Thursday, November 30, 2006

When the rain washes you clean, you'll know.

Question of the day (let's start a question of the day every once in a while): In your bathrooms, do you use bar soap or hand soap? And is said soap what you use all the time, or is it just something you picked up? And do you use the same for both bathing and hand washing? The reason I ask is this: I noticed on some flu propoganda that they said to wash frequently with liquid soap. I do prefer liquid soap for hands, but for bathing, you need a bar of soap in the tub. So, for personal toileting, I like a liquid soap, for showering, I like body wash, and for bathing, I like a bar. Now, I really dig Pears soap, but it doesn't really suds up good. I like Dove cucumber green tea or whatever it's called, but that shit just melts away and makes a mess in your tub. Coast is nice, but I can't use it on my face. So like, what do you prefer?
Honest to God, I really am interested in your soap preferences. No, my glass of wine didn't go to my head either. I told you, I am an enigma.

"You're the most boring post in the world, to me" (sung to the tune of air supply's "girl you're everyone women in the world to me")

I just realized that I haven't talked about Survivor all season. I suppose this could be because it was pretty much boring until about now. It's still not rocking my world, but I have to say this: That stupid-ass Pavarti or whatever the hell her name is really needs to get her ass back to Bitchland, or wherever it is she came from. I mean really, she doesn't shut up about Alan Alda being a traitor and says she "wants to puke on his face", yet nobody calls her on her whole booty call stategy she admitted to in the beginning. And then Candice being all confrontational, and I mean, she did the same thing Alan Alda did, so it's just stupid. Oh, I don't want to waste my breath. But tell me this - how are they so healthy looking, how is their hair so clean, how are they all shaved, and so on? Methinks they are probably staying in the Island Hilton between takes. I much prefer Amazing Race this year, and Project Runway, I shit you not. Really, the only show I look forward to is my Fame reruns, because it's so cheesy, it's good. And you know, I completely forgot all about Nia Peeples. Am I the only person who remembers her? What ever happened to her?
I have sweet bugger all to say tonight. Why I am sitting here typing is beyond me, but I need something to do with my hands while I finish my glass of wine since I don't smoke anymore.
It's snowing again here. It looks like the end of February with all the snow on the ground. It's been making driving to Starbucks especially hard. Yes, the Starbucks in Safeway finally opened, so I am getting especially fat from all the stupid gingerbread lattes I've been drinking. I need to nip this habit in the bud and get my ass back to Tim Horton's only, for my XL with milk - much better for me.
I had my checkup last week. I've gained weight, which is no secret, but I refused to see what I was - my scale at home is the same as the doctor scale so I'll get the balls to weigh myself this weekend. I am pretty much healthy, I am glad to say. My cholesterol is up from last time, but still in acceptable range (back when I was really fat, it was really high so it's an issue), but my good cholesterol isn't as high as it should be, so I have to get out my old cholesterol books and see what i need to do for that.
So, I'll be back on the health wagon soon enough.
Well, I forced Chunks to buy Joni Mitchell's Blue, and now I am all worried that it was the wrong album to start her with - I am afraid that parts of it might be a little too... I don't know.... a little too... something.... I mean, it was the one that socked me in the gut, but I was a melancholy teenager with hippie leanings when I discovered it. I really think I should have got her into For the Roses and Court and Spark, which have more piano tunes, and a deeper voiced Joan and are more melancholy. But what can you do. I have been addicted to For the Roses lately and listen to it each day. I am not melancholy right now, but I have the line "when you dig down deep you lose good sleep" going through my head. Ain't that the truth. I told Chunks I would get Rose Cousins, and I will, I really will. However, tomorrow my purchase has to be James Taylor's Xmas album if I can find it.
Fuck, this is such a boring post. I must be thinking something good will come to me if I keep typing. I am glad you all pretended like the last post, about the building, made sense. I really want to post about two other buildings but tonight is not the night. Maybe tomorrow, if I have any energy after setting up the Christmas tree. Yes, after ballet, that's what we plan to do. Anyway, I think I'll go read what y'all have to say since I have nothing fun to say myself.
Have a good one peeps.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Zen State of Mind

I got to thinking about how everyone found my book purchases to be odd. That suprised me. I assumed that everyone would like the same stuff I liked. And then I got to thinking that most people wouldn't give a shit about the Dakota in New York, or feel a kindred spirit with a building they have never seen. And it got me thinking about the 3 or 4 buildings that always have been weird little spaces that I have spent way too much time thinking about. And I am going to tell you about them. They are not necessarily interesting stories, especially the first one, but they all represent how one physical space is related to other spaces, and how memories of a certain place are tied to other memories, and on and on. So this first one, an obsession with an office building located in downtown Chilliwack, B.C., in the 1970s, is what I am telling you about tonight.

