30 March 2007

Laugh of the Day

So, I was at the grocery store the other day waiting in line. I was so tired that day. The kind of tired in which you can get into a giggle about absolutely anything. The girl at the counter asked me, in French, if I wanted to donate two dollars for a heart and stroke charity. I was surprised at myself! I actually understood what she said! I was rather proud of myself.

Of course, I didn't know exactly how to respond to her question. I think I know how to say I don't have any money but I don't think that would have been the proper way to express the fact that I didn't have any change on me since I was paying with my debit card. I told her that I did not have two dollars on me.

She was French and didn't know much English. She called the teenaged bag boy over to repeat what she asked me even though I totally understood what she said. The kid comes over and calls me Madam, which kind of makes me sound like a drag queen and/or old but whatever. In his translation, he said:

"She wants to know if you want to give two dollars for someone to have a heart attack."

I didn't laugh out loud, that would have been rude. I'm sure my attempts at French would sound just as strange. I couldn't help but laugh inside though.

And yes, I ended up donating with my debit card because that was the best laugh of the day.

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19 March 2007


For the first time in a while, I've had an actual weekend off. I'm talking Saturday and Sunday off, plus Monday. I was looking forward to this. I wanted to go for a late morning breakfast. I wanted to do a little writing. Maybe even catch up on some email. Lord knows how lazy I am when it comes to emailing people back promptly. Err.

And of course, my entire body started to fall apart on Friday night. Great.

My teeth started to hurt. You see, I have this one vindictive tooth. Every now and then, it misbehaves. I wait for the pain to pass, as it eventually does. I know that there will come a day when the pain won't go away and I'll have to take care of it once and for all. And that day will probably be when not much money is coming in because life is a jerk that way. Nothing spells fun like getting a $1400 root canal when you are unemployed. *grits teefs*

Just to torture myself...I went browsing around online to see if my tooth pain is related to any other aspect of my health. For once, I actually found good news and not morbid information. Apparently, when your sinuses are messed up it can affect your teeth. I'd rather deal with a sinus issue than a really expensive dental procedure.

Anyway, I felt like my head was a brick this weekend. Tooth pain (it was more like the roof of my mouth was severely bruised, to be exact) truly drains the life out of you. Top it off with the beginnings of a head cold, and you just don't want to do a single thing but curl up on the bed and sleep with the aid of painkillers. And that is what I did. I feel like the weekend just zipped past me and I accomplished little. Curses!

I managed to drag my weary body to the optometrist this weekend though. In my attempt at getting to the bottom of my lack of balance, I discovered that my prescription has changed. Seems like I have astigmatism in my right eyeball which could actually be the reason why I feel like a bit of a lush when I am walking. I hope that's the answer because I'm sick of seeing doctors and having to be aware of how I am walking. Thankfully, it is not as bad as it was back in December. You never really think when you walk down the street, other than to pay attention to cars or a mound of dog shit or a patch of ice on the sidewalk. Since December, I've had to be aware and stay focused while walking. Believe me, it cuts the fun and relaxation out of going for a walk.

When you are under the weather, it is natural to think of all the things that you could be doing if you were well. I have to remind myself that this is my body telling me to slow down and take time for yourself. It's okay to stay in bed with a good book. It's okay to take a long, hot bath. It's okay that you did not go-go-go - even though you have been on the move all week. Basically, it's okay to be lazy. That's what I keep telling myself, since I really do waste time. Sigh.

I guess I did accomplish some. I did some baking, which caused the aroma of cinnamon to swirl around the apartment. I finished reading a pretty darn good novel. I took care of my health. I wandered into an old antique shop to look at this strange instrument and visit the black street cat that lives there. I did all the grown-up things that needed to be done - including my taxes! I made a nice dinner on Saturday night. I watched a silly movie. I wrote to Felica, in one of many journals I have filled for her. I took a nap or two. Oh, and most importantly - I did some sewing. No, nothing fancy and creative. My winter coat's buttons were dangling by a thread and three fell off. My cardigan had a small hole at the seam, which ended up becoming a very large hole. I've been putting it off for such a long time. I've probably looking like a bit of a hobo these last few weeks.

Speaking of hobo, here's a Canadian flashback.

