Archive | April, 2010

Mallrat

30 Apr

The other day I was riding the bus to work and a familiar ball of dread began to form in my stomach. I tried to reassure myself with platitudes such as “My job could be a lot worse!” and “At least I like the people I work with!” and “I’m lucky I get to work short shifts!”. The ball of dread only grew larger. And as I stepped off the bus and began the dutiful march toward the shopping centre, I realized that it’s not so much my job I hate as it is the mall, and malls in general.

Think about it, shopping malls are horrifying! It’s a total assault on your senses from the minute you step in. First of all, the parking lots are damp, dimly lit, and generally creepy. The buildings themselves are always either too hot or too cold inside, the lighting is always too harsh, and you get blasted with bad music and advertisements the minute you step through the door. And is it just me, or are salespeople more invasive than ever before? No, I don’t want a complementary makeover, no, you can’t straighten my hair, and no, please don’t start a change room for me… I just want to browse, dammit!

So I’m starting to wonder if hatred of shopping malls is a more or less universal thing. Obviously, it feels nice to get new stuff, and new stuff is convenient to get at a shopping mall, but let’s say you head over to a mall and you spend your whole day there and you don’t buy a single thing. Maybe you get yourself a bottle of water or some fast food for lunch, but you don’t treat yourself to anything extraordinary. There are no packages to unwrap once you get home. Was that a good day or a bad day? For me, that’s a terrible day and I’ll probably be very frustrated and cranky by the time I get home, because I just spent my entire day at a mall and I got nothing out of it.

I’m really curious to know if anyone (well, anyone beyond the age of say, 17) genuinely likes shopping malls. Not the process of buying things, but the malls themselves. Anyone? Bueller?

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Projects Projects Projects

29 Apr

Lately I’m trying to get started on completing some projects I’ve been wanting to do.

Hands up, who else does this: You spend hours and hours learning about new things to try or gathering inspiration, and perhaps even investing money in pursuit of the great Whatever It Is you intend to do, but you never actually begin anything. Every day, I see something in a blog or magazine that I want to try out for myself, whether it’s a step-by-step diy project or an image of something that I want to copy somehow (see: butterfly hair clips). I’m finally getting started.

The four major areas of focus are as follows: Yoga, writing, guitar, crafts. And so far, so good. I’ve found a quick stretching routine that I do before bed more often than not, I’ve been trying to write in some form or another every day for the past three days (with intentions to carry on for the rest of my life, no word of a lie), I’m harnessing the powers of YouTube to learn Michael Jackson’s Human Nature (YES) on guitar, and today I got started on a set of simple curtains for the bedroom. Here are some discouraging factors: I’m not flexible in the least, I never seem to have anything to say, and I’m not a terribly dexterous guitar player. Thankfully, the pattern for the curtains is pretty simple (I’m literally using fusible webbing to create a square of fabric, which I shall affix to my curtain rod with clip rings), so at least the payoff there should be satisfying.

I’m kind of a sucker for instant gratification, so projects like this are frequently frustrating for me. It’s not like you go from having the flexibility of an octogenarian to that of a lithe 20 something in the span of a week, and the first few sewing projects are bound to come out a little wonky. Steve’s very encouraging, though, so hopefully that will keep me chugging along.

In other news, is there a simple way to paint one’s bicycle? I have an inexpensive, boring bike from Canadian Tire that is a couple years old and in dire need of some sprucing. I want to paint it mint green or light turquoise, and invest in some streamers and a new seat. Can it be done??

And They Said It Coudn’t Be Done…

27 Apr

I finally began the process of permanently deleting my Facebook profile today.

Ultimately, I decided that Facebook is terrifying and I no longer wish to be a part of it for that reason. Do you guys remember Hi5 and Friendster? Ahhh, Friendster! Is Friendster still around? Then came MySpace and finally, Facebook. The point is, any given social media outlet usually peaks within what, a couple of years? Then the next big thing comes around and everybody jumps ship.

It’s not even the repeated controversies regarding privacy that make me afraid of Facebook. In this day and age, I feel like privacy is something of an illusion, and since I don’t feel like I really have anything to hide, I’m actually pretty okay with that. No, what scares me about Facebook is that nothing has usurped it yet. I’m pretty sure Facebook is a monster that feeds on the hopes and dreams of new social media upstarts.

