For you, the dress code is casual.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Birthday weekend spend-a-thon part one

This is the second year in a row that GayBoy has ceremoniously appeared at my place on/around my birthday with a big-assed casserole to leave behind. I forget what it was last year, probably tacos or something, but this year it's meatloaf. It's warming up before WhippedBoy comes 'round to hang for the next two or three or whatever hours. I'll have meatloaf and tortilla chips, and will successfully avoid veggies today in entirety. Tomorrow, I begin behaving.

I bought a new sound card thing. It's not really a card. It's an external USB port unit that comes pretty well recommended throughout the web -- which I didn't know when I bought it. I went to a musician's store, though, where I know they sell a lot of recording gear. The guy had good things to say about it, but there's a model one up that probably would've delivered a pretty professional sound. I didn't want to go that crazy yet.

I'm also the owner of a new wicked winter coat suitable for scootering but I'm thinking I'll probably take it back. The liner doesn't zipper out. The problem is, it's awesome quality and I got it for $90, less than half price. I'd be WARM in that in December. But being able to take the liner out, that'd make it a lock. As it stands, I will probably go back to plan "A" and visit Taiga on Monday.

I failed to mention that, as always, the best burger in this city resides at Moderne Burger. The x-guy took me there for dindin last night, and of course I loved the food, but my stomache disagreed. Still, it's the best burger this city produces and it's worth the hassle. I should know better than chomping down on a big fat burger when I'm still getting over a bug, but geez, nothing says "You're not old!" like a rootbeer float and a burger platter, man.

I found a great new delight at Bosa's Italian Food Distributor on Victoria: Cherry Bocconcini cheese. Just 1-centimetre round balls of bocconcini. Perfect size for marinating a half hour before a salad. Tomorrow I'll buy some new salad oils. Walnut and I'll have to wait to see what inspires me. And a new vinegar. Maybe champagne, maybe raspberry. Dunno.

Mm. Meatloaf! I can smell it, ergo it is time to nosh.

Friday, September 29, 2006

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry If I Want To*

This is true.

And I have nothing more to say. Honestly, I haven't felt like writing all week. I've started about three things that I think have promise to be good, but I've not been able to finish any of them. I hope this lacklustre feeling about writing goes away soon.

I think I'm more bothered about the loss-of-job situation than I've been wanting to admit. I despise rejection, and this was that, even if it was as nice and fluffy as it could have possibly been.

("We don't think you're enjoying your time here. It seems like this isn't working out. What do you think?" I think my first instincts about this job were right, and that if I didn't have rent that needed paying and other work on the horizon, I'd never have darkened the threshold. I think at least one of you really needs to learn how people deserve to be treated, and I think you'll never get much out of your employees if you can't learn to trust them and let them do the goddamned jobs they're supposed to be doing. I think I deserve(d) better. I think I've learned some important lessons. Or is that not the answer you had in mind?)

It's still a negative outcome, and I... I don't know. It's frustrating. A little depressing. And maybe now that the week's over, it's hitting me. I know PMS kicked in at some point this afternoon, and there's a smattering of little pimples all over my face that serve as an early warning to others. I'm also mad that my writing hasn't just magically become good again.

Sunday and Monday are both days for me to get writing/podcasting done. Hopefully I'll do what I have my mind set to accomplish.

Tomorrow will be a little frenetic. I could go and spend all my cash tomorrow, but I don't actually want to. I want to draw it out over the next week or so. I will look at glasses. I will look at rain-proof coats. I will probably buy the latter tomorrow, and that will be it.

I'll probably buy nice, expensive balsamic vinegar and champagne or berry vinegar and one or two good oils. I want to get back into eating salads with meats. I've been doing better, food-wise, if you ignore Tuesday until now and probably tomorrow, too. I bought a nice mustard yesterday -- cilantro and lemongrass. I'm even contemplating making my own mustard now that I've found a recipe. I need to concoct a good recipe. I'm thinking of a bourbon or beer-based one. If I can make it happen well, then I know what folks will get with Christmas gifts. Hmmm! A project. But with some nice mustards, oils, and vinegars, salads don't need to be the yawns-on-a-plate they so often tend to be, and maybe I'll be a little more stoked to experiment.

Whatever. Anything to keep my mind off the fact that, creatively, I'm in a sinkhole right now. It feels wrong. No matter how much of my life is right these days, that I can't write what I want to write (and, worse, have no ideas) makes me feel empty, null, and void. This is no way for a birthday girl to be feeling. [Reminds me of a stupid thing William Shatner once said in a space doc I saw: "Black holes, by their very nature, are difficult to spot."]

Yet, still, it feels like it's going to be an important weekend in more ways than one. Hmm. See what goes down.

*But there's no way in hell I want to cry. I've had a mostly great week, and I've had good times with a number of valued people in my life, too. And some cash to spend after the dryest spell of my life. Things are looking up. I just can't write to save my life. But I will. When, though? Gah!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Few Photos

I have been very disappointed in myself for not taking photos of late. I'm trying to change that.

Here are some recent ones, with the usual "telling of" by moi.

This is the thinnest building in Vancouver. Ironically, it's the Anthony Calori building. Get it? "Calorie"? Hardy-har-har.

I just love the colour and vibe of this African shop. Reminds me of San Fran's Mission Hill district.

GayBoy was coming over for dinner a couple weeks back. I was washing my dishes before he arrived, and my 3rd floor window faces west when it's wide open, and this reflected in it. I dried my hands, grabbed my camera, and ran out barefoot into the street to snap this shot, since I was madly in love with the colours. Within 2 hours, a storm ripped across the city with high winds and big rains. I loved it.

I have this huge armoire thingie-thing in my living room that people just love when they come over. But when I tell them (and they've been a longtime Van resident) that it's made from the old plank flooring of the downtown Woodward's store, most of them drop their jaws and gush, "That's so cool!"

The Woodward's building has been a longstanding controversial plot of land here in the city. The store itself went out of business in the early '90s and inhabits a huge spot on the downtown east side, and folks ahve wanted it to become housing for the poor for the last decade. It's now yet another example of the gentrification of the DES, but what can ya do? This is them gutting the building in order to save its face. We'll see what the result is.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Potpourri Steff

Well, my aunt broke the news yesterday: I'd be getting a cool grand for my birthday. A thousand smackeroos.

I tell you, there are a lot of NEEDS I have been putting off: A hardy winter scootering coat, a new helmet to replace the one that has been dropped a dozen times on concrete (once it rolled down a hill), a pair or two of shoes, new glasses (an out-of-date prescription wreaks havoc on me daily) and more. ALL those needs are being attended to in the next week.

I need to find real, real cute specs. I'm thinking something rectangular and with caramel and other colour tones to it. This time I'm thinking I'll do a sun-activated tint so I can forget about stupid things like clip-ons and such. I'm pissed I lost two clip-ons and a pair of sunglasses in the last year, and I seldom lose things. Grr! I just need to look into whether such tint can negatively affect people and what the drawbacks are.

And I will get a bright yellow Taiga coat. For some reason, MEC goes from $185 to $395. They have NOTHING midrange, and the $185 doesn't sound like it's geared to riding 65km an hour into blinding wind and rain, so I'll PASS, thanks. And while I try to be a sunshiney girl and all (snicker, right) the yellow's not a tribute to my disposition (got that right!) but is rather a Safety Steff scheme to stay alive yet another year.

I really don't wanna spend a hundred bucks on a new lid, but having seen my helmet fall off the back of a bike and bounce, then roll, down a hill, you can understand my wondering if the integrity of the shell may have been compromised. Having had my life saved by a Snell/DOT-approved helmet, I don't even fucking SIT on a bike without a helmet these days. I just figure it's better to spend the cash and know I'm good than to find out the hard way one day down the line that my judgment was bad. I'm strongly considering moving to a 3/4 helmet, like I wore in my accident, rather than the full-face helmet like I presently wear. GayBoy frowns on this switch, but I have a lot of problems with the full helmet getting fogged up throughout the winter and it's made for some hairy moments.

Specs. I can't wait to get new specs! I'm gonna get ones that are adorable this time, not practical ugly crappy glasses like I got last time. BAD judgment! Bad! I'd much rather be adorable. I was wearing my old real-bad prescription ones out last night and, for some weird reason, my hair looks better now than it did when I cut it 8 weeks ago, and guys kept giving me the eye. I never get the eye in my "good" specs. Never. Bah! Hey, specs make the girl, it seems. And, and, and, one of the guys who gave me the eye is the cutie-pie deli-guy in one of my fave shops. I don't think he recognized me 'cos I usually look like crap doing errand-running when I'm in there. Hmm. Must rethink errand-running attire, it would seem!

Man. I'm wiped right out tonight. Must be the bug I've had or something. Or my brother keeping me up until 1:30am. Actually, I had this brilliant notion for a potential pitch to make to someone about a little something something right as soon as my head hit pillow at 1am, so that tacked on 30 minutes of writing the outline to what I'd had in mind. Sorry for all the coyness, but you're on a need-to-know basis, and yes, you don't need to know.

Hmm. What else.

One fun thing I'm buying myself is a new purse. Every one I own has a problem with it, and I'm tired of hiking around with a backpack. I'm sick of being utilitarian. I want to be cute. And cute brings me to another expenditure: Six months of fitness club membership. Yep. And it's good for pools. What I want to do is get into the habit of swimming more often, regularly, because, if my cosmos aligns and the world works proper and all that shit, my dream trip at the end of next year would be to go to Morocco by myself and learn to surf. Must get good at swimming. Years of being insecure of being fat at the pool kept me from swimming and my old days of being a lifeguard level swimmer are way fucking gone. And that's just no good. Maybe next week I'll try to adapt to a new routine. This week, still fighting the bug and need to be cautious.


I'm not rich. I should be paying off bills, but much of what I'm getting are things I've needed for a long while and should finally get. Helmet, jacket, glasses. Plus a new soundcard to make better podcasting happen. Pretty unspectacular list, but it'll feel great to know I have no pressing needs anymore. Yay me. Yay!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Being Me, Being Fired

My tummy feels funny.

