For you, the dress code is casual.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Colour Me Blue

I didn't get the job. I'm trying to digest why still. It was a weird call. Not surprising, as each encounter was pretty odd. I got the message on the phone first thing this morning. I must have slept through the ring, and having heard the message, I'm glad I did.

In the same breathe, she said I didn't have the job, despite having a skill set she would kill for, because I don't look "healthy" enough for the front desk of their clinic, considering they're selling healthy lifestyles. Understandable, to a point. Discrimination, damn right it is. I'm not one of those people who thinks discrimination is never right. I'm a photographer, I see the world in black and white and shades of grey, and this is one of those in-between issues that's damnable but understandable.

I don't begrudge her. I'm bitter. I wanted that job. Client care and marketing. That was actually when I most enjoyed the job I'm presently working, when I was doing both. Life got hard and the job got harder, so I was put on "easier" tasks. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't been. I was good at it. There's a lot to be said for working through shit, y'know.

Sigh. I wanted this job. Badly. She had a great vision for where the place was going. I'd be getting in on the ground floor of a new direction for an industry stalwart. It'd have been pretty fucking cool. And I lose it because I don't look healthy enough?

There's a slap in the face I feel I desperately need. It fucking hurts, to tell the truth, but it's probably the right disappointment at the right time.

Every time I begin a new focus on health in my life, I manage to fuck it up shortly thereafter. Life gets difficult, stress happens, I get lazy, whatever. It comes from being raised to associate with food emotionally. Had a bad day? That's okay, sweetheart. Have a cookie. You had a great day? Why, let's celebrate with steak!

There's just not a lot of emotional satisfaction from an apple, okay? A cinnamon bun, though. Ah, well. Slap that Band-aid right on! I've known this for a long time. I'm working on it. It's not something that changes overnight, but it's also not something that seems to be working well enough on a gradual basis.

Though, if you looked at my life with food on a chart or graph, the association with healthier things has definitely been on a steady rise for the last three or four years. It's just gradual, and I've known for a while that the time for drastic action is now. I'm just not finding the end-all motivation. Also, my lapses take longer to happen and my rebounds occur sooner. So, that's something good.

Pride's a good one, though. Dad's diabetic breakdown's a good one, too. Back when that happened, I got the flu shot from my doctor and made an appointment to see a nutritionist. That's around the corner now. Good timing, no doubt.

Sigh. Blah! This woman's made a big mistake. She'll be missing out. I already had good ideas for their marketing and had even designed an ad for the hell of it. But it's not to be. As for me, I'll be taking some motivation from this. What else is there to take, huh?

Whatever, I still have a job for the foreseeable future. It's one I like and enjoy, but I'm not getting any stable offers from them for longterm, which puts me in the awkward position of trying to keep the job while trying to find another. They're understanding enough, which is good.
Not a lot of jobs have ever come my way that would combine all I have to offer, and this one was the first to do that. Hence, bummed. Big way. But now I have something to prove. And, lookie, the time for resolutions is upon us. Funny how that works.

My new year's weekend is going to be lowkey. Friends for dinner tonight, work tomorrow followed by a heady double bill, and then I'm keeping to myself for a creative three-day break. I got some shit to get started on. This fall-through job prospect has wasted a lot of my fucking focus this month. I got to get it back and I feel like I'm about to burst anyhow.

Y'know... as shitty as this whole rejected-again deal is, I gotta say... I got an idea or two from it already, not to mention a little fire under my ass in other areas.

I'm going to go have fun and write a few notes while watching some of "Wonder Boys", a movie I turn to whenever I'm frustrated about writing/life. There's a line in there, to the effect of, "Grady, in class you're always telling us writers need to make choices. Seems to me... you didn't make any choices."

And I'll tell you, most of the problems in my life, in my writing, in everything, is because I fail to make choices. I allow myself to be led by the flow, and sometimes that's just not good enough, I'm discovering. Sigh. Anyhow. Off I go.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Catching Up

Now that I'm not busy, I can't write. GAH!

I still am unclear about my possible new job. Everything said so far indicates I have the job, but I've not actually heard the words "you're hired" or anything that is a reasonable fascimile thereof.

But it seems like I have it. I was going to ask the woman on my way out, but another person showed up. (During the course of our nearly 2 hours together yesterday, she even gave me a treatment and made me sign a non-disclosure agreement. So, y'know.) It was suddenly a bad time to say, "So, this means I have the job, right?" Sigh.

I'm supposed to hear from her by tomorrow as to when we can plan to do some training together. (We even bickered about money, so I'm thinking 97% I have the job, but still. They're small words but they mean a lot!)

Sigh. Yawn. But I can't write. All I can think about is that it's nearing the end of the longest period of uncertainty I've ever lived under -- 17 months! It's one of those chasms that you get to the other side of and you're left standing there, staring at it, and thinking "Boy, what the fuck was I thinking?" and then marvelling "Gosh, I'm a lucky kid... I made it, I'm here."

I never would've signed up for the ride I've taken. Fuck, no. I'd have gone and gotten an ice cream cone and sat in the shade. I mean, how stupid do you take me for? But I was living with a three-week window on my future for the last year and a bit. Luckily, it all came out in the wash.

Now I know I can handle adversity. Good. I'm kinda tired of it. It's a good thing I'm being kept in suspense here, too, probably. I've always said the worst thing for me is having to have patience. Every job I want then get seems to be a three-week process. This is that, to the day today.

It will be a little less than I wanted, but the job seems to come with the promise of benefits in three months and mutually agreed-upon bonus incentives that will result in cash and/or investments. It sounds like a promising gig. Oh, boy. I want it.

See, I'm not exactly the office type. I'm not crazy about it. I hate offices, honestly. I like people, so I work well with the public. I like casual environments and relaxed places. This office has all antiques all the way through. (My home is all about the antiques.) The lighting's nice. There's a window. Yay.


I can't write. Blah! Soon. I'm going to lie low over New Years, too, and do Stuff for Steff. Avoid the masses, et al. Maybe some writing will happen. I've been doing internal talk instead. You know, sorting myself out from the inside out. Just not ready to commit to the page, I guess. Que sera sera. I wouldn't give a shit about it if it didn't mean the blogs are suffering. Sigh! Tough, I guess.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Beers & Hiccups

I've been hiccupping now for a half-hour. It's wearing thin.

I'm sorta drunk. Almost. Okay, mostly. I met GayBoy at just shy of 5 as I had radar instinct that told me to pop in on his work for the first time in, oh, ever, and say hi, and it turns out it was Day From Hell v2.0. So, we had post-work beer on a night where, it turns out, we're fly-weights. Two pitchers and we're beyond toast. Not so spry young things it would seem.

But I got curious about beer-drinking stats, despite my hiccupping, and I'm stunned to learn Canada's not even in the top 20 beer-drinking nations. Who knew? Not I! (Nor are we in the top 20 wine or spirits drinkers, but that's hardly a surprise.)

And our numbers overall are ridiculously low. Number one drinkers internationally? Uganda! Who the fuck knew?

As far as heavy episodic drinkers -- ie: alcoholics -- we're in the top 7. Yeah, knew that. Surprise. Long, dark winters + booze, anyone? Anyone? Yeah. Well, we're in the top 45 for booze overall, but that surprises me. I thought we'd be higher.

I have nothing else to add, except hiccup.

Apparently a woman once had hiccups for 47 years. They came, they went, but mostly they stayed. They never learned what caused nor cured her.

