November 27, 2007
My house was built in 1946, and if you look at the front of it at the moment, you can see all the layers of its existence, from the recently added pink Styrofoam insulation and red tape, to the tacky white and yellow aluminum siding from the 70s, to the even worse teal blue wooden siding underneath that, to the black tar paper beneath it all. It's a mishmash of 51 years of renovations and I gotta say, it looks like hell.
(And it's going to look like a construction zone all winter, because we can't stucco over the hot pink insulation until spring.)
But then I remind myself that this is all necessary. Those layers need to be excavated and ripped down so that I can start fresh and have a home that I'm proud of, not just one that I'm living in. As crappy as it looks now, when we're done, it will be worth it.
This is how my life feels right now - in absolute disarray. It's frustrating and exhausting and it seems like there is no end to the difficulties I am facing. I can't even imagine what my life will look like when this is all over. It's hard to believe that it will ever be over.
But I keep chipping away at it. And hoping that what works for houses works for people, too.
November 22, 2007
The problem with avoiding telemarketing calls is that they just keep calling back. For months, I've been getting calls from a particular number at all times of the day and night, several times a day, everyday. Whoever these people were, they were stalking me and were not going to give up.
Yesterday, I figured that if I finally picked up the phone and told them I wasn't interested, they would stop fucking calling already.
So, I did. And it was the Doubledumb Book Club. Again. Now, you'd think they'd have gotten the hint in March when I told them this to get rid of them. However, they're more tenacious than I had thought.
Telemarketer: Hi! It's the Doubledumb Book Club calling and we have some great news for you, blah, blah, blah...
Savia: Let me stop you right there. I don't read popular fiction and there is nothing that you carry that I would be interested in.
Telemarketer: Well, you're in luck, because we also have a Mystery Club! Do you enjoy mystery?
Savia: No, I don't. Really, there's nothing that you have that will appeal to me.
Telemarketer: We also have a Children's Book Club!
Savia: [twitching a little] Yeah, I don't think so.
Telemarketer: And there's also our Christian Book Club?
Savia: Oh, dear God, no! [feeling a tad bit guilty about taking the Lord's name in vain in reference to a Christian Book Club, and then wishing a little that she had tossed "motherfucking" in there for good measure.]
Telemarketer: Oh...okay then.
I should have told them to take me off their list but I was too busy twitching about the creepy book clubs. Maybe they should just combine the three and have the Children's Christian Mystery Book Club? They could have kids figure out who really killed Jesus or something.
But yeah, you know that in another six months, I'm going to have to come up with something else to fend them off. Any ideas?
And to put a cherry on the cheesecake, as I was about to post this entry, the phone rang and it was another 1-800 number. Grrrrr.
November 21, 2007
The night of the funeral and the next night, I kept jolting awake and thinking Superstar was dead because he was lying so quiet and still. I actually checked the pulse point on his neck each time to make sure he was alive.
The next three nights, he moaned in his sleep, pushed me off the bed and breathed really heavy, keeping me up the entire time.
There were 16 people staying in the same house with us, eight of whom were children. Amazing, awesome, warm, welcoming people. But did I mention 16 of them?
This was the first time I was meeting the majority of his family.
I was already stressed and exhausted when I got there.
The fourth day, I started having anxiety attacks. I thought they would go away once I got home, but they got worse instead. I think that after all I've been through in the last few months, my body is finally saying, "Enough."
I'm still not okay, but I'm taking care of myself and getting help, and I know it will get better in time.
Yesterday, I went to the grocery store to pick up a prescription and some food. As I walked by the display of ready-to-eat BBQ whole chickens, I said to myself, "Fuck this vegetarian shit! I'm going to eat one of those motherfuckers and it's gonna be good!" Was this me taking back some control in my life or just a cry for more protein? I have no clue. But I bought it with the full intention of chowing the whole thing down. Maybe not at one sitting, but eventually.
