28 October 2006

My Halloween Costume - An Insecure Girl

I used to love Halloween. I still love it. I feel as though my level of enthusiasm is dwindling though. I feel my level of enthusiasm is dwindling on a lot of little things recently. I suppose you can say that I am in a bit of a funk to say the least. I am not going out this Halloween. I didn’t go out last year either. This, I admit, saddens me.

Back home, it’s always “back home…”, I used to do it up right. Sure, I never had a concrete plan for my costume. I rushed around just like everyone else, putting my costume together at the last minute. I always came up with something, whether it was good or not. The last costume I wore for Halloween back home was Rosie the Riveter – the “You can do it!” poster girl. Some thought I was a mechanic. One customer at work thought I was a farmer. The frustrated but dirty minded business men, the majority of my customers at the store, thought I was plain ol’ sexy. My last costume here was Vampira. Basically, I looked like myself with more extreme eyebrows and a little more pale than normal. Still, it was all in good fun.

Now, my costume is a pair of pajamas on a Saturday night and bed-head hair. Oh, and a little patch of stress induced acne on my face. I am alone and I can’t shake this stupid sense of blue.

I have been feeling so far from sexy lately. I don’t have the greatest skin and I thought it was something that I worked through. I thought I accepted it. I know I did back home. Regardless of the scars on my face and the few nasty break outs, I still had people complimenting me and appreciating my beauty. I know I shouldn’t rely on the observations of strangers. It shouldn’t constitute my mood. If I am simply not happy with myself, no amount of compliments and sly glances will make me be that constant and happy person. But here in this city, I don’t see it. Have I built a wall so thick that no one can see me at my best? My partner does and that’s what truly matters. He sees me for my beauty. He loves me. He doesn’t care if my face looks like hell. He doesn’t care if I lounge around a little too long in my clothing that eventually looks like pajamas on my body. The others, those random strangers, see nothing. I have lived here for two and a half years and only caught two strangers checking me out. It’s not like I want people to ogle me every moment of the day. I don’t. I get the other side of the stick. Call me paranoid, but I see the way a lot of people look at me when I am on the subway or walking down the street. They look at me like I am ugly. They look at my short painted nails. They see how tired I look. They notice the quality of my skin. They see my skin. I know they do this. I have been laughed at on the subway in the past. Sure, they were kids and kids will always be jerks. Once, I heard someone say that it isn’t my fault that I am so ugly and I was paralyzed. I couldn’t turn around like I wanted to and say fuck you. Fuck you in your stretch jeans and fuck you in your retro 80’s look and fuck you with your boyfriend in his saggy assed jeans. Fuck you. I got off at my stop and shut down. I walked to work with tears in my eyes. What feels worse – to be called ugly practically to your face or to be silenced by the ignorance of teenagers?

It’s been a long time since I completely dolled myself up. It’s been a much longer time since I dolled myself up in new clothes. I haven’t been shopping in ages. I am very reserved with money because I don’t make much. I don’t know how long my job will last and we have to eat. I have to pay my bills. I can’t be carefree with my money like before – have I ever been carefree with it anyway? If something happens with my work situation, I can’t rely on anyone else. My partner is a musician. I’m glad he is doing what he loves but I worry. Overall, I am glad he is doing what he loves rather than making tons of cash while being absolutely miserable. I’m envious of that, I admit.

I want to be taken out and I want to wear that dress. You know that dress that stops you dead in your tracks as a mumbled “wow” spills from your mouth. I want to be lusted after. I want to walk into a room with that dress and have my partner drop his jaw. I want to beam and light up that room. It just seems that I don’t have that in me lately. I feel plain and invisible. My skin looks like hell. My options of doing my hair consists of wearing it in a pony tail or not (at least my bangs look good still). My clothing is all old. I am uptight. I can’t be comfortable and tell me when I had my last true belly laugh with a friend here? Tell me when I laughed so hard I had tears coming out of my eyes with a friend here? Tell me when I talked so comfortably with a near stranger with that certain openness? Let’s just say, it’s been a hell of a long time.

I want flowers.

I know all of this probably sounds pretty awful of me. I have a great partner who makes me feel loved and beautiful no matter what. God, he even puts up with all my wacko emotions. I’m very grateful for him. He thinks the world of me. I’m just not happy with myself and I’ve always been like this. For the life of me, I don’t know how to get over this mountain of insecurity I build for myself.

