Friday, August 27, 2010

Woy did you have me if you carnt look after moy?

Having just returned home from coffee (aka wine time) with my old friend, the English Boy, I have made a resolution.

Stop whining. Keep wining. Resume breathing exercises from Freeing The Natural Voice.

Vancouver may be good looking and vacuous, but so was every episode of The Hills and I loved that. I have things I want to achieve and I might be able to do them here. Servitude is not my forte, but neither is work in general, so perhaps I can hack it while I make my small effort to express on paper, in jewelry and in words, what is on my mind and in my foolish heart.

Maybe I'm just outrageously cheered by the discovery of an actual literary festival right here in Vancouver! A mere 2 days after my birthday, it's as if it's being held specially for me! It is only for one day but me and one of my friends here, a Fellow European*, are beyond delighted at the prospect (though her first reaction was 'Are you serious? Can people here read?'). I still think it's a shame that you have to be a virtual detective here to find out what's up in a cultural sense (I'm talking to you lame Georgia Straight).

As expected the English Boy has already fallen for Van hook, line and sinker, not to mention been able to find a pub where you can go up to the bar and don't need to have waiter service, and has made about 12 times more friends than I have. Peculiarly, I still like him, and he's invited me over for dinner next week.

Luckily the pound and a half of make up I had to plaster on before meeting him stayed stunningly in place for the duration of the afternoon. If I had been born before the advent of Benefit cosmetics I think there's a good chance I might never have been able to leave the house.

Please note if the title of this post puzzles you, check out the wonderful Aussie sitcom Kath & Kim. I regret to say I've been resembling Kimmie of late and resolve to stop.

* you are never European when you are in Europe, only once you're in North America, where Europe is just one place. British people never consider themselves European at all until they travel, when they will gladly take on the mantle of European exoticism. That way we can differentiate ourselves from a nation of people who cannot correctly pronounce the word 'out' and another nation consisting of hordes of folk who hadn't heard of Leonardo da Vinci until The Da Vinci Code was made into a movie.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Inertia + Hormones = Grumpy & Lazy

Today I am writing again (and have even done the laundry and changed the beds!) in an effort to get over my current state of negativity. I am severely hormonally imbalanced at the moment and although the strange split second headaches I was experiencing have faded I am still without my usual womanly functions. I looked this state of affairs up on the internet but was greeted by 50,000 articles all saying 'maybe you're pregnant' so I stopped looking.

Yeah, if this were biblical times, maybe.

I started crying on the phone to LNB and then soon after every little irritation about life and work here came tumbling out. She is a phenomenal pep talker and I managed to get some sleep after (which has been difficult). Misery in one's new adventurous life is arduous to explain but I was heartwarmed by her affirmation that I am not a complete moron. Still, each day here increases my certainty that the only people who can truly appreciate this place are those who have recently undergone some kind of lobotomy. It's possible there is an actual anti-intellectual movement going on. But then again the existence of any underground scene at all is probably too much to hope for.

Oh look my aim to mellow the negativity got swiftly derailed. I must get it back on track as I am catching up with an old friend tomorrow and I would like to resist giving him the impression that I am a grumpy bitch. I must conjure up some other things to focus on, besides by dissatisfaction and bewilderment. We can can talk about him instead! This doesn't usually work. He is not a fan of that. Usually we just eat dessert and I gaze at him pathetically and think about how much he reminds me of Hugh Jackman.

I would like to thank my secret facebook spy who let me know that I have a hometown companion in the vicinity. This is necessary as facebook stopped being fun for me a very long time ago. Let's just say I am a compulsive clicker and leave it at that.

Perhaps social networking is changing the world and I am missing out on an imperitive advancement of my generation. I don't care. I don't want to know what (any of my) my ex-boyfriend(s) ate for breakfast.


I never gave much thought to the fact I have turned out to be an aesthetically focused person.

That was until I rocked up in a location where it's apparent I am the only one.

Obviously there have to be some other people who care about design or fashion or style (in any context) in the locality, but it's possible they are all tucked away working in the studios of the Emily Carr Institute to make any visible impact on the city.

It really matters to me how things look. If you've ever seen my hair 20 minutes after I've washed it or observed the state of my room you might laugh at this, but it's true. I once had a boy tell me, after I grimaced repeatedly at his baseball cap (he wasn't American or a baseball player - so what gives?) that I could wear a bin bag and he wouldn't care. Although the sentiment was the kind of thing girls everywhere long to hear after being bored to tears by prescriptive girly magazines with only one idea of 'cute' .... I wasn't impressed. You should care, is what I thought.

Advanced aestheticism is one of the traits that make us human after all.

All this preamble leads to the small and dull point that I hate wearing trainers. I wear them to walk the dog and even though it's true they surround my feet in cushiony bliss, they turn every single outfit into something straight from a very unfortunate council estate/trailerpark. For a start the pair I have here are ugly. The lady of the house I work for sold them to me as she had just bought them and didn't like them. It was one of those weird moments where she was all 'You can try these' as if she would lend them to me, but then quoted me a price.

