Monday, December 29, 2008

Tag! I'm it.

Like the lovely Sarah, I've never been any good with chain letters. Call me a cynic, a ruiner of good times, but I just can't seem to pass on those things. Even though I do love new recipes, stickers, mail, whatever. I am good with the all-about-me chain letters only because you better believe I am awesome at wasting time when I have other things to do.

The rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six [random] things about me:
1. I am a very tactile person. I need to touch things. I can not possibly walk through any kind of store and keep my hands to myself. I let fabrics slide through my fingers, rub yarn against my cheek and go absolutely gaga over paper thickness and texture in the stationary store.

2. I am a clutz. If there's a slim possibility that I could hurt myself doing something, I'll probably do so. My winter boots have extreme traction, yet I fall on my ass in the streets. I walk into doors and walls. I constantly have bruises and have no idea where they have come from. I hurt myself so often, that I ignore pain. However, I have never broken a "real" bone (I don't count fingers and toes, those jerks are fragile).

3. I like to smell things. I've been known to fall into my mom's lily garden. I'm on videotape somewhere with a freshly-sharpened pencil crayon to my cute little nose. Fresh cut hay at home is one of my favourite smells ever. I have pretty perfumes, but often forget to put any on.

4. I can not, for the life of me, stay awake in the car. This has extended to airplanes. The noise no longer bothers me, once the engine gets going (and sometimes before), I drift off like it's some kind of Pavlonian response. I've been fighting to stay awake on long car rides for The Boy, so I can keep him company, but even then, I fall asleep for a little bit at a time.

5. I won a public speaking contest, against everyone in my grade and the grade above me, in grade 7. My speech was about technology. I'm far better at writing speeches than I am at saying them, though my confidence in that area has vastly improved over the past couple years. I credit this to being forced to speak at a news conference a couple of years ago, which is totally the opposite of my job.

6. I love to read. This isn't surprising to anyone who knows me, I've read every book in my childhood home (even the Harlequin romances hidden in my mother's dresser, shhh) and have a stack of to-read books that gets longer and longer and longer, even as I tear through books in the pile. I can not read for enjoyment on any kind of screen. I need to feel the paper in my hands, take in the smell of new pages or of older library books, and if it's a newspaper, I need to get some ink on my hands. Real newspapers, I'll read right through to the end. Online newspapers, I'll only skim the highlights. If I was any good at waking up in the morning before I absolutely have to, I would have a newspaper subscription so I could pour over it with a cup of steaming hot coffee.

I'm not tagging anyone, because I'm a jerk like that. But if you are interested in doing this, leave a comment and let me know so that I can read it. Or, leave random comments about yourself in the comments here.

Holly Jolly Christmas

Christmas was pretty fabulous, though most of the present opening was done before the actual day. I totally won Christmas, according to the Boy, receiving lots of board games and Wii games and wine and a pretty shiny necklace and so on. I then insisted that everyone play every game in the universe with me, multiple times. Because that's how I roll.

We went for a walk around the lake and it was very cold. But then we drank to get warm. Hurray.
There were deer everywhere. No mooses, but I saw more deer than I ever needed to see in my life, a herd of antelope (after I told the Boy to wake me up on the way home if he saw another one... he commented on how we had passed two already), and some elk. All kinds of antler-ed creatures. When I was taking things to the car as we were about to leave, about a dozen deer were starting to move in on me. Zombie deer after my brains. Fortunately, the Boy opened the door and since he has no brains, the deer backed off. Phew. Kidding. His brain is real big and full of math and science. The wii told us so. And even more importantly, it said my brain is even bigger, even if math and science are no good.

Canadian Badlands are much prettier and kind of less badass when everything is covered in snow.

Rawr! It's the world's largest dinosaur!

