Co-Worker 1: Remember how you had to do public speaking in high school? What was your speech?
Co-Worker 2: Mine was about the different factions in our class and how we should all get along.
Co-Worker 3: Mine was about butterflies and puppies and cuddly things. [Okay, Co-Worker 3 really didn't say this, but I can't for the life of me remember what she said.]
Saviabella: My first speech was about animal rights.
[Impressed looks by Co-Workers]
Saviabella: [because she just doesn't know when to quit while she's ahead] And my speech the next year was about satanism. I recited the Lord's Prayer backwards and freaked everyone out.
Co-Workers' jaws drop. Horrified looks all around. Saviabella wonders if flames are shooting out of her head at this moment, then figures that if that were the case, the sprinkler system would definitely go off, so she's good.
June 30, 2005
Co-Worker 1: Remember how you had to do public speaking in high school? What was your speech?
June 29, 2005
I am not a morning person. But my animals definitely are because morning is the official time for Food. Ever since I put my obese cats on a diet, restricting their food intake to one carefully measured out portion per day, mornings have had a sense of urgency about them. It goes a little something like this:
Grey Cat: Attacks Saviabella's feet.
Saviabella: Boots grey cat off bed.
Black and White Cat: Mrrraw.
SB: Puts pillow over head.
GC: Munches on Saviabella's hair.
SB: Punts grey cat off bed.
BWC: [Walking across Saviabella's boobs] Mrrrrraaaaawwww.
SB: Swats at B&W cat. Misses.
Alarm clock: If I was a rich girl, na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na
SB: Hits snooze button.
Freak Dog: [From behind the baby gate because she's not allowed upstairs and is starting to feel left out] Aroooooooowwrrrr.
Repeat for half an hour. Get up and feed damn cats. Mumble to self.
This morning was a little different, though. I awoke to a strange sound I had not heard before. A weird rustling, crunching sound that was really unsettling and creepy. What the hell is that?
I drag myself out of bed to see the grey cat, looking incredibly freaked out and helpless, walking around dragging these plastic grocery bags along with him. It looked like he had crawled into the handles of the bags and they had become stuck around his neck and body. It was kind of like one of those pathetic photos of birds that get their beaks caught in the holes of plastic pop can holders. This is why they always tell you to cut the plastic can holders so no wildlife will be harmed.
Apparently, we need to start making public service announcements about the dangers of plastic grocery bags and their potential to entangle fat cats who ain't so bright.
I wish I had taken a photo. But I was still half-asleep, cranky and not anywhere lucid enough to think of it. It was absolutely priceless, though.
June 23, 2005
Seeing that I'm starting a master's program in English in a few months, I thought I'd brush up on some of my Canadian literature. I had picked up Sinclair Ross' The Lamp at Noon and Other Stories at a used text book sale a few years ago and finally curled up with it the other night.
Nothing is more uplifting than the harrowing and tragic tales of the hardships Prairie farmers face - heat that burns the crops, hail that crushes them, and blizzards that kill family members. All that warm, fuzzy stuff that makes you feel grateful that god invented the grocery store for the rest of us.
The stories are incredibly depressing but also enjoyable because they are so damn well written. Our pal Sinclair knew his shit. But there was one problem, though, a big problem that just about made me throw the ever-so-well-written book across the room: It's obvious my book's first owner was an English 100 student. How do I know this? Well, in every story, key parts are underlined, and the notation "foreshadowing" is written beside them.
So, Saviabella is reading along, la la la (that's me reading, in case you were wondering), enjoying her story about the misery of rural life, and she reads a sentence like this...
*******WARNING!!! Spoiler!! Do not read further if you haven't read The Lamp at Noon and Other Stories!! The following paragraphs may contain information that reveal the plots/endings of Sinclair Ross' stories. You have been warned!!*******
..."Across the hills in a storm like this - it would be suicide to try." (The Painted Door)
Now, when something like that is underlined, with "foreshadowing" written next to it, it's possible that you may think that, I don't know, maybe the woman's husband might die. Then, a few pages later, he does. Shocking!!
In "Not by Rain Alone", it was this line: "It was to have been for a week while another mare had her foal; but the other mare had died in labour, and there was only Bess to carry on."
Since the farmer's wife was also pregnant, I figured that this "foreshadowing" notation was telling me that the wife would die in labour and....
....oh my god! She died in labour.
The examples go on. I found myself getting more and more agitated as the stories and "foreshadowing" went on. What class was this? Foreshadowing 101? Perhaps that was the only literary term this student knew.
So, my friends, if you love foreshadowing as a literary device, I have a great book to lend you. Don't worry about giving it back to me. You can keep it.
