Skip to main content

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. 


Popular posts from this blog

What it's really like to have a pot-bellied pig as a pet.

It's summer in Ramsay and I'm on the front porch reading when a little girl and her dad walk by. They get a few steps past the house when I hear “A pig lives in that house”. “Is that right?” her sceptical dad responds. “Yep”.

That is right.
A pig does live in this house.
My house.
Like a dog?
Yes, sort of like a dog but different.
Why did you get one?

I wish I could answer that. It might be because I saw one on a leash as kid, or because I love their cute little faces, or maybe just because I wanted to be different.

It all started at the wise old age of 24 when I googled "How to keep a pot-bellied pig as a pet". The articles were very helpful, and painted an easy life with a smart, obedient and charming pet. Filled with confidence in my pet-parent ability, I did what anyone would do; I drove to an exotic animal auction in Olds, Alberta with Georgia and bid on a baby pig while my boyfriend waited in the car. The baby pot-bellied pigs were grunting, groaning, and screaming. I …

The South Country Fair

It was one stupid weekend.
He wouldn’t talk to me on the morning I left, because he suddenly wanted to go, but now it was too late. Bye! I yelled to his torso through the open car window.
I wandered through the hippies, reacquainting myself with this alternate reality. Barefooted, bare-bodied youth.

The first night was uneventful, so we drank and smoked and put up a tarp, ruining my car in the process. It was no Frog Fest but it was fun and it was dry. Our more prepared neighbor kept asking if we wanted more rope, which we didn’t. The following morning we wandered through Fort Mcleod, and returned to the festival to discover Nanton friends drinking Pilsners and having songs dedicated to them. They had artist bracelets on because they were Lance’s woofers. We watched Tin & The Toad.

DN played after them. I swooned at his way with words. I’d never seen anything like him, except for that one time.
I was introduced to Kris, as Georgia was handing him beers from our cooler. “The art…

Alberta Love

Canmore, Calgary, High River and everywhere in between was flooded out on June 20-21st by the Elbow and Bow rivers. 
Thursday 9:00 AM – The city goes to work, happy it’s almost the weekend. It’s raining.
Thursday 11:00 AM – The rain is heavy and the city declares a state of emergency.
Thursday 11:30AM – Calgarians are skeptical. 
Thursday 3:00PM –The neighbourhood of Deer Run is being told to evacuate. How strange. 
Thursday 5:00PM – We all go home and turn on the news and realize just how much the rivers may flood from the rain. Many more neighbourhoods are being told to evacuate. Evacuate to where?
Offers on facebook begin, and it sounds like a good time.

Thursday 7:00PM – “Maybe we won’t have to go to work tomorrow.”  The selfish hope of many who don’t realize the extent of the situation (including me).

Thursday 9:00PM - Will we have to evacuate? What about Mickey? I guess all we can do is go to bed, wait and see. If we get woken up by a policeman at our door, then we'll have to go.