Archives of Our Lives

{a narrow and broad look into the lives of people I love}

Thursday, August 28, 2008

{A Lesson in Self-Assertion}

Question, from Anonymous: "Though you often [don't you mean 'always,' Anonymous?] speak entertainingly, with typically appropriate grammar, almost always correctly spelled, sometimes you do speak unkindly. Likely the reason the Mayberry story was never reposted.
My question is this; did someone close to you ask for it's removal, or was it your own conscience..moment of clarity...some kind of personal improvement, that has never brought it back, in spite of the pleading voices of so many?"

Answer, from me: This is an interesting question, and obviously written by a long-time reader of AoOL. For anybody new here, I’ll give a brief history: I wrote a post earlier this year. It was an opinionated essay about a topic which was not directly related to me. Some people thought it was none of my business and that I had no right to write what I did. I made some people mad. And when I was confronted, I found myself wussing out like a child in trouble, rather than standing up for myself and my opinions (which were, incidentally, totally warranted and right [hey, it's my blog!]). After the minor confrontation, I was prevailed upon to delete the post known as "Mayberry." Hurt feelings and all that. Since I am such a passive-aggressive person when it comes to confrontation (hello! I write a blog! It's how I vent my frustrations with society with little chance of negative repercussions!), I removed the published post. [And also, I’m a coward.]

I instantly regretted taking it off my blog. Because I should have principles, and besides, I’m rarely wrong. I should have just said, "I'm sorry you have let your feelings become hurt. You misunderstood my words so badly, there is no way you could possibly understand what I actually meant by them. But I meant no ill, and I make a point of never apologising for things I write. Ciao." Good thing I have had months to re-think it, because if it ever happens again...well...

Anyway, not realizing that Blogger would fully delete the well-written and profoundly “me” (if I do say so myself) post, I mourned its loss immensely. But it was too late—Mayberry was gone forever.

So, Anonymous, you ask if there has been any huge personal improvement? The answer is no—I’m as good as I’ll ever be. To tell you the truth, if I had a backup of the controversial post in my email inbox, I would almost surely re-post it here for all the world to see. As the lyrics of a popular song go, "I’m not mean—people are just too sensitive." (But I would never say that to someone’s face, because hello! Chicken!)

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

{The Longest Post Ever Written About the Shortest Relationship Which Never Happened}

Once upon a time in 2005, there was this guy I never dated.

We didn't date for about a month.

It went something like this: first I sort of thought liked him but then he grew a beard and started wooing me [or so I thought] and even though facial hair makes me think itchy thoughts, I was seduced against my will [and better judgment], but then as soon as I started liking him again, he realised he'd won the game and moved on with his life. All before I had a chance to fully pick apart my own feelings on the matter, so in other words...


And he is the most exasperating guy I never dated. His name is Brad but don't expect to ever see it spelled that way; he much prefers "bRAD." And when he types, his sentences look something like this: "taking caRe of Aged granDparents" or "snoRings mAke noisy sounDs" or "dRinking root beer tAstes gooD." I suppose he thinks life's more rad that way...

Anyway, in most situations, I would never see such a person again. Unfortunately for me, I have a dear friend who lives in his same house, so avoiding Brad is completely out of the question. The good news is, we have both successfully blocked that month out of our conscious memories, so seeing him on occasion is much less awkward than one might think. [I actually like him as a human now more than I ever did when we weren't dating.]

The point of this post is not to dredge up old memories or make Poor Kyle feel jealous. [Making Poor Kyle feel jealous is nigh on impossible. He just doesn't have the jealous gene. It's kind of infuriating sometimes.] The point is...

...discussing people with multiple personality disorders. A problem from which, though not yet diagnosed, I am quite certain Brad suffers.

See, throughout the month when I wasn't dating Brad, I learned a lot about him--all of the different hims. There would be times--wake boarding or taking photos or speaking Hungarian or just being a decent kind of fellow--when he really was rad:

That's Rad Brad on the left, being normal and, well...rad-ish.

Other times, though, Rad Brad would be sullen and distant, deep immersed in thoughts I could only assume were morbidly over-analytical. Suddenly, the Rad Brad we all knew and admired turned into a very distressed Sad Brad:

The anguish in his eyes is as obvious as the weight I've gained since my wedding--there's absolutely no hiding it.