I got home and promptly ripped off one of the drumsticks. It smelled so good. This was going to be awesome. And then I ate it. Choked it down, really. Because it wasn't what I thought it would be. It didn't taste like it used to; it didn't feel like it used to. I forced myself to eat as much of that little drumstick as I could and then dropped the rest of the meat on the floor for the hovering pack of pets.
I guess I'm actually a vegetarian after all. Not just paying lip service to it because Superstar's mom was dying of colon cancer. I've changed as a result of knowing her, and I can't go back to the way things were before. I can only go forward.
So, this afternoon, Schmutzie and Palinode are getting a chicken with an amputated leg. Because they seem like the kind of people who won't ostracize him because of his disability. They're cool that way.
November 12, 2007
Because this week at work is insanely busy - I have to travel to Cosmopolis, orchestrate an event, go to three back-to-back meetings, come back, and organize materials for another event next week. Not to mention the homework I'm behind on, the fact that I'd have to get someone to take care of my house and pets, and that the plane ticket cost $500 I don't have.
They were all valid reasons but that didn't make me feel any better.
Something a former boss of mine said came back to me. She described all of the things in our life as spheres, being juggled in the air. Work, family/relationships, health, whatever else. She said that the work sphere was made of rubber, so that if it fell, it could bounce back, but the spheres were made of glass, and if they fell, they would smash into tiny little pieces.
This "life lesson" coming from this particular person was a complete crock of shit. She talked a good talk about work/life balance but when it came down to it, if you weren't running your ass off working 12-hour days and on weekends, she would make your life a living hell. But that doesn't mean her analogy's not true.
I kept imagining that glass sphere smashing on the ground again, and again, and again. I burst into tears because I knew that's what this was. There are some things in life that are important, and there are some that you can let go. Ten years from now, I'm not going to regret that I didn't make it to work for a week, but I knew I would regret the fact that I wasn't there when Superstar needed me most.
Bawling my head off with snot pouring out of my nose and greasy hair, I threw my trench coat on over my sweats and fuzzy slippers and went in to work. I figured since it was Sunday, no one would be there anyway, so why bother getting dressed or having a shower?
I was wrong. One of the managers was there. He asked me how it was going and I burst into tears in front of him, saying something along the lines of: "Superstar's mom died and I have to fly out to BC to go to the funeral or I'll regret it for the rest of my life but I have all this work to do and I have to do it or else it won't get done and there's that event and..." and then I sobbed. I sobbed in front of the nice manager guy. Classy. At least I didn't snot on his shoes.
He was so sweet about it, and told me that I shouldn't be at work and I should call the head boss to tell him I had to go, and the work would get done other ways. I told him that I had to get things in order myself or else I'd feel guilty about dumping the work on other people, and they wouldn't know what there was to do anyway.
So, I wrote a news release, made some calls (sobbing), sent a flurry of emails and set everything up so that I could leave work at work. Then I called one of my classmates (sobbing) and asked her if she'd house/pet-sit for me. She agreed, even though she is really busy. I'm going to have to shower her with presents when I get back, because that was a huge weight off my shoulders.
I booked my flight and called Superstar to tell him I'd be there after all. "I can't believe you're actually going to be here," he said, and then he cried and I cried and I knew I was doing the right thing.
So, I'm letting all those bouncy balls go (yes, even NaBloPoMo), and I'm going to stand beside Superstar while he says goodbye to the most important person in his life. And I'm not going to have any regrets.
November 11, 2007
November 10, 2007
No, not the kind of pain that you get where you've pulled a muscle or, like in Palinode's case, have a fractured spine. The kind of pain that you get when you choose to have some dude in black latex gloves drill bits of ink into your skin with a needle.
I got another tattoo. (The last one was two years ago, for my 30th birthday.)
When I asked her to accompany me to take pictures of the tattoo in progress, Schmutzie reminded me of a conversation we'd had when I got the first one:
Schmutzie: You're going to get another tattoo. You won't be able to stop at just one.
