For you, the dress code is casual.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Potpourri A La Steff

There's nothing more painful than the inevitable moment of being asked by some amateur writer to read their overwrought, syruppy, trite work. It happens. It happened recently for me and all I had to do was scan the odd line down his story to see, yup, cliche, cliche, trite, cliche, hackneyed, cliche. Sigh. And it sucks, 'cos they want an opinion, right? Like mama taught me, when I've not much good to say, I'll think twice about saying it.

Fortunately, most people don't seem to realize this blog exists, so I can indeed rant a little and have at it.

Not that I'm a brilliant writer by any stretch of the imagination. Fuck, no. Competent? Quite possibly. Good? I might have my moments. Great? Ha! Gonna die tryin' to be, honey.

But a critic? Fucking right I am.

[I was going to write about how not to write badly versus how to write well, since I'm still a student of writing well, but believe I do not write badly at least, but then I got a call from a friend feeling down and now my headspace is in a whole other world after an hour of that conversation.]


So, without ado, let's 180 this posting.

I've actually been thinking a lot about what makes a good friend this weekend, after a little episode happened last week that may or may not mean one particular friendship has come to an end, presumably because the other person doesn't seem to understand my headspace on what I believe friendship requires. But that's another can of worms.

I'm not as social as I should be these days, this much I know. I don't call people as much as I should, and I never really have, so these are things I need to improve as a friend. But I do call. I do try to make plans. I'm pretty communicative, I try to share some of my personal troubles and fears and such, and I try to be open to hearing my friends' woes, too. I make a pretty good listener and I'm as generous as they come (in some ways... not financially, but in spirit, and I'm a gracious hostess and a generous feeder of friends, so...).

But this recent incident began making me question my standards a little. Are they too high? Do I expect too much? So, I started second-guessing my actions today when I was feeling moody and a bit depressed on yet another gloomy, wet spring day.

Then GayBoy heard about my mood and my headspace, and promptly rode in on his white horse and kicked my ass for doubting myself. Apparently I'm too good a person to consider lowering my standards. Apparently I deliver on my end, so expectating others to deliver on theirs is not only logical but acceptable.

So I feel a little better, but I was pretty blue earlier... Blue but not thinking of changing my stance. Fuck it. If people can't do all the basics in a friendship, they shouldn't be friends. Not of mine, anyhow. Let them be friends with self-involved, petty people like them, instead. I'd rather have fewer friends than more of the substandard ones.


Got my first PayPal donations since last summer. That rocks. Let's hope there are more to come. I bought myself a lottery ticket yesterday after having been given a free meal and getting a free newspaper the night before. What the heck. I'm not a gambler, and I dislike gambling for a lot of reasons, whether it's in casinos or on lottery tickets. I think people just keep trying to chase fucking pipe dreams when they get into these things -- spending $10 a week or whatever on the lottery's a fucking joke, in my books.

I knew some guys who ran a lotto stand in the Yukon, and the one guy John and I got into a chat one day when he was making me a quadruple Americano after "Buck a Beer" night at the Kopper King Lounge (ergo the quadruple...), during which I asked him how he was able to reconcile the notion of constantly selling futile tickets to the same people who lost every single week.

His response? "I don't sell tickets. I sell dreams. Dreams they might not otherwise ever entertain."

But I bought a ticket. What the hell. Just the one.

My aunt was actually the person who taught me to do the lottery responsibly. She gave me two bucks when I was eight and spending a month in Toronto sans parents, sent me on my way down the block from her hairdressing shop, and got me to pick a couple scratch and wins.

She told me she'd had some good luck that morning and thought it was a good day to try pressing it (the luck, that is) ergo the ticket purchase. But it was a great way to waste money, and not a good thing to be doing more than once in a blue while, she said. I always remembered that. I don't know why. So, now and then I buy a ticket or two. Maybe, what, four times a year?

I spent five bucks on the slot machines on my birthday a couple years back, too, and won something like $120. Nickel slots. I lost $40 in a casino in Dawson City once, and that soured me on some of the gambling pursuits in casinos.

So, gambling? Now and then, but pretty fucking infrequent. This week's the big $20 million pot. That'd be pretty sweet. I'd be content with a couple grand, though. :) Shit, even a couple hundred.


Now, I think the morning brings the first day of spring. I'm always confused -- I always thought it was the 21st, but sometimes it's the 20th. Weird. Whatever. Soon. Spring. Yay. Bring it, sez I.