Sunday, December 29, 2002

The Sidebar, Part I (or, the Shout Outs)

Shout out to Tamrissa (she's Thinking Out Loud, for all my faithful readers) for giving me a mention on her blog. Whee! It's nice to see your name as a hyperlink. I don't know too much about her (yet--bwa ha ha) but I like her stuff. All the sites in my sidebar are sites that I go to often. I will add new ones as they add themselves to my life. Starting at the top and working our way down we have:

--Bluishorange. The first blog I ever read! Yay Alison. Still the best, in my opinion.

--Wockerjabby Apparently a friend of Alison's, Rabi is good too. (Both of these I sort of happened upon. I don't actually know these people. This is not an endorsement.)

--Free Will Astrology. Updated every Thursday. These horoscopes are the bomb. (This is also how I describe tofu rolls to customers at work. No connection.)

--CBLocals. "A website about underground music and skateboarding on Cape Breton Island." Which, incidentally, is where I'm from. Some of my friends are in bands that play shows locally. My brother Mat is in Curry Binge; shout out to him and the rest of the boys. Ha! I also wear a CBlocals hoodie. That isn't an endorsement either, although it seems like it.

--Good news, aka Common Dreams, the Progressive Newswire. News you won't get in the mass media. All at your fingertips. Please explore often.

--Jacky! Another blog, although it's at Free Open Diary and isn't a blog per se. Jacky is someone I know and love from good ol' Cape Breton, and with whom I've spent many great hours laughing, dancing, sidewalk-chalking, talking, and running about. Jacky is a person I'm really glad to know, so I've stuck her on here to give her the recognition she deserves.

--Where I am..well, Whistler. This is the best site I know of for info about here and pictures of the scenery. Please ignore that it's a huge corporation.

--Again, Tamrissa. (Please see above.) I let my mouse lead me astray to her site and was not disappointed. She seems (from what little I've read of her) to be a wise and sane individual, and I look forward to visiting her site lots in the future.
I actually shovelled today. Remember the other day when I said I might go out and shovel? Well, I didn't. Big surprise there. I stayed in my PJs, until 4, when I went over to Brio to see Will (who I missed! I hadn't seen him in 3 or 4 days) and had such a great Christmas night. It's been such an experience so far, the Xmas holidays here. First off, it's completely different since I'm so far from Nova Scotia, and family and all those comforting things. And then there's the whole being-on-my-own-at-18 thing--pretty damn nuts, whenever I sit down and think about it. Having my own flat to decorate. Anyway, Xmas was just lovely. Thanks to all of Will's room-mates for sharing in the dinner, drinks, and dope, and then the best part of all--the hot tub outside on the deck, with the snow coming down all around. I was tickled pink. As well, this whole contrast of a hot tub and cold snow is new to me; I've decided I like it. I hope I get many more opportunities to indulge.

But I did go up and intrude on the Mask viewing--it's a must to sit in PJs in front of a movie you love on a lazy Christmas day.

I love this: when I switched my date language to French, it apparently switched the word Comments to French too, so now it says Poseurs. Don't be afraid! You aren't really a poseur if you comment here. (Or shall I say, if you pose here?) I won't judge you. As well, it switches the date to French, but it doesn't use proper French set-up for the date. It should read samedi, le 28 decembre ... I'm just being picky. Heh.

Work is good, mostly because, oddly enough, my feet and my old-lady-bunions don't ache uncontrollably after each shift. Then again, it makes sense, since I don't walk around as much as when I was a waitress. And I'm striking the right balance between work, sleep, play and downtime, which is really important for me. I figure this is all good practice for when I'm in uni. But then, everything is good practice for later on in some way, isn't it?

Saturday, December 28, 2002

I think I could live in a wheelie chair. I really do. The kind that twist round, so you could paddle yourself along on your feet, and turn round whenever you need to, and go along. Stairs would be a problem. You'd have to install elevators in your house, and that could get expensive, or maybe you could just live in a trailer. One with halls wide enough to accomodate a wheelie chair. People would look at you funny, but you'd get used to it. You could even claim to be a minority and get tax benefits of some sort.

Just so everyone knows, I mean the office kind of chair. I mean no disrespect to people in wheelchairs. I actually didn't even think when I wrote all that. So please know that I meant no harm to people living with disabilities. Not that the high traffic on my website (ha HA) is really going to give me hell for it. And my comments aren't working these days, so there you go!

