Muse. Ramble. Rant. Repeat


Hipsters made me celebrate Earth Hour

I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m trying to be on a health kick. It’s going so-so since I have a complete lack of will power and my work schedule would make child labourers cry. One thing that I do know about me is that I am an expert at finding ways to get out of things. So I signed up for a gym class and have been committed to going, no matter what. If I miss one class then I can easily miss another, and then another and then next you thing you know I’ve paid for a gym membership for two years and gone a total of ten times.

Not that … uh… that happened or anything….

Avoiding eye contact.

What this has meant is that I don’t drink on Saturday nights since I have a 10am class Sunday morning. Sure I will go out and have a nice dinner, perhaps catch a show, but generally I insist on not drinking and being home before 1am. This Saturday turned out to be an exception.  

Saturday night I had to celebrate Earth Hour.

Yes. I had to.

No, I’m not a hippy. No, I don’t believe that a symbolic gesture of turning off the lights for one hour makes a difference in the world. But yes, I do live in a neighbourhood of judgy hipsters who have us on their radar for being those gentrified yuppies with nice stuff.

It’s true. I’m a little afraid that if I don’t abide by hippy ideals more of my stuff will get destroyed and/or stolen.

At 8pm Saturday night I turned off all the lights, lit some candles, poured a glass of wine and settled down with a good book. At 8:30pm I looked outside and noticed my entire block had done the same (CJ was off in a nicer part of town watching the fights, he sent me a text message saying that the block he was on didn’t appear to have any lights switched off).

Of course, reading in the dark only gets you so far. So within two hours I had polished off a bottle of wine and gone to bed. This hadn’t been my intention but these things happen when left to my own devices. You are so jealous of my exciting life right now, aren’t you? Admit it…

At 8am my alarm went off. And then my bottle of wine hit me. And then it left me. But I was determined to go to my class. Hungover or not, if I miss even one class I risk skipping all of them, I’m that poorly motivated. I chugged vitamin water and stretched, I dressed in shorts and a tank so I wouldn’t get overheated (this may not seem like a big deal, but I left the house dressed like this, it’s literally freezing here).

And then I had what will now be dubbed “the hardest hour of my life”. I almost threw up (again) several times. I cursed myself for drinking. I cursed the liquor store for being so close to my house. I cursed the instructor who is just so.damn.peppy. at 10am on a Sunday morning. But mostly I blamed the hipsters for making me feel like I need to be hip so that more of my nice stuff won’t get stolen. At the end of the hour I was amazed I had survived and felt proud of myself.

I’ve also learned my lesson about drinking bottles of wine in the dark – not meant to be done alone.

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Songworm: Office Edition

Whenever I find myself stuck on hold, I start humming this song. Besides being catchy, it’s Canadian (yay!) and the lead singer’s name is Martina. Which happens to be the most awesome name in the world (ahem).

Happy Monday kids, may your week be filled with prompt answers and zero amounts of hold music.


The Facebook Snub Incident

A little while ago, I went nuts and deleted the majority of people I know off facebook.

If anyone asks, it’s because I wanted to limit what people could see about me.

In reality, it came after I spent an hour or so, maybe two, ok, probably closer to three hours attempting to figure out why a mutual acquaintance had dumped her boyfriend. The boyfriend that she had been bragging about for months via status updates, that she had just moved in with, the love of her life.

It was perhaps the lowest point of facebook creeping and I decided then to give it up. So I deleted anyone who I wouldn’t stop and have a conversation with on the street OR who I’ve haven’t had dinner with in the past two years. For the most part, no one noticed… very few people tried to add me back and I feel the quality of my life has gotten less creepy.

(I’m not saying everyone should do it, just it was the right choice for me. In fact, if you’re my friend you should keep everyone on facebook so I always have a way to creep when we’re drunk)

Yah, so I thought no one had noticed the mass delete. Until yesterday at the grocery store.

