Monday, December 24, 2007
This year the Christmas season began at 4:26pm December 24th.
Friday, December 14, 2007
I'm on a couple of dating sites, and sometimes I decide to let people chat with me on MSN even though frequently that turns into a nightmare. For whatever reason, maybe I am at work and can't chat, or maybe I just don't feel like it at the moment, sometimes I don't talk to these guys right away and I forget about them. Whatever the reason was, I had no idea this Robert was not the Robert I thought it was. I noticed his status message said he was moving to Edmonton.
I started the conversation with "You're moving?" He replied that he was. "Is it to find a job?" He replied that it was.
I asked if he had found anything yet and he said he was starting at a meat store soon. I said, "but you probably want to find another computer job eh?" He agreed that he would prefer another computer job.
We chatted for a bit longer about Christmas shopping and then the subject of computer jobs came up again. I asked if he missed the work and he said something like "not really, but it is what I do. I miss the guys more than I miss the job." So then I said, "I bet you don't miss Mark though." Robert replied with "??? lol no I don't how did you know???"
I totally thought it was just a sarcastic answer from a guy who I knew wasn't fond of his former boss Mark, but in reality it was just some stranger with the same name who couldn't figure out how on earth I knew about his former co-worker Mark. He was the only person in the conversation who knew who he was talking to, but I bet at this point he was very confused while I was oblivious that anything was out of the ordinary.
He changed the subject to computers and said he took some time to reinstall Windows and that is why he didn't have a picture on his MSN. I didn't even notice because I usually have pictures hidden unless I don't know what the person looks like. Thinking back, this would have been a bit weird for Robert to say to me, and it would make a lot more sense coming from a stranger off a dating site, but after all we had spoken about over the last half an hour, I still had no idea I wasn't speaking to my friend Robert. Then suddenly he said "I love you hair in your MSN picture."
I didn't reply. I was taken aback. It just wasn't a comment I would have expected from Robert at all. Robert is married with three kids, and that seemed just a bit flirty to me. Then he wrote, "It's sexy."
Although I agree my hair is super sexy in that picture*, I know Robert would never have said that. This was the first time that I realized I was talking to the wrong guy! I have to offer an apology to both Roberts! I'm sorry!
I sent this story to my friend Robert and he wrote "That is hilarious... stop hitting on my dopplegangers."
* The picture in question is the same as my current blogger profile picture. It is sexy hair eh?
It is irritating actually how the spam has to make everyone do things just a little differently to get away from it all. Dear spam companies, we all hate you.
Monday, December 10, 2007
I met Heather 14 years ago when we both worked at A&W. Since then we've lived together in four different places (including her mom's basement). Over the years I've spent a lot of time with her and got to see her do many things that just left me in awe. From being a Hilltop cheerleader, to having 4 jobs at the same time, to starting a fight with another girl in a bowling alley parking lot, Heather has always stood out just a little bit more than everyone else, but last night she topped it all. Last night at 6:26, Heather had a 9 pound, 13 ounce baby girl!!
I don't even know what to write right now. Every time I look at this picture I just tear up. I just feel so happy for Heather, and extremely proud of her. I think she'll be a great mom.
Congratulations Little Nuckers!!!
P.S. I'm an aunt!!!!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
This morning I went for a blood test. The procedure at the lab is to walk in, take a number, and sit down. Eventually they will call your number and then you bring them your health card and the doctor's blood test orders. Then you take your seat again until they call you into the back to actually have your blood taken. It is a pretty simple procedure. Most people make it in and out within half an hour. Probably the only time the system breaks down is when you forget to take a number.
I arrived at 7:30 in the morning and saw a lot of cars in the parking lot. I wasn't too surprised. I think it is standard to fast for 10-12 hours before a blood test, so it makes sense that most people prefer to fast overnight, and have their blood tested before breakfast. As I parked my car I saw a man just getting out of his. I had to shake my head. I am not sure how, but at some point I must have been given a curse that no matter where I am going, I am always a few seconds behind someone else. When you consider all the lineups at banks, drive-thrus, grocery stores, etc, I am sure that throughout my life I have spent months waiting for that one person who always manages to get places 2 seconds ahead of me. I got out of my car and I followed this guy up to the entrance.
He arrived just ahead of me, but instead of going straight in, he opened the door for me. I walked right in and now I was ahead of him. I immediately felt guilty over making him wait for me just because he is polite, so I stood to the side for a few seconds. I pretended to be looking for something in my purse because I wanted to give him a chance to get his number first, but he didn't take one. He went straight to a chair in the waiting area and sat down next to the table in the corner with all the magazines. I grabbed my number and took a seat on the other side of the table.
The waiting room was about half full of people, most were over the age of 65. Generally I like to people-watch the elderly, but this morning I couldn't do it because I kept wondering about that guy ahead of me. Why didn't he take a ticket? I glanced at him. He just sat there reading In Touch magazine. At first I thought he must be waiting for someone, but after a few minutes he pulled out his purple blood test orders and put them on his lap. I thought I should ask if he had a number, but I didn't. Surely he could hear them calling out the numbers one by one. I decided he must have been there well ahead of me, and I had only just witnessed him come in after running out to his car for something. I considered the matter settled, and I picked up a six-month-old magazine that promised to describe what Paris could expect in prison.
Pretty soon they called out '54' and I went up to hand in my stuff. I sat back down and realized that man hadn't been called up yet. There is no way he had a number prior to my arrival. If so he would have handed in his purple sheet by now, but it was still on his lap. He caught me looking at him, and at that moment I think he realized it too. His expression became one of intense irritation and suddenly he stood up. He was clearly angry as he stormed up to the counter and ripped a number from the dispenser. He looked at the display on the wall that still said "Now Serving 54". Then he looked at his ticket and shook his head slightly and sighed with disgust (at himself I hope). Then he walked back to his chair, his face was red and his jaw looked clenched.
About a minute later a woman walked in. I noticed that she didn't take a number either. She took a seat on the other side of the man with the clenched jaw. He was staring straight ahead and still scowling. She took a few seconds to get comfy and then she tucked her hand behind Scowly-man's arm. Despite the absence of a greeting and the fact that his expression didn't soften in the slightest, it seemed evident that she was his wife. Right then a nurse said "55?" and an old lady with a cane got up and walked to the counter. This prompted the man's wife to lean over and ask, "What number did you get?"
