Seven Random Facts About Me

Izabela tagged me with this meme:

1. Link to your tagger and list all these rules in your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

1. I like to create elegant gowns (in my imagination) which I would wear to the Oscar Awards when I attend with Keanu Reeves. I always look fabulous!
2. I love chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Together, when possible, even in coffee flavours.
3. I would rather have a good coffee (latte) than any kind of alcoholic beverage. I’m usually the only one ordering coffee when I go to a bar. That’s why I seldom go to bars, just not my thing. People must think I’m a recovering alcoholic, I’m not, I just prefer coffee.
4. When I was a teenager I promised myself I’d never be one of those women who colours her hair. I loved my natural colour. Never say never.
5. My nephew likes to hold my hand and pick my fingernails. I don’t know why. Having my fingernails picked gives me major ick factor and I always yank my hand away.
6. I really, really do want a time machine or to be immortal and live forever at the age I am now. I’d settle for being a shapeshifter, maybe. You can’t have everything.
7. I’d like to live as a vagabond or nomad, traveling all over the world as long as I had a home base to come back to and stash my computer, books and other essential treasures.

Consider yourself tagged to continue on. Much evil laughter.

Grey Hair Must be Made to Obey

Back to construction and renovations today. Graham says it will just be today, I hope he is right. The trend seems to be that it is ongoing, in spurts and only a very few of the projects actually get completely finished. The hardwood floors look nice but at the doorways for kitchen, bathroom and the main entrance they are raw, unfinished.

Today it’s a woman putting in new tiles at the front entrance and Steve back downstairs this time, putting a hardwood floor into the apartment where Terry Lynn should be moving into this week, I hope. Will be nice to have some things done and settled. Though I have learned at long last that you can’t rely on a Gemini person. Both Terry Lynn and my brother have the same birth date and both make commitments and don’t seem to show up for them, quite often. Maybe it’s just me being a bit hard on them about it cause I’ve been the one sitting around waiting for them to show up.

Still, it’s one thing to be late and yet another bag of cats to not show up at all. Maybe a phone call a day or so later, maybe. Kind of annoyed about my birthday. Both of them made arrangements that we would go out for my birthday and neither followed through on that. I made a pot of macaroni and cheese with tuna for Graham and I instead. Not quite the birthday celebration I had been expecting after all the talk about going out.

I’m not saying anything to anyone. I guess that is my problem and part of the reason it keeps happening. But, I am learning not to sit around and wait. Of course, being stuck taking the bus doesn’t help. At least I’m making enough money that I can take a taxi if I want to and not be left without grocery money. If I’m careful about it. No getting around to look at the old houses for photos and that is getting under my skin. I really did want to see them by snow.

Can’t find my books about web design/ XHTML either. I have looked and looked. I hope they are not thrown out by Graham on one of his “you have too many books” things. Those were expensive books and I really do use them, when I can find them.

I have a lottery ticket to check. I always hope to win so I could finally buy a nice little house of my own and finally live somewhere. Not having to exist somewhere between being a vagabond and a tenant. Graham still has itchy fingers to get into my bedroom here (my only space that is sort of mine) to repaint, finish the wall trim and assorted other things I’d rather not think about. So I still haven’t bothered to really sort things and put them away since I will only have to evacuate all over again when he wants to tear up this room. I’m glad it’s not today, at least. Be glad for small things.

Also, he is dropping me off at work today before he leaves Steve here to construct and renovate. So I’m not waiting for a bus or paying for a taxi at least one time out of many. I really was hoping he would have time for me to take the car to Zellers so I could pick out a hair colouring package of goo. I seem to have decided that the grey has taken over too much of my head and it must be made to pay for it’s crimes against my emotional satisfaction in the appearance of my crowing glory. In short, I’m fed up with looking at the grey littering my chestnut curls.

A mini addendum to the man stalking… Last night at work Sarah said she had been talking to him and asked his age. He is a bit younger than I am but about the range I had figured he would be. He did not tell his age, funny how men really are more worried about their age than women are. I think that’s how all those stereotypes about women and age began. It was men trying to make themselves seem less age obsessed by spreading it over to women as well, trying to at least. Most women I have talked to don’t feel concerned about saying their age, whatever the number may be.

