Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Abandoning one blog for another...

Haven't posted in a few weeks. Online ideas have been regularly exhausted by constant posting on a group project blog for my PR design class. Apparently, part of design is blogging (don't ask me, I think my old prof's starting to go senile...) so our group of five has had to design a blog, figure out what we're going to write about, and start blogging, reciprocal-linking and commenting like mad in order to get our full grades.

The blog is about public relations from a student's perspective, including classwork, job opportunities, organizations and random, fun stuff. If you're eager to read my words, visit us at PeR Se (get it?)

Regularly scheduled blogging to return when all this madness is behind me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ode to a rim

Rolling up the rim to win,
sore fingers building callouses.
Greed and gluttony my top sins;
But I can't stop the losses.

Damn you, coffee cup!
When's my turn to win?
Three words choke me up:
"Please Play Again."

Who sets the odds to win this game?
Has Vegas reached this low?
One in nine a shameful claim
as I'm now 12 and 0.

I won! I won!...a lousy doughnut.
I think I'll take a pass.
Take this flaccid crueller, Tim's
and stick it up your ass.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A wee character study

In a mixture of boredom and lack of proper sleep, I found myself creating word doodles beside my regular old graphic doodles at last week's convention. My goal was to create a mental image that was crisp, succint and evocative. This is in no way related to anything or anyone in my life. It's more of a character study.

See, I've come to realize that one of my biggest issues with writing is the pressure I put on myself to create something complete, as though it could emerge, fully-formed from my mind (nice little classical mythology reference in there for you. You're welcome.) Of course, having fully-formed anything is a challenge, let alone a fully-formed masterpiece of writing. So I'm taking it upon myself to cobble together bits and pieces of writing as they come to me, compile them, and save them for future dates when they can be assembled to make my very own literary Frankenstein.

There is no real setting or plot development. This is a descriptive paragraph. We're just assuming in medias res and hoping for the best. oh, and one more thing before I begin: this is a first for me, this sharing of creative writing talents. I've never displayed my poetry or shared any short stories. Ever. My shared writing is strictly non-fiction and usually critiques, analyses or incorporates secondary research or another's writing. So from nothing, here is something. My brain baby--ugly, swollen and bleating its way into the world.

I won't say enjoy, as you aren't required to. In fact, if you don't enjoy it, please feel free to tell me. Your role is to witness. To read and give meaning to the words by interpolating them in your own mind. Thanks in advance.


With one quick glance it is apparent that his douche nozzle is turned on full blast. The hose sprays a fine mist of arrogant machismo that is carried, weightless, and deposited in small droplets on unsuspecting bystanders. Covered in a film of creepy discomfort, they shiver--trying to shake off the offending particles. Cloying, sticky particles. Spicy, but not alluring or exotic. Spice that stings the nostrils and forces tongues to the roofs of mouths in an effort to plug the stench from entering their throats. Not dirty--in fact, quite the opposite. Clean, but not soapy clean. Clean and overly perfumed, as if the various concoctions on a drugstore shelf have found their way into a horrible, stagnant witch's brew. The lotions and creams have left his skin gleaming with an oily slick. Their foul odor leads passers-by to offer a wide berth, their actions completely missed by the narcissist at its centre. Missing among his myriad potions, apparently, is an astringent, for underneath his skin's superficial glow are thousands of misshapen craters, dutifully spackled in an attempt to camouflage the unhealthy texture of his cheekbones. The monochromatic finish his facepaint supplies creeps from his throat up to his receding hairline. Even the faint shadow of artful stubble on his chin betrays blunt, foundation-smeared follicles. The other hairs on his head stand at attention, resistant to gale-force winds thanks to the liberal application of a product best described as the green mucus coughed up by a particularly phlegmy consumptive. His grin is a self-satisfied sneer, as if, aware of his grotesquerie, he is daring those around him to say something about his offensiveness.

As he stands regarding the world with dumb cruelty, he sees me standing awkwardly several paces away. Shit. There's no getting out of this now. This is the last, I repeat last, time I allow myself to be fixed up by an Internet dating service. At the very least, I'm getting my money back. And if this dickbag even thinks about invading my personal space, he's getting a faceful of half-inch gel nails. I quickly curse myself for spending twenty bucks on getting my nails done for this asshole.