June 20, 2005
I discovered my ineptitude in this field just the other week, when I was the volunteer bartender at the community theatre green room party. I've always known that I'm not a natural multi-tasker. What I didn't know is that I am unable to pour a drink and be nice to someone at the same time. It takes too much concentration.
The night went something like this:
Take out glass.
Put ice in glass.
Carefully pour alcohol in shot glass.
Make sure it reaches the little line on the shot glass.
Carefully pour alcohol from shot glass into regular glass.
Carefully pour pop on top of alcohol, tipping glass just so to avoid a bunch of foam on top.
Shove completed drink at customer without making eye contact.
Move on to next drink.
Repeat one hundred times.
Do not quit day job.
There was no flipping of drink bottles - only careful measuring and pouring. If I had to be a starving actress who moonlighted as a bartender, I really would starve.
I could cut my own bangs - sure! How hard could it be? You just buy some of those hair cutting scissors and cut in a straight line, right? I don't need to pay someone $10 to do this.
Actually, yes I do. What the hell was I thinking? They're kind of straight - sort of. I had to even it up, and up, and up. Unfortunately, the short bang look is out. I guess I'll just have to make it back "in" again. I'm making a fashion statement. Yes - that's it.
3. Lawn mower
I was feeling guilty about my white-trash lawn again, so I decided to mow it. I don't subscribe to ordered mowing - in conventional lines or squares. I believe in free-form flowing. I feel the desires of the mower and follow it wherever it wishes to go in that moment. So, I had thought I had mowed the lawn alright, until the next day, when I saw all of these random tufts of long grass throughout the lawn. We'll call that another fashion statement. If my neighbour asks, the goat did it.
4. High school teacher
I would bitch slap those smartass kids upside the head. Then I'd get charged with child abuse and go to jail. Then I'd be in jail.
5. Prison bitch
I swear I'd be really bad at this. Let's move on.
6. Professional poppy
I'm currently in a musical that requires me to be a poppy. I have to sway in the wind and make all these supposedly graceful flower-like motions with my arms. Hello! Have you met me? I'm far from being graceful and flower-like. After three hours of poppy movements, I lost the ability to move my right shoulder and had to run to the massage therapist twice to regain it. Now that it's back, I'm going to have to bitch slap all the graceful flower-like high school girls in the damn musical. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
June 16, 2005
11. My lips have always been the same size. In my baby picture, my lips are all pouted out and huuuge. My father nicknamed me "mousoutta". I'm sure you imagine that this is the Italian word for "daddy's little princess." Not so much. It means "pig lips." Thanks, Dad. I was teased a lot in elementary school over my lips as well. But it didn't bother me. I had enough sense even at that young age to know that when I grew up, these babies would be an asset. They don't seem so big anymore. Maybe I've grown into them.
12. I was named after an Italian princess. My father named me. He saved me from being named Felicia, which my mother wanted for some reason. I'm so not a Felicia, not that there's anything wrong with that. So, I'll give daddy-o props for that. My middle name is very unusual. I always thought my mother had made it up, until one summer when I went to Italy and saw it on stickers for sale in a gas station.
13. Because my father was Italian, we didn't call him "Daddy", "Father", "Dad" or "Pop", we called him "Babbo". This seemed very normal until we talked about him to other people and they would laugh at us. Too much like "Bubba" I guess.
14. My father died when I was 10. I knew he was dead before anyone told me. I just woke up one day and thought, "When's the funeral?" I had enough sense not to say it out loud, but I knew. Then, we went to stay with family in a small town. I woke up one morning and there was this poem in my head. I wrote it down and showed it to my mom. She knew right away that it had come from him. The gist was that we would be alright even though he was gone, and he would be watching out for us. My relatives said, "That's a nice poem you wrote, Saviabella." But I didn't write it.
15. Another strange thing I've eaten is rabbit. It's another Italian thing. The first time was when I was a kid. Fortunately, this was not another pet that my father had fried up and served (see previous post). The second time was when I was in Italy. What can I say about rabbit? It's really greasy, and it tastes like chicken. Did you notice that anytime someone eats something weird, they say it tastes like chicken? I say just eat chicken and save yourselves the hassle.
16. I've only had two serious relationships in my life, and both have left permanent marks on my body. Interestingly enough, both on the cursed left side of my body (again, see previous post.) After the first, with The Prof, I was feasted upon by mosquitos and had a bite on my left ankle that scarred up and never healed. It still bothers me now, years and years later. The second relationship, with Mr. E, when things started getting bad between us, I broke out in a rash from stress and have this one red bump on my left shoulder that never healed. I sometimes think about getting these marks removed. It just bugs me that I have this constant physical reminder of these people who hurt me.
17. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I'm probably going to be one of those career students. I think I'm okay with that.
