Monday, September 27, 2010

Numb.

If you have been a regular reader of this blog, you may know that i had a very shitty relationship with a dude in highschool who i have dubbed Dickface.  During our varied stints at attempting to date each other, i went on a Crazy Mormon Roadtrip where, in my absence, Dickface began spreading rumours about a faked pregnancy and systematically destroyed all of my friendships while i was not there to defend myself.

It got so bad that i was sick with (what i now know to be) anxiety about returning to my small home town for my senior year.  Like, literally sick.  I felt like i was going to be walking into a den of snakes, instead of the hallways of my high school. 

I felt pretty fucking lost.

It felt like starting all over again, as my core group of friends at the time (the ones that had been lied to all summer by Dickface) were a year younger than me - so i had to find ways to connect to people in my own grade.  It's not like i didn't talk or hang out with my year mates, i did!  But, as i say, they were not part of my core group.  

Looking back 13 years (HOLY SHIZNIT) to the beginning of my senior year, i'm still not entirely sure how it happened, but i started hanging out with this one girl, Stacy, quite regularly.  

She became my life line that year.  She probably never knew it, but she was the reason why i actually enjoyed my senior year.  She liked me, and i liked her, and before long we were inseparable.

We arranged our schedules so that we both had the same spare periods, and in the last semester we had 3rd period spare (right before lunch) and 4th period spare (right after lunch) and that meant that we could drive out to her acreage and have lunch and spend a good long time perfecting Rainbow Road on Mario Kart.  In fact, i can't even count how many times we strolled into English late - to much Eye Rolling from our English Teacher, with the words: "Sorry, we were playing Rainbow Road!" as our excuse. 

B-rad, at that time, would sometimes join us for lunch - which was more often than not some kind of Lipton's Sidekicks Noodles...  or maybe a delectable cream cheese brownie made fresh by Stacy's mom that morning.

She was my rock.  Some nights, when we had nothing better to do, we would get dressed up and then drive to the city to just drive around with music blaring, talking about boys and sex and the BackStreet Boys, as you do when you're 17.... 

She got me my first job at Burger King, and some of the night shifts we spent there working together were priceless.  I loved working late shift... the dining room was mostly empty most of the night, and the majority of our "work" was doing the Drive Thru, and amusing ourselves by pretending that i was an Australian Exchange student - complete with a somewhat convincing accent.  

We went to city parties with her city friends - who i tried to get close to, but i'm pretty effin' shy.... how i became friends with Stacy, i'm still not so sure.

Look at that big beautiful smile!

She was always there for me, even when i started (STUPIDLY) dating Dickface again that year (but for the last time, thankfully) and i was there for her too.  One night, while hanging out in her room her dad came home, and i don't know if he was drunk or just really really angry (i hardly ever saw him, to be honest) and he got into a big loud and scary fight with Stacy's mom... and when the screaming and yelling spilled into Stacy's room it got very real very fast.  

He called her a stupid slut, just like her mom, and a lot of other scary things - completely oblivious to the fact that i was sitting on the bed, terrified... when he finally left the room - i grabbed Stacy and held her while she cried and said: "Just pack a bag!"

She stayed with my family for almost 3 weeks.

When things got scarily stupid with Dickface - which may or may not have led to me to a position of sitting outside my house with an unopened bottle of painkillers contemplating downing the whole thing... i ran across the street to the gas station and called her from a pay phone.  She was there within minutes.

There are many MANY photos like this... in her car, naturally
We went to grad together, with our escorts, in a limo - in true Stacy fashion.  She was bigger than life!  Always a step ahead of our small town, it seemed like she was destined to get out there and do things.

The summer after high school, while she went to Ontario to visit her boyfriend who was working on a pipeline, i moved in with my soon-to-be-sister-in-law, in a very secret and covert operation called: "Move in with Pam before Stacy gets back!"  Don't get me wrong, i still loved Stacy and loved hanging out with her, but she could be a tricky friend.  She often exaggerated things, not lying per se, but close to it... and she was always, seemingly, searching for attention.  Which is fine if you understand that she's like that - it's easier to take in small doses...  But before graduation she had been dropping hints about moving in together, and i was pretty sure if we lived together, i'd kill her in her sleep!