Anyway, I told Sarah I thought the man stalking was over. You can’t hang your heart on your sleeve for a guy who can’t even thank you for a Christmas card. Sarah said maybe he is just really shy. Maybe he is. But, I will likely never know 100% for sure, it doesn’t seem that he is shy. Then again, I don’t appear that way either and yet I can be.

Just sent a nice email to Sherry to see if she would like to come out on January, 2nd. She would know about the hair colouring goo so I could make a good choice about what colour and which brand to try. Really has to be easy to use as I don’t want to make this into a science project. Will be annoying enough to figure out what to do once it begins to grow out. Funny about Sherry how she has a career (a career as opposed to just a job) and makes lovely amounts of money, she is a nice size and well dressed, everything you would think a woman could want. She takes trips, has a house now and her own car. But inside she is not confident and doesn’t feel great about herself. It still surprises me on some level that so many women who seem to “have it all” don’t feel strong and confident all the way through. People can so easily project themselves and appear different from how they really feel. It’s a good thing and yet… I know cause I do it too.

If I didn’t I would have devolved into a shut in/ recluse/ hermit/ bag lady by now. I hope Sherry comes out. I really do like to see her. Knowing who she is versus who she seems to be just makes me like her all the more and I really admire her too for all she has accomplished. Too bad she can’t feel that way about herself. Maybe she does sometimes but not enough that it has soaked through to make her feel confident and strong all the time. I think that is partially why she is still with Graham cause he does get a bit on the abusive side with his demanding ways. He isn’t who he appears to be on the outside either though. Very complicated isn’t it?

An Old Woman of the Roads

An Old Woman of the Roads
Padraic Colum

Oh, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped-up sods upon the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!

To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delft,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!

I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!

I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delft!

Och! but I’m weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there’s never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!

And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house- a house of my own-
Out of the wind’s and the rain’s way.

Crazy, But That’s How It Is

I like getting those packs of sugar, salt, pepper, ketchup and vinegar from restaurants. Often I bring a few home from those fast food places that have them out for everyone to help themselves. I don’t take coffee creamers (past really bad experience with one of those quietly breaking, being forgotten and then really stinking up my purse). But, I take the others and I’m careful. Sometimes I still forget them for awhile, weeks even. But all those condiment things are really made to last now. I bet they will give that famous Twinkie and the cockroaches a run for their money eventually. Of course, that just makes you wonder why we eat them. (No, not the cockroaches, unless you like them in that way).

Anyway getting those little packs of condiments saves me buying the big containers for things I almost never use. I did break down and buy pepper though cause I have been going to town on tuna wraps and they just NEED pepper. But, I don’t use salt or sugar. Once, long ago, I was addicted to salt but that was when I could count my age on two hands. Nowadays I keep a bottle of ketchup in the fridge and a jug of vinegar in the cupboard cause they are good for somethings, not just edible things. Vinegar is an eco safe/ green cleaner and much cheaper than the other fancily packaged stuff. Ketchup… well ketchup is good to torment your brother with. Also handy for really sick April Fools jokes once a year. Not that I’d do something like that.

It’s not that I’m cheap entirely. I like that bit of the vagabond lifestyle. The idea that I’m living like someone who doesn’t have a lot of things tying them down and could pack up and move with just a moment’s notice. I think the best example of that was Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan. That’s about all I remember from that movie, the lifestyle of the Madonna character.

Anyway, that’s about it for my thoughts for the day. I’m turning my brain down to low early tonight. Painters are supposed to be starting early on the upstairs and I plan to avoid being here for the aroma. I hope it is mostly dry and not so smelly when I get back. I’m allergic to fresh paint. I’m sure I wouldn’t care for having it wedged under my skin dry either but the fresh stuff really does mess me up. I’m not looking forward to tomorrow. But, I hope it will be ok. They say it should dry quick cause it’s latex. I’ve heard that story before.

I will be away Thursday sometime. My Mom needs me to fix her computer. I wish she would try to learn how to run it herself. She does try for short periods of time but forgets everything by the next day. I don’t mind helping her but I feel guilty cause I’m not there to help her right now as if it’s all partly my fault. Crazy but that’s how it is.

Re-evaluating my Commitments

Although I’m not getting a lot of progress on my book writing I am writing and working for several other sites plus a few of my own. I think I am stretching myself thin and working on projects which aren’t really giving me back enough for all the time and energy I put into them. I need to step back and think about which of them matter enough to keep working on.

