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Since the LiveJournal servers are now apparently in Russia I shouldn't worry too much however, in case the Canadian version of big brother is watching, I wont say it too loudly for fear they'll take away my free health care and over abundance of Tim Hortons Coffee; I HATE HOCKEY.

Yup I said it.

I hate hockey.

In fact I think it's entirely possible that my first words were "I hate hockey" if not they should have been. I'm not much of an organized competitive sports fan in general but hockey holds a special place of loathing for me and I for it.

I grew up a middle class kid in an up and coming neighborhood, a pair of second hand figure skates marked my birthday when I turned 8 and several winters later a newer pair, and, figure skating lessons (that my parents paid for in place of groceries some months) and my dreams of landing a triple axle were nearly always sountracked by hockey pucks slapping against the boards of the local outdoor rinks.

I'm showing my age I'm sure when I start the next sentence with how heavy and awkward my Sony walk-man cassette player was in my hands as I flung myself around the "pleasure rink" that despite the posted rules was near always full of smaller future hockey players. The kind of kids who's parents had bought an entire goalie set for their toddler son and a Gretzky jersey to go with it, poor boy couldn't even stand let alone stop a puck, and yet he and his father and slew of older brothers cluttered up "my" rink with their veritable obstacle course of scattered equipment. Skating during the day or on the weekends was an exercise in frustration. So as you do, I found my work around.

An outdoor rink in Winnipeg is almost as practical as one in Florida. The idea is kind of novel but the reality is often miles away from satisfying. All Canadian kids I think though grew up with an immunity to the cold and even in Winnipeg with windchill factors of -40 for most of the skate able months of the year, we, the die hards, would trek out as the street lights came out from November through March to get in as many extra hours on the ice as possible. And then far too late at night, the the wind whipping ice crystals freezing solid tears to eyelashes, we'd trek home, crawl into bed, and wait for the alarm.

5:30 on a weekday morning and the city is still mostly asleep, the house quite and shivery, it's 1940's boiler kicking on with a heavy sigh would greet me on my way out the door, on warmer days, the sunrise was a breathtaking bliss of prairie sky streaked in pastels of pink, orange and blue, hoarfrost lined trees and the same rink as the night before, waiting for Vivaldi to start on my cassette.

In those early morning hours, in those late evening skates where the rink was mine, I truly felt like flying, zipping around on skates became a blissful escape and a beautiful therapy, wind whipped skin burns from the cold, arthritic hands that would shape and gnarl into my adulthood, and the sounds of the pucks slapping the boards, interruption my serenity.

I stopped skating when I tore all the ligaments in my ankle. Winters went from a beautiful wild child of pastels and fearless frost to a frozen pile of suck. January became a month of hibernation instead of exhilaration. Hockey sticks and laughter, skates scraping the ice. All things wrapped up in a ball of couldn't do's and shouldn't do's.

"If it were a hockey injury we could do surgery to repair it," the doctor said, "but you're not an athlete, right? I mean not a real one? You don't play hockey so there's not need to repair the tears. Just strengthen the surrounding muscles and stay off the skates for awhile".

It was a bad call. The injury didn't heal. And the injury never well.

I suppose I can't honestly blame hockey for that, after all it wasn't hockey's fault. I suppose the doctor should have been more interested in where I was going, versus where I was.
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LJ Idol Season 10: episode 1 I need the struggle to feel alive

When we talk about character, we almost never admit to being the non-player characters or the side kick of the world.

Read more... )
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The penny died off up here some years back, the Canadian mint declared it cost more to make a penny than one was worth. I'm not sure what the exact logic was when they went from $1 bills to coins as that was before my awareness of money, and when the $2's became coins, well that was just a giant joke all around, but that's what we tend to be with our funny, muticolored, maple syrup smelling, plastic Canadian money; a joke.

Fortunately for me, when I was at my poorest pennies were still accepted currency. I was every bad cliche single mom story for awhile there. I spent a year in my early 20's after my divorce on social assistance, to supplement my pittifully small maternity leave payments. I had an ex who, for that first year, didn't pay any child support. I fell into mass amounts of debt that I simply couldn't crawl out of.