Anyway, I'm off to work tomorrow. This potentially could be my last week of work, as we normally take a bit of a hiatus for the summer. I don't mind being off in the summer but I'd be happy to work well into spring. I need the money, just like everyone else. I'm trying my best to get ahead but it never seems to work that way, even with my brand new nifty budgeting skills. Looks like I'll save a whole $21 this pay period (thanks to our ridiculous hydro bill and getting new glasses so I can see/not fall on my ass). I have this odd feeling that I will sent home early this week. It's a mainly French project we are working on. In the evenings, I'll be waiting patiently by the telephone to purr questions into your strictly Anglo ears...

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13 March 2007

Books - January to February 2007

Aha, once again....I am compiling a list of books read for the year. I try to accomplish this every year. I hit August and, somehow, I chose a book that drains the life out of me. Last year, it was Rushdie's Satanic Verses. I swear, I took a long break after reading that one. And sadly, I didn't even finish that bloody book.

Since I didn't write about these books after I immediately finished reading them, I probably won't remember many highlights of my read. Bear with me.

January 2007
1) The October Country - Ray Bradbury
I read this. I liked it. I thought I was picking up a full novel when I started to read this one. After the third story, I realized that they were short stories. I was pleasantly surprised. I usually don't care to read short stories, to be honest with you. I like to commit to full length novels that I can willingly fall into. Anyway, I did enjoy this read. Some stories sent shivers across my skin. Good job, Bradbury!

2) Striptease - Rachel Shteir
This is a non-fiction book about the history of burlesque. It was interesting and I learned a bunch of facts that I would never know otherwise. However, after a while all the facts kind of blended together. I lost track of who was who. It seemed a little repetitive and that made me lose a bit of interest. Yes, that is not telling you much about the book. Keep in mind, I read this at the height of health issues. My attention span was more focused on not falling over.

February 2007
3) I, Robot - Isaac Asimov
I tried really, really hard to like this book. I try really, really hard to like sci-fi novels. Truth is, I just don't like 'em. I liked the beginning of this book but it just didn't hold my interest. It was written well and I'm sure my dislike is only because my personal preferance of reading material. I became lost in it for all the wrong reasons. At some point, I didn't know who was a human and who was the robot. I did notice, however, that when I was reading this on the subway and looking good - I attacted a lot of nerdy looking guys. There's nothing wrong with that.

4) Deception Point - Dan Brown
I figured that I should read a Dan Brown novel. I didn't have too much faith in this book. There was so much talk about his book, The DaVinci Code, I thought I should give one of his novels a go. Plus, I got it free because I had a coupon from a box of cereal. It is written for the masses. It looks like a thick, hearty read. In reality, the book was only thick because the type was big enough for the legally blind to read it. That bothered me. The language is simple. The lines are cliche. I think he does have some good ideas but he is really writing for the masses. It bored me. And the ending - boy, I loathed the ending. Cliche! And not only that - I don't even care if I am giving out spoilers on this piece of crap - the main character hooks up with the leading man. He's a biologist or something (I'm trying to block it out). He gives her a gift to show his affection for her, a really sweet gift that is unique. Main character scoffs and tells him to try flowers next time. Jesus, that pissed me off.

The best part of this novel was when I was reading it in the bathtub and I accidentally dropped in on my soapy chest.

5) Freakonomics - Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
I liked this book for many reasons. First of all, it is a book that I have been anxiously waiting to read but too poor to buy. My mom, the wonderful mom that she is, found it on sale at my small town book store for $9 because the cover was slightly damaged. It was good. Full of interesting facts that I didn't know - the connection between the level of committed crimes and legalized abortions, the connection of what how successful your child will be and the first name that you give them. Full o' facts. I like facts. They're sexy.

So as they say here in Quebec - that's it, that's all. *makes sweeping motion with hands*

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Life, life, slow little life...

I think it is about time for an update. I know y'all missed me. Now, do you want the glamorous version or the truth?!

In all honesty, not much is going on and I think I like it that way. I could, however, be making much better use of my time. I keep telling myself that but by the end of the day or the work week, all I want to do is mellow out and kick back. Thankfully, I don't have a television set that works and gets a variety of English programming otherwise I would probably waste a lot of time. Really, is it wasting time if you choose to curl up on the couch or soak in a bubble bath to read? No, I don't think so.