His personality could change at a moments' notice, for absolutely no reason I could see. One time I asked Rad Brad (who, in retrospect, was probably actually Sad Brad at that particular moment) a question about the relationship we didn't have, and he said coldly, "You have just reminded me of all the reasons I never wanted to date girls. Thank you." And that's when I realised there also existed a Mad Brad:

A very mad Brad indeed.

The good news is, all of the bad Brads have started to give way to the very best Brad--Glad Brad. He tries to fight it, but I--in my infinite wisdom--can see it peeking through more frequently these days. And I'm pretty sure he's not on drugs, which means he's getting better all by his own sheer determination. Good job, all you Brads! It used to be that Glad Brad only appeared when his nephew was around, but perhaps the Brads' hearts are being softened as of late. He has even commented (and with kind words! [even if he is just trying to be extra nice because he suspects I'll be blogging about him soon {which day of reckoning has finally come}]) on some of my most recent posts here at Archives of Our Lives. For whatever the reason, I'm happy he's becoming the best version of himself:

And that's the raddest news of all.

Except maybe the news that he takes good pictures and started his own website (before me, dang it all). Once I had a Brad Burnham original framed and sitting on my dresser, but I tossed it long ago [not because it wasn't lovely]. So when he becomes famous, I can tell people I threw away a million-dollar photograph. And that's saying something. But I digress. Do swing by and check it out [after all, lending him more traffic is the least I can do for writing this post about himselves]--he sells his work, and if I ever decide to purchase one of his pieces, it would be this: the one I like to call "Finding Faith Against a Yellow Wall."

*Photos courtsey of Thanks to all the Brads.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Save My Soul and I'll Throw In a Kitty.

I do not like cats.

If you like cats, I may or may not still like you. I have several friends whose families own cats...and I love those friends dearly. me too many pictures you've taken with your cats on Christmas, or send me too many emails about the "cute" things your cat does when she's in heat, and it is a serious possibility that we'll never be close friends at all.

Here are my reasons:

1. Every cat I have ever met has seemed so...sneaky. Let's get one thing straight: I do not act like I like cats when I am around them. I don't pretend to care about my friends' cats. No, I am not necessarily openly hostile to other people's pets [much as I would like to kick every little tigger I see to the next side of Timbuktu], but neither do I put on false airs of loving the creatures. I mostly ignore them when I see them. Why, then, do cats feel the need to sneak up behind me, uninvited, and slink between my ankles, tickling my legs with their fuzzy fuzzy hair? They make no noise (unlike dogs whose claws at least clickety-clack on tile floor), so I am always caught unaware. And I am always left feeling suspicious of these felines' motives. Sneaky.

2. Cats are takers; they will take as much as they can out of any relationship, and rarely give anything in return. Obviously, I realise that few animals have much to offer any person by way of material goods...but one would think a cat could at least show its owner an occasional inkling of gratitude. Heck, even the humblest of dogs can understand the importance of a simple tail-wag. Instead, though, I have observed that, after they have taken all they can, cats only retreat further into their self-absorbed little lives. Never openly willing to show affection, cats remind me of some of the worst dates of my life. Maybe that's why I can barely tolerate them.

3. Those pictures. They annoy me more than I could possibly express through the written word.

Image from here.

So if I am so vehement in my dislike of cats, why do I feel so sad for the poor little homeless wretch (read: kitten) that has taken up residence in my sister's backyard wood pile? [Oh yeah--I'm in Arizona. Good guesses, everyone!] I mean it when I say I do not care for cats. But this one...she has meowed and meowed at the back door for the past three nights, and even though it is a hideous, wretched sound, I kind of feel...sad for it.

This cat is free to a good home. Or a bad home. Heck, it can be a whorehouse for all I care.

"Meow...meow...MEOW!!!" she whines, and all I can think is how lonely it must be out there. She is, after all, just a kitten. Plus, she has a little belt-looking collar, so she belongs to someone, and I would probably appreciate it if I were in the owner's position.

Staring straight at me, as though there is something I can do for her.

I still haven't fed her, because I am entrenched in a deep internal battle between everything I stand for and everything that's right [and no, those two things don't always match up]. But honestly, I don't know how this cat is still alive after an entire week of this. I don't want it to die...I just want it out of my life.

I cannot make decisions like this. What should I do? Anybody lost a cat out there? Or...does anybody want to save this one's life? Because my sister is ready to put a little bowl of antifreeze out there for the dang thing, and try as I might, I cannot feel good about this.

Seriously though. Free kitty. Anyone? Anyone?

