high five phobia

it’s not a real phobia, like my phobia of moths, but more of an anxiety over high fiving.

when someone raises their hand into high five position, i feel a little rush of panic. first there’s the panic that i might be misreading the move, maybe they don’t want to high five me, maybe it’s some other hand gesture. maybe it’s just a “hey” wave… or… i don’t know, it’s probably a high five. but then there’s determining the proper high five reaction. how much weight do i put behind it? is it a hard, solid slap with a dead stop on impact? is it a gentler sweeping five with carry through? does it finish with a half hand clasp or fancy handshake type move? of course i also have to watch my aim. there’s nothing more pathetic than an off centre high five. and god forbid this is a moving high five, i can’t walk and high five at the same time! you expect me to perform this highly complex and nuanced move all while maintaining a cool, natural demeanour? I don’t have the skills for that!!

this probably all stems from some childhood trauma, most likely traceable back to junior high. attempted high fives that drew sneers and left me hanging, or the proffered high five that was then snatched away with the inevitable “psych!”. yes, those were indeed dark days of high fivery.

yeesh, they make it look so easy!

yesterday at kickboxing i was accosted with high fives. to start with, one of the guys i often chat with gave me a single, low impact high five, presumably just for showing up. not terribly executed, but i was a little off the mark. then my partner high fived me after her rounds. i wasn’t expecting it, so i fumbled that one. after the exceptionally exhausting class, the first guy gave me a much more emphatic double high five, now celebrating our completion of the class. it could have been a disaster, but i was on the ball and delivered a good, sound connection. but this was too much, i wanted out of there before any more hands required slapping. but i wasn’t out of the woods yet. there was a final high five with my partner as we headed out. a moving high five that transitioned into a half clasp. i thought i might barf it was such an advanced maneuver, but i pulled it off with only a slight hint of awkwardness.

no more, please. i can’t take the pressure. i’m no alanis, with one hand in my pocket and the other giving a high five. i just don’t have the cool chick high fivey inclination. or the coordination.

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you’re disgusting, but i love you anyway

you’re filthy. you leave a mess all around, and i’m left trudging through it. your very presence leaves me feeling dirty. you have no regard for how your presence effects me or anyone else. you breeze into town, stir things up a bit, then vanish without a warning. how many times have you stayed a few days, only to make a hasty retreat, leaving me feeling cold and deceived? too many! i can’t deal with your mood swings. you’re hot, you’re cold… and sometimes it makes me physically ill.

but yet i always look forward to your return, regardless of your fickle ways and the filth you leave in your wake. it’s the future you promise that allows me to see past all of this. brighter days are ahead, i know it! go ahead and throw everything into a sloppy disarray, it’s okay. i know you can’t help it. i think you’re going to stay a while this time, and make good on those sunny promises.

welcome back Spring. i missed you.

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in the land of make believe, amanda reigns

maybe it just goes with the territory of being the eldest child, but when it came to playing games with my siblings, i was always queen. when my sister and i played with my little ponies, i had Majesty, queen of all the ponies. all other ponies (ie: my sister’s ponies) had to obey her laws and commands. Majesty ruled all ponies! Amanda ruled all ponies! oh, and majesty was usually an evil queen who kidnapped all the baby ponies and locked them in a cave. much more interesting that way. pony games get pretty boring if all they do is frolic happily.

another great game playing opportunity was in the furniture section at the Bay. with all the faux room set ups, the 6th floor became my palace. i was queen once again, proudly surveying all that was mine. my sister was the poor little orphan girl who was hoping i would adopt her. basically the game consisted of meandering through the labyrinth of rooms, amazing little orphan jennie with the grandeur of my estate (a mansion so huge it had over a dozen living rooms and dining rooms), dangling this life of wealth and luxury in front of her… and then not adopting her. needless to say, this wasn’t jennie’s favourite game. she thought she would get a reprieve when i brought our little brother into the game. surely with a newer player, her status would improve. sadly, no. i was still queen, she was still the orphan girl, but now i had a little prince who also got to break the bad news that she wasn’t getting adopted.

always being the evil pony queen or the heartless queen of the Bay eventually took its toll, and made it difficult to lure in my players. no one jumped at the chance to “play pretend” with me anymore. so i learned to compromise. no more royalty and orphans. we became spies instead. we went on missions, we planned adventures, we had code names and secret hiding places for secret documents. we were a single unit, a team of spies, cooperating and working together!

of course i was still the leader. i am the oldest, after all.

