Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"I'm sending two companies across the river by boat. I need a man with very special qualities to lead."

Okay, so maybe this isn't operation Market Garden, but I still need a man with very special qualities! Namely, he should be injury-free and adore lifting couches. I have only managed to secure/sucker 2 people into helping me move and one of them has hurt his shoulder. This sucks for him, I guess more. He's in pain and he's a very helpful sort. I know he will try to lift my stuff anyway and probably do some serious damage. Not smart. My other volunteer/victim is my poor vacationing brother who, I'm sure, isn't all that excited about moving my shit down the block on his last day in lurvely Vancouver. Well, I guess my sturdy peasant constitution will have to kick in. Perhaps if I were more of a fragile slip of a woman I would have brawny fellows puffing out their chests and insisting that I step aside so that they can tend to the manly task of moving my lady-things. To all the delicate women of the world - damn your doe eyes!

I had better remember to clip my fingernails. If memory serves, long nails and furniture moving do not a happy marriage make.

I am rethinking my decision to try this move without a truck. My new place is just down the block but with a limited moving force - well, it could take all bloody day. My parents are mortified. They believe this is a very undignified way to move house. I don't give a shit about appearances in this case. Me and dignity went our seperate ways ages ago. But, I can't say I'm looking forward to pushing my massive vintage sofa down the street. Help me Rhonda.

For breakfast I ate a handful of Whoppers and a marshmallow. I've packed up my kitchen and the only foodstuffs I thought to leave out would just have to be malted milkballs and leftover campfire treats. I feel great! Perhaps theres a swig of Coke left in the fridge. I think I feel a post-sugar coma coming on. I will rest for a bit and then maybe call around about renting a dolly or some such mechanical box lifter. My life is very glamorous.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Monday morning and my sorry ass is STILL locked out of the good ole C B of C. Funny, I used to lament going to work on Monday mornings... What a difference a labour dispute makes.

I had an alright weekend, I don't mind telling you. After failing miserably as a picket person on Saturday I indulged myself with 4 hours of Margaret Laurence. It was awfully fantastic just to sit and read. And thankfully The Diviners was plenty engrossing enough to distract me from the flattened boxes and packing tape littering my apartment. I did remove the magnets from my fridge before stumbling up to bed. In my world, that counts as packing.

Yesterday, I went to "Goat Days" out in Abbotsford. And nevermind, it was totally fun. I was too chickenshit to milk a goat, but I did stuff myself with free cheese samples. I also picked up some nice ashy goat brie to bring to my dad.

After exploring the goat farm it was off to visit my parents. My brother is visiting from Regina and my sister and her bf stopped by. My mother served us an impromptu meal of corn on the cob and poppyseed strudel. Tasty, yes.

We unsuccessfully tried to harrass my brother into saying grace. This is something my nasty and very non-religious family found quite hilarious. My brother married a "believer" and has been attending church for the past few years. He refused to indulge us, however, and kept his composure when a taunting chorus of "Ira is religious" erupted to the tune of "Na Na Na Na Boo Boo". My poor brother. Mind you, flash forward to the Rapture and who will be laughing then? Hmm, perhaps I will ask him to put in a good word for me on the sly.

Wow, my apartment REALLLLY isn't packing itself up. How rude. I reckon I'd better get on it. I MUST get at least one room completely into boxes by this afternoon. After that it's off to the picket line. I feel disconnected from the lock out line and I'm running out of stories to tell. The line is fertile ground for a writer. I will be among the people and eavesdrop.

Oh and hey, thanks for all the emails. Despite myself, I must admit people are rather good. This chafes at my misanthropic hairshirt a bit. What I mean to say, is that I may be falling in love with the human race all over again. I serenade you all "Say Anything" style.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Weeeeell, I lasted 2.75 hours on the picket line today. Not good. I have eleven hours to make up before tomorrow. I just couldn't handle it today. The weather's gone to shit. It's grey, windy and cold and there were only a few people on the line. I forgot to bring a book and a coat - so, like a trooper, I quit! I'm nursing a half tumbler full of optimism today and I figure hours and hours in front of the CBC may just jeapordize what little hope I have.

