For you, the dress code is casual.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Global Dumbing, The Ooga Boogans, and Mind Probes!

I was wondering. If the planet's atmosphere is filling up rapidly with carbon dioxide, could that mean people are getting less exposure to oxygen?

It would explain the increasing stupidity out there, don't you think? Just now, I gassed up, and this dumb, pathetic woman who served me asked "Is that bike thing your bike thing?" Uh. Is that scooter mine, yes. You moron.

No more oxygen for you. You deserve none. Stupid, stupid person.

Really, sometimes I have to wonder: How is that person possibly living on the same planet as me? It's the only time when I really start to buy into the whole notion of reincarnation. Clearly, I've been through a half-dozen or so lives in comparison. Otherwise, this nature-versus-nurture scheme needs some real fuckin' rethinkin', y'know?


Once upon a dimension, there was a girl named Steff. Steff toiled fastidiously in the post-production realm of the regional film industry, where she would be chained for long, gruelling hours at her closed captioning station, pounding away at the keyboard, churning out captioned show after captioned show.

For a short time in that alternate universe, Steff got to work on odd little shows from past and present, all of which were to be released on DVD. It was fun, she thought, to work on shows that dated to her early childhood and beyond. Almost surreal, some days.

On one such surreal day, she worked on a children's television show from the late '60s, early '70s that must, for legal reasons, remain nameless. In this show, the characters traipsed off to the jungles of South America, where they encountered native tribes that, of course, as all natives once were, were evil, nasty, head-hunting fuckers.

The natives greeted them menacingly, and I quote, "Ooga booga! Ooga booga!"

The white travellers got together and schemed. They hatched a plan, and the eldest said, "Why, these heathen monkey savages will never know what hit them!"

Sadly, against my will, I had to caption [SPEAKING NATIVE LANGUAGE] for the "ooga booga" exchanges, which irks me to this day. Native? Methinks not.


Another all-time captioning great line I encountered at work once, "Did that alien mind probe extract all your common sense?"

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

You Must See This Movie

I mean it.


How we are as a race at times disgusts me. Everything is disposable, from cellphones to diapers. We tear down homes so we can have pretty new ones, generating massive waste in the process, rather than just revamping what's already there. We drive our vehicles a mile or two so we don't have to waste the time walking. People toss recyclables into garbage cans, neglect to sort out paper, and just hurtle waste wherever they feel like. We never upholster furniture anymore 'cos it's too cheap to buy something new. We buy packaged food like there's no tomorrow (and there may well not be, at this pace) and then we discard the wrappers anywhere we like.*

This is the Age of Waste, the Disposable Era. We oughta be fucking ashamed.

Thank god for Al Gore.

I saw An Inconvenient Truth tonight. I was first turned on to the issue of Global Warming by The Body Shop, actually, way back in high school. It daunted me, the notion of how much of the Amazon Rainforest was disappearing and the possible repercussions for man. But never have I seen such a well-made documentary on Global Warming, and I assure you, I've seen a few. Having worked in closed captioning for six years, I've captioned three or four myself, and I love PBS, so...

If you don't really know about Global Warming, or worse, you don't believe it, then you absolutely must see this movie. If Global Warming concerns you, then you absolutely must see this movie.

I do my bit. I ride a scooter (yes, this is mine pictured here). I recycle with a passion. I've reduced my waste. I pay attention to my electricity. I keep my heat on a reasonably low temperature, and turn it off in the spring. (The building has heat controls during the day, so it's self-regulated in the winter.) I don't idle my bike more than it needs to idle. I do what I can, really. If I could afford to outfit myself with solar power, I would.

I have a little dream of one day designing my own home based on this revoluntionary housing development on Seabird Island here in BC. With geothermal heating, solar power, heat induction windows, and more, it's the most environmental community you can find anywhere, and was applauded by international designers as well as the UN. Self-sustenance is a model we should all pursue, but we've become so reliant upon urban supplies that, for most of us, it's a fantasy, and not a model.

And how about vehicles? The United States, as illustrated by Gore in the movie, has the lowest levels of gas mileage required of auto makers of any nation in the world. CHINA is more enviro-conscious mileage-wise than America. There's been a law passed in California that will require cars sold there to be as mileage-conscious as China's current levels in 11 years. Naturally, this has met with strong resistance from Detroit. And why not? They're so behind the times that no one's buying them anymore. God forbid they should have to spend money and modernize.

Vancouver's making great strides these days. It's a unique city for a few reasons. One, there's no highway that goes through this city. None. City planners made a decision decades ago that no thru-way would be constructed that would dissect the city. Instead, there are many major arterial roads, yet no freeways or highways. They all end at the city limits. This keeps the city more residential feeling, despite having more than 2 million folks about. There are bike routes everywhere, and their numbers are increasing. We have one of the most illustrious bike / walk circuits in the world, with more than 37 kilometres (nearly 25 miles) of seaside "seawall" promenade encircling the city for its bicyclists and walkers. I'm proud of the movement towards electric bikes and scooters and bikes I see happening in this city, and it's probably no coincidence that our men live the longest of any men in the world now.

I've seen the effects of Global Warming hitting this province, and it's scary what's unfolded only since my teens. Endless tracts of BC's incredibly beautiful forests have been decimated by the pine beetles. Everywhere you go, it seems, the forests are brown and dead from the relentless assault of these beetles, a pestilence that only nature can overcome by way of a nasty cold snap lasting at least three weeks. Trouble is, this province no longer gets cold enough to kill the fuckers.

Then there's a tropical fungus that has grown on Vancouver Island, which killed someone and injured 52. Guess what? We're not supposed to be considered a tropical zone. That's changing.

I remember growing up, how it'd always be icing over by Halloween. We often had snow November first during my childhood. Handy, 'cos we'd stay home and eat candy and build snowmen after the gruelling hauls of All Hallow's Eve (on which we'd use pillow cases to gather candies. Fuck plastic bags!). These days, most of the winter passes before a frost even falls. It ain't nowhere near what it used to be.

I'm proud that we have a goal of making our Winter Olympics in 2010 the most energy-efficient of any Olympics ever. There's a plan in place to create a wind turbines in Whistler village that will be able to power at least 2,000 homes by then, which the government is hoping will create greater talk of alternative energy sources. I'm glad we're doing our bit to use our world stage to try and change perceptions. Every little bit helps.

Global Warming terrifies me, but it's our stupidity that really keeps me awake at night. People like Bush, who think it's "America's right" to consume as much fuel as it likes are people I feel ought to be lined up and systematically taken out with a quick bullet to the brain. Who the fuck do you think you are, using up all that fuel, causing as much waste as you feel like, with no regard for the future beyond tomorrow? That America and Australia won't ratify Kyoto, with America being the number one carbon dioxide producer in the world (with a fifth the population of China, yet more than double their polluting), abhors me. Fucking ridiculous is what it is.

According to the film, at least 100 or 200 million people (in just a few major cities in the world, let alone all the other coastal communities and villages, which probably takes it closer to 500 or more million) will be forced to relocate within the next couple decades as a result of potential waters rising more than 20 feet worldwide if/when portions of the Antarctic or Greenland ice shelfs should break off and slip into the ocean and cause massive erosion of shorelands worldwide. Then consider projections that our population is supposed to go from 6.4 billion up to 9.1 billion within 50 years, and ask yourself this: Where the fuck do they go then? Huh? It's not like the planet's not packed enough, but here we are, on the verge of shooting up by 50% population in less than 50 years, and eroding massive amounts of our shorelands, and we're doing this little to prevent this catastrophe? (Read the rest of this funny-yet-accurate cartoon here.)

Yeah. See this movie. See the early show, and talk about it. GayBoy and I almost always have something to say during flicks. I think the last time we sat silent through a film might have been Schindler's List. This movie, we were silent from start to finish. It's not a boring documentary. Al Gore will have you sitting there rapt for the entire film. I promise. See it. Learn. Change your ways. Save your world.

And do it now.

*I say that if we continue to allow fast food chains to exist, it should be incumbent upon them to conceive of recycling methods for their containers, and they should be compelled to employ people responsible for weekly patrols of the region within a square kilometre of their businesses in order to collect and dispose of, environmentally, that trash discarded by their patrons. If they cannot educate their patrons, then their profits should be held ransom by way of alleviating the problem THEY have caused.

Reality Checks and Paychecks

I cancelled a second interview this morning when I realized that I would absolutely, without a doubt, undeniably hate working for the people I was to interview with.

The woman called me after an interview Monday, while I was cooking at the stove, never asked if I had a moment, told me I had to arrive earlier than I wanted to for the appointment, et cetera. That's not cool. Show people respect. Not even working there and they already felt they owned my time. What sort of demonstration of democracy is that?

There was another interview a week and a half ago where the people kept me waiting for 40 minutes because the woman "forgot" files at home. The thing is, I pulled up ten minutes early, and saw a woman getting into an SUV right in front of me. It was the interviewer, I would soon find out. That, too, is not cool. Let's show some respect. You see these things from a prospective employer? Just don't go there.


This morning, after cancelling that appointment, I decided that I needed to cover my ass and engage in a little self-preservation. I promptly rushed out to the Welfare offices to apply for emergency income assistance. You just can't wait for fate to decide your future, you know? Self-preservation provoked me, what can I say.

Holy motherfucking hell, Batman.

