Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 147: "i'm a toy r us kid"

I wish I could be a kid again. Impulsive, fanciful, carefree...
Playing dress-up for hours.
Waiting impatiently for my mom to wrap tin foil around a wooden spoon, so that I could sing and dance to the 45's playing on my Raggedy Ann and Andy record player. 
Making TV commercials in front of the hallway mirror by reciting the back of the shampoo bottle with an animated voice and a huge smile.
Hiding in the old gardening well in the backyard that my dad turned sideways so my brother and I could pretend it was a horse drawn carriage.
Throwing a snowsuit on and heading outside in the snowstorm. To play.

Walking with my friends to the corner store to buy five dollars worth of one cent candy and watching the old lady with the long fingernails count them one by one.

Sitting on the hot sidewalk and blowing bubbles.
I’ll go soak in the tub now.
Blast some Billie Holiday.
And try to forget that I’m stuck being an adult who has to work tomorrow instead.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 146: If Chuck could chuck wood...I'd date him.

There’s something really sexy about a guy who knows how to work with wood.
Wait-- that came out wrong.
Let me start this over….
A really sexy 28 year old helped my friends at their event yesterday. He was a Mr. Fix It, setting up and repairing the malfunctioning electronics. And when they asked where he was going to school he said he was studying wood-working with the hopes of building furniture one day.  We are a room full of women and we all swooned when we heard this story.
Listen up boys: The idea of a man chopping wood, sanding wood, and knowing how to build something out of wood is intoxicatingly hot.
Listen up girls: Hang in there. They still exist.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 145: add to cart.

My buddy sideproject (Christina) is back for her traditional guest blog. (Thank God she still entertains the idea). We went down to the relaxed Shaika cafe. With some early Beatles playing overhead, hot tea at our sides, and laptops back to back this is what we wrote about:

Discussion: facebook land

Social media is an odd thing. Facebook in particular. The adding and removing of friends. The displaying of our lives. It’s a strange land.

sideproject: Very strange. What about the ‘unlike’ button? That’s even more ambiguous. Why is that there? There is no equivalent to it in the real world. We don’t have a 'control z' in real life. How many times have you wanted to take back something you have said. It actually requires an apology. This way, someone can unlike something – with no explanation required. It’s not like your going to ask them why they unliked your post/comment/photo? What changed their mind? Why the reneging?

365Attempts: Yeah, that’s like saying, “I like your new haircut!” and then an hour later saying, “You know what, I took a good look at you and you look ridiculous. I can’t put my stamp of approval on that.” You can't do that in real life. There’s a whole new etiquette online. I think the worst is when people you met once will send you a friend request. Really? We met once. That’s like meeting someone on the street and inviting them over to look at your baby photos . People from highschool, that didn't really speak to you back then, look you up and persistently send friend requests. So you add them and then, guess what? They never message you or try to catch up.

sideproject: Or never chat with you when you’re online aka 'available to discuss such things as how I am doing, what is new' and the like.

365Attempts: Yes! It feels weird. So you delete them. And they get offended that you did. Dude, it’s like you’re peeping through my living room window while I have a party with my friends and family.  I  don’t get why they need to see my life...Why add me?

sideproject: To up their numbers. It’s the equivalent of having sex with a lot of people in your twenties. When I see people with 700 friends I think, “Oh my god, good for you!” and then the jealousy sets in. Why don’t I have 700 friends? How did they get that many friends? I have less that 75 friends and I feel like I have bastardized facebook because of it. I am the lower middle class on facebook. It’s the same with Twitter. I’m super excited when someone starts following me. Until I realize that everyone else has 3000 followers, and I have 40. I guess I just can’t bring myself to ‘follow’ or ‘friend’ people unless I have a genuine interest in them. “Adding to cart” is not my preferred style of getting to know people or maintaining friendships.

365Attempts:  Totally! It's like they check in, see if they want to buy into it (your life, your time) and send the friend request. Add to cart. And it's a very common phenomenon. It's scary! It makes me feel like my life is a crafted, marketed website. Am I a stock option?

sideproject: TSX 365Attempts. Hmmmm....actually....

365Attempts: Buddy, if I am, you’re already a major shareholder.

sideproject: Reaping the benefits. No, it’s true. You have a lot of friend money in the bank. You come into a new relationship already “friend-ancially” secure. As it should be.

