Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Well there's this title written for another year, anyway.

Is it over? Is it safe to come out yet?

I'm not cynical. I just have a low threshold for festivity.

Yes, I'm glad Christmas is over. I can get from one end of a mall to the other without bruising, nobody's trying to feed me from bowls of indeterminate content (scary when you're given a vague description like "stuffing", terrifying where gelatin is involved), and nothing's going to show up in the mail that makes me feel guilty that I haven't sent anything. Well, except perhaps the credit card bill.

The whole getting together and bonding and giving me presents is great, sure. I'll also readily acknowledge that the insanity of Christmas is probably the only thing that keeps everybody, myself included, sane over the winter. Never mind what your local not-for-profit billboard campaign says, that's the real reason for the season. Whatever your religious beliefs, you know you'd need something to celebrate in the middle of winter whether there was a faith based holiday or not. It gives us a focus to keep us from fixating on how far away spring is. That's especially important for people whose ancestors didn't think to ask "wait a minute, if they're giving away the land for free, what's the weather like up there in this Canada place?" If we didn't distract ourselves by trampling one other at the toy store and having heaving crying fits over half thawed turkeys in December we'd be running naked and cackling into the snow drifts by February.

Instead of March.

Admittedly I'm just not jolly by nature, but in truth I think my real problem with Christmas is that it reminds me of winter. Why on earth would I want ornaments and greeting cards featuring snow all over the house when I can just step outside and festively freeze to death for realsies in less than five minutes, or under two if I forget to wear a *toque? I don't want poinsettias and evergreens, I want dandelions and crab grass. I want barbecues and beers, not roasted beasts and mulled stuff. Winter I've already got. Make me a better offer, or I'm just not buying that it's a holiday.

Again, though, and I can't stress this enough: please don't anybody interpret any of this to mean that you shouldn't give me presents. I wouldn't want to ruin your gift giving holiday, after all.

*Canadian knitted head wear often featuring a pom pom to assist in the locating of frozen Canadian corpses in deep snow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Better keep the receipt for this title, eh?

Oh blog, I missed you so. Let me curl up in your lap and tell you my tale of adventure and daring while you stroke my hair and feed me sweet salted licorice until my smile is aglow with lumpy black teeth.

I went to the mall today... now wait right there! Let me make two things perfectly clear:

1) I was not there to shop
2) I fully qualify for sympathy

My library is in the mall. I had no choice. If I waited until after Christmas to return my due items I'd be looking at a good fifty bucks in late fines. I'd dive into a shark tank at feeding time if you dropped a dollar in there, so yes, I was prepared to brave the festive shoppers to conduct my business.

Actually it wasn't so bad. I got a decent parking spot and everything, and ten count 'em ten documentaries were sitting there on the hold shelf with my name on them. Happy Geekmas to me!

So that made me smile. And that smile made me unique amongst the thronging masses. And my favorite thing about Christmas is having an excuse to use the expression thronging masses. And I'm digressing. Interesting that I was one of a very small minority of people in that mall not in the service of holiday celebrations, and yet I was also the only one smiling. Well, there was me and a library assistant who was clearly new to the place. She was wearing the mandatory "Hi there, I'm agreeable!" expression common to everybody working their first day at a new job and shelter dogs trying to get adopted. Unlike her, though, my smile wasn't causing my gum line to cramp up.

Hope she does okay. She really was doing a great job on the smile.

Yeah, Christmas would be great if it wasn't for all the anger. Now normally I do use the considerately inclusive term "Holidays" when talking about seasonal celebrations, but I don't know if the other solstice holidays are as retail intensive as Christmas. Maybe Hanukkah, but I think Hanukkah partiers are done their shopping by now, aren't they? Well anyway if I'm wrong and you're all out there elbowing each other in the eye sockets trying to get the last box of Menorah candles, count yourselves included in this post too.

It's just amazing how quickly people switch from normal citizens into crazed all consuming holiday beasts. One day everybody's just going about business as usual, joking light heartedly about how late they've left their shopping and oh how they hate you if you've managed to buy something already, hahaha you keener you, making them look bad! Then the last weekend before Christmas comes and goes, everybody suddenly remembers how to read a calendar, and people are cutting in front of ambulances in snow storms to make it to the last passenger drop off spot five seconds ahead of the DATS bus.

