Un-Happy Halloween

I’m just going to say it. I hate Halloween. I mean it’s fun for the kids and I love candy and scary movies, but the spectacle that it has become? Ew. And I’m not alone here, anyone who has done their time in the service industry knows that Halloween is part of a family of holidays (also featuring New Years Eve, St. Patricks Day, and Canada Day) that are nothing more than amateur night. Something about these holidays make people wake up thinking they can drink way more than they could the week before. It doesn’t make any sense but I assure you, it happens. Girls cry.  Boys fight. People everywhere puke and pass out. Ugh. It’s the worst.

And, for me, Halloween is the biggest offender of all. I think that it is because of the costumes. When someone is dressed as someone other than themselves, they feel totally comfortable not acting like themselves. The shy become bold, the awkward, cool and the kind, aggressive. I can’t speak scientifically to it, but it’s as though people think that if no one knows who they are, there will be no repercussions to their actions or words. Add this to the herd mentality, the fact that everyone is bolder, louder, meaner and the night just becomes a less fun place to be for those who aren’t participating in the gong-show.

And maybe I’m just being old and grumpy, jaded from years of being berated by people in masks every October 31st because the bar I happened to work in didn’t carry their favourite beer. But as I sit at home tomorrow night, binge eating candy and watching bad horror films I know there isn’t anywhere else I’d rather be.

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Atwood the Genius

I read Life Before Man in my early twenties. That was a long time ago and most of the book’s details are now forgotten to me, but one thing stands out. In the book one of the characters faces both physical violence and emotional indifference from her lover. For her, the physical was (obviously) terrible, but it was the neglect that was going to leave the scars.  Upon reading this, the 21-year-old me was like Margaret!! You and me!! We’re the same!! It was a bold and controversial statement, but I got it. I got her. And I’ve been a huge fan ever since. attwood

Last night I had the privilege of being in the same room as Atwood. She was doing a reading from her latest book, MaddAddam, which I have admittedly not yet read. Prior to the reading she was having a drink with Nobel Prize winner Alice Munroe. No big deal. I bet they were drinking juleps.

The reading was great, as you would expect, but the highlight for me was the conversation afterwards. In a discussion with the moderator, the topic of video games came up–the real-life game Intestinal Parasites was inspired by her latest book. As Atwood is a loud advocate of technology, the moderator was careful not to say anything negative, “video games are the modern form of story-telling” she said in an obvious attempt to appease. “Ha”, giggled Atwood, “more like the modern form of crochet”.

I will always love her.

The Sadies

When I was 25 I had this boyfriend that I pretty much lived with. He had a friend who was pretty much living with him too, so we all hung out a lot. This friend drank too much and was going through a divorce because of it. He was going through a divorce and drank too much because of it. He was a sloppy and inappropriate drunk and he was drunk all the time. But despite this, this guy was extremely clever and charismatic and I really really really wanted him to like me.  He was really into the Sadies at the time, I think he found comfort in their music. I started listening to them because I thought maybe we could be friends if we had some common ground.

Both that ex and his friend rarely cross my mind these days, but I still listen to the Sadies all the time. Tonight I get to see them live.

 

Gravity and the Cinema

From 2001-2004 I think I saw almost every movie that was released by a major studio.

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Raj and I at his wedding last summer.

I grew up in a town where there weren’t many pronounced cliques. There wasn’t a lot of socio-economic discrepancy. There weren’t enough stores for anyone to have much personal style. And there wasn’t enough to do to base your friendships on your hobbies. This meant the people that you spent your time with were your friends because your personalities just clicked. One of my best friends throughout high school was this guy named Raj. In 2000 I moved away to the big city (Calgary) and was introduced to a world of stereotypical social groups that I had only seen in the movies  until this point. While I don’t think I succumbed too much, when Raj moved there in 2001 on a basketball scholarship, his life became very much the life of a star varsity athlete. He was part of a special club that I wasn’t interested in, or invited to, join. For the first time in our lives, hanging out wasn’t super easy. So we started going to the movies every Tuesday. Every Tuesday for three years. It was our standing date and often the highlight of my week. When this era ended, so did my regular movie going. I still go now and then, of course, but not a lot. I miss it and I think it’s time to start going again on the regular…so I went on Tuesday!

