Sunday, March 30, 2008

Handy Girl

I just spent an afternoon staining, painting and staining some more. I think manual labor is underrated. There's something quite rewarding about hanging out in a theater's basement shop, darkening long strands of rope while quasi-dancing to horrible radio hits. If only the shop wasn't so cold....

If anyone wants to see some theater next weekend (preferably Friday night), call me. And I'll show you which pipes I painted. And maybe even introduce you to my favorite set designer.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


"The endless string of first dates is unlikely to result in a lasting relationship, but it can occupy a woman's attention enough to distract her from killing herself."

Shortly before Valentine's, this video made its way around my workplace. And since then, I've had numerous discussions on the topic of online dating. And I'm still uncomfortable with it. I've made lame excuses, scoffed at the idea of marketing yourself, pointed the geek finger (which really can't be justified, as I'm a blogger), and accused users of being desperate or misrepresenting themselves. I've known people who now live "happily ever after" thanks to this thing we call "the Internet," but I still can't wrap my little head around it.

Okay, so fear of rejection aside, I think I've somewhat figured out my discomfort, whether legitimate or not:
  • I want to be pursued. Filling out a profile feels like I'm doing the work. "You won't come to me? I'll come to you. With a comprehensive list of everything you might want to know." I'm all about the John Eldredge "dangerous" hero. And dangerous heroes don't email; they show up on horses, brandishing swords, screaming "Freedom!" Plus, as mentioned in the last blog, I don't know that I'm all that capable of capturing the essence that is Nadine in a single paragraph.
  • I want to trust God. I'm uneasy with the idea of spending inordinate amounts of time (mostly head time) obsessing over a future that God already has mapped out. I don't want to be taking matters into my own hands. Because, quite frankly, my hands suck. I don't want to set myself up for even greater heartache if God wants me to be single. Really, in the grand scheme of things, whether I have a date Friday night or not is pretty insignificant. And I can still love and be loved without an "other." Not that I'm dreaming of a life that's solo. I'd just rather watch a greater plan unfold than worry about a catchy screen name. Because, really, coming up with something like WitChickWonder83 will totally stress me out.
(The only real pull is the curiosity factor. I think it would be hilarious to have a group of friends all submit personality profiles on eHarmony and see if the site matches up people who already know each other).

I don't know. Maybe I'll soften to the idea. But not yet. It's the same reason I can't tell you how many single guys are at my church. Or if the guy at the pub is looking at me or past me. Because I don't hone my radar like that. I am rather content to wait out any season of discontent.* I don't know that I could pull a Ruth and lie at Boaz's feet. I'd rather he just notice me out in the field.
We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
We should be woo'd and were not made to woo.
Helena ~ A Midsummer Night's Dream
*The def'n of "content" here is subjective. Sometimes it just means "not suicidal." And yes, the radar does make the occasional appearance. In fact, it goes through stages of overuse and malfunction....

Sometimes I Feel Like a Blog

Work was extremely slow a few days ago, so I thought I'd blog. I ended up typing paragraph after paragraph of quasi-psychobabble that I'm not all that comfortable posting. Partly because I don't want to tell stories about other people, and partly because I've realized as of late that I am completely incapable of using words to accurately articulate my life. I can string together some pretty stunning/tragic sentences, but there's a good chance I'll look back at them and categorically deny what I've written. So unfortunately, my afternoon of words will remain unpublished. Until my memoir comes out.

I'm nearly recovered from the slight post-Vancouver jet lag (which wouldn't have been as big a deal had my apartment not been a sauna when I returned home. Chocolate in my cupboard had melted, that's how hot it was). So my first night back in Ontario was pretty much a write-off sleep-wise. But I slept for 11 hours last night, so all is now well. I've checked out my photos (a camera story will follow in the coming days, I promise), unpacked, and spent a little time contemplating all things life-related. At first I thought I was just infected with some sort of travel bug (not to be confused with the actual bug bite on my neck right now. So odd). But I don't think that's it. And I don't think it's just pure escapism from the daily grind I'm craving. There was something about nature and change and beauty and new friends and awkward conversations and quiet dreams that jump-started my brain a little. 2008 is the year for something new. For an adventure that's beyond just a WestJet flight or a 10-day escape from commas and IMDb.

I can talk a pretty good talk. About risk-taking, creative endeavors, living with no regrets. Failing beautifully. It's the follow-through that's lacking. The trick now is to reconcile my head and my heart while stepping aside and letting Someone Else take the lead.

I will share part of what I wrote earlier this week. And no, I won't expand. Because explaining is the muddled part. I feel as though I should be diagnosed with the symptomless brain cloud Tom Hanks suffers from in Joe Vs. the Volcano.

