Thursday, September 29, 2005

a slight edit

Many thanks to the apple of my eye for blogging for me. She's a real peach. Thankfully, I have a moment or two of stolen cyber time via the VPL to check in (note: I loathe using the internet amongst the great unwashed - literate as they might be). Of course I feel the need to add and amend a thing or two from the post outta NYC (holla.) FIRST of all, I signed in to picket NOT strike! We must be careful with our language here! I am not not, nor have I ever been on strike. I have been locked out. Corporate tough love, if you will. Also, I HAD to have a coffee! I am sick...soooooo sick and I needed coffee right away and yes, maybe I signed in BEFORE I ever-so-quickly ran out to Starbucks but as it turns out I was on official business. It's not easy for us crack journalists. No one understands us. And save the crack-cocaine jokes.

It's true I veered off from the protesters heading to Starbucks. Someone had to stay on the picket line. I mean, there were purses in the trailer! It had nothing to do with me not wanting Stursberg to recognize me as the snitch from the coffee bar. I resent the implication. Mmm hmm.

Apparently Stursberg handled the crowd like a pro. He stood up and shook hands and asked people their names and the positions they held. A sure-fire way to dampen mob mentality. Pretty hard to whip of a chorus of "Shame! Shame!" once you've clasped hands and told the guy what floor you work on. He answered questions - well he responded to questions. I wouldn't necessarily call them answers. And he agreed to be interviewed for pirate radio.

And I don't actually remember referring to myself as a "hero". I mean if others want to, that's ok. I'm cool with it.

I wish I still had the technology to upload my cell phone photo. No bluetooth in this godforsaken place. of knowledge. Pfft. Perhaps I can get a friend to do it. It's a funny photo.

It's a massive pain to use the library to do this. I don't have a valid library card (fines up the wazoo) and I hate waiting and I obsess over the germy keyboard. And so I will have to trust the apple to do this for me. Thanks k2. And please don't be funnier or more appealing than me. It wouldn't be right.

I will see you all from time to time and hopefully more regularly once I get rich or employed - whichever comes first.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

desperate measures

So, here's the deal. Because Miss Thing (aka Slushpile) doesn't have a laptop anymore; can't afford to hook up internet, no, not even dial-up, and no, definitely not cable; I, thepplecore have offered to blog for her until the strike is resolved or she wins the lottery.

It's a slightly roundabout way of doing things seeing as I live in NYC, but what with my free long distance, cable internet and oodles of time on my hands it should work fine. Until I lose interest.

Anyhoo, please keep in mind it's "as told by" not a transcription. And with that disclaimer, we're off and running.

The poor thing is on Day 27 of her hacking cough and god only knows what day of the strike. She has what she calls an infestation of mice in her new place. I suspect it's just one cute little critter but shhhh, let's keep that between you and me or she'll feel like we don't take her seriously.

Gouda, the Kitty, is supposed to take care of the problem but Gouda's babysitter refuses to hand her over because he is OBSESSED with the kitty, OBSESSED I tell you. "Kitty this" and "kitty that", on and on and on ad nauseum.

Enough with the updates!

The real story is what happened on the picket line today.

Slushie signed in to strike and then headed straight over to Starbucks. Who did she see but Richard Stursberg, the head of the CBC. He's supposed to be in Toronto at the bargaining table, hard at work. It takes a slacker (slush) to know a slacker (R. Stursberg) and a crack journalist to think to photograph Richard to provide proof for the hardworking folks walking the line. So, Slush snapped his likeness with her cellphone and headed back.

From the way she tells it, she was hero of the day. A gang of 50 or so headed over to harass Rich Stursberg, led by none other than Slush. She wisely ducked out when the unruly mob turned right by mumbling something about going somewhere. (To actually picket? Let's give her the benefit of the doubt.) Anyway, now she can't be implicated in fingering Richie. Until now.

I don't think anything else happened when they confronted him but it turns out he is in town visiting his sick mother. Hard to argue with that.

