For you, the dress code is casual.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A few pics

Just an artsy shadow shot of a bike handle on a bend.

The theatre for our show happened to have scores of bunnies around it. This one let me get close-ish.

One near-30 degree day had fog in the morning as I cycled to work. I liked the lingering effects.

This was a day I wrote about on the blog, on which it began to rain and I was cycling home, so I decided to stop and enjoy it. Sang and danced on a pier, got back on my bike and started home. This was en route. Moody. Beautiful West Coast feel that I love so much.

Sh-weet ride on Commercial Drive.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Wasawich

Inspired by Oprah, this is a reinvention of my longtime love/nemesis: The Benny Melt.

Benny's Bagels, once a yearly winner of the "Best Place to Write a Novel" award from The Georgia Straight and where I once sat to read The Mosquito Coast in its entirety, once had the best melt sandwich ever, the Benny Melt. Then they got all chintzy with their toppings and now it's barely a figment of the monstrosity of yum it once was. Fuckin' bean-counters. Save a half-slice of cheese here and a shaving of ham there and next thing you know you're down to fuckin' tea time with the Queen and those piddly-ass little crustless finger sandwich jokes-of-a-food-group thingies.

But with The Best Ever Benny Melt came a zillion and four calories with 112% of them coming from fat.

And now, after a sandwich suggestion from Oprah, I have recreated the Benny Melt by way of the Whole Wheat Wasa flatbread crisp. And I just had it. And I'm in heaven. Heaven.

So, without ado, here's how it all shakes down. It has deviations in its future, I'm proud to say.

The Melty Wasawich by Steff!

2 Wasa crackers of your choosing (I went whole wheat)
1/2 cup shredded homecooked roasted chicken
one Roma (plum) tomato, sliced thinly
mayonnaise (Hellman's 1/2 fat) or cream cheese*
mustard (Russian sweet tipsy vodka-infused, or Cuarzon Tequila-infused... doh!)
cheese (I used expensive caramelized onion-studded extra aged cheddar from my fancy-ass cheese brokers and thought of going with Provolone, but I think the extra kick of a strong cheese makes it really go big)

Smear Wasas with mayo or cream cheese. Then spread mustard on. Put 1/4 cup roasted chicken on each. Layer with thin-sliced tomatoes. Salt & pepper to taste. Put sliced / shredded cheese on top. Broil in a hot toaster oven until bubbly & golden.

Next time I take it up a notch and make sundried-tomato-basil-garlic creamcheese to use on these sandwiches. I have a new favourite quick meal, dudes! Also in the plans: adding super-thin slices of green and yellow pepper and red onion.

Out, Damned Spot!

I dislike doctors. Always have. Being an always-sick kid meant I got to know too many of them over my life. Invariably, they were always nice guys. Sooner or later, though, the news they'd bring would be bad, and of that I have always been certain.

I've been meaning to book an appointment for the last three weeks, and it's after hours now and I've only just left a message so that I may book my visit. I'm nervous to go in, though.

Why go in? I have this weird sore on the back of my calf. Diamond shaped, 3/4 of an inch, red mottled skin, slightly raised. It's weird, and it hasn't changed much since it appeared, and it's been there for just under two months now. It doesn't hurt, it's not dry skin. It's just weird and different from any marks I've ever had before.

And I'm making a mental note to mention this strange 1/3" hard bump I've felt under my skin over my, what, liver? Upper left of the abdomen. I suspect it's just a little nodule of fat, though, so I'm not concerned about it. Mentioning it, for sure, but concerned? Nah.

Still, I'm noticing that these things worry me more than they once did. I wonder why that is. Older, wiser? Liking this life more? Just a big fat pussy? Whatever the reason, I care more about a diagnoses than I once did.

My doctor's cool, though. He knows when I need to talk, and that's when he closes my file, puts it down, crosses his leg, and gets involved while making lots of eye contact and being deadly serious. The rest of the time, he cracks jokes and engages in film banter with me.

I switched to him after my mother's death. My doctor then was an ass. My mother switched to him in the few months before her death, after the tumour was found, when six months were unwittingly on her clock.

He sat by her side in the hospital as she lay dying and we, the family, found some time for ourselves. He never bullshitted her, and he never talked down to me. I switched to him because he'd cared about my mom even though he was new to her life and she was on the way out. There are people in my life I trust because I'm supposed to trust them -- dentists and other professionals. Then there are those I trust because they've earned it, and it's a pretty particular crowd. The good doctor's made the cut because he's said stuff like this:

On my telling him I had a bad pot habit:
  • So? It's a crutch. When you're ready, you'll move past it. Until it begins to harm you, it's just a crutch. Talk to me if that changes.
On being asked what the secret to weightloss was:
  • Eat a little less, exercise a little more.
On finding out a clinic had me wait in the waiting room for an hour then told me I could return to work the next day when I'd already developed an acute case of pneumonia:
  • Malpractice is too good for some people.
On hearing me declare that I was deeply depressed and couldn't make it work anymore:
  • You and millions of other people. Difference is, you're recognizing it, and now we can do something about it.
But, no, I don't like doctors. I like him, though. Still, I'll feel better when I get this thing looked at. I'm also considering having a mole removed just because it's one that freaks anyone out who sees it, even though the docs claim it looks fine and it's never changed. One less thing to be conscious of, y'know?