I went to bed quite contentedly last night. And then I awoke this morning in a state of complete befuddlement, almost a sleep-induced inebriation, doubting my capacity for logic and sanity. As if I had been binge drinking the night before in Vegas, completely unaware that Elvis married me to a stranger until waking up to find a ring on my finger.

Yes, I think about Elvis impersonators at 6 a.m.

(For the illiterate, the blog title is inspired by 1973's Sometimes I Feel Like a Blob.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Addictions

I blame Beth and Wendy.

IT Crowd glossary:
Aunt Irma = time of the month

I was very excited to go cereal shopping today....

Bret and Jemaine are officially my favorite New Zealand folk parody duo. Even though they're only the fourth most popular.

Two of my faves:

"Binary solo." Love it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Going, Going....

Below is a not-so-cryptic clue as to my plans for the next week and half. Pretend I'm a young man and Michael W. Smith is singing about me.

Ignore the interviews at the beginning. The only hidden meaning there is that the early '90s should not be revisited. It gets "good" after the one-minute mark.

The guy in the baggy yellow jacket with the tambourine has my dream job. Oh, that dance (see 3:07). How it makes me happy. So if you're a rock star/pop star/'80s Christian music icon, CALL ME. I'll work for food.

Saturday is Calgary.
Next Wednesday is Vancouver.
I'll be back after Easter.

Seacrest out.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Heart "Street Mission"

The year? 1978.
The band? U2.
The Edge? Awesome.
The Edge's hair? Even more awesome.
Bono? Rock-star ego first, rock-star talent second. Love it.
The verdict? Greatest. Band. Ever.

Was I this cool at 18? Not even close.

This was recorded two years after U2 formed (Yes, when Bono was only 16. How very Hanson). And two years before Boy was released. If I ever hang out with Marty McFly and Doc Brown, I'm going to go back to '78 Dublin and be a manager/producer. And then I'll invest my U2 money in Microsoft....

Thanks, Dad, for the link.


"Now, our people know you. Noble and common, they respect you. And if you would just lead them to salads, they'd follow you. And so would I."
~ Nadine, as William Wallace, to Food Basics.
The grocery store was out of green peppers. And red peppers.
The grocery store had lettuce. It was brown.

I picked up a head of wilting iceberg.
I seriously contemplated hurling it across the store.
A fight to the death. Or to better produce.
"Every man dies; not every man really eats fresh veggies."
And then I put it back. With a little more force than was necessary.

Healthy eating is stressful.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Adolescent Nostalgia

Legislated Nostalgia:
To force a body of people to have memories they do not
actually possess: "How can I be a part of the 1960s generation when I
don't even remember any of it?"
-- Douglas Coupland, Generation X

My grandmother recently found cards from my mom's 16th birthday. Inside one were the most hilarious prose I've ever read. Because you know that they were written in all seriousness. Maybe times have changed after all. I don't remember envying 17-year-olds' "smoothness."

This is what it said. Capitalization for emphasis is not mine. It's all in the card.


It's a time for looking young, feeling grown-up and being yourself. You can fuss with your hair for hours, spend endless moments over your choice of lipstick, and then go for a long walk in the rain bareheaded simply because you feel like it. You can like record collections, long telephone conversations and BOYS as intensely as you dislike clean sneakers, hanging up and your clothes and bring different from the rest of the crowd.

It's a time for wisdom of a very special kind. For learning the latest slang, the newest dance steps and how to read in the most uncomfortable-looking position.

It's a time for storing memories, the kind that the wilted corsage and the crumpled dance program will always help you to recall. You might have trouble remembering history dates, but you won't forget the date with the cute boy in your history class. You'll be reminded of how your head was in the clouds when he asked you, and how your heart was in your throat before he arrived. But afterwards it will be another happy memory added and another dream begun.

For SIXTEEN is a time for dream; that's part of its special sweetness. There'll be dreams of being famous, of writing a lovely poem, painting a gorgeous sunset, holding a theater audience spellbound. You might envy SEVENTEEN her poise and dream of having her smoothness, but don't forget that SIXTEEN is a magic age that is meant to be lived with eagerness and to be remembered with delight.
I also found this online. It's a reproduction of my mom's paper dolls I used to play with. I'm going to buy this one day. Maybe turn it into an art project of some sort. Retro movie-star cut-out fashions on my wall could be ├╝ber-chic. And nostalgic.

And there's this photo. A friend and I are each going to order one. I owned that dress. My last girlie vintage retrospective of the day:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

My Afternoon with Debra Winger

I cried today. Not an uncontrollable sob. Not a sniffling whimper. Just silent tears running down my face.

Terms of Endearment was on TV. I saw the film a couple years ago and it almost failed to move me. Almost. And then the end hit me, and I was done. This time was slightly different. The end hit me. And continued to hit me. And then nudged me a little.

