Here’s Something I Might Do…

20 May

I’m thinking about altering the trajectory of this here bloggety blog.

So yeah. Posts will be thin on the ground.

Another Dream Post

17 May

Do people keep dream blogs? Wait, why am I even asking? Of course people do. Well, I’m sorry if you’re getting bored of my dreams, but really guys, they’re frequently the most exciting part of my day. And this one will be short, I promise. I just wanted to let you all know that last night, I had a dream about Michael Jackson and it was terribly sad!

Basically, we were just hanging out. He was wearing a very simple outfit; the whole white t-shirt, black pants, slick ponytail, Black-or-White era getup. He had a million things to do, but none of his tasks were music industry related. He was like a burned-out soccer mom. People needing drives here and there, and needing meals fixed, and so on and so forth. Day-to-day, normal stuff. And he kept looking at me with the saddest eyes and saying he was so tired, and clearly wanting me to say something helpful but I just kept dishing out meaningless platitudes. Then he left and I woke up.

And in case you were wondering, why yes, I do spend about 63% of my waking hours thinking about Michael Jackson (and evidently a good portion of my non-waking hours as well).

I just love it when I dream about famous people, living or dead. One time I dreamed I was friends with the characters on Dawson’s Creek, and the dream ended with all of us bursting through a television screen. Analyse, Dr. Freud.

Back to School

12 May

Hey, guess who started summer classes last night?

I’m taking a class in Canadian Literature this summer. My ultimate goal is to get into teacher’s college, but with the degree I have (a measly 3 year psychology degree), I don’t have all the necessary prerequisites. So it’s back to undergrad life for the next year or two while I get all the credits I need.

So how did it go, you might be wondering. Considering the fact that I just barely graduated high school, took two years off, then returned to college (dropping out once before returning to finish the job), then went to university and checked out a year early because I felt too scared to attempt a thesis, then took another year and a half off? (This all just goes to show, I don’t exactly have the greatest track record where school is concerned.) Um… it went okay, I guess.

The course itself looks pretty good. I’m excited to start my readings and the assignments aren’t terribly daunting. It’s the professor I’m not so keen on. He strikes me as the sort of person who confuses sarcasm with wit. Although I can be ruthlessly sarcastic at times, sarcasm remains one of my least favourite qualities in a human being and I’m constantly trying to beat it out of myself. I suppose it has its time and place, but I just can’t ever get on board with sarcastic professors. Not to mention, listening to the lecture was like watching an episode of Gilmore Girls. He talks ten thousand miles per minute and drops all sort of reference-bombs, except in this case it’s obscure nihilistic philosophers instead of random pop culture factoids.

That’s another characteristic I dislike in professors. Making the assumption that we all know exactly what they’re talking about. It always struck me as such a strange assumption to make, because if I was already an expert in the field, why would I be taking the class? Some professors treat their classes a little too much like discussions and not enough like lessons, which I’m afraid might be the case here. It’s probably fine for all the other students in the room, all of whom seem to be second-to-fourth-year English majors… but for the 28 year old former psychology student, it’s all a bit confounding.

The worst of it is that I’m now feeling very insecure about my grammar. Fun fact: I never learned grammar in any formal way. Call it a failure of the Ontario public school system in the 1980s, but the most extensive education I ever received in grammar was the “grammar minute” we did in grades 7 and 8 before starting the “real” class. Our teacher would post grammatically incorrect statements on the blackboard, and students would volunteer to correct the errors. If you got it right, you could come up and take a “goody” (candy or gum). Unfortunately, she never explained the various components of language and sentence structure, she merely left us to our own devices to figure out what was wrong. I consider myself a strong writer, but any skill or talent that I have is the direct result of learning to read young, and consuming a lot of books as a child. Reading a lot gives you an inherent sense of what sounds right and what sounds wrong when you’re writing. It does not however, generally teach you the mechanics of good grammar. This is probably the reason why I’ve never been able to make much progress in the study of foreign languages. I can memorize the alphabet and basic vocabulary words, but once you start talking participles and clauses, I’m out.

So… yeah. I’m not going into details here, but it was a vaguely embarrassing first class that certainly shook my confidence and made me question what the hell I was doing there. I’ll stick it out, quite frankly because I have no choice. Hopefully tomorrow’s class will be better.

