Customer: I'd like to get a price on a piece of equipment on your site.
Me: Do you have the ad number?
Customer: Ad number?
Customer: Uhm. I have an A.D. number.
Me: Yes sir. That would be the ad number.
While we're at it.. when did saying Good-bye on the phone become passe?
Come on, people (especially people on cell phones, because there is no audible 'click' to tell you that you've been hung up on) throw me a friggin' bone and say something, anything, definitive to let me know you're hanging up, so I don't sit there on the phone like a jackass because I don't want to inadvertantly hang up on YOU.
My show went well. I buggered up a few times, but 'tweren't so bad. Only once did I actually freeze and completely forget where I was. I stopped, made a joke, and went back to playing.
A good number of friends showed up, once again I gotta say, I love my group of friends. They's good peoples.
My parents and girls were in attendance as well.
For performing I got a free one-year membership with the museum, so that was fun and unexpected.
Wearing a skirt, decided that it might be a good idea to stand, discovered that my strap would only hook to one end of the guitar, so I was back to sitting. Sustained giant charlie horse from sitting cross-legged for almost two hours.
All in all, the feedback was good. Some people left - noticeable when you're dealing with a crowd of maybe 20 people, but hey.. maybe I wasn't their cup of tea. Or they were missing *insertpopularsundaynighttvshowhere*. ~shrug~
Kind of glad it's over so I can stop worrying about it. Meh, I feel a little anti-climatic. Probably just sleepy.
So tonight is the Centennial Museum show and I'm nervous as all hell. At the same time I feel that I've practiced my everloving butt off, I also feel wholly and completely unprepared.
Gah. Gah. Freaking Gah.
I've told a number of people who have said they'll be there tonight, but I'm torn between wanting this huge amount of moral support (my friends and family will be kind if it's horrible) and wanting absolutely no one I know there (I'll never have to look strangers in the face if it's horrible).
My vocal range as of the last week or two has been pissing me off, not doing the things I want it to do.. I feel almost silent. I'm hoping this is something that can be remedied when I'm singing through the mike.
I want to do a final run-through of the songs today, but I'm afraid if I do that, my fingers will be sore for the actual show, so I might just go through a couple of the ones I'm not so sure about.
I'll be avoiding milk today (aside from the tiny bit in my coffee). I'm on at 7.
I saw a twitter post today advertising a high-profile position with the CBC - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for all my yankee friends - as Executive Producer assigned to Radio3
I decided to go for it.
Here's my cover letter:
To Whom it may concern,
Please accept this application and attached resume as an indication of my interest in the available position of Executive Producer assigned to CBC Radio 3.
As you can see from my resume and application, I have little to no relevant radio experience, nor do I really have much management experience to speak of. My French is marginal, but I can guarantee I have nearly 30 years of immersion in the English language.
You may ask what I could possibly bring to this position? I can assure you I would bring an almost fanatical love of music, and a fierce loyalty to the many talented artists that inhabit this country of ours. I also offer a severe distaste for the bulk of the sample-driven, re-hashed, all-flash-and-no-substance vitriol that the listening public is continually spoon-fed on a regular basis by commercially driven private stations.
I also offer up my desire on the whole to exert my influence over the listening habits of others, as I generally consider my tastes to be far superior to that of the general public. Lastly, I bring with me an agenda that involves giving close, musically-inclined friends and well-wishers of mine an 'in', if you will, with the Canadian Music Industry.
I look forward to an opportunity to meet with you and further discuss my dreams of gaining enough money and power through employment with your organization that I can someday retire an independently wealthy, delightful eccentric who drinks mimosa's for breakfast and may or may not own a number of cats.
My sincerest thanks for your time and consideration,
Even though normally this goes against everything I normally stand for, today, just for today I'd like to say a big old 'effyoo' to the feminist movement and all it stands for.
Why? Because today I had to move a dryer, by myself. BY MY FUCKING SELF. An apartment sized one, yes... but still... it was HEAVY.
