Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's crunch time

hea-vy: (adjective) usually describes a large person who is fat but has a large frame to carry it; marked by great psychological weight.

So I've finally decided to stop being lazy and to join a gym. In fact, I joined the gym last weekend and have my fitness assessment on Saturday. This is exciting, because it means I'll bet my workout program designed and I"ll be able to start my regular regime. However, this also terrifies me because it means I will be weighed. Shudder. Not only will I be getting on a scale but someone else will be there to read the number. For the first time possibly EVER in my life someone outside the medical profession will know what I weigh.

Because I'm a girl, I have battled with my weight mentally and physically since about the age of 10. Recently, I've been able to adjust my way of thinking and started judging myself not on my weight or measurements but on how I feel about myself and how well my clothes fit and how comfortable I am with how I look. (This is where Oprah hugs me.) But all that goes out the window once I get on the scale because, suddenly, everything is reduced to that three-digit number. All my comfort and feel-goodness is suddenly quantified, measured, valued.

I know it's a stupid thing to worry about, but that won't stop me worrying. And I'm not worried so much about what the number is or even about someone else seeing it, but about what that number will mean in the grander scheme of things. And how I'll feel If I'm not able to make it budge.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Office as vampire

hap-py: (adjective) satisfied; enjoying well-being and contentment.

I am being sucked dry.

Every day at work, the negativity is almost more than I can handle. Don’t get me wrong, my coworkers are great, but constantly I hear how all the clients are morons or idiots or wasting our time with their questions and don’t they know they’re not that important? If I pass along a message, if I pass along a phone call, if I forward an email, the first thing I hear is how it’s such a waste of time and “I don’t want to talk to her” and “Why is he phoning me? I don’t need to talk to him”.

I’m not going to sit here and make some argument about customer service and how it’s lacking, blah blah blah. My bigger issue is, why do people want to cultivate this negative attitude? Are the people I work with so insecure that they need to run down everyone else to feel better? Or is it just a bloated sense of self-importance?

All I know is that it’s wearing me down, day after day, listening to the same complaining and insults. And, no, it’s not funny. It’s not how to do business. It’s not entertaining. It’s wearing thin. It’s getting old. It’s just plain stupid. And I'm fed up.

If you don’t want to deal with people then go find a job doing data entry somewhere. Otherwise, suck it up and stop bitching to me because I’m not interested. Just do your bloody job. And if you don’t like your job description or how your boss expects you to handle things, please, by all means, here’s the door. Go work somewhere else or start your own business or do whatever you need to do so that I don’t have to deal with the pessimism and negativity.

Why is it so much to ask for a good working environment, especially when everyone around me is apparently happy with what they’re doing? I guess, deep down, they aren’t. And now, neither am I.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

And the Oscar goes to...

Os-car: (trademark) one of a group of statuettes awarded annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for achievements in motion-picture production and performance.

My Oscar recap (in no particular order):

- I love Jon Stewart. I really do.
- Honestly, The Rock as a presenter? Pauly Shore must have been busy.
- Jeanne Beker should NEVER be allowed on the red carpet every again. She made Ryan Seacrest look good.
- Jennifer Hudson needs to learn how to read a teleprompter. And she has huge boobies.
- Amy Adams can sing!
- No Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie. I'll take my small victories where I can get them.
- Tilda Swinton looked really bad. I mean, really bad. But she gave a great acceptance speech.
- The Coen brothers gave a kinda crappy acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay.
- But Ethan Coen was funny when accepting the Best Director award.
- Diablo Cody seems really cool and I want to have coffee with her.
- I really want to see No Country for Old Men, but I want to read the book first.
- I really should have entered an Oscar pool, because that would have made the show more interesting.

Bill dug wha???

Bil-dungs-ro-man: (noun, pl.) a type of novel concerned with the education, development, and maturing of a young protagonist.

scha-den-freu-de: (noun) satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.

I love both these words. Being the bookish type that I am, I have mostly encountered these words in reference to various things literary. And I just think they're really, really cool.

Except I can NEVER remember their definitions. Every time I come across one of them, I have to look it up. Such is my lot in life. Sigh.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


cre-a-tiv-i-ty: (noun) the state or quality of being creative; the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.

I don't know where mine went.

I want to write and I want to be a writer, but I don't write which makes it very hard for me to become a writer. Which is why I at least want to write more here, because it's putting words down somewhere. I once read some sage advice: Write one story every day. At the end of the year, you will have 365 stories. They won't all be good, but they won't all be bad. It saddens me that I can't remember the writer who so wisely stated this.

But why have I lost my creativity? Where did it go? Okay, so I was never churning out literary masterpieces to steady international praise, but I used to have notebooks filled with story outlines, or opening paragraphs or at least really bad poetry. (Note: all my poetry is really bad, even when I desperately try to be poetic.) I've just gotten so....lazy lately. So excuse-filled. So lethargic. So unmotivated. So uncreative. Sigh.

Of course, all this is coming on the heels of the recent birthday and birthday-fueled introspection. I've actually discovered something that saddens me a bit: I don't really have a passion. I am passionate, as anyone on the receiving end of one of my rants could tell you, but I don't have something to be consistently passionate about. Some people might say, "But Jen, what about hockey? Isn't that your passion?" Alas, no. I enjoy it, I really do, but I'm not drawn to watch every game that's on TV, or to make regular journeys to the Hockey Hall of Fame, or stock my shelves with encyclopedic tomes on the sport.

