My eagles have come back! Two of them, on the river ice, flying past my window, all afternoon. Glorious! The ducks are also back. I feel somewhat sad for them huddled on the ice waiting for the water to come.

They announced the Magnetic Hill concert for this summer earlier this afternoon. The Eagles will headline, which is no surprise but there were some surprises in the opening acts including John Fogerty. That’s pretty awesome! KT Turnstall is also on the bill, I know a couple of her songs but I’m not a big fan or anything, maybe I’ll get into her before the time comes. And last, but certainly not least, my boy Sam Roberts! Love, love, love him! I’ve seen him before and have been dying to see him again. I am so there! Now if only they’d add Matt Mays to the bill or The Trews or something . . . my toes will curl into a permanent knot for the summer!

The concert is the August long weekend, so I guess someone else will have to keep everyone up all night at Preston and Karen’s, cuz apparently last year, it was ALL ME! Though I seem to recall several other guilty siblings, cousins, spouses and the like . . .

Mood: cheerful
Drinking: chai
Listening To: the pretender, foo fighters
Hair: so soft and silky! vinegar rinse, my friends, try it sometime

Best Days of My Life

There’s something about listening to Bryan Adams Reckless album that puts the butterflies into my belly. In particular the songs “Summer of ’69,” “One Night Love Affair” and “She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancing.” That was the album to get for Christmas in 1984. I was 15 years old.

Was that the Christmas I had chicken pox? No, I think that was the first year R and I went together. Was that the Christmas I got my ghetto blaster? Maybe. It’s quite possible. Was that the Christmas I had a party with my friends in the basement, and we played twister, and wrote and drew pictures on a big mural, and drank too much beer, and ate pizza, and someone puked on the cement floor? Yes, yes, I think it was.

I remember being upstairs in the kitchen, putting something in the garbage can under the sink and just slowly tipping over, slumping to the floor and being unable to stop laughing, just sitting there and laughing with the tears streaming down my face, Mom trying to help me up, but me laughing too hard, and Mom getting angry because I was apparently plastered drunk (though it wasn’t that, I was stoned obviously).

I remember Mom growling R for letting me get that way, and him throwing up his hands, like he ever could’ve stopped me or got me to slow down . . . or got me to do anything, for that matter. That was the first clue that I couldn’t and shouldn’t smoke dope, though I didn’t know it at the time.

Listening to Bryan Adams takes me back to the beginning, when everything was still brand new, being 14 and 15 and experiencing everything for the first time. Every day held some new adventure or excitement. Life was so unpredictable and random. I never knew from one moment to the next where I would be or what would happen. I was the girl who was up for anything . . . once. I blew whichever way the wind blew, changed my mind every second. If you looked up reckless in the dictionary you should find a picture of me. And I stayed that way for a really long time. Though in your 20s, unpredictable random adventures equal drama, and drama grows tiresome in an adult world.

I guess I’m still that girl, but I don’t need those Bryan Adams reckless kinda butterflies anymore. Now, I have new and improved butterflies. I get them in springtime when a new season is born with endless possibility and opportunity. I love this time of year. I get them when I meet new fabulous people that I know will be in my life for a long time and probably forever. I get them when I count my blessings and feel so lucky and grateful for every second of my life, my family, my friends. I still feel like everyday is an adventure, like anything could happen, everything is possible, and situations change in an instant. These are my butterflies now. I’m excited about my life, everyday. And yes, I’m still the girl that can wake-up with one plan and find herself in a completely different place by the end of the day, but when you’re excited about your life and focused on opportunities and being true to yourself, and not mindlessly following every whim, the universe delivers something more uplifting.

Mood: excited
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: yellow submarine, the beatles
Hair: ch-ch-chan-changes coming

Back on the Chain Gang

I seem to have a focus problem today. I start one task and then when I’m half-way through another completely different task, I remember that, oh yeah, I was doing something else . . . yeah, it’s THAT kind of a day.

And I’m back, having been away for another 15 minutes doing something else . . . see what I mean?

Yesterday was a pretty good day. We went to the Farmer’s Market in Chatham for breakfast, which is always fabulous. Then it was off to the office for BnM production. Unfortunately they were doing some work on the building. Much sawing with lots of choking dust followed by the loud pounding vibration of unrelenting jackhammering. Oi! So we only stayed for a few hours, just long enough to make all the changes from an initial proofing, and print four new copies for a second proofing. I’m quite pleased. It’s the best first draft we’ve ever done. And it’s the most balanced issue we’ve done to date too. And I wrote nothing other than my Editor’s note and regular columns. Cool!

