For you, the dress code is casual.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Movie Review: Brick

I'm on my second cup of joe and the second chapter of the Brick DVD. I snagged it at a ridiculous $6 used yesterday, so I'm pretty happy about it.

If, like a good chunk of the public, you still haven't heard of Brick, that's probably understandable. It's to 2007 what Donnie Darko was to 2002. Released within days of Sept. 11th, 2001, about a plane part crashing into a house, it's understandable that no one saw DD until well into its DVD release. Brick's the same kind of cult following building from the critics on up.

Like Darko, it's an oddball "noire" teen film that really does define this generation pretty nicely. Darko may have been set in the '80s, but it was as current as could be. Also like Darko is the fact that it appeals well beyond its intended demographic.

The similarities don't end there. They also tragically share that element whereby you know the filmmakers are aware of how clever they are. It's not as much a factor, or as obvious, with Darko, where it's more that it seems they knew they were making an important, unique movie that made some statements about suburban life.

In Brick, it's a bit problematic moreso because of the dialogue. That's the thing, though. It's a double-edged sword. The film carries a lot of appeal because of the dialogue. It's that sharp, wry, fast-paced, high-browed private dick "noire" dialogue from the '40s and '50s, the dialogue guys like Edward G. Robinson and Bogey made famous. Staccato-fire, smart-as-a-whip retro dialogue is found throughout this movie, spoken by everyone, and few of 'em are supposed to be in their 20s.

Every now and then, you become too aware of it, and that's when it feels a little slathered on. But... but it's a solid, solid flick. If nothing else, it's brilliant because it shows the permanence of those great detective flicks of old, like Maltese Falcon. It's to those movies what Baz's Romeo and Juliet or Hawke's Hamlet are to Shakespeare. Proof positive it works in modern times. Proof that good writing is immortal and transcends trends and eras.

The acting's wicked good, with turns from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, and a bunch of other faces to watch. Levitt, the youngest kid from Third Rock From the Son, with his turn in this film and also his work in The Lookout, from '07, has carved out an early reputation of being a smart, committed actor with a great range. Me, I'm calling him as the next Johnny Depp. I think he's got a lot ahead of him if he can continue making a meal out of these juicy roles he's choosing.

That's the thing that people don't get about great acting. It's not just about the roles they turn out, it's what they choose, too. A lot of actors don't choose roles thinking "I need a conherent body of work to represent me throughout the rest of my life". They choose it because it's the best thing available, or it's what they got offered. Now and then you see actors who really execute brilliant judgment in the roles they choose. They then go on to do the best job they can, seeing their career as more than just work, but art, too. Like Johnny Depp, who started out by picking really dark and varied work to put his froo-froo days of Tiger Beat fandom as the star of 21 Jump Street long behind him, doing turns for Burton and John Waters to kick things off. This kid's doing the same. Both The Lookout and Brick are standouts from a pretty vanilla couple of years in Hollywood, methinks, and certainly movies fit to brand the young star as someone capable of charismatically being a brooding, determined, empathetic actor.

Back to my movie as I clean house with it playing. I'm waiting till about 3 or so before I take a bike ride. Too fucking cold right now. I hate it when thePunxtawney Phil's right about winter being another six weeks, but, fuck, dude, six weeks is over now, so where the hell's my spring? Eh, Phil, you fucking rodent? God. It's practically April! Let's see a double-digit temp, you RAT.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

All Out of Joint about being All Out of Joint

I get my back fixed in just a couple hours. I conveniently made an appointment Thursday afternoon when everything felt wonky, came home, and proceeded to throw my low back out, which has meant no sitting since Thursday night, just lying down and standing.

In any case, I'm not the happiest of campers this morning. I'm tired, bitchy, and I want my back fixed.

I made use of my "lying around" time yesterday and spent several hours reread about 4 months of postings, of which I chose about 16 or 20 postings to toss into my "best of" in my sidebar (on the other blog, not here... here, I have about three years of postings to go through for the sidebar... fat fucking chance, that). I have 12 months of postings left to sift through tonight and tomorrow.

I did enjoy reading some of it, though. Better than I thought it'd be, as always, but not by a lot. I have moments of rather startling eloquence, though, which shocks me when I see it some months later. And starts making me realize this "writer's block" I'm always scared of having really doesn't impede me as much as I'd like to fear.

Ah, sigh. More on that later.

I'm curious to see how my chiro adjustment will affect me emotionally... I think it'll be a very, very far-reaching adjustment today. I've had times when I've gone in inexplicably angry, got adjusted, and felt like crying afterwards, for no discernible reason. I think it can lock us up, being all out of joint in a literal way, and sometimes the result of fixing it can be a very jarring experience.

I know I've felt like killing people since Thursday night, and for no good reason. I've nothing bad going on in life, quite the opposite. So all these fucked-up emotions I've been feeling for several days, I suspect they all have to do with having waited too long between adjustments. Everything on my body feels out to a degree.

Anyhow. I'm gonna settle in and watch some of Hustle'n'Flow for a little as I get some gentle stretching done so everything can move how it should under my awesome chiro's hands.

Fuck, I hate being out of alignment. I don't like this mental feeling that everything is wrong, when all that's wrong is how I'm aligned... It's very weird, this dark cloud of oppression that comes with bad alignment. Hmm. Been a while since it's been like this.

3 hours and 25 minutes! Wahoo! Praise Jesus, relief looms. Yay for me and my wonky bones.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Woes of Blogging

Two summers ago, I was toying with between 3,000 to 5,000 hits a day on my other blog. Nowadays, between 500 and 800, which is kind of insulting but very well deserved after 18-22 months of near total neglect -- other than posting, of course.

Here's a total waste of my time with a whopping 50 readers a day, but I don't do this blog for readers, this is just my whimsy. My "I can't afford therapy, so..." blog.

I'm angry I've allowed Smut to become so neglected. I'm angry I have to more or less start from scratch with my readers there. I'm smart enough to know how to build my traffic up, to a degree, and what I don't know, I can learn.

The one thing I have is my writing -- and that's been getting a bit stronger of late. Whatever other bloggers have, I need to remember my writing was very, very popular for a little bit and my linkage was fucking insane back in the day, propelling me to the top 8,000 on Technorati (out of 65 million at the time) for Smut's precursor, the Cunting Linguist. Hell, one "manifesto" I wrote received such incredible viral spread that I had people for months saying "Oh, so you're the author of that brilliant...", and it was such a high, being "the author of". I want that high back. Man, do I.

I can build it back up. I spent the whole night last night ignoring the mess in my apartment and retooling the site. It looks much prettier now, even sexy, which has certainly been some of my problem with the blog. Another problem has been my laziness and not finding images for each posting. I'll need to start getting the graphic content up 'cos a lot of people are scared of all text. I've got an awesome eye for aesthetics, and I need to put it to work for myself.

I need to start reading other blogs and leaving comments on significant postings when I know there's a big readership. That's how I did it the first time, it's how I'll do it this time.

I wasn't ready for my blog to be a success two years ago. When my life came off the rails, the blog had been shadowing my life, and it went hurtling off-track too. I felt like a fraud, trying to run a blog about improving yourself, caring for others, and feeling sexy... I wasn't that person, I didn't feel like pretending to be her when I felt like everything around me was blowing up. Plus, I was depressed as all hell. I was terrified that success would prove to me that everything about myself is a lie.

