Archive | November, 2009


30 Nov

I keep getting the same two songs stuck in my head lately.

Bad Romance by Lady GaGa…


…and Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Every once in awhile I even get a little mental mashup of the two spinning around in my brain at the same time.

It’s too early to say for Bad Romance, but I actually think Maps recently made its way onto my All Time Favourite Songs list. Would you believe there was a time that I couldn’t stand the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? It took until Gold Lion for them to win me over. But now I love them, so I hope that all can be forgiven.




Things That I’m Scared Of.

25 Nov

I have a lot of fears in life.

Bees and other stinging insects.
I have been afraid of Things With Stingers for as long as I can remember. Normally I just use the term “bee” as a catchall phrase. When I say I’m scared of bees, I mean I’m scared of bumblebees, wasps, hornets, yellowjackets, etc. etc. etc. Mostly I’m afraid I’ll be deathly allergic to their venom and that someday I’ll get stung and die. That statement right there, though… there’s your evidence that the fear works. I’m 27 years old and I’ve yet to be stung by a bee.

Okay, so maybe I’m just scared of all bugs and insects. I’m okay with them being out there in the world; mostly I just don’t want them in my apartment. Especially my bedroom. I always have to shoo known intruding bugs out before I can fall asleep, because I worry that if I don’t, they will crawl in my ears and die there.

Other people.
I hate it when people walk too closely behind me or otherwise invade myself. Man, woman, child, white, black, doesn’t matter.

Part of the reason I am scared of other people is because I assume everybody is out to rape/steal from/kill me.

This is a fear I inherited from my mom, I think, and my life will forever be worse off for it. She always used to freak out about getting on planes whenever we would take family trips, and over time I guess it wore off on me, and now I hate the idea of travelling anywhere by air, ever. Too bad all the places worth going are an ocean away!

Travelling in general.
I don’t deal well with culture shock. I’m afraid of not being able to communicate with the locals. I’m afraid of not knowing what I’m eating. I’m afraid of not knowing where I’m going. It’s a shame because I believe travel is a worthwhile pursuit and I’d be interested in doing it if it wasn’t so damned terrifying!

It all comes back to this in the end, doesn’t it?

Not all animals. But some. I’m afraid of unfamiliar and untethered dogs. Whenever I take a walk in even a remotely wooded area, I worry about cougars and/or bears. I don’t like to swim in the ocean because of potential shark situations.

Falling down.
Most people dislike falling down. I actively fear it. I believe I’m justified in this because I have a bad back, and falling down can provoke it. Still. Weird fear.

An offshoot of the fear of falling. I can’t skate because of that.

Swimming in natural bodies of water.
Because of sharks, eels, snakes, jellyfish, and other assorted creatures of the lagoon.

By extension, getting water in my ear.
I have a hard time putting my head underwater because I’m afraid water will get in my ears.

Having things in my ears, period.
I REALLY HATE HAVING THINGS IN MY EARS. It was only recently that I was able to accept earbud headphones as a feasible alternative to those giant padded-speaker-on-a-headband type deals. I can’t stand it when I have to get my ears looked at at the doctor; I wince every time.

Legal or not, I’m always convinced that I’ll drop dead from some freak side effect.

I’m sure there are more I could probably come up with. So, why am I telling you all this? Quite simply, because the end of the year is closing in on us, my friends. That means it’s New Year’s Resolution making time. I always like to put some thought into my resolutions… this year, I think that maybe I should do some things that scare me.

I draw the line at the involvement of bees, though.

My Favourite Mug

23 Nov

This is my favourite mug.

I bought it on sale at Mrs. Tiggywinkle’s. It’s the perfect size (not too big, not too small) and the respective owners of each sweet sweet ‘stache are listed on the bottom. The bottom also says “For best results, use other side.” You should get one.


12 Nov

It’s swine fluuuuuuu!

Tamiflu, ftw!

What You Need On A Sick Day.

11 Nov

Hi there.

I am so, so sick right now. I’m not sure if I have swine flu, pneumonia, or just a really bad common cold. But in any case, you wouldn’t want to come within a fifty foot radius of me right now.