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Monday, August 25, 2008

{Guess My Secret and Win a Prize}

I have a secret.

It has to do with this...

and this...

It might have happened on this goodly day of the week...

Or perhaps sooner.

Any guesses?


Friday, August 22, 2008

{My Lifelong Problem with Kiosk Vultures at the Mall}

I'm extremely non-confrontational by nature. Learning to stick up for myself is something I struggle with almost constantly, even now. As a child, getting in trouble was one of my biggest fears. When faced with confrontation, not only does my heart start pounding and my ears start ringing, but I break out into rash-y looking hives on my neck and cheeks.

That's why it is no surprise I hate the kiosks at the mall.

And really, I cannot fault people for trying to find meaningful work. Heck, it's more than I can boast for myself, and that's the truth.

But riddle me this: Why--why--must those dadgum kiosk workers at the mall be such vultures?

All I wanted was a salted pretzel from Auntie Anne's, but the route was heavily guarded by three different dreaded kiosks: one for Swarovski crystal-bejeweled hair clips, one peddling mineral face powders, and another--much more threatening than the others--vending cell phones.

Image from here.

"No, it isn't worth it," I decide. I could forgo food forever if it meant I never had to walk past another Kiosk Vulture.

There's always a slight chance of survival if shopping with another person, because at least then I have someone with whom to conspire, "Quick! Look right into my eyes and talk to me about something really important..."

But even that doesn't always work if the Kiosk Vultures catch my eye before "really important" conversation can begin.

photo courtesy of Chris Gregerson Stock Photography

"Hey, ladies," I hear from ten feet to my left. I can't ignore it. Try as I might, I cannot walk by without acknowledging the person who I know was talking to me. But that look--that one tiny glance and slight little nod--is cause for certain capture. Every time I think I can smile and walk on by...

...and every time that same maddening voice in my head screams, "How can you be so rude? He was talking to you! You were raised better than this--you cannot treat this human being like dirt."

Of course, my one tiny glance and slight little nod are all the Kiosk Vultures need to ask more questions--questions I can hardly ignore: What cell phone service do I have? Do my hands feel dry? Do I like free things? Would I care for a sample?

Telus™; surprisingly; of course; yes, thanks. I have to answer--I don't know how I couldn't.

But why? Why are they shouting at me? Why do these people think it's okay to yell inconsequential questions at me from across the corridors of the mall? In what other situation is it acceptable to yell at a complete stranger, "HELLO! DO YOU HAVE STAINS ON YOUR LIVING ROOM CARPET?!" I fail to see how it's any of your business, fellow human being. Especially since there is no way I would ever purchase wares from a Kiosk Vulture--it goes against everything I stand for.

And in these difficult times, the problems is only getting worse. Now, with 20-minute teeth whitening and remote-control helicopters and hermit crabs and sarongs/scarfs/headwraps and 100% UVA/UVB sunglasses and vintage portraitry and Crocs™ and VitaChangeYourLifeForeverMineralJuiceOfTheUniverse and genuine leather luggage tags and *take a breath* Seaweed-Kelp Body Butter... nothing sacred?

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Time to Talk About Me Some More.

Guess what? I have a secret. But I'm not going to tell anyone what it is until tomorrow. Chew on that for a while.

Meanwhile, I believe it's Thursday all over this hemisphere, and that means it's time for me to answer a question.

Here's one from Cristin:

Do people in your everyday life know you have a blog?

Cristin, this is a very applicable question. All of my family (immediate, in-laws, extended, way-extended, and beyond) know I have a blog, as well as anybody who is my friend on Facebook. I have inadvertently offended some of them on my blog—that is NEVER my intention, despite what people might think. Despite my efforts, however, my blog has become a source of contention between me and several people I love. I’ve learned how careful I ought to be.

As far as my town, Mayberry—I don’t think any Mayberrians knows about my blog. I don’t know any people closely enough for them to even suspect I have a blog.

If anybody in Mayberry DOES know about Archives of Our Lives, I am in big trouble. This is why, if I ever write an award-winning, best-selling novel, I will publish it under a fantastic pen name [which I have already created]. I will only ever reveal myself to Oprah, and even that is dependent upon whether she allows me as a guest on her “Winter Favourite Things” episode.

I suppose I should live my life--and write my blog--in such a manner that would never leave me looking over my shoulder, wondering who has read the latest post. That's probably safest, really...