This is just my reaction to working an 8 and 1/2 hour shift on my feet at Shakespeare's Pies, and coming home and checking emails in the office where there is, indeed, a wheelie chair.

It snowed more today. The village is full of it, all the roads are slushy and messy and I honestly saw someone walking around in sandals and 3/4 length pants. If I wasn't trying to get to work on time I would have stopped and asked them, "Excuse me, but are you nuts?" and walked on. The village is just packed with people, wandering about its Alpen-esque streets, wondering, complaining. I had some pretty moronic customers today, who would not leave me alone--they wanted a pie that wasn't baked, so I had to bake them up a new one. And they wanted all these other things, then finally when I thought they were done and was ready to serve the next person--"Excuse me, but can I have a bag?" These are not crimes, I realize. But you don't go to a fast food joint and stand at the front of the line for 20 minutes, perusing the board, asking dumb questions, choosing and rechoosing which kind of pop you want. Letting your kid crawl all over the counter, inspecting the tip dish, putting fingermarks on the dessert case glass.

One thing I've learned, after moving 3000k from home, is that American tourists are dumb no matter where they go. Enough ranting, though. Time to get some sleep. I have to face them all again tomorrow. Same bat time, same bat channel.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Christmas Day! I woke up to my Mum calling from Quebec City and also to a foot of new snow, with more falling. It's supposed to keep on keeping on for another three days. I think I will go out into it in a bit and maybe shovel, even though I don't need to use the car. Shovelling makes me feel very useful, and also it's good exercise. I love the snow here, the flakes are giant. I feel like I've wandered into a transmogrifier and have come out tiny; the trees here, the mountains, the snowflakes--everything is much bigger than back east.

Upstairs a little girl is watching The Mask. I remember watching it for the first time when I was about 8, in a theater with my family. A long long time ago. I still love it. I might go up there in a bit and totally intrude (in a nice Christmas-y way) on the movie. Ha!

Last night I sang "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" as I walked to the bus stop. I said later on to someone, "I'm high on Christmas. It's retarded!" and laughed. And later still made my way home through the snow. I've only eaten chocolates so far today, and a cup of mint tea. Life is good.

I'm realizing what Christmas and the whole season really means to me. It's about people, and giving, and family, and all of that. (Isn't that what people have been saying for years? Yes, well, turns out it's true).. and also snow and lights and sleeping in, and little kids, and reading instead of going to work, and just for a day, switching the usual greeting to strangers-in-passing from Hello to Merry Christmas. All of a sudden we're in a foreign land, with this new thing to say. Don't worry, we'll go home soon, and we won't catch typhoid while we're here.

I'm smiling. I hope you all are too.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Christmas Eve. It started snowing today, while I was at work*. The window of the kitchen (we're on the second floor) overlooks some road, and some hotels, and I could see people driving by in small version all day, through the snow. It was like watching dinkies, because we're overlooking a corner with traffic lights. Watching this kind of thing is an entirely different car-watching experience than a plain highway.

(Jess' apartment in the North End, which was on the third floor and smelled of garbage, cat pee and cigarettes. I was staying there for March Break. The windows had deep sills that you could sit on, wide enough for a bum and a blanket, and it overlooked the busy intersection of North and Agricola. I would sit for ages in this one window, with my journal open in my lap, and the cat sitting there too, watching the green light up, the cars go, then the yellow and then the red, and they'd stop and then those other ones would go. It was mindless, not like driving the same roads at all, I never thought about it, the pattern of the flow. Like TV only it doesn't rot your brain quite so much. This was in the spring, this was in a time of warm wet, and small winds. Not like right now at all.)

I have tomorrow off. I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow, wake up and laze around like I used to, before when I was unemployed. I can see myself 'forgetting' to go over to Brio tonight. Sink into my bed with my book. How hermetic of me. (Like those jars, right Jess?)

I like having a job. I really do. Even if it makes my feet hurt. Even if the food is so tempting yet also not so great for you.

Happy Christmas to all of you.

* This is not the first snow of the season, mind you. It's really not a big deal, except that hey, it's Christmas Eve, and snow is nice and you know, ambient.