365Attempts: Yeah, I’m starting to think there should be a pre-nup for friendships. There is so little bartering going on out there. Only take, take, take. How do I know if the interesting new people I meet are worth investing in? How can I tell if they only want the payout or if they are genuinely interested in the product? In my product.

sideproject: Well I’ve tested your product, and it’s worth the money. But in the society that we live in today, you gotta see half the “cash" before. You’re too much. You let everyone in. You gotta let only the “right” ones in.

365Attempts: You’re right, you’re right. I know you’re right.  I love being friendly, open and meeting new people but I have to be a little more selective. I need to only leave a deposit. Layaway plan. No more impulse stock purchasing. It's starting to get a little ridiculous.

sideproject: Yeah.

365Attempts: Damn you, facebook!

sideproject: ...and your security settings!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 144: meaningful coincidence

I love synchronicity.
It’s magical.
So magical, in fact, that I still feel like a little girl when I witness or experience it.
And it happens to me a lot.
If you’re a practical realist, you should probably stop reading now.
Or continue reading but get ready to roll your eyes.
Because I’m one of those people who reads into synchronicity.
Who holds her arms wide open to it.
And tries to piece together the puzzle it solves.
I like the idea of fluke turning into a twist of fate.
I enjoy that story.
I guess I’m a romantic.
An idealist.
It's funny how I type that, and feel like it's something I'm not supposed to announce publicly.
Romantic. There, I said it again.
I have to admit, though, I'm much less of a romantic than I used to be.
Still lofty, but guarded.
Still hopeful, but in a carefully measured way.
Is it possible to be a skeptical idealistic romantic?
Because I think that's what I am.
I mean, I used to believe in Soul Mates.
I don’t think I do anymore.
The whole Soul Mate thing was the reason for a lot of the uncertainty in my past relationships.
And their downfall.
But you know when it doesn't feel right.
And then one day, you meet someone.
And amazing synchronicity happens and you feel something inside that is different.
That stands apart.
That doesn't make any sense, because how can something so new feel so damn familiar?
So you think:
This must be the Soul Mate thing!
And I don't know all the Soul Mate rules or specs but I’m pretty sure when you feel like you’ve finally met them, that they’re supposed to recognize you as theirs too.
When they don’t…well, it sure feels like a big ol’ crock of shit, don’t it?
Soul Mate.
It's a bizarre concept, now that I think of it.
I'm chalking it up to watching too many of that kind of movie.
And anyway, I'm such an old soul I think I'm a few generations too late for mine.
BUT I do think things happen for a reason.
That people are drawn into our lives for some cosmic purpose.
That fate is involved in the introduction.
And that it's all part of the lesson we're meant to take with us when we leave this life.
I just can’t make up my mind as to how it all plays out.
Are we participants or puppets?
Is it all planned out and predestined?
Or are we the masters of our destiny, changing it every time we change our minds?
I don’t know.
I'm not sure I need to.
The point is to enjoy the wonder.
And as long as there is magic, I’m pretty sure I'll play along.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 142: What is your time worth?

What accounts for a good work ethic? Is it the way we are raised? Is it cultural? Is it personality? I mean, I come from immigrant parents who had to scrape for every dollar they ever earned. And they raised me to wake up Saturday mornings to clean the house before watching cartoons. They also pushed me to get a part time job in my late teens to fatten my bank account so I could buy myself any extras I wanted. They taught me about respect, hard work and goals.

So I can say it’s because of them, but I am also a perfectionist by nature. I take pride in whatever I attach my name to and work harder for it to succeed. I seem to have surrounded myself with like-minded people. My friends are all hard workers. And most of us are underpaid and undervalued at our jobs. We complain about it a lot. Employers find people like us, who have a genuinely vested interest, and they thank their lucky stars… but then they do not pay us according to what we deserve. And we’re too polite to ask. We are gems. Seriously, we are. It’s hard to find employees that give a damn anymore. That you can depend on. That will stay late to push a brand or a product. That will take on more responsibility and do it well because people trust them with it.

Do you know how many employees do the bare minimum out there? Who never go beyond their job description, because they don’t have to? Who punch in and punch out? It’s nuts! And these coasters always seem to know every single law out there about sick days, overtime stipulations, etc…I want to know who is raising these lazy ass kids to think the world owes them a favour without working for one!

