Sunday, April 30, 2006

The DAY has arrived!!

Moving day!

It's moving day!!

I have mixed feelings about leaving the Depths of Hell. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually going to miss it. Just a little. This was my first home away from the ranch. This was my first haven all to myself, where I could hide from the world, count the tick-tocks of the clock, and chew obsessively on my hands without having my housemates (And by housemates, I mean Mother) slapping at me and telling me to stop.

This was the first place that taught me how much living away from the comforts of home sucks. But, by the same token, this was the first place that taught me how absolutely freeing it is to come home stumbling drunk at four in the morning, singing at the top of my lungs, and not have my father look me in the eye and say suspiciously: "Have you been drinking?"

I learned how to make homemade chicken Parmigiana (I know that's not how you spell it!) and that it's ok to set the smoke detector off four times in the process of cooking one meal.

I learned that when the crazy ladies are feuding, banging on the doors and screaming until all hours, it's OK to call 9-1-1, and occasionally even good to have the police on your side.

I'm proud of myself for making it here in Hell. The reason I moved in here in the first place? No lease. I figured that, when I came to the city, I would lay in bed crying for a month, and then give it up and head back home. I didn't. I survived. I made it through the homeless drunk people accosting me for cigarettes, I've survived thousands of block parties that could wake the dead, I've dealt with the crazy ladies and I've learned what it is like to have the color of my hair changed by my living conditions.

Coperni-Kitty and I have made this our home. I feel like dancing and saying "Take that, Kitty! I beat you! I lasted it out in Hell without having a nervous breakdown and insisting that I be sent back to the ranch!" But then I realize how pathetic it is to compete with one's cat over who is tougher. And then I smile, because sometimes it's ok to be a little bit pathetic.

It's moving day. I leave with mixed feelings: Mostly because I'm scared to death of what the summer and the next year brings: at the same time, I can't wait to take this summer head on and see what it can throw my way.


Because I am a woman (*cheer!*). I have breasts! (*Applause*). I can do anything!!! (*Rah Rah!!*) And you? Can like it.

Fare the well, Hell. It's been a slice.


Friday, April 28, 2006

School's out for summer....

I'm done.

Finally finished.

I'm exhausted. I'm weary. I'm de-stressed.

And I'm done.

I don't think the full force of this has hit me yet. It's like when you buy your first King Can of Beer. You look at it at the store, and you giggle with your friends, and you say "Holy Shit! That's a lot of beer!" But then you get the sucker home. And you watch it as it cools in the fridge. And you down the first half-can thinking "Well, Shit! This is a lot of beer!"

Then you pick it up, and it still weighs about half a pound, and that's when you realize that you've bought yourself a shitload of beer.

So, when the King Can in front of me gets to about half, I think I will choose that moment to burst into tears and praise all that's holy for me making it through the year.

Holy shit.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My junk

In packing, I've had the opportunity over the last few days to take a few long, good looks at my junk.

My mother hates junk. She can't stand it. She has mass quantities of it that she doesn't know what to do with, and as a result, every hidden inch of her house is full of junk. There are random piles of junk in closets, under beds, and so forth.

Lately she has been on a de-junking spree (And by lately, I mean throughout the last twenty one years. The junk just keeps catching up with her). She is a thrower outer. And day-um, she's good at it. She can throw out anything. It's amazing. But still, the junk catches up with her.

I was looking at my junk today and wondering if the people who helped me amass these random articles know what they really mean to me.

Like the jewelry box Big Brother got me while in Afghanistan. Does he know that every time I see it, I think of him over there in the desert? That I wonder, of all times in his life, how could he have stopped to think of his sister, safe and sound down on the ranch?

Or the pillow that my mother gave me from her trip to England. Does she know that I think of her every time I look at it? Does the Berry Queen know that every time I look at that pillow, I think of the day the first Berry Boy Baby was born? And as a result, I end up spending ten to fifteen minutes smiling on the memories that her beautiful Berry Babies have given me? And that now that the fifth Berry Baby is on his or her way, I spend an extra five minutes wondering on the memories I'll get to make with him or her?

Does Biggest Big Brother know that when I look at the pictures I keep of his son, I see nothing but perfection, and I see everything the world should be in that boy? And does my sister in law know that when I see the pictures of my neice above the toaster oven that she and my brother gave me, I see everything that peace and wonder should be?

Do my four boys know that when I see the picture I keep of them, I think of all the times they've made me so angry that I could rip my hair out by the roots? And that subsequently, I think of all the times that they have been the one and only heroes I've ever wanted? And that my world would simply cease to exist without them?

Does my Dad know that every time I see the half of a wooden log that he gave me for Copernicus, I think of how sweet it is for him to be concerned over whether or not my kitten has a proper scratching post? Does he know that it makes my heart smile to think of him finding the undoubtedly most perfect log there is, and cutting it with such care, and making damn sure that it isn't one of those pesky Manitoba Maples?

Does my best friend know that every time I see the gorgeous blanket she hand crocheted me, I think of her and how she has been there for every Earth Shattering moment in my life? Does she know that I couldn't stand to have become the person I am without her?

So, my junk.

Moving day is a mere three days away. I have about twenty boxes packed, and most of them have the words "random junk" written on them in black Magic Marker. (Actually, it's a no name marker that I bought in a value pack of four in the impulse buy section two years ago.) Random junk it will remain, though, because in along with those articles of random junk are the articles that remind me every day of what is important.

I simply can't part with in.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Packing woes....

I started packing for real tonight.

And now I've decided that it's a fact: I'm insane.

I didn't realize until now what a hoarder I actually am.

As some of you may or may not know, I'm a sufferer of OCD. Perhaps it was Bigman, I'm not sure, but someone once gave me a quote: "I don't suffer from insanity: I enjoy every minute of it."