I don't feel that way now. Now I feel like I'm proving all the things I've always believed. Now I know I can continue to do that. I'm feeling more successful in my personal life, despite the dryspell of epic proportions (or maybe because of it... lovers tend to take our focus off ourselves), and I'm ready to be She of the Blog.

I just can't fucking believe I've let it go this long. Had to... it's taken me this long to feel like I'm getting my shit reasonably together. But now I'm daunted at the prospect of redoing all the work I've done before. I need to learn all about stupid widgets like Dig It and stuff like that, which I don't yet know much about and have never cared much for, but grudgingly have come to realize how important it is on a site.

So April's all about getting my food and diet on page, but it's also about starting to rebuild my web popularity.

'Cause I know I can do it. Did it before with nothing but my voice and sense of humour, and I can do it again. I need to remember what I think people like about my writing -- one, a constant willingness to dig deeper, two, a relentless quipping ability, and, three, a pretty hip worldview worth sharing. Right? Something like.

Fucking writing, though, man... my coworker's this really cool artist. She does this great charicature work and has a real throw-back to the stylings of people like Edward Gorey, and if I ever do a kid's book, she'd be my illustrator hands down. If she'd have me. But she's great to talk about work ethic with. She's struggled through times of having challenges with focus and applying herself, and has drawn quite a bit remembering that her art is a JOB, not just a passion, and things need to be worked through.

I work through things, but I focus too much on myself. That's all right here, where 12 people will read what I write and most are good friends in real life, but I can't be doing that as much on Smut. I need to write about issues. How hard is it? I read news, read other people's blogs, and I comment -- that's ALL I need to do.

Writing's hard to fucking fake when you're not in the headset for it. I tend to allow myself to believe I can't fake it when I'm scattered, but that's a lie. I can. I choose not to. I take the path of least resistence, and like a fucking 3 year old child, I make it all about me instead of ignoring life's little annoyances and focusing instead on the real world. Blogging needs to be my job.

I've gotten out of the habit of reading other blogs -- I'm in a news rut. I read CNN, IHT, and a few other news sources, and that's it. I have to find the blogs that are read the most, have the healthiest comment communities, and that can provide the most fodder. The more blogs I link to, the more reciprocal links I'll get, and the more I comment on others', the more they'll comment on my comments, and the higher my links will place me on Technorati.

That's it. That's the simple secret to basic blogging success. Everything else helps, but THAT's what you need to do for success.

And all of that matters precious fucking little if all you have to say is simply rehashing what others have to say. THAT is not a problem I will EVER have, and it's time I start really believing in myself on that front.

Anyhow. Retooling the basic look of my blog has been 18 months in the making. Now it looks cool. Now everything else will fall into place, because I know what I have to do... and I'm getting prepared to make the committment.

But SIGH. The believing in my writing thing... wow. I tell you, that'll be the hardest part of this journey. I suppose it's why I'm avoiding going back to read all my shit from the last 18 months for sidebar-filling purposes... hell I haven't even updated my best-of-steff archives on this sidebar in two years. I have no fucking idea what I've been writing. Everything I write, I spend 30 minutes on, tops, I move on, and I never read it again. Nothing fills me with "wow, I churned that out, baby!" because I never give myself the chance to digest it. When I do reread work of old, I tend to be shocked at my occasional eloquence and am often pleasantly surprised. But leading up to that, whew... I just hate it. Oh, I hate it.

So now I'm terrified that my writing was sufficiently shitty enough to lose literally 60-90% of my readership. But what I should be reminding myself is that, despite never writing on the issues, despite not keeping current culturally, despite never having graphics, despite being all me-me-me, despite never having a nice-looking design... I've KEPT 30% of the readers through what is solidly the worst blogging I've ever done, and for about 500 days, too. That says something, right?

I'll tell you the one thing I keep saying to myself that I'll one day believe. It's something I heard Patti LaBelle say, I think it was Patti, when asked what she wished she could have said to herself in her 30s that she now, older and wiser, truly knows. Know what she said?

"Believe the hype, baby."

I totally don't believe the hype. But first I gotta build the hype back up... Then I'll figure out whether I think it's believable. :)

Ah, fuck it, I have a real job to go to. Right. Well. There I go then.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Food, Food, Glorious Food

I climbed the stairs this morning, 20 flights. Bleh.

But I did it, so that's great. I did 15 flights last Friday and had sore legs the next day... quite a surprise after only 2 weeks away from there. So, 20 today and tomorrow I'll hurt. Not too much, but I'll hurt.

I've also brought free weights into my daily routine. Blah! Ugh! But hey, it's all good. I'm just pissy. It's been a long month and my batteries are completely drained now.

I may have lost 25 pounds this winter but it still feels like I'm standing at the bottom of a big fucking hill and a climb before me. Pretty daunting. It's hard to keep reminding myself that I not only have the tools for success, but, at this point, I already have success and it's just about taking more of what I'm already earning, you know? Hard to remind myself that, yeah, I'm still fat... but I'm a whole lot less fat.

The challenge for the month ahead is to get fully on page with both the fitness and the diet, though. Like, seriously. Obviously it will take a bit of struggle because it's harder done than said, but by the end of the month I want a routine in place for both of those needs. The stairs will remain a part of my regimen longterm... they're just crazy fuckin' effective fit-wise. Really, nothing beats climbing stairs. Nothing beats it. It's strength training, cardio, and toning all in one.

Then there's the food side of things. That's what I need to figure out. I need better healthier recipes. I need one great cookbook that has the sort of easy nouvelle ethnic and gourmet cuisine I want to be eating. I don't think I need to be bored when eating healthy. I want flavour and pizzazz. I want to feel like I'm living the life other people wish they had time for...

And I know *I* can cook that well. I have the skills, but I'm ignorant as hell when it comes to rich, complex food that's lowfat and healthy. Eating that well makes the average life feel extraordinary. I want that.

So this month I need to figure out some recipes I can use for a nice variety of salads and lowfat protein options. I will not starve myself to lose weight and I ain't some motherfucking Jenny Craig lemming who's silly enough to think a life can be lived having to rely on prepackaged foods from some American multinational.

Come on! Turn on a fucking stove! Learn something! Be self-sufficient! People blow my fucking mind when it comes to cooking sometimes. Hell, the me of old blows my mind when it comes to cooking.

The trouble I find with recipes is that I just can't find everything I need for the kind of cooking I wish to do all in one spot. Annoying.

I definitely want to explore lighter Asian fare... I need to learn more about Asian cooking, particularly the more French-inspired aspects of Vietnamese. Also, I want to try more fresh Mediterranean foods. Lots of fresh veggies done with minimal futzing. A little cheese here or there, but done sparingly and as a focus, not as a main feature, you know? Like a little buffalo mozza and grilled veggies.

That's what I really need to get... a new barbecue. I like my Griddler for paninis and breakfast, but it just doesn't have much point when it comes to veggies or meats as a grill. That's because I'm more of a purist when it comes to grilling. You gotta have flame, baby. Charcoal or wood's the best, but gas will do very nicely.

