Sunday, January 31, 2010

The joys of facebook, part 57.

This weekend the watermain for my building broke and we had no water for a day. Imagine waking up on a Saturday morning, hungover like a sunburned Mexican in the street, stumbling to the kitchen with a handful of advil in one hand and a glass in the other, twisting the tap, and:

HISSSSSSSSSSSS

Just air.

Other perks included not being able to brush my teeth or shower or make coffee, and worrying that the cat would dehydrate and die.

I changed my facebook status to moan about my situation, and I got a few pitying comments from friends and my sister.

Then I went to the gym, showered at BadInfluence’s house, and got drunk at SpongeBath’s.

When I woke up this morning (with water, thanks be to jebus) I had a new comment on my status.

We have a spare room with a king size bed and your own bathroom with hot and cold running water that's yours if you want it. And .......I would love to see you again. My heart has been aching to have you and TigerCat part of my life again.
- CoorsLight

CoorsLight, my ex step father who hasn’t tried to contact me in over 5 years. CoorsLight, who ruined my childhood and stole my college fund. CoorsLight, who made me hate gingers. CoorsLight, whose father – my childhood grandfather – used to come over and watch me suntan in my bikini in the backyard, from behind a curtain in the living room, when I was 13. CoorsLight, who got busted for having child porn on his computer while he was raising us. CoorsLight, who stole my Nintendo and kept it locked in his bedroom so I couldn’t play it. CoorsLight, who kept porn poorly hidden around the house, so poorly hidden that by the time I was 9 years old I knew what a gang bang looked like. CoorLight, who changed the locks on our house so that I had to break in through my own bedroom window just to pack my belongings in a laundry hamper and go live with my Dad for the summer while him and my mom ended their marriage, which he had pretty much already ended when he started fucking his dental hygienist.

CoorsLight. CoorsLight. COORS fucking LIGHT.

Right on my facebook wall. For the world to see. His heart aches. He wants me to live in his house, which he bought with the money he stole from my grandparents.

If you’ve ever wondered why I drink, this is a pretty big fucking clue.

CoorsLight.

I miss the good old days, when only my ex-boyfriend's mother, or old one night stands from Lagos used to post comments.

Thanks again, facebook.

ThePeach

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TigerCat has a bad night

TigerCat is having a quarter-life crisis. She can't find work in Universitytown so she's jobless and bored, but she can't leave because CockDoc has one and a half more years of training. When she called tonight she was feeling a little...special. Here are some gems:

"Universitytown is a fucking vortex. Suddenly it’s three years later and I have no career and I hate my life. I feel like I’m waiting for something but I don’t know what. But I do know the longer I wait, the bigger my ass gets.”

“I just hate Universitytown and – ooh! I found a fox in my facebook fairyland garden!”

Poor sister.

ThePeach

ThePeach writes things; kills self

Ola,

I haven't slept since Saturday, I spent the last 3 days straight in the radio room making a documentary, I'm out of printer toner, all I eat is crap cafeteria $8 salads, and I want to kill myself.

That said, I haven't updated in a while. So here's some shit I wrote. A profile. Names changed.

Oh hey I just ran out of time to shower. This is not a life, people.

ThePeach

***

The woman’s wrist is swollen, red and bent to the side. A small bump of bone pushes under the tight skin like a hill.

Dr. B.W. gently holds her elbow and tells his junior resident, Dr. M.H., to grab her fingers.

“Your only job is to tell us if you’re in any pain,” W. says to the grey-haired woman lying on the gurney.

And then he nods at H. and the two of them start to pull hard in opposite directions. W. lunges to the side, putting all of his weight into pulling this woman’s elbow. At the same time he runs one hand up and down her arm, feeling the bones move, guiding them back together. Finally he tells H. to grab the gauze and the strips of plaster.

She’s ready for her cast.

It’s 7 p.m., 12 hours since W.’ shift started.

W., 34, is an orthopedic surgery resident at the CapitalCity Hospital’s Civic Campus. He’s in his third year of residence, seven years into medicine, and two years away from a permanent staff position. At this stage in his career W. is a work-horse, pulling overnight shifts on top of day shifts, barely eating, rarely sleeping, and learning from his seniors while teaching his juniors.

