Confessions of the Divine Miss K

Friday, April 28, 2006

Happy Birthday, General Charlemagne

Okay, well, even though I am probably one of the most self-absorbed people you will ever meet, and am even more so now that I am going through PURE AGONIZING WILL THIS NEVER END WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE, MY PARENTS, MY JOB AND MY HUGE ASS ALL HATE ME HELL, I am not too self-centered as to forget the birthday of my bestest friend and closest thing to a sister, Charkins. Yes, ya’ll, Charkins is turning the big 2-5 this Saturday. And although I should probably have waited to post this on her actually B-Day, I will most likely be too busy whining at Adam to do so then. So here is an early birthday blog posting for Charkins.

So what else do I have to say to Charkins besides best wishes and I hope that the next year of your life is full of God’s richest blessings? Well, in honour of her birthday this posting is going to be an entry full of tidbits on all things Charry. From stories to quirks to how much I love her, today’s entry celebrates my dear, dear friend and honours the fact that at 25 she is at her most fabulous ever!

So to begin with, I wish to recount 10 Things You May Not Have Known About Charkins:

1. She is scared of deep water. She is even more scared of retrieving things from deep water. If she dropped the Hope diamond in a pool of deep water, there the diamond would remain for always. For ever. The end.

2. You know the phrase, “Still waters run deep”? That describes Charkins to a T. For example, just talking to her and knowing her causally you’d never realize that she is one of the most competitive people EVER. The only reason she isn’t highly competitive with me, is well, I’ve been known to, you know, maybe throw a temper tantrum or two when a game or something similar didn’t go MY way. But beware, she will kick your ass or the water ski’s for standing in her way!

3. She counts Seven Years In Tibet starring a bleach blonde haired and terribly accented Brad Pitt as her most comforting movie. Furthermore, the number of hours she has spent watching this movie may very well equal seven years. Ironic, no?

4. No one can blush on command like Charry and in her younger days when she was a trillion times shyer than she is now (although she isn’t even a smidget shy nowadays), if you so much as said hello in her general direction, she would turn a certain colour that most people get only after receiving 2nd degree burns.

5. She once tried to bribe a police officer at a checkstop with McDonald’s French fries. Somehow we didn’t get thrown in jail. This was the same summer where Charkins was determined to steal a construction orange pylon. We were bad asses like that.

6. You’d think that because she is the MASTER of head rubs that would be her massage of choice. Think again. Char’s favourite spot to be rubbed is on her nose. I repeat, on. her. nose. Luckily, being friends with her for what now seems like centuries means that I am a nose-rubbing expert. Ironically, I am now sleeping with a man who also loves being rubbed. on. his. nose. What the fuck is wrong with you people? And this is coming from someone who wears glasses and therefore would likely find a nose rub soothing! Freaks.

7. Charkins can sleep anywhere – airplane, train station, at work at McDonalds (oh, wait – that was Jebus). Even a movie theatre. Yes, I am here to testify that Charkins has fallen asleep not once but twice in a movie theatre, and that’s only on my watch. Xianity perhaps can testify to more occurrences. On the first occasion, the Redhead took Charkins and me to see “The Bridges of Madison County” to celebrate us having completed our grade nine year. Isn’t that pitiful? I mean, we had just finished grade 9, it was the summer time, we were hot, young, nubile 14 year olds and all we could come up with to do to celebrate our 2 months of summer freedom is to go see a fucking old person movie with my mom? No wonder everyone at Potland hated us. If I had a time machine, I’d go back to that night, force my stupid self to bribe Jebus into bootlegging a mickey for us, and then have gotten us so stupidly drunk to the point where Charkins’ parents would have accused us of not only underage drinking but also likely turning tricks on Van Horne Street to support our coke habit. Wow. But obviously this did not happen and instead we went to the movie theatre where Charkins demonstrated what she really thought of the Redhead’s version of a party and promptly fell asleep. And I mean, ASLEEP. Snoring and everything. But the second time this happened, it was even worse, because, people, she fell asleep (“You fell asleeeeeep?”) during THE MATRIX! I mean, c’mon – it was a revolutionary movie in its day. And Char was all, “Meh, wake me up when it’s over zzzzzz…” But I shouldn’t be surprised because fact is, I don’t think Charkins has ever made it through an entire rented movie without falling asleep at least once.

8. And then there is another movie that demonstrates the tug of war that rages inside of Charkins. Ok, so you know how cartoons and what not sometimes have an angel and a demon each perched on one shoulder? That is so Charry. There is her entirely goody-goody two shoes side of which Charkins is very proud. This is the side of Char that still drags her to church every Sunday even though she’s lost the faith. This is the side of her that can be found in her sweet, kind, gentle manner. This is the side of her that is always compassionate and nice to everyone around her. This is the side of her that is always willing to do my Grandma’s hair and make me, the actual granddaughter, look like a bitch. And this is the side of her that so strongly disapproved of us going to see “Eyes Wide Shut” at 16 years old that she practically walked out of the theatre and refused to talk to me for the rest of the night. Ya’ll, I’m not even joking about this. She thought it was wrong and naughty and all kinds of badness for us to watch that film. And I won’t even get started on “Midnight Train to Venice.” And then there is that side of Charkins who pronounced to me on my birthday last year, “Let’s get so drunk that we black out!” which is why it came as no surprise that 4 hours later we were both hunched over garbage cans, puking our ever loving guts out. This is the same girl who, while we were traveling in Europe, squealed when she saw the TV in one of our hotel rooms and shrieked, “Let’s see if we get any gay male porn!” This is the girl, well, I won’t even get into the nitty gritty of it all, but let’s just say that while at the same point in their relationship as when Adam and I were still shy about holding one another’s hands, Xianity and Charkins were getting a bit more assquainted! And before she kills me, we’ll just move on to the next number… Mwaaa haaa haa!

9. Like me, except ten trillion more times adamant about it, Charkins cannot sleep in an unmade bed. Bed. Must. Be. Made. Before. Sleeping. In. It. Period.

10. Did you know that Charkins has cotton in her knee? Just a quirk I thought you should all be aware of. Yep, cotton in her knee. No point in telling the story because it’s really boring, trust me on this. Suffice to say, cotton exists in her knee. And if she hasn’t told you this within the first five minutes of meeting her, well, chances are she just hates you. Like, Adders? Did Charkins tell you this story when you met her last December? No? That’s ‘cause she hated you and wanted you to die. Somehow though you worked her over. Which is amazing because when Charkins holds a grudge, she usually holds it forever (just mention the name of anyone from our graduating class and you’ll see her vehemence and rage!) (or anyone who ever worked at McDonald’s. Ever) (or any teacher she had at Amy Woodland, especially that mean one in Grade 6, or was it Grade 7?).

11. Last one, which is just a mini-one, Charkins didn’t have a nickname until she met me! ME! That’s right, back to ME! But seriously, she didn’t. Sometimes people called her “Charis” which sounded like “Chris” which she hated. So at 13, I came up with the nickname Char, and eventually Charkins, Charry, Charlemagne, etc were formed. Jebus also came up with the names Char-Broiled or Charcoal. Anyhow, Char is now used by mostly everyone she knows (except for her parents, the hold-outs) and little does everyone know that they have ME (again, this somehow has to be about me) to thank.

But the thing about Char, which isn’t really a quirk at all, is that she really is the most wonderful and amazing friend. I won’t bother repeating the story of how we met again and ya’ll probably already know that we became best friends in grade 8 when we both realized just how sucky the next few years of our lives were going to be and that we both needed a partner in crime to get through it. But what I will tell you is what I love most about her.

First of all, without a doubt, even more than my parents, even more than my boyfriend, more than anyone else in this world, there is no one who loves me as unconditionally as Charissa. I know this to be true. I could do anything, say anything, be anything and she would still love me and still stand by me. Not many people can say that about a family member, much less a friend and I am lucky to have both in Charry.