Dumb luck says I. But where nationality and booze stats are concerned, The WHO has your answers.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

early on a merry eve

the turkey is dressed to kill. okay, so i lie. no dressing. nekkid bird. avert your eyes -- indecency at work.

in about 10 minutes, the bird'll be inserted into a scorching oven then reduced to a simmer for the next three or so hours. instead of stuffing -- yorkshire puddin'. mm.

it's storming out. again. wind. rain. poor gayboy's work is reduced to half power and he's nervous he won't make budget for the day, a quarter-killing scenario as far as ze olde bonus goes. let's cross fingies for gayboy.

either way, he gets turkey. we're hanging out solo tonight. maybe head to mass. A Christmas Story is the flick of choice tonight as i think we're both feeling nostalgic. kinda a remember-when-it-was-so-much-simpler kind of a night, probably.

i'm watching Rocky. it has christmas in it... and i'm slowly prepping for tonight. busted out a tableclotch and fancy-pants china. 'member, it's a nostalgia thang.

i have another couple passive hours of cleaning left. could be worse. i may even crack a beer soon. it's that i'm-an-adult-now approach to the holidays. combined with a "i'm just happy i've survived" sentiment. holy fuck has this season been a tough one to budge through. good god.

add to all that that one particular member of my family got fall-down drunk last night and i'm having a gay old time. ha! whatever, man. tonight it's all over. life enters the annual snooze fest. things get simple. yay for that.

merry fucking ho-ho-ho. turkey! tee hee! i'm not sure i've ever made my own butterball bird before. hmm!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

My Card!

I've made two Christmas cards from my own photos this year. Attached one to an email setting up my follow-up interview for my job (next Wednesday) and she loved it. But that one's not this one. Still, here you go.

I'm tired, need to clean up my place, then head out to Surrey (ick!) for Xmas dinner with the folks (yay). This means very likely: cornbread stuffing today. Ooh.

Anyhow. No time to write! I wish everyone the best.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Morbid Yet Fun Post On Death -- AKA, The Big D!

I kinda always wanted to be cremated when I die. Seriously.

Let's have that chat, shall we?

Cremation, cool. You know, it's kind of like the rebellious child of death rituals. You burn out, you go where you wanna. Get scattered on a mountaintop? Why the fuck not? Inside of Macy's? Sure!

When Mom, bless her soul, bit the bullet, so to speak, we broke the law and scattered her ashes too close to shore. I mean, seriously, what's one dead lady gonna do, huh?

Oh my god! The populace is ill! It's not like we're talking a high school filled with cholera or something.

So, we sent her out breaking the laws. But you can do that. It's cremation.

Burying some dude anyplace you want, now that's a smidge more conspicuous.


Finally, a concept of burial that works for me.

Ghana's got it going on. There, you commission your own coffin before you die. You have an artisan build you a coffin, sized to you, designed as something that can stand as a symbol for your life. A pilot dies, he commissions a wood coffin designed as a plane. A bartender will probably be buried in a box that looks like his favourite kind of booze. Or if your Mercedes was your pride and joy, you'd be buried just like the fellow seen here.

The shapes of these things reflect the item's real shape. It's not a boring boxy coffin a la Six Feet Under.

They're really fucking cool. Kinda like toys to play in during the afterlife. Remember that red toy car made of plastic you'd sit inside and pedal and go no-fucking-place fast in? Yeah. Like that. Sans wheels.

I diggit! Yeah! See, now I want to have my death cake and eat it, too. I wanna go to Ghana, backpack, commission my own coffin, and then when I'm dead, the people whose duties it'll be can go ahead and bury the box but cremate me, and spread me someplace awesome, like, say, Cape Foulweather down there in Oregon, or off San Fran's Marin Headlands, or in the Valley of the Lost Souls in Nelson BC.

Just make sure a law's getting broken as you're doing it, hey? I have no idea what I'd want my coffin to be. Still, cool! I mean, it celebrates your life for forever, right?

Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm dyyyyyyyyyyyying!

Or not.

Tackled the high rise stairs for only the second time today. It's so much harder than the stairs in my apartment! Boy, was I kidding myself! I was standing in line to get some munchies at my favourite neighbourhood store (which is CLOSING! curse you, universe!) and my leg started to twitch uncontrollably. Yeah. I think it was a good workout. Now I've just epsom soaked and next I'll stretch for, like, ever, and then: Thai green curry. So, all that working out, and then a nice big meal of coconut milk. Yeah, that computes. But fuck computes! It'll be yummy, and will last all week for lunches.

I had a friend by for brunch earlier and bought my favourite sausages to share -- chicken/apple -- and whilst buying the sausages, I noticed they had a new one for the winter season! Duck-turkey-cranberry! Ooooooh.

I bought some and will have them for dinner twice this week. I see mashed potatoes in my future -- and a couple more trips up the fucking tower to atone for them!

So, yes, my favourite store is closing. Probably because they weren't pricing properly. Sigh. Their Thai green curry paste? 99 cents a pack. Up the street? $1.99. Grr!

Just means more shit I'll have to get on my weekly Wednesday night grocery run on West Broadway. Grr! My scooter's not big enough for all 'o this! Must-get-bigger-bag!

I need to put one of those cheap-ass baskets on the back of my scooter, so I can plunk other bags in there.

Oh, this is funny. I go to Safeway in a jam 'cos it's just up the street, right, but I know they suck for, well, 80% of groceries. Cheerios, milk, eggs, sure. Everything else? Not fucking likely! So, I naturally went to three of the other stores in the neighbourhood looking for basil for my curry -- all of it was brown and mad at the world, it looked like -- so, grudgingly I traipse off to my grocery arch-nemesis, Safeway, knowing I'm looking at $2.50 for the world's smallest pack of fresh basil.

Yep, $2.49 for a measley 28-ounce packet. Then I glance down below: A 60-gram packet. Well, I'm making a big batch. So, I figure $4.50 or $5, easy, as there's no price marked anywhere, but decide that basilicious Thai curry is what this belly's craving on this nipply night. I get up to the checkout and how much is it for 120% more basil? 50 cents. For $2.99, I got a 60-gram bag of organic (so they say) basil.

I rock! Whoo-hoo!

But mostly, right now, I hurt. I hurts bad. I hope to do this twice more this week, but we'll see how much of a pipe dream that is over the next few days. All week, though, I've been wearing my Joe Boxer flannel jammy bottoms I got a few years back. I bought them without trying them on, thinking they looked huge. Well, I got home that day and tried pulling them on, and the pants couldn't pass the mid-section of my thighs. A year later, I couldn't get 'em over my ass. These days, they're four inches loose on me. It's nice to have a reminder of just how far I've come over the last few years, and slowly, too. Oh, I'm stiff already. Tomorrow's going to be the second level of hell. Dante said there were, what, eight? Yeah. This'll be fun.

Super-cool picture of Istanbul I found on this site:

Sunday, December 17, 2006

In Vino Veritas... or something + Stumble upon =

1. Well, this day was a total waste of makeup.
2. Well, aren't we just a ray of frigging sunshine?
3. Make yourself at home! Clean my kitchen.
4. Not the brightest crayon in the box now, are we?
5. A hard-on doesn't count as personal growth.
6. Don't bother me. I'm living happily ever after.
7. Do I look like a frigging people person?
8. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.
9. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.
10. I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me.
11. I've found Jesus. He was behind the sofa the whole time.
12. You! Off my planet !!
13. Therapy is expensive, poppin' bubble wrap is cheap! You choose.
14. Practice random acts of intelligence & senseless acts of self-control.
15. I like dogs too. Let's exchange recipes.
16. If I want to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, I'll put shoes on my cat.
17. The Bible was written by the same people who said the Earth was flat.
18. Did the aliens forget to remove your anal probe?
19. I wish for a world of peace, harmony, & nakedness.
20. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
21. Let me show you how the guards used to do it.
22. And your crybaby whiny-assed opinion would be...?
23. I'm not crazy, I've just been in a very bad mood for 30 years.
24. See no evil, hear no evil and date no evil.
25. Allow me to introduce my selves.
26. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
27. Whisper my favorite words: "I'll buy it for you."
28. Better living through denial.
29. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
30. Suburbia: where they tear out the trees & then name streets after them.
31. Do they ever shut up on your planet?
32. I'm just working here till a good fast-food job opens up.
33. Are those your eyeballs? I found them in my cleavage.
34. I'm not your type. I'm not inflatable.
35. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.
36. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
37. Stress is when you wake up screaming & you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet.
38. Here I am! Now what are your other two wishes?
39. Back off! You're standing in my aura.
40. I can't remember if I'm the good twin or the evil one.
41. Don't worry. I forgot your name, too!
42. One of us is thinking about sex... OK, it's me.
43. How many times do I have to flush before you go away?
44. I have a computer, a vibrator, & pizza delivery. Why should I leave the house?
45. I just want revenge. Is that so wrong?
46. It's sick the way you people keep having sex without me.
47. I work 40 hours a week to be this poor.
48. You say I'm a bitch like it's a bad thing.
49. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #2?
50. Okay, okay, I take it back! Un-Screw You!
51. Macho Law forbids me from admitting I'm wrong.
52. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
53. Not all men are annoying. Some are dead.
54. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
55. Just smile and say "Yes, Mistress."
56. Chaos, panic, & disorder - my work here is done.
57. Mommy, I wanna grow up to be a neurotic bitch just like you.
58. A woman's favorite position is CEO.
59. Ambivalent? Well, yes and no.
60. You look like shit. Is that the style now?
61. This is a mean and damned cruel world & I want my nappy & medication right now!
62. Everyone thinks I'm psychotic, except for my friends deep inside the earth.
63. Earth is full. Go home.
64. Is it time for your medication or mine?
65. Aw, did I step on your poor little bitty ego?
66. Did I mention the kick in the groin you'll be receiving if you touch me?
67. I plead contemporary insanity.
68. And which dwarf are you?
69. I refuse to star in your psychodrama.
70. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.
71. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
72. It ain't the size, it's... no, I'm sorry, it really is the size.
73. I'm not tense, just terribly, terribly alert.
74. I majored in liberal arts. Will that be for here or to go?
75. Gene Police!!! Get out of the pool!!

slosh. kerplunk!

i loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove staff parties! and i have my Columbo (season one!!!!) to watch.


i'm drunk.

and i can blame my bosses.



Saturday, December 16, 2006

Curiouser and curiouser, said the cat

Well, naturally, the people I interviewed with on Thursday liked me. They're suggesting there'll be another interview Friday, and went so far as to say a meeting with the accountant looms to see what kind of salaries they have the potential to offer. Suffice to say, this is all as clear as mud to me. Part of me thinks I have the job, but I'm not entirely clear on the matter. I'll know more this week. I do know, though, that only 3 people interviewed, including myself, so my odds are sufficiently higher than they might normally be.

It would be weird to get a job literally on Christmas Eve. Wouldn't that be incredible? I'd be a pretty giddy camper. Plus, I'd like knowing that I applied for only one job and then got it. That'd be a pretty wicked average and would make up for my abysmal job-hunting period last June.

I'm simply not accustomed to having to apply to more than three jobs when looking. My morale took a serious nosedive in July. Jesus.

In other exciting news, my fridge is empty and I'm heading into the arctic brr-rr-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r to get a dead bird and other afinements from Granville Island. I'll freeze the poor bird for Christmas Eve because there is No Fucking Way I'm going down onto that island in the midst of Christmas insanity. No WAY.

Tonight I shall be wined and dined on the company bill. Christmas parties with them are always a good time, but this is the first year we're not doing a fancy-pants big restaurant do. And that's all right with me. Catering, et al, is just peachy. I'm frankly too tired and burned out this week to want to have to do the whole being-polite-and-getting-out-of-the-wait-staff's-way standard deal anyhow.

Hmm. Wow. Cool to hear from the potential job people, though. A job for Christmas, wow. That'd be a pretty goddamned storybook ending to what's been a hell of a year. So much anxiety and frustration has been the tune of this past year. I'm still thrilled with how I've come through it all, but honestly, wow. Every bit of me is ecstatic to be moving on.

A Christmas party tonight will be nice, but I'd be just as keen to sleep my day away, too. God knows I could use a 24-hour sleep right now. I can sleep late tomorrow. Haven't heard from the date guy, but I don't care too much -- telephone tag has been an ongoing game there and I'm sure we'll sort things out during the day. It'll be good to know just how hungover I am before making plans. Ha. :P

I gotta tell ya... this whole "christmas day to myself" thing is starting to look sexier and sexier. Sleep late, movie matinee. Ah, BLISS, baby. Yay. And boxing day and the 27th off, too. Thank god.

Friday, December 15, 2006

meteorological chaos, anyone?

i've lived in vancouver nearly all my life, save a year spent in the great white north, aka Yukon.

never, ever, ever have i seen a winter like this -- and it's not even winter yet. in six weeks, we've had nearly a dozen storms strong enough to knock out power, and last night was the worst yet.

i have a friend from work who lives in one of the oldest buildings in the city, the Lee Building, at main and broadway, and it's about nine or ten floors high. during the night, the wind sent projectiles of all kind hurtling through the city air, and a number of windows blew out, apparently sounding like something pretty freaky. yeah, i can imagine.

winds reached hurricane force, and people like me who've lived here longer than they can remember don't recall a storm like this. a) we don't get hurricanes and b) we get gusts, not prolonged winds.

Stanley Park, one of pride and joys of this city, and one of the top five largest urban parks in the world, took a beating like none other. an aerial shot was shown on the news tonight, and i
kid you not, i almost cried when i saw the sheer volume of trees taken down in the storm. from overhead, it looked like half. half of 1000 acres. nearly a hundred trees were reported fallen on the causeway, let alone within the forests.

me, i wear hearing aids. i can sleep through nearly anything, but last night myclosed windows blew open and cannisters on my window were blown off the still and onto the floor and counter. i woke.

no one was injured. miracle of miracles.

but one of the greenest, most forested cities in the world has been taking a thrashing this fall. everywhere you go, branches are down, trees are down. homes wrecked. this has been ongoing now for six weeks, and it's been getting more severe as the weeks have passed by. to put this into perspective, NINE storms now in SIX WEEKS have had enough intensity that they've taken out power (today's took out power to more than a quarter million homes -- in a region with 2.5 million population, and some 30,000 or more had been left without power since monday's storm, which took out another 100,000 then).

last year? two storms in the ENTIRE fall/winter/spring seasons. total.

yeah. how's that for your comprehension, huh? fuckin' hell.

when my dad was sick in the hospital, we had more than a third the annual rainfall (in a RAINFOREST, mind you!) in just 10 days. he didn't grasp then how fuct the weather has been but he's sure had a crash course since he emerged! pun full intended, i assure you.

what can you say? it is what it is. i'm sad as hell to see the trees coming down. some, in stanley park, are literally centuries and centuries old. aboreal behemoths, really. many precede the influx of white folk in this region. and they're coming down left, right, and centre. yeah, you're fucking right i'm sad about it.

but what can you do, right? a lot of people lost homes last night, or at least large portions of their homes. i'm sad for them. but no one's died. our ecological history's toppling down all around us though. some say it's the worst storm since a hurricane landed here in 1953. hydro employees on the front line say they've never seen anything like it in two, three decades.

i'd heard the forecast -- "worst storm in a decade to land tonight" but, fuck, man. surprising!

the airport claims about 100 klicks an hour, whereas some parts of Victoria received winds hitting 160 km/h.

makes ya think twice about nice, big, sexy trees in your yard, i tell you. me, i've no such worries. still, what a night. i rode my scooter to work at 11:30 this morning, thinking the worst was over. sure it was, but it was still simmering, if not raging. a 15-20 minute scooter ride was nearly 45 minutes today, and no, i didn't have the balls to attempt crossing a bridge while the winds still blew. i took the long way as i'm not sure i'm ready to test my theories of personal immortality just yet, thanks.

but the stanley park thing, god. how sad is that? an unbelievably beautiful urban park is getting decimated this winter. fortunately it's still surrounded by majestic mountains and ocean. but us lifers in this region know what we're missing, and yeah, it's a sad, sad thing today.

aside from that, i'm good but tired and drained and hotly anticipating my sleep-in. my phone's getting turned off now. sleep, perchance to rest. god knows i need it after this week. (that's two big storms this week alone.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

From Heaven to Hell and Possibly Back Again?