Sigh. At least it's summer and I can easily jet over there on a workday. La dee da. Hopefully I get an appointment next week. I shall report the findings.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Food Day

It's a foodie day. I'm vegging with Lord of the Rings this morning (Two Towers; Return of the King will be my evening fare) and then plan to attack the Granville Isle market.

Chicken will be the highly prized bounty. A six- or seven-pound birdie for roasting. I will also hope to score some basil on the cheap, in which case I shall make my sundried tomato-garlic-basil butter for use in sandwiches and other good eats. My plan is to mix some with dijon and mayo for a funky sandwich topping, but I will also use it under the skin of chicken when roasting them. Makes for wicked sandwiches.

I'm going to make a radical departure and start having Wasawiches instead of sandwiches. You know that dry Wasa flatbread/cracker? Well, Oprah's apparently addicted and suggested an open-faced sandwich with a slice of processed meat, some light mayo, tomato, cheese and basil. I'm gonna try it and take it up a notch with my flavoured mayo I'll be making, as well as the home-roasted chicken breast, and then I'll broil it with some provolone.

That and a salad might be enough to fool myself into thinking I'm living it large still. I have been eating much better lately, after a bad crap-infested few weeks. Now I want to continue the path. I've had some fish of late, and I've also been having salads with meat and homemade croutons instead of toast or what have you. (The homemade croutons are sprayed with olive oil in one of those pressure pumps, or the upscale low-fat cookng sprays, and then seasoned and sauted. Much less fat than say a garlic bread, but just as fulfilling as a guilt food.)

So, yes, I'm off to do foodie shopping, but with a really healthy focus. Not depriving myself of anything, just repackaging it for fewer calories. I don't do the diet thing, just the make better choices thing. I will start controlling portions, though, because that's my present bane of existence. Mm! Food! Must eat all! Duh. It seems so wrong to have exercise self-control. Oh well.

My movie awaits. The Uruk-hai attack on Helm's Deep is about to commence. I thought I'd take a breather before the hardcore bit. Looooove this battle sequence! So gratuitous.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Booze'n'shit (what'd I just type, anyhow?)

Ah, pudding, how doth I love thee?

My day? Spent with, oh, 200 kids under 18, abou 150 of those under 10, and 100 of those under 6.

Needless to say, I had a 5-shot Americano, and 2 extra-strength Advils. Oh, pain, thy cruelest of adversaries. Temple-throbbing spine-numbing pain.

Anyhow. All day I was thinking how easy it'd be to make this chicken Korma when I came home. Then I did. How it sucked ass.

Vinegar was clearly a primary ingredient. News to me. Always thought it was sweet curry goodness. No. Not so good, no. Yogurt + Vinegar = Somehow wrong on general principle. One word: Curdling.

Needless to say, I barely made it through half a serving. I tried adding sugar to negate the wrongness, but it looks like I ill spent $1.89 on curry past & whatever the 6 chicken thighs cost. I have long since decided tomorrow's first morning task will be the application of a 21-flush salute to a pot of suck-ass korma.

Then I found Jell-o pudding in the cupboard.

I'm telling you, between the below-$10 supringly good Los Finca Primos' Malbec & the Jell-o pudding treat, there's some serious good vibes happening tonight.

I mean: Butterscotch. Enough said.

Tomorrow: Today, but on fast-forward. I will have to entertain 200 youngsters backstage for about 4 hours. All I can say is: God bless animation. There's a DVD player. And my voice is that booming kind that meant I should have devoted my life to drama long ago. That's another story for another day.

Meanwhile, I'm drinking. Tomorrow comes far too soon. Oh, fuck. Help me, cosmos.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Flame this, Moth

I'm going to Buddhist hell. That or I'm coming back as a bug.

I killed a moth tonight. Not just any moth. One of those ones that you hear when it flaps its wings. And it flaps, not flutters. Not only that, they can't fly straight. They keep bumping into the fucking ceiling.

"Yeah, dude, if you hit the ceiling at that altitude THERE, chances are yer gonna fuckin' do it nine inches to the RIGHT, too."

Fucking stupid bugs!

This moth, I shit you not, was ginormous. 2.5" wingspan. I kept trying to guide it out the fucking FIVE FOOT WIDE OPEN SLIDING GLASS DOOR THINGIE, but is it intelligent enough to know that cool breeze was indicative of outdoors, ergo freedom?

Fuck no!

So, there I am, in all my brilliant Steffness, trying to talk the moth out of the place. Hell, it works for bees, for some strange reason (well, they're colonizers. Smarties, really, them bees.) but clearly moths are not of the therapy-liking varieties of insects.