With a touch of irritation he said "71."
She looked surprised and said, "71?! They are slow this morning. They must be really busy eh?"
The man didn't respond.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This morning my alarm went off as usual, but I slept right through it. When my Backup Alarm rang I woke up, but I assumed it was my first alarm, so I shut it off. When the Last Chance Alarm finally woke me up I couldn't believe how late it was. I struggled out of bed and into the shower. I was so tired I pretty much stood there under the water with my eyes closed. In terms of washing up, one could say I did the bare minimum. (get it?)
If there was ever a morning I needed coffee, it was this morning. There was a time when my favorite part of drinking coffee was drinking out of a fantastic travel mug, but nowadays I have a deep appreciation for the drink as well. I don't know if it is all due to caffeine or if it is part psychological, but it really does wake me up in the morning. Some mornings if I don't drink coffee I find it very difficult to work. Without coffee this morning I'd be asleep at my desk in no time.
I walked like a zombie to the kitchen and I pulled out the coffee press and my favorite mug. I took the coffee grounds and the coffee-mate from the cupboard and put the appropriate amounts in each vessel. I boiled water and added it to the carafe and 5 minutes later I filled my mug and sat down at the computer to work.
I let the coffee sit for a few minutes to cool down, and then I picked up the mug, closed my eyes and took a healthy sip. Imagine my shock when I realized my mouth was full of grit. It is amazing how quickly coffee turns into 'water with coffee grounds floating in it'. In that instant I couldn't even recognize what had happened, and I messily tried to quickly spit the coffee back through the little sip-hole in the travel mug. I went back to the kitchen to wash some spilled grounds off my thumb and I realized what the problem was. Normally I put coffee grounds in the press, then I put coffee-mate in the mug. Apparently this morning I was so sleepy that I put coffee grounds in BOTH. Yeah, there's a catch-22 when you need coffee in order to make coffee.
Thanks to Debbie for the ending!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
A block from mom's I had to pass by my ex-friend Rob's parent's house - this is where Rob currently lives. As I walked by I had a few minutes to wonder what he was up to these days. I wondered where he was in life, if he has a girlfriend, if he is working, if he is happy... It seems weird that as a kid I wasn't supposed to knock when I visited, I was told to walk right in, but now as adults I'm completely shut out. He hasn't spoken to me in a civil tone in almost three years.
I gave up on wondering what he was up to because my attention shifted to some of the things we used to do as kids. It was probably about 22 years ago that we used to play a game called "Slingshot vs Pellet Gun". It was a game a lot like hide and seek, but once you found the person... well, the goal of the game was pretty simple: the first one to shoot the other player wins.
We weren't that dumb though. We didn't actually shoot each other, we'd just shoot near each other. Still... more than once I heard the sound of a pellet as it whizzed too too close past my ear. This particular night though we called the game without a winner because we had some unexpected players show up.
It was snowing that night, probably the first snow of the year. I gave Rob a head start and shortly after I went looking for him. According to our rules, you could go anywhere you wanted on the block I lived on, and I mean anywhere. It is only a city block, but when you consider the back alley, the front yards, back yards, up trees and on top of buildings, this is a pretty big area. Luckily it was proving easy to follow Rob's tracks in the freshly fallen snow.
I followed cautiously. Rob was crafty and it would have been just like him to backtrack down his own tracks, jump off in some other direction, and wait behind a garbage can until I walked by. When I saw his tracks stop at a fence, it took me a minute or two to determine it was safe for me to approach. I looked over the top of the fence and saw that Rob had climbed it, and then walked balance-beam style down the length of it between two yards.
I did my best to walk on top the fence too, and I saw his tracks move to the roof of a shed, and from the shed on to a garage. I went where they led, up over the crest of the garage roof. When I looked over I saw the tracks went halfway down the other side, then it looked like he sat down and creeped towards the edge so that he didn't slip and fall off.
I again followed until I was sitting on the edge of the garage with my feet dangling down. I saw tracks 10 feet below indicating Rob had jumped off and ran down the block. I guess I didn't notice there were several sets of tracks going off in the same direction because I was too busy making sure Rob wasn't waiting in ambush. Suddenly I heard people coming out the front door of the house that was attached to the garage I was sitting on.
I looked over and saw three men standing on the doorstep looking up at me. One of them pointed and said, "There he is again!!" One of the others said, "Get him!"
I jumped off and ran like the wind. They came after me, but thankfully my Slingshot vs Pellet Gun experience meant I had the home-field advantage and it didn't take long to lose them. I went a round-a-bout way back to my house and found Rob there waiting for me. We decided we should just stay in and play video games rather than end up in another foot chase with angry neighbours.
I didn't win our game that night, but I ended up with a pretty good memory. I'm glad. Rob doesn't talk to me anymore, so memories like that are all I've got.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Sarah: I guess that means I have to be Forrest because I am the only one of us that has a carrot.
Kara: PMG Sarah! So that makes me the drug abusing slut that dies from aids? Thanks a lot!! And you call yourself my friend...pfft!
Sarah: So what if she was a slut, she was hot. If you don't like it you can be Bubba.
Kara: Good point. She was really skinny too. I think I will stick to being a drug abusing slut who dies of aids. I don't want to be Bubba.
He has a carrot.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I couldn't even tell you how I picked the name Sarah. I picked it maybe 25 years ago. Even back then I knew I was a girl inside, and at some point I picked out a name for myself. I remember I tossed around a dozen or so possibilites before I settled on 'Sarah', but I just don't recall how I came up with it. Whenever I've often tried to remember, the TV show "Little House on the Prairie" always comes to mind. I've checked though, and there were no actors or regular characters named Sarah. I really have no idea. I think it was just a popular name that I thought was pretty.
My middle name originates in computers and computer games. Back when I was a kid there was a role-playing game called Ultima IV. In the game you play a character travelling in a fantasy land. Along the way you meet several characters that will join you and help you in your quest. One of them was named Jaana, which I always read as "Jan, ah". I didn't think much about it at the time, but I played the game so much that I didn't forget the name even years later.