He’s a middle-man, a resident but not an attending physician, a doctor but not a certified specialist, both a student and a teacher.

And as of tonight W. has worked 15 days back-to-back.

Long hours and juggling multiple roles can subject hospital staff to “unsustainable” levels of stress and burnout, researchers at CapitalCity University say. In a study released earlier this month, they warned that health care workers can suffer poor physical and mental health, conflict between family and work lives, and declining personal relationships. The study confirms that health-care workers are among the most stressed, overwhelmed and burned-out workers in the country.

But W. smiles and cracks jokes as he tenderly wraps the woman’s wrist with wet strips of plaster. The woman smiles back as W. runs his hands up and down the wet cast. He dips his hands in warm water and shapes the plaster like he’s molding a vase on a pottery wheel.

“I just accept this is how my life is going to be for the next few years,” W. says as he examines the woman’s X-rays half an hour later. His hands are caked in plaster and his shoes are stained with blood.

“It’s part of the price we pay for this short period of training.”

He runs his index finger over the white bones on the lit screen, the wrist now firmly encased in a plaster cast.

“See how the radius curves into the scaphoid?” he says to H..

“It looks good. We can send her home.”

His pager beeps. Someone else has broken a bone.

W.’ life is bones – realigning them, splinting them, sometimes removing them. He pores over their images, looking for cracks and bends in what should be smooth and straight. He snaps photos of some of the more traumatic X-rays and takes them home to examine them again and again – over dinner, while he studies, before he goes to sleep.

Tonight in the resident library he takes a photo of a spine snapped in two, the top piece overlapping with the bottom thanks to a skiing accident this afternoon.

The patient is only 34 years old. The same age as W..

“He’s paralyzed,” W. says as he frames the X-ray in the screen of his iPhone. He clicks the capture button.

“Poor bastard.”

W. admits he doesn’t have much of a life outside of work. He usually wakes up at 5:30 in the morning, skips breakfast and is in the hospital an hour later. He might eat a peanut butter sandwich for lunch if he has time. If he doesn’t have to work overnight then he cooks himself a light dinner in his bachelor apartment on Preston Street. He lives alone despite the nurses’ best intentions to set him up with eligible women.

“Relationships have come and gone and not all of them have understood,” W. says.

“It’s difficult when people aren’t used to the lifestyle we have or haven’t really seen it before other than on TV. They find it a bit of a shock.”

But his family and friends are supportive, W. says. He grins and says sometimes he has time to meet his friends at a pub to watch football, but only on his rare days off.

His mother and three younger siblings live in the city and they get together for dinner whenever they can. He says he’s always been close with his family – closer since his father died this summer after a long illness.

His pager beeps and W. strides out the door, back towards the emergency room.

H., W.’ junior resident, says W. doesn’t seem to let the stress of the job get to him.

“B. is consistently calm, cool and relaxed,” H. says of his mentor.

He adds that W.’ patients warm up to him very easily.

A few minutes later W. wraps a shoulder sling around a woman in her seventies whose tissue-paper skin hardly covers her bones. W. jokes that she gets a special sling because she’s a special patient. She bats her eyelashes.

At 9 p.m. W. has a few minutes between cases. He hurries down the carpeted hallway of the main floor in search of dinner and, more importantly, coffee. He walks briskly in his blue scrubs, eyes focused on the turn that will lead him to the Second Cup stand. He rounds the corner.

Closed.

“One thing I would change about the hospitals in Ottawa,” W. says as he turns around and hurries back toward the cafeteria, “is that there are no all night coffee shops.”

“But at least I can get a crappy cafeteria coffee. Maybe some food.”

He rounds the corner.

Closed.

W. chuckles and pulls a protein bar out of his shoulder bag. He tears the wrapper and pops one chocolaty end into his mouth.

“I guess tonight this is my dinner.”

Before he was a bone man, W. was a muscle man. He worked as a personal trainer for three years. He says he still goes to the gym as often as he can, but not as much as he’d like. The health of his own body is important to him. He knows he needs to eat more, get out more and rest more.