Anyway, basically I’m writing this post to blow a big raspberry in the faces of all the people who told me it was only a matter of time before I’d be back. I haven’t checked my profile in weeks, and I feel overjoyed to be eliminating it from my life entirely. It’ll be like it never existed. I’m actually sort of thrilled about it.

Knot to Nest

27 Apr

During the time that Steve and I were planning our wedding, I signed up on a mailing list for something called The Knot. For the uninitiated, The Knot is one of those horrendously expensive bridal magazines that’s full of tips on what sort of wedding favours are “in” this season and which twenty-thousand dollar dress is best suited to your body type. And of course, they have an extensive website through which you can purchase said trendy wedding favours, partake of the Bridezilla-laden message boards, set up a wedding website of your very own… and sign up for the mailing list. Which is what I did.

An interesting thing happened after my wedding day. In the months, weeks, and days leading up to September 20th, they sent me information that was actually relevant and useful. Little reminders as to what should already be done at what point in time, handy checklists, and so on. It helped to give order to the chaos. However, after September 20th, something strange happened. The Knot suddenly became The Nest. And what does The Nest send me?

Helpful information about how I can salvage my marriage, which has obviously been crumbling since day one.

I rarely bother reading The Nest newsletters, and yet I don’t unsubscribe, because sometimes they send something I find deeply, deeply amusing. Within two weeks of the wedding, they’d sent me information on how to spice up my now-boring sex life. Today they sent me an article all about how I can use my husband’s body language to determine if… or rather, when… he’s lying to me.

Who are these women that are marrying lying, cheating men who are bad in bed?

There’s this weird cultural myth that tells us, once you get married, everything gets shot to hell. Where does that come from? There are references everywhere to the supposed fact that everything changes after the wedding night, from sexless-marriage jokes on sitcoms to all the people who have been asking “So… how’s married life?” like it’s somehow vastly different from engaged-and-living-together life. It hasn’t been. For me at least.

I’m really curious where the marriage-as-your-doom thing comes from. Is it pop culture peer pressure? An antiquated holdover from the days that it was taboo for an unmarried couple to live together (and thus, things would have changed radically after the wedding)? Something the media makes us believe so they can get us to buy their self-help magazines? Some combination thereof?

For the record, married life is actually really awesome.

Oh, Husband…

27 Apr

Hiiiiii guyyyyyys. I know, I know… it’s been a long time. Wrist slap! But let’s get over that and move on, because I have a story for you, and I think it’s going to make you laugh.

Steve has a tendency to hog the bed. He’ll deny this up and down, but Brownies Honour, you guys, he always manages to position himself smack dab in the centre of the mattress at some point (usually several points) in the night.

So tonight, I find him mashed up against me as per usual, so I give him a gentle nudge and say “Sweetie, you can’t have the whole bed”. He grumbles a little in his sleep, rolls from his side onto his back, granting me a little more room… then he reaches over and, no word of a lie, swats me on the bum. Not hard or anything (might I remind you that he is 100%, wholly, entirely asleep at this moment), but a swat definitely took place. So I made this face…

o_O

…and I said to him, “Did you just spank me?”. And I promise you, his response was a laugh rendered no less devilish by the fact that he was out like a light.

Say it with me, everyone… MLIA!

I Read A Book and Now I’m Mad!

17 Apr

Yesterday I randomly pulled a book from my shelf and began to read it. Well, re-read it. The book in question (which I will not name because it’s sort of embarrassingly bad) was one that I adored in high school. You know the books that you read several times in a row and carry with you for months because they resonate with you so much? When I was 16, this was one of those books for me.

Please take into account that when I was 16, I was also goth. I did not make the best choices at 16. Anyway…

So I selected this book and delved into it and spent the better part of my day reading. By the time I was, oh, about a third of the way through, I realized something: this book is responsible for having shaped approximately 73% of my adult personality.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.

Yesterday, it made me really mad… mad about what, I couldn’t say. All I knew is that I was pissed off and crawling out of my skin, so I went for a drive, and I bought shoes, and I sort of flirted with the too-young-for-me-anyways-and-either-way-I’m-married salesguy, and he sort of flirted back, and for a moment I was like “…still got it!” but then I went right back to being mad about nothing again. And I drove and I felt boxed in by the very city I live in and have always lived in… like I wouldn’t allow myself to drive beyond certain roads or highway exits, lest I get lost or end up somewhere too far away in a fit of complete insanity.