It’s not right. However which way we got here, our work ethic is exemplary!  We need to value ourselves. Stop complaining and demand more because we consistently give more.  And I know that’s not easy. Trust me, I know that. That’s also part of how we were raised. To accept what they give us and be grateful we have jobs. Bullshit, man! That doesn't build a savings account. 

My mama taught me well, but that don't mean I gotta be a pushover.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 141: "I met many people in Europe, I even encountered myself."

I arrived in Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre after having spent 4 days in busy Rome.  The two locations could not have been more opposite. I stepped off the train that late afternoon and the first thing I smelled was the sea. The second was jasmine.  An irresistible combination. As I climbed down the many steps from the train station I was suddenly in this quaint seaside town, with old pastel colored buildings lining a main road. Each home or hotel has its own stunning array of bright pink, purple and blue flowers growing on them like vines. And just below the main road is another staircase that brings you to the beach.  The ocean was quite loud crashing against all those jagged boulders. It was a storybook come to life.  It didn’t feel real. So this is what heaven looks like.

I managed to find the only taxi in town to bring me to my B&B.  According to the driver, Il Parco (where I was staying) was the very last villa at the top of the mountain and to get there you had to drive or walk up this one steep and winding road. Of course!  He laughed and then told me about some hidden stairs located off to the side of this road that could be used as a shortcut back down the mountain and into town. I made a vague mental note of his directions because I was too busy eyeing the gorgeous century old monastery we were driving by.

He dropped me off at the gated entrance of Il Parco and I was relieved it lived up to the gorgeous photos on the brochure. The owner, Marta, met me at the gate and carried my bag in for me. She was very perky and asked questions about Canada and my trip from Rome.  As I paid her for my stay she told me, with a slight giggle, that I was the only guest here now who was not on my honeymoon. Wonderful! She then handed me an antique key, directions to my room, and hopped on her Vespa. With a wave and honk she was gone.

The grounds of the estate were a magnificent and unexpected marriage of tropical and Mediterranean. And there were wrought iron tables and chairs in rose gardens with large olive trees to provide shade for your breakfast. I couldn’t believe how beautiful my accommodations were.  My room was spacious with a small en suite bathroom. I had a private terrace with soft hammock chairs.  Each side of the balcony had a spectacular view; one of the ocean, and the other lush green mountainside. Wow, this is paradise.

I took a long hot shower, got dressed and headed down the winding road on foot to explore with my camera and find some dinner. It was sunset and every breath was an intoxicating floral bouquet. I sneezed a few times. I tried, unsuccessfully, to find the secret staircase the driver had mentioned and had to walk the narrow inclined road instead.  When I reached the main area of town, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t as busy as when I had arrived. In fact, it was a ghost town. Cinque Terre is definitely not the place you want to be alone for after dark. Apparently all the shops closed when I had arrived and there were only a few restaurants serving dinner. 

I walked around snapping a thousand photos a minute that first hour. And can I just tell you--there were couples EVERYWHERE! Snuggled and holding hands. If not couples, then young families with babies in strollers. I stuck out like a sore thumb and understood why all my friends had told me to keep Cinque Terre as a day trip. Oh well. I was here for the hiking, photo opportunities and some much needed R&R.

I found a cute little restaurant with an outdoor patio by the ocean and had some fresh grilled fish and a cold glass of Frascati white wine. It felt good to unwind after the hustle and bustle of Rome. I hadn’t really slept in days, between all the touring and hanging out with the new friends I met there. It was different to be completely alone. Just a few hours ago I was walking a crowded piazza and now I was at a candlelit table by the ocean under the largest stars I have ever seen. It was quiet and peaceful. My thoughts stopped searching and I just let my heart feast on the sight and sound of the waves crashing.

A feeling came over me. Not loneliness, but profound gladness. There, the farthest from home I've ever been, I realized that being alone with myself was exactly the company I needed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 140: The boost.

