Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I've been thinking about the term of endearment 'Honey'. To me, it speaks of an intimacy reserved for very specific relationships, specifically one for people in a long term relationship. Perhaps this is because it was my parents' choice when speaking to one another; 'Sweetie' was always used for us kids. Often they would use it in passing, almost as if it coincidentally happened to be both of their given names.

"Do you, Honey S., take Honey V. as your lawfully wedded...?" the rabbi would have said.

It was most often said with affection, but my favourite was always when they used it during an argument. My parents have never fought, not once. They argue, debate, disagree but never fight, and frequently, when in the midst of one of these 'discussions', they would toss out an emphatic Honey. Now this was not, as one might see on WASPy television shows, a way of ensuring us kids that this was not heading for family court. Rather, it was, in the nicest way possible, a way of saying, "Actually, you block head, I'm right."

Other times, it was said accompanied with a sigh. The adult sigh is, I feel, a gift with purchase when a couple has children. I have a childless aunt and uncle who I don't believe have sighed since the 70's. It's not as though my parents' sighing Honeys were always directly about us, but rather the state of their lives in general. Even if it was commiseration about work, the undertone was still, "Sucks about your job, honey. Would sure suck less if on top of that we didn't have these three schmucks running around our house."

I have many terms of endearment for friends.

'Sweetie' is the most general. It can be used for any female friend and, in theory, any mincing homo that would appreciate the female allusion. Sweetie is also the whitest term of endearment. You see it all over predominantly Caucasian shows. Think Friends, Desperate Housewives and Mad About You, the last of which pretty much jumped the shark on Sweetie.

'Baby' or 'Babe' is what I use for my nearest and dearest. While most of these have crept so far back on the back burner that I don't think we're on the same stove anymore, the original usage was meant to imply that we were closer than others. Sometimes this was true. Babe is frequently used when giving advice, counselling or even disputing, which makes it akin to 'Hon'. It is very important to note that Hon, while a diminutive of Honey, is by no means related to the topic of this discussion. It's like Jackson 5 Michael and post-nose Michael. Different entities entirely.

I suppose a paragraph on male terms of endearment is required. These are limited to your basic 'Dude' (usually a greeting or as a replacement for their name, always emphatic), 'Bud'/'Buddy' (only for nice guys) and a slew of Ebonics-inspired pronouns like 'Homeslice', 'Homeskillet' and 'Bizatch'.

'Lover' is always meant in jest and can be said to members of either sex. This can never be uttered to an actual lover otherwise there ain't gonna be no more lovin'. Trust me.

'Honey' is for the actual lover. Or so I imagine. My new thing when sizing someone up and judging whether or not we have a future with an adopted Himalayan whistle kid together, is to ask myself, "Do you see yourself calling him Honey?" Not like Honey-our-love-shall-light-an-eternal-flame-in-the-Kingdom-of-Heaven! More, How-was-your-day-Honey? or Honey-can-you-pick-up-some-goat-for dinner? or Honey-that-goddamned-whistle-kid-got-out-of-his-cage-again. If I cannot imagine asking him these questions, then there is no future. End of story. We may continue the lover-ing, perhaps even form a close friendship, sometimes even after the lovin' up is done with. But without a Honey dream, it ain't happening. And what if there is? In this case, I usually turn into a mute with no ability to actually be my delightful self, but rather make lame jokes about SNL or fidget with my sweater, which has all of a sudden become too small and oh god, why do I look like such a mess?!

Presuming we can actually get through my initial psychotic episode together, my beehive is rarin' to go. You may insert your own 'honeycomb' and 'dripping' innuendos now.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I have no clue why this used to matter to me so much.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dear Hottie Who Waters the Plants at Work,