I have distanced myself from a lot of things here. I know it’s my own fault. I know I should have learned French by now. Knowing French would probably make things a lot less uncomfortable and awkward for me. It’s been two years and who can I call a true friend here? It seems like whenever I meet another women that I feel I connect with, something stupid and dramatic happens and I am just back to being acquaintances with them. I’m lonely. It sounds pathetic but it’s true.

I feel like it has been a long time since I could say I had an amazing night. I can’t seem to let loose here. I’m so bloody reserved, it makes me sick. I feel a tug of envy when I go to these shows and see everyone having a blast. Everyone is drunk and everyone is laughing and here I am – stuck in the middle of it all, trying to smile naturally. I hear about how great nights were, how much fun was had by all. When was my last great night, surrounded by friends and laughs and drinks and smartassery? I can’t let loose here. Back home, I was on fire. I went dancing and I had a circle of friends. I ogled women with my guy friends. I got ready with my girlfriends for a night of painting the town red. I had my set of private jokes with close friends. I had a sister nearby to console me if my world was falling apart or if I needed someone to annoy like only a little sister can do. We recently had a friend stay here from a far away city. I found myself talking to her and saw her zone out. Am I this boring? Do people no longer get serious conversation? I felt awkward yet again. I felt I still had nothing interesting to say. I feel so one dimensional lately. I make small talk and jokes at work and no one gets it (except my “team leader”).

Is this the difference between the English and French in humourous conversation? You don’t realize how lonely it is actually is when you live in a place that is difficult to make the simplest of small talk and passing jokes. Some days, I just want to make a random comment or compliment to a stranger and I hold back. City folk are different here, busy and rushed. And it is the language barrier. I used to loathe small talk and all those hellos from strangers downtown. Now, I long for it. I sit on the same subway car every morning, with the same people. There are no smiles of recognition. Back home, we’d call each other intimate strangers by now. I remember the first time a stranger here made small talk with me in the grocery store. I could have given him the biggest hug for those brief words. It was about soup and tofu but it made my week. I existed in this random city, this random grocery store. He took a minute out of his day to be friendly to another stranger. I truly appreciate his gesture. It made me very happy and his soup suggestion was a fantastic one at that!

Everything is layering up on me yet I am still so cold.


The Official Mouse Breakdown

I should be writing about something fun and sexy. I should be confessing a juicy bit or two about that time I drunkenly made out with one of my girlfriends or describing to you that panty shopping extravaganza. You know something giggly and girly - something flirty and foxy. But no...I'm still dealing with Mr. Jingles here and it's honestly putting my mood off. I must admit, however, my mood was put off days ago. Maybe it is the arrival of shorter days and the winter. The mouse in my house just gives me that last straw, that reason to have a big ol' messy breakdown in the middle of my kitchen.

If you read my last post, I wrote about the discovery of a mouse in my apartment. Clearly, this mouse is taunting me. The mouse only seems to grace my presence. It never comes out when my boyfriend is home. And this, I fear, makes me look crazy! Oh no, it stays wherever he set up camp. The boyfriend leaves the room and I enter that same room - and there it is. Taunting me, laughing its mousy laugh. Of course, it somewhat behaves itself when my partner is home and that's fine. He goes away for the weekend and let the fun and games begin. Great.

Last night, I was talking on the phone to a friend and saw it skedaddle across the counter, jump behind the fridge, and run under the washing machine. I let out this stupidly girly squeal on the phone. I can handle it running across the floor for dropped crumbs or what have you. I can almost handle that. Once it starts crawling on the counter...that's another story. I stood there and thought what the fuck am I doing wrong here? I clean up, I keep the counters clean, and all food is kept well packed and away. It's still running across my fucking counter and I have absolutely no heart to go out and buy a mouse trap. Oh, I can buy the mouse trap but I don't want to see or deal with a dead mouse carcass. That is NOT in my job description.

I clean up the kitchen again. I wipe the counters down again. I sit down to smoke a cigarette. I decide to touch up my nail polish. I walk into the kitchen to grab the bottle of polish and look! The fucker is on the counter again and disappears INTO THE STOVE ELEMENT! And then I had my mental breakdown.