I am craving a metamorphosis.
To shed some old skin!
Well, I say that but all I’m really talking about is getting a new haircut.
Specifically: the ‘short bang bob.’
It’s a classic.
It makes me feel sexy.
(And sexy would feel particularly good end of February, just sayin’).
When I’m bored with the way things are in the present, that’s usually my quick fix.
Some people turn to recreational drugs, I go to the hairstylist.
It works every time.
It’s not vanity, it is reinvention.
It’s the mood it triggers.
Most of us ladies do it at some point.
A few years ago I switched between auburn, jet black, and strawberry blonde hair.
(I’m surprised I still have any hair on my head, really).
Each color, whether it suited me or not, made me feel different.
Even my choice of clothing changed depending on the new haircut or color.
That’s the point I’m trying to make here.
Something inside as well as outside transformed.
And I felt it.
And I reacted to how I felt.
So if you are in a rut, like I am now…
Switch it up!
Wear something that you wouldn’t normally wear.
Google hairstyles and try one…a bold one!
Wear more color--jewel tones!
Put on red lipstick. (I’ve said it before; it’s amazing how that channels inner sex appeal).
Who cares if your boyfriend likes your hair long?
Or if people tell you that blonde won’t suit you...
The point is to do it for you.
To step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Because sometimes changing your look can actually change your outlook.
Or boost your confidence.
And there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 139: train in the sand

I dreamed I was running from a train on a beach. A giant black truck was racing alongside it. I ran as fast as I could, but my feet were slow and heavy and sinking in the sand. I was so frightened to get hit by them that my heart felt like it was pounding in my throat. I managed to find a wall to hide behind and held onto it with all my strength. The wind they created was so strong it brought me to my knees. I had to dig my nails into the concrete of that wall to hold on. The earth shook and sand was whipping at my face as I watched them pass me by. The wind didn’t catch me to take me with them. I was so relieved and grateful because I didn’t want to go where they were travelling.

When they were out of sight, I stood up and looked around at the scene. I sensed that I was in war time. I wasn't sure which war, but it wasn’t a new one. It was an old war. A war that finally felt over. My clothes were tattered and faded by the sun. I began to walk and realized that I was holding a brand new Mac laptop under my arm. This made me laugh as I searched for an unoccupied bench to write on.

Beach House was playing in my head when I woke up.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 138: electric powered light

I just wrote a paragraph about how I can see the moon from my living room loveseat and a red flag waved from the screen. I’ve already written a post about seeing the moon from my living room. Do you understand that I wrote the same exact paragraph with a few different adjectives three months ago?! Shit. Have I anything left to say? I feel stifled. Dried up. I’ve lost some readers it seems. I can feel it. And I totally understand. The other day I skimmed through my posts and I can actually see the progression and the decline.

The truth is: I’ve lost my muse.

This person made me want to write again. And this blog is the result of that want. It wasn’t so much for them or about them as it was the total inspiration to say something in a way that I had not found before them. And to work at it like it was worth something. It’s amazing what you can see about yourself when someone offers that type of flashlight. What a gift.

I found ways; there in the shadows it cast, to articulate it as I felt it. Saying what I meant, and meaning what I said. New territory. Uncharted waters. A kaleidoscope of feeling never put to writing before, not even in my journal.

What a ride.

But some situations have a life force all their own and the participants are caught off guard. And my muse is gone. With good reason, I suppose. No more lovely correspondence. No more sharing. Maybe that’s why I dwell. Or fixate. Because I’m holding onto pieces of a feeling. I’m grateful for having this passion back, but sometimes I think I’d rather never have been inspired if it would mean still having this person as my friend.

So, please be patient with me. If I’m not writing anything interesting. Honestly, I came close to writing an “OK, I think I’m done” post. But I want to try (even if nobody is reading anymore) to see something through to the end. To search a little longer for clues about this heart that I own but barely know. It really calls the shots, and surprises me every single day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 137: If I could, I swear to you I would.

If I could fly I would leap from this perch and soar.
Like I do in those dreams where my body is weightless.
And all I have to do is push against the wind to go higher and higher still.
Until the tallest treetops tickle my bare toes as I fly over them.
And people below look up at me in wonder.
Pointing and jumping because a girl is flying.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 136: The Rinse Cycle

The rain tonight is a welcomed guest.
It’s warmer out and if it stays this way it will melt that snow down.
Then we can see the grimy, wet and stinky grass.
And all the leftover leaves that used to burn such a bright red until the cold came.
And buried them.
When Spring comes the things that died get a fresh start.
To begin again.
To grow again.
To try again.
So even though I just washed my car today, I say let it rain.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 135: The Two Minute Free-Flow.

