For you, the dress code is casual.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mini-Me: Bits of My Day

Oh, my goodness. How cool would this job be? I wish I could apply. My MSN tells you I also answer to "Encyclopedia Steff", and that's a throwback to my childhood obsession with child-sleuth/brainiac, Encyclopedia Brown.

Established Firm looking for career orientated investigator. Must have experience, be willing to travel and work independently. Starting wages are no lower than $18.00 and negotiable to $30.00 based upon many factors.

Suitable surveillance vehicle is required and if the appropriate applicant doesn’t have a vehicle one may be provided.

This is a serious job and requires serious dedication and attention.

Please only people with relative industry experience.
Sadly, I don't think a passion for donuts and a fondness for shows like The Wire will get me into the realm of being able to change my moniker from "A Scribe Called Steff" to P.I. Steff, but then, the name doesn't pack that same punch, huh?


Off for bargain shopping at my market. Fetching GayBoy, then getting veggies. Must eat better this week, but this homemade bread kick is delicious.


Another interview. Next Thursday. At a marketing visionary's new enterprise. Just read about it in the business section of late, so I answered the ad within the first five minutes, got an interview two hours later, now I'm waiting 8 days.

But I'm cool.

I got prospects, yo. Sent out a few other good letters today, so let's hope.


The Swedish Meatballs have been consumed. Let us have a moment of silence. They were awesome!

I need to go buy me some shit 2-dollar ribeye steaks and make me some Swiss steak! Let's cover all the neutral countries.

Some Belgian waffles would really hit the spot, too.


Irish soda bread looms. Paired with white bean soup. Might buy a couple sausages as a treat and saute em and stick them in soup. That or ham. Ham is good. Lower fat. Tasty, too.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Resemble that Remark! Delayed Reaction

So, I finally hooked this up to the shiznit and I've got Technorati attached to this blog, and now I can see who linked with me for what.

Apparently back in September someone was throwing the smack down because I was spending money on gear for the scooter. I'd been given a thousand bucks and spoke of spending $400 on gear for the scooter, and he was saying that spending a grand on a scooter was like burning money.

In the end, I spent $150 on rain gear this winter, if that. Maybe just $100. Taking the bus in this city can be hell, and works out to $4.50 per day for two trips, or a month pass for $65.

My scooter's monthly insurance is $20, I get anywhere I want in the city (which is where I live, never more than 15 minutes anyplace), never pay for parking, and usually get places faster than car-driving commuters are able. Sure, I endure some weather, but, fuck. $20 a month for gas, $20 a month for insurance, and that's still 40% less than a bus pass.

And I can carry some five bags of groceries on it, not using a backpack. Plus, it's cute!

I mean, geez. Rural country types might not get that getting around a city where it's never more than 10 - 15 kms to any place, and a tank of gas is $4 for 150 klicks, might just be the smartest thing a single, low-maintenance city-slicker might do.

I Have to Go, But Here's a Quickie!

My mood's much better. My phone interview was missed for the SECOND time today when the woman was compelled to take a meeting or something, but I was cool with it. Sucked, but hey, shit happens, and I want the job!

So, she called a couple hours after the original time, just a bit ago now, and we did the whole "ha, ha, isn't that funny? no, really, it's okay" nevermindthemixup chat thing, and I guess I aced the interview, given that it occured on the fly & all that, and I got invited to the second interview at the end!

I betcha guilt plays a factor, and I'll take what I can get, considering it's a company consistently ranked as one of the 10 best employers to work for in the nation. SURE. Lay it on me!

Everything is is sort of screwing me around, but hey. This is a start. And I know shit's going to work out for me. Not a penny's being spent that doesn't need to be, in the meantime. Sigh.

And now I'm getting my too-seated ass onto a bike and doing something to work this annoyance out! Woo! SUNSHINE!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Broke off my ass, still good in the kitchen

So, as part of the "Broke off my ass" chic new urban lifestyle of Steff's, I'm going to spend what extra time I have this week in cooking a little better, but cheaper. First on the menu? Rosemary White Bean Soup, recipe courtesy the Barefoot Contessa. Next? Homemade foccaccia, recipe courtesy the Naked Chef.

Making my own bread will be cheap, fun, and give me something delicious without having to cost too much. I think I'll be eating a variety of bean and vegetable soups with a wide variety of breads this week. I want to make Delia Smith's Wholemeal Bread, too, and I'd like to try a fig-and-nut variety or something, if I can cash out my piggy bank. :) I'm a wicked-good baker and used to make kick-ass breads in my youth, meaning my teens. I make awesome pizza crust right up to wholewheat honey bread. I've even made bagels before, which were awesome, but a lot of work! (Yes, I made them the authentic way, boiling them in honey water [since I prefer it to malt syrup] before baking!) But it's winter and soups are cheap and easy to make, so I can make companion breads to go wif'em, and try to pretend I'm living the authentic rural life. Besides, this is a good habit to get into, health-wise and fiscally. Tasty, too. :)

I'm spending today doing the mix of slacking and cleaning, sort of trying to take my place to a more organized level today, so I can feel like I'm on top of shit when I get my phone interview tomorrow. This is one opportunity I really, really need to pounce on. Other jobs might pay more, but this would be a better goal-oriented job, and it's something I think I could be great at, plus it'd continue the learning-through-my-job path I've been on for about a decade now. All good.

Ooh. I don't get this nervous that often. Then again, I haven't wanted a job this much for a while. Stability, who knew it could have such sex appeal? Geez.

Mm. Foccaccia. :) This means I now have to go through the neighbourhood stealing rosemary from peoples' yards. Whee! Talk about your community meals! (I've already compiled a trusty strike-list. Silly fools, growing sought-after ingredients in public!)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Well, that's nice to know

I have a phone interview Monday afternoon with a prospective employer. A friend of a friend tells me they get some 900 resumes a month, if not more. So, that's nice to get picked out of a decent field. Now we'll see if I do my homework well enough between now and then.

The fog is back. It's not even 5:30 and it's rolled in as thick as can be. There's barely visibility to across the alleyway. GayBoy had wanted to take me to a hockey game across town. Thank god we've decided to stay in for Swedish Meatballs and, gag, the Sound of Music. (*I* didn't do the movie pairing, OKAY?)

In more positive news: There will be Tater Tots.

The only other news is that I nearly became one BITTER girl when I locked my keys (that were inside my heavy outer coat that I took off in order to store) in my scooter seat today. Fortunately, the total blow-off of an interview I went in for was across the street from GayBoy's work. Some nice customer and he managed to break into the seat and get my keys out. How happy was I!

Anyhow, I have a FOG headache, so I'm going to go have a shower and some water before the effervescent GayBoy shows up with cheap wine for our lame-ass musical. I always think of my mother when I watch it, too. She'd always sing those songs and was once a nun in a production of it. Ha. So, I'm entering into a nostalgic time warp with wine and comfort food. Probably just what the doctor ordered.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Status Quo Maintains

Today's lay-off day. I'm a little down about that but not as down as I'd be if I hadn't had one of my top employment choices call me to set up a phone interview on Monday.