Well, I officially have a job interview in the afternoon tomorrow. Sadly, the place is wwaaaaaaaaaaaay out of the way, but I think it'd be a pretty great place to work from the little I know.

And I was panicking about that "way out of the way" thing, too, because... [OMINOUS CHORD STRIKES] Some dude backed over my scooter tonight. Doh!


At first it wouldn't start, but I'm smart enough to know that a toppling upsets the fuel, thus floods the engine. And the tire was bent. It seemed. Going around would clunk-clunk-clunk. But, again, insert brains here, right? The loop-d-loop thing that holds the cables firmly away from the tire was bent in and rubbing against the tire. [FLEXING] But, I, the mighty Steff, was able to bend it back out. The thing that is indeed fucked is the signal.

But that's okay!

Because HONEST PEOPLE EXIST in this world. The guy asked the homeless kid on the street by it all if he'd seen the owner. The kid pointed me out, and the guy gave me his digits, apologized profusely, picked up the bike, et al. He's gonna pay me cash. The phone number even worked, too. At first I thought nothing had happened. Then I thought it wasn't driveable, so I called his girliefriend and told her the happenstance, all panicked-like.

(I've since called to say that it looks like it'll probably cost just a hundred or so, if not less, and thanked them about five times for being honest. I'm actually gonna buy him a Christmas card when we meet for the money exchange, and a nice piece of chocolate. Honesty deserves rewards.)

The irony of it all is that I'd pulled up, parked, and was all bitter some homeless kid's staking out my fave grocery store now. "Gah," I thought. "I'll have to give him money." (Which I tend to do often enough, as I think karma's a real deal thing and all.)

Sure enough, I gave him money, but 10 bucks instead of the one it would've been. Made his night, and then, add more irony to the mix -- the kid used to ride a '74 Vespa when he lived in Montreal. We exchanged "But for the grace of GOD, I lived!" accident stories and all. Hilarious. Then he booted it to buy the tea he was hoping he'd have the cash for.

So, yeah, this sucks, I don't have the time for dealing with it, but you know what? The guy was honest! He didn't have to be. It'll be taken care of. My good deeds are coming back to me via other people's goodness. It was a shitty 20 minutes, but once I discovered it was rideable, things improved a smidge.

Which is good. 'Cos girlie's got a job interview to get to at 5 and all.

aw, crap, not again

five bucks says we've got another boil-water advisory for the Vancouver region again tomorrow.

after the largest boil-water advisory in BC history passed us by just about three weeks ago, it looks like we're back in the turbid mix of things again.

i'm possibly blowing smoke out of my ass as we've heard nothing yet from the talking heads at all, but hey. my ass is a knowledgeable ass. then again, my eyes function, too. i just ran myself a bath and the water's nigh on shit brown. nice! it was like that when the boil-water advisory came down from on high. i'll listen to the news tomorrow morning, for sure.

we've been getting insane wind -- yesterday was just maniacal as far as windyness goes. gusts were up to 115 klicks an hour, depending where you were. guess what? they're back again. and the rain. did i mention the wind? we don't get hurricanes. this frontal system's probably the leftover remnants of a tropical storm that was causing havoc in the central Pacific last week. ridiculous. i think 2006/7 is bound to be a year for the record books.

the turbidity comes from trees and mudslides heading down the slopes of the Capilano Water Resevoirs. cynical tree-hugging types (me! me! me!) will tell ya that it's all the logging that's been done in that vicinity.

whatever. all's i knows is tonight the water looks like shit and that's a little too literal a statement for comfort.


i've been working like a fiend all night. it took me about four hours to get the photos chosen and prepped for gifties this season. money's a little too tight to mention, so my gifts are the personal kind. my printer's crap, so i'll get 'em professionally printed. yay for quality.

but at least i've gotten that done. so, the house is clean. check. brought out the xmas decorations, which are essentially useless as it turns out i have no lights, but still: decorations are out. check. christmas gifts are largely decided upon. check. bank account is empty. check.

'tis the season to be broke. that's what it is. how'd the songwrite get that so wrong? merry = broke? ha. not in my thesaurus, bubby.

but on the upside, the staff party's saturday night, which means i'm in luck as far as a hangover Sunday goes. GOOD THING i've made a date with a boy Sunday night. something tells me i've made wiser choices in the past. date + hangover? ooh, sexy! whatever. i'm not too worried. odd, that. seems pretty lowkey and relaxed, so i think things will go fine. i'll just be a smart cookie and remember to drink lots of water before, during, and after. nothing like the annual corporate boozin' fest to get a weekend off to a screeching halt. tee hee.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

So, I Like Those Averages

Later this week or sometime next week, I should have an interview for a job. I've only sent in one resume so far, so, I'm thinking those numbers sound better.

I don't know much about that position, though. They contacted me after I posted something on Craigslist. We'll see what happens. Might not be appropriate for me. Might be awesome. Who knows.

Still. It sets a nice, positive tone for the start of things for me. That can't hurt.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mrs. Potschka & The Eagle Eye, Part 2: The Trick

There’s a rainstorm today and a windstorm. I’m opting to be a recluse again today, and am working on making my habitat as close to a cocoon as possible. Today: I attack clutter. I always wondered how I could be missing the mark on having the perfect home, but this weekend I think I finally solved the endless riddle of my bedroom. Suddenly, my house has flow – starting here in my bedroom, there’s an unimpeded path leading everywhere in my home. Nothing needs to be stepped around anywhere in my apartment now, let alone in my bedroom.

But now that I find my bedroom relaxing, I’ll be writing more on more varied topics… experimental and such, I think. It’s comforting in here now. Every good writer needs a clean slate around them and now I have one.

But, speaking of “flow”… I was telling you about my Grade four and six teacher, Mrs. Potschka, not too long ago. A sturdy Scottish woman with a leg lost to polio and an “eagle” eye. Her humour made rare appearances as she was a strict and punitive teacher. She gave me the worst detention of my life, a month-long memorizing of a dreadful and uninspired poem that I wrote about here, and she passed me from grade four “on trial”. Meaning, I should have failed the grade, but thanks to my month-long stint in the hospital that year, she took pity on me.

I would have her again in grade six and she would acclaim me as the most improved student she had ever taught in her career. I would go on to win the first annual most improved student award, which was issued in the name of my fallen classmate, Sam McGladdery -- The Sam McGladdery Memorial Award. Sam was a wonderful boy who died in grade five of leukemia. I remember admiring Sam greatly. He was always sick with his cancer, yet his family would host these annual swimming parties for our class, as we seldom saw Sam during all this endless treatments. Sam could take one deep breath and swim underwater end-to-end and back again in his big backyard pool. I remember being stunned such a strong and cute blond boy could die. Then began my lifelong hatred for cancer, after all, what kind of disease would kill a great kid like Sam?

So, when I won that award in his name, I was thrilled. Absolutely elated. I took the big brass and wood plaque home and mounted it upon my wall until the next year, when the second recipient would ironically be my then best friend.