Trying an experiment of free flow writing.
Saying whatever comes to mind in two minutes.
My fingers are so cold I can barely type this.
Cold hands/warm heart?
Yeah, I guess.
Mostly bad circulation, though.
Speaking of circulation, why do I still get told that I should be online dating?
Sheesh! I don’t want to thank-you-very-much.
It’s dating schizophrenia in the real world, imagine online!
Way too easy for someone to pretend they are who they are not.
And ‘good on paper’ is not the same as being hit by a thunderbolt of physical and verbal chemistry in person.
I got the ‘thunderbolt’ thing from The Godfather.
You know, when Michael Corleone sees Appolonia for the first time.
And the two thugs he is with laugh and tell him, “HA! you got hit by the thunderbolt”.
Yeah, I like that.
I want that.
Dear Universe, more thunderbolts please.
I wish someone would start my car for me.
Some days the wishes are simple.
Other days they are grand.
I’m trying to stick to smaller wishes lately.
I still think big.
Don’t worry.
I am still imagining all the amazing things that will surely happen because I’m wishing for them so hard.
They will, right?
No. Don’t answer that.
I’m afraid you’ll be too logical.
And I’ve learned that the best things in life are not really logical.
They’re visceral.
Better to follow your gut, then your heart, then your head.
(Time’s almost up).
Wow, all this typing and my fingers still feel like heavy ice-blocks.
Hope you all have a nice evening.
And I hope your hands are warm and toasty.
Or better still, that you have someone to warm them for you.
Bonne nuit!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 134: guess

There is something underneath the façade of mystery.
Some cryptic clues to get to a hidden code.
That shuts down the alarm.
And opens the vault.
Beats me.
Who the hell wants to work that hard?
I’ve never really had patience for riddles.
Or secret handshakes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 133: like glue

I’m stuck.
Stuck in it.
And I’m embarrassed to admit it.
It’s not a good place to be.
I’ve never let anything take hold of me this way.
It’s not like me to let it.
I’ve never allowed anything so abstract pin me down for this long.
And surround me with this imaginary web of knots.
That I run my fingers along to feel and unravel.
Whenever the thought ambushes me.
As it does.
And it feels good when it does.
Until I feel stuck.
Stuck in it.
And it’s not a good place to be.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 132: execution of the artist

Being born an artist with a dream is not an easy path.
But you choose no other.
This is what you want.
And you feel it in your bones that it is what you are meant to do.
So you work tirelessly at polishing it and pushing it forward.
You put yourself out there.
To get noticed.
To build an audience.
But art is subjective.
People will like you or they won't.
You will get labeled.
You will be criticized and judged.
Good or bad.
And as hard as you work at getting just the right amount of exposure,
you'll learn that most success comes from timing and sheer luck.
You get so close and then the stars don’t align.
That's just how it goes.
And while you are still scraping for your third and fourth chance,
some of your peers excel and hit the jackpot on the first try.
That simultaneously blows your mind and rips you to shreds.
Because you look at them with pride, awe and admiration at what they have created,
but start to feel that you will never be that good.
That maybe you don't have such a gift.
And you start to believe that there’s a reason it's not working out.
Then you suffer from a lack of confidence.
You go through moody withdrawal.
You retreat into the darkness of self defeat.
Finding it cushier and easier to stop.
To put it all behind you and join the real world.
Until, one day, you are fiddling randomly with something else and an idea comes.
And it feels good.
That magical blood rush of inspiration reminds you that the dream is not dead.
It calling you again is both a curse and a blessing.
Because as many times as it has broken you down after you tried your best,
it still remains your saving grace.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 131: the secondary consequence

Breaking up with him was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
It seemed so unnatural saying goodbye forever after almost spending our lives together.
I knew him so intimately.
I knew how to push his buttons.
Her knew how to push mine.
We loved eachother with so much passion.
And suddenly we had to not love eachother anymore.
Just like that.
Because that's what I decided.
Because I couldn't fight the sneaking suspicion that this wasn't "it".
The comfort level that was reached vanished.
The communication ceased altogether.
I went about my daily life fighting memories of him tooth and nail.
I didn't want to get wishy washy.
Or send the wrong message.
I couldn't look back or change my decision.
I couldn't do that to him again.
So what did I do with those residual feelings for him?
The ones that were part of a package deal the moment we fell in love.
I buried them.

