Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Arrival

This is old news for some of you and belated news for the rest, but it's official:

I am a grown up.

That is, if growing up is defined by having a career-like job and health benefits, which is how I define it.

For the discretion of my employers, I am not going to name them here, but know the most important thing: I'm really happy working there.

When my sister Janine began her post-education job, she talked a lot about knowing you've arrived. Over the past month that I've been on practicum with the same company I now work for, and over the past three days I've officially worked there, I've been thinking a lot about the same thing. Here are a few of my little arrival moments, or more accurately, things that make me feel excited for the phase of my life I'm entering:

-I have my own cubicle, complete with filing cabinet, direct phone line, and partition wall that lawyers come and lean against when they have something new for me to do. I always get excited when I get to spin around on my chair from my computer to grab something from my filing cabinet.

-I am on a high floor of a tall building downtown, surrounded by other tall buildings. It has always been a childhood of mine to work on a top floor of a tall building. Every time I go into one of my boss's offices and see how high we are, I get excited, and a little thrill goes through me whenever I get in the elevator in the morning and hit the button for the top floor.

-my work e-mail has a signature attached with the company logo. Do not ask me why I find this exciting. I don't understand it either.

And the best part of life right now:

After three years of university wondering what I really wanted to do with my life, one year of business college where I literally had to drag myself out of bed and wondered on a daily basis why on earth I was putting myself through the grief of a school I didn't like, I've figured it out, and I love my job.

The other day I woke up and a thought occurred to me: I didn't mind getting up in the morning anymore. Once I got over the natural human battle of man over mattress, I was cheerful. I never thought I couldn't bear to go into work, I never think during the day that the week just needs to be over cause I can't stand for it to carry on. I like what I do. It's been years since I've been truly happy and certain about what I'm doing in my life. I'd forgotten how good it feels.

In a way, it still intrigues me. I started adulthood with dreams of changing the world by writing about it and working towards becoming a lifestyle columnist. Now I've found bliss as a legal assistant.

Sometimes, happiness is found by working your tail off to achieve a desired result. Other times, it's stumbled upon. My life seems to like the latter.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Allow Me to Introduce Myself. My Name is Cheesehead, and I am Adorable!

Have you ever been around a toddler who is just learning to say more words besides Mommy and Daddy? That is Edward right now. Quite often he will look at me, grab something, and name it with this self-satisfied grin on his face.

"Water!" he states as he holds out his cup for more.

"Sword! he cries as he runs toward me grinning with weapon raised.

"Door!" he declares as he runs ahead of me into my room and slams it in my face. His sweet little voice always keep me entertained.

Last night, Jaima went out for dessert with a friend and I watched the kidlets. Edward declared to me that he needed a snack. I gave him a slice of cheese. Immensely pleased with himself, Edward proceeded to run around the house repeating to himself:


As he munched his snack, he started exploring other words. Placing a hand on his head, he told me, "Head!" Then he returned to his favourite snackfood:


With a grin that lets me know Edward knows how brilliant he is, he placed his cheese on his head and declared:


Isn't he adorable? Edward was so pleased with himself he stayed put while I took multiple pictures, and then was pleased to scan through my phone looking at the pictures, occasionally looking up at me, pleased and (pointing to himself) said his new favourite word;


I love my little Cheesehead.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Man Class Reading Materials

Last night I babysat my two-year old nephew while his family went to watch the Canada Day fireworks. Edward was asleep the entire time, so I took the opportunity to sit within earshot and pull out my laptop to get my writing done.

Do you know how much research is required to write a piece of fiction? It surprised me when I first started writing. For each chapter I write, I usually have a list of five or six things I need to research so I make sure they sound authentic. Multiple that by 26 chapters or so and I spend half my writing time researching. This is fine when I make the research list ahead of time, go to the library and have all my research ready to go, but more often than not, I start writing and then realize I need the background to make the details seem realistic, and do a hasty Google search for the info so I cab get what I need quick and keep going.

Last night, the topic I needed was building a fire. I have built many fires in my life, as recently as last weekend, so I am pretty well versed in fire building tactics. I wrote away happily, adding all the details of fire-making (and the frustrations it always includes) to make my scene realistic and compelling. Then my characters needed to start the flame and it occurred to me:

"Wait a minute. They don't have matches. How do you light a fire without matches?"

I hastily open my internet browser and typed "How to light a fire without matches" into Google. This was the top hit:

Given my previous post and the fact I am always fascinated with how guys acquire their mad man skills, I had to laugh out loud. After contemplating and researching the concept of the secret man class for seven months, I had inadvertently stumbled across their curriculum!

Take a look around the website, it's pretty entertaining and surprisingly educational. Not only did I learn how to start a fire with friction, I learned the art of opening a door for a woman, how to properly iron a dress shirt, and how to shoot a rifle.

For further reading on my favourite funny research project, check out the following pages on the Art of Manliness: How to Make Your Own Manly Bar of Soap; How to Bowl a Strike; How to Hail a Taxi Cab . . . Like a Man!; 22 Manly Ways to Reuse an Altoids Tin; How to Take Care of a Pregnant Wife.