And just because we CAN do all things that men can do, doesn't mean we always should, or even WANT to.
I sure didn't WANT to move a dryer all by myself. 20 years ago, I could have reveled in the idea that if I wanted to move a dryer by myself I could, but that in reality, there'd be a strapping male around to move it for me.
50 years ago, the idea of a woman moving a dryer by herself, while plausible (if she were freakishly large, or born with an excess of testosterone) would have been laughable.
100 years ago it would have been questionable if that was even a possibility. Which it wasn't, as the dryer had yet to be invented.
So I was gifted with a gently used, apartment sized washer/dryer set over the weekend. Being that my home is a small one, I've got the dryer set up in the mudroom (and will eventually find somewhere to plug it in). The Washer is in the kitchen and it's on wheels, allowing me to roll it on over to the kitchen sink when I want to do some laundry and hook it up to the faucet.
I am very excited (and a little sad) at the prospect of being able to do my own laundry whenever I want.
Getting said washer/dryer combo set up is presenting a challenge, to say the least. When I took the aerator off the kitchen faucet, I discovered that the hoses that hook up to the washer are way too big to fit onto the teeny-tiny faucet. So after work today I took a jaunt to one of my favorite places in the world... Canadian Tire! Let's face it, I love any place that gives you actual paper money (okay, fine, colorful play money) for shopping there, rather than some kind of intangible points system.
As much as I love Canadian Tire, I'm always a little overwhelmed going in there.. especially if I'm feeling particularly girly.. like I'm immediately suspect. Not 30 seconds into the store a red-shirted employee asked me quite friendly like if I needed help. I was barely in the door. Maybe it was the flower in my hair or the awestruck look on my face, or the cloud of estrogen that I apparently walk around in, but my need for assistance was palpable.
Nonetheless I struck out for aisles 51/52 on my own with an appreciative "Thank you sir! That remains to be seen!"
I should ask for help.
More accurately, I should measure things before I go places rather than attempt to guess. Because right now I'm sitting here, with an adaptor that's about 1/8th of an inch too small, and a weeks worth of dirty laundry and absolutely no motivation to drive back into Midland for another part. *sigh*
Maybe there's a nice rock I can beat my clothes against somewhere.
I recently read a retardly funny article from nerve.com featuring my all-time favorite comedy troup, The Kids In The Hall giving sex advice. One of my favorite lines involved Dave using a simile for oral, stating that they 'go down like the stock market'.
This got me thinking of other ways one could 'go down'
- like the titanic - like the mercury on a January night in White River (okay it's a little wordy) - like jacques cousteau on a full tank - like he's on death row
I bought myself something yesterday. Something I haven't contemplated in nearly 13 years.
Not a two-piece tankini, but a real, honest-to-god 'holy-shit-is-that-my-belly-why-yes-it-is' bikini. To date, I have not reached my goal yet, but when went I went shopping, I looked as I tried on a number of suits, one piece numbers that are generally as a rule either
too small in the bottom
too big up top
So I took a shot and tried a few on and thought 'Hey, I don't look half bad.' Yup, there's love handles. Yup, there's a bit of a pouch. Yup, there's a royal whackton of stretch marks. But still, it wasn't bad. So I bought it. And I wore it, around people even. And I will wear it again.
You know what is a nice feeling? Going into a changeroom, trying on a bathing suit and going 'Ugh' but knowing that ugh is not because of your perceived flaws but just that 'damn. That's one UGLY bathing suit.'
This past weekend I celebrated my 30th birthday, saying good riddance to a decade of turbulence. I feel like I have changed so much over this time with all I have been through.. marriage, motherhood, divorce, singlehood, education, employment,etc. I don't even recognize the scared little girl I was 10 years ago. I was reminded over this weekend of how full of love my life is right now. Due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, I had my ladies with me this weekend. Feeling bad about disrupting my birthday plans, their stepmom graciously offered to watch them at my place while I went out to celebrate. I give her a lot of credit for this, since that must have been a more than a little weird for her. It was weird for me, but appreciated nonetheless.