I am a terrible sick person. I need somebody around to bring me blankets and tea and soup. I hate feeling unhealthy and find it really debilitating. So, on the offchance that I’m not the only person here who’s feeling a bit under the weather lately, here are the things I do to feel better on sick days. Further advice is welcome!

Hot baths.
Classic. I use Johnson’s Baby Bath “with soothing vapours” and it works a treat. It doesn’t hurt that it smells like rosemary, either. Mmm, rosemary…

Lots of fluids!
Just like the doctor ordered. I eat a lot of Campbell’s alphabet soup when I’m sick… sometimes with a pinch of cayenne pepper in it because spicy foods are supposed to be helpful for thinning out mucous. Ewwwwww, mucous.

Steam treatments.
Some people do these to “open their pores” (a complete fallacy, by the way), but I like it just to help me, y’know, breathe. I pour boiling water into a bowl, then drape a towel over my head, close my eyes, and let the steam do its thing. It’s also nice to add a few drops of essential oil… I like to blend eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender… but be careful not to let it waft into your eyes!

Sleeping all day.
You’ll get through your illness a lot quicker if you just sleep through the bulk of it.

Buckley’s cough medicine.
Ironically, I think the original formula without the added drugs works better than the newer formulas with dexies in them. Their slogan is “It tastes awful, but it works.” Honestly, I don’t find it that bad, but maybe that’s just because I’ve been relying on it since I was a teenager? It has kind of a weird, pine-y taste, and I probably wouldn’t sit down to a shot of Buckley’s as an aperitif, but I’ve definitely tasted worse. Benylin, for one, whose slogan could easily be “It tastes awful and makes you feel better for all of five minutes.”

Vick’s Vaporub
Ahh, another childhood classic. This stuff breaks me out something fierce but the tingly coolness of it is totally worth it.

So that’s my current routine. Anybody out there have any great cold and flu remedies to share? Because I really really need one right now!



Disclaimer: If anybody out there is wondering, I purchased any and all products mentioned in this entry with my own hard earned money. Not that anyone thinks this blog is remotely important enough to have free stuff sent, but, y’know… just so we’re clear.

Seasonal Mindset.

9 Nov

I can’t be the only person who does this:

I get my sweaters out in September. Because September is “Fall.”

I put my bike away at the end of October. Because November is “Winter.”

I’m amazed in March when it’s still freezing cold and slushy outside. Because March is “Spring.”

I seem to operate consistently one month ahead of everything. I always end up depressing myself because I really do convince myself that biking weather is over, which I will think about as I walk to work thinking about how unseasonably balmy it feels outside. Dear self, November is Autumn still.

Music Turns Me On, and Fun vs. Money.

5 Nov

NaNoWriMo word count as of this moment: 4,355. Uh oh. I took yesterday off from writing and now I have to make up for it. But for once, I am not here to talk about NaNoWriMo! I am here to talk about… well… my day.

I went to see This Is It with some girls from work. I want to start by saying that I loved it. I sat in wide eyed wonder, at times literally clutching my hands to my heart, feeling like all I wanted to do was go home and practice dancing because dancing makes life worth living. That being said… well, it felt a bit slapdash to me. I suppose because perhaps it was a little bit slapdash. It’s not like this footage was ever intended to be released as a film. I would assume that, at least.

Oh, and am I the only one who feels like the “dancer” who speaks right before the opening credits is 100% an actor? He seemed like a big fake faker right from the moment he opened his mouth, and the fact that he ended his schpiel with the words “this is it”? Uuuuuugh

Anyway, great movie, for what it is, and I do recommend seeing it in theatres if you’re a Michael Jackson fan at all. One thing it makes me realize is that great music totally turns me on. Not like I was sitting there in the movie theatre getting all horned up watching Michael Jackson do his thing or whatever, but just in the sense that watching him sing and dance definitely made me think he had some sex appeal, even as a frail and I dare say disfigured 50 year old. It’s weird for me to say that, too, because my personal hypothesis about MJ is that he wasn’t a pedophile, but rather, a true asexual. So generally, even when I look at pictures of him as a young man, before things really took a turn for the worse, I don’t see anything sexy about him. Annnnnd then I watch him perform and it’s a whole other story. Appearances aside, just taking into account his voice and his dancing, it’s honestly like watching the next step in human evolution.