Well, sometimes I enjoy being a nutcase, and other times not so much.


I found all kinds of neat stuff hidden away in the recesses of Hell.

I found mass quantities of pens. Now, you may be picturing something like four pens hidden in a drawer.

Not even close. I'm talking, quite literally, hundreds of pens. There are red pens, black pens, blue pens, and pens in more non-traditional colors. They are Bic, No Name, Staples brand, more high end brands, and in an array of ball point, fine point, click-stick, round stic, and every other kind of stic you can imagine.

Some of you may know that I have an affinity for the impulse buy section of Wal-Mart. (Wally and I have a good, solid relationship.) As you are aware, every time I pass the impulse buy section, I must buy something. It's a good system, and hasn't failed me yet.

Operative word of that sentence? Yet.

Another affinity of mine is hair barettes. These are found in mass quantities in your local impuls buy section. It turns out that I own about 792,432,612 hair barettes. I found them everywhere. They were under my mattress, behind my amplifier, and around the bedstand like fleas around a hound's ass.

In sum, they were quite literally everywhere.

Now I'm faced with a dilemma: Throw it all away? Keep it? Give it to the poor? Sell it on ebay?

Which leads me to more dilemmas: What about the landfills? Where would I store it if I kept it? Where do you go to donate three garbage bags and seven boxes of pens and hair baretts? Dear Lord, I don't even know how to sell things on ebay!!!

Fortunately, my anxiety has been kept at bay by the presence of two dear friends: Export 'A' and Strawberry Zinfandel.

Oh, Export 'A' and Zinfandel, how I love thee...


As a side note, please check out the sidebar! I now have a link to my Hundred Things List right here on Blogspot for your reading pleasure!


The Toonse Brigade

Monday, April 24, 2006

I can sleep when I'm dead....

I've heard people say that they are tired, but they'll sleep when they're dead. I have never understood this sentiment.

Until recently.

I realize now that, no matter what, I actually do have to get my lazy ass out of bed and go to work in the morning. I have to study at night and try to maintain some semblence of a social life. I need to do the laundry, clean my house, pay the bills, find time for leisure reading and post on my blog.

This has proven to be quite the exhausting feat.

Thus, I've taken on the notion that I will, in fact, be able to sleep when I'm dead.

I wonder, though, at what point does this philosphy become unhealthy?

Because over the last few months, and occasionally throughout my life, I've woken up in the morning, surrounded by the same things I was surrounded with the night before, in the same clothes and in the same house, in the same part of the same country that is still located in the same part of the world and I've wondered: Am I still living this life?

That's not to say that my life is bad. I love my life. I love who I am, and I love being me. I have the best family, and I love my friends to death. I have a cat and a place to live and a job and I am currently the Berry Princess, soon to be Queen of her own throne.

It's just that I'm tired. My back is achey. My eyes are watery. I can't stop yawning. And I would do anything to be able to sleep for twelve hours consecutively without being awakend by the creepy chick who lives above me (Who, by the way, I'm sure is working on an audition for the musical Stomp, judging by the pounding and slamming that emmanates from her floor every day.) Then, after I've slept for twelve hours consecutively, I'd like to be able to lounge with a good book and absolutely nothing on my mind for the rest of the day. At this point, I'll rent a good movie, and then drift into another twelve hours of peaceful slumber.

This is my dream. Unfortunately, the reality is that I need to work to pay down my credit card, my student line of credit, and to buy the necessities for my new home.

So, this is me posting about my dream of slumber.

Unless this dream comes true any time soon, I'm kinda stuck with the idea that I can sleep when I'm dead.

If nothing else, this leaves hope for the future.


Random updates

Because you simply can't live without knowing what's going on in my life:

1) My house is still trashed, although the contents of the closet, my dresser, and the drawers of my bed have either been thrown away or packed. It still looks like a flaming herd of buffalo have trampled through looking for water, but I have faith that, at the very least, if I can't get it done before next Sunday SuperNan will make her presence known and throw everything I own in the trash to save us having to move it. Quite frankly, losing all my worldly possessions would be a relief at this point.

2) I have one exam left to go. One. I could cry, I'm so happy. Instead I'll just keep sipping away at the strawberry zinfandel that hasn't left my side all weekend. I find that keeping a steady level of inebriation without being fully intoxicated makes for the loveliest of naps, a complete lack of ambition to do anything even remotely useful, and a wonderful dull ache behind my ears that won't go away until I down the rest of the bottle or go to bed.

3) I get my kitty back in just seven days! Coperni-kitty has been gone for the last month because she can no longer stand living in the Depths of Hell. Fortunately, moving day is a week away, and thus, so is having my precious kitty back with me.

4)I realized today that berry season is, like, nine weeks away. This is our year, Berry Queen! We will own this season, SuperNan! The boobs will happily be reunited as one in the berry cave, where our intelligences can be likened to that of kitchen furniture, where our products will be compared to the stuff that paves driveways, and where we can sing and dance and make music until the wee hours every single day! Let the fruit flying begin!

5) I am determined to lose this weight before the berry season comes. My job as field manager is a tricky one. I'm dealing with the public all day, and quite often, rude remarks are made to me. It's one thing to have rude remarks made at you and while you feel attractive. I tell you now that it is another matter entirely to have people make rude remarks at you and feel self conscious about your back fat. So, in order for the season to be a successful one, I need to look and feel my best. (Plus, the farm boys next door will drive by to say hello more often if I'm slightly attractive. These things do wonders for an exhausted girl's self-esteem).