He approaches. A wave of nausea flips my guts, and I bite my lip to contain it.

"Hey. Drink?"


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ms. Fitz's Monkey of the Week: Bebe Squirrel Monkey

Baby squirrel monkey at the Edmonton Zoo!

So, our zoo's pretty sad and lame. There's been a lot more press recently about the state of Lucy, our much-troubled and ballyhooed elephant, than on anything good happening there. It's not a great zoo, but there are some decent exhibits available. The monkeys are particularly nice. And the squirrel monkeys are the cutest. See?

Click here to read the story at the Edmonton Journal.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's the simple things that make life worth living

It's been a hard week, and it's only going to get harder, with our big work convention coming up on the 15th and looming overtime for the weekend. With that, it's important to make time for little things that make me smile.

Thank god(s) for College Humour. And yes, just for the record, I will be going home and attempting this on my cat. Once I go to the dollar store and purchase some balloons, of course.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Blogging 101

I'm nearing the end of my PR diploma program, and one of the last classes I need to graduate is advanced digital publishing, which includes such fun fare as PhotoShop and InDesign. My instructor is a particularly virulent form of grumpy old man mixed with a dash of hard ass, which means that despite most students in my evening class having full-time jobs on top of classes, we're expected to publish (write, edit and design) a full magazine and create our own blog. 

To that end, we've had to read an insightful book about blog publishing for businesses, which, while similar to what I do here, obviously has different goals, like building a brand and marketing products. Though I've ben doing this for a few years now there are still things the book taught me, and other things I knew already but have shrugged off. 

Among the top items is that good blogs, once begun, must be updated regularly. The minimum is 2-3 times a week, but optimum blogging (if you want to actually make a name for yourself as a blogger) is to write something interesting, pertinent and link-worthy 2-3 times a DAY. I'm all for building my little blog past the "peek into the diary of Ms. Fitz this week and see what neurosis she's adopted today", but, honestly, I just can't muster the effort. 

To get the creative juices aflowin', writers are instructed, the best things to do are 1) read and 2) write. Just do it. Like Nike, only way less athletically able or inclined. But damn, does my brain feel exhausted after a day of writing at work, only to come home and dedicate 1-2 hours (the suggested time allotted to a daily blog update) to writing blather. Maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit for what I write, but I figure that the miscellaneous collection of thoughts gives me one of two options to really be a success: narrow my scope to focus on one particular field of interest or become a much better, more engaging writer than I am today. Self-indulgence is part of the genesis of blogs online, but to succeed, a blogger needs an audience. And while I like to share things that I hope people will smirk at or at least get 30 seconds of enjoyment out of, if it doesn't interest me, I'm probably not going to be motivated enough to talk about it. I wish I had a passion. Perhaps if I were passionate about anything (other than the sound of my own voice or the clickity-clacking of my fingers putting out my own words) the writing would be easier.

Or I could continue writing what I know. Unfortunately for you, dear follower, that means expounding the virtues of cereal for dinner or 46 ways to entertain your cat instead of watching TV (as you're too cheap for cable). Maybe an expose on the contents of my fridge? Though if I haven't mustered the energy to toss the fuzzy green colony that was once a block of cheddar, I probably won't muster the energy to become the next HuffPo. (One side benefit, were I to become the next HuffPo, is that I would promise to never, ever, give Jenny McCarthy her own column.)

But hey! The Oscars are on! 


Friday, February 26, 2010


(adj. wildly active, hectic)

Apt description of my daily routine's current pace. I'm aware that my more recent posts have been few and far between and filled with half-hearted jabs at coherence and apologies. Right now, I'm too tired for either of those, so I'll simply chalk it up to being busy and exhausted and leave it be.

The February long weekend passed nearly two weeks ago, and it was a glorious mini-break for my mind and body. Watched the Olympics with friends, had a Valentine's staycation with LS and spent ungodly amounts of time relaxing in a jacuzzi without a care in the world. I emerged the happiest prune in the galaxy.