"Okay, now, six inches below you -- no, dude, come on! Fly down. There, there you go. Six more inches. FUCKING MOTH. Why are you-- FucketyFUCKfuck."

Finally I thought I'd trying mindfucking it out of the apartment. The plan? Near-miss swatting with a rolled newspaper. What's it do? Start batting itself against the ceiling, then ramming into walls before sitting down again.

All the while, I'm still doing the talk-it-out-the-door thing. "I honestly don't want to kill you. But I will."

Finally, after jumping onto my fourth piece of furniture, I swatted the moth against the wall--

Keep in mind I spent the previous five hours babysitting THIRTY-FIVE pre-teen and teen hip hop dancers backstage at the year-end show. I was MAJOR fucking stressed and tired upon arriving home. Then this MOTH shit happens? GAH.


I was fucking horrified! I did the icky-icky-pee-pee dance and squirmed my way around my apartment, feeling all dirty and never-gonna-be-Buddhist-now inside.

But I will further justify my exceedingly cruel ending of that moth's life by saying this: It was that kind of big ugly fucking moth that leaves that dirty splat stain every where it hits on the wall. I have mottled walls now. It's not a look I think I'll keep. And so then the moth deserves to die for adding more labour to a 70-hour work week for me.

Yeah. I'm full of shit. But my apartment has no moths. And I'm about to drink wine and watch Letterman.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Tale of Lost Keys AND A Salad Recipe

I'm having one of those moments where I think I'm a total moron.

And don't look at me like a freak because you KNOW you've done incredibly asinine things that make you wonder how a person as smart as you can be as dumb as that. God knows I have.

Many months ago, probably last summer, Gayboy decided that I was to be The Keykeeper. He rather cerimoniously presented me with The Emergency Key for his apartment... while we were both getting smoked up.

KNOWING my weakened capacity, I picked a spot I was sure would be synonymous with "Keeper of the Key", and then LOUDLY, OBVIOUSLY said to Gayboy that I was of weakened capacity, and he had to struggle to remember the location of the key, too.

He said, "Oh, that spot makes sense" and we both presumably cemented the spot in our psyches.

Yeah. Right.

For three weeks now, every time we hook up, both he and I start frantically looking through EVERYTHING because we cannot find the keys! Every tea cup in my china cabinet, every kind of box imaginable, drawers, and even humidors. No keys nowhere.

Keep in mind, I've even cleaned out all my cupboards in the last week -- found my spare building key, the spare scooter key, and even a key to a third bike lock. No keys of GayBoy. Nowhere!

Clearly I've failed in my key-keeping task.

I am not to be trusted.

By anyone.


Especially if it involves keys.



If I had rosemary or mint, this would've gone a whole nother way. Surprisingly, it sort of works.

Had lamb roasted on a spit at a friend's last night. She sent me home with a schwack of it. I'm not usually a lamb fan but I'm trying to think outside the box. Serves 1.

2-3 cups mixed baby greens
1/4 c sliver sliced orange & yellow pepper
1/3 c sliver sliced red pepper
1/4 cup smashed cashews
1/2 cup warm chopped roasted lamb

1 teaspoon fancy mustard (I used a grainy gin-infused one)
2 tsp light sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper

Whisk together. Toss with salad. Serve on plate. Top with a few cashews for garnish, plus warm croutons -- recipe follows.

cube 4-6 slices multigrain bread (I use "country grain" from Cobs or my homemade multigrain)
olive oil spritzer
seasonings as desired

In a medium-high saute pan, spray the pan generously, then add bread and spray generously again. Now season bread.

You can season the bread any way you like -- just salt and cracked pepper is nice. Garlic granules with s&p is great and my favourite way to go. Basil and oregano or any other spice combo works.

Saute 5-10 minutes, allowing to sit for the first minute or two after you season and shake well, then start stirring / flipping often / constantly. Tasty.

Next time I think lemon would be used with this recipe, but it's still surprisingly good. Oven-roasted tomatoes would also be a nice contrasting bit with this (slow roasted at 250 for 40 - 75 mins, drizzled with olive oil and salt).

And the croutons obviously are for more than one serving. Put the extras in a Ziploc for two to three days.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Torrent on Writing

I tend to keep my tv-watching to an hour or two a night. I'll see things that look interesting and I'll tape 'em, then save 'em for that rainy day that needs a little light filler.

Today, just such a day. On the menu is the interview with Stephen King by George Strombowhatalotpolous. Stephen King's amazing. I've always had a lot of respect for him. Oddly, I'm not into that genre of reading fare, but even still I have read a lot of his short stories and really dig the range and scope of his twisted imagination. His work ethic, though! My god.

I gotta say, if I go for fiction writing at all, it'll be only to give myself the chance to really take a gander at my dark side, a la King. I think it'd be a hell of a fun trip, man. I know I'm warped enough, I'm just a little apprehensive about finding out just how much so.

