Tuesday, May 24, 2005

For the last week I've been noticing for the first time how bad the dark circles under my eyes have gotten. It's now been over a year since they showed up for good, fuelled by long days and not much sleep. First it was construction last summer, where I stayed up late to get things done. That was 4-5 hours of sleep a night most nights. Then the schoolyear started, and since I didn't have to get up at six every morning, I didn't have to go to bed until 2, 3, or even later.

I've found myself sleeping a bit more these days, but not much. Not enough to shrink the circles, though. It just hit me that the average person I know, at school, work, or on the street, has never seen me without these dark circles; they're just part of who I am.

It scares me that I've gotten this bad, that my sleep is that unhealthy, but I know it's not going to get better any time soon unless I make it.

So goodnight.

Monday, May 02, 2005


Sunday afternoon, my dad came in and said he had something for me on the counter. What he had were a sock and a small steel mounting bracket for a shelf that were left in the back of the van on saturday. The former belongs to Rachel's father, and the latter to Rachel herself. I knew Rachel would need the bracket, and I knew I had no need for such a freakishly small sock, so I drove off tonight to return both. This is what followed:

Kate: (answering the door) Hey
Me: Hey (holding up the sock). This was left in my van on saturday
Kate: I... don't think that's ours.
Me: It is. (Now, what I have said next was, "IT SURE DOESN'T BELONG TO ME OR ANY OF MY FAMILY, OUR FEET ARE NORMAL SIZES, but since that doesn't typically go well:) It's your dad's. We used it to cover an edge.
Kate: I... don't think I want to touch that. (chuckles a little)

At this point her dad and mum comes out, and her mum also chuckles and tells me they really didn't need the sock.

Oh boy. Awkward. I don't want them to think I'm a weirdo. I am, but that doesn't mean they need to know about it. It'd come out eventually I'm sure, but it's nice to be normal for a little bit in somebody's mind. Okay. So how do I fix this?

Me: I'd just feel weird about keeping something like this... (holding out my arm as I let the sock slip out enough that it's no longer scrunched up in my hand) About... as weird as I do holding it right now.

Laughter all around. Bingo.

So now I say I'm off to the pool to meet Rachel and give her the bracket, and we say our goodbyes. Her dad asks me to wait, and like on saturday he holds out his hand as if to shake it. Again, like Saturday, there is a ten dollar bill in it. I guess he really did mean it when he said he'd have given me more. Awkward again. What can I do? Why, jump off the porch, chuckle, and politely decline while moving the other direction, of course.

I never said I was a pro.

Proving again how awesome they are, the Woynorowskis laugh and we say goodbye. The final outcome of the night is that yes, they know I'm weird. The lady at the pool did too when I dropped off the bracket for Rachel like she asked. But the Woynorowskis fine with it, which is the best I can ever hope for.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

It is just wrong

Moving is in the air. Gabby is moving back Edmonton on monday, my cousin Allene moved home today for the summer (before she moves to Ontario in the autumn), as is Donell, and Claire and The Smitten both moved recently. Most immediately, I helped Rachel move today, which is always enjoyable.

Wait. Moving - enjoyable? Yes.

First, I wasn't the one moving. I wasn't the one uprooting themself from the house they've grown up and leaving the family they've spent almost twenty years with. So of course I'm not going to fully understand the immensity of the first moment alone or trying to fall asleep. I don't know what's in Rachel's mind right now. Could be mostly excitement, could be mostly fear. I'm betting on the former, but I really don't know, and I won't until next may when I move.

One thing I know, however, is that Rachel has an amazing apartment. What it has:

-A top (seventeenth) floor location
-Hardwood floors
-A location a block away from my favourite pub, The Druid. This is the pub that used to be my grandfather's workplace at Beaver Lumber, the place with a complete hardwood interior, where I love to go in the early evening and relax with a paper and a pint in the corner that used to be my grandfather's office.
-Great Spectacular view
-That just happens to be out a full wall of windows
-Spacious living room and bedroom

It's an apartment that I was dying to have as soon as I saw it. I could spend all day sitting in front of the window cross-legged staring out. I could dance naked all I wanted. I could live there easily.

What I really understand, however, is boxes. Last autumn Edmonton was hit by torrential rain and my basement flooded with two feet of sewage. In the wake, we also used leftover insurance money to pay for long-overdue kitchen renovations. Either way, we had to box everything we could salvage, and unpack it at a later date. This meant stacks of boxes, and my favourite part: the unpacking. While almost all of that is being done by Rachel, I got a glimpse of what I'll enjoy in May 2006. To me, going through the boxes is like unpacking from a vacation; it's reaquainting yourself with yourself. I love going through boxes, and finding room for everything in drawers and on shelves, looking at everything you own. Not many people understand this love.

What even fewer people understand is how much I love the organization that comes with the unpacking. When I move, I have the image of carefully placing electronics, cds, dvds, and books in organized boxes (I can organize/alphabetize them later), but tossing most of the rest of what I own loosely into boxes. This will allow me to go through each of those boxes when I arrive, and engage in my system:

1. Loosely placing objects in groupings (including a "to-be-determined" pile for even more organizing)
2. Slowly going through those groupings and making them into subgroupings
3. Organizing these subgroupings in small, neat rows and piles
4. Slowly transferring these rows and piles to their ultimate storage areas, complete with readjusting the piles, rows, and stacks again.

Most of this system involves repeating earlier steps as much as possible. It's a disease.

And I LOVE assembling furniture. You have no idea how much I love furniture. The last time I got new furniture, I insisted on getting as much as possible at IKEA so that I could spend an entire afternoon assembling it.

Other than my secret clandestine pleasure, the move was fairly uneventful. We took everything in two trips, using the full five vehicles in the first run and only the three biggest in the second, which was completely furniture. The movers for someone who was leaving didn't come, so we couldn't use the easy way through the loading dock and someone had to hold the door open as it was too heavy for anything to hold and too low to wedge anything under. I met Rachel's family and boytoy. Duncan is great, her parents loved me and I returned the sentiment, to Rachel and Duncan's confusion. Maybe when I am not a daughter or the man who is or may one day be hypothetically boinking her, I am allowed a certain grace. I don't know, I'm just guessing. Her dad even cornered me and when I tried to refuse/back away, followed and jammed a ten dollar bill in my jacket pocket, sheepishly saying he'd give me more if he had it, but he kind of spent a lot of money on Rachel already.

Ooh la la. Saucy.

Rachel's sister was awesome, too. She loved my Auf der Maur jogger, complimented me on my pink belt, and as it turns out, is both a stimulating conversationalist and very similar to myself (though we own different Björk albums.) She has a bookshelf full of Dickens, Hemmingway, Faulker, Homer, and Dante. She was blown away by Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family too, which nobody else I know has heard of. As she noted, it is just plain nice to run into people like that.

All in all, it was a good day. I met some new people, had some laughs (and pizza!), and was reassured that when I take that big step, it won't be overwhelmingly scary. Phew.