June 11, 2005
This is my version of the 100 list, which I can't do because I'm not dedicated enough, and my computer freezes every 30 minutes. So, here's the closest I can get to a 100 list, in 30 minutes or less.
1. I was born left-handed, but my parents switched me when I was a toddler. Every time I tried to use my left hand for drawing or writing, they would switch the crayon to my right hand. Friend with Funky Glasses tells me that this practice can result in all sorts of psychological problems. That explains a lot.
2. I had epilepsy when I was a child - for about two years. (I sometimes wonder if this had anything to do with the left-handed switcheroo.) I used to have seizures before I went to school. One day, in grade one, I had a seizure in the middle of class. I drooled all over my desk. My teacher didn't even notice. When I was seven, the seizures disappeared like they had never happened.
3. My mother has extreme religious beliefs. One of them is a reading of the bible that states that women should dress like women and men should dress like men. For this reason, I was forced to wear dresses until I was in grade five. Yes, even in gym class. You can imagine the teasing and tormenting I had to endure. I brought this up to my mother recently. She had forgotten about it. I obviously hadn't, and told her she scarred me for life. (I was being a bit melodramatic. I'm sure the fact that everyone in my elementary school was acquainted with my underwear was a character-building experience.) My mom didn't sleep that night, and called me up to apologize for scarring me for life. Then I felt bad.
4. When I was in pre-school and kindergarten, I was in love with my best friend, Ray. I followed him around but he thought I was a gross girl. I loved him enough that even though I had been told to cross the street at the crosswalk, I followed Ray when he crossed in the middle of the street. Then, I was hit by a bus. Not figuratively - literally. When I was in kindergarten, I was hit by a city bus in front of my school. Surprisingly, nothing was broken and I was fine. Not surprisingly, that bus route was changed so that the bus no longer went down the street my school was on.
5. I am accident-prone, but only on the left side of my body. I have sprained my left ankle more times than I can count; I have a mosquito bite on my left ankle that scarred up and never healed; in grade eight, I cut my left little finger on the band saw in shop class (three stitches); two years ago, I poured boiling soup on my left hand and suffered second-degree burns that took months to heal; and last year, I dropped a plate and cut my left hand open (five stitches). Again, see number one on this list. I think the left side of my body is pissed off at me for being right-handed.
6. My father was an Italian immigrant, which brought all sorts of weirdness to my life. First off, I was never allowed to go Trick or Treating. In Italy, poor children go door to door, begging. My father said, "My children don't need to beg for candy - we can buy them candy." So, we missed out on every Hallowe'en. We were still allowed to give out candy, though. Maybe that made us superior to all the other beggar children.
7. We also weren't allowed to go to sleepovers at other kids' houses. My father's logic? "You've got your own bed. Why do you need to go sleep at someone else's house?" Between that and the forced dress wearing, you can imagine that I was quite a popular kid.
8. My dad had interesting eating habits, being Italian. One of my strangest childhood memories is my father bringing live eels home. He put them in the kitchen sink and filled it with water. My brother and I played with the eels - they were so slippery and muscular and so flippin cool to try to hold. We even named them and became quite fond of them. Then my father chopped their heads off and fried them up for supper. We were traumatized. I've never eaten eel, ever.
9. When I was 21, I went to Italy to visit my grandparents. In the process, I met all sorts of cousins I didn't even know existed. Through an unfortunate series of misunderstandings (he didn't speak English and I didn't speak Italian, and I think he was understanding what he wanted to understand), one of my cousins fell in love with me and thought we were going to get it on. I tell ya, you haven't lived until you've had your cousin creep into your room at night, get on top of you, and put his tongue in your mouth. Fortunately, the words "fuck off" are almost universal. And I wasn't really scared of him, because he's this teensy little Italian guy. I could totally kick his ass, and I pretty much did. I now refer to him as my "incestuous cousin."
10. I'm turning 30 in five months, but unlike many people around me, I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. I've always felt old inside - when I was in grade two, I remember thinking "Why are these grade eight girls treating me like I'm some cute little kid? I'm older than them." I'm also tired of being treated like everything I do is fabulous just because I'm young. There are some organizations I'm involved with that are so bad for this. You show up at meetings and they fawn all over you, everything you do, and everything you say. You could seriously walk into one of these events and say, "I want to have Mussolini's love child." And they would answer, "It's so great to have a young person involved." I just want to scream: "I have a brain - I have opinions - judge me on what I think, not my age!" I would rather have people tell me I suck and my opinions are misguided than be patronized. So, come on 30 - bring it on!
Mr. E set me up with this computer, and ever since we split, it's caused me nothing but grief.
The first time something went wrong, I called the help desk and the conversation went like this:
Saviabella: My computer is not working.
Help Desk Lady: Well, did you try the sckketchet cookeleitthll szkxc.sgrd??