I love writing death scenes. Death by book shelf. Ended by an anchor. A rendezvous with a bloody stump. Jack of all sleighs. I just don't go there enough. Fiction freaks the shit out of me. I've been avoiding it for a long time. It's the only REAL writing challenge there is, except when you have some wordsmith like Truman Capote singlehandedly redesign non-fiction, but how often does that happen? (Today's equivalents: Krakauer and Junger. Or is that too obvious?)

But the only time I really get that "ooh, maybe I'm a writer after all!" thrill is when I write something good in fiction or in abstract form. Flash fiction's my favourite -- 500 words or less, a beginning, middle, and end. I love abstract and minimalist stuff, but it doesn't do much for one's bank account, does it? Just goes to show you how absurd my fear of commitment really is... anything over 1,500 words feels like a ball and chain. Still, I'd love to write that next great novel, y'know? There's nothing like that feeling when someone tells you just how much your fiction took them to a whole new place.

The irony in all of this is the timing. Just this morning I was puttering about and cleaning here or there, thinking as I shuffled around to my overplayed favourites. What was I thinking? How I never take literary risks anymore. I feel like a fraud. It's a fucking joke. What's the point of constantly being honest if you're always deliberately falling a little short of the meat of things?

I'm thinking about formatting my iBook. Wiping it all. Burning everything to CDs, sticking 'em in a binder called "iBook the First", and unleashing a bold new attempt at filling it all up again. Taking chances with fiction and such.

After all, when I started this whole blogging thing, it was a huge challenge. How does one tackle writer's block? By force, I decided. I was right. I committed to a daily blog when I was on crutches, confined to my 3rd floor walkup apartment for a number of weeks. It filled my time and got my mind off my problems. Then it became a creative exercise.

I don't give a fuck whether it sounds arrogant or not, but in the early days of this blog, there was some great and original content. I was in a weird place. Writing was a way of reining everything in for a while there. Somewhere along the way, life got hard, writing got distant, and I started taking the complacent route of just writing the same shit every day. I think this, I did that, I hate those, I want these...

I know I'm much more creative than I have allowed myself to be for the last year-plus. I just don't know where it's gone.

Sometimes I wonder if it might just be the meds I use to fight that depression with. They're mild, but I wonder if they're a suppressant creatively. You hear a lot about artists who refuse to battle depression with meds just because of the rumoured abilities they have to negate creativity. Thinking about that possibility, though, doesn't do much for me, so I try not to give it a lot of thought. There are nigglings...

But there you have it: Depression. It's a pretty evil thing. Even now I'm somewhat stunned at how hard the daily battle is. I still do face a lot of it -- just not as harshly as I once did. It's mild now, but it's still there. Depression's one of two things, a blackness that envelopes your days, or when it fades away and becomes more distant, then it's like a shadowy figure hanging around the peripheral. You never really make it out all that clear, but you just know its presence. Depression's the same. Omnipresent yet omniforgettable.

The past couple of years have moved so rapidly yet felt like a snail's pace. I didn't know what I wanted, and once I knew, I had no idea how to get it. It was a couple years of fucking around and trying to figure out where all the unhappiness came from, and just what in the hell I'd be able to do to make it go away. Now I'm at that phase where I'm finding my footing in a new time and place in which I'm finally making it go away.

I've heard tell that there are a few ways you can go after a near-death experience. Among them, having that grateful realization of I'm alive! I'm really alive! Fuck, someone LIKES me. to suddenly realizing how much of your life you've wasted through mistakes and smallness. If you take a wrong detour, it can be a pretty dark foray. A traipsing through all your worst qualities. What fun.

I had that incredible sense of gratefulness because right after that accident is when ALL my writers' block vanished. It became the greatest thing in my life. And the irony is, when you give everything to something like that, something that honestly really can't give back, sooner or later you start to realize that there has to be something more.

Someone showed me a year or so ago just how bad things can get when you shut yourself off from others, and I've been fighting to kind of reevaluate my positions in life -- letting people in more, et al. But writing's still important to me, and the quality that once was there no longer seems to be there for me any more.

I never have that thrill I used to get from it. I can't see why I can't have this better, richer life and still be a writer that has that fulfillment that makes all the examination and questioning worthwhile. I hate the difficulty of that balance, the chasing of each thing that makes it all worthwhile, only to find out that having one seems to mean not having the other. Fuck it. I want to have my cake and eat it too. It's called rationing.

So, curse Stephen King for sending me down this thought-riddled day. Soon a shower will give me some levity, and I'll be on my way for my new "so you're obviously a writer" glasses.

I ain't no wordsmith, I just play one on the internet.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Feisty. Or Something.

You know, I'm lying around in drawstring pj bottoms and a little t-shirt thingie, and it occurs to me that I'm starting to lose weight. Work got tough there for a bit, and you know what I do every single day? I stock a snack bar. With Cheetohs, Kit Kats, Coffee Crisps, and worse. Like doing battle with psychic demons every day.

