Call Me When You’re Sober

This is me, up early, so not ready to leave later today. It’s difficult to pack a work life for so many days away, without the aid of a laptop . . . or even a computer at the other end at all. Challenging. Oh well. I’m not complaining. Finally! I’m going to get a little bit of Christmas!

This Evanescence song grows on me. (See post title.) At first I didn’t really care for it, but I’m coming around.

So I switched to the new blogger . . . need to fix my template, update my profile, etc. I lost some stuff. Well, it’s around, not lost, just not visible.

Watched the movie 8 Mile on Much Music last night. I had never seen it before. It’s not the same seeing it on Much because it’s highly censored for kids viewing. It was okay. Typical. But okay.

How to pack? That is the question at hand. The last of the clothes spin in the dryer. Gifts are already all packed. Have been for a week. I’m kinda sorta organized. Kinda. Sorta.

Got a Christmas card from my almost mother-in-law in Toronto. My other family. Now an angel looks down upon me from the top of my monitor. I sent them a card in the great Christmas mailing of 2006. And a copy of BnM’s first issue. I’ve never found another family to attach myself to, that I felt like one of. Many mothers wanted me nowhere near their sons. I’ve missed having contact with them while I had my breakdown and sorted myself out. So I was glad to hear from them. I owe this family so much, relationship with the son aside. They took me in, treated me like one of their own. It was the best of times, the worst of times, but I can’t even imagine what it would’ve been like if I hadn’t gone there, didn’t know them. If I had taken an apartment downtown, lord only knows what would’ve happened to me! No doubt about it, these are significant players in my life circle. They’ve been around the block with me more than once.

Mood: springing into action, groggily
Drinking: coffee, french roast, organic, with lots of cream
Listening To: Promiscuous Girl, Nelly Furtado
Hair: looks like i slept with a headband in and then took it out . . . oops!

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Last night I finally broke down and took some sinus meds before going to bed. Drowsy ones I found in my medicine chest. I woke up groggy (of course) and feeling like I must’ve slept until late afternoon (I didn’t). I’m still groggy, yawning. I’m hoping the coffee will help. All week I’ve felt crappy. And the dreams last night! The frigging dreams! So much walking. And with Nick on a leash everywhere I went. We were at Grammie and Grandad’s in the Rapids. Some sort of family gathering. But not concentrated like the reunion I went to this summer. More scattered. People hanging out with their people all over, from way back in the field to the shore. So you could be alone, you could walk around without everyone knowing. And there was some sort of crime that had gone on, like a theft I think. Someone had been robbed and a few of us knew who had done the robbing, knew it was family, but didn’t want to say and rock the boat. Except someone did say. Someone wrote an anonymous note. And then I was asked to examine the note to see if I could identify the handwriting. And I could. I knew who wrote the note. But I pretended I didn’t know so she wouldn’t get in trouble (Trish, you owe me a thanks!) because they didn’t believe what the note said, didn’t believe they had been robbed by family, and were out to punish the note-writer for being cruel and stirring up trouble. It was an exhausting ordeal that ended with me and Sherry (and Nick on a leash) walking down the hill and heading out toward Blackville and then Barnettville and home. It’s a long walk. I know because I’ve done it before (remember that, carol?) And with a dog on a leash . . . oh boy! Luckily the meds wore off some and I woke before we got too far.

Oh thank God! The coffee seems to kicking in and I’m shaking off the grog. Lots to do today in anticipation of tomorrow’s leave-taking. I need to kick it into overdrive. I don’t return until the 2nd. Blogging might not happen until I return. We shall see. Listening to Christmas music to try and get some spirit back. I had tons of spirit. Tons. Couldn’t wait until the holiday. But I’m fading fast. The more I talk to the people there, the more I get sucked down into the negative vortex that is their exhaustion and worry. Sometimes I just feel like pulling a Cher, slapping everyone upside the head, “SNAP OUT OF IT!” Well not everyone, to be fair. One sister got what could be construed as some pretty bad news (though I choose to believe it’s really a blessing in disguise) and she’s okay, has a good attitude about it. That’s one good thing about living here, maintaining my distance from the negativity, so it doesn’t drag me down, so I don’t feed into it.

There has been progress on that front in recent years. There’s been some development. But in times of stress, old habits are all too easy to slip back into. That’s the test I think. Can you keep the faith in times of stress? Furthermore, can you draw strength from your belief and use it to help you get through, to ease the burden of the stress? My family isn’t there yet. Me neither. Mind you, it’s gotta be pretty big before I run up against the wall. Money doesn’t do it for me. The only thing that got me (I mean REALLY got me) in recent years was my nieces’ diabetes. That got me. Not for very long. But I did get lost during that time. It was a shock. To come up against that wall and find myself blocked. I thought I was more evolved. Maybe I needed to experience that in order for evolution to continue?