As it turned out, starting over with nothing and two kids in tow was more expensive than any lifetime movie had ever lead me to believe. There was no mansion with a crazy aunt or mother or grandmother to live with, for me. There was no stable decent paying job either, I guess that's what happens when you split up in 2008. I worked a series of secretarial and call center positions, for a dollar above minimum wage, and with bill collectors and creditors and debts from the ongoing divorce... Well, lets just say the ladies at the food bank were always very nice.

The thing about constantly being behind is you cut corners, you buy bus tickets instead of bus passes because you don't have $80 up front to fork out at the beginning of the month, $15 is easier to come up with, even though you know they wont last you till payday and you'll be scraping the change out of the bottom of your purse again trying to make it be enough to get you home from work. You learn things like the fact that they can't, by law, shut your heat off between October and April so you pay that bill last and only when you have a little "extra" whatever that looks like. And when they cut your phone off? Well it's almost a blessing because the creditors stop their relentless calling. Eventually I signed off on a debt management program, but even with that I couldn't get blood from a stone, and the payments there fell behind as well.

There was one day in Mach, I remember it because it was shortly before I started working in the bar and life got immensely better, I woke up to my last shift of the week. As always I was broke, and scrambling for change, I turned every inch of the house inside out that morning, sifting through the couch looking for quarters, nickles and dimes but came up about $0.80 short. In fact, all I'd been able to find were pennies and a couple of dimes. At the time I was living with an artist who had a collection of paints taking up most of the basement of the house we shared, she must have had paint in every color from cerulean blue, to burnt sienna, heck even golds, coppers, and silver... A penny and a dime are very similar in size, though obviously not in value... But with a little silver paint in the early morning light...

As I climbed onto the number 95 bus just as I had every morning that year, the digital display glaring it's sharp glow of 5:45 am, I shivered. I've never been good at being dishonest, but missing work... Missing work when the world is already falling down around you, when you already don't have enough... Missing work is even less of an option.

As I put my mitten full of painted pennies into the coin catcher watching them tumble in the dull incandescent glow of the early morning bus lights I looked down and mumbled to the always cheerful driver, "I'm sorry for all the change."

He smiled back at me, and handed me a transfer, not even inspecting the fare before pressing the button that dumped it into the out-of-sight bank, "change is good" he replied.

LJ Idol - Friends and Rivals topic 4 "The death of the 1¢ coin / penny and the $1 bill"
pixietastic: (Default)
I breathed in your poetry, your head on my chest.
Played through the curl of your hair, plucking the harp-strings one by one.
The melody, a remedy for the dull ache in my chest.
Wrapping myself around your scars, a human bandage for immeasurable pain.
There was a tragic beauty in the ether of that photograph,
entwined in the newness of spring.

The venom you spit, acrid and sallow,
shallow threats and the subtle dissolution of character, of self.
The rain falling bulbous and protruding on our flower garden,
drenching dried earth, as if to fill gaps; the cracks in our hearts.
Tigerlilies snapping their fire-wide jaws, thirsty for our longing,
poised and yearning for our next fight.

September brought it's north wind into focus,
the leaves shifting their shade inward.
Perspectives changing, wants becoming needs unsatisfied.
The pile of your laundry left stagnating in the corner,
as if to mimic the leaves that lay on the lawn,
untouched and unwanted, bracing for frost.

Not far from this place, is the land of continuous frost,
the ground never thaws and the ice seldom melts.
Our winters were long enough, our hibernation spent,
huddled against the glow of an old space heater.
Together enmeshed again, we braced ourselves,
for the separation spring would bring.

This is my entry for week 13 of the real LJ idol. We had an open topic this week so I ventured out of my comfort zone. A big thank you to my wonderful editors and proof readers who do their best to get through my word-vomit week after week despite not understanding how LJ works or why I'd want to write int his type of competition <3
pixietastic: (Default)
The sign on the door read, Scott-Allen Timmothy Andrew Norris, in precise gold lettering that glimmered as it reflected the flickering firelight of the lobby. Tallulah grabbed the knocker with all the confidence of someone who'd had a three martini lunch and slammed it against the solid wooden door. Slowly the door creaked open, as a blast of cold air sucked the breath right out of her chest.

