Friday, January 27, 2006

My Cat Is A Trooper.

My Mum came home from a meeting last night to find a little heap of cat puke in the back hallway. This is strange because my cat doesn't puke very much anymore. He used to have some sort of thyroid problem that made him puke, like, twice a day, but they have prescription catfood (yeah, that exists) for him now and he's much better. A healthy cat. A happy cat. A handsome cat. Oh, so handsome.

My cat's name is Simon. Well, more accurately, my sister's cat's name is Simon. When she turned 16 she asked for a cat or a car, so... He's orange and pretty and very opinionated. Opinionated? Is that the right word? Well, I guess what I mean is, he knows what he likes. And who he likes. The milkman, for example - not so much. Marilyn's husband - definitely not. The paperboys - a million times no. He loves me, though, which makes me love him back, if not only because I've seen what he does to those he does not like, and I'm grateful.

So last night Mum found the puke and I ducked my head and hoped she wouldn't ask me to clean it up. I evaded that chore, even though Mum finished cleaning it up and described the procedure to me in great detail. Not nice of her, but perhaps punishment enough for not volunteering to do it myself. It was a bit of a mystery because he really never pukes anymore, but we shrugged our shoulders and kept watching Jeopardy.

Later, Mum found the puke-inducer. She had made chile for supper. She cooked the ground beef and drained the fat into an empty tin and set it to congeal on the counter to dispose of later. After Simon found it, there was nothing left in the tin but a ring of hard fat around the top. So, could it have been the half cup of drippings and other miscellaneous fluids that made the cat barf? I'm no geologist, but I think so.

Wrapping up, my cat's a trooper.

True dat. Double true.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It Goes To Show You Never Can Tell.

So my streak is unbroken. The canditate I vote for has never won the seat, nor has the party's leader become Prime Minister.

I don't really want to write a lot about our new ruling party. Maybe I'm still in the "hands-clasped-over-my-ears-rocking-and-humming-in-the-corner-manically-repeating-'this-is-not-happening -this-is-not-happening-this-is-not-happening'" phase of grief.

I actually have glimmers of optimism. After all, it has been 12 years since we’ve had a change. For the record, though, I will become a very squeaky wheel if Harper’s government starts making fiscal-based decisions regarding the environment. It makes me very angry that most political parties lack insight for the future but pop boners over the prospect of upping the GDP for the next year. The GDP is not a foolproof indicator of a country’s wealth. Also for the record, I think cutting the GST is a bad idea. I’m no economist, but even I know cutting taxes + spending more money = bad planning. I think a lot of the solutions to the nation’s problems could be addressed with some lateral thinking. But who the hell am I? An unemployed Easterner with too much education. Oy.

Mum and I went to Nova Scotia on Tuesday, hoping to do a little shopping and visit a couple of old ladies that are dear to my heart who live down in the Annapolis Valley. Unfortunately, when we arrived a moderate blizzard was forecast, so we came back the next day. Well, we did get a little shopping in – I mean, come on! I got a pair of panty hose from the Tall Girl store. That’s basically because I’m going back to work at the Confederation Centre. I have a couple of shifts a week all through February, and one this Saturday. I’m pleased simply because I can now plan on having money to pay for interest payments on my student line of credit. Oh, and in the end the blizzard moved to the south and barely hit Nova Scotia and PEI. Serves us right for travelling in the winter.

For the information of those who have not been to Nova Scotia/not been in years, it’s well. The margins of Halifax are beginning to look more and more like the clone housing tracts in Ontario, but the downtown is just the same. Driving the highway to Halifax from home, we could still see the spoils of Hurricane Juan two years ago. There are plenty of trees uprooted, all leaning in the same direction. Why clean them up, indeed. It is a natural process, after all.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Namaste, Motherfuckers.

Two nights ago, my Thesisitis flared up again. Is it post-partum Thesistis now? I was wide awake until about 4am. I'm still feeling rather fatigued. I lay in bed, panicked by the years of clutter in my room, panicked by my relative lack of freedom, panicked by my relative lack of money. I want a job, my own place, and a life. I'm bummed out, dude.

Right now, feeling a little down again (shit...), I really want a drink. Ok, not just one drink, but an excess of drink. Many. Plethoral. Copious. I guess being a little sad is a very bad reason to drink. Unfortunately, I don't feel comfortable getting soused with my Mum and Dad looking on, thereby compounding my woes. I haven't had a good drinking night/day since I got back to PEI. All my friends are upstanding members of their communities and/or internally suckling a foetus.

Finally, I'd like to mention that I am practicing yoga again. Since I am po' (and not a knockout in yogapants, therefore removing communal classes from the to-do list), I've been following a class on the TV. It's a show that's (a) Canadian, (b) challenging-but-not-too-challenging, and (c) I don't have a third point, but lists are best in threes. I'm considering buying the series on DVD so I won't be at the mercy of its sporadic airings. Maybe I will when I get a job and am not at leisure to catch strangely-scheduled TV shows.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Handsome Enough Movie To Tempt Me

I've just returned from the new Pride and Prejudice. God, I'm a sucker for those movies. After seeing English period movies, it takes a great deal of effort to not use words like "shall," and "entreat," and "fortnight." Well, no more often than I usually do anyway. Darcy was dreamy. Elizabeth Bennet was... tolerable. Mrs. Bennet wasn't quite as apoplectic as I'm used to. What I'm used to, of course, is the 1995 BBC miniseries. (I will not use this post to extol of beauty of Colin Firth, although the prospect is enticing.)

