hard habits

good christ, is there anyone else on earth laying on a couch sort of watching a movie and trying to remember tchaikovsky's first name right now? i have checked. it is pyotr. i won't forget again.

other than two bummed ones at a beach-themed dance party on saturday night, i have been off the cigarettes for 10 days. this profession is made possible thanks to LACK OF a) pride in the progress, and b) shame in the possible failure. i finally felt quite ready to stop the wheezing and smelling gross, so i decided to give it a shot, twisted smoker identity issues be damned. i have not been wobbly or delirious or bitchier than normal. there is no tingle in my feet or sweat in my palms. i miss filling minutes and holes with smoking, but not so badly that i'm rocking wildly like meg ryan in that movie. ok, that was booze and THANK GOD my addictive personality didn't grab hold of that bastard but addictions are addictions and detoxifying from any one of them can be a snotty, teary, gut-wrenching affair. where butting out is concerned, i am fortunate to be free of spontaneous excretions at this point.

uh oh, another west wing reference. how i miss the wisdom of leo: "i'm an alcoholic, i don't have one drink. i don't understand people who have one drink, i don't understand people who leave half a glass of wine on the table, i don't understand people who say they've had enough, how can you have enough of feeling like this? how can you not want to feel like this longer? my brain works differently."


i'm not that scary

why oh why do i do this to myself. i cried when it aired last year. i was prompted to go looking for it after dozing on the couch tonight, having dreamt about related matters. various versions of this scene have played out in my own storyline. to be fair, none of mine began with a secret service sweep. also, i'm nowhere near as irresistible as danny, nor is either party in my drama as vulnerable as cj managed to be here. but holy god, i get what she says about missing The Window. in my show, though, this exchange pretty much ends an entirely different way. so i feel achey in deep spots when i watch the way it should have gone. that's the power of good tv - it reaches inside and squeezes you where you're napping.


tongue tied, twisted

what i look for in a blog is good writing, wit, and relevance. they don't have to write about what i care about, but they should make me delight in reading about what they care about. i am turned off by smarty pantses who take themselves and their opinions too seriously. i am turned on by someone who can make an original point AND make fun of her/himself too. i like having all of my human and artistic sensibilities tickled. i want pithy, punchy, stimulating, honest.

i feel none of these things lately.

lots to say about the painful pickton trial, obama-mania, the snoring storyline on grey's, relapses with personal habits recently broken, the oscar nominations (go gore go!). but i don't feel like it. i'm not in a funk, i'm just tongue-tied. it's an ongoing problem, i think, for those of us who have to write all kinds of things for other people - it's a struggle to actually take the time to write something for or about myself. perhaps the writer's group i just joined will have good advice for me on this creative quandary. no pressure, ladies.

btw -- today, both oprah and dr. robin were wearing shiny pink blouses. seemed like many audience members were too. got me thinking about how many times i stroked the arm of a dinner mate last week - another shiny blouse. so did i miss the memo? should i not have chucked the slippery stuff from my wardrobe in 1989? cuz i think that was a good decision.


brown humour

my dad fired a property superintendent for promising hundreds of dollars of repairs to an uppity tenant, among other serious misinterpretations of his authority. when discussing the incompetency and poor judgment that led to his termination, this exchange apparently went down:

the guy: "well you were in goddamn pakistan!"
dad: "i beg your pardon?"
the guy: "or wherever the hell you people come from!"


dad shared this story after hearing me tell him about a woman who recently asked me 'did your parents speak english in the home when you were growing up?' dad: 'did you tell her No, only in the kwik-E mart?' i told him to give zarqa nawaz a call with all that smart-ass comedy and leave me the hell alone.


rock on an island

the deal was made as of this morning for a new contract. starting next month, i'll be helping these guys develop a communications strategy for their burgeoning work in the area of women's rights. we'll be creating a freshly branded suite of promotional materials and a complementary media strategy to make it all known. it's quite similar to what i did over at amnesty, so a fairly familiar process for me. i appreciate lots about oxfam, so it should be pretty fun. almost 2 years since starting this consulting thing for real, and i still marvel at how i can be invited to do cool work around other cool work in progress. the juggling of concurrent contracts is stressful, yes. but there are moments when i just gotta feel fucking fortunate to be making a go of this freelancer thing.