The Zen Building is/was (I say was because I wasn’t sure when I visited a few years ago if it is still indeed there – if so, it’s had a significant facelift) set amidst other commercial buildings on one of the main thoroughfares of town. Located in the middle of the block, the building was a newer addition to the older downtown core. Ok, try to picture it – if you were standing in front of it, you would see a business on your left, another one on your right, both with floor to ceiling windows, and straight ahead you would see a walkway that takes you to the back of the building and to the back alley. It was a straight, open walkway, so people used it to cross from the main street to the back alley (which linked to other streets). So, this walkway/walk-thru made it unique. So if you started to walk straight ahead down the walkway, or hall, or whatever you would call it, there would be another business on your left, another one on your right, and then an elevator to go upstairs (there were two floors on top of the building that were various office spaces), and then another business on each side of the hall, and then finally two more businesses, one on each side, of the back, just like the front. The only businesses that were in there were, in the front, the Bank of Nova Scotia on the right, the Donut Shop on the left, and in the back, a photographer place, and I can’t think of what else – usually, over half the place was empty.

Well anyway, now that the long description is over, so what, you say – well, the building itself didn’t really mean anything to me. True, I was in it every Saturday, as it was a few buildings down from the movie theater and every Saturday, on our way to the Saturday Matinee, we’d cut through the building. Saturdays were always a busy day for me as a kid. Me and my next door neighbor, “Ruby”, would walk downtown (sometimes we’d get a ride, but more often would walk, through the pouring rain), and we’d go to the Royal Hotel for fries and gravy. Some years, we would bowl, on our team The Eagles (named after the band – everyone else had bowling names, but we weren’t that smart), so we’d go to the Royal after bowling, but regardless, we’d end up there for Saturday lunch. The Royal Hotel was a cool old building that for some reason has always been on the verge of falling into decrepitness, but never does. The café had a beer parlor off of it, and we would sit in the old booths and always order fries and gravy and a pop. I can’t remember what it came to – usually $1.35 or something like that I think. But they were the best fries and gravy on the planet. You usually didn’t get much, just a saucer of steak fries covered with opulent looking gravy, and we’d smother them with salt and pepper. I can still taste them. Of course, since there was never quite enough gravy, you would usually end up with one or two fries uneaten, because you know how dry steak fries can be – too dry to swallow sometimes. Once in a while, if I was feeling flush, I would also order a bowl of soup, which was always just Campbell’s out of the can. But it was good, you know?

Anyway, we’d eat there, and then we’d run across to “the shop”, the hair place Ruby’s mom owned. It was one of those old lady hair places, and I can still remember spending HOURS in there, waiting for a ride home on Saturdays, after we were done our movie. I can still smell the sour odor of perm, and see all the bottles of color sitting there, brown bottles with different shades on the labels. We’d sit in the back, where there was a table, a counter, some liquor, and usually a few hair dressers sitting there smoking. The bathroom was small and had a shelf with each hairdresser’s supply of sanitary protection. Everyone used something different, and I learned a lot whenever I sat in there reading the boxes. I remember seeing an OB tampon and trying to figure THAT thing out, since I barely understood the ones WITH applicators.

Anyway, after stopping in at the shop, we’d run the few blocks to the theater, cutting through the Zen building. As we always had to be the first in line at the theater, why, I don’t know, but probably to ensure we had our pick of seats, we would be there at least a ½ hour before the ticket booth opened. So, we’d spend our $1.50 on admission, and then go in and order our movie food from the pretty cashier. Oh man, she was beautiful. I think her name was Julie. She had feathered hair, lots of blue eye shadow, and straight, white teeth. She was about 16, and I thought she looked like a million bucks in her blue Famous Players smock. So, I would play it cool and order Swamp Water, a mixing of the Coke, Sprite, and Orange pop, and thought I was cooler than shit because I was speaking in a lingo that only the two of us understood. You see, swamp water wasn’t on the menu, but she knew what I wanted. I would also get a popcorn and perhaps twizzlers or Goodies, if I could afford it. So off Ruby and I would go, sometimes joined by Steven, sometimes by Delilah, sometimes by Bob, or sometimes by Vicki, but mostly just the two of us, like some old married couple, and rush to front row centre. We would sit through any movie that came, whether we liked it or not. I remember Star Trek the Movie coming out and we didn’t understand one single thing, not a one. Yet the next week, it was held over, and we sat through it again. It was torture. Yet, the second showing was still a good time, as I remember being in the bathroom and some kid pooped his pants and it was a big ordeal, so there was something we could talk about through the movie. We sat through so many movies, good and bad, on those Saturdays. I remember seeing all the biggies of the day – the PG version of Saturday Night Fever, which really lost something and didn’t make much sense to me until I saw the R rated version, Grease, where I think we went something like 6 weeks in a row (which I absolutely hate now), Meatballs, Roadie (starring Meat Loaf), the Roller Derby/Roller Boogie movies, Little Darlings, all the Disney stuff, the Herbie movies, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the list goes on.

