For you, the dress code is casual.

Monday, July 31, 2006

A Needed Chuckle

I always dreamed of being a foreign correspondent. And as much as I have enjoyed smoking drugs, I would not like to be this foreign correspondent.

(But, seriously, that was why I got my journalism degree. I always dreamed of being one of those war correspondents or something. Don't know what happened; a reality check, I guess. I had coffee with Stevie Cameron -- the journalist who blew the lid off the Mulroney Airbus scandal and other things -- and she told me that, unless I fancied a cocaine addiction and alcoholism, I might want to rethink my plans. She said it was bad enough to see the worst man had to offer on a daily basis, but to deliberately go out seeking it was like pouring poison into your soul, and a hard living to live with. Sounded likely to me. So, here I am, in all my slacker glory. Still, funny piece up there. Gosh, it's nice to have my sound fixed on my computer. I rock.)

Depress-o-meter: A six out of 10, maybe lower. Just hate Mondays. I really, really hate Mondays. Boomtown Rats, anyone?

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Eventually the compass needle was going to drop, and now it has. I've gone south, my friends. Depression rears. Probably partly dehydration-induced, so I'll hit the water right after this. As if it's not bad enough that I'm very mood-influenced by my hydration levels, this anti-depressant I'm on, ironically, causes dehydration.

How fucked up is that? Quite, I assure you.

I'm depressed for, oh, I don't know what reason, but I'm sure there's a number of valid reasons percolating beneath my not-so-thick skin today. I think the most relevant is that, though I've seemingly gotten a lot done this weekend, I'm also conscious of how much left there is to accompish, and now the weekend's over, and what looks to be a six-day workweek looms before me.

I am, however, leaning towards my mental health and not money. We'll see.

A reader emailed me something for the second time. I guess I should get back to him, but I just don't care about opening that dialogue, or maybe I just don't want to open it. What he said was that there's apparently a correlation between genius-level IQs and depression. I'd believe it, though I'm a bit amused at his assertion that I fall in the genius-level category. Perhaps the vicinity, but I doubt the neighbourhood.

Every "very smart" person I've ever known has been somewhat depressive. I went out, off & on, with a definitively genius-level guy for seven years. Guy was a scholarship student at Oxford, England for a couple years there, but he was always somewhat blue. I've always been in and out of depressions of varying scope, and have in the past tested rather dubiously as a genius IQ. It's varied from test to test, but I've always been in the 135-167 range, depending on the test, but believe myself to be in the lower numbers of that range (135 to maybe 140), and I believe the one time I test 167 had to be on a bullshit test (but, shit, I'll keep quoting it 'cos I can). But, whatever, those are the numbers I've landed over the years, and being a bit of a dork, I've liked taking the test from time to time.

I was talking to someone recently and rather precociously suggested that artist types are more geared to depression because we're more in touch with who we are inside, blah, blah, blah. That two-penny thought was contradicted by my colleague who suggested it's not the in-touch thing that's the crux of it, but that there's not enough external balance with the internal processes. Meaning, just too inward as a whole, as opposed to other people (normal people) who get their fill in life from a variety of sources and not just mental processes that become externalized, if you know what I mean.

I'm too tired to read that over to see if it makes sense, so fingers crossed on that paragraph, man. Doozy.

Yeah, I suppose my depression's just coming from feeling overwhelmed by my week before it even gets started. I return to my new job tomorrow, for part of the day, and I'm a little wary to do so. I only have to work as long as it takes to do the paycheques, and then I can jet, but I'll lose pay as a result of jetting. Still. I might just do. I still have to tutor, and want to push myself to get into the gym. (Which has a wicked two-buck drop-in special for the next three weeks; nice timing!)

Okay, I need two things before podcasting can happen. A cable, I suspect, that will lead from my mixer to my CPU, and a pop-filter for my microphone. Tomorrow, I'll stop at Long & McQuade to look into each of those, and if not there, then Tom Lee downtown. After acquisitions, I can run wild and try shit out. I swear to god, the first time I hear a good-sounding recording, I'm liable to cry tears of joy.

I'll hate my voice, though, because I always hate hearing my voice. Others have said I have a radio-esque voice, but I always suspect they're full of shit, which isn't very generous of me. So, I'll hate my voice but love hearing it. I know I have a bit of a lisp, too, and I will hate hearing that. I think my "radio-esque" enunciation comes from years of speech therapy as a kid, back when I actually sounded like I was deaf. I went for about 3.5 years and can still, to this day, remember how much I hated trying to distinguish between the words "ask" and "ax." You have no idea how exasperating that was for me.

And, really, could I have been given any worse of a name for someone with a lisp and speech impediment when I was a kid? "Steffani." Even still, if I'm tired and am asked my name, the fucking morons who I'm speaking with think I've said "Shteffani." Makes me want to cuff someone.

My deep voice ("sultry" according to some) is from, I don't know what. I've heard in the past that a woman's voice, the deepness thereof, etc, is as a result of her levels of independence and strength, in which case I arrogantly believe that makes sense. Who knows. It's all guestimation anyhow.

So, yes, I'm a little ambivalent about hearing myself. Whatever. Soon.

Getting Shit Done

How fucking dull! I hate piddling around on my computer. Boy, do I.

I still don't have the kinds of programs I need in order to do desktop publishing so I can create a new banner for my new blog I need to create for my podcast, but perhaps I can at least get that going. Can I even begin to tell you how much I hate fucking around with code? Can I? No, the words escape me entirely.

Still, I've reinstalled Windows (after forgetting to backup my emails. Sigh) and now the sound issues I've been having have gone far, far away. We're back to proper audio. I'm a couple cables short, it seems, for podcasting needs, and I'll have to continue investigating that tonight. I have, however, downloaded the most recommended of podcasting software (Audacity), which looks more user-friendly than the Goldwave 5.1, which the x-Guy acquired for me back when we were going out.

I've set up a Feedburner account, for when I begin the podcasts, so there's a port for my needy listeners to download through, since Blogger offers no real support features that way.

I feel like the ball has begun rolling, at the very least, but now I'm starting to burn out for the day. I'm going to soon call it quits and move on to watching telly and perhaps taking a walk or something. A shower would be good, too.

In the meantime, I need to trashtalk Meinhardt's Gourmet Foods for a moment. Stupidly, I bought one of their "Gourmet bacon & beef burger" patties sold in their deli counter yesterday, took it home, cooked it up, and was fucking astounded at just how underwhelming the experience was. Gourmet? According to whom? According to what standards? Is it the lack of flavour that makes it gourmet? The too-lean meat that makes it gourmet? What the fuck, is what I'm really asking. What the fuck? Who are they kidding? You want gourmet? Sit your fat ass down at my counter, my friends, and I'll feed you a fucking gourmet burger.

So, I'm having burgers tonight. Real fuckin' burgers. Burgers with juicy goodness and fat and cheese and caramelized onions and a hamsteak and all the things a burger oughta come with -- oh, and flavour. It will have oodles and oodles of flavour.

Fuck Meinhardts and all the yuppies that keep that overrated fucking financial blackhole operating. I've no idea what the hell I was thinking there -- I'm so duped, man!

Anyhow, rant aside, I'm really happy I've solved one of my problems. I'm glad I have a better perception of where exactly I stand now. By the end of this week, I hope to be at the preliminary recording stage with the podcasts. Then, I start calling in favours and getting a little professionalism going with what the sounds are like.

If any of my readers are musicians and wants to feed me some kinda sexy music for a theme song (keeping in mind I'm an indie-music fan with a fondness for guitars), you'll get credit on my site and on the podcast itself for your labours if you provide me with an MP3!

(And remember, it's not just through my site that my podcast will be heard, but also on, where it will be a featured event on their calendar of events. That's two audiences for your tunes!)

Depress-o-meter: Ah, let's say I'm a four out of 10, with 10 blowing. I'm getting shit done, and that's awesome. I've noticed that both yesterday and today are the first times in a really long time that I've been productive the moment I rolled out of bed. Weird. Fucking weird, is what that is, but a welcome change. The anti-depressants seem to make me better able to cope with obligations. I'll take that, man, at the very least.

(Oh, and new addiction: The "StumbleUpon" extension to Firefox. Tres cool.)

Saturday, July 29, 2006


I had a pretty social weekend planned, but the reality is that I'm having to change that landscape of fun to something more work-ish. I won't be going on a photography excursion tomorrow, nor will I be cycling around the park after my expensive/cheap hair-styling today. I'll keep Luminares in my plans, the annual lantern festival at Trout Lake, because that means hanging with my brother and his kid.

I need to buckle down tomorrow and work on some podcasting. I'm procrastinating not only because I hate troubleshooting and learning technical shit, but because I'm just flat-out scared. I'm scared of trying, scared of failing, scared of caring about it.

But I need to do it. If I can actually accomplish something on that front, then I'll be immeasurably happy.

Speaking of happy...

Taking the pills now, and I'm sleeping well for the first time in months. How do ya like that, huh?

I got an actual eight+ hours last night and actually feel rested this morning. I've already got a load of laundry in, have taken a monster pile of garbage out, have sorted through some clothes to toss out for the needy, and will now quickly do dishes, make a good breakfast, then go teach for an hour.*

Now, speaking of money...

My world was living and dying with every buck I found or lost for a while there. I was in tears, I was a nervous fucking wreck. I was in one of the darkest places I've ever known -- for a few weeks in a row. Now, everywhere I fucking turn, I'm either getting shit for free, or I have money opportunities arising. What the fuck?

I've been asked if there's any way I can work at my old job as well as my new job next week. I'm having a really hard time deciding, too. The money would be great, but there's so much I need to accomplish, and this is part of why I'm ditching my plans in favour of working on podcasting. If I can actually accomplish something, that means I can go and make myself an additional $150 or more next weekend, right? Sigh.

And then there's the dilemma of this still being summer, and my feeling like my summer's been robbed from me, and here I am with one month left, and now I have to decide whether to become complicit in the hijacking of my summer, or whether to stand my ground and say I have enough to live on, that I need to protect my mental health for now.

I honestly don't know what to do.