So, that's kind of cool. And it's gorgeous out. I'll be leaving for work soon and aim to take my scoot on a scenic route. There's supposed to be several days of clear blue skies, and I couldn't be happier to have that now.

I've been channelling some of my agitation and anxiety into lifting weights. I'm already seeing a difference... but I could be doing so much more! I have to ease into it because I've had screaming migraines from weight work before. But once I know I can go harder, then believe me, I will. I'm using the 10 lb weights without any issues, and that's a first. I've always had headaches from the 10 lb weights. Too many instances of whiplash, is all. But now I'm finally past that! WOO. I pushed myself a little more last night. I'm tense and I'll be stiff after work, but it's not too bad of inflammation, so I'll live. Tonight I'll push a little more again.

I know I'm probably not going to work for a week, and I understand that, so I'm going to try and make the best of these sunny days and get some bike riding, walking, and hiking under my belt. It'll be a while before I have time off again.

So, yeah, I still believe in myself.

I was watching Oprah a while back and she had some fiesty black chantreuse on, like Patti LaBelle, I think it was, and they were asking 'em, "If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you tell her?"

And Patti goes, "I'd say, "Believe the hype, baby.""

And I'm trying hard hard hard to believe the hype. I think I do what most people do, I pay too much attention to my faults. By doing so, I think I give 'em more power or prominence or something. I need to remember all the whopping good things, and start allowing them to be more prominent.

If I can do that, these interviews will be a breeze.

So, I'm gonna continue being active like I have been. So far it's working out with the 10 lb weights plus doing squats, which are hurting indeed! But I'm getting some confidence from it, and that's the important factor right now. That I'm noticing one of my favourite jackets is looking cuter on me, well, that's icing on the cake.

So, the clock is ticking. But I still have a couple other resumes out there that I'd be surprised if I didn't see action on, so my fingers are crossed. The client might still materialize at my job in the next few days, and then I'd be back on there again. Or I might get temp work. Who knows. Everything can change on a dime still. Next weekend will be freakout time, if at all.

Truth is, I'm doing a little nailbiting, but I still have some nails, so, could be worse!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Funky From Joe, And More!

I've had too much coffee on an empty tummy, but I had to do my online typing test and Excel, Word, and Power Point tests for my temporary placement company of choice.

I'm railing against the assessment of my Excel skills 'cos it said 24 out of 30 but it wouldn't let me copy/paste the cell nor would it allow me to centre or adjust column width, and, honestly, don't you have to be a fucking moron not to know those ones? So, it's the test, man, not me.

As for Power Point, I got 85% and I've never used the program in my life, so I'm fine with that. Naturally, I had 0 typing errors and a test time of 65 wpm, so I'm pleased to see I've gone up a few words this year.

Things are coming down to the crunch. Lay-off day is Friday and that client still hasn't put their wish-list in writing for us, so my time of destruction is nigh or something. But it's all right. I've talked to one of the owners (I was a bit of a marshmallow at the time, sigh) and conveyed my skepticism of the film industry and my hesistance to rely on it anymore.

I was put into the position, more or less, of having to get my ducks in a row, and I've done that, in attempting to set up temp work, et cetera, and to turn around and go full-time permanent, when I can only really expect security for a couple months at a time in this industry, might just cause me to get blacklisted for wasting people's time at the temp agency. Considering they're a major contractor used by the Canadian government and all, I don't want to be fucking up my options there.

I dunno, I'm one of those believer-in-signs type people, and when things didn't fall into place last week with the client's massive mountain of work, I started thinking it just wasn't going to work out. I've sort of been through the ringer emotionally in the last few days as a result.

But I had that chat at the office yesterday and I know now that they'll understand if I have to change priorities, and I've left the door open to being on call with them, as well. That's about all that I can do, then, isn't it?

And the temp person has just contacted me to let me know she's spreading the good word about me to all their temping solutions people.

I would've rather had a long weekend this weekend, but if being ready to work Monday morning means I'm employed then and not a week later, well, that's the price I'll have to pay.

I'm confident because I was sitting there in their lobby for a combined total of 35 minutes or so, and, hey, sometimes you just know when you're setting the benchmark and when you're not. Me, I was definitely in a different class than some of those folk. I mean, calling them out-and-out morons might be a bit rich, but I'm sure you wouldn't have been off the mark to have a sign at the waiting are entrance that read "Danger: Frequent Low IQs at Work". I was dressed better, had two copies of my resume, all my references, and more, which it seemed most of the competition were lacking. And then, atop all that, is my bubbly, effervescent can-do personality. What's not to love?

So, yeah, the endless insert-suspense-here bullshit lifestyle of mine keeps on rolling, but then so does the deep-down-inside hope that it's all going to come together despite it all. I mean, shit, man, sooner or later, karma's got to count for something, and I'm really, really wanting to cash my karmic check these days. Is that too much to ask for? Huh? Is it? Mmf.

In the meantime, I'm asking for eggs. Over-easy, but since the maid has the day off, looks like I'm fry-girl for this mission.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Jesus Christ! PATIENT MUCH?!

So, GayBoy took me to see The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith tonight. Quite the thumbs up. Very much hit the spot for me, albeit seeing a flick about homelessness is maybe not the best move on the week one might be getting unceremoniously deposited on the unemployment line, but I was trying to focus on the "overcoming all odds" bit. The foodlines/missions, not so much.


As you may have noticed, gas has gone down by more than 10 cents in a week. 91.9 cents a litre's much better than $1.07 a litre, even in a scooter! So, the stations are bustling since people seem to fail to grasp that the barrel rate for oil descending below $50 means lower gas prices might be around for a while. They're descending on gas stations with great aplomb.

Me, I just needed gas so I wouldn't run out mid-span on the Arthur Lang Bridge as I made my way home-- I was at the 5-klicks-or-less warning line. So, we're waiting in line behind a van when I suddenly spot an open island. ZIP! Right in there like a dirty shirt. I've already got my debit card in there, getting my purchase validated, when this burdensome old Asian guy sallies over and stands right next to me, glaring at me, as I punch in my PIN number. Duh, privacy, anyone? Fuckin' PIN number!

His family's car (with five people still in it, sans oldie there) is slowly, ineffectively being reversed in a half-moon after they've clued in that backing into the spot would mean they could gas up on the opposite side of the island, where I am. They were on the other side of the lot from where I was, but apparently, just GLANCING at the open spot meant ownership. The guy was walking over to space-hold the spot, I guess, but I was already there and mid-transaction.

Nevertheless, the idiot woman in the car continued backing up. Inch by inch by bitter little inch, she made her way towards us. Now, here I am, putting all of $5 into my itty-bitty bike ($4.62, to be exact, a full tank!) and she's continuing to back up towards myself and GayBoy. I looked at the idiot man standing by me, glaring, and I said, "I'm here. I was in line and now I'm here. Stop her. I'll be done shortly."

He looks at me and does this, "You no line up. Line up!" Which is bullshit, 'cos I was in line at another dispenser, just like them. I just know how to move quickly. They hadn't even BEGUN advancing towards the dispenser when I zipped over.