Oh, and if you're wondering how my day was, it was okay. My cold is going away, the man stayed home sick with the cold I gave him, and the hunt for an appropriate outfit for Friday's meeting with the Man was fruitless.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Fine. Take it.

So my posts will be even more sporadic than they've been for the past few days. This is my last entry before I have to return my laptop to the brass. They locked me out and I dealt. Not without my fair share of whining, of course. But that's not the point here. Now they're taking away the world wide web!!! I am starting to wonder if perhaps I was the only one in love in my 2 year relationship with the CBC. I mean, this past month and twenty-three days I've been hoping we'd get back together. But then I get the I-want-my- stuff-back call. Love hurts. All of you write your local MPs today.

See you from some shitty cyber-cafe or worse - the public library.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Poor Me

I am in a filthy mood and I'm not too sure why. I bought a couple of dressers and and desk today from a thrift shop and I got a fantastic deal. My severance package came and my apartment looks half decent. So, I should be fairly happy, right?

Well, I'm not. I'm prickly and bitchy. Mind you, my severance pay was a bit smaller than I had expected ($1100 in taxes deducted) and money is pouring out of my fragile bank account at an alarming rate. I realized today that I don't have enough money to pay for three months rent as I had planned and there are so many costs coming up. I can't afford cable and forget about high-speed internet. Fall wardrobe? Ha! A very much needed vacation? Pfft. Fuck, I'll be lucky if I make rent for November. I hate this lock out. I most definitely will have to go look for work elsewhere. I simply can't survive on strike pay. I loved working for the CBC and it really blows that my time there has to end like this.

Sigh, I had better go balance the books. While I'm at it, I'd best budget in dough for an interview suit and a new portfolio case. Rock on.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Carpet Muncher

Polynesian Room, Waldorf Hotel

All the carpets have been torn out of my apartment! It looks soooo much better. Smells better too. I moved my sofa into the living room today and hooked up my console TV. There is still a fair amount of work to do, but it looks like an actual living space now. I made the required trip to Ikea and picked up a few things to spruce it up. Not too much because I hate that "life by Ikea" look. But it's a great place for shower curtains and area rugs.

Tomorrow morning I go shopping with my sister and mother for wedding gowns. My 31-year-old sister is making it legal in April and I finally get to be a bridesmaid. Maid of honour in fact. My very first time. I can wear whatever I like, really as long as my dress works with her semi-retro theme. I'm thinking a 40s femme fatale look. Fun! And they're getting married at the Waldorf in the amazing Polynesian Room.

Hopefully I will be close to moving in tomorrow night. I'm so excited about having a place to live. Man, I wish I had a job to pay for the privilege.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

ill communication

S'late. Still coughin'. My mom came in to help paint today. We spent 5 hours talking about various diseases. From cancer to hantavirus. It was worth it. She's a very productive painter. Thanks be to the mother who made me. My place is now somewhat, almost, nearly ready for me to move in.

HAPPY 1 MONTH LOCK OUT ANNIVERSARY EVERYONE! I would have bought y'all a little something but I kind of lost my job. I picketed for a few hours until I simply couldn't take it anymore. Every time I laid foot to concrete my sinuses protested by trying to push my eyeballs out of my head. Pretty.

I looked very hideous today/tonight. So I watched Six Feet Under and poor David was kidnapped by a very nasty man. I thought it was a slightly heavyhanded script. But what do I know? I'm just an unemployed writer.

Night dearhearts.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Getting better all the time

I painted and I painted and then I painted some more. Thank God for a certain Russian sexpot who has very kindly been helping me for the last couple of days. She rightly informed me that you find out who your friends are when you move. True enough.

Today we ate chocolate croissants and slathered layer after layer of butter coloured paint on the lumpy aged walls of my apartment. After five hours we both agreed that it was coming along. Now all that is left is to paint 2 rooms, a hall, all the baseboards and trim, rip out the carpets, build an enclosure over the gross hole by the bathtub and various other odds and ends.