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when i grow up

i remember one day when i was in grade 2, i figured out how old i would be in the year 2000. holy smokes, i’d be 23 years old! that was so old to 8 year old me. i’d be a grown up lady! i’d have a job and dress fancy, and probably be married with kids. wow…. a grown up…. but that was very far away. i didn’t have to worry about being an old 23 year grown up lady for a long time!

even when i was a bit older, my concept of age was all out of whack. in high school i definitely remember thinking that 26 was old. i’d for sure have a job, dress fancy and probably be married with a kid by then. i mean come on, TWENTY SIX! and this trend pretty much continues to this day. basically i don’t see myself as a grown up yet, but the age a little further along always is. that sneaky invisible grown-up line keeps shifting with every birthday!

but what did i see for myself as a grown up? aside from some fancy business clothes that i assumed all adults wore. what did i want? for the longest time i wanted to be an actress. and i thought i’d be fantastic at it. i loved my acting classes and i totally rocked at playing make believe. plus, if i became rich and famous, i would never let it go to my head. i gave great interviews – witty, charming, yet humble. i practiced talk show appearances a lot, along with the occasional award acceptance speech, which always drew a standing ovation from my imaginary audience.

in high school i thought i should come up with a more practical career path, so i toyed with psychology. yes, that wasn’t so bad. patient, caring, understanding dr amanda would listen to your woes and help you on to brighter days. but that idea only lasted a few months or so. then i stopped thinking about a career and went to get my arts degree instead. since then i’ve thought about teaching, journalism, film editing, publishing, a photographer for national geographic, and probably a few other things along the way. but the real passion – the one constant for as long as i can remember – was the desire to travel. jobs and babies belonged on some distant horizon, and i had lots i wanted to do and see before reaching it.

i can say one thing for sure: at no time did i daydream about working in a call centre and talking about employment insurance or pensions all day.

so where am i going with all this? obviously i’m not planning on quitting my job to break into show business. but that grown-up horizon isn’t as many years away as it used to be; the gap keeps narrowing. i’m restless. i’m looking at the world map on the wall next to me and thinking that maybe i’m not done exploring.

when i grow up i want to have seen the world. i want to have passports full of stamps, albums full of photographs, shelves full of silly souvenirs, and a head full of stories to share. yep… that’s what i want when i grow up. the world.

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i’m not crazy, i just act that way

my mother once told me i had an addictive personality. at first i was all flattered, thinking she meant that i had such a sparkling personality, it was addictive to others. people can’t get enough of me, yay me! but alas, no such luck. she just meant that i get easily addicted to things. this comment was said during my jurassic park phase. yes, i had a jurassic park phase. it’s not something i’m proud of, and i’m really not sure why on earth i got so carried away, but it really was ridiculous. no, ridiculous is too much of an understatement. complete and utter nutcase obsession is a shade closer to the truth.

ah yes, i remember it so clearly. it all began with a girls’ night out at the movies the night after our dreaded grade 10 physics exam….(doodleoodoodleoodoodleoo wavy lines nostalgic flashback doodleoodoodleoo)

June 11, 1993. i remember the date the film opened, so you can already see how serious this is. my friends and i saw the movie either on opening night or very shortly thereafter. the theatre was packed, everyone flinching and screaming together. it was so exciting! a friend and i immediately became infatuated. we went to see it the following weekend, racing like maniacs to the theatre, convinced that the man in the red car driving next to us was going to grab the last two seats!

from there the obsession just grew. we passed notes in class about it, we bought jurassic park trading cards and books. my collection eventually went on to include postcards, sticker books, stamps, magazines, a poster, a calendar, a viewfinder, and even “raptor bites” (disgusting, inedible hard candy). oh, and i saw the film a total of 13 times in the theatre, each viewing commemorated with a proud dinosaur stamp on my jurassic park calendar. oy. and i made my family buy their own copy of the vhs because i didn’t want to share mine. what a loonietoon.