Anyway, I may not be able to choose for everyone else to have a good time and enjoy the season, but I can choose for myself. So I’m choosing to have a good Christmas. And I’m hoping that attitude might be reflected back at me.

Mood: ok
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: Here Comes Santa Claus, Gene Autry
Hair: ???

Ain’t So Heavy

Stolen from Jenn.

What was your favorite movie in 2006?
If I had to pick just one, I’d say The Departed. But I also really liked Bon Cop, Bad Cop and Inside Man and of course, The Holiday.

What was your favorite book in 2006?

Not a big year for reading anything that wasn’t in a magazine or in manuscript format, I’m afraid. Certainly didn’t read any hot new releases. Actually, that’s not true, I did read a couple, but nothing that I loved.

Are you richer or poorer?
Richer. Always richer.

Thinner or fatter?
The very same. Which on the one hand is a depressing plateau. But on the other hand . . . I lost a bunch of weight in 2005 and kept it off in 2006, so I’m not knocking maintenance.

What kept you sane this past year?
An unshakable belief in myself and my ability to deal with anything that happens.

Which personal accomplishment in 2006 are you most pleased with?
Number 2 from yesterday. The fact that this year I made real strides toward being the person I want to be.

What resolutions have you made for ’07?
I haven’t set my goals for the year yet. That’s coming soon, along with an assessment of how well I did on the 2006 goals. I know I want to focus a lot on my list of 101 things.

Which bad habit are you most motivated to break?
Lack of physical activity/exercise in my lifestyle.

Which do you expect to keep?

If past years are any indication I’ll go about 85% of the way.

What are you most looking forward to in 2007?

Moving again and seeing where that adventure leads me.

Mood: dozy
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: Who I Am, Rex Goudie
Hair: needs a trim and a dye job

10 Best Things That Happened to You This Year

Ok. Good stuff! Here we go!

1. The year started strong with a trip to Toronto where we lived like queens for a couple of days, visited old friends and attended a Bon Jovi concert.

2. This year I became a person who drinks water, eats breakfast more than half the time, rises earlier in the day, gets the trash to the curb every week, saves money, pays bills on time (or weeks before on time), kills creepy crawlies all by herself, keeps her inbox cleaned out, organizes her daily tasks and follows the plan . . . and much more. Yes, technically these are a bunch of things that should be listed separately. Perhaps I’m cheating. But they are all connected — This year I made real strides to becoming a better person, the person I’ve always wanted to be.

3. In March I saw Sam Roberts in concert and he was fabulous!

4. Reading at the Ice House during Fredericton WFNB AGM.

5. Got my hair cut and returned to my naturally short inclinations.

6. Joined the McCann Group and made new creative friends.

7. BnM went into print production.

8. My list of 101 Things in 1001 Days.

9. Many emceeing opportunities arose (AGM, Cafe Poetry Reading, Side by Side)

10. Reconnected with roots and family, shared many good times with friends and family.

Mood: a little spaced out
Drinking: coffee with cream
Listening To: keyboard clicks
Hair: in my eyes

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

Sooner or later you’re going to be inspired. You know who you are.

1) What was your very first job with a paycheck?
In my graduating year of high school I wrote a weekly column highlighting events at my school for the local community newspaper. They’d send me a cheque every two weeks or so for maybe $20. My first real out in the world job was at a pet store in Sherway Gardens. I worked with dogs mostly, which I loved. The manager was a big time asshole though. I did not stay there long.

2) Did you ever lose something really important to you?
I did. During a 10-month hiatus from Toronto spent mostly in the rip roaring rapids I lost my Goodnight Desdemona t-shirt that I got when I worked the stand during intermission for the Nightwood Theatre production of the play. I suspect it remained in the rapids. I also lost my hard cover copy of Stephen King’s The Stand during that little jaunt. I can only hope he read it.

3) What is the best Christmas present you ever received?
Last year’s wok is hard to top these days. Glassware is always good too.

4) Tell about a favorite “hang out” place for you and your friends when you were in high school.
Hmm . . . early teens we did the whole Herbie’s Pool Hall thing . . . but I wouldn’t call us regulars. Before there were cars we hung out at the Brook Hill, the turn or the end of the road. But that was all early high school (is it called middle school now?) like pre grade 10. Once the boys graduated, they got jobs and cars and that was pretty much it. We hung out quite a bit at my parent’s house too. Everyone always did. My parents would rather have us party at home with them than out in a ditch someplace.

5) Name something that always brings a smile to your face.
Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. That movie cracks me, every time, without fail.

6) Choose one: Popcorn, Pizza, Pretzels, Peanuts, or Pasta.
Pizza

7) If you won a shopping spree, from which store would you want it to be?
Anywhere would be good . . . but maybe a department store that has a little bit of everything, like Sears or Zellers.

