Sulkiness

sulky:

 

I am the sulkiest adult ever. Pretty much, anyway.

Admittedly, when I first heard that, the definition or impression in my mind was a bit different, so it came across as a little more hurtful and insulting. But I guess the above definition is something I can live with more easily, if need be.

That I am delicate and broken is more difficult to accept, but whatever. It is what it is, and fortunately or unfortunately, I am what I am.

Last night I dreamed that I’d convinced three friends to apply to some kind of secret society thing with me. I knew all about it and felt I could help them to settle into the whole thing if and when we were all accepted. I think the friends may have changed throughout, as I’m pretty sure one was a woman, at one point, but for the most part I think it was Ryan, Drew and Lindsay.

Anyway, I located the rather hidden spot where we had to go for the interview part of the application process, and as luck would have it, I even interviewed with someone I already knew. I was feeling pretty confident, because it seemed to go quite well.

Two of the four of us were accepted. I was not one of them. Still a little confused by it all even after I woke up. And guilty, because I was no longer sure how to help the two friends who’d made it in, especially when they’d only applied because I’d pressured them into it.

This morning, the older woman next to me on the subway lost her balance and would have fallen over had I not caught her.

Broken or not, sometimes I am still stronger than those around me, and can carry both of our weights for a while. So there’s that.

Imaginary

I remember back in the day, before online dating really took off and people were more still using personal ads and the like, my friend and I were joking about how dysfunctional lesbians seemed to be, and created what we felt would have been the perfect ad. We never posted it, of course, but I’ve often been curious about how the direct and honest approach would have actually gone.

We included buzz words like “functional alcoholic”, “mentally unstable”, and “emotionally unavailable”, then peppered in such desirable details like “basement bachelor”, “nine cats”, and/or “retail job”. From there, we added the piece de resistance in the form of generic likes, such as long walks on the beach, and finished it off with an offer no one could resist: “Coffee?”

I don’t even drink coffee, but whatever.

We laughed about how lesbians would be drawn to the broken yet brutally honest figure at the centre of our ad, and each time we phoned in to check for feedback, we’d no doubt be told by the automated recording lady that we had “one…million…new messages!”

Our voicemail-box and our dance cards would have always been full, we were certain.

I have no idea how to sell myself, but I also don’t really like sales. That makes my marketing and PR dream a bit unrealistic, but to me those things feel different – promotion and sales are similar but different in ways that I like.

I think.

Really, I should probably just open a giant wildlife preservation and call all the animals to me like Dr Doolittle.

Dr Suelittle?

Get to be in the studio twice this week, which should be fun. Tonight is our fifth radio play – an old Ellery Queen mystery is on the docket! And then tomorrow we get to chat some with Torri Higginson about the upcoming second season of This Life. My day job life is pretty chaotic right now, and my outside life is…what it is. Stressful. Disappointing. Not sure why it can’t ever be just quiet the way I like.

But then again, maybe that’s not really what I want at all. It’ll be interesting to see how things go from here, I guess.

Writing Prompts – Day 3 of 12

Day 3:  Mystery Cookie

One Day you come into work and find a cookie mysteriously placed on your desk. Grateful

to whoever left this anonymous cookie, you eat it. The next morning you come in and find

another cookie. This continues for months until one Day a different object is left—and this

time there’s a note.

 

Whenever I actually find something left for me on my desk at work – especially if it’s food of any kind – I assume it’s from Generous George, and accept it with gratitude, always thanking him when I see him. For the purposes of this, I’ll assume it was George, but then come to find that it was, in fact, not. Maybe he denies it, and maybe I don’t believe him at first, but eventually come to the supposition that perhaps the cookies are not coming from Georgie at all. I mean, it goes on for months – that’s a lot of false denial on both our parts.

I wonder why “Day” is capitalized in the prompt write-up?

Anyway, one day I come in and, instead of a cookie, I find a small feather. It looks like it’s from a pigeon. And not so much a note – but a map.

