For you, the dress code is casual.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Grab a Paddle, Kids

New Orleans is sinking even faster than it used to be.

The Guy is incredibly politically incorrect and likes to crack the joke way too often that the Canadian rock anthem by the Tragically Hip, "New Orleans Is Sinking," should be remade by Katrina and the Waves.



I bought a cheap (ie: piece of shite) couch a couple years back that kind of started coming apart pretty fucking fast after I bought it. I was in major debt, behind on all my bills, and never looked into the warranty. I finally looked into it this week. The couch? $198. The extended warranty I bought? $48.

The verdict? I get a new couch. :) Don't listen to the skeptics who tell you not to get extended warranties! I had a DVD player that I bought a few years back, when they were still expensive. It was a $600 one I got for $250, as a demo, and I got the warranty, it broke three times in 2 years, 51 weeks, and a week before the extended was to expire, they replaced it with a bran'spankin'new one -- that still works like a charm two years later. Anything over $200's worth the warranty, sez I. (Then do your damndest to break it in time to cash in. ;) Hi, I'm Steff, and I'm a happy girl!

Can Someone Gimme A Hand?

Not to make light of what's clearly a troubling thing for this family, and due to be a horrifically difficult surgery for this poor kid, but...

The other day, the Guy and I were wandering through the Emporium of Food and talking about how difficult life is sometimes and what a pain in the ass having only two arms can be. You go and break your leg one day, and you're fucked. It's you, your sticks, and if you want to carry anything, a backpack or something. If you're carrying, say, food, you need to do so in sealed containers in a bag. Every step you take, the container thwacks up against the crutch, and if you're having a bad day, it eventually bangs open, causing even more grief, when grief's something you already have plenty of.

I remember being on crutches and trying to get my pitcher of water over to the coffee table. I was normally really good at it, but it was tricky and took extreme concentration. This time, a bit of water splashed out, my crutch contacted it, and I slipped, went five feet up, and came crashing down REAL hard on my back. GREAT! A fucked-up leg AND a gimped back! I laid there horrified for three or four minutes, about to break into tears at how depressing my life had become, but then discovered the fluke of actuallt being okay. Getting off the floor, however, was another story. It took about three or four minutes of trying to haul myself up on furniture and trying to make my one good leg SuperHuman Strong! for the task. A third arm would've saved me from ten really fucked-up minutes there, and might've made life overall a Better Thing.

I feel for this kid, though. It'd be awesome to have something as convenience-building as a fully-functioning third arm, but he's clearly in pain in both his left arms, according to the news story here.

You gotta wonder... what the fuck are they putting in the water? Ever hear those stories about the towns on the Rio Grande near the GM plant back in the early '90s? 19 kids in one area were all born without brains? The only answer was the pollutants being pumped out by the manufacturer. We keep seeing all these "freak" kids and no one's asking why the kid's got two heads, why these kids are being born without brains, why there's three arms... why cancer keeps going up and up and up.

Yesterday I was doing eBay whoring, getting things all purtied and gussied up for eBay, where I'm trying to sell a shitload of things for some cash. (My sales items are all here. Go buy my shit!) So, there I was, trying to get things all perfect when I noticed how yellowed with age my Elmo Super-8 projector from the '70s was, and I dug through my closet to find my only Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I gulped and decided I had to use the fucking thing.

See, I was a big fan of the Magic Eraser for a while there -- it got marks off my old yellow-and-white scooter that nothing else would remove. I was HOOKED, man. Anything was real stubborn? Mr. Clean was the bomb, man.

Then I was talking to the Guy, who informed me that one of the engineers in his firm sent out an email warning everyone off of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Why? The fuckin' thing's made with formaldehyde!

"Here, clean this. While you're at it, what flavour would you like your radiation treatment in? Cherry? Rootbeer?"

I mean, fucking hell. Cancer is caused by formadehyde. Don't believe me, listen to them. You know, if it's a cleaning product, the government says, "Well, you're not supposed to EAT the fucking thing, so we're not going to tell you what's in it." There's absolutely no laws of disclosure when it comes to purchasing cleaning products. Nada, man.

So, I grudgingly cleaned the fucking projector, and now I've thrown the damned things out, and I'll never buy them again. Pity, they work so well. I just have such a high incidence of cancer in my family that I figure I don't need a fucking headstart.

It's nice to know we live in this world full of chemicals that we're "not supposed to ingest," but instead we get to breathe them, touch them, and absorb them in our skin. Is there any real surprise that asthma (particularly in children) is at epidemic levels? Is it any surprise that we just have to talk about someone who's died recently, and say just one word, "Cancer," in order to get a knowing, sad nod from another person? I'm sick of living in a world where I need to start questioning the make-up of every little thing around me.

I shoulda been more suspicious that this silly little spongey thing could clean marks off that nothing else was able to make a dent in. I mean, if it's too good to be true, y'know...

Who says the Industrial Age is over, huh? This is the Age of Industry, man. We little guys don't matter. And, hey, a third arm really comes in handy... when it's not in agony every time you touch the fucking thing.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Boot the Motherfucker!

I have an EVIL tenant in my building. I may smoke dope, but I'm hypervigilant about being a good neighbour, respecting my building, and playing by the rules. This punk-ass 19-year-old's been pissing me off, and the landlady knows it. She called me tonight to ask if I would be willing to write a "BOOT HIM!" letter in regards to Punk-Ass. This was what I came up with...


To Whom It Bloody Well Oughta Concern:

It has been with increasing frustration that I have tolerated the resident living in the basement suite marked 200 and all his endlessly questionable antics.

Being as I’m self-employed as a tutor and writer, I tend to come and go at odd hours, and I’ve seen far too many groups of completely different people hovering around the back and front doors. They’re not very social or nice as I have to push my way through to get into my apartment, and worse, they tend to be pretty disrespectful to the property. I’ve left and come back within a half-hour to see the crowd that was there now gone, and in their place, strewn cigarette butts and huge gobs of spit everywhere. For awhile, there’d be entire steps covered in big nebulous gobs of saliva – something you’re not looking for with arms filled with groceries, or worse, with arms full of groceries and a full-face motorcycle helmet on your head, like I tend to wear when my arms are bloody full! The word “disgusting” sums it up succinctly.

Other times, I simply find refuse tossed on the doorstop, from cupcake packaging to coffee cups and, yes, more butts, and it’s pretty damned irksome considering that one of the things I’ve always enjoyed about living here is how vigilant and attentive to detail (___) tends to be as a building manager.

It was just a couple weeks ago when I was walking out the back door and saw the resident in question, (___), approaching the building with yet ANOTHER group of completely different people following him in. Every bloody time I see him and his ‘friends,’ it’s a completely different crowd. I began wondering, “The kid can’t be THAT popular. Nobody has THIS many friends! Oh, ho!”

I suddenly had a lightbulb ding on and I realized, “I betcha he’s dealing pot! It’s Vancouver, it makes sense!”

I’m no hypocrite, I live in this city – born and raised, in fact – and I’ve behaved badly on occasion, but I’ve never dealt drugs and I sure as hell would never do so in my building! This is a small building and gossip gets around, and I heard about the recent visit the police paid our good buddy and the shopping bag they took away that was full of Vancouver’s pride and joy, marijuana. Not surprised; not me, not in the least.

What I am, though, is bothered. Having a few joints or a baggie in the fridge is one thing. It’s still another thing to hang on to what had to be a couple thousand dollars worth of marijuana in a low-security garden-level basement apartment, but it’s a completely unacceptable thing to be putting my entire building’s security at risk via doing “business” inside the building. And having the assorted characters one meets during drug deals KNOWING that that quantity of bud’s kicking around in a basement suite? Yeah, that’s good security sense. Geez! I’ve even heard that one of this dude’s buddies has been seen coming and going through the front door on his own – the security-locked front door. I’ve been here SEVEN years and I don’t have any spare keys for my place. Something tells me (___)’s not handing them out too readily, you know?

As a tenant, I want this guy gone. Now. Immediately.

Things have been different since he showed up. There’s garbage constantly being left around, the bottom floor occasionally smells of "hey, let's hot-box this shit!" dope (although it used to constantly smell of dope, and as high as the second-floor staircase, too), and just recently my best friend found a used hypodermic syringe discarded on the front lawn, near the entrance. This guy might be nice, but some of his friends are right dicks. They show no respect, and he’s an idiot to be letting them into our building on a regular basis. They come and go at all hours, and I, for one, think it’s time this place gets back to normal.

Thanks for listening. Boot’im! Please! I beg ya! (Please?)


(I omitted a couple more personal-fact paragraphs for my own damned good. Hey, look, Letterman's about to get started! All in a day's work, people. All in a day's work. Oh, and if you recognize yourself in this email? Get a fuckin' grip!)


Funny thing is, this reminds me of the encounter GayBoy (who was visiting the Great White North) and I had with a neighbour of mine in Whitehorse, in the Yukon, who was also selling dope, and who received a letter from me after I found vomit on my door's threshold one morning. I'll have to conjure that story for you kids.

For Sale! Selling My Past, Man

I'm going to sell the notorious Elvis Table.

It's hanging in my friend's basements, so I'm waiting on dimensions, but it's about 18" high, and 36" long, I suspect, and is one of a kind. Sadly, it needs repair.

But it comes with a kick-ass story, MY story. In my humble opinion, one of the most fun things I've ever written. The introductory is here, and the main story is here. It'll be going up on eBay, and whoever sells it gets the story, a photo of Tagish Elvis, my signature, and the table. You can support me and buy one of the coolest mementoes I've ever owned. Think about it. :) Or at least read the stories!