I am supposed to move in on the 15th. Methinks that won't be happening. I do want to be in there this weekend though. I want my own space. I want my things around me. I want to make it through the first night of 'new home' noises and to make the place smell like my place rather than paint and TSP. Whenever I want to make a new place feel like home I bake cookies and cook a turkey. Not necessarily in that order. You do that and the place smells and feels like home.

Am I making you sick? Insert finger into dimple here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ok, really now...

UNCLE! UNCLE, UNCLE, UNCLE!!! There, now can we please get back to work? Seriously. This is getting ridiculous. And by that I mean it's even more ridiculous that it was after the first day. Why, it's progressed to quite simply ridick.

And guess who left the only recent copy of her resume locked up tight inside the CBC? Deep inside of her computer. Smart, right? Don't ask. I thought I sent myself a copy. Turns out I didn't. Three cheers for me.

I was told that even if the union and the brass decided to play nice today, it would be weeks before things are finalized. Equal parts depressing and distressing.

Regardless and irregardless, I am quite impressed with the Vancouver CMG. They have been very kind and understanding - what, with my recent rash of ill fortune and sickness. I don't know if the CBC would have been as benevolent. But I'd be more than willing to let them try! I shore would.

I'm tired and I have more painting to do tomorrow morning. But first I have an night of spastic coughing ahead of me. Nothing makes a body feel more refreshed than coughing until you puke. Anyone wanna make out?

Bitter pill

Sunday afternoon I sat in the park for a couple of hours. I had a romantic notion that some fresh air would be good for me. You know, like when delicate ladies of yore were sent to the seaside to recuperate from consumption. I spread out a blanket, put on my sunglasses and opened my book. Within a minute or so I realized that the grass had just recently been watered. I now had a substantial wet spot on my ass and not the good kind either. A quick scan confirmed that every square inch of the park had been soaked. Neat. So I decided to ignore the chilly wet denim and try to absorb myself in some reading.

A few pages in and I was distracted by giggling. No, not the appealing laughter of children playing in a park, but the grating giggle of a full-grown woman straining to appear delightful and darling all at once. I looked up and not five feet from me were two young Strathcona-types playing badminton. Well, they were playing badminton in between grope sessions and when they weren't gazing into each other's eyes or dissolving into fits of delirious laughter. They were both shoeless and obviously quite enamoured with the fact that they were doing something really different. They were playing badminton in the park. They were elevating a square sport into something hip and charming. And not only that! They were hopelessly in love. So much in love, in fact, that between each birdie-whacking they just had to embrace and roll around in the grass together. And the giggling again! Oh, I can't tell you how nauseating.

Now, before you rightly label me a bitter hag, let me tell you there was something embarrassingly theatrical about this display. I can't for the life of me figure out who this couquettish and obvious romp was meant to impress. And the park is huge! Why romp and rut a few feet from me? Why?

I'm sure they really were into each other, but there was something show-offish about them. You could tell they were really quite pleased with themselves. I could almost hear the clicking of the rolling film from inside each of their minds. Super 8, of course. And, yes - maybe I was a bit jealous as I sat there alone with a damp ass, bloodshot eyes and my worn copy of Communion. If I wasn't, perhaps I would have resisted snorting and rolling my eyes at them.

I turned my back to them, probably displaying my wet ass in the process, and read and re-read the same page of my book several times. After a while all was quiet so I stole a quick glance over my shoulder. They were down the block and he was picking flowers for her. Picking them out of some poor stranger's flower garden, no doubt. I tried to remember if I've ever been guilty of such obnoxious lovers play when I was younger. Nope. Definitely not. Sitting there, like a miserable black crow in the green and sunshiny park, I unwillingly wondered if this was something to be proud of or horribly regretted.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Allnighter Ab Workout & Happy B'day Gus!