Working for additional money's great, and it's so easy to do, but the price we pay is often far higher than the money's worth. I've seen it dismantle me in the past.

I don't know. I might do it just this coming weekend, and then protect my ass and dial back for a bit. I don't know. I hate indecision. I hate feeling this. Weird.

Anyhow. Some good, some bad, some weird, some undecided. I'm scattered, but in a good emotional place, I think. I think.

(*That's one of the reasons I'm glad to be on Happy Pills. Not only do they balance mood, but they eliminate anxiety and slow things down enough to help overcome the feelings of being overwhelmed by challenges. I freak out at times like this, I worry too much. I need that element of eliminating all the bullshit so I can focus on the important tasks -- and get them done. I hate the weight of obligation, and it's been squashing me for awhile now. I think these pills will pull me out from under that. I can accomplish a lot when I set my mind to it, but in the face of fear, I always pull back. I already feel like that's beginning to change, and I suspect it'll change a bit over the next week -- or, I hope it does.)

Friday, July 28, 2006

BLISS... a new toaster oven.


Envy me!

Well, I'd show you a wicked-cool photo of it, but the morons at the Hudson's Bay Co have decided not to put their own house brand products on their website, so you're fucked, my friends. Just know this: It's so cool, so wicked, so awesome, that I may well never, ever use my oven again.

Yep. It fucking rocks. Toaster-convection oven, I should say -- not just a piddly little "toaster" oven. This thing's got balls, man!

This puts me at a lofty ONE out of TEN with TEN SUCKING EGGS on the Depress-o-meter. Who says money can't buy happiness? It can buy toaster ovens, and really, isn't that close enough?

(This bad boy's big enough to cook a 13" pizza in it, which I'm about to test. Fuckin' A! I just came back from the store, where I bought lots of things I can toast / bake in that bad boy: Pillsbury cookies, waffles, etc. etc. Woooooooooooooooooooot!)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

seriouser and seriouser; sex crimes and legacies

i'm kinda stuck in this rut of thinking about my mom today. i was working on a show about kids that were abducted and/or molested all day yesterday and today, and for a few different reasons, that stuck my mother in my mind.

i'm pretty scattered about it. i'm not depressed, really, i mean, she's dead, i'm used to that now. it ain't changin', right? so. sad, yes. angry, yes. wishful, yes.

anyhow, there's probably a disconnect for you, the reader, considering what i was working on and what i'm now fixated on, so let's see if i can make that make sense for you.

the easier part to comprehend, i guess, is that the mothers in that show just had so much love and affection for their kids. you could just see that. i see it in the faces of parents all the time, and it just reminds me of how my mother would look at me. how she'd reach out to hold my hand as we would drive some place, or kiss me good night, even when i was in my 20s.

but i remember a time when we were talking about the subject of molestation and things like that, and she said, "if anyone ever hurt you, i would kill them. i would kill them."

and the look in her eye made me a believer.

it was years later, her death year, that i began piecing things together. i still have never learned the truth, and it's part of why this book i've begun reading has already hit home -- hard -- for me (my dark places, by james elroy) and part of why i someday want to sleuth out who my mother truly was.

who she was, that is, outside of being my hero, my confidante, and my biggest supporter.

who she was, i suspect, was a victim of a horribly heinous sex crime. at the age of 12.

at her death, she still claimed she never knew what it was that caused her to have a nervous breakdown and have to leave school for a year at the age of 12 -- something my father, who was childhood friends with her, remembers now. he says she was never the same after that, and that it's when he began to feel protective towards her. he never learned what happened, and no one ever said anything. (all i know of the breakdown itself was that family members had come home to find her barely clothed, sitting in a fetal position under the kitchen table, the chairs positioned like a fortress around her, as she was rocking, sobbing, and shaking.)

there are tangible facts i know, but i am not to speak of them as "no one else" is supposed to know besides the particular relative it happened to and my mother. those facts, in very general and watered-down scope, involve: two other relatives (male/female); three bastard friends of the male relative's; a kidnapping; a hotel room outside of town; a weekend of gang-raping; an abortion; the "secret shame" of being squirreled away by a religious family who couldn't allow the world at large to know about a bastard child; and the inability to bear children.

and this evil fucking incident correlates with the same time that my mother underwent her breakdown, and i suspect that something similarly wrong was done to my mother as well.

part of the reason i write about sex has to do with all the hang-ups that were transposed to me via my mother. there were always things she was awkward about and judgmental about. my parents literally never, ever spoke to me about sex. deep down inside, i believe my mother would be proud of my writing about sex in the manner that i do. i think she'd be happy that the shame finally stopped on my side of the tracks.

ah, sigh. i hate trying to understand my mother when she's not even six feet under; she's of the sky and earth and water, her ashes scattered in the sound off the Sunshine Coast. she's so gone i don't even remember her voice anymore, how her hand felt in mine. i remember how she smelled of baby powder, is about it. i hate that she gets further and further from me with each passing year.

love shouldn't fade, not like that. it does, all the time, everywhere, every day. i just never thought her love could.

i'm probably going to revisit this topic sometime. i need to. there's something in it i have to unlock, and it's a difficult topic for me. i suddenly have tears streaming down my face, so i think this is a good time to cut it off now, but this is where my headspace has been today, i guess. sigh.

i'm not depressed; just sad, angry. the horrible thing about these crimes -- violations and sex and molestation and rape -- is how much it poisons not only that person's life, but those who become descendents of them. i live daily with the legacy of my mother's inability to trust, her suspicion, her judgmental nature. i live daily with her inadequacies and her insecurities, her fears of never being good enough. they've been monumental challenges i've been having to overcome for my entire life -- be it through my relationship with her or through my relationship with others.

yes, legacies. they're not all they're made out to be. i could certainly do without.

Furthermore! Bookies Unite.

I'm reading more now. I met with a reader a week or two ago for drinks and admitted, rather ashamedly, that I don't read much these days.

He said, "A writer ought to read."

I retorted, "One would surmise so."

So, I am. Since, I've read The Professor and the Madman, since it's about a love for words, which I surely have, though, not to the capacity as someone like the x-Guy, who's a Scrabble dork, but whatever. I do love learning new words. I was titillated to learn of imbroglio last week, for instance, and made Scrabble note of "zyxt," the last word of the OED.

This morning I've read the paper and have now begun a book that has languished on my shelves for six years -- James Ellroys' My Dark Places. He's the author who penned LA Confidential. It's the account of how, in his 40s (I think), he finally went to LA to try and get to the bottom of who murdered his mother when he was 10 years old, a murder he was always left to believe was a result of her having loose morals, which I believe is to turn out to not be the case.

I must continue reading. Anything, everything, all things. Reading is what expands us as writers; we see new techniques, new styles, new words, new phrasings, and it's inspirational. It truly is. I've had a hard time reading in the years since my mother's death, for some reason, so it's nice to have read three books in the last two months, though there was a time when I would have read three books in two weeks, if not within a week.

This book has me pondering a figment I once churned in the vat of my mind: Undertaking a trip to Prince Edward Island to investigate the early life of my mother. A gathering of her. She was quite the woman, and I wish I better knew her origins. I should write about her a bit more over the next couple weeks, I think, in more tangible ways and not just this woe-is-me, wah-wah, deadie-mom bullshit whiner stuff I conjure. (Okay, I'm not that bad, but...)

Anyhow: I love a book that has me ponderous within a chapter. Always a sign of goodness to come. I am to become a reader again. A writer who reads. A writer who wants to grow. This is a good turn of events, and a goal worth striving for.


it's 7:28 am and i have already: been to the store, showered, made coffee, and tidied up my kitchen. my french press is getting all happy-happy for a few minutes, and then i'll make a couple eggs and toast for the first time in a few days.

it's a very ambitious morning, and if all works out, i'll arrive at the office by the staggeringly early time of... 9:00. how lame is that? the rest of the world actually GOES to work at 9, and for me, it 's a "stop the presses!" kind of accomplishment or something.

gee, she must be a real pothead or something. wow, what a slacker.

sigh, six years of a flex schedule followed by a year of lax employment will do that to a gal. ain't got nothing to do with the pot. i blame my new curtains, too. i used to always wake up earlier and be more naturally awake earlier. nowadays, i wake up sort of at a decent time, but i'm less "awake," y'know? hmms. probably has to do with the depression and the major change of adapting to a new 5-day work-week life. i've heard from others it's a bitch to re-acclimatize to the grind.

i'm tired today, sadly, but hey. i'm sure it'll improve. tomorrow's friday, and saturday i can sleep until 9:30. i have one event planned this weekend in which i shall meet new people, and i have 1.5 nights to myself (nice) and some family time and some makin'-me-cute time scheduled. all in all, it's a pretty well-balanced weekend, provided i get some cycling in, too, which i'll probably do for the fireworks.

we have an annual four-part fireworks competition that combines symphonic arrangements with the light show. the orchestra hangs out on a float on the water, next to the fireworks, and then the shows are choreographed, i guess, to be in sync. it's really quite overrated and i hate the volume of pollution and garbage it generates, but a million people or more show up for every display, so clearly i'm not among the masses with that opinion. whatever.

i'm sort of choked this morning that so much of my summer just vanished into thin air -- you know, the whole relationship thing, which i handled badly, the job thing, which i handled badly, the depression thing, which i have handled badly until about the last week... it just adds up. i had really wanted this to be the summer that ROCKED, but it's not.

still, i'm trying to salvage it. i just have this habit of getting antisocial around now due to the dead-mom-anniversary thing, but i'm fighting that this year.

bah! anyhow. coffee. the doctor's appointment is today, and maybe i'm just spiralling down a little 'cos i know i have to talk about The Heavy Shit this afternoon. it'll be good to get it out of my system, and tonight'll be the start of a whole new era for me. i think i'll take some time tomorrow night and reflect on things i need to do for myself, and for my goals.