Like I said, I can handle if it was just running across the floor. No, it's not my idea of fun but I don't prepare food on the floor. Now, this little rodent is not only running across my counter but is pooping in my oven. Pooping my oven! My eyes fill with stupid tears. I call my mom.

I love my mom but sometimes she can be a little morbid. I whine to her about my mouse problem and how it went into the stove and all I want is her to say that everything is going to be okay. I want to be coddled. Just for once, coddle me. Anyone, please. I am surrounded by realists. Tell me that I'm good and everything will be okay and that I'm loved and I have not much to worry about. Nope, I don't get that - well...only from my sister - thank God for her. Mom tells me to hit it. Kill it with a pan, she says. Chase it out the house with a broom and kill it. Poison cheese with bleach. She goes on and on about the different ways to kill this pest while my dad is piping in the background with a hearty "kill it with a flyswatter! kill it with a fly swatter!” And to make matters worse, she tells me that mice can chew wires and I should watch out. This very mouse can set my apartment on fire. Thanks, mom. She tells me I should do this and that, clean out the stove as well. And then it dawned on me, I'm turning 30 soon and I don't even know how to clean out my oven - let alone deal with mice on my own.

And then I called my sister and cried like a baby. Not only am I getting old; I'm living in an apartment with a mouse problem that only is a visible problem when I am home alone, I don't even know how to clean my oven, and I'm going to wake up to a blazing fire in my apartment. And worst of all? I have been feeling very lonely these last few days. I don't have anyone to call up and vent to in this city. And it's probably my own damned fault.

I suppose this entire mouse thing is the last straw. I know this funk I am in is not all about the mouse. Bah, crying while I write a blog makes me feel fifteen years old.

I haven't taken care of the mouse. I put bowls and pot lids over the elements. Mom suggested sprinkling laundry detergent around the place it always seems to hide away to. I haven't seen it since. Yeah, I know it's avoiding the problem. I don't want to use the oven or the stove. I don't want to even use the toaster. Was it lounging around in there too? Have I been cooking and baking my food with mouse dropping nearby? I'm sorry, but that's fucking gross. I guess I should be a bit grateful - I haven't seen multiple mice, the droppings on the floor/counter have been very minimal, and my apartment hasn't started on fire yet.

Thank GOD we are moving out soon. Thank GOD we are getting a new stove that doesn't have the standard elements. Thank GOD that our new place isn't surrounded by idiots - landlords and tenants, who think it is okay to pile waist deep garbage in the fire escape and leave the doors open for mice and cracked out squatters. I can't wait to get out of here.

I just need a little help. Help with packing. Help with the mouse. I feel I am doing all of this on my own. I'm tired of being alone.


22 October 2006

Mouse in the House

Why does all the stupid stuff happen when my partner is on the road? I suppose I shouldn't fret. I shouldn't be so nervous. Nothing broke down like that one time he went on the road in the middle of the winter and the washing machine backfired ice cold water all over the kitchen floor. The only thing that happened this summer was the discovery of fucking maggots in the garbage can and I swear - that traumatized me.

This morning I awoke to the sounds of something eating something. Nothing loud and that concerning. I have a tendancy to worry about every single thing so I brushed it off and labeled it as sleepy paranoia. I got up, went into the living room, and heard another slight gnawing noise. Shit. And then I grabbed the baseball bat. I'd hate to see how I'd react if a person broke into the apartment if I am arming myself with a bat when I fear the presense of a damned mouse.

I stood there in my pajamas and armed with a wooden bat. No, I wasn't going to kill the creature. I don't have that in me. Hell, I haven't even cooked meat since junior high home-ec class. I stood there and listened to the noise. Is it coming from under the stove? I poked the stove with my bat. Silence. What would I do with a home intruder? Tickle him with a knife? From under the stove wandered a little but replusive moisture bug. Nope, no fan of bugs. I took my partner's boot and killed him. I can kill bugs if need be. So I walked away and heard the gnawing noise again. Once again, I stood there and listened. We have this space where a dishwasher would go. There we have this plastic storage containers, beer bottles to be returned, and some flattened cardboard packaging. I poked the bat at the plastic containers and something ran past my feet. I like to imagine that I was dressed like some sassy 50's housewife in heels and a saucy house dress and I jumped on the table like a defenseless female. Instead, I slammed the bat down onto the floor ten times and squished the mouse into a bloody pulp as I screamed in my best Samuel L. Jackson voice, "I will have no motherfucking mouse in my motherfucking house!".

