Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Hero

It wasn't quite the exoneration I was hoping for, but it's still worth smiling about.

Steven Truscott was acquitted today. And I did my happy dance.

For those new to the blog, I mentioned my respect for the man over a year ago. You can read it here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Dream

I hadn’t had a dream in a while. At least not one that stayed with me the following day. And then last night happened.

I wake up in my apartment, which is apparently now part of a duplex. I’m heading out the door. It’s a Sunday morning. I start to get into the back of a large van when I notice that the home across the street has burned down. Then I notice that the street is lined with emergency vehicles. It takes me a moment to realize that the other half of my duplex is also quite charred. No one thought to wake me or evacuate me, I suppose.

I am now standing up in the van; a firefighter approaches. He’s a sort of plump, jovial young guy. He tells me that houses are burning down. And then he asks for my number. Naturally, I tell him that I don’t typically give out my number to strangers. So he calls over the fire chief as a character reference. Seriously. I don’t know what to do, so I agree to give him my digits. As I fumble around for a piece of paper, he bends down and starts to draw shoes on my bare feet with a Sharpie. It hurts, but I ignore him and scribble my number on a scrap of paper. By the time I’m done, he’s wiped off the marker shoes completely.

Cut to hours later.

I’m back at home. No smoke damage in my half of the building. I get a phone call. It’s the firefighter, who asks me about my morning. I tell him about church, which almost instantly kills the conversation. All of a sudden, another voice is on the line; this time, it’s a guy asking me about Koinonia. I tell him I don’t go there very often.

The end.

Yep. That’s about it. Any Daniels or Josephs out there who want to do some interpretation, go right ahead. I think it’s pretty clear that A, I sleep through anything, including my street being engulfed in flames, and B, I’m not afraid to use church as a way to repel guys. Oh, and C, Sharpie shoes fit better than real shoes.

Things you may not know.

IMDb birthdays

Today is Gene Kelly’s birthday. Oh, Gene, if only you weren’t so old, womanizing and…dead.

To work at SDI, you must check the IMDb birthdays when you log on in the morning. No, this is not in the manual, but you will never rise above “menial spotter” without a quick browsing of celebrity birthdays. Nor will you be able to participate in heated office debates about the aging process of certain public figures. And if you do rise above your menial station without doing so, I will shun you.


We’re done. We’re like Ross and Rachel; we’re “on a break.” Except we won’t get back together, nor will I have his child. I’m just nervous that our break won’t be long enough. We only just finished the third season. There are so many more….


My brain is melting. Today, I tried to spell exhilarating. I spelled it “exhillerating.” The shame.


If you have a British accent, you are automatically far more brilliant than the general population. Watch the Harry Potter kids in interviews. They speak in complete sentences. Then watch American brats. Case closed.


I think there should be a ban on the word “literally” until people learn how to use it. Today, I had to subtitle this sentence:

My heart was literally jumping out of my body.

This is a lie. A coworker led me to this site. The blogger tracks the abuse of the word “literally” in various publications. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.


This is my wallpaper at work (below). Seeing Dawson crying/constipated every morning makes me smile.

That is all. Carry on.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Short stories. And even shorter almost-stories.

A Facebook Update

Upon rereading my last blog (does that make me sad, reading my own stuff?), I realized that a little bitterness can be interpreted if one so chooses. Don’t. I felt blessed on my birthday, I really did. And Facebook has reconnected me to a few long-lost friends. So while I’m not taking back the whole “it’s strange to be inundated with massive one-sentence birthday wishes,” I’m certainly not grumpy about it. Miss Giggles, that’s me. But the status thing still weirds me out a little….

The BBMW (The Boy Behind My Wall)

I will write a movie about him one day. Or a novel. The genre is yet to be determined.

Late at night, he plays his guitar. He tries to sing along, often just a little too loudly. And if I’m tired enough, I’ll contemplate sitting at my piano, joining him in a midnight duet. Perhaps we’re soul mates, separated by drywall.

