Friday, October 27, 2006

T's and C's are BS

So I'm at work, procrastinating because the task before me is about as appealing as eating shit for breakfast. I have to write a Terms and Conditions document. You know, those microprinted Legal-looking documents that no one ever reads and just clicks "I Accept." Yeah, that's my job. For someone who considers themselves a moderatley creative human being, this is a good way to suck the soul out of you.

However, I have to keep my rage muted; carry on complacently pretending I don't want to rip my eyeballs out and chuck my keyboard out the window.

I keep having these cruel fantasies about adding something offensive to the copy to see if anyone catches it... something like:

2. ELIGIBILITY: You are eligible to participate in the Promotion if you are: (a) a legal resident of the Qualifying Countries and have reached the age of majority in the province, state or district in which you reside; (b) you are a closet child molester for a full launch carrier with a slight tendency to remove your clothing in public; (c) you are employed as a Support Representative during the Promotion Period....

Maybe I would have more motivation for this on a Monday. Maybe my other tasks will be more appealing... or maybe I will just get a whole new job altogether. I've restarted my rigorous job search looking for something that allows to me to make use of that mult-thousand dollar degree I recently obtained. Honestly, somedays all I can think is that "I am SO much better than this!"

They've recently moved me to a new cube. Yes, a luxary 3-wall semi-enclosed space with my very own file cabinet and built-in white board. Sadly, this actually made me a little bit excited to come to work. If this is as good as it gets, I need to get out. Fast.

Tonight, I will be drinking copious amounts of booze to help me forget about all this. I will look forward to those job offers in the near future for something that actually resembles a career rather than the monotonous monkey work that is my job.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tis the Season

...for a ghost story :) Here's one I wrote...because my mom begged me to for this Halloween event she's hosting in Kincardine. Since this is the first peice of creative writing I've done in a terribly long time, I thought I'd unleash it onto the world.



It was an unseasonably cold day for October, the kind of day you can almost smell winter approaching. The wind howled menacingly outside, creating a high-pitched whistle as it traveled between the weathered window panes.

Hilda MacLean sat up in her chair and peered out of the darkened windows onto a dimly lit Durham Street. The creases around her eyes deepened as she squinted at the night sky. Just the hint of a smile crept across her face as she watched, with interest, the slow and eerie rise of a grinning full moon. “A perfect night for All Hallow’s Eve,” she thought to herself.

The loud purring which reached the old woman’s ears came from the black cat that had leapt up on the table next to the rocking chair she was sitting in.

“Yes, my sweet,” she said to the cat. “Isn’t this a pretty night we have in store for us?”

As if comprehending every word Hilda said, the cat’s piercing green eyes stared deep into the old woman’s wrinkled orbs.

“You know what this means, don’t you my pretty?” The cat meowed softly in response. “It is the passing of an age, is what it is. A transition. Many long years I’ve seen, my pretty, but there is an ending to every story, and Hilda has seen it all, yes indeed.”

Hilda shifted uncomfortably in her rocking chair, and pushed herself up with a groan. She stood, awkwardly, stroking the cat’s fur with one gnarled finger. Coughing loudly, she made her way to the kitchen to prepare some tea.

“Oh, this ol’ gal ain’t what she used to be,” she said gruffly. More coughing. Hilda weakly cleared her throat. She reached for her teacup, but suddenly froze mid-reach. A deep pain attacked her chest. Her eyes bulged, and she stopped dead in her tracks. The teacup fell to the ground with a smash. The cat’s ears perked in the other room; its eyes widened, knowingly.

Hilda died suddenly, her dilapidated body now crumpled in a heap on the kitchen floor.

Trick-or-treaters came knocking, but left empty handed. Mail arrived and piled up outside her door. Days passed and, sadly, no one noticed her absence.

One afternoon, many days later, the mailman arrived, and noting that the mail from the previous week had not been collected, became suspicious. He knocked loudly on the door. “Mrs. MacLean,” he called. “Are you there?” Nothing. He knocked again, longer and louder. Still nothing, although he swore he could hear soft purring coming from inside. But he couldn’t be sure.

Concerned at the old woman’s apparent disappearance, he decided to call the OPP. It was not like Hilda to have left her home. After all, she hadn’t left it in over 20 years.

Later that evening, the police arrived and went inside, fearing the worst. They had seen this type of tragedy before. However, nothing could have prepared them for what was about to happen.

The door was unlocked, and the house was alarmingly hot and quiet. More alarming however, was the horrific stench, a smell the officers knew all too well. They slowly crept around, shining flashlights in dark corners, looking for the source of the odour, or for any clue as to Hilda’s whereabouts.

“Hey, come have a look at this!” shouted one of the officers. He pointed at the several clocks around Hilda’s living room. All of them were stopped at the same time: 11:59.

Then they saw it: Hilda’s horribly decomposed body in the middle of the kitchen floor. Her skin, a rotten grey colour, hung in clumps from her face and arms. Her eyes were sunken in, the sockets hollow and dried out. Her hair hung in grey, tangled clumps around her grotesque and ghoulish head. The smell was nauseating.

Then they heard something: a soft purring was coming from…Hilda’s body! The officer’s exchanged quizzical glances, leaned forward, and shone their flashlights. On the other side of the corpse - to their absolute horror - they could see Hilda’s black cat, now mangy and thin, gnawing on the old woman’s right hand. The cat had chewed off several fingers and was working its way through the knuckles.

Annoyed by the interruption, the cat let out a hideous screech, and lifting its blood-covered face into the light, leapt over the corpse, and under the kitchen table, safe from the intruders.

“Lord have mercy,” muttered Constable Jim Martin.

Just as he was turning his face away from the horrifying sight, their eyes met. The cat instantly arched its back, hissed, and stared menacingly at the officer, its piercing green eyes wide and wicked. Constable Martin recoiled backwards, as if shot in the chest by some unseen bullet, and smashed heavily into the opposite wall of the kitchen. His eyes were on fire! He clawed frantically at the afflicted orbs; his terrible screams sending shivers down the other officer’s backs.

Momentarily confused by what had just happened, the other officers gathered their wits about them, and quickly tended to their colleague.

“I can’t see!” he wailed. “I can’t see anything! I’m blind!” Constable Martin, a 10-year veteran of the Ontario Provincial Police, collapsed into a slump on the floor and began sobbing like a frightened child.

Constable Jim Martin had been instantly struck blind. No doctor could offer any rational explanation as to the cause.

Later, Hilda’s body was removed and buried. Her cat, however, was never found.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Live Large

When I told my Dad that I was going to England for the Thanksgiving weekend, he said, with a tone of absolute audacity, "Who on earth goes to England for a weekend?" Why not, I asked? If you have the opportunity, do it. He also posed a similar question when I told him I was headed to Miami for the August long weekend: "Who goes to Florida in the middle of summer?" he asked. Apparently my Dad is much too conservative to understand the excitement that accompanies these short but sweet adventures. Gearing up for retirement, he's the kind of guy who books his 2-week long resort vacation in Cuba two months in advance. He finds spontaneity stressful rather than thrilling.

I'm glad I didn't inherit this limiting attitude. Maybe my dad was more of a thrill-seeker back in the day. Although, I have a feeling he was always this conventional and unadventurous.

I think Mark Twain says it best:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I heart Fall

"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn."
- Elizabeth Lawrence