Once the movie would be done, we’d head off back to the shop, usually in the rain, and cut through the Zen Building again Since the movie would be done by 4 at the latest, and since we’d have to wait until the shop closed at 6 to get a ride home, we would dilly-dally, sometimes stopping in at the used book store to sneak looks at the dirty magazines, and we’d walk through the Zen Building, peering into the donut shop, or looking at the pictures in the photo gallery. And really, the Building wasn’t a thought to us. We’d been upstairs once before, when we were with Ruby’s mom and went to her accountant’s office upstairs on the second floor (which was so cool, because the elevator was locked on weekends, so we were proud to say we had been in the elevator in that building). But really, the building was just a convenient walk-through, a short-cut, and a brief respite from getting soaked by the cold winter rain. But other than the novelty of being a shortcut, it left no more impression than the other buildings we visited on Saturdays – the Royal, the theater, the shop, the bookstore, or the other stores on the way back to the shop.

Indeed, other places left more of an immediate impression. On the way to the shop, we’d often stop in at the Grass Roots Health Food Store on Yale Avenue. There were many health food stores there, but Grass Roots was the best. It was where my sister and her husband would go and buy their Kelp, Alfalfa tablets, vitamin C, vitamin A, and so on. The woman who owned it was quite a character – this hippie who would dispense all of this advice for her snake oils, and people would eat it up. I don’t know why people did. She had a tattoo on her leg, which in those days was suspect, and smoked, which was strange for a health food store owner. I loved going there and we’d often buy a licorice root to chew on. They were kept in a canister of fluid, sort of reminiscent of the way the combs were kept in the blue Barbicide in the shop, and we’d get these sticks and think we were so cool, sucking on wood sticks, and would be all “this is the REAL licorice.” Yeah, we knew how to have fun. I remember wishing I could afford to buy all of these Celestial Seasonings teas. I used to buy some once in a while, when I was feeling flush, and I really liked the orange spice, and red zinger, and the mint. I also used to think banana chips were cool, and carob too. So it was always a good diversion to hit Grass Roots whenever we could.

So, as you can see, the Zen Building wasn't a Taj Mahal or anything like that. I was just another Saturday stop. Or at least, it was just a Saturday stop until the damn thing was found to be structurally unsound and immediately ordered to be evacuated. I suppose it wasn't as dire as it sounded to me, but all I know is that Ruby came running over to my house one night to tell me that the Zen Building was closed down because it could collapse at any moment. Sure enough, next time we went downtown, the damn thing was completely empty. The Donut Shop, the only one in town, was empty. Really, it was no loss, because their donuts were really cakey, and fried on old tasting oil, so while it was always so exciting to go there, it was nevertheless and inevitable let down. But the Donut Shop was gone, the bank was gone, the photo place was gone, and the walkway was closed at each end with plywood. If you were tall, you could look over the wood and see in, but being children, we could only see in via the glass walls in the donut place and the bank, which also gave us a little insight into the walkway. Thus began my obsession with the building. I think it was the excitement that it might collapse, being a grand catastrophe that we had never seen. I think I owe it all to being a child raised on fears of quicksand, killer bees, spiders taking over the earth, etc. This building had the makings of a made for tv movie starring Eve Plumb, the spunky teen girl trapped in the collapsed building, fighting through the rubble to freedom. So I would clip articles in the paper whenever the Zen Building was mentioned, and would peer into it faithfully whenever I was downtown. Ruby and I would always wonder when it would open again. We couldn't wait to look danger in the eye and walk through the walkway again. However, lest we sound like Hart to Hart, we were little chickenshits. I will always remember us peering into the windows of the donut shop after the movie one Saturday. The lock on the door looked a little funny, and we both just started reefing on the door like we had to get our trapped friend, Eve Plumb, out of there before the place fell on her. So there we are, both just yanking the handle of the door like crazy, peering into this dark, stark room, with ceiling tiles removed, missing drywall, pipes exposed, etc., and I suddenly felt awash with fear like never before. Strangely, Ruby felt it at the same time because suddenly, while pulling on the door, we both slowly turned out heads, looked at each other, and then ran like fucking lightning. I think we went half a block before we stopped, and then we laughed forever. I don't know how long the building was closed, but i am sure it must have been a good year or so before it was open. We watched as men came in and worked on it, and when the walkway was finally opened, I remember the creepy feeling of walking through it, being terrified the place would fall down on my head. Something tells me the place was closed down one more time, but my memory fails me. However, if I could, I would go down there and look through the old newspapers on microfilm like they do in the movies, and read up on the whole thing. I'd love to do that. Yes, I am weird. But this building was a big adventure to me, and I will never forget it. I still don't know what was structurally wrong with the building, but it must have been something terrible for them to close it that fast. So my friends, if you are still with me, this is one of the buildings that left an imprint on my life.
Next I will post on the Arlington in Edmonton, the old house here in Prince Albert, and the Dakota in New York, and explain my fascination with them. I know you probably don't care, but it's my blog, so deal. But the cool thing is realizing how all the other events and memories are all somehow tied into this old building - it's like six degrees of separation.
So that, my friends, is the first building - the stories get better, but I think the Zen started the weird connection I have to certain physical spaces. And now you know the rest of the story....