Nonetheless, I've been eating surprisingly well this week despite the stress-inducing pace of present at work. Yay for me and my waist. I'd been successfully maintaining for a couple weeks, but now I'm officially making progress.

And today I bought my new spectacles. If all goes right they're mine in the afternoon! They're hot, man. They're the kind of specs I wished I had the confidence to wear when I was younger. Now I can't wait to debut them. That's so me now. I'm getting bolder all the time. Hell, my picture was in the paper for work and now everyone comes in and says, "Hey, I know you".

Working in an anti-social job was so wrong for me. What was I thinking? The olde bosses asked me that, too. "Uh, Steff, y'know..." I mean, when you're social, you're social, you know? But that's like making a late sleeper work the early bird shift. It fucks with your mojo. Shure fucked with mine. What can I say? The job had its serious pluses, too, and I'll always be proud to own DVDs of MY work!

I can't wait to wear the glasses to the job. I guarantee you: a week of "New glasses, Steff?" I'm gonna love it. I suck up attention like a sponge on a spill, baby.

Okay, it's 8:36, and I'm already within one glass of the bottom of a bottle of red. But it's so tasty. And I still have vodka.

I've decided that I'm celebrating tonight. I'm not sure what it is I'm celebrating, but I know it's good. So, you know, on faith I have decided to take the bold and daring risk of indulging in far too much wine too early in the evening. But look at my stunning grammar & spelling! And I'm NOT using Word, so there.

Great, still high strung and perfectionist when I'm drunk. Hmm. Tell that to the teetering towers of dirty dishes.

But fuck that. New spectacles! Mrrreow! Ha. No, seriously, though. It's been a trying week and I've had a good day. I'm happy about that. I'm coping better than I would have imagined had I truly known the scope of all that I was entering when I took this job. I mean, who wants to actually have to WORK for a living, you know? But I like it, which is the fucked up Gorey-esque thing of it all. It's gleeful in a dark and demented kind of way, and I get to interact regularly with 3 year olds for 6 hours a day. Yeah, I fuckin' dig it.

Now we enter summer... the slow season. 09 days to the end of this madness, and 11 days till the start of Slow.


And I have new specs. Mreow.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

testing, testing... 1-2-3...

less than 24 hours from now, i'll be finally getting my eyes tested for the first time in 7 years.

the last time i went to my eye doctor, my mother had just died and my tear duct had closed up, causing my lid to swell and have almost a cyst-like bump, which then caused the window of my eye to change, and nearly permanently affected my vision. i had surgery for it (flipping the lid up, slitting to release the fluid, et al... not as bad as it sounds, oddly) and had to get a friend of my mother's to take me home. it was the first time i really knew how much my life had changed. mom wouldn't be there for me when i had a need-mommy moment anymore.

weird to think about that after all these years. going there is almost like a personal accomplishment, because i'm finally financially able to get what i really have needed for a long time -- a new prescription. i know my eyes have worsened. i know the news won't be very good.

but at least i can afford to take action. that's nice.

i want to get a pair of sleek moschino red specs that'll really make my green eyes pop, so hopefully my optician carries the ones i'm lusting after from Costco.


i'm pretty spent. another long week at work. i'm doing well and trying my darnedest to be on top of everything, and i think i'm making it happen. one more week and it'll all be done with.

then it's on to another whole new experience there. the further i get into my employment, the more i realize just how right my boss is -- it's a full year learning curve. whew. no shit, batman. some 1,600 kids, 700 families, and i'm leading the troops into the fray. how i rock.

it was nice. the year-end program lists all the office admin, too, and the program came to us for proofing with me listed as office administrator, and i said nothing, but noticed later that the boss corrected it to read that i'm the manager. watch me flex, baby.

tomorrow i have to get cracking as i have this weekend to write all the narration for the stage adaptation my school's doing at a major theatre next week. means i have a little homework to do on the history of the book we're doing, too, which will be interesting and used for the intro narration to give all the audience a crash course.

plus, i want to burn a few cds and update the fucking iPod via the old laptop since all my fuckin' attempts to format my goddamned first-gen motherfucker of a Mini have failed. back to the old inefficient friggin' music transferring system. but imagine how damned cool it'll be to get to ride to work monday with new muzik. ohho. i'll take two!

looks like another anti-social weekend looms -- save for the party i get to crash saturday night. some damage will likely happen there. heh heh. all good. allllll good.

good god. how i want it to be june 25th! then work will have one week of transition before the silence of summer falls on the office. how sweet thy sound.

now it's time to go for another sweet sound -- the sizzle of a steak on the grill. ribeye, anyone?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Brilliant Honest Snippet Of the Day

Stephen King on himself: "I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries."