Meh. Who am I kidding? That would never work for me.

What about you? Do you have a blog of your own? And if so, how do you feel about your friends, family, and acquaintances knowing?

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Monday, August 18, 2008

I Wonder How Many Angels Had to Die in the Making of This Bed?

I never knew how much I needed to have a beautiful bed in my life...

I never knew how big a difference existed between average sheets...and lovely sheets...

I never realised that seven pillows on a bed--ridiculous though they are--could soothe me to sleep...

A headboard never seemed all that necessary before--let alone a foot board to match...

Let's just say...

I've never lived until now.

Headboard/Footboard: $30.00 from Craigslist.
Extra brackets on bed frame so headboard would stop squeaking: Free labour.
Bed skirt, sheets, pillow cases, duvet, duvet cover, quilt, and one million pillows we'll never use: Gift from mother in law.

Sleeping like a queen for the rest of my life: About $250.00, all said and done.

*[Bet you thought I was going to say "Priceless," huh?]*

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There's No Such Thing as Edward and Bella

I just finished reading that book. My initial reaction--before being swayed by all the vicious reviews, was that it was clever and witty. [My favourite part was the titles of the 'Jacob' chapters, specifically, “What do I look Like? The Wizard of Oz? You need a brain? You need a heart? Go ahead. Take mine. Take everything I have.” I wish I’d thought of that.]

But I didn’t think of it, and I haven't written a best-selling series, and to make myself feel better about my own mediocrity, I criticised the main characters’ extreme implausibility. No, not their everlasting youth and beauty—I’m convinced that immortality really is possible, and beauty to boot. Rather, I found myself gagging at the bliss of it all—a ga-ga plot line which, in my opinion, was a bit far-fetched.

So the perfect Edward can't read Bella's steel-trap mind. Big deal.

Guess what? Poor Kyle can’t read my mind, either. Which is why we have conversations like this:

PK: That’s a nice sunset.

Me: Yeah, it's beautiful.

PK: …

Me: He's being so quiet. Maybe he’s remembering how much I love sunsets in Arizona. He probably doesn’t want to say anything about it because he thinks it will make me miss home—he doesn’t want to upset me. How sweet. Or maybe he’s not saying anything because he thinks I whine about home too much, and he can’t stomach another word about Arizona. What a jerk. I mean, I moved all the way to Canada just to be with this guy, and he can’t even call his lawyer to set up an appointment to get my immigration paperwork finished and sent off, so it’s not MY fault I can’t go to school yet, or get a job. And okay, I COULD be teaching piano lessons, but I just haven’t had time to print out a flyer for it yet, even though I actually do very little all day, as people seem to think. Nevermind that the house is not very clean—I’ve started making the bed, at least. And our printer’s out of ink anyway. Next time I go back to Arizona and people ask me, “How’s married life?” I’m going to tell them it’s totally overrated for a nag like me.

PK: Wouldn’t it be cool if we could stack eight flatbeds on top of one goose-neck trailer, tow it behind this big white Ford™, and hook up all the lights to work?
Me: I suppose you'd like me to get right on that, wouldn’t you? You’re a real piece of work, you know that?

PK: Huh?

Baffling, isn't it? The way my mind works, bouncing from one absurd conclusion to the next. By the end of our trip to North Dakota, I'd done two things: finished reading "Breaking Dawn" by Stephenie Meyer, and realised that Poor Kyle has never loved me at all.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

{This Place Reminds Me of Somewhere I've Been Before.}

I'm in Fargo.

Which is a fancy way of saying, "Meh."

Photo from here. And I drove past this historic theatre on my quest to find a place to lay my head.

Inasmuch as I've just been in a vehicle (albeit the plush leather passenger seat of the Ford F-[I-Forgot-The-Number]-50) for 17 hours, I'm kind of tired.

Hopefully I'll have time to explore this historic city, and then we'll see about writing a real question-answering post.

Also, today marks the 200th post I've written (201 if you count the deleted "Mayberry). Congratulate me if you will, but only because I've stuck with it this long--not because I've changed the world or even slightly altered it.



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

{Communism at its Finest}

How important is it that what we see on television--or in movies--is real and unaltered?

Me? I don't care too much. When I go to watch Lord of the Rings, I fully anticipate special effects, digital supplements, and all manner of enhancements to make the actual finished product more effective than it would have otherwise been.