Secondly, Charry is a fantastic friend because she an absolute blast to be around. Sometimes she can be a scaredy-cat (like when she tried to stop me from stealing books from the Pink Palace! As if! Greek jail would have been good times!), sometimes she can be outright daring. She’s always willing to laugh at my jokes, even if no one else thinks they’re funny. And she can always come up with an appropriate “Friends” quote. Lastly, there is no one more willing to strip down naked and go skinny dipping with you than that girl.

Another thing I love about Char is that she is the most comforting, gentle, soothing person to be around, and when you’re going through hell there is no one you’d rather lean on than her. Furthermore, like the man I am so in love with, Char shares with Adders the art of subtlety. She knows what I’m thinking, she knows what I’m feeling, she knows how to gauge a mood, a statement or a look extremely well and it is this sensitivity that is so beloved by me.

A best friend relationship, especially between two women, is an unique and peculiar thing. It’s different than a familial relationship, especially mother-daughter, and it’s different than a marriage. But it is has similarities to both. It is like mother-daughter in that it desperately seeks the approval of the other, and it’s like a good marriage in that it only becomes better and stronger and more committed with time. In many ways, my relationship with Char has been like a marriage and we’re now at that lovely stage of when you’re together so long, you know the person almost better than you know yourself. Indeed, you know what the other person needs to hear without them even having to say it. I’ll admit, Char is a trillion times better at doing this than I am. But even I know when to push and give advice and when to try and just listen.

The reason I say this is that probably one of my worst downfalls is my tendency to be a hypochondriac. It’s extremely stressful not only for me, but for those who are close to me and constantly have to reassure me that I won’t be dead in the next five minutes. When I get hysterical and think I have contacted some deadly virus, I have to be treated just so in that the person can’t dismiss what I’m feeling and say, “You’re fine, it’s nothing.” But they also can’t become alarmed and think it’s serious as well, or I’ll spontaneously combust.

I think the time I thought I had rabies in Athens demonstrates Char’s remarkable talent at being a best friend, but not just any best friend, MY best friend. Even though the dog bite I received didn’t puncture my skin, I was convinced I had rabies. It didn’t help that my leg became bruised and swelled up a bit. And while Char clearly thought I was being ridonculous, she still tried to soothe me, comfort me and accompany me as we traipsed around the city, trying to find a doctor to look at it. When we finally did find someone and they looked at me as if I was insane, Char never threw this in my face. While, she never took my claims that I would soon become “Court-wolf” seriously either, she still never dismissed what I was feeling. And yet, she got downright brutal if I became too hysterical. However, when I still wouldn’t calm down, and I dragged her around the city at night for a walk because I was so anxious, she let me buy a People magazine featuring the Oscars that cost us the equivalent to $20USD to comfort me. And then she said the most wonderful, loving, comforting words she might have ever uttered and at that moment I knew I couldn’t ask for a better traveling companion or a better friend. She said, “See, Courty? The magazine is a sign that you’re going to be okay. God wants you to live to read it. So now you know that everything is going to be just fine.” And the thing is, while anyone else would think considering a People magazine as a sign from God as not only madness but also heretical, it was exactly what I needed to hear. And, in the end, she was right. But then again, Char usually is. And that’s why I am so glad I get to have her as my BFF.

Charry, I hope you have a wonderful happy birthday. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t be there to take my turn washing out your puke bucket (riiiiight, because I’d so do that!) but know that I’m there in spirit. I am so lucky to have you as my friend. You truly are one of the most incredible people I know. I love you, your laugh and your tri-coloured eyes, you beautiful girl! And I miss you so very, very much. Forever and ten, right? Love you! And happy 25th!

I know I've used this pic of Charkins before, but it's the only digital one I've got. Besides, she does look as cute as Snuckerville in it! Happy 25th!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I'm Pissed. You've Been Warned.

A blogger named Dooce who I enjoy reading immensely once infamously got fired for writing about her job online. She vented her frustration over her place of employment (as well as saying many less than flattering things about her boss) on her blog, and when those in power discovered it, she was promptly terminated. I don’t want to make the same mistake, but OH GOD I DON'T CARE ANYMORE AND I'M THROWING CAUTION TO THE WIND BECAUSE I JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE I HATE THIS JOB SO MUCH AND IF I GET FIRED, WHO THE FUCK CARES!

I write this blog from work. Because I can. Because I have nothing to do. NOTHING. TO. DO. And not like normal jobs where one has nothing to do, wherein you have actual tasks to perform, they’re just boring or easy or fast to get accomplished. No, I actually have zero, nothing, nada, zilch to do. And as a result I am dying a little bit inside each and every day. I hate this place. But, hell, it’s paying my rent and providing me with the gas money to go see Adders every weekend back in Crannie.

That is, it WAS paying my bills. As of this Friday, it will have been one month since I was last paid. That means I am two weeks overdue for a paycheck. And God, do I need the money. But the brutal part isn’t the lack of funds (that’s why God invented Visa! And boyfriends!). Instead, it’s the absolute dismissive and indifferent attitude of my bosses. They have done nothing to provide me with money, except put the blame on the payroll people. The payroll people don’t return my calls. And I silently scream inside over and over and FUCKING OVER AGAIN.

It’s gotten so bad that this morning when I asked my boss’ wife (who is also technically a boss) about not being paid, she just said, “I don’t know anything about it. It’s not my problem.” When I then said that I have no money left and I have rent coming up and bills to pay, she actually had the nerve to say, “Well, what did you do with your last paycheck? Why have you spent that money already?” And I said to her, “It’s been a month. I was expecting to be paid two weeks ago.” And she had the gall to reply, “Well, you should have saved more and planned ahead.” Excuse me? I just stared at her as I saw blinding red and smoke poured out of my nostrils. Finally I replied, “You have no right to tell me how to spend my money. I was supposed to be paid 2 weeks ago.”

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. I am so angry that I might spontaneously combust. And the thing is, it’s one thing to put up with these assholes when I’m getting paid for it. It’s quite another when I’m sitting here doing NOTHING for no goddamn reason and not getting a penny for it. Do you know how much work it is to entertain yourself in front of a goddamn computer for 8 hours? Especially when porn isn’t an option and you’re not a game person (c’mon, solitaire is entertaining for like, 2 minutes)? It’s grueling, terrible, mind-numbing work, the type of labour that one should be well compensated. And I am not even kidding about this.

Sigh. This is a rant, I know. I am just so frustrated and if I don’t let myself vent, I might burst a blood vessel or kill someone. But can I just say that having to endure the most annoying couple in the world shrieking Hebrew at one another over the phone is the type of torture that should be reserved only for the most evil, despicable criminals in the world? And even then, that may be too cruel. Oh, God. I earn every fucking penny I make. Every single goddamn dime.


Grrrr. Ok, so she got off the phone and I said to her, “Listen, I need to be paid.” And she’s like fine, and hands me a cheque that (a) is not for the full amount I should be paid, and (b) is even less, if one considers that I should have been paid for 2 stat holidays. So I’m like, “What’s this?” And she says, “We deducted for those two days you took off.” And I replied, “Well, I’ll need to see this in writing. You can’t just skim money off my paycheck. And furthermore, what days?” And she replied that I missed Easter Monday (which, true – but they had previously agreed to allow me to take the day off or I would never have fucking took it to begin with) and they are now taking off money for the Friday I missed for my brother’s wedding. WHAT THE FUCK? And I remember when that had originally happened, they had all been, “We’re so nice, we won’t deduct anything for that day.” And lastly, they deducted money for calling in sick last Tuesday.

The thing is, it’s one thing to deduct money because I missed work. But what bothers me is that they just decide to take whatever they feel like off, and there’s no paperwork to back it up. I am ready to spit nails. So when I confronted her with this, and said just that, she was all, “One second you’re telling me not to tell you how to spend your money, and the next you’re telling me how much I have to pay you?” And I was all, “It’s not the same thing! And you can’t just deduct whatever you feel like off my paycheck. Before I even started at this job, I told you I wouldn’t be able to work that Friday of my brother’s wedding. You agreed. You can’t NOW deduct money over it.” And she just was all, “No, yes we can. Nope, nope!” So I said, “Fuck this. I am calling Human Resources Alberta tonight. I am calling employer’s rights. This is ridiculous. And you people aren’t even paying taxes. It’s obscene.”