I've since realized an incontrovertible truth. There are four kinds of people, as far as I can discern, who go on welfare. They are:
  1. Like me, the kinds of people who just find themselves in a jam and really, honestly, do need just a temporary helping hand, who've just run out of options and have painted themselves into a corner.
  2. Then there are the types who don't really need a helping hand, but just have no motivation and like to take advantage of the system because they feel they're "entitled" to the money. "Hey, I pay taxes. Or did, once. It's my money."
  3. Then there are the types who have just lost their will, who are addicts or have no prospects (and want none) and, again, take advantage of whatever they can.
  4. Finally, there are the types who really, truly need the help. Life's fucked them over, they've nowhere to turn, and they could probably use even more help than the inconsequential amounts being provided to them through public assistance. (In my case, with $1250 minimum in bills per month, I would have been entitled to $510 only, for example.)
["Oh, HEY, wait a second," you're thinking. "Did she just use past tense?" Why, yes, Watson. Indeed I did. Your conclusion is probably elementary, but do let me continue. I have momentum. Don't fuck with it, eh? Stay tuned.]

I, unfortunately, was motivated to go in on what is infamously dubbed as "Welfare Wednesday" -- on a new moon, no less.

There, I saw an assortment of people, but the predominant kind of person there was belligerent to the staff, twitching like mad as they needed fixes of their favourite drugs, people who didn't care about how they looked, had the all-over body sores that come from hardcore heroin and meth addictions, and so forth. The odd person was, like me, from category one, but most were in category three, and some in two, and one or two people were the really, truly needy people that I have nothing but empathy for.

While doing the 40-minute wait for my chat with a worker, a lot of thoughts ran through my head. Mostly, it was "I do not belong here." Thoughts on my mother, and how proud she was -- too proud. How she did everything she could to never go in and get help like that, and how I suspect that that sped along her demise a little quicker than it might have come if she could have known she'd be paying her bills. Stress never helps cancer, you see.

I thought about the people I've known who were category-two and -three types, taking advantage of a system that really needs to be there for people like me who've been caught short-handed, and people who just need a fucking helping hand 'cos no other options are open to me. And I was angry at the abusers.

I was disgusted when I saw the elevator on the way down, too. Filled with spit, from people who just don't respect anyone or anything.

No, I thought. I don't belong here. I should never need to receive this money. God willing, I never will. I'm a different breed -- driven, motivated, talented, and skilled. A girl who got herself in trouble, that's all.


And a girl who got herself out of it.

I've been told I have a job. We'll see if it's the right fit. You never know, and it's a big commitment, these job things. There're enough options out there that I may be able to upgrade or whatnot, but for the time being, it's a good start. I've met my goal to find work for the first week of July. I'm proud of myself. Within three weeks, I've found a job. I'm in serious contention for five others. I've done well.

I fucking rock. I hope there's more to come. I want to know I've wowed people. I want to know this job's my choice, not my only option, you know?

Great timing. I'm proud, thrilled, satisfied, relieved, and everything else I could be right now.

There's nothing like getting tested with fire and learning you're capable of not getting burned. Fuckin' A, man. And now, a bikeride awaits.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Adventures With GayBoy! Part Gazillion!

We went to the Spag, rode a dyke or two, then hit up Timmy Ho's for sthpeshul sthervice from Clefty!

The Treatment:
We rode the nasty 25 minute-long ride out to SilverCity where we planned to see our movie, then Genius (that'd be me) realized the coupons for FREE ADMISSION had been left at home! (I so thtoopid!)

So, we decided to have some food and then see if we wanted to ride back and get the coupons. Enter The Old Spaghetti Factory.

Now, the OSF is a nostalgic place. Meaning, the only reason people go there is because their parents took them when they were six. (Me! Me!) The food? Shit. The service? Mediocre. The cleanliness? It's predominantly frequented by kids (do the math).

But here's what I wrote on the comment card I'm about to mail in:

The "rich" tomato sauce completely lacked flavour. I could easily surpass it at home by merely adding BASIL to HUNT'S CANNED TOMATO SAUCE. Oh, and salt. The "clam" sauce contained ONE clam. (ONE!) Again, the tomato sauce was the most uninspired I've ever had. Did I mention that? There was WATER on the plate from the poorly drained pasta. It was so overcooked no sauce would stick to it. I won't even mention the obviously canned "button" mushrooms in the sauce, either. Oh, wait, I just mentioned it!

And... wait for it. Wait for it! Within 30 minutes my friend developed the trots from your so-called "potpourri" of pasta. MmM.
We took our scooters up and down the dykes after, ate a few mouthfuls of riverside bugs. (Well, the food wasn't doing much for us, and the protein wasn't too bad a notion.) GayBoy says, "I'm STILL spitting up bugs!"

Finally, we hit up the legendary Timmy Ho's (Tim Horton's, for the uninitiated) where we were served by a guy with a really, really nasty cleft lip. The kind that stylized cartoon characters might have PLUS new braces. We couldn't understand a word. We ordered and hoped for the best, and passed over excessive funds just in case. Coins were obviously contributed to the Tim Horton's Camp for Kids With Special Needs fund there on the counter. "Go, Clefty, go! Paddle faster!"

"Sthank you and thome again!" (The kid was nice, and I feel sorry for him, but it was unfortunately really, really funny to a couple loser-gigglers like GayBoy and me. But we were cracking ourselves up as GayBoy couldn't decide between the "apple" or "blueberry" fritter.

"Get the blueberry," I said. "They're in season."

He guffawed, "No, not these, they've NEVER been in season."

Then I noticed they had "Maple" Dip as well as "Canadian Maple" donuts.

"What," I asked, "are the others from Vermont? They're imported?"

At Timmy's? Imported donuts? NoOoOOoo! Anyhow, Clefty was there at the counter, giggling at everything we said, and looked about 10 pounds lighter as we left, so he obviously had a good time at our expense, so it's only fair we should return the favour, right? Clefty rocks. I just didn't understand a fucking word, is all.)

(Ever since, we've been doing the Brady Bunch movie line ad nauseum: "Thee you at the theethaw, Thindy!")

Furthermore, I now need to add this passage to the OSF comment card:

Dear sirs--

I wish to be reimbursed for the can of air freshener I had to use when my friend, forced by necessity, evacuated his bowels in my residential washroom. Aromatically scarred for life, I'll never think of my loo quite in the same way again, and it is entirely your fault.

Not happily yours,
A Scribe Called Steff.

(Oh, and in case your Steff Decoder Ring is busted, this means I had a wildly fun but stupid night. Bad food, stupid mistakes, cruel observations, dining on bugs, illegally riding scooters on dykes... shit! All good! Fun! Life's too short to do normal good things all the time, you know.)


I've just found four white hairs! I found one a couple days ago, and another a few days before that! This is horrid! I'm 32! This is SO wrong! I'm too cute and cuddly to go grey YET.

Gah! I! MUST! GET! A! JOB! The stress, the stress!

An Exchange

GayBoy popped by unannounced at about 10:15 last night. I scurried off as soon as I buzzed him to gather things and tidy up the bathroom a bit. I hear the door creak open as GayBoy pads into the living room.

"Running away to put on your face?" he calls out.

"Yeah. Right. Like I'm gonna put on makeup for you?" I snipe.

"Oh, just because I won't put out?"

This is what I have to put up with.

(Besides, I was in my Joe Boxers and a concert shirt. Like makeup would help.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

pretty stoked.

job interviews went well, all four of them. one more to come tomorrow. i cannot begin to express to you how much i want one of those jobs in particular. another would also be a great one to get. one would be acceptable, and one i'd rather not land.

my blogs are traceable to me, so i'd be an idiot to say much more, and i'm already dumb for having said anything, but really, i have a nice vocabulary, so i at least seem somewhat intelligent, and i did real good in grade eight drama, so who cares about intellect?

tomorrow, like i sez, 'nother interview. should be coolies. then in the evening, i'm seeing the doc An Inconvenient Truth. (three words: free admission coupons!) i'm prepared to be depressed as all hell and want to come home and curl up in an ice cube bath* as i fret about how hot it is outside and the fact that glaciers are melting and politicians are shrinking like the fucking cowards they are, too scared to confront big business or the stupidity of a car-driving society that can't learn how to get around a little less dependent on dino fuels than we are.

i mean, shit. tangent time! know what kills me? there's laws about how much you can drink and drive. there's laws about talking on cellphones, even. there's laws about having to signal. there are so many laws designed to "keep us safe" on the roads...

...yet they sell fucking cars that go more than three times the legal speed limit in any country in the world, except perhaps on germany's autobahn. i mean, what kid needs a car that goes 320 km an hour? how the fuck is it even necessary to have that much speed?

they sell scooters like mine with restrictors on them, so you can't go past 60k on 'em, and sure people derestrict them... but most people don't. it's just unnecessary.

yeah, i don't get the fucking governments, ever. i'm not an anarchist yet, but jesus, the more stupidity i see, the more i wonder if we shouldn't get into self rule and vote these motherfuckers out.

i hate feeling like the only person in the world with common sense sometimes.

and it'll be cool to see a depressing-as-hell doc. betcha it wins the Oscar for best doc. the Guy wants Wordplay, a doc about crosswords to win. cool movie, good times, good fun, but i'd rather see a movie about global warming win so people can wake the fuck up and be one with their bikes or something and start doing their bloody part to cut things down.

(hey, i ride a scooter, man.)

*i twice had fevers of 105.5 as a kid and know what an ice cube bath feels like. wrong, fucking wrong, and when you're hotter than soup, it's even more wrong. saved my life, but feels so wrong.