No matter, I enjoyed having the girls there, as it was a great reminder that above all else, they are the two most important people in my world and I am so lucky that they are growing into such nice, smart, funny and loving young ladies. I woke up to a birthday breakfast of coffee and eggs and toast (quite well-done too, if you ask me. Yum!)
Afterwards my mom and I headed down to Barrie to pick up a washer-dryer that her co-worker was giving to me as they had gotten a new set. I've always liked car rides with my mom. When I was a teenager our monthly (or was it bi-weekly) trips to Orillia to get my braces adjusted was the time that we had our best 'talks', and it's something that continues to this day.
A couple of my good friends came down with a truck to help move these babies, and refused payment for their help, despite my protests.
After getting all dolled up I headed to K.s who had attempted to plan some kind of surprise for me, but it seems I continually thwarted these efforts with my insistence on doing my own birthday planning. I don't know.. I've just always worried it was egotistical to assume that other people would want to plan something for me, so I usually take these things into my own hands. I got there and we had entirely too many jello shots, and an incredibly rich and tasty 'dirt and worms' cake and I got to open some gifts. I enjoyed the gifts I got, they were pretty creative and thoughtful:
The Tick complete series - Obviously a good pick, since I own it.. so I must like it lol
A 'This is your life' type photo book from my parents
Too Sexy to be 30 coffee mug
Hand-crocheted Hat and fingerless gloves
an 'old lady' bath kit.. you know, moisturizer for my wrinkles, toothpaste for my old-lady teeth etc etc
two bottles of wine with glass
LCBO gift card
(authors note: I suck and I knew I was going to forget stuff) kilted man egg-cup/shot glass and friendship coaster and a beautiful birthstone necklace
two cds from an artist my friend Nic, thought I would enjoy. So far he's right.
When we headed out to the bar I was overwhelmed with the number of people who showed up to wish me a happy birthday. I really didn't expect much more than the half-dozen or so people who had confirmed already, so to see such support was truly moving.
I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to the next 10 years if it as full of love and friendship and happiness as I felt this Saturday passed.
I do have one grievance though. The Dj at bleachers was incredibly disappointing. I have mentioned in previous blogs that I am not a fan of club music in general, but in an effort to have at least one birthday song dedicated to me, I made at least three attempts to request songs (not obscure ones either.. these are ones I have heard played at clubs numerous times in the past) only to be told they didn't have them because they were 'too obscure' (Sorry, Danger High Voltage was a #2 hit in the UK, thanks.) or that they didn't have any 'older stuff'. I call shenanigans on that one, since BLeachers hosts a 'Wayback Friday' so what.. are they going back six months? Jebus.
So, sorry Bleachers DJ guy, you suck. Expand your horizons a little, please.
I've been accused of having a sick sense of humour. I plead guilty. Roughly six-hundred and seventy-three times a day I think or say things that initially make me giggle, then consecutively make me realize what an awful, horrible person I am and that if there is a Hell, I've probably got my own personal space reserved, complete with velvet rope and disco ball.
There are a small handful of friends who only serve to aggravate this predilection for completely inappropriate humour. You know who you are.
Some of the completely inappropriate things I joke about regularly:
Smack Abuse - this is a bad one, if only because beyond numerous viewings of Trainspotting, I really have had no exposure to the horrors of heroin addiction.
Beating small children - before people freak out, my kids find this more amusing than ANYONE so that's gotta tell you something.
Non-violent, yet arguably non-consensual sex, especially involving alchohol and narcotics
Punching people in the face
The fear that my eldest child will choose 'exotic dancer' as a career path (In my defense, I don't joke about this in her presence.. I don't want her getting any ideas.)
I'm sitting at my desk listening to Gogol Bordello and really really missing my belly dancing classes. Somehow I manage to shake my hips in time to the music from my computer chair.