8) Which television show re-runs do you enjoy watching?
Friends, Fraser . . . Does Take Home Chef count?

9) About how many times per day do you check your email?
Good Lord! It’s just constantly on (checking every minute I think) so when something comes in, I handle it. Or if I’m busy working on something else then I’ll wait. I check it usually at least once an hour.

10) If you had the money to collect something really valuable, what would it be?
Art

Mood: fantastic
Drinking: chai tea
Listening To: Try a Little Tenderness, Michael Buble
Hair: fluffy

Something

One time I worked with this guy who was very Joey-like (Matt LeBlanc’s character from Friends). He was Italian and had that “How you doin’?” smile thing going on. So frigging cute! He was one of the junior techies, hardware not software. You didn’t call him when your computer got the blue screen of death but they might send him out to assess the problem with the roll of paper in the fax machine or to pull the back off your tower and look at all the wires and chips. He was built like Joey. Thick through the shoulders and chest, strong legs, ample butt. He worked out. One dimple when he smiled. Great smile. He kinda looked like a cross between Josh Hartnett and Ashton Kutcher in the face. Boyish. Very good looking. He was young. I remember thinking he was young and now I’m wondering how I could’ve thought that considering I wouldn’t have been more than 24 myself at the time. What was he? 21? It’s funny I can’t remember his name now, maybe something short like Mark or Kurt or . . . Will? No, definitely not Will. Maybe it was Matt or Mike, I’m getting an em sound off him.

So the guy was drop dead gorgeous. And he knew it. But he didn’t want to be just another pretty boy. He struggled with being taken seriously, which was quite the struggle really because quite honestly he was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. And we had some pretty sharp tech geeky knives in our drawer! So he struggled. We weren’t really friends. Well, I didn’t think of him as a friend, though now I’m remembering lunches and bars and all these things we did as a small group of co-workers/friends and he was there. I felt bad for him because so much of the conversation would seem to go over his head. He would just nod and smile and you could see the cogs turning in his brain, the faraway look in his eyes as he searched for understanding. I often wondered if someone, his family or a teacher or girlfriend or someone, had told him he was stupid, that thank god he had a beautiful body because that was all he had going for him. Because he seemed like was trying to prove something to someone, himself, the world. I always wondered about that.

The gay guys in the office (and for some reason over 50% of this office were homosexual, which wasn’t unusual in arts places I worked but didn’t seem to be norm at any other tech place I worked) loved him. They would hang around my desk so we could ogle his behind together when he came out to use the photocopier. He was not homophobic. He didn’t get uptight at the ogling, just embarrassed. He would blush when the boys got too verbal with their teasing. He wasn’t gay though. Well, if he was, he wasn’t openly. He was openly dating a plethora of beautiful and exotic looking women. I never saw him with the same girl twice. I never saw him with a white girl.

So we would go out after work, a half dozen of us or so. Dinner downtown or on the Danforth and then club hopping if we were downtown or dancing and darts at our favourite watering hole if we were on the Danforth. I was not interested in this gorgeous boy, (I was actually carrying on a not-so-discreet affair with one of the office accountants) but I was curious about him. And I’ve always wondered why I was so curious about him. Finally, I think I’ve figured it out. Why I watched him then. Why I remember him still. I think he’s the best looking person I’ve ever known. I think he was the most handsome man I’ve ever seen in real life. I observed him with the curiosity of a freak show patron. I had never seen anything like him before in my life and I wondered what made him tick. He was not bright or witty enough to be anywhere near my type. And I didn’t get the feeling that he would be much fun in bed, just too good looking to have to try. I had no desires upon him whatsoever in that boy/girl way, and yet I found him fascinating. Because he seemed to be struggling so much to be taken seriously. Because he seemed to be so easily hurt by the playful ribbing of co-workers. Because he knew he was gorgeous, but that wasn’t what he wanted–he wanted to be smart.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was collecting him for future use. Someday this boy will show up in one of my stories.

Mood: nostalgic
Drinking: coffee, black
Listening To: white noise
Hair: my dye isn’t permanent đŸ˜¦

Cruisin’

More Meme. Why not? You could do it too . . .

