Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Gardener

My father-in-law came over this morning and mowed our lawn. I didn't ask him to, he just did. He may have been feeling some second-hand embarrassment for us (our lawn-mower is busted and our yard looked like the one in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), but I know he mostly just did it out of the goodness of his heart. He's one of those people.

So then Sullivan and I spent our morning out there; he sat in his sandbox and rode his tricycle while I read a book. It was so relaxing not having to worry about losing him in a clump of grass or having him eaten by a lioness who could conceivably be lurking nearby in that jungle of a backyard. Bless you, Marty.

So then, I was looking around myself at all of the dirt and empty space where the previous owners had probably planted things and I thought, "I should be a gardener." I pictured myself picking stuff and eating it, not having to make so many trips to the grocery store, having people walk through my yard and say, "You have such a green thumb, Suzy!" It was a great daydream.

I would go to the store! I would buy seeds and gardening tools! I would have a bountiful feast on the supper table by the time Barclay arrived home from work tonight and I'd say to him, "Look at the fruits of my labour! I grew this all myself!"

And he'd say, "Even the spaghetti?"

And I'd say, "Yeah!"

So I got out my phone and started Googling. It was exactly like the time I wanted to make croissants from scratch and Googled croissant recipes.

This one looks decent. What does this entail? Hm... Wait, why do I have to leave the dough in the fridge overnight? I want croissants today. New recipe. Seriously? This one too? Okay, what do they mean, "laminate the dough"? What do they mean, "pliable but not cold"? Why is this recipe fifty-four pages long? New recipe. Why are they all like this? Different Google search: Easy, fast croissants. Nothing. New Google Search: Croissant hacks. Nothing. 

I never ended up making my own croissants, by the way. I went to the grocery store and got those canned Pillsbury ones. They're delicious anyway, and take approximately twenty minutes from start to finish, grocery trip included. Someone else does all the work, I do all the eating.

...Much like vegetables.

Maybe I'll plant some tulips and call it a day.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

High School and Large Groups of New People

Two things that terrify me: high school and meeting large groups of new people all at once. Or at all.

Two things I did this weekend: revisited high school and met a large group of new people all at once - and when I say 'large group,' I'm talking relative to meeting, say, one new person. It was at least twice that. (It was two people.) It was even a blind date-type of situation, which is even more daunting. More on that in a moment.

First, high school:

On Friday night, I went to a Yearbook Party. I capitalized that as though Yearbook Parties are a common thing that most people know about and go to regularly. I don't think this is true. I think we even invented it, kind of (probably not). Everyone had to dress as their high school selves and bring whatever yearbooks they still had in their possession, and then we listened to Big Shiny Tunes and applied Lip Smackers and laughed at each others' teenager-ness. It was a super vulnerable exercise. I don't love my teenager-ness, but I also feel fiercely protective of it. Like, "Don't laugh at her; she was so young. She didn't know what she was doing/wearing/saying/thinking." I generally would like for the people I know now to not even come into contact with the people I knew then. I'd like for people to pretend Me Now is Me Always and not do any kind of dangerous delving.

But we delved. We read valedictorian speeches (not mine, duh) and pointed out funny haircuts and a thing I discovered is that no one Now is them Always. And I need to cut Me Then some slack because she was living in the 90s and everyone was just kind of ridiculous in the 90s. Poor Me Then. Poor all of us Then. Besides, in the 2030s, Me Then is going to think Me Now is a lamewad. I'm going to be all embarrassed about my skinny jeans and bad sense of humour. Plus, I'll have this online record of me from this entire decade of my life that anyone will be able to access whenever they want (THANK GOODNESS BLOGS WERE NOT AROUND FOR HIGH SCHOOL ME -- CAPS LOCK WARRANTED). (Related: is blogging maybe a terrible idea?)

This is convoluted. Not a good lead-in to the other thing I did this weekend.

Speaking of the other thing I did this weekend: do you remember in the fall when I did that Writer-in-Residence thing? Well she, the aforementioned Writer, emailed a couple of weeks ago to suggest I meet up with a few other local women who had gone to see her. She was like, "Here are some email addresses. You guys should all hang. Be friends. Write together. Whatever whatever." Like a teenage girl who's been in a committed relationship for three months and is anxious for her single friends to join her in Dating Land. A literary matchmaker.

Most of us bit.

So today, I went to a coffee shop to meet up with these women, and I didn't even realize until I got there that I had no idea what they looked like. I should've said I was going to be holding a red rose or wearing a hat with a feather or something. I had a friend with me, another victim of Dr. Nilofar's matchmaking scheme, and we picked a table at the very back of the cafe and assessed every single person who walked through the doors.

"Do you think she looks like a writer?"

"Oh, no, see? She's with that guy."

"Right. How about her?"

"Nah. She looks like she's been playing sports."

"Right. Writers don't play sports?"

"I don't think so. Do you play sports?"

"No."

A few of the women didn't even show up, which was kind of a relief for my frazzled nerves. Meeting people has gotten hard in recent years. I used to love it, but now it's a whole big Thing. I blame it on the Internet, because I think that's what my generation blames everything on. I'm not sure how, but the Internet has made me afraid of people. It might have something to do with YouTube comments sections, or it might have something to do with avatars being so much smaller than actual people. I mean, if you look at tiny little people all day long, real, actual-sized people are kind of startling.

