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Archive for November, 2008

I’m quite irritable today.  What else is new, right?  

Today there is a better reason that just my general predisposition.  

I was out late at a fundraising event and am fully feeling the effects today. Full blown, all the way.  I’m so out of it (code for: hung the f over) that as I sat on the bus on the way to work I wondered whether or not I put socks on, and also, I wondered what exactly I was wearing.  I’m not one to go anywhere after work on a weekday, because, well, because of exactly this.  

Work is pretty much unbearable.  The only thing that is getting me through these last couple of hours is my rendition of T.G.I.F, which is I.F.F.F. (It’s finally fucking friday).  

Finally.  

It’s interesting when I’m in this kind of mood.  Either I’m more relaxed than usual and nothing can phase me or I’m super irritable and every tiny thing drives me completely insane. I’m half and half today.  

On transit, nothing phased me.  I got shoulder checked, and had my foot stomped on, and I was pretty much okay with it.  

At work, it’s a different story.  It’s entirely more painful than usual. I literally want to lob my stapler at choice people (when I’m not randomly stapling invisible documents to sound busy).  The volume decibel of everything is intolerable.  It’s next to impossible to keep my eyes open.  It’s even more impossible to not prematurely announce my secret plans* in my loudest outside voice.  

*Secret plan to be announced on here soon… very exciting, I promise.  

I fear the commute home.  

With a passion.  

I pray that I don’t clock a fellow commuter in the head if they look at me the wrong way.  Maybe it’s best if I pretend to read, sleep, or do a crossword so that I don’t become the latest story in the free transit paper. 

We’ll see how that goes.

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I have issues with personal space.  Some days I can handle it, some days, not so much. Today is one of those days.  

While I was waiting for my last bus today, in the army style line up, I noticed the woman behind me sneaking closer, baby step by baby step.  I could tell because I could see her shadow.  She was reading the paper, and at one point it grazed my hair.  There’s tons of space.

Tons.  

I thought, ‘What’s up with this chick standing right on my ass?! Goddamn, I’m really not in the mood.  I can smell her coffee breath. Gross. Did her paper just touch my hair? What the f. MOVE.’

So, I played a little game.  

I moved up.  

She moved up.  

I moved up.  

She moved up.  

I moved sideways.

She moved sort of beside me.  

I moved up.  

She sneezed in my hair.  

In.

My.

Hair.  

She didn’t even cover her mouth.

Gross. What on earth is wrong with people?  

As far as I’m aware, my hair does not resemble a box of Kleenex.  I mean, even if she didn’t have time to cover her mouth, she could have at least turned her head slightly so her bodily fluids landed on the pavement rather than in my hair.  

Imagine the consideration.  I made sure to shoot her dirty looks and sat far from her.  I didn’t have the caffeine intake or patience to say anything, and even if I did, it wouldn’t have done any good really.

So, I scored a sweet bus seat, and an older woman plopped down beside me.  I say, ‘plopped’ because she entered the seat blindly, with the hopes of landing in her spot, but instead her butt landed on part of my leg.  After she shimmied over, she continued to check her watch 7 times.  

I counted.  

The reason I noticed was because every time she checked, she took off her glove and elbowed me in the side.  

Every time.  

Glove On. Glove Off. Glove On. Glove Off. Glove On. Glove Off.  

I was sitting beside the wall, so there was no where for me to move.  I was literally sitting sort of sideways and pressed up against the window, with the hopes her poking would stop.  Nah.

Whenever I have days like this, I think of that Seinfeld episode when Elaine gets stuck on the subway as she is on her way to a wedding.  She totally freaks out – whether it’s a good thing or not, I’m exactly the same. Sometimes I just want to scream at the top of my lungs and literally knock some sense into my fellow transit commuters.  

Instead, for now, I suppose I will settle for overly obvious eye rolls, shoulder checks, and the occasional swift tackle.  

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I’m on a roll folks, on a roll indeed.  

Code for: I’m honestly going to pass out from boredom and therefore must write many-a-blog entry to keep myself semi-sane. 

Thanks to a fabulous post by Let it Blurt (no sarcasm here, for serious), I have been inspired to write about about a teacher and mentor that passed almost 10 years ago. I don’t talk about it to anyone really, although I think about it all the time.  I never realized how he had impacted my life until he lost his.    

Mr. B was my high school art teacher.  I had him 7 times in 5 years, since I took every type of art and film class available.  I also dealt with him in the various after school activities I threw myself into.  I was positively convinced that I hated him in high school.  He was such a hard ass.  He criticized every little thing, even if he liked it.  