In university I took a first year Astronomy class and was paired up with a woman named Jana-Dee. She was very pretty and smart in her own right, but my favorite part about her was her first name. Well... I liked the first half of her first name anyway, I didn't care much for the -Dee part.
A couple more years go by until I bought Ultima Online - a massively multiplayer online game. When I had to pick a name for my character I remembered the name Jaana from the previous game, and I remembered the name Jana-Dee from university, and before I knew it, my character was Jana the thief. Since then I have used the name Jana in most games that I play. After a while I began to consider it an alternate first name.
When it was time to change my name I had been calling myself Sarah in my head for 20-some years, and I had been calling myself Jana in computer games for maybe 8 years. I decided that both names were me, and there was no reason I needed to choose between them, so I picked them both. The world sees them as first and middle names, but really they are just two first names that I couldn't decide between.
P.S. Shortly before I changed my name I began playing World of Warcraft where I made two characters: Saraa the mage, and Janaa the priest. Sometimes when people asked how I picked my names I've just taken the short route and said I named myself after my warcraft characters.
P.P.S. I didn't even consider this at all when I was choosing my names, but afterwards I thought it was cool -my mom's name is Sharon Jean. I think Sarah Jana is a good name for the daughter of a Sharon Jean.
I shouldn't complain because given the age I began my transition, I haven't been too cursed with overly masculine features, but let's face it - most of my transition success is due to women's clothing, jewelery, makeup and a feminine hair style. If you get me out of my clothes, the illusion quickly fades - and that is one of the reasons why I am always clothed in the presence of others (the other reason is that I can't seem to get a date these days.)
Hair is like clothes for the skull. As a transsexual I use hair in exactly the same two very important ways that I use clothes. The first way is that I keep it feminine to help present a feminine appearance, and the second way is that I use it to hide my non-feminine features. The problem with hair that I don't have with clothes, is that it doesn't take much of a wind to blow my hair into a position where it stops hiding my flaws.
Unfortunately for me, our species has significant amount of what is called sexual dimorphism. This means that males and females, although the same species, have differences in form and appearance. If men and women were only roughly the same shape and size, life would be a lot easier for us transsexuals, but clearly there are substantial differences.
The easiest differences to spot of course, include the fact that women have pronounced breasts and hips, and that typically women are smaller than men. Some differences that are harder to notice on anything but a subconscious level involve the skull. Men have a pronounced brow ridge - similar but not as emphasized as the kind you see in gorillas or cavemen (female readers: you can probably extend further comparisons along these lines if you like). Further, a male skull is somewhat dome-shaped above this ridge, where a female skull is typically a continuous curve from the eyes to the top of the skull.
Compared to a woman's skull, men also have a broader chin, as well as a more defined angle where the chin approaches the ear. We may not notice these differences, but we use them all the time to differentiate between male and female. It is exactly these differences that make me feel self-conscious when I don't have hair hiding the sharply-angled and misshapenly-masculine bits of my skull.
Again, I don't want to be a whiner. I think I am pretty lucky facially in the pass-for-female department. On cursory examination I seem to have somewhat soft, feminine facial features, but when my hair is blown back, it reveals the true male nature of my boy-skull. Any appearance of feminine softness is replaced with craggy, hard looking angles along my forehead, and along the sides of my chin and any illusion of femaleness disappears as surely as if I had just taken off all my clothes and let my wiener hang out.
I will illustrate this using... illustrations. You can see in the first image below how I look with hair framing my face (and sunlight reflecting off my pudgy cheeks). Considering I'm male I think I pass alright as a woman. In the second picture though you see what I look like when my hair is blown back. It is hardly feminine, in fact, it is down-right scary.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
In May when I reported to work downtown for the first time I began parking in the lot next to the building. The monthly spots were all taken and I was told there is a one-year waiting list for reserved spots, but they don't reserve out the entire lot. They leave several spots open so that other people can still find a spot. They call this meter-rate parking. This means you go to the meter out front, put in money and put your ticket on the dashboard indicating how long you paid for. As a meter-parker I could park for the entire business day for $5.
As time went on, I found it difficult to work in the office. Mostly this was because I didn't actually have an office of my own. I don't even mean I shared an office, I mean I had a corner in a well worn pathway between the offices and the reception area. I had an L-shaped wall that was about 5 feet tall and partially enclosed my desk, but did nothing to prevent me from hearing all and seeing everything but the front door. I am quite sure this nook was built with one of those large photocopiers in mind, maybe a water-cooler. No matter what it was designed for, it didn't suit a person at all. I eventually decided I'd get more work done from home and by the end of June I just stopped going. When I quit working downtown, parking was $6 per day.
Some time has passed and now I have to work on a project with other people, so I am working in the office again. This time I just set up shop in the meeting room and it works out much better for me. I didn't ask if I could work in there though... so I just hope people don't arrive for a meeting one day while I am sitting at the table working and rocking out to the 80's. Earlier that morning on my first day I pulled in to the lot and found a spot. I was surprised how many were empty. I had my six bucks in coins ready but when I got to the meter I noticed that parking is now $7 per day. Between May and August parking fees had gone up twice and it was now 40% more than it was three and a half months ago!
I'm not saying the increase to $7 made it suddenly too much to park. Even when it was $5 I thought it was too much for me. To combat parking prices I always just parked across the river and then walked across to my building. It was only a ten minute walk, and at the time it saved me $25 a week in parking. Now it would save me $35, so it is very worth it. This morning I pulled on to where I had normally parked a couple months ago and saw that the entire area was now called the "Varsity View Bullshit Residential Parking Permit Zone". The sign said that if you want to park there between 8am and 5pm you need a pass proving you are a resident. This means that I have to park even further away. I tell ya, parking is just getting more and more annoying.
I wouldn't lie.
It isn't the inconvenience of walking further that is annoying. It really only adds a minute to my walk. The annoying part is because I am cynical and the I couldn't help wonder about the reason this area was suddenly full of no parking signs. The houses in the area are very nice, very expensive houses and most have completely unobstructed views of the river from any of their three storeys. I couldn't help but imagine that these rich people rallied together to prevent City Hall from allowing us commoners-who-can't-afford-parking from polluting their streets with cars during business-hours-when-they-aren't-home-anyway. Those poor rich people have it so rough.