So, she came home - and eventually got over the fact that i was living with Pam.  I was going to University at the time, and she was still working at the Burger King - now as an Assistant Manager or sorts... 

We still hung out a lot, going bowling, going to parties, drinking, partying... she was over the moon when B-rad and i finally started dating (after months and MONTHS of me talking about him...)

and then one day, that winter,  she informed me that she and her boyfriend were going to have a baby, and were to be married that summer.  I was to be a bridesmaid. 

I know, it's horrible, but when she married Taylor and had her daughter - i became that friend who really WANTED to stay friends, but i was living a completely different life.  I was still partying and staying out late, and doing things on the spur of the moment... and she was a mom now.  And married.  And our interests shifted and she found other Mom friends and i started hanging out more and more with my new friends from University.

Plus, i really didn't like her husband, so it was hard to go over to visit... they were still babies themselves, and to see the way he treated her and his daughter was too much for me.  it was hard to see the pattern of Stacy's parents being repeated right in front of me.  

After graduation - at some party or other
We kept in touch for a while, but eventually we grew apart - as you do when you're growing up and trying to figure out who you are. 

I eventually moved from our small town, and moved in with B-rad in Calgary.  Then i heard that she and her husband and their two kids had bought the house next door to my parents place.  So, sometimes when i would come home to visit, we'd catch up.  She was never very happy in her relationship, but she LOVED LOVED LOVED her kids.  

In all those years after we drifted apart, i would hear things through the grapevine, and sometimes they'd be met with a head shake and a "well, that certainly sounds like Stacy"...
She got and beat Thyroid Cancer, she wanted to be a cop, she was taking flying lessons... her and her husband were not doing well...

So, it wasn't much of a surprise when we heard that she and Taylor were over. 

During that time, i hardly saw her anymore.  I would run into her here or there - she became a Zumba instructor, she was SUPER skinny, but still very smiley.  We just weren't the same people we were in high school, so there was never really much to talk about when we DID run into each other. 

Then, through the magic of facebook - we reconnected a bit, just at the end of June.  I sent her a message saying that he looked so happy in her profile pic with her new man.  We had a brief exchange catching each other up on our lives... her kids, her job, her man... my kid(s), my job, my man.  It was nice.

Then i went back to my normal life and didn't think about her again until yesterday afternoon, when i found out that she had been killed in a two car collision just outside of the city on Saturday night.

I honestly don't know what to think or how to feel.

Mostly i feel....weird.  Numb.  I said to a friend yesterday afternoon that i hoped it was just shock and not that i'm an emotional zombie. 

I mean, it's so surreal when someone your age dies.  Even though i'm 30 now, i still feel like 'm in my twenties and we're all invincible.  That death is something that happens to much older people, or to people that i don't know.

I spent the majority of last night in a kind of haze.  We went out to B-rad's parents for a family supper, and i didn't want to think about Stacy, or her family, or her kids... or how she died, or what may have happened... but it was ALL i could think about... and i started to wonder why i wasn't feeling *more*

it wasn't until we were driving home, when i started remembering the beginning of our relationship.  Not the parts where we were drifting apart, or how we just eventually stopped talking... but the parts where she was my best friend in the world for almost two years.  I remembered all those things i talked about at the beginning of this post.

I still haven't cried. 
I feel like i'm in grieving limbo... not sure where to begin.

I didn't know the 30 year old Stacy.

Goodbye, old friend.  You'll always have a special place in my heart.
But i remember and deeply miss the 17 year old one.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Conversation Videos

Because Earl suggested it - i made this conversation into a video...


then i had fun making this one... but if you haven't seen THIS POST, it might not make sense. Still kinda funny though...



(Videos created at http://www.xtranormal.com)

A funny Conversation

I had this little exchange with Suzi over at Eat, Bitch, and Whine last Friday afternoon, and i thought it was cute... so now you get to read it.


Suzi:  Oh!  I got your anniversary card back in the mail, I guess with the embellishments I used it needed more postage!  So I'll just give it to you when I see you.  Sorry!

Me:  Seriously??
That’s hilarious.


Suzi:  Yeah I already had 57c on it and they want another 65!  I wanted to write a note on the back of the envelope that Canada Post was a bunch of bastards and then re-mail it to you - is that a felony?


Me:  I don’t think so… although I’m not 100% sure…  
And holy crap – a regular stamp is 57c now?? 


