revolutionaries stormed the Winter Palace and began to overthrow the powers that were. He said, “Thus, the czar was basically toast.” It was the only time in three classes over two years that we ever heard him using slang.
From grade one to grade seven, we had spelling tests every Friday. I never, ever got a single word wrong until grade seven. It was “czar.” I put “sar.”
In grade 5, I tested at a grade 12 vocabulary level. Like, big words and such. ;)
I was reading at 3 years old.
The second time I ever shaved my legs, in grade 7, I pressed too hard and went too fast and cut all along my shinbone from ankle to knee. It hurt like a bitch.
The first time, though, I thought I should shave my arms as well as my legs, since it seemed like the point was to de-hair myself. To this day, some of the hairs on my arms grow in a strange direction. No one’s ever noticed.
I have one pointed eyebrow. I used to hate it. Now I love it ‘cos I think it makes me look mischevious. (I take measures to deemphasize it. It’s just a slighty teasing mischevious-looking brow now.)
I have a scar on my nose where my nostril was cut in half when I tripped in a hole in the driveway and fell on a can of paint. No one ever notices the scar until I point it out.
I’m listening to Tom Petty and belting out “Free Falling.”
Now I don’t want to sleep.
Now I’m going to go for a long walk and look at the stars.