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26 June 2007 @ 03:28 pm
I've been thinking lately and I've come to the follow two conclusions:

a. I enjoy self-destructive behaviour,


b. Alcohol and cigarettes are a great way to gradually and non-chalantly self-destruct.

Ergo, I have abandoned my latest (and possibly greatest) streak of sober living, and have plunged back into the dank pool of excess with appropriate aplomb.

My weekend started off early and with a bang, as several work buddies gathered at the pub on Thursday night for Nicole's going-away party. We all lamented the loss of such a sassy and sardonic cohort, expressing our grief by imbibing in pitchers of beer and Dr. Pepper shots. After several hours, it became quite necessary for us all to return to my house to play some DDR and pass out.

On Saturday, Morgan and I drove up to Shawnigan Lake to attend The Second Annual Bad Bathing Suit Party, hosted by the infamous duo of Jenny and Mike. The weather was unseasonably chilly, so Mike proceeded to stoke the fire and turn the cabin into a hot, sweaty drunkfest from which the only escape was to don our ridiculous swim wear and pose for glamour shots. Most of those shots are now up on facebook, for any and all interested parties. I must say: I was hardly aware that wearing a child's bathing suit and posing for gratuitous crotch shots would attract such a frenzy of activity on my facebook page! Duly noted.

It seems to me that my life is a series of frantic, fleeting moments, bizaare episodes which I attempt to stretch across the sturdy framework of each day. Today, for example, was sort of surreal.

A squirrel with a mangled tail and an obvious death wish darted under my car on the way to Starbucks, prompting Davina and I to shriek like little girls. Thankfully, I managed to swerve and avoid the pitiful creature. Later on, as we were leaving the Starbucks, we saw what was surely the same squirrel, throwing itself under yet another moving vehicle. I wondered how things had gotten so bad for the squirrel. I pitied it while all the while admiring its morbid tenacity.

I thought about the squirrel a lot today, about how its macabre and desparate ritual mirrors the way I have been behaving as of late. I know that I should head in the other direction, but I see in his eyes the promise of relief, the sweetness of oblivion, and I eagerly throw myself into his path once more.
Current Mood: listlesslistless
Current Music: Manowar - Blow Your Speakers
12 June 2007 @ 08:26 pm
It's day 10 of my 10th quitting attempt. Discomfort is my new best friend. I wear it round my neck like this season's latest accessory. In the morning, late at night, there is a dull ache behind my ribs, as though someone has broken my heart. Having realized that 80% of quitting attempts (and 100% of my own) have been foiled by alcohol consumption, I have also determined to avoid the drink for 30 days. Basically, I'm having no fun whatsoever, and sometimes, I grow very bitter when I contemplate the fact that, maybe, I'm totally alone in this.

Today at the grocery store, the check out girl told me that it was her sixth shift in a row, and that she could now totally understand how a disgruntled worker might enter their place of employment with a loaded shot gun and open fire. I decided not to point out that she had rung my crackers through twice.

This girl, (Ashley, was her name), was built like a linebacker. She had pink streaks in her hair and a stud in her nose and you could just tell that her life was not going in the direction she had envisioned as a four year-old girl, playing with her Barbies on the rug in her bedroom. I realized when I spoke to her that there are so many stories out there, and that we're all struggling in some weird, private way. Everyone isn't happy, but everyone IS alone. I found a strange comfort in that realization, in the fact that the world is so fucked up and so beautiful, and that we're all only here to write our own stories in books and blogs and on bathroom walls.

I’ve always considered myself a scholar of religion; as far back as I can remember, I’ve been acutely interested in its imagery, its meanings and its various definitions. I’ve questioned my own individual interpretation of “faith” on many occasions, but despite this, I’ve never questioned having faith in Faith Itself. I’ve always had a certain respect for the faithful, and an unwavering belief that man needs something to hope for and aspire to be. I hesitate to refer to myself as a “theologian”, if only because this term seems to imply a certain dogged piety that I will never possess. Still, I believe I can confidently state that my religion is, quite simply, the study of religion.

At my current place of employment, I am lucky enough to be surrounded by a plethora of varying religions, faiths and beliefs. The various sects and splinter factions of Christianity are of particular interest to me. I voraciously devour wikipedia entries on the subject, dissecting definitions and comparing tenets of various denominations because, for some probably-perverse reason, I find it “fun”. I’m interested in the Catholic idea of purgatory, the Calvinist concept of predestination, the Arminian notion of salvation through faith alone, the Jehovah’s Witness rejection of rote rituals in place of good works, the arcane Mormon belief in a Great Apostasy.. Hell, even the slightly-dubious “Bridge To Total Freedom” idea of L. Ron Hubbard captures my interest a bit.

I work with this guy, a short, quirky man with a penchant for loud shirts. This man is a Christadelphian. I was delighted to learn this fact and pick his brain, as I had had no prior contact with anyone of that particular faith before our meeting. I told him that I was a Doukhobor, and for a couple of weeks thereafter, we were wont to engage in earnest theological discussions at the water cooler or in the halls. It seemed only natural: we were, after all, united by the common theme of conscientious objection/pacifism, and he seemed quietly fascinated by MY fascination with his ideals.