Here is the list:

The Open Directory Project – heading the list for a reason.

BackWash – Bewitching Vagabond and Adult BackWash and several newsletters and a few communities there too.

Suite101 as a Contributing Writer. Featured Writers are what they now call those who dedicate themselves to keeping a topic going.

LockerGnome – Creative Fat Grrl which is one I think I will keep going.

There are and were others but I’ve already left them fall off the back burner. Some I would have liked to stick with. But, there is just so much you can do when it’s all freebie work. I count those ad share sites as freebie cause I’ve never seen a cent from Google or any other of those scam-sense things. BackWash is the only site that ever paid, but they went back to not paying.

The Monthly Madness

This was my column for Bewitching Vagabond at BackWash today.

Today’s babble will probably squick some of the boys/ men, so you have been warned.

It’s a period thing. When I was younger I didn’t notice anything about myself changing at this time of the month. I can’t say the same about the age I am now. Maybe it’s part of upcoming menopause or just the winding down of the female brain in general. I have nothing scientific, just mad science.

But, I have noticed a definite difference in myself in the day(s) before and during that time of the month. In total it’s not quite a week of time. I get a lot more sensitive and I have a big tendency to fall into a deep pit of depression. I’m writing this cause today I really can’t write anything else, I’ve been trying. I feel like my life, all the negative things, are piling in over my head and I’m being left in some hole to dig my way out when I wake up and feel better one day.

Yesterday I woke up and knowing I’m going through a bit of a rough spot I decided I would compile my limited funds and go out for breakfast. That usually cheers me up. At the very least I like the smell of bacon and eggs and when I’m out I don’t have to clean any of it up or get zapped by the bacon as it fries. All good things.

I made the mistake of feeling optimistic enough to look at the dating part of Craigslist. Why do we sabotage ourselves with this swill? I read a post that seemed really sincere, someone else feeling alone in the big city and wishing to meet someone. I was wrong, well sort of. I wrote a note. He replied. I sent another one and that was it. I made the fatal flaw of being honest. You see, men only want porn models, not attractive real women. It doesn’t matter who you are on the inside, only what you are on the outside.

I am sorry I let that one dickhead spoil what I was trying to make of my day. But, it did. I didn’t go out and I spent the day feeling awful and the most I did was wash dishes and make a blog post from a photo I had taken on Sunday. Pathetic. Normally, I would have gotten angry and not been down on myself, life and everything. But, it’s that time of the month and I seem to get sucked into this portal of despression so easily.

I’m glad it is about the last day today. I am pushing myself out the door once I give this a quick spellcheck and post it up.

I know I’m not the only one going through this kind of madness at this time of the month. I never really understood it till now. I’ve always thought it was just part of someone’s outlook in general. But, I’m not a moody person, I am usually optimistic, open and friendly. This is just not me and yet I am having a hard time overcoming it. I’m glad it’s only once a month. Easier to think of it as just 12 times a year, that sounds like a lot less.

Anyway, my sympathy to the other women out there who go through this (or worse) at that time of the month. Don’t do something you will regret later. Try not to email anyone in any heat of the moment. Do your best to pull through cause you know it will only be a few days.

See you later.

Should you be curious… it’s true. I am on a mouse for sale at CafePress. You can also get me on a coffee mug, a canvas bag and other accessories.

Planning Things

I posted a new column to Backwash: Bewitching Vagabond this morning.

Planning the Things You Can Still Do

It’s a whole new year, nothing has been painted on it, nothing has sratched it’s shiny surface and there are no treadmarks yet. What will you do with it? Any grand plans or even nice, tidy small ones?

Here we are, all getting older, some of us older than others. Some of us have limited resources and some have enough that they can take them for granted. Some people are feeling sad and lonely and others are feeling crowded and overburdened. However you are feeling, take stock of what you have.

I was feeling kind of down about how things are going and the time that has passed and the resources I have left. I began to think about things I wanted to do and likely wouldn’t or can’t now. So I started making a list, on paper (at least digital paper) and writing out ideas about what I could still accomplish and what I have passed the expiry date on.

You may think there is always hope and never give up on a dream, all that overly optimistic and rose coloured glasses stuff. That’s not true though. Keep yourself in the land of reality. Some things you can’t do when you’re no longer 20 and quite so perky and light. I am very much not likely to have children of my own and that hurts. I’m being a very good Aunt but it’s not the same. I will feel this a lot more in the years to come, it’s not so bad right now. I think that is the biggest thing I can no longer accomplish. I haven’t even completely crossed it off the list because it’s too hard to let go.