i’ve gone through other obsessions, although none quite as formidable as the jurassic park phase. nowadays i try to keep my – let’s call them enthusiastic interests – in check. sure, i may have 15+ years of stars on ice programs stashed away, shelves full of crossword and trivia books, a collection of keychains that probably weighs more than a small child, and that viewfinder is most likely still hiding somewhere among my dusty treasures. but i also managed to part with the piles of ratty newspapers clippings about goran ivanisevic and wimbledon 2001. and i curbed my impulse to buy a second set of Buffy dvds (even though they were in a way cooler box)! see? see all the self-control??

yeah, i’m normal.

i don’t have any fancy photoshop program, but that doesn’t stop me :p

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honey, i’m home!

don’t all cheer at once now.

so regina was kind of fun. you know, as far as work goes. my hotel room was nice, the bed was huge, someone did all the cleaning and made my bed everyday, i took all the free pens they left out for me etc. the usual hotel stuff. ok, now for the lowlights and highlights:

lowlights:

  • going on a tour of “the tunnels of moosejaw”. sooooooo lame. it was tacky and hokey and i swear our tour guide was about 15 years old and doing it for extra credit in his high school drama class. it’s not a good sign that the tunnels were named as one of the top attactions for southern saskatchewan.
  • the moosejaw mineral spa was also disappointing. it just looked like a boring old pool. no soothing atmosphere or anything. we peered in through the giant windows and decided to hit the casino instead.
  • speaking of the casino, i put in $5 and got up to a thrilling $750, then lost it all. oh sorry, i forgot the decimal point, i meant to say i was up to $7.50. haha, fooled you.
  • eating in a crappy mall’s crappy food court every day.

highlights:

  • driving to Rouleau – aka Dog River – where the show Corner Gas was filmed. we walked into the town bar that advertised souvenirs and were told they only had air fresheners. we also saw the restaurant/gas station set, which was looking neglected and half buried in snow.
  • 20 oz pints! almost all the places here in Winnipeg only give chintzy 16 oz pints. at least that’s one thing regina does right.
  • meeting lots of fun new people from BC to Newfoundland
  • and definitely one of the best moments was when one of my new friends said she didn’t know my last name and had just been referring to me as “funny amanda”. woohoo! yup, that’s right, i’m funny.

anyway, i suppose that sums it up. glad to be home. winnipeg may suck, but it’s good to be reminded that some places suck more.

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hangin’ with the cool crowd

ohmygodohmygodohmygod, one of the popular kids mentioned me on her blog! play it cool amanda, play it cool. deep breaths, shrug it off, no biggie, whatevs. no, don’t say that, cool people don’t say whatevs. do they? shit, i don’t know what cool people say!

so i’m surfin’ through the blogs i read when suddenly i see it. the heading is “these blogs deserve more attention” and there’s only one listed. MINE! eeeek! ok, don’t get too excited. clearly this is a trick. i bet a random blog name pops up every time someone looks at her site. so i refresh the page several zillion times, waiting for someone else to get this honourable mention. but it’s still me. perhaps she just has some special widget installed so that whoever looks at her site has their own blog title inserted there. how deviously clever. but maybe she’s like the pretty girl in can’t buy me love and she’s going to make me popular by telling people i’m cool! i’ll be her patrick dempsey! i can’t remember how that story ends, but i’m sure the moral of it was that life is better when you’re popular.

this reminds me of a day in high school when the cute boy all the girls crushed on leaned over in chemistry class and said “psst… amanda” and then told me some joke or something. holy crap, i thought, he’s talking to me. he knows my name! of course this was a ridiculous thought, we’d been going to school together for years, of course he knew my name.

i’ve never been cool. as a teenager, i had scraggly hair, scrawny chicken legs, big buck teeth and far too many shirts with snoopy on them. i’m still a nerd now, just with straight teeth and less cartoons on my clothes. but i still get that dorky rush of excitement when someone acknowledges my existence.

so do what she said and pay more attention to me. she knows what she’s talking about; she’s cool! come on, jump on my slow moving bandwagon! and do it before she reads this post and hastily recants her endorsement.

look how cool snoopy is, with his shades and sweater and thumb

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