Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In case you were wondering...

Muay thai-fighting, protein powder-eating, gym-going, car-punching, James Bond-loving, "I hate your girly CD and movie collection"-ing guys DO like pretty white cake with rainbow sprinkles on their birthday.

They also like puppies and the movie "Love Actually". Don't let any of them tell you otherwise.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My first chain letter

All right. First of all, I should explain that I have never, in my life, been able to make myself continue a chain letter. Send this to five friends and you'll get free stickers? Nope. That one that's been traveling the world since 1952? Stopped by me. More than once, actually. I think I was the only one in my college class to refuse to participate in the yearbook-style getting to know everyone-type survey that circulated through the inboxes (of course I read everyone else's with some enjoyment).

I'm not sure why, really. There's just something in me that makes me groan, then dig in my heels and refuse to participate. I always feel a little guilty, because the person asking me to be a part of this big paper circle of love is always someone I like, and I hate to disappoint...I just irrationally hate chain letters more.

HOWEVER, Mari, over at MaybeinUtah tagged me in an exercise that despite feeling suspiciously like a chain letter, I feel compelled to attempt.
So here goes.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six random? things about me:

1. I hate chain mail.

2. Whenever I'm sleeping alone in my apartment, I have to check my closet AND under my bed for homicidal maniacs or gremlins or whatever before I can go to sleep. I realize that if they're already in my closet or under my bed, there's not much I can do about it, but still. I'd rather try to catch them off-guard than be lying in bed when they decide to emerge.

3. When I was really small I once stuffed a live frog down the smokestack of a plastic steamboat, thinking he might like to sail it. I became concerned after a while when he didn't jump back out. My dad had to take the boat apart to set him free.

4. If I take a nap during the day, I get sleep paralysis. (my mind wakes up but my body refuses to move -sometimes I can even open my eyes a bit - it's sooo creepy.) I always wonder if that's what it's like to be in a coma. Apparently my mom and all her sisters used to have it too.

5. I have a giant crush on Jamie, from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

6. I love to eat flavoured Miss Vickies chips with dip, I put hot sauce or pesto on my eggs, and I love to eat dark chocolate with a big glass of orange juice. My boyfriend is constantly asking if I'm pregnant.

And now I must choose some of you to subject to this. Feel absolutely free to ignore the tagging, I promise, I'll understand. And of course, as I can't possibly do exactly what I'm asked, I'm only tagging four of you.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happiness and cheer

In case you were wondering, so far on my holidays I have:

attended parties
taught drunk actors how to moonwalk
fought with drunk actors over a huge box of Toffifee (before deciding I don't like it)
visited a box of TEN three-week-old puppies
hijacked and ate an entire platter of free appetizers at a bar
met my ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend
housed a friend who was snowed in for three days
drove my mom around so SHE could shop
played two games of Hooplah and one of Things in a Box (highly recommended)
and I've seen and hugged more friends than I've seen or hugged since I moved last March.
Not bad for a few days in my hometown.

Oh, and I also received an email from the notorious *Ross. Due to excellent advice from some of my inter-friends and also my mom, I've decided to grant him probationary friend status. It feels really good to let go of two years of hurt and anger. So thanks again to all of you who responded to my previous post.

I hope that all of you are as happy, healthy and surrounded by loved ones this Christmas eve as I am.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008


You know how there are some people you just instantly click with? Like, to the point where it's spooky? Where you maybe even sense that you're about to meet someone really special before either of you have said a word? There's just something about them. A sparkle in their eye that makes you feel like you've already shared an inside joke.

On my first day of kindergarten I was feeling a little apprehensive when my mom pointed out a little girl already seated at one of the teensy desks. "Why don't you sit with her?" she suggested. I checked out her gloriously red hair and Minnie Mouse necklace and thought. "Yeah, she'll do." She in turn informed her mother that she and I would one day get married. 18 years later our kindred spirited-ness has not diminished in the least. It's been pointed out that when we laugh, which is frequently, it's impossible to tell us apart.

I can count on one hand the number of people that I've had such an instant and unshakable bond with. They are the people whom I can't help but break out into a silly grin upon seeing and whom, no matter how much time has passed, I can talk and laugh with as though we've been together every day.

I remember feeling a sense of relief when *Ross walked in to the room during my third or fourth day in college. A late addition to the program, he was the person I had been waiting to meet since day one. I willed him to sit at my table and that was it. We were finishing each others sentences by the end of the week. I can't tell you how many times I had to fake a coughing fit or duck under the desk to pick up an imaginary dropped pen during a class, shoulders shaking and eyes streaming with crazy unstoppable laughter bubbling up, sometimes from nothing more than a word mouthed across the room.