Wherefore have you condemned me to this hell, my HWWPW? Why must you be so infinitely smokinglier than everyone else in a 2 km. radius and yet only make a single brief appearance every week? You taunt, you tease, you are a walking checklist of every single physical quality I hold so dear to my heart. What explicit detail is it that I love so much? Let’s walk through it together, shall we? Is it your frame, noble and broad at 6’1”ish, trim yet sturdy in magnificent balance that makes me want to go throw up right now? Is it your auburn hair, dignified in its slightly-spiked darkness, not flaming and listless like most of its pock-marked Gingey counterparts? Does this fine shade spring from thine chestal region as well, creeping just below the single open-button on your well-sized button down? This is a question I have, beatific HWWPW. Is it your glasses, or even the mere fact that you wear them? Contacts be damned! Is it your high buttock, upon which rests your magnetic swipe card, dangling in a dance of lustful abandon? Is it your cuff watch? Your well-fitted jean? Or simply the way you stretch up to those hanging potted plants? O, to gaze upon your theoretically-shapely calves as they lift you to such heights! I adore thee so, HWWPW. Winding my way through a blue maze of cubicle dividers for the exquisite torture that is watching you tilt a watering can, you the seeming by-product of a union between lumberjack and Shopper’s Optical model. Take me away from all this industrial park madness! Let us away in your 1997 Chevy Malibu to seek great adventures, probably in some maintenance closet at your dispatch centre!

HWWPW, I love you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I totally lol'ed in rl at this today. I gotta stop with all the emo postings. Fag.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

While riding the bus on my way to work one day, I happened to look up in time to see a young woman - one could even say ‘girl’ in the colloquial sense - offering the bus driver a cookie upon boarding. I was rather delighted at seeing this as I enjoy random acts of kindness towards strangers. They’re reeeeeeally good…, she said temptingly to the driver, who required little temptation to indulge in an early morning sugar rush.

From the back, I could see that she was tallish in heels, a nice overcoat, and kicky scarf and had slightly tussled loose curls spilling to just below her shoulders. What a lovely girl, I thought, the perfect combination of classy (scarf) and bohemian (baked goods). I should note here that while the baking was in a Tupperware container rather than a vintage tin, I imagined that she was new to the latter temperament and still gave her some Boho points. It wasn’t until she turned around that I saw just how new she was.

The thing was, I knew this girl, or rather, we had met on a few different occasions at parties - raves, to you not in the know. The first time I saw her, she was wearing a long black cape over a fuzzy pink bras. Yes, Heaven had lost an angel. We were at a small outdoor party in some rural town and spent most of the night together, exchanging stories of our lives and telling the other how amazing we thought they were. The real truth was that I found her a bit repulsive. I mean this not in the callous sense, as there was nothing inherently wrong with her, but there was something about the package that made me uncomfortable. Perhaps it was the slightly nasal and lispy voice that would have been very appropriate in a porno film or her lips, which were almost too full for her face, like Julia Roberts without the nice eyes. Still, she was very nice and complimentary and in my then-current state, flattery is the surest way to garner my affections or at least my time.

This night would go on to repeat itself a month later at an all-night affair in a campground an hour and a half outside of Winnipeg. The meeting was again by fluke and my heightened senses caused me to remember her only with fondness, which was how we ended up making out in a field with my top off. Somewhere around that time, I stopped enjoying myself. Perhaps it was when a rogue car, driven by other partiers shone its headlights on us and jeered. I imagine that for the average, heterosexual male, this would be tinged with a certain amount of self-satisfaction, if accompanied at all by embarrassment. However, for me, all I could think was that if I was going to get caught on top of a girl, this would not be the one I would choose. The events of the rest of the night unfolded in much the same way: watching the northern lights dancing like a ballet, listening to music in my car, invoking poetic analogies (“Violins are like one night stands; cellos are forever”). All the right things with the wrong person, which is how one could characterize most of my rave experiences. I always had this fantasy of making an amazing new friend at one of these things. Perhaps everyone else there does as well and that’s why we’re all so nice to one another in 30 second soundbites. Anything more is too much of a commitment and I certainly didn’t want to commit to her. It sounds monstrous to be so dismissive of another person, but where were we but a zoo of unhappy animals acting on both base and altered instincts. Whatever the reasoning, this was not the person I should have been with.

I ran into her last year just as I was getting on a bus. Normally rave folk have no appeal to me outside their natural environment, but something in her dogtooth jacket combined with the fact that all my friends seemed to be leaving the city inspired me to exchange numbers. We made plans for lunch the next week at the food court near where I worked, but I had to cancel due to a forgotten rehearsal and never called her back to reschedule. The guilt was slightly gnawing for a while before I realized that I didn’t feel bad about bailing but rather what she must have thought of me for not calling her back. Clearly this wasn’t about her and never was.

