Thursday, February 26, 2009

Slacker Days

The only thing I accomplished while David was gone was a whole lotta ass-sitting.

I almost felt guilty at first, but then I realized how good it felt. I sat on my ass at home, then I sat on my ass in a movie theater all by myself. Turns out few people go to the movies at noon on a Monday.

My list of goals was ambitious and unfortunately, I only managed to achieve a few of them: wore sweats almost the entire time, did no dishes whatsoever and watched bad TV - The City! The City After Show! Jay is a total lying cheater!

Then there's the ginormous time suck that is the internet - Facebook, Flickr, blogs, news, but mostly Facebook... oh how I love that time vampire.

But today was fairly productive... I bought my tickets and in just over four weeks I'll be on my way to the sun-baked desert where I can damage my skin and float around in the lap pool.

A week later I get to drive up to the Bay Area, stopping at every In & Out along the way, where I will consume gallons of Peet's and eat plates and plates of molé chicken at La Piñata, washed down with buckets of Don Julio on the rocks. I'm so excited I could cry hot tears of sweet tequila.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

When Hubby's Away

The wife watches live, Oscar red carpet coverage. David would spoon out his eyeballs if he were here. But he's not - he's on a business trip, leaving me alone and unsupervised in this foreign country.

He'll be gone for three days and two nights and here's a list of all the things I'm going to do while he's gone:
  • Not cook a single thing.
  • Eat an entire batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, because Miriam and Ted's cookies still have not arrived and I can't stand reading about all the taste test reviews without having any cookies stuffed in my mouth.
  • Wear sweats the entire time.
  • Watch the dishes pile up until late Tuesday afternoon and *maybe* do them before I leave to pick up David.
  • Have waffles for dinner (which I won't have to make - got leftovers in the freezer).
  • Watch CosmoTV, MTV, and other varieties of BadTV.
  • Lift weights in my underwear.
  • Dress the cats in doll clothes.
  • Pile my clothes all over his side of the bed.
  • Order a pizza and take off all the cheese and eat the crust (David hates when I do that, like I'm defacing a sacred object, but I don't eat dairy, so, it gets defaced. And de-cheesed.)
  • Eat dinner at 4pm.
  • Work on my Sawyer & Desmond Go Shirtless scripts.
I may not be able to get to everything, but I'm going to try my best. I really want to go back to Medina's to eat a hundred waffles, but that would mean putting on pants. That definitely presents a pickle.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Holy Brunch Batman

Medina's is gooooooooooooooood. So good.

We got there early and it was already packed, with people waiting inside and on the sidewalk.

Thankfully we didn't have to wait long and as soon as we sat down our lovely server, Emma, came by to get our coffee orders. Loved my americano - it was perfect.

The waffles are as good as we expected - great flavor, fluffy but substantial, and dipping a chunk of waffle in dark chocolate sauce is perfectly delicious. We could have eaten a dozen more and made that breakfast, but everything else on the menu sounded too good to miss.

My omelette du matin was fantastic and Emma was sweet enough to put together a custom plate for David, who isn't a fan of brussels sprouts or really anything green in his food.

It's a good thing they're downtown or else I'd be there every morning. Absolutement.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good Day Sunshine

Today was a good day. Sunny, clear, and I dare say, almost warm. It's amazing when a kid from California can move to Vancouver and end up feeling like 45 degrees is comfortable.

Back in the Bay Area, if it was 45 degrees, even with bright sunshine, I'd be bundled up like an Eskimo and bitching a blue streak about being cold. Funny how a *real* winter with sub-freezing temperatures, snow, and dreary rain can help you change your perspective on weather.

But I'm nowhere near as hearty as the locals. Lots of folks out in just t-shirts walking around with refreshing frappuccinos. I still need hot coffee, a long-sleeved shirt and a jacket. Baby steps.

On top of the good weather, I'm also happy about a trip to the Bay Area in April. After feeling so far away for so long, I can't wait to get back to see friends and drink many gallons of Peet's. Before that, I'll squeeze in a little time down south to soak up the desert sun and make sure my parents haven't fallen and can't get up.

In the meantime, one more thing to be happy about - Café Medina downtown - a place we found last week and will try this weekend - coffee and European-style waffles. I'm saved.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I'm gradually turning into mush. I think it's just my nose running from being out in the cold. It's my brains, slowly leaking out of my head.

