Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's been too long since I fired up my camera for anything more meaningful than the odd self-portrait/Facebook profile shot. My little camera makes my eyes look impossibly green, although when I look in the mirror more often than not they look blue to me. My face sometimes looks older than I expect, although not as old as I actually am. I don't smile because it crinkles up my best feature (eyes) and shows up my less pretty one (mouth). So I shoot for dreamy and mysterious, but often end up looking slightly fed up, even when I'm not.
I wish I'd taken pictures this week though, because this is the kind of post that really needs a shot to back it up.
I spent the week hanging out with a dear friend and getting to know another one better. It was raining, that really hard Vancouver rain that we turn on in the winter to scare the tourists away. She was in town to get her eyes fixed anyway, not to gallivant. So we did a lot of driving in the rain. Walking in the rain. Swearing about the rain. And then today's wind blasted all the clouds away and the mountains said see, we live here too and the waves danced and seagulls rode updrafts past the top-floor window of the fabulous West End apartment we were lucky enough to be in this afternoon.
We did a lot of relaxing too, the three of us. Eye surgery and a cold and bad weather led to divine laziness. (Guys, it's all true!!! When you're not around we spoon each other and give great scalp massages and lie on the living room futon snuggling and talking about sex and boys and all the other important and confusing things in life! Just like in your fantasies, except without the full-on nudity and unconvincing moaning!) My girlfriends all have a sad tendency to live or move miles away from me; now I know that I need to schedule more girl-time, by hook or by crook.
Here's the shot I took on my iPod and am totally unable, for reasons that are too boring to go into, to email to myself:
Three sensibly-clad feet on rainy pavement, posed on a tile that spells out the name of our tiny Goldrush town in the Cariboo. Two of us wanted to show the Vancouver newbie one of the best views in town, but it was so rainy and cold that we snapped a couple of pictures and retreated to a warm house, armed with steaming bowls of beef Pho soup. I ate more Pho this week than I have in a lifetime. I am now in love with Pho. I could eat it every day for a month and still come back for more.
My bank account is dangerously low. I need to jog all the Pho (and chocolate; girls eat a lot of chocolate) and salty snacks out of my system. But I wouldn't have traded this week for anything.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Women and Wine

Sitting around a cozy kitchen table tonight with five beautiful, sexy, fun women tonight
and a couple bottles of wine.
I don't spend too much time with girls en masse
I'm more used to mixed groups, or just men.
Groups of girls make me a bit fidgety, as a rule.
Not because I'm a boy-magnet (I'm NOT), but because I'm not very girly really.
Sometimes it can feel like a meeting for a club that I'm not a member of
But I had a good time tonight
Lots of laughter and the kind of conversation you can only have when
there are no men around and
I realized that I haven't spent much time around groups of women since school
and it felt pretty good.

Not coincidentally
Boys are confusing
or really, I suppose they're crystal clear and I'M confused.
In the interests of not being a blabbermouth I will only say
that it is weird to
simultaneously hold the upper hand
and be in thrall at the same time
That's all I can really say right now
and I'm glad I can retreat into Girl World for the time being

On the plus side
I haven't bitten my nails in a really long time
I think this may be a record in my 37 years of life on this earth
I've been running, too
I haven't been to the gym and I've been eating out like it's an Olympic sport
So next month it's time to get serious and start exercising for real because
one of my best friends is taking me dogsledding at the end of February
DOGSLEDDING!! How cool is that?
I can't wait to go visiting up north for a week
Can't wait.

I need to get serious about finding work
before the money runs out
because a month of eating in restaurants with friends
will tax the ol' bank account no end

That's all I've got right now except
I have to go out tomorrow night too-
One more friend is in town, playing her squeezebox
and I will venture out to see her
and then I REALLY need to behave myself
This has been a self-indulgent month
and although I don't feel all that guilty
I need to rein it in a bit/
a lot

I don't know quite how to end this post
except to say:
I love all my friends
I am tired of unrequited... whatever
I have recorded some great songs this month
I don't want to hurt anyone
I don't want to get hurt
I am very lucky
I have been very content for weeks on end and it feels wonderful
I am grateful

Thursday, January 19, 2012

loose lips

I have been eating all day.
My excuse: it's cold (for Vancouver). I can't complain- friends up north tell me it's minus 30 where they are. Suddenly minus three doesn't seem all that bad. It's a good thing this cold snap is an anomaly; a whisper of icy wind and my body reaches for the chips. And the bread. And the candy. Andandand...
Now I understand why the little old ladies in cold Slavic countries are round, more often than not.
I had a lazy day, eating and checking Facebook far more often than I should. This evening, someone posted this article.
I read it and saw more of myself in there than I was comfortable with.
Not in the wife, who weathered a bad year and saved her marriage, at least for the time being...
...but in the person who wanted to leave his marriage because his pride and self esteem were at a low ebb. Because it was easier to wipe the slate clean with an angry hand than to stay and rebuild. I thought about this for a moment. Went a ways down the road of maybe and if and why. But then I shook my head.
What's done is done. It doesn't matter why I left. I don't know if I'll ever really know all the reasons why. It's too late to go back, even if I wanted to. What I need to do is make sure that I do the best I can, always. That in the future I'm as classy as I can be, and as honest, and as kind.
And that includes what I choose to say, both here and in person...
...because I'm a "tell the world" kinda gal. When I have important news-especially if it's about love- I tend to blurt it out to everyone I meet.
There are few things as satisfying as telling someone something juicy and getting a great reaction. But...
It's not very kind. Or very classy. Or very mature. And the things I write here could come back to haunt me in a big way. Even if they don't, I don't want to be ashamed of the things I've said.
So while I can't guarantee that I won't sometimes blurt out a juicy tidbit to the right person, I AM going to try to be a wee bit more discreet.
Because frankly, things are getting more interesting by the day around here.
More news on that when I figure out what to say, and how to say it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

