Friday, October 31, 2008

C'est Lalloween!

I have this song stuck in my head that goes: "ohh, c'est lalloween!". I"m assuming it is from the french educational program Telefrancais, but who even knows. Oh, telefrancais. Thanks to you, I will forever know how to say pineapple in French.

I LOVE Halloween. I don't love this week, but I LOVE Halloween. Last night, we had this movie night thing in market square, and one of the movies was Rocky Horror. That movie is so stupid, I can understand why people felt the need to make it interactive. Cause if you just watch the actual movie, all you can think throughout the whole thing, "what the hell is happening? and why is it happening?". Anyway, participation makes things fun. Getting to throw things is always great, especially when it's rock hard toast. Water guns also equal good times. There was one guy sitting by us who had a response to like every line in the movie. I think this is a sign that maybe, he watches the movie too much. Or has been to it every year of his life for the last 30 years. Although, that's kinda the same thing. He was balancing the fine line between amusing, and "whoa, you're a crazy nut!". So many things rest on that line!

Tonight, we are going dancing, which I am very excited about, because I don't get to dance nearly enough. Dancing while wearing a vampire dress and a venetian mask is even greater. I'm not a fan of the slutty costume part of halloween, but I am a fan of dancing to "ghostbusters" and candy, so it balances out.

And I got to sleep in today. It's going to be a good night.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

When I Get Older...

So, my grandma is in a nursing home. She has been living in them for about...five years maybe? I probably don't visit nearly as much as I should, but I really do try. I find it utterly depressing to be in there, and it kind of breaks my heart to go there. Perhaps that is a selfish excuse not to visit more often, but I visit as much as my heart feels like it will allow.

It's not so much her that's depressing, although she does have her moments. It's the whole atmosphere. They try and make it happy, but it doesn't work so well. They have craft shows, and bake sales, and singalongs, but when it comes right down to it, it's still a hospital.

My least favourite part is walking down the long hallway to her room. It smells kinda funny, and there are always people in wheelchairs spread throughout the halls. Some of them say hello or just smile, and some of them call to you for help. "Get me out of here!!" "Why won't you help me!!" "HELP ME!!". Oh god. When they are all in the halls, I practically sprint to her door.

Anyways, yesterday was a visit Grandma day. My grandma has taken to never putting her teeth in anymore, so everything she says comes out in a slight lisp. She is also very hard of hearing, so everything that you say to her, you have to yell. She refuses to wear a hearing aid, but she did recently get this new gadget, that kind of looks like a ipod, but it's purpose it to amplify what everybody says. It makes the visits slightly more enjoyable.

My grandmother has had this obsession for a while about setting me up with the male nurse...Jason, I think his name is. I cringe to think of what she might say to him when I am not actually there. I picture her pointing to the photo of me she has on her dresser and saying something like, "that's her, that's the single one! What do you think?". I"m actually 90% sure that is what happens. I've never met this Jason, and really, I kinda hope I don't now!

Yesterday she was talking about this new tall guy that she saw.

Her: "He was like 6 foot 7."
Me: "wow, that's tall!"
Her: "He was handsome too. Very good looking boy."
Me: "Ummm who is this?"
Her: "The best man. From your cousin's wedding!"
My mother: "Ohhhh, you saw him in a picture"
Her: "Yeah, yup, the wedding pictures, I saw him"
My father: "Yeah, we brought them and showed them to you."
Her: "well, that's where I saw him then!"
My mother: "Yeah. He's already married"
Me: "Yes. How unfortunate".

This conversations tends to repeat itself in many variations during every visit.

My favourite part of the visit though (while simultaneously the most horrifying) was when we were leaving, and she was asking me about my job.

Her: "So, how's the job"
Me: "Oh it's good, it'll do for now. At least until I finish my novel."
Her: "You're what?"
Me: "My novel!"
Her: "Ohhhhh. Is it sexy???"
Me: horrified.

Also, "sexy" sounded more like "sesy" because she had no teeth in. I don't think I'll ever be able to erase that moment from my memory. No matter how hard I try.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sports and TGIF

Wow, this day is eternal.

I just signed up for a dodgeball team, and it starts in January. Yup! Dodgeball! I hope this foray into sports goes better than the one in the summer. I will go in with exceptionally low expectations that way I won't be disappointed if it sucks! I tend to think that you can't go wrong with dodgeball, but people often seem to screw up the simplest of things in the largest of ways, so time will tell on that one.

