Monthly archive for February 2009

Can’t get no

This comes about as a result of my post back in January that called for requests or topic suggestions.  Victoria asked for a story about a woman who, after doing all the ‘right’ things in life, discovers that she is not fulfilled in the way that she believes she deserves to be and, after some drama, completely reinvents herself and finds fulfillment.  It’s flash fiction (so it’s short) and it’s a work in progress (so it’s not very polished) but here it is.  (more…)

Nothing really. How about you?

When I was in university, people I didn’t see very regularly would always, upon running into me for the first time in a while, ask me what I was going to do when I graduated.  I know people were just being friendly and trying to demonstrate an interest in my life, but I hated being asked that question.  I was never sure how to respond, since everyone assumed I was going to be an English teacher, which was not my plan (and students all over Ontario breathed a sign of relief) and besides all that, I didn’t really have a plan, which seemed sort of embarrassing to admit.  I mean, I was fine with getting an English degree and figuring out the rest later, but I didn’t think other people would be because, really, who gets an English degree?  English teachers, that’s who.  (more…)

Welcome to the future

It’s 2009, my friends.  It wasn’t that long ago that a large subset of people who turned out to be really overreacting thought the world would end as we partied like it was 1999 and our clocks turned over into the new millennium.  There are a lot of people out there who think we’re teetering on the edge of the apocalypse pretty much all the time.  And frankly, there is a lot to be scared of.  Most of the food we eat is created in a lab rather than grown in or on the ground, we eliminate germs that might kill us now with chemicals that will probably kill us later, and that scary clock has been ticking down our last few minutes for quite a while now.

But, you know, there’s also this:  my grandmother, who has been suffering from pain in her knees for about as long as I can remember, was wheeled into an operating room at 8:00 yesterday morning and by 9:40 had a brand new bionic knee.  I guess the thing about living in the future is you have to take the good with the bad.  And continue hoping for those flying cars they’ve been promising us for so many years.

Truth in advertising (or at least lies we want to hear)

I have a dentist appointment in a little less than a month.  Last week, I received a reminder card in the mail that indicated, at the bottom, that they are very much looking forward to seeing me.  I am far, far too high maintenance a patient for that to be even remotely true, unless they have figured out a way of making additional profit off my appointments by inventing new and creative ways to make me cry and then wagering on which ones are most likely to work.

It would be significantly more work for office staff, and would likely entail a drastic increase in operating costs, but I think there is a market there for stationary for health practitioners that can be sent to those among us who cower with dread at the very thought of visiting their offices, offering the motivation we need to get off the couch and gird our loins and attend our appointments like the grownups we so enthusiastically claim to be.  (more…)

Me and the librarian down by the schoolyard

A number of years ago, I was watching Lizzie McGuire on the Family Channel (sadly, it is not a large enough number of years ago to make that admission anything other than a little bit humiliating) and Mike confessed to me that he realized he was getting older because he found the mother on the show kind of hot.  I had two similar experiences recently that made me wonder if, not only am I maturing, but I am rapidly turning into a baby boomer (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Mike and I have been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the beginning.  We’ve been at it since Christmas and a few weeks ago, we rounded the corner into Season 4.  For those uneducated in the wheres and whyfores of Buffy, there are a few male characters for whom you are supposed to yearn to varying degrees:  Angel, the brooding sexy tortured vampire; Spike, a vampire that would be best described as the love child of Sid Vicious and Billy Idol; and Xander, the adorable yet awkward guy who gets all the good lines but none of the hot girls.  There is also the librarian.  He is British, and pedantic, and wears terrible three-piece suits, and up until I saw him perform a soulful, dreamy, acoustic version of a song by The Who, I was not particularly interested in his character.  Now, I’m afraid he would be fairly close to the top of my list of Celebrities I Would Like To Date, If My Life Were Significantly Different Than It Is Right Now.