I'm not nauseous, I'm not ill, it just feels funny. Like, weird. Not ha-ha. Hmm. I don't know what it is. Maybe I'm dying of salmonella or e-coli or something. I had a bacon & tomato sandwich for breakfast, figuring I'd behave like an unemployed schlepp, and I scraped out the bottom of the mayo container to make it happen. Now I feel funny.

I drank a little much last night. Me and GayBoy killed off a 1L bottle of Shiraz, and I can't hold my alcohol like I usedta could. It seems like GayBoy and I have a good drinking night every year right around my birthday, and this was that. The opening toast was to getting fired.

I'll tell you one great thing about the job I'm going back to: I never once felt like I wasn't valued. Say what you will about employers, but if you work for someone who makes you feel like you're a vital cog in the wheel every single day, then you really need to count your blessings.

In a lot of ways, I'm not unique from most people -- I can have phases where I lapse into apathy and take things for granted. I'm certain I did that with my old job. When I got that job, I was still reeling from my mother's death. It was a pretty open wound at the time, and I began there as a pretty shattered person. With time, I began to feel like my presence mattered, and I know that I have changed a tremendous amount over the years, though I have a hell of a long ways to go, but it was all happening under their roof. I cannot and will not underestimate what that job did for me psychologically. When you're in an environment that makes you feel you matter, that makes you want to be a better person and a better employee, well, it's a lucky thing you're you.

Still, I grew tired of it. I ate the asphalt and nearly died in that stupid accident of mine, and I began having all those "I'm 31 and look at where I am" moments of doubt and anxiety, and I blamed it on the job. I forgot one very essential thing: There is no right job for me. I know what I want to achieve in life, and working for others isn't part of the plan, but until I can do what I want, I need a solid job that doesn't take a lot out of me creatively. I live a disruptive life, so being in an environment that has a lot of routine now seems to be the best choice in order for me to achieve what I want outside of work. I didn't really realize that before now.

Now I've had a pretty rude reminder about what nasty workplaces are like and I appreciate better than ever the environment I spent most of the last decade in. Nothing like reminders, huh?

Six years to the DAY that I was hired, I lost the other job and got welcomed back (albeit for an unknown length of time, but still!). If that's not fucking weird, then I don't know what is. I started there Sept 25th, 2000. My birthday was on that Friday night, the 29th, and I went home after only four days of work with one of the largest, most beautiful bouquets of flowers I've ever seen. I still remember the busride home and everyone sneaking peeks at the flowers. It was fun.

Amazing what can go down in six years. I live a fucking wired life, man -- up and down and all around, all the time. I live the roller coaster. But I'll tell you... it's the ride of a lifetime.

Some days, it's really fucking cool being me.

Monday, September 25, 2006


You ever have those mornings when you wake up and you just know something's coming down the pipes? Yeah, this was that day.

I haven't liked my job from day one. One of my bosses is one of those guys everyone thinks has a swell personality, but, man, can be a dick to work for. The others were nice.

The tasks weren't really something I wanted be doing. The job's one I took because I needed a job. They laid me off on my second day (fucking brilliant) and then hired me back. More drama ensued.

Today I was let go.

Halle-fuckin-lujah. You know why?

I'm sitting there, being told that they love me, yada, yada, but it's not working out, yada, yada, and the whole time I'm looking at the guy's watch thinking, "Hurry it up. I got somewhere I need to be."

Because I knew my old job was swamped with work. And they're good people. I mean, six years there, you KNOW there were some bumps in the road, but so what? Every "family" has ups and downs, and that job, like none other I've had, did indeed feel like family. I loved 'em sometimes and "hated" 'em sometimes, but I always knew I could count on them. It was always right that way, you know? ("Hated" because it's more that PMS/mad-at-the-world moods made work seem a little worse than it should have, and it was one person in particular that irked me, and that person's way gone now.)

My biggest beef with the old job is how hard it can be on my neck and shoulders, but I can fight that with proper exercise and stretching.

I know I should be down and depressed, having lost my job today, but frankly, it's a good end to a bad thing, and I think I'm back where I belong. Maybe not for forever, but for a while, and for now, a while is a good thing.

I'll give it a week or so before I begin looking for other work -- it all comes down to whether they think they can take me on for the long term. I'd be thrilled to hear that they would, because right now all that matters to me is my writing, and I need a secure job to make that happen.

My writing will improve within a week, perhaps two, on the old job. Something about that job made me love to write. The most recent job just sucked the fucking will to write right out of me. Slurp. Right like that. For some reason, I wrote almost every day that I was at my old job. Maybe it's the mind-numbing drone of captioning. Maybe it's living inside my head all day. I don't know. Something unlocked me, and I've been pretty locked shut since starting the other job.

It's done. It's over. The bad guys are gone. The good guys are back. It's been a weird fucking world.

Funniest thing? I was fired today on the sixth anniversary of the day that I was hired at my old job. Lucky thing, rushing right over after getting canned. I'm no dummy -- when I see a shoe falling, I look for cover. I may run into a lot of adversity in my life, but I bounce the hell back, and today's just an example of how my mind works.

Now, I've never been fired before. I didn't know it felt this good. Huh. Fancy that.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday Babbling

Bah. I'm editing tracks and it's disheartening. I've only had two sessions, and one sucked, of recording, really, since I learned a couple weekends ago that all my stuff was corrupted. For the last 10 days, my throat has been raspy, and for the last week, I've been nasal. So. Now I'm nasal and raspy. Improving, but still.

But none of my stuff works. Not really. Not yet. And I have to ask myself, are my standards too high?

I think I need to worry less and allow it to be imperfect. Everyone starts somewhere. On that topic, on the weekend I was watching some of the Oprah DVDs with GayBoy that he gave me last year.

It's fucking awesome when you watch the old clips of "big" Oprah -- chubby and with huge, huge hair. If you pay attention, she does this weird stance when she's trying to ask aggressive questions in an awkward setting. She'll be standing, one leg extended, and then do this sideways head-pointing thing that looks something between an ostrich lashing out and a footballer practicing head-butts against a wall.

It's so fucking funny. She did it all the time in the early days, around '85-88 or so. So funny. It's great.

Now, though, she has perfect poise.

I mean, I know it takes people years to develop voices, but I don't have years. I guess I thought I was speshul and could somehow have an elevated product the first time out the gate. Today's a little bit of an eye-opener, and it's only 9:34 in the fucking morning.

It occurs to me, too, though, that I might just be a really daft cunt, as the British would say. I have the world's shittiest speakers. The cable's attached with duct tape. It crackles and pops. It may be that the speakers are the problem for some of these tracks. Future Shop has a good deal on an $80 pair selling for $30. Two satellites and a subwoofer, 40 watts total power, and a 2-year guarantee. Sounds like my kinda deal. I have a store run to make, and then I might actually enjoy doing this shit. Hell, I needed new speakers a year ago.

Okay, then. New speakers, and a new attitude. Lower my standards. Like that should be so hard for me to do. Ha.

And now I get to go play with sharp knives! GayBoy gave me my birthday present early. I got a set of sharp nice proper cooking knives. Tomatoes are no longer an evil thing to chop. Yay! Cuts through potato like butter.

He shoulda thrown in a $20 bill, though, because the gift is incomplete. I'm gonna need that $20 to pay the cabby for a ride to the hospital when I sever a digit. Yeesh!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

TV, How Do I Love Thee?

I think there has never been a better time to have cable.

I've always been opposed to the sanctimonious ponces who proudly boast they don't watch television. Yeah, you're so fucking special.

Me, I watch television. I'm proud of it. You know why? Because I have fabulous taste. Given the rather discordant ratio between the good and the bad, the percentage of good I catch is pretty darned impressive. But, then, given that taste is subjective, that's probably arguable.

That's not what got me started on this topic, though. I was just reflecting on how daring and different television has been in the last decade. It really got kicked off by shows like Sopranos and the West Wing. People got taken aback by the snappy dialogue and creative twists, and not to mention how incredibly well-developed a lot of character arcs were. Tony Soprano? Hell, I've never looked at ducklings the same.

Somewhere along the line, a generation of kids raised on the brilliance of a series like M*A*S*H began to see that it was possible for this medium to transcend the range of the human condition.

Movies got more technical when it came to story creation. They realized editors existed for a reason. Folks like Quentin Tarantino came along and decided to exploit the ability to manipulate a message. Highly-cut, multi-layered, seemingly disconnected storylines of the "six degrees" mentality hit home with a select audience wanting something smarter.

Well. That spawned a whole generation of "new" moviemakers. Suddenly we had films like Magnolia, Crash, Go, and even City of God.

And now it's happening to television. There's a new series called Six Degrees that's employing that "six degrees" storytelling mindset. It's smart. It's sharp. It's worth trying to find the pilot before episode two airs next Thursday.

The writing's already worth tuning in for, but if that ain't enough, there's the cast. Any fans of HBO's The Wire will grin when they hear that Michael K. Williams, who plays Omar Little, is in the cast of this series. (Though I'm not sure where his character's going. We'll have to see.) Then there's Hope Davis. And then there's Campbell Scott.

Campbell Scott. How much can I say about him? In flicks like The Spanish Prisoner and Rodger Dodger and Singles, he just breezes his way through. Acting isn't apparent. He just is. And in flicks like Top of the Food Chain, he just kills me.

Here, he comes onto the show with style. He approaches his estranged 12-year-old son in the street after school and tells him he has a gift for him. He extends a Magic Eight Ball to the kid and imparts fatherly advice. "Try not to get behind it."

And with that, I fell for him. But, yeah. It's that kind of series. Smart lines. And for someone with a career and filmography like Campbell Scott, it fits like a glove.

Campbell Scott also has a moment at the end of the show that just slays me. Creatively, it's really difficult to express the feeling of being blocked -- when things just don't click. They capture it perfectly in this flick. Any Singles fan will be amused to see him playing a photographer of the people, a la French photog Robert Doisneau, whose work is found by a jogger who picks up a postcard used to mark a page in a discarded book on some random park bench.