Again with the Justification!

Hmm. "In times of war," seems to be the echoing refrain for why any action taken by the American government is justified, whether it's suppressing rights at Guantanamo, or tapping phones, or now tracking the finances of alleged persons who may (or may not) be involved in "terrorist" activities.

I take issue with the justification for a few reasons. One, here in Canada, we've seen a number of people wrongfully arrested, caused great duress, and eventually released, all on the premise that they might be a terrorist, but mostly because they're of the right descent, religion, and skin colour. This bothers me. I'm certain there are a great many more travesties occurring under the guise of "war-time safety" in the US, though.

Let's get something straight. It's not war. It's not a constant barrage of attacks, an endless stream of night-time air raids and frontline assaults. It's random, it's sporadic, and frankly, nothing has happened for almost half a decade. I'm not suggesting it's time to get all soft and nonchalant about the dangers posed by extremists, but I am indeed saying that calling it an ongoing war is a misuse of vocabulary.

What it is, my jaded little political hacks, is a new normal. We're living in a world where money talks and nuclear devices walk. There's trade for everything, and there are weapons to be had, and had by the wrong sort of crowd. This isn't some five-year moratorium on right and wrong. This is a new normal and it's never, ever going to go back to the good old days.

So, where is the line drawn? When do we finally get the right to talk in private on our own phones, to send emails under the assumption that it's private, or do banking without recrimination? When does it become an invasion of privacy on the part of the government?

It's bad enough that corporations sell our purchasing habits as "demographic" research to each other and have the legal right to do so. It's bad enough that almost anyone can Google who we are and discover rather unsavoury things about each of us with a flick of the mouse button. It's bad enough that this reality of the world having changed so drastically on our watch is becoming more and more unavoidable with each passing day. But now we have governments trying to justify eroding the last of our freedoms, freedoms alotted to each of us by way of constitutional protection.

It's simply not right that a changing state of the world today can leave the government with greater powers than ever before. It's disgusting that this decision to have government not interfere with business so as to keep a thriving market alive should contradict so greatly with the government's enthusiasm to invade the life of the everyman. I mean, where's the outcry? Where's the realization that there's a big bad ol' twinge of hypocrisy going on here, huh?

It's sad how complacent the average person has gotten, how willing they are to succumb to a government that tells them it needs to take away rights to protect people. I think the government's a little too given to the path of least resistence, and instead of being more judicious about the usurping of rights, they tend to use too much justification for using a broad approach.

Once freedoms are gone, though, it's pretty fucking difficult to win them back. It's ironic, this quest to bring freedom to others elsewhere, yet continuously eroding them at home. It's almost comedic, really.

(JobSearch update: Three interviews? I meant to say four! Off to the fourth one now. Booked it on my lunch, it was the cellphone message from the weekend. Glad I called, too, because they're apparently only interviewing today, so I'd have been out of luck. One of those must-hire-NOW scenarios. My old employer informs me that I've had one reference check now, and that they loved my resume and couldn't stop praising it, which is nice to hear, and I have a phone interview scheduled with those people tomorrow, so that's not even including the folks I've spoken with today. Fingers crossed! And toes. Must cross toes. Trickier, though.)

I'm Melting! I'm Melting!

God. Shoot me now! It's to be 31 degrees today, which really means about 35-36 downtown, and I have three interviews! Agh! (That means about 100 degrees to the Yanks. C'mon! Join the rest of the world and embrace metric and celsius!)

Never fell below about 22 degrees last night. (That's about 75.)

Sigh! I leave in an hour. I'm sort of feeling upbeat and positive, because I made myself laugh about something stupid within 2 minutes of waking, and now can't remember what, but getting up and smiling right off's always a good start, you know?

Know what made me laugh?

I'm lying there in bed, trying to psyche myself up. Today, I will win a job from my efforts. Today, I will be so good, so cool, that I'll get offered more than one job. I'll get offered three jobs!

Then I'll have to choose a job! I had to do that last time I started new employment at the captioning company, between that and an art co.

And then I had this image of that nasty Zuul bitch from the end of Ghostbusters.

What do you mean, choose?
Choose the form of your destructor!

Not that employment is the destructor, but, hey... :)

(But I'm gonna freak if any of the interviewers looks like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. If I even see a sailor's cap, I'm running.)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

the best cure...

...for performance anxiety is micro-management.

i have pre-done a complete itinerary for my day tomorrow, including everything from what i plan to make for breakfast to the addresses of each of my interviews complete with directions on how to get there, as i've looked everything up on mapquest. i know this city and its environs intimately, having lived here all my life, but when it comes to job interviews, i never, ever leave it to chance.

i've written out details of the job interviews, printed out all my original cover letters for quickie reference before i go in.

tips i find work for me --
  • it doesn't matter if you've emailed your resume to a job's HR department; never, ever show up without a paper copy in a manila envelope in your briefcase. ever. never take a backpack, either. look like a professional. this isn't college.
  • always make sure your hands are dry and of normal temp before the interview -- clammy hands show nerves, and while everyone has nerves, it's the confident people who get jobs.
  • always show up early.
  • always turn off your cellphone.
  • never look at your watch.
  • always make eye contact. smile often.
  • if you're thinking of an answer, then shut up and think; never, ever hem or haw or emit an "um" or "uh." you'll sound like a fucking moron.
  • always allow 75 minutes for an interview, 90 to be sure. if they like you, they will probe you like you're an alien in Area 51.
  • always allow time for parking, or plan to have things go sideways, and build an extra 15-20 minutes of travel time in, no matter how close it is.
  • don't lie about how much money you want. lowball them and then they'll take you up on the under-valued pay you've proposed. tell them what you really want. all they can do is say no. sometimes, they agree. you're worth it because you believe you are, you know.
i've got my resumes printed off, and they're paperclipped, not stapled, so they can spread it out in front of them. i'll iron my clothes tonight, prepare some of my breakfast, reread all the cover letters i've sent, and make sure i've got gas in my scooter, moist towellettes to clean my hands in case anything should dirty 'em between here and there (and in case i need to put hair product in after my scoot -- sticky hands are bad, too, obviously).

basically, i'm going to control everything i can, tonight, before bed, so all i have to do is worry about one thing... being Super Steff. the "employ me NOW" uber-Steff who really fucking deserves not just a job, but every single fucking one i'm interviewing for.

hell, i've even written on my schedule to take calcium at 7pm tonight as it's a known sleep-aid for women. funny, but this neurosis might make the difference with everything.

and now, a nap, 'cos my fucking 4 hours sleep didn't cut it. i have a plan now. i feel more confident. it's all about me, not them. i just need to remember that. later, i might head out on my bike. that, or just walk around my hood. my lack of sleep kicked my ass. that, and the quesadilla. woke up after an hour of sleep and bowed to the porcelain god. may have been minor food poisoning. always a nice gift on a stressful weekend. coulda just been stress, too. mexican and stress, y'know, probably an unwise combo.

an unemployed insomniac ramble

in the blink of a sleepless eye, another five minutes has passed.

insomnia has struck, mercilessly. so too has the quesadilla from many hours ago, and the pepto bismol's yet to kick in. worries plague me. this lack of control over my life, my glaring unhappiness with my present, the tease of what might lie ahead but, as yet, does not.

i can't afford to be sleepless; not this weekend. not now. i need this. in just over two hours, the sun will breach the horizon, and warm light will filter across the city. if i've not fallen asleep by then, i'll take a sunrise ride. i used to do that a lot, back in the late nineties. i'd get up at 4:00am, hop on my bicycle, cycle down around stanley park, through spiderweb after spiderweb that'd been spun during the night, proof that no fool had been up earlier than i. i'd close things off with a breakfast of mojo fries, eggs, crispy bacon, and multigrain toast at Hamburger Mary's (who sinfully no longer serve mojos; the fuckers) and then i'd head back home, and die a good death.

i don't think i'll do as hardcore a bikeride as i'd like to do. i can't afford the risk of Stupid Shit coming down, and fucking myself out of what could be a temporary dream job.

so much for Rocky. i was going to get inspired by one of the all-time most inspirational movies, but found Trainspotting on. i started thinking, 'hey, now all's i need is to find me a heroin deal that nets me an 8x return on my investment. wickid.'

unfortunately, once a catholic, always a catholic, and i can't do such things. hell, i don't even know if i have it in me to take a shit job and fuck someone over as soon as a "good" job comes along. i'm just built too ethically. but, i tell ya, if ever the self-preservation mode was to kick in, now's the bloody time.

god, i'm frustrated. nothing in my life is working as i wish it would. i'm on the verge with so many things. the potential of a good relationship, yet not quite there. the potential of losing much more weight, but no energy to do the exercising even though i'm eating better. the potential for insanely good jobs, but still not in the know. the potential to be launching a podcast, but too much other shit has reared its ugly head.

it's like the cosmos is pointing and laughing, saying, "you! limbo! until we sez you're done! hardy-har-har." fuck you, cosmos. bring me my check, man, i'm done like dinner.

you know, i've been through things, man. i spent my entire childhood sick, reading. it's why i feel so in touch with words. they saved me when no one else could. i spent every friday morning at the hospital, getting blood drawn, hoping this time the tests would tell what was wrong with me. in grade four, my kidney began to fail. i was checked into Children's Hospital. my kidney was about to come out when they discovered that there was an outside chance Bactrim could put me into remission. i stayed there three weeks.

