I hate my stuff

I was sitting here just now looking around my house and realising.. I have a lot of stuff.

No, not stuff. Crap.

Useless crap.

I hate it all. Everything I own. Sometimes I think about how liberating it would feel if I only just collected it all, brought it outside, and had a magnificent bonfire. Let the memories burn away with the flames.

Occasionally I try to purge my life of unnecessary belongings which I feel are slowly throttling me, and as I go through it thoughts like ‘oh I can’t get rid of that, that’s when yada bla bla happened.’ Or ‘wow that’s such a great little trinket from when I went on that trip that one time.  I should keep it, better let it sit neglected in this dark box for another few years.’

I mean it’s getting ridiculous. I have clothes I haven’t worn in years, clothes I bought and never wore, trinkets from elementary school, and tons of books. Books from uni, books I read as a kid, books I hate, books I still have to read, cookbooks. There are binders, boxes, cables, wires for ancient computers, plugs for phones I don’t use anymore, phones I don’t use anymore.. I could go on. But you get the point.

Part of it is I don’t know what to do about certain things. Like wires and phones. What the hell do you do with them? I don’t want to just throw them out. I think there’s a way to recycle them, but I don’t know where or how. I’m too lazy to look into the matter so I just think I’ll do it later.

The worst is the sentimental things. I have a cardigan that my grandmother bought me when I was 11.. I am in my 20s now. I have always hated this cardigan and have never once worn it (sorry, Grandma. RIP.) Every time I think I should donate it I feel  this overwhelming sensation of guilt. Like my Grandma will somehow manage to be sad even though she’s been gone for years.

And I have a Furby. That’s right, a Furby.

If you don’t know what that looks like go ahead and google it. It’s one of those hideous little talking toys from way back in the day (although I think they have since made a comeback.) Every time I look at its stupid face I wonder why it’s there yet I never get rid of it. Annoyingly it still works, and every now and then someone accidentally tips it over and you hear it waking up, making its yawning noises, and asking to play. This happened the other day when my boyfriend stumbled upon it. I yelled out Noooooooooooo! very dramatically because once it wakes up it takes FOREVER to put back to sleep. My dogs started barking because of course they don’t understand what could possibly be making such inane sounds. I ended up sitting there for countless minutes like a pathetic minion holding my hand over the Furby’s light sensor so that it would sleep and shut up. All the while my dogs are barking their heads off and the Furby is singing “lalalalalala” to itself and wiggling its dumb ears up and down. I mean it’s been a while since I was in the 6-9 year old demographic. HOW HAVE YOU BEWITCHED ME, FURBY?!

I am moving in a month and a half, and when I go I want to go with a clean slate. I don’t want to bring all this baggage along with me. I am cluttered to the core.  So over the next couple of weeks I am going to have to learn to be brutal with my possessions. Even the thought that I won’t have any of this crap around anymore makes me feel lighter somehow. I don’t need things to keep memories, I should just write down the important ones instead of keeping them around in the form of stuff that piles up around me. I should learn to be a minimalist.

How do you deal with your excess stuff?

The argumentative barista

I had an interesting, and indeed, mind-baffling encounter with a barista at Starbucks today. I know what you’re thinking… how could an interaction with a barista possibly be considered mind-baffling? Surely you exaggerate!

And I’ll concede, my story doesn’t relate the experience of witnessing a dinosaur ordering a mocha, which would be absolutely amazing. Or anything else equally outrageous. But it is right up there. Let me tell you.

It starts innocently enough, I’m waiting in a stupidly long line brimming with other coffee-addicts also willing to drop five hard earned dollars on mediocre (let’s be honest) coffee. As I wait amongst the well organised herd, I pretend that this moment isn’t a complete waste of time by fiddling around on my phone checking all my very important non-emails. I inch closer and closer to the front of the line until finally I hear someone say they can take my order.

I’m at the university Starbucks, so I know I better keep it simple. They have a very hard time maintaining their attention spans long enough to make drinks correctly there. You’re lucky if you get someone who actually reads the letters on the bottom of the cup, usually it’s like playing the coffee lottery. Sometimes you win, but usually you lose.

“I’ll have a green tea latte, please. With soy.”

She proceeds to write that down and then passes the cup to the bar. Now I cross my fingers and hope for the best.

An irrationally long period of time passes which I feel will never end. I stand at the end of the bar awaiting my drink with at least ten other saps. All of us have been sucked into the void that is this university Starbucks, and it’ll be a miracle if we get our drinks before we’re dead. I see seven or eight barely-past-their-teens employees giggling away like little school girls, oblivious to the drink orders piling up and doing NOTHING. I wonder how this place stays in business with employees who don’t do anything, and hate myself for continuing to return day after day. Following that I cry a little inside when I realise that another twenty minutes of my life has been frittered away here in coffee hell, and I imagine I must look like some sort of doll devoid of substance to the passers-by who still have lives. Pity me, humans, for my life no longer has meaning.