And the world's tallest teepee.
One more day of work and then it's off to ring in the new year in the Canadian Rockies with 10 of our most-available-for-spending-New-Year's-in-the-mountains friends. I would kind of like a nap. All of this travelling has made me exhausted.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Putting the 'fun' in dysfunction

The ugly sweater party was a blast. I was voted ugliest sweater and I didn't even rig the voting process! I had first, second and third place prizes to award. All booze. Good times. Also, the present swap was a fabulous time, it got a bit more interesting near the end when people started stealing presents from each other... which is how I got a sweet 80's Bon Jovi poster. Framed. And "autographed". Swoon. Though quite a few of our usual party guests were absent, we were blessed with a very full condo full of friends new and old.

Boy, oh boy, am I ever looking forward to two 5-day weekends. As soon as we get the go-ahead today, I'm leaving the office and heading to Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan with the Boy to see his fam. Secret: I hope to see another moose. I met his parents on the Labour Day long weekend in September when we traveled down to Cypress to help them move. Not the ideal situation to meet parents, but it worked out rather nicely. As I was kicking the Boy's ass at bocce, we had a mama moose and her baby cross in front of us. Boy pulled out the soccer-mom arm save to ensure that I wouldn't be attacked.

Me (jaw on the ground): Wow. Just wow.
Boy (arm shoots out): Don't get too close or you will DIE!

Anyway, that's where I'll be for the next four or five days, hiding out in the park, maybe venturing outside at some point depending on how bloody cold it is. After another two days of work upon my return, we'll be heading to Canmore to ring in the new year in the Canadian Rockies. I am so excited.

Work has been a madhouse lately, which has been completely unexpected. So crazy that my boss called me at work to make sure I was going to come in today, because she needs me. Hopefully we'll have some admin staff back soon so we don't completely lose our minds.

Happy holidays blogosphere. Wishing you much love, laughter, and good times with friends and family this holiday season.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Although it's been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you.

“Christmas is awesome. First of all you got to spend time with people you love. Secondly, you can get drunk and no one can say anything. Third, you give presents. What's better than giving presents? And fourth, getting presents. So four things. Not bad for one day. It's really the greatest day of all time” (Michael Scott, The Office, Christmas 2005).

The presents are all purchased, wrapped and under the tree. Mix CDs filled with a variety of Christmas carols are being primed for tomorrow night’s party (Metal Christmas mix, anyone? Or is old school Jazz more your flavour?). As we head into the Christmas/holiday season, it’s easy to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in the economy, the stress of finding things for those you love while still sticking to your budget, and the old “did I spend on them, what they spent on me?” dilemma.

I’m here to help, by providing you a list of things I’d like for free this season.

New Christmas traditions. It’s the first year that I’m away from my family, and coincidentally, the first Christmas that I get to spend with the Boy. It’s pretty exciting that we’ll be together this year, especially because the more we spend time together, the harder it becomes to spend any lengthy time apart. Everyone who knows me has heard me discuss the sadness of being without the sisterly Christmas Eve slumber party tradition this year, but I’m looking forward to making some new traditions with the Boy.

Laughter. The holidays are for getting together with friends and sharing good times, imbibing, and creating a database of alcohol-induced moments for blackmail at a later date. I am looking forward to decorating up the apartment and having over friends old and new to celebrate the season before people head off to their respective holiday locations. Whether the laughter is the kind where the hand meekly covers the mouth while giggles attempt to escape, or the hearty head-thrown-back-because-it-can’t-be-contained type, I want lots of it.

Encouraging others to give back. It doesn’t have to be a monetary thing. It can be wrapping presents for something like Toys for Tots or Santa’s Anonymous. It could be spending quality time with a grandparent, while you still can – time is short. Basically, I hope that everyone steps outside their regular comfort zone just a little bit to do something that will mean the world to someone else: whether it’s working with an organized charity, doing a good deed for a stranger or merely helping with the dishes post-Christmas meal.