This happened the last time I stopped working for a while - in 1988 when I first moved to San Francisco to attend SF State. I thought I'd want to focus 100% on school. I started losing my mind from the boredom.

On one hand, I love being at home and having SO MUCH TIME to procrastinate going to the store and avoid housework. On the other hand, I COULDN'T CARE LESS about going to the store or housework.

I'd rather watch terrible Sylvester Stallone movies (The Specialist, anyone?) than go grocery shopping or shove a vacuum back and forth.

(Side note, I'd never heard of The Specialist before seeing it on the cable guide the other day. It was wonderfully awful in so many ways, accelerating the rate of grey matter liquefaction.)

Today I did manage to go to the store - I ran out of distractions as well as eggs. I don't know why I keep getting to this point where it becomes a ginormous challenge to convince myself to go. It's that shutting down thing - everything becomes a hurdle.

Earlier this year I registered with a couple of talent agencies that specialize in background talent, thinking that would be a good way to get out of the house and meet new people. Break up the monotony.

Unfortunately, nothing's landed yet, and I have to wonder if it has something to do with the TERRIBLE photo they take, usually in a hallway outside the office with the very worst lighting, with the camera way too close so you get a great view of my chin and not much else.

Time for Plan B. Get the frick out of town. I'm planning a trip to visit the parents in the desert, then drive north to the Bay Area, then fly back from there. Not the cheapest boondoggle, but it sounds like a great way to shake off the mildew and clear my head.

I think I have to go. I can't take one more friendly chit-chat with the Save-On checker who, when I told her that all their organic go-gurt (goat yogurt) was expired, told me the woman who runs that department is out because her husband just died.

She's a serious health food expert. She had her husband eating much healthier, even with his bad heart, and last week he was doing the best ever. Then he just up and died. She's real upset.

I'm sorry Margie. That's very sad. I don't know what to do with that information. I thought you might want to know you're trying to sell old food.

With all the folks wearing green Save-On vests, is there NO ONE ELSE available to help with ONE AISLE of products when someone's spouse dies? Really?

The organic foods manager will be so pleased to know that while she's out dealing with the death of her husband, she's got no back up at work. Awesome.

Margie went on to tell me a lengthy story about trying a "health food wiener" one day and it made her sick. Said she was so sick she had to go home. Know what else makes her sick? Slim-Fast. She just doubles over with stomach pains.

Margie, that's a really interesting story. Can I borrow your box knife so I can slit my throat? It's going to make a big mess, so you might want to call someone up to the front. Thanks Margie.

Monday, February 16, 2009


It feels like we're marking time now... waiting for the end of winter, waiting for warmer days, waiting for the economy to improve, waiting for the invention of no-calorie doughnuts...

I'm waiting to get back home for a long-overdue visit and still waiting for the invention of a personal teleportation device.

In the meantime, we pass the time as we usually do - trying to figure out how many more cats we might be able to fit into the family.

When not working on that algorithm, I notice all sorts of things that irritate or confuse me.

For example, the Crest Pro-Health toothpaste I bought at Costco last month... The daytime toothpaste is in a lighter-colored tube than the nighttime tube, and that makes sense, but the paste is dark blue, whereas the nighttime toothpaste is white.

Wouldn't it make more sense for the daytime product to be in the lighter colored tube and white, and the nighttime product to be in the darker tube and a darker color?

Then there's the exploding soup commercial. No one on that team consulted with women while developing that campaign, or any women that clean their own kitchens.

I think it's an ad for soup crackers or maybe it really is for tiny bombs that make a bowl of soup explode into a gigantic mess. Whatever it is, I don't want it. Every time I see that commercial I wince at the amount of cleaning that product would require, so whatever it is, I'll never ever buy it.

Fascinating, isn't it, what's taking up space in my head these days? No, I know it isn't. It's all I've got at the moment.

The other day on Facebook I saw a friend's status update about meeting someone for coffee. It occurred to me how long it's been since I met anyone for coffee. What a lovely thing that would be. If only I had some friends here.

I'm not whining. It's my own fault for moving 900 miles away. I obviously didn't think this through. The longer I'm here and the more isolated I feel, the more I shut down.