Months ago, for a 48-hour stretch, hard rock blared from his apartment. I heard no signs of life apart from the wailing guitars. So I came to the logical conclusion that the music was his alarm clock. And he did not wake up. Or he was bleeding to death and was using his music as a cry for help; He turned up his stereo with his last ounce of strength, hoping someone would hear and come to his rescue. And no one would. His corpse would not be discovered for days. I would sleep with ear plugs in until the stench led me to complain to my landlords.

I am not the only one who thinks about the BBMW.

I came home from church yesterday to find a note slipped under my door. It read:

Hey Nadine,

It’s **** from upstairs. I tried knocking on your door but there was no answer. The reason I went down was to know if you heard the loud banging that persisted from 5:15 till 6ish in the “singing guy’s” apt.

I’m not complaining, just worried. It sounded like someone was trying to break in. What are your thoughts?

Call me.


I don’t live in fear, so I often find it difficult to relate to people who feed their worry or thrive on paranoia. But the BBTW scenarios highly amuse me, and I secretly hope that the girl upstairs continues to fear for him. Maybe the Greek mafia showed up to collect…uh, something.

A Little Bling

This morning, a coworker gave me the most gorgeous necklace for my birthday. She knew I wanted something turquoise (Girls talk about these things on lunch breaks. I would suck at being a boy. I’m not sure I’d have much to contribute to a-- Oh, yeah. Guys don’t talk while they eat), so she made me a rather exquisite piece of jewelry. Which means that if I’m ever famous, I will endorse her line of jewelry. Proudly.


I love him. And I want to be him.

I was almost late for a cheap matinee today, so I thought to myself, “WWJBD?” And the answer? RUN.

So I ran to the movies. I zigzagged through pedestrians, jumped over strollers, hailed a cab only to use its hood as a springboard for some pretty fantastic gymnastics, and made it to the wicket chic without a moment to spare. Not a drop of sweat. And no recollection of my day.

Best movie of the summer.

Bob Dylan

I’m Not There. It’s gonna be crazy. Hopefully crazy-good. Seven actors each embody a different aspect of Bob Dylan’s life and career. And Dylan himself has given this project the go-ahead.

Some pics have been released. I’m sucked in. My faves? Cate Blanchett and (big surprise) Christian Bale. I can feel award season coming….


My grandma called me this evening to wish me a belated birthday. While saying our goodbyes, we each said, “I love you.”

I don’t say “I love you” enough. And I only say it to the same few people, even though I happen to love significantly more.

Walker (it always comes back to Walker) is on the phone with a Russian cop. The cop is going undercover. He might not make it out alive. Walker mutters a few important instructions. The Russians signs off with, “Okay. Love you.”

If he can say it, so shall I.

I love you.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Facebook Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. It also happened to be my first birthday since I’ve been on Facebook. Which means that everyone I once hung out with at recess messaged me with one-sentence birthday wishes. No updates on their life. No real interest in mine. They just followed the Facebook etiquette of acknowledging the birthday update. (This is a bit of an exaggeration, as some people who messaged me are actual friends. Or family. Or friends of the family). One friend tried to send me a “Very Naughty Gift.” I’m assuming it’s not a toddler drawing on my wall with markers. So I don’t think I’ll accept it. I can see how she’s think I’d appreciate the risqué; I exude burlesque-dancer-in-training.

I have coworkers on Facebook. Because of this, four people wished me a happy birthday before 8:30 a.m. And I was given a rather fabulous Rolo chocolate cone as a gift. So I really can’t complain.

I’m still not sure what to think about Facebook. I think it knows too much. And as I’ve claimed that blogging kills conversation, in a fun twist, I will blog about a Facebook conversation I had last night. So if you were hanging out with me yesterday, you’ll find this redundant. You may read, just don’t expect any brilliant epiphanies.