Voices of those I love. This is totally free, with the joys of unlimited, free long distance. Weee! I’ll be calling home on Sunday night, to talk to Daddy’s side of the family while they’re all at my parents’ house, celebrating Christmas with my grandparents for the first time in as long as I can remember (usually they head south to get away from the cold). It’s strange that they’ll be at my house and I’ll be away for a change, but it will be awesome to call and get to speak to everyone at once.

Family fun time. I’m looking forward to being at the Boy’s parent’s house in the deep Saskatchewan south, surrounded by the tall trees bending with snow, the harsh cold whipping outside, while staying inside all toasty warm playing games. I love to play games. Not the emotional or mental kind, but of the card or board persuasion. Love! Even if I am not good at losing, it’s still a fabulous time.

The Boy. Just reiterating how excited I am to be with him this Christmas, the first Christmas I’ve ever spent with a boyfriend even. Weird. It will be good to make fun of him with his family, cuddle him, and see his reactions to the presents I chose for him.

Looks like everything I want for free, I’m well on track to receive. And what could be better than that?

This post is the final chapter of mine for the 20-Something Bloggers' December blog carnival. My other posts can be found here and here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas wishlist, by sense

"Every sense hath been o'erstrung, and each frail fibre of the brain sent forth her thoughts all wild and wide." Lord Byron

This post is in continuation of the 20-Something Bloggers' December Blog Carnival. The topics up for grabs were:
  • A wishlist of things you want that are free.
  • A wishlist of five items, one for each sense.
  • A wishlist of things you would sneak under the tree for yourself, age 13.

My post on the latter can be found here. What follows is my wishlist of five items, one for each sense. Unintentionally, all of these items are also free. Kind of. Without further ado, five sense-related items on my wishlist.

Sight: The expression on the faces of those I love while they open their gifts from me. I love when I get someone a present that I know they’ll love. Something that they aren’t expecting that will cause their eyes to light up and a smile to their face. Or tears, if it’s the momma. I’m excited to see the reactions to gifts I’m giving my friends and the Boy, hopefully cementing my own belief that I did a pretty bang-up job this year.

Smell: Lilies. This time of year is a little hard, since it’s around this time that my Grandpa passed away. His gardens were always so beautiful, his lilies so tall, everything so lush. Lilies also remind me of home. My mom’s beautiful lily garden. Her annoyance when cross-pollination occurs (I still like "mingling", Kaye) and all the lilies come up orange. They remind me of family and freedom. Running about outside with the wind in my hair. Smelling the flowers and nearly falling face-first into the garden. Because that’s how I roll.

Touch: Hugs. I am a touchy person, and the holidays are all about friends and family. I’m excited to see my friends this weekend for the Ugly Sweater Christmas Party the Roomie and I are hosting. Hugs all around for those I love. Excited to snuggle up with the Boy. Even excited to see his parents for Christmas, who always make me feel as welcome as my own family.

Sound: It’s a toss up. I absolutely love the sound of laughter. The sound of people coming together and sharing stories, memories, and new experiences. But then, I also want to hear the sound of my sister’s voice, “I wanna talk about boys!” as she crawls into my bed late at night. Our Christmas tradition was a sisterly sleepover/slumber party. Which meant the three of us staying up way too late, giggling and gossiping, saying our prayers together. Usually we were shushed more than once, or sternly commanded to go to sleep. Then, we’d get up early in the morning to look at our presents and help get breakfast organized. The lack of this Christmas tradition has me particularly homesick this year.

Taste: Gingerbread, whether it’s in cookie or latte form. This treat contains the very essence of Christmas. Just as the smell of lilies brings memories rushing back, the taste of gingerbread makes the holiday real. Memories of creating houses in days gone by, or the excitement on old Roomie Tim’s face as I called him upstairs in our house on Maitland Street to cut out his own holiday shapes.