Until I ran into him so many years later.
And seeing him felt like a ghostly apparition reached inside my split chest and retrieved them from their secret hiding place.
I was tongue tied.
He hugged me to say hello and I felt as though he just pushed me off the Golden Gate Bridge.
I was free falling.
Remembering his scent.
Remembering him.
Remembering everything.
My feelings, freshly unearthed, began stretching their limbs.
But when the hug was over I took a good look at him.
His smile was different.
It was cordial.
And it hit me in the horrible way that it does.
We're strangers now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 130: Connie.

My friends call me Connie.
Connie Confrontational.
It's not uncommon that one of them will say to me, “I thought of you yesterday and wondered how Connie would have handled this person.”
I wasn't always known to be thick skinned.
I was a pushover, actually.
I didn’t know how to say, “Hey, that’s really uncool of you".
I was too soft.
Not anymore.
Maybe I grew up.
Maybe I got fed up of mopping up other people’s shittiness.
Maybe I’ve just seen too much brazen ignorance go unmentioned.
Whatever the reason, I now bite back.
I speak up.
My motto is: if you can dish it out, you have to take it.
I don’t look for confrontation, I’m just not afraid of it anymore.
What’s wrong with a debate if our ideas or values don’t match up?
As long as we discuss it logically and with tact, why not?
It's healthy.
If you disrespect me as a person, I will let you know.
If you jeopardize your friendship with me on a regular basis,
and have the nerve to plant yourself as the victim every single time,
rest assured I will call you out on it.
Why shouldn't I, if we are actually friends?
Cause and effect.
Otherwise, when is enough...enough?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 129: "Tumble outta bed, and stumble to the kitchen..."

I’d like to profess I am a free spirit but I have come to the frightening realization that I function best with some type of routine. Ugh, there I said it. I know this to be true because I have been on Unemployment Insurance many times in my adult life mostly due to the gypsy lifestyle that came with trying to build a music career. I did a lot of contract work, and then found myself off several months at a time. And, oh dear,  I was at my personal worst during those days of sleeping late, eating sporadically, and the general feeling of limbo that comes with being between jobs.

I hate the grown up rat-race feel of the 9-5 world, but it gets me out of the house by 8am. That’s a forced miracle! I’m most definitely not a morning person and some days I can feel the tears well up when that alarm clock rings. But I get up, because I have to, and my day gets pushed into action. I’d like to think that more time on my hands would lead to some creative masterpiece, but (who am I kidding?) procrastination is something I excel at when I know I have tomorrow and the next day to get to it. Instead, it’s the days when I have little ‘me-time’ that I stay up late to fiddle with ideas. Don’t you find that when you don’t have much time, you make better use of it?

As a society we are forced to adhere to certain time structures: business hours, school hours, parking days and times, weekday, weekend … It’s a pain in the ass to follow, but it provides practical organization to our daily lives. I hate to admit it but stability is a good thing. We have order and rules, and someone to answer to both professionally and personally. We are creatures of comfort, even though we crave to be wild and free. Or at least I do. I have been fighting convention my whole life. I pray to win the lottery so that I may have the luxury of ample time and means to travel the world. But hell, even the billionaires I know (and I know a few personally) follow a set routine. They have to, that’s how the world works. They don’t fly to Paris whenever they feel like it. They set vacation time and plan around it.

So… as much as I’d like to blame my day job for wiping away my inspiration these days with all it’s mundane to-do lists and predictability, I can’t. Truth be told, it keeps me in line and it gives me incentive to push myself that much harder to get to that glorious moment when these creative pursuits can be my job. And it provides the necessary money to pay my rent and internet bill to send these posts out everyday. Which I have been, in case you haven’t noticed. And it ain’t easy, friend. I’m lagging with my inventiveness. Winter is kicking my lethargic ass.  But I’m gonna keep on keeping on, and hope that tomorrow I’ll have something substantial to say. Fingers crossed I don't have to work late. Again.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 128: Pet Peeve--The Slow Talker

This individual is commonly found in middle management positions. They are also known to volunteer toasts/speeches at company gatherings. 