The expense of parking is actually quite ridiculous. If you think about it, my apartment is $700 a month. That is for an entire apartment - shelter, comfort, space, security, privacy, facilities, applicances - 24 hours a day, every day. If I carried that time frame through to a metered parking spot it would be $21 per day over 30 days a month. You'd be paying $630 a month for a 10 by 6 plot of pavement. At the current rate of increase, it will soon cost $700 a month to park. At that point you might as well rent an apartment downtown and drive your car into it. At least that way your car would be behind a couple of locked doors, it would be out of the elements, and maybe it would even have access to a nice view.
If I waited long enough I could certainly save money by getting a monthly parking pass. I think it is like $100. The funny thing though is that ALL the lots close to my building are full. I'd likely have to park several blocks away and walk for five minutes anyway. The most attractive option I guess is to park for free and walk ten minutes, so that is what I will do. It is the healthy choice too, so I don't really mind... but I am not looking forward to that walk in the middle of winter. By then my lot will probably be $10 per day because what the parking lot managers know is that most people would rather pay than be inconvenienced or placed in discomfort. I'm sure their mouths are just watering as they wait for -25 degree temperatures... the perfect weather for hosing their customers.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I one-hundred-percent believe that transsexualism is purely biological. There is no choice in the matter at all, you are either born this way or you are not. Many people think this is untrue, they think it is a choice. If you ever hear this, don't believe it. The people who say it are not transsexuals, so don't listen to them. Believe someone with experience in the matter, like me. The truth is we are born like this, and just as kids discover their own individuality, this is just another thing we discover about ourselves - usually at an early age. I can't say for sure when I realized I was transgendered, but I definitely knew by the time the original Bionic Woman came on TV. I remember I used to go out and play and pretend I was her all the time. As much fun as I had playing, the sad part is that I felt I should hide it from everyone. I think I was somewhere between five and seven years old when I developed my first 'cover story'. All the while I was playing 'bionic woman', I would just tell people I was playing 'six million dollar man'.
I think the reason I was so interested in this show was because as a kid I was very interested in heroes and science fiction. Through my dad and my uncle I had hundreds, maybe even thousands of comic books. I had Spider-man, Superman, Batman... I had all the "
I think I am not alone in remembering the Bionic Woman in this way. There is a scene in the new show where Jamie escapes from a government hospital and runs away as fast as she can through a forest - and with her bionic legs that is pretty fast. Meanwhile, a minivan carrying a woman and her young daughter is travelling on the highway, parallel to the forest. The daughter looks out the window and says, "Mommy! There's a lady out there running really fast, like as fast as a car!"
The mother says, "Sweety, what did I tell you about making things up?"
The girl has a look of admiration on her face and says, "I just think it's cool that a girl could do that."
That is exactly what I thought when I was her age!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
In 2005 I went to our work Christmas party that involved a little bit of bowling and a whole lot of booze. Up until this night I had been wearing an Invisi-bra nearly every day. An Invisi-bra is essentially a pair of silicone lifts, but they are connected together with a hook and are coated with a sticky substance that adheres amazingly well to skin. The packaging asserted they were good for any occasion, and to this point I didn't think that maybe drunken bowling wouldn't be an exception.
Despite what happened during bowling night, the Invisi-Bra is something I'd recommend to any new transsexual just beginning to transition. I initially got it for two reasons: 1) because I thought it might be a comfortable way of appearing to have a bustline and 2) because back then I couldn't even fill out an A cup bra, and size 38 training bras are hard to come by. I wore it by unhooking the cups from each other and I'd just stick it to whatever I had in that department already.
I liked the Invisi-bra so much I had two pairs of them. I thought this was best because the sticky part grabbed on to lint as well as it did skin, so if you didn't wear it brand new clean and dry every day then it wouldn't be snug, and since you are not supposed to wear a bra over them, I was very interested in having them stick snuggly to my skin.
The night of the bowling party I decided I would wear a pair of jeans and a long sleeved shirt that I'd leave unbuttoned so you could see the satiny black camisole underneath. After so many months of the Invisi-bra performing flawlessly during day after day of office work I had cultivated a false sense of security regarding it's abilities. As a result I didn't even consider that I should wear a bra over them that night. I just stuck the cups on and went to the party otherwise unsupported. That was my big mistake.
The problem is that the bowling alley was crammed packed with other offices have similar drunken bowling parties. Afterall, what better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus* than to go bowling right? The place was hot as it was, and the activity coupled with several bottles of whatever alcohol was placed in front of me made me feel even hotter. My breasts were feeling uncomfortable as they sat under the unbreathing insulation of the Invisi-bra, and they retaliated by becoming sweaty.
It was the seventh frame of the second game when I walked up to take my turn. I don't know how much I had to drink by then, but Patrick had counted for me. When he told me the grand total I was sure he was lying. Whatever the number, I knew I was drunk from the simple reason that my bowling performance had been progressively worse with every frame. When I grabbed a ball from the ball-return and walked on to the lane my mind was not on my Invisi-bra cups, it was completely focused on trying to bowl in a straight line.
My first two balls were not very successful. I was determined to make my last ball count. I took a few steps down the lane and I let my arm arc backwards. As my arm moved, the skin along my chest must have stretched a little and just as I reach the apogee of my swing, the left invisi-cup fell off.
It all seemed to happen in slow motion. I had just begun swinging the ball forward, and could feel the cup making it's way down my side. I had a choice at this moment. I could continue with my shot and follow-through with a natural motion and perhaps knock down some pins, OR I could let go of the ball prematurely and grab my fake boob before it hit the ground. Naturally I chose the second option. I let go of the ball and squeezed my arm against my side to catch the lift before it fell. I remember watching the ball hit the gutter about a metre from the foul line. I took advantage of having my back to everyone and grabbed the cup in my hand and held it at my side and under my shirt, so I could walk off the lane without anyone seeing it.
When I got back to my bench I sat down, grabbed my purse, and discreetly deposited the cup. Suddenly Tara sat down with me to chat. With one boob in place, and the other in my purse I was feeling very lop-sided. I was nervous, but I managed to chat casually for a few minutes even though I knew my next turn was approaching. I was quietly stressing out, I had to do something fast. Luckily Tara was a little drunk too, and I don't think she noticed as I put my purse under my shirt camisole. Then I reached up inside, pulled the other cup free, and let it fall into the purse with it's sister - just in time for me to take my next turn.
