Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dear Cosmo,

You are a very cute Golden Retriever. Sure, your head is a little skinny, but I love your amber color. And I love your girly woof, even though you are a boy. I love how excited you are all the time. I love how no matter what you are doing, when I sit down on a rock, or bend to tie my shoe, you are all up in my business so you can get some affection.

You know the one thing that you could do to make me even happier, though?

Maybe you could resist rolling in dead things.

I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but really I think you could do it. Because I know how you hate to have your head washed off, and I know how I hate that wonderful smell of decomposition, that fills up the truck and also stays on my hands through at least twenty handwashes. So really, this could be win-win for us.

I'm not sure why you do this, but I suspect it has something to do with impressing the ladies, but dude, believe me, they are not having any of it. They tell me in the car after I drop you off.

So whadda ya say? Next time you happen upon a dead mouse or frog or squirrel or whatever the hell it is that you are finding in the brush, how about you just give it a sniff, and walk on by.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sometimes you think you are unhappy, but really you are not

Summer has been very very hectic. I was prepared, and I started off strong. But it is just that summer is surprisingly very long. Longer than you would think, if you were say, enjoying your summer. And doing fun summer things. But if you are trying to organize the busiest schedules of the year, and doing payrolls with five hundred stat holidays, and fielding dozens of phone calls daily, and meeting new clients daily, and organizing key drops and pick ups and replacing cars and keys and employees, then summer, she is LOOOOOOONG.

But, I could be stuck in an office 12 hours a day. Working for someone I hate. Spending my evenings making voodoo dolls of said person and using my creativity solely to find new ways to manipulate said dolls. I would much rather spend my summer stressing out in my own office, aka my sofa, with my doggies mulling around. And some days we take our coffee on the deck.

And when I leave the office, I have to spend time with cute doggies and kitties that are not mine. How can that be bad? It can't.

When the fall comes, I will begin to write again. I am very excited. I should be writing now. I could be writing now. But I am not ready to put the pressure on myself to write daily when I know that realistically, that won't happen right now. In a few weeks, yes but now, impossible.

There are definitely some downsides to the work I have chosen. But there are so many more upsides. And I am proud of myself for being able to see them and value them. Two years ago, this would have been impossible for me.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I'll build a house inside of you

After three months of scanning craigslist like a fiend, I was actually able to score tickets to see Wolf Parade. I noticed an ad for someone who wanted to trade her tickets for Saturday night's show for any other night, so I emailed her and said if she had no luck that I would buy her tickets at a mark-up.

Then I forgot about it.

Then on Friday, she emailed me and asked if I still wanted the tickets. Hells ya! It was a bit short notice to find a friend who wanted to come with, so I asked SB and he said cool. Even though he doesn't listen to them much, he's heard them on my truck CD. Although on the way there he kept screaming "Wolf Lover - WHOOO" to which I had to explain that we were on our way to see Wolf Parade, not Wolf Mother, and Wolf Lover is, as far as I know, not something that exists.

The show was pretty amazing. The first opening group was a duet of a guy and a girl playing 70s and 80s rock covers. Whatever, they were okay. Then there was a group called Holy Fuck, and I guess you would describe them as instrumental - they had a drummer, a bassist, a keyboardist, and a guy who played what SB and I call "The Table". It appeared to consist of many many gadgets and plugs and knobs for twisting, and it made all kind of noises. It all looked very complicated, and they kept having "technical difficulties". They were actually very good, SB was very into them, which surprised me.

Wolf Parade blew my mind, as I knew they would. Not only were they amazing, but the crowd had fabulous energy. I have generally been known to avoid any shows that do not involve seat assignment, and that was probably the only thing that bothered me about this show. We stood in our spot for 3 hours, waiting patiently, and forming polite boundaries with the other people around us, then five minutes before WP came on, 4 loud, annoying, stoned guys pushed through and squished themselves in front of us. Everyone was annoyed and pissed off, but made the best of it. SB was not pleased, and I think that ruined the whole show for him.