Slow Talker Profile:

  • Likes to indulgently pause between words
  • Likes to click his/her pen repeatedly while saying, “What was I gonna say?
  • Likes to make bubble popping sounds with their mouth while trying to remember what they were gonna say
  • States commentary S-L-O-W-L-Y in a roundabout manner that is hard to follow
  • Easily loses their train of thought if (heaven forbid) someone interrupts them

Dream/Fantasy way to deal with said pet peeve person: Press a red button on your desk as they commence speaking that triggers the projection of a giant, neon timer on your office walls (and that also plays the Jeopardy theme song). After 30 seconds, a loud buzzer rings. If the person is still talking, a secret trap door opens beneath them and they disappear.

Semi-Realistic way to deal with said pet peeve person:
With your cell phone on your lap, discreetly dial your own office number and tell them it’s an important call that you absolutely have to take.

Realistic way to deal with said pet peeve person (unfortunately):
Listen to them. 
Because you have to.
For extra added fun:
Count the amount of times you blink until they get to the point. 
If you reach 50, buy yourself ice-cream after work. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 127: white flag

Star anise flavored hot toddy on my tongue.
With just enough kick from the scotch to make everything a little softer around the edges.
I'm so tired.
My body feels broken.
It needs to submerge in vanilla scented bubbles, pronto.
A little TLC on this very cold and unforgiving winter night.
You’ll have to excuse my whining; I’ve got a little case of the aquamarines.
That’s usually what happens when I am physically and mentally exhausted.
My heart takes over and starts to scold me for all the things my mind congratulates me for.
Yeah, my heart is the very last of my defenses to ever admit defeat.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 126: All out of coins for the jukebox?

Them: So, you still singing?
Me:  Ummm. Only in the shower. 
Them: That's it?
Me: Well that's not really it. I sing in my car, too.
I have had the above conversation a lot lately.
You see, most of my life, I have been identified as a 'Singer'.   
That’s what people would introduce me as, no matter my day job.
It was the principal part of who I was.
I spent a good deal of my life chasing that dream.
And I found some success,
got some public recognition and worked with a few record labels.
But I didn’t like the music industry (from that end of things).
It left a very sour taste in my mouth.
I began steering clear of anything concerning making music for myself.
And once you continuously avoid a dream, it learns to get out of your way.
These days, not very much excites me to pick up the guitar.
Or fiddle with a piano keyboard.
I sing along when I hear a song I like.
For me. To me.
But that’s pretty much it.
And I don’t know how I feel about that.
I really don't.
So it's hard to explain when people ask why I've stopped.
I guess I am following my gut as an artist.
And moving towards different forms of creative expression.
Writing and photography seem to be at the forefront now.
But has the little songbird inside me flown away for good?
I don't know.
I don't know how to answer that question.
Except that, just now, while typing it...someone inside me whispered: I hope not.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 125: La dee dah.

Here we are.
Sunday night.
And I got nothin' to write about.
I just typed up a ridiculous paragraph on the joys of honey.
I deleted it.
But I really should tell you, this sliced banana/strawberry combo with honey is delish.
Am I the only one in North America who is not watching the Super Bowl?
I am pretty sure I am.
The only good thing about watching the Super Bowl is all the awesome snacks Super Bowl parties have.
I love snacks.
And I love my three plants.
It is SUCH an accomplishment that I have kept three plants alive for longer than 6 months.
I kill plants a lot.
Not on purpose, of course.
They just don’t seem to want to live with me.
Other things I have slaughtered accidentally: fishies.
I had some goldfish as a kid that I systematically overfed.
But, in my defense, it’s the only real interaction you have with them.
They come swimming up to say hello as soon as the food hits the water!
Oh God, Sex and the City is on the tube and Carrie is writing at her computer.
While I am attempting to write at my computer.
Ugh, I’m a cliché!
Better end this post right away.
And hunt through the cupboard for more snacks.
‘Cause who the hell is crazy enough to cook dinner on a Sunday night?
Or write every day for that matter.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 124: Father Time you are no friend of mine.