And that is how it stands. I am so pissed off and disgusted. And if they fire my ass it will be a blessing, especially since if I get fired they’ll have to provide me with some sort of compensation. I hate these people. I hate this job. I hate my life.


But I’m still bored. And I still have nothing to do. So now I’m going to talk about my weekend, which was good. It involved doing 10 trillion loads of laundry. And eating disgusting amounts of cheese. And enjoying a frappuccino! From Starbucks! In Crannie! Yea! Adders and I also took to the outdoors for a nice little stroll at Fisherville, which as you can see from the picture below, was the first settlement in the entire East Kootenay.

What else? Well, the weekend was deliciously low key which was nice after a previous week of drama and emergency room visits.

Weekend Highlight:
sitting in McDonald’s with Adders, eating French fry after French fry after French fry while enjoying my McDonald’s Fountain Diet Coke (better than crack, baby, better than crack).

Weekend Lowlight: watching the Calgary vs. Anaheim game on Sunday night. Pitiful.

Cutest thing Adders did: Stare lovingly and oh so proudly at his new organized closet, overwhelmed by the fantastic job his girlfriend did on it.

Most annoying thing(s) Adders did: go to work on Saturday morning! And not have enough change for the slurpee I desperately needed (What?! Don’t look at me! I NEVER have cash on me, you know that!). And not let me cheat at crib (well, he finally did but only when he was practically going to skunk me).

Most scary thing about weekend: at risk of catching Mono from AJ which meant no making out with the lil’ Magro.

Most heart warming thing about the weekend:
having an hour long cup of coffee with Adders’ parents while he was at work, and just chatting and feeling like a member of the family. Awwww.

Moment I wish I could stop in time: all the cuddles in bed.

Best quote of the weekend by Adders: "I wish I was a miner. Then I'd have huge muscles" after which he promptly gave me a flex.

Most overdressed moment of the weekend: right here. Under that limegreen sweatshirt (courtesy of Charkins, of course), is about 10 more layers. And it was plus 18 outside. Plus 25 in the sun (well, practically).

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to this weekend, Blaby!


What else do I have to say? Well, as you can tell, I am soooo not in a funny mood. More like an “I’ll rip your head off and watch you die if you dare say another word” kind of mood. Plus, I’m hungry. And that’s never a good state for me to be in.

So maybe I’ll just wind this up, because, really? It’s not healthy for me to rage anymore. And this is getting boring for the rest of you.

That being said, I am excited to watch American Idol tonight (after weeks of Tamara Lee trying to get me interested, I have finally succumbed and am an ardent viewer. And am so so ashamed).

Okay, kids, ‘till next time. Think happy thoughts for me. And say happy prayers for me too!

P.S. Is it just me, or do Adders and I kinda look like each other in this picture? Seriously, we got a similar expression going, no? I think so, but when I told this to Adders, he just stared at me like I was high. Which I might have been. It's hard to tell these days.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Back When A Screw Was a Screw

Hey, ya’ll! What’s going down? It’s just a regular day at the office for me, filled with staring at a wall, staring at my feet, staring out the window and scratching whatever itch arises. My job is CAPTIVATING. Anyhow, I didn’t think I was going to write anything today, but then when I began to suspect that I am dying, I decided I needed a wee bit of a distraction.

So what’s this about me dying? Well, let me let you in on a little secret. See, me? I’m a, well, to put it mildly, a bit of a hypochondriac. The slightest ache or pain and I’m sure that death is imminent. A cough just isn’t a cough, it’s lung cancer. Tender boobs aren’t just PMS, they’re pregnancy. Sore legs aren’t just sore legs, I’ve got a blood clot. Does any of this sound familiar?

Well, I have a pain in my chest. It hurts when I hiccup. Or take deep breaths. It started about 5 hours ago. I think my leg blood clot has moved to my lung and as a result, I’ll be dead soon. You should all be so lucky to read this here, my last epistle.

As I said to Charkins, I could google my symptoms. But then I might as well just kill myself off now because my resulting panic would surely do me in.

But for reals, I just hiccupped. And it hurt. Scary. Are ya’ll scared for me? Maybe, oh, I don’t know, maybe you guys could DO something, yeah, instead of just being lazy and taking advantage of the entertainment I provide you. Maybe you could provide me with LOVE, and PRAYERS, and, errrr, CHOCOLATE? I mean, what kind of friends are you? Here I am literally on my deathbed, and you are all acting as if I’m CRYING WOLF or something. Bitches.

But before we get into the meat of today’s entry, I’m going to give my precious little Adders a shout-out, if only because he survived an entire weekend of “Calming and Soothing and No-You-Won’t-Die-But-Maybe-Another-Backrub-Will-Help-You-To-Shut-Up and Generally Appeasing Miss Courty.”

I have to admit, I was on full force this weekend. And Adders, well, little Addy Bear had to do his fair share of calming the fuck down of me. He had to put up with a lot of whining, and tears, and of yanking a box through the study, threats of leaving, and of slammed doors, and of emergency room visits, and complaints about the gale force winds on the lake, and of bitching about non-existent lakes.

And you know what? Throughout it all, Adders was perfection. Despite the fact that I was in a shitty mood for a good portion of the weekend, and for the other half I was sick as a dog, Adders was lovely. He rubbed my head or my feet or both. He kissed me even when I didn’t ask. He performed artistic dances for me to REM and made fun of me for asking at lightning speed, “Is Jill home? What are you going to tell Jill? Oh my God, is that Jill? You remember what to tell Jill?” He slow danced with me in the hallway. He made me laugh with his Stewie impression (“So ahh, you’re, aah, writing a little book, mmm? A little book with maybe, errr, a protagonist, hm? A protagonist who goes through some conflict, yes?”). He played 20 Questions with me in the Emergency Room, as he literally lounged around on the cot. He let me use the fan at night, at the highest speed (although he didn’t know that I set it that high. But thank you, Baby!). He ordered us the FUCKING FAMILY SIZE of onion rings at A&W and didn’t hog all of the poutine either. He slept like a zombie (no, I mean that literally. Like, small children were scared) and that made me laugh, but whenever I would roll over and wake up, I knew he’d wake up too and that made me feel like he was watching over me. And he helped wash my car, taking extra care to get all the salt off. And despite my many tears, and a urine sample, and a big depression over what the fuck am I doing with my life, Adders never ONCE lost his temper with me. He was always patient, always sweet, always sympathetic. And yes, even though I know now that he laughed his ass off when I threw up both in a cake pan and on the side of my truck on my drive home yesterday, and has also now convinced his family that I am a complete and utter wimp (an accusation that I won’t even attempt to deny), he was just so perfect at being a boyfriend last weekend, that I can only imagine how lucky I’ll be to have him as a husband.

Thank you, Adders, for being so wonderful. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, there is nothing greater than knowing you’ve got a man who’s at your side, no matter what.

"See this man? See him? This is where my babies come from!" Joking, people! It's a Family Guy reference. But do you see this man? He's the one that I want to go to non-existent lakes with, travel to Norway with, and be with always. He's my soulmate. And I love him.

Anyhow, before I get all weepy, let’s move on. The entry today is one I found on someone else’s website, but it’s a popular memes out there in the blogging world, and because I’ve got nothing else to talk about except this here blood clot, I decided to fill it out. Here goes:

Ten Years Ago:

1. How old were you? 14

2. What grade were you in? Grade Nine. Wow. That seems both a lifetime ago and like last week. Weird.

3. Where did you go to school? Shudder, shudder, shudder. Potland. I mean, Parkland Junior Secondary School. But really, Potland was a more suitable moniker.

4. Where did you work? I hadn’t started working yet. I would occasionally accompany Charkins on baby-sitting jobs. And I had worked a few lobby shifts at McD’s but basically I was freeloading off my parents at that point. But hey, I was 14! And sweet, and cute and little!