"I'm done Scotty," Tallulah gasped, quickly recovering her composure, her hair pulled back in a tight bun, she was dressed all in black as always, her ruby colored square framed glasses reflecting the fire in her eyes. She thrust form 71B of the Hospitality Engineers Licences Limited hand book at him, "here's your resignation. I am done with this place."

The meek looking banker sitting in the over-sized leather recliner couldn't have been more than 5 foot 4 his legs dangled above the marble floor and his small circular glasses hung down of the tip of his nose. No one would have expected Mr. Norris to look so... So... Puny. People had this belief he was larger than life, a muscular overlord who owned far too much and gave far too little back. He'd owned the chain of hotels as well as a series of banks under the title Savings Our Users Love inc. for what felt like eternity and yet he barely looked a day over 30.

"Well then Tallulah, what exactly are you going to do? How are you going to pay back this debt you've acquired? I believe you're still under contract to us for another 45 years? And your debt to the bank is close to immeasurable. I can't honestly fathom where you think you'll go from here," he wheezed from his chair.

"Yes Scotty and I don't care if it takes me a thousand years I can't work another day in this place, send me up there, I’ll strip to pay you off," she said still full of fire and conviction, her years of loyalty and service had only been rewarded with more and more debt and a conscience that was drowned daily in vodka. Tallulah had reached her breaking point long ago, but Mr. Norris had a reputation and she hadn't dared to leave him until now, the torture that was her job had worn her down and she just couldn't stomach one more day.

"I do believe I have some connections in Winnipeg, I could send you there..." Mr. Norris snorted with a bemused smiled, as he toyed with one of the subtle platinum chains he wore around his neck.

"Where's Winnipeg?" Tallulah asked, suddenly getting concerned, she'd been banking on Las Vegas she knew she could bail herself out of debt there.

"It's a small city in central Canada where the winters hover around -40 and last 6 months of the year, in the summers it sky rockets to a humid 90 in the shade and these small blood sucking vampire insects called mosquitoes come out in full force devouring anyone who dares to go outside, I do believe they have a few strip clubs still, I'll have you set up there for tomorrow Tallulah, but be warned, if you leave I'm not letting you come back, and you'll still be paying down your debts, you'll have very little for yourself you know, it wont be like here where I can take care of you."

"That's fine Scotty I'll go to Winnipeg, anywhere is better than here," she smiled triumphantly.

"And how exactly do you think you'll make it as a stripper, I've never seen you wear anything but a pant-suit with your hair in a bun, you can't walk in heels, and you've got all the grace of a rhinoceros after a Jack Daniels bender, I can't imagine you spinning on a pole," his whiny irritating voice drove her over the brink.

"I'll improvise Scotty, it's what I do best, you've said so yourself,” she started.

“Yes and I've also said you’d never leave me,” Scott-Allen wheezed.

“Besides we know I can wield a whip, we know I can work with some restraints and you damn well know I'm flexible, a stripper in Winnipeg has GOT to be better than a Hooker in-"

"Don't you dare say it Tall," he cut her off, "don't you dare mention this place by name aloud, or so help me, I will banish you right back to the chambers and increase you debt to the point where your great-grandchildren will still be stripping in Winnipeg to pay it off."

Tallulah stormed out, slamming the door behind her, glad to be rid of Scott-Allen Timmothy Andrew Norris. Nothing could possible get in her way now.

When she arrived at the airport in Winnipeg on a blustery Monday morning in January she'd assumed she'd have a minute or two to herself, and yet waiting for her in the lobby was a short muscular gentleman named Bruce who had quickly ushered her into a car, "you're on stage in 20 minutes, do you have costumes?" He'd asked.

"I think I have something that will work," she replied nervously pulling her torture gear from her purse.

When they got to the bar there were only two people drinking light beers in the back as they plugged bill after bill into the slot machines. She walked over to the bar and ordered a double vodka martini.

The cute blonde bartender handed her the drink grinning, "First show? Ya look new!"

"Yeah," Tallulah replied taking a sizable gulp of her drink.

"Where'd you work before this?" the blonde booze goddess asked her.

Tallulah stared into the abyss of her drink taking too long of a pause before downing the remaining contents of the plastic martini glass, “Hell”.
pixietastic: (rainbow legs)
I had my first daughter four months before my twentieth birthday, and two years later I had my second. Within a handful of months of the birth of my then baby I was staring at a stack of bills, I was unemployed, homeless, legally separated, I had no education and not much left in terms of friends or family having spent years in isolation, I struck out, I built us a life and I never looked back with even an ounce of regret.