My health has been alright. The dizziness/lightheadedness is coming back every now and then. It perplexes me. It only seems to hit me when I am walking outside and usually when I am alone. I'm beginning to think it is either completely psychological or it's my ear. I had a nasty ear infection last summer and who knows what kind of damage could be throwing my balance off. I'm also getting my eyes checked this weekend. To clarify, it's not really a dizziness now. It's more of a lack of balance which is a little frightening as I am already clumsy.

Speaking of clumsy, I fell down some stairs the other day. Sadly, I wasn't carrying twelve cream pies. Actually, I was laughing at the neighbor across the street as he was wearing his neon green toque and a bright striped t-shirt. I couldn't help but laugh at his outfit, I wasn't laughing at him. Honest! He is a bit slow and always asks my partner specifically for old coins from other countries. I never saw him in such a bright outfit before and a laugh slipped past my painted red lips - and then I fell down about five stairs to the bottom. The neighbor looked thoroughly disturbed, like I ruined the routine of his entire day. He stood there, looking disturbed at the sight of me falling down the stairs and then laughing to myself at how clumsy I am. A few hours later and my body started to ache. It wasn't as funny as before.

Work has been fine. There's always something to complain about but I'll just keep a pleasant smile on this face of mine. Actually, I enjoy work these days even when it feels long and repetitive. We joke around a lot and we talk girl talk. I like it. And I miss that. There's a lack of girl talk and giggling over ridiculous things in my Montreal life. I have it with my fellow co-workers. I appreciate it. As far as the work itself goes, it's work. Sometimes I'm tired of repeating the same things over and over again. Sometimes I'm sick of smelling them all day long. Sometimes I'm amazed that people take work so lightly, and this is coming from someone who is pretty lazy. I never slept in for work, I'm always on time. Even when I hate the job I am doing, I'm always there and reasonably ready to work. As well, work makes me want to smack people with cell phones. One day I am going to flip out and I look forward to that day. Maybe I'll even stamp my foot as I bark, "we pay you to work, not to text message your - tabernac!"

What else, what else...

I haven't written in a while, or at least not this weekend. Sometimes my mind is distracted. I can't be creative because of this or because of that. I know they are just excuses. But one thing is for sure, I can't be creative if the entire house is a bloody mess. I cleaned this weekend. I started a little writing project a few weeks ago. I don't want to talk about because I'm secretive that way. It's something that takes a lot of thought and I find that I am mentally exhausted after a handful of pages. The way I see it, if I am not in a mental rush in regards to it - there's nothing wrong with taking my time. Who knows if it's any good. Right now, it's just something for me.

Which brings me back to the idea of making better use of my time. I know I should. I know I have to, if I want to continue to be happy after work ends. I find that when I am not working, I fall into some sort of tragic slump. I feel worthless when I am not working. Yet, I start working again and I feel like I am just another working dummy going over the same motions day after day. I have some friends that truly inspire me to create and hone my apparent talents. It's a matter of getting off my ass, quite honestly. It's a matter of believing what you are doing and can do. I lack this. I see myself as a number. Someone who is ordinary and plain, who will never lead a spectacular life and time is running out. I have to shake off that feeling. There is nothing wrong with leading a life that isn't seen as spectacular to others. As long as it's spectacular to you...that is what counts. The problem is, I don't think I am that satisfied and I am often disappointed in myself and what I do. I know there is talent and drive kicking around here somewhere. It's just a matter of doing it. Soon, I will have time. Work will end and my partner will go on the road. I will have time to be creative. I just have to promise myself that I WILL accomplish something that makes me happy whether it's a knitting project or that so-called book I playfully challenged myself to write last year when the band went on tour.

Sometimes I wish I could go back in time. I wish I could go back to certain places and just inhale all the old scents of my past. When I was housesitting years ago, there was the smell of lumber and spring-time that reminded me of going to the lumber store with my father (he used to go to a store called Beaver Lumber, heh) and yet reminded me of the pain of a broken heart. When I worked at the Bay, there was the stockroom full of pillows and comforters (trust me, a roomful of pillows will give off a distinct aroma). That room was my escape from my boss, who liked my Ukrainian cleavage a little too much. The smell of lemon peppered fried eggs and hashbrowns - I could never recreate that breakfast meal or the aroma. The smell of old pencil boxes full of crayons reminds me of being a kid - if I stick my nose close to one of my partner's old parlor guitars, it smells like that.

I'm babbling.

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