Summertime

You make me feel something like summertime
Top down ain’t nothing but time
Radio’s on and you’re by my side
Feels something like summertime
Like that first slow dance and that first long kiss
There ain’t nothing baby better then this
It’s like a beach blanket and a bottle of wine
It feels something like summertime
Summertime

— Bon Jovi

You know the weather so far this summer absolutely totally blows, sucks lemons big style. Nothing but rain and clouds and thunder and lightning and more rain and clouds and humidity and wind and on and on and on. Blech! BUT (and that’s a big but) it honestly doesn’t seem to make a freaking difference. I’m having a great summer so far! And everyone I know seems also to be having a great summer. Why is that? I can’t speak for anyone else, but yesterday John Mayer blogged about this summer. And he nailed it:

My point is that whenever that someday comes, when I slide into the MRI scanner and the thing starts spinning up, spitting lasers and screaming into my ears, I may very well say to myself “I wish I had just one more of those summers.”

I don’t care if it rains every day all summer long, I’m going to have a great one, because I’m young and healthy and I love my life. I love my family, my friends, my work, my home, everything. Life is fabulous!

***

I had a great weekend. Saturday evening Stacy arrived at my house for a sleepover. We don’t do this very often. We always say we’re going to do stuff, go places, but we seldom seem to bring the plans into action. So we were excited! We went to Jungle Jim’s (hadn’t been in eons) and had chicken quesadillas then booted across the street to the movie theatre and the early showing of Wanted. Loved it! Go see this movie! Angelina kicks some serious ass in this one. And James McAvoy … oh boy! He’s a cutie! I really enjoyed it.

After the movie we went to the liquor store and bought some refreshments then headed back to my place to have a drink and abandon the car. We cabbed to Chatham just in time to catch the Sail Past of Lights, which was pretty disappointing at only three boats. But lots of people out and about on the Green. Water Street was blocked off for a street dance and there were vendors selling food and drinks. Echo was playing and they weren’t bad. When we first arrived I thought the band might have been a John Fogerty/CCR tribute band, but they soon moved on to other types of music even the Scissor Sisters.

We travelled around there for a bit and then went to O’Donaghue’s Pub. By the time we arrived, it was a little later and the place was packed with a line outside waiting to get in. Not having any other plan we decided to wait it out, and 25-30 minutes later we were in. The house band Mooseknuckle were playing. They’re pretty good, entertaining. We had a good time. Lots of laughs.

Stayed til closing and made it home in one piece though in a round about “dropping off everyone and their dog first” way.

I had a hang-over Sunday morning, which I didn’t really understand because I didn’t seem to drink all that much (yet I did seem to be quite drunk). I guess I had one of those night’s where I’m an easy drunk … or else one of the bachelor party guys tried to eff me up by slipping me something … nah, I was just an easy drunk. I could feel it right off the first glass of wine at Jungle Jim’s.

Anyway, I was totally hung-over Sunday morning and Stacy had not put in a very good night either, so we got dressed and ventured out for breakfast. We decided to try Mike’s Bar & Grill because they advertised an all-day Saturday and Sunday big breakfast special. It is a big breakfast. It comes on two plates, one with pancakes, the other with eggs, baked beans, deep fried potatoes, toast, and choice of bacon, ham or sausage (we had bacon). The pancakes were pretty tasty. My beans were ice cold. The bacon was too smoky. The potatoes were overcooked. The place was dark and dreary. The music was an all love songs all the time satellite radio station (think Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle followed by The Carpenters We’ve Only Just Begun). The waitress appeared to have never worked in food service before, though I’m sure she’s a lovely bartender.

In other words, this is the place where people go to die. Seriously. Feeling suicidal? Not sure whether you can pull the trigger or not? Go to this place, have a drink, and by the time you leave you’ll be so depressed you’ll likely forget about the gun completely and just rush right out into the street in front of the next big transport truck passing by. I’m not kidding. We did not stay long. We did not eat much.

