Friday, October 31, 2008

what do I do now?

Well, it was inevitable really. Last night I finished Buffy. And here I am on a Friday night, not sure what to do. Do I rewatch some of the episodes I still have in my possession? Do I surf online now that I don't have to worry about spoilers? (But shit I'm handicapped for not having seen Angel. I just saw a reference to a relationship between Angel and Cordelia - WTF?!? That is SO unnatural! My eyes! My eyes! Maybe that's enough web-surfing.)

Do I catch up on all the tv I missed? Edit the photos I took in my class last night of some very kind and beautiful and tattooed models? Try to persuade Sugar D to bleach his hair and find a long black trench coat? (He said he rather fancies himself in a black trench coat but only because of The Matrix. Nothing to do with Buffy of course.) Try to start some discussion here about whether Buffy is a feminist icon? Maybe check out the reported season 8 in graphic novel format? Or find Dr. Horrible? I just don't know. It all feels so empty now.

[SPOILER ALERT if you haven't seen Buffy]

I'm still feeling kind of raw. Today at work, I had a bunch of meetings, and my mind kept wandering to the series finale and Spike, and my eyes would get all prickly and my chest would get all tight, and I'd have to drag my thoughts back to the room just so I wouldn't make an ass of myself. I just wasn't prepared for Spike dying. I accidentally read somewhere online that Spike continued his role on Angel, so I thought he was the most likely to survive. I'm still clinging to the possibility that he somehow managed to survive.

I'd been planning to take a break before tackling Angel, to recapture some of my life. Maybe even wait until Janna comes home in February (fat chance), but now I'm going to have to watch on the faint hope that Spike will show up later in the series.

Anyways, now you're all free to share your innermost thoughts about Buffy... did you like the way it ended? I think I did. I just wish Spike hadn't been all, "No you don't." And I wish Andrew had died instead of Anya -- although I did really like Andrew.

And since it's Halloween, here is our jack-o-lantern (I think Sugar D outdid himself this year), and our little trick-or-treater.




Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: the morning commute

Pictures from the walk to work-slash-Swee'pea's-daycare, a couple of weeks ago.

graffiti'd garbage



And ack! I only have five more episodes of Buffy to watch! I'm torn between wanting to see what happens next and not wanting it to end.

Monday, October 27, 2008

this is your brain on 2 1/2 years of sleep deprivation

Another shitty morning after another shitty night.

Last week at the market, I saw a woman with her newborn son. Someone asked her if he was sleeping better, and she said, "Not really. He's still waking every two hours. I guess it's just a phase he's going through." He was 10 weeks old.

And because I'm me, I had to share my truth with her, that my son woke every two hours until at least 14 months, and even now doesn't sleep through the night very often. "My son woke up every two hours for -" I started to speak, but I just couldn't go through with it. "... A very long time," I finished weakly. I laboured through Swee'pea's entire infancy believing that a good night's sleep was just around the corner. If someone had told me then that it could be years before I could depend on a four-hour stretch of sleep, I might have been in danger of doing something drastic.

* * *
The stretch of two nights in a row I last blogged about? It lasted a month. A month of being able to stretch out in sleep, of waking up on my own, a month of peace. A month without ambivalence, without constant, unfillable hunger. I was a bit disturbed that we'd done nothing differently, that it was all completely beyond my control. And I knew it was too good to be true, I knew it couldn't last. But with every good week, I thought we were that much closer to putting the sleeplessness to rest. I started to wonder how I would revise the little about me bit here, the bit that says my son is a lousy sleeper. I never imagined we'd have another whole month and a half of shitty nights. And now we're worse off than before, because now I know how good it can be, I know how good *I* can be.

Back when Swee'pea was a baby, I thought the secret to him sleeping through the night would be getting him to fall asleep on his own. That's what all the books said. But I can tell you from personal experience that that is total bullshit. Most nights he falls asleep by himself, but that doesn't stop him from waking up within a few hours and demanding to get into our bed, even if we ourselves haven't gone to bed yet. Then he'll wake up screaming to have his socks put on or taken off or to change his pyjamas, or to find his soother, or give him another soother, just to hold. Sometimes he bellows like an autocrat, "Lie on your back!" (so he can rub my belly more easily). Sometimes he screams for reasons I can't figure out.