also amazing? technology. thanks to the whole wireless internet thing, i have temporarily moved operations from the office to the living room. the twin-size mattress that had been pulled upstairs for my weekend guest is now a mighty decadent island on which i have settled with cushions, blankies, work files, and a craft services table within arm's reach. i believe i shan't put the mattress back in the basement. ok, perhaps it represents a huge step backwards in my resolve to establish more structure in my work habits. but i believe that for today, that's just fine.


meryl, reliably witty. hugh laurie, genius. america ferrera, delicioso. jennifer love hewitt, please go away.

why oh why would i blog live about the golden globes when millions were snap-shotting all over the web. during warren beatty's snoozy acceptance of the lifetime achievement award, i found a witty blow-by-blow courtesy of the EW blogger, who we contend was stealing material through a microphone planted somewhere in my living room. our running commentary about speech gaffs and fashion flubs was funnier, if not WAY more drawn out. with people more famous, clever, and inclined taking care of the public mocking of things, we were free to supplement our insightfulness with baked cheetos, cheesecake, clementines. some of our exact thoughts can be found at perez - he agrees with us on pretty much Everything, even jennifer love what-the-fuck-are-you-still-doing-here.

oh cameron, the horror. the horror.


weekend slo-down

thanks be to audra for coming to campout at my homestead right when i needed her help in firing up the wireless internet that bell canada took precisely SIX PAINFUL MONTHS to get into my hands. not only has she been a neat addition to this weekend of sloth, her mad skills ensured we could lazily work and surf from any room in the house, whenever we want, wearing whatever we want (mainly pajamas). she was also a patient support as i sorted through the trickiness of headbands at the mall. but the sweetness of a slow grey sunday was soured by some excruciating cirque-du-soleil happening in my uterus. thanks, fetal position, for rocking me through it. thanks audra, as well, for letting me be maybe one of the only people to have experienced the sheer joy of you belting carpenters tunes, unprompted and a capella.

big work-related decisions to make this weekend, mostly regarding what contracts to accept now versus which as-yet-to-be-confirmed opportunities to reserve space for. a good problem to have for a freelancer - i know this - but that doesn't make choosing or planning any easier. cerebral stimulation or money? ngo or union? marketing or writing? ooh, how i wish i could stop working tomorrow, forever. then i could put my talent anywhere and not have to consider hard matters like mortgages and more nebulus but equally relevant things like professional stepping stones.

for the record, the illusionist is really not very good. but little miss sunshine is.


seasonal disorders

yesterday, the sky was an ashen but bright blue and the air smelled as if hull is a maritime village. there are traces of rain recently fallen, not a single spec of snow, and a refreshing air quality that, when breathed deeply, transports me to a place of possibility. sometimes the effect of deeply breathing that air is that i feel almost giddy. i wonder if it hails from a place called gid. so i call it gid-air.

today, the sun beams down as warmly as an april afternoon, toasting the house so that the radiators can take a break. the snowless streets beg you to put on your cross trainers and get the hell going. this twisted al-gore-finger-wagging season has yanked a lot of we seasonally disordered from our regular routine. every time i find myself enjoying or feeling any weird gratitude about the weather, i take a moment of silence for the drowned polar bears who pay for it.

i regard most New Years with suspicion, but especially now. they say the only thing you can truly count on in life is change. except much of the change i wish for is unlikely to happen this year. harper hasn't changed his mind about the politics of women, the ndp numbers are (always) the same as they've ever been, the planet continues to suffer, and instead of shutting down the mess, bush wants to send more soldiers into it.

personally, i've had a few days to get used to this january, try it on for size, crank my head around so i can check out every unflattering angle in the proverbial 360 degree mirror. and things'll be alright. of course i'm wary because januaries are notorious sheisters who con you into an oft-fake sense of newness - new leaf, clean slate, renewal, all that jazz. AND WE ARE SUCKERS. my theory is you entirely lack a circulatory system if you don't get even a teensy weensy bit sucked in by resolution fever. if you never utter aloud a single word, you wind up suggesting quietly to yourself that THIS could be the year to quit smoking or cut back on the cheese.

globally speaking, it's unlikely 2007 will fall out of line with its predecessors and go another way. as for what goes on in my wee corner of the crazy world, i'll try to remain cautiously optimistic about getting stuff i need from 2007, and giving it stuff i need to give. i'm making no resolutions - and definitely no predictions - but it may be that 2007 and i are a coupla crazy kids who just might have a shot.