When we left the office we went and did a little shopping at the Big Deals, natural food store, the Dollar Store, Global second-hand, and Kent Building Supplies. I got the Clerks II 2-disc dvd still wrapped in cellophane for $5, and a couple of books. I was trying to be financially responsible and exercise restraint. Then we went to supper at O’Donaghue’s Pub. Of all the times we’ve been there, we’d never eaten a meal. So this was our wellness reward treat for doing so well these past few weeks. We played it safe and greasy sharing a basket of onion rings, followed by fish ‘n chips. I’m looking forward to sampling more of their menu this week when I’m in Chatham for WFNB.

The WFNB event is coming together nicely. I think we’re okay, and nothing has slipped by unnoticed. Should be tons of fun! I’m starting to get excited about it now. Busy week on the rise though. Lots to get done. Guess I should get to it, huh?

Mood: content
Drinking: coffee, black
Listening To: raise a little hell, trooper
Hair: . . .

Dreams . . . Dreams, Dreams, Dreams

Holy cow! Talk about some crazy and terrible dreams going on last night!

I dreamed one of my co-workers died. Yeah. It was terrible. I went to a Christmas type party and he wasn’t there and then I found out he had been killed in an accident. So the rest of the crew were just wandering around listlessly, drinking way too much wine, and trying not to fall apart. We were going party to party at these camps up Cain’s River or someplace. It was very weird.

Then I dreamed we had our Thursday night event for WFNB and nobody showed up. I mean NOBODY! There was me and Sherry and Bernie. No audience. No readers. No Heritage Players cast . . . sheesh! I guess I’m a little nervous about Thursday night, huh?

So this morning Stacy is picking me up and we’re heading to the Farmer’s Market for breakfast with T, then off to the office to proof BnM (I already did!), print until we get a copy we love, then start mass production. Fabulous!

Mood: chipper
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: perking percolator
Hair: still needing some tlc . . . soon

My, My, My, M-M-My . . .

Oooh my little pretty one, pretty one . . . always takes me back to the scene in the corner store, loading up daddy’s credit card with a junk food fix, winona singing, dancing with janeane . . . fun stuff, sometimes i miss being young, naive and irresponsible . . . most times i’m so very thankful to have gotten through to the other side without losing a limb, my life, my mind entirely.

Ethan Hawke’s character in Reality Bites is named Troy. I have a theory about Troys. I mean look at that movie, look at how hideous that character behaves. Yes, he’s full of his own demons and we’re supposed to understand this is why he has such a potential for hurtfulness, but then in the end he comes round and they all live happily ever after. Blah, blah, blah . . . But I mean honestly, yeah, Troy and Lelaina probably had a good run, but if there was a sequel would they still be together or even friends? I doubt it. And I bet it ended explosively, in a totally hurtful if-it’s-got-to-end-let’s-make-sure-it’s-good-and-dead series of events, mostly instigated by Troy. Lelaina could probably walk away more civilly. Troy would never allow that.

So I have this theory about Troys and that is that they just aren’t nice people. Maybe there’s something about the name that turns them this way, I don’t know. But have you ever known a Troy who was a great guy? I mean a really great guy, one of those nice guys who finish last type of great guy? I never have, my range of personal knowledge of Troys goes from the extremely violent beating the crap out of his wife kind of guy to the kind of guy who kicks dogs for sport, with very little in between. Look at the show Nip/Tuck, there’s Dr. Christian Troy, yes, it’s a surname but even still, how hideous can that character be? The sadistic way he manipulates women, the hurtful way he has treated other people.

Even if I meet the nicest Troy ever to walk the face of the earth tomorrow and we become fast friends, I’ll think he’s just a fluke. The exception, rather than the rule.

When I was naming my new villainous leading man character for this story I’m working on, I thought about it very carefully. He’s the worst character out of a string of really bad characters, worse even than that fucker, Tom, in Three Thirty Three. He is the mother of everything hideous. He invented manipulation. He is the father of sadism . . . and his name is Troy.

Mood: off-centre
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: gypsy, fleetwood mac
Hair: something happening soon


I am having a kick-ass week for steps, so far. Three days in and I’ve got over 45 min aerobic each day as well as over 10,000 steps. Yay me! I am having issues in the sleep area of my life though. Yes, I know when don’t I have issues with that? I’ve gone from insomnia to total exhaustion can’t-wake-up-for-the-life-of-me-just-want-to-laze-in-bed-all-day . . .

