Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Will Someone Water My Plant Please?
Still in Hali-freakin'-fax. Everything is still freakin' awesome.
I forgot my toothbrush, Jason forgot his towel. We share. It's all good.
It's incredibly noisy here in the mornings with the motorcycle gangs and construction workers and all. The peole here are incredibly nice to make up for it though. In less than 2 hours, we were made honorary members of the Province of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality. Well, not really, people gave us pins because we're tourists.
We were invited into a run-down shop on our way back to the hostel where we're staying yesterday afternoon. It was dark and damp and dirty. It made me nervous. And for a little while, I was honestly afraid that he (the owner who invited us in) was going to kill us. Or at least, lock the doors and rob and beat us. To make things worse, he then said, "Hang on, I got a gift for you." As long as it's not a bullet I'll take it, I thought. My fears were calmed when he handed us two Nova Scotia pins, a map, and a brochure filled with coupons. My big city skepticism is unwanted here.
Even though this is the province's capital and Halifax is considered to be the 'big city' around here, it definitely has this 'small town' feel to it. Sitting outside a cafe yesterday evening, I saw random passers-by wave to each other more frequently than I see it on Markham Main Street.
Whale watching yesterday: no whales, some seals, lots of bouys.
Off to Kentville eventually.
Saturday, August 23, 2003
In A Good Moooooood
I was just checking my e-mail, here in HALIFAX, and I came across this:
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2003 21:00:03
From: "Pamela Clare"
I just wanted to thank you for reading my book. I hope you enjoyed it. I saw
a mention of it via Google when I was searching for reviews to put on the
jacket of my second book.
I hope you're well. And thanks again!
All my best,
SWEET RELEASE, March 2003, Leisure
CARNAL GIFT, March 2004, Leisure
How cool is that? It was this post that led an international romance author to write to me! WOW. Pamela Clare e-mailed me. I feel like I was just blessed.
Anyway, I'm still spending my days here in Halifax, walking around, church hopping, shopping, cross-stitching, and spending wonderful quality time with the boyfriend. We've been eating a lot of seafood; can you believe they sell platters of mussels here for only $1.99? And you wouldn't believe the prices of salmon. It's fantastic, but I don't really care since I'm not much of a shellfish fan. Jason, however, is eating the stuff like you'd never find it anywhere else ever again.
Last night we took a walk along the harbourfront and visited Cow's, a lovely little store that sells expensive, but yummy ice cream and all sorts of cow merchandise. Much to my wallet's dismay and heart's content, I picked up a Cowy Potter t-shirt for myself. I'm going to be the coolest girl on my floor in September! The stuff was hi-LAR-ious. If I were rich, I would've bought everything in the dang place. Some of my favourite shirts include: Amooican Idol, Cow Wars, I Am Cownadian, Moovivor, and Winnie The Moo.
We just had lunch over at the only McDonald's for kilometers here in Halifax. The half hour walk was worth it as I finally got to try the famous McLobster! At $5.99, the only part of the cold sandwich that was worth the money is the fact that I can say that I've tried one from now on. 'Fast food' in Halifax should be renamed to 'slow, methodical food'. Anyway, I'm using up my free minutes here at a new internet cafe, IntenCity. Thank goodness for promotional coupons, or else I wouldn't be blogging right now.
Off to the Museum of Natural History!
Thursday, August 21, 2003
I Finally Get To See The Ocean
I'm in Halifax. Right now. Halifax.
That's where my surprise trip took me; one third of the way across the country. Can you believe the boy flew me to Halifax? I've said the word about seventeen gazillion times since we got here, "I can't believe we're in Halifax!", "Wow, they have Business Depot in Halifax!", "Whoa, the cars stop to let jaywalkers cross the road here in Halifax!". The locals must think I'm nuts. Well, I've got TOURIST written all over me anyway; I'm Chinese. As Jason said, "If you were to hold your breath and only breathe whenever you saw a non-Caucasian person, you'd die." Quite right.
We've been here less than 24 hours, and so far we've:
-met a friend named Justin
-seen Dalhousie University
-been in Dartmouth
-spent the day at a citadel
-heard lots of bagpipes
-seen lots of kilts
-been to the Nova Scotia Art Gallery for free
-seen most of downtown Halifax
-had dinner by the ocean
-probably walked the equivalent distance of the circumference of Nova Scotia
My tootsies are tired. But let me tell you, it was worth it. We've much to do before we leave; tomorrow we're seeing a parade of sorts, going whalewatching, walking some more...who knows. Everything's a surprise.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
He did say "No" after all. But it wasn't just "No", and it wasn't quite "NO" or "NO!", it was more like "NO FUCKING WAY!" There's adversity for ya. After much yelling and arguing and crying (I was the sole participant here) and convincing and talking really quietly and slowly, we're off. For a while I wasn't so convinced, but the boy proved to be capable of even more skill than I thought possible and managed to appease my father and get him to agree. I must say I'm quite impressed. And so, with a heavy heart (ha ha) I leave my family behind.