Back in the real world a fortnight has passed and I've been ill (bodied and tempered), busy with homework and the frantic preparations that preceed my work's spring convention. Have spent little time with friends or family, and have become increasingly grumpy over the lack of quality time available with my sweetie.

When we're not working or in school, one or the other of us is busy with a project or getting shit sorted. I miss him, even though I've seen him twice this week, most recently when I dropped him off at home this morning after a run to Tim's. You gotta make the most of the time you have, I get it, but getting together after a 14-hour day, sitting on the couch and promptly falling asleep after a half-uttered, "how was your...zzzz..zz...." is not ideal.

I suppose I can appreciate the irony of griping over my single status for so long, only to get into a relationship and spend most of the time doing the same shit I was doing when I was single. There's no requirement for clinginess, as we are both--with nary a trace of doubt--highly independent people with a strong need for personal time and space. That said, it's difficult to finally find that level of intimacy and comfort with someone and not be able to live it for more than a five-minute goodnight phone call every evening.

I know, whine, whine. Find something good and inevitably you'll find a flaw. Well, I will. Because I'm built to see the cynical side of things. As negatives go, however, dealing with the dissatisfaction of not having enough time together is far easier than, say, dealing with someone who has the time but doesn't want to spend it with you, or that you aren't happy with when you spend time together. That cliche about love as a drug is true. And like any fix, I want it in an immediate, urgent way that leaves me feeling down if I don't get it. it's the simple things: an embrace, a smile, that firm shoulder squeeze as you lean together on a walk. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. But if you finally see the object of your fondness after a long week of crap, and anticipate that moment, you aggrandize it until the moment seems insufficient to quench the thirst for time and attention you've been building up.

I think I need to reprioritize. Sit down and make some actual time, a carved-out niche, where I can devote my whole time allotted to the moment and the person, instead of spending the short hour together between work and my night class worrying about that assignment. Why be there if you're thinking of the millions of other things? Being with LS is one of the few things that makes my heart rate slow and calms my nerves when I feel like I'm going to twitch myself to pieces. Why ruin that with worry? Oh, if only I could turn that part of my brain off.

Falling for someone the first time was so much easier. We were 22. We were in university. I only worked part time and we practically lived together in his basement. I know. I'm selfish and wistful and have to be a grown up and recognize that with grown up responsibilities comes less time to indulge in camping out for days, when reading a book and drinking a cup of coffee while lazing in bed was what life was made for. Two weeks since our staycation, and already I need another. No, wait, I need an actual, full-blown vacation.

In other relationship news, I hit another milestone: I met the parents. First time since I was 19 that I've met a boy's parents. (MJ didn't have any, which is another interesting relationship conversation altogether). They were nice, lovely. I wanted them to like me. I believe they did. I wanted them to confirm that I was a positive person to have in their son's life. I believe they did that, too. And they paid for dinner, to boot.

I'm tired and I need some tea. Work to do. Pay to earn. You know, the usual.

Monday, February 01, 2010

The hamster fell off the wheel.

You ever have those days?

You know, the ones where the incessant whirring in your head abruptly stops and you're left with nought but an empty staccato echoing through your brain cavity?

I'm having one of those.

It's not that I'm unable to think, it's just that, well, the volume of good ideas or "aha!" moments has shrunk to undiscernable levels. Being a person who is generally unable to sleep properly because the thoughts in her head tend to buzz too loudly, it's off-putting to feel like a wrung-out sponge. Am I not supposed to be endlessly clever and charming and creative? If I am boring myself, what must I be doing to those around me? Sure, overthinking sucks sometimes, but underthinking makes me feel like I can't hold up my end of a conversation or that my inane neuroses will escape in garbled bursts of nonsense between moments of robotic inflection and mute head nodding.

So I have no biting sarcasm or torrential downpour of opinions upon any particular subject at the moment. All my subjects are moldering inside my mind along with the dimestore rodent who kicked it. I need a brain re-energize. An outlet for something creative or daring or brilliant, that will make me feel both a sense of accomplishment and pride in having put my internal think tank to some purpose other than keeping my forehead protrusive.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bad Blogger.