True, but even Christine doesn't cause the McHurtles.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Rant that's Not Really a Rant

Here's the deal. I have two blogs, possibly more. Possibly secret-secret blogging offspring exist out in the world. And I hear tell that pigs could even fly. But that's besides the point.

Here's the deal. I have two-- Uh, right, the deal. I try not to write one thing and just sandwich it on each blog. I'd get more for my money and life would be simpler, but I'm Irish and we don't do simple. Except with the lowly potato. Simple = Potato, butter, cream, salt. Simple, therefore, = good.

Every now and then, I do write something that is reasonably good and the posting of it in both places either a) allows me to sit on my ass and watch Hell's Kitchen or b) might actually be something I think is worth reading, and given that I know there are certain people IRL** that could stand to read it.

I don't write about work. I never have. People know what I do -- ie, now: office manage at a school-type place -- and have in the past, too (captioning) but I never share specifics of any kind. Ain't yer bizniss.

The below is as close as I'll come. Or like this, one of my fave posts ever, about another bad day at work.


You know what part of the problem is? Huh?

My job. I have to be discreet. Can't tell ya nothin'. Can't gripe. People who write about their work are twits. That shit usually comes home to roost, so you gotta be prepared to sack up and own up to what you write. Or be like me. Say nada.

I said too much early in the game and now I'm hip to it. All hush-hush.

Today, though, was almost enough to break me. Crumble me to bits and spit me out like a bad cracker, man. That was how bad a Monday this Monday was. Ooh.

It started off: People leaving shit on my work desk -- incomplete things that I had to finish and "solve". But I was just pissy and it wouldn't have normally been a big thing. Until, that is, I proceeded to spill my coffee over the entire desk. And not one of those shitty from-the-canteen crap-ass weak coffees sanctioned by the work kitchen. No. This was a four-shot Americano.

Yeah. Four shots. Fuck that single/double stuff. I go hard, I go long. Actually, four shots is because Starbucks Ain't What It Used to Be (sorry, gb!) but I get three shots at the local Italian guy's shop. The guy's English is horrible, but the Americano's so beautiful it has head. Leave it to me to appreciate the head, all right?

And I spilled it. Over paycheques. Over sales slips. Over Every Fucking Thing on my Six Foot Long Desk.

Picture this: Me, frantic. "I need some help! Can someone come hold up my very expensive phone?!" I shouted into the packed lobby. Suddenly 3 moms are helping me as I try to sop up the eightyfuckingmillionzillionbadass ounces of woulda been soooo good coffee.

Needless to say, the day could only get better from there.

How much better, well... that's the debatable part. I'm not sure the judges would accept "neglibly" as an answer, but let's give that a go.

My day SUCKED ASS, man. Ha. Fortunately, and I'll bold it so you see it good, I still loves me job. If I knew all this shit, I'd still accept it.

After all... in the middle of all that crap and morass, there was a shining from-a-movie moment. A little boy came in and brought me a card: a photocopy of my picture in the paper, surrounded by little stars, and "steffani... you are a star" was what it said.

I know the mom made it and he just put the stickers on and signed his name, but it made my fucking day.

Tomorrow morning it goes on my fridge. For now, I'm drinking a blu-tini. Blueberry juice martini. It's the lime spritz that really makes it come together, but next time: lime cordial.


**("in real life")

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Busted: Paris

Poor little Paris Hilton's on suicide watch. Aww. Wah.

She's got 40 days to do, with every fourth or fifth day of good behaviour being one less day on the sentance, so possibly as low as 30 days.

What's really happening though is that the dimwitted twit is getting her reality cheque. Life isn't where you get to be as irresponsible as you want, ignore judges' orders, and go rampaging on drugs and booze behind the wheels of luxury cars.

Well, okay, for some it is. But sometimes sombody says "no!" and makes a token celebrity into a poster child for the "Well, THIS is just too much" morality/sin-balancing campaign. This time, Paris, it's your turn, beyotch.

Boo-fucking-hoo. Someone imposed some punishment on the little diva. We should all be so troubled. I got no sympathy. Pay the fucking piper, then go back to your blessed silver-spoon-in-mouth lifestyle with the papparazzi glued to your footpath.

I have real people to feel sorry for, but thanks for the chuckle. Seeing Paris sobbing like the plastic wench she is in that copper's back seat was worth TEN BMWs getting towed out of Yaletown, dude.

Me? Petty? Cheap fits my budget. I get my kicks where I can.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

This turtle is fucked.

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

About a sick little girl

A little girl from where I work is in the hospital, sick. It's one of those "it's a mystery" things, but it involves a growth is all we know, and she can't walk. I'm thinking about paying a visit just to bring a toy or something.

I know her mom relatively well, in that "waiting for her class" small-talk kinda way. I really freakin' feel for her. The fear and worry she must be enduring right now.