On a completely different note, I may finally have an opportunity to leave my job soon… or at least, leave temporarily. The thing is, crappy wage and cranky customers aside, my current job is usually pretty fun. I like the people who work there with me. I like the music we listen to. Although… that being said… I don’t like the lack of opportunity for growth. I don’t like wearing all black every day. And when those customers get cranky… well, they really get cranky. And the music we listen to comes from my iPod, which ostensibly I would be permitted to wear and listen to privately at this other place. And the money would be better.

So, I was going to write about what would be better to go for, a job that’s fun or a job that pays better, but I think I kind of just talked myself into the job that pays better. Thanks, blog!


My Makeshift Weekend.

4 Nov

Two days off work = weekend. I don’t care that it takes place on a Wednesday/Thursday!

My “weekends” always seem to go better when I make little lists of things I want to do, so let’s get to that, shall we?

+ Clean up a little bit.
+ Go visit my mom and her dog for a bit.
+ Walk over to Chapters/Starbucks and see if the new Nylon is on the stands yet. Drown my sorrows in a gingerbread latte when I inevitably discover that it’s not.
+ Work on my NaNoWriMo project. I took today off.
+ Go see This Is It with the girls from work.
+ Spend lots of time lounging around and reading.
+ Go to Cora’s with Steve and his parents.
+ Super fun special awesome hubby and wife time with Steve on Thursday!

The only potential setback is that tomorrow, my apartment is shutting down the water yet again. They circulated a memo to tenants saying that the water will be off from 9 a.m. until an indeterminate time! Jesus wheezus! They seem to do this at least once a month, and usually on my day off, which forces me to get up early so that I can shower. Grumble grumble…

Awesome parts of today include the following:

1, As I was walking to work, I saw a fellow traipsing down into a wooded area by a highway on ramp (where people aren’t supposed to walk). He seemed peculiar, in his large silver aviators and straw fedora (!!) so I thought, “Probably best to have my wits about me right now.” So, as I waited for the traffic to go by so I could cross the street, I pulled my ear buds out of my ears and wound them around my ipod for safekeeping. As I finished up my little chore and glanced back across to see what Straw Fedora was up to, I saw he was standing directly across from me (albeit at quite a distance) just sort of… watching me. Shadyyyyyy. So I carried on with my walk, but I threw a couple of glances back over my shoulder to see what was going on, and each time I looked back, he was looking right back at me. Honestly, what do you do in that situation? Do you call the cops to report that “somebody is acting generally creepy”? For all I know, dude just really had to empty his bladder and gets pee shy if he knows anyone is around. Or maybe dude has a lifeless body tucked away in those bushes… I dunno.

2, I discovered the girl guides in my troop regard me as “cool,” which is hilarious and misguided and also kind of awesome. This one girl was grilling me about my relationship with Steve… “Are you happy?,” that sort of stuff. Then she asked me if I “act all cool” around him. I told her she doesn’t know me very well if she thinks I’m cool, and that really I’m a big geek… she was utterly aghast and refused to believe it. Another girl presented me with a drawing that is ostensibly me with red hair, against a backdrop of the Girl Guide promise. I hung it on my fridge! Hee!

3, A shy puppy licked the palm of my hand in the elevator.

3.5, We have hilarious new elevators that have the interior of a bad night club. I’ll have to take pics.


I’m In Love With NaNoWriMo.

3 Nov

I can’t shut up about NaNoWriMo because it is awesome.

Now, talk to me in a week or two and see if I’m still saying that. It’s only day 2, after all. But honestly, today I was sort of like, ennnnnh, I don’t really want to write today, ennnnnh, I have the whole month to work on it… but then I read a comment on my facebook page that was like, “what’s this I hear about you writing a book?” and I got right back to it. My self-discipline is decidedly lacking. Apparently I need people checking up on me at all times.

I feel like I’m sort of cheating, to tell you the truth, because my book is based on a true story, something that happened at my school a couple years back. It’s triggered an ongoing debate about matters of free speech and such. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but suffice to say, if anyone ever read this book that I’m working on, it could definitely be potentially offensive. I feel kind of weird writing it, because it’s a fictionalized account of something deeply traumatic that actually happened to real people. I feel like it’s exploitative even though it’s not like it’s something I’ll ever make a profit off of. Is that weird? Do I just have a really bizarrely misplaced guilt complex?