(i am, however, realizing that i generate enough material to not have to worry about filling a weekly or biweekly podcast, so that's a weight off.)

depress-o-meter: probably a 5. for all the reasons listed above. i'm fighting it. i'm fighting to reclaim my summer, and i know i'm doing a good job, but now i need to get the fuck out of town and enjoy nature before i can't do that all winter. i think i hear Lynn Canyon beckoning. maybe i'll go Sunday afternoon or something.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Quickie Post

I'm enjoying my Boylan's Creme Soda before my 7pm student shows up. (Work, work, work.) In a good mood, as I own three new shirts (and am drinking cream soda) and still have a $50 credit so I can put that towards a swank (and desperately needed) new toaster oven, but this will be a convection toaster oven. Yeah, envy me, 'cos I fucking ROOL.

Okay, so I'm feeling somewhat parenthetical. (Deal.)

A reader of my other blog just sent me this joke and in keeping with the fact that I've smoked a few too many joints in my life, I had to laugh. It's just so typical. Enjoy. (Ahem, the writing sucked, so I've rewritten it, and you can feel free to hijack it and email it to others, if you're so inclined.)

Depress-o-meter: Probably around a 4. It's been a decent day. What can I say? And the doctor looms tomorrow, and I'm thrilled to finally get it over with.


A koala is sitting up in a gum tree, smoking a joint...

When a little lizard walks by, looks up, and says...

“Hey, Mr. Koala, whatcha doin’?”

The koala shrugs, looks at him, and says,
“Smoking some doobage.
Come on up and join me for a toke, brah!”

The lizard’s thrilled.
He climbs up, sits next to his buddy,
and they blaze a few fatties.
After a little while, the lizard complains
he’s got that dry cotton-mouth thing going on,
and is going for a drink in the river.

So, off he goes.
He leans off a little log, but is so stoned
that he’s staring into his reflection,
and gets disoriented, then falls in.

A crocodile has a chuckle
at the expense of the uncoordinated little lizard,
and swims on over, helps him back onto the log,
and says,

“What’s up with that? What’s the matter with you?”

The little lizard explains to the croc
that he was smoking joints up in the gum tree with Mr. Koala,
got way too baked on the chronic,
and slipped into the river when trying to hydrate.

The crocodile’s amused
that they’ve got a Chronic Koala in the ‘hood
and says he’s gonna go check it out.
He traipses through the forest, spots the doob-packing Koala,
who’s still puffing away.
He glances up and says, “Hey, Koala!”

Mr. Koala looks down, his eyes pop, and he goes,
“Shi-i-it, dude! How much friggin’ water did you drink?!”

Insomnia sucks! And freedom for my ass!

Whoa, man! I got to bed somewhere, finally, around 3am. I thought I was having asthma problems, but no, I was apparently hit by mild food poisoning thanks to either,

A) the sawdust-inspired burger I had from Roxy Burger (what's with the fucking hype, man?! Go to Modern, or Templeton, or Vera's... Somewhere where you know the cow had fat and blood in its body at one point, 'cos that fucking burger was so not worth the effort. And who needs THAT MUCH mustard?!)

B) the popcorn at the theatre. But it had butter on it! :(

Anyhow, after suddenly vomitting everything I had in me around 2am, and then having my throat feeling like someone had gutted it with a filet knife, I'm feeling a little better. Three and a half hours sleep SUCKS, though, so I think a less-than-full day at the office is required.

I've got a note in writing now saying they're looking forwards to having me at my new job next week. Awesome.

And I'm just wanting to add how thrilled I am to now be able to sit on my couch in a t-shirt and panties and not have to pry my vinyl-adhered ass off the PVC bullshit I had for TWO FUCKING YEARS. Yay! I can slack in comfort! Add to that the concept of actual ass support and a firm seating area, and I'm bloody over the moon! I LOVE MY NEW COUCH!

My only regret is that I didn't do what I wanted to do -- which is to take a knife and beat the shit out of that old couch. I wrote a rant saying it was so great to purge flings and all that was connected to it, but it was also a place I spent a LOT of time depressed. Just sitting there, sinking into it -- sinking further into both the sofa and the depression. Getting rid of that thing is like purging so much of my last two years. It's weird, just having a new sofa feels like a new start. But it does. And that rocks.

Depress-o-meter: I'm pretty good, still about a 4 today. (On a scale of 10, with 10 blowing hard.) I'm worried about a friend of mine and his depression, but there's little I can do there. It's still on my mind a bit. I'm less worried about myself now, and that's starting to feel good. I'm glad I can go to the doctor tomorrow and say, "Look, I'm scared I'll fall back into that pit, and I really need to win this war this time, so I need pills -- but I've been doing this, and this, and this, and this..." So, you know, the groundwork's getting laid. It's all about steps, man. It's nice to see a little light for a change. I'm sure the light will get snuffed in a couple hours when all the fatigue in the world hits me, but right now, I'm all right with it. I wanted to cycle today, but I'm just too tired. I'll live with it. I told myself last night, "I really should exercise, but if I cancel cycling and go to this thing, I know it could be the start of something new for me." It was, it is, and while I pay the price of not cycling, I'll live with that. I'll catch up. I'm eating little, at least. Yay.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Putting Money Where Mouth Is

I did a rant about being single, sort of, but more about a couch, on the Cunt last night.

It felt great to get that out of my system, and it made me realize how pissed off I feel about just being this, I don't know, disposable? Not that I *am* disposable, or that I have been disposed of -- just that I feel so disconnected to the world at large that it seemed to me I could just up and fucking disappear, and the world wouldn't lament a bit. (I know, you bloggie junkies would miss me, but since you're not actually a part of my life in reality, a lot of good that does, you know?)

Today, I took a while to get out of the house, but once I did, I had a good day followed by a better night. I worked on a documentary show all day, which rocked, 'cos I learned so much about water infrastructure it's not even funny, and believe me, it's more fascinating than you might think, but since there's a "non-disclosure" rule and all, I can't tell you the actual content of the show until after it airs.

Sucks to be employed, you know.

But I took some time to check my email and found my first subscription to the weekly "" meets going on this week, and saw there was a movie one, and it was for Clerks II!

So, instead of a bikeride, I threw my bike on the bus, got my ass home, showered, got all dolled-up like since I figgered There Might Be Boys (not really looking just yet, but shit, I'll put my best foot forward, you know?) and all, rushed back down, and met some new people.

I had a hoot. It was a good time. The movie had me busting a fucking gut, I tell you. Sure, Rotten Tomatoes doesn't like it, but honestly, if Kevin Smith's your thing, then Clerks II is for you. It does the first one proud and I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe at one point.

Two words: PUSSY TROLL.

That's all I'm sayin', man. And I mean troll as in under-the-bridge, not the verb, okay?

Who needs therapy when they have that shit at hand, you know? I gots to see me that movie again.

Depress-o-meter: Hey, you know what? I'm at a wicked 3 out of 10. (With 10 sucking eggs.) Pretty darned good. It's not that the evening was THAT incredible, but it was a nice fucking change of pace. New people, hope for me yet. I remember being popular. I remember being liked. I wonder what ever happened to that person, and tonight it felt like she was back. That's pretty fucking nice. Will I change my mind about the meds? I don't know, I don't think so. I know what I've got is chemical, and when I get up in the morning or in an hour from now, I'll have deflated again. That's the cycle. It's how it works. But I won't deflate as much, and when I do get on the meds, I'll have ALL the pieces in place for waging my war. And I'll win. And I know that. This time, for the long haul, I suspect.



Called my "new" job that I'm to return to on Monday, and some OTHER chick answered the phone. WTF?! The manager chick I wanted to speak to was not yet in, so I said I'd call back. I hung up, my heart was racing, "freak out mode" was on the verge of kicking in. I jumped in the shower, lathered up, rinsed off, found my clothes for the day, and called back. The chick I'd been wanting had returned.

"Hey. I'm just wondering if we're still on schedule for me making my grand return on Monday?"

"YES." She was clearly frustrated, tired, and needed additional help, all expressed in that one wee word.

"Am I missed already, then?"

"God, yes. I'm so incompetent in some of this stuff!"

I had another good laugh at that and now I feel much better. A weight is off my shoulders. I'll still find a way to worry about it, naturally, but hey.

My old/present boss has just emailed me about a neat job opening in the post-prod business (film) in town, too, so I'll have to apply for that one, regardless, because that would be an incredible position for networking and opportunity building.

But, god, I feel a little better. It's so fucking HARD living your life when you feel other people hold all your strings in their power! Holy SHIT, is it hard. I'm such a perfectionist and control-freak, too! EVERYONE has held power over me in the last few months! The government, my ex, my jobs, my clients, even my fucking friends and their convoluted schedules. I want my life back!

And I'm fucking well taking it! HUZZAH. Fuck'em, sez me. Yeah, baby. I'm off to bike to work, and/or die as a result.

Depress-o-meter: Like the temperature, it's rising, but in my case, for the better. Let's say I've moved from a six to a five, with designs on a four today, okay? (With 10 being the sucking point.) I've applied for another job this morning that I would consider taking, too, if it arose, depending on the finances involved. I still think I'd LIKE this job I'm heading to next week. I think it'll be good for me. I'm just still nervous. Fortunately, the office manager completely understands my hesitations. (Wouldn't you, if you were hired on at the same time as someone who was laid off two days into the job? Huh? She's cool.) So, today my goal is to return to my control-freak self with a hint of obstinence and a splash of humour. Yeah. That's lofty enough.-

Mornings are hard

After working a flexible schedule for six years, and having much of the last year off, mornings are a fucking bitch to deal with. I'm so lazy. I sit around, put-put, and do as little as possible. I'm trying to change that. But it's not working.

Soon, soon, I hope. I fear I was too effective in negating the light-leaking problem in my bedroom, and now I have become something of a cave dweller. Here... let's raise that up a smidge. Aha. Daylight. Hey, look, it's sunny!

Depression truly sucks. I hate it. I've just joined a photography group, though, and plan the first outting this Sunday morning. The chick who's organizing it seems pretty cool, and there are some cute guys on the member list, so one can only hope.

Between now and Sunday, I don't think it's entirely impossible to extricate my head from my ass so I can have a good time with new people. Nervous as hell, but I can do it. I get very insecure when I'm depressed, but I suppose that's probably pretty universal. Still, I'll deal.