I have been on a dodgeball team before, and I lasted approximately one game. This was during university when I lived in hell on earth Saugeen Maitland. Each floor was given the chance to sign up a team for indoor dodgeball, which we did. Or, two of us from our floor wanted to join, and no one else did, so we got stuck on some random team. En. The first game was like the storming the beach scene at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan. Shit was flying everywhere. It didn't help that the game was played with the hardest ball they possibly could have found, and that there were approximately 30 people per team. No, these things didn't help. Basically, the only rule of dodgeball is don't hit people in the head with the ball. It's almost common sense, but yet, people found it very hard to follow. During the first game, I got hit in the head with the hardest ball ever- twice. One of those two times, it hit my ear, partially ripping my earring, and making my ear bleed a little. It was very unpleasant as far as team sports go. So yeah, that was basically the end of that.

I however, am going to try again. I have faith that this time, a) teams will be structured appropriately so as not to have so many people on a team, that it is hard to identify who you should even be throwing the ball at, b) the ball in use won't be hard as a feckin rock, and c)People will actually try and not aim for others heads. Those are the only three expectations I am allowing myself to have, at least until I finish my first game.

All that being said...woooooot dodgeball!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Poor Neglected Blog

Whoa, it sure has been forever since I wrote in here. Life is crazy, life is busy, and I kind of feel like right now is the first time I've sat down (except at work) in a while.

In between bouts of craziness though, I did enjoy a nice little vacation to Las Vegas, and while there I got to see the Grand Canyon. And ride a helicopter into it. The Grand Canyon ranks up there as one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. The "Grand"ness of it just doesn't really show up in pictures, but I will post some anyway, only because they are still very pretty!

Nevada and Arizona are such pretty states, the landscape is gorgeous. Sparse, but gorgeous. I think the very fact that everything is so sparse, makes the scenes that do eventually appear, even more spectacular. It would be like, desert, desert, desert, cactus, holy shit a giant canyon. It was great. The Grand Canyon was for sure my favourite part of the vacation.

Vegas is...interesting. It felt like adult Disneyland. Yet, I think I would still prefer Disneyland. It was almost surreal. Some of the hotels are so impressive...The's ridiculous! Except it wasn't really like Venice at all, minus the fact that the buildings were similar. There seemed to be a general mentality that consisted of "well, we've been to the Venetian, now we never need to go to Venice!". Ummm no, people, there is no substitute. Yes, Venice is expensive, and far away, and sometimes smelly, and the chances of you getting crapped on by a bird are great, but it's real, and it's authentic, and those two things are qualities that Vegas almost never possesses. On the surface, it looks like all fun, games and drunken times, but when you look a little harder, all that falls away.

There were always these Mexicans on the street. They would be wearing shirts that said "Girls, available to you 24/7". They would have a pile of cards in their hands, and they would snaPPP them to try and get your attention as you walked by. They would line up on both sides of the sidewalk, and there would be seemingly endless rows of them, just snap snap snapping away. Men, women, both young and old, not speaking english, but doing their job. Every time I walked by them...which was often, because they are everywhere, I would just end up thinking, first of all, these people are obviously here illegally, and they can't possibly be making any money, because NO ONE EVER TAKES THE CARDS. They are littered all over the sidewalk.I just didn't get it. It was kind of sad. Here you have hoards of drunken tourists walking by you in a continuous stream, ignoring you, sometimes verbally abusing you, and you're just trying to feed your family. I dunno,the whole thing felt wrong.

Vegas was cool and all, and I had fun while I was there, but there was an undercurrent of sketchiness. Like it could so easily disappear. Vegas was amazing to me because here you have, in the middle of the friggin desert, this mecca, with glittering lights, constant noise and throngs of is just such a contrast with the landscape. It seems almost impossible to find silence in Vegas yet you drive out for 20 minutes, and you are surrounded by emptiness.

It's not that I wouldn't go back, I would, but it's not high on my list of places to travel too now. So much glitz, so much's easy to get caught up in the craziness. The whole time I was there though, I would randomly look at the desert and mountains in the distance, and just think "hmmmm".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Favourite Things

My new favourite thing is THIS WEBSITE. Oh, the hours of entertainment it can provide. I laugh, I laugh and I laugh some more.

My new not so favourite thing is when my computer goes like this "dkfjadlkfjdaklfjkd;fhdakf" and then erases all the songs in my itunes and off my ipod. Don't know where the hell they are, but they are gone, gone, gone. You know what takes a long, long time? Uploading cds onto a computer. It doesn't seem like it takes that long when you upload one cd at a time over the span of several years, but when you do several all at once, it eats up entire evenings. En.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


This summer, I signed up for rec rowing. I was oh so excited when I heard about it, and oh so excited for it to start. I signed up with an ermm friend of mine, and together, we were excited. I should have known things would rapidly go downhill, when she also signed up her asshat boyfriend, but really, that was the least of my issues.

The very first get together was promising. I met my crew, they all seemed nice, albeit, at least 20 years older then me, but nice. My friend and her boyfriend were late to the first meeting, and this would be a reoccurring theme throughout the rest of my rowing days.