This is the part where I'm supposed to say something wise or profound about having devised a clever alternative to holiday shopping and/or system for getting holiday shopping done early, hm? Share photographs of the gaily painted magpie eggs I harvested and pickled myself, and will be giving to everybody in nests made out of old scraps of recycled ribbon along with a donation receipt from ducks unlimited in lieu of crass commercial items people might actually want, perhaps. Or maybe graph my analysis of what exact time and day of the post-Christmas sale season is ideal for scoring the best merchandise for next year's gifts at the best prices with a minimum of effort? No. There'll be none of that here. I mean yes, I did think I was clever and had thought I'd beaten the system. The system does not like to be beaten, though, and I have been thoroughly punished.

I decided to have a hundred percent, handmade Etsy Christmas. That turned out to be a terrible idea.

Okay now wait another minute - yes you know I know some of you are Etsy sellers. You know I'm one too! Gabba gabba one of us! Put down the crochet hooks, ok?

It's possible some of you haven't got clue one what I'm talking about, too. Etsy is a non-auction site that is otherwise kind of like Ebay (juuuuuuust leave those hooks on the table where I can see them, Etsians - this is just shorthand for the civilians. Yes we all really know Etsy doesn't actually compare to Ebay at all and nobody's suggesting otherwise, okay?) where sellers open shops to sell their handcrafted wares.

And to throw home made, one of a kind, 100% recycled hissy fit tantrums when you point out that they haven't got a clue what they're doing, too, which unfortunately you sometimes do need to do. There's good reason so many Etsy sellers spend so much of their lives sitting at home all alone doing crafts.

There are sellers with balanced personality profiles that I know and trust, though, yes. Many! That is the point of this post, which I am getting to. I've just also discovered that the unknown substances on that site are cut with some pretty harsh downers. Amusing when it's spring and you're just waiting for a pretty handbag to go with your sandals, but amateurs with unstable personalities are not to be trusted with the time sensitive deliveries of gifts for people you love.

Ultimately after weeks of fighting people who moonlight as vending machines for crazy that dispense as soon as you insert money, almost everything did arrive, and where things didn't these marvelous sellers stepped up to the plate and saved the day:

My Nominations for Santa's Good List

BathingInLuxury who, upon learning how a seller had decided to sell the item I'd already bought and paid for to someone else a week after I'd purchased it, practically strapped a bar of the most divinely fresh scented soap - green grass scent, to help get my gardening neighbours through the long winter! - to a rocket pack equipped pigeon in order to get it here in time for me.

UrbanCheesecraft who, upon listening to my concerns that the item might not arrive in time, did back flips through flaming hoops to make sure that come what may, I would have a gift to give and was 110% committed to making sure I was 120% satisfied with the transaction, and oh yes I am. Seriously, how cool a present is a kit for making your own cheese? Comes highly recommended by other people I know and trust, and it is put together beautifully. I can't wait to give it!

And special mention goes to a very, very special seller indeed, who is as wonderful a person as he is professional, and that's pretty darn very damn. I didn't happen to purchase anything from him this year, but I would never hesitate to for even a split second. He was there standing ready to dash out an overnight delivery of wonderful gifts for me to give to the people I love if I'd come up short, and the guy's undergoing chemotherapy. Selfless much? If you're on Etsy it would be a very, very good idea to heart mindlesspursuits and check out his insanely cute t-shirts when he returns. You couldn't patronize a more conscientious seller.

So yeah, just laughing at the lunatics and loving the heros in my life, and so happy to be completely done with all my Christmas performances now and back to blogging at last! Seriously, no commiseration necessary for the nut jobs, okay? I've learned my lesson about sticking to sellers I trust when time is an issue, and I've been blessed with great sellers as great friends who were there for me when I needed them. That's the happy ending we're taking away from this Christmas story.

Oh yeah, and to address all of the speculation, I produce and perform interactive comedy for corporate and promotional events. For now, anyway. I don't know... you all might just be on to something with that bank robbing idea.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A title? You shouldn't have!