Eight days + the boyfriend - parents = nothing short of bliss
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Guess Where Shirley Is Going
One of two things are in store for me tomorrow. Either I leave on the trip, or I don't. It's really all up to my father and that idea makes me cringe. Everything else up to this point has been up to the boy and the thought of my father saying one thing (i.e. "NO") and sending it all down the drain scares me. For now, I'm going to pretend that it's all going to work out and pack anyway. Yay for my optimistic attitude.
Eight days, seven nights...I still have no idea where we're going and what we're doing. So how in the heck am I supposed to know what to bring? *shrug* So far I have:
-3 pairs of pants
-2 pairs of shorts
-5 tank tops
-5 pairs of socks
-3 pairs of shoes
-1 pair of sunglasses
I'm still trying to figure out whether I should bring two sets of PJs or just one. And one belt, two or none? I still need to squeeze toiletries, towels, undies and various accessories/necessities into my bag. Books, CDs...perhaps I'm going overboard? Oh the baggage of a girl. (Was there a pun in that last sentence?) To makes matters worse, I have to pack for school at the same time and trying to figure out what you need for eight months is much more difficult than preparing for eight days.
Guesses on where I'm going? We can start one of those pools like you see on TV. If your guess is within 70km of my destination, then you win. If I were rich I'd provide the winner with some sort of prize, but seeing as I am not rich and rather cheap, there will be no prizes awarded to anyone. My apologies are given out instead.
On second thought, the winner will be awarded honour and glory points. You can trade those in for smiles and high fives from me. Maybe a handshake. I'll have to think about it.
Monday, August 18, 2003
I need to quit another job. Well, the thing is, I've already kind of quit but I didn't really tell anyone. "Anyone" includes the boss, who called me sounding quite angry this morning. Luckily, I was still in bed and she was gracious enough to let me go as long as I would call back once I got up. I've been awake for a few hours now and haven't worked up the courage to call her back. This, of course, is not making the situation any better, as I have already not shown up for work in two weeks. Reasoning? I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking, but at the time I believe I just didn't want to go to work. This isn't the Tea Shop we're talking about here, just the stupid clinic job, the one where I show up once a week and replenish this and clean that and do the other thing for about three hours. Nothing fancy. Nothing I like. Except borrowing the photocopier, which is probably the only reason I've kept the job until now. That, and the fact that it adds money to my bank account, albeit in very small amounts.
Anyway, I've had enough and I've left. All I need now is a reason why so my boss-lady will leave me alone for the rest of the summer. While lying in bed this morning, I came up with the following:
- I forgot
- I'm sick
- My grandmother died
- A friend died
- Many friends died
- I am depressed
- Or perhaps a yummy combination of all devastating events, i.e.: The death of several people close to me resulted in the throwing out of all my responsibilities because I am so depressed. Thus, I forgot about work and have spent the last two weeks in bed which caused my health to deteriorate and now I am left as a small, sad, grieving Asian girl suffering from laryngitis or strep throat and digestive problems all at the same time. As well, I have not showered in days and smell pretty bad.
And then I can top it off with a heartfelt "I apologize for having all this affect you in a negative way, but I hope you'll understand that it is in my best interest to take proper care of myself before my life changes completely." And then I'll pop in something about not coming in ever again, except to pick up my paycheque and give her back her key. I would like to keep the key though, using that photocopier was really great.
Think she'll buy it? Got any suggestions? Quick, quick people, I think she'll call back soon wondering why the heck I'm not up at 1:30 in the afternoon.
Saturday, August 16, 2003
My narcissistic tendencies led me to check my comments even though my screen distinctly tells me that there are in fact "no other thoughts". So I clicked, and look at that! Comments galore! And when it says "7 other thoughts" it really means 9. What the *beeeeeeep* is wrong with enetation?