He's been out of the game, though, Campbell-cum-Doisneau, and this find wakes a sleeping giant. In his search for, and discovery of, inspiration, I found they captured -- quietly, in images only, no fanfares nor flourishes, no voiceovers or gesturing -- what it's like to have that artistic feeling of having given birth to something beautiful.

I can say that about three or photographs I've taken do indeed fill me with that artistic pride seen in that scene. God, is it a fleeting feeling. For one brief moment, everything in the world makes sense. For one moment you have that feeling of being thrown against a wall, and your vision suddenly clears and you see everything like it's a first. What a fucking amazing feeling.

And it's silent and secret and something you never really want to tell anyone you felt when you first saw that. That which you have created. Wow, what a thing.

Doesn't fucking happen often, but if you've ever had that feeling once and you've been able to create it by happy serendipitous accident, then you know what it's like to be a junkie forever chasing that first high.

And it's why artists see sense in living by a different standard than the rest of the world. It's why we suffer in silence as we struggle to find new topics and ways to express the things we know ought never see the light of day. Or, some of us do.

And for this, a simple little television show, to capture that in a 60-second clip, using no words, just incredibly fucking good acting on the part of a way-too-goddamned-long overlooked Campbell Scott... well.

When I was younger, I scoffed at the notion of Hemingway's -- that writing, for him, was a quest for truth. Every touch of the pen was a search for truth. And the older I get and the more I realize what a small, meaningless little cog in the wheel I really am, the more I find peace in searching for stupid, insignificant moments of truth. If, once in a real, real blue moon, I manage to tap into something, then that makes all the looking worth it.

I just didn't think an actor could so simply convey all that with a slightly trembling lip and a growing gleam in his eye. But then everything Campbell Scott does looks easy.

scheming, she says

i wonder if other people do this.

it's midnight on friday and i'm about to hit the proverbial hay, but thoughts are running rampant as to what i might enjoy for breakfast. i'm totally hatching a diabolical food scheme for my lazy antisocial weekend.

i'm thinking of getting up (whenever i finally decide to) and riding down to broadway to get some cheese and organic eggs. then, leftover barbecued steak cubed up and tossed into scrambled eggs with some organic wild rice cooked in my homemade chicken stock. i was thinking a little cheese in there (i'll buy something special at the deli) and possibly some other veggie, like sauteed onion. maybe even something wild, like brocolli. i think i need salsa for eggs like that. and no brocolli. hmm.

this will be a fun experiment. it's the furthest i've taken the scrambled'n'things eggs. and i'll probably have a little bacon, and then not eat until 8 or 9. hardy har har. i have heard good tales about scrambled eggs with curried chicken now, though, and am considering further investigation. i have curry mix, and superstore has coconut milk on 2 for $1. fate, perhaps.

and i plan to hit up some of my fave haunts for a few specialty items tomorrow, including my awesome farm-fed chicken i get on G.I. and herbs, and an off-commercial wholesaler. the bird is sacrificed tomorrow or maybe sunday night. stuffed with herbs and lemon and garlic this time. and no skimping on the butter-on-skin bit, either. i did olive oil last week. so NOT even in the same postal code, man. disappointing. that bird, i must repeat, last week, weighed in at nearly 7 pounds. it was $16. the breast meat ran 3 inches deep. free range birds with funny short legs and monster fat bellies. must've worked up lotsa appetite.

and and and. and! and! yorkshire pudding! yep. i figure i'm staying in to make sure my cold departs, and i'm going to treat myself well. a big bird, a nice meal. i may even be bad and make potatoes. mashed, even. gasp. jaw drop. yes, yes. mashed. and some veggies to ease the guilt.

comfort food is a heavenly thing. i should get myself a meat thermometer for once and for all, too. sigh. and some decent fucking knives. sigh. not the knives. birthdays loom and maybe, just maybe, i get something useful. like knives.

right. that's my day: food, shopping, cleaning, eating, and bob marley and johnny cash, i think.

sounds like a fine saturday to me.

Friday, September 22, 2006

It Looks Like -- OMG, YES! IT IS! FRIDAY!


And, hey, look. I feel almost human this morning! I slept like shit last night, though. But this morning is the first time since about Saturday that, when I walk, I don't feel like I have a corpse dragging behind me, attached to my right leg. Talk about getting rid of heavy baggage.

I'm certain today's gonna be a long day, and I know that by about 2:30 or 3, I'll start to crash. But that's all right. I should get back to normal over the weekend. And --knock wood-- [knock] I don't think I'm gonna lose my voice this time. Yay.

Oh, thank god it's Friday. Sigh!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

But I Said It!

I may go to sleep soon. I'm tired, but I'm more exhausted than I am tired, and I think "still" will be good enough. I worked today and I'm still sick, and the only thing good I can say about that is that it doesn't appear to be the same "sick" as I was earlier this year when I had recurring bronchitis. That was some bad stuff. This is bad and persistent but just different. Not so chesty. More in the head. Yay. (Said feebly with great weakness.)

I've got my new site feed live and all, and I'm beginning to transfer some of my archives to the new blog. I'm moving the "best of," because I know it's where I generate a lot of hits. May as well have people exploring their curiosity on the new site, right? Stats are everything in the big world of the web.

But it's bound to get interesting.

I think I've realized the fatal flaw in how I am: I spend too much time writing and not enough time reading my own work. I forget sometimes that, yes, I really do know how to spin a phrase. Yes, I do understand cadence and rhythm. Yes, I do operate well within literary devices.

We lowly write-types often live a little too much in the moment to be able to properly assess our abilities. Once in a while I'll let my guard down, sit around, and find something old-ish of mine to read. Then I have that occasional "Say what? I wrote that? Get out!" kind of moment where I've taken myself by surprise.

It's really unfortunate that we tend to get labelled if we recognize our own talents. Oh, she's tooting her own horn. Bah, he's such a cocky guy. Pfft, she's so full of herself.

Every now and then I think it's important to just say, "Fuck it, man, I do this well. It's why I do what I do." You know?

I know my weaknesses with writing. I tend to be a lazy editor. I'm verbose and need to explore the secret land of brevity. I know. I'm too conversational. (Depends who's opining.) I break lots of rules and start far too many sentences with "and" and "but."

I tend to forget my skills. I tend to forget things I've written that I quite like. I was told by a co-worker at the old job that it's uncouth to quote yourself. I think that's a very, very stupid rule, because you're the one who wrote it. Who knows what parts to quote better than you? Dumb rule.

I'm going to break that rule on my new blog. I'm going to quote all my shit. Fuck that. If Oprah can put her photo on every goddamned issue of her magazine, well, goddamn it, I can quote my own damn self. Fuck convention and the stupid horse it rode in on.

While I'm transferring posts over, I will read them. Sigh. There will be low points, I know.

There was this time, way back when, when I was hanging with this chick who was a bit nutty but always sweet. We were 17 or 18 at the time and she was already a bearded woman. It bothered us all that she didn't bleach or something. I digress. Anyhow, let's call her Ella.

Ella and I were having 3a.m. mochas at a vegetarian stronghold here in Vancouver called The Naam. (Home to the worst service ever. During the quiet pre-dawn hours, I once ordered a warmed-up blueberry muffin with butter. I got a cold muffin, no butter. "I ordered butter and this warmed up?" So, I get it back: cold muffin, butter. "Warmed up?" It comes back burnt. Motherfuckers. No tip for you, fuckwit.)

...we were at The Naam. Mochas. All of a sudden, this man rages into the shop. "It's Sally," says Ella.

"You know this nutjob?"

"Yeah. He's a local legend."

The character in question, Sally, was a man in his early '60s. He had breasts. Not moobs (man tits). I'm talking Betty Boop-boobs, all right? He wore a dirty blue button-down shirt all wrinkled and hanging loose from his scruffed-up khakis. It wasn't the dirty clothes catching my eye, though. It was the machete he was now waving haphazardly through the air.

"I want my mocha," he bellowed.

Apparently this happened a lot. The machete was possibly new, but the routine was not. Sally, it turns out, was (as legend had it) a result of government testing with hormones in the '60s. Half-way to a she-man, (s)he received no further treatment or alterations. It was said that the testing was all done to mentally unbalanced persons.

Who knows. Sally was definitely one egg short of a dozen. The waving machete settled down quickly and Sally took a seat with his/her mocha and just limply flopped the knife back and forth, as if watching reflections playing across the blade.

The cops came and took Sally away for a night's sleep someplace else. Ella and I returned to conversation. I said, "Where were we?"

She replied, "Somewhere between Steffinity and Steffisms."

It wasn't really my fault. She kept asking me questions, so I naturally had to answer. She said it rather warmly, though, with a nice smile, so I always kind of reflect on that and get a warm fuzzy. Not a lot of people are active listeners, but she was. She was the kind of person who seemed to just drink you in.

Then there was the beard. Sigh.

My point? I'm going to call my little quotey section "Steffisms." Why the hell not, indeed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

sick in the head: on lunch

for six hours i've slept already. i got up, hydrated while i watched House, and in a few minutes, i'll go back to bed. that'll be just over an hour. a lunch break from sleeping, of sorts.

pfft. what else can one do in the fight against sickness, huh?

i've been kind of pondering being sick. i'm kind of annoying in that i look for meaning and symbolism in everything. i should heed it more often, though, because you'd be surprised how often i've been right about when things were on the verge of change in my life of late. it's weird.

of course, i have no faith in myself of late, so i've not been doing much in the way of heeding.

but that's the interesting bit. in acknowledging weakness, one tends to find strength. a fine thing indeed.

so, here i am, sitting around and deciding that, this time, sickness means the death of something. but death, too, is good.

it's interesting how much fear the Death card in Tarot cards tends to instill in the person having the reading done. usually, though, it can be one of the best cards to receive. after all, it means change. who's kidding who, the status quo tends to be overrated. it's comfort. we get used to things and the pattern, like rain drops on metal roofs or the drone of traffic, gets to be a comforting routine.

i hope i can in fact manage to make this a time of change. not like i'm not busy enough. sure, another hobby. ha.

i'm not all happy-happy joy-joy about executing change, either, though. the status quo for me is sort of liveable, but the future holds three things: i find success, i just get by, or the alternative. we won't acknowledge the alternative because it's just not going to happen. ergo, there are two things. and one's not acceptable. which means i have to do what i wanna do, and i hafta do it good, right? of course, i'll opt to use good grammar at that time, but right now we're doing the whole win-one-for-the-gipper, so cut me vernacular slack.

then again.

every time i get sick or injured, i sort of shut down mentally before and after. then, whammo. i tend to get hypercreative for a bit. it's great. hopefully that's part of this. i'd be ready for a hypercreative phase. that'd be a fine thing indeed.

but my lunch hour is up. 1 hour, eight minutes. done like dinner, martha.