A new barbecue will have me grilling often... I can see myself having a summer of grilled fish and veggies. That'll make weight loss a pleasure. I know I have an inner grilling genius. I can do it. :)

Maybe next paycheque the barbecue's top priority. Costco's got to be getting them soon. Mm... grillllling.

Hopefully by the end of this week my energy will see a surge. I'm feeling pretty fuckin' lethargic after a month of painting and stuff. I'm proud of myself that I met my goals, though. Now it's just about recharging.

...She says as the clouds part and sun breaks through for the first time this morning. Nice. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

George is Coming!

So, it turns out George Michael's coming to Vancouver on tour. Gayboy's pretty giddy about it and demands we see him together. It's Friday, July 4th.

One of the huge, strange bonding moments Gayboy and I had, leading up to his coming out to me not too long after this, was when we had to make some trip out to the valley for whatever reason. We rode back to Vancouver through the hickville part of Surrey (where people keep appliances on lawns and such) and me blasting George's "Songs from the Last Century". Before he came out, Gayboy was always kind macho and put off by femme things, but blasting George the crooner's mellow album and belting out the standards kind of set the scene for the friendship that grew after his outting.

I saw George the last time he was in Vancouver, the only time he's ever played this city for anything. It was his Cover to Cover tour, in which he did none of his own work, just others'. Everything from Play that Funky Music to Superstition. It was great. It was 17 years ago, man. Wow. Old, anyone?

I don't do big arena shows much anymore, but George, hey. He says he wants to be the Tony Bennett of his generation, and that's how I've seen George since about '95 or so, honestly. I see him as being the epic belter of classics from his Songs from the Last Century, where he takes a song from every decade -- from Roxanne to Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? -- and gives 'em all the jazzy cabaret treatment.

In that way, he's been underappreciated for a long time, and I think he's taken forever to finally see himself the way I think is right, that he's not a pop star... he was, but he's not anymore. Now he's a master of the standards, a big voiced lover of the old stylings who can, and does, make music from any decade of last century work.Very flexible guy.

George Michael's "that guy" as far as singers go for me. The guy whose music always worked for me, whose songs felt like a friend, you know? I got over it a long time ago, but Songs from The Last Century has been one of my fave albums of the last decade, despite being into, largely, completely different music than I once was.

But the great thing about a GM show is pretty simple: he's a perfectionist. He won't allow poor quality or bad design to marr his performance. He's a control freak from the top to the bottom, and it'll show. Granted, a lot of the really big performers are that way, but George is also a huge aesthete and it's apparent at his gigs.

The bad thing about it is, it took him 17 years to do another tour of this scale, and he says he doesn't ever want to do it again. Believable, sadly. So, it better be great, 'cos I may never see him again.

Oh, and no posting on George is complete without referencing his incredible bad behaviour of recent years: Personally, I've had some huge asshole moments of my own in the last three or four years, and I'm fortunate I never have cameras in front of me. Huge asshole moments. Huge! I suspect George is having that acting-out phase that comes from trying to figure out who the fuck you are again after your life comes apart through adversity. Something I'm a little too in the know of. I suspect he's having a phase and will, sooner or later, be a dignified, mature, stately British fellow in his 50s. The tour's probably exactly what he needed. Ha. The musical equivalent to getting laid every single night and being loved en masse. Must be great for an aging ego.

Personally, when someone who seemed as together, smart, and with it as George used to seem can go cocking it all up like he has, it makes me feel better about my own moments of fuctedness. But that's why everyone's into hearing smears on celebrities, so I'm hardly unique there.

And, hey, George is finally doing a speaking role on Eli Stone this week. How exciting.

Boo, hiss: my long weekends are finally over and I got little done this weekend aside from sleeping and slacking. Which was really, really nice. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Oh, hi, Blog

I've never seen The Last Temptation of Christ and have lucked into it airing as a not-so-Eastery Easter flick on the History Channel.

There's a fantastic novel, little known outside of the critics' circles, by Jim Crace called Quarantine, in which Christ is in the desert for 40 days and nights and is tempted by a Devil-like character in the form of a merchant. Brilliant, brilliant novel.

But it came after this movie. I'm curious to see how the flick works out. Willem Dafoe is about as great as an actor can get. Solid performances every single time.

Why I didn't make this my Scorcese-on-Christmas movie this past Christmas baffles me now.

I've accomplished little this weekend. Nothing much at all. But I've slept till 11-12 each day. I cycled the hardest part of my ride to work yesterday, a 12 km trip with a lot of hill in it, and it was definitely an early season workout. Tomorrow I'll get a little elbow grease out for some work around the house, and I'll get a bike ride in, too.

I've slept a lot this week, tho. Like, 8-12 hours a day. I think the last time I was this tired was after about 3 or 4 weeks of sleeping around 3-5 hours a night when I was going out with this guy a couple years back. God, what a miserable fucking time -- I was so tired. It took me weeks to rest up after that. I wasn't myself for a long time, I do not do exhaustion well. I finally had to create these blackout blinds with thick black cloth on the back of my bamboo blinds. They still work today, though they've faded to charcoal. The new paintjob contributes to the cave-like feel of old, so I'm sleeping better than I have in a long time. Getting rid of every bit of dust has had one hell of an impact on the quality of sleep, too.

But MAN have I been tired lately. Whew! I've been told the change of seasons is naturally fatiguing, so one can expect a surge in sleep needs for a bit, but throwing 3 weeks of painting into the mix really fucks with the system. Whew.

I'm starting to feel better, though. What a doting slacker weekend. :)

The movie's getting interesting. Off I go. Psst: Happy Easter.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The writing on the back of the furniture floor protector pads I'm about to open and adhere to this chair, exactly as written:

Use: Use in glass, metal, electric, tile, vase etc surface avoid house hold objects block each other for damage, aslo (sic) use in an electrical outlet avoid a kid touch it.

Instruction: 1. Clean the surface of the object. 2. Peel pad from paper. 3. Paste pad on object, even if pad is not enough thick, increase any pad on the pad.

Yeah, okay. Made in China? Oh, you don't say...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

These Damn Newfangled Video Things...

I'm sittin' there, all pooped from climbing the stairs down at the highrise, trying to listen to a YouTube video about this kid Derek Ashong who's raising all the hoopla about supporting Obama, and cussin' it out. "Why the hell can't they have better sound on these videos?" I mutter, tugging my monitor headphones into a better position, trying to crank the sound on my laptop.

I look down, the headphones aren't plugged in. Started laughing pretty hard at myself then. "This is what I get for not having coffee."

The irony? I wear headphones for a living.

Fuckin' amateurs... Yeesh. Ashong's got the right POV on Obama, though, and one I share. (The video's here.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Colour Revisited

If they don't already say you need to live with a colour for a year to truly know it, then they should. They have personalities that change on a whim... a new lightbulb, a murky cloudy day, candlelight, luminescent light overcast afternoons, a power outtage on a no-moon night and a room strewn with candles, the sweet pale yellow of a winter morning, vibrant summer sun.

Tonight, pushing eight o'clock as I write, has been a very gloomy grey since I arrived home and I know, in a heartbeat, this colour combination will not work at all for any length of time.