[Spoiler alert. If you haven't seen Terms of Endearment -- it came out 25 years ago, people -- and don't want to know anything about it, don't bother reading. Not that I give much away. I'm just being careful.]

It's the movie that tops almost every tearjerker list. But it's not really as sentimental as most of the films those lists tend to promote. This wasn't about unrequited love. This was about a messy life. About messy relationships. About imperfect people slugging through their short existence, trying too hard and not hard enough at the same time.

Jeff Daniels (as Flap) is brilliant. He's sincere. He's a jerk. He's vulnerable. He's an absolute lughead. Which makes him real. I'm sick of movies that make men either princes or monsters. Because I don't know many of either.

Flap: I'm thinking about my identity, and not having one anymore. I mean, who am I, if I'm not the man who's failing Emma?

I don't have a complicated relationship with my mother. I'm not in a damaged marriage. My kids don't hate me. I'm not ill. But I'm human. I'm wildly imperfect. And I can't imagine saying goodbye.

So call me a sap. I don't care. It's far better to tear up over a little boy sobbing as he shuts the hospital-room door behind him than to waste an afternoon watching a crappy movie about the gorgeous girl getting the gorgeous guy. Pretty people attract each other! How shocking!

is certainly not the greatest film ever made, but there's a truth in it that still resonates today. People still love. They still fight. The strong still crumble. People still die.

I've decided that I want to die at the exact second everyone I know dies. So no one is left behind.

P.S. Jack Nicholson usually creeps me out. Probably because I'm in his dating age range. But by the end, my "No Nicholson" wall crumbled ever so slightly.

P.P.S. I will never invite a guy into my bedroom to look at a painting. Watching old people seduce each other is hilarious, but not really my thing. Which is why my bedroom walls are bare.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Daring Money: The Discussion Continues

A friend sent these to me months ago. And they still crack me up. And yes, they also challenge the idea that you can't dare money. Because they sort of do. My brother will be Ed when he grows up.


I didn't propose to anyone on February 29th. In fact, that day was one strange combination of nothingness and stressfulness. It was quite understandable why we typically skip that day. I did very little at work (bordering on nothing, that's how little) and then spent four hours on a bus in a snowstorm. Words like "bah" and "meh" started creeping into my vocabulary. Words that aren't even words. Bah.

And since no handsome stranger sat beside me, there was no proposing. But there's always 2012.

I was heading to Waterloo to go to a wedding. It was a rather lovely simple affair in which the bride and groom were totally themselves. Which, I think, is the trick. Who wants to see plastic people going through the motions? It was our first "house" wedding, meaning the groom came from upstairs. (He had been boarding with my parents for the past two years.) Oddly enough, for all my girlie romantic notions, I don't get jealous or wistful or weepy (unless it's a happy weepy) at weddings. I really do enjoy myself. Perhaps its because I like free food. And because I'm not quite spinsterish. Yet. The only painful moment was a rather dramatic cardigan-selecting affair the night before. I think I need to design clothes, as I don't like any that actually exist on the market. (And no, I didn't wear a cardigan after all). Shoot. Cardigan talk ups the spinster factor. I shall stop now.

My dad sent me this story last week (as a follow-up to my last post). My brother Joel frequently says, "I dare you $5." And then I argue that you can't dare money. It's an ongoing conflict that will never be resolved. But the following bet is also a dare, so I suppose that it is possible in certain circumstances. But not when Joel does it. Because brothers can't be right after I've already decided they're wrong.

An excerpt:

CALGARY - For Amanda Hodson, taking a friend's $40 bet that she couldn't kiss the next stranger to board their bus home from school was a no-brainer. Taking a husband in the deal was a little more unexpected.

Five years after the bet, Amanda and Brendan Miles - who happened to be that next guy to climb aboard the Calgary Transit bus - got married Saturday.

"I walked on the bus, she walked up to me and all of a sudden she was kissing me," Brendan said Saturday after the ceremony. "And I just said, 'this is great!', and so I kissed her back."

Right after snatching the $40 from her friend, Amanda offered to spend some of her winnings by taking Brendan for a coffee. The two found out they had more in common than a surprise smooch.

Love the story. Especially because it wasn't me kissing the stranger. It's almost chick-flick worthy, barely relatable (yet somewhat aspirational) to everyday transit folk who only dream of sitting next to THE ONE as they stare at the floor on their way to work. It wouldn't work if the guy was the kisser. He would be smacked, then sued. The city has made me a cynic.

And on that note, a painfully unromantic marriage proposal from the even-more painful autobiography How to Lose Friends & Alienate People:
"So why d'you want to marry me?"
"For proper, non-cynical reasons."
She stared at me incredulously.
"Thats the most romantic thing I've ever heard," she said.
By the way, he doesn't exactly get a "yes" right away with that one. Actually, he eventually gets an "okay." Which, to him, is the most romantic thing he's ever heard.