5. Where did you live? In Crannie, of course. Good ol’ Cranberry Corners.

6. How was your hair style? Ugh. Well, Grade 9 was the best of times, and the worst of times in terms of my hair. The good was that my mother finally persuaded me to put some blonde highlights in it, so that it would no longer look drab brown. But at 14, my hair was just starting to go naturally curly and I fiercely tried to fight this (instead of just accepting my fate). So I got the Rachel haircut which didn’t work with my hair at all. Instead, I had short hair that puffed out into a pyramid. Excellent.

7. Did you wear braces? Yes. Again, ugh. But I got them off at the end of Grade 9.

8. Did you wear contacts? Yes, I got those at the beginning of Grade 9, and not because I wanted them but because my mother insisted (she really was terrified that I would turn out ugly. Well, too bad for her. Maybe if I had been ugly I wouldn’t be getting laid right now! HA!).

9. Did you wear glasses? Only when watching TV or suffering through a case of pink eye.

10. Who was your best friend? By Grade 9, Charkins had definitively taken on this much-coveted role, one that had previously been filled by Pint-Size Jesus Freak. Charkins was much better suited for being my BFF, mostly because she wasn’t a Jesus Freak (except when it came to certain Hugh Grant movies).

11. Who was your girlfriend/boyfriend? Even back then I had my share of stalkers, although no official boyfriend. John Luscher did try to kiss me though, and I did go over to his house on his birthday and once in Grade 12 he accused me of leading him on for years and years (C’mon now, John, look at me! I friggin’ look like a heartbreaker. You shoulda seen that coming. And also, you don’t hit on a girl wearing a dress with Elmo or Big Bird or whoever the fuck it was on it, for God’s sake!).

12. Who was your celebrity crush? Brad Pitt and Hugh Grant, who else would it be? Also, Charkins and I were just beginning to fall in love with John F. Kennedy Jr. But really, it was all about the Brad and the Hugh.

13. Who was your regular-person crush? Hmmm. Fuck, I really don’t remember. There was this dude who was a year older than me, and he was super hot but God help me if I remember his name. Yeah, no clue really. Although I probably still had a teeny tiny crush on PSJF’s older bro.

14. Were you a virgin? No, I lost it turning tricks at age 10.

15. How many piercings did you have? Three. Two in the left hole, because I was hip and original like that.

16. How many tattoos did you have? None.

17. What was your favorite band/singer? Oh, for God’s sake. I listened to THE worst music back then (not that I’m much better now). Ummm, well, I still really loved Michael W. Smith, as tragic as that is. Plus, I was pretty obsessed with Charkins’ “Pretty Woman” soundtrack. And who was that black singer whose CD you bought in Edmonton, Schnarks? Dionne somebody? Wasn’t she married to a cop? ;)

18. Had you smoked a cigarette yet? Not really. Although Airy Airplane (remember her?) had convinced Charkins and I to try one of those cigar cigarettes in her backyard one summer afternoon. But I didn’t inhale. It hurts the lungs, right Adders?

19. Had you gotten drunk or high yet? Okay, obviously you’re not getting what I’m saying. I was a goody-goody LOSER at age 14. I hadn’t even started swearing yet, much less drinking or (gasp!) smoking pot!

20. Had you driven yet? Not officially. But one afternoon, under the shadow of Baker Mountain, at some dude’s ranch, Charkins and I made our getaway across a farmer’s field. Good times, good times. Sad to say, no one even noticed we had left.

21. If so which car? My parents’ 1995 Grand Cherokee Jeep.

22. Which of your pets were still alive? Both – my soulmate and utter little Meower of Perfection, Riley. And that bitch dog Leizel. Just joking. I loved Leizy too. Poor little Leizy.

23. Looking back, are you where you thought you would be in 1996? FUCK NO! I want my money back. I want a refund. Hell, I want a time machine so that I can travel back 10 years ago, slap my 14 year old self across the face and say, “Listen up, Girl. This ain’t going to be pretty. Life’s a bitch. University apparently gets you nowhere. And also, be extremely wary of that mother of yours. Stop telling her everything RIGHT NOW. And for God’s sake, don’t ever attend Regent College. Ever.”

And that, kids, is the lesson for today: never hope too high because in ten years you'll just be cursing all those foolish, naive, young dreams you once had. Aim low, people, aim low.

Aim low, except in love. Because 10 years ago I never thought I would fall in love with a guy who was so wonderful, and who makes my heart flip-flop every time I look at this picture.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Charkins Interview: Scratching the Surface of Miss Courty

Hello adoring fans. Today we have a special treat for all you great kids. Regular reader and BFF extraordinaire Charkins is joining us for today’s entry by playing the role of interviewer to yours truly. Since I had no clue what to write about and since Charkins is always looking for ways to get mentioned on this website, this is a win-win situation for us both. So without further ado, I present The Charkins Interview: Scratching the Surface of Miss Courty.

Charkins: Why is pink your favourite colour? It is so popular but you are such an original person it seems like a contradiction.

Miss Courty: Interesting that you should ask me this, Schnarks. The truth is, I really don’t have any clue. I’ve always liked pink. It may be because my mother was so determined to have girl and was so thrilled when she had one, she overexposed me to the colour. It may be because I exemplify the ideal of womanhood and the femininity that accompanies it. All I know is that in “Steel Magnolias” when Shelby uttered those famous words “Pink is my signature colour” in that southern drawl of hers, I knew then that it was mine too. It’s just a great colour. But I’d like to defend the fact that it was my favourite colour LOOOOONG before it became popular. My proof? My bedrooms have always been pink. While other 16 year olds were painting their walls black and tacking up pictures of Van Halen, or whatever those crazy kids were listening to back in the day, I kept the pink colour AND a picture of Jesus with a lamb on my wall. So there. I win.

Charkins: Do you ever lay awake at night worrying that your hair is too perfect?

Miss Courty: What do you mean? Why do you ask? Are you trying to say that I have bags under my eyes from lack of sleep? I mean, yes, of course I stress about my hair being so fucking perfect that it isn’t really fair to the rest of you. I become quite guilt-ridden if I dwell on it too long actually, especially if you consider that it’s not just my hair, but also my killer perfect ass that makes me so sexy. And Charkins weren’t you the one who said that “the bigger the hair, the closer to God”? Right. So that makes me like Jessica Simpson pre-divorcee/skank days: I’m hot AND I’m holy. Bite me.

Charkins: Do you ever lay awake at night thinking Adders is too perfect?

Miss Courty: Is this a joke question? I’m not sure I understand. Besides, I need some clarification, like do I lie awake at night thinking Adders is too perfect for me, or for society in general, or for like Leizel? I mean, I’m not saying Adders isn’t perfection, but in relation to what? That’s where the real question is, Charkins. Pursue it.

Charkins: How many times have you killed "T.J." and had to replace him with an exact replica?

Miss Courty: All I can say is THANK GOD I bought that Pomeranian bitch and had her have puppies, because those little back-ups have suuuure come in handy. ‘Nuff said.

Charkins: Would you rather clean up poop from T.J. or empty out barf buckets?

Miss Courty: Yeah, mmmm hmmmm, I see that you don’t fully grasp who the fuck I am here. Does Miss Courty ring a bell? World famous sex goddess/blogger? Charkins, I have people to do that for me. People like you and Tamara Lee.

Charkins: What was Riley P. Puddin Tat's greatest accomplishment?