So, SHE'S STILL BACKING UP. I'm finishing up, replacing the nozzle on the dispenser thingie, and SHE'S NOW WITHIN A FUCKING FOOT OF MY BIKE. Like, what? That's gonna magically make me go poof and open a vacancy for her? FUCK, man.

So. I laid on my horn. Like, five seconds. I mean, unreasonable behaviour begets same when I'm in Bitchy-Steff mode. I bellow, "YO. WAIT, woman! Get the HELL away from my bike!" Then I mutter, "Fucking people! Rude much?"

I suppose I somehow made her embarrassed or something, cos she pulled up a whopping two fucking feet.

I tell ya. Every now and then I wish there was a loophole in the law that would let me bitch-slap rude or stupid people into the middle of next week, but APPARENTLY the only avenues I have open to me are to insult them and/or honk horns at 'em. But thank the good gods I'll ALWAYS have my lovely, comfy cusswords, like MOTHERFUCKER, and MY HORN!

GayBoy and I were NOT rendered speechless by this occurence. Even he, and he's usually pretty restrained, felt compelled to yell some sweet nothings at Le Idiot Fam.

We were riding home in what's one of the dampest, chilliest places to ride at night, across the plains of the Richmond airport lands, and came to a stop, and I shouted, "I'm not even cold anymore! I've got my angst to keep me warm!" And we launched into another "HOW STUPID CAN PEOPLE GET" diatribe.

I tell you, I've let a number of repairs go on my scooter over the last year, but come hell or highwater, if my fuckin' horn breaks, I'll sell my goddamned blood to fix it same day. Ain't nothin' bringin' me more warm-fuzzies on that bike than the horn.


Oh, and my week didn't really suck ass, but I'm really, really, really starting to hate people after doing too many goddamned interviews this week. There's only so much one person can be "on". I was supposed to be at a party tonight but the notion of being social and pleasant was up there on the pleasantness factor with getting a root canal, having my ass kicked in competition, or being broke for a month straight, so I decided to pass.

I probably would've gotten the goddamned job I interviewed for Thursday... if I hadn't been a half-hour late as a result of the goddamned snow! I looked outside and the snow that had fallen was now all melty from the rain that was falling. So, I figured "Hey, I'll take my scooter!" Little did I know, it was still snowing just 50 feet higher in elevation than I was at. I couldn't take the bus now or I'd be late for the job interview (oh, the irony). So, I decided I'd take Cambie, which is slow as molasses with the construction that's going on for the new Skytrain route going up that corridor. BIG DAMN MISTAKE. It was packed ice! Apparently some tractor had gone up earlier and packed the wet snow into solid ice. THANKS for that.

I had to ride the whole way using my feet as training wheels. I finally get to the stupid interview nearly 30 minutes late, toting all my damned sopping gear with me, my feet wet through to the bone, and try to explain that punctuality's something I'm awesome at. I'd left 40 minutes early! It should take FIFTEEN MINUTES. It took me more than an hour! Un-fucking-believable!

So, I did what I could to salvage the interview (pity I had no cellphone on me to say I'd be late... whups!) and then I screwed off to work. I got there absolutely freezing, and spent the next 8 hours unable to stay warm, thanks to wet socks, wet shoes, and a bad attitude.

And so I'm still stuck in employment limbo. I MAY have a job still at the end of the week. Then again, I MAY NOT. Welcome to my life.

My fortune cookie after my Chinese food tonight said: "You will have great excitement in your working life." I groaned. "I've HAD excitement. I want dullness! Predictability! The same shit day in day out would be IDEAL! Bring me redundancy, repetition, but bring me reliability!"

But for now. I'm in suspense. I'm not sitting around hoping it all pans out, though, because the path of least resistance stopped being a good gameplan long ago. So, I'm doing what I can, and that's about all that I have to hang on to at the moment. It is what it is, my friends. And that's something I at least feel good about. Master of my destiny, or something to that effect. Or so I can try to convince myself in the coming days.

Oh, and I have a tank full of gas. Ha. Take that, Rude Family. Grr!

This rant has been brought to you in part by My Time Of The Month. Ah, the blessings of femininity. Mumblegrumblegrowlsnarlroar.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Monday, January 15, 2007


GayBoy and I are in a heated discussion about Lawrence Welk, the three-legged comedian in the '80s, and Reveen, all smack-dab in the midst of 24.

Now, in case you think I'm some blind devotee, I'll have you know I point out EVERY continuity flaw in 24 as it happens, and GayBoy and I celebrate the laughable "liberties" taken by the writers.

Traffic in LA has NEVER been as good as it is in 24!! The terrorist made it-- as he ADMITS-- "across the city" in EIGHT MINUTES. Yeah, I was in LA in the fucking '80s, man, and even I know that's NEVER gonna happen!

Hey, the music is better this year... they have a horn sectioN! (Written in a commercial with two minutes to spare. Must do Google search now!"


An hour later: They have vocals now, too!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

DUMB-ASSES! A few rants to start your week off

So, this chick in South Cali died of "water intoxication" in the last couple days. A radio station had a contest called "Hold your wee for a Wii!" In it, they gave contestants water to drink, and the winner would be the one who drank the most and didn't go to the washroom for the longest period of time.

Said chick goes home, and, well, dies.

The station is fucking flabbergasted.

I say they're complete and total fuckwits. I've known people could die of water poisoning for years. There are people out there, even, who are essentially "wateraholics"(my term) -- they drink water to an excess, so much so that their lives are in jeopardy. A decade or so ago, The National Post ran a huge story on this fringe addiction, which is really a psychological problem. Some are so extreme that they've even been known (when they're being deprived of water) to go so far as to take off shoes and scoop water out of the toilet tanks.

Dude, I don't make this shit up, I just report it. (A farcical look at water addiction is here. Cute.) The real deal's called psychogenic polydipsia. I know, my big brains are sexy, aren't they?

But these fucking idiots go and think "oh, hey, pass the bong-- have I got a hilarious notion for a contest!" I hope they get slammed with a lawsuit. But the fucking idiots who joined the contest more or less only have themselves to blame since I'm sure no guns were held to anyone's head. Fuckin' people need to read more. Jesus Christ. A generation of illiterates. Stupid station, stupid contestants. My condolences to the family of the woman who died, but geez, man. You gotta wonder. Ignorance is bliss until it goes and goddamned kills you.


Glen Beck from CNN strikes me as the stupidest fucking person to ever get his own talk show. He's on there tonight comparing Venezuela's Hugo Chavez to Hitler, Kim Jong-Il, and Pol Pot. The dumb-ass woman on there with him stops him and says, "Oh, I don't know if he's as bad as Pol Pot." C'mon, get a fucking calculator, sweetie. Pol Pot killed 1.5 million people, and there are no numbers, really, available for Jong-il's lovely famine, but some sources claim 10% of the country, or 3 million, met their demise in those dark days. Hitler's known to have obviously killed 6 million-plus with the Holocaust. C'mon, how about Stalin, kids? Is Chavez just like Joe? Betcha Beck thinks so!*

What is this, pin the tail on the America-hater day or something? 'Cause some leftist leader of a nation with a surplus supply of oil dislikes American foreign policy, he gets lumped in with dictators who've orchestrated the deaths of millions? 'Cause he breaks the rules and goes to visit Mr. I-Got-A-Ridiculously-Long-Name over there in Iran, he's some kind of evil-doer who deserves to be bombed to fucking hell and back?