Savia: No, there's no way I'm getting another one. I just want one and that's it. I'm not one of those people who gets addicted to these things.
Methinks I doth protest too much. That Schmutzie knows what she's talking about, as usual. Not only did I want another one, I needed it. I started feeling the itch these past few months, and I knew exactly what I was going to get.
It's an alto clef. Most people have never seen one before, unless they've taken musical theory or play the viola, because those are the only places it is used nowadays. However, way back, it was used in choral music, placed higher or lower on the staff for the different vocal ranges.
I'm a mezzo soprano, so my vocal range is in between soprano and alto. I like the fact that the two symbols tattooed on my body - a treble clef and an alto clef - represent me. I'm neither one nor the other. I am the harmony between the two.
I also like the shape of it and the fact that people interpret it in different ways. If you look at it one way, it looks like a stylized letter B (Bella, perhaps?) If you look at it a different way, it's the number 13 (a lucky number for some). But it means a lot more than that to me.
My last tattoo was about my past and reminding myself of everything I've struggled through to become the person I am today. This one is about what I want for myself now. Balance and harmony in body, mind and spirit.
I'm not there yet. My life is so far from balanced right now, and it always has been. But I figured that if I put this symbol on the core of my body, the place where we get our physical balance, that maybe, all those other kinds of balance would follow.
Oh, yes, and in case you're wondering, there will be pictures. Schmutzie came with me to take pictures, and we ended up with more than a hundred photos of the tattoo in progress, and also some great shots of me in pain. There are also some where I'm pretty sure I'm making my "O" face, at least that's what we thought it looked like. (I'll have to run the pics by Superstar to be sure.) Remember last time, when Schmutzie told me that some people like the pain of tattoos and I said afterward, "I can't say that I'm a member of the group of people who like the pain"?
Um...well...let's just say that I would like to retract that statement along with the one about only wanting one tattoo.
That Schmutzie, she sure is right a lot.
November 9, 2007
When I heard his voice, I knew.
His mom is going to die.
We've known this for some time, but she was doing so well for so long. But now, this is it. This is the last few days or hours. And all I can do is cry with him. I don't know what else to do. I don't know what to say. And he's so far away right now (geographically) that I can't even hug him.
[The phone rang again just as I was finishing the above paragraph.]
Superstar just called again. She died an hour and a half ago.
This is so hard. It's so surreal and so real at the same time. It's just dawning on me that our first Christmas together is going to be his first Christmas without his mother. I don't know if my brain can process all of this right now. I feel so overwhelmed and helpless and disoriented.
Between the first phone call and the second, I managed to drop a few hundred dollars on a piece of art. A friend (the one whose painting I took on my trip to Europe) needed some cash for an upcoming exhibition, so he dropped me an email to see if I knew anyone who was interested in buying some paintings. I asked him to show me a few pieces and when I saw this one, I just knew:
It's huge - five feet by two feet - so I wasn't sure that I had a place for it in my little house. I also wanted to see what it was like in my space, to feel if it really belonged here. I asked him to bring it and some of his other pieces over to see what worked.
When he got here, he told me that the piece used to be just the two bottom paintings, but he just had this feeling that it needed something more, so he created the top one. I looked closely at it and pointed to the one long branch that pokes up into the top painting and said, "That's hope."
Hope, reaching upward, all by its lonesome. A small branch that doesn't allow the vast space around it to overwhelm it or discourage it.
That's when I knew I needed this painting in my space, because hope has been sorely lacking in my life as of late. Maybe having this huge, stunning piece of artwork taking up a wall in my living room will serve as a daily reminder that even when things seem stacked against you, there's still hope. There's always hope.
He left for a bit and came back with his tools to install the piece, which was quite the production in itself, while I rearranged furniture and moved other artworks around to make it fit.
Just as he was leaving, he said, "It's not on the back of it, but if anyone asks you, the painting's called Hope."