(i was sitting there a few minutes later, staring at a wall in a semi-dark room, when i had this little daydream image of a general back in the time of genghis khan, in some tent on a mongolian plain, and suddenly he rolls over and sits up, drenched in sweat, freshly awoken from a feverish dream. 'aha!' he cries, having just imagined the perfect stragic military move to make next. and i thought, "gee, everyone has such great ideas in fevers. cool. i want one." a fever, that is. but then i had a good one. idea, that is. now i don't need no stinking fevah. huzzuh.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm Not a Parent, But if I were...

I'd join this organization.

As a kid, I was raised on your typical "white bread" diet. To this day, I regret it. Food is a constant struggle for me and something I'm continuously learning more about. God, a decade ago I considered ethnic food disgusting and wouldn't eat more than potatoes and carrots in the veggie world. I've come a long ways, but... Y'know. I'm still a squeamish girl that needs to be reminded that a bad or weird mouthful of food isn't going to result in instant death. Total pussycat am I.

So, it's kinda like Jamie Oliver's fight for diet in the UK. I'm wishing someone as charismatic could get that battle raging over here. Yeesh.

Sickies of the world, unite!

God. Am I ever stiff.

I've slept 24 of the last 34 hours. I feel a lot better but we'll see if it holds up. I'm still tired, so a vat of coffee will kick me in the ass good. There's a big meeting thing at work and they could really use my help before the fact and during, I suspect. The worst case scenario is that I can always come home later if need be.

But I hope I've kicked the worst of this thing. I hate sickness, but I like kicking its ass if I'm only sick for a day.

And, hey, I have chicken soup to eat at work. Not too shabby.

Now I have to go lie on the floor and see if I can loosen up this goddamned back of mine. Holy stiffness, batman. Yeesh. What, have I spent a day in bed or something? Good god. :P

Monday, September 18, 2006

Grumbling through Cough Syrup (Cherry, tho!)

I'm home sick. Thtuffed-up like. Getting better quick, though. I had a migraine this morning. Now it's just throbbing. Hey, it's something.

Aggressively treating with asthma stuff, sinus spray, and Robitussin. Homemade chicken soup's on the stove now. I'm ignoring the disaster that is my home and resting now, except for soup-making efforts, of course.

Chicken soup's not really my thing. I've never been a big fan, but I just made this huge vat of chicken stock and suddenly I'm sick. I'd have to be a fucking moron not to do the math, now, wouldn't I?

So, I'm making soup. Yippee.

Having never really made much of an effort with chicken soup before, and feeling a bit food-snobbish of late, I figure I'll give the old college try today.

The stock's pretty nice on its own. I poached 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs in it. I skimmed all the crap out and set the stock aside, all 10 cups or so of it. I took two sweet onions and chopped them, along with two stalks of celery. I tossed a couple tablespoons butter in the rinsed-out stockpot and began caramelizing it. I shredded the chicken while cooking the onion/celery mix.

I added 1/4 c flour to the caramelized onions and celery, plus a tablespoon of olive oil. I let it brown for a couple minutes, then added the stock. I got it close to a boil and turned it down. Then I added 3/4 cups of an organic wild rice and grains blend. I also added the shredded chicken plus a stalk of fresh thyme, some fresh sage and italian parsley. (Superstore has a $2.88 "poultry blend" of fresh herbs that would cost $10 anywhere else. I haven't used the rosemary, and only half the thyme.) Soon, I'll add about four cups of frozen veggies, and I'll make some biscuits. The biscuits take five minutes, seriously, and are to die for. It's a good reason to make an effort with soup.

I'll cook it with the wild rice for 25 minutes, then about 10 minutes or so with the veggies, and I'll let it sit for another 15 after that. Don't want overly cooked rice. But, it smells good!

And then I'm having a nap. It's hard ignoring this mess, but there's an important meeting at work and I want to be well so I can pitch in and get it done right, y'know? Bah, who has time for illness?

No, not damn you, cosmos. Rather, it's a "fuck you" kinda day. Grr! Sick! A friend emailed me and suggested I "bitch-slap that bug." Heh. I'm trying! I'm trying. I might be resorting to watching Dr. Phil right now.

But I'm not well in the head. This is my excuse. I'm sticking to it. Not well in noggin. I hear that's a legal defense now.


It's Monday and I have a runny nose.

I started feeling a little off last night, what with runny nose and all, and got to bed around 11ish. I can't afford to get sick, in more ways than one, but I fear that's what's happening.

It probably won't be anything too intense, but it does seem like it's gonna fell me if it happens. Yes, mom, I had my vitamin C. I really hate getting sick. Grr. It better not be happening. And it's wet out. And I get to scooter through this. Unless I take a bus. I could take a bus. But then there'd be sick people. I'd touch their germs and shit. Oh, the dilemmas.

Sickness! GRR!

And I still think the Pope's a dick. "I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address which were considered offensive. These were in fact quotations from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought."

That's what the smart guy said yesterday. Well, if it doesn't express your personal thought, you'd best not be quoting the shit, now, should you?

Whatever, man.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

MmMmM... Yorkies!

Yorkshire pudding is reason enough to never, ever think of doing the Zone diet. Ohmigodisitgood!

I made this recipe of Yorkshire. Absofrigginlutely perfect Yorkshire.

See, my mother taught me at 17 how important good Yorkshire was. Something to really treasure. We were in England, I was in Grade 12, and we'd been seeing a bit of the countryside, really taking in towns and all before we landed in the city of York for a three-day stint. Well, that first night we dined at Russell's of Coppergate and had the roast beef and yorkshire pudding. Heaven. To die for. Bloody incredible Yorkshire pudding that to this day is something melty and delicious in my mind.

So, we went back the next night. It was every bit as good. My mother ordered us all wine and our meal took us nearly two hours, because this time we came with the intent of relaxing and enjoying it. The night before we rushed off to the theatre. But it was wonderful.

So we went back again the next night. Three nights in a row, the same meal. The third night, the maitre d' was so amused and delighted to see us again that they gave us dessert on the house.

And I think I've had Yorkshire pudding maybe four times since then. Tonight was a treat. It won't be long before I do it again, though.

My ribeye roast wet mustard rub:

1 tbsp Beefeater gin-infused mustard (or other alcohol)
1 tbsp hot deli mustard
1 tbsp ancient whole-grain mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
4 minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp kosher salt
3 tbsp cracked black pepper

Combine and schmear on roast. I recommend poking it with a few cloves of garlic, too. Cook to instructions.

When I make the gravy, I add:

1/4 c red wine
1 tbsp hot deli mustard
1 tbsp red currant jelly (or if you have it, a cabernet sauvignon jelly is divine, but currant's 1/3 the price)

It's a rich, zesty gravy. To make it richer, I mix my flour with butter instead of water. It's deadly, it's wrong, but it's so fucking yummy, and I have roasts twice or three times a year. Being bad on purpose rocks.

musings about food (again)

it feels like a lazy saturday, but it's not. i don't really have the time to get out much, and i've thus far accomplished a fair bit -- cleaned up my shithole (sigh, the bane of my existence: tidiness) and got groceries (a 3-lb uruguayan ribeye roast) and i'm making chicken stock (organic backs and necks and the carcass from the roast last week, so fresh and roasted bird) and i've taught a kid for an hour, and it's only 2pm.

i'm going to have another glass of water, then settle into podcasting -- a mix of editing and recording.

tonight is a laser show with new friends. pink floyd, either the wall or dark side of the moon, and i'm not sure which it is. i'll have to go out at 9:30, so i have a few hours left. i'm now hoping to become more social -- tonight's the first night of it -- and the plan is, go out more often, but for shorter periods. an hour or three is enough, and it'll recharge me so i'm feeling more creative.

ah, it's all part of the master plan. yawn. it's been a long week. i'm glad to be getting things done. i'm making stock today so i can make soup tomorrow. this'll be 15 cups of good stock, and now i need to think of just which soup i'm craving. i'm debating making a small batch of french onion, but it'd mean buying some rye (i've got french-canadian blood, all right? appeasing both halves of my heritage). there's white bean soup that appeals, and another part of me wants comfort food: chicken soup'n'homemade dumplings like my mama used to make. dumplings ROCK.

chicken corn chowder was suggested the other day -- certainly the time of year for it. maybe a bit of that, too. i'll also have ribeye roast for eating all week. i see tacos and shepherds pie and sandwiches with nice mustard in my future. so a chicken soup with a nice beef sammy. tough call. now the c.c. chowder sounds very appropriate.

i'll have more free time this week, and better food, and less need to spend dough as a result of all this cooking this weekend. balance, i guess. work now, less need to do so later.

i think my stock needs me to visit. but this is what i love about fall: casseroles. making big batches of food and relaxing more. i've never been the type to do roasts on the weekend and live off of it, but i tell you, i'm really seeing the fucking light. i've had an awesome food week as a result of this, so i like the new lifestyle. abundant living, indeed.

i still have pocky left from thursday, from a single pack. this is nothing short of miraculous. and a whole dark chocolate bar. what's wrong with me? weird. must have p-o-c-k-y...

Friday, September 15, 2006

I Think the Pope is a Dick

I'm getting increasingly pissed off at everyone who seems to think that terrorists are Muslims. They're about as fucking Muslim as David Koresh was Christian, all right? They're as fucking Muslim as Warren Steed Jeffs is Christian.