“If I saw myself as a patient I would certainly tell myself to get more sleep,” W. says as he chews.

“But it’s just not possible right now.”

His pager beeps. W. quickly swallows another bite and hurries toward the emergency room.

There are more bones to be set.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The joys of facebook; life

I wrote a quick status update this morning on facebook. I’ve been working on some freelance articles and have been struggling with writer’s block (or “I’m lazy and obviously need to watch 12 episodes of The L Word”-block), so I wrote a joke-ish update about how much I’ve been procrastinating:

I've washed the dishes, cooked everything in the fridge, cut the cat's nails, gone through my banking statements, updated my ipod, organized my recycling...I guess it's time to start writing. Unless you think of anything else I should be doing. Is it too early for taxes?

Two people commented:

1) FauxHawk’s mother (“Yes, it is. Are you moving?”)
2) The Irish bartender from Lagos (“Visiting me?”).

All I need now is maybe an ex-boyfriend, or my own mother, or maybe Stella the stripper and the circle of awkward will be complete.

Seriously, facebook.

Seriously.

ThePeach

Thursday, January 07, 2010

ThePeach is Truman; Scared

Do you ever feel like your life is some kind of ridiculous television sitcom, and everyone is in on the joke but you?

Wow, that makes me sound like a schizo.

Seriously, though. Sometimes my life plays out in such perfect irony, such timely hilarious misfortunes, such metaphoric events, that I can’t help but wonder if someone is scripting it.

Take yesterday. If I were the sitcom writer, I could call yesterday “Better luck next time!”

Team B:
The day started with my 8:30am full day radio workshop. It’s a fun class, despite the workload. The first thing that happened is that we got assigned into production teams. There are three teams and about 24 students.

All week, MC had been giving me a hard time (in a loving way…I think) about how our class schedules worked out this year. Because our class is divided into print versus broadcast streams now, and because we each choose 2 out of 4 workshops to take in varying semesters, and because we take different electives and TAships, it works out that it’s possible to have zero classes together with some of our classmates. Like HotMess, for instance. I have barely seen her this year, and it hurts my heart. Liver is functioning better, though.

But this semester I somehow have every single class with MC. Every single one, including our elective and our TAship. It’s some kind of fluke mishap, and she jokes (jokes?) that she’s going to kill me after about two weeks. There’s only so many times she can lead me blindly to our classroom, tell me when things are due, and hold my hand throughout assignments. And listen to me whine on our walk to school. Oh yes, I’m going to be punched. For sure.

But in our radio class, since we work mostly in our teams, I reassured her that we would just be on different teams and it would be like we don’t have the class together because we wouldn’t see each other all day. This seemed to mollify her.

Until we got put on the same team.

Our names were picked out of the hat one after the other, so for a brief moment we both thought she would go on the next team. It’s what would have made sense.

Instead the prof thought for a moment, and then added her name under mine on team B.

I looked at her cautiously.

She had the wide MC rage eyes. She shook her head, teeth clenched, and said she was going to fucking kill me.

I giggled nervously.

Sources, part 1:
I’m working on two freelance stories for the major newspaper chain right now. I have a ton of interviews to do, and I used all my breaks yesterday to attempt to call my sources.

First, a word on sources: some of them are lovely, charming people to talk to, and go out of their way to get you the interview (and get their name in the paper).

Some of them are goddamn jackasses who make you jump through hoops and kiss their asses just to get a 5 minute phone interview about parenting styles. PARENTING STYLES, you stuck up asshole!! YOU ARE NOT STEPHEN HARPER, YOU ARE NOT EVEN IMPORTANT, JUST ANSWER MY GODDAMN QUESTIONS AND GET BACK TO MASTURBATING. God! Jesus!

Guess which kind I was dealing with yesterday?

Actually, no. First I had a lovely interview with a child psychologist in Montreal. It was quick, to the point, she was clear and friendly, and she agreed to have her photo taken. Cut. Print.