We immediately felt more like siblings than anything, which I guess is one of the reasons our friendship came so easily. We constantly swapped dating advice. When he and his girlfriend broke up, I made him a mixed CD of ridiculous breakup songs. When I limped my way back to school after being hospitalized and very nearly killed by my own body, only to have my boyfriend break up with me, he was one of my biggest supporters, making me laugh when nothing about my life seemed funny anymore and my usual BFFs were too far away to know just how bad things were.

When he started dating one of the other girls in our program, I was the first to be let in on the secret and was totally happy for him. Although she wasn't one of my particular friends, we had worked together on a couple of projects, and I liked her. She seemed smart and fun and cute, if a little insecure. In fact, I have video footage of she and I cracking each other up while working on an assignment. I made it a point to invite her when I had a party that Ross was coming to and always went out of my way to be friendly to her since I knew how much Ross liked her and I also knew how torturous it could be to have a boyfriend who got along really well with other girls.

After graduating, we kept in touch via the occasional email and maybe one phone call a month and every so often I'd try to lure the increasingly codependent couple down for a visit with the promise of theatre tickets for him and his gf.

Then one day, almost two years ago now, he informed me, through messenger that he and the gf had decided he was going to have to cut off all contact with me. I actually thought he was joking for a second. My heart and stomach switched places when I realized he wasn't.
"Sarah, it's me and you that's the problem. We're too close. We're basically the same person sometimes," was the best he could do in the way of an explanation.

I calmly informed him that cutting me out of his life was A) Effing insane, B) Totally unnecessary, and C) An unfair betrayal. He agreed. I told him I would even be ok with a rule that if we were going to hang out, she had to be there too in an effort to find a compromise.

He explained that I wasn't the only person his gf was having trouble with. So on top of feeling hurt and angry on my own behalf, I started to feel sick over the thought of my friend being in what was starting to look alarmingly like an abusively controlling situation. I hated the thought that someone I so cared about and admired could behave like such a coward. "What if I told you that my boyfriend didn't want me to be friends with you and I had to cut off contact?" I asked.
"I'd ask you if he's seen a picture of me."

I told him how hurt I was that he would even consider cutting me out of his life, I told him there had to be some kind of compromise he could find and I made it clear that this would be a deal breaker. If he went ahead and threw out our friendship to mollify his girlfriend, then we weren't friends to begin with. I thought surely he'd come to his senses.

Six months later I received a happy birthday text-message from him. I didn't respond, and I haven't heard from him since.

Every so often I still think of something funny to tell him, or I try again to solve the puzzle of our last conversation and I wind up confused and sad all over again. It's horrible to realize that if something happened to him, I'd have no way of knowing. I've thought once or twice about contacting him, but I don't know what to say and a large part of me is still too upset and bewildered by what happened. But mostly I just don't think about it.

A couple of days ago I was talking with another college friend. "I've been talking with Ross a fair bit, actually," he informed me. "He says you two don't chat anymore. He says losing you was the biggest mistake of his life."

"Ha, ha. Well, I AM pretty awesome." I blustered, hurt feelings rushing back to the surface.

"Well I know he feels really bad about whatever happened. Any chance you two could be friends again?"

I didn't know what to say.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Grinch who stole my boyfriend

"I don't want to go."

"So stay," I mumbled, trying to unglue my eyelids and force him into agreement with my powers of hypnosis.

This proving impossible at 6:00 am on a Sunday after an evening of red wine, youtube karaoke, and the Grinch who stole Christmas, I settled for snuggling in closer to lure him back to sleep or at least steal some of his body heat.

As usual, my mediocre plan failed.

He might think I'm sweet, and beautiful, and fun. So much so that he'll not only watch The Little Mermaid with me, but he'll learn to play Under the Sea on guitar.

He'll make dinner while I'm at work, and he'll patiently tag along while I browse for the perfect vintage inspired cocktail dress (at least for a long as he's been fed...and the store doesn't happen to be playing Jann Arden, but still!).

But the thing about being in a long-distance relationship with an actor is the second an audition comes up, he's gone. His first visit to my lonely little apartment since (Canadian) Thanksgiving is suddenly cut short a week early.

And I feel blue.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa baby

I've spent the last few days typesetting letters to Santa from all of the local elementary schools to be printed in the paper. They all sound pretty much the same:

Dear Santa,
I've been a good girl/boy.
I would like a PS3, Ipod, Idog, Bratz doll, Bratz car, Bratz house, Barbie doll, wii, gameboy, dirt bike, snowboard, skateboard, bakugon (what?), ninja turtle, Hannah Montana freaking everything, etc, etc.
I will leave you milk and cookies.

Your friend

Some Kid

However, in the midst of all these, there were one or two requests that stood out:

Dear Santa,
I would like a box of crayons, some new clothes, a blanket, my dad to come home for Christmas.