Adult life is so strange because you have things like credit cards and a car and you honestly could just abandon it all and take off at a moment’s notice to start over somewhere new, if that’s what you really wanted. When I was in high school, I found out that this kid I went to elementary school with, his mom had met some guy online and she had taken off to Texas to go be with him. Just up and abandoned her family. I would never, never do that (I think it’s monstrous), but it’s strange to think about how easy that was for her to do, and how anybody with a way to get around and a means of paying for it all can just… go. (Incidentally, when I say easy, I don’t mean emotionally… I mean just physically moving from place to place, anywhere in the world you want to go. Difficult as a child, incredibly simple as an adult. I could fly to Azerbaijan tomorrow if I wanted to.)

I’m not sure what any of this means, really… if I should quit my job or go back to school or go back to playing guitar or travel or go on mood stabilizers or just never, never read that book ever again. In any case, it’s interesting to think about. So many people, myself included, complain about feeling stuck or trapped or tethered, but it’s actually very easy to just cut loose and go try to make a name for yourself somewhere else, in some other circumstance. So what is it that we feel tethered by, exactly, and how do we go about breaking away from that? If we even should?

Questions, questions…

You’d really laugh at me if you knew what book it was that had me in this state of mind, just by the way.

Chilly, Noisy, All-Around Grumpy!

9 Apr

It has come to light that the different set of obnoxious neighbours I mentioned not too long ago… are actually the same neighbours that do all the peeking. They’re also drilling, constantly drilling. Who has extreme drilling needs in an apartment complex? The most alteration you are supposed to perform upon the walls is the installation of picture hooks. I felt guilty installing shelves held up by two tiny screws apiece (two tiny screws that in no way necessitated a power drill to install). What could they possibly be building in there??

I’m in an all-around terrible mood today. 1, I can’t escape my obnoxious neighbours! 2, it’s been ridiculously cold and grey here for the past few days. I’m in desperate need of some sunshine and warmth. Especially since the week I booked off from work begins tomorrow… I had visions of sitting out on my balcony with a cup of tea and a book. It’s beginning to seem like I’ll be spending the time in bed, swaddled in my heaviest blankets instead. Such is life.

Speaking of books, I just finished reading Generation A by Douglas Coupland. Next up is Will Greyson Will Greyson by John Green and David Levithan, which will be my 13th book of the year.

Bah ha ha! The cat was definitely just popping some bubble wrap that Steve left on the floor! Ah, bubble wrap… it’s truly a universal pleasure, no?

The Downside of Uncluttering.

7 Apr

We live in a pretty small space. This means I try to be a little bit ruthless when it comes to paring down what I own. The apartment can only have so much squeezed into it.

Recently though, I realized I’m missing a whole bunch of books that I’d really like to read again.

Whoops.

So I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t give books to Goodwill unless they’re entirely unreadable (i.e. if a book is difficult to slog through but I make it to the end anyway, it stays).

Also don’t give clothes to Goodwill unless the problem is that they don’t fit anymore. In the course of my lifetime I’ve probably given away 100 pounds worth of clothes that I wish I still had. For example, I used to have a small collection of Doc Martens… black 6 holes, black 8 holes, navy blue 8 holes, and a glorious pair of 20 holes that were a staple of my wardrobe during The Goth Phase. Now I don’t own a single pair! Talk about regrets!

The Other Bad Neighbours

4 Apr

Remember the other day, I told you about my weird neighbours, The Peekers? Well, I also have bad neighbours, The Merrymakers. I might have to think up a more nefarious name for them, but work with me here.

The Merrymakers might be vampires, as they seem to only move about at night. Move about and yell and laugh like bloody hyenas and smoke weed that blows into my apartment! Look, I’m not unreasonable… I don’t expect you to be quiet as a mouse the instant the clock strikes 11 and the noise ordinances take effect. I know that I have to make compromises, and if I want to keep my windows open to get some fresh air circulating, some neighbourly noise is to be expected. But for all that is good and holy in this world, can you not keep the conversation down to a dull roar? Tonight, I waged war by playing the most obnoxious songs I could think of at the loudest volume Steve would allow. I thought this tactic was clever, as it would plant subtle earworms that will hopefully haunt them for at least a week, but it didn’t seem to dissuade them. Interestingly though, when I shouted “Go die in a hole!” and slammed the window shut, they beat a hasty retreat.

I have won the battle. I know I have not yet won the war. Still. Score one for Beeks.