Saturday, February 14, 2004

Happy Valentine's Day

Gawd, being a consumer sucks. When I win the lottery, everything I ever need will be brought to my swanky residence and paraded in front of me. I will have several personal shoppers, and I will order them about as my needs arise. "Shoe Shopper, nothing matches what Suit Shopper has left here. Go to Amalfi now." Or, "Recreational Drug and Alcohol Shopper, we've no more gin. What are you standing there for?"

I despise shopping, particularly during the winter or inclement weather. I knew that I had to come to the office today, and I knew that I had to pick up two or three things which unfortunately required a shopping centre. There is one by my office, so I figured "may as well brave it, but get there early." And I did - I had to wait ten minutes for Radio Shack to open its doors so I could buy a fregging battery. While there, I thought I might buy one of those nifty laser pointers for my kitties to play with, as one of them is getting quite fat. But it took about ninety seconds for me to tire of the retail experience, because three pimply salesmen hovered over my every move. "The hell with the fat cat, I'll just throw her toys from room to room for a day or so."

With phone battery in hand, I made my way to the other side of the mall to cash in on Clinique's Bonus Time. It's the most wonderful time of the year. However, by the time I was finished picking up a few prezzies for Mr. Crabby and a sweet little jacket for me, I was an exhausted, sweaty, parched bitch. Stores are not designed for people in coats who are carrying four bags. Neither are store fixtures. They are designed for lightly dressed people with two free hands, who have already had a bite to eat and a glass of water. I tried on a few sunglasses. For every pair that made it to the bridge of my nose, two would tumble off the rack onto the floor. "The hell with the sunglasses, I'll just go blind."

And now I'm at work, on a Saturday, after having stayed until 8:00 Friday evening. It hasn't been a very happy place lately. There was a very ugly meeting last week, at which the negligent parties admitted how difficult they are making my life, and asked that I bully everybody for the next six weeks so that we can all be successful. "I don't see that as my role," I said, even though I knew it's not very nice. I told you, things got ugly. Anyway, here I sit, not working at all, and now that I've finally stopped sweating I realize that the heat isn't working. Again. Maybe I'll dig out my sweet little jacket, crank some REO Speedwagon, and get to it. So that we can all be successful. Or maybe I'll just say "The hell with work, I'm already successful."

Friday, February 13, 2004

Lobster Fest Chez Crab

Over the next few days I'm sure to be hearing about everybody's super romantic St. Valentine's Day celebrations - so I want to weigh in first. Unfortunately, Mr. Crabby has to work Saturday night, and I expected that we'd just skip it this year - that I'd curl up with a movie, some dry lettuce and a glass of water. Wrong. We celebrated last night, much to my surprise. And Kevin and his trumpet were nowhere to be found.

He teased me all throughout the day that we'd be having something special for dinner. I thought this meant that he'd found a new recipe to try during his day off. Wrong again. There was a boatload of shrimp. There were three lobsters. There was a bathtub of garlic butter. And there were one dozen roses to keep me company on Saturday night.

You gotta love a schemer!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Sometimes a Trumpet is Just a Trumpet

I am always surprised when an acquaintance from high school pops into my dreams at night. It doesn't happen very often, but I graduated well over 15 years ago! Where does this come from? Last night, Kevin dropped by. We bumped into each other in a flower market in Cape Cod. I was loading an armload of lilies into the basket on my bicycle, and there he was. We embraced, then had an, er, interlude. Later I had a bath while he played the trumpet.

In high school, Kevin was one of the 'nice guys' (sorry, Kev). He was smart, funny, and an above-average trumpet player. He sat behind my first clarinet in the school jazz band. I heard through the grapevine that he went on to political life, as a city councilor, then an aid to Min.ister Br.ian Mul.ron.ey. He married young, and had a few kids. He was never my type, but always a friend. Why I had that kind of dream about someone to whom I haven't given a second though in over a decade, I'll never know.

Should I feel guilty (I don't)? Was it the lilies? The trumpet?

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

=Philip Larkin

It's one thing to never call your mother. It's entirely a different thing when you do call your mother, who forgets that you have done this four times this month, then heaps abuse on you for not calling. Sigh.

Monday, February 09, 2004

The "C" Word

There are several words that I cannot keep straight, even after years and years of looking them up in style guides and dictionaries. The words compliment and complement are perfect examples. I have a distinct memory of laughing with my sister at someone who used "complements of" where "compliments of" was correct - then we stopped laughing abruptly and stared at each other, suddenly unsure of ourselves. For me, "compli/ement" is the c-word.

The difference between that and which is always a stumper. I've found that it's best explained by The American Psychological Association's Publication Guide: "Consistent use of that for restrictive clauses and which for nonrestrictive clauses, which are set off with commas, will help you make your writing clear and precise." Cute, eh? It even gives you a working example.

Bored yet? I've got more c-words. I always mis-type "Canadian." Is Vancouver in British Columbia or British Colombia? One has whales and the other has drug lords. And, should Census be capitalized? Sometimes we do and sometimes we don't. There's another one... capitol and capital. Say it enough and they both become meaningless.

I love my job.