6) I've started smoking again. I know that this is awful. I know that I can't afford this. I know that I am capable of living wihtout cigarettes. So why am I smoking? I don't know the answer to this. But, I have decided that I will give myself this week. When I move out of Hell, I'll quit again. It just has to be a conscious decision. I know this from quitting last time. If I just simply set my mind to it, and forget that I ever started up again, I'll be able to quit again.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Day-um, I'm sexy!!

So, I went to a bar on Friday night.

It was mediocre.

BUT I got hit on by an incredible man. We'll call him Hottie McBrownEyes. He was just lovely. He was making conversation and it was just flirty and good. You know when that happens? And you know that every word out of his mouth is pure, unadulterated bullshit, but someone's flirting with you and it just makes you feel so cool and chic?

So, Hottie McBrownEyes was sitting across the table on the patio from me. He's lighting my cigarette for me (Please: Don't kill me but I think I started smoking again) and it was just so smooth and cool. I can't describe how perfect this flirting was.

And I was thinking about how much I've changed. How I've grown from he dorky farm girl who cackles and snorts; I've gone from pony tails to having an actual hair style; I can walk in heels; (Shit, that was a lie...)

I was thinking how I am nothing like the idiotic twit I was seven months ago, who was so uncool and unchic that she got stuck in a pair of leather hooker boots in a party full of random strangers. Nothing like the idiotic twit of seven months ago who had to be cut out of leather hooker boots at a party in front of about twenty random strangers by a vegan with TOENAIL CLIPPERS. (The fact that something that touched a random stranger's feet also touched my precious hooker boots still irks me to this day. In fact, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. And now I need some valium and a glass of red wine. Washed down with scotch.)

I was just sitting there, fantasizing about how utterly cool I am.

So, Hottie McBrownEyes finished lighting my cigarette and asked "What do you do?"

Me: "Oh, pardon, I didn't hear you" (Because I was fantasizing about how cool I am...)

HMBE: "What do you do?"

Me: "Me? Oh. Well."

HMBE: *Smiles a hottie smile*

Me: "I can milk cows."






Dear Prosti-tots of the world....

Dear fifteen year olds who think it is cool to walk around half naked:

I'd like to say that your outfit would be less offensive if you hadn't bothered putting on an outfit at all.

I do not understand, in and way, shape, or form, how you can feel that the flimsy miniskirt, thong underwear, teeny tank, and flip flops you put on this morning constitute clothing. I believe that the amount of makeup you are wearing on your face probably outweighs your clothing by about a pound, and that the situation needs to be rectified as soon as possible.


The Toonse Brigade

Seriously though, what is up with the clothing that young girls are wearing these days?

Yesterday I was walking downtown. I saw a very young girl wearing a tiny miniskirt. It was a windy day, and it was flowing happily in the breeze.

She may as well have been naked, because her skirt was flying up in the breeze and you could see the entirety of her ass, because of course she was wearing thong underwear.

Now, some girls have been blessed with great asses. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them. I'm all for flaunting it if you've got it. But I'm also a believer in leaving something to the imagination.

Now, as my readers know, I hate feet. I hate them with a passion. They are gross and ugly and if someone is sitting near me with flip flops on in class, I find it incredibly distracting. If you tried to paint my toenails or massage my feet, you'd likely lose a tooth because I'd be kicking you in the face.

Flip Flops these days have gone to the extreme. The thong part of them that goes through your toes is pathetic. The soles look like they would be sturdier had they been designed out of wax paper.

So, there was this young girl, meandering about wearing a piece of string on her ass, a floaty piece of material around her waist, a camisole, and a pair of shoes that didn't contain enough material to actually constitute footwear.

And I'm wondering, when did this become acceptable attire?

I'm fully aware of my farm girl tendencies. I know that where I come from, girls dress differently than they do in the city. I'm a jeans and T-shirts kind of girl myself. And they're not belly-baring T-shirts either.

I have to wonder, though: is it a matter of having great self confidence? I could never go in public with most of my naked body on display for the world to see. I just don't have it. Hell, I have trouble going in public in form-fitting T-shirts.

I wonder though, if it is more likely some desperate plea for attention?

Regardless of young girls' motives for wearing such ... articles? I'd really like to see some changes before the day comes that I have kids. Well, if the day ever comes.

Dear Fifteen Year Olds Facing the Pressures of Dressing in a Modern World:

It's fine to be covered up. If the popular girls at school make fun of you for not dressing like a sleazy whore, it's ok to tell her to fuck off. If a boy won't be your boyfriend because you're not apsiring to someone else's expectations of how you should dress, you're far, far better off without him. I want to see you learn to empower yourselves with the knowledge that being a teen sucks, but you should live it up! You should be free, be happy, and throw the pressures you face to the wind! (And while you're throwing pressures to the wind, you should cover up your ass in public)

I want you to know that one day, you'll meet people in your work, your school, your community who are cool, hip, and whose asses aren't sticking out of their pants or out from under their skirt as they walk down the street: And these people are cool! They're funny! They love to watch cheesy movies and dance at clubs gossip about idiot boys!! They will support you when you cry, laugh when you laugh, fix your makeup before you go out, and tell you when you have broccoli stuck in your teeth!

And really, when it comes down to it, the people who teased you for being such a loser in high school will undoubtedly come to be jealous of the careless confidence you've developed while keeping your body covered. They will be jealous of the fact that you have what it takes to be supercool, superchic, sexy without being slutty, and most importantly? That you can be you without living up to anyone else's standards.

I know it's hard, girls. I know that if no one in the world has faith that you can change, you probably won't change.

Please know that I have faith.


The Toonse Brigade

Friday, April 21, 2006

I've been surprised many times in my life...

Throughout my young life, my family has lain a few surprises on me. None of them were of the "Oh, by the way, you're adopted and your native language is Swahili" nature, but they've been surprises nonetheless.