It sucks to feel so far away from my life. This, being here, is not my life. It's a detour on the path back to life, back to reality... It's going to be an ongoing challenge to keep cracking the cocoon.

So, now I have to figure out what to do with my time while I'm here. A few ideas include: becoming fluent in Canadian, learning how to unload the dishwasher telekinetically, creating new dishes with fat back, and teaching Henry how to swear in French.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's Not Just Me

It's not just me making fun of the cops - the locals do it too!

At the grocery store yesterday, the clerk rang me up while her coworker stood nearby, jabbering on about something that happened to her the day before, an injury or accident of some sort.

She said she thought about calling the cops, but she knew she'd be seeing them at dinner. The clerk said, "Where, Tim Hortons?"

I wasn't sure if she was joking, because we've seen many a Hortons packed at dinner time, but her coworker laughed and said "No! My family's house!" [Someone in her family is an RCMP.] Then I laughed right along with them, and that felt good.

Monday, February 09, 2009

"Did You Pray?"

Loved watching Captain Chesley Sullenberger on 60 Minutes last night. What an amazing guy.

Katie Couric still bugs me, maybe because CBS kept jamming her down our throats when she took over the evening news, or maybe it's her annoying use of "you all." I'm sure it's both.

Now, I'm no fan of religion - you could say I'm anti-religion. But if someone is religious, isn't that a personal issue? What people believe and the beliefs they practice seem like personal matters, unless of course your neighbors like to slaughter goats in their front yard every third Tuesday of the month.

It seems inappropriate to ever ask anyone if they pray, if they believe in god - anything on that subject. If someone wants to offer up that information, fine - as long as it's not at my front door or anywhere near me or my personal space - but is it necessary (or appropriate) to ever ask that in a television interview?

But ask she did, and Sully said, ""I would imagine somebody in back was taking care of that for me while I was flying the airplane." "My focus at that point was so intensely on the landing," he said. "I thought of nothing else.""

Thank you - thank you for being so focused on your job, because it clearly made all the difference. Pray? WTF would praying have done to accomplish that incredible feat? Has god had over 30 years' experience flying commercial aircraft?

He said he was sure he could do it. He obviously believed it and followed through.

I'm not anti-god or anti-spirituality - to each his own - again, unless the goat slaughter is really getting out of hand, and then you're going to have to leave the neighborhood. FWIW, I believe there are forces or energy at work beyond our understanding - I call it The Universe.

The Universe, I believe, is Mother Nature, it is what it is, it's energy, it's the search for balance, it's totally unbiased and not a human or celestial force or some entity that will "save" me if I just believe. I call The Universe a tricky bitch, because that's exactly how it/she seems sometimes.

When She plays a trick on you, the key is first believing in yourself, that no matter what trouble that bitch doles out, you'll come out on top. She won't help you, some imaginary god won't help you - you have to do it on your own and believe you can do it. Asking for help might help you help yourself, but you still have to believe you can do it.

All this to say, I'm glad Sully wasn't sitting in that cockpit praying. I'm glad he said that he wasn't, that he was focused on the job in front of him and nothing else. I'm sure everyone on board that plane, whatever their individual faiths might be, are also glad that he never gave god a single thought throughout all that madness.

I'm sure some will say that he was helped by passengers praying like hell, but I don't buy it. He believed he could do it, he did it, and that's why he's so awesome.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

"No He Didn't!"

Last week blew chunks. Big giant chunks of blue whale. It wasn't the worst week, but it was far from the best.

First - boys, just a warning, I'm going to talk about lady parts. One of my ovaries may have exploded like a super nova. When I die, they'll find parts of it all over my insides. The coroner will say, "Wow, that must have been painful." Yes, yes it was. I'm no stranger to Middleschmertz, but this was more like middleschmOHMYGODMAKEITSTOP.

No idea what's going on, but I have to wonder if all the activity from the prior week - spending hours out & about on snowshoes and x-country skis - may have jostled things around enough so that once the ovulation started, parts that were already tired or tender became super upset with all the swelling and bursting that goes on with shoving an egg out into the world.

Because, you know, those little ovaries are only tethered by ligaments and if the owner of those ligaments is ridiculously out of shape, well, I'm just sayin. Probably not a good thing. At any rate, by Tuesday night I was on vicodin praying to the pharmaceutical gods for sweet relief.

