Saturday, March 31, 2007

popcorn hurts

Help me, I'm in human hating mode again. Truly, people disgust me. And yes, I am well aware that this is merely a symptom of self-loathing...etc and so on. But, let me tell you - while I do indeed take issue with myself - I know for a fact that other people are much more detestable.

Just last night I went to a movie and of course I wound up sandwiched between two sets of popcorn-munching couples. If you don't already know, I think popcorn should be banned from movie theatres. And if you're one of those "popcorn is part of the experience people" and this makes you hate me, then I guess we're even-steven. Popcorn - once chewed- smells like methane gas. The sound of popcorn being mashed between teeth makes my soul shrink and I won't even discuss the noise made by greedy fingers clenching and clutching for greasy palmfuls of Styrofoamed corn... The whole thing makes me sick.

Happy place...happy place... Okay, where was I? Oh yes, the movie. Well the popcorn people started to really distract me from the previews, which is annoying because I quite enjoy the previews. They help me make the transition from real world to celluloid world.

The theatre is dark and there are pictures on the screen. This means that as a moviegoer you should play your part and watch. But, no - the popcorn munchers had other ideas - they were going to chit-chat through the previews. Chat, chomp, chat, giggle, chomp, chomp, mmph, chat. With each offensive utterance I felt more and more murderous. At one point I attempted to engage my companion in my misanthropy, but he was having none of it. He deemed me ridiculous and advised me to relax. If only it were that easy.

By the time the feature presentation appeared I was barely clinging to sanity. Thankfully the film was so intense that I was absorbed in the story pretty much from the get-go. I quickly forgot about my tormentors although I did make a mental note to give them the stinkeye once the lights were up again.

The movie was wonderful. It was beautiful and brutal at the same time and I was so thoroughly transported that I forgot about the popcorn people until we got to the car. And when I remembered, I felt a bit ashamed. The experience was similar to surgery or childbirth - it's unbearable at the time, but you heal quickly and your mind and body forgets the trauma. Without this, I suppose there would be no children, people would run in fear of doctors and I would be very lonely.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

privacy act

Okay, in theory I believe this is very, very wrong. If a guy gets listed on this site - he has to PAY to get his name removed. This is a very terrible sort of blackmail. But then again, it's refreshing to see the internet being used for something practical for once.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The best five minutes of the year

Things are looking up for old Slushpile. Today I not only walked to work again for the third time this week (it's an hour walk - so take that player haters) but I also walked home. Ohhh... snap! And upward mobility isn't even the good part!

On the way home a handsome enough gentleman working on some scaffolding smiled at me from above and said, "Watch your step, beautiful." Nice, right? So, still chuffed from the unsolicited compliment - I didn't take 20 steps before I found a neatly folded five dollar bill right smack-dab in the middle of the sidewalk.

Now, the old me wouldn't have wanted to bend over to pick up the dough in case scaffold man was watching - but that's not the new me! The new me is all about compliments and found money.

And I had headphones on. Headphones make me very brave. The new me will wear headphones - always.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

allergy symptom #782

One of the most annoying things of the day: my whistling nose.

It's no secret that I sport a prominent proboscis - but does it have to make noise as well? For, the love of Pete - I've had enough now.


Whadda day. I'm feeling more positive about the whole job-less thing. I won't be out of work forever. I can't be, so I won't be. Who knew it could be so simple?

I ended the day on the sofa of a stranger- red-faced and shaking. And no, I most certainly wasn't having sex. I was spilling my guts to a nice man armed with a pad of paper, a box of tissues and an amusing hairstyle. This is supposed to make life better - or at least more bearable. In reality it's just plain scary. Speaking the truth and hearing the truth is not as fun as you might think. Careful what you wish for is all I have to say to you all...

... and may first light strike you gently.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

the happiest place on earth is not the CBC

I have news - good and bad, of course. After a whopping 3 months on the job the CBC has - in their unfathomable wisdom - decided to lay me off. This sucks. Especially since I turned down other work in favour of working for the CBC because they offered me a 6-month contract. Personally, I think asking employees to try to plan their lives in 6 month increments is enough to ask - but to turn around and kill a contract half-way through??? I have been assured that this layoff has absolutely nothing to do with my performance - rather the mandate for the program I am working for has changed. Neat.

Now, I've worked in television long enough to know that this kind of shit happens all the time. But that doesn't make it okay. It's just nasty. How can the Corporation demand loyalty from its workforce when they keep busting the kneecaps of their employees? I have been laid-off from the CBC three times now. It makes me very, very angry - just like that little Martian fellow from Looney Toons. But what can I do?

I love working for the CBC - so, I put up with the short contracts and premature lay-offs. I don't want to break up with the CBC, but I keep getting stood-up and rejected. And like most dysfunctional relationships - the more the Mother Corps rejects me the more I crush on her. Sigh. I reckon I'd better buff up the old resume. Maybe I should have listened to my mother and had gone into the exciting world of medical reception instead. I'd be wearing sensible shoes, a uniform with a comfortable elastic waistband and I'd probably be married to a nice pharmacist or something.

"You've just been fired! What are you going to do next?" I'm going to Disneyland. For reals. Get this: After I signed my "6-month contract" I promised my daughter I would take her to Disneyland. She's nine and she has such a hard-on for the Happiest Place on Earth that I knew this had to be the year of the mouse for us. After all, it's only a matter of time before she gets too cool for school and stops believing in the supernatural powers of Main Street US and A and it's not like she's having the time of her life as the child of a single parent. So, I laid it down. I PROMISED. This wasn't a "we'll see" or "maybe next year" - this was a full-on giving of my word. Besides, I had a good job with a real future - why shouldn't we go to Disneyland? You can see where this is heading...

So, I lost my job and I had a big-ass promise to contend with. Kids don't care if you lose your limbs in a freak accident or if your bank account is wiped out by Winners - a card laid is a card played. Sure, they'll pretend to understand if they're old enough, but they'll never really forgive you. I know this because my parents reneged on a Disneyland promise. That was 22 years ago and I still haven't forgotten. Now, don't think the white bread privilege of this conundrum isn't lost on me, but you play in the sandbox you wandered in to. And so, the trip to Disneyland features heavily in this story.

Where was I? Right - the good news! Well, I had discussed going to D-land with a fellow co-worker a few times because she has kids and she's taken hers to the park many times. She offered on a few occasions to give me some tips and was basically very cool about it. Well, on the evening of pink slip day she called me at home and told me to check my email. And, Jiminy Cricket - if there wasn't a 4-day, all inclusive vacation to the Magical Kingdom booked in my name! She took care of everything. We're talking air, hotel and even park passes.

I was stunned. I thanked her profusely and I wish I could come up with some creative way to thank her more. She responded with something along the lines of that it's her pleasure and that it's important to keep promises to your children. The kindness of this gesture blows me away. I know if I had the means I would love to do something like this for someone and so I am trying to deal with my gratitude accordingly. I have managed to stop thanking her every time I email her and I will - as they say - pay it forward when I can.

So, there you have it. Very bad news tempered by really good news. I'm still unemployed and times are going to be tough - AGAIN - but I have friends who do wonderful things. And once the rent is paid and the groceries are bought I'll at least have something to look forward to. And I kept my promise! That's one less future therapy session for my daughter.