Okay, honestly it’s probably not that bad. I just expect to be able to function on 5 hours is all. So when I need 7 or more (and there have been a few days recently where I was down for 10, 11, 12!) I think I’m getting too much, it screws my schedule. You see, in order to get everything done in my life that I want to get done, there’s no time for sleeping. There just isn’t time. Five hours. That’s all I have time for. I figured it all out on paper. What’s important to me, what needs to be done, what I’m willing to give up, and I can get away with 6 hours for sleep, but 7 is too much.

When I’m exercising and getting my steps and physically working my body, like I have been these past three weeks, I get bone weary. I ache. I need more sleep. I need the infamous 8 hours. Or so it seems. Though last night was a 6 and a half thing, up by 7:30 this morning. Maybe if I start getting to bed earlier . . . maybe there’s something else I can sacrifice . . . maybe I can combine some activities . . . maybe it’s just a phase and I’ll be back to the normal 5 soon . . .

Speaking of sleep problems, have you read this? I was a bit appalled at first. It seemed in poor taste, too soon . . . and then I read it . . . and . . . I dunno, it moved me in a way I hadn’t expected. I’m still not sure of the timing, but it’s a good read.

But if you only have time to read one thing today, then skip the Heath Ledger reported fiction piece and go directly to this blog post from the son of one of BnM’s newest contributors. This is something everyone should read. What a blessing!

Mood: bone-tired
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: little bones, the tragically hip
Hair: twins with jon bon’s

Luck of the Irish

When you’re standing at the bus stop outside the Irving Mainway on St. Patrick’s Day with your flaming red hair and bright blue eyes glaring in the sunshine, knowing you should have worn make-up to cover your blooming freckles, and a con who has just been released from prison and is now being recalled to meet with a parole officer because he may or may not have violated this parole for reasons unknown to you, and the con has determined that you need to hear his sermon no matter where you go to stand and wait for the Acadian Line that seems to be late, and his message is an increasingly agitated rant about the bitches that women be yet slightly better than the damn Irish . . .

When this happens, you might wish for a moment that maybe your great great great great so-and-so hadn’t fled the famine, because then you wouldn’t be at this bus stop being so obviously a woman and even more blatantly Irish on St. Patrick’s Day with a crazy sometime-ex-con spitting in your face, you’d be in a pub like a normal person. And for one stressful moment as this giant criminal looms over you and steps a bit close pinning you to the wall, you might even wish that you had nothing whatsoever to do with the Irish, wouldn’t it be nice to have Lebanese ancestry for a change? But other than during that longish half hour waiting on that very slow bus from Halifax there’s never been another time when you didn’t love all things Irish.

This is a true story of course, happened a couple of years ago at the Sackville bus stop where there was never any shortage of recently released cons travelling. At the time it was a stressful situation. Now, it’s just a funny story, the luck of my Irish to be looking like that and to run into this particular man on St. Paddy’s no less. But yesterday I had a different kind of Irish luck. Recently I submitted some stories. Fiction. Yes, I know! I NEVER do that! But on a whim last month I answered a call and sent some work off to something called The Sharp Review, published by the National University of Ireland at Galway’s Society of Writers. I sent one piece that I thought was the better piece and then as an afterthought and throwing caution to the wind I sent “Three Thirty Three” (now in the first person) thinking “They’ll likely read this and write back asking me to never submit another word.”

So imagine my surprise when I received an email from a lovely chap named Liam informing me that my story “Three Thirty Three” has been accepted for publication and they welcome more of my submissions. I am being published! Ok, you’re sitting there wondering what the big deal is because I’m clearly being published quite regularly in Bread ‘n Molasses, and I’ve got a string of newspaper and magazine credits dating back into the early 90s that clearly show I can get published . . . BUT this is my first piece of short fiction to be published. This is my first time appearing in a literary periodical published by a university. And damn! This is the first time I’m being published in Ireland! I feel like I’ve finally done something. I feel like hey, maybe I don’t have to write cheesy non-fiction for the rest of my days, maybe I can do fiction. Maybe. I feel possibility. There seems to be an awful lot of new stuff going on in my life lately. It’s exciting!

Included in the note was an invitation to attend the official launch at a little pub on campus. How I wish! But the timing is impossible . . . yes, like that’s the ONLY barrier. But contributors are invited to come and read at the launch, the editors would buy me a pint . . . and how much fun would that be? Ireland is where that writers retreat/workshop happens that I’ve had my eye on for a couple of years now. This isn’t my year to attend, it’s just impossible financially. But sometime. It’s a goal.

So yeah, I’m being published . . . in Ireland . . . and I’m very happy. Today is a good day.

Mood: excited
Drinking: king cole tea, black
Listening To: the tv in the apartment below me
Hair: very fluffy