But finally the light at the tunnel, and the reason why I’m suckered into coming back– my drink is called and placed out for me.

I walk over like a hopeful squirrel, and am thoroughly disappointed when I stare into my cup and see that it has been made wrong, yet again. I’ve been presented with a cup of steamed milk without any green tea in it whatsoever.

Sigh. I catch the attention of the barista who made my drink.

“I’m sorry, I ordered a green tea latte,” I say.

“That IS a green tea latte,” she replies in annoyance.

I let her tone pass, and continue.

“You forgot to put green tea in it, I’m afraid.”

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did. This is just a cup of steamed soy milk.”

“Look, I know how I made the drink,” she says incredulous. “It’s a green tea.”

Fucking bullshit, I think.

“No, no” I say aloud, and rather irritated. “This drink would need to be a different colour to be correct. Green to be specific.”

Finally she takes the half second required to glance into my drink, and see despairingly that I’m right.

“Oh” she says simply. Not even an ounce of humour in her voice. “Well, what? You want me to remake it, I guess?”

You guess? Damn right you better remake that shit.

“Yes, if you don’t mind.”

She then proceeds to very dramatically pour the contents of the steamed milk out and then sighs as she gets started making the drink once more. Heaven forbid someone demand the drink they spent five dollars on. You’d think she wasn’t getting paid to do it, like I had asked her to give me her firstborn to sacrifice.

The worst part is I know I’ll go there again. Never learning, and doomed to repeat the same mistake over and over again in pursuit of green tea lattes.

I blame the mac

This past Thursday I had a test (all short/long answer questions) for one of my uni classes which had to be completed in the lab within a one hour time constraint. The class is scheduled to be, and usually always lasts,  for 1 1/2 hours. Why we were only allowed one hour to complete it is utterly beyond me… but anyway.

I show up to class (an achievement) early (another achievement) because I am ready to write this stupid thing and pass the crap out of it. My mindset was good, I was feeling the lure of a passing grade that morning. In fact I was in such a positive mindset that I could have barfed up some optimism and still had enough left over to be slightly obnoxious.

I studied for this test. So hard. Okay, that was a lie. I studied a little. And by a little I mean the absolute-last-minute-morning-of-the-test kind of studying. But I still knew enough about the material to wing it and do reasonably well. By my wager I had just the right amount of knowledge to pull off a nice B and feel relaxed about it.

So I’m sitting there in the lab, early, ready to go and thinking yeah, I can do this. I can pass this test! My god it’s an achievable thing. Just believe, just believe! I look to the prof in mildly tense anticipation waiting for her to give the okay to click the START TEST button. When at last she gives us all the go ahead I take a deep breath, and click. The questions pop up, and as I read through them an immense flood of relief washes over me because I know most of the answers. By some miracle, I have been given the knowledge to succeed. I sat there and thought thank you, universe! I love you.

Well let me tell you, that appreciation got me NOWHERE, and the promise of optimism is nothing but a facade to set you up for disappointment… I may be exaggerating a little here. But disappointingly..

I failed the test. Not because I didn’t know the answers, for I surely knew enough of them to pass. So how then did I fall short of success? Well…

I had to use a mac to do it.

That’s right, I am BLAMING the mac for my failure of this test. If the mac were a child I would send it to sit in the corner, or make it stand shamefully beneath a dunce cap for its ridiculous behaviour. I would even let the other kids tease it. I mean imagine my annoyance. I woke up early to read and study things I don’t care about in order to pass a test, and because of the mac, I failed anyway. Thanks a lot, apple inc!

Now before you think I’m trying to justify my failures by blaming apple products, allow me to explain. I have never had any unreasonable distaste for pretty laptops and snazzy products. I am not one of these anti-mac people who hate everything apple. I even have an ipod. So you know my grievances must be legitimate.

Before this test I had never operated a mac computer for longer than twenty seconds. I don’t even know how to describe what went wrong except that my test window disappeared, random useless windows APpeared, I couldn’t right click, I didn’t know where the minimize and maximize buttons were, random things popped up when I pushed certain buttons that wouldn’t go away, and on, and on. It was absolutely the most ridiculous thing ever. And the worst part is, I started getting so FRUSTRATED. I was fuming. I wanted to throw the keyboard across the room. Several times I imagined myself screaming aloud in unbridled  rage WHAT IS THIS BULLSHIT! and then grabbing my stuff and stomping out of the room like some sort of crazy child having a temper tantrum. I was so mad it was comical, because no matter what I did I could not figure out how to make it function properly, like a PC.