Miss Courty: Are you trying to make me cry? Oh God how I miss his soft orange fur and the way he used to steal all of my hair elastics. And who could forget his ability to make Charkins lose her mind during every sleep over at my house (“What? Just because I’m pawing at the door doesn’t mean I want out. You mean, you thought I wanted out? No, no, silly! I just wanted to know that you would open the door if I pawed at it long enough. No, what I really want is to just go back to bed. Preferably under the covers. Preferably leaning against your legs. See? This is so much more comfy. Mmmmm, nice. Actually, you know what? On second thought, maybe I do want out. Yeah, yeah, methinks I do. So I’m just going to paw some more at this here door and hopefully you’ll let me out again. Here you come. Fantastic. But wait, gee I don’t know, it’s awfully dark out in this hallway, and no one’s up like I had hoped. Plus, I already puked up my dinner this evening so I doubt there’s any food downstairs. Hmmmm, no, no, you’re right. Let’s just go back to bed…”). But probably his greatest accomplishment was pooping on my duffle bag and living to meow about it. The setting: summertime, Jebus and I en route to the ‘Bin. The Meower is ANGRY and UPSET and NOT IMPRESSED WITH BEING LOCKED IN THAT FUCKING POODLE’S DOG CAGE, DAMMIT AND OOOOH BOY AM I GLAD SHE’S DEAD. He becomes even more incensed when I take the McD’s drive thru 90 degree turn at 100 km/h and the cage goes flying across the back of the 4Runner. Riser howls, I feel bad and let him out. And then he plots his revenge. Now Riley was a cat who did NOT like ANYONE up in his business. Just like he enjoyed dirty martinis, dill pickle chips and long walks on the beach, he also enjoyed his privacy when it came to his bodily functions (except for his puking that is, but that wasn’t so much a bodily function as a God-given talent, much like my burping). Anyways, he never had accidents, EVER. And he was a stickler for burying whatever excrement he produced. That is, he was until his rage got the best of him. Somewhere around Fairmont Jebus and I became overwhelmed by the most atrocious, gag-reflex inducing smell. At first we couldn’t figure out what it was coming from, and Riley seemed just as perplexed as we did (“Gee, I don’t know guys, but it sure is vile.”) But then Jebus turned around and lo and behold, there on top of MY duffle bag lay the biggest pile of crap that cat had ever produced. And I swear I heard him say under his breath, “Yeah and you can take that dog kennel and shove it up your ass.” Needless to say, Riley was put down four years later.

Charkins: Which of the mooses that have come into your life and on your lawn have you loved the most?

Miss Courty: Wow, my name’s Miss Courty. I passed grade 2, how about you, Charkins? Mooses? No, I’m sorry, I never encountered any mooses on my lawn. Not even some moose. Just some elk, a herd of cattle, a couple of bunny rabbits and some vicious, vicious deer. The deer that live at my house in Crannie are the most rabid angry bastards. And yet I love them. Especially this one that tried to decapitate me two summer ago. I was minding my own business, sun-tanning on my lawn, when he was all, “Yo, bitch! Get off of that there lawn. You know, before I butt you with my horn” (and then all his buddies dissolved into a cacophony of laughter). Meanwhile, I was all, “Excccuuuuusee me? I don’t think so, buddy. And for your information, your horns ain’t so big.” And then he stomped his feet and I stomped mine, and then he took a few steps towards me, and I had Jebus yell at him from the house while banging a pot, and then he look unfazed and kept hissing and stomping his feet, and I ran inside crying. The end. It was a grand love affair, and I will always look on that summer fondly for that reason alone.

Charkins: When have you been the most afraid of your period?

Miss Courty: And this is when the interview suddenly takes a nosedive into the topic labeled “Too Much Information.” However, since Miss Courty is always willing to provide anyone and everyone with “Too Much Information”, especially on the likes of her period, I am more than willing to divulge. I can easily say that last year I was most petrified of my period, simply because it liked to taunt me with the game of “Will I show up or won’t I? Will I make you an unwed white trash teenage mother or won’t I? Will I give you kill-me-now cramps or won’t I?” But that was seriously nothing compared to the time that I got my period for the second time EVER (an occasion that commenced with my Gammy telling my Papa that “She’s a woman now”) and my mother introduced me to the joys of tampons (Her: here take this, shove it up your vagina and we’ll never speak of this again. I can’t believe you’ve ruined your life like this. Me: ???? Huh ???? What ???? How ???? Her: A penis is the size of a trophy, GET USED TO IT! GRRRRR! Me: Eeeep!). Needless to say, I didn’t quite get the gist of it, even after memorizing the instruction manual. I inserted both the applicator and the cotton. Repeatedly. And having cardboard scrape against your vaginal wall may be the most unpleasant sensation ever. Well, second only to having an 8 lb. baby scrape against your vaginal wall (not that I would know. Yet). And that, folks, was when I was most scared of my period. Ever. Except for right now, that is. But I’m not so much scared of it as I am willing it to die.

Charkins: If you were a mathematician what would you say your ratio of water consumption versus alcohol consumption is on any given day?

Miss Courty: Well that all depends on the given situation.
Regular day: 1,000,000 gallons of water to 0 litres of alcohol.
Day spent with Adders: 1,000,000 gallons of water to 12,000,000,000 litres of alcohol
Day spent camping with Charkins: 2 litres of water to 1,000,000 gallons of alcohol

Charkins: Did you ever see the movie "Any Given Sunday"? If so, how would it rate to any of the lame ass movies Adders makes you watch? If not how would you rate it to any of the lame ass movies Adders makes you watch (or the ones he watches alone. "Prime" anyone?).

Miss Courty: I have no clue if I have seen “Any Given Sunday”? But it sounds like it might be one of those football movies. And I hate those football movies, with the underdog and the handicap kid and the mean bullies and the triumph at the end. And yet that movie is practically Oscar gold compared to some of the shit Adders has made me endure, movies like “Greed” or “Envy” or whatever the hell it was called. And “Saw” which I despised more than anything. Or “Flight of the Phoenix” which was so bad Adders slept through the entire thing. Or was it me who fell asleep. Suffice to say, I’ve watched a lot of shit with that man. But he’s fun to make out with so in many ways sometimes lame-ass movies can be a blessing in disguise!

Charkins: If your life was a Will Ferrell movie which movie would it be and what characters would represent You, Adam, Redhead and me?

Miss Courty: Okay, this interview has just boarded the train to CrazyTown. What the fuck? And on that note, what the fuck WOULD Jesus do? Ummm, well, Will Ferrell hasn't really been in that many movies. But I would say that if my life was a Will Ferrell movie it'd be "Wedding Crashers," and I would of course be the hot girl in it (she's smart, intelligent and big-breasted! Score!). Adders would be Owen Wilson (but a hotter nose-job version of Owen Wilson. Because Owen, while he has charisma, isn't that hot). The Redhead would be a combo of the wacky mom ("Call me Kitty Cat") and the maniac boyfriend (getting up in everyone's grill and preventing weddings and shit) and Charkins, you, of course, would be the unstoppable Vince Vaughn. A shorter Vince Vaughn. All because you can be so downright hilarious (and you would totally crash a wedding with me) (in fact I think you did once) (First Assembly circa 1996, bride doing interpretive dance for groom onstage, us pigging out on the desserts in the gym) (ring a bell?).

And that is the interview, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for reading. And thanks also to Charkins who, as an investigative journalist, made Geraldo proud I'm sure.

Friday, April 07, 2006


I usually try and be funny when I write blog entries, not that I’m always successful. But reading funny is a trillion times more entertaining than reading someone's sob story or rant about politics, and I like to keep my audience coming back for more. However, that being said, I also started up this blog so I could have another outlet in which to explore myself and question who I am. I’m also narcissistic, but since we’ve already determined that this blog is mainly for ego strokes, we'll just move along.

Anyhow, I’m just going to get straight to the point, which is that this entry isn’t at all about the funny. Instead, it deals with something very serious, very personal, and, in a way, very painful, something that I have been mulling over and wrestling with for quite some time now. Yes, this entry is about one of those topics that your parents warned you never to broach at a dinner party. No, no. Not money. I’m actually talking about religion.

Inspired by a very honest and lengthy phone conversation with Charkins this past week, I’ve decided that I’d like to put down in writing how I feel right now about my faith, not just for posterity’s sake, but perhaps also for the clarification and insight that often comes when I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). I’m hoping that by expressing my thoughts on this subject here, that I’ll somehow receive some illumination into this topic that has me hopelessly muddled right now.