After breakfast we went to SuperValu where everyone and their dog apparently had gathered for some Sunday afternoon shopping therapy. Then Stacy dropped me off and headed home.

The black screen of death greeted me when I booted up my computer. “Oh God! Not again!” I cried. I crossed my fingers as I waited for the computer to go through it’s little corruption check while I hoped the O/S would catch and start, not shut-down. Ten minutes later it started up. Whew! Narrow escape. But yeah, it might last another year or it might not start up the next time I turn it on, so I immediately took some time to get my affairs in order and backed up my work onto disc. My inbox has 0 messages currently. To be fair it only had 14 or so yesterday, but there were some important ones that would have been a bad loss. I have been doing a decent job of dealing as things arrive. Now the thing can die and I won’t lose anything.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening lying on my futon draped in my fuzzy blanket and watching episodes of Mad Men and Swingtown. I really enjoyed the first season of Mad Men and can’t wait for the second. I watched a few episodes of Swingtown and it seems really good too. Check them out, if you haven’t.

Mood: scattered
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: me, typing
Hair: dirty

Your Time is Gonna Come

Feeling a little agitated today. I know what’s got my goat. Trying to get past it, talk myself through. Doesn’t always work. Sometimes only musical immersion therapy helps. So I’ve cranked Zeppelin.

I still remember the first time Kevin played the Houses of the Holy album for me. An actual album, vinyl. It was the late 80s. I was listening to Madonna, Cher, Cyndi Lauper, the Bangles, Fine Young Cannibals, Roxette … and I was on a country kick because it made me feel a little closer to home to listen to Shenandoah, Clint Black, Rodney Crowell, The Judds, Ricky Scaggs, Kathy Mattea, Holly Dunn, the Desert Rose Band and of course, my mom’s favourite, Alabama. I was in no musical frame of mind for Houses of the Holy. Perhaps if I had toked, but that was never my thing.

I remember sitting on the floor as the needle grooved along the record. “I don’t like this,” I proclaimed shortly. He was astonished, how could anyone not like Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy?! “It scares me,” I continued. “It’s too dark. I can’t listen.” He pretty much dismissed my musical tastes as being nothing more than “bubble gum” from that moment on — we could share a love of Billy Joel, but I’d never “get” The Tragically Hip. I meant that Zeppelin was too emotionally overwhelming for me on that particular day and time, not that it was bad. I just didn’t want to be melancholy, to think too deep, to be too happy, to feel too much … because if I felt too much I would cry, and I most definitely did not want to cry in front of this man who was so perfect and godlike in my eyes.

I never bothered to correct his incorrect perception of me. I let it drop, let him think I didn’t like Zeppelin. So I suppose I probably shouldn’t have been surprised many years later when he didn’t get my irony as I teased that Alanis Morissette’s lyrics were nothing but “bubble gum.” We had been separated and hadn’t seen each other for a few years, but I guess I thought he knew me better. So what was supposed to be a playful personal joke hearkening back to the early days of our love, turned into a “I can’t effing believe you and your high horse” lecture from a man I didn’t recognize. Again, I didn’t correct him. My silence confirmed his perception.

This is something I do. My sense of humour type is ironic/sarcastic. I deliver a line that is directly opposed to my personal belief, which I believe is completely obvious to anyone who knows me, and most times I think is so generally absurd as to be completely obvious to anyone who isn’t some sort of religious or right-wing extremist freak.

I do it without thinking, it’s an automatic reaction … but I’ll deliver this completely absurd line without flinching, without cracking a smile, as if I honestly believed what I was saying (hence the irony of the joke). And I would stop doing this all together if I could, but out of everything I do this is the thing that is the most natural and unconscious, like breathing, like sneezing … I don’t seem to be able to do anything to stop it because it happens so quick … I have no freaking idea where it comes from.