That was the day that I vowed bust enhancers like that just were not worth it. An extra cup size is nice, but definately not worth dropping a boob or two in the middle of lane 11.
* I can never remember if Jesus was born on Christmas, or if he died on Christmas. I personally think neither actually happened, so that's probably why I can never remember which made-up event is fake-true.
Remember when I mentioned the 'lifts' in my last story? I bought them to help fill out the bustier I wore under my bridesmaid dress. I think everyone has an idea of what a lift might be, but just in case you are not sure; it is an insert that fits inside your bra that helps you fill it out properly. They are funny things because they are meant to be clothes-fitting-aids, but have the potential to be vanity-boosters as well.
When I last wore them the only purpose was to make my clothes fit. It was a happy side-benefit that it made it look like I had larger breasts. Today though... my clothes already fit. I don't know why I pulled them out of the drawer at all, but I am pretty sure I felt that I needed a vanity boost. More accurately I think I just wanted a boob-boost.
I was going to meet Jenna for lunch. Before I left I took a look in the mirror and decided I should throw on a necklace. The one I wanted to wear was nowhere to be seen, so I opened up my dresser drawer that usually contains such missing items. I didn't find the necklace, but I noticed the lifts. I continued my search and found the necklace and put it on. I looked at myself in the mirror and I was satisfied... but then I heard a little voice that said, "C'mon, just put 'em on for a sec..." I knew what the voice was referring to.
I went back to the drawer, pulled out the lifts and slid them into my bra. The word lift makes it sound like it just lifts your breast up, but really the part that sits under your breast is the thinnest. The padding is significantly thicker around the outside curve. When I put them in my bra I noticed a dramatic improvement in size. Suddenly my A cupped bra was containing enough material better suited to a B. My once innocent looking v-neck t-shirt looked a lot more daring than it did a moment earlier, so I grabbed a thin white shirt and wore it unbuttoned over top. Everything felt tight and deceptively secure, but I liked how it looked.
Despite liking how it looked, I had years ago sworn off any sort of bust enhancement like this*. After checking myself out in the mirror for a second or two I went to take the lifts out, but then I heard a voice say, "Just leav'em in. What's it gonna hurt?" My inner voice has a lazy way of speaking, but for some reason I keep listening to it. A moment later my lifts and I went to meet Jenna for lunch.
Before I met Jenn I needed to get some money. I pulled in to a drive-thru ATM behind a Windstar minivan being driven by a woman. The van was stopped ten feet back from the machine leaving a big vehicle-sized empty spot at the ATM. I assumed the driver was digging her card out of her purse or something so I spent the next 60 seconds waiting patiently. I still had several minutes before I had to meet Jenn so I wasn't going to be late, but after only another 30 seconds I started to get perturbed.
I began to wonder if I had time to drive around the building and back up to the ATM before this lady found her card, but then suddenly her vehicle began to move in a slow, deliberate manner (emphasis on slow). She was clearly a drive-thru-noob and she made constant course corrections to find a spot between crashing into the building and swinging out beyond arm's length of the buttons. When she stopped moving you could see she opted for maximum safety through maximum distance. I was hoping she had really long arms because she had over a metre between the ATM and her van. She ended up leaning out so far of her window that I could see her husband holding her by the belt so she didn't fall out.
After they got their cash and drove away, it was my turn at the ATM. I don't think this is where it happened, but I can't be sure. I know that I was leaning against the door when I punched in my requests on the ATM, but I think Jenn might have mentioned it if something was wrong, and all throughout lunch she didn't mention my boobs once.
After lunch I stopped at 7-11 to get some gas. I could have knocked something loose there I suppose. I distinctly remember the clerk looking from the cash register to my chest and then to my eyes before he handed me my change. I liked it, it made me feel good. For some reason I felt proud even though I was artificially enhanced. I certainly didn't think that he was checking out my chest for any reason other than normal male behavior, perhaps encouraged by my now larger rack. Thinking back on it though, maybe there was a different reason altogether.
My final stop was downtown to pay my rent. I found a good parking spot just down the block from the property management office and I walked the rest of the way. It was a beautiful day and I felt pretty as I walked down the street. A guy who resembled a leprechaun looked up at me and gave me a twinkly smile. I smiled back. I was in high spirits when I walked into the office building.
The counter top at the accounting desk is quite high, and I usually find myself with my arms folded on the counter, and then I lean on my arms as I look down at the woman counting my money. That too could have pushed a lift out of whack, but if it did I didn't notice it. I chatted for a moment about the weather finally being nice, but from her responses I got the impression that the woman wanted to get rid of me quickly. I just thought she was busy and had work to do, but in hindsight, maybe she just felt uncomfortable because of something she noticed.
About fifteen minutes later I was home. I had enjoyed my time out with the extra volume, but I was eager to get those lifts out because they made my bra too tight. Up until the moment I looked in the mirror I was oblivious to anything being wrong with my appearance. The moment I looked at my reflection my heart sunk into my stomach. I immediately saw what I now imagine both the 7-11 clerk and the woman at the desk had seen as well. One of my lifts had lifted itself right out of my bra and was clearly visible to anyone who cared to look.
Monday, July 09, 2007
It all started months ago. Joanne picked out some dresses from a store. I went down to buy one, but this particular store doesn't sell anything larger than a size 11 so I was out of luck. It turned out to be impossible to get this dress from any other source in any larger sizes, so I had to get one made. It seemed it was also impossible for anyone at this store to help me get a dress made too. They couldn't help me identify the fabric, or even the manufacturer. Apparently all they have it this store to identify the dress is some internal inventory number. It was all very frustrating, and even more frustrating was that even though it meant not having any information about the actual dress to make, I had to go elsewhere to get it made.
I went to another bridal shop and I was put in touch with a seamstress who makes dresses in her spare time, in the interests of privacy, let's just call her Helga. She said she could make me a dress no problem. She said it would cost $90 for the dress plus materials plus whatever time she spent shopping for materials. I liked how this would work. It meant that a woman who actually makes dresses for a living was going to take care of everything involved with the creation of hte dress.