(Note: Just got some rather sad news so keeping this short, because I’m no longer very focused on writing at the moment)

So a map. From what I can tell, it’s for an area of my workplace, but one I haven’t been to in years. Not the way it was, anyway. Renovations several years ago rearranged things, so now there is an alarmed security door between where I am now and the stairwell I used to use several times a day. No one really uses that area any more, as this side of the door is just storage space, and all of the offices that used to be on this level have been moved to a different building all together. Other than the washrooms, there’s no need for anyone to come down to the stairwell on the other side of the door anymore. We used to use it as our main entrance and exit back in the day, however, so it doesn’t take long before I recognize what I am looking at.

In fact, it was in that very stairwell – mere months before I moved away for a short time – that a pendant so precious to me I wore it every day, broke suddenly, and a piece of it was lost. It had been a gift, created by hand, and given to me to mark a special day. I valued it almost as much as I valued the one who gave it to me, and even though I changed the cord it hung from a couple of times to keep it strong, the beads and other items which hung from it remained ever the same.

Until that day.

Out of nowhere, the cord suddenly snapped and everything scattered to the tiled floor as I was starting to climb the stairs. I was a tad confused as to how it had broken, as to my knowledge the cord I was using was still in good shape, but the pendant had broken before, and I’d always retrieved all of the pieces, and placed them back in their proper order on a new cord.

This time, I gathered everything up once again, and double-checked to make sure I had it all. I did not. There was a single bead missing. This would not be a huge deal, except that the beads were all in pairs on the pendant, and not having one meant that the balance was all thrown off. What’s more is that a piece of the whole was missing, and that just didn’t sit right with me. Inside, I started to become a little frantic, and then a lot frantic, as the more I searched – even including the help of a friend – the more obvious it became that the bead was gone.

Despite the fact that there was nowhere for it to go. There were no cracks in the tile, no gaps between the floor and the wall which wasn’t sealed. We widened our search to ridiculous proportions, but eventually I had to concede defeat. A bead from my precious pendant was gone, and it felt like a piece of me was missing.

It felt like something important had left me, like the One Ring when it chooses to abandon Gollum in the caverns.

That feeling returns with the memories of that day as I follow the map which had been left on my desk with the wee feather. I actually forgot for a moment that the door is alarmed now and I can’t go through it without setting it off, so I turn sheepishly to go upstairs and outside to come in the other entrance. There is a tiny ‘x’ near a corner of the map, and while it’s close to the door, it does appear to be on the other side from where I now work.

I begin to feel even more silly as I descend the stairs, yet memories of that one day increase the closer I get to where it happened. Now that I am here, I take a moment to re-orient myself with the map (I’m basically lost once I get inside most of the time – my sense of direction is crap), and look around the area of the ‘x’ for anything which appears to be out of place. I can’t notice anything overt – definitely no more cookies or even feathers – and the floors are actually quite smooth and clean, since they are so rarely used these days.

I’m feeling pretty ridiculous and am about to head back to work when something catches my eye. It’s in a corner, hard to see, but the pattern of the tile appears to be skewed ever so slightly. Upon closer inspection, I realize that it’s not skewed so much as chipped off. A piece of the tile has cracked at some point, and while the broken part has long since been swept away, it left behind a small gap between the tile and the wall it connects to.

What the hell, right?

I get down on my hands and knees, listening for any sign of another person approaching, and pull out my phone to flip on the flashlight app. Shining it into the dark corner, my heart seems to skip a beat.

The light flickers off of something shiny in that tiny gap.

Feeling ever more insane and yet driven at the same time, I tug my key ring from my jeans pocket, select the one which appears to be the best fit, and wiggle it into the narrow, jagged fracture. I scrape the key toward me a few times, then feel something give under the metal. One more pull in my direction frees it completely, and a small object rolls into the beam of light still emanating from my phone.

Naturally, it’s the missing bead from my pendant. All these years later, it’s decided to return to me.

I mean, what would have been the point of telling that whole story if it had been anything else, right?