But I’m getting ahead of the game. Two years before, I was languishing under Mrs. Potschka’s relentless scrutiny, failing dismally at the now-complicated and challenging fourth grade, at the tail-end of a pretty debilitating childhood illness.

Being sick all the time, I didn’t accomplish much in fourth grade, but what I did accomplish, well, that has stayed with me my entire life.

I would daresay that Mrs. Potschka proved to be in the top three best teachers for writing I’ve ever had. I don’t think it’d be much of a stretch to say she was the tops, either.

Mrs. Potschka, being a strict and punitive Scotswoman, didn’t mind teaching by way of humiliation and competition. She was never, ever cruel, though. Just unflinching and unapologetic in her brashness. She divided her class into three, and the groups were called the “A”, “B”, and “C” writing groups.

Those in the “A” group could form coherent plots and write stories and reports in a competent, if not engaging, manner. The “B” group needed help with structure and with details but had the basic elements in grasp, although not completely in execution. The “C” group didn’t necessarily know its ass from a hole in the ground when tale-telling, though, and they were getting schooled from foundation on up.

As soon as one did learn the basics to make the jump to the next level, they did so rather ceremoniously. Mrs. Potschka would announce their elevation at the beginning of the next writing class, and they would get the ranking noted on the list of pupils’ groups on the wall. Everyone would clap, and class would begin.

Yours truly? “C” almost all the way. Trouble is, I wanted to be a good writer. At first, I didn’t try hard enough. The Scotswoman made a point of telling me that I was clearly a creative child and she knew I could do far better. I wonder sometimes if I should have been ranked a little higher, because I suspect she actually was just trying to push me very hard. I ended the year in the “A” group and would go on to win a province-wide competition the next year, that would result in my entire grade-five class getting better seating at the stadium during Pope John Paul II’s visit to Vancouver.

She would teach us how details made stories richer, how the more the readers would know, the more they would care. She taught us how to pretend we weren’t connected to what we were writing. Would we understand everything based only on what was written before us? Chances are, no.

But most importantly, she taught us about flow.

I can remember that class when she first taught us flow, you know. I remember none of the kids around me. It’s like this surreal moment in which I practically saw the lightbulb flick on. I remember me in my desk and Mrs. Potschka up there in front of the board. The projection screen was on and there was a one-page story projecting onto the white pull-down screen. She high-lighted the last line of each paragraph and the first line of each of the next.

She then explained how, if we read each each paragraph conclusion followed by the intro line of the next paragraph, there would always be an idea connecting the two. That was your flow. Flow was everything, she would explain. Flow was how you made your readers trust you, how you left them wanting more. Flow was the literary equivalent to a blanket on the couch – it gave you comfort and security and helped you settle in for a long tale. If you had flow, she taught, you’d always be someone worth reading.

She didn’t know it then and probably doesn’t know it now, but in teaching me about flow, Mrs. Potschka was giving me a lifelong goal. Whether it’s in my writing or in my life, flow has always been a highly sought element for me. I guarantee you, you look at the best things I’ve ever written, and you will always, always find linking ideas in the last/first lines of respective paragraphs; throughout the work, too.

It’s the simplest trick I know to making my work engaging and fluid. It’s the way I keep a conversational, easy cadence going in my writing. Sure, I have flaws in other areas, but I know that’s where my strength lies. I’ve learned so much from other writing teachers in my life – from actual teachers through to lovers and employers – but that trick is the number one thing that makes my writing what it is today. It was also Mrs. Potschka who taught me the importance of a great vocabulary. Within a year of her classes, I would be testing at a grade-12 vocabulary level while still in elementary.

By the time grade six rolled around, Mrs. Potschka was considerably warmer towards me. She took outside time to talk to me about my writing, wrote encouraging notes on my stories, and even occasionally read them aloud to others. I would enter grade seven with an A-average, and a lifelong love of making words work on the page.

It’s surprising who stays with us in our minds as the years fall away from us, but some characters deserve nothing less than permanence, and Mrs. Potschka, for me, is one.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Everybody Feng Shui Tonight!


[Insert Beethoven's Ninth Here]


I cannot tell you how much I have always hated my bedroom! Oh, have I!

But I have finally figured out a layout that works and is inviting to others. It's spacious; it's organized; it's sensual; it's practical; it's uncluttered!

I walk in, and it's soothing. I cannot believe how nice it feels to be in here. I think I'll actually enjoy writing and podcasting now.

I'm not completely done, but I'm going to spend my night watching television and cleaning between commercials and during lame plot-failing moments. Heh. No judgment there, eh?

I've always felt uncomfortable in my own bedroom. It struck me as really tragic, you know? But now, wow, I think I'm gonna dig this. My lighting is awesome -- two soft golden lamps. One a caramel-tinted stained lamp (1930s art nouveau/classic style, sorta, and a faux Moroccan lamp thingie with a golden hanging fabric shade with a bead tassel at the bottom).

The train's tooting on its way past and it's on the verge of six on a Sunday night. Traffic's whipping up the still-falling rain on the roads, so there's a constant whooshing sound in the background.

It's nice. I haven't enjoyed just sitting around and writing for a long time now. Like my life, I've been in chaos. I really do believe that, hey, you can't control your world, but you can establish control of your place in it -- your home.

My desk isn't by the window now. I can still turn and look out, but I want some more inspirationg. Thus, I'm going to take a look at my photography and decide on four to six of them best suited to be framed here in the room. Mount them around the mirror on my accent/writing wall. Something to stare into and get lost in. I do that a lot. Trances are a good time. Meditative. We all have our methods.

I really have a pretty amateur, but sensational writing desk. It deserves to be better balanced against this nice chocolate wall of mine. I did a bad kinda thatch faux brush finish on it. I didn't have glaze in the paint, so it sort of bled together, but one can still see some texture there. Just not much. Heh. The desk is this design I found in a book called Pad: The Guide to Ultra-Living. It's the first decorating book that had to come out with a party guide. It tells you how to make a bamboo bar. Heh. And a coffee table out of a surf board, which I'd seriously like to do!

The desk is three pieces. Two two-door verticle filing cabinets, at either end. The table top itself is 7 feet 4 inches long on the top. Then, the bottom's about five feet long. The bottom's sandwiched to the top by way of three 4" long strips mounted perpendicular to the top and bottom. In there I slide all my Ikea storage boxes, paper clips, things like that. The wood is this beautiful sheet of maple 1" ply. I stained it a honey-golden brown stain, and the grain is just gorgeous. I saw a couple guys last year who were woodworkers and just loved the wood I chose. The grain's just bootiful, and my staining is flawless and smooth, too. The table's far from perfect but it's bad in those "clearly it's homemade" but "good effort" kind of way. Heh.

And I cleaned it with Murphy's Wood Oil soap tonight so now it smells sweet-ish. Mmmm!

I really cannot stand working in a mess. I despise it. But I have been procrastinating sooooo long with this. I've wanted to do this ever since about three months after the purchase of my desk. I can't believe I never thought of this arrangement. How dumb of me! But now I have and I still feel briliant. If I had a party, I'd now feel comfortable letting people talk in here. It'd mean 5-7 more people could hang out. Ha! Like that party's gonna happen. Not till I have a good job!

Anyhow. I'm making chicken pot pie. The only thing missing is a glass of wine. I'll think of something. I'm glad I've decided on having some "me" time for a change. Know what? I bet I'll even read in here for the first time in two years soon. That'll be wonderful. Whatever shall I choose?! Oh, bother. :)

whatever whatever whatever shall i do!

so, i've been sitting around all morning, watching The Abyss, trying to think of a new configuration for my bedroom.

i've never really liked my bedroom -- i can't figure out a layout that works. trouble is, my set up's so complicated that moving shit around is far easier conceived than executed. but i fucking hate it as-is, so something needs to change. trouble is, i have this seven-foot long writing desk i designed and Dad helped me make, and the options are limited. atop the desk is a myriad of, well, crap, plus my podcasting gear, plus all the computer shit.

once i start this task, i foresee about three or four hours of work ahead of me, and some of it gruellingly physical -- this hardwood desktop isn't exactly a puffer's job of moving, you know.

and i'm somewhat torn. i sort of like having...