Take, for example, my Aunt. Let's pretend for a minute that her name is Carol. All my life, I hear about my Aunt Carol. She's a master knitter, she was involved in such-and-such funny story as a child, and I isn't it uncanny how I look just like my Aunt Carol....

At the age of ten, I meet my Aunt Carol.

She holds out her hand to greet me and says "Hi! I'm your Aunt Cathy!"

It took me months to get over it. To this day, there is still a Carol/Cathy dispute going on in my family. It's kind of wierd to have an Aunt in the family and no one is sure what her name is.

Next surprise?

I was raised Lutheran.

Now, my siblings and I went to a Catholic school before we went to a public school. So, my brothers are sort of more Catholic than I am, because I only went to Catholic school for one year.

I've always known that my brothers have been sort of Catholic, and sort of Lutheran. I'm cool with that. That's fine.

My mother converteed from being United when she married my dad. I've always taken comfort in the fact that my Dad and I are the ONLY ones in our family who are 100% Lutheran. What a neat thing to have in common!



Back that truck up!

My dad is not actually Lutheran! Found that out about six months ago. Hello? Isn't this something I should know?!?! He's Baptist or some damn thing! (Not that I have anything against Baptists! I think they're great! I love them! I just didn't know my dad was one of them until I was 21.)

So, needless to say, I've been Danish all my life. It's not like you can just wake up one day and be Danish, right? So, being Danish, I'm down with all kinds of traditions.

Like drinking Akvavit, eating pickled herring, and believing in Ulinisse at Christmas time.

So, let me tell you, that I was a little shocked to wake up yesterday and be informed that spitting on people for good luck is a Danish tradition.

How come no one told me this?!?!

I'm just thinking of all the unfortunate incidents in my life.

The time the breaks on my car went three times in thirteen months? Could have been avoided by being spat on.

The time I lost all my teeth to a cycling accident?
No one spit on me on my way out the door!

That failed math class in the tenth grade?
Lack of spit!

Remember when I got arrested?
Now I have someone else to blame, Baby!

That teacher who hated me all through public school at tried to make my life miserable for years?
How come no one ever spit on me over that bitch??

I'll be fine, I'm sure.

I'm just wondering what else there is for me to know .....


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Frickin' Frackin' Frick!

I have a major issue with one of my professors. He taught the most hideously boring class on the Sociology of Health, Illness, and Medicine. I'm pretty sure that the only thing I learned in that class is that you spell medicine with an I instead of an E. Who would have thought?

The man spent twenty minutes (at least) in our final class talking about the exam. He said he didn't like multiple choice because in multiple choice, the answer is right in front of you and that's not fair. (Who's the dumbass who made that decision?)

So, he said that the entire exam would be writing out key concepts, short answer, and long answer.

Now don't get me wrong. I love me some essay questions now and then. As you can tell by my constant ramblings at this very location, I can blather about nothing, quite literally, for months. So blathering about nothing in relation to the sociology of health, illness, and medicine wouldn't be that difficult.

Except that, should the exam make such demands as asking us to list the four components of Socialized health care, or to list the five factors behind the Medical Model of sickness, or to list the key elements of Parson's model of the sick role, I'd be fucked, because I can't list any of those things.

Fortunately, the teacher decided to not ask anything even remotely related to the sociology of health, illness, and medicine. Most of the questions on that exam could have been answered by a four year old with a highlighter and a desire to practice circles. The essay question, which was worth 12.5 points (Who made the decision to make the essay worth 12.5? And why is it that each multiple choice was worth .75? What the hell is up with that? Why not save yourself the math and make everything equal a point?) was on either bio-psycho-social models of medicine, or to explain the factors that underlie poverty and it's tie to mental health issues by using such terms as social drifting theory.

Anyhow, long story short, people have mental health issues because poverty sucks and poverty sucks because people have mental health issues. And it sucks.

Oh, and it hogs up all the resources because government agencies are only half-assed funded (at best) to try and solve the problems, so a lot of money is going to places that it could help, only it can't because it's not enough.

What I find most hilarious is that I'm stressing over stuff like this, but I still have no idea what type of irrigation I'll go with on my strawberry farm, how many PSIs my irrigation system needs, or how many plants per square acre one should plant for optimal growth of plants without overcrowding.

It's funny, the places life takes you.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tom Cruise had a baby! Tom Cruise had a baby!

I don't understand North America's obsession with celebrities. I think it's wrong to gossip, and the speculations made are clearly hurtful, sometimes completely wrong, and obviously damaging.

That's not to say that I don't partake daily in reading up on what's going on with the stars of North America.

And yesterday, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had a baby!

Now, I won't say that from what I've read, that I believe Tom is completely normal. In fact, I think he's kinda wierd. Scientology, eating his baby's placenta, the silent birth thing... these all seem wierd. (Although I wonder how many of them are fabrications in hopes of getting higher sales of certain magazines in the impulse buy section of Wal-Mart). (And I'll also say that I think the impulse buy section is such a great idea that every time I pass one, I choose an item from it, be it no name brand Q-tips or a packet of thirty hair barrettes that I certainly don't need. I believe in supporting good ideas, and the impulse buy section is one of them).

I will say, that there is now another baby in the world, and two people who seem pretty happy to welcome it, and really? What's wrong with that? He's old, she's young; he's short, she's tall; he's a Scientologist, she's a Catholic; and in the end, I'm sure they love their baby very, very much.

In other celebrity news, Britney Spears dropped her baby on his head, and Brooke shields had a baby on the same day as Tom Cruise.

I've heard that gossip is a sin.