The same group of us travelled through 5 years of his classes.  I’m pretty sure he made every single person bawl uncontrollably in front of the class, at least once.  For me, I count at least two times.  

The harder he pushed me, the more I fought with him.  He was so pompous and expected all of our free time to be spent on his class.  He could tell if I spent 9 hours on a piece or 3 hours, just by glancing at it.  I tried to fool him so many times, but to no avail.  Not only would he point out your mistakes, but he would make sure to do it publicly.  It was like he thrived on embarassing his students.  

Wow, I’m really making him sound great, huh?  

In reality, he really was.  Not only was he an incredible artist, he was also a walking text book.  He knew everything about everything. He taught us like university students and introduced us to things they didn’t even touch on in college – art college as a matter of fact.  My last exam with him was the most difficult test I’ve ever written.  Ever. That includes many a test in art college, journalism and sociology.  

Before graduation he sat me down and told me the plan he had in mind for my future.  He wanted me to take the same path that he had.  First, a fine arts degree from university, then an art program at college.  

I was so stubborn.

He went out of his way and got me a personal interview with the head of the art department at a top university – I went, got in, but turned it down.  He tried to tell me I made the wrong choice by going to the school I decided on.  

I ignored him.

I asked him how he knew that.  He told me I wouldn’t like the direction and wouldn’t last.  

I thanked him for his encouragement.  

I had a 5 panel interview to get into that school, and got accepted. I went, and like he predicted, didn’t last long.  I remember when I made the choice to stop attending that school.  I was so messed up, mentally, physically, every which way.  

The first person I called was Mr.B. I bawled, whined, and bitched with no direction in sight. He was so understanding.  No ‘I told you so.’  He helped me work on a plan to get myself back on my feet.  We talked for hours on end.  

I couldn’t believe that the man who I thought I hated, the man who criticized me and made me cry, the man who thought he knew what was best for me, was actually listening to me and helping me work through hard times.  

We met up when I was back in town and made plans to discuss things over some glasses of wine.  The next time I was back in the city, I called and cancelled.  

The last words I said to him were, “Sorry.  I have to cancel. Maybe next time.”  

Right before I went to Barbados for my usual escape getaway, I learned the terrible news.  He had died in a car accident.  I still went on my trip, felt guilty and still do to this very day that I never made it to his funeral.  That may sound ridiculous – but it’s true.  

I never got over it.

I regret never telling him how much he impacted my life.  I never apologized for being a complete asshole throughout my entire high school career.  I never told him that I finally realized all of the pushing and criticizing actually helped me work harder, and that it was his plan all along.

I never said thank you.  

Not once.

Every time I pick up a paintbrush, pencil or piece of charcoal I think of him. I remember every technique he ever taught me.  

I keep going on a piece even when I think it’s done because he always used to say, ‘a great piece of art is never finished.’  

Every time I see I piece of art I don’t necessarily like, I study it and try to find the aesthetic value of it, because ‘you can never hate a work of art.  It’s all relative, it’s your job to find the beauty of it.’  

Though I was too naive to realize it at the time, he brought out the best of me. 

Phew.  

Well, now that I’m all steamy eyed…

Here’s the moral of the story:  

‘If you admire somebody, you should go head and tell them. People never get the flowers, while they can still smell them.’

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So here’s a question that I’m sure has been asked many times, but, I’m going to talk about it anyways, because, well, I have nothing better to do at the moment.

Last night I went to pick up a few things, and made a little pit stop in the ice cream aisle.  Yes, even though I’m freezing my ass off, I still enjoy some yummy Haagen Daaz goodness.  

So I took a gander and noticed something that I’ve noticed before many times, and quite frankly, it annoys the shit out me.  

The regular flavours are one price, and for the exact same weight/size, the half-fat variety is over a dollar more.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Haagen Daaz and want all the fat it offers.  And I realize that really, no ice cream is healthy.  But it’s everywhere else too.

Seriously.  

Why on earth is it more expensive to eat healthy?  

WHY?  

I mean, the media is constantly preaching, healthy this, healthy that, healthy me, healthy you…

Healthy, shmealthy.  

Okay.  Sure.  I’m totally up for healthy.  Totally.  So, why can’t I afford to eat that way?

For all those critics that knock on low-income people and say that they eat too much shit food… why do you think?  

Why does it cost me more to buy a bag of apples than a combo at McDonalds?  

Why can I get 6 Toaster’s Strudels for $1.69, but have to pay over $8 for 2 deformed looking chicken breasts?  

Why can I get ten boxes of Kraft Dinner for $10 but have to pay $12.99 for a measly couple pieces of fish?

Let’s not even start with the organics.  