They are extremists who use a religion as a way of justifying their unjustifiable actions.

It's bullshit. They are NOT to be held as examples of what the Islamic faith is. I presently work for Muslims and have worked for them in the past. They are, to a man/woman/child, some of the kindest, most giving, most open people I have known. It has been a privilege to know each of them. They do not preach to me. They do not judge me. They are generous. They practice what they believe, and they tolerate and understand what I believe.

I know no militant Muslims. I know no angry, violent Muslims. But I know broken-hearted ones, because they're constantly being portrayed by an unforgiving media as all being in the same class as those fuckwit assholes who are intent on spreading their message through terror and fear and bloodshed.

What do I think? I think the Catholic Church should clean up its own goddamned house before it points fingers at others.

This coming from a formerly Catholic girl who's outraged at the shit that still goes on in that faith. I won't even get into the bullshit I've seen go down in the Church that they've just fucking waved off.

Islam has flaws. All organized faiths do. Its people, though, are largely kind, giving, moral, and seldom (in my experience) hypocritical. They deserve better.

Fuck the Pope and his insensitive musings. Sanctimony's unattractive, and it's a pity "the Church" is so often cloaked in it.

It's Friday!

I weep with glee that it is Friday. This having-two-days-off thing is working nicely for me.

The pile-driving's been in full swing for more than 30 minutes now, and there's a strange new echo to it. I'm not crazy about this new sound as I had gotten used to it last time.

Okay, you want to know why I'm excited to go to work? Leftover chicken pot pie! Oh my GOD did I over-excel with making that pie! Jesus, I'm good. :) I used no recipe. I just fucked around. All the leftover juices from my chicken roasting, and instead of using butter to make the roux, I used chicken fat. (The leftover chicken fat I'm freezing in ice cubes for future rouxs!) Then, water and cream and thyme and savoury and salt. Roasted chicken bits. Frozen veggies. Simmered for a bit. Then I made the Joy of Cooking biscuit recipe. The lightest and fluffiest biscuit topping I've made in some time.

It was awesome. Out of this world good. Better than any chicken pot pie I have ever, ever made. I hope I can recreate it down the road. Chicken pot pie is about as comfort food as it gets. Yay! And I have enough for supper, too.

It's the small stuff in life that keeps me happy. :) I think I'll do a roast beef and a chicken this Sunday and freeze some of the bounty. I've always heard of others roasting birds and living off them for a week, but I don't know why it's taken me so long to see the light. Now I have. Now I get it. This is the better way to live the austere life. All good indeed.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Some Silliness About Pocky

GayBoy and I were standing around in my kitchen, after a mad dash to the Dan-D-Mart before its 10pm closure. Home to all things good in bulk, the Dan-D-Mart has made my life 50% better in the last 18 months. In the middle of winter I just need to head up to the Dan-D-Mart and life can go on. All good. Great in a snowstorm! Like we have those. But if we did. Y'know.

But we weren't just standing around. We were standing around eating Pocky. Not just Pocky. But New Pocky. New. And I thought, "What's new?" And with my rather baffling ability to remember only the stupidest of trivia, I realized that the "new" was referring to the additional 42 calories that just jumped onto a single pack of 20 sticks and the 3 new grams of fat. (250 now, 208 zen. 10 grams fat now, 7 grams of fat zen.) how dare they up the bad shit by 25%?

And the result?

A crispier Pocky. I daresay it's enjoyable. GayBoy couldn't help himself. Not, that is, until he magnaminously waved off the final two sticks. "No, no. I couldn't."

Before that, though, we were having a good, good laugh. It was two years ago this past couple weeks that I'd have been recovering from my third and most intense concussion. Had a torn shoulder, a shitload of bad crap to deal with. Ultimately, best thing that ever happened to me, 'cos it's most of the result of who I be these days. But then, it fucking SUCKED.

It sucked when friends weren't around, but folks like GayBoy proved to be of great use during those days. And great companionship, too. I keep GayBoy in my life in spite of all his loveably annoying traits because he's what keeps me young. He has a very childlike fascination with life and has an endlessly curious spirit. It's great fun to be around, even if I tend to seem a little serious next to him.

And a perfect example of that is what he did about three or so days into my post-concussive haze -- literally about one of the only things I remember for about five or six weeks: He bought me Giant Pocky.

Ever seen it? (If you go here, you will see the laughably badly translated version of Glico's Pocky page. No, really. It's laughably bad. Guffaw-rated 8.)

Well, apparently no one on the web has had the decency to post the measurements, but the box was about 24" long, and each stick was about 3/4 inch round. It rocked. Every stick was individually foil-wrapped.

When people came over, I could reach down beside my chair and offer them a Giant Pocky. "Would you care for a Giant Pocky?" Emphasis were necessary. Then, with a fell swoop, I would brandish this long metallic, gleaming rod in front of their face. Laughter would ensue.

But it served two purposes. One, I could be polite and ask visiting guests if they wanted to indulge, but two, they would eventually get thirsty and become motivated to get their own drink, at which point I could ask them to bring me one, too. What? I was hurting! And the would-nearly-fall-over-when-trying-to-stand thing was cramping my style.

Yep. Adversity teaches you who your friends are. Sometimes it can be a damned fun lesson to learn. I want more Giant Pocky.

I'm giving my boss a box of Pocky for his 30th birthday tomorrow. Everybody loves Pocky. Except those silly allergic types. Allergies are dumb.

PS: I get the Art of Loving's [local sex-positive shop] newsletter and this entry has me just fucking spinning notions around in my mind. Poodle needed for an hour, max? My god. The implications! A poodle, no less. Not just any poodle. A passionate poodle. With hot mail. Good lord. Have a look yourself:

Sex-positive artist seeks a poodle for film
Velveeta Krisp, local sex-positive artist seeks a poodle for short film to be
usedin a Vancouver theature production. Filming for 1 hour max, in early October.

Is This a Shift I'm Seeing?

Don't look now, but I think things are turning around for me. Small things, you know? And one or two big things. I think I'm at the end of my seemingly endless pile of crap that has defined my life for the last six months or a year. (I've had some good times in there, but it's largely been fraught with problems.) Finally, adversities seem to be bowing and getting the fuck out of my way.

I have swallowed my pride and admitted I don't have the things I want, the means to get them, or the smarts to execute them. I have asked for help from more people in the last month than I've probably asked in my life. Suddenly, help is coming my way from everywhere.

(I've had this belief for a long time that two things I'm in this life to learn are patience and pride. Having patience when I need it, demanding what I want when patience is exhausted, and pride: having it when I ought to, and getting over it when I need to. Pride's an important thing to have but it really fucks with us, too. I've been fucked over alot by pride in my time, and I'm sick of it.)

I have always despised asking for help, and learning to do so has been a repeated theme for five years. Every injury I had meant asking for help. Nowadays, I'm not injured, I just don't know how to proceed, and don't have the means to buy what I need. Asking is taking me to whole new places. I'm SO happy about it! People are chipping in to help get my new blog up, my podcast done, and more. I'm even getting scads of new clothes from my office manager, who's the same size as me and heard me talking about how I had no cash to get my wardrobe up and running -- just bills from a long while back, et al, that all need to get sorted. Suddenly I have new clothes.

The thing is, small shit like this is what's enabling me to focus more on what NEEDS to get done. It's giving me a little control back over my life, and I'm sleeping better, I'm almost content and at peace. I don't need to work two jobs now. I have what I need to just live my life and put my energies onto my loves. My loves, not my obligations. I'm so happy about that I could cry!

Yesterday, just walking around, for the first time in months, if not a year, I really, really felt like the me I wanna be. It rocked. I had a silly grin on my face the whole day. Guys must've thought I was flirting or something, or maybe I just looked cute (entirely possible, you know) because I was getting smiles shot my way everywhere I went. Even from chicks, though, so I think I was just emanating that kind of vibe people like to be around. People laughed at things I said, winked, everything. Love it!

God, it feels good to be back, you know? A month off those pills now, and I feel like I'm finally getting back to me. And now I'll even have some cute new clothes to pull a look together, too. AND PERSONALITY! I have one! Really, I do! Yippee!

It's been a long time since I've seen things begin slipping into place like it now seems to be doing for me. I'm getting excited about what's around the corner. Now I just need to rediscover some faith in myself, and then, who knows. I might just pick up some speed and get somewhere, you know? After all, I wrote my goals out about a month or so ago -- "Total World Domination: The PLAN OF ATTACK," was what I called it, using a font with skulls and such in it. Quite vicious, really.

But the plan's under way, and everything's coming together to make it happen. I fucking love it when a plan comes together, like Hannibal always says.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mellow Content Steff

(In case it's not obvious, I had fun writing this. This is the first fun writing has been for a while. Nice feeling. I got enough jobs, right? Fun = Good!)

It is, in a word, nipply.

A shiver-brr-brr's goin' on out there. Jeepers creepers, it be autumn, boys and girls.

There's a Mexican restaurant new in the 'hood. Started about a year ago. It's really taken off, and I've only ever had walk-out tacos from there. You might've heard about 'em in the news. Ma'n'pa establishment with old-school Mexicali talent, advertising "Taco Tuesdays!" Well, the big-bad-buggers from Taco Time heard tell of 'em and slapped 'em with a cease-and-desist order. Fuckers.

Anyhow, because they're neighbours and can use our financial help, we're thinking we ought to have a Mexican night now and then, Gayboy and me. I was thinking how nice that'd be on a shitty windy, stormy (but secretly delightful) night like tonight. Wander up in the bitter rain. Sit down, some margaritas and traditional Mexican shack decor. Perfect winter antidote. The tequila doesn't hurt.

Winter's coming up, and I get much more local. I walk to the store and all. We have a nice fine foods shop in the 'hood, too, so it does the trick. I love summer because I get out more. I love winter 'cos it's an excuse to stay in and cuddle up. I cuddle up solo, too. I have a Vellux blanket. The kind the hotels like. Fuzzy, feels safe. Highly flammable. Snicker. "But it feels so fuzzy... I just wanted to lie by the fire..."

