Monday, January 30, 2012

I am in a grumpy mood.

Just let me say this, I have been working at my new hospital since September and I still feel like I don't belong.
I miss the girls who used to laugh and draw silly pictures and call each other "Peach."

There are no "Peaches" or "Loves" or "Duckies" here.
No one sings. There are whispers and I'm told about my mistakes, indirectly, down-the-line, through post-its and lists left for me and that's about it.

I used to work 50 hours a week and didn't mind it all that much. Now I'm working 10 hours a week and it's lonely.

One of those days.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I finished my submission. 1500 words is practically nothing to tell a worthwhile story, but we'll see how it goes. I'll post it here once everything's settled.
Mr.Fella hasn't read it yet, so he's going to put on his editor/English Ph.d student hat and let me know what he thinks.

I am very sleepy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A couple images of plus-sized model "Katya Zharkova" have been floating around Facebook for the last day or so. If you haven't seen them, you can find an article about them here.

For whatever reason, this one seemed to strike me the most.

Maybe it's because, at various times in my life, I've been the size of both of these women. Maybe it's the intimate expression on Katya's face, or the somewhat incising caption on the bottom. Maybe it's because right now, I'm somewhere in between the weights of these two women and my brain shouted out in recognition at the pull between two "forces". I dunno.

So, it being the internet and all, people who had plenty to say about these images.

You had your "We shouldn't be encouraging obesity" side and your "Yay! Love yourself no matter what" side.

I lie somewhere - well, I don't know.

I'll tell you why I don't know.

I think there's something dishonest about telling people - women, men, whomever - that they should always "love themselves". It's a nice sentiment and I get the motivation behind it; we need enough self-confidence and love to function in this world and far too often we're measured by qualities that really have nothing to do with the kind of person we are on the inside.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


A couple of months after Wee man was born, I joined a belly dance class in St.John's. I didn't really know what I was getting into, but I fell in love. I took classes for a year, took some workshops with some really great instructors (shout-outs to Vanessa PaddockHeather Labonte and Audra Simmons), I started a pretty heavy yoga routine.

Then we moved, I had to find a job(s) and I needed to reorient. I didn't get a chance to pursue much through the summer and this fall. I was distracted, but I think I felt the persistent loss of something I couldn't quite put my finger on.

Tonight I started classes again with Leslie. I thought I'd have to start my practice from scratch, but it was pleasantly surprising to see how persistent muscle memory is. She seems like a wonderful instructor, and the women I'm taking the class with all seem to be at very comparable levels to my own. It was exciting to be back at it, with people who love this as much as I do. All studios seem to have that same faint dusty/sweaty smell and walking back into one was a bit like walking into an old home. "Hey, I used to live here!"

It was good for my soul.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A brief outline of my "Canada writes" creative nonfiction piece has been sitting on my desktop for about a month.

Talked to Mr.Fella about a few ideas.

It's less than a month to the deadline.

Time to get working.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I found this in a drawer the other day:

I consider myself a fountain of things that I do not understand.
And every word strives to reach you, past and through. Of your own.
        And I don't know what to feel to make it ours and not just mine, what to say.

So I think perhaps it would be better left unsaid.
       That is the least of it and I am spent with the feeblest of motions, breezes,
towards sun and thought and day and all. 
        And with these delicate wispy moments, clearly clear as air everything
 I see stills, frames, captured and darkened, exposed and spent, and left again. 
I know nothing. 

I tend to do this a lot; I write random little things on bits of paper and then hide them away, only to find them years later. Like little, forgotten time capsules to myself.

Hey, have I ever told you that when I was in Junior high, my (then) best friend used to say I sounded like an afterschool special? I tended to use a lot of grandiose, quasi-melodramatic language and he thought it sounded silly. It probably did.

That friend is an artist now, and he creates some really stunning work. I'm not just saying that because he used to be my good friend.

This one is my favourite.

Mike Gough is his name, by the way. He is a Newfoundland artist. Well, an artist from Newfoundland.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Mr.Fella and I watched Rent tonight.
One of the lines from the musical is "the opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation." Mr.Fella turned to me and said "huh. That's right, you know."
"It is" I replied.

Before we moved to Ottawa, I took a year of belly dancing lessons. I needed something to get me out of the house while I was on maternity leave and it was a wonderful, growing, experience. There were many times when I thought "I need to keep doing this. I need to."

I hadn't been able to pursue it this fall, and it made me sad in a deep sense.

Sometimes I worry that I'm some kind of narcissist because I always seem to need to create something. I always need to write something. To paint something. To dance something. To say something (I talk so much sometimes).

Which is fine until I look back and think that my writing is pointless, my paintings are clumsy, my dancing is amateur and I need to learn when to keep my mouth shut. I've had my fair share of those experiences - I offended one of Mr.Fella's family members with my old blog, I've never been able to keep a single one of my paintings because they always make me cringe. Even right now I'm thinking about the fact that most of my entries seem formulaic. Maybe they are, a bit, but you know what? Life's formulaic.

And you're never going to do something that someone hasn't already done.

The vast, vast majority of us are not going to do anything that is even remotely close to ground-breaking. And if you care at all about being able to continue doing what you want to do, what makes you a better person to do, you'd better find a way to be okay with that.

Mr.Fella and I went to a Christmas party a few weeks ago. It was hosted by one of the grad students that Mr.Fella works with. He was from Newfoundland too, actually, but had been off the island for many years.

My husband and I arrove early. When we got in the door, we asked, "how are you doing?" and my fella's friend gritted his teeth and gave us an unconvincing "Oh, you know. Okay". My husband, always the listener, asked what was wrong and we poured a couple of glasses of wine.

"I'm dropping out of the program", his friend responded.

"Holy shit" Mr.Fella said. "Why?"

His friend then went on to explain that the program hadn't been quite what he expected. He had writer's block and he was a perfectionist about everything that he wrote. When he was accepted to grad school, he envisioned a lot of like-minded individuals debating the nature of literature and truth - the reality was that there was a lot more bullshit involved. The bullshit of deadlines, colleague politics, grading, dry seemingly irrelevant works.

He was dropping out and had a job lined up in construction.

Now, I didn't know anything about this guy's life - I didn't know what would make him happy. After the party, at the bus stop, I asked Mr.Fella if he thought his friend would be happy doing construction. "No, absolutely not." he responded.

And I could sympathize to the trouble of creating something you're happy with. And I could understand the troubles that arise when expectations meet reality. I certainly didn't expect to be a receptionist for four years after finishing university.

But that's life, I think. And that's the perils of the creative process - it's so easy to get in your own way.

And some days you just have to create shit, shit, shit until you start feeling better about it.