I borrowed the dress from Camille - another bridesmaid - and I took it to Helga so she can make a pattern from it and buy appropriate fabric. Helga called me a week or two later and said she was all done with Camille's dress. She had some fabric that was a close match and everything seemed good to go and we still had two months until the wedding. I felt confident that everything was going to fall into place.
I called Helga a couple times to see how the dress was coming. She told me it was coming together nicely, but that she had a lot of dresses to make before mine. Since I didn't need the dress until July 7th she suggested that I come to see her on July 1st for a fitting. She said that then she'd do the alterations that day and I'd have it soon after.
Next, I need to get something to wear underneath the dress. Joanne and I head to a lingerie store and pick out a bustier. The woman helping me asks me for my size. I shyly tell her that I don't know my size and that I don't often wear a bra. She says, "Why not?" and she sounds almost angry. I explained that it is hard to find something to fit me because I am big around the chest, but I have small breasts. I tell her that whenever I find a bra that fits around the chest it is made on the assumption that I've got much bigger boobs. Since I don't like walking around with wrinkly looking twins, I just wear a sports bra instead.
The woman puts me in a change room and goes to get a bra for me to try on. Her plan is to find one that fits so she knows my size... instead of just measuring me. She comes back a moment later and hands a bra in the door. I check out the tag - 34B. I think it is funny that this woman thinks I couldn't ever find a 34B. I handed it back right away.
I don't know what she went to do, but I waited in that chilly room with my shirt off for the next five or six minutes. By the time she showed up with another bra to try my boobs were actually a little larger because I was getting so nipply. Not big enough though... she handed me a 36C.
I thought it was ridiculous that we were playing this guessing game. I already told her I too was wide in the chest and small in the boobs for the average bra to fit me, and she hands me to the most common sizes ever. I put on my shirt and went back out to explain the situation better. She finally understood and she said we had to order something. I said that was fine.
A couple weeks later she calls and my bustier is in. I go to try it on, and it was a struggle. It was hot outside, and this time the change room was very warm and the bustier was tight and clinging to my damp skin. After I got it on (with some help) the sales lady came in and said that it didn't look like it quite fit. She told me to wait a moment and she came back with another one that fit much better. I wish I knew why they just didn't give that one to me in the first place, but at least I had something that would fit around me properly, so I was happy. Neither bustier fit me in the bust though, as both were too large. To fix this I had to get "lifts" as well. This meant that for Joey's wedding I'd have big boobs, and that also made me happy.
Finally the July 1st long weekend arrives. I call Helga on Saturday June 30th and she asks me to come see her at 7:30pm the evening of the 1st. Part of me is thinking that she won't be doing the alterations right afterwards, but I assume she knows what she is doing. For all I know it only takes an hour to alter a dress.
The next day I am pretty excited. I was about to own my very first dress. I'm never going to wear it again of course, but it will sure look pretty in my closet, and it will always remind me of Joey. I put on my bustier and lifts on under my shirt and headed to Helga's house.
I walked in and she tells me the dress is in her living room. I walk around the corner and saw a dress hanging on a rack. "... is this my dress?" I said. I knew it couldn't be my dress, but it was the only one I could see. She told me it was.
"... but it is white." I said.
"Oh there wasn't enough fabric, so I used this."
I said, "... this dress is white... I can't wear a white dress to a wedding." To me it was absurd that she, a seamstress as a bridal shop, would even consider for a moment to make a white dress to wear at a wedding for a woman who wasn't the bride. She not only considered it, she made the whole dress!
"Oh it isn't white, it is sort of ivory." She tells me. "See, this fabric is pure white." and she places a bolt of white fabric next to the white dress. I couldn't tell the difference. She explained that it only looks the same in the dim light of her apartment, and that in the sun it will be different. "I can't rely on bright light to make my dress appear not-white. Why didn't you just buy more fabric??! I can't wear this dress. " I was pissed off.
"There is no fabric in the city to match what you need. I looked everywhere." She seemed defensive. People often sound defensive when they are lying. She simply waited until the previous evening to put the dress together and by the time she realized she didn't have enough fabric, all the stores were closed for the Canada Day long weekend. She used the white fabric because it is the closest match that she already had on hand.
The next day I went to Wal-mart and picked up the fabric. I was nervous picking fabric because I hadn't seen the dress in months. I was scared the colour was going to be way off once it was side-by-side with another dress. I didn't have time to worry about it much. I was too worried that I'd have no dress for Joanne's wedding at all, and have to show up wearing just the bustier - Madonna style.
Helga told me she'd have it ready for a fitting the next day. Thankfully she was right. I went in for the fitting and she mentioned she still needed the tulle. You have to understand that to me this word was "tool". I had never heard of tulle before, so I just thought she needed some sort of sewing implement. I must have looked confused because she explained that it is the meshy net-like stuff that fills out the skirt portion of the dress. She said she needed to get some that is a shade or two darker than the fabric of the dress. She told me that Unique Textiles is close to where she works and that they might even have some where she works.
The next evening all is quiet. Helga should be using the time to put the final touches on my dress. To my surprise the following morning she calls and asks if I had bought the tulle yet. I guess I was dumb not to have verified that she was getting the tulle. I angrily said I'd go get it. I drove to Unique Textiles and picked up some tulle and dropped it off for her. When I was at the fabric store I noted that I saw another bolt of fabric that matches the fabric of the dress. It seemed funny that she, an experienced seasmstress, couldn't find the fabric anywhere in the city, and yet I found it in the only two fabric stores I have been in in my entire life.
On Friday, the day before the wedding, I called Helga as soon as I was done work. She wasn't home yet so I left a message asking when I can come pick it up. When she called back she said the dress wasn't ready yet. "It will be ready tomorrow evening." she tells me. She sounded very firm and confident of this deadline. Under normal circumstances this would have inspired me with a little bit of confidence, but instead it just made me nervous. "Ok, Helga. I need the dress tomorrow *MORNING*."
"It is a morning wedding?" She asks. You could tell that her unspoken words were, "You didn't tell me it was morning wedding", as if that would have made her finish it faster. She sounded frustrated and I know that I was very frustrated. I asked why she hadn't finished it the day before and she said she was too busy. Too busy watching TV I bet. She said she would get straight to work and the dress would be ready by 8:30 or 9:00.