Here’s something I’ve learned so far: Even though I love notebooks, particularly Moleskines, I am much more productive when I write on a computer. My writing muscles are out of shape. I don’t mean the figurative “writing muscles” that people sometimes refer to as a euphemism for imagination, I mean the actual, literal muscles that help you hold up a pen and manipulate it in such a way that letters appear when pen is pressed to paper. That said, I do think it’s partly because I type a lot faster than I write… so if I’m writing longhand, thoughts get lost. Typing, I’m really just dumping everything out of my brain, and I can sort through the wreckage later. From what I understand, a lot of people aren’t comfortable with that style of writing, but to tell you the truth, it’s the only style I’ve ever really enjoyed. Write now, fix later!

Anyway. Absolutely nothing else is really going on right now. I’m combatting a positively terrible mood lately, but that’s nothing you want to read about in great detail, I would assume. So for now, all I have on my mind is NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo, NaNoWriMo! Hey, do you think it works like Beetlejuice, and if I say it three times, a novel appears? …Here’s hoping!

Oh, and in case you haven’t started writing your novel yet? It’s totally not too late to start! There’s still 28 days to go!

Dream Town.

2 Nov

Lately I’ve been really unsatisfied with the city I live in. Which is strange, because normally I’m the first person to defend it. Poor Ottawa, a government town sandwiched between the metropolitan meccas of Montreal and Toronto. While my peers lament the lack of entertainment here, I always rally, exclaiming that indeed there are things to do, you just have to know where to look! I extol the virtues of the NCC, how they keep all our national parks perfectly clean in case the queen should decide to make an impromptu stopover. And oh, the beauty of the parliament buildings!

Yeah, now I live in suburbia again and I’m remembering that life in the ‘burbs isn’t really that fun. And now I’m starting to hate it here, because I’ve been reminded that “downtown” is not “Ottawa.” It’s just downtown. Ottawa proper is comprised of a much larger swath of land, and that swath is kind of awful.

When I was in high school, I kept a zillion journals. I was fond of making lists. One such list was essentially about my dream boyfriend. What girl didn’t write that list, amirite? Anyway, not to go too schmoopy-cornball on you here, but Steve basically fulfills every characteristic that I jotted down on that list. In the spirit of wishful thinking, allow me to now compose a list about my dream city…

+ Relatively urban, but not too sprawling.

+ Close proximity (by which I mean an hour’s drive or less) to beautiful, natural scenery, such as mountains (I’m thinking Rockies, not Gatineau Hills) and beaches (White Rock as opposed to Mooney’s Bay).

+ A decided lack of WalMarts and shopping malls. I will accept these blights on the edges of city limits but I do not want to be within walking distance of either.

+ Beautiful dwelling spaces. No aluminum siding. Why can’t function and form mingle a little bit, Ottawa city planners? Why??

+ Lots of trees.

+ A flourishing arts community.

+ People who smile more often than they complain. This is my major complaint. The people I am forced to interact with on a day to day basis bring me dowwwwwwn, man!

+ An extremely high degree of literacy. Not just in the sense that people can read, but in the sense that people do read, and don’t think of it as a chore. I’m not even referring to books here, necessarily. Just, say, the signage in shops.

+ People who can dress themselves. I am the first to say, I know nothing about fashion. I have a weird body type that’s hard to fit and I really don’t know how to dress my figure to full effect. But I do know enough to know it’s hard to go wrong with dark wash jeans, a peacoat, and a half decent haircut. There are far too many people here who think it’s okay to wear Crocs. I actually saw a Croc’n’sock combo just the other day. That is not okay. Primarily because if the people are buyin’, you can rest assured the stores (at the mall!) will get to sellin’, and soon there will be no options beyond those rubbery monstrosities. Ballet flats are comfortable too! Just try a pair!

+ Excellent public transit. Preferably a subway/light rail system in a city that is otherwise conducive to walking.

If anybody knows of such a town, please pass that information on.