Until, that is, the Strip Club Incident.

Morgan's mother had decided that, to celebrate her 50th birthday, she would enjoy a trip to the Fox to do shots and watch the peelers. Having long-since stopped questioning anything to do with the Wray family, I got gussied up and headed down to the bar, where we all got quite inebriated and I ran into some folks from work.

The following week, as I sat slouched at my desk, the Christadelphian approached and said, "Alright, so I heard you went to the strip club on the weekend... and I was just wondering if it was because you are a Doukhobor."

"Bah?" I asked, pulling my iPod headphones out of my ears.

"Well, you know," he continued in an aggitated tone. "The whole... NUDITY thing. Maybe your people are okay with it."

"Umm..." I couldn't quite figure out what to say. First off, the whole nudity stereotype never ceases to offend me. I was a little hurt. I had taken the time to learn about his beliefs. Clearly, he had not done his homework. What was more, he actually seemed shocked that I, as a self-proclaimed CHRISTIAN, would possibly entertain the notion of going to a strip club.

I tried to explain. "Well, I'm not that... devout, I guess you'd say. We just went to have fun. It was my boyfriend's mom's birthday, and - "

"Yes, I HEARD that," he raised a disapproving eyebrow before continuing. "In MY faith, looking at a naked woman means you are committing adultery with her. IN YOUR HEART!"

This was getting weird. People were starting to peer over their computer monitors at the two of us. I felt this sudden, awful need to explain myself, and I couldn't figure out why. "I mean, who DOESN'T enjoy going out to the peelers now and then?" I asked myself. Why did everything have to be about religion for this guy??

"I thought you were interested in..in THEOLOGY!" he insisted. His look of disappointment cut me to the quick.

Try as I might, I could not explain to this weirdo the difference between being an artist and an art historian, a novellist and a literary critic, a zealot and a scholar.

Jesus, your teachings are swell and all, but for crying out loud, protect me from your followers, already!
08 June 2007 @ 05:50 pm
Since when does HE get to be mad at ME? I'm extending the olive branch, here. I'm practically being a martyr, and all he does is pretend he doesn't see me whenever I come into view.
08 June 2007 @ 05:34 pm
An actual friend request I just received:

"Hey Stef, remember me? It's _________. It's been forever, I haven't seen you since that night in grade 11 when you snuck into my room and I felt you up. Weird, huh??"

Oh God.
Current Music: Timbaland - The Way I Are
07 June 2007 @ 03:28 pm
It's official: I can't use the washroom at work anymore.

This past week, our entire support department has been relocated to the space next door to the office proper, where a small, neighbourhood hair salon once lived. For myriad reasons which I will not go into at this time, the spot that I have assigned to in our new space is clearly the bottom of the barrel in terms of comfort. Worse than all of this, however, is the situation involving the lavatory.

There is but one pitiful toilet in this new facility, and, although I much prefer the soft lighting in this washroom to the sodium glare of the Office washrooms, I cringe each time I contemplate the fact that I am forced to share this one seat with 15 other people, half of whom are men. This morning, I walked into the washroom and noted that someone had thoughtfully left behind several curly black pubes which adorned the toilet rim, the seat of which had, of course, been LEFT UP.

I can really sense an Us and Them mentality in the office now. I received a lot of strange looks today when I wandered back into the REAL office to fill up my glass from the water cooler, looks that asked, "Just what exactly are YOU doing here? Get back to your...area."

For awhile now, I've had a collection of emails sitting in the trash can of my gmail account. These emails were written months ago and I threw them out with the intention of forgetting them and moving on with my life. Still, about once a week or so, I seem to habitually revisit them, pouring over their contents again and again as if I might find a new sentence or a deeper revelation contained therein, if I only searched hard enough.

I opened my trash can today and was shocked to find that they were gone. Permanently. Of course, I knew that this would happen, that gmail automatically deletes items in the trash can after 30 days, but I suppose that, deep-down, I had intended to rescue them before they were flushed away into the ether.

I have taken this loss pretty hard. I wanted to keep these words and phrases, to hold onto them and press them close to my heart, because they justified everything. The proved something to me, and now that they are gone, it's as though nothing ever happened at all, like I dreamed the whole thing.
31 May 2007 @ 08:22 pm
Every once in a while, I think it wise to check back in with my estranged first love, Livejournal. Our relationship did experience a brief resurgance recently, but alas, we've grown apart again. Still, every so often, when the light slants through the blinds in just the right way, and iTunes is playing our song, I come crawling back to bash out a few meagre paragraphs.

I'm sorry, Livejournal, but I can't lie to you anymore. I've been spending time with Facebook... a lot of time. But I've been thinking of YOU the whole time, I swear!