There in line ahead of me was the acquaintance mentioned above. Now, we’ve never been close. In high school (which was 7 years ago) we hung out some in classes but even then we were friends through other friends. I’ve always liked her, we were just never close.  In fact, we were only hugging drunks close – yah, know, that girl you see in the bar and you hug like they’re your best friend and then promptly go on your way, not even bothering to share a dance or drink with.

So I smile and say hello!

And… nothing…

Then I reassess the person in front of me to make sure I’m not mistaken – no, this is the girl. This is definitely the girl. So I say her name and say Hi!

She turns away from me with an “hmph”

I was completely confused. Trying to figure out if I had done anything to her… mentally running through the boys she had dated and trying to remember if I had ever hooked up with anyone of them, if I had spread any gossip about her… and I couldn’t come up with a single thing until I realized I had deleted her off facebook.

Really? Really? You’ve got to be kidding me. It wasn’t a personal attack on her! It was a general cleaning out of anyone I wasn’t actually friends with. I went from 300+ friends to 80. Most of our mutual friends were deleted!

So we continued standing in line, in an awkward silence. I go to open my mouth a few times… thinking I should explain… but then I close it. What can I say to explain deleting her from facebook without it turning into a rant of “You have to the craziest person I know to be so insulted by me deleting you off a social networking site that we never communicated on and besides it’s not like we were ever even friends” ?

So I say nothing at all.


Confessional.

Last night I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for supper. As I was in the bread section, not really intending on buying a baguette but wanting to look at them (diet + me = crazy) I noticed there were only white baguettes left. Not a multigrain, whole wheat, or any other type of baguette left. Just white ones. So I purchased one, happy with the excuse to purchase white bread.

I love white bread. I never buy it, it’s not healthy for you, nutritionally void blah, blah, blah but I love it. When I got home, I happily slathered several pieces of the bread with real butter and was generally in a better mood all night. When CJ got home, he too was shocked by the white bread purchase as I have him fooled into thinking I prefer multigrain.

Lies. All lies.

As I was licking my fingers and picking up the leftover crumbs of bread (see diet + me = crazy) I realized that there are many, many, little lies I tell in the run of a day along the same lines as the white bread lie (you won’t catch me dead ordering anything white in a restaurant). I don’t even know if it is a lie, just things that I do that seem socially more acceptable/healthy than what I actually want to do:

– I want sugar in my coffee and/or tea. Sweeter things taste better. But I only ever use milk or maybe a bit of sweetener.

– I want the French fries with that. I will order the salad but I really want the fries. And I want to slather them with gobs of ketchup. I will also pretend to be happy with my salad.

– I can, but won’t, eat an entire bag of chips in one sitting.

– I cannot tell the difference between a bottle of $10 wine and a bottle of $50 wine. It all tastes like wine to me. I can detect the subtle differences between wines (we had a very oaky wine with dinner last week) but as far as price is concerned? Some of the worst tasting wines I’ve had were expensive ones.

– I hate that it isn’t socially acceptable to dress up all the time for all occasions. I’m more comfortable in a little black dress and heels than I have ever been in yoga pants and sneakers. I get more stressed out when you tell me to wear “whatever, nothing fancy” than if you told me to come dressed for a cocktail party.

– I hate exercising. While I’m trying to get into it, have found classes that are enjoyable, are making friends with the girls in these classes; I would rather be home watching tv and eating the aforementioned bag of chips.

– Beer doesn’t taste good to me. I drink it (because hello I’m Canadian and it’s hockey season) but I don’t like it. I would be happier with a cooler in my hand.

Alright kids, that’s it for today. Please leave me a comment with something you lie about so I don’t feel completely left out here.


Of Shooting Stars and Shoemaking Elves

She stops her colouring and stares into my eyes.

“How do you decide what you want to do when you grow up?”