[we interrupt your regular programming for... GAYBOY!]

...ha! like a beacon in the night, the phone rings, and it's GayBoy, so I told him of the woes I was having, trying to come up with a new layout -- and what I'd been about to type was "I sort of like having my computer facing the window, since I enjoy looking out at the world when between thoughts... but I hate entering my room to see the disaster of my desk first and foremost, and I hate having my bed like it is -- floating in the center of the wall, pushed lengthwise against it."

I was thinking, move my desk against my chocolate-brown accent wall, and my bed into the Northeast corner... and this means I have to get rid of this beautiful retro settee I have, as I just haven't got the room for it. Blah!

So, GayBoy rings, I tell him I'm having trouble thinking of a new layout, and he suggests the exact same thing I was thinking as my top-most option! HA. Great minds, no less!

Anyhow, dude OFFERS to come over and help, without me even thinking of suggesting it 'cos I know he's been working a lot. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

My friends rock, but GayBoy's the rockingest of the bunch!

Now I have to defunk the room before he appears. No one should be subjected to THIS mess. Ick.

Coming soon... order to the chaos of my universe(?). Maybe?


My camera's busted. Mmf! Thank god for three-year extended warranties.

But it's a bitch to think I'll be without my camera over the holidays. Wah! WAH.

BLAH! Fucker.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Here I Be

So, I get home after yet another long, long day this week, and I find four messages on my machine, one from my dad.

"Are you okay? I see you haven't blogged in a couple days. I worry when..." Yada, yada, yada. Heh.

Sorry, Dad, small matter of having a life. We can't all be retired, you know!

Tee hee hee. Cute. Fun.

I went to my married friend's house and made his wife and him some pasta for dinner, then played with their sickeningly adowable little 7-month-old baby. Nothing like being able to act stupid on purpose. I'm a natural with babies and kids. They just love me to bits. What's not to love, hey?

God, it's a long-ass ride on the scooter home from there. Curse you, Whipped Boy, for leaving the 'hood!

There was a time when my two best friends, Whipped Boy & GayBoy, both lived within four blocks of me. It was some good times back then, for sure. Life was evil. I was generally unhappy and lonely and all, but my friends were close and it kept things simple. Then WhippedBoy moved to the east side, and THEN he moved way the hell across town. At least he stayed in the city. Ah, well. Grr.

It's been a very long two days. Yawn. Still, I'm thinking of staying up late to watch The Abyss, which I've never seen and stole when WhippedBoy wasn't looking. Okay, he loaned it to me, but there goes all the mystique. I absolutely know I'll be falling asleep on the couch, if I do. Who sez that's a bad thing?

I'm sitting here with job uncertainties and all that right now, but I had an email from someone who saw my "Hire me 'cuz I'm wicked cool-ass smart-like-dumptruck and you know you want me" posting on Craigslist yesterday, and they want to talk to me about a job possibility, so I need to follow up on that on Monday (but I've sent my resume). It would be a great fit for me, but I dunno if anything'll come of it.

And then there's the potential that my dating life's coming together in the not so distant future, which would be nice, too.

I dunno. Seems like things are looking up a little.

Except this tired-like-the-dead thing I feel right now. And c-c-c-coooold. Brrr!

See, Dad, nothing to worry about. No fear!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

lusting after some (chicken) breast and such.

i've really got to start getting into work a little earlier. heh. it's 9:40, and i've just put a chicken in the oven to roast. methinks it's toast and cheese for supper tonight. that bird's not gonna get done till about 11:30 or so.

but... i have a meat thermometer now. huzzuh! just a $12 probe one. SOME people i know have spent oodles on fancy-assed ones, but i'm living on a budget with the knowledge that i'm very likely not going to be working beyond the new year. dunno yet, but it's likely the case. couple people are hiring in my 'hood, and i'm applying for one of those in particular, which i think i'd be skookum good at.

nonetheless: a thermometer!

i've toyed with fate and the gods of late, having had a couple chickens not QUITE perfectly cooked. i'm really good at doing the old 'pull the leg and see if the juices run clear' bit, but it's a little dodgy at times.

this bird's stuffed with thyme and i've put my sundried-tomato/basil butter under the skin, over the breast, and i suspect this'll be a really nice, savory chicken. won't be much good for things like chicken pot pie, maybe, but so what. i'll freeze it and use it in yummers sammiches and goodly things such as that.

i saw a TERRIFIC psychological thriller today, one that makes some pointed statements about the climate of fear bred by the US government in the post-9/11 world. but i can't tell ya anything else about it. really got the wheels in my nerdy noggin' spinnin' something fierce today, tho.

ah, it'll suck to look for new work, but i have trepidations about the film industry in light of ACTRA (actor's union here in Canada) encouraging its members to vote for a strike, as their contract ends dec. 31st, 2006. BC's actors belong to their own union, though, and that's secure until, i think, march 31st, 2007. which is to say "not so much".

methinks the actors'll be fucking nimrods to vote for a strike. they're lucky our industry is still hanging on now that our dollar's up to about 90 cents against the yankee buck. our industry skyrocketed when the dollar sank to 60 cents about four years or so ago, and the fear was that a surging buck would send many to unemployment lines. fortunately, we're not just CHEAP up here in canada, we're fucking good little worker-bees with scads of talent, it would seem, and coupled with the state-of-the-art finishing and studio houses around, we've kept the industry alive.

but if our actors go demanding the 5% per annum in raises they're hoping to get, i think there'll be a fat chance that industry boon's gonna continue. "good luck with that!"

so, we'll see what happens. my eyes are wide, wide open, though. it was a surprise to me that my boss hadn't heard word one about the potentially impending strike. came as a big bad shock when i mentioned it last night. the audible groan was my first clue.

but, like most things in life, it's way outta my hands. so, i'm not sweating it.

instead, i'm roasting a chicken. a sexy thang it is, too. just over 6 lbs this time. $14, and farm-fed halal (islam's near-equivalent to kosher) bird. LOVE that. :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Another Day, Another Donut -- Not.

Well, The Biggest Loser is down to one last week. Four finalists will be vying for the crown and a quarter-million dollars. My favourite, the guy that wanted to give up in the first couple weeks and who would cuss and practically cry when it got hard, has now lost 124 pounds. His trainer gave him a real talking to in week six, and that changed everything. I'm betting on him for the endgame, though. He deserves it thus far.

Me, I'm doing what I gotta do. My diet's not what I'd like it to be, I've been eating too much, but that's status quo, really. It hasn't gotten worse, it just hasn't gotten better. But that's all right. I'm exercising. That's the key. Diet will come. The great blizzard was a bitch for food shopping (and cleaning out the pantry before, thanks to those moths, that didn't help matters much!) and I'm just catching up now.

I need to exercise more. I'm taking it up a notch. I'm running the steps in the apartment building six times a morning, but I need to do it regularly. (I'm just starting to do it daily.) I've begun doing squats against the wall and plan to start doing some free weights in a few minutes.

Tell ya, though, the little I have been doing with the stairs is already making a difference in my endurance. If there's one thing I've hated about my body, apart from the weight, it's the fact that I've always felt lopsided ever since my accidents. One hip always rolls forward, and it makes me feel off-centre (if not flat-out in pain).

THAT seems to finally be fixing itself with this stairclimbing. Cycling never helped it, walking never helped it. Running up the apartment stairs? Helping! I dunno what it is, maybe it has to do with the fact that I have to use my core on the stairs. Hmm. Whatever, I'll take that.