I pretended to be grossly engaged in my half-read-and-due-in-two-days library book and didn’t look up until I heard the pop of a Tupperware container and then the sweet, nasal lisp of her offering the driver another cookie as she was getting off the bus.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's a rather odd sensation to feel as though you're damaged goods before you've even began. It's akin to being a dented can of tuna at Safeway. People notice that can, to be certain, probably pausing momentarily to ponder what circumstanced led to its indentation. Most likely a clumsy, blemished stock boy. Yet, after this diversion, they inevitably decide on an undented can of tuna, the safe choice.

That poor fucking can of tuna. It's perfectly good inside and yet know one really wants to give it a go when it is surrounded by all it's perfectly cylindrical cousins, who may very well be discovered to have gone bad themselves upon opening.

That's really what it is, isn't it: you want to be opened, want the chance to show that you're not spoiled and that you would taste lovely with a tomato on rye. It's understandable. The metaphorical dent can be very tiring after carrying it with you your whole life. It's not that people are mean about it, the odd car full of drunken asshole at 2am aside. They don't intend to be rude when they ask you about it on the street, and really isn't intent the most important thing in these situations? You kind of like it at first, think you're being checked out even, until the brow furrows and the eyes move down from your face to your feet and then back up again with curiosity, sympathy even. Hardly the lustful gaze you had anticipated. Sometimes they ask you about it, again, without malice, but real wonder. Never a pleasant experience, you stop - or maybe you don't - and tell them that it's medical, wait for their reaction, sometimes a "That's cool. We were just wondering" (they're never alone, always in a small group) and you continue on your way. Sometimes if you're feeling particularly pissy, you tell them that it's a 46-letter medical condition and would they like the entire name of it or simply an abbreviation. You always regret this the moment you say it as the embarrassment creeps across their face. Sometimes if you're tired or maybe a little sad and don't feel like this inquisition, you lie. You tell them that you were in Afghanistan and had both of your legs blown up below the knee. To sell it, you'll knock on your shin, as though it made a hollow noise that they can't hear. Surprisingly, this last response offers less guilt than one would think. You're not proud of it, but somehow you feel you've earned the chance to be seen as more noble than who you really are, earned through the constant efforts it takes to just stay on your feet. They don't know, nor should they. If they knew, then they would realize that the best thing in this circumstance is no comments at all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A couple nights ago, I was in top form. Truly, by shiz, it smelled not. Along with some new-ish friends, I went to this gender cabaret, if you will, with all different G.L.B.T.T.T.T.T.T.Q.O.4.&. folks doing whatever they do best. There was some refreshingly impassioned performances from men, women and everything in between, including a kick ASS belly dancer that performed to my girl Natacha Atlas's "I Put a Spell On You". I felt awesome and clearly, this could not be permitted to last.

When he walked by me the first time with a slight glint in his eye, I was tempted to be thrown. The 'he' in question was what turned out to be a misfired fling last June, with me thinking it was leading to a relationship and him telling me four weeks in that we were just friends. You know, cause I wake up most of my friends with morning head. In any case, the ending was uncomfortable but not altogether acrimonious, and we kept in very light touch, an msn IM or facebook message here and there.

In retrospect, I should have learned from the past that the occasion winking emoticon does not romantic intent make. Perhaps it was the fact that no one has stepped up to succeed him as my most recent, but in times of want, I still think of this pischer. In any case, I knew that there would be a moderate likelihood of seeing him and the lopsided grin was not altogether unexpected. However, on the next pass, the grin was accompanied by a playful little pinch on my side; the next was a hand-grab/tickle and the final one, when my coat was on and it was clear that I was leaving, was a full-on 5-second embrace.

God, it was nice.

It's a tad pathetic, to cling so dearly to something so insignificant, but with all apologies to rationality, it was.

Upon my return home, I wrote a simple if open-ended Facebook message:

"You looked really great tonight.


Ok, so not that open-ended. It definitely seemed to imply, "I gotta thing, you gotta thing, maybe we could have a thing..."

When the response "So did you ;-)" appeared, I won't say that I wasn't a bit excited, winking emoticon, be damned!

"So if you look really great and I look really great, why don't we ever hang out anymore?" I replied.

"i dunno," came the response.

"So, would you like to sometime?"