She’s five years old and has a habit of asking me serious questions because she knows I give serious answers. I remember being her age and feeling like I wasn’t being told things because I was too young. In the summer we laid underneath the stars during a meteor shower; while other people talked to their children about god’s wishes flying across the sky, I explained how these “stars” were really just pieces of rock coming towards Earth burning up in the atmosphere. We then talked about the names of the constellations and while there was a moment of confusion when she thought Santa lived on the North Star (I had to clarify where the North Pole was) she understood what I was telling her and now explains to anyone who will listen the basics of the solar system.

“I’m asked in school what I want to do but I don’t know. And what if I decide and change my mind?”

I need to think about this one. I refuse to give her a trite answer. A few weeks ago she brought me a colouring book that was a few years too old for her – on one of the pages were math problems including multiplication and division. Instead of telling her it was too old for her, we spent an hour learning how to do it. It’s not that her parents don’t do the same; it’s that I want her to always believe I will take the time and teach her the things she doesn’t understand. I will answer the questions no one else will. I will pick her up in the middle of the night when she thinks she’ll get in trouble if she calls home. I will be as good as aunt to her as I can be because my sister always took the time for me.

 “You don’t decide until you’re my age. You can do whatever you want to and you can change your mind a million times and it doesn’t matter. What is important is that you need to do something that you love to do. However, you will always have to work hard. You need good marks and to practice – if you don’t do those things you start to limit what you can do. So no matter what you do you need to do your best.”

She nods.

“So I don’t have to decide until I get old?”

“That’s right. And even then you can change your mind”

“Did you always want to do what you do?”

I laugh; I know the answer to this one.

“No, I wanted to be a shoemaker when I was your age.”

“A shoemaker?!?”

“I wanted to meet the elves that help make the shoes. But then I discovered that elves don’t help everyone to make shoes. Most people get no help from elves. So I decided to do this instead.”

She giggles at the ridiculousness of shoemaking elves and goes back to her colouring, telling me she might want to be an artist.


I miss living with a girl

We watched Chuck together last night. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s a quirky spy show; completely mindless but enjoyable nonetheless. During a commercial break:

Me: You know what?

CJ: What?

Me: In life, I’m pretty sure I’m an Ellie. She’s pretty and smart but not too pretty or not too smart. She’s just above average but not too above average. She has her shit together –she has a job, she’s married, she’s a mom to everyone around her. I’m like that, average but I got it pulled together. Not like a Sara. She’s obviously the typical blonde girl – very attractive but she doesn’t have it together. She’s struggling with relationships and jobs. She appears to have it together but in reality she’s just another confused pretty girl.  This is clearly a classical case of blonde versus brunette – blondes are always portrayed as smoking hot but they never have it pulled together. No, scratch that, I’m putting this stereotype out there to all the pretty girls of the world – they say to be attractive is to have a leg up in life and I agree. I mean I’m not boot but I’m not the type of girl you call out for being beautiful – I’m generally given credit for my smarts – but my most beautiful friends are complete disasters. They never have it figured out; they’re always struggling with life. It’s like they have too many options and can’t just pick one. But my regular friends – you know the ones that are pretty but not too pretty, they’re doing fine in life, they have it worked out – relationships, school, and jobs. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t rely just on my looks in life so I had to develop common sense. I had to play up my smarts because my looks alone wouldn’t get me by… it’s very interesting… Yup, I’m totally an Ellie. Not the prettiest in the room but she has it together. Of course all these television comparisons need to scaled to real life because obviously on TV actresses are way prettier than anyone we know. Also, these actresses are tiny and their skin? Always flawless.

CJ: *completely confused look on his face* Uh? I think you’re beautiful?

Me: I miss living with a girl.


No, Thank You Crackhead

Dear person(s) who broke into my car last night:

I’m trying really hard to see the bright and happy side of this. If only because I believe in karma and that things happen for a reason. So, happy thoughts, happy thoughts….

Thank you for picking a night where it wasn’t snowing or raining. It made having to drive around in a car without a driver’s side window much more comfortable.