So, geez Louise, what's been going with me? I've been enjoying some rare free time lately, as all of my performing is currently finished for the time being. I haven't had any rehearsals since the May Long Weekend, and I'm pleased as punch. With this new-found extra time, I've been trying to hit the gym four-five times a week. So far, so good.

I had the great fortune to meet (and have an extremely-awkward photograph taken with) none other than Mr. Chuck Palahniuk (!!) at his recent book signing on Monday evening!! He spoke for two hours, reading excerpts from "Haunted" and asking trivia questions of the audience. He was absolutely transfixing, and I sincerely regret taking ilion up on his bet to ask Palahniuk to KISS me for our posed photograph.

Needless to say, I was shot down in flames.. but WHAT flames! You haven't arrived until you've been rejected by your favourite author.
Current Mood: soresore
Current Music: Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heatbroken
23 May 2007 @ 04:18 pm
On the way home from work today, I stopped in at the new-ish thrift shop at Quadra and Hillside. I'd never been there before, and I found some great bargains, including a purse, a hardcopy cover of "Silence of the Lambs" and a barely-functional 80s crimping iron, all for only $5.21.

I am currently waiting for my mother to pick me up so that we can take her terminally-ill cat Leo (or Leonardo Emilio Octavio) to the veterinarian, where, depending on what the diagnosis is, he may or may not meet with "The Big Sleep". I figured that I should try to occupy my morose thoughts by whipping up a quick entry, for any and all interested parties.

Morgan and I went off to Castlegar with my mother for the May Long Weekend, where my Doukhobor choir performed in the 60th annual USCC cultural festival. I was a tad concerned that Morgan might be puzzled, confused and/or completely unimpressed with the whole cultural experience, but he was surprisingly accepting of it, rolling with the punches and proving himself a real trooper the entire weekend.

Pictures are up in my facebook account, and I may get around to doing an LJ photo post one of these days, too, if I can steel myself to endure more questions like, "What's with the shawl?", "Are you Mormon?" and "Are you in a CULT or something?"
Current Mood: gloomygloomy
Current Music: Smiths - Asleep
11 May 2007 @ 10:00 pm
It's a been a little while.

I simply hadn't had the heart to blog lately, what with the hideous events of last weekend still fresh in my mind. I've had some time to come to terms with everything now, however, and I've learned to become accustomed to the continual glares he casts at me from his office window each morning. I still can't figure out how *I* ended up being the asshole in this situation, but it's probably for the best. One of us had to become the victim or nothing would have ever changed. I miss him, his friendship, the things we used to laugh about. I know, however, that it was stupid of me to ever believe any of that was real.

I'm staying in tonight and resting my voice and mind a little bit. I've got a concert with the UVic Lieder Singers this coming Monday night, at which I will be performing several arias, including such daunting gut-busters as "Mein Herr Marquis" from "die Fledermaus" and "Ach, Ich's Fuhls" from "die Zauberflote". I'm a bit worried about these numbers in particular, as I continue to struggle with the quality of my high notes.

I had a rehearsal with the conductor and the accompanist this evening, and they were both incredibly complimentary and supportive. Still, I am frustrated. I've been taking voice again regularly, I've been practicing diligently, I've been staying in, getting enough sleep and taking care of myself...AND I'm on Day Four of another Very Serious Quitting Attempt. (After coming home on Monday night and heading out to the deck for a smoke, I turned to Morgan and proclaimed, "THIS is my last cigarette!". With a flourish, I crushed up my pack of Export A and threw it in the trash bin. I can't really go back on that now).

Despite all of these measures, I continue to fight with my vocal chords for supremacy and total domination.

I sincerely hope that this event does not become Mutiny on the High C's.
Current Mood: determineddetermined
Current Music: Bob Seger - We've Got Tonight
05 May 2007 @ 08:37 pm
How is it that I always find them, or that they always find me?

It's totally amazing to me how evil people are inside.

I know you're probably reading this, so let me just say that you make me sick. You tricked me into believing something that was never true. I always did my best to stick up for you and reassure you, no matter what mood you decided to be in on a daily basis. I really thought, aside from everything, that you were a real friend. I thought I could trust you and confide in you as you did in me. You have repaid my kindness with outright betrayal.

You're right to not believe that you're going to hell. I imagine that, now, you're probably already living in it.
Current Mood: crushedcrushed
01 May 2007 @ 11:19 pm
Shopping is like crack for me. Today, I went to three different malls, and came home with a shirt, a dress, a jacket, two necklaces and two pairs of shoes.. and still felt curiously hollow and incomplete.

It's almost 11:30 p.m. and I have to work a 12-hour shift tomorrow, but seeing as the Canucks have just lost yet another play off game, I've decided to crack another beer. Lately I've been feeling like everything could just be solved with a beer or two, and maybe a smoke for good measure. I've pretty much lost all impetus and/or desire to give up that latter vice, and have actually begun to regard it as an old, comforting friend.

God, I hope I get my shit together soon. I can't keep moping about, hoping for something to change.
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
Current Music: Slayer - War Ensemble