November 8, 2007
First, I'm wondering what it's like to wash one's teeth, and second, what the hell is an "ace"? My dear friend Alie uses that term to refer to her ass, so imagining a bunch of people lined up with their bums in the sinks amuses me to no end. My cousins could not figure out why I couldn't stop laughing.
Sometimes, I wonder if my calling in life is to go to other countries and correct the English signs written by whoever thought they could write in English but really couldn't. There seems to be a lot out there. I wonder if they lied on their resumes to get their jobs, or if they really think they know what they're doing?
Hell, who cares. I'll do it for cheap. All I ask is that you fly me there, feed me and bring on the hot cousins. I think it's a fair trade.
November 7, 2007
Or maybe we're all just lazy.
Regardless, I'm 32 today, and it's making me think about how far I've come, particularly in the past two years, and how far I have to go.
About this time last year, I embarked on my Year of Fearlessness. Looking back on the list I set out for myself, I think I've done a pretty good job of it. I've fallen in love with my soul mate, I've stayed out of the petty dramas going on around me (and even avoided doing lame-ass passive aggressive things on Facebook - extra points for that!), I made it to Italy, I've had an insane number of screaming orgasms, I've followed my intuition and lived by my convictions, and I've done a lot of things over the past year that would have scared the fuck out of the old me.
As a result, I can see myself becoming more me. Authentically expressing who I am in this world. If I had to characterize this last Year of Fearlessness, I would say that it was about the physical realm of my life. It was about doing things.
These days, I'm working more on internal fearlessness. Something more subtle, but just as important, if not more so. A lot of it involves facing personal demons, issues I'd rather not deal with, deep-seated pain from the past and fears for the future. And a big part of it involves ceasing to see myself through the lens of those around me.
When I had my astrological chart read by Willow last month, there was one thing that she said that stood out most for me. At the bottom of my chart were two houses. Circling the one on the right, she said, "This is who you are," pointing to the one on the left, "This is what people think of you." And then she drew a heavy black line between the two of them. "You have to separate these two, because no matter what people think of you, it doesn't change who you are."
I had never heard it put quite that way before. What people think of you doesn't change who you are. If I know who I am, then why should I care what anyone thinks? Fuck them all, right?
Yet, I do. (Care, not fuck them, though I'm sure they're very cute.) It's hard not to when you've been a people-pleaser your entire life. But this is going to be my resolution for the coming year - I am going to put myself first, live my life authentically and do what's right for me, regardless of what people think or what I think they think.
Because it's hard to be yourself and follow your intuition when you sense that people around you are judging you in a negative light. I've had the foresight to cut most of those judgemental people out of my life in the past year (Oh, my! Look at all of those charred corpses of friendships past! Someone should really clean them up - they're starting to smell!), but there's still that nagging little voice in the back of my head that judges me on their behalf.
I'm not saying it's going to be easy. But this time last year, I had no idea that I'd make it to Italy (much less get the trip paid for through grants), I had no idea I'd meet my soul mate (much less manifest him), and...well, I did have a pretty good idea about the screaming orgasms, but, for the record, I didn't yet know about the existence of the Rock Chick.
I figure if all of that could happen in one year, who knows what the next one will hold?
Bring it on!
November 6, 2007
November 5, 2007
My flight from London to Rome was delayed by more than an hour, so we were stuck waiting in the plane that entire time. A few rows up was an Italian family with a toddler. He was not dealing well with being restrained to the airline seat and kept trying to escape his mother's grip so he could run up and down the aisle.
When he realized that he wasn't able to run freely, he started
And there were many, many reincarnations, because did I mention that this went on for more than an hour? In a claustrophobic plane? With no way out?
And the thing was...
I thought it was cute.
I know. There's something wrong with me. This should have been the most annoying situation on the planet, particularly with that high-pitched, unrelenting screech of his, but this kid, he was oh so cute. He had curly brown hair and olive skin and big brown eyes and Italian features and he was just the cutest widdle kiddie you'd ever see. Sure, I pitied his parents because he was obviously a demanding, difficult, tantrum-throwing little brat, but he was just...so...cute.
