Sunday, January 28, 2007


a wise, wise friend of mine recently told me "just figure out what you want, specifically, and line up things in your life to get there."
so i suppose i am making progress towards those ends...
yes, 4 to 6pm today is my writing time. i decided before i got out of bed that i was just going to write a scene and see what happens. an experiment, if you will. that, and i won't have to give up any precious sunday evening cartoons while fretting about not having written enough yet.
also, i bought some lunch things for work this week. (i can't believe i am working starting tomorrow). salad, whole wheat turkey/cream cheese wraps and carrot sticks. and healthy granola bars. of course, i may not be able to eat them with my bento's chopsticks, but that's beside the point.
plus, i even bought myself some work clothes.
less progress in the smoking department, but i have managed to cut down quite a bit.
also, i have an idea that could have improved snakes on a plane immeasurably. it could have been done with the same script, same everything (well, i would have preferred fewer CGI snakes), but it would have been awesome to have the various people who were attacked and instantly died (how fun would it have been to shoot people's death-by-snake scenes day after day?) to be celebrity cameos. like, we suddenly realize that the person with a snake sticking out of their EYE is BETTY WHITE! or LIZA MINELLI! but then we never see them again. that would truly have been awesome.
and, please stop watching Masters of Horror, until they start making good ones again. i actually have an idea for one, but it must remain secret...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

a day of being a grownup

today was a day of taking care of things that i prefer to push aside. i don't know if it's this %$#& insomnia, or if it's the state of hanging out at home all day, but i've been slightly grumpy. smoking again. biting my nails down to the quick. procrastinating. not picking up the Standard British Dialect cd waiting for me at the library. (hey, maybe my new hobby could be learning various accents! hello one woman show on the complete history of europe!)
so today, i sucked it up. called the job i was unsure about, and told them i'd accept. so i can look forward to 10 months of mind-numbing data entry and payroll files. but on the plus side, i will have money. and we can find a new, cheaper apartment. and i can pay my credit card and my student loan. and perhaps save to do a play of my very own next fall, screw people if they don't come. so these are all good things.
i am going to stop buying cigarettes after i finish this pack. made harder by the fact that j is still smoking, but a giant bag of lollipops costs less than cigarettes. and the money i save from cigarettes, i can plow into singing lessons and student loan payments equally. multitasking and goal accomplishment!
the other bonus of the job is it seems i will have BENEFITS. say it with me, folks. really roll your tongue around it. luxuriate in it. BEEEEEENNNNNNNEEEEFFFFFIIIITTTTSSSSSS. and those will pay for the dentist appointment i finally made today. and as stressed as i am about going to the dentist, it can be in no way as stressful as making the appointment. not due to anxiety, just being put on hold by various receptionists searching for an appointment before may 4.
and i'm going to get my hair cut and coloured tomorrow. perhaps i will buy some grown-up work clothes on thursday. and then, on monday, i begin work again.
it's a little hard to jump back in feet first to the land of grown-ups. but i have my $115 cell phone bill to propel me.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

everyone go do this now

seriously. you need to drop what you're doing and head to the 7-11 or any groceteria nearby and pick up some ingredients:
phyllo pastry - $2 or so will buy you endless possibilities of yummy, flaky desserts
2 bananas - this will count as a fruit serving
peanut butter - this is the protein portion of your meal
chocolate chips - i bought milk chocolate, so i count it as dairy. if you buy dark chocolate, console yourself with the thought of all those lovely antioxidants.

preheat your oven to 425F. get 3 or 4 sheets of phyllo, and brush each one with melted butter/margarine. spread the bananas generously with peanut butter. now put those puppies along the long side of the phyllo, leaving yourself enough room to fold up the bottom over the bananas. but wait! before you start folding, sprinkle the bananas with chocolate chips. now, fold up the bottom over the bananas, fold the sides in, and roll the whole think up. brush with butter, and sprinkle the whole thing with sugar. stick it on a greased cookie sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes or so.
it will blow your mind with its warm, gooey, banana goodness.

on the other hand, if you're craving french onion soup, do not chop a bunch of onions and sautee them endlessly, then pouring veggie broth over them. save yourself the trouble and get a mix. this is a good way to avoid having an endless supply of cooked onions with little or no liquid left.