during the stay, my roommate died of lung cancer in the night. a couple other kids died, too, that i'd been hanging with. i was staying on the cancer ward. let me tell you what fucks you up in grade four, man. understanding death, is what.

i nearly failed grade four, but passed on trial given my medical circumstances, and in grade five, my classmate sam died of leukemia. the next year, i won the first year's award in his name for most improved student when i was getting A's after nearly flunking 18 months prior.

i dealt with my parent's divorce by way of being my mother's shrink. she dumped everything on me, and it really fucked me up and spiralled me into depression. then she sunk into a worse depression. i've never yet written about the day she attempted suicide after a fight with me... i lunged across the room and punched her across the face to make her spit out the mouthful of sleeping pills. she lived, forgot she attempted suicide, but i never did. i spent the next couple years freaking out every time she left the house and came home late. being in real estate, that happened a lot.

i was in a bad seven year relationship i don't want to talk about.

i was thrown from a horse mid-jump and fell down a flight of stairs, all in the same 6 week period, things i think i've never fully gotten over, since i need to visit the chiropractor monthly.

there's the dead-mom thing, the four serious vehicle accidents in a decade thing, the three blown knees in 16 months thing, the migraines daily for 8 months thing, and more.

and i don't know what it is, why i still have this thing down inside me that tells me life is worth living, it's worth this adversity, it's worth this struggle, this pain, this angst, this everything. it's just worth it all.

when you see the sun breaking over the mountains, or hear the crash of a wave, or wake up in the arms of someone you care about, or eat something amazing for the first time, or see an incredible sweaty live gig, or have that random moment of perfection hit you for absolutely no reason, you simply know all that other shit was worth it if only for this.

and it's that crave, that love of life that makes days like this so intolerably painful. i just long for a great sensation. i want to feel that bubbly feeling that comes when a genuine smile spreads across my lips or a mirthful giggle builds belly-up. it's like it fills the whole body sometimes.

and i realize now that it's been a long, long time coming. i've had moments, but they've been fleeting.

but i can't escape this feeling that i've earned satisfaction. i deserve happiness. and i feel like my debt's about paid, and soon, very soon, i should reap some of the rewards. i won't allow any less. i'm tired of coasting through life. i'm tired of "protecting" myself from hurts by not taking risks, only to live an underwhelming life day in and day out, a life i know i'm so much better than.

ah, sigh. a ramble, this.

i'm the kind of person that looks for symbolism in my life. i found it interesting that i should lose all my sunglasses in the year i've been unemployed. yes, "all." two clip-ons, and the actual pair of shades themselves. the thing you need to know about me is this: i don't lose shit. i don't. i've never EVER lost a hearing aid, and i'm 32. i've never lost my keys. i mean, i missplace things from time to time, but actually lose them? i lost shades in a gig with 15,000 people once and had 'em returned to me. yup, unscathed.

but i was thinking, what kind of symbolism could it be, losing all my glasses, and particularly my rose-coloured shades last? maybe, i thought, it was time to take a good, clear fucking look at my life. maybe i had to start seeing things as they are, not what i want them to be or hope them to be, but what they are.

i'm really, really hoping this is my week. this is the week i find a job that makes me feel a tad more complete. and then july 4th would be my first day at work. independence day. my independence. and not just financially, but emotionally. i'd finally know that i really, truly, honestly, don't need another fucking soul in my life. when i get a job, it will have been all my doing. period. no help from anyone. no legs up. no "i know someone" moments of patronage. me, my smarts, my dedication, my thoroughness, and most importantly, my resilience.

i was at my chiro's the other day, getting adjusted, telling her all my shit, and she just shrugged. "you'll be fine," she said. "you're the definition of resilience. the shit i've seen you go through, girl... next time i see you, you'll be working full time in a job you enjoy. i know it, and i'm not concerned. resilient."

and it annoyed the shit out of me, to tell you the truth. i'm sick of everyone around me being so blase about this. "you'll be fine." uh-huh. right. i'm hoping so, but right now, it ain't feeling so fine.

it's weird, though, 'cos i have the OhSHITS, but i also have the INtheBAGS, too. i know what's inside of me, and the determination... whew. it's just sucking to have to prove it, that's all.

and it's sucking to not be sleeping, but maybe now i will. yawn. let's hope.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Brave Face Cracks, then Crumbles

I've beem wearing a brave face these past couple of weeks, since finding myself in this need-work-now bind, and I've been doing everything I can to stay positive, but today it was finally just too much. I've spent much of the last 3+ hours in tears, or at least fighting them off. That I had company and was out in the world was just adding to the fucking humiliation of feeling this weak, this scared.

I still feel weak, scared, and, hell, terrified. I still have tears tumbling down my cheeks, and there's nothing I can do to make them go away.

I'd kill for a bit of dope right now, or a good bottle of wine. Something to numb this pain/fear/horror and make it all dissipate.

The last time I felt this scared, this complete lack of control over my existence, was when I was making $9 an hour, working retail, living at home, and discovered my mother was dying.

I haven't been able to remember how horribly black and daunting all that terror was until now. Today, I feel it. Today, I'm drowning in it. Today, I just couldn't pretend any more.

When I got home Thursday night, I was so tired, so frustrated, so nearly at the end of my rope, that I felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Today, I feel a little worse. I'm keeping it together, not because I can, not because there's room to do so, but merely because I have no choice.

If there is anything I know about myself, it's how strong I am. The shit I've been through, y'know, it's like forging steel; the more you put it into fire, the stronger it becomes. I've met the smelter more than I ever cared to, and I always walk away a stronger person.

But there are moments when you break. Moments I break. Moments my shards need to get melted down, and something needs to be fashioned anew. I'm there, now. I'm so fucking sick of the life I've been leading.

You see, when you're going through shit, it's easier to take the "soft" road. Work the job you're barely tolerating, because less is expected of you, and challenges come few and far between. Do what it takes to get by, but don't push yourself. After all, you have a storm to weather, right? But in that complacent reduction of self, that desperate attempt to dial things down in order to cope, we lose something of who we are.

Me, I'm a talented, creative, driven person who spent the last decade of her life not pursuing the harder path because to not go there meant not failing. I've gradually been pushing myself closer and closer to pursuing real dreams, doing real things, and this was the year it was going to begin to materialize. And maybe it has. Maybe that groundwork has been laid. Maybe I'm on that verge.

But today, tonight, I feel like I'm swimming against the tide, but the tide isn't what it seems -- it's the flush of a toilet, and one false move, and everything I've built for myself in the past decade goes right down the drain.

I'm fucking terrified. No one I know can help me. No one has money. No one has a job to throw my way. And frankly, I don't want it. But a time may come in the next few weeks that I have to go and swallow that pride and beg, go on welfare, whatever the fuck it takes.

Ironically, Monday might also be the day my future changes. I have three job interviews, and two scheduled calls to discuss promising positions, so that's five jobs I could land, not including the three I interviewed for last week. At any other time in my life, I'd be fucking over the moon, not only having the number of interviews lined up that I do, but the fucking CALIBRE of interviews, man!

Three of the five are all places I have consciously thought of as being desireable workplaces in the last five years. THREE of them! And I have interviews for them all! Fucking amazing!

But, tonight, I sit here in the realization that I absolutely need a job. I have no credit, thanks to my decision to cut up my card and pay off my debt -- then I was laid off, and without a job, you can't get credit. Oops. Yeah. Don't I wish I hadn't made that choice, huh? Fuck, man. That'd be five grand of ass-saving money now. Never, ever again do I make my credit go away. Never. Just the debt.

I sit here dreading the reality of this home I absolutely love possibly being something I may have to lose. I sit here knowing my mother died bankrupt, and that it is, without a doubt, the biggest fear I possess. I've included photos of my place. Clearly, my home means a tremendous amount to me.

I just hate this fear. I'm giving into it tonight, letting myself be as scared as I can be, so I can just get this out of my system. I dunno if it's possible to get it out of my system, realistically, but I have to try. The plan tomorrow is to ride my bike until I'm dead on my feet. Just wipe myself out, crawl into bed, and sleep it off, and wake up, and conquer the world on Monday.

If there's anything I'm capable of, it's pretending. 'Cos it ain't pretending if it's just on hold, you know? I really AM a brilliant, creative, driven person. Right now, it's just not in me. If I get a job, all that ego comes rushing back, and soon, I'll be every bit of the dynamo I would have said I was.

In fact, if I pull this shit off and get any of these jobs I want (and, god willing, I get to CHOOSE from them, even, like happened the last time I took a new job), then I'll be an unfuckingstoppable force of nature. I will have had my back to the wall, in an insane situation, and will have attained an ideal job with only two weeks to have searched for it.

I'm hoping that will be the case. Deep down inside, I know that if that's the case, then I finally will have proven to myself that I'm the person I've always hoped I'd be: Strong, resourceful, able to act when I have to, and able to take what I want. I feel like that person's within me, but that I've never really challenged her.

(Now, I say that after having dealt with: my mother's death, two very serious vehicle accidents, three blown knees, an over-fondness for alcohol and drugs, and a weight gain of 50 pounds [now gone] and all in the last six years.)

This is one of those situations where, if I can get through this (and I probably will... I'm just feeling down, and rightfully so), I will finally, without doubt, know exactly what the fuck I'm made of.

