As usual, December comes and we all get the school crazies. End of semester papers, documentary edits, internships, beer. Lots of beer.
But somehow we all make it through (mostly thanks to the beer) and now I'm pleasantly back at home in Kamloops, sipping a gingerbread latte that my Starbucks-trained sister lovingly prepared for me and enjoying two weeks sans classes and deadlines. Work? Sure... I've got a website to update/redesign, two proposals to write, and a tidy stack of books to devour... but no deadlines. Woo!
For the past two weeks, I interned at CBC Radio Music and was lucky enough to work with Amanda Putz on Bandwidth. Two weeks of interning bliss: researching and learning about Ontario indie bands, interviewing and producing segments, audio editing to my heart's desire-- I even got to produce this coming week's episode! And Amanda is fantastic, so much fun and a great person to learn from. If only I could sneak to the second floor of CBC Ottawa and live there forever... sigh.
And, of course, I wouldn't be a shameless self-promoting j-student if I didn't provide links...
This past week's episode of Bandwidth- the Chanukah/Holiday episode- can be found on the NXEW blog. Amanda mostly worked on this show, but I came in to help in announcing Christmas shows around Ontario and also made Amanda a special Chanukah gift, which I give to her on-air near the end of the show.
The week before was All Things Hamilton- at the NXEW blog by clicking here. On this show, I interviewed TO band Hamilton Trading Co-- my first radio feature on air, which is pretty exciting.
The episode I (mostly) produced-- The Not-Quite-Christmas Show-- will be on this Saturday on CBC Radio 1 across Ontario and Nunavut (not in the GTA though) at 5:05pm. And, of course, I'll link it when I can ;)
The holidays may mean I blog more. Or they might mean I just eat more Christmas baking and shun my laptop in favour of the family's new big-screen TV and PVR. I guess we'll find out which one wins out in the next week or so...
This week, I've been hunting down MPs for a story I'm writing on politicians and social networking tools.
Clearly, I'm a bit of a political geek so I've gotten my fair share of kicks this week. There's something so magical about hearing Bob Rae's dulcet tones as he calls you on his lunch hour... or finding a voicemail from Preston Manning when you check your phone after class (I'm still debating whether to put the audio online. Yes, it was that good).
I was also reminded of how rude and self-important some MPs' staffers are. Isn't it funny that, the less important the MP, the more of a dick their Communications officer is?
On the upside, everyone else has been very lovely and helpful. In fact, one MP suggested I add her on Facebook so we could meet up at some point to talk about new media and youth engagement... It was when I added her on FB the next day that I realized my interview got a bit meta.
Now, to weave the insightful interviews into a tapestry of journalistic gold...
School and life and assignments continue to pretty much run my life. But last month I decided to strike a deal with j-school: I'll write its often-useless assignments and meet all of its mostly-arbitrary deadlines if I get do at least some of it on my own terms...
What are my terms, you ask?
1. Docs that are not umentary: if you're going to cause me so much stress and grief, I get a beautiful shiny new pair of red Docs. Because, even though my feet are in pain from breaking my Docs in, its going to be worth it in a couple of months (I tell myself this about the course, too, though I sometimes have my doubts).
2. Internships: if you're going to make me write multi-page analyses of your new programming, essentially using me for free consulting, then I'm going to submit it as a liveblog. And compare Evan Solomon to John Cusak.
3. Internships, part 2: if you're going to make me fulfill work requirements, then I'm going to do them at the Olympics. I've booked my flight for Vancouver and can't wait for February!
My friend Amy looked thoughtfully at her peppermint tea as she used her stir stick to pull out the tea bag, wrapping it tightly around itself like a slug enveloping a tree branch.
I took a sip of my pumpkin spice latte. "What's the question then?"
Amy strained the last of the water from the bag and rested it on a plastic cup lid.
"People ask why youth aren't engaged in politics, but instead they should be asking politicians why they're failing at engaging the youth. It's their job to sell themselves to us, not vice versa."
"Exactly!" exclaimed Sasha as he took a break from his cinnamon bun to join in on the conversation.