Actually, no. I stood there in my wrinkled pajamas and weakly held the bat in my hands. And then I mumbled something about this not being in my domestic job description - this is HIS job, not mine. And then I felt sick to my stomach.

No, I'm not scared of the mouse. I know it's scared of me. I feel I have some sort of domestic reputation to uphold. Does having a mouse guest mean your house is a complete mess? I think my worst enemy in cases like this is my vivid imagination. I don't picture one little hungry mouse. I picture mouse babies and hundreds of them. I picture this disgruntled rat the size of a small dog, living behind my fridge and picking food out of his teeth with a toothpick. Talking like a mobster in a New York accent. Smoking a cigar, after attacking my jugular vein in the middle of night. Why does this affect me more than the raccoon that decided to visit our kitchen in the summer?

Only a few more weeks and we'll be out of this place. Only a few more hours and he will be home. He can get reacquainted with Mr. Jingles when I'm at work tomorrow.

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18 October 2006

Reading in Bed

I read to you in bed,
the sheets pulled over our shivering bodies
that were otherwise naked.
Serenity in your smile and
peace in your eyes,
you taught me how to say superfluous
and I discovered just how beautiful you truly are.

As I read those words
my hungry voice wanted to confess -
Your beauty is something else,
something valued in my amazement
and something I have never witnessed.
The distance between us revealing
that I never wish to take for granted
your breath on my skin.
It warms me more than you will ever know.

I placed the book gently on your bedroom floor
amongst our scattered clothing
that fell from nights before.
I fell into you once again,
I fell into something that moves me.
Your face that shines before me
tells me I will never grow tired of discovering
Just how beautiful you truly are.

14 October 2006

Death of a Childhood Pet

A few weekends ago, my big handsome orange cat passed away. He was my grandmother's cat and he was 21 years of age. I knew my beautiful orange beast would have to leave eventually. Afterall, 21 years is a long time for a cat to live.

What I did not want to experience, perhaps selfishly, was that part of childhood departing along with him. The moment I heard he passed away, I felt just a little bit older. I cried.

I'm a cat person. I used to idolize Winnipeg's infamous "cat lady" when I was a child. When I got a little bit older, I laughed about looking forward to becoming a bingo playing baba with too much lipstick (running into my lip wrinkles) and rouge, a chain smoking habit, and living with thirty cats in lieu of a hubby. And then I fell in love with an allergic-to-cats man.

I lost my own childhood cat a few years back. She was sixteen and I grew up with her. She was my fiesty little calico angel, who adored to torment the majority of my friends with frightening growls and vicious claws. Often, we would share a good laugh and high five together after my friends went home. Once upon a time, I thought the end of a relationship was tragically difficult. And then I lost my childhood pet. Now that is true heartbreak - to say goodbye to someone who never honestly done you harm, someone who made you smile by simply curling up on warm laundry or chasing a toy, someone who loved you unconditionally. True heartbreak, I tell you, when you come home after a long day of work and there is no furry little face looking up at your with sheer innocence.

I had a special bond with my big handsome orange cat, I like to believe. He was born in my backyard when I was 8 or 9 years old. He was the calmest of the four kittens. A small bundle of orange fur. The other kittens, they eventually found their own homes. This fluffy orange kitten ended up at my grandmother's and became somewhat of a barn cat.

Maybe I didn't have a connection with him. Maybe I just like to think we did. He trusted me enough to cradle him like a baby - even though he was a macho and masculine cat, a fierce hunter of birds and chipmunks. He would wait for me in the yard. In his older years and in the winter, he would remain in his little barn but poke his head out of his small cardboard box house which was stuffed full of woolen blankets. His coat was massive, covered with a thick mat of clumped fur which would eventually be trimmed off by my uncle come spring. No matter what, my big handsome orange cat would greet me with a happy meow. In the summer, he would come out and hop on this old school desk outside that was weathered with age. I would sit beside him and give him his well deserved affectionate petting.