I remember telling friends I didn't mind not having a life of my own, I didn't know what I was missing, I'd never been to a bar never really been drunk or partied or had a one night stand. I'd gone from living with my parents, to married with two kids in an isolated small town where I was rarely allowed outside never mind seeing friends or family, so the transition to single mom, working mom, full time mom, wasn't difficult. In fact it was liberating. I was free. I had my girls, and my life and no one could tell me what to do. And yet, largely I did nothing. I was always home, in bed, by 10pm, having tucked my girls into bed sometime after 7pm, 7 was my magic curfew, I was sure we'd all turn back into pumpkins, that my ex would KNOW we were out if we weren't home by 7pm, this curfew he'd set out for me was ingrained deep in my mind. I'd overdose on LiveJournal, read web comics, chat online, all of my friends lived in my computer anyway and I didn't stray from that much at all, at least not at first.

Life was quiet and yet so unbelievably busy, both of my kids were early risers, and terrible sleepers, I went about five years before I slept through the night after the birth of my eldest, there were days the lack of sleep left me so hopelessly depressed I didn't think it would ever get better. I did though, and while they've never been great sleepers, it's rare now that I'm left hopeless and exhausted more than every-so-often.

The thing that's always bothered me most when I tell these types of stories or I explain how at 28 I'm about to have a 9 year old, is the ever present comment from someone who did things differently than I did, "I don't know how you did it!", at one point I went off on an epic rant;

Was there another option? Did I miss the "reset" button, where I can go back in time and do it all differently? Was there an exit back on the Highway of Life that read "Ex-Husband is No Longer A Douche-Bucket, and All Of Your Problems Are Now Solved, turn here"?

Last I checked, I did it, one day at a time, one moment, at a time some days, clinging to those girls to keep ourselves afloat, not end up another statistic of "single welfare-mom with no education beats her kids, has 5 more, gets them taken away, has a substance abuse problem, goes no where, finds one abusive man after another".

No one ever stepped in and said to me "you know, you can just leave" I suspect because they all knew I wouldn't, I couldn't, that those weren't my values, that those babies meant (and still mean) everything to me, because when I was younger it just wasn't an option that would ever have occurred to me.

When I eventually got old enough to realize that being a decent human being was a Choice ( with a capital "C"; among many) it was the most terrifying moment of my life, to realize that as an adult, for the most part the only person I was truly accountable to was myself, that no one other than me was holding me hostage to my decisions good or bad, and that much like my ex-husband chose to do, the option had been there for me as well to just walk away.

This is 2/2 of my entries for week 8 lj idol exhibit B; choose your own adventure topics of 4, this pieces was written on the topic "When I Was Young".


Jul. 4th, 2013 09:41 pm
pixietastic: (rainbow legs)

Mine are sticky and three years old, dirt trapped under the nails, crumbs caked in the crevices, the sweet smell of summer lilacs drifting in through the open kitchen window. I place my palm against hers, study her dry cracked skin, how long the middle finger is standing taller than the rest, the thin gold band of her wave-shaped wedding band, a soft subtle gold with silver accents, the diamonds are small, her bony hands so much bigger than my own. I ask "will I have hands like yours when I'm bigger mommy?".

She laughs, "maybe, I hope not, mine are all dried out from too many dishes and all that hard soap from scrubbing your socks. Should we go outside and play my dear?"

And we do, we play, and we laugh, and I admire her glamor, her nails long and thin, crowning her bony fingers. I admire her face, it's perfectly sun-kissed color, her thick cascading blond mane, her perfect grey-green eyes, she's my idol, tiny and perfect, I want hands like hers when I'm grown.


I hoist myself onto the rooftop, the sun has set as I scribble by streetlight into my diary, ink-stained and calloused, they tell the beginning of my story, "no one understands, no one listens, here I am world, twelve is so hard". A noise, a summons, a demand to return to the barracks for slumber, junior high is war and the soldiers must be well rested come morning, he insists holding the door open as I scamper inside, "wash up, and I'll grab you a pastry" he says.