Monday, May 29, 2006


I've gotten so much shit done today. I've finally dealt with my couch's warranty, sent off my taxes, sent off inquiries to a bunch of mags and papers as to who I should be contacting, and shite, man, I've even put an old antique up for sale on Craig's List that I've been meaning to get rid of for FIVE YEARS.

WOO. Now I have a couple appointments to hit up, and naturally a headache is kicking in, but whatever. I've gotten shit done, and that's been a rare occurence. Yeehaw! And I gotta get some writin' done this evening, but at least I've dealt with three things that have been annoying me for a year or more. What the hell got into me?

The Legacy of Imperialism

There is no place on earth I want to spend time in more than Africa. Ever since I was a kid, the sound of primal African tribal music sends my heart pulsing, African art makes me wish I had more money so I could collect it all, and the flavours of Africa makes my mouth water. I want to see the whole continent, top to bottom, but I'm mostly interested in the north of that continent. I could spend a year there tomorrow and never long for home.

When I see stories like this, or hear about the continuing neglect of the Darfur civil strife, it breaks my heart. More people, this story says, have died in the Congo since the beginning (and "end") of that war, which started 8 years ago, than in any conflict since WWII -- nearly 4 million. There's no reason for all of this to continue.

The western world broke Africa. We claimed it for imperial reasons, we stole its people and brutalized them, we ravaged their lands, and then we walked the fuck away and pretended they had their freedom, so all would be well. What they had was nothing; just strife and confusion and hurts to get over.

The UN claims that any country that needs to be rebuilt, ie: Haiti, etc, after a military takeover or abandonment, will take approximately 45 years to do so. When we walked out of Africa -- whether "we" is France, England, wherethefuckever -- we left them in ruins. The social divide that remains in places like the Congo, where more than 15 million people have died in the last 125 years, thanks to the rubber genocide begun by Belgium and continuing with the endless civil strife begun a decade ago, is something that isn't going to get better on its own.

It sickens me, this constant western belief that Africa's a continent of savages and the only ones who can fix Africa are the Africans. As we sit ignorantly on our hands, doing sweet fuck all, the numbers of AIDS-infected people on that troubled continent continues escalating; poverty is skyrocketing; crime is legendary. And yet, we do nothing. Not our problem. Doesn't matter. They're blacks who can't even help themselves; who cares.

Sometimes I think that telling ourselves we all live under the cloak of "humanity" is a fallacy. It seems we think humanity applies in only select cases. Classism is alive and well, and so is racism. What's happening in Africa -- be it the epidemic of rapes in South Africa, the agricultural failures in the northeast, the spread of AIDS, the civil failures of the Congo and Sudan -- is something that should shame us all into action.

It's not a surprise that the Congo's still so fucked. Read King Leopold's Ghosts by Adam Hochschild, and learn about the rubber trade that killed more than 10 million. They remained under imperial rule of the French until 1960. The book is one of the most heartfelt, moving history books I've ever read. (Hochschild is one of the two founders of the venerable Mother Jones magazine.)

The Western world is responsible for Africa. We came, we saw, we fucked them up, and we walked the hell away. No helping hand, no education, no moral support. Fucking nada. The US bombs Japan into the fucking middle ages, sticks around to help out, and look at them now. Africa's FULL of natural resources. There's no reason they can't become world powers. We simply would rather not see it happen.

Moreover, the powers that be do not want to admit the harm they've done. They don't want to be liable, they don't want to admit a legacy of four centuries of fucking that continent from top to bottom -- stealing its men and women for slavery, ravaging its lands for metals and jewels and even rubber, arming them and inspiring tribal strife...

God, it's disgusting. France, England, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, America, and a few other countries all owe apologies, retribution, and assistance to Africa. After all, it's not like this happened hundreds of years ago. Foreign influence in Africa has really only left in the last five or six decades. And look what remains.

Fucking "White Man's Burden." What a joke. Africa's the canary in the goldmine, people. If we don't at least respond to the AIDS crisis, we'll get whatever we have coming, at the very least.

Weenie Speaks!

Bush is such a moron. John Snow, the US Secretary of the Treasury, is about to resign, apparently, but has not spoken to Bush nor formally committed to the action.
At a news conference Thursday night, Bush -- asked whether Snow had given him "any indication that he intends to leave his job any time soon" -- said, "No, he has not talked to me about resignation. I think he's doing a fine job. After all, our economy is, it's strong. ... He's done a fine job."
Ahahah. Yeah, the American dollar needs a fucking parachute, it's in such a free-fall, and the economy is "strong"? For a guy who wears no glasses, he's sure myopic.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Why We Fight and Other Stuff

I've had a pretty lazy day. I watched a movie this morning, and another at a matinee this afternoon, grabbed some great veggies for a good deal, ate too much for supper, and will probably head out for a lazy stroll around the 'hood pretty soon. Man, eating potato soup with bread's about the best way to kick your energy levels into the negative integers, you know, but gosh, was it yummy.

So, the matinee I saw was Eugene Jarecki's Why We Fight. Guess what? It's biased against the American war machine. No big surprise there. Face it, the majority of the world's biased against the American war machine, and if you're American and this surprises you, I suggest you take a trip in from your orbit of oblivion and really take a look around you.

I don't get the whole notion that journalists and documentarians can't be biased. Why the fuck not? The best ones are. We're still waiting for another goddamned Edward R. Murrow to appear on the political landscape. There are times, I believe, that journalists absolutely MUST abdicate the notion of objectivity. When your country is at war based on what appears to be entirely fabricated evidence, maybe it's fucking well time to have an opinion. When your countrymen's phones are being bugged at random, at an overwhelming rate, maybe it's time to question the erosion of constitutional freedoms in the face of a war that is, ironically, supposed to be in the name of freedom.

I think the so-called objectivity in journalism today is irresponsible. Journalism today has taken objectivity to new heights; it's now apathy in action. I'm fucking thrilled to see some biases out there.

I think Dan Rather, for instance, was railroaded out of the news industry because he was one of the few who was standing up for his beliefs that the war was a crime, and the President was responsible. He had strayed away from objectivity, and took great personal risks in doing so. I think he was framed, and hung out to dry by a network that had no balls -- ironically the same network that stood behind Edward R. Murrow so many years ago. It's not a coincidence that all the great anchors have been walking away from news in the last year... I'm surprised more haven't. News is owned by industry -- industry that has its hands in the government's pockets. NBC's owned by GE, for instance, who manufacture lightbulbs... and weapons for the war. "We bring good things to life," indeed. Can we really expect deep investigative reporting? Can we really expect the truth? Colour me a skeptic.

Yeah, Why We Fight is biased. Fucking well right it is. It's researched well, though, and it's a little depressing. On the plus side, it's a true documentary: Words and people speak to the subject, not the egotistical director who's doing all the narrating (insert Michael Moore reference here*). It does have flaws, and anyone who has an intelligent eye can see them. For starters, on such an important topic -- like imperialism being alive and well in today's America, and industry essentially having the influence & monetary power to inspire governmental desire to put its citizens' lives on the line for a war that did not need fighting, not now, not today -- you would think the director and his people could've found more than the 15 or 20 people they found to speak to the topic. A great documentary should be monumental enough to span the demographics to really drive a point home, like "The Corporation" managed to do. The fewer the sources you use, the more holes can be driven into your argument. So, that's a flaw right there. However, given the unpopularity of the topic at the time they were making the film, it's not surprising that they may not have found the monetary support to film a more expansive selection of interviews.

There were other flaws. A few heart-strings were tugged with really noxious images of the Iraq war, featuring kids and women killed in air raids, bodies decomposing en masse at the Baghdad morgue, and though grizzly photos of these things might seem to strengthen the argument, they really weaken it, instead. The photos themselves can be doctored or biased. They're so biased that they can turn the viewer off, make the viewer wonder if, indeed, the director is hoping to sicken you into agreement with their POV. There were sadly no real investigative moments in Iraq, just token emotional moments found here or there. It could've been better explored with more interviews or even via footage used from Al-Jazeera, which is actually an excellent news source (see the movie Control Room to open your eyes on the propaganda spun about that network, a network that has indeed tried to be objective and encompassing in its coverage of war-related events).

There's also a rather pointless look at one fellow who enlisted in the army, and the 10+ minutes spent giving him screen time does little to back up the arguments they're trying to make -- that the government recruiters prey on the troubled, the poor, and the disenfranchised when it comes to trying to beef up the Army enrollment numbers. Statistics could easily be found to support their argument on this fact, but such statistics were not given. Hell, one could even make an argument that the weak economy better serves government interests by providing a willing pool of poor / neglected volunteers who feel that there are no other options available to them in a country that has the poor getting poorer while the rich keep getting richer, to quote that old standby. The movie didn't make that point, and probably would've well gotten away with doing so.

Still, I enjoyed the movie. I'm one of these people who sees the potential for America to really lead the world, not just pose as a world leader. I'm tired of the America I see before me; the corruption, the duplicity, the shallowness, the ethnocentricity, the ignorance. It's a pity the people don't do more to change that image -- they're letting the government speak far too loudly, and the youth of America today are fucking apathetic to the nth. Of course, education has been quickly eroding in the USA and the generation coming up behind mine is about as uninformed as they could be. It's disgusting to see what's become of youth today. They're more obsessed with cellphone ring tones and voting for American Idol than they are with speaking to their country's place in the world and the people representing them in it.

(With more than 60 million folks voting last week for the latest Idol, there's a shocking revelation that more voted for Taylor Hicks than for any American president in history. Does America REALLY have the right to try and fight to spread democracy throughout the world when they themselves show so fucking little respect for it at home? Sorry, but I think not.)

If biased movies are the only way to shake that apathy apart, then I say bring on the bias.