I want nothing more than to prove myself to myself. Fuck everyone. Fuck you, fuck them, fuck him, fuck 'em all. I just want to prove this to myself. It's time. I need to know. Am I all that? Judging by how I've performed so far, I am. Now I need the job. Monday, I hope to get the job. Be me, the best of me, that's all I have to do. Here's hoping.

These pics are of my pad. My kitchen's a postage-stamp sized one with cedar plywood cupboards and apple-lime green on the walls. My pad rocks. I want to keep my pad. Where the rocking chair is now resides a big fuckin' cow-pattern beanbag chair, which I'm about to sink into and watch Rocky. (I was walking to my scooter after my evening and heard Rocky's theme playing in an apartment. I was hoping it was a sign: "Girl, you SHALL overcome," y'know?) And I shall eat chocolate, since I have no other vices to succumb to tonight. If ever there was a wrong time to have a dearth of vices. Sigh.

Weirdly, just checked my cellphone for messages, and I have yet another request for a Monday interview. Crazy shit. It's probably just a matter of days before I'm employed now, but nonetheless, these emotions sort of linger. I suspect some of these feelings have been a long time coming. It is what it is, man. Getting a job will be unfuckingreal. I will never be so happy to work again as I will the day I get the, "Can you start Monday?" call. Never. There's some serious desire here, baby.

This is a tragic news story. If you're not an environmentalist, don't you think it's time you considered the consequences of looking the other way?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Pasta Playtime

I like messing around in the kitchen. Sometimes the urge to just get playful with ingredients hits. It hit tonight. I was gonna buy fish, but didn't know where on Commercial sold what I wanted, and it was too late to hit up the fishmongers on Granville Island, so I opted to make pasta as soon as I saw the gorgeous bunches of fresh local basil available.

This is what I made, and I don't have a brilliant name for it. It's a cream sauce with some funky additions. It's basically what Alfredo would be if it had any fucking personality at all.

Saute enough back bacon for two. (What we Canadians call so-called "Canadian" bacon. Duh.)
Set it aside.

While the bacon's sauteeing, you want to score a couple nice, ripe tomatoes and blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water and then remove the skins and the seeds. Chop roughly.
Set tomatoes aside.

Saute a couple cloves of garlic and some shallot (I used a large whole one) in some olive oil.

When garlic & shallots are starting to caramelize, toss in the tomatoes and add about 1/4 cup of chopped marinated artichoke hearts, and cook for a couple minutes.

Grate yourself 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, and get a half cup of cream. Mix this. Add it to the cooked tomatoes, toss in the bacon, and let it get happy-happy for a couple minutes over medium-low heat.

Add about 1/2 cup of chopped basil, a little salt, and lotsa pepper. Give it a good mix, then add enough pasta for two folks.* Make sure the pasta's not completely cooked (a little less than al dente) so it can absorb the sauce. Allow it to mingle there for a couple minutes, and then serve it out.

If I had wine, I might have added 1/4 cup of chardonnay or something when the tomatoes were cooking. But I didn't. Sad, sad.

Serve it up with garlic bread, or with baguette and balsamic/olive oil dip.

Personally, I thought it fucking rocked. :)

*I'm ignorant as to what pasta you use with chunky sauces. I'm sorta dyslexic about these things and can never, ever remember. I use what I have. Tonight it was fresh linguine.

So, That's Nice

One of my interviews today was rescheduled. The interviewer gave me a call in the hour before the interview to say she had an emergency meeting. Now, I could've gone there and had a quickie interview, but she specifically did not want to rush the chat with me. That bodes well, and it also speaks of a considerate corporate mindset, something I truly value in an employer.

The wait drones on, but Monday is a three-interview, one-scheduled phonecall day. I'm gonna be on my game by Monday. I slept like trash last night and got through my interview this morning, but I was Good Steff, and not Stellar Steff.

Ironically, three of the places I'm speaking with Monday have to do with businesses I've encountered previously, in my last employment incarnation. I'm thrilled, because I know what I'm getting myself into, for starters, but also because each of them nurtures a slightly different corporate environment, but all are creative and value innovation from their employees at all levels -- precisely the kinds of establishments I ought to be working in.

I may not have a job yet, but I am growing increasingly proud of myself. I'm out there slugging away and not just getting "job" interviews, but interviews with places I could foresee as being career-type establishments... provided I don't get rich and famous through writing and radio on my own. And that's all right, knowing there could be a future for me at these places is a pretty sweet thing to know.

A year ago, in this predicament, I might have gone around trying to secure a part-time retail job first, and then hoped that over time I would achieve a "real" job. That I've had the confidence and patience to try and get a "real" career first is a testament, I think, to how much I've grown in this time I've had to myself. I'm excited about my future. Still scared shitless right now, but I feel like I'm on the verge. The verge of what, well, I don't know, but it's feeling like the right things are coming down the pipe.

I was thinking about it yesterday, how strange all this timing is. I discovered my conundrum (the quickly vanishing government support cheques) 16 days ago. That was the day my new computer was supposed to arrive, but it was one day late and came on Thursday. Had it arrived Wednesday, I would never have logged onto the gov website and checked my account status, and this may have all just magically occured to me without my seeing it coming. That would've been devastating.

But, instead, I had a heads-up, already had my resume prepared (mostly, had to make changes and such) and was able to get the ball rolling that weekend on looking for work. (Goes to show you -- always have that resume ready, just in case!) Then, I find out that unemployment's at 4.5% provincially, the lowest in years, if not decades, and that the job market is insanely out of control with opportunties that were inconceivable just a year ago.

The Liberals, I think, are doing an incredible job on BC's economy, and I'm about to reap the rewards, I think.

Lucky, lucky me. Great timing. I'm thrilled, sort of, that my old company had no work for me. This means a big change, new happenings... something I've needed for a long, long time. My goal is to be working on July 4th (the 3rd is a stat here)... which would, of course, ironically be "independence" day for me in a whole new way. Wouldn't that be sweet? Yes, indeedie.

But, first, a nap is needed. :) Happy weekend, boys and girls.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Again with the Sighing

I should do something. I should get out. The trouble is, every time I get out, I want to spend money, and spending money is not allowed to happen, thus, I stay in, I get bored, I get moody, and the cycle continues.

I'll leave early for tutoring tonight. I'll hit up the beach for a walk, free my mind a bit.

I've cancelled the appointment for this afternoon. I called and called and called, and no one ever answers. I think they should be hiring a admin person, not substitutes. I never understand businesses who do not answer their phones. I worked ever so briefly with a company earlier this year who had neglected to ever have an answering machine, even though no one was in their "office" for four days a week. And you get business HOW? Baffles the mind. Some things seem elementary, or maybe I'm just an untapped genius who sees clarity in the murkiest of water. I'd buy that. Sure. Untapped, indeed.

I've been reading The Alchemist with my students. They're a group of 40-something Asian ladies who come for coffee each week, and we read the book together, and I explain what's going down. The Alchemist, if you've never read it, is about a young boy who chooses to follow his dreams. He does all he can to get to the pyramids in Egypt, where he has dreamed of finding treasure.

We're near the end now, in a passage about life throwing the hardest tests at you just before you accomplish your goals. Insert pause for thought here.

Here I am, having taken much of the last year (to the day) to seek that which has always eluded me -- the time to write. In a way, I feel like a failure. I have no book, no contracts, no sales. I have little of proof that I have, in fact, achieved a fucking thing. Little except the realization that my other blog is in the top 9,000 of 45 million blogs in the world. This, to me, feels like some small accomplishment.

Apparently, I'm readable. Nice to know. I have no money, no reward, no prospects, no surety that my rent is to be paid come August first, but I have some small inkling of having done something towards my future.

And now the city has been peppered with my resume. It is here, it is there, it is everywhere, just like green eggs and ham and Sam I Am.

I should be terrified, and deep under the scales of my skin, some terror does indeed reside. But under that, around that, is this unquenchable feeling that somehow, some way, it will all work out. It always has, it always does. My life's known tragedy and adversity and hardships, but I've always, always come through it. There's just this seed of faith I have that has never withered nor died, and I doubt it will this time, either.

If I am to receive no responses by next week, then I will start applying for shitty retail jobs in my area. I WILL get by until something good comes.

It's so hard, feeling like you're on the verge of something, to keep on hanging on. The nails start to get bloody as you scrape and claw to hold that tenuous grasp on the edge of the mountain, but it's all worth it, they tell me, when you achieve that summit. I need to believe that. I have to. I'm doing everything I can, and forcing myself to believe I really am everything I believe I am as I send out every cover letter, every resume. I am what you need. I know it. Hire me. Then you'll know it, is what I persistently tell myself with every resume I send.

Can you not see the font of creativity that bubbles and spurts within me? Can you not fathom the innovation and initiative I bring to every thing I do? Can you not grasp that I am miles ahead of some of my competition?

These things echo and echo and echo, and then they drown everything else out. It's really unfortunate, these unanswered bits of rhetoric, because eventually you start to wonder, "If they can't see it, maybe it just really isn't there."

Sigh. And sigh. And sigh. But it is there. I know it is. And they will see it. But will they see it in time? Will I make my ends meet?

Unfortunately, there's no scriptwriter hanging around to answer the pressing questions of this exciting saga. It is not maktub just yet. (Arabic for "it is written.")

Stay tuned. The drama can't continue much longer. One can only hope, at least.