We live in a digital age--a time when images we see on screen or in print are rarely left unadulterated. The mainstream population of the world seems to acknowledge this--even embrace it, rewarding designers and filmmakers for best visual effects.

Why, then, does this story seem to rub so many--myself included--the wrong way?

China's opening ceremony was beautiful, as I have already noted. Sure, there were some digital "tweaks," like those massive firework footprints racing throughout Beijing, but that's not what bothers me. What annoys me is that Chinese officials knowingly allowed this little girl, Yang Peiyi:

Photo from here.

to sing "Ode to the Motherland" into a microphone, probably hidden away behind some curtain backstage. Meanwhile, while her visual counterpart, Lin Miaoke:

Photo from here.

lip-synced the song for the world the night of the opening ceremonies.

I thought this sort of thing was over and done when Singin' in the Rain came out in 1952. I mean, are we that superficial a world? Honestly?

It's already bad enough for these poor little Chinese girls as it is: they are most likely the sole child in their family, since Chinese women are allowed, by law, to have one child only. And inasmuch as they are girls, they are already considered slightly unwanted by Chinese standards. Now, added to the pressure of making their parents' one shot worthwhile, the girls are being taught that they fall short of their country's standard of perfection.

I can see how it happened...

"Well, Yang Peiyi, there's no doubt about it: you've got a great set of lungs. Unfortunately for you, you're not much of a looker. Your haircut is rather square, isn't it? And those teeth have got to go. How about you give the government your best efforts--your voice--and we'll take care of the rest? That's just stand right over there, behind the stereos and equipment all night. Make sure nobody sees you...Hu Jintao forbid."

And to Lin Miaoke...

"Lin, you sure are a pretty little thing, aren't you? Unfortunately for you, your singing resembles a pack of cats in heat, so here's what we're going to do: You just go put on this fancy new dress...that's right, dear. Remember to suck in, and make sure your mother puts your hair in pigtails--that's what the people want to see..."

In the end, I don't know which girl I feel worse for. On one hand, Yang Peiyi is learning that despite her very best efforts, she may never receive recognition for her successes. On the other hand, Lin Miaoke is being taught that, even with nothing to merit her, a pretty face is worth more than hard work or refining talents.

Sucking the best out of everyone's lives and giving it all towards the support of one's government... Call it Socialism, call it the end of the day, it disgusts me. It's one thing to have a single lawnmower for an entire neighborhood, with every family using it only as needed. It's quite another to make one little girl give up her voice--and another one give up her face--in the pursuit of perfection for the onlooking world.

I'm so thankful that the red of my country's flag is also merged with white and blue.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And I Wonder Why I Can't Run a Marathon...

Because if I would stop watching the Olympics and get off the couch, maybe I could win a gold medal, too. Even if it was in something silly, like women's air rifle or table tennis. But I'm not and I won't, and let's not get carried away with what-ifs. Instead, watch these commercials and see if some of them don't make you cry. [If you're reading this at work, I'm sorry, but probably you should wait until you get home for the day.]

The Top Ten Reasons You Should Watch the Olympics

10. This commercial, even though the mass of arms and bodies makes me feel uncomfortable in a "Little Mermaid" kind of way:

9. This commercial, which is surprisingly effective on a girl like me who will only ever buy foreign for the rest of my life:

8. This commercial, which kind of makes me wish I was an Aussie:

7. This commercial, even though most Americans won't receive it on their regular broadcasting network. It makes me proud my children will be half-Canadian:

6. This commercial, which makes Poor Kyle laugh every time, because I'm always sitting on the couch going, "Oh! This makes me want to be a better person!":

5. This commercial--another one that simply motivates me to go out and do:

4. This commercial, not only for the eye candy, but also because it's kind of funny:

3. This commercial, which Kayleen already commented on in my last post, and I knew exactly the one she was talking about because I've been known to watch the Olympics for 10 hours at a time, and with that kind of persistence, why shouldn't I know each commercial by name?:

2. This commercial, which makes me glad I'm a Diet Coke girl and not a Diet Pepsi (though if we're getting technical it's actually Diet Dr. Pepper that makes my world go 'round):

1. This commercial--it was the first one I saw during the Olympics, and I'm kind of attached to it. I've never owned a Samsung™, but obviously I should have:

And if you lived in Canada, you could see this one as a bonus. It has nothing to do with the Olympics, but I'm kind of addicted the entire feel of it...

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Friday, August 8, 2008

There's Nothing Like Watching the Olympics to Make Me Remember My Failures.