I've a feeling that, what with my hatred of people in general and my compunction for good gossip, I'm more destined for Hell than ever, now.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It was one of those days today....

I awakened at six a.m, with my alarm... and oddly, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to face the world.

I walked to work in the bright sunshine, smiling happily at Can Man and the coons who were digging through the trash. I got to work and had nary an argument with my coworkers. We worked merrily, gossiping about sex, the city, and sex in the city. (Well, in reality we talked about the pickles and studying for finals. But you always see these sophisticated city girls on television gossiping about their sex lives around the water cooler. Oh, how I'd love to be a sophisticated city girl with a sex life to talk about...)

The shipment came in early, and all of our work got done early as a result. We laughed and talked and basked in the sunlight that comes in through the big glass windows of the Sub Shack.

At eleven thirty, my heart was just bursting with happiness and my three very favorite co-workers arrived. We worked our sandwich artistry with such amounts of co-operation. I know how silly it is to be proud of really working well with a group on subs, but really, it was as poetic as sandwich making can be.

The boss got there and we all talked. I was so happy, and just ready. I decided to forgo my afternoon of studying and leave the city early. I tore out of the sub shop and called my mom.

We arranged an afternoon of sitting by the river, fishing for mudpout (Catfish, for my American readers). I was so excited, worked up to get to the ranch, dig for worms, trek out to the river. My heart sang a happy tune along with my beloved Hick music CD that Bigman made for me this summer. I was hollering along with Alabama, Joe Diffy, and Gretchen Wilson all the way down the highway.

I got home just in time for the CD to end. I was pumped for fishing. I was pumped for the back breaking labor that digging for worms was sure to bring. I was ready to put on some grub clothes and hike to the river, buckets for the fish and coolers for the beer in tow.

I tore into the driveway with a cloud of dust, my Dixie-dog barking a greeting and the radio blaring. I screeched to a halt, leapt from the Vue, which was still partially moving, and hollered to SuperNan "Let's go!"

She just kind of looked at me, and looked at the yard.

I looked at her, and looked at the house.

Me: "Wanna just sit down and drink some Coke?"

SuperNan: "How about McDonalds?"

Me: "Backbreaking labor? McDonalds? Choices!"

And so rather than my happy heart spending hours digging for worms and wrastling down Mudpout, we ate french fries at McDonalds and drove aimlessly about the country side.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Why I picked Berry Farming....

As I've recently started announcing to the world, it is now my goal in life to start my very own berry farm. This has raised some questions in the minds of those who know and love me. One of the main questions is "Why are you starting a berry farm if you hate eating berries?". This one is usually asked with a look of horror on the ask-ees face. Who doesn't like strawberries?

I have had the opportunity to be field manager at a berry farm for the last few years of my life. From these years of experience, I've learned that strawberry lovers are an odd breed. They are irate. They are cranky. And they apparently don't bother reading the signs that have pertinent information on them (Such pertinent information as "Open at 8 a.m. Daily" or the one that says "Picking Here Today". Berry eating types frequently arrive at seven a.m and help themselves to the wrong field.)

Berry pickers are also typically irate. They get irate when they say their berries taste like tar (Obviously, they know what tar tastes like because they pour it on their cereal each morning to save the cows of the world from being milked against their will).

They get angry over such offenses as having dirt in the fields (It has been screeched at me in the middle of a blistering thirty degree day that "I can't pick here!! There's DIRT here! I can't pick berries with dirt on them!") It seems that berry-picking types believe that in the real world, dirt does not exist out of doors, and it certainly should not exist in an area where the art of agriculture is taking place.

I've had cranky old men comparing my intelligence level to that of the tables that are used to display the fruit at the check out. I've had women help themselves to fields that are in the middle of being irrigated and have signs that say DO NOT PICK HERE and then been yelled at for asking these people to leave the fields.

I think that the reason I can't eat berries is that I've simply been traumatized against eating them. The fact is, I'm scared that becoming a berry eater will lead me down the path of becoming an irate, cranky woman in a straw hat stamping her feet over the presence of dirt in the great out-of-doors.

And so, my refusal to eat berries actually has nothing to do with the berries themselves.

I'm just scared of guilt by association.


This post brought to you in honor of the one and only Berry Queen, who I devote my future profession to, and to whom I now offer an official invitation: What are you doing Berry Season 2010? *Smoochies*

Grumble Grumble Grumble...

Can I just say to all the vegetarians in the world who want me to change my gloves between serving someone meat and serving them:

The fucking pig is already dead!!

Gah. Humbug. And good bye.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Status update....

House: Pigsty

Work: Sucky

Exams: Let's not go there

Copernicus: I miss her!

Azia: Awesome friend who really came through when I needed her tonight

Incredible Beautiful Man: Still moving to the UK, as far as we know...

Lovely Blue guitar with the pearl inlaid fret board: Still at the music store

Sheets: Fluffy and clean, fresh from the dryer at mommy's house

Me: Imminently in them. Mmmmmmmm Fluffy sheets.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

I put on leather work gloves today....

Now, I don't know if you've ever worn leather work gloves. I had a pair as a teen that were perfect. They fit perfectly. They had a red lining at the cuff. They had a snap at the wrist. My father bought them for me to protect me from callouses and splinters.

I haven't worn work gloves in years. The cows have gone, the horses have gone: I haven't had reason to apply a leather work glove to my hand in some time.

My good leather gloves are long gone. My father found a pair of size large gloves and put them out for me, so as to protect my hands from thorns and splinters, and the fire that we were burning the brush in. He always seems concerned about my hands, my Dad does.

I was leaning on a fork in the yard, waiting for the fire to burn down some. I could spent hours leaning on a fork. I've composed some of my best songs, had many an epiphany, and solved most of my young life's problems leaning on a fork. It's just a great place to lean.