Sorry folk(s)--[not sure if the one/handful of you who read this actually care or not, but I'll address you in the spirit of a shepherd who has neglected her flock. Or at least a border collie whose dereliction of duties has left no one to nip annoyingly at your heels as you bleat and attempt to nibble on your grass...ok...the metaphor has been stretched past silly into ludicrous. Let's move along.]--life has gotten in the way of regular blogging activities. Since last we met up with our dynamic duo beloved blogger, she's returned to school two days a week, has been working on a magazine and convention for her employer and has spent a full weekend indulging in the kind of schmoopy couplehood that would make you yak if you weren't one of the persons involved.

This consisted mostly of accompanying the LS to various activities in a show of goodwill and girlfriendy support. Admittedly, I enjoy being in the cheering section for this particular team. It brings out the good feelings that typically present themselves only in saccharine Lifetime films or an over-indulgence of hallucinogens.

I digress.

LS and I share many qualities (nerdiness, short attention spans, facial hair (jk)...) among them a very open, liberal political mindset. A number of his friends are involved in left-wing/anarchist/hippy pursuits, particularly at the organizational level. So we attended his friend's anti-tar sands speakers panel (which was quite interesting, filled with enlightened, well-spoken individuals) and an anti-Olympics preparation meeting prior to the torch relay through Edmonton (For the duration of which I held my tongue.) Not that I don't believe that First Nations or homeless advocates have a good case against the Olympics--they do. It's just that, well, the tactic of beating someone over the head with your self-righteousness when all they want to do is feel a sense of community and celebration is kind of like taking a dump on their coffee table during a party to protest their choosing the two-ply toilet paper over a more environmentally-friendly bidet. It just gets everyone down and doesn't really get the message across in the best possible way. You know?

On a better track, I got my first-ever chance to play groupie to a real-live rock band when LS and his merry band of punks played their inaugural gig at Brixx downtown. There was a fair-sized bar crowd and they brought the right combination of attitude and silliness to ensure that everyone had fun and didn't get caught up in their own self-importance.

In health update news, I've made a concerted effort to eat healthy this week, going so far as to purchase veggies and salad for work to snack on, instead of my normal Starbucks run. Still don't have a kitchen to cook in (my renovations are taking longer than expected. Bother.) but the progress is being made and soon I'll be able to create magnificent, healthy meals in my newfangled cooking space. Celebratory dinner party TBA.

It's 8:30am. My coffee's run out and the emails are stacking up in my work inbox. Until we meet again.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Ms. Fitz's Monkey of the Week: Chunky Monkey cream. I love ice cream. And chocolate. Cakes. Warm bread. Food in general, really. I'll admit at the outset that this post is more chunky than monkey, chunk being a personal bane for the past several years.

Our lives are defined by the relationships we foster within them. Just because food doesn't love us back doesn't mean we don't have a relationship with it. It's how we nourish ourselves, excite our tastebuds, indulge in a treat or seek refuge in the memories it evokes.

I've never had a bad relationship with food. Ok, so I have a sweet tooth. A MEGA sweet tooth. As a youth, as long as tooth decay wasn't an issue, I felt free to indulge. As I get older and more sedentary (the proof is in the ass-groove I create daily at my desk) however, I have been forced to reevaluate my relationship and decide whether it's really mutually-beneficial or if someone's getting the caloric shaft.

Several months ago, I was working really diligently to get myself back into shape, participating in 8 weeks of bootcamp. Very proud. Didn't quite match it with the diet, particularly when Christmas came around and the urge to indulge grew too great. Several weeks later, I'm worried about reverting to my pre-fit state, and am trying to grow conscientous of my food intake, not only for my health, but for my pants size. It's a battle I've spent most of my time ignoring, until of course I realized that I was unhappy with how I looked and wanted to improve by losing the belly that had developed over years of over-imbibing and still eating like a university student.