Shit, man. Blankets like these should come with a warning label. "Deceptive practices at work; falsely induces sense of comfortable invincibility. Stay the fuck away from flames."

It's a good thing I have no fireplace.

Well, that's all I g--

Whoa! Nope! Rockstar: Lukas! The first time I predicted a winner, I said Lukas -- by, like, episode 3, I'm sure. DITTO with last year. I should be a casting director. I smell talent like a fart in the car.

I hope he expands his vocal approach a bit, but I think he's gonna be a megastar. Charisma out the wazoo. Canuck, of course. Because we FUCKING ROCK. All right? Have we ATONED for Brian Adams yet? We will never, ever be able to atone for Celine Dion, though, so I'm just not even gonna go there. Mariah Carey. There, take that.

Let's just change the name of the show right here and now, all right?

CANUCKSTAR. Canucks two years in a row deemed as the rockingest rocker. Coincidence? No, I think not.

Yep. It's the beer. I raise my Keiths to you. (I actually have one right this very second. Residuals from dinner. It's really more of a wine night, though, now.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I have no idea why I'm bothering to post again. I think it's because I'm too apathetic to surf the web and I'm trying to take up 15 minutes so I can run out, turn down my bird, and sit my ass on the sofa for a prolonged period.

I work a 10-6 office, which means the good places are about closed by the time I'm off. Tonight, I zipped out of downtown (such as one can, given traffic and all) and got into the Granville Public Market at the last possible second.

The score: A nearly 7-pound farm-fed fat-ass chicken. It's been buttered and oiled and seasoned and is now roasting, sans stuffing. Though I make killer (read 3,000 calorie) stuffing and all.
The method: A quick blast of heat followed by moderate. It'll be done at 9.
The madness: The plan is, lunch for the remainder of the week, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, I might make meself some chick'n'pot pie tomorrow night. I dunno. Must get inspired to pull that off.

As it stands, lunch will be a funky toasted chicken sandwich with some Herbes de Provence mustard or something.

Okay, a confession.

I'm a mustard junkie. Yep. My friend GayBoy taunts me ad nauseum about it. There's a long, funny-assed story there, but I don't have the energy. The point is, I have TEN kinds of mustard in my fridge -- no, make that 11. And one's at my bro's (Burgundy hot mustard). And then there's the mustard powder. I don't eat a lot of mustard, oddly, but I cook with it a lot, and I make pretty wicked salad dressings.

The Herbes de Provence is my latest purchase, and I suspect it'll make a beautiful chicken sandwich. I have tonnes of others -- Sweet vodka mustard, gin-infused with borseradish, chipotle-lime, cabernet sauvignon w roasted garlic, black currant, crandberry... It's a whole world of mustard out there! AND IT'S FABULOUS! I'll take one of everything!

They never go bad! Sure, invest in your high-falutin' vinegars and oils, but for a poor little writer girl like me, MUSTARD makes my culinary world go 'round -- and 'round and 'round with an infinitesimal shelf life!

Fuckin' a, says I.

Okay, that's it. I'm going to do mustard and pepper and oil together for a steak marinade. (Having steak for dinner -- no fucking way can I wait until 9:30!)

...but which mustard?! Gah! (Vodka?) Hmm! Lemme go poke me noggin' in ze fridge. I shall experiment.

It's a Groove Thang

It's concert season again! Hurray! Next month I see not one, but two killer bands in the space of 5 days! Gomez AND the Detroit Cobras! Fuckin' A. The latter? A wicked $15 gig at my fave venue in town -- the inimitable Dick's on Dicks! Which sadly will close in the next year or so. Hear that? My heart weeps in advance of its closure. Fuckers. IT'S A GODDAMNED HERITAGE SITE! What the hell! Rock'n'roll heritage, but still!

The Detroit Cobras -- 'cos any band fronted by a chick who's been an exotic dancer AND a butcher has got to fucking rock like all get out, baby. Yup. Steff's got a groove-thang on the go.

See that? This stone's been gatherin' moss. Must get rollin'. And rockin'.

In My Brilliance

I thought I'd shave some money off my budget by cooking a frozen pizza before work, and then taking some for lunch.

Except that I put the 15-minute pizza in about 45 minutes ago and thought about it while lathering up in the shower. So. So much for budget-saving, huh? Gads. The thing's a black pie. And I have to keep my windows closed all day so roofing dust doesn't come in. I get to come home to the stale scent of burnt pizza in 11 hours or so. Yeesh!

As far as "how my day'll go" omens, how do ya think THIS ranks? Fuck. I'm so blonde sometimes. Maybe I'll be a victor and go get some Ginger Beef from my fave Chinese place downtown instead. That'll teach the universe to try to fuckwitmaday, huh?

(And it was a Sicilian pizza. I weep for its senseless, needless death. Black. Black!)

8 Important Lessons Learned from '80s Cartoons

But this was my favourite one.* It's on

Call it my September 11th tribute. The wrong war instead of finishing the right one. What can I say.

LESSON: Knowing is half the battle.
The other half of the battle is kicking Cobra’s terrorist ass. And with the coolest soldier codenames ever --Snake Eyes, Duke, Lady Jaye, Shipwreck-- winning the war on terror should be no problem. Good will always win out over evil, because good guys work together (Team Work! Cooperation!), while bad guys are ruthless cowards who turn tail and run whenever G.I. Joe’s laser guns get to zappin’. As Sergeant Slaughter once said: “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people and neither do we.”
Now that’s some good strategery.
How it affected us as adults: Actually, we’re pretty certain that our strategy for the Iraq War was conceived after a two-day long G.I. Joe marathon in the Pentagon. They just implicitly trusted that the good guys were going to win, that firing off our guns would make the bad guys run for the caves and that giving everyone cute nicknames was somehow endearing. When things didn’t turn out the way they’d planned, the administration placed the blame on faulty intelligence, or in other words: “Knowing is half the battle, and we unfortunately didn’t know shit.”

*With He-Man a close second. Gee, it was my brother's favourite. I wonder!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Granville Island's Growing Rat Problem

I've been meaning to post this for a couple weeks. Anyone wanting to find rats will find them at the tourist mecca here, Granville Island, where food merchants abound. I had to get money at the ATM and found this stuffed critter glaring up at me. It gave me a good chuckle. :)

Another Day, Another Drone

For the first time in weeks, if not for the first time since about February, I'm reasonably well-rested before my week starts. I have no bags under my eyes. Remarkable!

I didn't get much done on the podcasting last night but I got a couple "interstitials" sorted out. The x-guy used to do some work on college radio, so I pestered him and he laid down some amusing tracks, plus provided me with a good idea for background foley sounds, and that opened up some other ideas for me. It was helpful and good and appreciated, and at least I have SOMEthing ready to go. A woot indeed.

Thanks to playing with the interstitials, I've learned some tricky new ins and outs to editing as a result of that, and it no longer freaks me out. I turned one very innocent track into a dir-r-r-rty track, and now it's quite funny. Tonight I'll buzz away again at it.

Now that the dust has settled from my recent roofing, they've begun roofing the next door building -- three times the size of mine. I suspect my asthma is to trouble me until October now. Lovely. It still hasn't settled down from the first bout of roofing. Grr.

Well, if I bust a nut I can maybe create another edited file before I take off for work. Ooh, accomplishment! We LIKE accomplishment.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Cooking Experiment!

So, you know, all full-up on steak and butter-mashed spuds with caramelized shallots, I have decided to try out a new dessert. Coffee Granita!

Granita, for those who missed the memo, is essentially ice cream made sans ice cream maker.

It's milk, water, flavour, and you freeze it, and stir it every 30 minutes, and eventually you have a cross between ice milk and ice cream.

Mine is 3.5 cups dark french press coffee, 1 cup cream, 1 cup sugar, 1 oz dark chocolate, and a splash of salt. I just started it. Hopefully, by 10:30 I'll be enjoying it.

Whee! I loves a new cooking technique! If this works, well, I'm gonna be in trouble. I'll say one word only: Strawberries!

(Ooh, blueberries! MmM!)

My Frustrating Day

I've discovered that a number of my files for podcasting are corrupted. When I say "number," that translates to a full, oh, 90% of the things I've recorded.

It's really disheartening. It feels as though this thing might never come together for me. One thing after another is a roadblock, and I feel like my credibility is under attack. I promised this for Thursday. I need to swallow my pride and consider the fact that I may not be able to live up to my word. It really sucks.

I don't think I have unrealistic expectations with the podcast. I think it's just that my timing seems to really suck. Everything's failing to come together properly. Every time I'm about to record, something comes up, and then when I get something decent laid down, I learn that all the files are corrupted. It turns out I can't have more than one instance of the program running (ie: more than one window open) at a time, or it distorts the speech. Frustrating.

Sigh. Bah. What can a girl do, huh? Not much. Life is generally frustrating this weekend. It was good for a while yesterday, but that was when I was under the illusion that I was actually successfully recording. You see, it played back fine on the initial run, but after I saved them all, then I was having problems. Weird. Well. Now I know.

I just want it done with.