Aaah presents from men. I just received a festively wrapped box from my boyfriend containing:

- Jumper cables (because he knew I didn't have any and that worried him)
- Long burning emergency candles (because he wasn't confident that the tea lights I do have in my car would keep me alive as effectively in -40 temperatures)
- Super insulated highly durable work gloves (because I was speculating that I probably haven't owned a decent pair of warm gloves since my mother stopped dressing me)
- Survival blanket (because I both drive and hike to silly remote places all by myself, and if you're catching on to the developing theme at all here it's obvious to you by now that I'd never think to buy something like that for myself, only to very sagely point out what a good idea they are when other people buy them)

And... lovely and elegant a pair of driving gloves a person could ask for, because I'd noted in passing that my best pair were starting to show some signs of wear.

So not only does the guy worry about me when I'm out mucking around on my own in the cold, but evidently he even listens to every word I say when I blather on about my clothes.

I think he likes me.

I think I like him too.

Greetings from the other side of sanity!

So Pseudonymous High School Teacher was wondering just what kind of performance I'm involved in, and for good reason: I avoid trying to describe what I do for a living like the plague. I'm proud of what I do - I've been getting paid to do it for over eight years and people regularly offer to do my job for free, so I figure I probably don't suck at it - but damn it is not easy to explain.

Here's what we're going to do, then. I'll give you a mash of relevant words, and you're all free to arrange them as it amuses you to imagine me:

Comedy Interaction Production Games Administration Costumes Actors Venues Clients Props Liason Contracts Mystery Management Presentation Audio/Visual Wigs Character

I think the only thing missing from that list is Chief Freaker Outer, because I couldn't figure out if that actually should be three words or just one long hyphenated one, but yeah. I'm in charge of that, too.

That's what I do for a living.

Thank you everyone, very sincerely, for your wonderful words of encouragement this past weekend. My slobber is very literally knocked indeed. I woke up on Sunday morning and saw the dog about to trip over a cord. I went to shout "Careful!" and managed only a quiet "eh uh". That did not convey my sentiment effectively at all. Luckily, though, the humidifier was only half full when it dumped it's contents all over the carpet, and my little dog Allison's still spry enough at 16 to land on her feet when 100 tumbling pounds of canine flesh upend the basket she's sleeping in, so happy ending there. I still sound like Janice Joplin on a bad phone connection, but I've at least regained enough ability to conduct the essential operations of life such as ordering pizza and telling the dog to spit the cat out.

Pizza. Hey. I'm a genius.

Gotta go.

No wait! Also!

Mwah Mwah Mwah and big belated thank you to Jeanne at The Raisin Chronicles for this:

She's fabulous, and very much in my thoughts today.

Okay now I'm done. I've got a ton of blogs to catch up with!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

This title will self destruct in... whenever.

My first priority is keeping up with all ya'll's (I think spell check just had a seizure on that one) blogs, and beyond that writing a real update, which this is not. This is a non-update notification. Note the lack of punchlines or pet references.

This is the slobber-knockeriest (okay, I can definitely hear spell check crying now) weekend of the whole production intense performing season, and when I'm not skidding around on ice-rink roads dressed funny with a back seat full of sound equipment and a draw drum poking me in the ear, I'm on the phone making nice with venues and performers, so the internet's mostly just for MapQuest and icanhascheezburger (hey, a gal's got to have something to get her through) these days.

Great big grease paintey internet hugs to everyone, and see y'all on the other side of sanity soon!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I don't feel like writing a self referential title today.

If you were to be dropped on a deserted island with one fully functioning room of your home (barring two way communication devices because, you know, you'd just use them to be rescued and screw up the entire premise of the thing, just like the rocket scientists who announce that if a genie granted them one wish they'd use it to ask for unlimited wishes. Cute if they're about five years old, but otherwise okay, you're very clever. Absolutely no fun at all, but very clever. I'm going to go play with my stupid, fun friends now. Bye bye, Einstein.), which room would you choose?

Smart money's on the kitchen, right? What with all it's food preservation and preparation devices and clean water on tap and whatnot.