"Love is of all the passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses." Lao Tzu

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In an epic too small to be tragic

He was my first relationship that lasted longer than approximately six weeks. It was over a year of the Tragically Hip in the CD player. Not my first love, I tend to fall easily, but it was the first significant one. One with talk of someday. My mother adored him, questioning me to ensure I made the right choice in breaking up with him. He was responsible, charming, and he had a plan.

I used to think he was a good guy, but not the guy for me; later, I decided he wasn’t that good after all. He was someone who seemed to listen to me. But when he stated my opinion back, it morphed into something that was not mine at all. It became exactly what he believed. We couldn’t have differing opinions. And he was “so glad I wasn’t a feminist.” I am a feminist. I firmly believe that any woman wanting the most for her gender is.

He decided what we did, where we did it, and who we did it with. Which if you know me, and the fact that I tend to not care, it’s not a huge surprise. Only he decided even when I had a strong opinion about it, like the time I was sick and wanted to stay home but he made me go to the Drive-In anyway. “I’ll go pack some food and blankets, you think about it.” I got heat stroke from climbing the Sand Hills. Feet burning from hot sand. Tears streaming down my face. He never let me quit. I was so mad.

When I disagreed with him, and made it a point to let him know I disagreed, he got angry. Yelling, door slamming, angry. He’d never raise a hand to me, but he hurt me in other ways. Subtly. He was always the guy claiming he was a good guy, as if that gave him an excuse to be a jerk. “You’ll never find anyone as good as me.”

We got back together a couple times, just because it was easy. After being with someone so long, it was hard to have no one. He tried to romance me, and I cried. He thought I was overwhelmed, really I had realized how over it was. How I no longer had any feelings for him. It was the fact that he was willing to fight for things, and I wasn’t, that broke my heart.

He was good looking, but he became so ugly to me. “My female friends all find me attractive, so I don’t believe that you don’t anymore. You must be a lesbian.” If it makes you feel better, you can try to believe it, I said.

Armed with a strong, smart woman to commiserate with, I was able to say goodbye. And later helped her to the same to a similar man of hers. Over drinks at the Barking Frog, we wondered how to be single again. Laughed about the undesirable prospect of dating. Cursed. Hysterics because he took my vibrator but left his TV. “If he can’t make you happy, he figures you can’t make you happy,” she snorted.

He was wrong. I found someone far greater than he ever was. Someone who appreciates me, and shows it. Someone who gave me the most adorable Poinsettia for no reason at all. Someone who makes me sandwiches. Someone who asks me about my day, and is genuinely interested in what I have to say. Someone who will have drunken debates about economics, energy and politics with me. Someone who will agree to disagree, while agreeing that disagreeing is okay. Someone who is glad that I’m a feminist. Someone who I love more every day. Someone who is one of the most beautiful individuals, inside and out, I’ve ever known. Someone with whom I have many somedays. Someone who has come to hang out with me on my couch when I’m sick. Someone I can fight with. Fighting because we care. Someone I can build a life with. A future.

I remember months after. “I’ve ever been friends with my exes, but I want to be friends with you.” Me talking him through dating again, though I’m sure it was a half-assed attempt to make me slightly jealous. His dismay and wonder at the fact that I wasn’t dating. “I’m not ready,” I said. “I told you I needed to figure out me, what I want, and what my goals are, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.” It’s exactly what I did. And in doing so, I realized he was never someone I would be friends with. It’s a little strange that he’s getting married to that girl he told me about years ago. I wish them well. It’s the reason I broke things off, so he could find someone who loved him as much as everyone deserves to be loved. I’m glad he found it.

I did.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December is for Cynics

In conversation at our Friday snack meeting at work, the topic of Secret Santa came up. I'm a Grinch about Secret Santa; I refuse to take part in this activity. This strikes some people as odd because I love giving presents, I love doing things for others and yet, I refuse to take part in this Christmas activity which embraces both of those things.

We used to do Secret Santa things in elementary school. I always put effort into mine to make my Secret Santa feel special, and I never ever got anything back. It's not that I need something when I give it, but I think that the people who commit and never deliver take the fun out of everything. 