On the upside, there's about 3 minutes of one track that's bang on. I think it's exactly how I wish to be captured. If I can tap into more of that, I'll be perfectly happy with this venture. But there's an if, eh? Well. Back to the grind.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

ahahahaha. fuck podcasting. they're pile-driving the new bridge on the WEEKEND. they're union! what the fuck! it's right outside my window! bang! bang! bang! bam! bam! i'm outta here, man. hilarious. shit!

lazy morning (sort of) and the thoughts tumble out

in 100 minutes, a student will be knocking at my door. i've just arisen from an 11-hour slumber, something i've been wanting for going on two months now. fucking bliss is what it was.

the world's filled with dampness and vehicles rumble past on the nearby busy street, the spitting of water off their high-speed tires audible here, a block and a half away. the dampness has my toes curled with cold but i'm doing nothing to subdue it.

soon i'll groggily head to the store to get a treat: bacon. too rich for my writer's blood most days, but this day is not most days. this day is my sleep-long saturday.

i've been counting the weeks till i get a life, and this is that week. i've been putting off everyone in my world until "september 14th," and now i have a backlog for my social calendar.

i'm just happy to have a social calendar.

one friend came out of the woodwork a while back and we're finally meeting up in a week and a bit. i'm looking forwards to that. we had some great times. a roadtrip across the province was probably the highlight, but lots of great times.

there's two or three other people, too, but all female, and that's all right. i've never had a lot of female friends, so it's interesting to be heading in that direction now. i can use it a bit. too many men around some days.

yesterday, riding through the city, i caught a blonde's eyes and looked away, thinking she thought i was eyeing her boyfriend or something. it wasn't till she had crossed the street and was waiting for the light that i realized it was another of my old best friends, but one i deliberately stopped calling because i was so pissed at how flaky i thought she'd become after my scooter accident a couple years back. it was a weird moment. i rode off. nothing more happened.

it's sad, though, that these people who make our world turn and who play such large roles in defining us can become just a face in a blur of faces on another city street; a face we're just too busy to take a moment out and reacquaint ourselves with.

whatever flakiness she possessed, there was a time when that girl played a monumental role in crafting who i am today. who i am is kind of what i saw her as being. strong, independent, creative, etc. but she always had a man on her arms; she was never, ever single. one day i realized she got her worth from the men in her life and my vision of her came tumbling down.

i write now because of two people in my life. her, and my ex-lover of seven years. in grade 11, she signed up for creative writing, and because i wanted to hang out with her and be her friend, i did, too. next thing you know, i was always journaling, and i loved it.

then i met Him and he and i were off and on for years and years. he was this brilliant artificial intelligence programmer, but he was also a brilliant poet. i loved his writing. i loved that side of him. hell, i loved him. truly, madly, deeply. but he was a broken soul and nothing i could do would change the hurts of his youth and i guess one day he decided i was too good for him, or something else like that. i couldn't deal with the harshness of his hurts and wouldn't allow myself to become an outlet for them... all because he stopped writing. when he stopped writing, his world came apart on him. i couldn't be the glue for all that brokenness.

i hear tell he's married now. it doesn't matter. we ended badly, but i did the ending the last time around. i've seen him twice in the years that have passed. the years have not been his friend, and he looks far older than he should have.

and through the early years of that relationship, the only person that ever understood what i saw in him was this friend i'm meeting in a 10 or so days. she understood that when i was with him it seemed like the world outside stopped for us. she understood it all. she never forgave him his trespasses, and i forgave far too many. funny how clear the wrongs seem the more years stand between then and now, but no matter how often i was hurt and broken-hearted as i waited to see if he would grow past his past, it's undeniable how much he influenced the writer i am.

he forced me to live the examined life. he taught me the innerworkings of logic. he made me understand that art and science have an ongoing relationship. he pushed me to express myself and believed i could be a good writer if i really put my mind to it. his best friend was also a great writer, and was hurt by him as often as i was. but the best friend, by proxy, also greatly influenced my writing.

and all that came from one face on one street in one fleeting moment. a lifetime hit me in sixty seconds or less. if anyone's broken my heart the best, i'd say it was her. and she never even meant to. i think a part of her was in love with me, since she went both ways. she always took the opportunity, no matter how long had passed, to bring up that ex of mine and try to run him down.

i don't work that way. i don't try to build myself up by bringing others down, not when i'm in my normal state of mind, that is. (we all have failures. i know mine.) it's possible to love someone for what they've done for you while still being completely aware that they can never, ever be in your life again. it's possible to separate their wrongs from all the things right about them. it's possible to cherish the lessons learned while trying to forget and forgive the hurts. and she never learned that.

yeah. i lived a lifetime yesterday. so many great people pepper my past. it's a shame they fade away like they have.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Insert Your Own Title; I Don't Care!

I have had The Day From Hell.

I walked into work and within 15 minutes, knew it would be A Day.

I'm not gonna regale you with my tale of woe. Bad banking things occurred, great stress was doled down from on high, blood pressures soared, and sooner or later we found Resolution to Woes of Many Kinds. I left work highly frazzled.

The plan was to go for a long walk in the woods, but I was just too burned out. Tomorrow, definitely a walk will be had. And maybe a rainy walk around the neighbourhood tonight. Because make no mistake, the Human Barometer foresees wetness and wind. And I'm all right with that. Bring it, baby.

There's a definite chill on the air tonight, too. A crispness that indicates winter's either just coming or just going. Guess which this is? The onslaught has begun. Autumn has reared its head. Leaves are turning, blowing, falling. The death of summer is imminent.

All I can say is: Thank God I had not watched the season 2 opener of Weeds earlier in the week. A few laughs have hit the spot. I have episode 2 on tape as well, so I'll probably watch that tonight or I may savour it for tomorrow. I'm torn. I can also say: I'm thrilled I had not one, but two beers left. The other will be killed before long.

I'd record podcasts tonight but my throat's a lil hoarse from the weather change that probably looms within the next 2-4 hours. I may give it a go anyhow, or maybe I'll play with the files I have done already. I hate editing. I really, really do. But I guess it's got to happen. Maybe later.

Yawn. Thank fucking God it's Friday.

And wow, what a caustic downtown core it was today. I saw many people doing many mean things to other people. What the hell was in the air? C'mon, people... Can't we all just get along? If peace is good enough for Rodney King, it ought to be good enough for one and all. Amen, man.

Okay, Now I'm Depressed

I just logged onto my old coworker's blog and he's got these fucking awesome photos of the Oregon coast up. There are few places in the world that speak to me like the Oregon Coast.

And here I am, stuck in the city. I really, really, really need a raise, and I NEED TO TAKE A VACATION someplace this winter, or I'll lose it. Sigh. Blue skies and big waves.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sniff, sniff. Cough.

I'm writing a lot right now because it's helping to clear my head. I think I'm at the point where I've had so much going on for so long that I need to use writing as a literary enema, so as to flush myself out so I can reset myself in some way.

I've been recording now, it seems, for nearly two hours. I'm happy, I think, with one six-minute take. The rest are moments of glimmers, but no shining stars, you know?

And I'm going to call it a night. I've gotten all stuffy and my voice is getting hoarse as my throat gets increasingly sore. I live right by the river, and I have very oversensitive sinuses, and when the fog rolls in, I close right up. I'm suspecting there will be fog tonight. There was some fog or low cloud this morning and it affected me then, too. I am the human barometer. Sigh. I really should move to Alberta and get away from the ocean. I never had these problems living in the Yukon, come to think of it. I get weather headaches and 12-hour colds, and it's all weather.

Fucked in the head, literally, eh? Yeesh.

I'm going to record in the morning now for sure. I did it for about 15 minutes this morning (accidentally lost the files) and it was energetic and fun and light. Surprising! So, I'll deliberately get up 45 minutes early and spend an hour or more on it tomorrow (since I'm usually slow to get ready and watch some telly) before I head to work. I was so looking forwards to recording after having positive session in the morning, but then took forever to psych myself up. I'm glad I managed it, though.

So, this time I'll just get it over with in the morning. Then I can go for a walk or hike or bike ride tomorrow night instead. Yippy-ki-yay. (Motherfucker.) [Call me Roy.]

It's MORNING already?!

Bah. I have my monthly friend visiting today, my first since going off the pill, and the PMS is the same as ever -- insecure, yada, yada, but it's settling down after a couple days of that. Nervous Steff on PMS, oh fun! I'm dreading the cramps that I know will hit me by noon.

Then there's the ever-present dilemma: Do I have coffee, and make the cramps worse, or not have it, and get a blinding headache? Yeesh! OH, TO HAVE A PENIS!

Podcasting: I've decided to take the easy way out. I will use things I've already written about on my podcast. I'm gonna try to decide what the best topics are to tackle, but if ANYONE has tips, please, friggin' email me or comment or something.

Second jobs: I did get a nice email from the goodly folks who used to employ me for six long years, and they've said they have work a-plenty and any weekend I feel like earning a bit, let'em know, and work will be had. THIS is awesome news. When you're in my potentially precarious financial position, it's nice to know there's a safety around. I don't want to tutor, but I did know it would always be there. Now I know I can cut the rope and move on. I don't know that I'll work for them much, but maybe I'll surprise myself and want the money.

Sacrifices: I'd love to go away with GayBoy to Disney this winter, but that'd involve a lot of extra work, or something finally coming together re: advertising or such. Right now I can't afford the price I've been paying these last two months. It's completely killing all my creativity.

Writer's Blahs: It used to be that I'd just walk down the street and the way a woman would gesture at her man, or a conversation in a store, or any random item would send me into a fit where I'd have to rush home and write. Now, I do it because I'm procrastinating. I have no good ideas; I just coast.

It's very underwhelming on this side of the page and I dislike it. I want to feel the ENERGY that comes from needing to write again. I think I'm taking the right steps to getting there.

Owie-Be-Gones: Oh, I had this two week period where it constantly hurt to write, and it turns out that it's my forearms that are too strong, too tight, and those muscles are pulling tightly on all the muscles in my hands. So, I need to stretch more. Figures. But that's a good thing! There are counter-attack measures.

Today's to be a good day: I will figure out what to talk about, spend an hour or two in the early evening recording, or maybe late tonight. Breakfast is going to be awesome: Leftover cornish game hen sauteed in sundried tomato/basil butter with scrambled eggs. Had this on the weekend, and holy great breakfast, batman! Some of the best eggs I've ever made. No onions or peppers going in this morning, but still! Then I get to ride around Richmond grabbing a couple things for work. When I get to the office, I get to write for the day. Or file, which gives me time to think. Then a back adjustment, and maybe a quick walk in the forest. See? A good day! Followed by a Friday. Not bad.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Unintentional Irony

So, when it comes to teaching kids writing, my students are pretty possessive of me. The parents love me 'cos the kids love me, but the kids love me 'cos I teach them about life at the same time as I teach them about writing. The kids, I think, are holding out on the folks.

Every now and then, a parent takes advantage of my relationship with their kids. I had one give me a pop-up book on the human anatomy and ask me to teach her eight-year-old son about the English names for all their bits and pieces. Talk about your awkward classes. Nothing like an eight-year-old grabbing at his testicles and asking plaintively, "Bags?"