As I was leaning, a could smell the smell of leather work gloves. I love that smell, and for some reason, work gloves never lose their new-work-glove smell the way a car loses its new-car smell.

The smell of leather brought me back.

It brought me back to the day that five five hundred pound bull calves got out from around me and decided to wreak havoc on my father's freshly cleaned barn.

(I'm not sure if you realize what twenty five hundred pounds worth of bull calves can do to a barn in a short period of time. I'll say that there was much yelling, much hollering, many heifers bawling, many fresh cows jumping, and many, many tears on my part. But my father, the Manitoba Maple hating guy that he is, managed to get the situation under control.)

That smell brought me back to sweating in July, in the barn, with the heifers kicking out at me while I worked. When handle of the wheel barrel broke off and load after load of liquid manure was dumped on the barn floor.

It brought me back to doing hay, when the chafe sticks to the back of your neck so thick that it feels like mud caked on, and it scratches and it burns, and you realize that there are ten more loads to do and it's only three o'clock. And inevitably the bailer has already broken twice, and the elavator's belt has gone three times, and the weather man has called for rain at six the next morning.

It brought me back to the coldest months in February, out behind the barn in the grain bins. It brought me back to the wind howling and the spiders that lived in the bins, and the dark and the scariness and the pounds and pounds of grain that I was never strong enough to lift.

Today, I was outside, on the nicest day of this year so far. I was working with my mom and my dad.

My mom and I took a walk to look at what will one day be my very own twelve acres of strawberry plants. I was walking in the field, picturing the beautiful sod I'll have, and the hut that will be built, and the picnic tables and the berries. I was dreaming, and walking with my mother, picturing my life, here in the middle of nowhere.

No concrete. No buses. No hordes of people lining up to get into the coffee shop at six before they head down town. No horns honking. No strangers. No apartment buildings. No neighbors.

Just me, my fruit, my family, and the people I love.

At around seven this evening, after the supper had been made, showers had, and kitchen cleaned, my best friend came over for a visit. I haven't yet told her about my plan to move back home and start my own berry farm. I actually don't think I've even made a formal announcement to most of the people I know. But, after my day spent working, reminiscing, and being with my family, I was so excited to show her my fields, to show her what I'm going to be doing.

And I asked her to take a walk with me, to look at it with me.

She said "Look at what?"

And I said "Look at my life. It's here. It's where I need to be, want to be, love to be. It's my life, and it's just at the end of the drive way."

And we took a walk, and we looked at my life. And it made me happy.


Friday, April 14, 2006


Why is it that every time I go away, I miss all the drama!



Thursday, April 13, 2006

Blog, give me strength...

It's six a.m.

Yesterday, having gotten up at three a.m., and having gone to sleep again at three p.m hoping to sleep till eleven, has left me somewhat exhausted.


A mere twelve hours from now, I will be back at the ranch, sipping cold beers and being surrounded by the people who love me most.


And caffeine.



Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Five a.m.

It's five a.m.

I've already downed my first can of RedBull, and I'm preparing for my first final.

Part of me loves finals time. Really. I'm all cozied up in my apartment, my hair akimbo, wearing socks too high and jogging pants too short, reading, learning, hoping, praying that I won't bomb this exam terribly.

This year is coming to a close. I'm extremely happy about that.

As you'll recall, this year began with me being off my medication, crying incessantly on my bed over what? I'm still not sure. I've come to the realization that I have a medical disorder that can't be cured by my willing it away. That makes me sad, makes me angry and sometimes furious: but I'm trying to learn to accept it.

I've had housing issues, friends issues, gotten a cat which has added other issues. I've become and aunt for the second time, met people, expanded my social life in some areas and shrunk it in others. I've cried over my housing, my cat, my family, the things that I've done and other things that I haven't done.

I miss my nephew terribly. I've had a love hate relationship with my job at the Sub Shack, where I'm still working. I've played on stage three times at the bar down the street. I've gained a ton of weight and found myself struggling with adult-onset acne.

Emotionally, this year has been the proverbial roller coaster. I've been down, up, in the middle, back up, back down, and right back to the middle again.

I've disovered that money doesn't matter as I realize more and more that I actually don't have any. I've learned that the Berry Queen is going to have yet another Berry Baby. I've played my guitar and sang my heart out at one of my mom's dearest friends' wedding. I've been accepted, been torn, and dropped my school's co-op program. I've applied to other schools and then dropped that option as well. I've hated the city and hated my school and contemplated dropping it all and moving back home to work at a toothbrush plant. Or at the very least, dropping it all to go home and take a nap with my Lovey Bunny [nephew] (Who turned FIVE this year) and my Dixie Dog.

It's not exactly been a fun ride.

But it's been a ride nonetheless.

I can't wait for it to end, to start my summer, to sleep late and work hard, party harder, go the the Berry Farm and be one with the Right Boob yet again, to drive in the sunset and play guitar on the porch.

So, as I say, it's been a ride: Thanks, dear blogging buddies, for sharing it with me, for your encouragement, for your hugs and your love.

And now, back to Contemporary Sociologial Theorists.



Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's sandal weather....

It is finally warm and sunny. Finally.

Unfortunately, this means it is sandal weather.

And everyone and their ugly feet are out on display for all the world to see.

I'm thoroughly grossed out. Thoroughly.

I signed the lease on our new place today. Hurrah! I officially have a place to live! There is a stipulation on the lease that says no animals though. Clearly, Copernikitty must not yowl, be near any windows, or be seen by any maintenance workers who come in.

I don't see this working well as she has decided it is her duty to hunt down and kill anything that is capable of basic body movement.

Hopefully she doesn't get us kicked out.