(On the upside, I've finally gotten a chiropractic appointment. Looks like I'm spending some money after all. I need to; I'm a mess of alignment. My skeleton goes hither and thither, and it's not helping the fluctuations of mood. I'll network and see if she has any tips. I'm bringing my fucking resume. Hell, she's an employer. And I rock. And her receptionist is a fucking TOOL. Five hours have passed since the office opened, and she calls me NOW from my message? That's service? Not in my world, baby. When did the level of service I've always provided become so damned obselete, huh? I'd like to school the masses, man.)

I Want To Cause Their Profuse Bleeding!

Every morning, I scour Craig's List. I'm the first one there. I dive-bomb through all the sections, and see if anything new has arisen. I do this about six times a day these days. Yes, neurotic. Obsessive. Hi. That's me!

Every fucking morning -- every fucking morning! -- I see the same g'damned spam left in every employment category. I flag the same guy EVERY FUCKING MORNING. In 10 minutes or so, his ads are gone.

Yeah, yeah, Citizen Steff's on the job. Shoot me now. My life has to be more exciting than this! Ha.

I've decided to cancel the substitute teacher interview. Just what I need, an interview with 10 other people for a job that may never happen. I need full-time work, soon. Not maybe-a-day-here-or-there.

A couple readers have contacted me about potential work. How weird would that be? COOL, but just weird in a "Doesn't Life Work Itself Out In Weird Ways" kind of way. It's good to be loved, man. And I'll take what I can get right now.

It's just so odd, knowing you are doing EVERYTHING in your power to change your future, and then having to essentially sit on your hands while the universe plays out the hand and decides where you fall. There's so much apprehension and anxiety as I sit here just knowing there is NOTHING I can do better than I am. Nothing. And I wait and wait and wait. It's a good thing I believe in myself; it's the only thing keeping me tethered at this time. Whew!

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of when I was first laid off from my job. Since then, I've spent my time working part-time in various incarnations, teaching ESL, pursuing writing. The learning curve from this past year has been INCREDIBLE. God, I've changed for the better! I'm pleased I survived a year in this scrape-it-together existence I've led. I never thought I could. Now I know it's coming to an end, and I'm all right with that. I'm actually EXCITED about being part of a corporate office again -- the people, the bustle, the known roles to play, the regular pay, the security... It's EXCITING. I want it! I think I've been out of the game just enough. I was so burnt-out. SO burnt-out. And now, I'm ready.

It's cool to finally know this is the right direction, not some forced hand I need to play. Who knew, huh?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tireder and Tireder

Lewis Carroll may've been curiouser and curiouser, but I know what I am: Flat-out wiped.

My days are a chaos of demand and supply. There's a dearth of time, and a wealth of demand. Today, a job interview, three students. Tomorrow, five students, a job interview, and a total of two hours to myself between 9am and 10pm (in which I must get ready for an interview for something that's a stop-gap, and nothing more: substitute teaching). Friday, a job interview, a specialist's appointment, and four students.

I'm tired just thinking about it. When you're looking for work, it's an endless drone.

At least I'm getting nibbles on my bites. In fact, I'm beginning to get concerned that I may wind up getting offered too many jobs, and it'll all happen in a bad-timing kind of way. I know which jobs I want, and in what order, and I know which is most lucrative, and all that, but for now I'm just internally processing things.

I'll be so glad when I'm employed. Realistically, I can't see this lapsing much longer. I must get a job. I'm too employable not to get one. I'm fun, personable, quick-thinking, skilled at what I do, able to sell ice to eskimoes, and much, much more. It's just hard to keep reminding myself of these things as yet another day passes and employment still seems slightly untenable.

I'm doing everything right. I have a quirky and completely original resume that speaks volumes about who and what I am. I have (almost) flawless grammar and spelling. I'm presentable. I grin like a fiend. I make people laugh in interviews. I made one laugh so hard she cried.* I send thank-you notes after the interview. I show up early. I leave with graceful appreciation and optimistic salutations. I mean, I could write a book about this shit.

Know what the problem is, though? I'm SO on top of the advertisements that I keep sending them within the hour that the ads show up, and while I look like a great candidate, they would be fools to not wait and see what else comes in. This I know. And I lack patience, so while I'm coming off as an eager, detailed person, I also have to pay the price by waiting for the slack-asses who don't notice the ad for three days. Sucks, but there it is.

There's only one job I might find out about this week, and the rest would be probably next week. the upside is, next week is a long weekend, and whatever happens, people will probably want a new person in place before that happens, which makes me more likely to get something.

But I'm still a catch. I know it. I'll be an awesome employee; I always am. I'm just tired and frustrated and want to know what my life entails now, not two weeks from now. I need to know.

Gots to, gots to, gots to know now.

(*Enquiring minds want to know. When asked "Who is the ideal supervisor?" I responded, "Oprah." You had to be there, but it worked, man. "She gives away CARS, for pete's sake!")


Every now and then, I take a wander through blogs of the past that I used to love, and today I've done so and discovered that a site I loved met its demise with last Christmas. Apparently one of the blog's originators died in the summer. Too bad. It was brilliantly bitter and sardonic, maintained by a couple studio producers who'd receive moronic script ideas and would then post them for the public to rip apart. Brilliant way for producers to get a feel for the public, and get some of their job satisfaction-lacks dealt with.

I saw this "job" posting on this morning and laughed my ass off. Like anyone with half a brain would spend their time helping this guy write his script. Oh, and for writers out there, posting a summary of your plot BEFORE it's even written is probably not the best way to protect your intellectual property. Fuckin' people. Here's the summary:
Project Description:I have a movie that I came up with and I need a script written for it. The movie is about a good kid who grows up a straight kid and by his smarts became a drug king pin. He friends turn on him and he has to flee the area. He has to lead a second life until he figures out what he is going to do. In this second life he becomes someone who he never thought that he could be. He starts to live life like the other side. He uses his street smarts to rise very fast in a fortune 500 company.

Yeah. Because I know I get all titillated with excitement when I think of a good kid-goes bad-goes good. Hi, does that popcorn come with a side of YAWN?

I think there should be use parameters put into place for imagination. Only those with original ideas should ever be allowed to create media of any kind. Half the media now would be out of work.

Including me. Hey, wait. I *AM* out of work. That solves my problem, then.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Black Day for Cetaceans

We're one step closer to a return to commercial whaling. The International Whaling Commission has voted to begin steps towards this questionable practice. How sad. As if the grocery store needs whale steak in its meat department counters.

Dilemmas, dilemmas

I have my nephew and my brother coming over for a Father's Day dindin avec moi this afternoon/evening, and I'm torn as to what I should do.

I'm definitely making Thai Green Curry with Chicken and organic brown basmati rice, but the question is whether or not I decide to make something specifically for my nephew, ie: Mac & Cheese.

Making Mac & Cheese would take five minutes, but it'd be the easier road to travel. My nephew's symptomatic of the generation he's part of -- his diet is refined, refined, refined. Sugar, white flour, no veggies, processed meats, and that's about all that he'll eat. McDonald's is the culinary promised land in his mindset. His parents do sweet fuck all to try and change it, because they're just fed up with the fighting. Their diets aren't that great, either.

I've been very diet conscious of late. Sure, I'm not perfect, but I've been making some really great choices and I'm starting to see it pay off, both mood and health wise, as well as physically.

Last week, I was getting up from a job interview and was conscious that my pants were slipping down. Yeah. Nice to lose weight, but geez. A little quicker than I'd thought.

But I've been having a bit of a culinary awakening besides of late, too. Last weekend I was out with the guy and actually enjoyed eating mussels while drinking a little beer and playing some Scrabble by the water. The next day, we had some crab cakes. I've made a promise to him that any time he buys me dinner out, I'll make an effort to eat seafood. Sounds weird, but it's a big thing for me.

I've spent my entire life being somewhat ignorant about seafood and certain culinary specialties. My parents never forced me, and I wish now they would have. Last night I made salmon -- cheap, crappy salmon, but salmon nonetheless -- something I've always sworn I would never eat. I actually enjoyed that, too.

So something's happening to me: I'm realizing how wrong I've been.

Now I see my nephew, this palid, thin, unhealthy, picky kid growing up with the same narrow-minded perception I had, and it honestly scares me. I don't want to see him continue. But do I want to be the Mean Auntie and not prepare him any food? Not really.

So, I think I'll prepare slices of cucumber and carrots, and if he refuses to eat proper food, he's stuck with veggie slices. No fucking mac'n'cheese today.

And I'm proud of myself for getting past my stupidity with food. I'm pleased I'm taking chances. I wasn't wild about the salmon, but I certainly liked it much more than I'd anticipated I would, and now I think I'm going to work at least two seafood meals into my week each week. I've not disliked anything of late, and that shocks the shit out of me. Thirty-two years it's taken me to get here. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad. I'm just happy the ignorance is gone now, and I'm excited about how much more of the world of food is now open to me to enjoy. What a nice gift to myself.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Whaling: Fucking Japanese

Man, it just makes me wanna up and smack someone.

The Japanese are kicking up a fuss about whaling again. They think the rest of the world's being silly because the world doesn't think going and killing the most majestic, and some would say threatened, creature in our world's oceans is anything near what a "sustainable" practice could be.

They claim that the fact that the whaling would be done in order to have meat, not oil, would be the deciding factor to whether or not a massive amount of whaling would be undertaken.

Whatever. Call it whatever you want. Whales are diminished in our world. I've had the rare privelege of seeing a dozen or more in the wild. It's breathtaking. And tragic.