The green's tweaking off the red, too much yellow in it, so it's looking just odd, caught between my sky blue and the crimson. The sky blue, sadly, combined with the oppressive hue of this sombre daylight, is popping coldly off the red, and the red's getting subdued with the blue's reflection (all the worse with the satin sheen of the paint shining up and all).

The plan is, any blue or green will become "mango madness" which implies a far brighter colour than it is -- a pretty mellow mild mango colour, just a bit yellower than peach. I suspect it'll warm up the red very nicely.

But the way it is, combined with my pms, it's a very, very moody colour. Hmm. Could just be I'm exhausted and pissy. :)

Still, I like the red -- a lot -- and I know it's the other colours that are the problem. Hence my pissiness. 'Cos you know who'll be changing that. And this "sooner than later" thing isn't sitting pretty with me. Blah. But I'm hoping I can mentally put it off till later in the summer sometime.

Maybe cleaning the place up will distract me and placate me. We can hope!

Anyhow... time for serious slackage now. Watching Canterbury's Law and New Amsterdam since they're both all right and nothing else is on. The former I think I might like. The latter is a little strange just yet but I'm getting there. Man, am I whupped good.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

An End in Sight for the Chaos

Key Largo is my cleaning-day movie fare. Just starting. Bogey, Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Edward G Robinson, and more! Wowzas. I've never seen it and it's been on the list a long time.

Anyhow, Gboy and I rocked this painting thing more than I thought. I'm able to spend time cleaning instead of painting. There's a bit of trim in obscure corners to tackle, and I'm leaving it to next week. I need real reward today, to feel like everything I've battled through these past weeks is worth it.

So cleaning assures me the rest of my painting may happen sooner than later. The long stretch of blue wall, my only long, straight wall in my apartment, is way more stained with the updraft of oil heat from the rad that stretches the length of it than I had thought. Ugh. Blah.

The thing about my place is, it's a really crazy 1952 floorplan with no straight walls save a couple. Everything's got neat corners, facade treatments, and even a really cool abutment that's the centre focus of the living room. There are a lot of options for where to end and begin painting projects. Got to love old school architecture, man.

And this red, man. Shazam. I'm thinking I'll add one more red wall. :) I can get it done in an evening sometime, but it'll punch the place up some more. Then I can do what remains over a couple weekends in the next few months.

I find myself grabbing more things to get rid of as I clean up here. I'm also changing my mind about one major accessorizing move I was going to do. Putting things back in place has me wanting to simplify a little more. A bold colour like this red wants a little more dominance and less clutter.

My heart broke a little about a couple hours ago. I was pushing my half-empty antique china cabinet to its new home and I heard a strange sound, a loud groaning crack. I looked down, and there was a fresh new vertical split the length of the bottom half. Broke my goddamn heart. But there's nothing I can do about it, so I've sort of moved on. Turns out eight years of living against a radiator might not be good for towering antiques. So, no more radiators near any of my valuable furnishings. (Which, it turns out, was the unconscious plan anyhow.)

I thought I was taking care of my wood, but always wondered in the back of my mind if maybe the rad was a bad thing. Guess I know now. Whatever. It's cosmetic, not structural, and is a clean split. There's possibly something to be done by a restorer one day. Me, I'm buying some almond oil to end the dryness before anything more dire should occur. Christ, it's 200 years old and has been in my family some 35 years or so. Something was bound to happen eventually.

A few hours of puttering and my place will be much improved and perhaps even liveable.

I'm proud of myself. I've stuck to my plan, accomplished things on a timeline, didn't give in to exhaustion, have even lost some weight. I've eaten like shit, and that's the only thing I'm not happy about this month, but fuck it. It happens when you're going full speed with these things.

Hey, my classic car photos series I did a couple years back looks awesome against the red. :) Wow. It likes photography, baby. All the colours I've chosen this month do. Can't wait to have it clean enough to post some pics.

(it's now 9:00pm. i've gotten so much done... wow. my final clean-up next weekend won't be too bad. i could even enjoy a bit of a life. it'd be nice to get a hike in. gotta go play outside now. i done good. :) must go die soon. guh.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Groaning ramblings of a weekend painter

I have been painting trim now for about 13 hours. Five or so hours last night. Another 8-9 hours today. Gayboy did the rollerwork all afternoon. Fuck, we both hurt. I'm dying. Four, maybe five coats, and... yes, the trim and some possible touch ups are still required, as is the finishing of the hall doors.

But holy crap is it a sweet, sweet shade of deep, deep red... crimson. "Moulin Rouge" in the Debbie Travis line. Three coats over the blue paint on some walls, but four or five over the terra cotta colour. The terra cotta was a yellow-based colour, and it just kept bleeding through.

At full saturation, though, this is one sophisticated, sexy red. This is the shade of red I've always wanted to try but always thought was too 'big' and let other people's timid tastes tone down my own. So I've chosen mellower shades, like brick and Indian reds, but it never had the oomph I craved. This is the colour I've wanted in my hall for three years. HATED the terra cotta within a week, but painting the hall was the most hellish paint work ever. So... major procrastination.

Thanks, Gayboy. Well done. :)

Can't wait to finish this off tomorrow, move stuff back in place, and just be done with the wielding of brushes. Until I tackle Mango Madness, my next shade. Ha. This fall, maybe. But to see my artwork up against this paint's going to be a great feeling tomorrow. White might be great for galleries but colour's what makes your artwork pop at home, man. And the antiques against it.... ooh!

Oh... and till I white-up my book shelves... and that'll be a major muscle-builder... unloading, reloading, rearranging, and painting of bookshelves? But... oh, how nice books look against fresh, gleaming white. Wow. :) And that white popping against the sexy-ass red I've now got? Yowzas. One dynamic pad I got going here. Yay!

But oh. my. fucking. god. am. i. tired. more muscle strain needed: uncorking of wine. A little more of the *right* kinda red. But I have to walk to the bottle. Wah. Must stop working. Grunt.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Take THAT, Stubborn Screw!

Oh my god, I feel so butch! Ha! Awesome.

I've got this ugly fucking shelf that I want GONE. It's got ugly-ass cheap Ikea wooden brackets, and the thing's cemented in place with paint. It went up a long, long time ago, when just having a shelf was important, and the look didn't matter... Ugly. Ugly! The screws were all covered in paint and half-stripped. Well... two became completely stripped and buried in the wood. One I've managed to get out completely (and the screw was practically red-hot from friction by the time I got it out) and the other, with using four different drill bits and a lot of fucking force and even a hammer to hammer the drill bit in for grip, I've finally gotten 1/3 of an inch out... and now I'm gonna go buy a saw!

MY VISION WILL NOT BE COMPROMISED, you strippy little bitch of a screw! Whee. I'm gonna try to drive the severed bit of screw in a bit so I can patch it up, but hey. Feels good to problem-solve.

Assembling the Ikea furniture got pretty tricky yesterday, too, but I got it done. (The sidetables had to be mounted to the underside of the bed... Holy yogic contortioning, Batman.)