Nightmare That Turned Out To Be A Pretty Rad Dream Upon Analysis

11 May

Hands up, everyone who’s had the following experience:

You wake from a terrifying nightmare. Possibly the most terrifying nightmare you’ve ever had. Possibly the most terrifying nightmare that anyone, from the dawn of mankind, has ever had. Quivering and upset, you rouse the person sleeping next to you, who sleepily opens their arms for a hug and asks to hear about the dream. You begin to recount the details, but as you carry on, you realize… whoa, I had the best dream ever last night!

I had one such dream last night.

At one point it was xmas and my coworker was sleeping over, but I don’t think that part was either here nor there, because the next thing I knew, I was meeting my friends Katie and Samantha downtown. Sam had been at a drugstore while it was in the process of being held up, and the robbers swiped her wallet, so she wanted to go to the bank. Katie and I went with her. While we were at the bank, the robbers (clearly the same robbers from the drugstore) decided to hold up the bank as well. I was standing at a wicket when the group of scary-looking, black-clad men stormed the room and told everybody to lie on the floor.

While they collected their money, they also selected new members to join their robber posse. A man who worked for the bank but clearly expressed sympathy for the robbers selected me and my two friends from the group and led us to a large room upstairs. Everyone else was left to be executed. (SEE? I TOLD YOU IT WAS SCARY!) The upstairs room was like a gymnasium. It was filled with people, each of whom brandished a weapon. We were told we could take our pick of four weapons. Katie chose something that was referred to as a “kitana” but, inasmuch as I understand Japanese weaponry, was not a kitana at all. What it was, was a long, black stick with some white fabric wrapped around the middle like a tensor bandage. Absolutely useless in a fight to the death, which is what all three of us were about to engage in, but after seeing Katie choose it, Sam and I both reasoned that “she knew what she was doing” and went with the “kitana” as well.

Upon selecting our useless black sticks, the Man from the Bank called a young girl up to demonstrate her abilities. She was probably about 10, and she was armed with one of those bizarre knife things that Raphael the Ninja Turtle had on the cartoon show (Wikipedia informs me that this is called a sai). Anyway, she threw her crazy knife and lodged it in the distant wall with such speed and precision, I knew instantly that all three of us were done for. So I pulled my cellphone out of my sock (???) and texted Steve with a message along the lines of “Call for help. Am at bank currently being robbed. Address is Bank Street and something. I love you very much.”

Due to the powers of omniscience you so frequently get to enjoy in dreams, I knew I wasn’t supposed to have the cellphone and that I’d be in big, big trouble if the Man from the Bank realized I had it. I was more scared of him hearing the beeps and chimes of the phone than I was of the little girl with the big, triple-pronged knife. I expected Steve to text me back if he received my message and my heart dropped when he didn’t respond, although it picked up somewhat when I heard sirens in the distance. It was at this point that my cellphone was found out, but rather than kill me instantly as I assumed they’d do, the Man from the Bank and his merry band of murderers in the making proceeded to make fun of me for being in love. They were going on and on about how Steve didn’t really love me and how he’d never send for help because he doesn’t care about me…

…When who should burst through the door but Steve. Holding a sai of his very own, no less. He declared to the room that he couldn’t bear to leave me alone in such circumstances, and if I was going down, he was going down too, dammit!

And of course, the next thing I know, Steve, Katie, Sam, and I are all free and about to simply walk out of the building, but it comes to light that while everyone was lying on the ground during the holdup, the robbers went around and stole all the ladies’ debit cards out of their purses, so we had to wait in line and have our bank accounts frozen. When I got to the front of the line, the banker was telling me I couldn’t freeze my account without my debit card, and I was getting increasingly frustrated trying to explain to her that the reason I need it frozen in the first place is because the card has been stolen, but she’s having none of it. So the elderly woman at the wicket next to mine picks up a copy of the form that must be filled out in order for an account to be frozen, slaps it down in front of the teller, and tells her to fill it out and stop giving me a hard time.

Then the next thing I know, Katie and Sam have gone their own way, and Steve and I are running running running, and we get split up but it’s okay because we have some predetermined meeting point in mind. Unfortunately I keep running into obstacles at every crossroad so I can’t head down to the meeting place, and I don’t trust anybody I see, even the police. I expect that they’re all in cahoots with the robbers and they’ll just take us back to the bank if we ask for any help.

And then the alarm went off.

