Sunday, July 31, 2011

Athena the Waitress

The list just keeps getting longer. I've been a: commissioned painter, flier deliverer, administrative assistant, gas station attendant, Athena (this was my official job title and the people who came after me were called Athenas as well), security guard, security dispatcher, portrait photographer(x2), customer service agent at a gym, graphic designer, room attendant, telemarketer(x2), front desk agent at a hotel, charity fundraiser, order taker at a pizza place and now, a waitress. These are pretty much in the order that I did them, starting from about age 5 or 6 and carrying on through the past 20+/- years - and there's a very high chance that I've left some out.

Waitressing isn't bad. It was much better today (day 2) than yesterday. I had my own tables today (only 2) with really nice guests. Everything went swimmingly. Plus, I now know what a fish fork looks like, which is something I never thought I would have any reason to know. I guess you learn something new every day.

My feet hurt and I'm going to sleep. I don't have to wake up at 6:30 tomorrow morning, which makes me a happy camper, believe you me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Adventure with Cancer

As I write this, I have sitting in my draft posts an open letter to some puritanical nutcase regarding his take on the sexual revolution. The reason it is in draft stage is that, almost 500 words in (not counting footnotes) I still have a lot to say on the subject.

So why is it when today, upon learning that my uncle's cancer has returned, I was rendered completely speechless?

I found out via facebook, of all things. He created a page called My Adventure with Cancer to update his friends and family on his journey while he fights this disease for the second time. Even after the initial shock, when I'd managed to stop crying and calm myself down a bit, I couldn't bring myself to like the page. Of course I want to be kept up to date. Of course I want to be able to send messages of support. But - and this is going to sound stupid - I kept thinking my FB profile page is going to read Athena McCormick likes My Adventure with Cancer.

I told myself this was stupid. Everyone will understand that Facebook uses very limited language to talk about everything, no one is actually going to think that I like the fact that my uncle has cancer. So I decided to click the dreaded like button, to ensure that I'll get emails or updates will end up in my newsfeed or however the Hell Facebook does things these days. But when I went to do it, I still couldn't. I saw all the messages of support coming in from my uncle's friends, offering prayers and well-wishes and I couldn't think of anything to say. At least, nothing that seemed right. I'm not religious. I pray. I prayed every single day from the time I found out he had cancer the first time, until after the surgery he had to remove it. I had a little chant, so as not to leave anything out. That his surgery would work, that they would get all the cancer, that he would be ok. But offering my prayers to the universe-in-general to a Christian man who knows I don't share his faith seems wrong somehow, like taking a coal-powered train to an environmental protest. I thought, I should tell him I love him - and then I thought, how incredibly awkward would that be? My family love each other, of course we do, but we don't go around saying it all the time, and I kept thinking that if I tell him I love him suddenly, after hearing this news, it's going to look like I think he's going to die.

I've lost three family members to cancer, a much-loved aunt and both of my grandfathers. I imagine a world where every disease is cured, every war ended, any injury can be mended and we all die of cancer. What a horrible imagination I have.

Eventually, I came up with what I wanted to say and I said it - part of it. I put it out into the world and now I just have to hope that it was enough, that it was the right thing to say, that the occasion didn't require something more or less or different.

You would think, in a world like ours, so besieged by terrible diseases, there would be a protocol for this, an etiquette. That somewhere, a prim British lady with white gloves and an ugly hat should be telling young girls what to say when a family member is diagnosed - while the girls balance books on their heads and walk in circles around a reception room. You would think.

There's some comfort, perhaps, in the idea that we're all muddling through this, that no one knows how they're supposed to behave in these situations. And it's nice to know that I come from a family of fighters, of people who don't give up, of people who are determined to beat the odds.

It makes me proud. It really does.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

IRN BRU - Feel Phenomenal

Mmmm Irn Bru.
Ok, Irn Bru has absolutely nothing to do with this post, except that mi novio found my bottle from a couple of days ago in his bag this morning, so I have something tasty to drink while I blog.

Yesterday was pretty much a nothing day; I spent the entire day indoors, applying for jobs and not watching a movie. The day before, however...

I woke up at 8:00am, all set to get dressed and get a bus to my new job for 11:30. Except, as I mentioned in the previous post, my new job made me want to kill myself. So I really didn't want to go. Really, as in, the idea of going made me want to burst into tears and/or hyperventilate. I thought because I'd done telesales before, it would be somehow easier this time. Not so. Actually, it's a lot worse when you know that there is no possible chance of your job improving, ever. So after much deliberation and declarations that I would spend every possible moment looking for a new job, if only I could quit this one, I called the recruitment agent who found it for me and told him thanks, but no thanks. I know there will be a lot of people thinking I'm insane because unemployment is so high and yes, there is a chance that things will get so desperate that I have to go crawling back to the recruitment agency and beg for call centre work, but for right now, relieved doesn't even begin to cover how I feel.

On the subject of British nationals who complain that immigrants are stealing all their jobs: I don't blame you at all for not wanting to work in a call centre, but if you really are willing to do anything, there are a lot jobs available. Also, please stop bitching about immigrants getting paid British pensions as if all the money comes from your taxes. If we immigrants are expected to pay into the pension fund, we have every right to take out of it when we retire. Alternatively, if you don't want us collecting pensions, start petitioning your government to have us pay fewer deductions on our wages.