Of course if you've got a basement or a garage loaded with tools, that might provide an even greater survival advantage. Dinner's not just going to come running and hop in the fridge if you call "Here piggy piggy piggy!" invitingly enough. You're definitely going to have to kill it, and it's probably not going to stand still while you attempt whacking it to death with a spatula, either. It might be better to focus your resources on those that can help you devise pig securing and dispatching devices than on something to help you preserve bacon that never comes when you call it. Tools are most likely the first thing you're going to need.

And yes, building something to escape from the island is perfectly admissible under the rules of hypothetical fair play, on the grounds that it does not qualify as being an easy out. The jury's not in yet on whether the inflatable pool toys you have stored next to the Christmas decorations or canoe you bought at a garage sale and have had sitting there propped up and ready to patch for going on three years now will be admissible, though. We'll just go with nuh-uh for now.

Pragmatically speaking it seems evident that the best criteria for selecting a room would be the prevalence of useful gadgets and/or appliances in it. Wait a minute, though. What about the living room, or the den, or whatever other room it is you have your tv and/or stereo and/or specially designed for the purpose of this hypothetical situation reception-only internet equipped computer in? The island's deserted, remember. That means nobody to talk to. Not even a volley ball with Tom Hanks' hand print on it. No perspective on anything ever except your own. Humans evolved without refrigerators and socket wrenches, but not without each other. The argument could certainly be made that seeing and/or hearing other human beings could contribute more to a person in isolation's overall well being more than a well appointed food preparation area or stocked workshop could. It's a tough call.

And still, I'd pick the bathroom. Ever been bitten by a mosquito when you're trying to pee?

By the way, I do really like this website:

and especially all the great people I've been meeting there, so this is to say a sincere Merry Sitsmas to all those who know what on earth I'm talking about!

Friday, December 4, 2009

If I don't use this font to write the title I won't win the Superbowl.

I was asked by Fyre Bird the other day "Why purple pens?" in response to my stated fact that I always use one of my ten identical purple pens to write in my journal before bed.

Why purple pens? Well... why air? Why water? Why puppies and rainbows and the sexy neighbour who conveniently forgets to pull his blinds down when he works out? Is nothing self evident anymore?

In truth I have no particular attachment to purple ink. Or rather, in deference to my recent lesson learning about the value of not making sweeping pronouncements about myself before actually thinking about what I'm saying, I had no particular attachment to purple ink when I bought the things.

I have ten identical pens because I've used the make once before and really liked them. I have ten identical purple pens because I bought them at a liquidation centre. I always use one of my ten identical purple pens to write in my journal because what else am I going to use purple pens for, doing my taxes?

Except that I did use one of them to do my taxes, actually. I also plastered the envelope I sent them in with stickers of puppies and kittens. I sincerely hope I succeeded in making someone's day a little less beige.

So there you have it. All perfectly logical, even pragmatic reasons for owning ten identical purple pens and using them exclusively when I write in my journal.

And when I bought them those were the only reasons I had for owning ten identical purple pens and using them exclusively when I write in my journal. I admit it's gone beyond that, though.

It's all about being in the zone. It's all about having everything that's of no particular importance being familiar to the point of invisibility. It's all about having the tools fade into the background and letting the creation occupy all of your focus. When I'm writing with one of my ten identical purple pens no part of my mind is looking at the colour of the ink, or the quality of the ink, or the thickness of the line, or adjusting the thing to my hand, or deciding if I like the tool in use. It's just there quietly doing it's job with no attention from me.

You know, some of my favourite people are a lot like purple pens.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'll write exactly half this title and th

I'm not typing this, you know. Well I guess I will be now in the future, but I'm not here in the past. As I arrange these words I'm lying on my side in bed, writing longhand into a spiral notebook with one knee propped up so that Cynthia the One and a Half Eyed Supercat can play tee pee. It's a weird fetish of hers. She likes to spend the first five minutes or so after I go to bed curled up under the arch of one or both of my legs. It's possible she was a troll in a former lifetime. Or perhaps a foot stool.

Who am I to call her fetish weird, though? I reread yesterday's post that I wrote earlier today just before crawling into bed. The post I opened with the statement "I'm not ritualistic". Now here I am yesterday, lying here like I do every night, using one of my ten identical purple pens to empty the extra thinks out of my thought hole into one of my four coordinating fruit themed notebooks so that I can sleep.

