September, 2006, Calgary

It was my idea to park the van beside A Bar Named Sue while Georgia slept after narrowly escaping the Nigerian Landlords I met in the Laundromat who wanted to be our boyfriends. The idea was to go into a bar, have a drink and find a place to sleep. A Bar Named Sue seemed like the right place. Georgia's mom warned us about doing that, but A Bar Named Sue is cute and we found Soren who likes the Gilmore Girls enough to have the whole first season on DVD. So there.

Now we live at Soren's (he's the best), I'm a Brewster's employee, and a birthday party host for Annabelle's Attic. The events leading up to that job were another story. (What brought you to Calgary)

I hopped in the van the morning after A Bar Named Sue, with only 30 minutes to get to the job interview that was taking place at a Pizza Hut buffet in the North East. 

Our van

The job was hosting children's birthday parties for a company called Anabelle's Attic (not for Pizza Hut, which I had to explain to Georgia repeatedly). So obviously I phoned Clayton in Ontario to get me the address of the Pizza Hut from my email while I drove recklessly through unfamiliar Calgary highways named Crowchild and Bow Trail. I explained the whole ordeal to Clayton, and he moaned with hungover sleepy pain. While Clayton and I waited impatiently for Georgia's computer to turn on, he told me about getting drunk the night before, calling his boss a cunt, and getting kicked in the leg for it. He was planning on apologizing later that day. Finally the computer did it's thing, and Clayton read me the address of the Pizza Hut. I finally arrived, and met 2 lovely girls whose biggest worry wasn't that I was 30 minutes late, but that they were hungry so they started eating pizza without me. The interview went really well, I had some pizza and I got the job. Both jobs were actually immediately mine, which isn't bad for a homeless girl.

At 3:30 am this morning, I walked into a busy diner where I had to wait to be seated. I followed a hipster waiter with slick hair and black framed glasses to one of the only booths left, as the place was packed. Did I mention it was 3:30 in the morning?

I ate a cheeseburger and fries and my company had breakfast. It's brilliant. Gerry's 24 hour restaurant, but everyone here just calls it 'used to be the Husky'.

And now here I am in Tuscany (Calgary suburbs have names to make it seem like you're somewhere else). Hundreds of rooftops cover the hills, and you can only be led to the houses by one singular highway exit. There doesn't seem to be any stores or even sign of life here. This is the last day of September and it is sunny and warm. There is no one to share it with. I hope everyone is lounging in a park somewhere or walking along 17th Ave., but I have a feeling they're not. I feel like they're all around me. All the streets are named different forms of Tuscany. Like Tuscan way, Tuscard view, or Tusselwood Dr. They're nonsense. When you turn down every street, it's a dead end, and you just have to turn back around. That's gotta mean something. I don't think there's a pay phone for miles. Anyway, the reason I'm here, in Tuscany, waiting to go to a Hawaii Luai for Jenna's 5th birthday, in Calgary, Alberta, is because I think I'm still drunk from the Blue Skies Folk Festival, where we decided to go on this trip.

Now it's October in Calgary. Thanksgiving didn't amount to much, but I got a sample of pumpkin pie from a grocery store.

It snowed yesterday. There were lots of people in our house when I woke up to snow. It was nice. You know what else is nice? Having a house. Soren's was fun, like a sleepover, but our own house is the best. There's an attic with lots of treasures. Georgia and I have identical bedrooms, both empty except for a makeshift bed of blankets. Georgia's door has a hole in the middle you can peak through. 

Our view

But thanks to Whitey we now have art, records, a stereo, vodka in the freezer, and a framed photo of him. Also a bike, a hula hoop, and 4 chairs. Sometimes the two cats from downstairs come up. 

Pinky and the brain.

This year, I think I’ll prioritize brain health.  I’ll sleep a bit more, learn to give it some rest by turning it off for periods of time....