And yes, I’m logical and understand supply/demand/economy/weather and society in general. 

Still, it annoys me.  

I’ve always considered myself a pretty healthy eater. Fruits and veggies used to be the bulk of my diet.  Since my income has decreased incredibly, it’s rare that I digest either.  

I mean, obviously I’m going to chose the inexpensive, unhealthy, filling option, rather than the expensive, healthy, semi-filling option.

As I pondered this, I decided against the ice cream and got the Toaster’s Strudels. Neither are a healthy choice, but at least I get six goo filled pastries for 3 quarters of the price.  

Damn.

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Surprise!!  I’m bored again, time for another random story:

I wouldn’t call myself a ‘liar’ but I have definitely bent the truth when using random excuses throughout my life.  Most of them come from my school years.  I literally used and abused every single excuse there could possibly be.  I’m pretty sure I can write a trilogy of my excuses, but here I will just name a choice few for now.

Excuse #8965

One year in high school I had about a 3 hour time span of no class.  Still, I managed to be late for the class that followed.  Lucky for me, the teacher I had was super harsh on lateness, so my excuses came in quite handy (although, for the record, he saw right through me – but that didn’t matter, since it was the office that had to sign the late slip).  So one time I was late for class and headed to the office for my usual late slip signage.  I had to deal with the vice principal instead of the usual secretary.  Damn.  This had to be good.

Me:  Hi, I’m late for Mr. B’s art class.

VP:  How come? What happened?

Me:  Well, I was at Julia’s house for lunch, and you know, her dog is pregnant.

VP:  Uh huh.  And…

Me:  Well, there we were, munching on our peanut butter sandwiches, the crunchy peanut butter, you know, I like that it has bits of peanuts right in there….

VP:  Uh huh… and?

Me:  Oh ya, and all of a sudden, the dog started to give birth!

VP:  Wow.  Really.

Me:  Ya.  It was crazy.  And we couldn’t just leave, you know?  No one else was home.  They just kept popping out.

VP:  Really.  So, what kind of dog was it?

Me:  Golden Retriever. 

VP:  What colour were the puppies?

Me:  Golden?

VP:  How many?

Me:  Well, you know the odds.  There were 8, but only 7 survived.  We named them Sugar, Cocoa, Sprinkles… er… Spotty… 

VP:  Okay, okay.  Here’s your slip.  Get out of here.

I practically skipped all the way to my class with a sense of accomplishment. I waved it proudly in front of Mr. B’s face and he asked me what my reason was.  I repeated the above story, sticking to it as best as possible.  He laughed in my face, told me to haul my ass back to the office, and asked me what kind of idiot would believe a lame excuse like that.  I showed him that the slip was signed by none other than the VP. The only thing he could mutter was, ‘Jesus Christ’ and I sat back at my desk, victorious yet again.

Excuse #2309

I went to a Catholic school and had to wear a uniform.  Looking back, I actually sort of enjoyed not having to think about what I was wearing everyday.  Still, I always tried to push the limit by wearing the wrong colour knee socks, unacceptable shoes, polo shirts and cardigans without the school logo, and so on and so forth.  

Sometimes I really didn’t want to go to class, and figured, what better than to ‘spill’ something on my clothes so that I would have to go home and change.  Since public transit didn’t go from my school to my neigbourhood, that meant walking home and back, which generally meant a couple hours off, but, if I did it late enough, it meant the rest of the day off.  

Now, the office staff caught on with this one pretty quickly, so I could only do it once or twice a year.  I would go into the cafeteria, grab the ketchup bottle and literally squirt it all over my skirt. Whoopsie. The ketchup bottle just up and exploded. What’s a girl to do?  I better go home and change.  I’ll make it quick, I promise. 

Excuse #7611

I’ve actually used the ‘my cat ate my homework excuse’ and it worked.  I took a previous essay from the class, mangled it a bit, gave it to my cat to play with (and made sure, of course, he bit it numerous times), wet it under the sink to get that ‘sylvia’ affect, and handed it in.  

Okay.  

Devious? Yes.  

Evil?  Maybe.  

But I still managed to get good marks, and in the end, that’s really all that anyone looks at, right? Well, whether you think so or not, I’m just going to keep telling myself that.   It’s better that way, really it is.

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So I pretty much jinxed myself into a dreadful Monday with my last post.  Seriously. It’s like the universe said,

“Oh yeah? You don’t like Monday’s?  Oh, it’s onnnn.  I’ll show you Monday.  It’s so on.”  