They're not even my actual size, but they seemed to fit, and in all honesty it was the thought of shopping for trainers filling me with despair that made me accept her offer and take them off her hands.

Yesterday I wore an adorable floral pinafore with an A-line skirt and a top with cute metal fasteners. Then I put the trainers on. I looked down to see I had been transformed into a chubby chick in a tennis dress. (I have not been able to stop eating since I arrived. I don't look much different but my face is slightly moonier and my stomach has a small protective barrel encircling it. Plus that pinafore always gives me a bountiful rack where no such rack exists.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A note on the name

In case you haven't cottoned on (and why would you? All I've done so far is talk about what I've eaten) the VanCougar of the title is actually Vancouver. A city so beautiful it is like a high school cheerleader. Vapid, superficial, and probably on drugs.

I must give credit to the woman who coined the phrase VanCougar which I then stole to use as my blog name. In fact she deserves a prize, your prize, my dearest friend, is to be immortalized in a lazy blog full of incompetent syntax and nonsensical metaphors. What would you like to be called? Please let me know, or I might end up nicknaming you Legally Non Blonde or LNB for short, since tomorrow is the day you start Law School. I will be praying for your soul, don't worry.

Of course LNB, your real prize for being someone I miss so much I actually cried about it in recent history, is that I am your very own personal high school cheerleader, forever. I will always be there to binge and bitch with you; in spirit, gchat and in real life.

I have a feeling LNB had no idea how right she was naming my new city VanCougar - although the official cougar age must be at least 40 (according to that well known reliable source, the Urban Dictionary) I feel that at the tender age of 28 (HA!) I could pass for a cougar in this town. Everyone here seems to be drinking from some secret fountain of youth.

Yeah yeah, it's down to all the things I complain about, or will in the future if I have time, the constant 'hiking' (sometimes it's just called a walk ya know) the lack of pollution, the overbearing interest in a healthy diet... Surely I could drink from this fountain of youth too? Not while I'm convinced it's some kind of cult, no.

At least this giddy youthfulness has made me strongly assess who I should be seeking out here as friends or anything else. My last big crush involved me baking a ridiculous amount of treats for someone who cannot legally drink in half the western world - this is not something I wish to repeat here. In light of that, any man on a skateboard gets instantly ruled out. This may seem obvious in London where most boarders are of the 14 year old variety who like to boast to hot girls passing by that they 'work out'. Here in Vancouver I run the risk of obliterating a quarter of eligible men (actual adult ones!) by saying no to skate boards. However, it's a risk I'm willing to take. The Cougar of the title is meant to remain ironic for as long as possible.

If you're wondering how it's possible for a person to complain about a lack of pollution then stay tuned.

Multigrain Krispie Fraud Exposure

It's just one small heartbreak after another.

As well as finding out that the bliss of having 2 weeks with no family to clean up after and do laundry for is to be interrupted immediately by a colleague coming to crash, I just opened the 'Rice Krispies' to discover they aren't Rice Krispies at all.

These, honey flavoured monstronsities are actually Multigrain Krispies and they couldn't snap, crackle or pop if they tried.

At 175 calories a (no)pop though, I can't be too picky. I'm down to one caramel Mars bar with precious little candy money left.

(Don't worry too much - the candy money is depleted because I now require drinking money to explore Yaletown tonight.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Where am I? Why am here?

This might be the fifth blog I have started and while the other 4 are languishing somewhere in cyper-purgatory, I think I can do this.

I have enough free time, a computer, and many things to complain about. Plus, I occasionally drink at home (thanks Jack Kerouac) so my ideas and plots should be forthcoming.

In my earlier blog incarnation I wanted to Explore Issues Important To Me, which is probably why it got stuck as all the socio-political concepts and thoughts whirled around in my head. This time I just want to figure out why I have voluntarily moved to a place that is making me so frustrated and miserable I just ate 3 caramel Mars bars in one day for lack of anything better to do. (And due to a nearby WallMart.)

Why aren't I blaming my lack of self control? Might be the first question. Well usually my self control is very highly evolved - I take pleasure in my willpower like Frog in 'Frog and Toad'.

Perhaps it is because in my new role as domestic wench I have just been asked to 'do a daily vomit check' on each floor of this 3 story house (for the aging cat's splendiferous hair ball churning), and 'occasionally check for poop' in the back garden (for the witless yet lovable dog). Perhaps I wanted to drown out the fact that I am in fact stupid enough to accept a position which includes monitoring of all feline and canine excretions, or because it never occurred to me in the first place that such things would be necessary. Ever, anywhere. I grew up in an environment blessedly free of vomit and poop (I'm the youngest child so all the vomit and poop was mine and I never had to clean it up). Also animal bodily functions are much grosser than human ones, in if you ask me. They're stinkier, and harder to anticipate.

Yes, I wanted to drown it all out. Drown it out in caramel.