I simply cannot survive another coughing fit. I am surprised someone in the building didn't file a noise complaint last night. It must have sounded like someone was abusing a seal. I have broken blood vessels in my eyes from all the nasty hacking. I am assuming I have bronchitis at this point. I come to my diagnoses honestly as I used to suffer chronic bronchitis from early childhood into my late teens. I usually came down with it 4 times a year. Generally at Christmas, my birthday and before any event that actually meant something to me. Sometimes it would get so bad at night that my parents would take me to emergency for a gravol shot so that everyone in the family could get a little sleep. Thankfully, I pretty much outgrew it when I was 18-ish. I've had it a few times since then, but not chronic. I guess my immune system was so thrashed that after I made it through the flu I was wide open for this hit me.

The only positive, as fas as I can see, is that all this coughing feels like I've been doing thousands of crunches and I don't feel like eating. Body sculpted by disease Hot. What sucks like crazy is that I realllllly can't be sick right now. I have a new apartment to prepare, picket duty and a million other things I whine about regularly. Not to mention I'm broke and I need to be looking for a new job. Oh, yes and my mother is going off the deep end and is insisting on taking everyone with her. I need a health transfusion, stat.

Oh, and it's the second birthday of the loveliest little boy in the UK. Gus is spending his second birthday at Club Med in Sicily. I bet his parents are having sex.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Left to my own devices

Picketed 3 hours before the rain and my failing health drove me to accept the first warm lift home.

The cold medicine is keeping me wide awake but my body is too exhausted to do anything. So, I've slipped back into my old nocturnal online habits. Frittering hours away. In fact, I just spent 45 minutes on Friendster. I got soooo over Friendster a while ago, but sometimes it sucks you in. Exploring all the degrees of "friends" can be fascinating. To think just by knowing someone with a life you are barely connected to all sorts of other people with lives. Attractive people who do things. Real things! There's photos to prove it. Friends at parties, friends all gussied up, friends on camping trips... you get the picture. Friends is having good times, yo. Well, that is if you believe the propaganda. If you look at my profile I also look like I have a life. Suckers.

Before I was lured in by Friendster, I spent far too much time on craigslist vancouver. I am tentatively looking for a very temporary renter for the extra room in my new apt and craigslist has a few potentials who may just work.

Sure, I checked out the jobs link but I stayed for the personals. Man, I could read that shit for hours. And I did! The "casual encounters" listings were by far the most interesting. Folks looking for company during business trips, men seeking early morning quickies whilst their girlfriends/wives are at work, elderly women seeking fellows barely old enough to shave for "fun times, maybe more". I am recounting the PG version, of course. It gets pretty explicit and I wonder what kind of nerve it takes to answer one of those ads. I can't imagine emailing someone for an NSA (no strings attached - I picked up some of the lingo) encounter. Even if I were hard up/curious enough to do it, I'd be way too scared that I'd be killed into little bits or, even worse, that the guy would be totally gross.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not judging the folks who place and answer personal ads. I know people who've done it and they're good fine people, Stuart. But I simply cannot imagine myself doing it. Not even a nice ad as opposed to a raunchy, rip-snorting hook-up ad. Perhaps that is why I enjoy perusing from a safe, self-righteous distance. Ah, 'tis a voyeurs life.

I guess I had better try to counteract my daytime cold meds with some Nyquil or I'll be restless for the rest of the night, wondering if the "35 yr old woman looking for over 9 inches in Coal Harbour" is someone I know.

Night, y'all.

Friday, September 09, 2005

O cruel fate, harsh, pitiable, horrible!

Yeh - I'm sick. Soooo sick. I am five feet, eight inches of pure misery. I coughed all night or at least I think I did. Several hours are unaccounted for thanks to a desperate early morning suckle at the dark teat of mother Nyquil. Okay, that's gross. I'm not exactly at the top of my game this morning. Times like this, I wish I could be tucked in and have someone lie to me."There, there. You rest now. Everything will be better when you wake up." Too much to ask. Being a grown up sucks. Being a grown up on your own sucks more.