This was me at the end of this horrific mac experience:

By the time the test was over I had only managed to complete maybe half the questions, and not even the important ones worth the most marks. When the prof walked by and kindly asked me if I had finished, I smiled bitterly and said “For better or for worse, emphasis on the worse.” And then I imagined burning the lab down so that I would have my vengeance against the computer that damned my grade.

I’m considering blaming apple products for all of my life problems in the future. It feels good.

There’s no such thing as flexitarianism

A couple weeks ago I read an article in the local paper about the rise of this new movement called “flexitarianism”. I think it must be one of the stupidest articles I’ve ever read, and I’m baffled that they wasted a full page to write about something so completely worthless. Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of the term before, since it doesn’t really mean anything.

A flexitarian is simply an omnivore who wants to have an unnecessary label. Maybe they eat a predominantly plant-based diet, choosing not to have meat most of the time, but they will still eat anything. Thus they have no dietary limitations. They eat whatever is convenient and available. So I’d like to pose the following question to the universe: Why does this term exist? It is not useful, it does not help denote anything to the masses. It could mean ANYTHING.

The reason we create specific words in this department is so that we can more easily identify a person’s dietary needs and restrictions. Words like pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan are useful because they specifically define what an individual will and will not eat. When they go to a restaurant, they can tell their server the word and (probably) that server will know which menu items are appropriate for them and which are not.

Flexitarian, on the other hand, is a complete generalization. By its own definition, pretty much everyone can be classified under this label because most everyone already does eat whatever they choose, or want. So what’s the purpose? At best, this term makes a fuzzy and awkward statement that the person claiming it is most likely fickle or undecided about what sort of lifestyle they want to live. There is no tangible evidence to suggest any sort of specificity in regards to this word since it is so easily manipulated to mean whatever anyone wants it to mean.

Every time I imagine a conversation between a server and a “flexitarian” at a restaurant, it goes down like this:

Server: Hello there! Are you ready to order?

Guest: Yes I think so, but before we get started you should know that I’m a flexitarian.

Server: Oh okay. Flexitarian you say? I’m not familiar with that one… could you describe your dietary needs to me please?

Guest: Well, it’s like being a vegetarian.

Server: Oh okay! That’s easy.

Guest: Except I still eat meat and fish.

Server: …….. okay?

Guest: Yeah, I’m pretty flexible, unlike full on vegetarians.

Server: That’s… neat. So what can I get for you?

Guest: Well I’m in the mood for something really yummy. What would you recommend that can be made flexitarian?

Server: Uhhh.. well, I guess.. everything on our menu would be categorized as flexitarian by the definition you gave me. What are you in the mood for?

Guest: Well I’m in the mood for something that’s delicious, and also healthy. I’m looking at the chicken alfredo salad.

Server: Excellent choice!

Guest: Can you make it without the chicken?

Server: Of course. Alfredo salad, sans chicken. I’ll go get your order started.

Guest: Actually, wait. Do you think it will still taste as good without the chicken?

Server: Well, no.

Guest: Hmm.. well, I’d really prefer it without the chicken. But since I’m a flexitarian, could I customize the alfredo salad to come with chicken?

Server: So.. you want the regular chicken alfredo salad that’s on the menu?

Guest: Oh no, I’m flexitarian. I’d like the alfredo salad, but WITH chicken.

Server: Right…

Guest: I’m flexible.

…………………………

Server: Well, fantastic. How about some dog shit on the side as well?

Guest: That sounds great! I’m very flexible, you see.

Server: Perfect. I’ll be right back with your alfredo salad with chicken and dog shit.

Guest: Thank you! I’m famished.

I hope I’ve made my point.

The fake “I’m awake” voice

Do you ever utilize the fake “I’m awake” voice in the morning?

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about..

It’s 10 am, creeping closer to noon, and you’re still sound asleep; all snuggled up and comfy in bed. You might feel guilty (if you were conscious) because your spouse woke up bright and early to go to work (to benefit the both of you, I might add). Or perhaps cancel the spouse. You’re still sleeping despite the fact that you have mountains of work to get done that you haven’t even started yet. You told yourself you would do it, and yet nothing is getting crossed off the list because you are still drowning in the drool on your pillow.

Days like these are funny because we all deserve a rest day now and then (right?), yet it’s hard to justify them when everyone else in the world seems to be up and about curing diseases, serving justice, and conquering mountains. Your family and friends are becoming better and brighter people while you are drifting lazily in dream land. But you don’t care, you’re asleep!