I smile, swing down from my rooftop, hiking boots crushing gravel beneath my feet.


Nails bit down to the quick, fingers chewed and mangled, she sit on my bed, half a liter of vodka consumed between us, 16 and barely been kissed. We start, desperately searching, desperate and craving, acceptance, lust, love, she and I, our hands, entwined, lost, devouring each other, etching pieces of ourselves into one anothers' skin.



Sliding the ring onto the finger , his promise, his purchase, the second one seals the deal, I am his.



His rise and fall, the echoing sentiment when I refuse to comply, "you're MINE, you're MINE," he repeats as the bile rises in my throat, the same words he cursed at me when I dared to speak up, when I dared to object to the way he threatened the children. Twenty-one with no direction, afraid to leave and afraid to stay. I pack my things, I pack my children, secure them safely in their seats. His reaching for the pot that moments later sails past my head.

"You threw that at me!" I accuse.

"If I'd thrown it at you I wouldn't have missed!" he replies, his reaching for my throat.



The baby coo's from her place on my chest, her tiny month old fingers entwined with the necklace, you bought me, our baby daughter, tugging at the rings of my pendant.

Theirs, so precious and small grasping mine as we walk, my eldest on my right, her younger sister on my left, the baby on my chest, we hold togther.

"Mommy?" Inquires MiddleSpawn, "when I grown up, will I have hands like yours?"

"Or how about me?" The eldest pipes up.

I laugh, "maybe," I say. I look down at them, nails chipped, middle finger longer than the rest, skin dried and calloused pulled over bony fingers, palm to palm with my daughters, one on each side, and smile, "I have my mothers hands."

This is my entry for week 7, LJ Idol, topic: "Hands".
pixietastic: (me2011)
I was sitting in a bath towel on her queen size bed screaming at her, hung over as sin, seething with rage I didn't know I could muster, "what the ever loving FUCK, do you want from me!". This wasn't our first fight, it wasn't our last fight but it was definitely one of our more memorable and certainly one of our most repetitive. I'd asked her to leave about six months prior but had agreed that she shouldn't leave until she'd gotten herself established with a steady job and a decent living space. In the six months she'd succeeded in doing nothing but badgering me continually to love her again, which unsurprisingly wasn't really working out too well for her.

The thing was I hadn't stopped loving her, quite the contrary I loved her dearly, I'm sure somewhere under years of resentment and heartache I still do, but I'd reached a breaking point where I couldn't handle her in my space, and in control of every fraction of my life.

It's not that it was really her fault, she came from a controlling background and I don't think intended to bully, manipulate, and control myself and by extension the children, I honestly believe her damage runs deep enough that she to this day isn't aware of how her actions impact other people, and I'd come out of a horridly abusive and controlling marriage, by comparison she was lighthearted, easygoing, supportive and every thing I thought I needed in a lover.

The problem was as I began to heal from the emotional damage I'd sustained, she no longer felt we were on a level playing field and the stronger I got the more tension there was between us. At some point I found a tequila-flavored alternative to sanity, and for awhile we "made it work" in part for the children, in part because there really was a lot of love there, but mostly because we'd woven ourselves into a terribly codependent knot and the disentanglement was going to be a slow and terribly painful process for all concerned.

That fight though, that fight stands out in my mind, as she postured over me, chest out, back straight and I cowered dripping from the shower I realized she was nothing but a bully, and I just couldn't handle one more bully in my life.

"You don't care about anything do you?" she spat at me.

I sucked in a slow and steady breath, trying to stop the rage from blinding me and saying something I'd live to regret. As she sat there waiting for a response, goading me, pushing every last button I just snapped.

"You're right, I don't care about anything," I hissed, in an almost whisper, and then it hit me, a moment of rage-turned-brilliance, maybe this will get rid of the bitch. My voice was even, almost bemused, a careful mimicry of my former husbands calm while in a manic-rage, "I couldn't care less about any of you, I've just been playing this whole time, playing at giving a damn, playing mommy, and wifey, and good little girl. I honestly feel nothing, not for you, not for them (I gestured towards the room the children shared) nothing. Go ahead and leave, go ahead and stay, I don't care one bit."