trust me on this.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

on writer's block, and the new blogger

well, a new year, a new blogger. i just made the leap to the new version, and we will see how it goes. of course, this means my html skills will continue to decline, but i'm sure there are new and more fascinating web programs for me not to learn, either.
i have read (and probably posted before) that writer's block stems from the inability to make a decision on things. so, you end up paralyzed and unable to melt the ice block that your brain has become. i'm sure experiencing feelings like that at the moment. as i always say, where there is no external pressure, i will apply it internally.
and of course, the same old songs running through my head... that classic "What if I never write again?" and the torch standard "You suck, you suck, you suck". or the punk breakout "Oi! All your ideas are wanky!" and so on.
i know from personal experience that this is normal. that all creative folks go through periods like this, whether they admit it or not. i bet even robert lepage has had an evening of self-doubt and loathing in his lifetime.
of course, i just realized today that i have a week more than i thought to turn in something (and believe me, i'm not looking for brilliance. i'm looking for a page with words printed on it that can be legally attributed to me), and it's something of a reprieve. at least, i'm looking at it as a reprieve, and not an extra week's sentence.
ironically, a girl on a message board i read was looking for story ideas today, and i rattled off quite a few off the top of my head. all with a beginning, a middle, and an end. and, that delicious additive/preservative, CONFLICT. so not only can it be done, I CAN DO IT. usually about inconsequential things that i'm not responsible for, but that's beside the point.
so. this should pass.
in other news, i stumbled upon a site that lets you create your own wiki for projects such as writing grocery lists, doing your marketing project, planning a trip, and, oh, say, writing a play. i'm kind of intrigued by it... the idea of having all my "stuff" organized in one, easy-to-access linkable page titillates the obsessive-compulsive part of my brain. although i can't quite see going to the trouble of creating a wiki for your grocery list.
but such is life.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

truly, a scent epic

you know that "scent story" product?
you know the one, where you put a little cd into a box, seemingly like the plastic records and turntable i used to play with as a child, but instead of music, it sends various smells into your home? supposedly these smells are calibrated in such a way that it takes you on a smelly journey. like you take a walk on the beach, and then you go home and bake cookies, and then you take a bubble bath. or something like that. i find it hard to believe that these combined smells wouldn't end up lingering in your living room and creating a stinky, unlivable atmosphere, but i suppose science is making all kinds of advances these days.
in any case, i began to wonder if i couldn't patent the "scent story" that plays out for FREE each time i enter my apartment building. this is how i imagine it to be...

once upon the time, there was a man, a man who'd spent the past 46 hours drinking cheap rye and chewing on cigarette butts. one of these had given him a rather unmentionable digestive problem, and he wandered through the lobby of my apartment, emitting tiny puffs of intense... ambiance. he found his way to the elevator (where earlier, a 19 year old dog with bladder control issues had ridden down with his owner, a 91 year old with bladder control issues of his own), and found himself taken ill. after finishing his business, he realized that the elevator wasn't moving fast enough, and that he would have to relieve himself, fortunately in the same spot where the aforementioned man and his dog had been standing. (get it? the layering of scent in this story is complex)
upon reaching the 13th floor, which, coincidentally, is the very same floor i live on, this unfortunate man staggered out of the elevator, where he was overcome by the fumes of yet another smell catastrophe: the self-taught plumber who "works" in the building. he seems to wander the complex, randomly pouring chemicals down people's drains, and creating clouds of sulfur-stinking fumes which drift and linger throughout the building.
it is at this point that the man in question, realizes he's in the wrong building, and is so overcome by this, that he passes out in the hallway. eventually, he will move on, but he's left his mark, a little concentrated scent exclamation to cap off our story.
or at least, that's how i imagine the scent story of my apartment building would play out. except on one random day of the week, when everyone simultaneously decides to fry fish and onions. perhaps there's a building discount i don't know about.
really, i can't imagine how layering some apple pie and beach smells on top of that wouldn't improve things.

and in the shadow of success...

abject failure!
after my perfect little cookies i made the other day, i decided to make some of the jell-o we have in the cupboard. so i followed the instructions. i mean, how hard is it to make jell-o?
but here's the thing: IT DIDN'T WORK. 24 hours later, the jell-o still has not set. and i believe it's not going to.
how did i screw up jell-o? could i have gotten a bad batch? what could be bad about it? is there some horrible chemical in my water which is slowly killing me, and i am ignoring the early warning signs of non-sett-able jell-o? is this going to be a real life episode of house, where they send someone to search my apartment and have their a-ha moment when they see the jell-o box in the garbage?
it's probably just a bad batch.
but weird.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

the perfect storm...?