That's as bad as it got - every day afterward was a little better until the pain was almost totally gone by Thursday night. Then the cops came.

We were enjoying 30 Rock when the doorbell rang. Because it was after 9pm, I wasn't about to answer it. We get frequent solicitors and I was annoyed that one would come by so late AND that we'd have to interrupt important television viewing. Then it rang again.

Irritated, I got up and answered the door asking, "Can I HELP you? It's after 9pm!" Oh, Hello RCMP... fuuuuuuuuuuuuck. With no trace of humor in her voice she asked if it was our dogs barking and causing a disturbance.

I explained that No, they're our neighbor's/landlord's dogs and she lives downstairs and why, was there anything wrong? She said a neighbor called about the noise.

We'd heard them barking but they weren't bothering us, so who's the spineless douchebag who can't come over and ask us to quiet them down?

She wouldn't tell me who called, but one of her partners - THREE of them came out to investigate DOGS - went directly across the street to the lady I like to call Mrs. Kravitz. They didn't chat with any other neighbors, just Gladys.

After telling Ms. RCMP that they weren't our dogs she asked to see my driver's license. I didn't realize you had to have a license to rent a flat. I got it, handed it to her, and she proceeded to write down all my info in her smart little notebook. She never asked for the dog owner's name or phone number. Just mine.

I did apologize to her for snapping when I opened the door, explaining about the solicitors. She didn't respond.

When they left, I came back inside and was SUPER tweaked about #1, the douchebag who called them in the first place and #2, that the RCMPs now have all MY information, information they have no business having. THEY AREN'T OUR DOGS. WOULDN'T YOU PREFER TO HAVE THE INFORMATION OF THE ACTUAL DOG OWNER?

David didn't understand why I was so annoyed. He meant well, but he made the egregious error of saying "Calm down..."

He's had no negative experiences with law enforcement. He thinks it's all fine & reasonable to have cops come to the door and ask you about dogs that aren't yours and copy down YOUR driver's license info into a cute little notebook.

I was on the verge of calming down until he said "calm down." Funny how that happens. When I relayed this riveting story to my good friend Mary, she said "No he didn't..." Yes, yes he did. And then I was seriously pissed.

I think boys, when confronted with an emotional female, immediately try to quell the uprising because they just don't know what else to do. I think it's terrifying for them to see a woman getting agitated.

But, long story longer, we worked it out and all is fine. I'm just glad that I'm no longer doubled-over in pain or trying to get an RCMP to act like a human instead of a Hortons-eating robot.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Senorita Misteriosa

This is a story about the adventure of a lifetime. It's also a story about the wondrous powers of the internet to connect people in ways they'd never have imagined. It's a story for our time.

After a quiet retirement spent mostly inside her intriguing package, Señorita Misteriosa is off on an international adventure to meet her Señor and see the sights of New York and Mexico.

Late last year I received an email from a woman named Carin, asking where she might find a Señorita Misteriosa to join her Señor Misterioso.

Carin and her Señor have been together for many years and have traveled the world together. Then Carin met her fiance...

They dreamed of a wedding in Mexico with both Señor and Señorita Misteriosos at their sides, but Señorita, being the enigma that she is, can only be found if she wants to be found.

We don't know much about Señorita, except that she speaks twelve languages and has diplomatic passports from eight of the smallest nations in the world.

In Brazil her photo is often kept framed on the top of television sets, and no one can explain why this is or where the photos came from.

Her mysterious glowing dress is rarely worn but when it is, world events change drastically and plants within 50 feet undergo accelerated growth. There are claims of healing properties from being near the dress when she is wearing it, and this will be the subject of a Ken Burns PBS documentary.

Despite all her mystery, she was finally found one day in my Flickr photostream, the result of a random photograph taken last summer while procrastinating work.

Carin emailed me to ask if it might be possible to send Señorita to meet her in New York, to join Senor atop their wedding cake in Mexico early this year.

I consulted with Señorita and of course she was happy to oblige. We packed her things and put her on the first express plane to New York where she'll meet her new friends Carin and Gabriel.

Señorita's private photographer will capture her adventure and I look forward to posting the rest of the story and her photos.