HDL: What about the #(*%&&!@JKHFD(*&YHNB%R#>?
SB: I actually do think I tried that.
HDL: Well, who set up your computer - maybe you could get them to help.
SB:: My ex-boyfriend.
HDL: (With a surprising amount of sympathy) Oh.
I'm clueless when it comes to computers. Very, very clueless. But I'm trying and I actually thought I knew what was wrong with it this time. I had gotten all the viruses cleared off it, done spyware scans, and yet it would continue to shut down like clockwork every 30 minutes. After some Internet research, it appeared to me that the fan must be burnt out. So I took it to the local Computer Fix-it Place to get it replaced.
When I went to pick it up, the conversation went like this:
Computer Fix-it Place Guy: It wasn't the fan.
CFIPG: You had 257 instances of spyware on your computer. We cleared them off.
SB: (Pissed, because she thinks the Computer Fix-it Place is trying to rip her off because she's a girl) But that doesn't make any sense. I did all the scans and I got rid of it all.
CFIPG: Did you upgrade your software? Because you have to have the upgraded version.
SB: (feeling foolish) Oh.
CFIPG: That will be $79.86.
I was so pissed. $79.86 for something I could have done myself and just because I'm too clueless to upgrade my spyware sweepers.
But here's the kicker. As I am struggling to carry my very heavy computer out of the store, I see something that almost makes me drop it: a stack of the exact same computer as mine, with a sign that reads $75.
You have got to be fucking kidding me. For $4.86 less than what I paid to get the damn thing fixed, I could have bought another computer.
[Edited to add: And the damn thing STILL freezes up every 30 minutes!]
June 6, 2005
Saviabella and The Homemaker are conversing over sushi at a restaurant in the thriving metropolis of C-dot.
The Homemaker: So, what's your addiction?
Saviabella: I don't know.
THM: You have to have an addiction. Alcohol, coffee, dysfunctional men. Something. Mine is chocolate.
SB: I think I'm too flaky to have an addiction. If I don't write everything down, I forget to do it. If I wanted to be an alcoholic, I would have to write little sticky notes around my house to remind myself to drink.
THM: Weird. Have you ever seen Asian porn? It's totally animal kingdom, with all these weird positions. And the women make these really strange noises like they're being attacked.
SB: (flashbacking to conversation earlier that day) Oh! I know what my addiction is - it's buying crap I don't need just because it's on sale!
THM: And having A.D.D. when someone is trying to talk about Asian porn!
This is one of my pet peeves about myself (the shopping thing - not the aversion to Asian porn. That one's alright.) If something's on sale, I will buy it, whether I need it or even like it. I think it comes from growing up poor. We never had much money, so everything had to be purchased on sale. Now, when I see a good deal, it's hard to pass it up. Our conversation earlier that day went like this:
SB: So, what do you think of these shoes?
THM: They're cute. Are they comfortable?
THM: But are they comfortable?
SB: Not really.
THM: Then you're not getting them.
SB: But they're on sale!
I take great pride in buying things on sale. If anyone ever comments on an outfit I'm wearing, rather than just saying thanks, I tend to exclaim things like, "Thanks! I got it for $2 off the back of a truck!" It's an illness.
It's more severe with practical items that you use everyday. I'm currently hoarding seven sticks of deodorant, three toothbrushes, eleven bars of soap, four boxes of pantyliners, five bottles of shower gel and six kinds of facial cleanser, all because they were on sale. It will take me years to use this stuff up, and that kind of stresses me out, because I hate clutter. But I'm compelled to buy it.
And what makes me mad is that I've become that pawn consumer in big corporations' evil marketing strategies - their commandments state that credit cards make people spend more and sales make people buy things they don't need. And my actions validate that and help continue that vicious cycle. I should know better, and I do know better, yet I continue to play my role in the farce.
So, I guess I'm addicted. But at least it's not to Asian porn.
June 1, 2005
Saviabella hasn't been a very good homeowner as of late. In fact, her yard is starting to make her look very White Trash, and not in a chic kind of way. She is giving HoodLite™ a bad name, and she has immense guilt over this.
Sweet Elderly Neighbour Lady Who Just Spent $2,000 Making Her Yard Pretty: Hey Saviabella
SENLWJS2MHYP: (Jesturing toward overgrown lawn complete with clusters of yellow dandilions about to go to seed) So, are you going to get a goat?
SB: (Rushing to rehearsal because she's always late) I'm so sorry. I know it's bad.
SENLWJS2MHYP: (Worried and kind of sad) Your dandilions are going to blow into my yard.
SB: I know. I'll take care of it.
So, Saviabella mowed her lawn at 10 p.m. that night, finishing just before the noise bylaws kicked in. She is currently looking into the price of goats, and the different models of which are available in North America.