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

An Open Letter to Rosie O'donnell

An open letter to my homegirl, Rosie O'donnell:

Dearest Ro (may I call you Ro?),
Ro baby, you know I love you. Really, I truly do. You are the shit and the cat's ass, all rolled into one. You da man, as the kids say, you are my lady, as Freddie Jackson sang in the 80's, and you are my sunshine, as the kindergarten set says. I was so happy when you got your own show, I used to have people in North Battleford tape it for us, and I went through a whole elaborate rouse to actually steal tapes of your show from friends who were visiting - when they were leaving, I distracted them so they would forget to check the living room for their tapes. I know, it's terrible. But it was well worth it. Ah Ro, I always pictured us hanging out, eating junk food and singing the theme to Maude (because, babe, like Maude, you are incompromisin', enterprisin', anything but tranquilizin'. I was sad when you left the air, was happy when I found you in blogland, and then thought "yeah baby" when you saved the View from frogface Star and lil' Anita Bryant. And you know, you looked hot in Exit to Eden. Now, let's never talk about that again.
So when I was hearing about all the shit yesterday, I wanted to say "stick it to the anorexic bitch, Rosie, you da woman!" It's no secret, Kelly Ripa is someone I just don't warm up to. As Stevie Nicks sang so eloquently in the title track to her awesome album Bella Donna, "it's just a feeling... sorta captures your soul." Well, that's what I think about Kelly. It's a feeling I have that just doesn't sit well with me. And so I want to take your side. But really honey, all you did was out Clay. I mean, we all know he's gayer than a three dollar bill. But he pretends he isn't, so whatever, if wants to say he's straight (in the same way all the scientologists say they are straight, WINK WINK - Sorry, I know your Tom Cruise thing, but come on), let's let him be. We ain't never seen Dinah Shore say Liberace was gay on HER show. But anyway, I really don't think she was being homophobic. It's because the anorexic little biotch (who needs to meld with an Olsen twin or something to double her weight) hates Clay (I told you, she's difficult), and also, he's so gross looking. Ain't no way I'd want Clay's creepy hillbilly hand over my mouth either. I wouldn't want him touching me no way, no how - you know, it's the situation where you shake hands with the creepy person and then reach for the hand sanitizer. I mean, really, I would rather have Martha Raye's dentures in my mouth than have that freaky-ass Clay's hand over my mouth. I wouldn't be worrying about where it's been - I'd be worrying that it's from Clay. So when you say "she wouldn't complain if it was Mario Lopez's hand", well honey, I wouldn't either, because Mario doesn't look like he's from Children of the Corn. It's that simple. I don't mean to be mean to Clay, because as I have said time and again, I ain't no Willie Ames, but he's creepy. It's like in Judy Blume's novel Deenie, where Deenie and all the other kids are afraid to touch that girl, whatshername, because she has eczema, which they called the creeping crud. So you see, it's not because Kelly's homophobic. It's because Clay is creepy. And his creepiness in looks supersedes his good qualities I guess, much the same way Didi Cohn creeped me out as a child, or Liza Minelli. So come on, just say "I was wrong" for once, and move on. We still love you, and you can yell at Tom Selleck all you want. But if you are going to rant and rave about Clay and Kelly, then you better start talking shit about Tom Cruise and the sham of a marriage to that little girl who is standing in a hole in all the pictures, because honey, if not, it's just hypocritical.
Anyway, I still love ya Ro - As our Joni so eloquently sang "I can't even hear the fucking music playing for the Beat of Black Wings." Yes, this song lyric has no meaning here, but I couldn't think of any other Joni-ism.
So Ro, suck it up and let's move on.
Love ya lots, Maudie