How often in the course of one day do you check to see what time it is?
I do it a lot.
I am regularly in dispute with the clock.
Asking it to go faster because there is something I am impatiently waiting for.
Or petitioning it to slow down because the lines on my face are getting deeper.
And more often than I’d like to admit, requesting to go back to  a moment that is so far behind me I’m afraid it will be lost forever.
But doesn’t all time get lost?
When everything that is will soon be what was?
Don’t we barter time with every one of our breaths?
Time is not a friend.
It is a spirit, a ghost.
It dissolves as it happens.
It disappears. It passes.
Who could hold onto a ghost, really?
I think about what the world will look and feel like 500 years from now.
When I am not here and you are not here.
And ‘our time’ is a thin chapter in a history book some distant relative may be studying.
I wonder what they will think of the time we were given.
I wonder what we will think of it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 123: adventures in food shopping

Everytime I get to this grocery store I swear it’s the last time. 
It’s packed.  
With hipsters.
I find an empty basket on wheels, grab it and start through the maze.
The lanes are congested, and walk left/stand right does not apply.
There is no time to peruse. 
It is strictly grab-what-you-need and keep moving.
There are so many fedoras in here I can barely spot the pineapples.
As I'm choosing bread I hear the song ‘Young at Heart’ by Frank Sinatra playing.
Instant butterflies.

That song was once my cue to enter stage right and perform a 5 minute monologue.
The play was “Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)”.
My character was the ever quirky Constance Ledbelly.
Hilarious script and a crazy amount of lines.

Where the hell do all those memorized lines go?
I search my mind and can’t remember one single word.
Hmmm, that's nuts.
I am snapped back to present day as someone runs over my foot with their carriage.
Ouch!! OK, I think I’m done.
Time to pick a line for a cash register. 
Christ, they are all jammed up.
Stupidly, I pick the one next to the evil wall of Belgian chocolate.
My eyes dilate and my mouth salivates.
As I contemplate between caramel or wafer my eyes wander to the ice-cream freezer.
Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

The line finally moves.
Just one lady ahead of me.
Her phone rings.
All she has to do is pay so I can load my cart onto the counter.
I watch as she moves her body around to get a better signal.
She shouts
Hello repeatedly.
I want to flog her with my celery sticks.
But instead I reach my arm out for chocolate to compensate.
Damn you Belgium and your chocolaty goodness!

She leaves.
I hold my wallet ready as they tally up my damage.
$60 out and a million calories to go.
I make a mental note to never shop here again.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 122: Oh well...

No time to write a proper thought down.
I'm still at work. 
Everytime I try to steal a few moments to write something (like now) I hear someone calling for me.
So today the attempt at being creative has been thwarted by life and it's many responsibilities. 
That happens sometimes.
I promise to not be a lame-o tomorrow. (Yeah, right).
Thanks for tuning in, I love you for it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 121: Trying it on for size.

Maybe, I need to get myself a cowboy.
A man who works on a ranch, riding horses all day.
Lifting those big stacks of hay.
And whatever else it is cowboys do.
He’d lift his hat and smile at me.
Call my mother Ma’am.
And call me Darlin’.
He’d be big and strong,
and be able to fix things.
Like trucks and stuff.

We could have a big, old yellow house with a wraparound porch.
Drink lemonade on a backyard swing,
while our dogs run around.
Yeah…I could be a good ranch wife.
Spit out some cowboy kids.
I guess.
Except, I’m not really good around horses.
Every single horse I’ve ever ridden gets spooked and throws me off.
And God! Imagine how paranoid I’d be with the babies around that wild cattle.
Come to think of it, ranches can be kind of stinky, really...
And, after a while, Darlin’ might come off a wee bit condescending.
Who am I kidding?
I don't want a cowboy! I want a nerd.
I love nerds.
And we’ll have nerdy bookworm kids.
I still want the yellow house, though.
And this part I'm specific about: a loft style attic converted into a library,
with a plain wooden table by a window where I can write.
And a husband that climbs up to bring me tea.
Or scotch.
But even if he's nerdy he has to be able to fix stuff,
like my chair if it wobbles.
And I still want the dogs.
Two Bernese mountain dogs.
I like this all much better.
Never mind about all that cowboy stuff.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 120: don't (unless you want to)

don’t sit so close to me
because our legs and arms are touching
and I can't cool the rising temperature of my skin
we’re just sitting
i’m not supposed to want to feel you

don’t look at me that way
because it makes my heart race
and my breathing change
you’re just looking
I’m not supposed to like it

don’t lean in when you speak to me
because your lips brush against my cheek
and your breath travels down the side of my neck like a lost kiss without a map
you’re just talking
i’m not supposed to let that excite me

don’t ask me those questions
because the band is playing
and stopping this dance now is a terrible waste of music
you’re just curious
and i’m not supposed to answer you