*Michael Moore: I strongly believe that Michael Moore played a large part in John Kerry losing the election. There's nothing more unattractive than an angry, bitter person who keeps shouting "I told you so!" as his main argument. Michael Moore was once a brilliant documentarian, but he's let his devastation and emotion speak too loudly. He's too shameless when in comes to skewing perspective to meet his argument's needs. He commercializes his beliefs in such a way that causes him to look dishonest and duplicitous, whether he is or not. A once-great spokesman has turned himself into a mockery, and the causes he fights for are paying the price. Had he simply released
Fahrenheit 9/11, and did very simple, fun interviews that made people interested in the film, he might well have been the feather that broke the back of Bush's re-election. Instead, he painted a rabid picture of what a Democrat in 2004 seemed to be, and, in my opinion, drove a lot of undecided voters to the Bush camp. It's a fucking crime. The guy needs to drink less coffee and chill the fuck out. I'm tired of regretting the fact that I agree with many of his points, because he makes me feel shame for believing what I believe.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Weird Little World of Mine

Well, my catastrophic "bloggie go boom!" problem has now been resolved. A helpful reader sent me a link and said, "Oh, according to this, it looks like you'll have to rebuild from scratch" in regards to the template snafu I was suffering from. (The dynamic linking from all my archives went boom and would link you instead to a "Wah! My template sucks!" posting from last week. I was a wee bit choked.)

So, I followed the link and looked at the site, and instead of believing my beloved reader, I decided to check out one other section on the site, and lo and behold, the secret to resolving my woes was right there.

I merely had to add a new line of code to my "head" section of the template, and presto! Just like magick! That saved me probably 6-8 mindnumbing hours of trying to Figure The Fucking Thing Out. Thank god!

Had a good day at Eat Vancouver with the guy today. More his thing, since he's a slightly different kind of foodie than me, but I certainly enjoyed myself. I was having a problem really enjoying it because of the bright lights and constant noise, given all the headaches I've had of late, but I'm still glad I went, and certainly had some nice foods and wines and beers and such. I mean, hey, food rocks. The company was good. I was worried it'd kick the guy's ass, but I have to say he did an admirable job of keeping up to the day's demands on crutches. Still, I'm sure he'll be in a world of hurt in the morning, but at least he made it to one of his most anticipated events of the season.

On top of that, it's a good blog day. Traffic's back up in the 3,000-hits a day range, I'm second place on the Cunning Linguist Journals for the first time ever, and Alexa's numbers are on the rise. It seems my surreal hiccup has come to a stop for now, and perhaps things are back on the mend. I can relax about the template, among other things, and hopefully will sleep the sleep of the dead this evening. Last night was another fitful night, so I could use a nappy-nap. It's barely 10, and I'm about to bathe, then crash.

Tomorrow will be a "Steff Rocks Alone" kind of day. I plan to catch a matinee of "Why We Fight," an intriguing-looking documentary on the psychology & business of war, and then will browse a bookstore for an interesting used book, and then plan to jot down band names from Zulu Records of groups worth pirating. It's time to get culturally tuned-in again. And seeing a good doc in a theatre, well, that'll rock! The last I saw, I think, was Control Room. It's been a while. The first I ever saw in the theatre was Hoop Dreams. That hooked me on docs, man. Nothing like walking out of a dark room being smarter and more clued into the world, y'know.

I'm expecting a new computer in the mail this week, part of an arrangement I've set up for doing podcasting through a virtual-sex site in the near future... should be a swanky computer, and when I get it, it will soon be Mine, after I do a series of podcasts for that website. More on that another time. I plan to start using the CPU for loading up on music for a while. I'm feeling really unhip and out of touch with tunes. I've never really been in touch, but what little I've explored, my tastes have been good. I need to put a spring in my step again and find out what the kids are listening to. It's time to get in touch with, methinks. My laptop's evil for downloading, and the hard drive's nearly full, so... Blah. :) I can't wait!

Anyhow, it's nice to have a few positive things coming my way today. It's been one hell of a week. It's crazy how fast depression can set in when you're not feeling well. I've been kind of off, physically, since Christmas, and I'm now learning why. Good to be clued in. This past week was the downward spiral to bookend a rough few months, physically speaking, and I think I'm finally on the way back up. It'll be a while before I can declare the ascent complete, but at least the scenery might start changing.

Soon, the weather will return to goodness, and I'll be back outdoors and enjoying myself. And, with any luck, my body'll be getting happy again and I'll be kicking ass on my bike. With new tunes on my iPOD, to boot. These are the hopes. Am I a happy, shiny Steff? Well, let's not make that pronouncement just yet, but I'm working on it. That's all good. It is what it is, baby, but what it is can change, too.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Today's Forecast: Dark As Hell

I wrote a bleak, bleak posting an hour or so ago, published it, and five minutes later, took it down. It seemed too dreary and dark and foreboding.

I've since cleaned my dishes and took a look outside. East, there are light to medium-grey clouds, and directly above me are violently black clouds that have cast an ominous midday darkness over my part of the world. Fitting, considering my mood.

I'm just filled with apprehension about everything -- life, love, myself, my future. I'm overwhelmed and I feel as though I'm the Gumby, being stretched in a million directions.

Worse, yet, are these headaches that keep coming back. My eyes feel tight and sore and my head throbs. Light hurts me, and I suppose that's the positive of the dark-as-hell cloud above.

The headaches are compromising all areas of my life -- I don't feel social, I don't feel positive, I don't feel like writing, I don't feel capable of expressing myself, I don't trust my judgment when it comes to sending off professional emails, I don't feel able to "act" as though I feel otherwise.

This bothers me, profoundly. When I say "profoundly," I mean I feel as thought I'm being shook to my core. When you think of yourself as One Thing and that One Thing is something you are physically incapable of being, it's like your compass has no magnetic north anymore, and direction is something that's a vague memory. Who you are is lost to your circumstance, and nothing you do is able to restore normalcy.

Right now, my mind is so muddled from this constant sinus infection that I feel like I'm a shell of who I ought to be. So rare is it that I feel as sharp and mentally alert as I know myself to be capable of being, that I now feel that "sharp" and "alert" person must only be a figment of this scattered imagination.

It's difficult. I find myself becoming increasingly negative, judgmental, and worse, scared. I'm daunted by the littlest thing and I feel pressure from all sides.

I'm apprehensive of everything. I'm apprehensive of a date I have with the Guy tomorrow. I'm apprehensive of my afternoon's duties. I'm apprehensive of having planned to stay in and write tonight. I'm apprehensive of the goals I've set for myself in both short and long-term endeavours. I'm apprehensive all the fucking time. I'm confused, scattered, shaken.

And I know it's not "really" me -- it's this head of mine and the infection within it, but there's little I can do to affect it. "Sinusitis," it sounds so innocuous, really. I'm just reading a page on it now, by a doctor, who says, "When I had sinus infections, I felt like life wasn't worth living any more, between the exhaustion, pain and just feeling miserable. "

Yeah. Ditto, ditto, and ditto. I'm so fucking tired, all the time. I can't express it. I was tired before, but it's getting worse and worse. It just feels like a downward spiral. I can't write, hate working, don't want to go out, just... nothing seems to excite me right now.

There's not a lot I can do about it, either. I have an upcoming appointment with an ear-nose-and-throat specialist, and when that occurs, I'll have a better idea of where I stand. For now, I worry that it's compromising my quality of life to too great an extent, and now a depression is setting in which I fear I may be unable to shake.

I'm realizing how important it is I stay hydrated to the max, 24/7. Apparently letting your nose and throat dry out can make the situation deterioriate, or at least prohibit improvement. I'll keep doing what I'm doing, keep struggling to stay up, but there's only so much struggle each of us has within us, and some days it just breaks.

At least I know what the problem is, finally. I know it's probably not going to continue past the next couple of months, but two months away can seem like a lifetime when every day tends to be a struggle.

Blah. I've been through tougher things. I'm a survivor, and I know it. I'm just having a moment of weakness.

Onto more important things. I've found out that all my links are fucked on my other blog, and I'm trying to figure it the fuck out. Sigh. I have no idea what's up with that, but my archives are VERY important to me, especially since I've taken the time to piece it up into relevant topics for the masses. Sigh. More to fix. Sigh. Off I go! I'll figure it ALL the hell out. I always do.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Steff The Problem-Solver Rides Again!

Tonight is the first night this week I'm going to bed without a pain boring into my eyes and my skull throbbing mercilessly. I've begun an old homeopathic sinusitis remedy (inhaling salt water up the nose, and, yes, it's every bit as lovely as it sounds) today and it's already helping cure my ailment. I cannot express to you how badly migraines can impede your ability to enjoy life.

Having lived once with migraines on a daily basis for more than half a year, this past couple weeks has been leaving me daunted at the prospect of needing to cope with them once again on a daily basis. Even going outside is a source of pain, as light becomes nearly unbearable. Walking is awful as every step sends a shard of pain into the frontal lobe. It's fucking unpleasant, to say the very, very least. To have relief, if even for a night, is a welcome thing indeed. I was given a prescription for a steroid-based inhaler, but, really, shooting steroids up the nose is a little freaky, considering it can erode the lining and create a chronic problem as opposed to the acute one I presently have. Yeesh.

But aside from being relatively pain-free tonight, and the prospect of a second good night's sleep in a row, I had a great moment of problem solving earlier this evening. Well before that, I was still afflicted with a headache and had cancelled my last appointment of the evening. Although I was feeling fine by the time that appointment rolled around, un-cancelling couldn't be managed, so my night was to begin earlier that normal. As a result, I was riding my scooter home in daylight for a change on a Thursday night.