Tomorrow, I'm calling about a hair deal I might be able to get, and if I can, then I will finally get the copper highlights I've been wanting for a couple years. I usually like to change something about myself after a relationship, and the hair's the easiest way to go. Everyone who sees photos of me always thinks I should have red hair, but that's just the flash picking up natural highlights. Instead, I have this awful, mousy, light brown hair that does little for me.

My old hairdresser refused to give me any kind of red, saying my complexion was too ruddy, but fuck it. Someone new, something new. Besides, I take better care of my skin and it's less ruddy these days. It'd be cool if I could get the 'do by the weekend, and go to the thingie-thing feeling cute and sassy.

I also have some coupons for the Bay and, if they work (I'm dubious), then I can buy $125 worth of new clothes and not spend a dime. That'd be fucking wicked, too. It'd be nice to spend my way to a better mental state, but it's just not usually feasible.

Anyhow, I'm getting the wheels in motion. Speaking of which, today's a cycling day. I'm heading downtown by bus, though, for a lazy but earlier day's start, then taking to Stanley Park or something on the way home. I don't know. I'm as yet undecided. Coffee's the first priority.

Depress-o-meter: About a six, still, I guess. I did some all right writing. Had kind of a lousy night of sleep. Really don't want to be active. But I know I need to. I find myself getting angrier now, as if I've been repressing something, which I have, so I'm surprised to find this anger percolating within, but I think it'll simmer down shortly. I think it's just the end of a hard, hard time, and I'm just ready to crash. I'll be touching bases with my "new" job this morning to ensure all systems are go, and that could take some edge off things. I really want out of this old job of mine. I didn't realize how much I hate being there until I went back. Funny, that. To think, I was considering trying to just get rehired by them earlier this summer. Whew. What was I thinking? I'd have been suicidal, man. Fucking glued to a clock there, I am. Wrong way to live.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Blah, and more blah

I’m avoiding things tonight. I’ll get started soon. I need to call some clients and arrange some tutoring times for later this week, much against my wishes, but I need to get that going, and really should be working more than I am, but I’m just conscious of how thin I’ve been spread of late and don’t want to fuck up my new job next week. Sigh.

My mother’s creeping into my consciousness again. Her death-day anniversary’s in two weeks, and I always become more aware of her (or the lack of her) around now. The weather that week was just like this – unbearably hot. I remember her dying in the early morning hours, 4:20am, and my going downtown before my intensive classes (her dying wish that I complete them in spite of her death, which I did, at my best) to just lay in my car and cry. I somehow slept a few hours in the shade, and went to SFU. I remember maybe 10 minutes of that day, and very little of the week, except this horrible feeling that I knew my life was changed forever, and what little innocence I’d had had been utterly snuffed.

So, I generally don’t like this time of year. I usually go into a funk. Others, it’s Christmas, etc. Me, it’s now. But I’m already in a funk, so I simply am becoming more aware of thoughts, is all.

And now I’m without a crutch. I ran out of dope. I could order more in a flash right now and have it delivered within the evening, but I’m really going to fight it. I have a lot I need to do, and even if this getting-off-dope thing results in greater depression, it’s something I need to confront, and now. It’s probably a good notion to have a mildly clearer head by Thursday, when I talk to the doc anyhow. I nearly swang by the liquor store, thinking a beer would be nice, but I decided that, too, would be a crutch.

Some days I just really fucking wish life was simpler than it is. I’m still paranoid about that new job. Do I still have it? Everyone I talk to says, “Oh, they wouldn’t hire you back if it wasn’t firm.”

Yeah, well, some would say they never would’ve hired me if it wasn’t firm, either, right?

I’m just tired of the duality. I’m just tired. I want my mommy. It’s when life’s hard – when I’m sick, sad, broken-hearted, broke, depressed, down on myself – that I most miss her, which is to say since about the first week of May now. I’ve actually been missing her so much that I’ve taken down nearly all my photos of her in the last two months. I’m tired of being aware of what I no longer have, I guess. It’s an insult to her memory that I’ve done that. I will soon try to get the strength to find her photos a new home here.

Depress-o-meter: My night’s getting rougher. I’m tired. Worried about work again. Bitter about things. Worried about a friend. Tired of the stress. Wishing I could buy nice clothes. Wondering what my future holds. Wishing I had a crutch. Wondering when stability will be a watchword I can use once again. Wishing, wondering, and wishing. About the only thing I can decide on is that I’m probably about a 7.5 (maybe an 8) out of 10, with 10 being the lousiest. My day was probably more of a 5, but since coming home, my mood has plummeted. Sadly.

They're ba-a-a-a-ack!

I had to be mean to someone in email this morning. The thing about this "sex" writing gig I get the periodic would-be-stalker type. Nice guys who get attached to my persona and start trying to email me and stuff like that, proposals for long-distance trysts. It fortunately doesn't happen often, and it was nice when I was in relationship that it all seemed to die down for awhile, but now that I'm single again, it seems to be starting up again.

I should do a posting on the Cunt sometime and just make it clear I'm not that type, but I don't want to come off all weird.

I had a long distance thing with a guy from Oregon once. We'd met briefly once and he flew into town and we had a couple weeks of incredible fun and have never spoken since. His name was Eric and he has a fond place in the back of my mind, but that's about it. But we met hostelling and had one of those all-night conversations while he had a girlfriend back home. Stayed in touch by email from time to time, heard he was single, and the sordid started thereafter.

Would I do it again? Maybe. Certain situations. There's something nice about knowing you've got some hot sex on the horizon for a couple weeks and then no strings beyond that, but what if the strings are what you're wanting? It's easy enough for me to get laid. "Hi. I write about sex. I know things. Wanna see?"

But I'm completely uninterested in that. Casual sex holds no appeal. And right now, I'm a bit of a mental state. Sex without an intellectual and emotional connection just doesn't work for me at this point. Maybe soon I'll be into a cheap fling or casual dating with someone. Today is not your day.

As far as hooking up with a reader goes, I think it's unlikely. In some ways, it would rock. They'd be into my writing, they'd care about it, etc. I don't know. I sort of hate it. One of the things I hated in my recent relationship was the disparity between what he knew about me and what I knew about him. He got to read EVERYTHING of mine, and his stuff was never nearly as revealing as mine. I just felt like I never, ever caught up when it came to getting to know him, and even now, I still don't feel on the same page that way. Still, I feel like I know him very well and I trust him implicitly, but... there's that disparity. Always is. And he wasn't a reader before we hooked up. So. Imagine how much weirder it'd be with someone who deliberately was reading me and following me in their private worlds for countless weeks or months.

I guess I don't mind a guy flirting once or twice or joking around with me a little through all these things I write, and I honestly rather enjoy it, but I dislike strangers who repeatedly make attempts to meet me or something. It's pressure, and right now, it's the last thing I need when my life's filled with pressure from top to bottom.

So, let it be known -- now's not a good time to try and get your fantasies coming true, 'cos it ain't gonna fucking happen. This chick's dealing with herself, and if that means self-love and all that, then so be it.


Depress-o-meter: I'm a solid six, maybe moving up to a 6.5 as the reality of work gets closer. I've worked at this place for most of the last six and a bit years, and to be back there now is strange. To be working there before going to my new job makes me so appreciative of the slow, easy pace of the new place. This week I know I'll be watching my clock constantly. Am I working fast enough? Did I meet deadline? Do I need to plan ahead? Is this show going to be cut this densely throughout? Every single action in a day, there, requires deliberation. I don't know how I did it for six years. I'm so glad I'm leaving. Love them, love the people, hate the environment now. Thursday, I go on the meds. Thursday, things begin to change. I need to decide today how much tutoring to do this week, because, truth be told, I'm still worn to the fucking nub. I don't know if I can handle it. I think there's one student I'll cancel, and the rest I can teach, so that's only 4.5, not six hours this week. The other is a pair of boys who I can't stand teaching, and I don't want to put myself through that if I don't need to. I could just work two more hours at the company and make it up there. Hmm. So, those decisions need to be made today, and anytime I need to make decisions, I get really stressed out and worried. It's lame. On the upside, I think I'm doing a documentary today. And docs rock.

complacency, you are a bastard.

when i went to bed tonight, i was thrilled the temp had dropped several degrees inside my apartment since last night. 26/76 compared to 29/83. sleep, i thought, would be no problem.

how wrong i was.

i have been playing solitaire, rather bitterly, for the last bit, as well as reading The Professor and the Madman, the brilliant Winchester book about the making of the OED. i read it years ago, but it's nice to reread it. i'm retaining much more this time, but should be reading it slower than i am to really improve those stats. whatever.

bah, i have nothing of value to add. there's no sense in doing a depress-o-meter because my grumpy insomniac side will overrule anything of value i could write. give me sleep. now! ha. take three here. later.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

How to Beat the Heat

Funny, you can be best friends with someone thirteen years and still learn new things down the road. Nice.

So, GayBoy was over, and we filled the tub with cold water, and stood in it with bare feet. It's a great little trick for cooling off. Kept me cool for the next half hour, and we've done it twice now. Bad for the water conservation, but a nice change. I highly recommend it to grumpy heat-affected locals.

And now, more lemonade.

Instructions for My New Sofa Bed

No, I didn't come into wads of cash. Warranty, baby! As seen on the instructions leaflet inside my sofa box, with typos and spelling as seen therein:
REMARK: There are two steps of operation of this sofabed, when hearing the sound of "clik-clak" , pls let it in itself;if go on,when hearing the sound of "clik-clak" again,that is the second step,go on,then put the back of sofa down,then the sofabed will be showed.
Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?

Fuck, man. No comment needed.

Bitter about a war movie, and other tidbits

So, it's another lazy weekend day. It's simply too hot to be out in the world, pushing a hundred, over 30. I'm not one of these people that stops eating in the heat, you know. I eat less, but I tend to eat well and in large quantities when I do eat. Like, this morning it was shaved leftover grilled ribeye steak (well seasoned with Montreal steak spice) and asparagus that was sauteed in garlic butter and roma tomatoes all mixed in with scrambled eggs, served with toasted baguette. Some good shit, you know?