At 8:45 I was at Joey's lingerie party, but I called Helga. I asked how the dress was coming. She said it was done, she was just finishing up. I said "Great! I'll see you soon." and I left the party to go get the dress. On the way there I called Helga again to find out how much it will cost and she said $90. I was thankful a fight was avoided when she didn't charge me for the other materials or her shopping time, or even for making an entire dress out of white fabric. I said I was going to go get the bustier and stop at a bank machine and I'd be there in 15 minutes. She said, "..... oh..... ok."
"Is that a problem?"
"Well, I still have to finish the tulle, it is being finicky... and I have to iron it as well. It won't be ready until 10:00."
I went back to the party until 10:00. At 10:15 I was at Helga's house and she said it still wasn't ready. I waited. At 11:15 the dress was finally ready, less than 11 hours before I needed to put it on. As far as dress-making goes, I am pretty sure that is about as last-minute as you can get.
* 7/7/07 was also the wedding date for my friends Deanne and Tara. I hope you guys had a great time! I wish I was there to see it! Oops! I just re-read that sentence and it looks like Deanne and Tara got married to each other. That isn't the case at all. Hopefully this clarifies:
Congratulations Deanne and Darrin!
Congratulations Tara and Leo!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
A few more buildings looked to be in similar states. I noted some had cars parked next to them that didn't look as if they had moved in a decade or two either. Then I came across The Crystal Springs hotel, but it no longer had a sign up anymore identifying it as a hotel. I was wondering if it too was closed. I remember as a kid my grandpa would go there to play pool and have a few beers with his friends. This time though, no cars were parked in front. Right next door was what looked to be a garage, but it too was vacant and had been for years. The two places that would probably be the busiest in a small town were both looking very dead. I guess there just isn't enough customers anymore.
The church was the next building I noted. I figure god still had a few customers, but not today. It looked better kept than that other buildings, but again no cars were parked in front. My window was down and the only sounds were the birds, the breeze, and my car. It was kind of creepy. It only takes a minute to drive down the main road, so it isn't a big place but in that minute I didn't see anyone at all. No current signs of life, just evidence that people had been there once. Granted I didn't see it all. The town extended beyond the road I was on, but from what I could see, this was a ghost town. I smiled to myself that the church was empty because there wasn't a soul left in town.
I found myself feeling sad again, for this town that seems to lose life with each passing year. The town is literally losing lives. Like my grandpa who died recently, the inhabitants of this town likely have already passed on, or it won't be long. My heart went out again, not just for the people who see their town disappearing, but also because the town itself, their home, is a reminder of all the people that are no longer with them.
I came to the last house in town. At first glance I would have guessed it was also unoccupied. The paint was flaking off all over, the grass wasn't mowed, and the front step was being taken over by the tree behind it. This house was a little different from the others. It had curtains, and little knick-knacks in the window. There was a big antenna on the roof, and I could see there was some kind of backyard. I imagined this house was occupied, just that most of the traffic in and out and other signs of life took place on the side I could not see. I didn't feel bad for this person, living in this dried up town, because no matter how many people were already gone, it wasn't enough. In a town that seemed devoid of life, this guy still felt the need to give everyone an extra incentive to go away, for his door was clearly labelled with a 'No Trespassing' sign.
Jenna I am so sorry!! I can't believe you were letting me call you that all this time! I feel so bad. You already know why I call you that, but for anyone who was thinking I was being mean...
As we all know, the top of the muffin is the best part, and Jenn is totally the best!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I just finished two weeks of getting up very early. The first week I was covering Heather's (Nuckers) paper route. The second week Joanne (Joey) and I spent getting up early to exercise. Not only that but this week Eric (No Nickname) was in town, so he was coming over in the evenings. Not long ago I was getting up to 10 hours sleep a night, but lately I was dropping down to about half that. By the end of last week I was really starting to feel the effects.
Friday after work I was all set for a relaxing evening. I got some take-out and stopped to rent a movie. I decided to get 'Deja Vu' - because I hadn't already seen it.... (get it?) I thought I would watch a little of the movie while I ate, then go grocery shopping, then come home to play World of Warcraft. By the time I was done eating I was too tired to shop and too wiped to play Warcraft. I just wanted to get horizontal. At around 6:30ish I hopped into bed to finish watching my movie but within minutes I pressed pause and rolled over for a nap.
I woke up later on because I really had to pee. I rolled out of bed and saw the movie was still paused at the same moment. The light coming in the window was a little bit darker outside, but not much. Days are getting long now, so I thought it must be around 8:00 or 8:30. I felt bad because I had asked Jenna (Muffin Top) if she wanted to play Warcraft, but by now she had probably been online for over an hour with no sign of me yet.
I logged in and I was prepared for an all-nighter. That power-nap revitalized me completely and I was ready to kill a shit-ton of monsters and to brave at least a couple dungeons. I was a little surprised that nobody I knew was online. I normally go to Jenna's house on Friday nights, but I had always assumed that Friday was the biggest night for the rest of my friends to play together. I decided they must all come online later than I thought, so I did a few things by myself while I waited.
After I had completed a couple quests none of my friends had come on yet. I decided I should give Jenna a call in case she was on earlier and left because I didn't show up. I took my eyes off the monitor to pick up my phone and noticed that it was brighter outside than it was when I woke up. I checked the time on my phone and I realized it was 6:00 in the morning! Much to my surprise my power-nap wasn't a nap at all. It was a full-length sleep.
Friday, May 18, 2007
If you don't care for the show or haven't seen the episode yet, do not read this!
Last year during the season finale of The Office, a forkful of cake fell out of my mouth right after Jim told Pam he loved her. Pam was getting married and couldn't be with him though and told him so.
The next season began with Pam having reconsidered her upcoming marriage, but by then Jim had already left the branch and moved to one in another city.
While he was away, Jim started to date a woman named Karen from the new branch. True to the UK version of the show, the second branch soon closed the doors and some of the employees, including Jim and Karen ended up at the Scranton branch. Also true to the UK version the Jim and Pam relationship saw itself reverse. Now that Pam was available, Jim was not.