I hit Nanaimo at Kingsway and my scooter puttered into a complete stall, and I had to think quickly to get out of the main drag and off to the side of the road. My timing was perfect, but I was nearly crunched by a truck -- better than getting rear-ended by the one behind me, though.

I got off and inspected the distributor cap, which had been coming loose before my "repairs" happened last week, and what should I find? The spark plug dangling from it! Well, without thinking twice, without freaking out, without a beat, I screwed that mofo back into place, attached the distributor, and rode off into the sunset -- literally.

I know it's not a major accomplishment, but I'm a girl and I fixed my bike and I feel pretty fucking cool about it. That's three things (my blinds, my template, the plug, and if the sinusitis remedy continues helping, then that's four -- the remedy already helping my hearing, and that's my major concern) I've remedied in two days. So, it goes to show you: I rock!


And tomorrow I unleash a major grumblefit upon my mechanic. Damn them. Give me a new fucking spark plug and FIX the distributor! This is cramping my style. Talk about being on your knees for all the wrong reasons, man. Yeesh.

And this is my troubling, but much-loved scooter. Its name is "Pussycat." That way, going uphill, I can mentally shout, "Faster, Pussycat! Faster!"

Good God, That's Frustrating!

HTML is a fickle bitch some days.

For the uninitiated, HTML is the coding one uses to create webpages -- or it's one of the kinds of coding one can use. It is comprised of obscure language and numbers and pixel sizes and many other little frustrating things. Even more frustrating is the fact that not all browsers will register the HTML coding found for a webpage in the same way. A flaw that might be generated in, say, Internet Explorer may not even be apparent in Firefox or Netscape Navigator. It's not universal, and thus it can be very difficult achieving a webpage that displays equally beautifully in every different web-surfing program.

My blogs have been carefully tweaked and messed with over time, thanks to generous readers in the past, and have essentially been carefully crafted to display beautifully in all browsers. Or that was the case...

So, I recently began having display problems with my other blog, The Cunting Linguist. Sadly, I failed to realize it might only be a Mac Firefox issue and not something applicable in all programs.

Anyhow, I asked for help, and one nice guy has been generous with his time, seeking to give me a helping hand with the page. Great! Not everything had remedied properly and it turned out this one persistent problem I was having was as a result of running a Mac, not because the coding itself was the issue, but because my Mac software's simply interpreting the code differently.

Well, the guy goes and emails me an edited version of the page source -- something which, in another life, I normally would've realized would be problematic, but that I failed to take note of on this particular day.

So, I go and upload buddy's altered version of the page source, see no changes, and carry on, business as usual. When I later go and write a posting and publish it, however, I'm met with the fact that the page isn't updating. "Fucking Blogger," I mutter, presuming the blog host is the source of my woes now.

Turns out that, no, it's not Blogger. It's because I'd published the page source sent to me by my helpful reader, and instead of the template being a fluid and changing template, the page source has a snapshot of that moment in time, with all the postings included as whole, etc, so it then becomes an immovable object, something that can't be updated or changed.


I fortunately had an old one kicking around and knew what segments of the "immovable" snapshot template were corresponding to changes I've made over the past number of months, and thus have been able to cut and paste together a fixed, pretty accurate template that matched what I used to have.

Saved the day.

But, man, did I freak out for a few minutes before I solved my own problems. As if my headache wasn't throbbing enough before the fact. Whew! Now I've got some comfort food getting ready -- the rice cooker's starting to steam away and the Glico chicken curry's starting to bubble on the stove. Soon, my tummy will be happy, and thus, so will I. :)

Good god, HTML can be a bitch. And this is why I hate fucking around with templates. Every now and then you accidentally delete a character, and then all hell breaks loose! Grr!

Oh, Wow! I'll Take Two!

Holy SHIT. So that's what a good night's sleep feels like!

This is the first time in weeks -- WEEKS, if not a couple months -- that I've slept that deeply. Oh, god! I was just OUT as soon as I hit the bed. I got up to go to the bathroom around 2am or something and was so groggy I thought it was afternoon.

My quality of life has been in the fucking tank for about a month or more now, what with headaches nearly daily the past three weeks and a constant inability to sleep more than 5 hours at any given time. This was 8 hours of sleep. I tell you, two or three more nights of good sleep and I'll be feeling much more like myself.

It was getting to the point where I was getting nervous about riding my scooter at night -- I had no focus, I had no mental clarity... that shit's dangerous, man.

I'll probably still be getting headaches for a bit, though, since I've discovered I never had an ear infection -- it's really bad sinus problems that I need to see a specialist about. I've been getting these migraines almost daily for about three weeks now. Sometimes just for a couple hours, sometimes all day and all night. It'll be easier to cope with them if I can sleep, though, and now I can. YAY. But this is the first time I've woken up without a headache for a bit, too, so that's another awesome thing.

Thank fucking god. I don't know how I put up with that crap for so long without killing people. I tell you, I was five minutes away from a bell tower and a telescopic rifle. Ooh, mercy. (Yawn!) Cawfee's what I need now, but I have to hit up Safeway, who open at 8. Sigh!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

yawn... no more?

every now and then, i do something that i'm pretty darned pleased with when it comes to solving problems. today is such a day.

i've been sleeping terribly of late; this is what happens when bedtime tends to be midnight or later and the sunrise happens around 5am. i can't sleep through daylight, since my room faces east and the sunrise is glaring and cruel.

this problem should now be alleviated.

for $18 and some ingenuity, i've solved my woes. my bedroom is now a dungeon on command. my funky bamboo shades still look nice and bamboo-ey, but behind them is thick black cloth. see, i can't sew to save my life, so i bought some of that iron-on seaming stuff, and then picked up some glue sticks for my glue gun. an hour of applied work, and my blinds look flawless, but when they're down, my bedroom's nearly pitch-black. really, looking at the blinds from the front, you would never know. from outside, it'll simply look like black curtains. for the Martha Stewart in me, it's a fabulous and beautiful solution to a long-despised problem.

fucking-a. sleep awaits me tonight for a change, and for that, i'm thrilled. maybe my grumpiness and moodiness will dissipate. maybe now i'll get the focus i need in order to do the work i need to do. when i'm tired like i've been, i become distracted and effectless, and whatever i attempt has a tendency to be reasonably impotent. it sucks, in short, and i'm tired of being tired. i've meant to do this for the last four summers, since i become this sleep-deprived mockery of myself every year. but, before, i was working for The Man and it didn't matter if my efficiency went into the tank a bit, because our workload was always so low that the demand was adequately met by my meagre supplies.

now, though, i'm essentially self-employed and i'm robbing myself of success by being sleep-deprived. besides, it's affecting all my relationships since i'm Less Steff than i should be for friends, family, and others of great import.

finally. problem solved. thank god.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

a change of pace

it was a dark and stormy afternoon when our protagonist arrived home needing a stiff and powerful drink. dodging through dire and dangerous traffic caused by impeded intellect and the impetuous and impatient, she grumbled and growled as she sank sullenly into her control chair.

"work," she muttered, "sucks."

nonetheless, she powered up her laptop, stared at her word processing program, and decided to say fuck it. a beer would suffice, despite it being only 12:32pm. battling the forces of evil out there on the murky and beleaguered streets had tested her patience to the limits. construction, construction everywhere. damn the summer season.

or was it summer, she wondered? skies black with fury, rain drops pelting her as if some jesuit punishment for sins long past, and winds sending shivers deep into her weary bones. "summer" was a misnomer. this, she decided, was a misplaced november day.

the ping-pang split-splat of rain battering the window was distracting her from writing and the wind whistling through the barely-cracked window chilled her fingers and slowed her typing speed. a break should be had before settling into the wordy task at hand, but would that break be suitably laced with the guilt it called for? perhaps. a quick break, then, she conceded.

with that, she closed off her sentences and saved her work, preparing to step away from the desk before committing to a diligent afternoon.

*photo of vancouver borrowed from jon eben field.

Monday, May 22, 2006

People have DIED for LESS

Oh, if I could kick their collective asses, I would. My cable television and internet has been out ALL day -- on a rainy, dreary, blah holiday Monday.

I get home, finally check the message left on their technical line, and my area's supposedly back in the black. Except me.

So, tech dude's checking my reception remotely, etc, and finally deduces "Oh, you need a new splitter."

Yo, you people just upgraded me last SEPTEMBER. Next thing you know, he's trying to pitch me on paying $24.95 for a new connection in my room. I think NOT.

He tells me to plug the 'net directly into the wall until I can get in to pick myself up a free new splitter then. Fine, I do that. No reception.

"Oh. Unplug your modem for 30 seconds then."

Nothing, nada. Doesn't help.

"Let me retest your building's connection then."

There we fucking go. Brilliant, guy. Check my modem, but not the building. What kind of fuckwits are they hiring these days?

Gawd. I hate incompetence. At least I can take solace in the fact that they've credited me a whopping day's connectivity -- which should amass to the kindly sum of, oh, $2.25, or so, at the month's end.

Nevermind that someone emailed me requesting a resume for an editorial position at a magazine in town today or anything like that. I mean, people don't actually WORK from home. That's just one of those fallacy type things.

I need a beer.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I'm 2.5 hours away from my first real interview, on radio, with a rising program that gets talked about in national publications. Cool shit. Bad nerves. But I've eaten a burger now, or, well, 2/3s of a BIG burger, and I'm calming down a little. Mental note: Don't starve self when nerves are bad.

I had the smarts to ask for the questions in advance, and let that be a tip to you, if ever you can get interview questions in advance, then do so. Most people don't mind, unless it's Barbara Walters and she plans to railroad you into admitting something nasty, of course.