I recall coming home from class feeling very sensual and feminine, and appreciative of my body. Aside from the physical benefits (stronger abdominals, better posture etc), it was a great confidence-builder and a peek into a culture where the ideal is not the stick-thin, rock-hard bodies that western culture seems to worship. I learned that I was capable of being graceful, and not clumsy and unwieldy as I so often envision myself. Learn such a dance was learning that my womanly body was something to be celebrated, not shamed.
I love dancing. I never understand people who say they can't dance. Is there really such a thing as an inability to dance (putting aside obvious factors like missing limbs or paralysis)? Is it not moreso an inability to put aside inhibition and fear of appearing foolish?
It's my 30th birthday this Saturday, and we're going dancing. I'm excited. The ironic thing is that I have a tendency to loathe most music played in so-called 'dance' clubs. Oh what I would give to be able to take over a DJ booth for a night. There's so much more out there, old and new, than the Top 40 dance-pop that gets overplayed to death.
I will admit, I'm a DJ's worst nightmare, since childhood harassing them to play obscure tunes that are probably unfamiliar to anyone but myself. Philistines. Haha. No, I'm not an elitist. At All.
That being said, Keep Dancing, Dancers. Hey, I'll even give you a song to dance to:
Twenty three days until the Centennial Museum show and there is so much to do.. I feel so unprepared. August is an absolute bitch for trying to get a little bit of free time, and between social engagements, work, 6 billion birthdays and trying to find homes for my kittens (three down, two to go!) I've barely had time to pick up my guitar let alone work out an actual hour (possibly two hour) long set-list.
So many things to consider in picking songs
Is this going to keep their attention?
Can I hit these notes - both low and high?
Is it too morose? (I run into this one alot.. it turns out that a lot of music I like, even the upbeat stuff, has death as a recurrent theme)
Is it going to sound boring as hell when it's just me and a guitar?
Oh God, can I engage the audience without sounding like an asshat or saying something completely inappropriate? Like "asshat"?
Should I try and do it by heart or bring a song book? (I've decided to create a small songbook.. all the better to prevent that 'OMG i've just forgotten every lyric and chord progression I've ever known" moment of terror... will also help me remember what I actually planned on playing)
Will it be okay if there's the occasional expletive? Obviously any F-bombs are out.. but what about the lesser colorful colloquialisms? If that's a no, then at least one of the songs I picked are out. It's a open admission family show, so I'm leaning towards keeping it PG as possible.
Within the next week or two I also have to confirm the time I need to be there.. oh and finding out exactly WHERE the museum is would be good too. I'm pretty sure it's out by the Kings Wharf Theatre, so that's a start.
I've brought the guitar with me to work today so I can get some practice in during my break and later today while the girls are doing FitKidz at the Y. I don't know if that's really how it's spelled, but it sounds like the kind of thing that would have a Z at the end.
P.S. I cannot begin to describe my annoyance at Americans on the phone who correct me when I say 'Zed'. You can say Zee all you want. Let me have this. It's so much easier than clarifying.. "is that Zee as in Zebra or Cee as in Cat?" with Zed, you know EXACTLY what you're getting.
And because I know you're going to say something Chris, I also like superfluous U's. I think there should be more U's in words.
So waking up Sunday morning, all I really wanted to do was hide under my duvet, watch movies and wallow in self-pity. For real. Unfortunately, I have cats. Many cats. And with many cats come many fleas. So because the next two days were the only ones I would have to effectively deflea my house and all seven kitties, I couldn't afford myself the luxury of a big ol' pity-party. So I dragging my arse around the house, I gathered all the clothes and bedding and lugged them down to the laundromat, pulled out the furniture and vaccummed, check on the kitties that had been exiled to the shed for the last week or two and then proceeded to spray the ever-loving hell out of the house.
I swear, I felt like I was moving through water... just no motivation whatsoever, and completely irritated at having to perform such a daunting task.