The look in her eyes changed so completely, a horror mixed with the look someone gives you when you've just kicked a puppy as if it were a football at a PETA meeting. "You're a sociopath!" she accused, "you shouldn't have children." Now she was off, spiraling into some sort of calculated misery, spiraling and circling around about all the ways I'd deceived her as the tears streamed down her face.

I pulled my jeans out of a pile of clothes on the floor, and slithered into them in my best impression of a snake, grabbed a matching bra and panty set, a mini-skirt and tank top and tossed them into a canvas bag, along with the infamous stripper heals and a make-up bag, zipped up my hoodie and bolted out of the bedroom and towards the door, with a flippant "believe what you want," thrown over my shoulder like a scarf, as I headed off to work.

This is my entry for LJ Idol Exhibit A; topic "Honey Badger Don't Care". If you like it, I am very appreciative for any votes I get this late in the game :)
pixietastic: (me2011)
I'm hungover, it's a cool morning in late September, and the floor has just fallen out from under me. At first it swells up from below, threatening to devour me like some beast. It's just the floor, the same cold hard tiled surface it's always been, but today everything is different. Today my tiny apartment, and it's cold hard tiled floor are trying to swallow me whole, and I almost wish they would.

"Mom! My sister wont share her kitty!" my younger daughter wails from their combined bedroom, but I'm not in the mood to play judge and jury over their latest war, I mumble something about being there in a minute, and they go back to wrestling over a toy neither one of them cared at all about yesterday.

I love my kids, more than everything, for years everything, every thought, every endeavor, every minute was about them, their needs, what was best. I walked out of my marriage because my husband, their father, didn't want them, and I couldn't imagine a world without them. I struck out on my own with no money and no life skills to try and build a life for us, a home, and every minute that followed for years after, was a struggle. The lights went out when I couldn't afford to pay the bills, when the job I had wasn't nearly enough to keep us all fed and clothed and cared for the way we needed to be. Finally now 4 years, 3 jobs and another failed relationship later I've found a recipe that works.

Yeah it was hard to get my head around taking my clothes off for money, how do you go from breastfeeding, baby-wearing, nerdy little secretary, to pole dancer, bar waitress? It was an adjustment, but after that first week where I made more money in 3 days than I had in the previous 3 months, it was an adjustment I learned to live with. Before I started working in one, I'd never set foot in a bar, and I was the girl who thought 3 glasses of wine was really excessive drinking.

Excessive drinking, like those tequila shots two weeks ago, what did I have? 10? Oh god that was stupid, the kids were away at a sleepover and I was out with the boyfriend, and we knew the bartender, Megan is a gem of a girl, but man, 10 free Tequila, I was looped!

I knew the next morning the sex wasn't a smart move, two weeks since my last period. But come on, I mean couples TRYING to get pregnant only have a 25% chance of conceiving on any given month right? I mean certainly the powers that be would forgive my one indiscretion.

Which brings me back to now, my life. I love my life. I have a job I'm good at, an enviable figure, I make enough to support my family without any hand outs. I have fun, and friends and a boyfriend and a life I love. I've built this house of cards on this job that I alternately love and hate, I drink too much, it's always a party when you work in a bar, but I'm not going to do this forever right? And without this job my life was crumbling. I will get out of the bar scene, when I'm ready.

I've moved up in the world, mostly out of the stripping and more into the bar-tending, Megan taught me, she was a great teacher, but you still have to dress the part, lingerie and heals, full make up, you have to watch what you eat, stay in shape.

So looking back down at this stick in my hand, with it's two pink lines, the world starts spinning again, the floor threatening to swallow me whole. I finally gather the nerve to say it aloud, just slightly more than a whisper, "I'm pregnant.".

If everything I've done for the last 4 years has been about my children, taking care of them, making the best for them, providing for them, if everything has been precariously balanced atop this job that is the antithesis of motherhood, I can't be pregnant.

But I am, and I can't honestly see myself not keeping it, I always wanted a third. Am I crazy? Probably, but I'm going to try desperately to make this work.

Edit 01/26/2013:

It's worth pointing out, that this is from the perspective of my mindset in September of 2011, baby Grace was born May 12, 2012, and has been nothing but a delight. Sometimes those moments in life wherein you feel you whole world is ending turn out to be wonderful new beginnings.


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