It's official... my full name will be public knowledge after this. Eeps. Not like it's not already, if you do a single Google search for Scribe Called Steff, you get my full name thanks to a fucking moron who outed me last fall, by mistake.

I mean, the last thing you need when you're job searching is to have your full name attached to a sex blog. Y'know? God, what a twit. But I figure, what the hell. Actually, I was torn, and the Guy advised Full Disclosure. Probably a smarter move career-wise, meaning with writing -- not job searching.

I think I plan to go into the bathroom at 11:30 and do full makeup so I feel like a Rockstar before the midnight interview takes place. It's like smiling when you're on the phone -- sometimes it's just perceptible, you know?

Anyhow. WHEW. I'll be glad when it's over, but y'know what? I secretly hope they like me so much they bring me on back.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Whew, What a Week


From migraines to relationship chaos to professional breakthroughs, it's been a hell of a ride.

I'm daunted at the prospect of doing live radio tomorrow (11pm-1am PST on 106.9 FM in San Francisco, or you can listen live via the web by clicking here) but I'm gonna do my best, as always.

I've finally got confirmation that we're moving ahead with getting me the gear to do live podcasts myself. I've always had a dream of being a talk show host, so I'm pretty excited and terrified to do the podcasts, since it'll be all me all the time, but it's time to take the plunge and go there. I'll be doing the podcasts in conjunction with an explicit sex site, but my content won't be explicit, it'll be pretty tame in comparison.

There's a song playing in my head by Big Wreck, Blown Wide Open. It's about how I feel today. Not horribly bad or anything, just as though I'm suspended in animation and there's nowhere left for me to hide.

I got three hours sleep last night, a week-long low in an already bad week for sleep. My head's groggy, as am I. I'm on antibiotics for the ear infection and it may be working a little. I think the hearing part of the radio show will work out all right after all.

My life is intimidating me a bit. I was all freaked out earlier about my relationship, but I'm settling down now. I know better what I should do in regards to it, and I'm hoping it's the right way to go. Stand back, take stock, deal with my own shit for a bit, and see where we stand down the road. I have SO much going on in my life that this relationship conundrum might just be a blessing in disguise, allowing me the time to focus on my career for a spell -- something that the timing is perfectly right to do.

I've begun writing a query to a local paper I want to write regularly for... it's interesting trying to come up with ways to say you're hot shit without actually saying it. It's hard to sell yourself when sometimes you don't even believe the hype. There's a lot of hype around me right now, just judging from my weird traffic surges and all that.

In the past two weeks, I've gone up about 90,000 places in my three-month averages on, but my weekly average is sick -- 109,000th on their ranking list for this week. It's crazy shit.

I've never announced my sex blog's name on here, but what the hell. I've kept it private so my father can't read it (hi, Dad) but I know my dad won't judge me, and I know he's really proud of how I'm doing of late, and I feel like keeping it from him is punishing him. He just wants to support me as best he can, and if encouraging my writing is how to do that, then that's what he wants to do.

So, without ado, here's the link for the traffic on my website. Through it, you can see the much-vaunted Other Blog of mine.

I really don't want to teach the kids today. I only have three hours to do, but I'm a little light-headed, a lot exhausted, and a world away from concentrating. I've been up since before 6am, have so far cleaned out my storage unit, taken some photos of things I may try to sell on or, gone for a walk, written about 3,500 words, researched podcasting needs for an hour and a half, and watched a movie. Now I need to teach? With what braincells?

On the upside, I know that my students should be in a good state of mind today, and it's only for three hours. Two of them became Canadian citizens on Wednesday, and shit, are they ever proud of themselves. I got misty-eyed just hearing them fuck up the English as they told me they were now Canucks. It was a pretty awesome conversation last night.

I'm not opposed to immigration -- I think there are ways we could better improve immigration in Canada, since things are out of balance, but I'm really proud I live in a country that celebrates diversity as much as we do. I just think we need to remember we are Canadians first. When I see immigrants who are so fucking proud that they're now Canadians, it makes me well up with nationalistic pride. These are good people, and we'll be a better country with their like within our borders. It's the ones who are here for less pure reasons I'm not crazy about. These ones? My seal of approval.

At least I know I can come home and be alone and clear my head tonight. I need to take some calcium before I head out -- I think I'm calcium deprived, among other vitamins -- so I can sleep better tonight. I really, really, really need a clear head for tomorrow night when I go live on the show.

What a baffling week. What wonderful advances I've managed to begin making. I just hope the rest of my life comes together, or at least stays reasonably intact in the meantime.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Riding the Waves!

Looks like yours truly is gonna be interviewed for the radio -- my media debut! Well, not really a debut, since CBC-Canada featured my blog on Zed, but since no one really watches Zed, it's part of the "If a tree falls in a forest and no one's there to hear it, does it make a sound?" philosophical realm.

This show, people listen to... by the droves. Downloaded by fiends, etc.

Is it okay to admit I'm terrified? 'Cos, like, I am. It's kind of like that fear I get mountain biking when I look at a really steep descent. "Ohmigod, my brakes are SO gonna fuck me up!"

Only, this time, it's my mouth that'll get me into trouble. I have no backspace in real life and I'm prone to saying incredibly dumb things sometimes. And on the flipside, I've been known to say brilliant things. It's really quite unpredictable, as am I.

It's still sort of an "up in the air" scenario. They've told me they want me, they've told me the time, they've told me the topic, but I've not actually spoken to them. I'm loathe to say the name of the program just yet, but it's live out of San Francisco, the wonderful Bay Area, and it's a latenight program. It'll be a downloadable podcast after the fact, so even if you're not Bayside, you can get your fix. If it happens.

And exacerbating the fear? I've just found out I have an ear infection in my phone ear! I suspect that, like most hearing aid people, there's one ear that works better for phones, and that's the right side. That's the infected ear. So infected, in fact, that the canal's nearly swollen shut and fluid's reducing the ability for sound to travel. In effect, I've lost 50% hearing in the past couple weeks. NOT good.

What is good is finally knowing the reason. I'm on antibiotics officially (which means I can't drink and now need to eat yogurt -- bleh! -- on a long weekend! GRR!) and it should clear up over the next week. The show's Saturday night!

But fuck it. Fuck it all. This is Step One of my Big Break -- radio! A show that gets written about in national papers, that's broadcast from one of the second biggest publishing center in the States! WOOOT.* I need to be SHARP, baby. I'm gonna drink gallons of water Saturday and talk to myself all day long to make sure I'm speaking clearly.

Have I ever written about that, my voice? Hmm. Maybe not. Since I wear hearing aids, as a kid I had a terrible speech impediment, which still haunts me in times of fatigue... I might stutter or dramatically lisp. I have a bit of a lisp all the time, which makes my name "Steffani" the bane of my existence, but my voice is reasonably deep for a girl (radio-sultry, let's call it, I think) and I can enunciate very nicely, and I'm very tonal (ie: the opposite of monotonous). It should be fine.

Keep your fingers crossed on both the broadcast and the ear infection, though.

You know what? I'm proud of myself. I feel damned good. The ball is rolling.

Which reminds me... that horrible freak-out post from about three or so days ago -- I had the funniest thing happen on the bike ride I took to try and clear my mind. I remember thinking, over coffee, "Fuck, it feels like I'm losing my marbles!" And, then, on the bike ride, about 8 minutes in, what should I find on the road? Two marbles. I grinned and thought, "Found: Marbles."

I then proceeded to lose one of the two, but I've still got the clear blue opalescent one, and it's in a prominent spot on my bookshelf.

(Just heard back from the producer -- she's waiting to hear from the star of the show if it's definitely a go. Fingers crossed! Even if not, I suspect it's inevitable. If it fails to go through, I'll write it off as good because of the ear infection. If it goes through, I'll say it's the start of something brilliant and I'll make it happen one way or the other, ear infection or no.)

*I hate boyfriend for getting me into the habit of saying WOOT. Bleh! Heh. But, then, I used to say "Woo-hoo!" a lot and it ain't much freakin' better!

Too Good Not to Share: Orgasm Bread!

Okay, well, maybe not orgasmic, but oh-my-god was it good! I surprised the Guy with a complete dinner last night when he thought I was just bringing over "stuff that we would eat together." Instead, I brought a salad I prepared with sweet yellow peppers and cherry tomatoes, mixed greens, and a satsuma-cranberry dressing I made, some turkey kebabs, asparagus that we grilled, and this, the piece de resistance -- sundried-tomato, basil, and garlic loaf.

Here's how to make the bread; a five-minute thing that takes an ordinary meal up about a dozen notches. Too friggin' good on a hot night with the grill goin'. The ingredients are approximate, since I scoffed at the original recipe and bumped it up, to what I think follows:

7 sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1 tablespoon of that oil
about a teaspoon of kosher salt
1/3 c. packed basil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. butter

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor, but don't overdo it -- you still want little bits of tomato. Take a nice loaf of crusty french bread and cut it into 1" slices on an angle, but don't cut all the way through the bottom crust 'cos the loaf needs to stay intact as you're about to put it in the oven. Take a couple teaspoons of the butter mix and stuff it in every cut. Use up all the butter (heh, of course!), so re-stuff any wedge that could use a little extra love. Wrap that bad boy in tinfoil, then bake in 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

It's mind-bogglingly good. I mean, oh, my GOD! I'm about to make more of the butter to put in the freezer. I think I've just discovered my latest addiction. I can imagine having this with a rich soup in the winter and dying happy. For now, it's awesome with anything grilled, I suspect. The Guy and I'll need a latenight dinner Saturday, and this looks like a great thing to accompany those prawns I've been neglecting in my freezer. mMmM! :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

That feels MUCH better!

