Not so perfect, not so young

Thursday, July 20, 2006


A while ago, I promised that I would write some stories about when I was young. Now, instead, I've come across a story I wrote when I was young, which really speaks for itself.

When I was in grade 4, I wrote a "novel" as part of a school assignment. I was reading a lot of "Sweet Valley High" at the time, and I think you can really see its influence in my work. If you need a more contemporary reference, my writing also evokes "Teen Girl Squad," by Strongbad.

A little background - the year is 1988, the main character is a 16-year-old girl named Naomi Gibson, and she has a boyfriend named Chris Wild. It's the end of the school year, and Naomi and her friends are celebrating when tragedy strikes! It's a real nail-biter.

Here are some excerpts:

"Naomi! Wake up!"

It was my mother, calling me for shcool.

"Naomi! Get yourself downstairs!"

"Coming, coming!" I yelled back. It was Monday morning. (Blech!) At 7:30 AM, it was amazing that my mother was up!

I guess I should tell you something about myself. I am not all that pretty, but I must admit, I am quite pretty. My hair is long, brown, and wavy. I love my hair. Also, my eyes are blue. Actually, I am quite tall. 5 foot 6 inches exactly. I am 16 years old and in grade 11. It is the last week of school and I am very excited. I have a real cute boyfriend, Chris Wild. He's 17 but still in grade 11.


I hustled into my hot-pink tank-top and shorts and burned downstairs. My cereal was on the table.

"Darn it! I forgot my hot-pink flamingo earrings upstairs!"

I started to get up.

"Don't you dare!" said Mom. "You keep eating and I'll get them!"

Brring! Brring! It was the phone!



"Hi Naomi!"

"Oh, hi Debbie! What do you want?"

"Oh, just to say that I'm coming to get you in half an hour."

"In the Corvette?"



. . . .

Brrring! Friday morning! The first thing I thought of was my boyfriend Chris. (sigh) I hopped out of bed.

"Today is the last day of school!" I thought.

I put on a blue high-cut tank top and mini-skirt. I did my hair up in a french braid. Also, I put on some dangly blue earrings and light blue eyeshadow. I looked okay!

. . . .

I grabbed my bag and ran outside. Debbie had a light-pink shirt and mini-skirt on.

"Hi!" she exclaimed.

"Hi!" I said. "After we pass, how about going with Chris and Ronnie to the movies, then going somewhere else to celebrate?" I suggested.

"Okay!" she replied.

. . . .

When we got to class, Mrs. Reesor went to the front of the room and said, "Okay, class, we are going to give out report cards now."

An excited little buzz went through the classroom.

"Also, I want to say that if you do not pass, it does not mean you are dumb, only that you don't learn as fast as others and you need a bit more work in some subjects."

. . . .

There's so much more. I am deeply ashamed, and extremely amused, all at once.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I am a receptionist. Just the thing for a person who almost has a masters degree in their little fist. I spend the day in front of a computer, answering phones in my fake phone voice*, filing this and copying that.

There's a certain luxury in a 9 to 5 job that isn't even remotely related to my near-future profession. I don't have to stress out, because if things aren't done at the end of the day, I'm still out of there like a shot. People just tell me what to do and I do it.

(Wait for my post next week when I tell you that I'm sick of being told what to do and can't stop stressing out about filing papers and answering phones.)

*seriously, what's up with the fake phone voice? I can't suppress it. I can't pretend I'm talking to a good friend and speak like a normal person. I'm all, "I'm so smooth and quiet and good- afternoon-would-you-like-me-to-transfer-you-to-her-voice-mail?" and it's a little bit creepy.

Monday, July 10, 2006

How you say. . . ?

I'm writing! I'm actually writing the discussion for my research project!

Well, now I'm not, because I've taken this totally undeserved blog break because I'm momentarily stumped.

There's a word that's on the tip of my tongue, and I can't think of it. It's like 'boiled down' but it's more impressive -- it's a word for describing when a whole lot of ideas have been condensed into a smaller number of concise points.

not percolated
not congealed
not dissolved

Those words don't even mean the same thing, but they keep coming up in my mental rolodex of multisyllabic words related to food/science.

If I had studied chemistry, I think that it would come to me more easily. (Effie, help me out here). Any ideas?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Subterranean dreamin'

It's time to complain about the weather.

It's hot. Sooooooo hot. I am lazy and useless and now I finally have an excuse. This is why I don't have the energy to do my laundry/dishes/school work/other miscellaneous chores.

We live in a house with many large south-facing windows, and we have no air-conditioning. My lovely plants are getting singed in the sun. The windows are a good thing for about 10 months of the cold Alberta year, but today, they are making me feel like Sam McGee, except that I don't WANT to stay in the fiery furnace.

Only moments ago, I felt nostalgic for the days when we lived in a cool, cool tiny-windowed basement apartment. The nostalgia passed quickly, when I thought about how the old lady upstairs used to come into my apartment each day and rummage through a drawer to find a clean dishcloth, or leave notes about how many lights were on or how I should clean things or how to load the washing machine. And how she lectured me oh-so-shrilly about how the door must be double-locked at all times in case of intruders. Yes, the nostalgia passed quickly.

It's good to remember these things, because husband and I are currently looking for a tiny basement apartment in which to eke out an impoverished existence for the remainder of our stay in Edmonton. If we come across one where older folks will need to do their daily laundry in my kitchen, I will not take it, no matter how windowless and cool it may be. It's important to learn from past experience.