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I got no snappy title tonight

Yes, I am finally checking in. Leave me alone, it's been a hectic two weeks. Last week just sucked shit, no nice way to say it. Sucked fucking shit. Nothing really major, just a whole bunch of little crappolas that rolled into a one-way ticket to suckassville. And, it's been really hectic. Rachel went back to work, working MWF. Yesterday was baby's first day with the sitter (my sister). Since she doesn't know my sister really, it was a challenge, and tomorrow promises to be a tear-filled day for the little birthday girl (read the previous post). But anyway, she'll adjust and she actually did better than I thought yesterday as she didn't cry the WHOLE day. Thank God she's just working 3 days a week.
I am pooped out tonight - I was on the highway before 7 this morning for a meeting in Saskatoon, and if you know me, I don't function well that early. I left my cellphone at home too, so I thought I lost it and that was trauma. So right now I am just finishing my glass of wine before bed. I've taken to having a glass of red wine, or two even sometimes, before bed, first because my doctor told me it would be good for me, and also because it helps a poor insomniac like me sleep. So anyway, I've been sucking the wine back like some drunk, and resorted to buying a box of wine on the weekend. Ain't nothing classy about me.
So I got my bloodwork done yesterday (three frigging vials, I kid you not) for my checkup on Thursday. I am not looking forward to it, because I've gained weight like a mofo again, and so I will hear what I don't want to hear, but then again, I don't want to drop dead on my children so I'll suck it up and get back into shape.
I ordered some books from Indigo last week - I got "The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time", another book about life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver, a book about smallpox by Richard Preston (the guy who wrote The Hot Zone), and then two books about luxury apartment buildings in New York (historical books) and a book called "Life at the Dakota". I've got this obsession with the Dakota that I mean to blog about someday because it is an interesting story, which is why I got those last three. So I have some good reading.
Hey, I was reading my latest Entertainment Weekly in the tub tonight and found out Dougie Howser is gay. I don't know why, but it makes him a little less dorky. However, being gay makes Lass Bass extra dorky. And let's not start on Jonathon from Who's the Boss, ok? Because he's just creepy.
And what's up with the whole Kramer thing?
So today I was listening to Joni's For the Roses for most of my trip, and I am in this sort of melancholy mood right now. That's one album that was never really one of my favorites of hers and I never listened to it much, but now it is in my top three favorites of hers. But damn, she just bleeds her break up with James Taylor all over that thing. After listening to it for two hours today I feel like I went through the whole frigging thing with her, and then retreated to the wilds of B.C. But Chunks baby, don't try to start getting into Joni with that one, because it won't work, and you'll be all "wtf?" I think you need Blue.
Anyway, I have nothing witty, gossipy, or vulgar to share today. I just thought I better pop in before you all jumped down my throat.
Just thinking - Kramer just said on tv he wasn't a racist and I thought "Whatever" and the same reaction to Mel Gibson. Yet, what if someone read me calling Heather Mills a one-legged bitch and said I was against one-legged people? Because that's not true, yet I said it. Hmmm, I need to cogitate on that one.
Anyway, I gotta get ready for bed before I decide to have more wine and finish the Costco pizza sitting on the stove.
Have a good day y'all,


Ok, I know that the lyrics seem hokey when you first look at them, but after you hear the song you realize they work. But anyway, in honour of my baby Brianne's first birthday today, here is a song close to my heart that I am sending out to her tonight. As the song says, the moment that I saw you, the second that you were born, I knew.... love you forever babes.

Love of My Life - Words and Music by Carly Simon

I love lilacs and avocados
Ukuleles and fireworks
And Woody Allen
And walking in the snow
But you've got to know

That you're the love of my life
You are the love of my life
You are the love of my life
You are the love of my life
From the moment I first saw you
The second that you were born
I knew that you were the love of my life
Quite simply the love of my life

I love Lucy and pumpernickel bread
The Statue Of Liberty
And standing ovations
And falling into bed

But get it through your head
That you're the love of my life
You are the love of my life
You are the love of my life
You are the love of my life
From the moment I first saw you
The second that you were born
I knew that you were the love of my life
Quite simply the love of my life

You can drive me crazy
You can drive me anywhere
Here are the keys
Just do as you please
It may not always be easy

But you're the love of my life
My heart is riding on a runaway train
You are the love of my life
Through all the pleasure and pain
From the moment I first saw you
I knew, I knew it right away
I knew that you were the love of my life
Simply the love of my lifeYou are the love
The great love of my life

© 1992 C'est Music