Friday, August 15, 2003
I don't know all the details, but something went wrong yesterday evening; wrong enough to cause 21 power plants to shut down in 3 minutes across the northern US and some of southern Canada. Figures that come to mind are 50 million (people without electricity) and 24,000 megawatts (of electricity lost). But I could be wrong. Right now, I'm using my computer while listening to the radio and basking in the comfort of my air conditioned home. I'm bad. I really shouldn't be doing any of this since we are supposed to be conserving water and energy today, but I'll be off soon, I promise.
Post scriptum: I just turned off my stereo and air conditioning. I felt bad so I did something about it. I'm also getting off the computer now.
It was funny last night at around 9pm when my mother freaked out about the decreasing water pressure. "Oh my god the water's not coming out of the tap as fast as it used to! We're running out of water! Quick, Shirley go get some buckets and bottles and fill them up before we run out! Now!" Oh mother. The water was fine, the pressure still isn't great, but we have some in buckets and pots and pans all over the house just in case.
It was dark last night and the stars were out. It's funny because they're always there, but until the world turns off you can't actually see them. The stars! It was so dark and quiet, so peaceful, it was wonderful. I lay out on my roof and tried picking out constellations. I saw the moon, 4 shooting stars and I think I saw Mars too. The sky should always look like that, the moon should always be my streetlamp. Light-pollution-free goodness.
It has been declared that Toronto is in a state of emergency. Some people still don't have their power back. Food may go bad. But our houses have never looked so romantic. We'll see more stars in the city than ever before. It'll be dark and quiet and families will gather around a candle to play board games. Friends will call friends to make sure they're okay. Strangers will chat, homeless people will start to direct traffic. There will be comraderie. All it takes is for 21 power plants to turn off in 3 minutes.
For the food's sake, I hope the power stays. But deep down inside, I hope it goes out again. It'd be nice to see the stars tonight.
Thursday, August 14, 2003
I Am So Itchy. Again.
1 meteor and 7 mosquito bites. My Perseid Meteor Shower experience all summed up and tied into a neat little package. Wes, Catherine and I headed north to Stouffville to find that perfect, light-pollution-free spot away from civilization. We drove for an hour, watched the sky for half, saw one meteor, got bitten by many mosquitoes and then headed to Tim Horton's. My face is so itchy. That's right, the damned bugs got at my face this time! I thought I was being smart by wrapping up the rest of my body, but lo and behold, there's blood in your face so that's where the nastly little West Nile carriers will bite. Damn them! So my face is effectively swollen in two areas (left side of my jawbone and beside my right eye), which makes it look very lopsided. How attractive. I tried putting our African herbal teas at work to use. Not only did I embarrass myself when customers came in, seeing me look stupid in that maid's outfit AND holding a tea bag to my face, but the tea also gave me an orange-y tinge. Do I have to wear stupid Natrapel every-freakin-where I go? Cuz you know how sexy citronella smells. If only I could attract money like I attract mosquitoes. Maybe if we made mosquitoes a new form of currency....
Anyhoo, I skipped out on more meteor watching last night and opted for a safe, indoor, mosquito free evening of movie watching instead. Gangs of New York. Or should that be renamed to "American Film Making At Its Disgustingly Gross Bloodthirsty High"? Or how about "Don't Watch Me! I'll Make You Want To Gag!"? My aversion to violent, bloody, gorey movies is stronger than ever. Should I have assumed that there was going to be lots of butchering in this movie? Of animals and humans alike? Vegetarianism is looking my way. At one point, the point where he was slashing the pig, and then the other points where he slashed other people, my body couldn't decide whether it wanted to cry or throw up or do both. So it opted to close my eyes, bury my head into the sofa cushion, cover my ears and whimper pitifully into my friend's shoulder. And then, and THEN, at the end of the movie, when Vallon slices Cutting's abdomen and the blood starts spurting out of him? Remember the spurting? It...like, SPRAYED everywhere! Oh god. This movie made my insides cry. Actually, I think I cried during that scene. The spraying of the blood was really just too much for me. After watching the entire thing, I must say that the only good scenes must have been the sex ones. They were the only without violence! As my ESFJ profile says, I "don't understand unkindness".
Now to go chug some Benadryl. Mmmm, antihistamine-y goodness....
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
My Closet Smells Like The Gap
Shirley n' Cliff's Shopping Adventures o' Fun!