Sigh. I have such empathy for sick kids. I was sick a lot back then myself and know what a prolonged stay in the hospital can be like. It's scary when you're 8 or 9. I was 9. She's 8. I felt so bad about her that when they gave me the chance to design a card, I really went above and beyond and did a beautiful little one that had multiple pages so all the kids could sign it. Then I put this little Google-search gem of a get well poem in it, which I modified for my purposes:

Get well real fast, dear friend,
That’s what we wish for you,
For while you’re sick you’re deeply missed,
So sad are we, and blue

I remember one night I couldn't sleep, I was scared and worrying whether my kidney would still be mine in the weeks to come. Removal was the favourite option at the time. One nurse saw me staring at the ceiling, fidgetting. In she came. She asked me what was troubling me, and I just did the "can't sleep" mumble-thingie. She asked if I wanted some company. She said she had a break coming up and she'd love to play cards but no one had the time. Was I interested? Boy, was I.

We played cards until nearly 4am, when I finally tuckered out. For people I think of when I wish I was feeling a little better, when I wish I had a little of that old-time comforting, I think of my mom, that nurse, and the nurse who kept telling me how proud she was to know someone as brave as I was, and who gave me a white hospital blanket to take home, back when I had my nasty nostril-tearing episode.

(Good stitches; most people never notice. Freaky fuckin' wound. Showed up late for class on Monday morning in grade 2, the morning of the Stanley Park fieldtrip. I show up and the whole class is lined up, staring at me and my big fat nose bandage and the visible stitching. Mom put vitamin E on it every day. Healed awesomely.)

Anyhow, I really just want to drop in on the mom and make sure she's keeping shit together. Gotta be hard. She's a sensitive type gal anyhow, but this? Whew. I'll bring her a coffee & give her a coupon for another or something, and a couple of my muffins.

Muffins make everything better. Definitely going with muffins.

(Okay, so it turns out it's NOT a growth! YAY! She has a hairline fracture, and it was infected, hence the spot on the 'ray. Yay. Much better.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Strange Break in the Middle of My Show to Say "Hey"

Today's one of those days one wishes to be on a Prairie. Nothing but expansive horizons smothered by ferocious clouds. Big, angry, heavy charcoal clouds suggesting bad things afoot.

But here in the city, silly things like buildings and wires and poles and bridges and hills gum up the works.

Still, fucking amazing clouds this evening. It's pleasant standing on my patio with a twilight whiff of summer savory and other assorted herbs (no spices) mixing in on the damp spring air, taking in the view (filled with wires, poles, buildings, et al) and being thankful for a roof over my head on what looks like an intimidating nightfall.

I love dramatic clouds. Makes me figure on taking the camera along with me tomorrow. You know, my apologies about the photography thing. It turns out that my friend's generous gift of a 512mb memory card has caused me to not upload my photos. I haven't been taking a lot in the last week, either. Hmmm! Not good.

I'm officially using my medical plan. Had a massage and an adjustment this week. God, how I love the new chiropractor. Dude's highly attentive, and strong like ox. Clearly I'm in good hands. My body's starting to respond. Turns out my two underemployed years netted me subsidized MSP. Now I can do my appointments for $20 per. Woot woot. I'm doing one appointment a week with each over the next six weeks. I'll be a new woman in a month.

Work is going well. I'm progressing with all the year-end/year-anew stuff. Advertising for the program's done. I did well. Graphics design (by me) on all the new forms is done. Again, I've done well.

We're completing things rather quickly, and I suspect the boss will be able to relax a bit more sooner than she expects. I'm sure there will be calamities in the coming weeks already. We'll cope. Is cool.

Still, I like the challenges. I love the fact that I'm designing all the ad stuff and such, redoing all the school forms and everything with some really snazzy, modern looks. Image is everything, man. I just LOVE that that is part of my job. It rocks my world.

Anyhow. Thought I'd interrupt my night of heavy reality-tv programming to stop in and say hey. So... hey.

FYI: I've been in a really weird headspace all week and I'm sort of figuring out where I stand. It's that just-landed-sea-legs syndrome; you hit shore, think "thank god, land! stability!" but it throws your equilibrium off, and now you're even shakier. We were talking earlier about how, when you finally get the right job or something, you finally have that huge load off your shoulders and suddenly you're emotionally available enough to process and deal with all the emotional baggage you've collected during the hard times. Everything swells up and you start percolating. That's been what's been goin' on in my rusty old noggin for the last month. Time of reckoning or something. And I don't much wish to share. Not really, anyhow. Just sayin'.

And, ooh, what I would DO for an ice cream sandwich! Breyer's! DOH.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Holy Size Compensation Issues, Batman

So I've seen some big fat discographies available as torrents, but a 2.11 gb discography for the Butthole Surfers? Geez.

I'll settle for Electriclarryland and Independent Wormhole Saloon, methinks. *

Coffee's brewing. Praise jesus. Curse you, Monday! And on top of that it looks like I'll have to Develop a System for downloading music now. Download. Burn to disc. Copy to iBOOK. Copy to 'POD.

Ain't nothing even fucking remotely "plug'n'play" about that. Bastard!

