Thursday, 15 May 2008

The days are shambling by ...

The days are shambling by in a vague, unmemorable kind of way. Mellow, but unmemorable.

Work is dull and repetitive. It’s paying the bills so I’m grateful, but it’s definitely nothing special. I did deposit my first pay-check today. It gave me a bit of a kick. I also had a three day weekend (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) that was much needed. Believe it or not, after a point, 80,000 cookies a day starts to make you crazy and it gets harder and harder to get out of bed every morning knowing that in an hour or so, you’ll be biking to work to pack cookies for seven-odd hours. Anyway, the three days gave me some time to recoup, do some much-needed shopping, reading, sleeping, cleaning … the usual stuff that a summer vacation should be. No parents here, though. No vacation days starting at noon. No chance to go through 500-page books in days simply because one had all the time in the world to sit under a tree and read. I have to admit that slothfulness has become less and less attractive with each year that goes by. I distinctly remember a summer where I slept so much I made myself sick. I’ve been waking up at 6:00 (give or take a few minutes) every morning. So far, I’ve been looking at my clock, thinking, “Hell no!” and going back to bed. But one of these days I’ll get up and do something. I can feel it coming. I start at 11:00 tomorrow so I get a few less hours of tedium … but a few less dollars too. It’s an odd balance between hating my boss for asking me to come in early and being thankful that she did because it means that much more money.

“Money, get away.
Get a good job with more pay and you’re okay.
Money, it’s a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I’ll buy me a football team”

Pink Floyd. Anyone?

Anyway. In other (AWESOME!) news, Jona gets here on Saturday night. I’ll get the 7:30 bus to Moncton to go pick him up and I guess we’ll take a cab back. The plan is that he’ll spend a week here with me. Needless to say, I can’t wait. It’s been just over four months since I last saw him – probably the shortest time we’ve ever been apart – and it still feels like it’s been forever. It was the shortest, but it’s probably been among the hardest waits. It seems to be getting harder with practice. I guess that’s just another of life’s sad and frustrating ironies. Ah well, I have no complaints. In 48 hours, I’ll be in the Moncton airport minutes away from seeing Jona and that’s more than good enough for me. And it’s a long weekend again this week. Victoria Day. Although, can I just say that I think it’s cheating to celebrate Victoria Day on the Monday closest to her actual birthday and not on her birthday itself? It’s not criticism because it works just fine for me, it’s just a comment. Back to the point: Jona. This coming week should be significantly more memorable. It’s nice. Jona got to see Sackville in the middle of winter, and now he gets to see it just as spring is getting going and things are looking fresh and gorgeous. I took Friday and Saturday off next week so that we can get a few more un-cookie-interrupted days before he hops on a plane back to Toronto.

Alright. I am bed-ward bound. More from me soon …

Monday, 5 May 2008

Summer in Sackville

Summer in the Sack has officially begun. I have a house, I have a job, there are leaves on the trees and it has been about 15°C for almost a week straight. And, after months of desolate whiteness, that’s a big deal for me. I keep bouncing up to bushes and gardens with flowers and gushing over how pretty they are. My friends are humouring me but whatever. I happen to find joy in simple things. I think it’s uplifting.

So. The story is that I have a house with two friends from Thornton and two other people. So far it’s looking like it’s going to be a lot of fun. We haven’t started bickering yet but I’ll keep you posted on that.

My job is a nightmare. I’m working at the Kookie Kutter (yes, with K’s. It’s a shame, really) which is a supposedly famous bakery in town. It’s a sweatshop. Don’t let the wonderful ginger snaps have you fooled. I spend all day packing cookies into little plastic boxes that cut my fingers occasionally and most of the time I don’t even notice until I wash my hands and there’s a new cut that stings. It’s started getting really hot, too. The building is pretty much just one big room with the area divided off into different things. There’s the machine that takes the dough and punches out little cookie rectangles that five or six people frantically arrange onto trays as fast as they can. Someone takes these trays and puts them on a rack. Someone else comes and gets the rack and moves it over to the six ovens and loads them in. When buzzer goes off, someone comes and takes them out and moves them into a back room that has an entire wall opening to the outside where two gigantic fans and the colder air outside cools them down. Someone else then brings the racks back out to all the people packing cookies. The cookie packers (me included) take trays to their work station, pack the cookies into the boxes (we have to count and pack a specific number according to how heavy we want each box), dust off the crumbs from the cookie sheet, and take a new tray … as quickly as possible so that we go through the 72-odd buckets of dough every day. That amounts to approximately 80,000 cookies. Take a moment to ponder that. EIGHTY THOUSAND cookies. Crazy. Anyway. That’s my job. It’s pretty terrible. But the people are really nice. And it’s a job. Which is better than no job. So, for future reference, any time I decide to bitch and whine about it, just know that deep inside, I’m actually quite grateful … very deep inside, maybe, but grateful none the less. And, food for thought – four words: Oompa Loompas on speed.

I started a book today: East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It’s really good. I’m about 50 pages into it and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I can’t really remember the last time I sat on my bed and read a good book. Probably before I left home in August last year. But that not just Mount A’s doing, to its credit. I never have time to read when I’m in school. But, that’s what four month vacations are for, even if they are filled, for the most part, with endless streams of cookies. Which made me think, “Words are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup, they slither while the pass they slip away across the universe …” which then led me to think about the movie, Across the Universe which is, to say the very least, AWESOME! And, because I am known for my wisdom and good advice, you should go and immediately rent or buy or (but you didn’t hear this from me) illegally download it. Because it’s that good.

It seems as though my boys (Kevin and Horace who have, until now, been totally at a loss as to what to do in the kitchen without my assistance) have cooked dinner and I will be needed downstairs shortly.

So, here’s to the start of my second week of summer in Sackville. Here’s to the sunshine, the drudgery of my job, the friends, my family far from me, and the next four months that will be both wonderful and horrible at the same time.

Because it's one of my favourites (I'd love to give you the one from the movie but that would ruin it for you).

Let it Be, The Beatles