It's bad enough that oceans are being filled with pollution. It's even worse that there are scientists who've been studying off-shore building of rigs and such who have seen dolphin stocks (and dolphins are cetaceans, as are whales, so they're of the same family) plummet, which leads science to believe there is possibility that simple noise pollution is enough to kill the beautiful creatures. Throw in unscrupulous fishing practices and predators, and the whales have enough dangers facing them already.

There have been rare autopsies done (rare because the practice is far too expensive to conduct normally) on beached whales, and there have been times when they believe the only obvious cause of death is a single plastic bag in the whale's abdomen.

Ever seen a beached whale? This formerly massive, beautiful, graceful creature lying there all dehydrated, its skin mottled and discoloured as the rotting and decaying process begins, seabirds chomping on its corpse? I have. Its lung stem dries out and at high tide, its lungs can (and in my experience, did) float out and down the shore from the corpse. It's just a monstrous sight to behold, that of this many-thousand pound animal, beached and bloated.

Whales die easily enough. They don't need a bunch of fucking Japanese after 'em, hungry for yet another fucking delicacy on their plates. If there's anything I despise about the Japanese, it's this mentality that eating something exotic is somehow more important than having that exotic animal still living in nature. It's as if the rarer the object, the higher the price, thus the greater the prestige, and it's really only the prestige that matters.

Why don't they start eating fucking seals, huh? The seals are killing the fish stocks, no matter what those ponces at Greenpeace will have you believe. Canadian Inuit could use an industry; they could kill seals, ship them to Japan, and lovely seal steaks could be made into sushi with great ease. In doing so, we'd save the salmon and cod stocks. Face it, we have more than six millions seals. They're their own goddamned citizenry. But, no. They're COMMON.

Whales, though. Yeah. There's just so many of them. Sure, let's open the fucking gates and have at 'em! Blubber for everyone! Fucking morons.

I'm sure I could've written a more intelligent posting had I put some thought in it, but I'm tired and just woke up. Saw this story first thing. I really, really despise people who want to kill whales. Their endangerment is one of the saddest natural things I see in the world around us. What a beautiful creature. What stupid Japanese demands. There is no way we deserve to be higher on the food chain than that mammal.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Let the Games Begin!

Got an interview and a very weird "small world" situation precedes it.

Life rocks.

I love coincidences.

I hope this pans out.

Must get dolled up and find my damned cellphone and get my show on the road. I will have a job, I think, within three hours.

I hope. :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Gettin' Shanghai'd

I've been saying since 1991 that China was the country I fear most in the future, that they would expand their grasp of power exponentially in the years to come. They have. I'm still scared of China. I'm broken-hearted that I've never fulfilled my dream of getting there before that horrendous damn on the Yangtze has been completed. Soon, thousands of years civilization will be flooded and a legacy of fishing towns up and down that snaking river will be wiped from collective memory. It saddens me. I can't fathom where China will be in a decade; their growth is staggering. The US is on a steady economic decline, and their education is tanking, and slowly a new world power is emerging. What a strange time to be an observer.

Here's an interesting article on the issue of control-freaks struggling to maintain control of a country with a population of 1.3 billion.

I heard a quote recently; any time you have a country with 5% of the world's population spending more than 50% of the world's defense spending, you have a country desperate to hang onto power, but who soon will no longer be able to do so. Sounds eerily true to me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

There I Was...

...zippin' down the road on ze scoot, sunlight breaking through the ominous clouds above, sun bathing my face, a grin spreading on my lips...

...when suddenly a big fuckin' black fly smacks me in the face, a half inch below my eye!

Now, if you've never had the pleasure of being hit by bugs as you're careening down the street on a scooter or motorbike of any kind, let me tell you: Those bastards hurt!

It hit me so hard that I felt like Paul K. for a good 15 minutes. Paul was that kid everyone had in elementary school, the one that could turn his eyelids inside out.

I remember being on the school bus on the way back from private school, coming through the farmlands, back out to White Rock, and Paul, who was a year younger, would be there folding his eyelids up, and double-crossing all his double-jointed fingers, and doing Gene Simmons-esque things with his freakish tongue. We all hated Paul. He had a Confederate flag hanging in his bedroom window, a farmhouse we could see from the road as we dropped him off. Invariably, two minutes before, he'd begin righting his eyes, uncrossing his fingers, and snickering derisively at the rest of us, whose rides were only half over.

I tell you, riding with one eye feeling inside out is just not as enjoyable as that dick had cracked it up to be. I suppose I needed more frail kids to taunt or something along my scooter route, but they were, sadly, unforthcoming.

Scratch That!

The whole "wah, no one's contacted me" bit? Not so! Just had an awesome phone chat for one of the top three positions I'd like to get out of the resumes I've sent! And I killed! I'll find out tomorrow or Thursday if I make the shortlist for an interview. Fingers crossed.

Yawn. The Big Day Ensues!

I dislike job interview days. Stressful. I get all pensive-like. That I've fired off six or so resumes this morning, and a few yesterday, and have heard nothing isn't helping. Maybe I don't need to hear anything. Maybe I have this job in the bag. Out of the last ten job interviews I've had, only the most recent one was a bust. Every other time, I've gotten the job. I'm accustomed to acing interviews. Doesn't mean I enjoy them.

I'm feeling so good about the fact that I can hear today. I'm realizing now how much of my life I've missed out on in the last couple of months; how often I've pretended to hear something but really didn't, how often I was frustrated and feeling out of the loop. It's amazing how much hearing defines your relationships. It's fantastic I've resolved this problem the week that my job search gets serious. Looking for work is challenging enough, but doing so when you're not on your game makes it too easy to lose the chance to prove yourself. Given the chance, proof is what I provide.

I haven't felt this confident in a long time. I feel determined.

The day light hitting my desk just took on a warmer hue. Maybe the weather's improving. Maybe this torturous ride out to Burnaby won't be so horrid after all.

The job's for teaching ESL. I hate and love it simultaneously. There's something cruelly ironic about being in love with the English language and then having to sit there and endure its butchery day after day after fucking day.

"I come will later today see you!"

No, Yoda, you won't. Fucking hell, man. It's really like teaching Yoda syntax, except I don't get wicked spaceship-levitating tips and mind-reading lessons in exchange. Missing out on that concoction in his cauldron for supper isn't much of a loss, though.

But, hey, I'll take a rent cheque. And this is easily one of the highest-paying ESL jobs out there, though they make no mention of extended health benefits. Pay me enough, and I don't care. Yeah. I'm all about the dollar. I have a price. It's $650 a month, plus utilities, the good life, and assorted bills.

All this, and more! For a limited time only. (Besides, I've just been watching the Marathon Man, and I suddenly have no interest in going to the dentist, given the painful "truth extraction" dental-torture technique used in that film.)

Truth be told, I'm sort of glad my old job was a bust. Whatever I get, I'll be proud I found something new. I'll be glad to be doing something different. I'll enjoy the challenge and the meeting of new people. I'm fucking tired of redundancy, and variety will be a pleasant change. It's neat, I've applied for such a great range of stuff in the last few days that I know something will work out, and my life will change.

In any case, I'll hear the imperfection of the Yodas in my life much better than I have of late. That, I'm not so sure I'm as excited about. Still, all good. I'll be fine. I think, I hope, I pray.

Monday, June 12, 2006

"Hi, Kids!"

What other tutor teaches her kids about Agent Orange and napalm, huh? Huh?!

I do, I do!

I love stirring up the pot with my students. I get 'em thinking, get 'em charged. It's fun. I'm fast growing tired of teaching, mostly because the kids are forced to take my classes by their parents, so I do as much as I can to make 'em respond with "Wha?!" as it gets them excited about something, anything, and then I get better work out of them.

It's weird, they come to me with questions about sex and drugs and politics and culture, and I just answer everything as nonchalantly as I can. God knows their parents won't. I even had one parent bring out a biology book with pop-up images of the human body (like some things need pop-up images for 8-year-olds, huh?) and asked me to teach them all the English words about the anatomy.

"And that is your penis. Boys sometimes will call it their dink, their pee-pee, and their willy."

Some days, it's just too damned weird. But it's the autonomy I like. I can teach this stuff. The kids, they love it, so they'll never tell their folks. The parents love it 'cos the kids don't mind being forced into class. What a weird, weird circle, man.

So, yes, today's class included discussion on the attrocities of Vietnam, the legacy of napalm and Agent Orange, and what being ignorant of world events can lead to. They're 12 and 14.

This certainly made an impression.

Sure, it's not Mary Poppins and Barney, but, fuck, man... ignorance is an epidemic with kids today. I remember being 11 and having my father bring home a book about slaves who'd escaped America via the Underground Railway, back in the day, and it woke me the fuck up about the realities about humanity; what some people were willing to do (and were forced to do) in order to escape man's inhumanity. I am who I am today partly because of that book, and because of the time my mother sent me over to a legless Indian on the streets to give him a $2 bill. He bent over, literally kissed my feet, and started sobbing out a prayer of thanks. It shook me to my core. I was 12. I started really seeing things around me then.

I know kids need to be young and have fun, but they can do so while understanding the hardships faced by other peoples, during other times, in other places, and in these times, with these people, in this world. I believe, in fact, that it enriches the life they lead as a result. And why not? Knowing what you have is better than being ignorant about what others don't.

Yep. All in a day's work, man.

What's That You Said?!

I can hear again!

It seems like the hearing loss was greatly exacerbated (if there was one at all) by a slowly declining receiver. I've worn in-the-ear hearing aids for 17 years and have never, ever experienced the fading-away death of a receiver before now. My GOD. I mean, receivers die every 18 months or so, and they always crackle or just die. They don't do a slow-fucking-death descent like that! Ridiculous!