Monday, December 23, 2002

I'm drinking cold tea, the bottom of the cup. I make tea in a cup that's too big; at my pace of drinking by the time I get to the bottom it's cold. I'm wearing my comfiest clothes--hoodie with no bra, Claire's Brasil pants--and I'm doing my daily futzing. Its really cold out there. It's nice in here, lit well. Food in my belly. I wonder about where old friends are right now, which is made even more confounding considering that 'right now' over there is 'right now + four hours', except it's still 'right now'. Old ties, all the dynamics of certain people to each other, the factors of music and lighting thrown in. You all know who you are, even if you're not paying attention to it. Sometimes when I walk through the village I look at people and think "You're loved, by someone". It's an interesting game. You consider each person, even if you only see them for a few minutes, seconds. He's an old man, wrinkled in his face, wearing a turban; she's six and loves her Barbie doll and her brother, in that order.

Don't let some people get in the way of loving yourself. And some things are cliche for a reason. So don't worry about it.

Well. I started a new job today, at Shakespeare's Pies. This little pie thing is a phenomenon new to me, as it originates in Australia. Apparently where I work is the first eatery of its kind in Canada. For between 3-5 bucks, you get a little 3-4 inch pie, with one of various interesting fillings. It's not as busy as my last restaurant job, which was back East, a waitress in the busiest spot in town. This is at least only counter work, and baking. I like it so far. And there's a nice view out the window of --what else-- mountains.

I got up at 6 this morning. Walked to the bus stop in the dark, seeing (and nearly falling on ) for the first time this winter some black ice. I sat by the heater and watched the sky for the whole 10 min bus ride from Emerald into the village, all along Green Lake. There was one prominent star above Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, and in the east a yellowy tinge. I decided I might get to like this whole getting up early thing. Up until now (shh, don't tell anyone) I was getting up regularly between 10 and noon. And then leisurely stretching and exercising and showering and eating breakfast (all in that order) til two hours had passed. Oh, the hard life.

Last night I went to the Writer's Group for the first time. It's only capitalized because it was in the paper as such, so I'm assuming it's its name, not just category. It was good fun, plus it was the Christmas Potluck Edition. Stella'a house is gorgeous, as are most of the homes in the area; everyone was genuine, and intelligent comments were made. How fun to think of us all gathered like that to nurture what could be seen as both a luxury and a gift. All of us from different lives, ages, paths, sitting around, messing about with words.

I'm feeling good about being on my own. Sometimes I feel like a hermit, and sometimes I want someone to run to and there's no-one close by; but most of the time this is really loads of fun, having my own flat, making my own meals, being able to talk out loud to myself whenever I want. Coal (the dog) is a good constant companion; he listens and is excited when I come home (or when anyone does, really). When we go on walks his paws go 'snick snick' against the icy pavement, and he's usually the smaller dog when we meet other dogs on the street, so he has to have a personality in order to survive all these jabs at his manliness.

Almost Christmas. A totally new type of season for me, being out here and all. I may not even party on New Year's! They say it's a lucrative nanny night. Besides, there are 364 other days of the year to get loaded. And not many to make $100+ just for watching children.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Happy Solstice. The daylight didn't feel any shorter than normal, but I did get out in it as much as I could because I knew it wouldn't last too long. I've been getting up late these days too, between 8 and 11, although usually closer to 11, which means a good two hours of sunlight is being wasted. (The sun comes over the mountains at around 9.) This schedule of lethargy won't last too long, though, since my new job may require me to get up at the ungodly hour of 6. !!! A change in schedule could be a good thing, though.

I'm beginning my research on uni. I'm beginning to delve into the choices available to me, and try and see where I might like to go, what I might like to study. This feels so nice and un-rushed, as opposed to Grade 12 last year and the frantic feeling of having to choose. I hated that so much that I just didn't. And I think it's the wisest thing I've done yet.
This is not actually how I came to be. But it's funny. Professor Gloomy, indeed.
I tried freeopendiary and decided I liked this better. But here, for the record (since I can't delete it) is what I once was, back in the day. I would keep it going, but..I think a real live diary, a notebook for writing exercises, and now a blog is more than enough space for self-expression. Don't you?
Today I got my wallet back! The things you'd think were missing weren't, and vice versa. They took 5 stamps worth 65 cents each, which is the kind you use to write to the States. As most Canadians know. But they didn't take the Canadian stamps.. very odd.. They also left the brand new $50 bus pass (good for 30 days of travel!), which I'm very glad for. The police called me this morning (the guy's name was Derek; is that a typical cop name? Make that a Canadian cop), and they don't know who turned it in or where it was found. It doesn't look any the worse for wear, so it's all good.