Once I had the house good and toxic, I got the hell outta dodge with a small overnighter and my guitar and headed to a friends place for her 30th birthday party. It was a nice pleasant time, and I hadn't seen this friend for a while, so we chit-chatted and caught up. I told her about the show at the end of the month and mentioned that I was thinking of picking up a nice performance guitar since for all intents and purposes, mine is an absolute beast. I swear, this thing is pretty much indestructible. It's had it's guts ripped out, pickguard torn off, the nut is held on by the strings, the headstock has been broken off and glued back on, and it's been through a house fire.
This thing will exist long after people and even the cockroaches have been wiped off the planet.
Many years and many less stickers ago.
Being the doll she is, she offered to lend me her guitar for the show, and up until then so I could get used to it. Hers is an antique Hummingbird acoustic left by her uncle and it's not only in gorgeous condition, but it sounds beautiful. I'm so excited at the prospect of having a decent instrument to play, even though, in all fairness, mine has been a faithful companion to me for many many years now.
After some cake, some pictures and a drink or two, I headed out to some other friends place, where we had some drinks, played a super fun dance game on the Wii (not sure who it was more fun for though.. the girls playing, or the guys on the couch watching). Headed to the basement to do some jamming, and I got to pick up a bass and tool around with it. Apparently I am 'part of the madness' now. Haha. I was appreciative of being able to spend some time with a good group of friends. It really helped pull me out of the funk I had spent most of Sunday in.
Monday morning brought a lot of coffee, the traditional hangover breakfast and then home to give seven cats seven flea baths. In all, I think I sustained two injuries with no significant blood loss, so that was a bonus. The kittens were easy, not having any real concept of water at this point. Spartacus, the big old beast, proved most difficult, having greater fear, greater strength and greater surface area than the rest of the cats.
Once I completed the baths and had all the cats in the house I headed into town for Kickboxing. The store was closed so we did our lesson in the park, which is a neat experience if you can manage to avoid the biting insects and gooseshit.
So yeah.. It feels like i haven't stopped, and frankly I don't see it ending until school starts again.
Saturday was kind of a bummer, honestly, but an expected one. I walked into it knowing it'd be rough, emotionally. In fact I predicted it earlier this week.
After the late night in the Tdot, I got up at 9am to a message from the most-recent-ex saying that he'd be back in town around 1pm after picking up the moving truck. Being up and about, I decided to take my new bike, purchased the previous day with an expected-but-forgotten work bonus, for a ride over to my parents place for coffee since I had neither milk nor the motivation to go and purchase milk. As well some family friends were up so I wanted to say hello, and to show off my sweet ride. yeaaaaah.
The day was dreary and rainy and upon arriving to the beach I parked and wandered until he got there with the truck. Moving is moving and it generally sucked but I was glad to be able to help and glad for the extra one-on-one time, even if it was spent in one of the most soul-suckingly awful activities known to man.. packing ones life into a 17-square-foot moving van.
I learned a few important things.
1) women are not well built for lifting and carrying large objects. we have short arms and boobs that present a significant obstacle. 2) apparently one should not make attempts at humour while moving pianos. This is a big one, up there with 'Always wear clean underwear in case you get in a bad accident' and 'the first rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about fight club.'
At any rate, he was quite appreciative of the help. I stayed in pretty good spirits, but saying goodbye was difficult and although I tried to keep a brave face on, let's face it, I wear my emotions on my sleeve like a neon beacon. It was a sad scene.
After he left, I met up with a friend at the park and we commiserated over the difficulties of dating as single parents and the obstacles that crop up. Ironically, as we were sitting in the park I looked over and saw, from a distance, some little girls and a couple of women in wedding finery and realised these were actually my children and their stepmom, as I had momentarily forgotten that saturday was the day the ex and his now-wife were to be married. As much as I wanted to go see my girls, I was not in a good place to be reminded of this at all.