But life is lazy and vacuous in heat like this, and the few good meals I have tend to be enjoyed that much more, 'cos it's all I really got going on. Now, I need to clean my living room floor. Sometime in the next three hours, my piece of shit sofa will be gone. Thank the lord. I will clean my floor before the new arrival comes. I will not be laying my rugs down again, in the interest of making my room less musty and more airy in this extended heat wave. (Continuing through next weekend, according to most reports. Slightly cooler, but no rain in sight.)

Watched Jarhead. Disappointed. Well, no, not disappointed, but not satisfied. You can't make a movie about a war and have the war be the plot, you know? It's like they said:

"Hey, let's make a war movie."
"What happens in it?"
"Well, it's a bunch of guys on the front-to-be, waiting for the opportunity to fight."
"Yeah, but, like, what happens?"
"Guys. War. That."

I mean, in Saving Private Ryan, they're looking for a dude. In Three Kings, they're in search of fabled Iraqi gold. In The Great Escape, it's, yes, an escape. In Platoon, it's auto-biographical, and one could even wax poetic and call it a look at the systemic degradation of innocence and ethics in a trained killing machine like the Marines. In Apocalypse Now, it's a another look at just how much success the forces have in creating machines meant to kill, and what the consequences of that success is.

It's not just about fucking war. It's a story set within the confines of a precise place and time, an epic event. Hell, even fucking English Patient is a war movie. Yet, it's not. Within my life at this present time, there are a dozen different stories I could tell, but it all comes under the heading of a Life Called Steff, doesn't it? Sure. Same with wars.

Stupid writing that looks flashy pisses me off. So, this was good, had the potential to be really good, but never actualized it, is all. It had nothing really tying it together. As if a bunch of shitty events in a shitty time in history is congruent enough to be a whole story. Nope.

I mean, Platoon may have had a lot of varying stories that may not necessarily seem as though they do tie together, but you have that great ongoing subtheme with Barnes and Elias that brings different POVs and a unifying link to every aspect of that story. And in an incredibly good way, too. What a great flick.

So, yeah. Fooey on these writers for not having the craft to see that, at the very least. Nice try, but it misses the mark a bit. Still, watchable. Some good shit there. Just flawed as a story, is all.

Anyhow, a glass of lemonade will take the edge off the floor cleaning I must now do. GayBoy and I have decided to rent a movie (what, we don't know) instead of venturing into the world. Buses would be like riding a dirty whore on a day like today. We shall pass, stay in, eat cold, delicious food, and drink crisp white wine. Laziness in a clean house on a new couch in the blistering heat, sounds like a good summer evening in.

Depress-o-meter: I can't decide if I'm a 4 or a 5 out of 10, ten being lousiest. I'm in a fairly good mood, but I have anxieties. Is money going to be okay? Will I manage my time well this week? When should I set up my tutoring? Man, I don't want to make those calls, why can't these people use email? Will I get enough exercise in this week? Is the sky falling? Why is blue cold? Oh, my freakin' head. So, good mood, but really stupid waves of negativity and worry, which is another aspect of depression. It's the brain's way of saying, "Okay, so I don't need to think about how depressed I am, but I need to keep myself active, 'cos these chemicals have me hopping, so let's think about all the shit you can't do fuck all about right now. Let's obsess." What fun. What I can do, though, is clean up and create a feeling of accomplishment here, now. So, let's do that then. And that's the secret in the battle. Okay, you can't change that, but what, right now, is in your power to change? Then change it. Takes discipline, but... it can be done.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

undecided but promising, and minty

i have no idea why i'm blogging so much. boredom? nothing's on tv. what the hell, right?

gayboy's left. started watching my new copy of Jarhead. not too bad just yet. a little blacker than i thought it'd be.

we're probably seeing Clerks II in the afternoon, an early evening show. by the time we come out, it'll be getting a little cooler, but will likely suck still. maybe we'll bike. i'm dubious about that; i have a nice bike. sure, we can leave his freebie bike out there, but they will actually put effort into obtaining mine. grr, no.

i think i'm making us some supper. i'm trying to persuade him. for $10, i can pick up a sashimi-grade filet of salmon or something and make some ceviche to go with the gazpacho. i've been wanting to be ballsy enough to make it for a while, so now i'll give it a try. it was what first made me think this fish thing might not be so awful. so, i can make us about $35 worth of restaurant-grade food for about $18 or so. i'll use the leftover money to get a good bottle of white wine.

this'll be my first really nice homecooked meal in a bit, since money's been tight, and i'm pretty enthused about it. he better say yes, the dope. we'll get silly and have a fun night just like we did as kids. bussing, how cute. and sweaty and somewhat smelly.

tomorrow in the day i kill this apartment. bust my ass and get it clean, whatever the temp. then i can focus on cycling and podcasting all this week. the curse of the slacker is abated, and life is returning to normal. wonder twin powers, activate.

(and of course there will be bread. silly.)

brokeback mountain

hmm. so, it's good. is it the most brilliant movie ever, and a shoo-in for the Oscars, and able to live up to all the hype i'd heard? um, nope. good. very good. arguably great, but more on the side of not.

as a love story, it's fairly rote in some respects. a twenty-year affair and its end, essentially. big twist? not really. the distinguishing facts are the gorgeous cinematography, the canadian setting for the "wyoming" countryside and texas, and the fact that it's a love story that takes place in the deeply homophobic south in a time when one wasn't wise to take chances, between a couple sexy cowpokes.

raises some good questions, but it's not all the brilliance that annie proulx would have you believe it is. as a story, crash was infinitely more difficult to write and execute. perhaps that alone is what states it's a worthy film to win an award. plus, you know, there's a larger demographic of coloured folk suffering racism than gay cowboys getting beaten, you know. i'm just saying. statistically speaking and all.

lazy saturday thoughts and pictures and things

i am having a wonderfully lazy saturday. it's hot, man. it's hotter every day, every hour. the clouds are burning off now, so hot's gonna get blazing before long.

i was going to see a movie tonight, but now i'll hold off. i think i need a me-time day of nothing, or at least minimal achievement. i'm trying to watch a movie, for instance, but my ADD kicks in every 20 minutes, and i get up to do something else for a bit. i'm awful.

i went all out and used my expensive steak for breakfast. half remains, which i will slice thinly and quickly warm up on the stove for a nice salad with some kind of interesting dressing and perhaps some grilled veggies, and enjoy with the last of my wine tonight. i want to tidy up a bit. i have a new couch coming tomorrow. only two months after the initial "the couch you sold me is a piece of steaming dog shit and i'd like to activate that expensive three-year warranty, please" phone call i made. i mean, i knew within a week i was getting a couch -- they've just utterly sucked at getting that motherfucker to me. tomorrow, it comes.

gone will be my piece of shit PVC "p-leather" sofa, and in its place a new blue cloth sofa.

finally, i can lie semi-naked on my couch in the middle of a heat wave and not have my skin stick to the fucker like some kind of nazi war torture experiment or something. my god, the punishment for sloth around these parts! travesty, is what that is.

come to mommy, couch. i'll treat you right.

(yay, a new couch! having a duct-taped couch is just so not in keeping with my love of the aesthetic. i seem so... common. it's horrendous. now, a new cheap piece of furniture, but at least it'll look nice for a while. pvc sucks. hard.)

i'll get out for a walk or something today, but i doubt i'll really do much besides puttering around the house. i need to plug my new recording gear into my computer and try a test thingie thing tonight. get drunk and ramble into the mic on record. hardy har har.


well, i bought Brokeback Mountain, but i got it used. annie proulx gets not one dime of my money, and i get to own the movie for posterity's sake. i like owning a nice variety of movies. it's cool. movies rock.

but the x-guy pointed out the ridiculous essay she wrote in reaction to the film adaptation of her tale not winning best picture at last year's oscars.

in it, like a fucking 12-year-old, she says petulant things like,
And rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of
Trash - excuse me - Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline. Next year we can look to the awards for controversial themes on the punishment of adulterers with a branding iron in the shape of the letter A, runaway slaves, and the debate over free silver.
i mean, who, honey, do you think you are? seriously. what she's saying is that the subject of racism is a stereotype. she's mocking the subjects examined by Crash, which is to say racism in all its little veiled forms in today's society. yes, how very passe. i mean, clearly the US is so beyond that black-white-spic thing, huh? it's just so hip and open and accepting. right. canada has race issues, but the US takes it up a notch, man. it's a relevant flick. and it's well done, too. great? i dunno. best picture? ooh, that's arguable, but you're talking about an academy that hailed The Titanic, okay? get off your fucking high-horse.

proulx insults the competition, belittles people like philip seymour hoffman, and makes herself look like a right cunt in that article. great work needs no acclaim, all right? great work stands on its own. when you feel the need to hype it, you really need to shut the fuck up and put your ego away.

she mocks the ceremony -- which is even more immature, because if it's so irrelevant and full of bullshit, why's your heart so fucking shattered to have missed out, you thick wench, you? -- in this passage:
There were orders to clap and the audience obediently clapped. From the first there was an atmosphere of insufferable self-importance emanating from "the show" which, as the audience was reminded several times, was televised and being watched by billions of people all over the world. Those lucky watchers could get up any time they wished and do something worthwhile, like go to the bathroom. As in everything related to public extravaganzas, a certain soda pop figured prominently.
(Insert caps mode here.) She does make a point that Hollywood loves mimicry, and out of the five actors nominated for best actor, three were portraying now-dead celebrities (Murrow, Capote, and Cash). Starting in the dark, as she says, is a greater challenge, but we all know that the Oscars have a tendency to applaud actors for their body of work overall, and not just the one picture they're in that day, and this was Hoffman's first leading role, and a great, great portrayal in a very low-dialogue movie that had to capture the turmoil of a man in danger of getting what he wants while losing everything he needs. Hoffman's been brilliant in everything he's ever done, from The Talented Mr. Ripley to Boogie Nights to Magnolia, he's always a huge contributor. He deserved something.

