Why I Have One Thousand Balloons As Roommates

For Valentine’s Day, Corey filled our bedroom with balloons. Almost two months later and our house is still full of them. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Bedroom full of balloons
It’s almost as if they’re holding some kind of dance-off. A balloon-off, if you will.
Balloons Forever
If so, this one is clearly cheating.
Cheating Balloon
And this one has some kind of death wish.
Balloon and Fan

This one was disqualified for being caught underneath the kitchen table. It eventually freed itself, and now cowers in the corner, full of shame and self loathing.
Cheating Balloon
One by one they are slowly learning to fly at a lower altitude. They drift through the house, pausing at items of interest. Sometimes they are down right creepy.
Travel Balloon

 

Corey and I were watching TV the other day, and a red balloon floated into the livingroom, stopping suddenly when we turned to look at it. We returned our attention to the show. A few minutes later I looked around.

Where is the red balloon?, I asked.

Don’t move, Corey whispered. Look up, slowly. The damn thing was hovering a few inches above my head.

What do you want, Red Balloon!?!?

I may have foiled the Red Balloon’s evil plans, but it’s sister, Pink Balloon, got even the next day, when it popped out of the closet door and scared the s%*# out of me.

 Surprise! MWAHAHAHAHA!

Surprise Balloon

Yes, balloons can cackle evily. Who knew?

PS, has the word “balloon” lost all meaning to anyone else yet?

The Place Where I Live, Part 1

I’m trying to learn how to post better pictures on my blog. I thought this meant learning how to take better pictures with my camera.

OurPlace2
But apparently it really means learning how to use a photo editing software to pimp my photos.

OurPlace1

So, here are some (highly edited) pictures of our apartment building. We’re on the second floor, on the side that is being eaten by shadows.

OurPlace3

Next up, a tour of the inside (subtitled Why I Have 1000 Balloons for Roommates).

Winter Views From My Living Room Window

Sunrise View From Apartment

The weather in Halifax has been crazy this winter. One day it has been -20° C, the next + 12° C. Springish in the morning, snow in the afternoon, capped off with an evening wind storm.

Snowy View From Apartment

And the rain! Don’t get me started on the rain! It competes with life on the west coast. Except it’s colder. Much, much colder

Sunrise View From Apartment

It’s kind of exciting. I never know what I’m going to see out our living room window when I get up in the morning.

“My Body’s Rorschach” Sees The Light Of Day

As I mentioned a few posts ago in Non-News Good News, submitting your work to publishers is a bitc— I mean, a lengthy and time consuming process filled with woe.

Take, for example, my short story My Body’s Rorschach.

Seriously. Take it. You can! It’s been published in the fine literary journal, Pilot!

Pilot Project Cover

Yesterday I was out for a walk with my friends Sam and Tina, and we wandering into Atlantic News so they could buy lottery tickets. I swung by the writing section of the magazine stands (why is it always hidden away on the bottom shelf?), and there it was! Issue 9! With my name listed as a contributor!

(If you’re interested in reading my story, along with the rest of the journal, this is a list of stores in Canada that sell it, and over here is where you can buy a copy online.)

Yes, I’m excited. It’s delightful to see your name in print. But getting this one story published was a long journey. And since I love lists so much, I thought I would put together a simple time line for your enjoyment.

Spring 2002 — I first wrote the story under the title A Few Weeks In The Summer. Yes, that was a horrible title. Yes, I am terrible at coming up with titles.

November 2004 — I first submitted the story to a literary journal for publication. It was rejected.

August 2005 — I submitted it for the second time. Also rejected.

2006 — 2007 — I was working on other things. The story was all but forgotten about.

2008 — I stumbled across the story and reread it, expecting to hate it. It was messy, but there were some parts I still really liked. So I reworked it, came up with a (marginally) better name, and starting to submit it more regularly.

April 5, 2011 — I submitted My Body’s Rorschach to Pilot Project. They were the 12th publisher to get it.

August 12, 2011 — I received an email from the Pilot Project editor accepting the story for publication. Woo Hoo!

Fall 2011 — My editor and I went back and forth 5 or 6 times on some changes they wanted me to make. Yes, even when something is accepted to be published, it still isn’t finished!

February 2012 — Six months after it was first accepted, and ten years after it was first writing, My Body’s Rorschach (along with several other stories) is sitting on shelves of a handful of book stores across Canada.

A stack a other stories, including a novel and a screenplay, are going through the same process. It is possible that nothing else will ever see the light of day again. And this, dear friends, is why I have two other day jobs.

Why I Almost Had To Buy An IPhone

I’ll give you two clues.

Chicken

Clue # 1

 

Water Faucet

Clue # 2

What? Isn’t it perfectly clear? Fine! I guess I’ll tell you the whole story.

Three years ago I walked up to a Virgin Mobile kiosk, and I said “Sell me a phone! No price is too cheap!”

$30 later, I walked out with a small red flip phone that won’t let me use apostrophes without crashing. I called it Eddie.

Sexy, no?

Three years later Eddie and I were still going strong. Sure, he couldn’t hold a charge for long, and if I talked for more than 10 minutes my ear got uncomfortably hot. But that’s no bother. Thanks to Moss on The IT Crowd, there is an easy solution for “hot ear.”

Yes, everything was going smashingly. Until last Tuesday night.

I was talking to my sister (hi Angie!) while preparing dinner. My hands were full of raw chicken when we said goodbye. I tried to close Eddie’s flip-top using only my shoulder and chin. Surprisingly, this technique didn’t work. As Eddie slipped from my grasp and stumbled to the ground, my right had shot out instinctively to grab him. Way to go, right hand!

But wait! Now Eddie is covered in raw chicken slime. Gross!

Don’t worry, my left hand said. I know what to do! And before my brain could intersept, my left hand turned on the kitchen tap, and my right hand plunged Eddie into its icy stream.

What are you doing???? My brain screamed.

Helping! My hands sang out in unison.

Ack! Gurgle! Splaaphyyyy… Eddie hollered in shock and pain. Then all was quiet.

Oops… My hands said.

For three days Eddie cycled through symptoms that would have baffled even the diagnostic genius of Greg House. He wouldn’t charge. He wouldn’t ring. Then he would ring, but not let me answer. He randomly called out in different ring tones, as if trying to select his final swan song. His buttons would work, then not work, then work, then only load the camera.

On day three I was ready to send poor old Eddie to electronics heaven, where our printer, Samuel, had recently gone. At least you won’t be alone, I whispered into Eddie’s mouth piece.

Oh, what the hell, maybe one more try…

I opened him. He didn’t automatically load the camera! I tried to access my address book…it worked! I wrote a text, and it sent!

He’s alive!

Phone with Squash

Eddie with Squash — Post Chicken Incident

Thank goodness, as my disposable income for this month had already been spent on that new printer (yet to be baptized, but I’m thinking it looks like a Joel).

My phone survived drowning and salmonella. What can your phone do?

Photo Credits

Chicken @ Flickr

Water Faucet @ Flickr