And more often than not, although it’s probably really only 25% of the time, people take me at face value, like Kevin did with Alanis. And I don’t correct them. I just let them think whatever I’ve just said, which is the direct opposite of what I really think, is what I think. I let people’s perceptions of me get skewed. And I’m not just talking strangers, colleagues, general acquaintances, I mean my best friends, my parents, my sisters, the people who are closest to me. When it happens I say nothing, and people take my silence as reinforcement.

Why do I do this? I mean with strangers and general acquaintances, it doesn’t really matter one way or the other, and I really shouldn’t be expecting them to understand my sense of humour anyway because they don’t know me from a hole in the ground, so I get what I deserve if they think I’m arrogant or twisted. But close friends? Family? How come I never speak up and say, “I was kidding.” Maybe I do sometimes, but generally, I don’t. I just don’t. I sit there like a ninny and generally take whatever tongue lashing they’re dishing out or listen to their argument for the “other” side … which is really the side I’m all ready on … oi! It’s complicated, I know.

As I sat quietly listening to Kevin tell me what an unimaginative uncreative non-artistic soul I must be if I couldn’t see the poetry in the lyrics of Alanis, I felt like I had been slapped in the face. At one time this was the person I was closest to in the world, and yet here was proof he didn’t really know me very well at all. Obviously, he didn’t remember how he used to tease me about my “bubble gum” music. He didn’t get that Alanis was such an amazing talent that for anyone to say otherwise was absurd and therefore, “Isn’t it ironic?” By the time I came around to the point where I could speak without crying because I was so upset, it seemed too late to say, “I was kidding you freaking moron.”

It hurt me on a very deep level and I never thought of him in quite the same way again. To be honest, I never really enjoyed Alanis much after that either. I always associate her with the hurt of this memory.

It’s funny how such simple little things can have such an impact on our lives. I have an ironic sense of humour. A lot of people don’t. A lot of people don’t get the irony in my humour, or they only get it some of the time. A lot of the time it doesn’t matter if people get me or not, but sometimes it does, when it’s my family and close friends. Maybe I can’t control the jokes, maybe they’ll just spill out unannounced and unpredicted like always, but I should at least be able to speak up and say I was kidding. If I could get past the shock and hurt and “I’m all alone in the world” feelings just a tad bit quicker, I wouldn’t be five minutes into a heated argument and saying, “I was kidding,” would be a helluva lot easier to do. I can work on that. Maybe all it takes is setting the record straight one time and not letting people walk away with a completely ass-backward skewed view of me.

***

Years ago I was out at a party with a friend and I did it, I made an ironic joke. After an awkward silence, I was just about to fess up (because it’s easier to say you’re kidding if the other people are not close friends and they are silently standing there passing their judgment rather than trying to bring you around to the right way of thinking) when my friend laughed, “She’s just kidding.” My silence confirmed his theory, as I turned and looked into his eyes with amazement. “Wow! I think he sees me, he really sees me!”

Somewhere in the world there is a man who thinks he has known me as well as I know myself. We shared our most intimate secrets and loved each other deeply for many years. He has no doubt that I hate Led Zeppelin, The Tragically Hip and of course, Alanis Morissette. Somewhere else there is a man who knows very few of my secrets and has no idea he knew me like nobody else.

Mood: less agitated having written this
Drinking: coffee, black, water, wet
Listening To: eyes without a face, billy idol
Hair: headbanded like an 80s Olivia Newton John

A Trojan Weekend

Thanks to Wandering Coyote for bringing this to my attention. Loves it!

Well, the Canada Day celebrations begin this weekend and I might actually be going places and doing stuff. Cool. Plans are kinda coming together. Now, I need to clean my house and put my ducks in a row.

Not as sore today though I’ve got some inflammation happening in the neck which is both arthritis and exercise related. So far it’s not excruciating and I’m not too concerned. Looking forward to going for training this afternoon. It’ll be good.

Mood: having a laugh
Drinking: water
Listening To: birds
Hair: frizzy

My Life … Wild?

Bopping to Talking Heads. Thinking of you, sir, of course.