Suzi:  Yeah!  Sorry your anniversary just isn't worth $1.22 to me!  : )

Me: LOL….
I’m just touched that you cared enough at all to send a card with insufficient postage.  :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Curse Words - a Writing Prompt gone on too long....

Once upon a time, in a place far away, a young version of The Diva lived the happy life of a child.

She was raised by a loving family - taught to be a 'good girl' and to behave like a young lady...

and then...

she hit puberty - and all hell broke loose... (Yet another reason to be happy to be having boys!)

Seriously, folks.  I used to be a goody goody.  I KNOW!  you can't even imagine it, can you?  well, it's true.

I was brought up in a very warm and caring Mormon household.  I dreamed of my Temple Wedding to a returned Missionary... sort of.

I remember standing next to the fridge in our little farm house, my mother baking or canning or something at the counter, and us having a lovely chat - when the topic of conversation changed to who i would someday marry - i was probably about ten or eleven years old.... and i said very matter-of-factly: "I'm not going to get married in the Temple, mom." when she asked why not i replied: "Well, i'm not going to marry a Mormon."  Dun Dun DUNNNNN!!!!

It seems that, even at that early age, i was pretty sure that an Eternal Celestial Marriage was not for me.

Annnnnnnnd it was all down hill from there.

I started hanging out with some of the 'bad kids' in the 8th grade... i snuck out of the house, i tried smoking cigarettes (and promptly barfed), i dated before i was 16, i may or may not have been involved in a midnight break and enter into the outdoor pool to do some skinny dipping....

but one thing remained true through the tumultuous time before i moved to the Skatch.

I did not swear.

Seriously.

I may have been breaking laws, smoking cigarettes, and fooling around with boys... but the harshest word i uttered was "Crap!" and maybe "Dang"... or the occasional "DAMN" if i was REALLY steamed.

"So, what the fuck happened?" i hear you all saying...

I trained myself to swear.  I KNOW!  it started in my last few years of High School... Dammit became part of my vernacular - the gateway curse.  Before i knew it, i would slip in a 'shit' here or there... but i was so Overly Cautious of ever letting one slip at home that it wasn't until i was out on my own, living in my apartment before i ever started cursing with any regularity.  Even so, the F-Bomb was still off limits... unless i was really really mad - or feeling particularly dirty in the bedroom.  Wink. 

Eventually, it all became part of my vocab.  I had a really hard time uttering the word "God" before "Dammit" - and it wasn't until i went through my 'spiritual' revelation of my early twenties and realized that i wasn't going to be struck down by a man in the sky for saying Goddammit.  I tell ya, 18-20 years of "Thou shall not take the Lord's name in vain" was hard to shake. But - whatever my own personal relationship with any whatever kind of Deity there was, i was pretty sure that god, if there was one, couldn't care less what i said - as long as i wasn't a dick of a human being.  

Today, it's not like i swear all the time.  I don't really.  I type swear words more often than i speak them.

I really feel it's important to have an arsenal of stress relieving words... even though - relatively speaking, my arsenal is still quite small and tame.  Yes, the odd F-bomb will find its way out of my lips, but you're more likely to hear me utter "Shit!" when i drop things on the floor (mostly cuz it's so damn hard to pick things up now) - i don't even register "damn" as a curse word anymore.  And Studies have shown, now, that swearing can be good for you. 

So, all this is well and good - but now we have small ears living in our house - and those small ears are attached to our Two Year Old son... who, every once in a while, starts chanting - with perfect diction: "Ffffuckk! Ffffuckk! Ffffuckk! Ffffuckk"

Okay, i'm going to be the bad parent here and say that it's actually kinda fucking adorable.

BUT - i'm also aware that my kid is going to have to eventually join polite society, where the word fuck is generally frowned upon.

SO.

What to do?

As i said, i think it's important to have words to express emotions of extreme anger, or pain.  And screaming out "FUDGE!" when i stub my toe just doesn't cut it, when i know that a loud resounding "FUCK!" will make me feel so much better.

So how do i, as a parent, teach my child that some words are appropriate and some words aren't - and how do i teach him to know the difference?


I never really liked the idea of disciplining for the use of an expressive word.  It sounds like some kind of censoring gestapo... and also, i remember the taste of that bar of Ivory Soap. 