I opt to be the cookie fairy. All year long. 

My University friends used to tease me, though they loved it. During exams, when someone was feeling down, or whenever I was feeling particularly domestic, I would bake cookies. And deliver them around campus/the city. For the past three years, I've been sending cookies in the mail for Christmas to some specific people. It's not limited to Christmas, sometimes it happens for Valentine's Day, to cheer someone up, or for no reason at all. I like to make people's day. Especially because I never tell people when they're coming. I love to get a call from a friend back in Ontario informing me how getting my little package made their horrible, rotten, no-good, very bad day absolutely wonderful. It makes me feel good.

So last night, I had a glass of wine, took off layers as the heat overtook the apartment, danced around to Christmas carols, my hair in disarray, covered in white stuff... and this morning I delivered those cookies to Canada Post.

I also left a container of shortbread and fudgey, peanut butter goodness outside the door of our neighbours, inviting them to our Ugly Sweater Christmas party next Saturday. Because cookies are a pretty easy way of making new friends, and if that doesn't work, we'll throw in some ugly sweaters and booze.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Today is the Alberta Liberal leadership election. In honour of this very unexciting event, I give you the following video. I can't decide whether it is awesome or terrible that Taft and Co. are making fun of themselves by spoofing The Office. Also, a little telling that Kevin Taft is the creative director, has a love affair with that "pony", and sees himself as the Michael Scott of the opposition. Not exactly painting yourself in the best light there, Kev.

It's a little painful to watch, and the sound cuts in and out at points, but it's... erm... interesting. Also, please note: "The Rodeo Motion" for those of you who are not from Alberta, is Taft's announcement in the House that he wants to see Rodeo named Alberta's official sport. Yeah. Er, Yeehaw?

The Boy is headed off to the mountains this weekend for some skiing, and I'm opting to hibernate. With a projected temperature of somewhere between -20 Celcius and -35 Celcius, or -4 to -31 Fahrenheit (says the Internet converter) before windchill, it seems like a good weekend to curl up on the couch, watch some bad Christmas movies, do some reading and avoid the world.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Me, I want a hula hoop!

Heights of Fashion: A history of the elevated foot is definitely something I want to check out before the exhibit's March 8 best-before date. The hise and fall of the high heel in Western fashion over the past 500 years. Gorgeous shoes and history? Sign me up.

The other thing keeping me going today is this classic Christmas tune. I remember the movie from when we were kids, even more than that, I remember the book. With the lyrics to this song. Please Christmas, don't be laaate! Only two weeks!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas wishes for myself. At 13.

Thank you to the 20 Something Bloggers’ December blog carnival, for helping me write a blog post today when all creativity has eluded me. The following are four things I would sneak under the Christmas tree for myself, age 13.

1. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. I did my English independent study on Plath for OAC (Grade 13… it was an Ontario thing), and was inspired by her, her independence, her brilliance, her reluctance to choose a path just because it was the one society said she should choose. It would have been beneficial for my younger self to learn about women like her sooner. Plus, by this age I had pretty much plowed through every written word in the house, so it would have been good to have something better to read than new cereal boxes.

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet” (Plath, The Bell Jar, 1963).
2. A pretty journal. Sure, I had many loose leaf papers and books around, but it would be good to encourage younger me to write more. I used to love it so much, and it’s something that has dwindled with age, mandatory academic essays causing a serious lack of creativity, not to mention times of forced creativity. It would have served as even more of an outlet during a time in my life when I was not a happy person. A time when I didn’t know how to communicate with anyone who could help me be a happier person.

3. A game of some kind. Something along the lines of Girl Talk, a game that I never, ever owned. Something to encourage me to bond with my sisters during a time that I did not appreciate how awesome little sisters really can be. Something to make me cherish those last five years with them before I headed off to university. Something to remind me to stress out less, that the world doesn’t end at the drama of being a teenaged girl. Something to get me out of my room and my cover of books and pages scribbled with angst.