Ok, so first some background. As all three of you know, I was raised in a very religious evangelical Christian home. Before moving to Crannie when I was just about 8 years old, my family attended a Pentecostal church which is about as charismatic as they come. My earliest religious memories are from that church, and they are not good. I dreaded Sundays, dreaded the rollers that I had to sleep in the night before, and dreaded having to be bored silly and memorize useless Scripture verses. I can remember at the age of 3 crying the entire way to church, pleading with my mother to let me sit in the service rather than go to Wee College (Sunday School for those under 4). I despised it and I’m not even sure why. Furthermore, back then my parents also dragged my brothers and me to the Sunday evening service which meant that while all the other kids were playing on the street on a hot summer Sunday evening, I was inside putting back on my dress and patent Mary Jane’s. It was absolutely brutal, but the upside was that during the long night service usually my parents would let me lay my head on one of their laps, and my feet on the other, getting a full body massage that made it all seem worthwhile.

Anyhow, upon moving to Crannie, I was enrolled in a Pentecostal private school that was all about the crazy. And that’s probably when I first started getting turned off religion. My classmates weren’t allowed to go trick or treating (“Celebrating Satan’s birthday will send you straight to hell”), boys and girls had to remain at least 6” apart (a ridiculous rule to impose on pre-adolescent children), and ALL MOVIES AND ALL MUSIC ARE EVIL. Needless to say, it was the exact type of Christianity that everyone loves to mock, and so they should. It was all about rules, all about fear, and all about shame.

However, since my personality is quite similar to my father’s, which is that I am not rebellious by nature and in fact will always tow the line, I fit into this atmosphere quite well. Sure, I was considered a bad-ass but that had more to do with the fact that my mother wore glitzy clothes and a ton of makeup and also because I was the sister of Jebus, the biggest bad-ass the school had ever seen. At any rate, life went on swimmingly and I considered myself a hard-core Christian, just like all my friends were. I was a champion Bible-verse memorizer by now and sure I loved Jesus, whatever the hell that means or looks like.

It wasn’t until I reached Grade 7 that my faith really began to experience the tiniest bit of wavering. My parents placed me into a private Catholic school that I loved with every fiber of my being. I loved my friends there, I loved my teachers, I loved my schoolwork. I adored my life there. And perhaps that’s why it hurt so much when my best friend Pint Size Jesus Freak said to me during that year, “It’s too bad that they’re all Catholic and are all going to hell. Just like my grandparents. I pray for them everyday so that they won’t.” And I remember just thinking, “Holy mother Mary of God.” Except that I really didn’t think those exact words. Instead, at the point, it was probably something along the lines of “Oh dear.” Still, I remember being deeply disturbed by this statement. I mean, it was one thing for people who rejected Jesus to go to hell. C’mon now, they so have it coming! But the Catholics too? Why? Is it the Mary prayer? The crucifix? The fact that they believe in stigmata, which hello, CREEEEEPY! I tried to dismiss it out of my head. I mean after all this statement was coming from PSJF, she who was not allowed to watch “Ghost” or “Indiana Jones” and who’s parents turned off “Speed” because Keanu Reeves said the word “fuck.” Well, goddammit, what would YOU say if you found a bomb in the bus you were traveling on, bitches? But still, I remember the thought crossing my mind that if God really did send the Catholics to hell, He was quite the asshole.

Anyhow, as I made my way through junior high and high school, I slowly began distancing myself from my faith. I mean, on the surface, I was the good Christian girl. I towed the line, got baptized, kept my swearing at a minimum, NEVER smoked, NEVER partied, NEVER drank, NEVER rebelled. I went to church every Sunday, but still hated it. And I even made the effort to go to youth group, but drew the line at that one since if I’m going to experience hell in the afterlife, there’s no point in going through it now. But I just didn't really feel the whole Christian-thing. I didn't feel how I thought you were supposed to feel.

As for my personal relationship with God or Jesus or whomever, I was very aware of it. And very aware of my shortcomings and failures. Unlike my mother who would probably classify herself as a spiritualist or mystic, I am again more like my dad, very practical, very rational, very logical. I can almost guarantee you that if I hadn’t been raised in a Christian home, I would never have become one. I really don’t have a spiritual bone in my body. The act of prayer bores me to tears, and my mind usually wanders. Or I realize that I’m basically making the prayer all about me, “I want this, I want that.” And sure, while there were moments of extreme intimacy with God, they were fleeting. I would be water-skiing at sunset and suddenly overcome by gratitude to the Almighty, and send up a prayer of thanks. Or I’d go for a jog on our path and argue with Him about some point of contention in my life. But this was the extent of my spirituality.

I was much more focused on figuring out my life for myself, studying to get into a great university. And while I sneered and held myself above all my classmates who lived only for the weekends so they could get trashed, it wasn’t their alcohol consumption that I was judgmental of. For secretly I wanted to be doing the same thing, just with a bunch of sophisticates, swilling excessive champagne and martinis on Lexington Avenue in New York. The thing is, I wanted to be a bad girl. I just was too focused and too scared to take the chance. And that’s probably a good thing, because while I might not have my life figured out, at least I have prospects and potential, which is more than I can say for the majority of graduating class.

University is what really changed my outlook on religion. My first year of school, I lived alone in a tiny apartment downtown Montreal, not knowing a soul. And never have I ever felt so surrounded by God’s grace. I was so excited, so happy and felt so protected. I met a fantastic group of friends through McGill Christian Fellowship (including Tamara Lee). And I ended up taking a religious studies course that blew me away. And suddenly it seemed as if my life was all figured, and wasn’t God great?

In Montreal, I completely stopped attending church but I believed that I was still getting fed spiritually through my studies. And boy did I love the Religious Studies aspect of my university education. While I found the courses on Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and ethics stimulating, it was my courses on Christianity that blew me away. I gobbled them up, even enjoying the research I had to do for essays. And I realized that while some people experience God on an emotional level, I had finally found my way of connecting to Him – intellectually. And this was great. I mean, sure I became a bit disillusioned with Christianity at this time. When you study Church history, it’s hard not to. And it was startling to find that many things I learned from an academic point of view were in direct contrast to what I had been taught in Sunday services but yet I still relished it.

By my fourth year, however, I was starting to become more frustrated. And more corrupted. No longer was I condescending to those who went out drinking and dancing on Friday nights. Instead, I joined in. Plus I began to feel the influence of being in a very liberal university setting, which began to raise a bunch of moral questions for me, about homosexuality and, even more importantly to me, women’s status within the church. I was disillusioned by now of the church completely. And confused about my own relationship with God. As for Jesus, I don’t know. How do you love someone you can’t interact with? I still don’t really understand that. When pastors tell you to love Jesus, turn to Jesus, what the fuck does that mean? What does that look like? Hell if I know.

Anyhow, life moved on, Europe passed, and suddenly I found myself back in Crannie, living with my parents and working at a job that I seemed to have acquired through Providential means. Yet again, I couldn’t help but think that I was exactly where God wanted me to be.

And then everything changed. Absolutely everything. I fell in love, and my faith was relegated to the backburner, just like everything else is when one fall’s in love. And then suddenly the moral framework on which I had been raised didn’t end up being nearly as sturdy as I once thought, and soon the girl who had pledged to remain a virgin until her wedding night was sleeping with her boyfriend.

And just as everyone else later became shocked by this news, I shocked even myself. Not that I didn’t see it coming. I mean, my God, you can feel the lust and desire building up. But I kept waiting for God to intervene and prevent me from having sex. And He didn’t. And when that happened, I suddenly didn’t even really care what He thought. I didn’t experience any guilt over the sexual nature of my relationship with Adders, or the guilt I did experience was a result of having to lie and deceive my parents.

In a way, it was like God was dead to me. Or not dead, but irrelevant. I felt duped by him. Here I had made this promise, and I felt like He had brought Adders into my life, but only in the context of “Look but don’t touch.” I don’t know, I just began to have a lot of empathy for Adam and Eve.