Nothing helps the perspective like a good bike ride, I find. I went for a longer, slightly harder one on Sunday, but this one, I think, is the best ride I've had thus far this year. I was fast, I worked hard, I didn't waste time anywhere, spent only a couple of bucks, and have arrived at home with energy to spare.

I realized that I'm not the optimist I wish I was. In fact, I'm pretty negative sometimes. I realized that when I'm on a bike ride, for instance, I'll often look at a huge hill and think of all the reasons I SHOULDN'T tackle the hill.

"Oh, it'll hurt."
"It'll take too long."
"I'm too tired."
"I won't have energy for the rest of the ride."

Whine, whine, whine! Know what I usually do these days? I take the fucking hill ANYHOW, and I usually exceed my expectations, and it's usually not half as bad as I'd feared it'd be. Like today's ride, I knew I needed to get out and blow off some of the negative steam I've been shoring up -- because as much as Sunday's ride was a good one, the dope I was smoking made it hard and clouded my mind a lot, so I avoided thinking about issues that were important, and instead focused on not doing stupid shit, since my judgment was off.

This time, clear head, well hydrated, and with a mission in mind: Figure shit out.

I realized I was doing in life what I do in riding: I'm looking at the hill I'm needing to climb and thinking of all the reasons I shouldn't do it, when instead I should get to fucking work and tackle it. If it doesn't pan out, it doesn't, but at least I won't be on my ass wondering and taking the easy route out.

I popped into a publisher's that I'd love to write for, a specific paper here in town, and just inquired as to the best method of getting accepted. I was dissuaded from the approach I'd been thinking of, that with a marketing bent to it and some image manufacturing done to buff myself up. I was told a simple email was the best. There's a load off my mind.

I'd planned to stop into three newspapers... the first choice, the second, and the third. Then I figured, fuck that. There's only one I want to write for, and the rest would be food on the table, at best. So, I went to my first choice, and I'll go big, and then if necessary, I'll go home and tackle the smaller ones.

I have the contact name and email address now, and I have a game plan. I'd love for my blog to make money, but I keep coming back to the dream I've had all my life, and that's writing for print papers. My entire life I've loved movies about journalists and newspapers, and I've always wanted to see myself on mastheads, or better yet, in syndication. So, what the fuck. I'll roll those dice. The worst that can happen is rejection, and since I'm fearing it and feeling the pain of that fear anyways, I might as well just pull the Band-aid off and move on.

Now comes the painful wait of seeing just how sunburned I'm gonna be, but damn, it was worth it. Gee, bike rides are so much easier when you don't go after having a hamburger and smoking a doobie. Who knew?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Spouting off while listening to Pink Floyd

I worry sometimes, wonder sometimes, if I’ve become too transparent. Or maybe it’s that I fear I’ve allowed myself to seem too transparent?

I’m not sure, but I know I’m clouded with uncertainty tonight.

I don’t know, I’m not sure what this feeling I have is, but it’s oddly similar to that of not feeling I have a voice. Which is odd, considering.

Today my stats show I’ve gone up more than a million ranks in the last couple months on my other bloggie (the other one, not this one; this one still gets minimal traffic, probably 5% of what the other blog gets, if that). Today, I was 87,000th, out of millions and millions and millions. That means a fuck of a lot of people are reading it. Like, a lot. And it scares the living shit out of me.

I started this, this whole blogging thing, to try and rediscover my voice. Now I’ve accidentally discovered I have people tuning in daily to see what wheels are spinning in my head this time around. Surreal isn’t even the word for it.

I wanted to be read. More than anything, I wanted to be read. I wanted that feeling every writer wants; that of knowing they’ve become a reader’s guilty pleasure… a stolen moment on a bus, hiding in the office when work needs doing but a page desperately needs reading.

Recently, people have started telling me this is what I’ve become to them. It blows my mind. I can’t express it to anyone. No one I know, I don’t think, really can get what’s going on in my mind right now. There’s a lot. A lot is going on.

I’m not complaining. This is what I thought I wanted. I’m just not sure, not right now.

There are moves I suspect I can make… things I can say or do to push myself in a more professional direction with this gig. And I can’t even begin to express to you just how much every part of my body is holding me back from going there. I’m just so terrified of being successful.

Before all that, though, comes this regret I feel right now. This regret for having opened a can of worms I think I might never be able to close. A can I sometimes wish I could not only close but walk the fuck away from.

And it’s my fault. I started it. I was honest. I put myself down on pages in a rather searing and open way, interspersed with humour and strangeness that only freaks like me can muster. I was entertaining and, every now and then, even insightful. And I was open about it, not only with you, the public, but with my friends and family and now even my lover. They all read this shit.

And the irony is, by having so much voice, I now feel doomed to have none. I have no secret outlet… Writing is my great pressure valve. I do this, and I swear to god, you can see steam rising off me. Everything comes out, an emotional enema. It frees me.

But I worry, I worry that those around me get to read so much into who I am, and I never, ever get the same revelations in return. I feel like I live under glass now, a fucking specimen for all to watch and read and see. And I’m dysfunctional; I can’t write for myself. I need to put it up and put it on display. If I don’t, it’s like it doesn’t really exist. Now and then there’s something that doesn’t make it up, but most of the time, stuff does.

I get token emails and sound bites from those I care about. I sort of know what’s going on, but I’m ultimately unplugged. Or I feel that way. In reality, it’s just normal relationships among normal people, being conducted in a nice, normal way. But I’m not nice nor normal nor understated. I hang it all out to dry. It’s almost better when it’s for strangers.

I was all right when I knew a few people read me, and even when I knew they got something out of it. But seeing my stats going through the roof, getting emails that tell me how important I am in their daily routine, or whatever the fuck it is that’s going on now, is just weirding me out.

It’s all happening so fast. Doubling every month for the last three months. It’s not like I’ve been trying my hand at this for years, this is all within a few short months, all this notice. It’s so weird. So not what I’m accustomed to, she of the book in the stairwell during high school lunches… this is all so new and foreign. And I can't even begin to tell you how fucking pretentious this posting feels, in some ways, while feeling so goddamned heartwrenching in others. I've got half a mind to hit "delete."

I fear it becoming more than this. I’m scared. I’m scared of everybody knowing everything about me. On the one hand, I know it’s illogical. On the other, I know it’s in danger of being true. What it is, is a delicate balancing act.

And I don’t know why it bothers me so much that everyone I know reads my shit, but tonight, it bothers me. A lot. I wish the playing ground was more even. It’s not. Everyone has a voice, and it seems I’m the only one using mine.

Bah, I don’t know. I just don’t get any of this, some days. Why the hell so many people tune in, check it out, and dig what I say. I’m a normal chick who has her fucked-up, insecure days, who dabbles in depression and delirium, and who struggles to pay the rent like everyone else. It just freaks me out, since I guess I’m the one doing the looking into the mirror. I see reality, my reality.

I’m just really, really wishing I had a crystal ball. Wishing I could see how I’d deal with being a writer for a living. Right now, I’m not even sure I can handle it. Oh, these idyllic fantasies of living the writing life. Yeah, well, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a lonely life, writing. You’re either living life or you’re observing it. It’s pretty hard to do both, and as a writer, you need to err on the side of observing, or you’ll never really have the time to do what you need to do.

Oh, sure, we got great stories. That’s what we’re about. We can live a fraction of the life you live, and still walk away with more stories, if only because we’re trained to watch. We catch the details, make the observations, and therein lies the story.

Right now, the writing life feels lonely. I have friends, a good relationship, etc, but it all feels a little empty and off. I wish it didn’t, but it does, and right now, there’s no happy ending stirring in me. I can spot foreshadowing a mile away, but when it’s my own life, no such luck.

I don’t even know what my point is anymore. I feel like I’m living in a bubble, under the microscope, with no ability to really express what I want in an anonymous way, as just some voice in the darkness, and I’m feeling condemned unto myself.

Oddly, I’m not depressed. I’m just very, very aware of this fear and apprehension I have, and the fact that this “hey, go follow your dreams” bit is on a limited shelf-life and I really got to get my fucking act together if this is, in fact, that dream of mine. Now that it’s within reach, or at least more readily dreamable, I’m terrified it’s not right for me.

So, I guess my point is, I just don’t know. Not now. Not anymore.

And no, I still haven’t heard back from that magazine, which tells me that’s one thing I don’t want… the waiting and the powerlessness. I need another plan.

Ah, another conundrum. Perfect.

You said what?

So, I watch my TV with closed captioning. For the commercials, I turn off the volume and rest my eyes, or I do shit. I just happened to catch the captioning during a recent newsbreak earlier, and had a good chuckle at the expense of the commercial's editor.

There in the captioning were production notes that read, "Good emotional clip, 4 secs. max, please," right after a segment on an apartment explosion.

Yeah, who says the news is fabricated, huh?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Can you hear me now?

If politicians didn't have so much impact on our world affairs, I'd love 'em to death. They're just so cute and funny!

In today's New York Times, they pat themselves on the back a little for being the bastion of freedoms in America today after having exposed the US government's newfound fondness for eavesdropping on average Americans in this "relentless pursuit of terror."

[Duct tape, anyone? Gas mask? They're out there, those terror-ing guys. Just watch yerself.]

But get what some puffed-up bureaucrat has to say here.

The New York Times first reported in December that the president had authorized the N.S.A. to conduct eavesdropping without warrants.

The Times also reported in December that the agency had gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to get access to records of vast amounts of domestic and international phone calls and e-mail messages.

The agency analyzes communications patterns, the report said, and looks for evidence of terrorist activity at home and abroad.