Christ. I didn't know they were allowed to smoke crack during broadcasts down there at CNN's Atlanta headquarters.

But, y'know, then there's the "good ol' days" when you could find pictures of Rumsfeld sitting there pretty with Hussein, being all buddy-buddy back in '84, or when the Americans were helping fund Afghanistan's fight against Russia (which entailed sending weapons to a motivated youngin' named Bin Laden) and all that, but, hey, they were guys who were "on page" with the oil program, right? Or something like. Now they're evil fuckers. Something tells me that their moral compass didn't just go squirrelly overnight, boys. Christ.

What REALLY pisses me off is throwing around the names of these goddamned dictators-cum-mass murderers like it's an everyday thing to see baddies in power offing millions of their citizens. By throwing around their names, we're mocking the severity and horror of those offenses. We're insulting those who've died under those regimes, and those who live today with the ghosts of those regimes. Get serious.

Chavez, if you're going to compare him to anyone, is more of a Castro or Bolivar. The USA's just pissed that all of South America's getting into bed with socialism and Marxism. (And why the hell not? They're mostly too poor to have pots to piss in. They might as well start sharing the goddamned pot.)

But, mostly, Chavez hates Bush and what he perceives as Bush's supremacy mission. He despises what he perceives as an American mentality that, just because they use the most oil in the world, that they have some kind of manifest destiny to possess the oil from other nations. I'm not going to get into that argument today, suffice to say that if you don't have it, don't abuse it, and America AIN'T got no oil, not really, so maybe it's time to learn a thing or two about conservation.

If Chavez wants to get his country to reduce production in order to drive up his prices, then that's their prerogative, isn't it? Or is "capitalism" and "free will" only applicable on American soil? Jesus.


I love the show 24, but given the whole "real-time" bullshit going on there, I gotta tell you, I don't know how Jack Bauer goes from looking like the Unabomber-gone-ragged with shaggy long hair and 20 months of beard growth to being all nicely shorn and trim in less than 20 minutes of supposedly "real" time. "We've prepared an area for you to clean up in." Yeah, and they had a magic hairdresser just appear outta thin air. The guy literally had a gallon of water in a bowl. I know fiction calls for a suspension of belief, but seriously. Let's not take liberties on purpose here, now, all right?

And, any guy I know who's ever gotten rid of a long-standing beard has skin irritation like all-get-out for the next couple days. Jack, though, is clearly the toughest mofo ever to walk these fair lands -- so too, it would seem, is his skin.

Still, awesome fun episode, except when Jack literally bit a guy's carotid artery to bits and killed him. That was a little creepy. I guess he didn't like the Chinese food and needed a bite.

(Aw, c'mon, it's a GOOD pun!)


*(The numbers for Stalin range anywhere from 3 million to 60 million, depending who's doing the counting, with experts saying a minimum of 10, but in all likelihood, 15 to 20 million. And I never pass up the opportunity to rave about Adam Hochschild's BRILLIANT The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin. Excellent sociological look at a nation trying to live down its past. Brilliant, brilliant, but then that's Hochschild in a nutshell.)

Hell Week's Over!

I've had a lot going on this week and it's been a trying time. I don't want to write about it yet, but I want to get it off my mind, at least. So here I be.

The long and the short of it is, sigh, it looks like I'll be out of work in two weeks. I'm lucky they're giving me a heads-up, 'cos they could just go and pink-slip me without any notice at all. Lucky girl that way.

I guess I've been loathe to write about it 'cos I don't want the "oh, I'm sorry" phone calls. I know people mean well, but fuck, man, those calls can really knock the wind out of your sails when all you're trying to do is keep a focus and positive headspace going on. So, PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU, friends & family, respect my wishes to not discuss this shit. I'm as good as I could expect, surprisingly better than I thought I'd be, and I already had the job search in swing -- one interview was Friday, another is Monday, and maybe there'll be more. One can only hope. I'm applying for a real variety. Something should pan out.

I know I had to look for work in an all hellfire rush last year, but there's a world of difference between where I was at then and where I'm at now. I was locked into a chemical depression already by the time my do-or-die job search happened. This year, I'm on as even a keel as I could expect to be, and I'm hopeful my attitude and belief in self will make all the difference this time. I think those doing the hiring can smell desperation, and it's a turn-off. I was desperate last year. This time I'm determined and hungry. I believe there's a palpable difference. And I believe in myself.

Anyhow. NO PHONE CALLS ABOUT THIS until at least Monday night. Why I'm bothering to post it, I don't know. I guess I've been thinking a lot today and I want to get a restful sleep, and I believe putting some of it down here is a good start thataway.

But this week sucked ass-- sort of! I fucking hate the snow! My job interview went well, I believe. I just hate the commute with the snow. I miss my scoot. I've been having email problems, computer issues, MSN messenger issues, and Saturday my goddamned website was down for about 20 hours, it looks like, if not longer. Only 140 hits compared to usually over a thousand. Yeesh! But through all the frustrations this week, I've managed to eat well, exercise a bit, and stay in pretty decent headspace.

Monday, job interview. Tuesday, meeting with a nutritionist to talk about my health and diet. Wednesday, a haircut. Hopefully more interviews will pepper my week. Things are about to get complicated. But I believe in myself more this year, and I know what I'm capable of. So, we'll see.

One of the coolest things I've seen on TV in awhile was a show about women and what they've learned as they've aged and one woman, Patti LaBelle or Aretha Franklin or someone, said that if she could talk to her younger self, the one advice she'd give her younger self would be "Believe the hype." This week, I'm trying all my damnedest to Believe The Hype. If it's mind over matter, then I gotta try with all my might to be of mind. Focus, baby. So, yeah, please, don't fuck with my focus. It's a shaky thing, man.

Meanwhile, I laughed at this:

And here's an incredible photo of a baobab tree. Little do you know, but there are places in the world I want to visit just for the trees. Magadascar for the baobab, and I want to traipse through the cork forests of Spain, and more, more, more. Banana trees in Costa Rica would be awesome, too. I'm really quite thrilled to have a remarkable jade tree of my own in my living room, which is pushing four feet in width these days. I once had a 3.5 foot wide aloe vera that was just remarkable, too. And I have a little pine tree growing (teehee) that I bought for Christmas and now has almost two inches of new growth in spots, in just two weeks. Cool, eh? I'm a tree geek. Sue me. I have no shame. None! Nada! Nyet. Newp. Geeeeeeeek.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Yawn, Grumble, Grumble

So, I'm dreading going outside. It's below zero, but it's sunny. Soonish. Work does beckon, after all.

My timing is good for jumping up the job search. The boss emailed to say she's concerned she may have to give the two-week warning that work's drying up. Fortunately, I have an interview Friday for one job, and looks like I have another Monday for another job, and I just did a "marketing test" for a third job (another in my neighbourhood). I think the third job is the one that would be best for me, 'cos it'd give me a leg-up into the marketing industry, where I think I could really shine. It's an entry-level position, and, as I mentioned, is pretty close to home -- just over a kilometre or two. Walkable.