In a way, i guess it was different because growing up i never heard my parents swear.  Ever.  There was one time, when i was about 10, when my dad hurt himself fixing the car and i heard him say: SHIT!  but i was in such a state of shock, i didn't know what to do so i ran into the house!


Now that i'm an adult, he swears a bit more frequently - but always in the form of a joke.... as a punchline. 


The first time i heard my mother swear i was probably already married, or at least living with B-rad, and my mom said that someone was being a 'real bitch!', which just about made my brain explode.


Chewie is growing up with swearing being the norm.  B-rad drops the F-bomb from time to time, and shit and damn, sunovabitch, and bastard can be heard in casual conversation. 


Now, before the hate mail starts, we have been making an effort to clean up the language in our house.  But i don't want it all to be gone, for the simple reason that expressive words are not necessarily bad! 


I think that maybe the way is to teach him about respect for other people, how some people would be offended by that kind of language, how it's okay to use those expressive words AT HOME and as long as they are not directed specifically at a person, because then the word becomes hurtful.   I guess we'll learn as we go; i don't want my kids to be spewing out f-bombs just cuz they can, but i don't want to be standing over them with a bar of soap when they slam their fingers in the door and say: OUCH! FUCK!

For now, when Chewie starts his Fuck-chant, B-rad and i just try to not laugh and distract him with something else.  Without any kind of attention, negative or shocked or whatever, he'll just stop on his own.  And he does.

Oh, and the only swear word i DON'T LIKE or use (not including all racist and discriminatory words - those are bad, m'kay?) is the C-U-Next-Tuesday word.  It's the only word that will get a reaction out of me because it's hateful, derogatory, and it makes lady bits seem dirty and unpleasant - and we all know that my lady bits are a land of rainbows and unicorns and smells like cotton candy and flowers. 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Grace in Small things

1.) someone to bitch about work with
2.) my brand spanking new to me Typewriter - i shall name her Daisy.
3.) feeling vindicated
4.) long hot showers
5.) knowing that there's only 2 more months of work until i'm on mat leave.

Dancing at the Movies




I saw this video this morning over at Farmer's Wifey and i had to share it.   After watching it, i have come to a conclusion that i think you'll all agree on...

1.) Jamie Lee Curtis is frikkin' hot.
2.) John Travolta is frikkin' creepy.
3.) Water makes dancing better... and splashier...
4.) Billy Elliot is the cutest little dancer of all time, it's like Electricity!
5.) No one moves like Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire...

and perhaps my most controversial point:
6.) Every movie... EVERY ONE... should end with a big group dance number!!

Could you imagine it?? Like, at the end of The Matrix, after Neo finds out he's the one and blasts the Smith to Smith-erines...  and comes back to the real world.... suddenly the music starts and Neo, Trinity, Tank, and Morpheus start dancing!!  That would Rock.

Or what about the end of Terminator an exhausted Sarah Conner gets out of her Jeep and dances with the gas attendant - the Tango...

At the End of Shawshank Redemption, Red walks along the beach to see Andy workin's on his boat - then the beach is filled with islanders wearing bright feathered costumes and they all dance the night away....

i think i need to call Hollywood.
I'm pretty sure i'm on to something here.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

ugh - and what we've been up to this summer

My big beautiful buddha belly

it's getting kinda tiring carrying this thing around all the time.

Can you believe it's been 6 months already? half a frikkin' year?  Not only that - but in 4 weeks i will be at the same stage i was when i had Chewie - that's scary.  But don't worry, it's not going to happen that way this time... i hope....

We are arse deep in the ever continuing saga of our home renovations from the flood.  We are making progress though, slowly but surely.

work work work

Here's some shots of the repaired dry wall and paint...

looking good
We did take some time off this summer - and made a trip to Winnipeg to visit some family (hello Janell!)  Chewie got crazy sick while we were gone, like - he got pink eye + a sinus infection + ear infection + some kind of weird heat rash... but he was very happy boy considering.

sun baby
Here he is playing on the beach at Lake Winnipeg.

we also went to the Zoo in Winnipeg.
looking at the Tiger


to go to the lake with my family - it was mostly relaxing, kinda crazy with all my brothers and their kids...

got this cool shot of this old cabin in the water

this was at about 6:30 in the morning - beautiful
B-rad has been hard at work building our new den/studio/guestroom in the basement.  I help by being his sounding board and listening to his ideas and adding my two cents... 

it will be awesome.  in time.

some framing in the basement
This labour day weekend B-rad and I celebrated our six year anniversary - which happens to coincide with the Fireworks festival! 
As Chewie says: "Fireworks go... BOOOOM BOOOOOM BOOOOM!"
So i think we're all caught up now. 