I rowed in grade school, and a little bit in high school, and I loved it. I especially loved it in grade school, because it was just a bunch of kids my age, and it was kinda like camp, except we rowed, and occasionally played capture the flag. It was good times. These were the rowing memories I was recalling when I enthusiastically signed up for rec rowing this summer.

It never crossed my mind that I would hate it. Everything I had heard about rec rowing sounded a little something like, "it's so fun!!" "You'll love it!!" "It's more about the drinking then the rowing!!". I believed all this hype. I went in with high hopes that I would hop in the boat with my crew, and we would row in perfect synchronicity off into the sunset, and when we were done, we would all sit together on an outdoor patio somewhere drinking beers, and talking about how funny it was when so and so's paddle accidentally hit a duck.

NO. What I failed to add to this vision was the fact that I apparently suck at rowing. And the coach was crazy. Sucking at rowing + crazy coach= getting yelled at for two hours at at time. And that it was precisely what it became. I would drag my ass out of the boat at the end of every practice, hoping that someone would at least drop me a little, "you did good today" or "you've improved". I don't need constant accolades, but holy shit, after getting the crap kicked out of me for two hours, I need someone to throw me a bone. Judging by the way our practices were run, everyone else in the boat was a great rower, except me, because the coach would spend the entire practice yelling at me. "You're shooting the seat" "Lower your hands!" "Lower your hands!" "LOWER YOUR HANDS!!". One practice, after he shouted, "I've said it fifty to a hundred times now, lower your hands! Why don't you get it!!!". I cried a little bit beneath my sunglasses. I'll lower my hands buddy, into your face! Gawd, I wanted to just jump off the boat, and swim on home to shore.

After one particular practice, I was so pissed off from having being yelled at for so long, I just glared at everybody. I was stewing inside, I payed money for this? How is this possibly rec rowing? Too intense I say, too intense!

So I quit. I am a huge, big quitter. I never went back, because holy crap, it was stressing me out a little too much. I wasn't trying to train to get into the Olympics, I just wanted to have some fun and row. In the end, I ended up not doing much of either.

As for my friend I joined with, well, she and her boyfriend basically missed every single practice and race. I saw them maybe once.

Honestly, part of me wants to feel bad for quitting, because I usually like to see things through, but a larger part of me was liberated with the knowledge that, I really don't need to put myself through this if I don't want to. I had a very Twisted Sister, We're Not Going to Take This, kinda moment, and I must say, I enjoyed it. Some may call it quitting, I call it saving my sanity.

Lesson learned though. I"m not cut out for competitive sports. I just don't really care that much. Come in last, come in first, I don't give a crap, as long as it's fun. And the fun, it was sorely lacking in rec rowing. On to the next adventure I suppose. Or back to the gym.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Books and Words

I recently decided to myself that I am going to read a lot of books, as many books as I possibly can. Not just any old books though, I am going to read iconic books, books that changed literature, books that caused a sensation, books that caused people to go "whhhhaaaa", you get the idea. I feel like it is a great idea to read them so that I can figure out for myself what makes them so great or popular. Why people respond to them so much. I think doing as much reading as one can, is a great way to try and make oneself a better writer.

My first attempt at this reading list I have in my head was Tom Robbins. I didn't have any particular book in mind, and perhaps this was the downfall of my plan to read Mr. Robbins, but I wanted to find out what the big deal about this guy was. He has achieved cult like status. So I start to read, Skinny Legs and All, and I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS HAPPENING. I don't consider myself to be dumb, but for the whole time I was reading, I was just thinking to myself, "what the shit is this guy talking about?" So I have stopped reading the book as of now and I will try and continue at some later date. Perhaps if I were drunk while I was reading I would understand more. I really WANT to like Tom Robbins. So badly.

The next book on my list was Valley of the Dolls. This book was HUGE in the 60s, one of the best selling novels of all time. Good lord, I thought the book would never end. It was one of those books where you initially like the characters, but as it goes on, you just think, "nobody can be this dumb", and then you hate them all. It was a book I read really quickly, because I had to find out what was going to happen, but I was quite glad when I actually got to the end. I suppose there is something addictive about the book...perhaps it is the 60s equivalent of The Shopoholic series... but honestly the writing really isn't that great. I definitely don't think it is worthy of the acclaim that it has recieved. Good to say I've read it though.

Next on my list...On the Road. Why have I not read this book before now? I have no friggin idea. I have owned it for several years, but just have never managed to read it. I have a feeling I am going to find Jack Kerouac fascinating...and I may become a bit obsessed.

Other books on "my list":
You Can't Go Home Again
The English Patient
Grapes of Wrath
The Mosquito Coast
plus about 200 more...
and umm, I found a book that R.L Stine wrote for I think I might sneak that in.
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