I haven't heard back from the phone interview I had last Friday morning (the afternoon one is the follow-up interview I have tomorrow morning) but I had a migraine then, so, whatever. It's also downtown, and I'm sick as all hell of working downtown. It's like trying to claw your way out of hell when the goddamned snow comes. Then there's the homelessness, the high-priced food, et al. I want out.

So, it sucks that my job's back to being highly insecure, but it kicks ass that my timing's as good as it is. Plus, there's a crazy amount of job postings -- I'm just trying not to spread myself thin. I REALLY want one of these two "in the hood" jobs as it'd be awesome to not have to ride my scooter for work anymore. I'm tired of feeling like my life is on the line every day I'm going to work. I'd lose weight if I worked down the hill from here at the "marketing" job. The other one's too close to make a difference.

Meanwhile, I have a hot date with a bowl of steel-cut Scottish oats and some coffee, then I'm off to finish my drama I began yesterday.

Aside from the people at work, what I'll really miss is getting to work on top-rated dramas like the one I'm doing today and seeing how wildly creative some of the actors are when it comes to improv. This particular drama is a star-fucker, meaning that celebrities of all kinds jump at the opportunity to do a cameo on it, and the more I work on it, the more I realize that the reasoning for that must be that actors get free reign to do improv with the lines.

There was one instance where one of the regulars went wildly off the script and dropped a one-liner on her co-star in that scene, and they both just died laughing as a result. A regular viewer would think it was great writing and great acting, but it was true reaction as a result of great improv... something the viewers at home never, ever get to know.

And that's something I'll really miss. Sigh. I love having the behind-the-scenes knowledge like that. Very cool.

Right. Oats and coffee! Woot.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Oh, Shoot Me Now

I'm a popsicle but there's no sense having a hot bath to warm up 'cos my apartment's a fucking meat cooler right now. I was at work and a storm blew in, slammed all my windows open, blew THREE glasses on the foor and a new fruit bowl of mine, all of which shattered.

Then there was the small matter of SNOW. It was a snow/rain mix and had only just begun downtown, so much to my surprise did I discover more than an inch was sticking to the roads on the hills home from downtown. Needless to say, I was on my scooter.

But here I am, alive, well, and a little pissed off and grumbly.

I'm supposed to have a job interview tomorrow, but it would entail riding my bicycle about 5 clicks each way in the snow that's supposed to be a sure thing tonight, and I think they're paying about 4,000 less per annum than I'd like. I have another job interview Friday, anyhow, and it pays about the same but they have a very, very attractive benefits package that includes RRSP, comprehensive extended health (it's an insurance company) as well as a trust & welfare allotment per year. That it's five blocks from my house is icing on the cake.

I'm going to take my chances missing the appointment tomorrow. I bet half their appointments won't show if the weather's what is being predicted, and then I can reschedule another day in the week. Or not at all. I think the Friday appointment is the one I want.

Also, I do need to remember that I'm presently employed with good people, and I have a deadline that's coming up in the afternoon. If it means missing my deadline and inconveniencing my present employers in order to go to a job interview with a company that likely has "okay" benefits but is in a hard-to-get-to spot in the SNOW followed by catching buses that may not even be running on time, well. I'll just have to pass.

FUCKING WEATHER. I HATE THIS WINTER. I WANT MY MONEY BACK, BITCH. Grrrrrrr. Sigh. I need to eat something. Hunger speaks loudly. And House is about to start with a new episode, and I could use a shot of a surly curmudgeonly grouse like Laurie right now.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Say it ain't so!

(Click HERE and not the above for larger, legible version. Too fuckin' true for words.)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A Happy Steff

Ah, it all seems to be coming together. I'm more optimistic than I've been in a long time. I've had my profile up on a dating blog, and there's been a flurry of activity, all from guys wanting to just "be friends" and you know what? That's so cool! I'd rather do the just-friends thing for a while. Every relationship I've had in the last few years has been rushed into, all with negative outcomes, and that's just sad. To hell with relationships, but bring on the friends, man. There was a time in my life when I was popular, and I let all that fall apart. No more, man. No more. As far as I'm concerned, I'm the woman of the hour, and it's time I start acting like it.

I think I've needed the validation from others for a long time and I'm finally at the point where I don't need anything from anyone else. I know I've been the one who's been selling herself short, and I know why I've been latching onto the wrong thing in relationships (not that they've been the wrong relationships -- no, I just tried to take the wrong things from them), and I think that part of my life's done with. My motivations have been wrong.

My motivations now? To have fun and enjoy my life and just have good times with other people. I don't need anything else, because everything I need are things I know I can furnish. I want health. I want unbridled confidence. I want to laugh more than I've ever laughed. I want to accomplish my goals. Know what? None of that can come from others.

And that's all right.

If these first 7 days of 2007 are an indicator, this is to be a year without compare. I don't know WHERE the hell I went, but I feel like I'm on the road back to myself these days. All I need to do is just more of the same. Yay me.


Dinner tonight: Roasted bird! A big bitch, too! Wow. It was frozen, but it's still juicy and happy and good. I'd wanted to do a clay pot bird drowned in a bottle of wine, but that didn't happen 'cos this one was too big for the pot. Next week is the season premiere of 24 and GayBoy and I'll do the white wine/clay pot bird with veggies then. But I just took the breast meat and sliced it off and put it on a bed of wild rice with broccoli and red peppers steamed in my homemade stock. Really low fat, filling, and as healthy as all get out.

What the hell has gotten into me? I'm actually enjoying this stuff!

Oh, and the weight loss is showing in my face now. It would appear that I have cheekbones. Why the hell doesn't anyone send me these memos?

Yippy-ki-yay, mo-fo. Things are lookin' up. Now all I need's a real job (ie: one with the promise of benefits and longterm emp.), but there's no big rush. I'm in a good place until something I want comes along. 'sides, one of the two phone interviews from Friday may pan out. Stay tuned for more.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Hello, Dali.

Insert mad laughter here. When the shit gets weird, the weird keep goin'. Welcome to my surreality.

I rolled out of bed with a searing headache, but this one's from the heat too high and the windows closed, and three glasses of water later, I'm feeling great. Part of the reason for that is a real humdinger.

The woman who didn't hire me because I wasn't healthy enough -- we exchanged a couple of emails this week after I sent a letter letting her know how frustrated and hurt I was with the fall-out of her decision -- sent me an email letting me know that one of her practitioners works at another clinic where they're having an impossible time finding the right person for the job, and she wants to recommend me to them and pass along all the documentation from my application process.

I'm laughing my ass off. I said SURE. Go for it. Why the hell not, right? Wouldn't that be strange, though?

Then yesterday afternoon I got a call for another phone interview and told them then would work, too, so we cracked that nut and chatted. This one's for a job just blocks from my house -- six blocks, to be exact.

And a couple guys contacted me on the dating sites, et al.