I have to say, there's something satisfying about discussing political engagement in the warmth of a downtown Starbucks on a rainy Sunday. But today's ponderings and debatenstances (yes, that's a mix of debate and happenstance) were for more than our own geeky amusement- we were getting Amy's head in the game for her appearance on Goldhawk Live on CPAC. She was going to be on a panel for the topic Our democracy is broken - how do we fix it?... because that's what happens when you're Canada's Next Great Prime Minister- you're kind of a big deal and become parts of panels that say lots of smart things and stuff. Or so I'm told. I live vicariously through Amy's brilliance.
In that cozy hour or so at the back of the cafe, we had probably one of the best conversations on the topic of youth engagement/ general voter engagement that I've ever had. Which is saying something considering I spent a year working on exactly that topic while at Historica and ran my own Next Great PM campaign on youth engagement.
With Amy and Sasha's brilliance and general political know-how, we came to a few conclusions...
1. It's not just about youth not participating in the party system.
It's also about the parties purposefully reaching out to youth to include them in more than simple token gestures and offers. But this will only if they see it as worth their while, so...
2. Make the system benefit parties that reach out to all voters.
"Why not cut out the funding machine and make all party funding tied to the votes you receive?" Sasha pointed out. "Suddenly that 18-30 becomes a lot more relevant..."
3. "Youth" is not a defined demographic. Not even close.
"In every other case, parties are considering different races, genders, incomes, employments... but 18-30 are somehow considered some homogeneous group when the parties and media are discussing politics," said Amy.
And it's true- 18 to 30 ranges from high school students to university or college students or even people well established in their careers-- and are just as diverse in terms of race, income, employment, region... why are they suddenly the same when it comes to the polling booth?
... I returned home full pumpkin spice and political reform vigour. Maybe I've found my topic for my Political Affairs research article?
And, of course, Amy was fabulously well-spoken and knowledgeable on the panel as the only female... and the only person under 40. Oh the irony of old white men debating youth engagement in politics.
It's Monday night and I'm pantsless on my couch with a glass of white wine obsessively refreshing sites, waiting for the Gossip Girl season premiere...
... but I'm watching the National until I get my sweet hour of rich upper East side kids. Because I'm that dedicated to my studies.
Can I also add that I adore the concept for this new "Make the Politician Work" series? It's a beautiful mix of CTV and Global's human interest kicker pieces with the CBC's geeky didacticity (didactic-ness?). I mean, yes, it's propagandist and too superficial to take seriously, and it kind of offends me that it gets more run time than the actual news, but the CBC is trying. Sort of. I will give them points for that. And Mackay looks cute in uniform.
The real question is: how will they be able to top this first episode? Get Harper to do a topless carwash for the Calgary SPCA? Oh, the horror.
It was tonight as I was making dinner that I realized washing lettuce then shaking it like a madwoman over the sink (and, consequently, pretty much the entirety of my closet-sized kitchen) is a pretty poor replacement for a salad spinner.
I'm also kind of impressed at how long I've lived without a bread knife. Carbs are key.
But then again, today I slept in, met with a prof, hung out at the bar while editing my pitch, and running errands in the Market in the sweet Ottawa sunshine. And tonight I'm off for pints and great company at my favourite pub in Little Italy. A totally fair trade-off for slightly damp salad and a moderately mangled baguette, I think...
Walking along one of the (many) strip malls in town today, I passed a women's clothing store and felt compelled to look in the window.
The models looked comfortable and well put-together, albeit a bit preppy. I yearned for their crisp and functional look that refused to sacrifice comfort for the sake of style.
It was then that I noticed that all of the models were sporting baby bumps.
This isn't the first time as of late that I've caught myself accidentally eyeing maternity clothes... While walking 4th through Kitsilano the other week, Gloria and I determined that maternity clothes are starting to get too cool for their own good, especially the brightly-coloured jersey wrap tops and dresses they're charging an arm and a leg for in the Kits shops.
So comfy! And so stretchy! So convenient to cover my inevitable "back to school" beer belly! ... I digress.
But seriously, why is it that pregnant women are getting the good stuff? I want in on the colourful and stretchy goodness that will hide my belly, too.
Maternity clothes in non-maternity sizes: it should be the Next Big Thing. Because, while I really want stretchy waisted pants, I refuse to procreate to get them.
It was a typical evening drive in Saanich when the old mix CD turned to its next track: Shakira's "Underneath Your Clothes".
"Yes!" I exclaimed, thrusting my fist in the air and getting ready to ballad about endless stories and territories.
It was then that I realized that not everyone shares my love of old Shakira. I looked sheepishly to my friend Dee, who thankfully looked as enthusiastic as me.