I realised that this poor story has become "Hamlet." It's that good. It's so well-known and familiar to everyone, as an actor, it must be a real pain in the ass to take on any of its characters. I remember Dr. Shannon Murray from UPEI telling us in Shakespeare seminars that while Hamlet's "To Be Or Not To Be" speech might be some of the most beautiful words strung together, it's certainly difficult to watch an audience mouth the words along with you as you recite.

People know Austen's characters so well, yet there's so much room for interpretation, performing her stories must be seductive and frightening at the same time. In that case, how can one turn that down?

Mmm... Firth...

P.S.: WTF was up with that last scene? That really bugged me. Darcy was one breath away from going, "I wuv you, my shmoopie!"

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Useful Link.

Curious about how parties fared in your riding in the last federal election? I know it helped me decide how I'm going to vote in one week.

Follow this link, type in your postal code and click on the first choice on the list: "Identify the parties...". It tells you the tallies of all candidates, not just the first and second places.

And no, this doesn't qualify as politics-talk, which I swore off.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Brow Furrower.

I'm using my Mum's minivan for a vehicle while I'm home. Charlottetown recently got a public transit system, but it doesn't yet run "across the bridge," in Stratford, where my parents live. Mum's van doesn't have a CD player, and only a cassette deck. This is fine, really, because all my CDs are back in Kanata. Almost all my stuff is still in Kanata. (It seems this will be the year I'm cursed to live out of a suitcase.) My vacuum cleaner and squash racquet are in Hamilton, but otherwise, my kind aunt and uncle are harbouring almost all my other worldly possessions.

I scrabbled in the top drawer of my abandoned bureau to find some old tapes so I could have something of my own to listen to while I was driving. I was driving home in the warm rain this evening with one such tape playing. A familiar song started and I furrowed my brow. What song is this? I know the singer goes "Ahh" right... now.

Grinning wide, I realised I was singing along to "MMMBop" by Hanson. I turned it loud and continued singing along. Then I screamed along. Then I rewound it and took a detour on the way home (even though gas is now 101.8 cents a litre here) so I could listen to it again.

I dove head-first into a little nostalgia. It was comforting, but also a little lonely. I haven't really dissected why yet. I might in bed tonight. I can hear my Mum and Dad having late-night confabs in their bedroom every night at about 1am. Is this habit or design? Why every night? What do they possibly have to say to one another at 1am that they couldn't say after watching Jeopardy? I kinda think it's sweet. I could easily crack my door and listen in, but the idea of them having a sweet, private conversation after 28 years of marriage kinda makes me feel very contented. Oh, and of course, the obligatory loneliness again, but most subjects come 'round to that conclusion. I dunno - instead of being down about it tonight, I think I'm in the mood to revel in how bittersweet lonliness is. The end.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

UK Pot-pourri.

I've ordered stuff from Amazon. God, that's monumentally stupid of me.

I ordered "Long Way Round," the DVD by one of my husbands, Ewan McGregor, and some mate of his named Charley. It's based on his 'round-the-world journey the two did (with a cameraman) on their moterbikes.

I ordered another Nick Hornby book, "Speaking With An Angel." Ok, well, he edited it. I've been reading a lot of his books lately. Well, does two count as "a lot"? I recently finished "A Long Way Down," which surprised me, because I liked it very much. I liked it more than "How To Be Good."I thought the problem of "How To Be Good" was that the protagonist was female, but there were female protagonists in "A Long Way Down," and it worked. "Long" was written in a unique way - too -- that is, from four points of view. Interesting.

I also ordered "Black Books," a TV series from England, rounding out my UK order. Mike mentioned he liked it when he lived there, there's an actor in it from one of my favourite movies, Shawn of the Dead, and it's pretty cheap, so...

I know ordering stuff is monumentally stupid, but I'm getting the shakes. I need to spend some dosh or I'll break out in a rash.

And speaking of Mike, it's the old man's birthday today. To celebrate, he mentioned a drinking binge and a gay ole night out, extending his engagement with frat boy living. Let's hope he lives to see his 27th birthday.

Finally, tying in with the title: As usual, I'm filling the deafening silence with Virgin Radio UK off the internet. The dj on the air now is conducting trivia sessions with callers trying to assertain if those who are stoned fare better than those who are drunk. Granted, it is almost 1:30am their time, but it's still Thursday, right? Damn! There are enough people listening to the radio after midnight, who are either stoned or drunk and who have the wherewithall to call in for a quiz? The upshot: everyone got a big fat goose egg except one girl named Candice (who was so stoned she was considering eating a licorice allsort that she had found under her bed), who tallied up one point. Therefore, I believe this is scientific enough to prove that drunk people are dumber than stoned people. Mythbusters, organise!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Does This Really Still Happen?