I am a devout follower of the Olympic Games. Always have been, since I was just a little girl.

Photo from here. Check it out--they're all even more spectacular up close.

I remember being six years old and my mom calling me in to watch the opening ceremonies for the summer Olympics in Spain. I remember being eight years old and my mom calling me in to watch those beautiful, graceful figure skaters glide around the ice in the 1994 winter Olympics, and witnessing the whole mess between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. I can vividly recall cheering on the USA volleyball team from the locker room with my own Freshman volleyball team, thinking, "I will never have a desire to go that far with this horrendous sport, where girls slap each others' bums, and all my teammates are so vicious to me." But I still loved watching it. I cheered on the "Thorpedo" in Sydney, thinking that Australian men were amazingly intriguing. And oh, how I cheered on those Hamm twins [oh, mercy, those Hamm twins!] take the world by surprise. I watched that young little figure skater--what was her name? Oh yeah, Sasha Cohen--surpass like a million world records at the age of 14, and thinking, "If only I lived in a place that actually created ice, I too, could have been a figure skating prodigy."

So many dreams crushed, watching the Olympics throughout my lifetime. And yet, I really, really enjoy watching the Olympics. I find myself staying up later than normal, convincing myself to watch "just one more event." I don't want to sleep, because I don't want to miss a single life-changing moment in history (that's a value my mom instilled in me--she was always making me stay up late for the State of the Union address, or wake up early to watch the crumbling of the World Trade Center [and now I'm so glad she did]).

Photo, again, from here.

Poor Kyle thinks it's all ridiculous, of course. The beauty of this year's Opening Ceremony was totally lost on him. (He's virtually culture-less, but I sure love him.) He mocked all the red fireworks China ignited, noting that they're probably trying to brainwash the world into accepting Communism, sending all these red "subliminal messages."

All these amazing photos from here.

In his defense, he's stayed with me in the dungeon basement for four hours already, and with Kyle Shewfelt's events two hours away, it looks like we're in this for a bit longer yet.

Do you care about the games? What spectacular moments in Olympic history do you recall witnessing? I'm abnormally obsessed with knowing what people have seen in their lifetimes. Please, pipe in!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

"Ow--My Most of Me"

I'm a bit late in answering the first question of my new feature, "Ask Me Anything." And I'm sorry about that, but I've been busy. In fact, I can hardly move my fingers enough to type this out [and it doesn't help that Poor Kyle's keyboard is ridiculously difficult to use]. I'm sure you all want to know what it is I've been doing. Read on...

Q {anonymous}: What do you do all day if you don't work, go to school or care for children? Do you like this state of existence or are you going to do something different in the future? Does poor Kyle support what you do/don't do?

A: Whatever the heavens I want, actually.

It's quite nice. I "garden" [a term I use loosely]:

Make chocolates and eat chocolates:

I recycle truckloads of cans and bottles:

And without children to tote around and worry over, I am free to take each day as it comes. I fly by the seat of my pants. When I go to historic parks, I can take photos of myself in front of water mill wheels, without stressing that someone will steal my kids in their stroller while I'm not looking:

As far as Poor Kyle's support, I suppose my anonymous commenter would have to ask him. My perception is that he loves me no matter how diligently I do or don't decorate our house while he's at work. I, myself, am perfectly happy with my life right now.

Sometimes, though, when people ask me "What do you do all day, Camille? How do you fulfill your life's dreams without a job, or a degree, or snot-nosed kids waking you up at 6 in the a.m.?" I start to feel like I have to defend my existence. So for the past few days I've been doing this:

Mowing lawns. It's not a bad job, actually, when I'm not doing it for 12 hours at a time [which I attempted yesterday]. Because when I do try it for 12 hours at a time, my hands turn redder than a Hot Tamale™, and I get blisters on my feet the size of a few extra big toes:

Last night after coming home from my 9 to 9 work day, I was literally walking on my heels to get around. because walking any normal way was too painful. And then this morning, I had to wake up and do the entire thing over. So before heading off to my "job," I prepared my feet for the onslaught: I popped my four blisters (collecting over a tablespoon of puss from the combined poppage, and completely soaking three tissues in the process), bandaged each one, and donned three pairs of socks, in an attempt to soften the blow.

My mother-in-law cannot understand why I would want to do something like this.

"Because," I explain, "I want to feel productive."

"Why?" she wonders.