Oh, I cannot tell you how many new muscles I've discovered in my thighs and ass today. My god, I hurt something fierce! I must've been squatting far more than I realized, so now the deathly-tired exhaustion of the evening computes. Ow. I feel like I climbed 40 floors at the friggin high rise. Shit. Whew. Buns of steel, indeed. Another couple weeks and you'll be able to bounce friggin' quarters off it.

I'm looking forward to making this shelf my bitch later. But I'm about to head off and take a mental break from stuff for a couple hours before mechanic guy installs a drive belt for me. Then, to get paint and head back home to get shit started. This fucked shelf puts me behind a few hours, but it happens. If I can't start the trim till morning, then so be it. I'll live. It'll get done. Done, done, done.

10 minutes later: SAW? Who needs a saw! Finally I just broke the stupid screw off. Took 30 seconds. Crazy! There, saved myself more money. Beauty!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Keepin' on Keepin' On

"'Alarming', you didn't put 'alarming'."
"It's an adjective, Sam. Lazy tool of a weak mind."
-Kevin Spacey replying to Hoffman in Outbreak

Ah, adjective. So often a victim.

Okay, I'm on glass the second of red wine. Marques de Riojas, a cheap Spanish that I'm liking nicely. 1996, $9.99. Young yet drinkable with plenty of fruity kick and low on the tannins.

So, the bedroom? 85% done. Maybe even 90%.

I might buy two new lamps. Cheap ones from a secret-secret Chinese merchant I like who carries cool shit. Gotta swing by and see if I can get two for $50 there. Something simple.

Anyhow. I've assembled the nighttables, which is to say I enjoyed about 3.5 hours of Ikea hell today. I've hung art, cleaned a bit. Switched out furniture. Came up with a good solution for the dilemma of the only plugs being five feet away from the bed on each of the two flanking walls.

It's a pretty beautiful room so far. I also need to buy a picture frame. Like, a big, dominant, beautiful one. Then, I'm done. Yay for me!

Tomorrow the endless grind continues. Tonight, to bed early. I start to paint tomorrow.

But I'm slowly getting the punchy home I've always wanted. My bedroom's bold yet muted, lively yet calming. I've really outdone myself. I still need to stencil the wall. Forgot about that. Mmf.

Still. It can wait a week or two. I'll paint the hallway doors then, too. Awesome.

But now, back to my movie and maybe one more small glass of wine. I'll save the rest for after the trim-painting tomorrow evening. Then Saturday, then I'm done.

Oh, man... am I tired. Still, it's all worth it. What lovely results I'm yielding. Exactly what I envisioned. Bringing visions to life is so rewarding.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Clean Up on Aisle 24!

My dear buddy WhippedBoy got permission from the wife (heh) to come help me out and play delivery man for my new bedroom stuff -- a bed and two side tables.

In infinitely bad form, I, the needy friend requesting driving and moving services, completely forgot to buy beer. Luckily, WB was hungry, so we popped into the Ikea cafeteria ("restaurant"? surely you jest...) for the meatball plates and beer. Eyes being bigger than our bellies, we thought 15 meatballs each. I mean, they're not big meat balls, right? And dinner for two with beer for $21. Deal! Ikea, Svedish for kommon sense."

So, we were wrong. Both of us got 10 down, which left 10 remaining. "Hey! You can take 'em to work!"

Him, "Why, yes I can! I wouldn't eat them at home, you know, where there's choice and all, but at work? Sure!"

I grabbed a container from the staffer there and we loaded it up with the meatballs and gravy, putting the kibbosh on the lingonberry sauce (mm, lingonberries! yeah... right). One of them clear plastic takeout containers most commonly used for salads with the fold-over lids that never really stay closed? Too big and bulky.

Off we headed to find the bed.

We grabbed a cart, put the meatballs on, and started looking for my goodies. He found the right "bin" (there are no bins, just shelves... friggin' Ikea... it's called a section or something) and I, feeling energetic and all, decided to run the cart over.

Turns out the takeout containers, about three times larger than the meatballs, is very, very aerodynamic. There was a simultaneous whoosh-splat sound that Foley editors everywhere need to dial into their soundboards, and a sickeningly realization hit as I mentally knew what just happened to the meatballs.

I turned around and saw a landscape of meatballs, scattered over a 6-foot radius, with gravy hurtled everywhere, and just lost it. I just laughed my ass off. WB just about busted a gut too. I can't for the life of me remember my utterances, nor WB's, but I know the Asian guy on the other side of WB was cracking up, too. "Clean up on aisle 24!" I've never gotten to say it before, not in real life. How fun!

We discussed whether to take the meatballs with us (but with considerable gravy left dotted over the aisle), but then the realization hit that that'd be a safety hazard. People like to run with them carts, you know. So we left the meatballs nicely piled in the container, and the lid open so no one thinks it's a take-home giftie.

Then, in the lineup at the till, I told him I was gonna 'fess up. "Really?" And I told him the method behind the madness of my life: I like to say shit to people just so I can see their reaction. Life's too short. Facial expressions can last a lifetime, y'know? It's fun. So, yeah, I'm feeling like a twit for spewing gravy and meatballs all over aisle 24, but I'll never have another chance to admit it and fully embrace the twittiness. :)

'Course, I had a boring poker-faced cashier, but hey. Sometimes, admitting that stuff to people gets the greatest reactions. I totally forgot my cable bill last month. Paid everything else, was happy I had a surplus of cash (which I didn't, since the cable bill was overdue) and muttered on the phone to the chick from the company: "I totally had the money, I'm just an ass, but now you have to wait till the 15th. I plead a cross between forgetful and obtuse..."

So, the chick working the billing division groans and goes, "Oh, I'm totally that way..." and launches into a long, revealing history of some of her personal billing gaffes. I got off the phone feeling great and that huge sense of community you get from sharing and reciprocating.

I should write more about my customer service moments. There have been good ones, but they've all slipped from memory. That happens when you don't write.

Like, clean up on aisle 24's going to be barely a spark in the mind in a few years.

...Then, what I thought was 3 pieces to carry up three flights of stairs turned out being 7. WB, who's Mr. Hardcore Cycling Man turned UberDad, got smoked since he's majorly cut back on his cardio this winter. I was winded too, but did okay. I'm still hurting a bit with the lungs from my mild cold, but my endurance kicks ass. We got it done. Done! Woohoo!

Anyhow. The meatball story probably doesn't deserve this many words, but I'm too tired to edit. You'll eat what you're given.

And I own a real, adult bed for the first time ever. HOLY FUCK. I just realized! I have NEVER, EVER owned a new bed! I grew up sleeping in a 200-year old spindle bed that was my mother's as a child and her mother's before her, with foamies for mattresses since it was a custom size... Shit, probably half the reason I have such lousy alignment sometimes. Then I slept on a mattress on the floor in the Yukon. A wrought-iron bed from the 1800s in my early and mid-20s.

And, since then, no offense to Dad, but this piece of shit of leftover bits of wood that he put together that has actually done a very good job for years, 8 of them, to be exact, since the wrought iron one had a bar snap during my move. Sigh. You know what, though? I've loved every bed I've ever had. They've been wicked cool and unique. Except Dad's homemade jobby, which I didn't love, and was tragically unique and not a bit cool. He, however, made it pretty damned sturdy, so it worked. A little too well, obviously, if it lasted eight years. They all squeaked. But I wear hearing aids, so. Handy in the city when it's sleepytime. The traffic's noisy? For you, sure.