The snow is really starting to coat the mountains. It looks like a postcard. It looks stunning. It looks both real and fake. Snow=tourists, and they come in droves. It makes the 'village stroll'--that cobblestoned passage through the pseudo-European layout of the town--colorful, all the reds and neon greens of ski outfits. (There are other colors, too.) I stood for a minute today at the top of the stairs by the Gondola Transit Exchange--where you can look out over the Gondola square, with a view of the mountains to the west, towards Vancouver--and just watched them all. It was the end of the day, and folks were coming off the gondola like boxes on a conveyer belt, and then going in all the various directions--to the Longhorn for some strategically placed alcohol consumption*, up the stairs towards me, on thier way to the busses, or through the village to their sundry hotels. The sun had set, but it was in that timeslot where you can still see clearly the mountains ringing the valley, and the new snow changes the light, making it clearer longer, making each tree on the distant sides distinct.

I'm living alone these days, but I don't feel like a hermit most of the time. Especially when each moment seems charged with the essence of existence. That was a rather cliche-d way to say it, but I can't yet find better words. In words that I suppose might suit my father more, I'm being-here-now a whole lot better these days. So each time I come into contact with another human being, I'm listening more to what they say. I feel more like what we say is real and happening right now, and less like it's a script that would come to pass no matter what.

I can see how this whole blog thing might cause a deficiency in my real-journal writing. I can also see how it takes courage to do. It really isn't all about narcissism. Talking into what seems like thin air, knowing that nobody or anyone at all could be reading what I'm writing, really changes the dynamics of it. My journal--my real one--is tangible, at least. I can open and close it and keep others from looking at it. But then again, no-one said this was the same thing as a real journal.

* I say strategically placed because the Longhorn Saloon is about 50 m directly in front of the base of the Gondola, one of the Whistler chair lifts. People can just walk from one to the other. They make damn good money at the Longhorn. Then again, they make damn good money just about everywhere here. That's the way it is with resort-cum-towns.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

My fridge--I adore it. It's not just the fridge. It's the false tree on top of it, and the clove box, and the placement of things. The false tree is a metal stand with tinsel wrapped around it, and lights too, and it's about a foot and a half tall. The clove box is something Mum and Mat sent me from home, a little box (lid, handle too) made out of cloves. How strange, and how marvellous. It smells incredible, and every now and then I stop whatever I'm doing and go over and sniff it. On top of the fridge there is also my camera, a silver little affair, and the cordless phone, and the brown striped cracked mug with pens and the set of chopsticks from that time in Squamish...

On the surface of the fridge--a few necessary things like emergency phone numbers. 10 magnets that are supposed to be glued onto the back of 'craft' projects, so are small and grey and round. I like them muchly. Also 4 yellow-and-red plastic bird magnets--chickens, ducks, turkeys. All acquired at the temple of garishness itself, the dollar store in Squamish. Same trip as the chopsticks. There's also a fortune from the Lotus Gardens--"Life will shower you with happiness."

I also took three gold elastic strings, which were wrapped around the tissue paper of three early Christmas presents, and decorated my fridge door handle to look a Grecian sandle. It's all very nice and shiny, which is just what a fridge should be like.
Today was a beautiful snowy day. I was going to drive into town in the huge carbon-spewing vehicle but decided instead to walk the dog. Isn't it nice when everything you have to do today can be done tomorrow, with no extra cost or consequence? So in my new pink duds (hat, scarf, mitts) I moseyed around the neighbourhood. Coal, small black dog, wandered everywhere, peeing on clumps of snow, running in front of cars. The flakes were the huge kind, where they sit on you and accumulate rather quickly.

Everything is going rather well, especially considering I lost my purse and wallet the other day. I feel really naked having no ID, and also oddly free. I'm still here, aren't I? Those little plastic cards aren't me. Are they?
So! This is my simple little blog. Hello to all the folks from home/elsewhere that I already know, and who are coming here by my direction. You know who you are. And if I don't know you yet, send me an email. Make the subject line especially interesting, so I don't think you're spam.

Comments by Enetation, and I figured out the code myself! This is cause for celebration. The whole thing even looks kind of how I want it to look, which is cool. Mind you, it's not the big fancy blogs you see linked to here, by people who actually know what they're doing. But. This is good enough for me, for now. Yes M'am.
So. There's no real way to announce that this is your first post without feeling incredibly new to this. I hope that it all works. Here begins my life on the web.

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