Last night at 4:30 am, he was screaming for socks (his dad had taken them off when he changed him out his wet diaper and pyjamas), and I lost it (not the first time). I yelled at him: "Stop screaming! If you're going to scream, do it in your own bed. Mommy and daddy's bed is only for quiet indoor voices." The middle of the night is not a good time for me; I think all my night-time patience dried up with my milk. These days, however, after so many interrupted nights, the daytime isn't great either. I'm resentful and impatient, I yell at the slightest provocation and disengage at the first opportunity, running to the computer for some kind of connection, some kind of relief, but never quite finding it.

I find myself rationalizing my daytime distance the way I did when he was a baby. That he's chosen to demand my attention while sleeping and he doesn't demand it while awake. Or that it's just until I finish Buffy, then life can get back to normal. But I think Buffy is just a friendly escape.

So... please help. Give me your best advice. How can I get more uninterrupted, solitary sleep?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

in which I try and fail to channel Bea

I'm beginning to think I have a thing for vampires. I'm well into season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer now and I love Spike. (WARNING: If you haven't seen Buffy and you think you might want to, I'm pretty sure spoilers will follow.)

For the first three seasons, I crushed on Angel with an embarrassing intensity. He was so sweet and loving and tortured (except of course when he was evil), and his taut torso didn't hurt either. I was not impressed when he decided to end things for Buffy's sake. I don't much care for that kind of condescension in a romantic relationship.

When Riley first came on the scene, I thought he might make an interesting love interest for Buffy, mostly because he didn't notice her for so long and that might be appealing for her. But as soon as they got together I was bored; he was so available and needy. The part where he wants her to cry in front of him was especially annoying. If he really loved her he would have respected her needs and supported her in the way she wants supporting. I kept thinking that he had to come back, but he never did... perhaps he never will (fingers crossed).

Which brings me to Spike, my new embarrassing crush. It occurred to me this morning, as I was walking to work (yes I think about Buffy most of the time I'm not watching it - got a problem with that?), that I think I even like him better than Angel. I've always had this idea that the series would end with Angel becoming human and he and Buffy riding into the sunset. But if that happened right now, I'd totally want her to pick Spike. Compared to Angel, Spike's so multi-dimensional, he looks like a geodesic dome next to Angel's flat scrap of cardboard. (Of course I say this not having watched a single episode of Angel, so for me he's mostly been left behind by the series. Maybe it's not fair to compare them when everyone on the show has become more dimensional over the seasons.)

In season one, I was overwhelmed by the similarities with Harry Potter, except that Harry was a girl and a couple years older. From the school setting and the teachers that could be good or evil to the arch-villain conniving to return to full power and destroy the world, the similarities were remarkable. But within a few seasons I could barely remember that I'd once thought Buffy was just like Harry Potter.

In Harry Potter's world, people might be misled into believing that someone is in a different camp than they actually were, but there isn't a lot of ambiguity; people are either wholly good or wholly evil. You might argue Sirius Black was ambiguous, but that was only because of a misrepresentation. The fact remains that Sirius is all good. The only other possible ambiguous character is Mad-Eye Moonie (shit is that his name? I have a terrible memory for details I read in books!), but the ambiguity only arose because of an evil imposter.

In Buffy's world, once upon a time (like in season one), good and evil are clearly defined. Even when Angel turns evil, he's 100% evil without a shred of goodness left. By season 4, that dichotomy starts to change. We see that demons can be victimized, and humans can be evil. Buffy begins to explore her own darkness, and that first slayer seems pretty evil the first time we see her (end of season four?).

Where I'm at in the series right now, none of the main characters fall neatly into good or evil categories. In season five, Spike is capable of great love and great creepiness. He makes me more ambivalent than any other character in the show. I *should* hate him because he can be so abusive and stalker-y but even when he's at max creep factor, I still just want Buffy to love him. I melt when he looks at her all lovey-dovey, and he always comes through in the end. And he's a lot funnier than Angel.

Of course, nobody can comment on this, because anyone who's seen Buffy will be worried about giving away the future, and anyone who hasn't, well they stopped reading in the first paragraph. Plus they probably don't have a lot to say on the subject. So I'm not really sure what the point of any of this is. I guess it's just to purge some of the obsession from my brain? Thank goodness I only have another season and a half to go. Then life - and blogging - can get back to normal.

Edited to add: Aw, man! Seriously? The episode I watched RIGHT after posting this? Riley came back. And Buffy dumped Spike; she seemed pretty serious this time, different. Now I'm sad.

Wordless Wednesday: Autumn

grumpy gus



Monday, October 20, 2008


That boy whose picture I posted last time? You wouldn't know it from the picture, but he asked me to take it. He totally mugged for the camera, and I love his expressive forehead.