Thank you for smashing the window with such vigor it took two hours to clean up all the glass. It was a bonding experience for CJ and myself.

Thank you for causing enough damage that my insurance kicked in and I will get a new window. Although, I really wish you would have stolen more so that the home insurance would cover the iPod you took. You now force me to either use my iPhone or the iPod Video or the iTouch. All of which are too new to have the relaxed, who cares if this music was purchased legally attitude the three year old nano had.

Thank you, for giving me the opportunity to share my delicious playlists with you. I hope you get my sense of humour and listen to the following ones: (Seriously, I name my playlists like this. It amuses me)

  • Play me.
  • No, play with me.
  • Clearly, I’m the most awesome one.
  • Play with me, and I’ll play with you.

Thanks for not breaking into the trunk, where you would have seen CJ’s tools worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars and are vital for him to work.

Thank you for reminding me that even though everyone claims this neighbourhood is on the up and up there are still a fair amount of shady characters we need to watch out for. From now on our car will not contain valuables and we’ll part it further down the driveway – under the security light – to hopefully prevent this from happening.

Also, thank you, because I imagine the car will be kept really clean and bare of items from now on.

Thanks for forcing me to look at the bank account today to figure out where the $250 deductible was going to come from. Because of that I realized a post dated cheque for $2000 had been cashed – five days early – and thus was able to notify the bank and my landlord that other cheques will bounce in the next 24 hours. Also, thank you for giving me an opportunity to yell at not one but two people today – the person who had cashed the cheque and the poor call centre employee at my bank. They (combined) have agreed to cover all the ensuing NSF fees that will occur in the next 48 hours until the money has been replaced.

Finally, I really hope that the iPod was worth the trouble of breaking into my car. I hope with that money you purchased your child some baby food or perhaps paid your rent to keep off the street for another month. I really hope it wasn’t a senseless act; brought on by street kids or crack heads – looking for “fun” or a “high”.

Thanks so much for today. It was a freakin’ blast.


The New Girlfriend

On Saturday night I went to a show with a girl I know whose boyfriend is in a band.* At this show there were the usual fans of the band, the girls who flirt with the lead singer, the boys who like to get drunk and hit on the girls, the wives and girlfriends (WAGs) of the band and me. I’m not really into music… of any kind… but I like to drink so I’m there.

Also at the show was the newest girlfriend of one of the band members. This particular boy cycles through girls like it’s his job; so to meet a new one doesn’t even phase the WAGs. The new girl (and I’ve met several) will always try to impress those around her. One can’t help but be nervous when faced with a large group of people – a wrong move and you’ll be out. Usually, the new girl will act quiet and reserved or focus on trying to be friends with the guys – rarely do they find a way to break into the established girlfriend clique. When CJ and I started dating I made the same mistake – I was able to win over his guy friends but it took me years to get in with the girlfriends (I’m now firmly established if only because I’ve outlasted most of them).

However, this girl purchased drinks for all of the WAGs (and me, because I’m a lovable drunk) and then forced us onto the dance floor and acted like a fool – ignoring her new boyfriend and all other boys all night.

It was perhaps the most brilliant thing I have ever seen go down. In one quick and easy move, this girl won over all of the WAGs. At the end of the night all we could talk about was her awesomeness to the boys – which won them over because they listen to what their wives have to say about a girl. I didn’t even realize how sneaky this girl had been until last night when I met a different new girl in a different situation and she spent the entire night trying to fit in with the other boys in the room – not even acknowledging the girls. Us girls, being girls and all, promptly dismissed her and bitched about how she ignored us to our significant others. Of course I don’t think she actually ignored us, I just think she was shy and intimidated by us. But the next time she sees us, she’ll need to work harder to win us over. And ultimately, if the WAGs don’t like the new girl, she rarely stands a chance.