Still, I'm actually in an awesome mood this morning. Just am. And now for the return of... Coffee!

*I've listened to the Buttholes for years and should've seen them at the PNE when I had a chance during some skate festival years back, but I thought it was killer funny when I found out an old co-worker saw 'em at the Commodore on acid only to discover Gibby Haynes in a land unto himself and a large screen projecting footage of abortions and such. I take it she didn't enjoy herself. I still would've killed to see a gig.


I'm BITTER because it seems like my mofo first-generation fucking iPOD Mini can only be formatted for Mac. After all that. I can erase everything and start over, but it's still all the stupid music I've had for the same length of time. Now I think I need to burn discs and copy them over to my iBOOK...

...and it shouldn't be this complicated! GRRRRR.

Anyhow. I guess I'll go buy some CDs. Unless you people know where I'm going wrong; that is, if I *am* going wrong. I think Apple's just fucking moronic, personally, but hey. What do I know?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Music Day

Today will be a largely unaccomplished day, in the scheme of things. I plan to only get a few things done -- tidy up a little, chop up vegetables for quick'n'easy salad prep during the next three or four days, walk to the store, and do the music piracy thing, download a few songs for the first time in ages.

See, when it comes to the internet, I've been using it since long before it was "the internet". I never would have gotten into it had my brother not been a technogeek, but he was, and I did. It's only natural then that I was using Napster long before anyone heard about it. Back in the day, I downloaded thousands and thousands of songs off Napster. Probably never even listened to half of them, but I had 'em.

Music was huge for me once. I was that chick that wanted to work in a record store more than anything. (Never happened. Bookstore and photo labs, yes. Records, no. There's the story about my friendship with a couple CBC disc jockeys up in the Yukon who opened Grizzly Discs. I'd order obscure music I found in indie record mags, and they'd give me 15% off if they could listen to it before I picked it up. Good old days.)

Thing is, I've always been a big believer in the notion that, at our cores, we're still tribal. We'd like to be primal. It's why we get off so much when we get that rare great bloody movie, like Fight Club or Die Hard or any random superhero flick. It's why nothing gets the pulse racing like live music (of any kind) when the bass tones and pounding drums can get you inside where not much else succeeds in reaching. Or so I like to think. It's also why sports are such a big thing. No matter how civilized we get, there'll always be something gained vicariously through being a spectator at a real good thrashing. Whether it's throwing Christians to the lions in the bad old Roman days or a balls-all-out bench-clearing hockey brawl, it beats the shit out of slowing down for a glimpse at a roadside accident.

Music's the big thing, though. It's so portable and constantly accessible in this day and age. It's the linchpin to so many of our experiences. It moves us at funerals, elevates us in romance, bonds us socially, soothes us in difficult times.

So it's been bothering me for some time now that I should be so long removed from my pirate roots. That whole period of transition between the age of Napster and the inconsistency of the Gnutella network was what turned me off. It was so frustrating and unfulfilling. Bittorrent was intimidating to me. I went out with a geek who was good at it, and then it lost its fearsome nature, but I was still confounded by Apple.

See, I'm lazy when it comes to technology. My iPOD was bought from a Mac store at the same time as I was buying my iBOOK. It's formatted for Mac. I'm now wired to the web via a PC, so I'm always being lazy and avoiding having to go back and re-configure my Mac for the web so I can download the latest iTunes and format my fucking iPOD for PC. You can't imagine how much this irks me. For months now I have been procrastinating.

Today that all changes. I shall finally update. I'm sick to DEATH of the music on my iPOD right now. I want new music because I feel like I'm in a new place in my life. Listening to all the old shit on my player is just keeping me in this old, tired frame of mind. Music's always been like the cheap and impermanent equivalent to a tattoo: It's kind of an indelible way to commemorate an era of one's life.
  • My summer in the Yukon: The Gin Blossoms.
  • My summer of reckoning; "it was all right to be angry": Green Day & Nirvana.
  • The epic girls-only road trip & the year that followed: Depeche Mode & OMD.
  • Taking the Coast by storm/three weeks in Cali: The RHCP, Pearl Jam, Moby, and the Doors.
  • Beer is Good, Summer is Here: The Hip.
  • The Ace in the Hole/Go-to Good Mood: Butthole Surfers.
  • Remembrance of all things past: Pink Floyd, U2.
  • Start of something new: BRMC, the Kills.
And there are many more, obviously.

So what do you notice? Nothing newer than a decade ago, really, 'cept a couple. It's like I hit Offspring and pushed the pause button on anything new forever. Fucking sad, really. The only new shit was three years ago. 'sup with that?

So today I'm downloading, and later I format the fucker. Time to get some new shit on the go. This is a good thing. Next to download: Tom Waits and Elvis Costello. Waits is trusted, Elvis is an attempt to broaden my horizon. Whatever, man. Time for something different. Oh, yeah, and the Pixies.