"Wait!" she exclaims. "Before we go all out..." she closes the car windows.
"You mean we can sing out loud to circa 2000 Britney Spears without shame, but not Shakira?" I asked incredulously.
"Don't look at me like that," sighed Dee. "Shakira is amazing. But a window-closer."
As usual, Dee was right. I quickly remembered the time last week when I pulled up to a stoplight belting Alanis Morrisette at full tilt only to discover that the car next to me also had its window open. Dammit, why weren't they like the 99% of cars in town smart enough to roll up their windows and let the AC work its magic in this dry and dusty desert?
The problem with not posting as regularly as I'd like means that there are too many things to write about. It seems too long past to write in detail about my last few days at the TV internship (I think blog years is like dog years... so even a week suddenly becomes almost 2 months. Right?).
I celebrated the end of internship #3-- and the August long weekend-- by visiting Dee, one of my very best friends from high school, out on Vancouver Island. Gloria and Friso came along for the adventures as well, and we had a brilliant weekend of wandering the downtown, enjoying the patio weather, riverfloating and hiking and trail running and movie nighting and eating and visiting and all sorts of other good things. And I think we ended up stopping in every small town between Victoria and Nanaimo in the process. I even managed to interview an artist for my MRP at a farmhouse out in Duncan and was able to justify a bit of art gallery-ing in the name of "schoolwork". Happy sigh.
As I sat on the ferry deck on the way back to the mainland, I had no doubt in my mind that this time back home was exactly what I needed this summer. In the last four months I have moved thrice and tried my hand at three very different types of jobs in my field-- which has been both exciting and at times overwhelming-- but the chance to hang out with old friends and live in, rather than just visit, the place I call home has made all of the difference.
In honour of tomorrow marking one month back in town, I offer my dear readers the following...
10 Best Things About Being Back in Kamloops (in no particular order)
1. Time Warp
... the radio stations are pretty much exactly the same as when I was in high school. People who live here regularly find this frustrating. I, however, love the short-term opportunity to nostalgically rock out. Case in point: belting out Amanda Marshall's "Let It Rain" as I passed by Riverside Coliseum, where I saw my first "real" concert-- Amanda, playing, nonetheless-- back in grade 7.
There's already a post on her and how awesome she is, but it's worth repeating. Francie rocks my socks. Even when high school boys laugh at my car at the park. Or I walk into the lunchroom to hear my coworkers trying to deduce "WHO is driving that 90s hatchback?". Or she takes a good 30 seconds to hit 60 going up the hill. Heart.
Kamloops is a great city to drive in-- the weather is perfect for rolling down your windows, there's a beautiful view of the valley down from my place... and it's really big and hilly, and I'm pretty lazy, so it's far superior to... shudder... walking.
3. Canada Day
Ottawa notwithstanding, Kamloops has one of the best Canada Days I've been to- it's a huge community event with tons of live performances and art displays and kids' games and amazing food put on by tons of the local cultural associations. And the fireworks over the river are pretty fantastic. Plus I got to do a story on it for the news-- woo!
4. Perfect way to end the day
I won't pretend I'm up for many of the sunrises... but the sunsets in the valley are gorgeous.
5. Sun, sun, sun...
At least 4 days of brilliant dry heat and sun for any crappy rain day... the perks of being in a desert.
6. Riverside Park
I can't tell if Riverside has gotten nicer and less sketch since I lived here, or if my standards have substantially lowered after being in Toronto... but the park is lovely, even if the beach is a bit lacklustre.
7. The old haunts
Denny's, the piercing shop, Scoops (or better yet, when it was Summer Dreams), the tea house, Zak's...
... I just realized that all of my favourite places in town either feed me or poke holes in me. Hmm.
Okanagan Springs, Big Rock, Growers = amazingly delicious
And the fresh fruit from the Okanagan pretty much schools the ByWard any day of the week.
9. Deck privileges
What can I say? Like most folk, I enjoy being able to barbecue and nap and drink beers. All three are exponentially better when a deck is involved. The only downside is that nosy strata types are often watching deck goings-on... which means I've had to keep my pants on. Thus far.
10. The... pace...
Things are slower out in BC... and even more so in Kamloops. Outside of the newsroom, there's rarely a reason to rush. It's probably one of the things I've missed most.