And then there was the Bible study that revolutionized and changed my entire life and view of Christianity. For various reasons, I don’t think its prudent to go into what exactly transpired last summer or even what the Bible study says. But what it did do was confirm something that had been bothering me for a very long time, something that had been discussed with great passion in my classes at McGill. The Bible study simply said that there are no such things as miracles. I mean, of course there are, like a kid getting healed of cancer or someone surviving a deadly car crash. But God made rules to govern the universe and He isn’t about to break them by stopping the earth from moving. This fact relieved me from having to believe in irrelevant and useless dogma that is so dear to Christianity but which actually has zero effect on people’s everyday life.

It also made it unfeasible for me to continue my faith in Christianity. When the premise of the belief-system is built on the concept of a virgin birth and you no longer believe in its possibility or its occurrence, you no longer believe in that religion. It’s like all those people who say, “I believe Jesus was a great prophet, but I don’t really believe he’s the Son of God.” Well, you really aren’t a Christian then, are you, because the crux of Christianity is the belief that Jesus is the Son of God. And since I too can no longer believe Jesus is literally the Son of God (since when can an angel or the Holy Spirit impregnate a woman? God made the rules: sperm and egg equals conception. Even Jesus would have had to follow suit), then I guess that means I’m not a Christian either.

So what am I? Where does this leave me? I remember hearing the word “backslidden” with horror when I was a child. I mean, the worst people in the word, worse than kidnappers and molesters and maybe even Hitler, were backsliders, those who had once “had the truth” but had rejected it and turned away from God. Am I one now? Probably not. Actually, I’m more of a heretic than anything else.

Obviously, the change in my beliefs made attending Regent a ridiculous affair. I remember getting into a scathing debate about Jesus walking on water. I simply dismissed it as being a fabricated story that the disciples put in the Gospels to make Jesus sound more glamorous (and trust me, if you’ve studied any early Church history you’ll know that this was a regular occurrence and also that the books that are in the Bible aren’t necessarily the ones that should be there). Furthermore, who cares if Jesus walked on water? What the hell does it matter? Seriously, does it affect my life, my faith, how I raise my kids or love my husband in any sort of way? No, so why do we make such a big deal about these miracles? Same with Christ’s reappearance after he was crucified. Again, I scared off half of Regent by insisting that it was not Jesus reappearing in his physical body (the body rots when you die, people! You can’t resurrect a physical body. It’s impossible. And it makes no sense). I mean, sure I have no problem with the belief that Jesus was “resurrected” in a spiritual sense, but I’m sorry I’ve never heard of a physical body suddenly appearing in a room without having walked through a door first.

Lastly, there’s the whole deal with my mother. In many ways, in terms of my faith, my parents raised me in such a great way. And part of the reason I think my parents are so upset that I’m now engaging in pre-marital sex is because they too had thought this, and that they had trusted me a lot. For example, for being evangelical Christians, my parents were fairly liberal – we got to watch most movies, listen to whatever music we wanted. We were allowed to drink, as long as it wasn’t too excessive. And while my potty mouth often irks my father, my mother has long since joined in.

Yes, I was expected to attend church throughout high school. But once I turned 18, it was my decision and never once while I was living with them last year did they put me under any pressure to attend. If anything, they understood that a relationship with God is a private, personal matter and as long as I was pursuing it, they’d leave me alone. But the problem is, I wasn’t. I was going through a spiritual crisis. And while I attempted to address this to my mother, she is on such a different level that it was hard to relate to her in this department.

Then the whole disaster happened on Valentine’s Day, and suddenly this spiritual crisis reached a climax. Because the one person who I had most identified to as God, the person who I thought was the most holy and who would most likely be able to know what God is like, betrayed me in the most painful way possible. Of course, my skepticism over my mom's spiritual well being has been growing for a very long time. But all of the sudden I realized that if she is who God is, if she what this Bible study is and if she is the model or poster child for those who lead a spiritual life, I don’t want a fucking thing to do with it.

So I’m throwing in my hat. Of course, I’m not rejecting God. Only fools do that. God exists. He really does. Heaven and hell exist. Eternity exists. It’s all real. It’s all relevant. And it’s all vitally, vitally important. But I can no longer adhere to just Christianity’s view of things. Or this Bible Study’s view of things. Or anyone’s view of things. Indeed, I’m becoming increasingly cynical of every religion that thinks it has the edge on getting into heaven or achieving intimacy with God.

I guess you could say I’ve become one those willy-nilly liberal types that I would have sneered at in my younger days. I really do think we all have a responsibility to find out what God wants for our lives (but how you do that, I have no clue). I think we all have a responsibility to read and obey what the Bible says, if only because it has some great advice on living a life of success, that is to a certain extent, for one has to be careful of not letting the rules govern you (i.e. Jews separating dairy and meat. Riiiiiight. Because when Leviticus says “Don’t boil a calf in its mother’s milk” this was God’s way of outlawing cheeseburgers).

But am I still confused? You bet. And I’m not even sure what I believe right now. Or how I plan on raising my kids, because I do think instilling faith in your children’s lives is very important. But thankfully that’s still a long ways off. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m boiling everything down to just God and me. I still suck at praying. But at least it’s not about putting on a show anymore. Nor is my faith centred around my parents or school work anymore. Instead, it really is just about Him and me. Just the two of us.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I Could've Been Your Helen, Brad

So forget that I only have three readers for this blog. And forget that two of these three said readers already know this story. In fact, forget completely that one of these two of these three said readers actually experienced what took place in this story WITH me, I nevertheless need to explain to ya'll how I once became Helen of Troy. Because this story is so freaky and so bizarre that it nevertheless warrants being told over and over. In fact, this tale practically DEMANDS to be published on the world wide web so that, you know, you special three can read it and experience it with me yet again.

So. Let's track back to last summer. I was living la vie da loca (you know what? I have no freaking clue how to spell that. And I'm feeling über lazy so I'm not even going to check. But I think I just combined some French with some Spanish with a dash of English, so really it's all good. I seem cultured now) in good ol' Cranberry Corners, barely working at my paper job, and more or less enjoying the hot weather with my boytoy Adders and my BFF Charkins (by more or less I mean I was having a fantastic summer whenever I wasn't having tear-stricken pregnancy-fear ridden meltdowns or screaming matches at Elizabeth Lake). My sweet life consisted of lots of summer lovin', gallons of McD's drive thru Diet Coke, many Screeeeeeeeeamers out at Koocanusa, avoiding my mother like the plague and various trips to the beach. Life was good.

And then one day at work I received a phone call. A phone call that would change my life, catapulting me from the realm of mere human being to that of supreme sex goddess. A local photographer who I had done some work with the previous summer (namely I used his wildlife photography for our hunting issue of the paper) wanted to meet me for "lunch." I declined the lunch offer but told him he could stop by my office to discuss "this thing of much importance." So sure enough, a few days later, a Mr. Weasel stopped by to see me.

Now before we go any farther, I need to describe to you this Weasel dude. Ok, imagine the ickiest, perviest uncle-figure you can think of. Now combine that with your image of a porno director (and no, I'm not talking sexy Adam from "Family Business" which by the way is a FANTASTIC show and I don't even mind watching it with my Adders because it's so bizarre and twisted and yet funny. Although it does show a ton of bare breasts which usually I don't like because then Adders stares at the TV screen with his tongue hanging out, feeling deprived by my lack of, well, endowment. But again, Adam is so kinda pervy hot on the show that I'm still willing to watch it whenever it's on, except for that sick, sick episode where he threw a bachelor party for his ancient uncle and hired strippers to actually have threesomes for the crowd to watch. I did NOT like that. Nor did I like the way that my Adders' eyes bulged out of his head or how he kept saying, "Oh, God" in that way Adders does when he's simultaneously shocked, disgusted and turned on. But I digress...). Now multiply that by 100 and throw in the fact that he's an amateur photographer living in Kimberley (and ya'll know what that means), and you see what I was dealing with: a freak show of the top-notch variety. I mean, he was the Kwok-man without the religious extremism or enormous head.