They played lots of old stuff, and lots of new stuff, which sounded pretty great. It was at La Sala Rossa, which holds about 225 people, and has a small stage. I wish that the room had some risers or something - just gradual "stairs" - because then the space might be almost perfect. Or if the stage was higher. But I don't think the room is tall enough to lift the stage.

Anyway, during the set they played Shine a Light, You are The Runner and I am My Father's Son, Fancy Claps, and a few others from the first album. Fancy Claps was probably my favorite. Then the encore was This Heart's on Fire, which I can give or take, but then I'll Believe in Anything to close things out. This one BLEW MY MIND!!! It sounded amazing, the crowd was amazing, I just do not have the words this early Sunday morning to describe how spectacular it was.

On a side note, I totally didn't realize, but I took my first writing class with the keyboardist from Wolf Parade. I love their music, but I'm not the type to look up everything I can about the band. But when I saw him, I recognized him right away. So weird. I remember his writing was really great, but a bit too poetic for my prose tastes. Music seems to suit him much better!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Like Beethoven composing deaf....

Hey, did you all know I want to be a writer?

Yup, I sure do.

I went to school for it and everything, and every once in a while I sit down with an idea and put pen to paper and start working. And it feels good. It feels comforting and complete, and correct. This is what I should be doing - I fought it for a long time and am finally resigned to the fact that this is my calling, my vocation, my purpose. But it does not pay the bills, for now, so I usually do it in between shooting cats with insulin, sifting through cat litter, and trying to scoop doggie diarrhea off the sidewalk. Which I also love. Of all the jobs in all the world that I could have to pay the bills while my creative juices be a percolatin', I would not choose another.

Anyway, one of the things that stalls my writing is the following. I will get a great idea, that I am so into and so committed to and I start working it out and writing. Then I will start reading a book. And that book has a similar premise. Not the same, I am not plagiarizing via ESP, but very close. And then all my ideas seem not so fresh. Not so great.

Case in point:

As my Advanced Prose project, where we began working on a novel, I wrote about a girl who died, but was able to watch and connect with her earthbound family members and loved ones. I was really into the idea, the characters, got great feedback, it was really quite lovely. Then I graduated, and set it aside, and wasn't sure if I would come back to it. And recently I've been thinking about it again.

Until I started reading The Lovely Bones. Which is about a girl who dies, and how she is relating to her grieving family.

I'm sure that no idea is really truly fresh. And if it is fresh, it may be experimental, and I am so not experimental. So I'm sure I will always come across ideas that are similar to mine. But I just don't like to be confronted with the similarities as I'm working on the project. It makes me question everything that I add to the project from there on out.

So, to write, do I need to avoid reading?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Time to get back into bank robbing

Today I sliced my thumb open on a can top. I was cleaning it off so that the kitties' owners wouldn't come home to stinky, fruit-fly attracting cans. Usually I am very careful about these things, but for some reason my head was in the clouds. Maybe it was because I was visiting this kitty and I am in love with him:

There have been a number of occasions when SB has had to remove this kitty from my pocket so as to avoid me "accidentally" bringing him home with me.
Anyway, you know that feeling you get when you hurt yourself? It's like you are in slow motion, and there is no pain at all at first, but you feel the slicing, broken down into like milliseconds. You have enough time, in that briefest of seconds, to think to yourself "How am I such a moron that this just happened to me?" and then in real life you yell "Fuck" and throw the can top into the sink. Still no pain, but you are scared to look. Scared to know just how crazy that crazy-assed cut is that you just did to yourself. For a second you think that maybe you imagined everything. But then you feel the tiniest twinge of a sting.
I looked down and the blood was running down my thumb, onto my wrist. I rinsed it under water, and I could feel the coolness of the tingle of water on nerviness, and that almost imaginary flapping of the tiny little slice of skin.
This job has changed me in many ways. And my stupidity has changed me in innumerable others. But they have now officially changed my actual identity. My left thumb print is forever altered.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm thinking of starting a new business

I have been back on the craigslist scene this week, getting rid of more furniture. I sold our old kitchen table and chairs, and our old office desk. Now it's just to get rid of those barstools, and our living room/dining/kitchen area will have been purged. Most of the stuff from IKEA we had bought in As-Is for 1/2 price or less, then we used it, and most of the stuff I got at least 1/2 price for it. So for the most part we made money. I'm thinking of just buying random things from there and selling them on craigslist as a side venture.