There's nothing quite like a summer fling. The excitement, the romance, and, most importantly, the rumble between your legs on the way home from work.
Meet Francie, my 1990 Ford Festiva and sweet summer ride.
In a sprawling, hilly city with pretty lame public transit (and I think even the Mayor would agree to that one), having a car is almost a necessity. But one that is sadly out of reach for a girl working for free for the summer. Until Francie came along and saved me from a summer of showing off ankle at the truck stop in hopes of catching a ride home.
Maybe it's the epic 1990s blue wave detailing. Maybe it's the dent on her right side that could house an obese chihuahua. Maybe it's the sigh and lunge she makes as she heaves her tiny frame up the hills. But I'll admit it, I'm totally in love.
As with any new relationship, it's full of surprises-- like when I picked up a latte the other day and realized that Francie doesn't have cup holders. But then imagine the exhilaration of discovering that the space between the emergency break fits a coffee cup perfectly!
It was as I grabbed my precious coffee cup and headed into the station that I saw the pressure from wedging the cup left a dent... a dent the perfect size for my thumb to support my sweet sweet morning addiction in one hand as I contemplated the morning's story meeting.
Sometimes, things just... work. Clearly, Francie and I were meant to be.
I stumbled sleepily into the kitchen on Friday morning, wiping sleep from my eyes as I yawned a yawn of near-epic proportions.
My dad turned around from the stove, where he was frying eggs and tomatoes for breakfast.
"Good morning, boobs," he said casually as he turned back to the stove.
I stopped. I looked down. I was wearing a decidedly demure grey tank with black slacks.
"I said, good morning, boobs," my dad repeated offhandedly as he flipped the tomatoes over in the pan.
At the end of the day, I waited outside of the station for my ride. It was day 3 of my internship at CFJC, the local TV news, and I was excited that I had my first on-air story. Sure, it was about a United Way project redoing a preschool playground-- about a .75 on the news scale. And it was a mad dash to have the piece ready for 5pm broadcast-- literally, as I ran the tape to the control room two minutes before air and had to cue the staff on supers because there was no time for timecodes. But I was full of pride that I'd made it on camera so soon, even if it was about tots and their tonka trucks.
As I got into the car, dad started talking about the piece. He'd stayed to watch it before running down to pick my sister Catie and myself from our respective jobs.
"Not too shabby," said dad, "for a fluff piece, it was pretty good. But you know, that camera really does add 10 pounds..."
"... well, it might have been the angle. The cameraman was shooting from above; it might have been better to be more level..."
"Let me get this straight... Your daughter gets her first TV story, first time on camera, and the first thing you say is that I look fat on camera?!"
"I never said fat... but the shot was from above... were you on a hill?"
"Yes, I was on a hill... a big dirt pile... it was a mini construction site!"
"Well next time, try not to stand on a hill, maybe. And your hands..."
"Yes, dad, I know I talk with my hands..."
"... Maybe just next time a wider shot would work. Or stop moving your hands so much."
... you come back from a lovely weekend in Ottawa to discover that your room was broken into and your antique jewelry stolen. Nothing else. Not your iPod, your SLR camera, your hard drive or even your other jewelry... just two rings that have been in the family for over 100 years that were given to me by my grandmother who passed away last summer.
But what can one do about it other than report the theft, finish a La Bottega sandwich, and hope karma comes through?
... … your first morning, you try to exit the wide berth of large doors leading to the street and you’re blocked by a gaggle of pre-teen boy scouts lugging sleeping bags and duffel bags. They’re standing still, all looking up to the counsellor standing in front of them. He’s lanky and stern-looking, with a salt-and-pepper beard and a Tilly hat. He’s glaring down at the group and saying, in a contemptuous voice,
“Whoever that was, stop passing gas in public. It really isn’t polite.”
I’m sitting in a radio studio on the second floor of the CBC building on a Sunday afternoon. As the clock above turns to 4:04:40, a 20-second countdown begins to flash in red. 3, 2, 1…
“I’m Rex Murphy, and you’re listening to Cross-Country Check Up.”
Cue epic music. And my skwinkling.