There are a lot of other things I want to do still. Some I have done and forgot until I started thinking and listing it all, formally and officially. I have traveled more than I gave myself credit for. Not all the places I would like but those are still places I could get to.

I would like to have a successful (my standards for success) business of some kind. Something creative which I could do for myself and feel I had done it myself. I’m not really good about asking or accepting help, which isn’t always a good thing. I enjoy different aspects of business, not paperwork and taxes but promotion and advertising interests me. Those are opportunities to be creative too.

One goal I’m not so sure about is finding someone to grow old with. I’ve tried and I’m getting really discouraged. It’s hard being rejected for shallow and superficial reasons. It’s hard finding out how shallow and small so many people are. This just seems so backwards to me and no matter how often I come across it I am always surprised when it happens. Why do people care so much about small things? Then I wonder if I am the same but don’t see it. I hope not. I try not to be and I prefer to be as optimistic as I can too. I don’t look back much because whatever you learned from that is in your head, currently and whatever happened back there is unchangeable now.

I do have things to look forward to for 2007. Things which I have to set in motion myself. None are much more than little buds of prospective opportunities now. I have learned to keep a lot of my buds to myself. People tend to shoot them down, with good intentions yet I’ve found myself on the road to hell so many times I don’t want any more well intentioned advice.

So I am making my list and deciding what I can do from it in the coming year and what I need to do to start the process for each thing I want to do. It’s the first day of a new year. So much is out there if you keep your eyes open, your head clear and you listen at least as much as you talk. As we get older we need to watch for our minds narrowing in on what our own needs are and what our own sense of right is. Don’t cut off something new or different just because it isn’t perfect or what you are used to.

Good luck to us all.

The AfterXmas

I’m planning to get the bus back to Toronto tomorrow afternoon, so far. It would be nice to have a ride down with my brother again but not fair to expect it and I don’t even want to ask. The bus isn’t so bad. Just carrying things makes it a bit crazy. I’m going to look for an overnight bag sort of thing, something I can carry easily and stuff enough stuff into. I had one which I thought was good but it’s not working out all that well. Doesn’t help that I have Christmas presents which I brought with me and new Christmas presents which were for me and are going back with me. Only one thing is breakable so that helps.

Graham is talking about having me move again. To Newmarket this time. So much for giving up the vagabond lifestyle. Makes me sick to watch TV, especially those comedy shows where they have blue collar types who always seem to have plenty of everything, including a house to live in. I don’t think I will ever have that, any of it. Do you ever wonder why you were even born? What was the whole point of being here at all? If I had at least had a child, I would feel there was some reason for me to exist. Maybe I’m fated to write something great but won’t even know anyone valued it until long after I’m dead. I think it must be something like that. So I keep writing.

Funny that I don’t want to move when I don’t even like the basement apartment. Or the people living above it. I was getting used to the buses though. I discovered how to take a couple of routes that worked out well for things I wanted to do. I began making plans and even thought I could find some kind of office job again. Maybe another circulation clerk, this time it would all be on computers and I can do data entry.

Anyway, I don’t have money so I don’t have control of anything really. I hate writing a whiny blog post. But, this is my place to talk to myself. Even though I try not to listen too much.

I will never be all the things I want to be. There isn’t even enough time left to try for them all. I should make a list of what is still do-able and work from there. How much of it can I still do as the person I have become and with the limited resources and power I have left.

Have there been times in your life when you felt really hopeless? I’ve had so many to choose from it’s a theme in my life. I never thought I’d still be in this same theme so many years along the way. I always thought there would come a point when things would change and get better and stay that way. Just like the people on TV who always seem to manage no matter what their life is supposed to be like. Those TV shows are mean, making people think they should all have houses, cars and a vacation even though they work part time in a shopping mall. Dream on.

Merry Jingle Bells

For some reason jingle bells are making me think of nipples today. Guess where my mind is…? No, not there. I haven’t even started Christmas shopping and I actually don’t have to do any. So there. I am going to magically crochet things and people will be awed and amazed and eternally grateful for my creative genius.