Now that we have also purchased all of the big pieces of furniture, we are thinking about side tables, wall hangings, lighting. These things always stump me. Not looking forward to this stage of the game!

I'm really feeling un-inspired lately. Work was pretty psycho there for a while, and though now I have more time for myself, I still feel the hangover and am exhausted. I had booked myself to mostly take today off, but for some reason wasn't able to stick to that. I had a few visits, did some banking, then call backs, schedule changes, emails, and before I knew it it was 4pm. We are also interviewing a candidate tonight for a full-time position, so I'm really hoping that will go well. If it doesn't, it might mean trouble for the trip we are planning to NB in a few weeks.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Feels like 1988

In my plight to convince SB that we absolutely need a digital SLR, I think I mentioned that I broke out the old Minolta SLR a few weeks ago to snap some fabulous photos. Today I dropped off two rolls of 24 at my local Pharmaprix, and now I'm waiting for my prints, and, more importantly, my CD of photos.

I have to say, the whole process is quite exciting. What could be on there? Will they turn out? Will I be hugely disappointed? The anticipation is a bit overwhelming for my convenience-filled little life.

Dropping off the films was a bit surreal. There was no line-up, and when I told the girl I hadn't done this in a gazillion years she just chuckled. I actually said goodbye to the film. I said "Bye little films". The girl chuckled at this, too. Then she asked me if I just wanted the CD, or if I wanted the prints too. If I was one step more environmental I would have said "CD only", but I'm paying for the prints anyway, and who knows, some of them might be frameable as-is.

Although she couldn't have them ready in an hour - ugh, the suspense! - they will be ready today, and I can't wait to pick them up. But, for $6 a pop, that's $12 that could have gone towards a DSLR, and that's not even including the gas there and back two times. I am going to keep a log book of how much I spend on photos. Hard data wins him over every time.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Things left to do before I will post pictures of our place ***NOW WITH AN IRONIC EDITORIAL****

1. Sell of a whole bunch of stuff.
We currently have about five more tables than we should have, plus a big giant wardrobe I would like to heave, and a work desk that is dis-assembled and will most likely never see the light of day again. And two bar stools that were left behind by the previous owners.

2. Buy a bunch of stuff.
We just got our dining set, which is gorgeous, albeit made wrong (two chairs would NOT go together, so we have to exchange them, but four chairs are great, so it's usable). Now we need to get a new sofa, because the one we use right now is spoken for and shipping out next month. We also need some extra seating (haven't decided between two club chairs or one love seat) for in front of the fire place, some lighting, all our picture frames, and a side table. And a buffet. And some bar stools that don't look like they are made out of old railroad ties.

3. Clean.
Because with the summer rush, I have sadly fallen out of my cleaning routine. The bathroom is clean (yay me!) and the kitchen gets tidied about every second day, but pet hair and dust abounds in the living room and bedroom.

But the paining is done, and SB installed a beautiful chair rail.

So that's it. But we love it. Too bad summer has interrupted our settling in routine.

That second to last line says "But the paining is done..." Obviously it should say "painting", but I think subliminally, I really did mean to say paining, because the worst is over. The rest is just tiny details to drive me nutso from here to eternity.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The downside

Probably the greatest part about my job is that I get to hang out with tons of pets who aren't mine, but for a little slice of the day, I can pretend they are. I get to cuddle the cuddly ones, and play with the playful ones, and not have to get a special permit to have 30 animals in my home.

The downside of this is that I begin to feel like they belong to me. And then something terrible happens, and I am left devastated.

Two nights ago one of the dogs we walk was admitted to doggie ER because her owner found her collapsed when she arrived home in the evening. This morning I got word that she died in the night. She was only 4. I don't want to write details here, but I am just so sad.