So. My first official probably-level-everywhere, factory-made support with uniform thickness throughout, and, pray to god, squeak-free bed. You know, squeaking beds take a lot of the fun out of sex when you have a neighbour's bedroom is at the next wall, only seven feet away. But that's why god made floors, I hear. Not that I'd know of late. Geez.

Wow. A grown-up bed. And I'm not even 35. About time.

WAHOO! I'm down 24 pounds since October, 10 pounds since the start of February or so, and I'm 5 pounds from my lowest weight since about 1994.

Let's recap: I'd lost 18 before Christmas, and put 8 back on over Christmas, took much of January to get on board with things and lost another four before starting exercise and occasionally eating well in February... I've not really been trying, just been conscious of eating around 2,000 calories a day, sometimes less. April's when I plan to get really serious about it, but plan to stay conscious of total calories in a loosey-goosey way until then. A computer thingie told me my ideal caloric intake is 1,750 a day. When I *have* stuck to that, I've easily lost a pound or two that week.

Now THAT's a great way to start my day... given I'm tired and my belly feels icky after, yes, too much beer, pizza, and coffee in the last four days. But I'm still down! HA. Take THAT, scale. At least when I have a beer now I'm consciously saying "So, that's 150 calories", even though I think they're around 120 or so.

Still, my body's dying for something healthy so today's a salad lunch for a change. That'll be a good thing.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Insert Sheepish Author Here

I have discovered the Goretex I haughtily lauded at the tail-end of last post, this morning, has finally given up the ghost in all of a sudden. Water-proofedness? Poof! My belly was mighty damp -- some would even go so far as to describe it as "wet" -- upon arrival at my paint-stanking messy hovel this evening. Yep. Goretex, meet thy demise.

Now, I could go and try re-proofing it, but the thing is u-g-l-y, d-i-r-t-y, and in shit condition, so. I'd rather screw some pride back together and snag me a new dud for $40 or 50 and have another year or two of riding. This one lasted nearly two years of riding through bad-ass weather of all kinds and every season.

And, frankly, I hated the jacket but it covered me very thoroughly after a winter spent riding with bad gear. Coverage is everything on the Wet Coast scooter commute, friends.

That'll teach me to be haughty.


Finally got Dad off the phone (good chat tonight, though! always nice) to tune into Canterbury's Law. We'll see how it goes.

But it begs to question:

If we're supposed to hate lawyers so much, why do we love shows about them so much?


Monday? So Soon? Oh, Weekend, You Fickle Bitch

It's Monday. I'm utterly drained. Far too tired to appreciate the handiwork of all I've accomplished this weekend, and eight hours of work looms... after I've cranked another couple cups of coffee into me.

But, if you gotta work after a weekend like mine, I recommend picking up a job like mine. Sitting there for eight hours watching tv's not a taxing job, thank god. Staying awake for it, that can be a challenge, but there in the wings is always my dear friend coffee. Gotta love legal drugs.

And today is bound to be a repeat of last Monday, in that I'll start fantasizing about my new bedroom half-way through the day, and resolve myself to a long, deep sleep upon my return home, which will include, in probably this order, frozen pizza, a long hot bath, and an early night turned into my tidy new bedroom (the only part of my home that IS tidy).

Half of the reasoning behind my big French press full of coffee is delaying getting out into this rain, which is coming down hard and steady, the kind of West Coast day that seeps into the bones. I was toying with bussing since I'm bagged, but I really can't fathom being on/waiting for the bus for two hours or so today. I'd rather toil through rain and get home earlier and keep that extra hour to myself, or, as the case will probably be, to my bed. :)

Last night's Dexter is playing on tape. A bit twisted, but I like the show. It's hard to conjure much sympathy for the protagonist, Dexter Morgan, but sympathy isn't always necessary, I guess. Still, I don't think it's as brilliant a series as people might have you believe, but it's still a far cry better than most and likely one of the best things going, and a nice, but very dark new twist on the Angel of Mercy.

A little more coffee, skip through the commercials... there we go.

Okay, here's the thing that's crazy about all this painting. Today, I'm not as sore and out of whack as I was last Monday. Maybe I've sufficiently broken myself in. Regardless... I can't believe how much better I am this point in the game than I thought I'd be. It's the end of an era, the end of necessity forcing me to change my life, myself, to be what I needed to be in order to avoid discomfiture, to avoid pain.

It's like the Ayn Rand quote I so love, avoiding death does not equate living life. When you're living life afraid of getting hurt... you ain't living much of a life.

It's been like playing a game injured. Gotta be sure of your footing, be sure of your moves... it saps the care-free outta day-to-day life sometimes. It negates a lot of choice. It's a dampener for life.

Granted, I've been over much of that for the last year or so, to a degree... many problems have arisen, bodily wise this past year, but all were overcome. This painting, though, may well be the nail in the coffin of my cautiousness. This has been a bit of a catharsis for me. Correction, a lot of a catharsis. Even if some of my troubles linger, I can, and will be able to, push through it and still enjoy the things that have always been high on my list of loves... like the decorating I was so scared would never be pain-manageable... but now isn't much pain at all, let alone in need of managing.

And now it's time to get to work. Scootering in the rain. Sigh. I'll just keep telling myself how, at $20 insurance for the month, and $7-8 gas for "busy" weeks, it beats the fuck out of any other option for a gal who's recrafting the world around her, a gallon of paint at a time. Yeah. Sure. Self-talk. That'll do it.

That, and Goretex.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Wah! I Don't Wanna Work No Mo', Ma! A Movie Detour

Oh, god. The paint fumes have me reduced to thinking that a viewing of Machine-Gun Kelly, a 1958 would-be classic netting six stars on IMDB, starring Charles Bronson, seems like a good idea.

"Without his gun, he was naked yellow!" is the slug line on IMDB. A user comments, "Don't get smart with this hot-head!"

But, really, it's The Wild One, starring a young 1953 Brando, a role credited with introducing the t-shirt to the mass public and starting the greatest fashion trend ever (file that under "useful trivia"), that I wish I had seen from the start. It's just ending. Brando's being led off in his leather jacket with the letters "BRMC" on the back... no doubt where one of my favourite bands gets their name from, The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Yeah, Brando always was great. Brooding sensitivity like no one's business. Stella! Ya gotta love the classics. Hence why they're called "the classics". Disliking them is not an option. See movie-lovers rule #82. Ahh... Back before writers thought of saving the world from disaster in 97 minutes (like it's just one guy's job to do the save-the-world bit) and conspicuous deus ex machina-ish plots dominated the Hollywood landscape. Back when movies more often than not really were stories first and spectacles second.

Not that todays' movies en masse suck ass, just that there's more of them that suck than not. Why some of these so-called writers get paid for a living and people like me don't (oh, right, they actually go sell themselves. Duly noted) ...does irk me. I mean, even if these idiots sell themselves and have good pitches, you'd think the shit-filters in Hollywood could act a little less like sieves, man.