4. A promise for some kind of activity with my mom. Movie tickets, shopping, whatever. With three siblings, one on one time was rare with a parent (unless you were my brother, who could only be found following around my dad). It was even more rare that that time, if it happened, would be spent doing something other than cleaning, getting in trouble, or being forced to do homework. Any real, quality time you get to spend with a parent that age is a good thing. It took a lot for my relationship with my mother to become a healthy one, and it's something that I wish would have happened sooner.

If there was something you could give yourself at age 13, or even say to yourself at age 13, what would it be?

Monday, December 8, 2008

You know who I am, wanna know who/what I'm not?

I am not necessarily proud of all the things I have done, or the ways I have acted, but I have no regrets. Good or bad, everything I have experienced and the mistakes I have made have brought me to the here and now. I am pretty proud to be this person.

I am not a morning person. I am not able to do much without coffee. I am not able to work for a corporation, selling or marketing a product. I need to believe I am making a difference. I am not working in a non-profit now simply because I can’t afford to, paying off my debt is more important to me. The way the staff at my old job supported each other and directly affected so many lives of others, made me feel like I was a part of something awesome. I was not happy to leave, but I am not sad that I am here and not there. The women I work with are amazing and I am learning a lot from them. I am not selling out; I find ways to find that feeling in my job. I do help people, everyday. Just in a different way. This is also why I volunteer.

I am not terribly interested in achievements, acclaim and accolades. At the end of the day, I care about relationships – how I impact the lives of others and how they have affected me. I am not against acknowledgement of a job well done; I just prefer it to be one on one and not in front of others. I am not bilingual, though I wish I was. I know the basics of three languages (other than English) – Italian, Spanish and French – but I don’t practice and therefore speak them rather poorly.

I am not good at letting go. I am not a push over, anymore. I am not able to cut people out of my life. I am not able to give up. I have gotten better at this, cutting out those who are truly destructive. I am not able to say no, easily. Usually, this means that I take on far too much and have no time for myself. Sometimes it means I burn out a little and becoming a raging pile of tears. Regardless, I am unable to change my ways. I am not one to give in to peer pressure, I never have been. I am not a fan of liars, cheaters, people who are fake, ignorant or arrogant.

I am not always the best sister, daughter, friend, or girlfriend. I try to be, because these people are an important part of who I am, where I came from, and where I am going. I am not able to put myself first. I am not able to stand idly by while someone I love is hurting. I am not able to fix everything, I realize this, but I want to be able to fix everyone else’s problems so desperately. I am not good at speaking up when I am hurting or when I need help. I am not able to just brush off hurtful comments. I am not able to deal easily when I feel attacked.

I am not, nor have I ever been able to, settle for a boyfriend. I am not a girl who loses herself, and her previous life, when entering a relationship. I am not a girl who forgets her friends. I am not someone who is afraid to be alone. I am not dependent.
I am not a nail biter, anymore. I am not able to sleep when I am stressed out, worried or upset. I am not exactly sure what I will be doing in 5 or 10 years, but I know who I want it to be doing it with.

I am not good at making inane decisions, such as where to go for supper. I am not necessarily indecisive, if I can’t make a decision it just means I don’t care either way. I care more about who I do those things with. I am not high maintenance, though I am developing a taste for more expensive wines. In my defense, I buy them myself. And I still like the cheap ones, too.

I am not a girl’s girl, or I didn’t use to be anyway. I do not like shopping in groups, or shopping at all very much. I am not one to really want to go out and dance, though it can be fun once in a while. I am not against dingy, hole-in-the-wall pubs. In fact, I prefer them. I am not very spontaneous. I am not anti-spontaneity, but I like to have plans. I am not a girl who watches football for the men, nachos or beer, though I also enjoy these parts of the game. I watch it for the game, which I find intelligent, fun and delightfully macho.