Until the phone rings, that is, and you groggily look at the caller ID to see that your spouse, or your mom, or whoever, is calling you. You look at the time and realise you’ve wasted half the day in bed, and things that ought to have been done hours ago remain unattended, and indeed, completely neglected. You imagine the disbelief they will have in their voice if you answer the phone only to tell them the terrible truth.

“You’re STILL sleeping??” they will say with that undertone of arrogance and incredulity that you loathe.

You just can’t let that happen. You still deny the reality of your procrastination even to yourself, so instead of owning up to your lazy ass, you decide instead to implement your fake “I’m awake” voice. The voice you muster up despite your hoarse morning throat, to prove to that caller that you, just like them, have been up since dawn, attending to various chores and necessities with vigilance.

So you prepare yourself, and hurriedly cough out the frogs from your throat. You take hold of the phone like you’ve been awake since 6 in the goddamn morning and have had the absolute most grueling day ever, tackling task after daunting task.

With utmost gusto, you press the answer button and say “Hello?” as clear, concise, crisp, and lively as it is possible to pretend. You are the master of feigning productivity. Your caller responds none the wiser as you answer their questions seamlessly, smiling at your success as you begin the arduous task of rubbing the sleep out of your eyes.

You are the great pretender, stealing audience love with your profound performance. Well done, masterful one. Now back to bed.

Pay station flirtation

The date: Feb 12, 2013. The time: 8:55 am. The rush: Rehearsal starting in 5 minutes.

Yesterday was a strange one. Sleeping didn’t go well, and waking up only got worse. The boyfriend startled me awake in an angry frenzy. For some odd reason he was convinced that I’d  turned his alarm clock off and thus was responsible for his being late to an important day at work, and also probably for the sun’s inevitable explosion.

And no, he wasn’t right. I didn’t turn it off, I hadn’t even gotten the chance yet since it was only 5:30…. meaning his alarm wouldn’t be going off for another 20 minutes. Yeah, thanks for the extra early wake up, honey bunches. Seems such a silly thing,  but somehow that didn’t stop his delirium from pissing me right off and escalating us into a fight before we’d even been awake for 3 minutes.

The fight didn’t last long, in case you were wondering. When finally the fatigued confusion wore off, and we had the sense to digest the facts accurately -being that he thought it was an hour later than it actually was- and that he was being a completely unreasonable jerk (could be that I’m the only one who agreed to this last point), we made up and life continued.

But that story isn’t the point of this post…  I just wanted to give some background information into my state of mind before getting into the juicy story that’s coming up…

….ahem… (why are you still reading this).

Okay, so I’m over tired, didn’t sleep well, and had a strange wake up. Tuesday mornings are my early rehearsal day, we start at 9 (this is pretty intense if you’re me). So I drive in, somewhat on the late side (but not doing too bad), and manage to get a good parking spot. I walk hurriedly up to the lobby of the parkade where there are two pay stations to use. Unfortunately, both are only just occupied by one guy and one girl who happened to beat me there by a mere fraction of a second.

So I’m waiting patiently and checking on the time since I know I have somewhere to be very shortly. The time: 8:55 am. As I wait seemingly patiently, the buddy at pay station 1 decides that now is a GREAT time to go on a flirt fest with girl at pay station 2. So as I stand there waiting, I am listening to an agonizing attempt at flirtation, and some of the worst sounding small talk that I have EVER heard in my entire life. I was feeling pretty bad for the girl, and the guy, but still I stood there politely waiting to use the machine to pay.

The time: 8:57 am. The guy has finished punching in his license plate number and now has his ticket. But he is too occupied with flirting to move his ass away from in front of the machine. So I am now just an invisible spectator being hindered from my task because this guy feels the need to embarrass himself so early in the morning. I’m thinking to myself, oh my god, is he going to get out of the way so I can get my ticket?, as I think this I just get more annoyed. Time is ticking and I’m not about to be late for this guy’s horrendous timing choices. I have no choice but to interrupt.

“So…” I begin, I think it’s the first time they have noticed my presence, “Can I use the machine now?”

Buddy whips around as if I have just appeared from the dust. “Huh, what?” he says with stupidity.

And I am even more annoyed at his oblivion.

I repeat myself. “Can I use the machine now? Or do you need to keep standing there a little longer?”

The girl at the other station bursts out laughing and the guy is now looking totally deflated and embarrassed. He moves away in confusion and mumbles “oh, huh, sorry” before bee-lining it to the door.

So to the guy who flirted at the pay station: I’m sorry that I embarrassed you. And even more sorry that you are a terrible flirt.

But that’s just how it rolls when I have no sleep and no time to edit my words.