And then I started trying to get a hold of the family counsellor in Vancouver. I needed this specific family counsellor, otherwise I would have called someone less, oh, pedophilic sounding. Seriously, I have never felt more uncomfortable just from hearing someone’s tone of voice. In the three minutes that we briefly talked, he made me feel like I needed a bleach and brillo shower.

Here’s our convo:

ThePeach: Hello, Mr. Counsellor. I’m a reporter with the major newspaper chain. I’m writing a story on parenting. Is now a good time to ask you a few quick questions?
Mr. Counsellor: *breathes* I used to be a journalist.
ThePeach: Oh, wow. With who?
Mr. Counsellor: *breathes* …what?
ThePeach: Um, with who? Who were you a journalist with?
Mr. Counsellor: *breathes* oh…just…things. Print things. In English.
ThePeach: Oh…kay. So, can I just have five minutes of your time to quickly ask you some questions?
Mr. Counsellor: *breathes* Yes. But not now.
ThePeach: Oh. Would you like to set up a time, then?
Mr. Counsellor: How about 5pm my time?
ThePeach: Sure. I’ll call you at 5pm, pacific time.
Mr. Counsellor: *breathes* Bye.

Ok, so I had an interview set for 8pm. It would be a bit of a rush to get home in time for it, but I would do it.

I also tried to set up an interview with this major hotel. I talked to two PR people (bless their helpful hearts), and they assured me the director would call me asap. I kept my phone glued to my side.

Exercise:
Spaz, MC and I were super excited for our first cardio kickboxing class of the new year. I stayed on campus after my class got out at 3 so that I could just walk over to the gym later. I milled around in the journalism building, calling sources, checking facebook, and wondering if the cat had pooped in my bed.

At 5 we walked over to the gym, lugging our running shoes and stretchy pants.

Then we found out the class actually starts next week.

Like, jesus. Fine. FINE.

So instead we just worked out in the cardio room. I rowed and stairmastered. I hoped my ass was shrinking.

In the 40 minutes that I was separated from my phone, the major hotel called back.

By the time I got the message, the director had already gone home for the day.

Perfect.

Sources, part 2:
I rushed home after the gym to make my 8pm interview. I didn’t even shower off the stairmaster sweat, opting instead to just throw on a baggy sweatshirt and marinate. I scarfed down the tiniest and quickest dinner so that I wouldn’t hallucinate while I was on the phone. At 8 on the nose, I called Mr. Counsellor and got the world’s creepiest answering machine.

Ok.

I left a message. Tried again 5 minutes later.

World’s creepiest answering machine.

15 minutes later.

30 minutes later.

By 9:30 I realized that the fucker had blown me off. Jesus H Christ.

So I quickly ran downstairs to watch an episode of Cougar Town with MC.

In the 30 minutes that I was away from my landline, Mr. Counsellor called me back.

FUCK. FUCK!

I immediately called him and got the world’s creepiest answering machine. I left another message. Called three more times. Swore.

By this time I was exhausted. I spent the next two hours trying to start writing one of my articles, and intermittently calling Mr. Counsellor like a crazed ex-girlfriend.

At midnight I gave up and passed out. I set my alarm for 6am so I would be productive before I had to go spend the day TAing with MC.

Sources, part 3.
At 2am my phone rang.

I woke up with a start. So did the cat, who flew off my stomach in a fear-fit and galloped out the door.

I don’t even remember picking up the phone. All I remember is waking up at 2am to the creepiest voice in the world.

Mr. Counsellor: *breathes* Hi, Peach.
ThePeach: What? Huh? Mom?
Mr. Counsellor: *breathes* is this a good time?
ThePeach: What? Um? *looks at call display* Oh. Hello.
Mr. Counsellor: Your message said I could call you anytime. Your message said you’d be at your desk late.
ThePeach: …yes. But now is not the best time, as it is 2am.
Mr. Counsellor: *breathes* are you in…bed?
ThePeach:…perhaps we can schedule an interview for tomorrow?

I was actually seriously disturbed when I got off the phone. First of all, I had been in the deepest of sleeps when he called, so I was still confused. Then, in my semi-conscious state, I decided he was probably a sociopathic killer and was stalking me. I got up to make sure the chain was on the door. I hid in bed, convinced I was about to be ass-raped.