The first time I had my camera in the smoking area, he commented, "Nice camera." I thought, "Oh shit, he knows it's expensive. I'm busted." I said, "Thanks."

In retrospect I think he was trying to invite me to take his picture, but I didn't clue in, and I didn't want to intrude. We haven't really developed a friendship yet.

But last time I was shooting there, someone else suggested I take the boy's picture, and I said I'd love to, but I didn't want to approach him; again, I didn't want to intrude. Finally, he jerked his head at me and said, "Hey, why don't you take my picture."

So I did, with enthusiasm.

* * *

On Saturday at the Drop In Centre, I showed T. his pictures. I recounted his comments over at my other blog, but here's something I didn't say there. I told him that eventually I'd like to have enough pictures to make an exhibition or a book, and when I asked him if that would be cool with him he said, "Yeah, that's fine. It's like you're doing a family tree, like you're looking into your history."

I didn't know what to make of that. Maybe that is what I'm doing?

* * *

Another man always wears his headphones and sunglasses, like he'd rather not have any sensory input from this place. Apparently there is a no sunglasses rule at the Drop In Centre. I didn't know. But this man was finally coaxed out of his sunglasses, and his eyes were beautiful and alien. For months I've only known him with shades and headphones, and underneath he has brown eyes. He seems much friendlier with the shades.

He said something to me that I didn't quite hear. Something like, "You can tell you work up at the university." When I indicated I hadn't heard, he asked, "Do you ever go to the university?"

I said, "I went there back when I went to school there."

He asked me what I studied and I replied English.

He didn't say anything and walked away, having finished with the milk and sugar for his tea. I wondered if he studied there too, or what he thought of me. I've been getting more comfortable, letting big words come out of my mouth with more frequency. I suppose that's what he was getting at.

I've decided that it's ok for me to be rich. As long as I'm grateful and acknowledge the extreme good fortune I've had my entire life. If being poor isn't something to be ashamed of then surely being rich isn't either?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I went shooting at the Drop In Centre again, if you're interested... no obligation to click of course. If you are interested in this stuff, you might want to subscribe to my other blog, because I post more often than I link to from here. Mind you, I have been noticing a snafu on bloglines with my feeds there so it might not help... oh well.

As a teaser, here is a pic I didn't post over there because I didn't process it until today. I love it.


Monday, October 13, 2008


or, why I'm not voting conservative


Eight conservative signs in front of a four-car garage. Can you get any more excessive?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

we interrupt this hissy quit

Well, I'm coming out of my hissy quit (thanks for the perfect term, Mad) just to say this:

If you are not watching So You Think You Can Dance Canada, you should be. Even if you're not Canadian (although I have no idea how you'll find it...).

Tonight was the first night I wasn't aching to watch Buffy, or scheming how to fit in a little Buffy around the commercials or skipping other tv shows altogether. I suspect I have the sudden appearance of a 14-year-old sister of Buffy's to thank for that. I mean seriously? You didn't think we'd notice that we'd never seen her in the house before??? (Don't give me any spoilers -- I've only watched the first two eps of season 5.)

But back to SYTYCD Canada. Already, I don't want anyone to get eliminated, which has never happened to me in any of the four US seasons. The Canadian version is better than the American for a few others reasons. We got to the know the top 20 in the auditions, all 20 of them. I picked out Arassay, Bre, Dario and Nico as must makes from their very first auditions, whereas in the States, you often don't even see the first auditions of the top 20. And there were barely any assholes auditioning. AND there are several 29-year-olds competing. I'm quite certain there was barely anybody in the US competitions over 25. And French Canadians -- you can't get those in the States!

I have not felt this patriotic since I was probably 10. I mean, not only are the top 20 dancers all AWESOME, but the choreographers are awesome too. The contemporary piece tonight that Lisa and Vincent danced? Could rival ANYTHING from Mia Michaels. Who knew Canada had such a raging dance industry? I read somewhere that the Toronto auditions brought our more dancers than any city in the US. When you consider the fact that the US has ten times the population we do, it's incredible to even be in the same ballpark of absolute numbers, never mind hitting bigger ones.

So, if you're not watching, why the hell not? And if you are, who are your faves? Mine are Dario, Nico, Allie and Arassay.

Doh! [slaps forehead] I just realized that I could have VOTED last night! The most important benefit of the whole Canadian thing!