Awwright, go ahead and show us your Machine-Gun Kelly bravado, Chuckie Bronson. Fuck, he even looked old in 1958! What, was Charles Bronson born with leather skin and grizzled lines? Holy crap! Fifty years ago, man. There's your walking advertisement for sunblock, people. Wow. Charles Bronson then looks like Ian Tracy now. How weird is that? Clearly Chuck had a wild weekend in Canada and Ian Tracy is his illegitimate offspring. (Ian Tracy's a kick-ass Canadian actor who's perfectly content to work in Canadian projects exclusively, much to your great disappointment, my non-Canadian readers.)

Oh, and I'm PISSED that there are some spots to touch up in my bedroom. Geez.

Okay, I'm calm now. :) Back to the fuckin' grind, but I am *not* getting everything done today. Soon, I'm going to call it a day and lie around all slack-like, because I deserve it.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Blah, the Work Continues!

Groan. Round two is moments away. I'm so unimpressed that I have to go out tonight, but I'm confident I can get all the HARD work done today, and, after two nights reduced to sleeping on the couch, I'll have my bedroom back... and completely different, to boot.

The paint that's up is a satin sheen, and I was WAY wrong try a satin sheen in the bedroom. I need another gallon anyhow, so I'll throw up a final coat of eggshell/velvet finish to take this hard edge off the room.

My green room has maybe three hard hours of painting left. Then, I'll be all done... with this part of the Massive Redcorating Challenge of 2008.

Okay, I lie. Then I need to paint my at-present night table to be a cute little reading alcove bookcentre to tuck into the corner of my room, that'll be another hour or so of work. Maybe tomorrow. But I won't be getting my new bedroom furniture until He of Station Wagon, WhippedBoy, can come play workhorse for me, probably on or before next weekend. Then I need to stencil a funky-ass floral design in the corner probably next week. I'll tell you all about that later, but it's essentially going to be me tracing out the design found my soon-to-be-new duvet I'm about to run out and snag at Linens'n'Things and stencilling all-white floral design in the corner, like a funky vine relief. (The duvet's got a chocolate brown background with an all-white contemporary floral design. Sexy and feminine but not too girly, important for a single chick in her 30s, methinks.)

I'm gonna be so pleased and proud when this is done.

Next weekend: The hallway goes crimson red! Woohoo. :) Okay, THAT I am NOT keen to do. Like, 8 coats of red? Fuck, man. However... it will drastically reinvent this little world of mine. You cannot introduce crimson red without expecting it to 180 EVERYTHING around it. May or June, I'll finish the whole place off and do the kitchen and living area in butter yellow to tone it all down. Until then, my place will be "cartoon" bold, but it'll be fun.

I think this will be the best shot in the arm I could ever give my writing. I suspect, in the coming weeks, my writing will enter a bold new era. Colour has a profound effect on me. Profound! The last time I painted, five years ago, was just a couple months before my writer's block broke for good, all six years of it. The colours around me, I suspect, induced kind of a physical shut-off from the life that existed before I'd gone that route.

This time, I'm picking the big, bold colours I've always wanted to do, that everyone's always said "Oh, THAT would be too dark." This time I'm saying fuck it, and I think it'll work. I'm trusting my judgment, and, while these big bold colours are daunting even me, I'm really proud I'm taking the risks. I'll have that rare apartment that feels like its owner really knew what they were shooting for, and that's always nice to see, but I bet it's a killer way to live. To know what you want, then take it, it's not always something we're able to do. This time, however, it's exactly what I'm doing.

But I'd be lying if I said I'm 100% confident this is all going to work. Still, seeing visions brought into reality... in any part of my life right now, whew, that's just fabulous.

All right. Enough procrastinating. Time to get out there and get that gallon of paint. By 1pm, I'll be painting. By 5pm, I'll be done. Long hot bath... ooh. Fabulous.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Whatcha find cleaning up...

I was gonna recycle this copy of Rolling Stone magazine... issue 683, from Kurt Cobain's death, the one that's remade as a print all over the world, all the time. Turns out it's worth $175-$250 mint. Ohkay. Mine's in pretty good shape, no creases or wrinkles, just the dimpling of age, and has been in plastic wrap out of sunlight since the day it was born. Ha. So, I guess I'll try selling it, maybe. Or should I hang on an sell it in a few more years? Hmm! Yeah, figgered I should hang onto that copy. But I'll recycle the others I have. None of them are turning up nice price tags on the web.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Ha ha! Wednesday is the New Friday, Baybee!

Ooh! Ooh! My hearing aid is back from repairs. AND it's sunny out. AND I appear to be winning the war of sickness! I SHALL NOT BE THWARTED from my ambitious plans of world domination, you lowly cold, you!

[insert maniacal evil overlord laughter here]

Ah. Well. Good, good! I just wanted to brag that I'm already on my Friday. Tomorrow, the rereckoning of the crack den squalor as I prep my bedroom for the painting (round 2) to come this weekend.

And, for those of you playing along with the Game of Steff from your lowly hovels, I'm going on the record as saying the Theme for April... or shall I say themes? ...are to get a life (yay, a life! I've wanted one for so long! snicker) and to get my blog (the other one mainly, but maybe this too) completely souped up with all the web gadgets to have come out in the two years since I've launched and gotten apathetic. I shall overhaul it all. Maybe even a cool new banner.

Until then, though: I am painter Steff in the midst of this month's theme -- giving myself a home I can love again, and the order and pride that comes with.

Oh, and I'm buying Karate Kid on DVD today I think. Wax on, wax off. Can't help it. Painting has me wanting a Mr. Miyagi in my life. I'm really lacking the presence of some sage guru who can catch flies with chopsticks as he imparts Confucian wisdom to my ignorant white gwilo* ass. Wax on, wax off. Next thing you know, I'll be doing crane kicks off pilings in the river.


*Yes, I know Miyagi's Japanese and gwilo aka guilo is Chinese. Tell me something I don't fuckin' know. Last thing I need's some proletariat trying to up their ranking in life, doing the dumb-ass "wow, I'm a smartie on the web and I'm going to correct everyone's mistakes" bullshit, thanks. And thanks for flying Air Steff! Enjoy your stay.

PS: FUCK sick. Pfft. I ain't no sickie!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Coulda Been a Gamer

So Gary Gygax died today. Or Mr. I-Created-D&D, as you might have known him.

The father of role playing.

Hmm. Ever wonder what would have happened had you turned a different corner in life? It's funny, almost everyone around me used to play D&D. Not me, never me. Tried it a few times. Thought it was really neat, actually. Had nothing against it. It was kinda like the singer Bjork. Sure, I can get the appeal, it just doesn't mean I get it, you know?

So, for whatever reason, the shoe never fit, and I never went that way.

And I was always kinda like that song by Jesus and the Mary Chain, in with the out crowd, man. I was in, but I was never really in. I was an outsider with the outsiders, 'cos I never got into cartoons or role-playing or anything goth. I wasn't very angry. I was always regarded differently because of I didn't "get" the role-playing and animation and fantasy stuff. Like, "How could you not get it? Well, you must not really belong here then..." So, everyone liked me, but I never felt altogether trusted. I was too mainstream.