Proulx's a twat. I'll never buy another book. You don't insult other artists like you're some petulant child. You offer constructive ideas. What a cunt.


i'm seeing this movie either monday or tuesday evening. gayboy and i will check it out. i heard about it sometime late last year and i was thrilled to hear a treatment was done on this subject and was hoping it'd have relevence in today's military operations. it's a doc about the anti-Vietnam war movement that transpired within the American Armed Forces ranks. it's supposed to be excellent, and it's playing at the Ridge Theatre now, so i'm thrilled to be checking it out. love me some political docs, man.


Depress-o-meter: And we are holding steady at a five out of 10 today, with 10 being lousiest. I'm blue, but not. I'm content, but not. I'm happy to be vegging, but in my constantly judgmental self-analytical mode, I'm judging myself for being a recluse on a sunny summer day. It doesn't matter that my place is cooler than the world outside or anything constructive like that; I'm just totally negative about anything I decide these days. It's very weird, and I dislike the practice, but as much as I try to will myself into another headspace, I just keep failing to manage it. Anyhow, the down time is doing me good. It's hard, you know, being out in the "What? There's No Such Thing as Depression" real world and having to make small talk and pretend to give a fuck what they have to say to you at any given time. Staying home alone allows me to drop my pretenses and be what I want to be, when I want. I was thinking about seeing a movie tonight, but now I may not. I may still, but I may not. Staying in would be all right, if I can get past the part about feeling like a loser for doing it. I could have gone out this morning, and could have made plans, but didn't, yet I still feel unpopular, but it's of my choosing. How fucked up is this? THAT is depression, the stupid internal dialogue you can't shut the hell up. It makes no fucking sense, yet it's how the thought process spins. Jesus. I do, however, plan to take a long hot walk to the produce store and come home and make a wonderful Indian lassi -- maybe mango -- with a little scoop or two of ice cream. Huge brunch means I'm unlikely to be hungry for hours. I'm also going to make some gazpacho for my Sunday and maybe a latenight snack tonight. That'd be nice, a bowl of fruity gazpacho at about midnight, before a cold shower and bed.

Friday, July 21, 2006

so, i'm flipping through the channels again, and vegging, natch, and i see that:

a) the forecast for the coming days is hotter and hotter than today. tomorrow, for instance, in the day, it's supposed to be 29 degrees (90) with a humidex of 31 (94) but at night, it's to be 26 degrees (84) and a humidex of 33 degrees (100)! this really means a few degrees hotter than that, though, since that's at the airport, by the water, and who has the money to live on the water? hotter, man. hot enough to melt yer butter on your counter, dammit.

fuckin' hell, literally! i may be catholic, but this is too fucking soon! damn you, cosmos!

that's it, fuck this. i'm making gazpacho tomorrow!


b) that Fargo is on. only an hour remains, but let me tell you a secret: there are pictures of snow in it. ooh. dirty. sexy. snow!

it's like porn for heatwaves.

if wishes were horses and diplomacy were real

i've copped out of my evening plans to stay home and drink a surprisingly nice cab-shiraz, do a little writing, and watch a movie.

i was enjoying myself, actually, as the evening began to wear on and the wine began to kick in, and then i caught the headline story... israeli troops are amassing at the lebanese border.


ten years ago, i wouldn't have cared. but it's not 10 years ago anymore, now, isn't?

nope, it's a brave new world of terrorism, religious extremism, and highly heated tensions. it's a regular soap opera out there, friends, and i, for one, was hoping to be spared further drama.

this scenario? shitty. quel. but it's two guys taken by an extremist group, not a country's government, whether real estate had been afforded the faction or otherwise. yes, there are differences between an extremist organization kidnapping two soldiers versus another that has hijacked five planes, destroyed a dozen or so of the most expensive buildings in the world, and snuffed thousands of lives in an instant. do i think numbers count when talking human lives? yes. yes, i do.

and in this instance, you have two dudes kidnapped and suddenly an army licking the bootstraps of a neighbouring nation. it's a little fucking freaky.

and into that hellacious mix, let's just add regional tensions, the terrorism thing, and oh, oh, wait for it -- the rather obvious siding of US with israel, and whew, things could get toasty in here soon, no?

i really dislike most of the moments when i'm conscious that history is in the making. seldom is it for accomplishments now; usually just destruction, death, and catastrophe. and this is one of those times. it's not yesteryear. it's this year in which iran is toying with nuclear bombs, shit's been going down in egypt, iraq's body count is on the upswing, and syria's always full of hassle. i mean, the petri dish is brimming, ain't it?

and i honestly believe someone could've talked lebanon into expelling hezbollah if they offered a little help, you know? not now, obviously. now we dance, it seems, or at least play a lil' footsies. where the hell is lester pearson when you need him, eh? somebody get me some smelling salts.


depress-o-meter: earlier, i was a six out of 10, with 10 being the lousiest. now, even in the face of modern war and bad shit comin' down if people start pickin' sides (over TWO guys? world war I was over one guy, and what the fuck did that do for us, huh? pissed off a fallen germany and got us another war is what it did for us.) now, i'm upgrading myself to a 5.5, and in a slightly cool breeze, possibly even a 5. the wine is improving. but mostly, i've actually done some decent writing tonight, plus, i filled three idea cards*. it's the latter that excites me. coming up with surplus ideas has been a long time coming, and shit, i love the feeling. if my writing comes back to me, but more importantly, my prolificity comes back to me, so too will a little of my joy. it's all about that, you know? i can always do other shit, but the writing does something for me. and it can be fun. mostly, it's an enema of sorts.
in retrospect, it occurs to me that "idea cards" isn't homogenous just yet. okay, when i had really bad writer's block, my best idea was the idea box. it's a basic cooking recipe box, filled with blank recipe cards and a few pens. it's in front of the telly. i have a bill "spike" in my bedroom good for both receipts and for ideas that need germination. i stab 'em violently onto the peg and go about life until one day it hits, but how it starts is that something occurs to me when watching the telly or even when talking or playing with others. i don't just smile at myself all pleased i'm so clever; i write it down. evidence! it goes onto my desk, and when i'm hurting for ideas, or cleaning up on a day when i've blocked aside far too much time for cleaning, i'll tackle it. some great shit has come out of those idea cards, so while they may not be representative of actual work, they are representative of ideas -- of potential -- of some of the sexiest shit i've ever seen.

a world of hurtin'

it's 2:17am and i've just stumbled in from my gig. just three beers (heineken on special for $3.50!) and then whatever local herbs i found. not like it was a big night of gluttony. good music. nearly 2.5 hours of the headliner. nice to see someone work for a living.

but i fucking hurt. i did a big biking thing yesterday and more of it today and now i'm in a world of hurt and i'm not happy about it! nice to feel active again, though, and i plan to not slip away from it again just yet.

work will really, really suck, but it's a shorter day. right now: chocolate milk and toast with butter and honey. if it don't make the pain go away, it'll at least make me feel happy. :) (okay, well, the stretching and icing i'm about to do should also help. sigh. old)

on the upside? i've made my first bootleg! i fuckin' rock. woot. the first half was a bust, but i recorded in another mode and it worked like gangbusters. again, i say woot.

oh, and yesterday i was contacted by the chick who was my best friend from 17-19. she's been reading my other blog, apparently. how odd! and what a nice face to emerge from the past. perhaps coffee might happen sometime. fingies are crossed. must ice. must stretch. i hurt. oh, i hurt.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Yet another

It has become a great morning for thinking, and coming to terms. I'm gonna use this as a journal for a bit, kind of keeping track of my progress, in some ways. I've been through a lot in the last year, and I think I've handled everything that's come my way reasonably well.

I'm realizing that I'm sort of drowning in it, though. Every time I think I have the strength to break the surface, I'm pulled back down again. I've just booked an appointment with the doc for next Thursday. I'm going to go back onto a very mild anti-depressant. I don't need a lot, but I need something, 'cos using my own strength is getting me nowhere.

And I feel like a loser writing this, but I feel like if I don't make a record that says I'm doing this, that I'll find a reason to let my pride fuck with me and cancel the appointment. After all, there's a stigma that we're wimps if we need an anti-depressant to cope. (shrug) And I hate that the stigma exists, because it prevented me from dealing with depression for years.

It's not that I'm being kept down or whatever from it, it's these strange little phobias and anxieties that come with it that are so crippling. I hate leaving the house these days. I have, for about the last six weeks. Leaving for work in the mornings is killing me. I never leave before 10. It's 10:10, and I've not even showered. This is typical of my depression -- I just isolate myself from people. And I shouldn't.

But getting to the point of admitting you need something for help means two things: One, it means you're beginning to improve because you at least now care enough to look into ways to improve, so the apathy is beginning to erode. Two, it means you've accepted that you are, to an extent, powerless over this beast, so by doing that, it means you're sort of regaining some power, too. (It's like swimming in a river and realizing it's stronger than you are -- if you use the current to power you, you'll travel better, right?)

So, I'm finally accepting I've been depressed. I've sort of known this for a long time, but when it's not a debilitating depression, we don't take it as seriously. Oh, I'm just a little blue. That's all. But, no, just because we're still able to function and such doesn't mean it's not compromising our lives. I'm tired of the compromising, so, the fight begins.

I've been to this point once before, the swallow-my-pride and ask-for-help thing has been the hardest lesson I've ever learned, but man did it help. I should have stayed on the pills longer before, 'cos life was still hard. This time, I think it WILL be a short visit to pharmacopia, because I know how much I've changed. I'm definitely proud of what I've been through and all, but I know that if things went south a month from now, I'm just not sure I'd have the strength to fight again. I need to be aware that I'm at a fragile breaking point right now, and I'm just shoring up defenses.

Anyhow. This is the record. I will be seeing the doc Thurs, the 27th. Ironically a year to the day that my life began changing pretty drastically. Interesting. Good for me. Another milestone to hopefully be proud of.

Ooh, the Steffness Redux

Okay, so Oprah will be on in five minutes, my laundry has been switched over, and I caught a clip of a short story on NBC's Today show while I was stretching my hammy strings.

The story was on a couple living in the city but growing all their own food and living off their stamp-sized land. It was pretty cool, about making choices for lifestyle and things like that.