I vowed to get that checked out when I got home, because something was seriously wrong with me.
The thing was, it kept happening. Every time I saw a little Italian kid, which was a lot, I burst into a big smile, got all gushy, said "carina", the Italian word for cute, and felt my uterus twitch as if it were saying, "Me too!" I was one big walking hormonal womb by the end of my stay. If anyone had pissed me off, I could have swatted them away with one of my fallopian tubes or tossed some of my eggs at them, that's how bad it was.
My three hot cousins and I were at
Savia: I think little Italian girls are the cutest ever. I love their features and the way they look. They are just perfect. I want one!
Ella: If you have a baby with Superstar, your children will not look like that.
Savia: That's okay. I'll just find one here.
[Confused pause as they try to figure out what she means.]
Nia: [exclaiming] Oh! You mean that you will find a father in Italy!
[Savia realizes that they think she's going to fuck random Italian guys to get knocked up so she can bring an Italian baby back to Canada. Fortunately for her, she finds most Italian men repulsive, so there was no chance of her coming home with anything other than shoes, four pair to be exact.]
Savia: No! I'll just find a cute little Italian girl and take her home with me...in my purse. I have a big purse. It will be fine.
Mona: Ooooh...We think that if you do that, you will go to prison.
Savia: Yes, but you live right by the prison, so you could visit me.
Ella: I will visit you every day and I will bring you an orange.
Savia: But I like peaches better.
Ella: No, peaches are too expensive. You only get an orange!
I might have actually done it, if there weren't such a lack of peaches in the Italian prison system. You've got to weigh the pros and cons before you stuff random toddlers in your purse, after all. That, and my purse really wasn't that big.
The thing is, once I got back to Canada, I was okay. I went back to seeing kids as annoying (except for Marlena's perfect little baby, of course) and kissing my birth control pills before I go to bed every night. It appears Italian children are the only ones who can trigger my ticking biological clock...for now.
But the scary question is...is this Italian toddler obsession an anomaly or just the thin edge of the wedge? What's next? Ukrainian babies? Hungarian kids? Lithuanian tots? Will I just go through every nationality before there are none left and I have no choice but to pop one out myself?
I'm scared. Hold me.
November 4, 2007
I was not thrilled with the prospect, but I felt it was worth a shot. I've been dragging my ass around for months, feeling lethargic and shitty, so I had nothing to lose.
Except $150, that is. Why is healthy shit so damn expensive? If we were really meant to do it, wouldn't it be cheap?
Anyway, I went. She was young and nice - one of those super positive people who have that glazed look in their eyes of someone who has found true bliss. You know the look. You usually see it in the eyes of uber religious types, you'll also find it in those who have found religion in health.
Good for them, but I never want to look that way. It's kind of creepy, and I'm far too cynical to ever get there. Besides, sarcasm and snide remarks are fun. I would never want to give that up.
After more than two hours of talking about my medical history and symptoms, she gave me a sheet of paper with an elimination diet on it. I looked at the sheet and I looked at her and said, “You have got to be kidding me.”
This piece of paper said that I wasn’t allowed to eat dairy, meat, gluten, shellfish, eggs, corn, tomatoes, sugar, chocolate, soy, peanuts, salt, caffeine, alcohol, and on and on.
What the hell was left? And was life worth living without potato chips?
“You don’t understand,” I said. “I can barely get out of bed in the morning. I’m just now starting to cook and eat borderline healthy meals after months of take-out and eating chips for supper. There is no way I’ll be able to handle doing this.”
“Just try it. Even if you’re just taking this powdered vitamin and protein supplement every morning and trying to avoid some of these foods, it will make a difference,” she said.
I looked at her skeptically, took the sheet and supplement from her and somehow made it home before I burst into tears. The entire weekend, I stared at the sheet, told myself there was no way I could do this for three weeks and cried my head off. I felt that by taking the sheet, by telling her I’d try, I had set myself up for failure.
