Thursday, January 31, 2008

Help! My boyfriend has been abducted by healthy aliens!

J strides up the gently sloping sidewalk while I lag behind, winded. "I'm exhausted!" I whine, and he smirks: "Now you know how I used to feel."
It's true, I've always been a fast walker. But now J is on his health kick, he not only walks with me, but walks quickly, all the better to burn calories. The recent snows have curtailed his running, so he's determined to make up for that by walking miles. I love the company, but illness and lack of activity have taken their toll. I cannot keep up, which is shaming. He's lost 15 pounds, would probably even have more energy if he didn't stay up until 3 am. For once, the green things in our fridge are supposed to be green, and are eaten with gusto by my man. It's me who has the eggs 'n potatoes, who can't forgo the sour-cherry-and -chocolate scone. But I've lost a bit of weight even so, due to the walks mainly.
I have a new part-time job, by the way. Kites 'n Puppets on Granville Island. Terrible pay, but it's only 2 days a week so I can look for other stuff. Hey, it's a start, right?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's cold here.

I cheated. This picture was actually taken on Boxing Day, but it will suffice, because it is as cold and snowy (on the mountains) today as it was then.
There is something magical about the shape of a roller coaster, especially one that's all alone. Something vaguely spooky about a fairground with nobody in it. Why is it that there's this creepy underside to carnivals and fairs, anyway? Maybe it's the fear and the fun lying side by side as we whirl and spin and swoop on old, creaky rides that might just fly apart on us. Or the carnies who would steal your wallet as soon as look at you. Anyway, whatever it is, I prefer to wander around Playland when no one's there, but that might just be that my inner ear can't cope with almost all the rides, so nausea is my constant companion if I actually venture on the rides.
Listening to Patty Griffin as I write this, which is making me envious. Her voice is gorgeous- she can do so much with simple chords and her writing is amazing. My voice is a croak today, thanks to this throat infection. I can't wait to be able to just open my mouth and wail again!
Above is a picture of my new group, the Redboot Quartet. Our faces are quite nice too, but the red boots sum us up so much better. This picture was taken at New Brighton Park just like the first picture of the mountains. It was last Sunday, it was freezing, and I was feeling ghastly. Then I had to go and record 4 challenging tracks right afterwards. The demo turned out better than I'd expected, all things considered. I made lots of goofs, which bugs me. But to the undiscerning ear, it probably sounds ok. Anyway, lots of our energy shines through, which is the main thing.
J continues to amaze me with his commitment to getting healthier. His is the passion of the newly converted, but it kills me when he looks at a label and says "Did you know that this fish sauce has over 1300 mgs of Sodium per tablespoon?" He runs and/or does a long walk every day. I'm so pleased for him, and it's good for me too, of course, since we're eating so much better (and smaller portions). Now, if anyone has any ideas about boosting a flagging immune system, bring it on, ok? I've said it before, but I'm so bloody sick of being sick.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I cannot. bloody. believe. this.

...this being the (apparently) Strep Throat I woke up with this morning. What the hell kind of cosmic tomfoolery is this? Don't you know, oh ye gods of pestilence and illness, that I've had lung-shaking, rib-cracking bronchitis/asthma/whatever for two months? That it was finally fading away these last few weeks and I was so happy to feel human again? That I was running, eating really healthily, forgoing all desserts? I was so damn happy to be able to walk down the street without making sure I'd peed 20 times because every time I coughed it was so racking that if there was any liquid in my bladder it would... trickle out? And now, now I ache all over, my throat has pointy knives living in it and to top it all off I had to suffer through a photo shoot and a recording session with Redboot? And I was so bloody cold all day and I had to look good and play well and I didn't exactly feel up to the task, dammit.
Well fuck you. I just ate a big bowl of frozen yogurt and I'd do the same in a second. Healthy eating my ass.