What is this, the 80s? This definitately smacks of Full House.

Me: Hello?

Female Voice: Hello. I'm doing a survey. Do you prefer Sony PSP or the XBox 360?

Me: Neither.

FV: Really?

Me: Yeah.

FV: Uh... why?

Me: Uh, because I don't play video games?

FV: Is there anyone else in the house I can talk to who does?

Me: No.

FV: Why?

Me: Because I'm the youngest person in the house and my parents don't play video games.

FV: Are you sure?

Me: Um... Yeeees.

FV: Really? Because I think I saw them in my store the other day.

Me: And what store is that?

FV: Um... Blowjobs R Us.

Me: Oh yeah?

FV: Yes. Thank you very much and you have a blowjob day.


Ok, not totally DJ or Stephanie, but do people really still make prank phone calls? How gauche.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

This Could Be So Much Worse.

I'm having a "down day," as we call it in the Sweet Family. I had a lot of these in the autumn of 2005, and then after I defended the GD thesis, I felt a lot better. The stress of couch-hopping, living out of a suitcase/backpack, and preparing for the defence, amongst other stuff, was mostly alleviated with my flight from Hamilton. Then a new, different stress set in. The joblessness. The ongoing homelessness and feeling that I'm freeloading.

I'm sitting, staring at the computer monitor, trying to write a cover letter for the first time in, oh, three weeks, and I'm teedering on the threshhold of having a little freak-out. It's like I'm experiencing a slight sensory overload and all the fuses in my brain are on the brink of shutting down. I want a Malibou and Coke (a big Malibou and Coke), and to sit in a dark chamber with soothing music.

It's times like these I think about moving to Grand Cayman and finding a job teaching. I want another adventure, but I don't know if I can muster the energy anymore. I can't believe it's been over 6 years since I moved to England. Shit. I feel older. I am older, but on days like this, it's especially there.


Well, the upshot is: This Could Be So Much Worse. I am feeling sorry for myself, something which I suppose everyone is entitled from time to time, but my practical side is telling me that I'm ok. My family is well, I'm loved, healthy, and a good little dancer (one of these is not true - guess which one!). This is just a slight chemical or hormonal spike. Remember the theme of Magnolia? It's that we all have love to give. I think I might be backed up, though, without the proper outlets. I'm love constipated.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Huzzah For Modern Dentistry

Today I got a filling. I haven't got a filling in years. To prove this, I remember I was reading a Seinfeld book. No, not "Seinlanguage," which I also liked, but some sort of NBC-sanctioned money-making time-waster.

I have always had a deep groove in the side of one of my molars, and of course, this is something my dentist has watched for years, being a primo bacteria breeding ground. There was no official cavity, but a shadow or cavity precursor on the x-ray, so, as I always say, better out than in.

She numbed my gums with cream anesthetic, and then the needle, which, thanks to the anesthetic, I didn't even feel. Then, the dental hygienist tried to install a dental dam, which she insisted on calling "the raincoat." Since my filling was to go in the very back molar, this whole thing began to resemble a Tom Green Show sketch.

Drill, drill. Buzz, buzz. My dentist is a lovely gentle professional, and the dental hygienist was nice, even though I don't think I knew her (she did know my Mum, though, bein' PEI 'n all). They used an ultra-violet light to harden my faux enamel. How cool is that? The whole thing took less than 45 minutes.

Now, 4 hours later, I barely know I've had anything done. Thank goodness it's now 2006 (!) and dentistry is a fairly painless undertaking. And, it only cost about $100. I know I'm unemployed, but that's a steal, right? I'll have one in every colour!

Christmas And Other Make-Work Projects.

God, it makes me mad. I feel obligated to help put up Christmas decorations because if I don't I further cement my reputation of "the useless sister." So hours go into putting up plush wall hangings, wooden toll-painted Santa figures, nativity scenes, and the tree. The damn tree. (Interesting side note: did you know that the common botanical name for the Christmas Tree is Catherinebane? True dat.)

One week later, we take it all down, carefully wrapping each item and turning it all into wasted space for the other 51 weeks of the year. So as to not seem like a total Bah Humbug, I do concede that sometimes enjoy revelling in the nostalgia of certain tree ornaments. But not enough to go through the time suck of decorating for Christmas.

Happily we don't murder a tree for the whole spectacle. Since we used to go to Newfoundland every year for Christmas, we didn't want a real tree dying and spontaneously combusting in our vacant home, so we always put up an artificial one. Since I never knew anything different, I don't miss having a real tree. And it makes me feel better that my family doesn't participate in the annual martyrdom of coniferous trees. (Yeah, I know - they're like chickens - bred to be killed.)

So, summing up, I spent too many hours doing things that I would later have to spend time un-doing. Next year, I'm going to dig a pit on December 23rd and on January 2nd, I'm going to fill it in. Same diff.