And no, I have no weight numbers for you. I don't believe in that shit. I know what my max weight was, I know what my lowest weight in the last couple of years has been, and I know I'm not there. Whatever I lose to that point doesn't matter. If my clothes fit well and I see a sparkle in my eyes and my cheekbones start becoming more prominent, then that's all that matters. Fuck numbers. I'm fixing myself from the inside out and vice versa, and I'll know when I'm done.

And as long as I have this semi-stiff, semi-sore-all-over kind of feeling I have now, I'll know I'm on the road to that point. I have confidence in myself that I've never had before, though, and that's something.

So, time for some weights and Oprah, then a bath, then bed.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

reminiscin' somethin' fierce.

i've had a "moment".

last week, in the great blizzard of november '06, i bought myself a few things for the kitchen, including industrial (mega-heavy non-stick. i could kill someone if i clobbered 'em with that. that's quality! manslaughter-capable = quality!) muffin tins and a set of five heavy ceramic mixing bowls.

and i left the bowls there to pick up later, 'cos they were too heavy to haul 10 blocks home on foot.

i got them tonight and just unpacked them.

over me washed a SEA of memories involving our mixing bowl set when i was growing up.

standing the in the kitchen with Dad when'd make silver-dollar pancakes on the griddle with his butter'n'brown sugar syrup (dad, what's the recipe?!)... making chocolate chip cookies with our Japanese exchange student, Akiko... Mom's dumplings...

hell, i remember sticking Goldie (i, ii, iii, iv, v, & vi) the Goldish(es) in there when cleaning the tank.

and it hit me 'cos this is the first time i've ever bothered to buy a set like that. you have to remember, i was well stocked as far as knickknacks and essentials went when my mother died. i've never had a lot of experience buying certain things for myself. mixing bowls -- had tonnes. one's cracked. one broke, and the others are highly unattractive.

so i bought these ones on sale. and they seem so damned homey and nice and old fashioned. they make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. they inspire me to clean my fucking cupboards out and get rid of my useless kitchen stuff that's taking up space. call Big Brothers and give "okay" stuff to people who need it more than i clearly have.

weird. i dunno. strange how something silly like mixing bowls can trigger an almost painful bout of nostalgia, all those memories of our beautiful, modern, wonderful kitchen coming back over me. we had this awesome kitchen. Mom and Dad built our house, which was about 3,000 square feet or so, and had a very old farmhouse feel about it... it was BLACK when i was growing up. so cool, living in a black house with white trim. the kitchen had to be about 20 feet long, and there were doors leading into the living, family, and dining rooms (each separate) as well as onto a big enclosed sun deck that served as a year round "lazy" room where we'd sprawl around and relax. it was painted sunshine yellow.

the kitchen had a few incarnations and right now i can't remember any. i remember the white wooden cupboards, the burgundy countertops, and the uber-cool Gen-air in-counter stovetop and oven that are even today hotly sought-after by hipster owners. and a blue ceramic sink.

i loved that kitchen. i hated my mother for selling the beautiful kitchen table that, if i remember correctly, she herself made in woodworking class. (i still have her butcher's block-ish cutting boards.)

there're lots of pics of me in a chef's cap at age 8, making anything from a roast to muffins. at that age i was dead-set on being a chef when older. i could probably pull that career change off even now, but i'd only ever go for being a personal chef, not a corporate one.

that'd be pretty cool, actually.

ah, well, i've got a day job for now anyhow. ha.

Monday, December 04, 2006

This is insane.

Snapshots: My Night.

I've begun playing a little more with Photoshop, but I'm not as hip as I wanna be, y'know. This is an awesome page of photo effect work on a plain ordinary photo. I think it's a little excessive, but it's an impressive bit of work, and tells you in exacting detail "how to". Wonder if I can make the fighting photos I took the other day have an ethereal, almost "superhero" feel to them? That could be quite the kick. Gonna play with that some night this week.


Thai green chicken curry looms. I've got actual Thai basil for a change, and I'm cooking with lemongrass for the first time ever. A couple weeks ago, I bought a 2lb bag of baby sweet (red, yellow, orange) peppers for $3.99 (-10% for customer appreciation day!) and I still have a few, and they're going in as well.

And brown jasmine rice so I'm eating healthy in the face of the coconut milk.


45 minutes later. Plan amended. Now having Thai sweet red rice. It looks black. I've never really had it before. I thought it'd be a rich and decadent contrast to the light and savory green curry sauce. A gamble! God, I'm a brave woman. Fear me.

I'm looking forwards to this. Trouble is, I forgot to turn the rice maker on for 20 minutes. Duh. Capital d. Will report.


Podcasting? Ah. The rub! I think I got some good stuff. I had a good personality for most of the day today, then I got tired this afternoon. I was out for breakfast with an old, old friend who's not been in my life for 13 years. Actually came home in the mood to record, and did, like, two takes, and then I started having Audacity crashing on me. I used Registry Mechanic, yet still. Now I'm defragmenting.

Ergo, in hell. But soon it will be a well-fed hell.


Heroes is on tonight! Ah-ha! The world still needs saving. Someone get Hiro Nakamura a manual on how to bend time! Where the hell is Stephen Hawking when you need him, eh?

HAS THERE EVER BEEN A COOLER SERIES? HUH? I ASK YOU! It's definitely on the list near the top of my favourites. It's just so goddamned original, yet so not. Fuck, man. Perfect for MY generation. I love that show. I'm so buying the DVDs.

But soon will come the winter hiatus. Curse you, season of giving!


I got to ride my scooter today. The snow is finally on its way out. So what do I ask to do tonight? To go cross-country skiing on the weekend. GayBoy knows someone who runs a bus company and might be able to get us a deal on rental and free commute. We'll see!


Thai red rice... I'm going to try a different brand and see if the gluteny purpleish effect is reduced. I liked the flavour, but I'll try the brand sold on Granville Island instead of the cheap "Texana" brand I've bought from Dan-d-pak. Still, I was right, a nice contrast to the sauce. Lemongrass, sweet peppers, a spanish onion, and Thai basil made a great green curry. Next time, chiles get added, too.


My house is clean. GayBoy, I am loathe to admit you were right and I reversed the couch and beanbag, and it works better. I hate it when you're right. Curse you. And the cheese you left on the couch, oooh. You eat like a cow sometimes. Luckily you're so loveable. Still. Yeesh.


I'm defragmenting my computer in the hopes that Audacity will stop crashing. Three hours and it's 32% done.

Oy vey.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

muzak and shit

yawn. i'm recording Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip so i can watch it sans commercials in a little bit thus do more productive things now. meanwhile, i'm cleaning up, listening to David Bowie, and finally downloading music en masse for the first time in, what, two or three years?

i've decided that it's idiotic for me to remain fairly ignorant about the classics. when it comes to actually listening to music, i've got pretty intelligent, discerning tastes... when i'm interested enough to bother. i've tapped into some pretty cool indie bands without even looking for 'em, but when it comes to the classics, honestly, i know next to nothing about the music even though i know enough about performers and the critical feedback (and some of the obvious hits) to know who i'm gonna dig. i blame the ignorance on my parents. while everyone else's parents were listening to the Doors and other greats from '70s, mine were listening to fucking Patsy Cline, Liona Boyd, and Kenny Rogers. yeah, i know when to fold 'em.