How was your summer?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Kissing

I was 12 - going on 13 (going on 30) when i first saw it.  

Where i grew up in my small town in B.C., i went to a country school from Grades 3-6, then i was bussed into the town for Grade 7 before moving up to the 'big leagues' of the local high school in Grade 8.

It was early September, and i remember wandering through the enormous (to me) High School library over lunch - mostly hiding out because i wasn't one of the popular kids who hung out in their cliques and i wasn't one of the bad kids who hung out in the back parking lot smoking cigarettes...  i was just me.  Shy, awkward, uncertain, terrible at making conversation... so i retreated to the quiet safety of the library.

I was sitting in the big yellow chair next to the magazine rack, leafing through magazines waiting for the bell to ring so i'd at least be able to go to my next class and get the day over with. 

I don't remember what magazine i was looking at, but suddenly in the bottom left corner was this piece of art.  I sat there looking at it, the bright colours, the intensity, the eternity symbols and flames combining the two lovers at the heart and the mind... and i remember thinking: "I would give anything for someone to kiss me like that."

I was mesmerized.  

I took the magazine to the huge cream coloured Xerox copier in the corner by the sign out desk and made a terrible black and white, grainy copy and slipped it into my binder as the bell rang and went off to class.

I hung it in my locker.

I looked at it every day.

I was entranced by the art, not fully knowing why.  I had no idea who had created it, i had no idea where to even begin to look.  

When school ended that year, i carefully peeled it from my locker and took it home and hung it on my wall where it stayed until my dad announced that summer that he was packing us up and moving us to The Skatch.

When i was unpacking my new room, i found the grainy photocopy - and i hung it on my new wall in my new room - next to the light switch where i would see it every day.  Still thinking: "If only someone would kiss me like that."  
Years went by, i found my way in my new school - made some great friends, even dabbled in love... but still never found that amazing kiss...

You know where this is going, right??

B-rad and i had a very rocky dating history.  But since the first time we kissed in the ninth grade, i compared every other kiss in my life to his.  

As our relationship grew after high school, and we became more and more interconnected, i realized; HE made me feel on fire, HE made me feel connected... He made me feel like the woman in the painting.

In my first year of University - I moved out of my parents house into an apartment in the city with my soon-to-be sister-in-law... sadly, the worn photocopy did not come with me.  

at this time, B-rad was just getting into TOOL and was pushing his music on me, as he does.  And as i do, i resisted - until i started listening to A Perfect Circle and fell in love with my Boyfriend Maynard.   


In 2001 TOOL released their 3rd studio Album Lateralus which heavily featured the artwork of one Alex Grey

I looked at the intense inside booklet, which was designed like those old anatomy text books with the clear sheets overlapping showing each section of the body, only every level got deeper on a more spiritual level.

There was something familiar about the style.  I didn't grasp it at first... and just left it alone. 

Then one day i spent some time on the Alex Grey website looking at some of the artwork, likely shopping for gifts for B-rad... and i saw it. 

 


Kissing, Alex Grey, 1983
oil on linen, 66 x 44 inches

I couldn't believe that after 10 years, i would be led back to this piece.  I immediately showed B-rad and told him about the magazine, the photo copy, the dream that someday someone would kiss me like that - and how that someone was him.

It felt like a miracle to me.  Of all the artists in the world throughout history, i never thought i would ever know who had created the piece that meant so much to me through my formative years. 

That year B-rad surprised me and ordered the print of Kissing for me for Valentine's Day.  We were newly weds.

It is framed, and it hangs over our bed, where he kisses me - and makes me feel that love, that passion, that intense connection that i longed for from the age of 13.   I'm still amazed at the journey that that painting has made with me.  I look at it, and now i say: "I'm so glad that HE kisses me like that."

Kissing, without a doubt, is my favourite work of art.
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