gravity

I went to see Gravity. A couple weeks ago I asked Kurt who was in it/what it was about. His response, “I don’t know. I just know I want to see it.” This movie had some serious hype. Over all it was good, though I’m glad it was short. It was 99 parts something bad almost happening and 1 part cheesiness (Kurt’s recipe of a Hollywood blockbuster). Visually it was incredible. And my favourite part, it starred Sandra Bullock, a woman, in a strong role that could have just as easily been a man. I could go on and write a more thorough review, but I am bad at reviews and I came across this one from one of my favourite bloggers this morning:

Gravity: A Review

You should read it. And then go see the movie. Or don’t. It`s up to you.

Weekend Away: Okanagan

I spent this past weekend with my partner on his home turf, the Okanagan. It was four days of firsts for me. My first time in the region, my first time meeting his mom, my first time at a demolition derby and my first time being that relaxed in ages.

Saturday. In honour of Thanksgiving we celebrated by eating and sleeping then eating again and then sleeping again.  In between all those strenuous activities, I got a tour of Vernon, did a mead tasting at Planet Bee and spent some time with Kurt’s parents. It was beautiful to see where he gets his generous spirit, his smile and his gift of the gab.

Sunday. After a lazy morning in Vernon, Kurt and I made our way to Armstrong for the annual Armstrong Demolition Derby. At first I was like, this could be cool in an ironic-kitschy way and armstrongdemothen when I got there and it started I was like, this is the absolute best. Demolition derby’s are great. Go to one if you get the chance. After the crashes we made our way past Enderby towards Mabel Lake where Kurt’s family has a cabin.  Beautiful. There’s an airstrip in the area, perfect for walking and a new golf course perfect for having a cold one–$2 pints! We ended our day with dinner back in Vernon at Bai Tong, our Sunday Thai food tradition.

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Monday. While irrelevant, I think Kurt would like me to mention that we went for a run on Monday morning. And he did great. It was a beautiful day so we headed to Kalamalka Lake and hiked around there for an hour or so. Then we “went to go run an errand for his parents”. And next thing I know we are at Sparkling Hill Resort. Surprise…and I have the best boyfriend in the world. This place is unreal. There are Swarovski crystals everywhere, an infinity pool over looking Okanagan Lake, and a spa with nine different types of steam rooms and saunas. Seriously. We had an absolutely gourmet meal in the restaurant. It was a perfect afternoon/evening.

sparkling-hill-resort

Tuesday. After the best hotel continental breakfast ever we made our way into Lake Country. Kurt, who doesn’t drink, continued on his run of being the best and drove me around to Arrowleaf, Intrigue, and Gray Monk wineries and watched me get a tiny bit day drunk on Okanagan wines. Afterwards we went into Kelowna for lunch at Earls before flying home. When in Rome, I guess.

lake country

And that was that. Those four days in the Okanagan were wonderful. I’m sure I’ll be back soon enough and I’m already looking forward to it.

Unrequited Love

When I first heard this song, my heart stopped. It was a break up song. I just knew it. I finally had my chance with the Manitoban-genius-poet that is John K. Samson. Why wouldn’t he want to be with a woman twice his size and half his wit who lived three provinces over? This album was released the same week that I had booked some time away in Tofino with my friend Laura. I brought my lap top and used the rain as an excuse to stay indoors and youtube stalk my future life partner. I made her watch endless minutes of the most recently uploaded videos of John K. performing, hoping each one would have a shot of his left hand. Just hoping his ring would be gone.

Finally we came across this one.
Edna and Skinner. Of course.
His genius remained in tact, while my heart remained in want.