After all this settles down, I'll be making lunches in advance and that sort of thing. I want to work shorter days (no lunches) and get home sooner. I want to save money. I want to go to GayDays at Disneyland with GayBoy. I want to buy new clothes.

So, I need to continue living this dialed-back life I've grown accustomed to over the last year. This week, I'm badly purchasing lunches, but I tell you, whatever crutch I can use, I will, right now.

I see things settling down drastically next week. If I manage to learn some about podcasting this weekend and get one good new ride in, and take receipt of the delivery of my new sofa, I will consider myself on an awesome new page for next week. All I need is a little movement, that's all. I'm just stuck, and I want to bust free of all this hindrance.

But, the simple life. It's Slow. I love Slow food, Slow life, Slow sex, Slow nights. It's a lifestyle choice, keeping things simple and uncluttered and free to change. I loved this book. (It would seem to be between printings or something... somethin's up with the paper version. Hmm. Still, awesome book for food for thought.)

After I read that book, way back when, I cut my hours by three per week, and worked an extra half-hour per day, and took no lunches, and changed my weeks into four-day work weeks with those small tweaks. I will unfortunately be working 5-6 days a week for the next couple months, but, whatever. The money will free up the chance to do a few things I've been needing, like clothes and such, and then I will work towards a Slower life -- slightly shorter days, and that sort of thing.

Simplify, simplify, simplify. Oh, the fantasy of it all. Oprah's on. Girltime.

State of the Steffness

In a couple minutes, my clothes need to be transferred to the dryer, which means I have to trudge back down (and up) the four flights of stairs (again). I hate laundry in this place, but I need clean jeans for the concert.

Lookin' em over, it appears I need new jeans pretty soon, which disheartens me. ($$) It's a good thing I'm exercising a lot all of a sudden, 'cos going down a size would feel pretty good when buying new ones.

I didn't do the epic ride I wanted to do yesterday. Fact is, I'm fuckin' dead on my feet these days. Just wiped. This weekend, I seriously need to catch up on sleep. Lord knows I'm not getting any with the gig tonight and the early appointment I have tomorrow.

I did, however, cycle home from downtown, which I've been avoiding all year. I usually take the long way, then bus back home over the hill. It's a bitch, really. My all-time worst for coming home from downtown is 1hour 15 minutes. It's only about 12km, but back then I was severely asthmatic and smoking a lot of dope. Ahem. My all-time best time is 34 minutes. Yesterday was 50 minutes, but with a couple bonus klicks thrown in for good measure, so I'm all right with that.

Today, I'll ride in and home, and tomorrow's a rest day, since I'll be deader on my feet than today. Gah. Dreading that. I'll only have to work a half-day, though.

I'm still feeling depressed. Fucking hate it. At least now I'm starting to lose the shame I was feeling -- shame from eating badly, being anti-social, not exercising. It's easier to deal with depression on its own than all the self-destruction that usually comes with.

I'm still smoking dope, too, and it's not doing a lot for me. I figure I have three or four more days of "lots" of dope left, and then I'll burn the hell out and get off it for a goodly length of time again.

These days, I seem to smoke dope for about two weeks, then I get off it for a couple months. I've smoked a little more of late than I had in the many months before, but I've had reason to need to vent. I don't like the habit over all, not like I used to. I don't like who I become as a result of it as much as I used to. I'm more conscious of it being a crutch and a need than I've ever been before, and that too takes some of the joy from it. Now I'm just trying to go out in a flame so I get really sick of it and resentful of it, and hopefully lose the will to do it.

The trouble is, it's easier to get fazed out on a bowl of dope than to live in the present when the present's the last place you really want to be. I want to be two weeks from now, a month from now, a year from now, but I really don't want to live this day, you know?

(No, no, that's not some veiled suicide threat. Don't be stupid. I'm just sick of the fucking status quo and want to know, a month from now, that I'm reasonably secure in a new job, that the film I might be landing has been greenlighted and I'm being hired, or that I can afford new clothes for fall, or whatever it takes. Anything but this "I don't know for sure" bullshit that plagues my days right now. Everything's in limbo. I hate limbo. I've never danced a limbo. Never will. Fuck, man.)

But at least there should be an okay show tonight. I'll be bitter if there's no covers, but whatever. It's a free fan-appreciation gig, and you gotta love someone who has the decency to do that from time to time. I hate it when people will only do their job for money, never for appreciation. It's petty.

Okay, good, I feel a little less grumpy. I'm riding into work again today, did I mention that? Dreading it already, heh. GRR! Laundry now, then pancakes. Life is better with pancakes -- especially blueberry-oatmeal pancakes made by the one and only Steffchick.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


...are what I find difficult.

I'm possessive of them. I'm not crazy about sharing, nor sacrificing, my mornings. Working now, causes disruption in the slow-n-easy-till-i'm-good-n-ready morning routines. I am, I proudly admit, descended of sloths. We move slow in my world. When the time appears right, we pounce. Until then, our slothy grasp of time makes progress often a neglible concept.

Thus far this morning, I have played solitaire, eaten eggs and bacon, watched half an episode of House, and conducted sufficient experimenting to now know I do not have to buy new computer speakers. I either have a fucked up sound card, or one of the many codecs I recently installed for DVD and sound purposes has decided to fuck me over.

Either way, I'm troubled by this discovery. Spending $50 is so much easier than needing to troubleshoot this, and now, while I'm needing to light a fire under my ass to learn how to podcast and get my show on the road.

I mean, fuck, it's like comparing Band-aids to surgery. I fucking HATE troubleshooting! Who has the time? Jesus! It's gonna cut into the sloth!

What a pain in the ass. I'm this close to calling Dell Support, but right now have to finish my coffee and my House and get this ass on a bike and into work by 11.

I hate this computer already, and it has only been a month. Motherfucker.

At least I've decided wisely to opt out of my plans for this evening. Instead, I'm going to take advantage of this low-pressure challenge to the high-pressure ridge, and get some cycling in. Yesterday was a 19km day, and apart from a slightly sore ass, I feel fine. I feel good, actually. My left knee had begun to feel wonky yesterday, and riding through it has drastically affected how it feels for the better. Tonight, I'll leave work, cycle around Stanley Park and through to Granville Island and 5th Avenue, onto the bus, and home. It'll be a 30km day, if not more, and I'll cycle yesterday's route tomorrow, then have a couple rest days.

I may enjoy my slothness, but I despise feeling lazy and out of shape, and in the stress of the last seven weeks, exercise was the first to go. I'm making up for it now. I need an outlet, though, and yesterday was the first time I really felt like smiling (without something provoking it) for a week or two now. Must keep it up.

Time to mainline some coffee. Grumble, grumble.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Yawn, Sigh, Ugh

So, I still have dope kicking around. This is terrible. I'm sure I'm going to have a Lord of the Flies "Kill the pig! Spill its blood!" moment any minute now or something. I feel very dramatic, anyhow.

Trust me, the novelty of actually being stupid will wear off soon enough. It's a phase, a crutch. Whatever.

To tell you the truth, I'm hoping for a creative breakthrough or something. I'm in a rut. Oh, how I hate this. You know what it is? I'm the fleshy, real-life version of my scooter woes. The spark plug kept unscrewing because the stupid mechanic doesn't understand torque, and while that's now fixed, the distributor cap keeps slipping off and I lose power or lose fire altogether. Now, in my brilliance, I have solved this problem with duct tape.

I'm not so sure I'm likening the dope to the duct tape, as I really don't wish to dabble in adhesives, but the allusion was more geared to the "potential of fire is there, but it just keeps slipping away" poetic image.

I find it really frustrating to experience any kind of creative block. It's why I'm generating so much sub-par crap right now. The fact is, I need to write, and if I don't do it for an audience, I won't do it. I don't want to be that alone with my thoughts that I write for myself right now. The darkness ain't so gone that it ain't still nigh, you know? It was a rough week, and there's none of my goodness written in stone just yet. It -- no, I am so vulnerable. I do not wear vulnerability well. I fear it is not my shade.

So, I write for an audience, and then I have to temper it, not get quite so raw and unrestrained. I don't like finding too much truth in what I say during these more difficult times.

I've actually never been able to write through adversity, and perhaps that's why I feel so desperate to do it now. Must. Write. Must! Can't? Gah.

So, yes, again with the redundancies. That has to do with the dope, I suppose. Writer's block, for me, is like a math problem. It's a matter of understanding the variables and hard work. If I just keep pushing, pushing, then it should hit, right? It's probability, likelihood. It's practically a fucking mathematic certainty, for god's sake.

But it's like nothing I do lets me outside of my mental four walls.

I just keep bouncing the fuck back onto myself, the same redundant shit. Time after time. It's been a while now, about a month or so, since I've felt at all on my game. If not two. It's been increasingly frustrating for me, but I've not talked about it like I probably should. Sometimes I just don't get too conscious of the support I'm supposed to have around me. I don't ask, they don't tell, or something.

So, this is frustrating. Writing. Sigh. I'm hoping that getting stupid, doing a little dope, will break the mental rut. I'll tell you what, though, I don't have the patience for dope anymore. I'll probably kill the rest over the weekend, and by then I'll have had a few cool experiences, I think, that might also loosen up the cerebral jam.

I've got a concert, a social thingie thing, had a drink with someone new tonight, have a party Friday, that sort of thing. None of it's stellar stuff that has me light and fluffy inside, but it's a pretty solid week of reliable things to do, you know? The gig'll be good, as usual, but it'll be different from before, when we discovered the guy. Then, he was doing covers. He'd blow out a tearing version of Gomez's Get Miles, or slay his way through a Dick Dale faithful. He made a good cover of Britney Spears. He's got so much colour and style as a covers dude, so I hate the fact that he's gotten all serious "I must sell my records now, My Minions," and will only do original work now. Gah, I'd fucking kill to hear Get Miles again, man.

Tomorrow, cycling. Fuck it. Nothing, no one, nobody, no interruptions, no excuses. Just a bike ride to work, work, then a ride around Stanley Park and home. I need the change of scene. Sun, GOOD.