Crushes
1) Who was your first crush? (Celebrity or average)

My first celebrity crush was Elvis Presley. I loved him! I remember his movies were on every afternoon. I watched them all. I dreamed about growing up and marrying Elvis. I was devastated the day he died. I remember sitting at the coffee table in the living room eating breakfast when the news came on Canada A.M. It was terrible. I cried. Mom helped me cut the news story from the paper to keep forever. I seem to have misplaced my boxes of things I was supposed to keep forever. But it was still there in the early 1990’s. My first average crush happened in the first grade. Kendall Crawford. Gawd! He was adorable. The cutest little boy, dark hair and eyes, dimples, big smile. Of course, I was the Amazon Woman-child. Really tall. Pudgy. Painfully shy. With that long blonde hair down to my bum. I worshipped him from afar. I remember the day of the Christmas pageant I went into the washroom to change from my everyday clothes into my good blue pantsuit and as I was coming out he was running around the corner and crashed into me. He said he was sorry and then stopped and looked at me and it was like the first time he’d ever seen me and he said I looked really nice. I thought I’d die! He moved away after grade one and I never saw him again, but that little comment sustained me through all of elementary school when I felt very much the ugly duckling.

2) Who do you currently have a crush on now?
Every boy I see! lol Just kidding. Kinda. Hey, there are a lot of fine looking, athletic, well educated young gentlemen roaming around these parts. I’m only human. I don’t have any average life crushes at the moment, tho I’ve got a feeling in my gut. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now. It could be nothing . . . but I have this nagging feeling of excitement that I’m going to meet someone new soon. Someone substantial. Not just a passing crush. We shall see. My big celebrity crushes are the usual suspects Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon . . . but recently I’ve also gone nuts for Gale Harold and Timothy Olyphant. Yeah, that tall, lean, dark haired thing of my youth resurfaces. Blonde boys might be passe . . . finally!

3) Have you ever become so obsessed with a crush, you went to extreme measures to find out everything about him/her?
Oh god yes! I’ve been insane at times. I mean certifiable. Not recently, mind you, but definitely in my 20’s I was a crazy woman most of the time.

4) Has your crush ever turned out to be your future girlfriend/boyfriend?
Absolutely. I had a crazy crush on Kevin when I moved to Toronto (even from before I moved there, from years earlier when I visited). I was so smitten! And I never dreamed that he’d ever give me more than a passing glance. He was so much older and unavailable and experienced and good looking and just cool. The first kiss was drop dead shocking. The dawning realization that it wasn’t just about sex, that we were having a relationship, equally shocking. I don’t think I ever really believed I deserved him. I think that’s the only one where I clearly had a crush before we got together. Well, except for Ronnie. I was crushing on Ronnie a bit before we got together. The others were all crushing on me before I realized they existed or it was a mutual spontaneous combustion thing. Ronnie and Kevin, hah! I need to stay away from that family!

5) Did a best friend ever turn into more than just a friend?
Ahh, this is complicated . . . kinda? Not really? I dunno. I’ve only had a couple of best friends who were guys and . . . well, it’s complicated. Yes, it seems to always turn into something, but what exactly? I dunno, not a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. One guy friend in particular, we had a very up and down explosive sort of friendship/sex thing but never a relationship. We should have had a relationship. We might have been good together. We might have brought out good things in one another. We understood one another. We were both players. He wanted more. By the time I came around to that though, he was gone. Story of my life. Bad timing.

6) In what year did your life change the most?
2000. No doubt about it. I entered an intense period of personal development and change beginning day one of 2000 when I threw up all over the floor in a stranger’s bathroom. That was it for me. I had been slowing down somewhat in the latter part of the year 1999, but New Year’s Day of the new millennium was like hitting the brick wall. I stopped for the first time to ask myself why I was doing this? What did I want? Why wasn’t I doing that instead?

7) Who is the person you most wanted to have a relationship with but didn’t?
Easy. Major crush in the 12th grade. He was only in Grade 10. We were in a play together. I was nuts about him. NUTS! I practically stalked the guy. I took him into my dorm room at the drama festival. I showed up at the Catholic Hall dances I had long since given up in favour of the bar scene. We had some great times, some fun times, lots of good talks. But nothing ever happened. He admitted years later that he was intimidated by me, regretted missed opportunities. But still nothing happened, timing was off. I get weak in the knees every time I see him to this frigging day. It’s insane. He’s married with kids now, though. I believe happily. No more opportunities there . . . though there’s a tiny part of me that thinks maybe one day the timing will be right . . . and there’s another part that thinks it’s so much better this way, never destroying the fantasy I’ve built up in my mind.

8) What is the one thing you have most envied in a sibling?
Their ability to accept responsibility and trust others.

9) What is the best thing you’ve ever gotten for free?
Umm . . . I can’t remember all the things I’ve gotten for free . . . but how about that years worth of movie tickets! That was pretty cool!

10) What was the hardest secret you’ve ever had to keep?
Still keeping it. One person knows. Actually it’s not that hard to keep. Keeping it is way easier than letting it fly. I’m good at secrets. In a way I let it all hang out, but in another way I keep things very close to my chest. My tongue gets looser the further I get from things. Thus I’m able to talk now about things that happened 10 years ago, when nobody knew what was going on at the time.

Mood: hungry
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: Smile, Harry Connick
Hair: blah