I’m listed as “single.” This is a very true fact. And it’s not a fact I’m necessarily embarrassed by or feel the need to defend. I’m not going to go on some rant about how I’m just not looking for a relationship right now or any of that semi-untrue babble most of us have been guilty of spewing out as excuses for such a status. In some ways, the single status prevents friends I haven’t seen in eons from asking about my love life. At the same time, it makes me feel as though I’m one step away from online dating, with a profile that promotes me as single rather than just keeping people up to date on my life. The real problem is that I can never remove my status. People will ask questions. Every friend I have will see the notice that “Nadine Bells is no longer listed as single.” Which clearly means that they need to message me publicly and ask me about my new guy. And then I’ll have to respond that there is no one. As per usual. And that, my friends, is more embarrassing than being listed as single.

And why is there an “It’s complicated” status? Why would I tell you? Isn’t life always slightly complicated? Does it mean that I’m in love and he doesn’t know I exist? Does it mean that he forgot our anniversary and I’m just a little moody? Did he Facebook my high-school rival? Does it mean that he thinks we’re married and I’m pretty sure we’ve never been on a date? (Okay, so I know this last one to be true in the case of a lovely friend of mine, but even with her, the amusing status is lost on most of her friends who now probably just assume she’s fighting with a boyfriend she doesn’t have).

So I think I’ll stick with “single.” Unless I stop getting messages on my wall. And because I look to Facebook for validation, I’ll change my status to “engaged” (or “married,” for more of a shock) just to receive an onslaught of hilariously nosey messages. But I don’t want to give my parents, who are my Facebook friends, heart attacks. So then I’d have to warn my parents about the lie I’m about to announce to the world, and I’m not sure how well that would go over. So maybe I should just get married for real. At least I won’t be a liar (which is probably worse than being a wife. But I guess it depends on who you ask).

Oh, and in case you were wondering, you can get married in Colorado without an officiant or a witness. So technically you don’t even need vows, as no one’s there to hear them. So be careful if you’re signing any paperwork down there. You might think you’re signing a lease when you’re actually committing yourself to that person for life.

(This information comes courtesy of Beth, the all-knowing Vancouverite whose very presence at my birthday dinner last night was a gift in itself. Love.)

But I digress. Back to Facebook.

It’s easier to snoop on Facebook than it is on MySpace (which apparently continues to appeal to the working class, while Facebook has us “strivers” abandoning MySpace in droves. Yes, I read MSNBC.com) or in the blogging world. If my Friend A and Friend B are friends with each other, with one clever click, I can read their conversations. I can find out what they’re doing, where they’re going, how much fun they’re having in a world that doesn’t include me. This morning I realized that my messages to friends regarding my birthday could be quite isolating to other friends who interpret talk of birthday fun as disregard for their party-craving feelings. I suppose photo albums can do the same thing. But this doesn’t mean I’m going to stop posting. I’m just going to become less sensitive and try to offend my friends equally. So if I diss you on a friend’s wall, it’s just because I believe in equality.

Things to take away:

  • If I don’t post on your wall, I don’t mean to offend you. Posts aren’t necessarily a gauge by which you can measure my affection for you.
  • If I do post on your wall, I love you more than everyone else.
  • Just because my birthday is over doesn’t mean that I can’t go out for dinner with people. Or see movies. Or just party it up like it’s 1999. Which was a pretty crazy year for parties, I hear.
  • I live in Toronto. Come visit me. Consider this an open invitation.
  • I appreciate a “Happy Birthday,” but would appreciate actual conversation more. A combination of the two would be stellar.
  • Don’t forget me until next year.
  • Don’t send me naughty gifts. I will judge you :)
  • My mom once told me, “Don’t believe anything you read and only half of what you see.” This applies to relationship statuses on Facebook. Just ignore them. Unless I’m engaged. Then I expect gifts. Real ones, not the Facebook ones.
  • My dad posted this today. I believe it captures the spirit of Facebook.
  • Facebook promotes ADHD. I am losing more of my attention span each day.

Singin' in the Rain

This isn't the best song of the movie. Nor is it the best dance. But for the sake of the few friends out there who have yet to meet my dead boyfriend, Gene Kelly, this is the classic scene you have to know.