The brother who is the landlord is now talking about selling the building to the people who live upstairs and are always late paying the rent. They started talking about the idea. So, I may be moving again. I only moved here in November really. I’m just having the real vagabond life. I should try to get rid of nearly everything I own, including myself and that would make moving so much less complicated. Living would be easier too. If you could stop caring about silly things like stability, life would be simple and care free.

But, in reality… I just don’t want to think about it any more. Avoidance therapy. Works well, for awhile.

I came back from being away this afternoon. Not too much mess from the workmen down here. I will need to wash the floor but I’m leaving it with a sweeping for now. At least it’s not a carpet I’d have to shampoo and generally fuss over. It seems there is a thin layer of cruddy dust over everything though. Who knows what chemical toxic waste that could be, leftover from new furnace installation and tubing added to the ceiling. Not that it stopped me from making coffee after giving the pot a sentimental swish with water. After all, something is going to kill me eventually. Why not quit resisting so hard. Resistance is futile, just ask the Borgs.

I’m not feeling down, too much. Stressed, somewhat. I’d never want to be a kid again but it would be nice to ship back in time and have that nice feeling of knowing someone else is there to take care of all the minor details like where to live and keeping bills paid for you. You can’t say being married is the solution any more. Women work now, it’s expected. I think it’s rare to be a stay at home type of housekeeping women these days. Yet, it was nice while it lasted. Nice for kids to grow up with someone there and nice for who ever is home to be there and know the home and kids are being cared for. But, we progress…

I miss the car so much. I don’t mind taking the TTC. Waiting for the bus on a frigidly cold day isn’t fun exactly. But, when I’m not fretting about being on time for anything (or know I’m already early) it’s okay. I can check the maps and plan a route which doesn’t leave me waiting outside for long. Still, it doesn’t compare to the car. I really would have liked to have the car this past weekend while I was visiting Zack and the screaming girls we know as his little step-sisters. Zack wanted me to stay another day and I died a little having to leave that boy who is soon going to be a teenager and never a boy again.

I don’t know what I’m going to get doing now. I feel like I’m in some endless cycle where everything I try gets pulled out from under me as soon as I begin to make some progress. But, that’s progress. Change. I found two interesting men through Craigslist. Not the personals (which I am giving up on finally and completely as anything but sad entertainment) but from my post about urban exploration. Funny that I am still getting posts/ email from that original post. It must still show up on Craigslist though they say any posts expire after a month or something. Mine should be long gone I would have thought. It was from October.

Anyway, it gives me hope that I can still meet someone. Maybe the key isn’t looking for men looking for women but in looking for men who share my interests and who are looking for someone to spend time wtih, sharing those interests. I think the men posting personals have forgotten that sex isn’t enough when you want to find someone to live alongside of you. You can buy sex, you can’t buy laughter, conversation, time and romance. You may think you can but, trust me, I’ve talked to the women who sell sex and they only offer sex, no matter what those guys may wish for on the side.

Anyway, I should get to work on writing now. I need to type a letter for the brother and then email it to him so he can take it into the insurance duds (not a typo) tomorrow. Then I want to flesh in more of the story I began before the weekend and the renovations here.

What I would most like for Christmas is stability. I don’t want to be a vagabond any more. Day trips and weekends away would be fine, instead of endless moving with no end in sight. I want a place to come home to and it would be really nice if there was a guy there with a nice smile, warm hands and good conversation. How do other people make it look so easy?

21st Century Bohemians

The Poverty Jet Set is another name for 21st Century bohemians. A rag tag group of artists, travelers, writers and filmmakers riding the bad-ass pirate ship of life with a parrot on our shoulders and a little “yaaarrr, matey” in our cheeks.

The Poverty Jet Set is a term coined by Douglas Coupland, one of my favorite writers of all time. In his ahead-of-its-time 1991 book, Generation X, he defined the term:

A group of people given to chronic traveling at the expense of long-term job stability or a permanent residence. Tend to have doomed and extremely expensive phone call relationships with people named Serge or Ilyana. Tend to discuss frequent-flyer programs at parties.

Vagablogging– Vagabond blogging.
World Hum– Travel dispatches from a shrinking planet.
BootsnAll– Resources for the independent traveller.
Lonely Planet
Traveler’s Tales
Women traveling around the world.

Looks like the Thumbs Out site is not happening until 2008. Getting a really early start on the website though.