A friend of mine called last night to ask what I want for Christmas. I couldn't think of a single thing. If I were writing a letter to Santa, it might look something like this.

Dear Santa,
I have been a reasonably good girl. I've worked hard and I've been nice and I always, always recycle.

I would like donations of goats, chickens, and mosquito nets made in my name.
I would like the Stephen Lewis foundation to be able to continue its work and support the Panzi hospital of Bukavu to help the disgraceful amount of women who have been brutalized and sexually assaulted.

I would like trees planted, I would like education and equal opportunities for all.
Dear Santa, I have health, and love and laughter. I have food and shelter and freedom from fear. And the perfect gift for someone like me, the person who has everything, is a gift for someone else.

I may not leave you milk and cookies, but I'll be sure to donate a non-perishable food item in your name.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I do a perfectly adequate job of making myself look stupid. Both in my daily life and in the newspaper. So it baffles me when people think they need to help me out in that department.

Last week I was given the delicious assignment of playing paparazzi at a local church during their turkey dinner. The thing about an assignment like that is that, first of all, no one likes to be photographed while eating, second (of all?) these church goers are a fairly tight knit group and tend to stare (not always in a friendly manner) when I walk in.

So there I was, trying to be unobtrusive and smiling sweetly at anyone who turned their frown my way. Meanwhile I can hear this woman behind me complaining, without a trace of humour, about how someone from the paper once printed an unflattering photo of her with her grandchild in the paper. "Oh, my hair was everywhere, it was just terrible!" she griped.

Finally, someone took pity on me and suggested that maybe I should take some photos of the kitchen volunteers. At least they wouldn't have their mouths full. However, this did not mean they would be more cooperative. When I tried to ask him his name, the only extrovert in the entire place instead demanded that I put out my hand.

He was holding a tong-full of turkey, and since I'm a vegetarian, I was inclined to say no. However, I have this thing about actually telling people around here that I'm a vegetarian. Partly because I'm pretty sure I'm already looked on as a complete alien based on my clothes and sense of humour, but also because half the people here who are offering me meat have probably raised and slaughtered it themselves. It seems insulting.

Also, I have this disdain for picky eaters. I can still hear my mom saying "This is not a buffet!" if my brother or I requested something else after she'd already provided us with something nutritious and delicious.

So, I said. "Oh! ha ha, no thanks, ha, I wouldn't want to get any turkey on the camera!"
"Put the camera down for a minute. We'll get you a napkin to wipe your hands"
Foiled by his logic, all I could do was put out my hand and say, "Oh, erm, right, haha, I guess I could do that."

After they all watched me force down the giant piece of bird, which I was actually concerned might be my death by choking, I asked for the turkeymonger's name again.

"Charlie Brown"
"Yeah, somehow I don't think that's it."

Finally he gave me a more reasonable sounding name and I was out of there.

It wasn't until after the paper had gone to print that I ran into one of the women who had been in the kitchen at the time. Apparently after I left he had laughed his fool head off because he gave me the name of some other guy who lives in town. In a small town, you make your own entertainment.

Next time, I'm accidently dropping the turkey on the floor.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hey la, hey la!

(Photo by Joel Bedford)

After a month where I saw him for a pathetic total of one day, le boyfriend is coming to stay with me for an undecided but certainly extended period of time! Now when I come home from work he'll be there doing my dishes and eating my crackers and taking up space on my couch when I watch Scrubs DVDs. I can't wait!

And no, he will not be allowed to drive my car (see photo).


Once upon a time there was a young woman who spent her days slaving away over a newspaper in a hamlet in rural Canada. Plagued by cruel deadlines and evilly dull events, she longed for an escape. Finally, one day her fairy editor paid her a visit and granted her wish.

So off she went to the big glittering city for a weekend with one of her very best girls. They whiled away the day, chatting and laughing and eating at the newspaper girl's favourite falafel place until it was time to pick up coatracks for the ball.

Then it was back home to sprinkle on some glamour, transform into pretty, pretty princesses and run like maniacs in heels to catch the mystical carriage on wires to the ballroom for the magazine launch/formal.

And then there was dancing, dancing, dancing. The princesses, who were joined by their favourite ballerina quickly discovered their dance cards -yes, there were really dance cards - were full, and they spent the evening being whirled around the dance floor by prince after prince, none of who were the least bit gropey or disgusting.

The newspaper princess did lose a shoe at one point, but quickly retrieved it herself. Unfortunately, she also misplaced a lipstick and a box of smarties. An acceptable loss, anyway.

In the wee hours of the morning, the princesses and the ballerina returned home to massage each other's feet and laugh about the evening's many adventures before tumbling exhausted and happy into bed.

The next day, the princess hung up her tiara and went back to work, but the enchantment of the evening left a smile on her face that would last for weeks to come.