There will be a "Singin' in the Rain" party at my place in the near future. Maybe there will be umbrellas in the drinks. Too bad I know nothing about drinks....

P.S. The rain in this scene is milk. Water doesn't show up as well on camera.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Aardvarks Are Hip

Coolest guest-star news ever: Matt Damon is going to be on Arthur.
Man, I wish I was Bourne so I could be on Arthur.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How to break up with me. Amazingly.

I laughed out loud. Many times. If you can't handle a little language, steer clear of this one.

Best breakup line ever:
"You make me touch your hands for stupid reasons."

Breakup letter. The dramatic reading.

(You have to have the sound on, people).

These phenomenal grammar skills would certainly soften the blow of being dumped....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Long Weekend. Version 2.0

I gave myself a second long weekend. I’ve decided that I like 3-day workweeks, and now I need to find a company that will indulge my brilliant work ethic.

I’m tired. I find that weekends often require some sort of recovery, which defeats any relaxation purpose of time off work. But I don’t mind. It’s a good tired.


Friday was an 18-hour day. My mom and I arrived in St. Thomas quite early, spent a few minutes with the family doctor (yes, I think I need to find a Toronto-based one. It’s getting ridiculous, this distance thing), and then visited a couple of my mom’s friends. I really like her friends. I believe I once told her I like her friends better than mine. Not a completely untrue statement. These women are so down to earth and transparent; I could trust my life with them. One of the women we visited had recently been gifted with a baby grand piano, giving me the opportunity to unleash a little musical creativity while she and my mom chatted on the deck. I still can’t wrap my brain around being given a piano by a husband who thinks you might enjoy playing it once in a while. Maybe because I’d be quite happy with considerably less right now (and no, I will not list romantic gestures on a blog. It makes the job too easy for potential suitors who blogstalk before they initiate). Not that I’d reject my dream instrument….

Our day continued with a quick jaunt into Aylmer, which no longer feels like home. It’s an odd feeling, driving through, seeing familiar places and older versions of familiar faces but knowing you don’t belong there anymore. My mom did the Curves thing, while I did the read-a-magazine thing. I’ll probably end up in a Curves one day, swapping recipes, keeping abreast (I hate that word) of local happenings and toning up to a poppy Newsboys remix. But not yet. I think I have to be a suburban mom or something first.

We ended up in Stratford. My dream town. I would almost consider quitting my job just to pump gas there. That’s how much I love it. After window shopping and dinner at a local favorite, Tango, we ate ice cream cones as the sun set, and then changed into slightly more formal attire in a Tim Horton’s bathroom. I’m not sure how many restaurant restrooms I’ve changed in in my life, but there have been quite a few. Superman had a phone booth, I have a stall.

We saw The Merchant of Venice at the Festival Theatre. I need not tell you that I have a crush on Shakespeare. The show was pretty great, Graham Greene was quite impressive (he’s the Academy Award-winning actor from Dances with Wolves, for those of you who only watch movies), and the costumes still don’t make sense to me. The eras and styles and textures were all so confused, it was like watching a schizophrenic textile theme unfold beneath the play’s already multiple themes and plot lines. But I loved it. Because I love theatre. And because I not-so-secretly wish I was on that stage, spewing off iambic pentameter into the darkened theatre.


Saturday was a low-key day with a walk to the grocery store, a little baking and salad-dressing making, reading on the front porch, and planning for today. My mom and I went for a long walk in the evening. Every time I go for a walk on a beautiful summer evening, I am only reassured that I don’t really want a license. I just want my legs to keep working.


I didn’t go to church. Don’t tell anyone :). We packed up mid-morning and headed to my aunt and uncle’s place to celebrate my grandma’s 79th birthday. As my own birthday is approaching (no hint of any kind intended), a few gifts for me were passed around, including a gift bag with an earwig in it. Such are the joys of country living, I suppose. My coworkers think I have an idyllic 1950s-sitcom-esque family, and I can’t completely disagree. I mean, we do go on hayrides at Thanksgiving, celebrate birthdays multiple times a year, sing Christmas carols and play party games at Christmas, and talk on top of each other enthusiastically and passionately, clearly enjoying each other’s company. We’re the poster family for anti-dysfunction.