"It wouldn't be like before david. I'm seeing someone..."


I'm not sure what element got to me the most. Was it the use of my name, so disgustingly sympathetic in it's use, as if to say, "Oh, you poor" Was it the lack of punctuation and capitalization, reminding me of how wrongly matched we were and would ever be? Or was it the ellipses, echoing the use of my name, pathetically outlining how easy it was for someone like HIM to find someone and how someone like ME would forever remain a lapdog, begging for scraps of affection.

In the end, I responded with something polite, like, "Oh that's great. How nice for you!" but I don't think either of us believed I meant it. Despite the mountainous history that could have foreshadowed this event, I still maintain my right to be bitter. You can't treat people like they're your prize and then say shit like "I'm seeing someone dot dot dot."

I was getting so good at not doing the emo posts. Fuck you for being the cause. And for your ellipses.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The First Day

I started a new job this week. It is a three month term at a major provincial utilities company. After a 7 week hiatus from the working world and my mother's approval, I received a call from a temp agency to whom I had sent an application. At the interview (me in a suit, her in Lulu Lemon) I was offered the job on the spot. I feel that it was my use of a day planner avec a faux-leather plastic cover that really clinched it for me. "Hire this one," it seemed to say," He is a pre-tty important guy." While I was thrilled at the prospect of no longer compulsively watching The View, I didn't really walk away with a deep sense of security. Certain details seemed to have been omitted in the staffing agent's description of my new livelihood. The job? "Oh, scanning land claims or something. You can use a scanner, right?" The location? "You know the intersection of ____ and _______? You just go there and you'll see the building that says _______!" Mmmmk. An e-mail was sent a couple days later with dress code and mandatory time off information. Still no real job description or address, but what did I care? I knew how to use a scanner! I knew where ________ and _______ is! I can read an insignia! I was...ready.

Thursday morning, dressed in a professional yet kicky outfit that just begged for an anointment as office stud, I made my way to work. Initially, the address I had pulled off Google had been in the middle of one of the _____s and another cross street; ______ prime, if you will. Fortunately, I had had the good sense to remember that, no, the verbal instruction I was given was for an intersection, NOT a location involving a _____ prime. Upon reGoogling (is that word? Is now.), I found the building I had been looking for. Phew. Dodged a bullet there. I leaped aboard my bus and arrived five minute early for my ten minutes early start time. That's right. 7:4fucking5. Generally at this hour, I would have been asleep, possibly between dreams of romantic reconciliation and rabid rabbits. My dreams are not all thrilling, but I'll be damned if their subjects aren't at least clever.

Upon arrival, I checked in at the security booth.

"Hello!" I declared "I am your new temp, here to save the day and just be generally awesome!"

After muttering something about having a girlfriend, the guard pointed me to the correct door. "Ah," I said, "The one with company's name it on it. Why, thank you!"

I marched into the building, trying to find anything that looked administrative or at least a welcome banner. Having no such luck, I popped my head into the first office and and with slightly less bravado, delivered the same rousing salutation. The two and a half women working there (mustache?) were very kind but had no idea where I was to go. They put out an ABP for a missing temp, standard stuff, really, and were finally able to ascertain that I had, in fact, been sent to the wrong building. Lovely. My agency had apparently not banked on the fact that there were two buildings and had not sent me to the correct one. You know, the one with the _______ prime.

"Well, how far down is it?" I asked the demi-man.

"It's number 1641. Oh, about a block," he-she answered.

This, in fact, was not so. After walking for about 15 minutes, I looked up and saw the address 1474. I called my staffing agency and immediately began to rip the fellow a new one for not giving me any address and demanded that he look up this 1641 building because clearly, there was some sort of Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place conspiracy between my new employer and the staffing agency as there was no 1641!

And I was right. There was no 1641. There was, however, a 1461. Evidently, the inability to give out the correct address is a growing pandemic. Tell your friends.