Picketing is out of the question as is painting my apt. I will have to picket 6 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday to make my 20 hours. I wonder if I will survive it. I guess that means no making out with my fellow picketers - I wouldn't want to infect the line.

Maybe, I'll go do another shot of Nyquil and make this day go away.

I hate everyone today so I won't apologize for my mopey, self-centred post. I can do what I want.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

And one more thing: Yeah! What he said!

One of the things that i find quite baffling, and quite frustrating, is that pretty much all the attention that the lockout has garnered in the media and the blogoshere has been entirely about CBC TV and CBC Radio. There has been little to no mention of the hundreds of CBC ONLINE employees that have been locked out, or of the product that is being produced in our absence.

This morning I pulled my head out of my ass long enough to read Pary Bell's Flukemedia. In his September 1st post he voices his frustration over the ridiculous glossing over of the loss of CBC ONLINE. I've been wondering about this myself. I remember hearing the brass go on and on about the success of CBC ONLINE. And most of the people I know (and many of them are NOT web geeks, thank you very much) rely on several CBC websites for their news and information.

I work(-ed) for ZeD and our site looks hideous right now. The Friday before the lock out I did a whole wack of updates, wrote new copy and chose a great feature for the homepage. Of course, none of the updates were made on the back end. I assume this was due to the lock out.

I can't even visit the site anymore. It's just depressing. There are hundreds of uploaded content items stockpiling that, at this point, may never be made public. Canadian artists waiting for editorial staff who no longer exist to give their work the go-ahead so that their painting/music/film/song/etc can go live on the site. For a while I was trying to answer ZeD member questions in the discussion groups, but I've recently given up. What's the point? I've nothing new to tell them. "Sorry, you know as much as I do." isn't exactly reassuring them. ZeD struggles constantly to defend it's very existance within the corp. It is common opinion that this little forced hiatus will be the haystack that crushes the llamas back - or something like that.

I dunno. Maybe the online community is outraged over the lock out. Persmaps they are firing off angry emails and exchanging frustrated IMs lamenting the loss of CBC ONLINE. It's just the internet afterall. A crazy fad. A passing craze.

My lap shall ne'er be warm again

Such a shame... Look how famous (scroll waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down to the end of page 1).

Jumping Jesus on a pogostick, wouldn't you know it! Looks like after the 15th I will have to go even further on hiatus. The CBC has requested that I return my ZeD laptop. My lifeline. Weep. I am far, far too poor to even consider getting a new computer and internet cafes just aren't my thing.

Of course the CBC has every right to ask for their equipment back. I'm surprised I've gone undetected so long. This is a bad sign. I was given the laptop to do my job. They are now taking away my laptop. Could lead one to believe that I've truly lost my job. Poor me. Poor ZeD.

I have a week left and the only reason I have that long is because the laptop is in storage due to my recent move. I've had unlimited access to a friend's laptop for the past while, but he is coming back into town this weekend.

Oh shit, I will have to use the Yellow Pages again! And not only will I no longer have convenient email access, I can kiss my chat clients goodbye. Faced with the ultimatum of speaking to friends face-to-face or dying alone, I'm leaning toward the latter.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Note to self: This lock out blows. I spent some time today reading through the messages posted in our local Yahoo! lock out group. People are unable to make their mortgage payments and the banks are not sympathetic. This strikes me is incredibly stupid (no pun intended). When all this bullshit ends, many (probably not me - sad) CBC employees will return to work. They will resume their roles as money-earning citizens. Folks with pockets to be plundered and credit ratings to be leaned on. Methinks the banks are being rather short-sighted.

I do hope anyone out there grown-up enough to have a mortgage remembers to be childish enough to hold a grudge when this all ends. If stability returns it would be grand to see all of the paycheque-cashing CBC'ers stick it to the banks. I remember when my father transferred his mortgage and all his accounts from TD because a young, snotty loan officer made a condescending comment about my dad's recent career change. Bank management called my dad for a week trying to convince him to reconsider. I don't believe my father has felt such satisfaction since nor does he expect to before he leaves this world.