So, after quitting my job (and setting a new record for least time in employment - not counting the 'voluntary assessment' period at a company that was very vague about themselves right up until they tricked me onto a bus and tried to get me to do door-to-door canvasing), I went with my guy to a shop that was having a kick ass sale on outdoor clothing, so he could buy a really good rain jacket for much less than it was worth. He insisted on getting me a jacket too, despite my protests. It's a really nice jacket ♥

After that, we walked around (in our spiffy new jackets) and handed out CVs to a million different hotels and three or four recruitment agencies.

At one of the hotels, we walked in and I saw a bird stuck in the window and trying desperately to escape. So instead of asking if they had work available right away, I ended up catching this tiny bird and setting him free outside. He was so sweet and soft and scared and I really don't care if I killed any chances of them hiring me by rescuing him (personally, if it were my hotel, I'd hire someone because they'd saved a bird from my lobby).

After CVing, the weather had gotten quite warm, probably because we'd just bought rain jackets. I was extremely excited about this because I'd been dying to go swimming since January, when Spoy and I did the polar bear dip in Jasper. So we went home and I changed into my bathing suit, then we went to the beach. The water was ass cold, but swimming was super fun (although short-lived).

After I got changed back into clothes (+jacket), we walked along the beach, then through the park, went to the grocery store and bought salmon and wine and potatoes, came home and had an amazing dinner.

Now it's bucketing down rain, so I think the job search will be conducted mostly indoors today. In either case, it's definitely shower time soon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

And I'm Back

We finally got our Internet sorted a couple of days ago. Prior to that, we'd been using the computers at the library since moving into the new place, which is why this blog hasn't been updated in a million. So a couple of things...

Number one, the above picture is of a design which I created for a T shirt, mostly for my sisters, but really, for anyone who knows and loves Supernatural (and irony). I'm thinking I'd really like to do an A Team one with the original A Team. I'm a little strapped for time* at the moment, so we'll see how it goes.

*Number two, I got a job, which is why I'm strapped for time. I'm working for a recruitment company and at the moment, they've got me working at a call centre. Today was my first day and I just about left to go buy a melon baller, so that I could remove my eyes and subsequently scoop out my brain. I don't understand how something so mind numbingly dull can be so stressful at the same time. I really don't want to go back tomorrow. Really a lot.

Number three, is up and running again. So hooray there.

Now it's time for the new Torchwood, so no plug at the end of this post.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fish in the Water

We left Brighton on Saturday night and today we move into our new place. We've been staying with friends in the meanwhile, having a gay old time.

On Sunday, we went to Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge and Bath. It was wonderful. I was most excited to see Stonehenge, but at the end of the day, I think the cathedral was the most amazing. We couldn't take pictures of the inside, but as we walked in and I heard the choir singing, I found myself fighting back tears. For people who haven't left North America, it's hard to comprehend the majesty of somewhere like this; we don't have any buildings as old or as grand to compare it to. If you're ever in England, go to Salisbury and see the Cathedral. I can't wait to go back on a day when it isn't in use and see the tower.

Today, being the day we move into the new place, I need to find a new job. Sometimes it seems like all I do is look for new jobs and new places to live... and then I remember all of the new experiences I've had since coming to the U.K. in February, and it seems like I complain a lot more than I ought. Anyway, I did relatively little with the place hunting this time around, so the energy I saved there can go into finding a job.

On that note, I should cut this short and get to it. I'll just mention that a) my end-of-post plug took up way too much space last time and needs to be shorter and b) is currently down, but I'm working to get it fixed ASAP.

Aigaion Girl ... a story of the end of days is available on Get your copy now!

Friday, July 1, 2011

More Dinosaurs

So, to add to the life finds a way design I posted a couple of days ago, I thought I would share this video of a T rex in the mall (sadly, I won't likely be back to this mall for a long time). Wish my BF could have come with me and we could have taken cheesy pictures in front of it, but, alas, he had to work :( Anyway, this is as close to Canada Day fireworks as I'll get on this blog, so please enjoy.

I have so much packing to do today. I should get a jump on it, but I think I need to go back to sleep for an hour or two if I'm going to be anything other than completely useless by this evening.

And, in addition to packing, it's time to start the great job/accommodation hunt yet again. One day, we might live in the same place for several months on end. One day.

I think that's it for me, other than to add that I plan to start shamelessly plugging my stuff (my book, T shirt designs, etc.) at the bottom of every post. You've been warned.

All Apple has ever wanted is to be left alone - but having twelve inch horns sticking out of her head hasn't exactly made that easy. And to make matters worse, she's started to notice the signs; the world is going to end... Now she and her best frienemy, the angel Camael, are torn between doing the right thing and hiding under a rock until it's all over. Meanwhile, Apple is being bedeviled on all sides, by her angel friend, her human mother, her demon father and Moloch, a general of Hell's army, who wants to recruit her for his own unknown reasons.

Aigaion Girl ... a story of the end of days is on sale now. You can get your copy from, or click the flag of your country on my writing page.