All the astrologers tell ya that full moons give really powerful energy to change things sometimes, with four days on either side of the moon being the ones to get cracking in, depending on your ascendent and all that. So, I thought I'd just look at my horoscope for the month for the hell of it just now. There's only one site I ever look at, since I'm not a big believer in horoscopes anyhow, but Susan Miller has said some eerily apt things in the past. Here's a bit of what she says. Ha! Whatever. I know what I gotta do, so. :)
Wow, dear Libra. You don't mess around. When you mean business, you get right to it. Let others stumble around the office in their post-holiday fog. You'll be way ahead of the crowd when a full moon, January 3, will hit the high point in your chart.

That full moon would be the time to break the bonds that have held you back. Uranus will be in excellent angle to the Sun and moon, suggesting a surprising victory that you will score now, or that will occur later when a decision you make now turns out to be eerily right on target. You will be feeling ultra independent and maybe even a little rebellious, but even so, you are right to forge ahead!

This full moon should mark a time of celebration, for Uranus is now in your work-a-day projects sector, suggesting that you'll either get a juicy new assignment, new piece of business, or reward for months of superb work. After this full moon, you'll know where you stand in your career.

Friday, January 05, 2007


So, a massive storm's blowing through tonight. Snow, then rain, then just clouds, and now a big-ass mo-fo of a storm with winds that just ERUPTED about 20 minutes ago.

I heard BANG, CRASH, CRASH, THUD, THWACK, WHOOSH, WHOOSH. The windows SLAMMED open -- both the living room and kitchen, which are right on the path of the wind. It's roaring out there now. My rice cannisters, two of 'em, blew down off the windowsill and bounced around. Geez. It's a gusher!

No fucking WONDER I had a migraine today!

Kinda fun being home for it now. Especially with the head all settled down. I'll be turning in early despite it, unless I decide the spooky sounds of wind are worth staying up late for. Tee hee.

groangroangroan grumblegrumble moan

Oh, my freakin' head. I have a migraine. I think it's because of this FUCKING SNOW that came out of nowhere overnight. The weathermen missed this one. Doppler, anyone? Jesus.

And I had a phone job interview just now that I was able to Pretend to Be Vaguely Human for and the "fifteen minute" interview was 35 minutes. Always a good sign. I'll hear more next week. As always, I expect a follow-up. It's a three-interview process and sounds like a neat opportunity. A small 5-person office with full benefits. Now THAT is unusual, and speaks a lot about a positive work culture, something I'm a big fan of.

I'm staying home because my head's throbbing and the snow would mean bussing. To atone for my sins, I will work a full day tomorrow or Sunday. Meanwhile, this ass is back under the covers before long. Not to sleep, because I had to force two cups of coffee into me from eight to nine so I'd be somewhat coherent. Did the trick, shockingly, so now I'm wired AND in pain. Nice!

I'm almost positive it's a weather migraine though. The gift of the fucking Pacific, my friends.

I was talking to Dad last night and realized mid-conversation that I haven't really had solid, reliable employment for three years now. Three years! My job in that time has always had the threat of slow seasons, et cetera. I had a couple periods of slow, slow seasons where layoff was imminent, then I did get laid off, then I went back, blah, blah, blah. But they are good people there, and it's a great team, and the job's relatively low stress other than the not-bankable-longterm thingie, so, I've gone with the flow.

THREE YEARS. Suddenly the notion of a good, stable, reliable job is sexier than Brad Pitt naked under a waterfall, y'know? "Going with the flow" is great, but sooner or later, the illusion of control over destiny starts to seem like a enviable thing. I'd like to think I can control my own destiny for just a little while. The flow's wearing thin.

I'm glad I cleaned my place up last night -- I'm trying to not go more than a day without picking up after myself. New Year's Resolution number 12 or something. Now that it's clean, I can go lie down. Yay.

Which is the plan. Happy Friday people. And fuck off, snow. (Ironically, I took down my door sign that reads "Let it Snow" yesterday. Doesn't ANYONE listen to me? C'mon, weather, you're unwanted here! Giddouttahere.)

Meanwhile, watch this if you're looking for a chuckle. Spiders on drugs, anyone?

Weird Planes, Jobs, and Bedtime for Bonz-- Err, Steff

Holy god! Lookit these photos! I've seen one or two of these before, but this is a great collection. Here's one to whet your appetite. I dunno about you, but my plan's to not fly Northwest Airlink anytime soon.

Now I have to hit bed. I have a phone interview in just under nine hours for another job. I'm going to apply for any jobs in my part of the world that I see on Craigslist, too, as I'm sick and fucking tired of working in the downtown core and needing to take the bloody bridges daily. Today I nearly got blown by a nasty gust into a cement truck that was riding over the line. Whew! Well, not "nearly" but I got buffetted enough that it scared the bejesus out of me!

Anyhow. Another day, another interview. Life goes on.

And my kitchen is spotless. I cleaned her all purty tonight. Now I need to contend with Ze Messy Stove. It's disgusting again. Roasting chickens is a doity bizness. Icky-poo.

Bleh! Right. To sleep perchance to awaken fresh and delightful to woo the jobby types. Yes, that. To woo! To wit, to bed!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Whatever is my Point? Food, Food, Frenzy, and Food

I came home in a miserable mood. I deflated early this afternoon and it just got worse after that. I'm in a better mood tonight, but pretty wiped out. Tired, but not quite exhausted enough to sleep. In an hour.

In the morning, the evil wretched stairs shall be tackled. I was going to do it yesterday, then I decided to do a loser bike ride instead (I always only take it a couple kilometres when riding it for the first time in a while in the winter -- I've gotten sick from it in the past, thanks to asthma and all) and have no cough today, so this is good. My eyes are beady, though, which typically means I'm being threatened by potential sinus issues. Beady eyes! Bad!


I had to put out a fire at work. If I had realized there was a full moon, I wouldn't have answered the fucking phone at 5:20. But nooooo. They called three times. I'm sitting there, thinking "Why that line?" That's the overflow line that only rings if you dial it directly, and it's one digit away from the Vancouver Art Gallery's number, so I thought, "Oh, some poor bastard wants Art Gallery info. I'll just clear up the misconception."

Literally 15 phone calls and 55 minutes later, I solved a customer's big problems and set things up for tomorrow so they'll be happy customers. Shouldn't have answered it. But you know what? I kind of had some fun there. I once was the person who Dealt With Shit, and there's probably no one better at solving problems and making customers happy that I am. I sympathize and I help them understand our constraints and all that. And even when I fuck up, they seem to like it.

Take tonight, for instance.

In the middle of a volley of calls, I was dialing the customer at the same time as she was dialing me, at the same time as another line was ringing. (And I'm not supposed to be on phones, no one else was around for answering them, though.) I muttered "Oh, for god's sake!" as I was releasing the line I was dialing, just before switching over to the line she'd dialed in on.

I switch to her line, and all I hear is uproarious laughter. "Did you just say "Oh, for god's sake!"?" she asked.

"Well, it was just-- You heard that? But--"

"I FREAKIN' LOVE YOU," she shouted into the phone, still busting a gut. "My sentiments exactly!"

