Friday, November 23, 2007

braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains . . .

i am a late person. i try to be on time, really i do - i know how disrespectful it is to be constantly late, and how inconvenient, and blah blah blah, but i am BAD WITH MORNINGS and WORSE WITH DEADLINES. today, i was late for work; but for once it was not my fault.

as i walked into the subway station today, i heard a train pull away. no worries - i picked up a metro, went downstairs, and prepared to wait. a train pulled in, packed to the rafters. i didn't try to board. it left and another train came, more full than the last one. i stayed on the platform. another train came and went. and another. and they were all dangerously overloaded.

obviously something was up. every entryway was jammed with people and you couldn't see through to the other platform through the windows. the platform began to fill up with people who were, like me, waiting to catch a subway. a few held back, but some exceptionally foolish citizens attempted to rush the doors. some wiggled through, thanks more to the kindness of strangers than to their own pigheadedness.

then a train went out of service and there was pandemonium! disgruntled passengers everywhere on platform, protesting loudly! i'm not going to say that i wasn't pissed off - because that would be a lie - but quite frankly, there was no one to complain to and nothing to be done by complaining. the subway system was fubar, and none of us were going to get to work on time.

now here's where the story gets creepy. trains kept crawling in, going at the snail's pace that means there's trouble somewhere on the line. people were jammed in every possible space. the glass was fogged and hands were pressed against windows. and yet, every time the train would creak to a stop to let people disembark, the sea of humanity around me would heave and shuffle and gravitate to the doors. it was like a horror movie. people had been zapped of common sense and were launching themseves slowly but inexorably inside the subway cars. like zombies, they lurched and mumbled, intent on their dopey purpose . . . to get in and suck on brains, i guess.

i went home after an hour. i passed a paramedic vehicle on my way out. i hope they do brain transfers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


i love me some glittery sparkly stuff. and i do love me a wedding. in fact, the only thing that could be better than sparklies or a wedding is sparklies AND a wedding. to quote roberto; goodness gracious me, i think i have the vapours.

i've been putzing around with glass and silver, pearl and crystal for almost four years now. i started in australia - i was bored, i was lonely, and i really really liked jewellery. i passed by a bead store on swanson street every day on my way to class, and when i finally though to go in, i was hooked. french-hooked. i've thought and thought about trying to sell the hundreds of pretty little baubles that i churn out, if only to subsidize my addiction, and always come back to the idea that perhaps i'm not quite good enough for that yet.
and then - a very old friend, bless 'er, got the bright idea that perhaps i could make some trinkets for her bridesmaids to wear at her fairytale winter wedding next year. i said yes so fast i think i made her head spin. now i dream of swarovski crystal bicones and think in terms of millimetres. my mind is filled with the creamy glow of white freshwater pearls and constantly mulling over the possibilities of top-to-bottom drilled vs. sideways. i ponder shapes and textures and colours and patterns of all sorts.
here's what else has come out of that so far:

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. all so terribly exciting! and it gets me thinking, too, about what's next - cool pale green jade and silver? bright sea-blue and rich bronze-y copper? can't wait to try it out. being an academic feels good(ish). being a magpie -artisan feels even better.

Monday, November 12, 2007

sixteen tons

i need to start by stating that i know it's all about loving yourself and being comfortable in your own skin. i need to say that i believe fashion magazines are pure garbage and that north americans hate fat people . . . even though we are fat people. i also, most importantly, need to say that the only thing that defines beauty is a lack of definition. virginia woolf is beautiful in a long, pointy-nose kind of way. natalie portman is beautiful in a tiny, big-eyed, childlike kind of way. queen latifah is beautiful in a zaftig kind of way. having said all that, i think i'm too fat.

i've ballooned twice in the past two years - once last xmas, when i had my standard grad-student-nervous-breakdown, and once again in the past two months as i stumbled over the deadline. i have three pairs of pants that fit me and all my shirts ride up too high. my waist is getting thicker and thicker. i need to wear the awful-named plus-size. OR DO I? who the hell knows? everyone's so damn concerned about what's beautiful and what's not that any standardization in sizing (an idea that has its own problems) goes out the window.

ran down to reitman's in an attempt to find something to wear to my graduation on friday. found three shirts and one dress, went for size 16 in all of them. (size sixteen plus size, not size sixteen normal. reitman's normal stuff goes up to fifteen, but plus starts at fourteen. AND A PLUS FOURTEEN MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE SAME AS A NORMAL FOURTEEN. WTF?)

one sixteen fit. one sixteen was too snug around the breasts but hung like a sack around the middle and sleeves. one was too small. one was too big. and these are four pieces in the same size from the same line from the same store.

why am i telling you this? i'm telling myself that the label is nothing but a damn number that makes no sense to anyone anyway. nobody sees my label but me, so why should i care if it says fourteen or sixteen or eighteen or thirty-two?

(well, because i think i'm too fat. but at least i'm fat and i have a pretty blouse to wear at my graduation. small mercies, no pun intended.)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

if that's all there is, my friends, then let's keep dancing

i am feeling a bit like peggy lee in the later years of her life. a little fat, a little bloated, way too comfortable in clothes with no waist, and inclined to ask "is that all there is?"

maybe it's the inevitable letdown from having lived off of adrenaline for the past two years. there was always some crisis ready to rear its ugly head, whether it was illness or death in the family, a monstrous cash shortage, or impending academic deadlines. i hated it all and i kept telling myself to keep slugging it out, to just hang in there, and it would be over eventually. and now it is over, and how do i feel? bored and lazy, that's how.

you know how good it feels to have a productive day? when everyone you call is there on the end of the line and you can put a satisfying "tick" next to yet another item on the mental "to-do" list? sometimes i have those days. but more often then not, i'll take the crazy jack-pug out and then collapse on the couch to do some reading. and readings all well and good, but not if you fall asleep until four in the afternoon.

sadly, days at work aren't much better. it's so still and quiet here, in this cubicle within a room with no windows (if such a thing as a blip in space time exists, it'd be in a contemporary office building). i have enough to keep me busy but every task is made up of thousands of other little tasks that never seem to go anywhere, like a recipe with thirty ingredients and forty steps that winds up as scrambled eggs anyway. i lack fire under my ass.

so i've adopted the one-thing-at-a-time philosophy. i'm employed and i'm going to pay my bills. i'm going to finish organizing my apartment. i'm going to focus on my health and look for a job that challenges and excites me. i'm going to go to europe next summer and i'm going to publish my last MA essay and i'm going to keep on dancing, because there are few things so terrible that we can't find a way to live through it. the fire, she is a leetle smoulder now. but the lighter fluid, she gets added drop by drop until we have brisk, beautiful, dancing flames.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

return to the land of the living

new blog.  new day.  same origami ducks.

to pick up where i left off - back in april i started to compile data for a big, comics-related project.  it was to be the last piece of a very long, very painful m.a.  i was so close!  so close!  so i decided that i would have to take a break from blogging while i finished writing.

and then, i lost my job.

it was not a good time.

but six months later, it is over.  i am here and i am telling you that i am not going.  heeeeeeeeee.  i tried to return to my sweet, overprocessed windows live space, but there was just too much crap going on there - photos and lists and booklists and blah blah blah, when all i ever posted was in the blog column.  so i've similtaneously slimmed down and bulked up, and i'm looking forward to pouring my heart out into the cold, sweet emptiness of cyberspace.

it feels strange to be writing this and not have it be procrastination.  what am i going to do with myself?