I chatted with my 12-year-old cousin for a while today. She wants to be a novelist. Her wide-eyed and innocent enthusiasm for her future quite inspired me. And made me slightly nostalgic for the days when I felt the same. Now I’m trying to prevent the “pre-nostalgia” (Douglas Coupland is responsible for the term) that comes with knowing that I may one day be nostalgic for the endless possibilities that the life I’m currently leading still holds.

I also spent a considerable amount of time with my cousin who’s a married mom of two in Calgary. Coincidentally, she was at the exact same church service as I was like weekend (at MBC), but we completely missed each other. Her children are precious. And while I won’t quite admit to an “itching womb” (as one coworker would call it), a baby smiling at you is a pretty powerful thing. As is a child’s grip on your necklace.

So now I’m tired and slightly dreading my 6 a.m. wake-up call tomorrow, but still refreshed from spending time with family and inspired by both Shakespeare and a little girl’s dream to be a writer.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Chuck Norris is breaking up with me.

I’m at work right now, trying to concern myself with accurate transcription and comma placement (like any responsible subtitler), but my video has mysteriously disconnected, making the task impossible. Unless I choose to randomly invent what happens next. Which could be quite entertaining. At least to me.

Moments before our media crash, I was watching Walker hurl a knife into a man's midsection. Asked how he distinguished the man from a crowd of illusions, he coolly responded, "Illusion doesn't sweat." His deadpan could give Horatio Caine a run for his syndication money. (I also converted a file in which Trivette is reading one of Chuck Norris' books. And naturally, Walker has never heard of Chuck Norris. Oh, how the inside jokes slay me. My profs would have called the episode's writing "masturbatory," but my virgin fingers are not suited to type such vocabulary).

And so I will quasi-blog (typing now, posting later).

As a side note (you probably hate these, but too bad), for the bloggers out there, do you ever skim over your past blogs and feel as though they're not a very accurate representation of your life? I have no idea how a complete stranger would read this. Do I come across as a rather superficial, self-absorbed spinster or as a quirky observer with far too much pop-culture trivia infecting my brain? Are my umbrella issues charming or downright disturbing?

Now to the real thing.

Cottage-y Goodness.

Sometimes a weekend away inspires a detailed transcription of oddball conversations and a chronological timeline of events. Not this time. In fact, I had such a great weekend at Tim's cottage that I don't really feel like trying to capture much with words. Listing off my reading choices and corn-on-the-cob consumption just doesn’t seem to do justice to the experience. And since I don't have a digital camera, there's nothing to show you by way of images either.

It's easy to forget how isolated I can be in Toronto. I have some great friends and coworkers here, but there's certainly a kind of fellowship that falls victim to Nadine's single-in-the-city adventures. I can go out for dinner or watch a movie with you, but there are very few opportunities where I feel it's absolutely safe to be me. Where I can drop the independent-woman act and just be real. Both in a vulnerable, pour-out-my-heart kind of way and in a Nadine-is-going-to-be-stupid-today kind of way. And the cottage let me pour out my heart stupidly :)

Hanging out with single people who think about one day being not single, and are actually honest enough to admit it, is refreshing. Conversations that flow from the status of today's church to strategic tattoo placement actually inspire me (not to get a tattoo, mind you. It is much less permanent to just admire them on other people and grow up to be a grandma with unmarked shoulder blades). I felt like I genuinely got to know people better (or for the first time), and will hopefully not have to wait until next year's cottage adventure for the sequel to my weekend. Oh, and I think I should write more.

This just in:

A note from my administrator: Walker has been canceled for the time being. I am seriously questioning my purpose in life. I'm also wondering why I never participate in the midday stretch at the opposite end of the office. A daily side bend might do me wonders.

Back to those compound modifiers….