Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Karma's got her own timetable.

There is often an extra step required for me in retail transactions. This means that unsuspecting people queued up behind me sometimes have to wait an extra few minutes to be rung through.

The other day, after I'd been waiting in a long line-up, a second cash register opened, so I told the woman behind me that she might want to go to the other line since my transaction takes an extra minute. (And, ironically, becaUse it often requires making a photocopy, the busier a store is, the longer it usually takes!) So, I told the man standing behind her, as well. They both said "Thanks for the heads-up!"

The man behind them, though, said to me, "Well, do you mind if I just go ahead of you, then?"

I said, apologetically, "Oh, I'm sorry but I've been waiting in line for about ten minutes and and I am actually running late to meet some friends..." (Not to mention that if I didn't mind just letting people go, I would have told the other two people to go ahead of me, wouldn't I? And then where would it end, especially in the Christmas rush!?)

This prompted him to snort, and say, in a very nasty way, "That's okay. Karma has a way of coming around."

What I didn't say, but I should have said was "Yeah, I agree. So besides me, who were you a jerk to, today?"

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chrisss-mussssss is just around the corner

I didn't mention which corner, okay? When I started drafting this in my head, it was pre-Christmas. But I didn't get all my Christmas cards mailed before Christmas, so don't think that you're slighted. I've now turned the corner and left Christmas behind me... apart from the intention to keep Christmas in my heart every day. That's what we're supposed to do, right?

A few days before Christmas, one of my friends asked me if I wanted to go see Barry Manilow. Do I!? Actually, I didn't. Then I got to thinking about how I have never seen some other legends and that it might be a fun thing to do. And whether you like him or not: Barry. Is. A. Legend. So I thought twice about saying no. Then, I looked up some of his songs. Mandy! I Write the Songs! Copacabana! Can't Smile Without You! Okay! I'm in.

I brought a friend with me and off we trekked on a slippery night to a northern suburb of Chicago to see Barry. But first, we had dinner during which I discovered that Barry was giving a "Holiday Show" and that he wouldn't be singing the hits. That didn't sound good. That didn't sound good at all.

But on we forged. I have never seen so many Christmas sweaters. And socks. Christmas motifs, it seems, aren't just for sweaters anymore.

After the opening act of a Vegas-style "mentalist", who humiliated one nervous woman for sport (not. nice.) Barry came out. With a full orchestra - including a harp. And four back-up singers in red satin dresses. And a Christmas medley of Home for the Holidays and Winter Wonderland and some other Christmas tunes. Barry did play Mandy. But Jingle Bells Rock was a high price to pay for it. He also sang what he called a "new holiday classic" (huh?), called "Christmas Is Just Around the Corner". Twice. He sang that twice. That was also a high price to pay.

Now, about Barry. He just doesn't look healthy. He can still belt them out, but he doesn't look like he's had a meal since the turn of the century. He really needs a snack. And as a result, all that hair just looks dangerous. Like, if it got wet, his bones might break. It was a concern.

But I heard Copacabana sung live, surrounded by a lot of Manilooneys in Christmas sweaters. So I figure I just gotta milk a cow, now, and I'm good. And I don't really have to do that again, now, do I?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bonnet Rippers

Welcome to my ramblings. This is a place for a transplanted Canuck to share her observations on life in the USA, on friendship, on knitting, on pottery and food... really, on anything that I do in a day. Stick around. Some of it's funny.

So, I have been waking up at about 5 am every morning for the past week. month. months. year. Okay, I've been sleeping terribly for about a year. I wake up at 5 a lot lately, and that's on a good day. Some days I fall asleep again. Some days, I just look like crap.

I've been keeping books beside my bed to read. I don't want anything too interesting or engaging. I don't want anything that makes me want to keep reading one more chapter. It has to be simple enough for a sleepy brain to follow, but engaging enough that the same brain doesn't start to wander to the things that are keeping me awake. Sometimes I read non-fiction that I've already read.

One day, a few weeks back, I heard a radio story on CBC to which I was only paying slight attention. The radio happened to be on, and I didn't turn it off. It was a panel discussion on literature, specifically romance literature. At one point, they were talking about the death of great romance novels. One of the authors quipped something to the effect of "Well, in order to have a great love story, you need some social adversity, I think. And 'I deleted your e-mail' doesn't really cut it."

That night over dinner, I was reading the Wall Street Journal, and there was an article on the hottest new genre of fiction - romances set in Amish communities. Immediately, I thought of Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis! I was intrigued and the comment that I'd heard on CBC that day clicked and I thought: I've gotta get one! I don't know why, because romance novels aren't my thing at all. Then I realized that the only thing I don't like about them is the self-conscious descriptions of sex. (Ew.)

I have read three Amish romance novels, now, and I can tell you that they're exactly what I want in a bedside novel: predictable, formulaic and not to be confused with serious literature. Each cover features bucolic scene and a squeaky clean young woman in a bonnet and a plain, modest dress. These are no bodice rippers. They're all of the flirtation, the anticipation, the delicious desire... without the overwrought descriptions of sexual activity!

The Bonnet Ripper! Because seriously, how many times can we watch Witness for the dance scene in the barn?