What an incredibly rewarding experience, that of rediscovering my hearing. I cannot tell you enough how angry and frustrated I have been through all of these experiences with my hearing of late. I can't explain to you how scared and worried and confused I felt, nor how desperately I was trying one thing after another to try and "fix" my hearing.

I have to say, when I watched "It's All Gone Pete Tong" last week, I could never have seen a better representation on screen of how emotionally gut-wrenching it feels to have your world going silent on you.

Jesus, I feel so much better. I just feel so damned relieved. I'm not going deaf; it's the bloody equipment. Oddly... the OTHER hearing aid completely cut out and died right before bed last night. That's right! Both hearing aids met their death in the same week. (The other had fallen from about 50-60% functionality down to 20% in the space of a week.) Fuckin' full moons, man! My toaster oven's on the decline, my OSX has to be reinstalled, my camera went on the fritz last night, and the Guy's friggin' backpack of ten years finally blew its clasp. What, the universe has up and snickered at the technology in my life?

Fuck you, cosmos! I'm having the last laugh, mannnnnn!

Weird! Great timing, having them both go. Could you imagine my rage if I got the one replacement aid, only to have the other hearing aid die an hour before a job interview?! Holy shit, man! Hell would have no fury like mine! (And it doesn't. Pray you never see me angry. I'm, well, intense.)


The Great Job Search of 2006 continues.

I fear my email of the other night has not gone through, for the job I'd really like. I'm about to re-send that. I've sent two out today, and will send one more. Then I'll do another check first thing in the morning and send resumes out for whatever looks good then.

The thing is, when job-searching, to never waste your time sending for things you know aren't GREAT for you. If you can't have enthusiasm and desire in your cover letter, then don't fucking bother.

I've never sent many resumes out for work in the past, never more than six, honestly, and I've never needed to. I assess the situation and send my resume when I know it's going to fit well in my world. Then I go at it, aggressively... but always with a cheesy grin. And it pays off.

I'm confident this'll work out for me, but I'd rather not be kept in suspense.

Tomorrow, Interview Number One. Not bad, first interview awarded on Day Two of the search. I suspect I'll likely get the job, but it's unlikely that it'll be for more than 15 or so hours a week. That'd work well with what I'm doing now, but I ultimately wish for a full-time job that keeps my schedule a little more sane... and without evening classes, like I'm presently teaching. We'll see what goes down.

I hate to admit it, but the search is sort of fun. It's neat; there's a lot of cool shit around, and I'm not having to apply for endless "sit here and type" bullshit jobs that don't mesh with my exuberance and sense of spontanaeity. Wicked.

The one I just applied for would involve riding my scooter and visiting people. Coolies! (Until October, that is!) Whatever! We'll see what comes down the pipes. Should be quite the voyage.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pfft, Yeah. Someone Cut His Mic

Guantanamo Bay, that lovely vacation spot for foreign nationals, is back in the news again. Three guys finally managed to kill themselves -- something that has been tried, but only finally succeeded now.

Unfortunately, certain American talking heads in the military have neglected to really think before speaking, and this was reported on the BBC today:

The camp commander, Rear Admiral Harris said he did not believe the men had killed themselves out of despair.

"They are smart. They are creative, they are committed," he said.

"They have no regard for life, either ours or their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's all about you.

Some of these guys have been locked up for four years. Let's have some trials, shall we? I'm not saying they're innocent or deserve pudding after dinner or anything, but how about basically using a legal system, huh?

And a fucking act of war? An asymmetrical act of war, even? I didn't know they came in symmetry. I'm so damned uninformed about these things! Jesus Christ. Three guys hang themselves and it's somehow an attack on the US. Yeah. Bad publicity brings such good casualty numbers these days. God. Some of these Army dudes, man... it's a wonder.

Crazy shit. Three years, huh? Wow. Someone's gotta stick Rumsfeld's head in a toilet bowl and give him a swirlie before they show him the back door. It's time.

Puttin' My Foot Down!

As Universal Autocrat, I'm thinking some standards have gotta change 'round here, man.

I rode the bus home from downtown with the Guy after the Bourdain thingie-thing (awesome; he rocks and I'll upload the good photo I took later tomorrow) and saw this horrible fashion faux pas that I neglected to point out because I thought the guys with this chick looked like scrappers.

She got off at my stop.

She was wearing slippers. Moccasins, but no soles, and with fur lining. In June. She's not even close to being native. It's just one of those things I don't fucking get. Moccasins? C'mon! I'm not a huge proponent of homogenization or conformation, but can we wear some fucking shoes? Sandals? Something? She'd been shopping downtown, judging by her bags, and she wore moccasins.

Sigh. Whatever.

As mentioned, Bourdain kicks ass. Know how he's cool on the page? He's even cooler in person. Genuine, the Guy said, and I agree.

I asked a question, something along the lines of "Have you ever been offered an endangered species, and if you could eat one, what would it be, and how would you like it prepared?" I made him laugh. I'm proud of that. The thing about really funny people is that it tends to be hard to make them laugh. I'll take that as a feather in my cap. He mentioned this illegal baby bird (kind of thrush, or something) that he's had in a secret circle of French chefs; the bird's drowned in cognac, and eaten bones and all, under the cover of a cloth, apparently to hide the shame of eating such a beautiful and vulnerable creature. And he said something about steamed puppy heads. You can hear the show on July 8th and July 15th on CBC's North by Northwest Book Club. He rocks. Did I mention that?

Grumpy Steff

I'm grumpy. But you knew that already.

I woke up in a good mood, found a job ad that I'm about 90% sure I could get, as long as I get an interview. One of those where you read the skillset and then you laugh because you have all that and more. It's as a student services coordinator in an ESL school. Well, I've been a student liaison in college, I've taught ESL, I've worked in admin, I understand the issues facing immigrants and foreign students in Vancouver, and I have a pretty resume.

Do I want the job? I think I'd like that a bit more than teaching ESL, but it'd be a pay cut, sort of. It'd be good for a few months, anyhow. I dunno. We'll see. Money's important, you know? I'm realizing how many opportunities are out there right now, and that makes me positive. Almost like a job's in the bag, considering my resume and all, but there's a small catch: A job isn't in the bag. Yet.

But that's not why I'm grumpy. That's why I was in a good mood.

Why I'm grumpy is that I eventually put on my right hearing aid. It's doing NOTHING for me. I think I hear better without the thing in. This leads me to a new conclusion. My hearing aid has been steadily losing power, I think. You see, this ear infection/sinus infection I've been having my life made hell by has been producing fluid in my ear. Hearing aids are electronics equipment, no matter how you slice it. It's a mini home stereo that fits in your ear. Sound hits it, gets amplified, and is fed deep enough into your ear canal so that it can cause vibrations on your ear drum, and it's the ear drum that's normally not too responsive in those of us with problems. It doesn't vibrate enough, and the vibrations are what causes all persons to hear.

But if my hearing aid's not working right, then that would explain probably 50% of the loss I'm suffering right now. So, that's basically good news, right? But it's only a suspicion. I don't know yet for sure. If it is, then it's fixable, and that's a good thing.

Only, I'm looking for a job, and what this means is, if the aid goes off for repairs, I get given a replacement aid, but it's one of those behind-the-ear jobbies that's not exactly sexy, and sure as hell not what employers are wanting to see. Especially Asian employers.

Is that racist? No, not in the least. It's a cultural flaw they have, and one I've been told of by many Asians over the years. Not cool, but that's life. I suspect the same goes for white folk, as I have been discriminated against in job situations due to my hearing aids in the past.

On the up side, I could have the aid back in as little as a week, but it's usually closer to 10 days.

I know there's still problems in my ear regardless, though, because I still feel stuffy and unclear, but I shouldn't be this bad. I can't possibly be this bad.

Or if I really am this bad right now, then I should be scared out of my fucking mind. And don't think I'm not. I am. I'm very, very aware of the fact that my hearing is more easily and likely to be damaged than the average person's is, and my loss is irreparable. I have nerve damage as is; no surgery, no implant, nada can ever help me. So, yes. I'm scared. I sort of want to cry right now, honestly, and I just wish I could go back to hearing.

I'm supposed to have a nice day. I want to have a nice day. The Guy and I are heading downtown and will probably have some grub and go see the illustrious Tony Bourdain talk for a couple hours. Bourdain rocks. And I can't hear.

And I'm mad as fucking hell that it's this bad, today, this week, now. I don't need this. But there's little, if anything, that I can do. That's reality. And reality bites.

Tomorrow, I'll find out if the aid's damaged, and I hope like hell that it is. I'll get by. I'll wear what little hair I have over my ears, keep people on my left, try like hell to read lips.

I know people lose their hearing every day, and I know there are worse problems to live with -- like paraplegia, blindness, muteness, and so forth, but so what? If those should happen to me, I will be pissed and angry at that, too. Naturally.

Right now, this is a big problem. I'm a writer. Hearing people talk, hearing the bustle and the bells and the whistles and the fat lady singing are all imperative to who and what I am. This is crushing me more every single day, and I still need to wait two more weeks for a specialist's appointment. My patience is wearing thin, as is my resiliency. And I just didn't need to have it get this much worse this morning.

In a word, fuck.

(But I'll still do my best to have fun today. Just bitter about the scenario, that's all.)