We had a pretty fun five minutes then as everything got solved at the last second there. Tah-dah. Happy people! Well, happy for everyone but the new girl who dropped the ball and will learn her lesson tomorrow. Not a biggie. Coulda been. But Citizen Steff was there to save the day. Whoosh! [flex]

Dealing with customers can be an evil, vile thing after awhile, but I always liked people. For some weird reason, I was always able to establish pretty good relationships with all the clients. I miss that part of the job I had. It's satisfying when you can Fix Shit Going Badly and be the Saves-the-Day girl.

I wonder if I'd come home feeling so shitty because I remembered how much more rewarding that used to be or something? Ah, probably the fucking moon.


Did my weekly save-10%-on-customer-appreciation day shopping at my little Chinese grocery store. These guys have the best quality groceries in the city, at cheap prices, and then they have everything from Thai and Italian products through to organic and I'm-a-broke-student necessities. I love it. Picked up my sweet Thai black rice and red rice and some cans of red and yellow curries and other goodly things. And they even have 100% coconut milk with no additives, which is slightly thinner than your usual canned stuff, and this is good, as I've found a Thai green curry soup that I think sounds delectable and I think the thinner consistency will work slightly better. (I've never used it without the preservatives in it, so it'll be interesting to see what it's like.)


I was having a chat earlier and mentioned how much I hate the smell of fish in my house. "Barbecue it," said x-guy. Yeah, yeah, fine, whatever. Grr. I need to eat fish. It's healthy. I don't actually even mind it the few times I've been ballsy enough to eat it. I don't know why I don't buy it. Old habits die hard?

I've been stupid about a lot of things in life, though, so this is just another thing to add to the list of my shortcomings and dodo-brained notions.

Thinking I'll do a prawn curry or something now, though. Once upon a world I had this notion that I'd try to eat seafood once a week. That never did materialize. This year, though, I'm using my scooter more for food shopping than I ever have in the winter, and I suspect it's time I get my ass down to Granville Island and get some fish whilst getting my other things. Prawns I suspect I can buy frozen even at Safeway, even though Safeway's meat SUCKS ASS, but how can prawns get messed up, huh? Okay, don't answer that. My ignorance is my bliss.

There. My new mantra. My ignorance is my bliss. My ignorance is my bliss. My ignorance is my bliss.

I'm doing everything else right dietarily now, though. Maybe now's the time to pounce on the fishies. If only it didn't stink up the house. Hmm. Well, whatever. I'll force myself to do a prawn curry (Gayboy, come eat wif me) and then I'll do a grilled fishie.

I actually had this great day once upon a world where I was on a boat for 4 hours over the course of the day, up in Tofino, BC, heading through the open ocean and rainforests for an hour-long trek to these incredible hot springs in the middle of nowhere on a cliff on the Pacific. The boat ride back had us seeing whales, bears, eagles, cougars, and more. It was incredible. I got back and I thought "There's no way I can eat anything but fish tonight." I don't know why I felt that way, but I did. So, I bought some halibut right off the docks, took it back, wrapped it in lemon, basil, and peppers, baked it, and it was actually good.

(You see what I'm trying to do, right? I'm trying to talk myself into this shit. Like I'm not smart enough to see the wiliness of my ways? Fuck, dude. My problem is my ignorance. Things like the bones and stuff freak me out. I need to get smarter, then I will get more brazen.)

Aha! I just remembered there's a sushi-grade fish shop in the hood. When they sold me my salmon for ceviche, they took care of all the bones and skin and stuff. I could just let them continue to baby me for a bit, then I'll get over my ambivalence and possibly start acting like a grown-up for once and Eat My Supper.

Oh, shut up. It could happen. I mean, it could.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

No, No, Don't Bother, Carry On... Really.

Let me save you some time. There's no sense reading this.

Now, that may be cart-before-horse of me as I've yet to actually write this, but I'm lowering my standards and suspect I'll be right before I'm through. Pointless? Probably.

I didn't get what I had planned on getting done today done. Surprise? No. In keeping with the holiday, really. I didn't exercise much -- just a token bike ride up to the store and around a few blocks. I did, however, eat well. Except for the fact that I had crepes for breakfast, but I was moderate about them and very sparing on the butter. But I had a little Nutella. Emphasis on "little". Then the rest of the day? Healthy, and in reasonable portions. Everything from asparagus and artichokes (fresh!) and yogurt and wild rice and more. I think I'm being reasonable with my expectations, and I think I can keep up the habits I'm trying to form. Let's see what happens.

I will say that I've never eaten healthy like I have been in the last couple days and actually found myself enjoying the food. Like, ever. I always get bitter about it and never enjoy it, but this time I am enjoying it. Weird! That's a positive I can handle.

(My first attempt at tonight's meal was "okay" but I think a few more tries out at it might yield a delicious dish. I bought two nice artichokes and carved 'em to bits [I'm much faster than I was many moons ago when I tried it once before!] and then drowned 'em in the juice of two lemons, and sauteed them in olive oil and garlic for a minute, added salt and lemon juice, then a dozen cherry tomatoes, a cup of good chicken stock, and four chicken thighs. Covered, simmered for about 7 minutes or so, threw in a half-dozen asparagus spears, and cooked them till they were done. Served a couple thighs and some artichokes and asparagus on a bed of the rild rice with some of the reduced stock as jus all over the place. The reduced stock with artichokes/tomatoes/asparagus/garlic/lemon was fucking phenomenal, so that's how I know this dish has legs -- or thighs -- because the chicken was tasty and juicy, the sauce great, but something's missing. I'll fuck around with it later in the season when I'm not being gouged for asparagus. Today, though, it was a nice treat. Back to being cheap again, tho. Brocolli will be a good seasonal substitute.)

My holidays were pointless. I accomplished little, wrote little, podcasted NONE, and really might as well have just thrown December away. Had some good times, but that's about all I can say for the month. Oh, and did some nifty rearranging of the homestead and, hey, I like what I've done to the place, but that's it.

And in the morning, it's back to work. Oh, boy. Fun. Not like I've missed much of it -- worked 25 hours over Christmas week. Grr. Ah well.

In other news, we had another massive dumping of rain last night / this morning. Whew. Up to 150 mm fell in some regions. That's about 6 inches for you imperialists. Doesn't sound like much, but again it was enough to wash out roads, yada, yada.

Y'know, it's times like these some of us wish that Global Warming thing would hurry up 'cos this El Nino let's-rain-for-four-months bullshit wears thin on some of us. 2007 might be the last year I'm a scooter rider, y'know. Yeesh. I'm missing my shitty old green hatchback these days. I'm missing it a whole damn lot, man.

Well. My place is tidy. My fridge reasonably full. I'm tired. I should sleep, but something tells me insomnia looms. It's that day-before-back-to-work thing where the body says, "No, you're too well rested to work. Here. Stay up and think about stupid shit."

And that, my friends, is where you come in. But now I'm going to go lie on the couch and let Letterman tuck me in. I should get a giggle-snort or two out at least before a fit of the ZZZZzzZZs attacks me and declares victory with short work of it.

Now, aren't you glad I saved you time and didn't ask you to actually read this? You read it? Wow. What a waste. Three minutes you'll never again possess. May I offer you a leftover thigh? Oh, NOW you stop reading. Sure. Fine. Be that way. I'll just be over here, snacking.