As I left work I was welcomed with some lovely wet snow.  You know, not rain, not snow, but hurts like hell when it’s hitting your face horizontally.  Of course because of this, the bus was late.  By the time I got on I pretty much resembled a wet dog – as did everyone else.  The bus was smelly and packed so I had some random man standing over me as I sat.  He was dripping all over me and his crotch was staring me in the face. Fabulous. After the longest ride ever, I hopped on the subway, and settled into my daily crossword routine.  Over my tunage I heard some clicking.

Click.  Click.  Click. Click.  

I assumed it was someone clicking their pen open, closed, open, closed.  

I turned up my ipod and tried for the life of me to figure out 23 across.  

Click.  Click.  Click.  Click.  

This time I searched for the clicker.  

Click.

I found her, and realized with horror that it was not a pen she was clicking.  It took me a second to register. I believe I threw up in my mouth a little.

Oh.

My.

God.  

The woman was clipping her nails on the subway.  Clipping her nails.  On the subway.  Nails. Subway.

Click. Click.  

Seriously?  

That is one of the most revolting things I have ever seen.   It by far surpasses eating on transit.  By far.  For serious.  

Clipping her nails?

What on earth would possess someone to even entertain the idea of clipping nails on public transit? This is a bathroom activity, people! Do you shave on transit? Floss? Pluck nose hairs?  Bathroom activities are called “bathroom activities” for a reason. A good reason.  I don’t want your friggin DNA remnants on my coat, thank you very much.  Really.  I mean, when you clip your nails, they don’t always just fall gracefully. Sometimes they torpedo every which way.  I literally sat there in shock for the entire ride, semi shielding myself from possible nail escapees.

So.

Gross.

Right.  So finally I get to the next station and decide to make a pit stop at The Metro to buy food for dinner. You would think people where stocking up for a hurricane, as I’ve never seen the place so busy on a Monday.  I picked up four things.  Chicken burgers, pickles, wraps, and cheese.  I thought even with a line up, it should be semi-quick.  Plus, I thought a picked a pretty good line – only four people in front. Sweet.

Forty-five minutes later, I finally make it to the front.  

Forty.

Five.  

Minutes.  

In line.  Four people.  

And there was no line switching opportunity for me either.  I was boxed in and with my luck, would have chosen a worse line – so I stayed put.  At one point I thought that if I tried to use my super-strength-mind-power I could make the conveyer belt thingy go faster.  All I wanted was to burn the nail clipping from my memory, put on some warm clothes and eat the best chicken burger wrap ever.  

Finally I got home and chatted with a friend for a bit on the phone.  I’m one of those people that walks around my apartment when I’m on the phone.  So there I was, and suddenly without warning, I somehow lobbed my phone across my apartment.  It crashed to the ground and part of the casing fell off.  I just got this phone back from ‘the shop’ after being fixed for a month. Thankfully it was okay, and when I called my friend back she said all of a sudden she could only hear me screaming…

“SERIOUSLY!!!!!????  Come. ON.  Seriously.  What the hell!” 

So, I eventually got down to business and made my awesome chicken wrap thing.  I think I’m a pretty skilled wrap maker – never too full… just right, you know?  So I made two wraps, sat down on the couch, took a deep breath and took a bite out of what I’d been waiting for all night.  

And splat.  

The wrap broke and it’s contents landed on the floor.  

At this point all I could do was laugh, because the alternative would have been me loosing my mind.  After I cleaned up I realized I still had another.  I handled it like it was a rare jewel.  I ate it.  All of it.  Slowly. It was so good. It was the best wrap that ever touched my mouth.  

Like always, it’s the small victories.  It’s like all of the crazyness that happened pre-wrap has been wiped away with post-wrap bliss.  

Much. Better.

 

 

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I’m so bored that I actually considered chewing on my hair to see how it tastes. Instead, I’ve opted for:

Oh, Monday, how I loath thee.   Let me count the ways:

1.  Most obvious – weekend over, and back to work.

2. I have to wear something other than my most comfortable jogging pants, T-Shirt, and slippers.

3.  The bus is always packed on Monday.

4.  The bus is always late on Monday.

5.  There’s still an entire week until the weekend.

6.  Everyone and their dog is miserable (myself included).

7.  The head honchos always make an appearance at the office.

8.  This makes my job that much less bearable.

9.   I always feel super tired on Monday, no matter how rested I am.

10. It depresses me that on Monday I always realize that I didn’t get half of the things done that I wanted to on the weekend, and that the weekend, in general, is much too short.  What ever happened to the 4-day work week revolution?

On a positive note (now, that’s a change, isn’t it?), I have some very exciting news. BIG.  GIGANTIC.  MONSTROUS.  WICKED HUGE…. but I’l leave you in suspense, because, well, I’m annoying that way. Ha.

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