Of all places for me to state "I'm not ritualistic" I had to pick my blog? What is diarizing/journalling/blogging if not ritualized writing?

I really like that idea. As soon as you call a thing ritualized it immediately gains ten pounds and gets wrapped in cellophane. Transformed by the magic of romance into a thing of substance to be preserved.

Cynthia just crawled out from under the covers. That's when little Miss Doesn't Have Any Rituals here always puts down her nightly scribblings and tucks in for the night. If the entry continues from here it will be written real time, on the day it's posted.

Okay, it's not yesterday anymore now. At least not until tomorrow. Now I feel all weird, though, like I'm interrupting myself.

Anyway I got all excited about that, you know? I got a ritual! I'm all grown up and deep and stuff. Maybe I should start my own religion? Great tax breaks in that I hear.

Over-excited might be the better descriptor. It's just such a foreign concept to me. I've never joined in or adapted to any non-compulsory, social rituals. Not that I shunned them or anything. Shunning is actually not even nearly as much fun as it sounds. It does sound like it should be a fun thing, doesn't it? Like an old fashioned street game played with barrels and canes or some great old-country invoking domestic art involving yarn. Unfortunately it's just a fancy word that means going off and pouting and not playing with somebody when they won't do things your way. Boring! Screw that.

I just never got voluntarily involved in ritual on any kind of a social basis, let alone emotionally attached. I suppose that's the distinction I was making without seeing. Now there's this whole blog thing, though. It's definitely a ritual. It kind of dances the fine line of a personal vs a social one too, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Of course there is that whole title thing I do.

I'm not ritualistic. I don't have a lot of traditions. I don't even shower on any kind of reliable schedule.

Yeah, so? I live alone and I don't take public transportation. As long as I keep a can of Lysol by the door for when company drops by, where's the problem?

Ah you're just jealous.

Back to my point, if Muthering Heights is reading this she's probably experiencing a great galloping whallop of deja vu, because my opening statements are basically a repeat of a comment I left on her blog entry about traditions yesterday. It's certainly fair to say that her post helped inspire this one. It was the date, however, that instigated it.

December 01st. Is anybody else territorial about their birth month? That's right. I might not be ritualistic or traditional, but I'm hard core sentimental. I have no desire to relive or recreate any part of the past, I just don't want any of it to go anywhere. I'm alternating between writing this post and browsing vintage purses on-line. Guess how many of the ones I've earmarked remind me of my mother?

Hey, I'm a girl. It's not Hitchcockian for me to dress up like my dead mother. It's actually a really good idea. Mom always said I'd inheritted my father's sense of style. He of the self described "Chinese New Year" colour combinations, more popularly known on this continent as "Christmas decoration" colour combinations. When wearing his beloved bright red shirt and bright green pants combo stopped satisfying he painted our entire basement those colours. In high gloss paint. It looked like the dungeon where Santa keeps the mean elves. And yes, mom was right. I always did like the way he dressed. Even after I grew old enough to know better.

And now I manage both a roster of performers and a costume department. Yup, that means people have to wear what I tell them to. Adult people. If ever a job hiring deserved an evil laugh it was mine.

No no, I'm very careful not to dress other people up like me. I'm kind of Beethoveney that way. He could write the most delicately phrased passage in a symphony and then scream for peas at the dinner table like his underwear was on fire. I might look like a feral child raised at a flea market, but my performers are always polished.

December will always be my month. I was born in it, and I'm keeping it. I will always be my father's daughter, and I will always be reminded of him everywhere I look in December.

I guess I just don't feel a personal need for rituals or traditions. The world always manages to remind me of the things I want to remember without any help from me.

That all said, you know I'm going to be keeping this:

super awesome fox tail tie that I won from The Girl With the Flour in Her Hair over at her awesome blog Peeling An Orange With A Screwdriver for absolute ever. I just wish my father could have seen me in it.

Eh, it's probably just as well. He'd likely have just borrowed it and never returned the thing.

About Me

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Alberta, Canada
Quality blog entertainments delivered in a convenient, electronic format, and widely read by the sexiest, most intelligent, and wittiest people on the internet - all of whom practice exemplary personal hygiene.