Right now I'm using a pirated dial-up connection, so I'll make this brief. That, and I've nothing all that new to say. However, I did witness a rather nasty incident as I walked to the CBC today. A nicely dressed, fairly attractive and young-ish woman was walking in front of me. I watched as she discreetly put her hands down the back of her pants and made a little adjustment. No big deal. You gotta do what you gotta do, right? Sure. But then she pulled her hand out and put her finger in her mouth. Now, I'm not really uptight about body stuff. But, please. I'm not sure what she was inspecting for and I'm also confused as to why she would risk such an act in public. All I can guess is that maybe she was checking to see if she was bleeding. This was something I didnt really NEED to see. Butas off-putting as it was - well, it gave me something to think about. And write about. Ah, inspiration around every bend.

And now I go pack my belongings.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I had a great time at Sakinaw Lake. I truly did. BUT - there were 2 very unhappy moments. One was when my mom called to tell me that her doctor found a cancerous mass in her breast and that she is scheduled to see a surgeon on Wednesday. The second event was when, shortly after the phone call, a filling in my top molar fell out. Guess who doesn't have dental coverage during the lock out? Thankfully all this happened today - the last day of my trip.

My brother is flying in tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing him and he will provide a healthy distraction for my mother. Also, he is strong and handy so he can help me move. So far, I have but one body to help me move. He will make 2. God help us all.

I am trying not to freak out too much over my mother's situation. Her doctor assures her that because they found the mass so early - her chances are great. She is only 56 and very healthy. It's fucking scary, let me tell you. Positive thoughts, though, right?

Christ, with the lock out, trying to move, rotting teeth and my mother's threatened well-being - it is more than a body can take at times.

Shore wish I didn't have a broken, jaggedy molar.

I cannot tell you how very, very much I am dreading the picket line tomorrow. Far too much time to march around and dwell.

Someone please come and pump me full of Ativan, pack up my things and wake me when I'm safely in my new home. C'mon, be a sport. Wait - actually wake me when the CBC snips the padlock, will ya?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I only picketed for 2 hours today. I just wasn't feeling the fire in my belly, I'm afraid. And my back is still awful sore from the nasty sunburn I cultivated yesterday. The picket line depressed me today. I was too disheartened to even bother to shake my fist toward Ontario (no point in shaking it at the Vancouver plant - ain't nobody there). I received my first lock out paycheque yesterday. $240!! Only $1000 to go and I will make my rent.

I wish I had something else to talk about. I'm going to the Sunshine Coast for two days, so maybe I can chat y'all up better-like after I return.

Uninspired am I. I am crazy tense and stressed out. Too bad I gave up on yoga. The only other relief I can think of is too difficult to perform on a picket line.

Don't cry for me Argentina. Well, you can cry a little.

Here, read Canned Clams. He actually has something to say.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Check out my wicked Lock-Out 2005 tan lines. Sexy.

At times it was overcast today and so I decided that the sun could do me no harm. Smart, right? I feel ill and hot and cold all at the same time. My skin feels disgusting and my scorched chest resembles turkey skin.

Joe Keithley, Roy Forbes, Geoff Berner and others performed on the picket line today. Listen to the podcast and while you're at it, check out The Tyee.

Stursberg was on the Rafe Mair show this morning. It doesn't look like the CBC will make any concessions any time soon. You know, the amount of money the CBC is spending on pro-corporate/anti-union propaganda must be astronomical. Full-page newspaper ads, radio spots, etc. And let's not even discuss the fact that they've flown management from across Canada to Toronto and are putting them up in a decent hotel. Not cheap. If their goal is to stay competitive - persmaps those purse strings could be better moderated. I'm just sayin'.

Please, can I come in now? The sun is ravaging my skin and I'm getting bored silly with sensible shoes. I have mad skillz, Canada. Oh, why can't they just let me in? Seriously. They are bringing Krispy Kreme doughnuts to the picket line! Next time I won't bother resisting and then my pants won't fit and then there will be hell to pay.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

People are talking. Shore wish the CMG and the CBC would follow suit. I hate it when mommy and daddy fight.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A shitty day on the picket line. My future with the CBC looks bleak and I suspect (along with many others) that the program I work for will be cancelled if the lock out continues much longer. This appears to be the consensus. This is bad news. This is typical. So... now I must come up with a plan to pay my rent. My severance package - more of a parcel - will cover 2 months rent. Mind you, I wont be able to eat or hook up my utilities, but i will have a roof over my broke ass.