My sort-of resolution this New Year's (not a true one, just more of a timely "now's as good a time as any" decision) is to wean my body off the daily doses of christmas cookies, chocolates and rum-infused eggnog and reintroduce myself to carrots and broccoli. My biggest issue is trying to make that seem appealing and interesting, because I am at pains to feel that way naturally. Keeping up my fitness is also important, as it will compliment the diet and help me not feel bad about all that effort wasted.

By the end of my bootcamp, I could do 30 burpees in a row. I started off with barely 10. I don't want to go back to that place where I'd rather die than do a pushup. But encouraging myself to make it a full lifestyle change, as opposed to a weeklong fast or 6-week workout session, will be the true challenge.

Sigh. Hand me the rice cakes.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A huge, steaming pile of doofus

So PC MLA Rob Anderson was one of two government MLAs who crossed the floor yesterday to the upstart Wildrose Alliance party. Since then, the rookie MLA has been shooting his mouth off left and right (mostly right) about his issues with Ed Stelmach's government. While this action in and of itself is telling of his inexperience, it's his bright-eyed naivety that really hits it home for me. When interviewed about what disillusioned him about the whole thing, the Calgary Herald reports:

"It's a total lack of commitment to democratic values," he insists, adding that as a rookie politician he's been disillusioned by life inside the government.

"It's totally shocking as a new MLA. A lot of these people I really looked up to. I'd see them at the annual party meetings and admire them. Then they'd stand up and say these things in caucus. You kind of want to throw up afterward."

Yeesh. I want to throw up, too. More at your statement than at the realization that Alberta is run by a surfeit of assholes. I mean, if I wanted to throw up every time I was disappointed in the lack of democratic processes and citizen-oriented policymaking in this province, I'd be walking around with a bucket and a crash helmet.

Seriously, dude? What sort of politician ARE you? You admired all the warm fuzzies they gave you while they kissed your baby and pinched your cheeks at the rah-rah lovefests? But then the wolves doffed the sheep's clothing and you could see them for what they really were? Well golly-gee-willikers, sir! What a revelation. These comments leave one wondering not so much how deep absolute power has corrupted the government, but more how you manage not to get mugged every time you leave the house. Having faith in people is a wonderful thing. And even some politicians are deserving of it. But seriously, dude? SERIOUSLY? Get your head out of the sand. I am gobsmacked at the idea of an Alberta PC MLA fleeing because the idealist shangri-la wasn't in caucus as promised. What ideals? Where have you been? What rock are you under, and is there room for me in there so I don't have to smack myself in the head everytime I read this tripe?


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What I want to be when I die

I am finishing up this great book I picked up over the Christmas holidays: "Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" by Mary Roach.

While I admit to a penchant for the macabre and eccentric, this was a strangely charming, and oft-hilarious, read. Ms. Roach goes through the history of death and dying and what purposes dead bodies serve after going on to their great repose. Besides the usual anatomy labs and organ donations, corpses also serve as crash-test dummies, gruesome scientific experiments, fuel and--in some cultures still--medicine (salves, edible bits of skin, etc.) The book also details the processes behind death and the ways in which humans try to prolong their bodies' existence with chemicals or mummification.

Most interesting for me are the eco-friendly ways to die that are being offered in many parts of Europe and gaining in popularity worldwide. There's composting, or dissolving bodies in lye, after which the remant goo will swirl down the drain--a sterile, pH-neutral people-syrup.

I've never been one to romanticize my death or what will become of me afterwards. I don't believe I'd feel particularly violated or disrespected to serve a useful purpose as an organ donor or research tool. Besides, even if I became a bit of mellified man, it's not like I'd get too upset: I wouldn't be there to feel pain or indignity, now would I?
Death can be scary: the unknown always is. But without a cultural or religious background to dictate what I'll do with my own, I'd be quite happy to shuffle off this mortal coil allowing others to make the most use out of me before chopping me up and using my bits to grow flowers. I don't need a sealed casket, headstone or urn sitting on someone's fireplace. I find that kind of creepy. My time here is brief, and so I must make the most of it before I return to what I once was: just some random motes assembled into a person.