And then, something weird happened. After three days of crying, it felt like a switch went off in my head. I just stopped. Stopped crying. Stopped beating myself up. Stopped making excuses for why I couldn’t do it. For the first time in months, I felt…normal.
I don't know what made the difference. Was it the new-found nutrients coursing through my veins or the mere fact that I had taken charge of my own health and done something about it? All I know is that something happened. Something shifted in my body. I started feeling better.
I mean, when you think about it, it makes sense. What you put in your body is going to affect how you feel physically, emotionally, mentally. I don't think most people would argue with that fact, but how many of us actually live by it? As educated and logical as I like to think I am, I have resisted dealing with that reality most of my life. I don't take care of myself. I don't view food as medicine. And then I wonder why I feel like shit.
So, I guess I have to admit that the hippy dippy naturopath actually knows what she's talking about, in which case there's two more weeks of the elimination diet from hell for me. I'll eat my flax and my hemp hearts and be a good little hippy (without the glazed eyes) in the hopes that there is a big hunk of organic dark chocolate in my future.
But I ask you this: if chips are so bad for you, why do they taste so damn good?
November 3, 2007
According to the OhMiBod website, it's:
The ultimate companion for your iPod!
OhMiBod Gspot vibrates to the beat and rhythm of the music on your iPod or mp3 player and is designed to hit that magic "G" note in all of us. Also converts to manual multi-speed vibe...2 products in 1!
As Orgasma says, "I love my iPod. Now my iPod can love me back. How great is this?"
So, from now on, everytime I say, "This song is so good I wish I could fuck it," I can actually follow through.
Oh, Hawksley, here I cum.
November 2, 2007
Then, there was London:
no way chills in London's idea of a back alley.
Fucking Brits. Making us Canadians feel all inferior and shit.
Their back alley glue smells like lavender.
Seeing as no way had only really seen back alleys in his short life, I thought it might be good to take him to a charming London garden.
Still high on lavender-infused glue, no way stumbles into a shrub and passes out.
I pretended I didn't know him.
Then I put some glue in a flower and sniffed it.
After we had sobered up a bit, we hit Trafalgar Square. I won't even tell you the kind of shit we were able to score there.
Where's no way? There he is!
There are a lot of old dead white dudes in Trafalgar Square.
no way is not down with The Man.
If you look closely, you'll see him flipping the statue off.
A few days into the trip, it became clear that no way was homesick for his fellow paintings. Either that or he was going into glue withdrawal. Everything's so fucking expensive in London.
no way visits the Dali exhibit, which made us feel like we had sniffed glue.
Except we hadn't.
For a couple hours, at least.
Still, it was trippy.
Sadly, they have to close the gallery for the day at some point, so our fix was gone. And we had no cash to buy more. The logical solution was, of course, to fly to Italy. It only made sense. We went to the Vatican, where people have got to be high because they believe that birth control is the devil.
no way hangs at a phallic-esque statue at the Vatican, hoping to get high off the air.
Hey - they have old dead white dudes here, too! Who knew?
The Vatican wasn't the mecca of glue sniffing that we had hoped. So, we said, "Fuck it" and went to the beach. If there wasn't any glue there, at least we could drown ourselves in the waves.
no way got to see Savia's hot cousins frolic in their bikinis.
Glue, what glue?
After all that travelling, glue sniffing, and hot Italian cousin action, it was time for bed.
Oh yeah, you know I showed him a good time.
November 1, 2007
ALSO, i just purchased online...the ROCKCHICK for 38 bucks!! WOO! from www.adameve.com and the 50% off coupon code is BLUSH if you want to spread the love with anyone else you know. :D i can't WAIT for it to get here. Yippeeee!!
$38???? I paid more than double that. Mind you, it was worth every penny.
I got yet another message from her this morning:
Rock Chicks for everyone! I'm so excited!!
She has every right to be excited, trust me, and so should you. Just buy it. You'll see what I mean.
And, thusly, NaBloPoMo begins as it should, with sex toys.