The USA Today article on Thursday went further, saying that the N.S.A. had created an enormous database of all calls made by customers of the three phone companies in an effort to compile a log of "every call ever made" within this country. The report said one large phone company, Qwest, had refused to cooperate with the N.S.A. because it was uneasy about the legal implications of handing over customer information to the government without warrants.

Some Republicans, including Representative Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, defended the N.S.A.'s activities and denounced the disclosure. Mr. Hoekstra said the report "threatens to undermine our nation's safety."

"Rather than allow our intelligence professionals to maintain a laser focus on the terrorists, we are once again mired in a debate about what our intelligence community may or may not be doing," he said.

Yeah, I'm with Hoekstra. I mean, those personal freedom things, they're such a hassle. I mean, the right to expect that only the person you've dialed on your phone will hear the conversation, that's just so... silly.

Fucking twits. There are bad guys out in the world, so everyone needs to pay the price. Right. That makes SO much sense.

And didja notice that only ONE company resisted the government, and get this, on the rather lame grounds that there was no warrant? Oh, DOH. I *so* smell a class-action lawsuit! A phone company hands over your calling history to the government, and you've neither consented or known about their actions? Fucking SUE the bastards. Yeah. Nail 'em.

I'd say sue the government, but we know how that'll turn out.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Citizen Steff On the Case: The Continuing Chronicles!

I'm still really blue, but hey. These things don't shake so easy sometimes. I'm having some decent moments in amongst all the drudgery and doldrums, though, so it's not all black-as-hell. I'm trying to persuade myself that I ought to cycle to work tomorrow. It would probably do me a world of good.

THAT's not why I'm writing.

NO. There are BIGGER things to report!

TONIGHT, I stopped a thief!

I was grabbing a burrito at the magnificent Red Burrito on Commercial, waiting patiently for my turn at the counter in the jam-packed eatery, when I saw an obvious meth addict stagger casually in, sneak up to the counter when the staff was distracted, slyly take the tip jar, cover it with her baseball hat, and slink inconspicuously towards the door. Not a fucking person noticed. Not a one... except CITIZEN STEFF!

Now, I have a commanding voice -- I resonate. As Grade 4's Mrs. Potschka would have said, I "pro-nounce my vow-wels and con-so-nants with vi-gour and bel-low!"

Girl can shout is what I'm saying.

In my husky radio-ish girl voice I bellowed out, "YO. THAT CHICK'S STEALING YOUR TIP JAR!"

Everyone shut the hell up, all eyes turned towards the door -- the door the meth-head was stepping out of. She must've been really high and stupid, 'cos she didn't make a break, she just lethargically stepped on the sidewalk and was waiting for the light. The dude at the door stepped out to question her, and she shook her head at him, but by then the three staffers had busted their asses and greased it across the establishment to emerge and confront the drug-addled would-be thief.

They got the jar back and came back to express copious gratitude to yours truly, Citizen Steff.

I got EXTRA chicken on my burrito and a monster dollop of guacamole.

Honesty pays in crunchy flavourful bits of dead bird, it would seem. I, for one, do not object.

I am Steff, Citizen Steff, and honesty is my cause!

Dude, that's just Creepy!

Still depressed. (See below.) Now also disgusted. EW.

Getting my shoes on in the hall, the light was on, and I happened to look up. Silverfish were crawling around inside my '50s glass-enclosed classic lampcover. EW. Fucking gross. And it apparently is where silverfish go to die. There's a pile of them all dead in the bottom.

I mean, how often do you LOOK at your lights, right? Oh, GROSS. I have to deal with that shit, but not until all those bastards are DEAD. God, I hate bugs! I'm an untidy gal, but I'm CLEAN. That kind of filth is horrid. Ew, ew, EW.


It's Mother's Day week, and I'm as depressed as all hell. There's really little I can do to shake it, but at least I know the reasoning behind it all. I've been hit from about eight different directions this week, and I'm pretty fucking unthrilled about it.

My stats have crashed, and I'm not sure how to get them up again right now, aside from disabling the domain name my man registered for me, and just working my damned ass off. Trouble is, between money, PMS, Dead Mom Day, poor diet, and all that shit, I just don't much feel like writing.

I know it'll pass, pretty damned quick, but for the moment, it is what it is, and it ain't shaking.

Mother's Day sucks. Like I said last year, between the advertising and all, it's like all the world conspires to remind me that I'm a daughter without a mother. A daughter without one of the most admirable, coolest mothers ever. My mom, despite all her flaws is the greatest role model I've ever had. She faced her struggles, learned how to cope with the world, sought to achieve her dreams, tried to be a strong woman in the face of insurmountable odds, and though she was virtually bankrupt at her death, died with more dignity than most people know in a lifetime.

And I miss her every fucking day.

I try to go through my life living it as I know she'd like, and that's why I'm so proud of what I'm accomplishing on my other blog -- or was accomplishing, before all this shit fell through for me -- because I know that, despite her hang-ups about sex, she'd be thrilled I was giving the world and all the uptight religious folks the finger and doing my thing my way. She admired that about me. But the thing is, the things I am, the chick I am, is because either she mirrored that for me, or she was honest about all the things she wished she could be... and I've become those latter wishes, for my own reasons.

One of the things I oddly have in common with my boyfriend is that his mother passed away a couple years ago. Strangely, I don't feel very comfortable talking about my mom with him. Why not? I don't know. Probably because I'm coming up on the seventh anniversary of her death, while he lost his only a couple years ago. You eventually get this feeling that "I should be over this by now," and every year I'm reminded how so not over it I am. But he's less so, and he doesn't really talk much about his mother.

Usually, she's not on my mind much. Only in small ways. At this time of year, I think of her far too much. I think of her now because her biggest dream was for me to be a successful writer, and right now, success is beginning to come knocking (just not the dollars, sadly) and I would love nothing more than to share my accomplishments with her. And I can't.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, someone's inevitably bound to comment, "But wherever she is, she knows," but so fucking what? She knows? So what? It's not her KNOWING that I care about -- it's being able to look her in her eye and see that unmistakable look of pride and love you see when someone's thrilled for you. It's overhearing the conversation where she brags to a friend about it. It's all those silly, stupid little things you take for granted with those who are before you in flesh and blood.

So, I'm sad. I'm depressed. I'm tired. And there's pretty much sweet fuck all I'm able to do about it right now but ride it out.

It doesn't change how angry I am about all this hitting me at once. Tomorrow, I find out if my piece is being accepted for publication in a major international magazine, and if it should be rejected, my already down mood is going to fucking free-fall.

And there's sweet fuck all I can do about it. Yes, it'll pass. But today really fucking sucks. And that's all the news that's fit to print.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Daredevil Could Kick Your Illusionist's Ass

David Blaine is an idiot. I just don't get his popularity.

Evil Knievel, now there's some cool shit. David Blaine's biggest stunts involve, essentially, SITTING or LYING down.

Whoopty-fucking-do. Evil Knievel would kick his sorry ass. Hell, even Super Dave could kick his sorry ass. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

An Assortment; Plus, The Green Meanie Marinade!

I think my hits are probably not going down after all. I've just added a redirect for a domain name on my website, and apparently that can do Bad Things to one's stats. I suspect I need to look into a webhosting package in order to deal with everything properly.

Today, I officially moved into the top 10,000 blogs in the world, out of 40 million. How fucking weird is that? WICKED. Let's hear it, kids, a great big WOOOOOOOOT!

On top of that? The Boyfriend can start bearing weight on his leg! He's soon to be gimp-no-more! Lucky for him, he's getting razzed like mad at work and I suspect he's about five minutes away from lacing the water cooler with cyanide if they don't stop teasing him about the leg. Still, I'm just happy he's on the mend. It's been a tough go, and I'm proud of both of us for handling his adversities as well as we have. By about Canada Day he should be fully weight-bearing. Awesome!

Anyhow, been a while since I've posted foodlies here, and I invented this marinade last night for dinner with the fabulous GayBoy. I call it The Green Meanie Marinade!

It's zesty, but not too much so. It'd be awesome with a lemon risotto, or with a tossed salad, or roasted potatoes... We had lemon-soaked grilled asparagus and prawns and stuff with it and it was yum.

Steff's GREEN MEANIE Marinade

1/3 c. olive oil
half a bunch of basil, or more (cilantro might be nice, too, for something diff)
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp cumin AND coriander (ground)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
3 cloves garlic
Juice of one lemon

PUREE in a blender, and marinate on chicken thighs for a couple hours, give or take. Grill for about three minutes a side, baste, and flip. Repeat for a total of 6 minutes each side. Eat and be merry. In that order. :)

Monday, May 08, 2006


I'm upset about things with my other blog. Things had been going incredibly until a few days ago -- I was getting a minimum of 2,000 page hits a day, with a maximum of 4,500. My hits graphs were constantly going up, up, and up, with about 10% growth per week -- compounded, that is. I mean, I'm in the top 180,000 websites in the world, for God's sake. Considering there are 40 million blogs, alone, in the world (of which I'm in the top 10,000), I've been doing exceedingly well, with very little promotion.

And suddenly, whomp. I decided to do some merchandising, so two things happened -- 1) the frequency of my posting slowed down for a few days and became rather prosaic, which is sad but is bound to happen, and then 2) I announced I had merchandise for sale.

All of a sudden, boom. My hits went down by about 70% in one day, and have wallowed at that point ever since.

I began suspecting Statcounter was malfunctioning, as I'd added a third project to my free acount. So, I took the "store" for merchandise off Statcounter, and added a second hits counter to my sex blog, to guage the accuracy of Statcounter. Unfortunately, SC looks accurate.

And it breaks my fucking heart.