In conclusion, yes, it was a horrible nightmare what with all the crime and death and running and what not, but all the Japanese weaponry and Steve being all gallant was actually pretty rad. Honestly guys, why is the word “kitana” even in my head to begin with?

P.S. I know dream posts are totally boring in general, but I think they’re entertaining for people who were actually in the dream, so this post is mostly for Katie and Sam.

P.P.S. This is not the first time I’ve dreamed about exotic weaponry. I once dreamed a movie… literally, a complete movie, with credits and everything… that was about a medieval schoolhouse where the students would be beaten with a flail (google it) if they misbehaved. Anytime a pupil acted up, the dungeon master/teacher’s aide would declare “IT’S TIME FOR A FLOGGIN’!”. While I was dreaming it, it was sort of terrifying (even though I was dreaming it as a movie, not an experience), but when I woke up I wished I could remember every detail so I could sell it to a B-movie studio and make some big bucks.

The end!

Octogenarian

3 May

Is it just me, or have I had more than my fair share of being ill or otherwise out of sorts in the past year or so? First came that horrible, awfully swiney seeming flu that knocked me out in November, and it’s been all downhill since then. Currently, I’m bummed because tomorrow I was supposed to take a day trip to Montreal with the girls from work, but now I can’t go because I’ve thrown my extremely delicate back out yet again.

Fun fact: I’ve had trouble with my sciatic nerve since I was in my early 20s. This always struck me as being grossly unfair because although I am certainly not the most fit person in the world, I’m far from being the most unfit either, and yet I’m the one with the hardcore back problems. I’ve known people two or three times my size whose bodies are seemingly in better condition than mine, measurements notwithstanding. I’m not gonna lie, it’s inspired a pity party or two. I feel justified in that, though, since I’d compare the pain I feel in my back to the pain you’d endure in your mouth were you undergoing a complex dental procedure without anesthesia. A general throbbing ache complimented by the occasional pointed zing of an unexpectedly stimulated nerve.

I’m not entirely certain what kicked off my bouts of sciatica, although I have a vague sense that it can be traced back to my lone attempt at Tae Bo. I can, however, tell you with certainty what messed it up this time: I coughed.

Yeah.

It’s not even a good story! I was leaning over the sink, brushing my teeth, and I coughed, as I so often do when brushing my teeth. I heard something go “click!” in my back and suddenly what began as a pinprick of white hot pain started to bloom across my entire lower right hand side. It sucked. It sucked and it reduced me to tears immediately. And that’s how I threw out my back this time.

Lame, right?

I can’t leave you with a story that pathetic, so let me leave you with one that’s also pathetic, but hilarious as well.

The thing about sciatic nerve pain, for me anyway, is that it gets worse when you’re inactive. The pain actually lessens when I’m at work, up on my feet for seven or eight hours at a time, but it comes back tenfold after I’ve been sitting or lying down for a little while. Last night, I’d been lying in bed, trying to relax with a book. Eventually I realized that I really had to pee, so I got up to go to the bathroom. Only problem was, once I straightened my legs out into a comfortable standing position, I realized that I couldn’t move. If I tried to walk, I’d surely fall. When I tried to lie back down, the pain surged up to such a degree that I thought I might pass out or vomit or both. Plus lying back down wasn’t really an option because I did have to pee, remember. So all this time, Steve is lying flat on his back, earbuds jammed in his ears, snoring away, oblivious to the world. So I did what any desperate person in my situation would do: I looked around for projectiles. I settled on a couple of small stuffed animals that live on our bookshelf, which was conveniently standing right behind me (I’m glad the stuffies were there, in retrospect, because had they not been, my only option would have been to throw my books at Steve while he slept, and that just seems mean). I tossed my mustachioed pink rabbit at him. Nothing. My giraffe that has no discernible neck, and yet for some reason has extremely long legs, elicited the same vampire-asleep-in-his-coffin type of reaction. By this time I’m half-bawling, half-laughing. And by now I really have to pee. So what else could I do? I grabbed the corner of my pillow, dragged it toward myself, and started beating him silly with it. And it still took him a few moments to snap out of his dream. I’m telling you, that boy can sleep. As soon as he woke up, though, he bounded out of bed and escorted me to the washroom like a true gentleman.

Did I marry a great guy or what?

Sooo… yeah. All that to say, I don’t think I’m going to Montreal tomorrow. Sadface.

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?

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!