And yet, when he told me that he would like to photograph me for an art exhibit, I was tempted. Not because I thought the pictures would turn out exceptionally well (they didn't) or because I had ever thought that modeling might be fun (I hadn't and it isn't). But because my ego had definitely been stroked. I mean, c'mon now - he wanted me to pose as Helen of Troy. Now I know what you're thinking, namely that no one else would make a more perfect Helen than me which is EXACTLY what I thought! I mean, he was practically confirming what I've known all along, that I am the most beautiful woman in the world. And that my beauty is so great, it really is worth starting WWIII over. So how could I ever resist a man who saw me as "she who launched a thousand ships"?

It didn't matter that Weasel repulsed me. Or that he was one of those types of men who cannot EVER take no for an answer. Or that when I told my boss who was photographing me he just raised his eyebrows as if to say, "Hoo boy. Can't wait to see how her parents react when the naked pictures are plastered all over the internet, and all of the boys at McDonald's snicker whenever her dad walks by." All that mattered is that someone had finally confirmed my gorgeousnessness (it demands to "nesses") and that he wanted to catapult me into immortality.

Along with agreeing to pose as Helen of Troy, I also told Weasel that maybe I'd let him get a few shots of me water-skiing sometime, since he had a place at the same lake as Adders'. This was mistake number 2 (number 1 being when I agreed to meet him for the meeting in the first place). For the rest of the summer, he stalked me every single weekend, phoning my cell phone repeatedly or searching for us out at Koocanusa, desperate to find me to take my picture on skis, preferably wearing nothing but a life preserver. It was terrible and I was stressed out and already regretting that I had agreed to pose for anything. It didn't help matters that both Adders and Charkins were completely unsympathetic and basically just told me to tell him to go shove it. But I'm not good at that; I'm much better at being passive-aggressive like having our newspaper's receptionist tell him that I wasn't in, even though my car was parked outside and I was huddled under a desk in the corner or by just not answering my cell phone EVER.

And yet, finally the pressure got to be too much. Now maybe it was because I was feeling insecure (my departure to Vancouver was looming ever closer. Oh, and noticed how I used the word insecure coupled with the word "was" like it was something that happened in the past, which would therefore mean that now, here in the present, I am no longer insecure so there is no need to hit me over the head with it, even in a jokey ha ha ha email kind of way. Because I am sooooo not insecure anymore. Now why don't you love me, dammit?). Or maybe it was because I was depressed that Adders would dare abandon me on August long weekend (How dare you abandon me?! Who abandons their girlfriend on the best weekend of the entire summer? Who? Who does that? Do you promise you'll never do that again, never in the entire history of the world? Do you? And do you still feel guilty for doing it? Not that I even really cared. Nope, I didn't miss you one iota. Because I was too busy having fun cat-napping on the raft and getting drunk at a bar in Invermere where I even got recognized by one of my adoring fans, thank you very much, and that was before I was even featured practically naked in an art show as Helen of Troy up in Kimberley. You can only imagine what my fans will be like THIS summer. And no, this rant does nothing to confirm the fact that maybe I'm a TOUCH insecure). At any rate, I agreed to let Weasel photograph me. At dusk. In the woods.

Have I mentioned that I have a hard time saying no? And that I can be really dumb at times? Luckily, trusted Charkins was like, "Rrrrowooowowwerhghhsdfjlksjdhweorijwoireoiwrrrrrg" which translates into, "I don't think it's smart for you to go by yourself. I'll go with you, you dumb fucking bitch."

So on the day that Adders FUCKING ABANDONED ME FOR HASSAN AND THE 'PEG, Charkins and I headed off to our death, I mean, Kimberley. We arrived at his home and luckily Weasel's wife seemed somewhat normal and was very gracious (although was it just me, or could you see the cry for help in her eyes?). Anyhow, Weasel suggested I go change into my Helen costume. Which was when I realized that my Helen costume was a sheet. Of gauze. A gauzy sheet, if you will. And it was the colour of my skin. Hmmmm. Now Charkins had her "Bad Feeling" antenna up as high as it would go, but still, she helped me "dress" and we all hopped into his truck and drove out to this little lake in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere.

And at first things went smashing. It was a flawless summer evening, very warm with a gentle wind and no mosquitoes. And while Weasel built a fire (you know, so Helen could have, like, an altar to worship at. Duh), Charkins helped me primp and secure my headgear. Then we started shooting and even the first trillion shots went well. The two of them laughed at my self-consciousness, and Charkins kept screaming out suggestions like she was the freakin' white-blonde Puerto Rican gay dude on America's Next Top Model ("Bad angle, Courtney. CHIN UP, GODDAMIT, I SAID CHIN UP!"). Meanwhile, Weasel placed me in various positions (Adders, head out of the gutter!), such as having me kneel in front of the fire, address my public, gaze adoringly at my reflection in the water, and praise the Lord with my arms raised in ecstasy.

And then things took a disastrous turn for the worst. A few times, Weasel had asked me to show more leg to which I complied, after first getting Charkins' approval that it didn't look too tawdry. But all of the sudden, Weasel decided he wanted more. He wanted me to disrobe. He wanted to photograph my bare ass and my bee-stung breasts. Because apparently this would make the whole Helen thing that much more authentic. Yeah, not so much. Yet he quickly dismissed every single protestation I made. And that was when Charkins LOST IT.

She told him in no uncertain terms would I be undressing. No, I would not even just let him photograph my back naked. No, it doesn't matter that these pictures would be kept private. No, it doesn't matter if my boyfriend would probably love to see naked pictures of me and that Weasel would give him a set. No, a non-disclosure agreement would not help in this situation. And yes, it does matter what parents think. Yes, there is a difference between pornography and art, you fucking sick-o. And that's when I realized that maybe their argument had less to do with Charkins protecting my virtue and more with her wanting to show off that she too knows something about art, motherfucker!

And so they fought, and I just stood there smiling weakly, wishing the whole thing was over. He complained bitterly and gave me jabs for being too religious. Charkins retaliated and said that the matter was closed and he was being unprofessional by not respecting my position. And so, when we FINALLY got back to his place and he invited us in to see the pictures on the computer via his digital camera, and I agreed, I literally thought Charkins might beat me with a stick. But at least we got to see the pictures. And some of them were freaky (What? Can't even the most beautiful woman in the world have some bad angles?), but many were actually quite stunning. And I was pleased overall with the result.

And then we left. And Charkins once again FREAKED OUT, this time on me. She screamed about skanky Weasel, she yelled at me for being so weak. And then she told me the creepiest part, how she had seen a photograph of me in their house which looked like it had been taken on the street while I was out doing errands or something. Like he was taking pictures of me downtown Crannie without my knowledge. Like I'm a bloody celebrity and he's the paparazzi. I told you people that Crannie has its very own paparazzi and that I'm its main target, and yet you never believed me! But I joke not! Charkins has proof!

Anyhow, time progressed and one day, after I had screened many of his phone calls and had almost convinced Adders to phone him up and tell him to fuck off, Weasel showed up at my office one last time, bringing with him a home-made pita sandwich for me (uhhhh, okay? Yeah, thanks) and a CD of all my pictures. He thanked me, told me how beautiful I had been to photograph. And then said to keep him in mind as my wedding photographer. And that was the end of that. Adders saw the pictures, Charkins saw the pictures. And I never even told my parents the story.

And then I received this email today, almost 8 months after the incident:

Miss Courty, Sorry to be so long in sending you the exhibition photos. I made sure no thong was showing and of course you look marvelous. You were by far the most naturally beautiful model I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I hope we can have that opportunity again someday. Maybe to record your wedding? All the best, Weasel

He also sent me the photographs that he used at the art exhibit. And of course he chose the three ugliest ones possible. The most beautiful woman in the world, MY ASS! Fuck you, Helen of Troy. I never even wanted to be you anyway, you stupid warmonger.

P.S. Yes, I could write amusing, sarcastic little captions for each photograph. But doesn't the horror (and the whore) speak for itself?