So anyway, the women came into the shop and seemed to find us with no problem, and I didn't spontaneously combust when we shook hands. They were really nice, which was helpful, and smart, and, like, legit writer-types. It was the kind of blind date where you go hoping the other person doesn't turn out to be a dud and then, after you meet them, you realize that you're actually the dud. And then you're like, "Rats. I hope there's going to be a second date even though I'm the dud."

But we made a second date. I think we're officially a club or something. It was really exciting, but I'm already nervous for that one. I think I laughed too loud and agreed with everyone too quickly today. I worry that my smile looked pained or that I made too much or too little eye contact. I'm trying to imagine that they're all introverted and ultra-shy too, to make myself feel better. Do I feel better? I don't think so. I can't tell. My stomach feels like it's full of lightbulbs.

Lightbulbs! Can you imagine?


Monday, May 02, 2016

Rex

Hey! Remember that time I made up an app and called it Recs and entered it into a contest and it got second place (that is to say, it lost and was never heard of again)? You can read all about it here if you've forgotten.

Anyway, this morning I saw on Twitter that Jimmy Fallon was raving about this new app called Rex, which is exactly the same as my app in every possible way. Like, I had drawn up prospective screen shots for that app for the contest, and this app has all of the same features in all of the same places and the exact same overall concept and design. I'm not exaggerating; it was eerie. It was like that moment in It Takes Two (you know? The one with the Olsen twins?) when they see each other for the first time and they're so shocked to find out they have a look-alike. It was exactly like that, except I think somebody faints in that scene, and I didn't. I just gasped and yelled, "Jimmy Fallon! No! Mine!" I even pointed at myself as though he could see me. That was kind of silly. I should've just fainted.

Anyway.

It's so close that a couple of my friends have already texted this morning to say that they think I was unlawfully relieved of my intellectual property. I, however, am of the belief that everyone on the internet is good and trustworthy, and that no one steals anything from anybody. Hahaha.

But seriously, I do believe that there are a lot of people on the internet and sometimes two of them might have the exact same idea with the exact same name, layout, and design. It does happen. Somewhere out there is a guy with the same exact brain as me - isn't that terrifying?

In any case, I'm just glad this app exists now - that was the point in the beginning anyway. I wanted an app like this to exist and I couldn't find one like it, and I couldn't get anyone to build it for me, and now, here it is. And it's exactly what I wanted it to be, down to the name and design (though, I do like Recs better than Rex, if I'm being honest). This is a stroke of luck, I think.

ANYWAY. You should download Rex and find me on there (suzykrause). It's free. We can recommend stuff to each other. It's everything I ever wanted. Plus I didn't have to fund it. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday and Chocolate Cake

It doesn't really feel like Monday. Barclay recently started this new job and now he works on strange days, and has strange days off, too. Yesterday felt like Saturday, because he worked on the actual Saturday so that felt like Friday, and today feels like it should be Sunday, but he has next Friday off so today is kind of like Tuesday.

I've always put a lot of stock into what day of the week it is. For example, when I wake up on a Friday, I'm instantly filled with a little rush, like I've just had a bite of chocolate cake. Yes! my brain says, It's FRIDAY. Good. Even if something sad happens or it's raining, the fact that it's Friday is enough.

On Saturday, conversely, I might wake up and think, Oh. Only two more days of weekend left. 

(A thing I need to work on is living in the moment - not too much, just enough to enjoy Saturdays instead of being sad that they end.) 

Anyway, it is Monday. I know it for sure, because I have plans. Exciting ones. 

Tonight, I'm going to this thing called Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids. It is exactly, exactly what it sounds like. If you live here, you should go. It's at the Artesian at 8. Bring chocolate cake, two forks, and sit right behind me.

And then tomorrow, Tuesday, which will feel kind of like Monday but also a little like Wednesday, I'm going to Talkies, which is a thing at the theatre in the public library where they show a terrible movie and two comedians sit in the front row with mics and make fun of what's happening on the screen the whole time - so, real-life Mystery Science Theatre 3000, if you know what that is. Admission is a donation (food or money) to the Regina Food Bank, so the evening ends up being a very nice hybrid of good deed and lazy selfish fun. You should come. Your face will hurt, and that's a promise. 

I have other plans too, on other nights, but you're not invited to those. Unless you bring chocolate cake.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Come In, Come In

(If you find yourself confused by this post, part I is here; maybe read that first)

My parents have been keeping me updated on the house progress via text and picture messages (for example, one day I got a text from Dad that said, "I think I got the flue!" accompanied by a selfie of him working on the chimney - he's never been one to shy away from a good dad joke. Or any other kind of dad joke.)

It's no small thing to move an old three-storey farmhouse 228 km, so there's lots to share, but I feel like most of you are just kind of itching to see the inside of this place. Let's call these the 'before' pictures, even though there'd already been a fair amount of work done before I took them.

Welcome:

Here's the front porch.




Step inside and to your left, and you're in the main floor's only bedroom. The next pictures are the dining room, living room, kitchen, butler's pantry, and staircase to the second floor.

(Hint: Look down if you're confused about which room you're in - no two floors are alike in this place.)



The second floor has four bedrooms and a bathroom - again, keep an eye on the floors. (The skateboard in the one bedroom did not come with the house. Mom and Dad have been using it to haul the cast-iron radiators out of the rooms they're working on. Those things are heavy.)



Last but not least: the attic, which is going to be one big bedroom.



And that's it. Or, a very condensed snapshot of it, anyway. More to come!