I am not always awesome with money, or directions. I am getting better at both. I am not able to shop at thrift stores. I am not good at finding awesome finds, which causes me to feel frustrated very easily.

I’m not usually good at making small talk with strangers. I’m not as shy as I used to be. However, I am not ever very good at answering when someone asks, “So, tell me about yourself.” I am not one to ever want to be the centre of attention, it embarrasses me.

I am not as sweet and innocent as I seem. I am not someone who will compromise who I am for anything. I am not always confident in myself, even when I have the right to be. I am not able to talk myself up in job interviews as much as I’ve been told I should. I once had an HR person speak up on my behalf, adding to the interview that it has been noted that I am too humble. I am not able to remember that I have more awards in my field than the number of years I have been working in aforementioned field.

I am not the best chef, though I love to bake. I like to knit, though I can’t seem to find the time for it anymore (see: I am not able to say no). I am not very good at keeping plants alive, lately, though I love them oh-so much. I'm not as green as I'd like to be, ideally. I am not a music snob. I will listen to anything, then decide whether I enjoy it or not. I am not above listening to something merely because someone else really enjoys it; even it’s not my personal favourite. I am not done learning. Though I may be taking day-long workshops or courses for work for a little while, I love school and would like to go back eventually.
I am not one who doesn’t give credit where credit is due. This post is spawned from similar ones penned by the lovely Kyla and Brookem.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gonna eat my banana, gonna be alright

“Oh Lordy! Oh Lord, what is dis? Dis is COOOLD!”

The lady in the seat across from me grins and pipes up, “It’s Edmonton, buddy! Get used to it!”

“Oh no, no, no. Gonna eat my banana, it’s gonna be alright. I’m vegetarian, you know. A bad vegetarian. I like to smoke.” Huge smile.

Snickers from the spectators. The same lady comments, “You’re going to need to smoke. This is just the beginning. And you’re going to need a better coat, a warmer one.”

The tall, lean Rastafarian struts up the train aisle, caressing his thin, gold jacket. “Have you seen ma coat? Ya can’t do any beddah than this! Dis is all I need! Dis will keep me warm!”

“Poor choice, buddy. You need a coat like this,” she says, pointing to a young boy whose face is just barely visible through the hood of his full-out parka.

A male voice further down the train shouts, “Think of this as summer!”

“Summa?! No, no, no. Dis is no summa. I’m gonna go back to Jamaica, and there’s gonna be a band playin’.” His hips start to move back and forth as his words become song. “Pray for me! Pray for me, Edmonton! Pray I’ll get back to Jamaica, chill out, smoke a big spliff.”


He turns to a red-faced blonde behind him. Asks where her people are from. Her voice doesn’t boom across the train car like his. She’s embarrassed by the attention he’s brought on her corner of the train. She tells him she’s Ukrainian.

“PIEROGIES!" He shouts. "Maybe those will keep me warm!”

More giggles. Shock from the poor, embarrassed blonde.

He notes her embarrassment and points to a spot barely visible through the fogged up windows. “See dat? Dat’s da spot I could see from ma window at da Remand Centre!” He goes on a rant about how he’s sick of injustice. Sick of lies and distrust. Sick of the evil and the badness in the world.

“I’m gonna eat my banana, gonna be alright. Right now, I’m gonna go dance!” He slides off the train at Churchill station, moving his hips and singing a song to his own Rastafarian beat.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nothing to see here!

The button holes on my blouse are too big for the buttons themselves. Therefore, today has been like a game of "lets hope my shirt is still on". Seriously. It completely unbuttons. Good thing I brought a cardigan.

In other news, in addition to her usual overburdened workload, the Mothership is now in charge of the county I grew up in. Huzzah.