When I was about eleven or twelve years old, he went missing for a good year or so. He wasn't one to stray, considering he had a large yard to explore. We had our suspicions to why and how he would go missing. One afternoon and quite the distance from my grandmother's house, my sister and I took my younger cousins from out of town to the park to play. Lo and behold, there was my big handsome orange cat sitting contently in the grass. It was him! I was so happy to hold him again. I was convinced it was him and we promptly took him back to my grandmother's yard, his home. Sometimes I wonder if it was really him or perhaps I simply abducted another cat. Ah, I do not regret my actions. I was convinced it was him and I found him. He never left home again.

Like most cats before they pass on, they don't feel well and barely eat. According to my family, he took one last walk around the yard and was later found in the bushes. He may not have been the prettiest cat, with a luxurious coat. He may have walked with hobble and had ragged ears from the winter's frost. He may have had a drooling problem. But to me, he was the most handsome big orange cat in the world.

Though I was sick my entire visit back home this summer, I got to say goodbye to him. I sat in the grass beside him, as he played with my sister with a long piece of grass. He meowed. I gave him a big hug and rubbed his kitty cat tummy. I called him my big handsome man cat and said goodbye. I knew it could be our last cuddle, our last exchange of adoring words and kitty cat purrs.

I'm gonna miss you, handsome one!

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11 October 2006

Life...and Death

You could say I've been on hiatus, just like your favourite television shows during the summer. There seems to be a lot of little news these days. A lot of little events. I should have been a lot less lazy but in all honesty - I just don't feel like sitting in front of the computer. Don't y'all worry now, I've been reasonably happy and life is good. Rest assured.

In a nutshell and a quick blurb about the last little while -
I went home for a two week visit in August. During said visit, I got a nasty headcold and it kicked my ass. It lingered and turned into a bleeding ear infection. And when I say "bleeding", I mean actual blood. I didn't see as many people as I would have liked to but I saw the light on a particular matter. I came back here, only to stress out about money. When I stress out, I become paralyzed and accomplish very little. Once that calmed down, I got a job. It's only temporary, it's full of team spirit, and I have to wake up at six in the morning. I may live most days as a character of Dawn of the Dead as I stumble to the metro, but it's paying my bills. As well, we have found a new place to live. We will be finally moving out of this little apartment in a few weeks. The building is nice and clean, there's plenty of room, and it's in the same neighbourhood but on a better side. It is very much a home. I anticipate decorating. I dread packing. In this very same nutshell, my grandmother's cat died. I will write a longer blog about this because I literally grew up with this beast of a cat. He was 21 years of age and I called him "my handsome cat". Sigh. I had a friend of a friend come to visit - it was nice talking with someone from home. Another friend from the south came to visit us this past weekend. Yeah, this nutshell doesn't sound like much. In lieu of sitting in front of the computer and wasting time, I have been busy in the kitchen with the cooking and the baking. Talking lots to friends, feeling the weight of money stress come off my lovely shoulders, and simply looking forward.

There is a reason I wanted to write tonight, however.

I found out the other morning that someone I knew of passed away in his sleep. Now, I'm not going to be an asshole and say I knew him, that we were buddies. Too many people do that when someone passes away and I cringe at the thought of being that brand of phony. Simply, he was my body piercer from years ago. He was my friend on myspace and we exchanged a few short comments a while back. Though I did not know him very well whatsoever, it came as a saddened surprise to hear this. What I did know of him was that he was kind and friendly. He put you at ease when you were in his presense and getting pierced. He was the definition of professional. He seemed truly genuine and I am certain that he will be missed by many.

Forgive me if I sound preachy. It is sad that these kind of stupid life occurances (that don't seem fair) solidly remind us that we should never go to bed angry at our partner or our parents - or hold silly grudges over silly issues with friends or family. Man, life is too short as it is. Let go of all those small things that line our breathe with petty bitterness or catty jealousies. Let go of that late night squabble about something unbelievably forgetable. Walk away from those that pull you down in their shitty little world and be there for yourself, be there for the people that truly appreciate you.

And never forget to tell that person that you love them. Or that you appreciate them. Or a thank you for being such a wonderful mother or father or sister or brother-in-law or friend.

...more blogs to come, promise!...

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