The Glory Of Guinness

Cropped 2

Allow me to reflect/obsess about Guinness World Records for a moment. Publicly, I mean. I’ve been obsessing about it pretty much since the idea to try and break the longest webcast one first came to me, back in mid-2014 sometime.

The idea of being a Guinness World Record holder has been a fantasy of mine for pretty much as long as I can remember. Even as a kid, I wanted the “glory” I imagined would come with such a title. I was always keenly aware that I didn’t have any…unique…talents nor qualities which might land me in the annals of history, yet the dream was always still there. Vague, but always present.

Flashforward a few decades, and I got it into my head to write up a mini-bucket list of sorts, in part to help me remember the things I most want to do in the near-ish future, and because really, we should all have little goals and things to look forward to, because we’re all dying from the day we’re born. Or whatever that phrase is. Anyway, I of course added my lifelong dream of being a Guinness World Record holder to the list, and even thought I’d be able to check it off fairly quickly, as there were a few group attempts coming up in Toronto in the near future.

The problem with group attempts is that I have no control over whether or not they are successful. I have to depend on countless others to show up. Also, unless I was the organizer, my name wouldn’t be on the certificate, which would have me more just outside the annals. No, to be bucket list worthy, I would need to either find a record I could beat, or think up a record I could set. Back to the no unique talent nor quality dilemma.

So what can I do, I wondered? I can write. I can blog. I can…podcast. A quick search of the GWR site lead me to my next attainable goal: Longest Uninterrupted Live Webcast! At the time, the record was set at 36 hours, so I talked to my cohost Tim and we decided to shoot for 40 hours. Well, Tim wanted to go 48, but I talked him down to 40. At the time.

While we were planning, I saw on social media that another group was going to aim for 40 hours, so I talked myself back up to Tim’s original 48 suggestion, because screw those guys in advance of their attempt! We were going to obilterate them whether they were successful or not! And thus the months of planning began.

My idea didn’t catch fire as much as I’d hoped – not even close, if I’m being honest – but the event itself was still a lot of fun. And stress. And would set off an MS flare in which I couldn’t feel one side of my body for, like, a year. Still completely worth it, though, and I learned a TON of things from the whole experience. Even as early as the next morning, my mind was already turning with ideas for what we would do next time – either in the inevitable event that someone broke our record, or if we got tired of waiting and decided to break it ourselves. I also had the feeling that, having now gotten a taste of what I was trying to do, several others would be even more on board with the next attempt, because they could now see the possibilities, as well. Together, we would make it bigger and even more amazing than the first one!

Collage

Over a year later, I am still trying to get footage from the even cut and posted online, and I still have to send store codes to all the guests in case they would like a copy of the GWR certificate with their names on it as participants.

But this morning, I woke up to see that our record has been broken – had been years before we made our attempt, even. Some TV show in Germany went just over 150 hours back in 2011, and somehow they’ve now been verified as the record holders.

My store codes are still valid, and in my GWR profile it now says “Broken” under the record name, instead of “Titleholder”, which means I haven’t been erased completely, but DAMN! 150 hours?!

Clearly that was a group effort, and none of them stayed awake and active the whole time. Not sure I believe they followed all of the same regulations as we did, either, like having 2 witnesses on at all times, or having the schedule approved by GWR before making the attempt, or even doing it in a public-accessible space. But official is as official does, and now my name isn’t on the website for the world to see anymore.

I doubt we’ll be taking that record back, after all.

Naturally, by the time I was getting ready for work, I was already over the disappointment and onto more pressing matters, such as could we take it back? Maybe with the whole Smithee.tv channel working together to provide content over the course of a week? Or could we set our own new record, like Most Consecutive Guests on a One Hour Podcast, or something? Or do I focus all the more now on the Most People Wolf Howling record I’m still hoping to beat in the name of Bitten, before their final season comes to a close?

Can my former, short-lived Guinness glory be regained?

It’s Wednesday Hump Day, guys. Let’s see what happens!

Cover Photo