I’ve been listening to CCCU for as long as I can remember. My dad, a huge Rex Murphy fan, had me tuned to the show before my young, sponge-like brain knew what it was absorbing. I remember many afternoons in dad’s art studio, wrapped in an old plaid workshirt and painting many a watercolour while my father worked away beside me at his easel with his acrylics. I was his de facto audience when he needed to rant on the week’s topic. And, while most of it likely went in one ear and out the other as I toiled away on my next unicorn masterpiece, I like to think that my young mind grasped at least a bit of Rex’s wisdom along with my dad’s lectures. Well, that and a strong affection for the music of Tom Cochrane and the Eagles.
Mere seconds after Rex gave the week’s topic, the three phones to the right of the production booth jumped to life.
“Hello, this is Cross-Country Check Up. May I ask where you’re calling from?”
The booth worked like a well-oiled machine, with the phone operators taking careful notes on yellow cards that were then handed to the producer, who would vet the callers and arrange the lineup. The cards then made their way to the senior producer, who would enter the information into the computer that would send it to Rex in the studio.
My friend Jeff, who gladly came along when I promised Rex Murphy, looked around wide eyed. “It’s like an election war room.”
The energy of a live call-in show is remarkable and very different from pre-recorded shows or even live studio shows like GO. And there’s a healthy feel of democracy to it as well, which warms my young idealistic spirit.
When I got to meet Rex after the show, I could barely keep up. The man is so sharp, it’s frightfully intimidating. But such is the price one pays for meeting one’s heroes, I suppose…
Week one’s theme: The Awkward Show. Almost too apt for our intrepid intern.
The concept is a bit much to explain in a blog, but revolves around a previous show of GO where a singer from Hamilton, Tiny Bill Cody, wrote a song about Sheila Copps called “Sheila Dreams of the Water”—that is quite awesome, albeit with some questionable lines. This time, Sheila confronts Tiny Bill about his song… hence the awkward bit.
Of course, Sheila has to be kept from the audience during the first half of the show, so who is in charge of keeping the former Deputy PM company? That’s right, yours truly.
I can say quite fairly that I’m generally a pretty big fan of Sheila. As a young woman (well, according to my grandfather at least) with an interest in politics, I think it’s natural to take an interest in strong female politicians and Sheila’s longstanding political career is one of many reasons to admire her.
So, of course I can’t help myself as I hand her a glass of water:
“Wow, this is a bit of a flashback”
Sheila looks confused. “Oh really?” she asks politely.
“Yeah, well I used to be a Page—“
“Oh, in the legislature?”
“No… no, in the House of Commons… in 2004.”
Cue 45 minute private conversation with Sheila about politics—from university funding to female representation on Parliament Hill (from sculptures to the House)—and a variety of topics in between.
It was when she entered the radio studio and related many of Brent’s questions to feminism that I realized I may have primed her a bit for where she would direct the show.
When she used the word misogynist, I was fairly certain I had.
One more point for the feminists. Now if only I can get the next guest to talk about vaginas…
Also notable: Sheila and Tiny Bill Cody’s duet of reconciliation: Funky Disclaimer. You can also listen to the episode here.
I walk into the senior editor’s office, slightly drained from the morning’s Dalet Plus training session.
“Hey Meg,” says Dave, “how was the morning?” He points to a man sitting on the couch next to his desk. “Have you met Brent? This is Brent Bambury, the show’s host. Brent, this is Meg, our summer intern.”
Brent is reclining into the armrest, appearing completely at ease in a t-shirt, jeans and a pair of red Chucks. He has a disposable camera in his hands.
“Hi Meg,” Brent says casually, waving the camera as a hello. “I’m taking photos of people eating today. So, if you don’t want an awkward and unflattering picture of you shoving something into your mouth, I wouldn’t eat anything around here.”
So it's been a busy two weeks since my last post. I had two fabulous weeks at CBC Radio in Ottawa... there's something about sitting in the newsroom seeing your heroes on a regular basis: Rosemary Barton leaving for the Oliphant trial as I head in for work; Keith Boag talking about Jamaica at the morning meeting; Don Newman winking at me as I come back from lunch with a huge Laura Secord ice cream cone.
When I wasn't staring in wide-eyed wonder, I even learned a bit about current affairs radio programming. And managed to land a big interview for last week's show as well. So I was able to leave on a high note... yes, still a lowly intern, but I'm the little intern who could!