So I started my day off right with a balanced breakfast that included an egg white omelet and only half my usual coffee intake. Set my cellphone alarm to remind me to eat something every few hours. Water bottles have been filled and chilled and I will empty them all into my belly before day’s end. These nutrition things aren’t so hard once I get into the swing of things, but I’ve been off-track since mid-April so it takes a few days.

Yesterday I had my first training session. I did 25 minutes cardio on the treadmill. I could have done more because the treadmill is my best friend, but we were just easing me in and seeing where I’m at, what speed I need to go to get my heart rate up to fat burning mode. The treadmill was easy but then we moved into strength to work my upper body muscles and this is a completely new territory where I know nothing. I’ve never used any of the equipment. I’ve not really so much as ever lifted a dumbbell. Well, you know, I have little dumbbells that I’ve used on my own before … but did I have proper form, did I know what muscles I was working, did I have any freaking clue what I was doing … no, I did not. So the strength exercises were a learning experience for sure. I’m totally out of my comfort zone there.

It was good though. We took our time, he explained things well and corrected me when I needed it. He didn’t push me so much that I would dread going back, but I’m so out of shape that today I’m a little sore so I know that we worked muscles that haven’t worked in awhile (maybe ever!) Tomorrow we’ll do more cardio and lower body. I feel like I’m probably stronger in my lower body than upper but we’ll see.

So that’s it! I paid my money and I’m in, for better or for … better! There is no such thing as worse on this subject. The only thing that could constitute worse would be if I didn’t go, if I didn’t commit, and that is not an option. I’ve made a financial investment so now I’ve got to make sure I get my money’s worth, end of story.

Mood: psyched
Drinking: black coffee, water
Listening To: cry for love, iggy pop
Hair: entering a longish stage

Briefly

It’s pretty warm, humid. My head feels terrible. Heavy. Paining. I need to buy some Advil maybe. Am heading over to the Park Inn for a working lunch with my Mighty partners in crime later. A late lunch because of other meetings and things, but still, it will be lovely.

Yesterday I did something extremely uncharacteristic of me. EXTREMELY! I mean I have no idea who that girl was yesterday, cuz the Kellie I’ve known for 39 years would not be caught dead doing what I was doing. Here I grow again! It’s uncomfortable so it must be good.

I went to a gym. Yes! Really! Me! In a gym! I didn’t work out. I went for a consultation with a personal trainer. I went because I was curious and I fully expected that I would get an unpleasant vibe off the guy or the place or something and that would be the end of it and I’d go home and eat nachos and drink wine. But that didn’t happen. I actually believed the guy when he said he would take my health goals on as if they were his own. I actually liked the idea that if I don’t show up he’s going to be calling to see where the hell I am. And after about an hour of chit chat I felt that his way of training meshed with my way of wellness and balance thinking and I committed myself to three days a week. Poof! Just like that the Kellie who doesn’t believe in gyms, who thinks it’s a big waste of money, who believes anything you can do in a gym you can accomplish at home with a set of weights and a yoga mat … that girl died just enough to allow me to make a huge investment in my personal health and fitness. And I mean financial as well as time investment.

I am still in shock. Can’t believe I’ve done this. I will have to sacrifice … lots of stuff! … just to pay for this. And in a way that also made sense to me, that surely if I make that huge of a financial commitment (this is the most expensive place in town, doctors wives go there for godsake, all the rich biz guys, etc.) surely if i invest all of my savings and have to scrabble every month to pay the fees, surely, surely, surely, I will not take this hit to the pocketbook lightly and I will do the work and I will get my money’s worth. Right? I absolutely refuse to be one of the people who pay the membership and never go. Uh-uh! No way! If I pays my money, you can be damn sure I’m showing up.

I feel certain that this might be the only way for me. Left to my own devices I am mostly a lazy sloth. Now, I’m going to have a guy keeping an eye on me and depending on me and pushing me. Crazy! I’m still in shock. This is a whole new world for me.

Mood: adventurous
Drinking: coffee, black
Listening To: the fan recycling the humid air
Hair: stringy