I work HARD, man, to keep that blog good and fresh. I'm not perfect, weeks will be off from time to time, that's the nature of being a creative person. Life can drown out the voices in your head that give you ideas, and then you're stuck wallowing in mediocrity for a few days.

The fact is, I love this writing gig, and I love my sex blog, and I'm proud of what I do. I'm proud that I'm a normal girl talking about the things that not enough people talk about. I'm proud of my dedication, my variety of topics, the voice I write in, and more. It's not by sheer fluke that it's cut a large swath, traffic-wise. I'm fortunate I've had the success I've had, but it certainly took more than some blood, sweat, and tears on my part. I'm brutally honest about my life, my failings, my fears, my fantasies, and it pays off, because people identify.

Perhaps they identify too well, so perhaps suddenly launching into merchandise somehow makes me seem less genuine. Not fucking so. It means I'm a member of the human race and I need to have money to pay for two of those four essential components to every human life: Food and shelter.

I wish I could live my life on ideals alone. I wish it were that simple. I wish I could live on love and honey and sunshine, but sadly, I can't. Either I make blogging turn into a full-time, paying gig, or I rejoin the workforce of the world and compromise this lifestyle I've come to love, the lifestyle that allows me to write as much as I've been writing in the past couple months.

I put myself out there, with brutal honesty, talking about all the shit I've gone through to become the woman I am today solely because I know how fucking hard it was to walk that journey alone. I know how lonely and difficult so many of those nights were. I know how much life hurt me, and how despondent I'd become, and how great the trials and tribulations were to get where I am now.

I would hope that my openness and empathy and honesty has led to others having an easier time of their own struggles, or at least that I've caused them to feel that they're not as alone as I once felt I was.

That I need money to survive on doesn't make me any less genuine. Perhaps I was wrong to have been so flippant in announcing my store, but I thought it was funny, I thought it was in keeping with the voice I've written in before. Evidently, I may have misjudged my appeal.

And like I say, it breaks my heart. That blog's become like a child to me. I nurture it, dote on it, measure its growth daily. I dream of great things for it. I want to play a role in revitalizing romance for others, in helping people get in touch with who they are again.

Perhaps my sentiments about all this are being exacerbated by the PMS I suspect I'm suffering, but I'd be depressed and angry about this with or without PMS. Like I say, I put a lot of time into that blog -- I answer people's emails, research things to help them in their lives, share my own experiences, anything I can do to make an impact. To have it all go up in smoke so quickly, for perhaps such a stupid reason, is sad. It's simply very sad.

And I think I deserve better. But I won't sit around like some kicked puppy, yelping and licking my wounds. I'll prove I'm better than that. So, you don't like the fact I believe I need to make money? So be it. That's life. My bank account disagrees with your POV, and I suspect I can, indeed, have my cake and eat it. I just need to backtrack a little in order to do so.

I don't have to be happy about it, though. More hard work, more time, more waiting, more frustration. But I won't be capitulating and removing the merchandise. I have needs, whatever the fuck the public wants to think, and unless they want to throw money at me, those are the difficult choices I need to make.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Rant: Stupid Phrases

I really, really, really hate when people say, "At the end of the day..." For example, "At the end of the day, it's the job that's done that counts."

Every time someone says, "At the end of the day," what I really want to retort with is, "It's night?"

I mean, for fuck's sake, if you want to talk about the stupidest sayings there are, that one's at the top of the list. I just caught yet another supposedly intellectual person saying that phrase. Makes me wanna reach the fuck out and yank that degree away from them.

"YOU, you lack basic intelligence! It's NIGHT, you dimwit! Day, then night. That's what it is. At the end of the day, it's night, unless you live in the fucking Arctic, where, at the end of summer, it's night/winter for a long fucking time."

Which means this is a good time for me to mention how much I also hate the saying "Bob's your uncle." I mean, I don't even have an uncle Robert, let alone a Bob. There are no Roberts anywhere in my entire extended family. Seriously. Nada. None. Nyet. Zippo. El zero.

My guy heard the saying "The cat's ass" for the first time the other night. I don't know why that one's caught on, but I've always loved it, despite the fact that, well, it's a weird one. I'm not sure I want to be a cat's ass, so I don't entirely understand why "being the cat's ass" is supposed to be a positive. I do, however, envy the frequency at which cats get their asses licked, though, but since they do the licking themselves, I really don't see my ass-licking-o-meter skyrocketing any time soon.

yawn, really? food talk.

five days since i've posted here? wow. i've been busy.

i'm tired, it's sunday morning and i ought to be sleeping. and i will, again. i do this; i get up and then i go back to sleep. lame, yes. but it happens.

so, what's my point for posting? sfa, my friends: sweet fuck all.

i'm having a nice weekend, though. yesterday i did aquafit* for the first time in many, many months, and holy shit, did it kick my ass. i now feel as though i'd better get back into that in a serious way. i always say i'm going 'swimming' because i think think name "aquafit" is far too incredibly lame.

anyhow, what aquafit is, is basically aerobics in the water. you run, you jump, etc. sounds pretty silly, but for folks with leg injuries or such, it's awesome. i have a bit of a bum knee and getting into running probably isn't in my future. it's not that my knees aren't strong, it's that the right one can be highly unstable, and high-impact action can cause it to start going off the knee-cap. trrrrust me: not fun.

aquafit, though, looks benign, but shit, it can be pretty friggin' intense. it's an all-over workout, and i was doing these squat/lunges in the water with ferocious intensity, and i now hurt from my toes to my neck in that "oh, maybe there's a healthy future for you after all, young jedi" kind of way that makes me feel good, except my low back, which apparently could have used some ice sooner than now. (i'll ice it later, it's the jumps and squats that have done it.)

it's nice that i have a boyfriend who is very attrracted to me as i am, but who isn't stupid about the benefits of being better in shape. i was too tired last night, so we ordered Chinese, but the intention had been for me to cook a "healthy" supper. that would have entailed: grilled chicken thighs marinated in probably a garlic/basil/lemon/olive oil mixture, and then i would have done grilled veggie salad. the grilled veggie salad would have had orange, red, and yellow roasted peppers (you roast 'em in a pan to save the juices for dressing), grilled asparagus, grilled zucchini, grilled radicchio, fresh ripe camari tomatoes, and some torn bocconcini cheese, with a balsamic & olive oil & and basil dressing.

as it is, i may try doing that salad tonight. i've never done it before, but i would think it'd be delicious. i'll probably squeeze some fresh lemon over it just before i dine.

i need to get inventive about really healthy food. i've been eating rather lush since hooking up with the Man, and i've been fortunate to not gain any weight back, but i really want to take it in the other direction -- be healthier, get more fit. it'll feel great. swimming in the mornings will be back on the agenda, too.

let's face it, i'm a pretty good cook. i've never really tried to be a good but HEALTHY cook, and i'd like to see how i do. the Guy thinks i've missed my calling as a chef, and since he's a big foodie, i take it as a great compliment. i've had people cancel plans to have my dinners before, so i know i'm pretty decent in the kitchen -- obviously i understand flavour. it's vegetables and their creative uses that stymie me, and i'm getting pretty embarassed about it.

i was raised on a white bread, potatoes, meat, and no veggies kind of diet. it's taken years for me to get interested. if i do grilled raddicchio tonight, it'll be a radical departure from my old life. it's taken years to get really into wheat bread. i never buy enriched flour anymore, and anything i ever bake (except cookies -- don't fuck with cookies!) is with wheat flour and even oatmeal. i think i've come far in those regards, but now, to take it up a notch.

salads tend to be boring as fuck, but they can get inventive. i always make my own dressings, but now it's time to think outside the box. if i can get the Guy excited about these goals, then i think i'll more easily get on page with healthiness.

as for breakfasts? i am NOT going to fuck with breakfast. i make weekend breakfasts that are as good as it gets. :) i love my breakfasts, and anyone who's ever had them also loves them. they've gotten healthier, believe it or not, by virtue of no longer making hash browns and by now putting veggies in my scrambled eggs. i sometimes do butterflied butcher's sausages (and will be this morning -- chicken & apple, mm) and i'll often do bacon, which i try to cook to perfection and usually do okay at. bread choices are usually healthy, but this weekend i'm bad -- baguette and rye. (mmmmm) the Guy has made comments that some breakfasts i've served (ie: veggie egg scramble, french toast made from french baguette, and buttflied'n'broiled honey garlic sausage) would cost $14 for each of us at a fancy brekkie joint. well, fuck that. we'll stay in. ;)

it's so hard to make the change to healthy. i should buy nice measuring spoons so i'm more consciously aware of how much fat i intake. i've been fortunate, i've lost a lot of weight over the last couple of years just without much effort -- small changes, exercise, a little less snacking -- but to go any further will take dedication. i think i'm ready for that now.

and besides, that grilled veggie salad sounds fucking awesome, doesn't it? (i was also going to make a nice french bread with it -- sundried tomato butter, and warmed up. the butter's got garlic, sundried tomatoes, and basil, and you puree it and spread it on the bread. it's really flavourful, but since you use less butter and more tomato, it's really rich-looking. haven't had it before, but i have high expectations, and this would be the perfect meal to try it with. mm!)

(*when i was thrown from my scooter, i had serious injuries, a litany of them, from almost-torn shoulder to concussion to bum knee, etc, but it was because i'd been swimming, cycling, doing pilates, and weight-lifting that i healed so fast. i may be chunky, but when i'm active, i'm fucking on the ball. strong bodies heal faster. awesome. :)

oh, TRIVIA? my first ever blog, before this one? i called it "BEYOND FAT GIRL" as i began my attempts to lose weight. :) it's dead... i deleted it all. too bad. stupid thing. i was ashamed of being fat. now i'd be proud to have that around. oh well. is what it is: dead.