It's been a couple of days since I put this in writing, so allow me to reiterate - life sucks. Correction: MY life sucks.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A brief word from the front line...

I still don't have independent access to a computer. I am dropping y'all a line on someone else's dime - so this will be short.

The first day of the strike was kind of exciting. People were giddy and enjoying the sunshine. I chatted with CBC employees whom I'd never met. I got myself one helluva sunburn.

The second day of the strike was alright. Although the sidewalk around the perimeter of the CBC building started to seem longer and more... like squares of concrete. Squares and squares of grey, unforgiving concrete.

The third day sucked. Drinking coffee kept me artificially peppy and running across the street to the bathroom. The street wackos love me. No, really. The really, really, love me.

I would much prefer to be back at work. But I am getting lots of exercise - an improvement from parking my ass in front of a monitor for many hours each day. I am getting fresh air. I am part of a "movement". Together we are strong... and getting broker by the day. This strike will cause a lot of people some major financial heartbreak. It's back-to-school time for parents. People have mortgage payments to make, bookies to pay off, drug habits to support. Sigh.

CBC, let me back in! I like the bathroom in the ZeD office! I miss my computer! I miss my drawer of condiments.

Mind you, my tan is rather golden and my calves are looking a wee bit taut.

Better hit the hay. I didn't pick it. But I gots to picket.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

There once was a union maid, she never was afraid

Eep! We are being locked out. I just disengaged from the CMG hotline. Talks have broken off and we're to report for strike duty tomorrow morning. I fear this strike will go on and on and on. This sucks. It really does.

This also means that my access to the internet will be limited as I don't have access at home. I once believed I couldn't survive without high-speed internet at home. Turns out I was wrong. I survived all summer long with nary a home-based dial in. Amazing. But the point is... I won't be able to blog as much. Poor you, poor me; say it for always. That’s the way it should be

I just wish I had a good cliffhanger for you all.

I am craving chocolate. I think I will go visit the CBC candy machine for old time's sake. I think I will buy me a ...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Cautiously, cautiously I say things are looking up. Touch wood, for chrissakes.

I am starting to look forward to moving into my new place. I am imagining painting the walls, fixing up the bathroom and decorating the bedrooms. I am fantasizing about baking cookies and cooking a turkey and putting up a Christmas tree. I am stupidly optimistic. I am more like my old self.

I have no furniture. One of the drawbacks to starting your life over at 32. Good thing I like vintage. And by that I mean used and cheap.

It seems most definite that we will go on strike on Monday. I have never been on strike before. What does one wear on a picket line? If you're a Telus employee, apparently it involves some sort of sport sandal, a big tshirt and ill-fitting shorts.

Mayhaps tonight I will get to see some stars.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Today is an anniversary. It's not one that I can celebrate really. But it is still mine. Well, mine and someone else's. Weird and sad. What a cryptic cat I am! Nevermind me.

It is also my very youngest brothers 27th birthday. Christ, he's old.

I took the apartment. I am shoving all reservations aside and I am getting excited.

Good news. I WILL be getting my severance package. All that hearstopping panic for naught. Things will be tight, but I can manage.

Bad news. My mother called me today to tell me that her doctor has asked her to come into the office tonight to discuss the results of her mammogram. She is tripping out. I am worried.

The so-and-so giveth and he-she sure as hell taketh away.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Holy fuckamole! I can't even imagine life being shittier or more uncertain. Let us take an inventory of the worst-case scenarios that have recently come to fruition in my life:

  1. The woman I am subletting from came back to Vancouver early. She is staying in the rowhouse 2 doors down. I feel like a prisoner in my own...her own home. She is not going to Italy as she had planned so I have to be out of her house by September 1st.
  2. I have been laid off.
  3. The CBC is going on strike.
  4. I accepted a 2 week extension at work only to discover that by doing so I have screwed myself out of my severance package and EI for the duration of the strike.
  5. The only apartment I can find to rent is $1200 and has a mild rodent infestation.
  6. Strike pay is $800 a month. Now you subtract my rent from that amount. What do you get? Why, me giving head on Hastings to make up the difference. Good thing it's only a few minutes walk from my new rat trap home.
  7. II think I have a cavity.
Now, I'm pretty sure there's more cards stacked up against me, but right now they're biding their time. You know, waiting for me to say "well, it could be worse".