Blogging Into The Void

I see the stats every week, and they're usually pretty depressing. Each week one or two people view this blog, on average, probably by mistake, and move on, never to read it again. I get it. I'm not getting any blogging awards, few comments, almost no readers. And yet... it feels good just to put my words out here, even if it's just for me. I used to be so good at journaling when I was younger, and it feels great to do that again (even though I seldom re-read my entries, because doing so skews my site stats and I don't want to get all excited about my many readers only to realize oh no, that's just me). My world lacks structure right now- work is elusive, gigs come and go, no week is the same. "Writing" in this electronic diary is one of the few things I do regularly, and I'm proud that I've kept it up for so long. BTW, sorry about the lack of photos lately. I'm not taking any pix right now, but that's another habit I need to start keeping up on a regular basis.
Speaking of habits... I smell of cigarette smoke tonight, because I bummed 3 off Amelia, and I'm not proud of that. I will stop, I will stop, I will stop...
It's been a fabulous week of music; lots of practicing, rehearsing and performing. Tomorrow, the Redboot Quartet records a demo and has a photo shoot, which should be fun. We played at the Push Festival fundraiser on Thursday (after midnight, and I had school the next morning which was hard) and we were popular, by all accounts. Then I saw friends playing last night and tonight, which I haven't done in a long while. Hanging out tonight with friends while J shot the bands with his HD camera I was filled with joy to be spending the evening with such wonderful musicians who also happen to be lovely friends. It's a funny life, this, and it's hard, but the rewards are huge.
This week: school (which I have to get caught up on- this lack of schedule in my life is making me listless about homework), hopefully some work, (had a job interview on Friday for a store near me that pays abysmally but is flexible and seems fun), and... babysitting twins! Yes, the same ones I looked after a few month ago. But I'll get paid this time and they're pretty cute, although they're super-exhausting. And it'll be a good reminder to keep gulping the birth control pills, ha ha.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Any jobs out there for accordion-playing booksellers?

It's so humbling to realize that you are qualified for very few professions in life. Music Director? Yes, but only if I don't have to play the piano, which I can't really do. Musician? Well, yes, but there's so much I still need to learn. Babysitter? Ok in a pinch, but kids are exhausting and I only want to do it for my friends. Retail? I am a damn good bookseller. But the pay's for shit. I've somehow reached the age of 33 without *ever* waitressing, line-cooking or temping, so those jobs are probably out. I don't even own one set of "business casual" clothing, something I realized while sitting at my job interview the other day in a funky black skirt, black top, red hat and long red boots. In the corporate world of BBW International Event Management I was a non-conformist ugly duckling who stuck out a mile. However... I did get a job out of them, a horrible-sounding job that entails checking the ID of everyone who's going into this big food & beverage convention. Even the woman who interviewed me warned me that it would probably suck because people don't like to be told they're not allowed in. And... I have an interview at Wonderbucks on Friday. Maybe there'll be cheap houseware in my future! Really, all I want to do is play music, study music and perform music for money. But it ain't gonna happen like that, not in Vancouver.
The Redboot Quartet gets better by leaps and bounds, though. I've probably played more this last 2 weeks than I have in months and months. It's amazing how quickly you improve when you're playing at least 2 hours a day. We have our second gig tomorrow night- I can't wait!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

drunken moments

"Did I make a drunken fool of myself last night, Jon?"
"Well, only a little bit."

...and I'm paying for it today with a hangover that is only now receding, at 2 in the afternoon. How does it get this late in the day so soon? Oh yeah, it's because we don't get up 'til noon!
Stellar rehearsing and partying last night until the wee hours (oh I see as many hours in the day as all you 9-5ers, they're just not the same hours). I looked around the table at my 3 bandmates as we were eating our roast chicken dinner- we like to eat and drink together as well as play music-and I thought this is the band I've been waiting for. This could be the one.
Job interview tomorrow for a big event management corporation- pray for me.

And lastly, this is my 100th post. Not a very profound one, I know, but I've stuck it out here in Blogland since March and I'm still lovin' it!