As for me, I am waiting for HR to process my R.O. E and maybe think about sending my severance pay. I was thinking just this morning how neat it would be to be able to afford to turn the heat on this winter. Ah, dare to dream.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Miss Gouda, the cat, enjoys a spot of water through a syringe. Why? Because she can.

Gouda Times

Guess who owns a really lovely cat? Why, I do. In the past, I cannot profess to have been much of a cat person. And maybe I am still more of a dog lover - but this particular cat is just the bees knees. Smart as a whip, playful and affectionate! I can't hardly believe I was worried this cat would feel timid in a new home. Within minutes, she was drinking (out of a syringe for kicks), playing and making litter clumps. What a hep chick. Many thanks to the Maffins.

Monday, September 05, 2005

I moved out of the place I was subletting. It was a fucking nightmare. I can't possibly make you understand without reliving it. It took several days and I'm still reeling financially and emotionally. After cleaning the place all day and all night, the woman I subletted from ran her fingers along a baseboard behind her bed and after coming up with a finger-full of dust she announced, "I cannot live like this". She called in professional cleaners and demanded that I pay for them. And sure, why not? I'm a very wealthy woman, what with my lock out pay keeping me in cristal and gucci as the "rapsters" (my mother's term) say. Allow me to mention, that the subletter is an actual wealthy woman. Quite wealthy. She also insisted that I hire carpet cleaners. Perfect. 'Twas a costly and crushingly educational experience.

My new apartment is not yet ready. I cannot move in until the 15th. I offered to help my new landlord paint the place - which is a huge job. This may have been my undoing. Basically, I went through Friday and Saturday with a max of 2 hours sleep each night. Apparently melatonin is no match for the adrenaline rush of a 3 am floor scrubbing. Sunday morning I had to go square up the carpet cleaning bill and I figured I would go straight to bed afterward and get some sleep. Well, instead I was overcome by some sort of sleep-deprived mania and I decided I would go paint my new place instead. Smart! Flash forward 3 hours and I started to feel a bit "funny". I decided I just needed a little food. After all it was 2 in the afternoon and I hadn't eaten. It honestly didn't occur to me that my body may just be giving out. You see, I am only just recently coming to terms with the fact that I am 33. Boy, oh boy, in my day I could go for days... Sadly, no more. Anyway, on the way to the restaurant I started to black out. Within an hour I was running a high fever and was curled up in a ball shaking my way through hours of sleep that I could neither escape nor settle deeply into. My fever broke at 4 am and thankfully my skin stopped aching. I was left with a nasty headache, sore throat and the foulest temperament ever.

And was I able to spend the day in bed? No. I went to the Labour Rally in Burnaby. I was in no mood for this very Telus-centred rally, but I have to make my required 16 picket hours for the week. Honestly, I don't know if I would have felt that riled up even if I were feeling well. As I sat there listening to union songs and watching the Telus workers punctuate the union rep's anti-management speeches with supportive screams of "shame" and "liars", I felt detached. Of course, it could have been the Tylenol Flu medication. Who can say? It was very depressing to see so many out of work people gathered in one place. It made me feel a little hopeless. If Telus has been locked out for 2 months, why should I hold out hope that we will get back to work anytime soon? I don't think I will survive 2 months. I'm seriously pissed off. Life's been one big stressfest lately. What I wouldn't do to just have one less thing to worry about. Just something small - like, say my livelihood. Well, if we're blue-skying here, how about getting back to the job I loved. A paycheque. The pleasure and pain of working with my fellow ZeD coworkers.

Oh, boo hiss. I'm in a shitty state of mind. And my throat feels like it's rimmed with cut glass. I'm sure after I've recovered I will feel more inclined to search out the sunny side of the street. But only if the folks over there promise not to tell me to smile when I get over there. I hate that.

Oh, and my heart goes out to Canned Clams. Send your positive thoughts thataway.