In fun coalition news, the news all Canadians love to hate right now, the National Post has posted the potential cabinet for what a coalition government would look like. Like any cabinet, some posts make complete sense and others are big question marks. I also heard a rumor that Elizabeth May would be made Environment Minister, which is interesting since the Greens aren't even part of the coalition (though she has come out in support of it).

At least we now have a little snow here in Edmonton, so it is beginning to look a little more like Christmas. Only 14 more days of work. *sigh

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why you should fund your organization's media department

When I decided that I didn't want to pursue a law career, that PR was more my thing, my mom constantly hounded me with the "but what can you do with public relations?" question.

The answer, mommy dearest, is that we can prevent companies from doing something like this.

Worst media interview EVER!

Canadian politics... interesting, but not in a good way

Michelle Jean: Sorry, Europe, I have to go back to Canada... the children have messed things up again.
Harper: They're being mean to me!
Dion, Layton, Duceppe: He started it!

We have this article announcing the coalition, this one outlining how Harper can prevent it, and this one describing Michelle Jean's options.

It's all a little ridiculous. I don't necessarily support the current party in power, but I don't support the coalition either.

They haven't even seen the budget yet! Canadians just saw a huge waste of $300 million dollars with the last election, one where support was given to the Conservative party! Deal with it. Work together. In this time of economic crisis, we need leaders. We don't need the playground drama.

And Harper's radio PR campaign is a big waste of money. Not that they care. The Conservatives have been wasting money all over the place. They have never stopped campaigning. They started campaigning against Dion and the Liberals way before the election. It's getting old. To me, anyway. I like to be able to make up my mind without turning on the radio/television and hearing the party tell me what I should think.

If, for example, Harper loses a confidence vote next week, he can ask Jean to dissolve Parliament so that another general election could be held. The Conservatives, in preparation for this possibility, have already put down a deposit on a campaign plane and buses.

Seriously?! Preparing for another Canadian election? Come on guys, this is ridiculous.
I wish the grown ups would act like grown ups.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Where oh where is the Christmas spirit? with the snow?

It's hard to get into the Christmas spirit with the serious lack of snow we're experiencing. It was a balmy 2 degrees Celcius this morning, with a forecast of rain for later in the day. Rain! Not cool.

It's starting to hit me, the enormity of not going home for Christmas. I'll be spending the holiday this year with Boy and his family in southern Saskatchewan. It's not that I don't want to be with my own family, but at this time of year one must sign over their first-born in order to get a plane ticket across the country. This will always be known as the year I wasn't there, even if I manage to make it home every year to come. I'll be absent in the annual famly photo. I'll miss the "Christmas Tradition" (aka. sleepover) with Kaye and Kiki, something we've been doing since we were wee. I won't be there for breakfast, making fun of Brother and his wife for being late. I won't get to see the looks on my family's faces when they open the presents I've chosen for them. I know that everything will be okay, and Boy's family always makes me feel incredibly welcome, but it makes me a little bit homesick to think of all that I'll be missing. To think that this is one more memory the other five people in my family have without me in it. Ah the joys of being the only one living a province (or three) away.

In other news, who knew being oh-so bad could do so much good? Strippers from an establishment here in the city have raised over $4800 for Santa's Anonymous, a program that delivers Christmas presents to needy children in Edmonton. More than 30 exotic dancers donated their day's pay and tips to the cause on the weekend. They sure have the Christmas spirit.

My sister Kiki brought me a Skip-It when the girls came to visit this summer, as a belated birthday present. It's still in the packaging as it was more to serve as a reminder of my favourite toy ever. I loved my old pink Skip-It. I would spin it around, hopping over it, an eye on the counter to beat my personal best. I thought I was amazing at this game. My mother told me much later that she feared for my uncoordinated life every time I pulled it out. Thanks mom! Point is, I cleared it with Kiki to donate my new Skip-It to Santa's Anonymous this year. Hopefully some little girl, more coordinated than I, will love it as much as I did.

How are you going to get into the Christmas spirit?