For most of the season we were only treated to 2 or 3 minutes per episode of Jim and Pam time, and for some reason none of it involved Jim and Pam actually getting together... until last night.
Last night's season finale saw Jim interviewing for a job at 'Corporate' in New York. Pam seemed to have resigned herself to the idea that she and Jim were just not going to happen. It seemed like the two of them might end up even further apart, but then we got to see Jim interview for the new job.
Jim was his normal self at first. He was smart and funny and few more minutes of that probably would have landed him the job, but then the interviewer asked "What did you like most about that place?" Jim paused for a few seconds so all us viewers could imagine his only thought was 'Pam'. With a sad look on his face he answered, "The friendships." Next he was asked, "Where do you see yourself in ten years?" Again as Jim paused we all knew his answer was 'with Pam', but before he answered there was a flashback to the events of last week's episode. In it Jim and Pam were talking about the reason he left in the first place. He said that even though he was back now, he never really allowed himself to fully come back. Pam said that she wished he would. We never got to see Jim's answer to the question, but we all knew that he didn't finish his interview anyway.
The next scene has Pam in the conference room speaking to the camera. It appears as though she was answering a question about Jim's new job.
Pam: I haven’t heard anything, but I bet Jim got the job. I mean, why wouldn’t he? He’s totally qualified and smart, everyone loves him. And if he never comes back again, that’s ok. We’re friends, and I’m sure we’ll stay friends. We, we just never got the timing right. You know, I shot him down and then he did the same to me. But you know what? It’s ok. I am totally fine. Everything is going to be totally..(Jim quickly opens the conference room door)
Jim: Pam. (to the camera) Oh sorry. Are you free for dinner tonight?
Jim: All right…then it’s a date
Pam: (with tears in her eyes and smiling, says to the camera) I’m sorry. What was your question?
After that scene Pam wasn't the only one with tears in her eyes! I did too!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I was looking forward to getting back out to the farm, even if the trip's purpose was for a funeral. The farm has a lot of memories for me. We went out there a lot when I was a kid, and of course back then it was my grandpa who personified the place. I wanted to get back there and wander around and just remember what I could. I didn't really see him much in the past few years, so I wanted to pay him some respect by admiring the place he built.
grandpa's family for years and years until abandoned after a
tornado removed the roof and put it down in the wrong place.
When it was time to go to the funeral I was nervous. My grandma and dad have both died leaving my Grandpa, uncle Verne, and aunt Helen and her family on my dad's side of the family. I saw Grandpa and Verne a lot, but I haven't seen Helen's family in years and years. As a kid I saw them a lot. I loved playing with my cousins and I have fond memories of catching frogs and shooting Bryon in the ear with a bow and arrow. Knowing I was seeing them again soon made me feel nervous on two fronts; because I had changed genders since the last time, and also because I was a bad cousin having let nearly a decade go by without a visit.
My cousins were there with their kids. Everyone was very pleasant to me, and I was glad for a chance to talk to them all again. Brenda's eulogy made me cry, and when I glanced over and saw that Carolyn was crying too and I was reminded that these are not just people I have lost contact with, they are my family. After the funeral we had a lunch and I was able to sit down and chat with Bryon for quite a while. When all the attendees were leaving I was happy to hear that all of Grandpa's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were all heading back to the farm for supper. I was looking forward to catching up some more, but it turns out that I didn't get that chance.
When we got back I was going to help Brenda and Carolyn make supper but then I was invited to play tag with Brenda's son Wesley and Carolyn's kids Ryan and Taylor. We went outside and had a game of girls vs boys tag and I have to admit we lost. Bryon jumped in a couple times and help the girl's team out, but otherwise Ryan was just too fast to catch. About 7 minutes into the game I had to sit down on the ground and catch my breath. I apologized that I had to rest a while and Taylor said, "That's OK. I do this two hours a day!" Taylor sat down next to me on the grass for a while and then asked if I could take them to catch frogs. I said sure.
The four of us went down the road through the bushes and the frogs started jumping out of the way. With every footstep we'd see several frogs jumping for dear life, hoping to avoid getting accidentally stepped on. I reached down to grab a few for the kids to hold. After I handed one to Wesley, Taylor said, "Susan?"
"Sarah." I corrected.
"Sarah, Are you a tomboy?"
I said, "Yeah I guess I am sometimes." I didn't know if girls got teased for being tomboys these days, so I added, "There's nothing wrong with that though."
She paused a moment and said, "I'm a tomboy too, I'll take a frog please!" After I handed her one she said, "You're fun." and I felt great.
Our walk took us through the middle of the farm and I got to tell them about things I did as a kid there and they all listened. Taylor and Ryan told me about their farm, and in return I told them about my apartment. Taylor was a shocked to learn that I had no backyard. "Where do you play?" She asked. Kids are cute.
We heard people yelling that supper was ready so we started back to the house. On the way we had a rock throwing contest, and Wesley won it on his first throw. While I was eating Taylor asked me to come sit with her, so I did. I was feeling guilty that I hadn't spent much time with Bryon, Brenda or Carolyn yet, but I was having fun hanging out with the kids.
After supper I went inside to wash my dishes and Taylor came with me. We ended up looking around the house for a while. She talked about Grandpa a lot. She said that he never came to see them, and they only saw him when they visited him. I said that he was just too old to move around too much and it was just easier on him to wait for visitors. She agreed that was probably true and she saw one of his caps laying around. She picked it up and said "This should have gone down with him." I had to stop and marvel about how smart some kids are.
Before we left to go back outside she said, "Sarah?" and then she stopped for a minute looking like she was thinking really hard. "Are you my auntie? or my grandma?"
I said, "Well, I am cousins with your mom, so I think that makes us cousins too."
She looked as if she finally figured something out and said, "We're cousins!" She smiled really big and I could tell this was good news to her. Then I figured something out too. Maybe I didn't get a chance to catch up with my first cousins, but I did a pretty good job of getting to know my second cousins, especially Taylor.
It is funny to say, but I had a great time at the funeral and the supper afterwards. I had a chance to say goodbye to Grandpa, to talk with my cousins, relive some memories and to meet some new relatives for the very first time. I don't think Grandpa would mind one bit that I smiled a lot more than I cried.
1914 - 2007