Trying to pack and say goodbye to everyone made everything pretty hectic... but I somehow managed to get everything packed and make it to my train yesterday evening. And while I know I'm going to miss Ottawa in the summer— the canal, the Market, the jogging paths— I was welcomed to Toronto with a gorgeous penthouse loft apartment in the Village by one of my fabulous roommates, vegan chocolate cake and a big, comfy bed. So maybe the Big Smoke won't be so bad after all?
... Of course, I had doubts when this morning I awoke to the fire alarm. With the roomie gone, I dazedly grabbed the keys and my bag. Suddenly, the penthouse didn't seem so glamorous as I made my way down the stairs...
Then the announcement: false alarm. Go back to your lives, citizens... Which would have been great had my keycard worked.
First morning in Toronto: locked out of my apartment in my PJs. And, of course they're the pink pajama bottoms that say "one tough cookie" and have angry-looking chocolate chip cookies on them.
Down to the rental office— it seems that my messy hair, pajama bottoms and sleepy look convinced them I wasn't trying to break in— and I got my new keycard. People on the street looked at me like I was a hobo. A hobo in really cool pants... I hope.
Tomorrow I start internship #2... and I get full-on radio software training! This should be an improvement over my yelling at Dalet when it wouldn't do what I wanted until Chris, the tech guy, got annoyed by my expletives and came to fix it for me.
I've had the last two weeks off of school, with few assignments and responsibilities. As is the end of any semester, it felt really weird.
Then it felt really, really good.
Janelle and Daniel were in town for Easter weekend and, in short, I spent the weekend eating, drinking, and generally being merry with two of my favourite people. Janelle came down a day early so we spent our Good Friday catching up, eating Korean fusion food, wandering the downtown and ending up at Oh So's. Saturday and Sunday was full of food, including an amazingly delicious Orphans' Easter Dinner with my bar coworkers in which everyone seemed to outdo each other on the cooking... impressive considering we work at a place where the kitchen consists of a microwave and an oven. There was lots of rye and Settlers of Catan (Wilcox House Rules) and good times.
I also gave Janelle and Daniel their wedding quilt— only about six months past their wedding!— which was pretty fantastic. It was actually a joint gift, I chose and paid for the fabric and my mother did the quilting. My mom is one of those crazy hardcore quilters, she's actually part of the Quilting Guild back at home, but she really outdid herself with this one, especially since she made it large enough that Daniel, who's well over 6 ft 3, can fit it comfortably.
Actually, as soon as he saw the quilt, Daniel wrapped himself in it and took a nap on my futon. If that isn't the sign of a great gift, I don't know what is.
This weekend, Tiffany came back to Ottawa and we did the "ultimate Ottawa in a weekend" tour-de-force, squeezing in a bit of shopping, ample Market wandering, drinking and socializing and hitting up the downtown's tastiest locales.
But alas, my glorious days of brunching and used book hunting and vintage shop browsing must come to an end as I start my internship tomorrow.
Yes, tomorrow I start at Canada's national broadcaster, radio side, for two weeks.
Which also means that I move to Toronto in two weeks for my next internship.
Note: I may have also told said guy that my university major was not bowing to peer pressure.
Second note: the cutting-my-toe-on-the-blender story is real. It is officially my second most embarrassing life fail...
... right after the time I flew off of Felix's bike in Nakorn Panom and had the crazy tuk-tuk driver laugh at me as I lay dazed in the street, absorbing all sorts of hepatitis. And Felix kept on riding a good block before he noticed I'd fallen off.
Perhaps it was the long post-break week back at school. Perhaps it's that I'm hitting the home stretch for second semester— and, holy crap, first year. Perhaps it's the lack of concrete summer plans. Either way, I was enjoying the fact that my typical Friday shift was going to be shaken up a bit with a couple of live bands and a small art show.
It was as the guy was setting up his paintings that I eyed a few of the works- multiple layers of acrylics with the textures and colours working in an appealing abstract fashion. Yet almost all of the pieces included a firm representation of some kind, often stenciled in. Some of the canvasses were particularly vibrant that contrasted with some of the images' suggested morbidity.
I liked them.
It was as the band was wrapping up and I saw the tip jar overflowing that I decided to give in to my impulse. I wandered over to the artist as he was moving one of his paintings to cover the blank wall from where he'd just taken down and sold one of his other canvasses- a tall, long piece with towering silhouettes of trees against an orange and burgundy sky that I had watched the patrons admiring all night.
"So, how much are you selling these for?" I asked.