When I think about some people in my life and their passions, I get just a little envious, mostly because they have found something they love SO MUCH they want to know more and create more and pursue is truly awesome. And I want to find that.

Something I do love - really, truly, honestly, deeply, completely love - is words. Individually, in sentences, in paragraphs, in books, on signs, in a menu, in a crossword puzzle, anywhere. I just love them. I guess that's why I pursued publishing as a career option (yet I wound up first in production, then in printing; how very odd) and now feel I should be writing more, because that is what you do with words. But I can't write because I seem to have lost my creativity. So now what?

Sigh. Perhaps I should just pick up the pen, open the notebook and see what happens...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Do you remember your first?

first: (adjective) before all others or anything else in time, order, rank, etc.

I'm watching AFI's (American Film Institute, not the band) 100 Years...100 Movies and Billy Crystal said the first movie he remembers seeing is Shane. Hmph.

While I can't definitely remember the first movie I saw, I know Disney films were among the first, including The Jungle Book, which bored me; 101 Dalmatians, in which Cruella De Vil terrified me; and Snow White, in which the wicked stepmother as the witch terrified me. Not quite as cool as Shane.

But, even worse, among the first movies I actually do remember not just viewing but loving: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (the ant dies!!! NOOOOO!!!), Adventures in Babysitting (what do you mean, Elizabeth Shue played a Vegas hooker?), and Garbage Pail Kids. True cinematic genius for sure. So one day when I'm rich and famous and admired and desired and loved and wanted and begged to appear on compilation shows, I will have the pleasure of extolling the virtues of the Garbage Pail Kids. Joy!

I also had the stickers. Aren't they just so cool???

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What a day

birth-day: (noun) the anniversary of a birth.

Today is Wednesday, February 20, 2008.

I am 28 today.

One block of Queen St. W burned today.

There will be a lunar eclipse tonight.

Kurt Cobain would have been 41.

Cindy Crawford is 42.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The glass is 1/3 full

twen-ty-eight: (noun) a cardinal number, 20 plus 8.

I'm twenty-eight tomorrow. 28. 20 + 8. 2-8. If I live to 84, tomorrow at 9:39 a.m. I will have lived exactly 1/3 of my life.

28 is not a milestone age by any means. It's not 16 or 19 or 21 or 30 or 40 or 50.... But it's still full of introspection and ponderings. Now that I've pegged it as a third of my life, it makes me think of what I've done and really, all that's happened is school. In 28 years, 18 of those were spent in school. All in all, not a shabby accomplishment for the first part of my life. Makes it kind of exciting to think what the next third of my life will bring.

Of course, like any late-twenty-something female, I can't help but compare myself to everyone else my age and wonder if I had made a couple different decisions, maybe I'd have the husband and kids and two-car maybe I don't have as much money or the sparkly engagement ring or the big house or even the slick condo like so many others but I think I'm doing all right.

And I think I'm ready for the next 28 years, even the next 56 years. Yay birthdays!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Independently dependent?

in-de-pend-ent: (adjective) not relying on another or others for aid or support; sufficient to support a person without his having to work.

The concept of being "independently wealthy" fascinates me. The whole thing just seems a little oxymoronic. I get the idea of a person having enough money in the bank to not have to work full time, or need a full time income for support, but chances are that money was made not by the independently wealthy person, but by the parents. So doesn't that make the "independent" person dependently wealthy? Unless maybe you hit it big in the dot-com era and socked oodles of money away, I really don't know anyone in my generation who could be independently wealthy on their own wealth. So what happens if daddy pulls the plug?

In all fairness, I only know one person who is independently wealthy and I don't even really know her that well. She does work, but not in the 9-to-5 grind as most of us do to support ourselves. But she's got enough to live quite well. And it came from her parents.

So is "independently wealthy" just the grown-up term for "born with a silver spoon in the mouth"?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Winter blah

pur-ga-to-ry: (noun) any condition or place of temporary punishment, suffering, expiation, or the like.

February sucks. I mean really, really sucks.

January is okay because it's the first month of the new year and bring with it such optimism and excitement and post-Christmas sales and relief at having survived yet another family-filled holiday. March is okay because it brings the first indications of spring and warmer winds and birds chirping and longer days. But February is just this four-week span of cold weather followed by wet weather followed by damp weather followed by icy weather...and on and on it goes. It doesn't help that February starts with Groundhog Day and this optimism about the impending arrival of spring - only six more weeks! Surely we can get through that! Only the bulk of that six week wait time is spent in February, long, cold, gloomy February.

My birthday is in February but that doesn't change my opinion. You try having a fun, happy, friend-filled birthday party in the middle of February when you live in Parry Sound. If (IF) you're lucky enough to even be able to get kids to your house for the party, you can only go outside for about twelve minutes before you're simultaneously soaked and frozen. Then your guests likely have to get picked up early before the twenty-seventh surprise storm of the week blows in. Then you spend the rest of the day watching Disney movies alone. It's only marginally better as an adult. Sure, my friends can make it to whatever party destination has been chosen but it's still bloody cold and wet and icy and let's face it - most people would rather hibernate through February. I know I sure would.

Then there's the injustice of this damned leap year thingy. February is bad enough; I don't need - and certainly don't WANT - an extra day. And we have to have this extra day to keep our calendar in sync with the seasons or some such nonsense. I say forgo the extra day and have summer in November. Is that really so bad?

Today is February 10. Only 19 more days to go. Damn.