Long ago, my mom told me that a fortune teller once informed her that it was her middle name "Ann" that prevented her from ever really drinking the hippie Kool-aid. It's what kept her just this side of being too left of centre, y'know what I'm saying?

So, naturally, I too bear the name of Ann in my middle moniker. I too am a little left of centre but not too much.

When it comes to my interests, my passions, I'm really not into suspending reality. I don't find fantasy enthralling. I don't feel compelled to leave this realm, and I can't really put myself in the mindset of being that kind of voyeur, I guess. I'm not into cartoons for probably much the same reason. I don't know. I don't make a habit of delving into the whys and wherefores of my dislikes or likes, but I rather just accept them for what they are... likes and dislikes.

But I sometimes regret that I'm so stoically content with my place and time in space. I'm all right with all of this "now" and "here" of ours. I think we potentially stand at the threshold of a remarkable age for mankind, and my living smack dab in the midst of it all is really a very fortunate thing. Why wish for something, sometime, somewhere else?

Because we can, I guess.

I wish I'd been more open to the possibility. I wish I'd been more given to dreaming of things that'd never be just for the sake of making them be, if even just in my mind. For the hell of it.

I'd be a better writer for it, for sure. But I guess that's why I do photography for an art, why I chose journalism and not creative writing. Very grounded in the here and now. Perspectives of the present, not askew views. Truth, not illusion.

Hmm. Heh. Ah, but for a name I'd have been a gamer, eh? Yeah, right.

Funny the things that get us thinking if we allow ourselves a chance to actually take that step beyond just hearing the news and instead start thinking on the news. Have a good afterlife, Gary. Good luck throwing them dice.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Change is Comin'

A friend of mine ran what was becoming an iconic magazine for music here on the west, but he closed up shop in December and has joined the ranks of the working man. His reasoning? The industry's changing too quickly and sources for ad revenue have gone wonky. So, instead he'll stick to concert promotions and avoid the recording side of the biz.

I thought he had great timing, so good on him. I just saw another article that further reflects changes afoot in recording. Read here.

I guess fan-funded albums aren't entirely new, but it just goes to show you that art's beginning to return to the hands of the people, and I think a better thing couldn't happen. Let the people do the vaunting. Let the people choose the sounds of tomorrow. It's a great thing.

Getting back into music's on the horizon for me, but this computer needs upgrades before that can happen. Sigh. For now... I'll just keep muddling through.

I had more on the topic of fan-funded music, but my brain's had a fart and now I remember nothing. Well. I'll drink coffee then. :)

Have an awesome Monday. In mere moments, a shower in my new bathroom. How exciting!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Oh, I don't know if I'll be able to sleep! I'm so excited that I'm half done the painting of my bathroom!

Y'know, there was this plumbling disaster about three or four months after I painted my bathroom last time. Me, I buy good quality paint and make a point of getting a satin or semi-gloss for the bathroom a) because it's a small room and the light reflecting off a slight sheen helps make it seem a little bigger, and b) is easier to keep clean/scrub.

The dickhead maintenance guy who did the drywall and painting colour-matched, sure, but used the cheapest fucking flat finish paint ever, and the difference between his patched bits and mine were night and day... plus, every time I laid in the tub, I had to stare at his horribly streaky single-coat paint under my vanity-less washbasin sink. Plus, lots of stains had happened on his patchwork (because shit quality paint breaks down when you're cleaning it), so it's just looked awful for the last two years, to my highly discerning eye, anyhow.

I have really, really not liked my bathroom for a very long time.

And this blue I've chosen, the more I see of it, the more I love it. I kept describing it as Mediterranean blue, but now that I see it big, it's very much a robin's egg blue, but most importantly... it's a double-take on the colour of my interior in my 1972 Mustang I had back in '93!

Awesome. :) For the more highbrow out there, it's almost exactly the colour of the Tiffany box, methinks.

Anyhow. Trim's all done. All that's left is the roller work, and the painting of my shelves (which are to be white). I think I'll pick the white paint up tomorrow and just knock this out. I'm so excited about liking my bathroom again.

Plus, the blue's really just the thing I've been looking for with my tub. The mint green tub's always been an eyesore, but this blue I've got is offsetting it perfectly, like the old adage says, can't beat 'em? Join 'em. Now the colours work together. I've been wanting to try for this shade for the last couple years, man.

OH, SO EXCITING! I know. Such a geek! But, hey. I've wanted to kick up my apartment for a long time. I want big, bold colours, and I was a little scared when this blue first start going up but kept tellin' myself "Wait for it", and I'd stand back, mutter "Wow", and just get back at it. Then, I finished the technical bit under the sink, stood back and just loved the popping off the white ceramic. Wild.

Can't wait to share pictures later this week! A stop at Ikea for accessorizing needs to happen first. tee hee! Decorating rocks. :)

I'm going for cool, sleek, simple accessories in here, though... the colour's so big that if I do anything too complicated, it'll come off cartoony or loud or something. If I go simple and clean, it's going to have a spa feel to it. I know I can make it happen. This'll be my first Fully Grown-up decorating job. Excepting the big, bold colours... that's still a bit of the rebel in me. :)

Cough, Cough...

Either I'm on the verge of getting sick, or the mild allergies I've had for years have finally become full-fledged hayfever-type allergies after all.

Blah. BLAH. B-l-a-h !

So I'm taking it easy today. Cleaning up a bit. Embracing the cult of the pajama-wearing slacker. I'll prep my bathroom for painting in the hopes that I feel all right tomorrow. It's, what, a 3 or 4 hour job? Maybe more. Definitely not more than 6. I think it needs two coats. Kinda a hybrid of seafoam green and Mediterranean blue. My tub's seafoam/mint green, and the rest of the tiles and plumbing fixtures are white. I'll take the corner shelf built by Papa and I'll paint it brilliant white, along with a couple little shelves. So exciting. White popping off a sea-like blue-green... Sweet. It'll look wonderful with candlelight, I bet.

I'm having wistful daydreams of doing facials and long baths in there. I'm planning to spend $40 or 50 on new candle holders, a couple stainless steel accessories, 6 little frames, and the whole thing will look completely different. Yay. Should look very classic and retro. I'm hoping for more of a spa feel, but nice and dark. :)

I could go stay a night in Victoria, or I could spend $100 and a day's labour and give myself a spa retreat I can use night after night after night.

Yep. I'll prep for painting. Odds are, these are allergies. I highly doubt I could have climbed 22 floors of stairs yesterday morning if I was coming down with something. Asthma would've kicked my ass by 15, I imagine, and I had my second wind for the last 7, so.

22 floors! (And six blocks.) In 24 minutes! I'm not sick! I can't be sick! FUCK sick. I'm fine.

Right? Right. More coffee then. Gots me prepping to do. And I'm watching a western staring Jimmy Stewart. Bandolero! "There are westerns, and there are Westerns! This is Bandolero!" Tee hee. Taglines are fun.

Gotta love anything/one whose name has an exclamation mark in it. And, hey... Jimmy Stewart!! AND Dean Martin! Ha. Love the classics.

Speaking of classics... Painting makes me want to watch Karate Kid. Come to think of it, I have to wash my scooter, too. Wax on, wax off... Is it wrong that I can't wait to see the remake starring Will Smith's kid?