Cliff and I headed to Yorkdale today to find him some fashionable reasons to spend his money. Oh, and did I ever help him. At The Gap, I found him about $300 worth of reasons to whip out the plastic. With taxes, he spent $345. $345. Say it again. $345. That's a lot of money. I spent about $18. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a fine example of my shopping prowess. I have the ability to make others spend their hard-earned dough (in Cliff's case it wasn't hard-earned, at least not by him), while simultaneously keeping my thrifty ways. While he looked for the new autumn stuff on "sale" for back-to-schoolers, I circled the bargain racks and summer clearance shelves. And this was how I found my brand new little black dress. Reduced from a whopping $78 to a mere $15.97. How could I resist?
This darling little halter dress has the following superb qualities:
• Form-fitting cotton/Lycra® blend. Knee length.
• Built-in support bra, empire waist, sweetheart neckline.
• 97% cotton/3% Lycra® spandex. Dry clean. Imported.
It's not part of the new line or anything, but I still hold it near and dear to my heart. It's a woman's necessity and yet I haven't owned one until this afternoon at 5pm. Could things get any better?
The Gap thinks I'm thin! The dress is a size 1. Size 1! I have't worn anything that small since before I hit puberty. So let me tell you, fitting into this thing and then being able to buy it for under $20 really made my day. Maybe I will find some other cheap, skinny buy on Thursday. That's right, I was such a wonderful shopping partner today that Cliff is convinced he wants to take me shoe shopping with him. How could he not with my exquisite fashion advice? However, I can barely stand shopping for footwear alone, so I don't know what the outcome will be in two days. But if I am provoked into killing him, don't say that I didn't warn you.
Monday, August 11, 2003
The tribal I'm-selling-cheap-goods-so-come-here chant of the Taste of the Danforth this past weekend. It was Downsview Park minus The Stones, plus lots of Greek food, and times the crowd by 7 million. Worse than sardines in a can. It was like all the people from Downsview smushed into a sardine can and then compressed into a cube the size of a die. It was squishy and hot and sweaty but cheap and delicious. I think I gained 5 pounds that night. The looooong walk was worth it in the end and will be worth more visits in coming years.
I've never pumped so much money into the Toronto economy in all the years that I've lived here. I've never walked Toronto like I have this summer, and yet there is still so much more that I want to do and see. I need to go to Center Island before I leave, and The Ex so the boyfriend can show off his big muscles and manliness and win me a giant stuffed animal.
I got the mail today and found two letters waiting for me. "How exciting!" I thought to myself. See, getting mail is great, except when it's a bill. Man, that's a lot of numbers. Those stupid Student Fees and other miscellaneous things certainly add up. Woo hoo, my first university bill. How exciting indeed.
In other news, yours truly is taking a trip! We don't leave for another 9 days but I think I'll start packing tonight. I figure the process will take longer since I don't know where we're going. Quel surprise! 8 days full of the unknown. And hitchhiking apparently.
Friday, August 08, 2003
Off To The ROM Tonight
That's it. I quit.
I didn't go in yesterday morning, and I'm not going in today. I'm not going in again, EVER. Well, maybe to collect that sheet of paper with all my info on it so they can't track me down. Come to think of it, I'm too lazy to do even do that.
The job sucks, I suck at it, I don't like it. What's the point, really? The money isn't even an issue anymore. Well, it is, but I'm not going to fret over it. Besides, I've been working my bum off since Grade 10, I think I deserve a little relaxation before school starts. Though if they really want to pay me for the few hours on Wednesday, I'll take it with no complaints.
People used to ask me sometimes why I joined all these clubs at school and why I did all that work, and my answer was simple: I wanted to. And that was it. I had no fancy-schmancy answer recited in an attempt to inspire others, and the truth is, if you don't like what you're doing you shouldn't be doing it. $10 an hour or not.
And so I will spend the rest of my days in Markham doing things that I like to do. Reading, running, yoga-ing, having fun with friends and preparing myself for the biggest change in my life since...well, ever I think.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
What Sucks? My Job(s)!
Goodbye, social life!
Hello, varicose veins and back problems!
With about three weeks left of summer, I got another job. And I hate it. I loathe it and detest it. I hate it so much I might just start to cry. I work for JWR, stand behind a podium in the local Canadian Tire, accost customers as they walk into the store and try to convince them to sign up for a Canadian Tire Mastercard. It sucks. Bad. I have a quota of three sign-ups per hour to meet; I worked four hours today and left with a grand total of...three sign-ups. Maybe it's because I suck at what I do, and maybe I suck at what I do because I hate it! Though I have worked in retail for three years, there's something significantly different about having cutomers approach you and you approaching them as they try to look for all their hardware needs. I'm sorry that I'm annoying you as you shop, I really am.