Wah! I have to be an adult again!

In about 45 minutes, I'm declaring my vacation over. Getting back to work in more ways than one. I'm going to fuss with a template and do a few other things. I think I've been on a break, sort of, since the start of December.

I've hated the thought of writing. I'm sick and tired of being honest and up front with MY shit. I'm as fucked up as you or he or she or they. We all have our crap, and I've been airing mine for a good long time.

I wonder if the fear of having to write about shit has changed how I might act in some situations. I dunno. I decided I'd sort of try to stop writing about every little thing this past month. I think I needed to hear my own voice for a little while.

To be honest, what I need is a week squirrelled away in some Pacific hideaway. Oregon, Tofino, whatever. Locked up. No people. FUCK people. GAWD. I'm in this "I love you but I hate you, can you come back in a week?" mindset right now. Can't shake it! I'm sure it'll go away soon, though. Still. I would just kill to be in a seaside room with the smell of salt and the crash of a violent Pacific wave on a rocky outcrop, scribbling away on a pad.

But all I got is the splash of hell-bent cars swooshing up the main drag just east of me, that and the "it's only 'fresh' because it's been raining hard for two days" urban air outside. Hardly enthralling, I assure you.

Anyhow. Don't let this fat ass fool you. Vacation's over. Shit needs to get done. As much as I'd rather be in Oregon.

(Fuckety fuck fuck fuck. Curse you, city of mine.)

On the happy side of things -- we're halfway through winter! Aha! Yay! Woohoo! Huzzuh!

And I have things to do. So, I'm going to get cracking. I will continue doing the job search as I have been. It's creative. Shows my pugnaciousness long before they meet me, meaning I'm not going to be going to anyone too stiff or proper. Hopefully I can avoid the discrimination this time 'round.

It's really fucking ironic it happened when it did. I was already underway with a "get healthy now" plan. Now, though, I'm real good and motivated.

Tonight I'm trying to invent something sort of Tuscan peasant or something. Instead of having it with bread, though, I'll have wild rice. I'm cooking with my own stock, so I expect everything to be rich and flavourful. Also cooked in stock will be the main course -- asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and a couple fresh artichokes. Cooked in lemon juice and stock with a couple chicken thighs. I'm trying to decide between fresh thyme or basil, tho. Leaning towards the latter as I have it. :P

But, yeah, there'll be a few other things in there -- shallots, etc, to build some flavour. I was trying to think of something nice and healthy I could do using my stock. I made 20 cups of it! I still have a carcass in the freezer, as well as another bird to roast, so within 2 weeks I'll have another 20 cups of it. So, I can use it in everything. Besides, it's cold'n'flu season. My flu shot combined with steady doses of homemade chicken stock will make me invulnerable!


Yeah. I need to get away. Or someone needs to up my medication. Sigh. January blahs are here. Just imagine, there are 28 days left of the January blahs as well as 28 days of the February ones, too. But I come from hardy Irish stock, right? I can tuff it out. Ick.

I have this dream writer's cabin in my mind. It's one I wrote as a setting in a story I wrote a few years back. It's a wooden cabin, but finished with 1x10 slat siding, not logs. Dark, too. Windows have stained oak frames. Rustic drapes with country patterns. Plank flooring inside and out. My old 1840s camelback armchair would be there, next to homemade bookshelves. A lumpy leather couch with a blanket on it. Some spot-worn rugs scattered about. Oil lamps for the spotty electrical service, thanks to the spurts of bad weather in the winter, my favourite time to hole up.

But, y'know, many a place will do. :)

Well. An ambitious day lies ahead, and the hours are growing late, so. Off to the shower. Fitting that the trashmen are crashing about in the alley below.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Rambling on Music, Depression, and Eras Gone By

I'm kind of depressed today. It's that "should be productive" kind of catalyst, though. Something good will come of it. Ever have those depressions? You know it's totally sucking, but it's sucking in a way that's going to be a good thing 'cos it'll give you focus?

Blah! So, I'm listening to The Happy Mondays' Thrills, Pills, & Bellyaches. It's one of those albums I was smart enough to buy but never in the mood for. Now, in my 30s, I get why it gave me cachet back in the day. That Jon Spencer, Nick Cave. I'm so 1994, it hurts.

I watched Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hr Party People today. My boss, of all people, recommended it to me. We tend to have pretty kosher movie tastes. I still remember her falling totally for Go a few years ago. I don't know how this movie flew under my radar. It's fucking great.

All about the Manchester scene and the underrated genius who was key in seeing it all happen, Tony Wilson. Quite well done. Funny, wry, full of good tunes.

This whole not-getting-the-job thing was a big downer. She handled that highly shittily. She could've jumped to that conclusion sooner and saved me a couple weeks of grief. Shitty deal, truly. But it is what it is. It's a good catalyst at this time of year. I'm mad now. Pretty mad.

It's a different kind of thing to prove, I guess.

I've been downloading music again. Can't remember what. It was late and on a whim. (I entered "best" as the search item and then scoured the thousand titles it came up with and clicked on a bunch of random ones, about 20 or so. Heh. Pixies, Tom Waits, '80s, Moby, James Brown (RIP, et al), Woody Guthrie... Yeah. All over the place. "Best Number Ones in the World EVER!" too, which is an amusing list of 60 number one hits. Clearly a UK perspective. Wet Wet Wet? Not a lot of North Americans would say "Love is All Around" is in that realm of, say, "Beat it", which didn't make the list (nor did any other Jackson number). I think it's more a list of the improbables from the Limey perspective.

North America's list would have stuff like "Love Shack" by the B-52s, "Sledge Hammer" by Peter Gabriel, "No Rain" by Blind Melon, "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder, "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Walk Like an Egyptian" and a few others. Any of a few by U2, something by the Police (King of Pain?) would've worked on either list but would probably make neither, for some strange reason. Givens?

Pretty big musical differences on each side of the pond. A movie like this is so cool that way.

It's weird. You see movies like this that are taken at a time when you were vaguely aware of it all coming down. I was a New Order fan but never really got into Joy Division. I was more of an OMD girl, anyhow. But I was into all this shit the first time around. I never really realized what kind of a scene-shattering build-up happened before it all took hold, though, across the pond for folks like me.

See, back in 1994, I was living in the Yukon. I made friends with a couple guys from the CBC who'd opened an indie record shop in Whitehorse. It was called Grizzly Discs. It was literally a cubby hole and every square inch was filled with discs, most of them having been sent to the guys as DJ samplers over the years. I arranged a deal where I'd order shit in after reading it in all my magazines, from RS to NME to Spin and Q and so forth. I'd circle the reviews that interested me the most, drop by, show the guys, and the deal was, anything I took a chance on and they never heard, they'd open the packet, copy it for themselves, and give me 20% off the suggested retail price.

And I still have most of those discs today, too. I went back there on a vacation in 1996, and Grizzly had shut down. Seems like I was in my own right place at the right time back then. I had some of the coolest tastes in the North back then. That summer was my summer of music, ergo summer of drugs. Ah, the north. I need to tell you people more of the stories.