Wednesday, December 20, 2006

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

Oh, Christmas, time of nervous breakdowns.

Pouring water down my throat, I look up to see Steve across the room. The pom-pom on his Santa hat sways gently. "This hat," he says conversationally "is the only thing holding me together. You should try it."

"No more hats." I mutter. He looks around, grabs a pair of antlers, places them gently on my head.
Steps back, examines them. "Wait--" reaches up to flip a little switch. Tiny lights chase each other around my antlers. "There."


Later, The Sound of Music blaring over the soundsystem, I stop and grin at him. "You love me!"
"I do?"
I point at the speakers. "This says you love me."

Waiting at the door for a bag check, I reel into Dan. He stops me with one arm and puts it around me, holding me up. "Look!" he says, gesturing with his book "Wine!"
"I'm five." I say sulkily. "I can't have wine."
He laughs.

It's the little things that get you through. No, seriously.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

icons icons icons

Mostly I'm a big fan of Blogger, and all attempts to convert me to Livejournal have failed. The one thing that hovers at the edge of my brain, tempting, is the icons. And then it was pointed out to me that I can, actually, save the icons to my computer. And then I can even post them. It's a little tricky to figure out how to credit them in the traditional Livejournal way, but I can tell you: this one is made by the scarily talented syliasyliasylia, and it makes me laugh.

action stations! action stations! set condition one throughout the store!

It was almost the end of the night, and I was tired, but apparently not so tired that I can't recognize a cylon from thirty paces and a quarter of their profile. Holy shit, I thought, that's number five! Aaron Doral is in my store!
Then, to my intense dismay, I discovered that I was blanking out on the actor's name altogether. By frantically googling him, I was able to come up with it (Matthew Bennett) and go stammer out some fangirl thing about how much I admire his work on Battlestar Galactica. He was very gracious about it, although he seemed a little bit taken aback about being recognized. I wonder if that doesn't happen to him very often. "Incidentally," I said "if you need anything book-related, that's what they pay me for." He laughed. Full marks.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

my eyes! the goggles, they do nothing!

The Swarovski crystal tree is up again at Eaton Centre. Its sparkles occasionally catch the light and throw it right into my eyes when I'm greeting. Tragically, this has not yet blinded me, and I have to keep seeing the hideous thing.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Dan Brown is Satan.

I had this dream that I was being held prisoner by the cylons. (If you don't know, they're a race of robots not generally friendly to humans and why aren't you watching Battlestar Galactica yet?) In my dream we were all being held in rooms that felt like berths on a boat--small, but functional. Apparently they were interested in keeping us entertained, because they had Starbuck (I know. Is she a cylon too? Who cares. It's dream logic.) going around making sure everyone had something to read. She was explaining that she couldn't give me Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, because they only had four copies and the last one had to go to these women down the hall from me--at which point I burst out laughing and couldn't stop.
"How many copies of The Da Vinci Code do you have?" I asked. When she started to leave, I tried to get my giggling down to a minimum. "No--Starbuck. Captain Thrace. I seriously want to know." And I did. I probably need to let go of my work a little.

In another part of the dream, it turned out that my manager Jenny was a cylon, and for some reason she and I were at this big chest-thumping meeting. You know what I mean--"Oh yeah? Well, my government can beat up your government!" We started a tickle fight, and then when people noticed us I tried to use it as an argument not to go to war against one another. "We could have horrible bloodshed...or a tickle fight! Who's up for it?"

p.s. I brought the skids out last night and although I did, yes, again, get stuck in the doorway and require coaching, I brought them out and parked them in a beautiful straight line and it was no big deal. Except to me, as you can tell, because I'm blogging about it. Affirm me!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

they said you can rap about anything except for Jesus/that means sex guns drugs videotape/but if I talk about God my record won't get played. Huh.

It's been something of a week. I just can't stop listening to Kanye West. Kanye West? you say. Yep. "Jesus Walks," over and over and over, because I am thinking about faith, and love, and all that other stuff that's so hard to talk about without getting embarrassed. I'm not gonna talk about any of the gods here at the moment, but it's no surprise to anyone who's known me more than five minutes that I am an evangelical believer in the power of families--not the ones that we're born into, although sometimes we get lucky there, but the families that we make. And I am going to babble about that for a while--lucky you.

Lucky me. My mom says that she thinks I'm lucky to have so many good friends, and I think she's not wrong, because I surely don't deserve y'all--I don't deserve your love and loyalty, maybe can't deserve it. I have it by grace.

That sound you're hearing is the sound of my Sunday school teacher spinning in her grave. If you pick my ideas apart they're a crazy-making mishmash of Christian ideology and too many years in therapy talking about being responsible for your actions. I know that. But I persist; the idea of being entitled to someone's love is such a strange economic model, like a heart is a vending machine you can put a behaviour in and get love out of every time. And the idea that you don't have to do anything to be loved seems to me a kind of equal-but-opposite stupidity. Culturally we seem to swing back and forth between these two ideas, but I like my version better, where we all work our asses off for it but we understand that there's something greater going on. The other thing I heard a lot growing up was that my expectations were too high and people were always going to disappoint me. It's true that I was disappointed a lot, but when I look around me now, the people I'm close to are people who also spent a good chunk of time thinking "You're fucking kidding me. This is what I'm supposed to accept? We can do better." My folks weren't entirely wrong--I have had to get used to the idea that people make mistakes, and a bunch of getting banged around has knocked the edges off my self-righteousness. Thank the gods. It's tiring needing to be right all the time. (But, uh, Paul and Adam, this is not me admitting that I am fallible. No no no.)

So can't it be both? We love each other by working hard and also because of miracles. When things in our lives get frightening I trust that we will look at each other's human messiness and try to meet each other with all the generosity we can muster. When I get knocked off the path, all I need is to think about my family and what you all will say to me, and that's how I get back up. Where Kanye says "God, show me the way, because the devil's tryin' to break me down," I think "I gotta call Sarah." That's belief for you; it changes everything.