I'd done some thinking and my issue only seems to come down to the question of why? Why is it difficult for me.. when I never asked for any of this? It's not that I dont' want them to be happy.. but why does he get to be, and I don't? It's petty, oh hell yes. But the blank irony is that while HE was getting married to the woman he loves (and no, I don't begrudge either of them that) I was saying goodbye indefinitely to someone I had grown to care quite a bit about, for reasons beyond either of our control.
That's pretty effed up if you ask me.
Despite feeling horribly about avoiding my own children, we bade a retreat from the park and headed downtown for a drink on a local patio. We found a small bandstand set up downtown and a free concert going on. The performers were a local hip-hop group by the name of Grand Analog. They put on a decent show, and really engaged the audience. And I'll be totally honest.. anyone that can make playing a kazoo seem cool is all right in my books.
Back to the patio, we were invited to join a group of out-of-town boaters, a decent group of gentlemen. Had some food, had some laughs. However due to the unseasonably chilly evening, I had to call it a night fairly early.
Gah.. monday night of a long weekend, and I don't feel like I've stopped. The weekend has been both physically/emotionally exhausting one... the highest of highs, the lowest of lows.
Friday afternoon I was lucky enough to win some free passes to see The Schomberg Fair and the United Steelworkers of Montreal through Twitter and Exclaim magazine. I found out I had won at about 3pm, while the show was at 9pm that night. I made some calls around and ended up bringing a friend of mine whom I don't hang out with often, but when we do, we tend to have a lot of fun. After waiting for three hours for Rogers cable to show up, getting bitchy on the phone with them ("7:53? REally?") then feeling really bad when the technician showed up and it was a guy I used to hang out with back in the day.. after all that we headed down to Toronto to the Horseshoe Tavern, an incredibly cool venue I have not had the pleasure of being to before. It's one of those fun places that looks kind of 'dive-y' but it's really just for show, the main clientele seemed to be a lot of hipsters.. Apparently the place is legendary for new up and coming bands.
We arrived in time for the second opener, a very talented group, Great Bloomers. I'm not great with describing musical genres, but I bought their CD (I actually spent about 40 bucks worth on CDs and T-Shirts) and it's a very, oh.. I don't know.. it's mellow in that dirt-concession backroads sunny-day road trip kind of way.. lots of acoustic guitar and soft piano and alt-country type tempos.
I was very excited to see the Schomberg Fair. They're actually named after a fair that is held each year in their hometown, which is not far from where I grew up, and I remember my dad when he was with the Era Banner, taking me to the Schomberg Fair as a small child. On their bio they're self-described as 'Speed Gospel' which is A) pretty accurate and B) possibly the neatest genre name I've ever encountered (with the exception of Midget Porn Groove). Lots of fancy guitar work, banjos (<3), heavy bass, twang and baritone and references to angels and satan.. and did I mention speed? I have to be careful listening to the CD in the car lest I get pulled over for reckless driving. Small venue/band shows are fantastic because there's little security and up-and-comers will actually take the time to chat with fans after the show. I had a chance to chat with Matt Bahen, Nate Sidon and Peter Garthside as they broke down the equipment after their set. I was super-thrilled that Nate actually recognized me as 'the girl who won the twitter contest'. Matt was cool enough to chat with Cory and I and let us be geeky fan-girls and get our pictures taken.
We didn't end up staying for USWM, as I was planning to get up early to assist the most-recent-ex with his move. They're a decent band, from what I have heard of them, which honestly is not a lot. It's probably a good thing we left when we did though, because getting out of the city was kind of a bitch. For reasons unknown, whenever I venture to downtown toronto, I can never seem to get back the same way I came.
I don't trust GPS. They only serve to confuse me.
We had attempted heading straight up Yonge, but being Caribana weekend, downtown traffic was not co-operating with that idea. We decided to take another whack at the Gardiner Expressway, heading west again (which still makes little sense to me, since we went west to GET there) this time towards the 427. I was iffy on this, given my track record of getting lost and ending up at Woodbine Racetrack. ("YOu can't fool me Cory! I know where the 427 goes.. WOODBINE!")
At any rate, got home about 4am, in one piece. More to come...