seriously, people here were going nuts about "the worst blizzard in 20 years". on the morning news yesterday, they were recommending that people get child care for today, or start thinking about taking the day off work. because last night, the cold and snowy wrath of god was to descend on us. empires would collapse. cannibalism would run rampant. the only thing that would erase the chill would be the blazing fires set by rioters, driven mad and snowblind by this, the blizzard of the century.
all in all, it's been a pretty disappointing blizzard. certainly not something that ctv will make movies about, or that the tragically hip might write a song about. we got some snow, and it's really, really, REALLY cold now. like -35 cold. apparently the guys working on the ice sculpture festival were still going at it today, building their ice hotel, or ice lavatories, or whatever it is that they're using those chainsaws for. i myself did not venture outside today. instead, i made cookies and looked for a job.
and both have come to fruition! my cookies somehow turned out in perfect uniform little circles. and i have some job interviews coming up. unfortunately, one is tomorrow morning, and it's still going to be -30. and i used the last egg today, so i will have to stop and purchase more if i want to make more cookies. not that i should, but if i should want, i will probably require eggs.
the good news is next week it will be +3. so i guess that's not too good for the ice festival, but what can you do?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

and... take two

ok, so after a two week "relapse" into smoking, brought on by the hellhole unpleasantness that was Air Canada and Calgary, i am now once again smoke free. as of one hour ago. one hour down, the rest of my life to go.
oh god. let me advise you, if you are ever quitting something, don't think about it in terms of "well, no more of this FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE." just don't. it won't make things any easier.
so that should make the diet easier.
or not.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

if i can't lose any weight...

then perhaps i should gain myspace friends. i feel jealous of people who have 4000 friends. why don't i have that many friends? even pretend friends? i had thought about trying to make a new myspace friend for each day of the year, but that seems like too lame a project. or perhaps i should reward myself for each pound lost by gaining a myspace friend. of course demonstrating internetically how i will clearly become a better and more likeable person the thinner i get. ok, that seems like too psycho a project.
should i just start randomly friending people? or should i try to friend collections of people, like, say, all the winners of survivor plus the all-stars? or do it alphabetically, unable to move on to the next letter until i friend someone with the previous letter?
then again, i could try to make real friends.
nah. got plenty. i need an imaginary posse on the side.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

into each soup...

a ladybug must fall.
tonight i tried out one of my new cookbooks and made vegan potato-leek soup for dinner. so yummy. i would have taken a picture to class up the blog a bit, but i ate it instead.
j said it was delicious "except for this" and showed me a ladybug on the rim of his bowl. i, of course, immediately chalked this up to one of my numerous kitchen snafus, and was mortified. except the ladybug was moving. covered in potato leek goo, but moving. so while this begs the question "does a living bug in the soup make it non-vegan?", i realized that not even i could have washed the leeks as ineffectually as to have a ladybug survive the ensuing sauteeing, boiling, and pureeing to make it through to the other side. so we let the little guy go outside, even though i'm sure his potato-covered ass didn't make it much farther than the balcony. hey, i'm not running a bug hostel here, lucky or not.
j mentioned that this was the second one he'd seen this week. could we be on the verge of an infestation? an infestation of luck and cuteness?
i have a feeling that they won't be quite as cute en masse.
tomorrow is roasted cherry tomato pasta with soy cheese. hopefully insect-free.

Monday, January 01, 2007

... and a happy new year

well, i am back, and it is a whole new year already.
needless to say, i did finally make it out of calgary. while waiting for my cab, i nodded at the prostitute making a quick exit stage right from the lobby. and, of course, when i got to the airport, i found out that once again, my flight had been cancelled. but i made it home. exhausted, and covered in stress-induced hives, i made it home!
the post-christmas depression is upon me, with nothing more around me than christmas decorations my cat has torn down, and a host of candies and treats left over to eat. except that i should be on my newly-resolved diet. but that's another story, and one that is too shameful to be told.
speaking of shameful stories, i had a bizarre experience at a party last night. upon our introduction, my host's companion immediately asked me if i was from ottawa. cautiously, i replied i was. he then informed me that we'd gone to high school together, although we were barely acquaintances. later on, he made mention of his memories of me, which involve surly, uber-emo behaviour that was typical of me at around 17 or so. horrors! i have no recollection of any of our interactions. yet i had the impulse to apologize for my behaviour lo these many years ago. and a kind of nervous turmoil inside of not only being reminded of my past transgressions, but of there being actual physical evidence, in the form of this tall man in a tie. which i suppose just goes to show that no matter how far away you go, some things you can't leave behind.
unless you move to vancouver.
yeah, no one knows me there.