Just when my heart rate came back down, the cat dove back onto the bed, still enraged.

He flew at me like a rabid bat, biting any exposed flesh until 3am.

Eventually we both passed out and slept fitfully.

I woke up at 9am, the morning news blaring for the past 3 hours.

Fuck fuck fuck.

So, that was “Better Luck Next Time!”

Tune in later for “Ass-rape is no laughing matter” and tomorrow for “MC punches ThePeach in the face.”

ThePeach

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Maybe the best thing ever; at least it wasn't Milo

I was on my way to night class yesterday and I had just stepped out of the elevator in my lobby.

A blonde girl about my age was checking her mail, and she had a teeny little poufy dog with her, approximately the size of my foot. Before I could say anything, and before she could look up, he trotted happily into the now empty elevator.

“YOUR DOG!” I shouted as the doors closed behind him.

“WHAT??!!” she screamed, looking around frantically as I pushed the button.

Then the elevator started going back up.

Second floor, third floor…

“Um, your dog is in that elevator.”

“OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!!”

We pressed all the buttons. Spaz walked out of the elevator on the far left.

“What’s going on??”

“Her dog is in that elevator! Alone!”

Fourth floor, fifth floor…

“OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!”

Spaz and I started giggling. We couldn’t help it. We kept pressing the buttons.

Sixth floor, Seventh floor. Stop.

“OH MY GOD, WHAT IF HE GETS OUT??!”

She started sprinting toward the stairs.

“Wait!” Spaz said, pointing at the elevator.

Sixth floor, fifth floor, fourth floor…

Spaz and I are now falling into each other with suppressed laughter. The girl is wringing her wrists and pressing the button.

Third floor, second floor, ground floor…

“OH FUCK, WHAT IF IT GOES TO THE FUCKING BASEMENT??”

And then the doors opened. The teeny dog was sitting demurely in the middle of the elevator, perfectly calm.

Spaz and I screamed with laughter.

The dog trotted back out, his tail wagging.

“OH, THANK GOD!!”

MC came out of the stairwell at that moment and looked at us like we were lepers.

“What are you DOING??”

I gestured to the teeny dog.

“He had a little adventure.”

And then we went to class.

End scene.

ThePeach

Monday, January 04, 2010

Back to school: Day 1

It's the first day of my last semester, and already I:

- slept through my alarm for 90 minutes
- got a threatening call from Rogers about my late bill payment
- tried to sign up for cardio kickboxing ($45)
- had my credit card declined trying to sign up for cardio kickboxing
- used a friend's credit card to sign up for cardio kickboxing
- ate Kraft Dinner. Entire box. Spirals. Sometimes a bitch has to treat herself.
- spent the entire day making phone calls for a story. No one called back until 5 minutes before my 6pm class started.
- Ate a small ham sandwich for dinner.
- shit my pants when my professor brought up how many "heart-breaking" factual errors were in our last batch of assignments. Can't be sure, but am fairly certain she made eye contact with me.
- did phone interviews all night.
- considered drowning my bitch of a cat when he howled through my entire interviews. Working from home. Not ideal. Here, kitty.
- don't have time for life.

Gah. Why. No. Stop the madness.

ThePeach

Sunday, January 03, 2010

A Very Beatles Breakup

If my relationship with FauxHawk had a soundtrack, it would be The Beatles complete score. Every song, from the early pop to the last Paul McCartney single.

I already loved The Beatles when FauxHawk and I met, but he is actually obsessed. His apartment is a shrine to the Fab 4, right down to the collector’s dolls on his bedside dresser.

Have you ever woken up to a plastic John Lennon? It’s creepy.

Our very first date (actual date, not the slimy bar hookup the week prior) consisted of getting drunk on his couch while he played the entire White Album and gave me the history to each song.

We’ve seen Paul McCartney live. I can tell you which song “My Sweet Lord” supposedly plagiarized. I know that “Across the Universe” was once the theme song for the World Wildlife Fund. I know how many takes Ringo needed to hit that last note in “With a little help from my friends.” He’s not a natural singer, that one.

But what do I do now with all this useless knowledge?