At 8:22, I marched through the doors of my new home for the next three months. They were lovely, in fact, with no one being cross about my (unavoidable) tardiness. My supervisor is a nice enough woman who I feel was very pretty in her younger years and while she still maintains a certain Almay beauty, it's clearly been slightly tarnished by time. And by time, I mean a pack-a-day habit. She took me on what would be my first of three rounds about the office. Everyone seemed rather pleasant and plump, occasionally in that order. The people that work in this office aren't all that different from the ones at my government jobs but somehow they're slightly...better. It's like the difference between a grade 7 French immersion class and an English equivalent. Somehow the Frenchies are just nicer. A little bit better behaved, a little bit more focused, a little bit more sanitary. There's no cursing at my new job. No 'I seen' nor 'I sez' nor "I don't know nuttin' '. The women wear nice sweaters and the men wear polo shirts, not Mickey Mouse sweatshirts and track pants. It's actually office casual. These are not fancy people, but after all, isn't it a gift to be simple and to use correct grammar?

I was then taken to my, and I use the word loosely, office. It isn't even really a cubicle. Essentially, at the front entrance there are two sets of doors, between which there's about a meter and a half; the vestibule, if you will. On either side of this glass box is empty space where one would normally put, say, a potted plant. Perhaps a ficus. This is my office. Two walls, one glass panel from the vestibule and a divider. My little slice of heaven. Of my flooring, half of it is carpet and half the tile from the entrance way, bound together by a rather mountainous ridge riiiiiiiiight about where my chair needs to go as I sit down at my desk. The twenty two year old who previously occupied my space was kind enough to leave behind a granola bar and her elastic band collection, numbering in the tens of thousands. The potted plants that did actually reside in this area have been shipped to the side of my little pied à terre, giving it a vaguely Amazonian vibe.

I then met my, dare I say it, mentor for the next week: the office receptionist. People who work in oft trivialized jobs will react to their livelihood in one of three ways. The first accepts that it's simply a stupid job that does not define them. The second feels tragically embarrassed by it and makes disparaging remarks both aloud and to themselves, likely as they huddle alone at night. The third is similar to the second except that they compensate for their menial job by attempting to make it appear as though it was biochemistry. My receptionist falls into this category. I would guess that she has, in the past, referred to herself as a firecracker. She has flamey, choppy middle-aged woman hair, purple middle-aged woman eyeliner and her desktop is of a middle-aged woman on an ATV, covered in mud. 'Cept it isn't her. She's one of those almost-sweet people that thinks of herself as the office rebel. Wears monster truck t-shirts on casual Fridays, pretends to assault coworkers with poster tubes, playfully threatens to push people off ladders. You know, the usual. She is also the self-described office techie; evidently, her toner-changing skills are legendary.

She took me on my second tour de l'office before showing me the two most important jobs I would be doing while she was on vacation in December: answering phones and opening mail.

On answering the phone: "It's really rather basic. To pick up a call, you simply lift up the receiver."

On alphabetizing mail with an alphabetized filing stick: "I like to put Janet's under 'V' because the person that used to have Janet's job, well, her name started with a 'V'. That's just my system; you can think of your own.

I find her adorable in the most patronizing way a person can.

On flying: "You MUST get the headsets that they sell on airplanes! They're something like $5 and you can use them to watch movies and TV. And if you're really smart, you keep them for the flight home, too!"

On computers: "After you're done, you have two options: you can either take your mouse a click the OK button or you can press ENTER. It's your decision, really. Whatever works for you."

She would go on to repeat all of this training, along with a tour of the office, 4 days later as though we'd never done it. I just didn't have the heart to tell her and frankly, interrupting with the answers to the questions she hadn't even posed yet was really fun though I think it miffed her somewhat, as though it was undermining the difficulty of her job.

Later that day, I assembled my first box. This was not the kind of cardboard box that one normally sees, four sides attached with flaps on the top and bottom. No, this was a crazy-ass 2D pattern that looked like those geometrical shapes you had to assemble as part of grade 7 math or the Fine Arts faculty mathematics requirement. This had flaps and perforations and, I believe, a little bit of the Devil built into it. That said, I was a superstar. Let it be known 'cross this land that I am an assembly god. There weren't even directions; I'm that good. So you can now call me so that this doesn't happen:

I anticipate that there will be many more stories from my work, one of which will inevitably get me fired when someone from the field department discovers my blog.

Oh, in other news one of my fish disappeared. I got up one day and he was simply not there. On the plus side, it wasn't the little tetra with whom I've come to associate so strongly. The assumption was that he was eaten but there was no body, no guts, nothing. These fish are either high efficient or simply magic. Shiva will commence tomorrow.