on jobs, friends and running

application form:
why do employers want to know such ridiculous things?
"highly motivated"
"good communicator"
"team player"
let's cut to the truth here:
I need this job because nothing better came along.
I will work as hard as I can for you; in return you will pay me a shitty hourly wage
and when I find something better-
please god let that be soon-
we will part not-friends not-enemies
and you will be another notch on my resume

I signed up for a job search program today
actually I'm pretty excited
I hope they can help me find the skills I need
to get ahead
to find work that I love
to be better at the work I am already doing

I need some money flowing in
this month that means
role-playing for medical exams
and maybe some busking
as well as applying for some retail stuff

i know one of the things that will come up
in this job-search course:
I am afraid:
i have great ideas but I'm hell on follow-through
I would rather languish in poverty than risk rejection
I am lazy:
I would rather do the easy thing than the thing that takes discipline
I hope they can help me change this about myself.
I think between them and me we can do this.
Sometimes I believe this.

In spite of the uncertainties I feel pretty positive right now
the weather is amazing
I have been running
exploring further east
parks and shops
bought a few more albums for the turntable
friends have appeared and reappeared in my life
I wake up happy and excited
Not knowing if it is the sun-
a welcome shot of vitamin D-
or just my body's mysterious chemistry-
which gives and takes away happiness
seemingly at random
I enjoy it while it lasts
all of it:
the uncertainty
the welcome surprise of an unexpected email
pushing my body to run further, faster
the sound of Lady Day crackling through my speakers
a free, unemployed, delightful day of running and exploring
dinner with an old friend; slipping into the easy chatter we've shared
since grade three

I have found gratitude again
I will try to hang onto this feeling
when the sky deadens
when no one calls
when the bank accounts drain and the Visa bill mounts
when I long to be kissed
I will try to remember today.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How I Got Food Poisoning and It Led to Spontaneous Enlightenment, At Least Until the Next Time I Feel Grumpy About Something

So there I was, on Thursday, feeling kind of toxic again. Vancouver in the winter, the long, rainy winter- she does that to stronger souls than me.
I had been on the bus, the (in)famous Number 14 bus; watched with disgust as a man- who really didn't look all that nutty- got on, opened his briefcase, got out a pack of wieners, slit them open, took one out and began to munch it. Its meaty wiener smell drifted over to me, blech. It was floppy, and flesh-coloured. Luckily, I had to get off the bus right then. Somehow that random act of ew seemed to encapsulate the whole day for me.
It was the inevitability of the clouds and the rain.
It was yet ANOTHER example of how people can be pigs, especially on downtown eastside transit.
It was the 2 hours of training I was going to, which added up to about 25% of my total work hours this month. No money coming in, too much going out= bad.
It was knowing that the Guy I Really Like doesn't feel the same way about me, however much I may not want that to be the truth.
It was feeling as if everyone else was working, or making grand opportunities happen, or creating something amazing, while I was stuck in this backspin of poverty and frustration and stagnation.
I came home that afternoon feeling pretty sorry for myself.
And cooked myself dinner, because whatever else has happened, a tasty home-cooked dinner can make the end of the day brighter, right?
Well, it did, until about 5-o'clock yesterday morning, when the salmon I'd cooked and enjoyed began to make itself known.
I'm not finished with you yet.
By the time I was supposed to get up and go snowshoeing with a friend, it was clear to me that neither the snowshoe adventure, nor the band I was supposed to see with another friend, nor any of the other plans I had for yesterday, were going to happen. I was going to have a long and painful day communing with the porcelain gods.
And I did. I'll spare you the gut-wrenching, scenes-from-The-Exorcist, passing-out-on-the-bathroom-floor details. They weren't fun. On the plus side, I got a LOT of extra reading and sleeping accomplished.
But as I rested, I got some thinking done. And I realized that no one else is going to come along and save me. Not my family, not my friends, not some Dream Guy, wherever-or WHOever- he is. Don't get me wrong: I wouldn't be half the person I am without the people I love. But if I truly want to be happy, and make this life work, then it's going to have to start with me.
And when I awoke this morning, not only was all the bad salmon purged from my system, but so were the bad feelings.
I'm not saying it's a miraculous cure- I'm sure I'll still wake up feeling crappy some days. But I'm going to try and banish those feelings, whatever it takes.
I'm sorry I've been such a drag lately. It's been a hard few months. But I've been making it harder than it needs to be.