And on a pretty Sunday morning
A bunch of pretty Baptist girls
Linked their pretty hands and they sang
Life is shit, life is shit
The world is shit, the world is shit
This is life as I know it

Friday, August 05, 2005

party of onePosted by Picasa

So ... last night I was invited to a bbq and meet-the-new-baby get-together. The bbq'd sausages and veggies were delicious and the baby was gorgeous - a right proper little gentleman.

Between the unwrapping of the baby gift and the doling out of the cold beer, our gracious host suggested that we all do a 1/4 hit of acid. I have never tried it ever. I've always been too afraid. Mushrooms no problem. Anything else - okay. But I have - had - a real fear of acid.

Our host guaranteed that the small amount he was offering would be very mild and would have no more effect than drinking three beer. And mild it was. I had a lovely time and the bike ride home was glorious. But, he also promised me that I'd be able to sleep by 11 pm. Well, flashforward to 2 am and I'm still wide awake, my whole body humming and my mind unwilling to concentrate on the book I'm reading. I turned out the lights and tried to force myself to sleep, but the plants in my room were casting menacing shadows on my wall.

So, I decided to do a photoshoot with my cellphone. The nice thing about the acid is that it made me feel quite glamorous and boudoir beautiful and so I felt strongly that I should capture the moment on film. Of course when I looked at the photos in the morning I was disappointed. Monumentally so. I deleted many of them without looking too closely, wishing that the beauty-enhancing effects of the acid had stuck around a little longer. There were a few keepers and since they are flattering enough I've posted them. No sense in pretending I am above posting glamour shots. I've no qualms over acknowledging my pathetic tendencies.

chemical beautyPosted by Picasa

Oh and my bike was stolen last night. Bummer. But let's end things on a positive note! Let me tell you what was in my package from NYC. I am one lucky-loo!

- super duper expensive Marc Jacobs skirt in the most excellent shade of orangey-red ever. I love the pretty pink ribbon detail and silk waistband

marc jacobs Posted by Picasa

- very adorable lavender Rocketdog shoes (they look like jellybeans and I am in love with them)

- the most flattering and nicely constructed seafoam green hoodie

- a Teenage Millionaire ball cap

- sunglasses, chopsticks from Nobu...

Oh, I hope I haven't forgotten anything. Thank you dear sweet friends.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I am big. It's the pictures that got small Posted by Picasa

I'm still fairly certain that I will be famous soon enough. But for what, I've decided to let that go for now.

I'm exhausted, so don't expect this to be super fascinating or anything. I caught the 6:00 am ferry in from Victoria. The boat trip was stunning. I'm not an early riser, so it was kind of momentous for me to be awake so early. I now have tanned forearms. Look out beach, here I come!

I should go home right now and clean like a sumnabitch. My place is dismal, reflecting my state of mind lately. But I feel so very wiped out. I need to eat but I'm far too lazy to create foodstuffs. I can tell myself that if I go to bed when I get home I will get up early in the morning to clean - but I know me and I know I am full of shit. Wouldn't trust me with a ten-foot pole.

Yesterday I swam in a lake and ate ribs prepared by chicken abusers. So you see, my life has its ups and downs.

I have promised myself that I will actually try to write some proper writerly stuff here. But lately, I've been reading too much Sedaris and I've given up all hope of ever being able to express an original or interesting thought ever again. Mind you, he did make me laugh out loud several times and I suppose that is a fair exchange.

My new phone works smashingly.

I have lost a bit of weight.

I drank 1.5 litres of bottled water today. So right now I actually weigh 1.5 litres more than I did this morning. Seriously. I'm cameling it today. Haven't gone to the loo once. But now that I think about it, I really should stop and see "a man about a horse" before I leave work tonight.

I still don't know if I have a job after August 21st so I can't really go apartment hunting. And yet I must have a place to live by Sept 1st. Rock on.

I am reading Running With Scissors and I would love to crawl under the pile of clean but now hopelessly wrinkled laundry that is smothering my unmade bed and hide out for ... ever.

But nevermind my sniveling. Fun and exciting news - for me. This morning I rec'vd a package and in it ...

Oh, don't pretend you care! Never and nonetheless, I will tell you tomorrow.