Bowie, for instance, is a recent addition to my library. i know i like the Beach Boys but have nothing of their work, so i'm downloading a huge library of it, as well as a bunch of George Michael stuff (oh, humour me). other present downloads -- Miles Davis, an obscure canadian named Mary Margaret O'hara (who i was introduced to through a show i captioned -- the album Miss America is a 1988 effort that went way underappreciated, from the info i can find, but is years ahead of Alannis Morrissette and PJ Harvey and Liz Phair and other chicks like that -- i thought the track i captioned was current, it was so contemporary sounding. to find out it was 18 years old blew me away) and some more obscure Beatles and Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash and Elvis Costello and stuff like that. couldn't come up with a good selection of the Replacements, who i used to have a double-cd of but then lost it (sorry, whipped boy). finally getting some Tribe Called Quest (who i blatantly ripped off for my handle "scribe called steff", needless to say).

but i'm about to start seriously beefing up my music collection. i think my lack of intouchedness with current music, too, is leaving me feeling dated. and i'm not dated. i'm pretty damned hip, really, so this is irritating to me. i've got to start reading the reviews at again and getting in tune with today's scene. fo damn sho.

and i'm wanting to get back to seeing gigs. i liked seeing the Stones last week, but i much prefer seeing up-and-coming bands or stalwarts of the club scene, in small venues, not in cavernous shitholes like the BC Place, where 90% of the people are in nosebleed seating. not exactly vibe-inducing, y'know? having been to, what, 200, 300 concerts, i know a good show when i see one, but i appreciate the smaller ones these days, or at the most ones that are in smaller stadiums like the Coliseum.

but then i still need to figure out how to format my fucking iPOD. i love the brilliance of those idiots at Apple: an iPOD formatted for Mac cannot be used on a Windows computer. a Windows-formatted iPOD can be used on a Mac. what the fuck is that about? maybe they've changed that in the two-plus years since i bought mine, but jesus fucking christ. nothing pisses me off more than stupidity like that. how hard is it to make it a multi-platform on Mac if it goes both ways originating on Windows? i am NOT one of the legions of people who owns Mac and thinks it's flawless and always brilliant. i have both, a desktop PC for home use and a mobile iBOOK for whatever else. there are pluses to each. the negative to Mac is that when it DOES start acting up, when things go south, there's little you can do to circumvent it. usually you have to reinstall the whole goddamn OS. at least Windows has more utilities available for fixing downfalls.

(my favourite? registry mechanic. best tool ever. any time things go awry, r.m. fixes me good as new. hurrah for programming brilliance.)


this downloading music thing is gonna be a problem. space will be an issue. ah well. that's what burnable dvds are for. i'll just copy it all off and keep the best on here until such time as i have a secure job and can spend on stupid things like disk space.

for now, i'll use the excuse of not having that money as a reason to download and stuff my hard drive full of the classics.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

and everything's coming up roooooooooses!

for the third saturday night in a row, i've had free entertainment. week one was minor league hockey. always fun. week two was the last night on possibly the last tour ever for the rolling stones. this week was... wait for it...


the ultimate in redneck entertainment. woot. okay, it's fun for more than rednecks, for sure, but i was in the audience and i'll tell ya two things. one, very, very, vEry hot men in that audience. oh, dear god. mwah! thank you! two, i highly suspect a small margin of them would pass the cultural prerequisite in my world.

body by Atlas, brain by Mattel.

still, shit, cool fights. saw the MMA debut (mixed martial arts) of Roger Gracie, the next in the long line of Gracies to hit the fight circuit. dude took out his opponent, who outweighed him by fifty-five pounds, in three minutes. the arm bar move, i'm told, caused a submission. apparently you can rip an arm out of its socket with that one. yowch!

hey, i dig violence. violence in controlled arenas is just cool as shit. i highly endorse violent movies, violent games, and violent sports. we're primal beasts and getting a little primal every now and then never hurt anyone. cool as hell.

if i get into the kind of shape i want, i think a martial art or boxing might be a cool thing to do. and surfing is a must-do, too, but it's just fun, not primal, even though Hawaiians have been doing it for five milleniums.

i took photos of the Bodog fight, so i'll post some of those soon. i'd never, ever pay that kind of money to see it. nuh-uh, just not my kinda thing. love to see it, but no. i've seen amateur boxing, and i'd love to see more of it, actually. not on tv, no. live is cool. anyhow, i suspect our tickets tonight would've been some of the $135 seats. nuts, huh?

i could get used to this free shit. anyhow. makes me think my luck might be starting to change. the year's nigh over, too, so i won't comment on the coinkydink there.

and something else nice happened to me tonight, but i'll keep that to myself for now. gives me warm fuzzies. good in this weather. i'll share later.

tomorrow, must get some food. but since i'm supposed to be hanging with someone on monday, i'll leave granville island and the cheese shop (tee hee! been too long) for then. i'll do a local run for chicken thighs and do me some Thai green curry, but i'm gonna be wild and crazy and get lemon grass. i've never cooked with it before. 'bout time!

so, we still have snow. worse, i'm getting used to it. all this walking and the stairs, though... i'm losing weight already! i can see it in my face, and i've gone down one belt loop. whoop, there it ain't! and it's great, i've barely been exercising. my low back's feeling awesome today, too, for the first time in a while. yep. things is looking up.

gotta do me some stairs tomorrow. grunt. grumble. slack then sleep time now, tho. but: giggle! i'm glad things seem to be shifting a little on my end. bout friggin' time!

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Eureka Moment

They say that the best places for creativity are the bed, the bath, and the bus. I agree with all three. The only other place that competes is the beach or forest, and they're a pain in the ass to get to most times.

So, this week I've been getting a lot of bed time in, and bus time, and bath time. Nothing has been paying off.

If I could describe to you worldview right now, I would. I think it'd be some kind of Gilliamesque/Dalian visuals, though. A fractured kaleidoscope of sorts. From one thing spills a million others. Ah, those tangled webs.

But I've figured out a way to make my life the focal point of my podcast. A kind of eye on my world, so to speak, but in a way that will have relevance to a highly marketable demographic. Methinks I've come up with something highly workable, with infinite offshoots, that will be sufficient to fill nearly 12x20 minute shows.

I have the broad stroke. The master plan, if you will. All I need now is filler. Cogs in the wheel of my vehicle. Yeppers.

My plan this whole time was more of a variety show thing. All these different ideas that would mix together into one. I wanted to attack the ADHD crowd and have a multi-faceted thing going. But I can't get into it. It's too frazzled. It's too much.

I had a friend once tell me that she thought my inability to write complete fiction was coming from the fact that I had so much conflict going on in my life, that the notion of generating more, even recreationally, might be sounding internal alarm. Thus, I can only conclude that, now, in this time of chaos and unpredictability, the last thing I need is a whirlygig of programming to deal with.

I also had an exboyfriend that once accused me of being able to talk better about myself than I could about anything else, and he accused me as well of being self-obsessed. I argued him then, but I'm older, wiser and I do concede. Yes. I now pronounce myself an authority of all things Steff. Guilty as charged.

So, I'll used that to my advantage. 'cause the irony of knowing myself so well is pretty simple... it means I likely know a little something about you, too, because I betcha we're not all that different.

I'm stoked. I'm writing my outline tomorrow/tonight. Some beer and a big-assed sandwich at my favourite writing haunt. And it may sound a little screwy to you people, one topic as the umbrella topic for 12 episodes, but, tsk. Have a little faith. I'm tellin' ya. I'm onto something here. I'm gonna make this work.

You know what it is? When you keep working on something and you tackle it time and time again and it never, ever improves, you gotta ask yourself if maybe it needs a rebuild from the ground up. So, I rebuilt. Streamlined. Focused. But with vast possibility. Me, I can make some pretty unconnected topics come together. Yep. I could have a little fun justifying why some topics suit it.

And, yeah, I know, I'm being a coy one about all this, the topic, etc. Deal. It is what it is. Like I'm gonna give away my trump card at the offset? Pfft. Have another drink.

Hey, look, it's past midnight. I think I spot a pumpkin.