It promises to be a good night to buy a bit of wine and have a quality me-n-you writing night, don'tcha think, my minions?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

movie day

so there's a new theatre in town i've yet to visit. the vancity theatre is supposed to be pretty nice, if you can believe them as the source. it's under my friend's lover's $325,000 600 square foot apartment, so "prestige" is probably the watch word.

this week is terrence malick week, though. i'm thinking this is a good reason to go. i like seeing the movies people consider to be the ones to see. it's good to have an understanding of film history. there's this great book i recommend to any movie buff, "easy riders, raging bulls" about the '70s independent film era. i enjoyed it.

so, tuesday they have Days of Heaven and Badlands playing.

i'm not much of a mallick fan, though. i think that if you stack the pompous Thin Red Line next to Platoon, Platoon's gonna win any day of the week and twice on sundays. that's what i think. i think terrence mallick is one of these "artists" who's so aware of his brilliance that his awareness winds up diminishing his ability to be natural. his films, in my limited experience, are the cinematic equivalent to one of those show homes that's so beautiful you can't stand to be inside it.


don't let me make you think i've closed my mind off to him. heh. yeah, he's like j.d. salinger meets one of those showhomes. that's terrence mallick in a nutshell. still, i think i'm being harsh and would like to give the old bastard one last kick at the can, and figure where better to do it than in a crowd of people who are probably devotees? either way, i learn how i feel -- either they nauseate me into exasperation, or their reverence inspires devotion from me. probably the former, though. still, what the hell? probably beats the shit out of most of what's playing now. i just want to see if this guy really deserves this place of eminence that appears to be perma-reserved for him in the hall of greatness.

i digress.

watching Walk the Line and boy are my wheels spinning. got me thinking, is all. did the same thing to me last time, too. what a fascinating life.

a reader donated me $20 to go DVD shopping. got Capote, Good Night & Good Luck, and Walk the Line. thank you, reader. i'll have you know, i always keep the promise. when they say, "go get a bottle of wine" or "go buy a DVD," i do. i figure they had designs on it, and it's the least i can do. hell, i'm just happy for the thought, really.

my house is much cleaner. but i mussied it up a smidge in the kitchen. the devil told me to make oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies, and so i did. that devil's a really crafty bugger. manipulative, you could say. but i felt inspired, and the cookies are phenomenal. pity i'm out of milk.


bed beckons early tonight. long, long week has passed, and another looms.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Yawn, A Lazy Saturday and the Resulting Ponderances

I've just been sitting here, staring at the screen. I have writer's block. Nothing of use is coming. I wrote well a couple times this week, but, like me, the content has been scattered. Good words, though.

Blank is about how I feel. It's not bad, it's not good. It's just keeping me from doing much. It was such a mentally overwhelming week that I think I'm just cerebrally burnt-out right now. I should settle down. I was thinking of forcing myself to go cycling today, but I'm so fucking tired. I think housecleaning has more merit, and then I'll go make some pasta at the brother's place tonight.

Tired, just really, really tired. I have needed a break these past couple of weeks, and today I get it. I have ambitious plans for the next week, though, including a few nights out and full-time work. From Wednesday on, I'm busy, busy. So, maybe today as a rest day is a good move.

A gig looms this week. It has been far too long since I've seen one. Far, far, far. I just want to fucking see more gigs. Really so wrong to ask? The thing is, everyone's so picky about who they'll see that what it really means is, we don't see sweet fuck all. But, boy, we can feel satisfied that the concerts we WOULD see, if only they'd show the fuck up, would really be tha bomb.

The world's fucking full of sanctimony, man. I just want a simple life, no pretensions, no bullshit, no tyranny, no hands played cruelly by fate. I wanna pull a Thoreaux and simplify, simplify, simplify.

Now is the beginning of the calm before the storm, I suspect. I have a feeling things are really gonna pick up for me soon, you know, socially, professionally, etc. I'm having a Shawshank Redemption "better git busy livin', or get busy dyin'" moment, is what it is. I want to live the On life. I'm not currently in the games, and I'm not really just sitting in the stands, but about the best level of commitment you might be able to say of me right now is that I'm the waterboy. A part of the game but of no real consequence.

And it's so fucking lame! God! So, today I'm gonna continue watching my show, then clean up in between acts, and take off for a nice afternoon and evening. Tomorrow, I get busier. It sounds like good stuff, though: a party, a social night, a gig... A good week! And cheap, too! The gig's a fan appreciation night and if you show up early, there's no admission. I love good performers who give a shit. It's this guy, Wil. Humble guitar genius. I'd sleep with him in a heartbeat, too. Real cutie.

I'm gonna be cycling the next three days, and I'll try to do so on Thursday and Friday. I always enjoyed biking home from Yaletown. I need to get seriously active. I notice how much more alive and alert I feel when I get into the rhythm of really pushing the cycling. There's a Zen smoothness that seems to come with it. I'm just incredibly bad at maintaining the exercising when life throws hurdles at me like it has these past six or so weeks. Whew. Honestly, except for about 6 or so weeks at the beginning of my last relationship, I'd say this whole fucking year has sucked. Ahahah. Yep, most of it has. Wow. I've had some good times in amongst it all and I feel a little richer for the experiences, but really, it's been a hard, hard time of it for me since last August. It's been really, really hard. Writing has really been the only thing that keeps me together. Last night and this morning, blocked. It scares me every time it happens now, block, because it's... oh, this is tough to explain. Every time I have to explain writer's block, I get blocked. Ha. I've described it before as a sense of unknowing. Block is when you can't communicate what's inside. It's lost in translation.

I know I've been writing a lot in the last two months, but I have largely felt as though I've had writer's block. I have not been creating great work. I've not been having those moments when I grin after thinking of something particularly witty. The pride I get from knowing I've had a good turn of it has not been knocking on my door of late. It's been very disheartening, and I've been blaming it on other things -- relationship woes, money problems, insecure future, hindrances in other areas, bad diet, lack of exercise. I've been blaming it on things that really probably do have something to do with my inability to write well. But now I have to stop having excuses and really force myself to have higher standards. Ribe tucchus -- it's a Yiddish phrase that translates badly, and a writing technique with a storied and successful record. I'd say its closest translation is "Sit yo' ass down!"

So now I'm saying that I'm going to get busier, but I'm also going to sit more. Well, girl's gotta work. I take the writing seriously. I don't send it out or anything. I said to myself years ago that I really never cared if I made money writing. I just needed to do it. At the time, I couldn't get the words out, but now I can. I'd like to write a book. I've been tossing that notion around for some time. I have this little fantasy of a publisher stepping out of the woodwork and offering me an advance. That'd be nice.

I still lack the writing confidence, and it's because I keep having these really fucked up times of adversity, and I allow them to complicate my life. But, here, let's look at the last year of my life, in snapshots: I lose my job, I get on EI, I start tutoring, things get a little crazy 'cos I can't manage my time, my brother is hit by a Suburban and nearly killed, my father suffers an "early warning" stroke, I suffer near-pneumonic bronchitis -- not once, but three times in five months. I meet a nice guy, he slips and shatters his leg. I fuck up with my EI and am suddenly thrown into six weeks of feverish job search, during which time my relationship suffers, stalls, then stops. This is my year.

It's been a hoot, really.

I think the end really looms now. Something's starting to feel different. A general sense of, "Hey, I don't deserve better, I've fucking well earned it, and now I'm going to take it" has begun to play for me.

At this very moment, though, I'm feeling very much like a jackrabbit stuck staring at advancing headlights.

It's not often, I guess, that we challenge who we think we are with who we're trying to be. You know what I mean? There's the reality of who we are in the world -- ie, admin for a consulting company, at the moment, who writes of inconsequential things and sex -- versus the perception of who we wish we were -- ie, a hip lifestyle guru who's working on a book and just lands a radio gig -- and then there's all the shit that hits us in between.

It's hard to reconcile who we really are with who we've always dreamed of being, and it's scary to come toe-to-toe with that phase in your life where you really have to ask, "Am I happy?" Huh? Am I? I ain't. Not a fucking bit. I know what I want. I want lots of friends again, because I'm good with people and have no reason to be sitting at home alone at 1:17 on a Saturday afternoon (but I'm really glad I am) and I want a really cool career that pushes my buttons and challenges me, giving me the confidence to finally pursue the hard-ass world of the public life. You have to understand, I really do believe in myself. I also know I have the makings of a total failure. I'm willing to fight for the former, though.

I have a big anniversary coming up in 12 days -- the first anniversary of the Cunting Linguist. Nearly a half-million hits now, and in the top 9,000 out of 48 million blogs in the world. I can't really believe that. It's so weird. All these people like reading me when I'm just as fucked up as any of them, but I know how to make it sound real purty. It must be why I keep getting readers offering to take me out for beers. I'm just a normal person, and they know it. But it's still really fucking weird to know a couple thousand people have popped by every 24 hours. Cool, though. :)

And, you know, I'm just at this point where I've accomplished something I always wanted, and that was the knowledge that, for whatever reason, I would have an audience that would love hearing what I had to say. How fucking cool is that? A hundred people, like I had here for forever, was cool enough, but this is wicked fun.

But it's like a heavy makeout session. Damn, it's good, and hey, it might be all you need, but sometimes, having more is simply having more. And I wonder, though, if I've had all this adversity in my life as a way of forcing me to ask myself harder questions.

Am I happy? Am I really just this good? Am I too much a pussy to pursue what needs pursuing? Do I have the courage? Am I resilient enough to deal with real adversity? And so on.

During the last six months, I've got to say I've been surprised at the answers I've been learning about myself. I'm feeling some pride again, and it's a nice feeling.

But, anyhow, the anniversary looms. When I reflect on what I've endured this past year and yet still accomplished, when I consider how much writing I've done in the face of all this adversity, then I know that a) I'm a little more prolific with the words than I might've thought, and b) I'm a tough cookie who's determined. It's nice to recalibrate your opinion of yourself from time to time.

They tell you that success is a choice. Maybe it is. Maybe it's time I dust off my scientist cap and see if they're talking sense.

Right now it's time to finish my movie. I'm glad we had this little talk.