After a chat about the pieces, I pulled out some of my tip money and pointed to one of the medium-sized pieces, full of vibrant greens and yellows layered with incandescent oranges with white human silhouettes in the foreground- four men climbing an incline with a flag (Iwo Jima photo-esque) with another figure diving off into the multicoloured oblivion.
I walked proudly back to the bar with my canvas. My co-workers were initially confused but ultimately enthused by my acquisition. I put it on the bar next to me as we sat down for a drink after a busy night and a long close. Scotch in hand, I admired the canvas. It's my first piece of art that I've bought for my apartment.
As I made it home, tired from the shift but happy from the serendipitous art find and the Glenfiddich, I remembered that today is Sam's anniversary. While it made me sad to think of her, I know she'd be proud that I put some extra money in a student artist's pocket and enjoyed a good scotch. It's not Bailey's and Count Chocula, but I'll save that promise for another time.
Now, I just need to find a place for the painting...
- Gone to see Jim Cuddy at Winterlude. - Left Cuddy early to go to an all-ages metal show at Maverick's and see Adrian play. - Left the metal show to drink beer away from 15 year-old Kanata kids. - Ran into John Sergeant. Reminisced. - Had the annual Valentine's dinner at Mamma Teresa's with the usual suspects... - Likely been banned from Mamma Teresa's. - Watched "Knocked Up". For the first time. Don't judge. - Wondered why the single best scene of the film was cut out. - Made chocolate pudding. - Locked myself, the keys, and my phone in the apartment of a friend that I'm looking after. - Consoled myself with chocolate pudding. - Within 20 minutes, acquired Sasha to help me jimmy the lock with a right angle and a Shoppers Optimum card. - Used the serendipity of our hooliganism to catch up on life over coffee. - Had an impromptu dinner date at my place with Tejas after ditching her at coffee because of the apartment debacle. Finished the chocolate pudding for dessert. - Went on a sexy skating date on the canal with Glo. - Embarrassed myself on the canal with my utter lack of skating abilities. - Ate beavertails to ease the pain of failure. - Added copious amounts of Bailey's to my and Glo's hot chocolates to forget my epic skating fail. - Went to a fantastic rock show at Zaphod's. - Got double shots by accident thanks to Glo talking about my boobs... and a well-placed grab. - Drank pints and enjoyed fantastic company in the window booth of the Brig. - Spent the last third of the night trying to convince a friend that he should, despite his new relationship in TO, accept the married couple's offer of a threesome. Mumbled something about area codes. Was the picture of morals and grace. May have said "if I were your girlfriend, I wouldn't be upset... in fact, I'd be impressed. I'd probably high five you." - Walked home with the Sarge. Compared winter trenchcoats.
So now it's Monday and I'm actually going to work. I'm going to be a diligent student and mark ALL of the first year papers and start pursuing my 20 years later story (because apparently I can't do "20 years ago, Meg was getting potty trained— a retrospective"...) I will finish up my MRP research and bibliograph (yes, now a verb) to my heart's content and be a picture of academic accomplishment. I will even pull out my reading glasses.
So it seems that I'm no better at keeping a blog than before.
I thought that maybe I had matured and I could commit to a steady, loving relationship with a blog. Maybe not daily, but at least weekly. But, as per usual, it was a couple of weeks of fun and I stopped returning his calls. I had better things to do, like watch "How I Met Your Mother" and stare at shiny objects for indescribable lengths of time.
And so, I would like to issue the following statement:
This time, I promise to make things work.
I promise to make time for "us", to share the stories of my week that will enrich our relationship. Like the date I went on last week where the singer at the pub took off his pants before performing. Or how last week at karaoke a prof got tanked and told everyone, mic in hand, that they should go home and get laid because sex is awesome... and proceeded to do the splits during "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". Or how this week I had a friend puking in the back of the bar while I tried to do cash out and somehow managed to help her hydrate, throw up, and balance the till all at once. Because these are the things you need— nay, deserve— to know.
Yes, I know you've been hurt by me before, so we can take this slowly. Let's start weekly and just see where it goes...
PS: Just don't get too close right now, I seem to be in the midst of illness and would hate to pass it on to you. But don't worry, I've been eating lots of Jell-O and watching loads of Pride & Prejudice (the Colin Firth version, obviously) and thus am hoping to be back in good health in no time at all.