Back to the successful new girlfriend of the band – when all was said and done, everyone walked away with warm fuzzy feelings about her. The one who didn’t friend-flirt with the boys, who didn’t desperately try to impress the girls, she just bought us drinks and danced. She was so sure she would fit in that it worked – not over-confident, not bragging, just being cool. She figured out the situation; who the real people she needed to impress were and she did it.  

We should all try to be that girl.

*One of my favourite things to say about having a boyfriend in a band is that it’s like having blonde hair – everyone does it at some point and some people stick with it but most realize it’s more hassle than it’s worth.


Quick Note.

February is a month full of things to do.

Busy season is demanding 60 hour work weeks; CJ and I are in the final stages of planning the wedding; friends are moving away, having babies, getting married, moving home, all occasions are celebrated with a party; I joined a three day-a-week cardio class; AND the Olympics are giving me liver disease (you try watching a hockey game without a beer in your hands, it’s impossible and I don’t even like beer) and also demoralizing (WHY CANADA WHY? WE ARE SUPPOSED TO OWN THE PODIUM NOT STEP TO THE SIDE SO OTHER COUNTRIES CAN).

My calendar looks chaotic and I constantly have the feeling that I’m forgetting something… I have little scraps of paper all over my office and home with to-do lists on them. I’ve been trying to do it all and now my head is spinning from the frenzy of it.

I’m hoping for a better March. Check back soon.


Snow Shovel Stealing Jerks.

It snowed yesterday; so much snow that it made most of the city shut down. CJ and I both happen to work in industries that don’t believe in snow days (or vacation); so we dutifully pulled ourselves out of bed at 6am so we could shovel out and get going.

At 6:20am we discovered that our snow shovels had been stolen.

At 6:20:05am, I screamed at my (mostly) sleeping neighbourhood.

By 6:22am, CJ was shovelling out with a garden shovel, telling me to calm down and just sit in the car (I did feel a little bad I couldn’t help him shovel but even when I have my own shovel I mostly stand around and complain about the cold).

We managed to get on the road by 6:45am and then got about 5 minutes from home before realizing that it was really bad out and we shouldn’t be on the roads (there were buses stuck, cars sliding into one another, a complete mess). So CJ calls in sick and I reschedule my meetings for the afternoon. We go home, make breakfast and go back to bed. While I’m still upset about the shovels, I can deal with it because in my mind some poor homeless guy took them so that he could dig out a snow fort to sleep in – plus one was broken and we kept meaning to replace it anyways.

At 3pm, I’m getting ready to leave the house (I had an appointment at 4pm) so I grab the garden shovel so I can get out again (thanks snowplough). As I’m shovelling, cursing the small handle I look down and see our neighbours shovelling out too. At first I nod and then I notice their shovels. Two yellow handled snow shovels with a hole in the middle of one of them – I happened to be missing two yellow handled snow shovels with a hole in the middle of one of them. At first I think I’m going crazy – but really, how many yellow handled snow shovels with a hole in the middle of one of them can in a block?

So I plaster a smile on my face and yell, casually and without the rage I was feeling inside of me:

“Nice shovels! You can return them when you’re done!”

The douchebag hipsters look up at me and shrug. My eye starts twitching, I turn green, bust out of my jacket and go hulk on their smug asses…. well actually… I get in my car and scream at the radio (if they’re willing to steal shovels I bet they’re willing to key my car). As of this morning no shovels have been returned to us and I hate our neighbours. Again.

I think the worst part of it, is that had they asked to borrow the shovels, I would have happily let them. I’m neighbourly. I’m friendly. Part of the reason we chose to move to this area was because we heard there was such a sense of community. However, the community is still growing and I know there is some resentment towards the yuppies (us) who are pushing the “struggling” hipster artists out; but I actually believe there is room in the neighbourhood for everyone – but not if the hipsters are going to steal from the yuppies. Because this time I’ll pretend you needed the shovels more than I did; I can afford new shovels. Next time? I’m calling the cops.