The money, Shirley, the money. That's right folks, I've turned my practical cheek once again and am doing something because it pays well. At $10 an hour, I might just put up with this job from hell and grin and bear it for a few more weeks. Does anyone need a credit card? What about your parents? Relatives of any sort? In addition to free sign-up, you get a gift, there are no annual fees to pay and you get 20% of what you spend put back into your account in Canadian Tire Money! What's there to lose? Please, I'm begging you, please come to Canadian Tire and sign up for a Mastercard, my university education is counting on you! For the love of goodness, please help me meet quota!
So it's a record, three jobs at once, two of which suck ass. First, I get to be the clinic bitch at the VWC, now this. The Tea Shop is still great as I still love it there. The extra money will be good as I'm starting to buy all of my neccessities for next month.
- desktop computer
- answering machine
- 200 page, spiral bound notebooks
- masking tape/blue sticky-tac
Plus, I felt so yucky after work that I went to the mall to relieve some stress. Seriously, work sucked so much that the only way I could make myself feel better was to buy a new pair of jeans, sweater and hoodie. At least they were on sale. I'll put them down as university expenses.
Monday, August 04, 2003
When I Come Around
Upon reading this, I realized: Annia and I were meant for each other, I swear. We've known each other since the Ninth Grade, both of us shy little asian girls at a loss for air in a vocal music class, and have had many romatic encounters since. We have even survived a near-death experience together (jay-walking across Lakeshore <-- not a good idea, trust me).
Our first amorous incident took place three summers ago, during the Civic Holiday long weekend, in Quebec. We had joined my cousin on one of those Chinese tour groups which took us from Toronto to Kingston to Montreal and back. We spend three whole days together, sharing stories, food, butt rot from sitting on the bus too long and yes, we even shared a bed. We took long walks along the lake, on old cobblstone roads in an old city and then found ourselves at a cosy table for two in an elegant French restaurant. Our table was right in front of a large window which overlooked the water, and as the setting sun shone in on us we gazed deeply into each other's eyes over platters of buttery, garlicy, aphrodisiacy escargot.
Our second romantic encounter happened not too long ago, during our Fringe weekend. It was raining cats and dogs as we trekked the Annex of downtown Toronto and Annia, being the chivalrous gentlewoman she is, held her umbrella up for me the entire time. And when I decided to be earth-friendly and saved my paper cup from lunch, she graciously carried it around for me in her bag the entire day. That evening, we went out for dinner at a little Indian restaurant. With its cushy chairs and dim lighting, we gazed into each other's eyes once again and could hardly refrain from spoon-feeding each other our rice pudding dessert.
And just this past Friday night, we headed down to the T-dot again for more lovey-dovey adventures. This time we went for a stroll along the harbourfront, sat at a picnic bench by the lake and wandered into a dark, unassumed building of some sort. The perfect place for two young asian girls to be. We found a ritzy art store inside, as well as galleries of pottery and glass. And then we walked into an International Festival that was better than anything we could've imagined! We bargained for market goods, shared plates of couscous, African fried dough balls, vegetarian roti and sipped coconut milk out of one coconut with our faces this close together. Every time I go out with her, I spend lots of money and eat too much.
Too much time with Annia = one fat, broke Shirley
But it's okay because we have so much fun together. So basically what I'm saying is that if I ever need to swing the other way, Annia would be an awesome partner to do so with. I wore my Day of Silence t-shirt the other day. It made me feel good.
I may be straight, but I'm not narrow.
Friday, August 01, 2003
This Is Me
This is so true. I've never taken a personality test with more accurate results. Being the skeptical me that I am, I took it twice to see if I got the same result just to make sure it was that good. It was.
For anyone that knows me, do you agree that I...
- enjoy being in charge
- work hard and play with zest
- willingly provide service
- often exude warmth and bonhomie
- not infrequently boil over with the vexation of my soul
- channel my vibrant emotions into dramatic performances on stage
- have a 'mothering' drive
- am not paranoid; 'hyper-vigilant' would be more precise
- am a people person
- have a strong desire to be liked and for everything to be pleasant
- take my responsibilities very seriously
- am hurt by indifference and don't understand unkindness
- get a lot of my personal satisfaction from the happiness of others
- have a strong need to be liked, and to be in control
- have a natural tendency to want to control my environment
- enjoy creating order and structure
- respect and believe in the laws and rules of authority
- am very feminine
- enjoy tradition and security
- am highly sensitive to what others think of me
There's so much more, but you get the gist.