I'm procrastinating on my exams. I have barely cracked a book. I've just been sitting here, off in a saze, surfing blogs and message boards.... and being generally non productive. My friends and I are going to the park to play frisbee tonight as well. I can't wait to get out in the clean (read: smog infested city) air, move around, and say hello to some people I haven't seen in a while.


Monday, April 10, 2006

I can't focus...

Point form updates:
- I have five finals this year
- I can't focus
- I miss my Copernikitty and I'm really wishing she was here
- I found MY GUITAR this weekend. It is a blue Ibanez semi- hollowbody with pearl inlaid fretboard and a raised pickguard.
- It's ocean blue and I WANT IT.
- Cute Boy and I have broken up.
- That's all I'm saying about that
- 20 days until my big move. I can't wait.
- I need mixing bowls. Good ones.
- Clearly, this indicates that a trip to Walmart is due
- I have now blogged three times today
- Clearly, this indicates imminent failure of all classes
- But, at least I'll have mixing bowls


I think it's time to call in the Reinforcements...

Like the song. You know, then they 'call in some reinforcements from the Illinois national Guard'.

In all seriousness, I need help. I was just perusing my living quarters and I' in desperate need of aid before I move.

Take these examples:

Beside my amplifier is a garlic press, a pair of pink underwear, two and a half course syllabuses, a dirty towel, a credit card bill that I'm not sure if I paid or not, and a checkbook underneath an unused cat toy.

On top of my microwave sits a pot of long-dead tulips, a broken votive candle, a container of organic catnip, two highlighter markers that don't work, two roles of packing tapes, and a picture frame that I've been trying to find a picture for, but I don't have one that's the right size.

On top of my dresser is a crochet hook (I lost all my yarn) two discarded paintbrushes, two more highlighters that don't work, a DVD I bought on discount at Wal-Mart that I've never watched, and my smoke detector because every time I turn on my toaster oven, it goes off and won't shut up.

These are only a few things. I still have all the areas by my sink, a closet that I can't open the door of without junk falling out on me, five drawers worth of stuff, my cupboard space, my book shelf...

I know someone in this world who is capable of GSD. (Getting Shit Done). This woman will throw out her first child's first poster that says 'I Love you Mommy' if it's clogging up space on her kitchen table. Let no clutter stop this woman from having a clean, tidy environment in which to exist. She can have the bedrooms of five small children spotless in a matter of two hours. Her table and counter are never cluttered. She will whack the head of any kitten that dares to put a sutured paw on her table cloth.

She is SuperNan. She could have this place packed, scrubbed, sanitized and ready to eat out of in about thirty two minutes (Forty seven if she stopped for a smoke break on the Balcony. Which I won't let her do because that's where I've been piling the trash that I've been too lazy to take outside.)

Ugh. I need my mommy.


Gumballs, gumballs, gumballs...

I love gumballs.

I'm sure you've read in the past about my gross gumball habit: I just love them. I can't get enough of them.

It's finals time at my shcool. I'd say trusty school, or my lovely little school, or something like that, but I hate my school, so why would I say that?

Either way, It's time for me to crack down, mow on some gumballs, and start reading up on the Healthcare system in Canada, and Contemporary Sociological thought.

So why aren't I doing it already?



Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Take your cat and leave my sweater....

Aaah, Keith Urban. How I love thee.

Oh, come on. Who doesn't feel like bursting into tears when he tells the skanky bitch who broke his heart to take her cat and leave his sweater, because they have nothing left to weather, in fact he'll feel a whole lot better? That line really doesn't make you want to weep?

You are made of stone.

I'm wearing Cute Boy's sweater today.

In fact, my neighbor is concerned because not only have I worn it today, I've worn it for the last three consecutive days. I figure that since I'm wearing a long sleeved T-shirt under it, and it's not actually making contact with my unhappy, scalded skin, so it doesn't count as gross.

Coperni-kitty is happily at home on the ranch with Nan. I'm sure her head has been batted a copious number of times for such cute, kitten-y little offenses like drinking out of someone's cup (Which she does); eating off of someone's plate (Which she also does); or darting out from under furniture, wrestling the nearest person to the ground, and trying to exact her revenge for having been declawed (Which she also does: this is cute and hilarious though. Sometimes you can just shake her off. Other times you have to cackle hysterically until your neighbors pound on the floor from below you. That generally startles her so you can make good your escape.)
I'm having moving anxiety.

For one thing, my moving date is on a Monday, when normal people have to work. I'm not really in a position to ask people to skip work: As great, cute, and wonderful as I am, I'm not really worth losing money over.

So, this leaves my moving crew at a grand total of Myself, and my Mom. And of course, Azia. Could be interesting, seeing as how none of us know how to disasemble or reassemble my table.

And, there is the issue of the other people being out on time. What if we get all of our stuff loaded into a truck, get to our new home, and find out that the other people aren't out yet?

How do you hook up hydro? Who do you call for that? Who gives us our first key? Who do we talk to if the lights don't work?

We need to buy lightbulbs!!

There is just so much to think about that my mind is about to explode!
Oh, and while we're on the topic of minds exploding?

FINALS are in less than a week.

Do you think I've even BEGUN my readings on Contemporary Sociological thought? That I've even PERUSED the article called "Girls Gone Raunch"? That I have AN IDEA as to what the four components of socialized health care are?

Whose idea was this whole school thing?

I blame my mother.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I am preparing for Armageddon....

But only because Bruce Willis is so sexy. If my world had to be saved by anyone, I would like it to be saved by him. Or Noah Wyle. Or Kovach from ER. I don't even know the guy's real name. And I would have his babies tomorrow. Well, likely not, considering the amount of vomit and snotballs that come with infants.... but I do know that I love me some Kovach.