Answer: use it for evil.

A while ago I was listening to my playlist and started thinking that our breakup could be described solely with The Beatles lyrics. I think it’s fitting, in a ‘stab you with your own weapon’ type of way. It’s kind of like a new age poetry slam, but without the unwashed hair and latent homosexuality.

And I am very aware how incredibly lame this is, by the way. It’s cathartic, bitches.

So, here we go. Six months of breakup, from the phone call on Canada Day where he dumped me, to fucking with my head and not wanting to let me go and swooping in with declarations of love every time I started moving on (even though he was already moving on, fuck you very much), to today, when I told him that we need to stop being friends because it’s clear he just wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

I've arranged it like a convo between the two of us, one line per person. He starts. Giddyup!

You say yes, I say no.
Don’t let me down.
You say stop, and I say go, go, go.
Don’t let me down.
I’m so tired, I don’t know what to do.
All you need is love.
I’m so tired, my mind is set on you.
Love is all you need.
Goodbye, bye, bye, bye, bye.

When you told me you didn't need me anymore, well you know I nearly broke down and cried.
Nothing’s gonna change my world.
When you told me you didn't need me anymore, well you know I nearly fell down and died.
Nothing’s gonna change my world.

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces.
Something in the way she moves, attracts me like no other lover.
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here.
Something in her smile, she knows, that I don’t need no other lover.
Here comes the sun. And I say it’s alright.
I don’t want to leave her now. You know I believe and how.
Sun, sun, sun here it comes.

Why don’t we do it in the road? Why don’t we do it in the road?
What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?
Why don’t we do it in the road? Why don’t we do it in the road?
How do I feel by the end of the day (are you sad because you’re on your own?)
Why don’t we do it in the road? Why don’t we do it in the road?
Could it be anybody? I just need someone to love.
No one will be watching us.
I want somebody to love.

And when I touch you, I feel happy inside.
Happiness is a warm gun.
It’s such a feeling that my love, I can’t hide.
Happiness is a warm gun (bang bang, shoot shoot).
I wanna hold your hand. I wanna hold your hand.

(If you drive a car car) I'll tax the street. (If you try to sit sit) I'll tax your seat
But when you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out?
(If you get too cold cold) I'll tax the heat. (If you take a walk) I'll tax your feet
But when you want money, all I can tell is brother you’ve got to wait.
‘Cause I’m the taxman. Yeah, I’m the taxman.
Love is all you need.

You say yes, I say no.
Got to get you into my life.
You say stop, and I say go, go go.
Got to get you into my life.
Good bye, bye, bye, bye, bye.
I was alone, I took a ride. I didn’t know what I would find there.
Good bye, bye, bye, bye, bye.
Another road where maybe I could find another kind of mind there.
I’ve been in love before and I found that love was more than just holding hands.
Got to get you into my life. Got to get you into my life.
I couldn’t stand the pain. If I fell in love with you.

Trala! Congrats to anyone who made it all the way through. I feel like a dirty, earnest, emo hippy. I’m going to go have a shower. Maybe get solo drunk. Maybe have sex.

I am not your back-pocket, almost perfect, can’t let you go but don’t really want you, temporary stand-in.

Ka-pow! Time to get loaded.

ThePeach

Saturday, January 02, 2010

FML

My blog uses content-based advertising. Basically, they pick ads that match the kind of things I talk about.

Earlier today my ad was "How to keep a man in love with you."

Now it's "free knitting patterns."

Even the marketers have given up on me.

ThePeach

Friday, January 01, 2010

A good start

Did I really...

Ring in the new year with a Cherokee Indian, get up on a stripper stage and let a stripper ride me from behind, get two lap dances from a stripper named Stella, make out with Spaz at midnight, eat and then vomit poutine, do shots of jack daniels in order to get a beaded necklace from a man with an afro, fall face first into MCs door, almost get kicked out of a cab from Spaz smoking in it, and wake up with a purse full of 50 hand-rolled contraband cigarettes?

And this is all I can remember right now. I'm sure more will come to me when I finally sober up.

Happy 2010. I need some advil.

ThePeach