Monday, January 7, 2008

gettin' back to it

I'm sure it's not just me who has this haaaard time with getting back into any sort of routine after the holidays. Even though I don't actually have any sort of routine, ha ha! Even though Christmas sort of snuck up on us this year, after the Festive Day itself, which went by quickly & quietly, I stretched the holidays out as long as I could by going to Chemainus and then to Kelowna, and having just returned 3 days ago I still see evidence of Christmas around the house. The white fairy lights are still up, cards still hang off our blinds, presents perch uneasily on our dresser. The presents and the cards will go (today, if I get it together), but it's always a wrench taking down the lights as they are so lovely.
The fact that I am sort of waiting to find out what kind of work I'll be doing the next few months and what my schedule is makes it hard to settle into a routine. School helps; my 2 classes begin this week and I lurched out of bed at 8:30 this morning to attend Arranging. I nearly didn't go, having stayed up too late watching episodes of Jericho, but I'm really glad I did. This term we'll be working on 4-part harmony arrangements, which is right up my alley. I got some assignments back from last term and was amazed to see that I got 75% on my Jazz Theory exam, which considering I crammed for it the night before is nothing short of a miracle.
Paid work may be scarce, but the brand-new Redboot Quartet already has a gig, thanks to an old crush of mine who saw us play at the Leaky Heaven Circus fundraiser last month. We'll be playing 3 songs at the Push cabaret next week which is perfect because we only know about 3 songs so far!
Health-wise... J & I have decided to try and get healthy (I know, that's such an original thought to have at the start of a new year!), and are cutting out sweets and some carbs. J actually made some "rice" out of grated-up cauliflower last night that was surprisingly not-sucky. I have terrible trouble visualizing life without chocolate & gumdrops, so I guess I'll have to try and live as addicts do: one day at a time and all that. I think J was unpleasantly surprised to be fainting again, and also his blood pressure is up. I still have the dreaded Bronchitis, although Stepmom June rushed to my aid in Kelowna and bought all these naturopathic potions for me to ingest. Something called Bronchosan, which contains ivy and star anise and all sorts of other plants, and is supposed to calm my congested lungs, and oregano oil, which if even half the research about it is true is better than the second coming. So far though, no matter how much I want these natural medicines to kick ass, I must say that they are having no effect whatsoever.
I think I'm gonna have to head back to the doctor- I really need/want to be running and exercising and it's hard when even laughing makes me hack up a lung. I am sick of being sick!
Lastly... as I was saying in my last post, I am confused but grateful by how close I have felt to J since my return from Kelowna. Something has sparked in our relationship that was laying dormant for a while there. Now there is more passion again and I am thrilled, although slightly puzzled. I don't know why this would be; nothing specific has sparked it... but I will be grateful and try my hardest to keep it aflame.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Grey Planes & Gloomy Skies

Today, as my mom & I scoured Chinatown for hula hoops to spin ourselves to healthier weights (don't ask), a huge grey military plane circled downtown Vancouver menacingly, over and over. It was the threat of that as much as the cloudy skies & chilly winds that cut our shopping trip short. Later, I heard on news radio that it was just taking pictures of downtown as part of a military exercise, and to prepare for the Olympics. Funny how chilling it was though, especially since J & I have been gorging ourselves on the post-apocalyptic tv series "Jericho".
I flew back from Kelowna yesterday, through bumpy skies (ugh). I'm actually glad I've been able to fly 6 times in the last month, as it proves to me that I can handle it, although I may never like it much. I so want to travel in the next few years, and now I have my passport it feels so much more tangible, so if flying is the price I have to pay to see the world, bring it on!
J dropped onto the floor in a dead faint yesterday at Blockbuster Video, which is so much better than if he had done so in the car, although still puzzling and scary. I was just asking him if he wanted to keep the video membership card in his wallet when he said "I guess so" in a really dopey voice and folded to the floor. This is the 4th or 5th times he's done that in the last couple of years and I really wish that the doctors could figure out why. Brain tests this time, instead of the heart tests he had last time- let's hope they figure out why this is happening! I'm scared it's going to happen when he's driving somewhere...
I came back from Kelowna more in love with him than I've felt for a while, grateful for his warmth and comfort, and happy to cocoon for a while as I try and kick this bronchial bug. Sometimes love catches me by surprise and I feel so thankful for it, after all these years.