"So I can be a contributing member of society..."

"But...why?" she persists, clearly confused.

"So I can have money of my own...?"

"Well, I don't know why you'd want to do anything like that if you don't have to."

And you know what? She may be on to something. This whole job's exhausting.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Sweet Life of a Single Wife

I got married and became more single than ever before.  I don't have kids, so I'm not a single mom...I suppose some would call me a single wife.

Poor Kyle had better know I love him.

He's on the road again [without me this time] and he took my laptop.  Which he probably won't even have occasion to use, and how annoying is that?  Very annoying.  On top of which, if I'm going to update my blog at all, it means I have to type on a keyboard that is so stiff I might as well be chiseling each letter out of stone.  And it's really hard stone, too--not that soft limestone garbage.

On his way out, I was moping because (fill in the blank.  It's August, so it could have been anything).  In an effort to cheer me up, he said, "Why don't you do something adventurous to pass the time while I'm gone?  Live it up!"

In another life I would have taken that to mean, "Camille, take your credit card to New York City and live the Meg Ryan dream."  

But in this life, I simply went grocery shopping.

However, I went grocery shopping and pretended I was a yuppie [becoming a yuppie is, incidentally, my lifelong dream] and took my own reusable grocery bags and bought fresh herbs (since the ones in my garden are unbelievably pathetic) and I purchased four things I would have never bought if I wasn't feeling so indulgent:

Excuse the awful photos--I didn't think to take pictures until it was too dark outside for good light.

Gerber daisies are almost as good to have around the house as a husband is...or so I rationalised.

Bossy told me that this mascara would change my life, so I bought it.  It's amazing.

I lost my previous can of hairspray.  Who loses an entire can of hairspray?  Someone who needs this life-changing can in their arsenal, that's who.

And BioSilk Silk Therapy.  Not much to say except that if you don't have it or have never used it, you might as well die an old, embittered spinster.  Poor Kyle will be so shocked at how nice I look when he gets home--I might even put on a bra for the occasion.

And I would have bought that new Stephanie Meyer book, but I was too excited to go home and make pesto with my shiny new basil from Safeway™, so I'll have to save the reading extravaganza for Poor Kyle's next trip.

Come to think of it, this single-wife way of life might not be so bad.

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Monday, August 4, 2008

{I Know Everything There is to Know}

It's been fun reading everybody's questions. I've gotten several questions in the comment section, and a few more via email. No pill capsules in the mail, however. What a disappointment. I will hold out hope, however, because Canada is evidently a foreign country and as soon as mail reaches the 49th parallel, it mysteriously stops...for six days...and then is allowed to carry on to its final destination.

I do not know why this happens, exactly, but I think it has something to do with giving the mail time to really think about its choice to move to such a cold country. [Little do the post offices know, that mail is stubborn and will move to Canada come hell or high water. I mean, look at me--I had an entire two years to think about marrying Poor Kyle and moving north, and here I am.]

Anyway, remember that the questioning is open throughout each week. I think I'll make question-answering day on Thursdays, because Thursdays are such glorious days.

Have I ever regaled you with my theory on Thursdays? No? Well, you're in for a treat:

Thursdays are such hopeful days. Without them, life would be boring. Bland. Flavourless. Salt with no savour.

Bland, no?

They're really, truly, the best day of my week, every week. See, Mondays are bad [for obvious reasons]...

...and on Tuesday, the rest of the week still seems quite interminable.

Wednesdays have nothing to boast (unless you're an elementary school kid and have a half-day on Wednesdays, but usually that is a sure sign you've got piano lessons after school, so don't get to hasty, elementary kids).

Fridays would seem like the best days of the week, but I, myself, find them a bit depressing. On a Friday, I always think, "Oh, good...the weekend." But the thought that invariably follows is "Oh no--it's going to be gone so soon!" Talk about the glass being half empty, eh? I know.

Saturdays just lull me into a false state of tranquility [and that's only if I don't have chores to do]...

... and on Sundays, the impending doom of Monday is such that I can enjoy nothing else...

Which leaves Thursday...

On Thursday, the weekend is near enough to start planning and looking forward to, but not soon enough to actually start dreading its end. Friday has not yet come to start the worries, Saturday is far in the distance, and Sunday's dream-crushing reality seems a lifetime away.

Makes quite a difference, don't you think?

There's so much hope in a Thursday.

So there you have it: one more thing to make Thursday your best day of the week.

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