As if a thing for stuffy (fictitious) British librarians wasn’t bad enough,  I apparently also have a thing for aging folk singers.  This weekend, I had a dream that my uncle introduced me to Paul Simon and he kissed me (Paul Simon, I mean, not my uncle).  In my defense, when I told Dream Mike about the illicit lip-lock, I at least had the good taste to remind him that it could have been worse:  it could have been Art Garfunkel.

I’d bring a copy of “Getting Off A Desert Island For Dummies”

I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago about vacation reading.  Whenever we go on any sort of vacation, I pack the following:

  • my copy of Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger, and
  • a random assortment of other books, only a fraction of which I will actually crack open before returning home, but really, a girl needs options, doesn’t she?

The friend I was talking to always takes Crime and Punishment when he travels.  Yesterday I witnessed someone toss a copy of the complete works of C.S. Lewis into his bag.  Does anyone else have a desert island book?  Does it depend on the nature or destination of the vacation?  Do you just toss a copy of Cosmo into your suitcase and call it a day?

They’re called primary colours for a reason

Two things have happened in the last 24 hours that have convinced me that the world has collectively lost its ability to distinguish between red and yellow.  I am currently about 100 pages from the end of the last book in a series that should probably remain nameless (*cough* Twilight *cough*) except for the fact that I can’t stop talking about how badly these books are written.  At one point in the chapter I was reading last night, the narrator introduces two new characters – vampires that have blonde hair.  A few pages later, she refers to the “strawberry” hair of one of the aforementioned blonde vampires.  Now, I know there is such a thing as strawberry blonde hair (Nancy Drew had it, although they frequently referred to it as “titian” hair) but there is a very distinct difference between strawberry blonde (i.e. blonde hair with a slight hint of red) and strawberry (i.e. the bright red fruit we make jam out of during the two weeks in June in which they are they are in season in our poor sad frozen country).  (more…)

I’m clearly not a fan of cereal monogamy

As a result of a variety of factors (including, but not limited to the fact that I am waiting to hear back from a client and can’t work on anything else until he responds and the fact that my brain feels a little fried and I have nothing interesting to talk about today) I am going to treat you all to a glimpse into the wonder that is my cereal cupboard.  Only by “cupboard” I really mean “the top of my fridge” because I outgrew the cupboard a long time ago.

Warning:  I am the Imelda Marcos of cereal.  The following list of the cereals currently in my possession may disturb, frighten, or tantalize you.

  • Everyday cereals:  Multi-grain Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Vanilla Rice Krispies, Guardian (cinnamon flavour), Vanilla Shreddies
  • Special occasion cereals:  Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, Crispix, Chex (strawberry flavour), Ace Bakeries Artisan Granola
  • Oat-based cereals:  No Name Quick Oats, PC Steel Cut Oats, Quaker Simple Harvest (maple & pecan flavour), McCann’s Quick Cooking Irish Oats

So … is my collection missing anything?

The small stuff

As a Christmas gift, my husband (who is either very brave or thinks he is really funny) gave me a copy of the “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” page-a-day desk calendar.  Now, I love page-a-day calendars (there is something very satisfying about starting each day with a new photo or nugget of information) and I really do need to learn to not sweat the small stuff, but there is something a little … odd about this calendar.

It goes along on a daily basis, offering helpful hints about doing acts of kindness and staying fully in the present and just making the decision to do the best I can in any given situation, and I am comforted and calmed and learn a little bit.  Every once in a while, however, the tone gets a little antagonistic.  A little confrontational.  A little discouraging.  And a little creepy.  (more…)

I don’t care what Willie says

This is the first day since the end of October where I really truly believe that spring might actually come at some point.  The sun is shining, some of the snow is melting, there were little birdies in the tree outside my window this morning, and when I left the house to go to the gym, I didn’t feel like I had been punched in the stomach by the cold.

Contented sighs abound in my office today, my friends.  It may not be spring yet, but it will get here eventually.  I have faith.