I haven't been teaching for weeks now, maybe a month. They Want Me Back. I'm on the verge of deciding that I will find a way to afford NOT to work additional hours in any given week. Fuck, man. Writing's taking up 10 hours a week, trying to do this podcast is 10-12 hours of fucking around a week, then there's the small matter of a life, and all that other stuff we're driven to do, not to mention 40 hours of your standard soul-suckage-through-straws. At this rate, I'll never have time to exercise or cook the kinds of meals I love.

So, it's pretty much decided: I'll teach one student for two hours a week, and maybe no more. I need to decide what's important to me, and right now, LIVING life is important. I'll get by. I always do. Having nervous breakdowns and being this stressed is not what makes for happy Steffs. It'd be nice to dine in fancy restaurants and buy nice clothes, but the reality is, it's not in my cards right now. One day, damn right, but this is not that day.

I'm proud that I'm dealing well with all that's on my plate, but I'm tired and frustrated, and the fact is, writing and podcasting are going nowhere. I will have to turn around a new show every two weeks, like it or lump it, as my dad always says.


The student I just agreed to continue teaching, his mom calls me, begging to teach her kid again since I'm the only tutor he's ever looked forwards to seeing, and she says, "Oh, you need to find time to relax!" This is just after I've said, "Well, I'd really like to hold off one more week if I c--" Nope. She cuts me off. Then five minutes later it's all about how I need to cut some stuff out of my life so I can relax more. WELL, IRONICALLY... that's what I'd been doing until you fuckin' called, honey!

Kills me. Nice lady, though. Her kid's cool and he can walk over here. I'll need to call my other students and let them know of my decision. It's possible I can get a day or two additional work at my old TV post job each month, so there could be money to be had yet.

But it comes down to whether or not I believe in myself. Will I get the raise I'm entitled to, and in a timely fashion? Fuckin' right I will, or else I'll look elsewhere. It won't come to that, though, because I think my employers are cluing into my value in a hurry, and it's one of the nice things about them. And is my writing and podcasting worth investing the time in? Will it pay off one day? I'd like to think I have reason to keep this wagon-wheel rolling. So. If it means I live a life a little on the downside for a while, catch up on bills, and spend frugally, then I need to decide (and have) that the sacrifices I'm making are worth it.

I miss feeling like I can go have fun. But the work I do for writing and podcasting, as frustrating as it can be, can also be really fun. Overworked Steffs have limited creative potential, I have discovered. Thus, we're putting the Overworked Steffs out of commission and instead will be introducing a new, snazzier Almost Rested, More Creative Steff in the upcoming fall models.

But wait, there's more!

Okay, I lied. There's not. But yeah. I've fucking decided. I want my life back. It's time I realize my writing and podcasting ARE my second job. Fuck. They're my first job. The rest of this shit's so I can eat tonight. That's it. That's all.

(Oh, and the nice clothes thing: I've swallowed my pride. My office manager's about the same size as me and is apparently a shopaholic. Tack a $65k salary on a 29-yr old and that's liable to happen. She has three closets of clothes and three dressers and is cleaning it out this weekend. She's asked if I want to cherry-pick. At first my pride said no. Now my sanity says yes. If I can cherry-pick and save myself the $400 or more I was thinking I needed to spend to get decent work clothes and such, and by proxy NOT work another job, then why the hell not? Stupid pride. Fuck pride.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Those Dirty Little Fantasies We All Have

Well, mine, right now, involves encasing this expensive microphone in concrete and seeing if it can swim to save its life in the Fraser River.

I know which side of that equation I'd be wagering on/praying for/celebrating.

That's not fair. It's not the mic's fault, it's mine. Yesterday, sore throat. Today, tongue-tied.

I have five promising minutes laid down. Promising. Possibly good. Not definitely. Not definitely by a long stretch. Probably not even promising, but in the absence of competition, I'll have to go with that.

I keep wondering what getting up in the middle of the night would be like for laying stuff down. There's that waking-up-speaking-clearly conundrum that doesn't apply to writing. Lucid dreamlike stuff works. I know 'cos I get comments a-plenty when I write in that voice, the few times it avails itself to me. But waking up to record that would be like trying to play Steven Wright. Yeah, it CAN work, but it takes someone awful fuckin' special to pull it off.

And I ain't some special case just yet. Sadly.

The opening I'd written is all right. It's certainly not brilliant. It's possibly good, but more arguably is not. But as I said yesterday, I'm just happy it's something. Something to work on.

Whatever. Back to the grind tomorrow. I may try the middle-of-the-night thing, but it'll probably wait until the weekend, when coffee and other motivational aids can be utilized. For now, chill time followed by a bath and sleep. Or am I being redundant?

Ah, the feeling of demoralization. No wonder there's no waiting line for this sensation. Jesus. Grr!

Bush, You Fucking Twit!

Bush is such a goddamned moron it makes my brain hurt.

"Bin laden and his terrorists' allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them," he said today.

Um. Except for one small detail. Lenin may have been a communist, but he was a pretty decent guy. Heck, in 1919 he railed against the former Tsarists' tendency towards being anti-semitic.

Mebbe Bushie meant that baddy Stalin? Right! Him. 20 million dead, etc, etc? Must be. Except he was a paranoid fuckhead who killed at random because his mood dictated it. That other baddy, Hitler, was on an ethnic-cleansing mission. Oh, except for the occasional paranoid actions on his behalf, too.

But, y'know, the average person probably thinks all those big bad Russian dudes with the -in names were committing genocide. Mean's Putin's tally can't be far off, huh?

And why in the hell am I so bothered that Steve Irwin is dead? It kind of computes: Play with dangerous animals, die at their hands. But he rocked and lived life more in the present than most of us ever will.

So Much For That

Sigh. Good writing in the morning/early afternoon, but no recording happened. I wound up having a sore throat. Drinking water even hurt. I thought I was getting sick, but it must've been just a shift in the weather, or maybe my 9 hours of sleep helped.

Either way, I'm rested, but under just as much pressure. I guess I'm picking up some food today and coming home tonight to record a bit. I still have all of next weekend, too.

I shouldn't have gone to the PNE, but I would've been as depressed as all hell if I'd had no fun on a long weekend. There's only so much work ethic a girl can have.

Now I need to buckle down and not socialize for the next week and a half or so. After that, I practically have folks lined up to do things. Well, it's not a BIG line up, but there are a few good folks I've been putting off, and I'm excited to do things. I'm looking forwards to having a life again. One person's someone I hit it off with when networking, another's an old friend I haven't seen in a decade, another's someone I met last month and think will be a fun chick to know. Then there are The Regular Features who also need to see me. There's a visit to the Sunshine Coast that'll be much of the weekend two weeks from now. Oy vey. I'm about to get crazy busy. And I need to decide if I plan to tutor at all.

And then there's another networking event on the 26th that I intend to hit up, and this one's all about advertising and marketing on the net. Lovely! Not coding. Yay!

God. I'm glad I've rested well this weekend. It's gonna get whack. And I still need to bring this podcast together. Tonight I start to record. I'll just have to unplug my phone now and then. Ah well. Sleep was good. A good start. I needed a do-nothing day, but I feel guilty for having one. Sigh.

Monday, September 04, 2006







I have finally, finally, finally written an opening to my fucking podcast that I feel encapsulates who I am! JESUS! I really think I'm onto something with this one and I cannot even BEGIN to express to you how goddamned happy I am about it!

Holy shit, man! Next to the eulogy for my mother, nothing in my LIFE has been this hard to write! I think I've never used this many exclamation marks in succession in my life!


Yeah, it's political but it's not preachy. It's funny, but it's not comical. I think it's revealing enough about who I am, but not pre-fabbed and false like intros tend to sound. I think it's all right. I'm not saying it's brilliant, but it's true, and that's fucking fine by me. I seek nothing more than being honest and open, so if I capture that, then bam. That's all I require.

The thing is, I love revealing who I am. I think we all have that little place inside where there resides a little bit of ego because we know one or two things about ourselves that really make us a cool person. I'm sure I'm not the only person who can make themselves laugh when alone. I'm sure I'm not the only person who loves just being along for the ride, and then soaks in every detail. Why not be open about it? But then there's that weird paradoxical aspect to this world we live in: we're allowed to believe in ourselves but it's somehow absurd to like ourselves.

It's hard to write an intro where I think you reveal enough of yourself while not seeming like you're delivering some bio you wrote for a networking convention, you know? "Hi, I'm Steff, I'm 5'7, she of ample ass, green-eyed, journalism grad, former bookstore junkie, yada, fucking yada," you know? Shoot me now.

And then I realized that I'm always kind of giving greater clues to who I am through my writing, so why not let my writing do my talking for me in this Steff 101 thing I had to cut? A-ha! Edison, meet lightbulb. Lightbulb, meet your maker.

At long last, this seems like it might just be a little more fun. Thank goodness. So, yes, an hour's break, and then I go into solace. Oh, fuck it, the phones are coming unplugged now.

So, knowing I've got a good script, I'm going to enjoy a bit of David Mamet's State and Main to keep my mood chipper and sharp, and in a while I will crack open a Thomas Kemper Vanilla Creme, and begin to record. I am unplugging all my phones and sticking to it today. Finally it feels like I'm not staring up a 70-degree mountain with three gears working on my bike. Holy huge sigh of relief, Batman.

And I'm thinking I need to get a nice ride up the coast in as the leaves start to change colours. Maybe a daytrip to Bowen on my scooter. Me, some leaves, some crisp autumn air. I think I know what my birthday holds this year.

AND FURTHERMORE: I've been gotten in touch with by the good folks at the publishing house for one of my two all-time favourite sex books: The Guide to Getting It On. They're sending me a free copy of the new edition, and providing TWO COPIES for me to give away to reader/listeners! AND the author is making himself available to me for questions and/or resources! I may have a good guest in the makings. How fucking cool is this? All of a sudden, it seems like things are starting to come together for me. Yep. I feel a groove coming on. Giggle. ;)