I'm preparing for Armageddon because I believe it is this world's time to end. I believe I have been getting signs from the Gods for weeks now.

Take my orange hair. I believe that was a sign from God to leave the Depths Of Hell ASAP. But no. I didn't listen. And now, for the last seven months, I've been taking icy cold showers altering with third degree burning showers in icky brown water, and the freshly cut off tips of my orange hair (that turned brown again after I cut them) have turned orange again.

Cute Boy tried to trick me by saying that is looks expensive, like as if I meant to dye only the tips of my hair a vibrant orange.

Because, you know, all the fashion models have orange hair tips these days.

Another sign of fast-approaching Armageddon is the number of cans of canned food I have in my cupboard. (That's right. I have cans and cans of canned food, as opposed to cans and cans of bottled food. It makes sense if, like me, you've just sat through three hours of the worst sociology classes anyone has ever sat through).

My mother bought me all these cans of canned food when I moved in. And as she said it, she explained that it was for times like Armageddon or, if I prefer, when I'm out of cash. Like an emergency stash of canned food.

Now, I don't know how many of you know my mother. Some people think she is kind of crazy. For example, she has this thing with pots and the table cloth. Not at the same time, of course. She generally goes crazy about her pots separately from when she goes crazy about her table cloth, but she routinely goes crazy about them nonetheless. For example, she would be willing to bat a precious, cute little kitten on the head is it stepped foot on her table cloth. A kitten! A precious, cute one! I digress....

My mother is also kind of psychic. She can call things. In the past, she has called that if I didn't hurry my sorry ass up, I would not get my projects done on time. She has called when and how people would produce offspring, and that I would regret getting hair cuts.

She is so good at calling things that I have quit asking her advice on some matters because I fear that her calling things actually results in her hypotheses coming true.

I did not ask her to call Armageddon, but she made the statement and now I'm pretty sure that it is on its way.

Further, I woke up today and it was snowing. If Snow in April doesn't make you want to implore the world to end on the spot, I don't know what does.

And finally, I believe that the world is ending because the Gods are really telling me to get out of Hell. For example, yesterday I was working my perfected bodily contortions to avoid the stream of water in the showers of Hell (I know, I know... you're not supposed to avoid the stream of water in the shower. The whole point is to immerse yourself into the stream of water. Hah. Clearly you've never showered in the Depths of Hell).

I had managed to wash my whole body. The whole thing! Head to toe, without suffering any third degree burns. (There were some second degree ones, but I've become immune to them and decided they don't count). (I know, most people don't see the cleansing of their entire persons as reason for celebration: Clearly, you people have never showered in the Depths of Hell). The water was only mildly painful, and I set in on rinsing my Dove Extra Creamy Intense Moisture Shampoo out of my ever so soft hair.

It was at this point, all soapy, naked, and kinda cold that the fire alarms for my entire building were set off.

Let me reiterate that for you:



In Shower.

Not completely Rinsed.

Fire alarms going off.

I did what any sane person would do.

I figured that since it is not every day that a person gets a decent shower in the Depths of Hell, I made sure the door was locked and continued to rinse out my hair. I exited the shower on my terms, dammit.

And that is why I think Armageddon is imminent. My hair is orange, I have a lot of canned food in my cupboard, and there are large, loud, angry sirens telling me to exit.

I'm only a little scared.


Monday, April 03, 2006

The state of my house is atrocious.....

I'm not even sure that is how you spell 'atrocious'. Nevertheless, my house is borderline disgusting at this point.

I used to clean my house religiously. (It's more like a large closet, actually... but I digress). I used to wash everything, dust, sweep, scrub baseboards, pick up laundry, and not let food decay in the pan when I was done with it. When I moved here, I was that good of a housekeeper.

The depths of Hell have caught up with me, however, and I've been defeated. I can not pick up a single article of clothing. My shoes are strewn about, as are dishes, the television remote control, a bag from takeout Indian food I had last week, cat toys, towels, empty food boxes, socks, underwear.... Hell, I have a chair sitting in the middle of the room simply because I don't know what else to do with it, or where else it could go.

My mom came to the big city on Saturday. I had to tell her not to come in. And my mom is well aware of what a slob I can be. It was so gross in here that I couldn't let my mom see it.

My mom says that I'm terrible at having OCD. THat I should be better at cleaning stuff. But what you don't realize is how very much I yearn to live in a clean house. That's right. I'm yearning for cleanliness.

You're probably wondering why I haven't started cleaning up the pigsty. How come I don't place my footwear neatly on the welcome mat, why don't I crush the carboard and put the towels on the rack. How come I don't bother throwing away the empty food cartons, or storing the cat toys in my closet.

I simply no longer have the energy to fight with storing all of my belongings into the Depths of Hell. I simply can not face opening my closet and trying to cram another article of clothing into its space, or of trying to fit a single other cat toy onto the shelf, or of cramming one more towel onto the towel rack that only holds a single towel.

Cleaning Hell is a bit like the old saying: There's no use trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. Congratulations, Hell. You win. You have defeated me.

I've made the executive decision that the Depths of Hell will not be cleaned a single other time until Moving Day.

Until then, I'm wallowing in Hell's defeat.

My mother would be mortified.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

Good Bye, Copernikitty......

I left my little kitty at the ranch today. She'll be coming back to me on May 1st, when I leave the Depths of Hell.

It seems that she is just not cut out for living here. She looks dull, only picks at her food, yowls at the window, and is generally unhappy.

As soon as we got to the ranch last night, she was skipping happily about the house, mowing down cat food like it was her job, and generally being her old self.

So, here's to hoping that my new apartment will make my kitty happy and that some day we can live in harmony once more.