Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Monday, March 26, 2007

Riding in Cars with Asses

I was stopped at a crosswalk, on my way to work, when a black Hummer H3 pulled up next to me. The guy driving this land-tank had his window rolled down. He was in his late twenties, maybe thirty, quite good looking, with a pair of sunglasses perched in his head that probably cost more than everything I was wearing combined and multiplied. I struggled to keep from smirking. He might be a perfectly nice human being, I thought.

He caught sight of me and grinned. His teeth were perfect and white. He leaned out the open window.

"Where are you going baby?"

"Um. To work."

"Maybe we could do something later."

I stared. Full seconds later I realized I was being hit on. By then, his light was green. He waved his hand dismissively and roared through the intersection. I started to laugh.

I was still laughing when I got to work.

"What's so funny?" Polly asked.

I told them about the Hummer and its occupant. "Then he tried to hit on me. I felt really bad for him."

"You don't strike me a a Hummer girl," Hawk said, tying up his apron.

"You think? I try to be obvious. I wear recycled clothes, burgundy combat boots, and my hair things it's a sea anemone. My glasses are the dorkiest available. You think he'd pick up on the fact that I might not be his type."

Moments later, a woman came in. Her hair was artificially blond and elaborately swept up. She had on heavy makeup and the orange skintone of a Mystic Tanner. She was very thin and had breasts like halves of a cantaloupe, which I could clearly see because if her shirt was any more low cut her belly button would have been visible. Her jeans were about an expensive as the Hummer driver's sunglasses, and she tottered around on 4-inch spiked heels. Her purse was huge -- she seemed in danger of tipping over under the burden -- and contained many smaller, sub-purses. She talked on her cell (a razor) the whole time we served her, just pointing to what she wanted and gesturing to indicate how much. After I rang her purchases through, she grabbed the bag and almost ran out of the store, announcing loudly that she had a Very Important Meeting to get to.

I felt a little dazed after she left. Then I started to giggle.

"Hummer guy was just confused. I think that was the woman he was looking for."

Hawk tried to look wistful. "I hope they find each other."

"They better find each other soon. She looked like a carrot. That's gotten get malignant after a while."

Polly sauntered over. "Is the any circumstance under which you'd think a Hummer was cool?"

"None," I said.

"Maybe," said Hawk.


"If if was the size of a golf cart."

"Dude! It could be a cross between a Mini Cooper and a Hummer."


"It'd have to be a hybrid."

"For sure. They'd have to call it the H .5"

"If some guy hit of me while driving that, I'd totally tell him we should get together and play video games later."

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Natalie Zed updated @ 10:44 a.m.!! 0 comments

Friday, March 16, 2007

Cheese Shop Vignettes

A few days ago, Boss Lady asked me to make a delivery. It was just a few streets over and a beautiful day, so I walked. I delivered the cheese to a very happy hair stylist and walked back. It was sunny and warm and there was a bounce in my step. For a moment, I was very happy just being myself, walking outside on a beautiful day.

As I neared the cheese shop, Hawk was just coming out to toss some cardboard in the recycling bin. He saw me and stopped. A strange look came over his face.

"Wow." He said. I slowed. I may have have begun to blush. For one split second, on that lovely day, I felt pretty.

He grinned. "You are the whitest person I have ever seen."

I made a face. My shoulders fell and I tried to duck quickly inside. Hawk quickly ditched his armload of cardboard and followed me.

"Seriously. You are the incarnation of pallor."

"Shut up."

"Corpses have more colour than you."

I pulled out a very large knife and started cleaning a wheel of Cantenaar in a slightly menacing way.

"Have I told you how pretty you look today?"

* * *

Hawk and I were opening wheels of cheese. CeeCee was working nearby, just around the corner, on some spreadsheets.

"Have you ever had Tartufo before?" Hawk asked.

"No -- it's infused with truffles?"


I cut the small, springy wheel in half and carved off a few slices. I popped one in my mouth; Hawk declined.

I made a face. "You could have warned me it tasted like ass."

"I wanted you to experience it for yourself." Hawk picked up one of the half wheels, brought it to his nose and inhaled deeply. "Man. That does smell exactly like the human ass."

At this precise moment, CeeCee piped up with "Hey, can I try some?"

* * *

Hawk, CeeCee and I gathered around he schedule to determine who was working next and when.

"This has totally become the boy store and K-town in the girl store."

I turned to Hawk. "How so?"

"Well, CeeCee, Hirsute, Accountant and I work here, and Marie Perrault, Infusium and googleplex all work there."

"I am a girl and I work here."

"Well, you're not really a girl," CeeCee said. I turned to stare at him. Hawk started to snicker and CeeCee flushed, stuttered, tried to recover. "I mean, you're only here part time, and, um, you seem --"

"We've decided you're only barely a girl," Hawk declared. "Maybe 60% at best. It probably has something to do with the way gender works on your planet."

"I have ovaries. I'm a girl."

"Ovaries. Darling, let's look you over here. You're wearing orange converse shoes, jeans that have been broken in--"

"They're comfy!"

"--a shirth that appears to be made out of an undershirt--"

"It's chilly out!"

"--and your hair is a separate being. What is it today, a starfish?"

"I'm wearing mascara."

"Because that makes it all better."


Natalie Zed updated @ 10:57 a.m.!! 0 comments

Monday, March 12, 2007

Speaking of Runt boobs...

Tara: ..I can't get the image of Azamat's man-breasts out of my mind.
Me: Best scene in all of Borat.
Tara: Disturbing.
Me: Want to know the worst part?
Tara: No. What?
Me: If they weren't covered in hair, and weren't attached to that man, those breats would be kind of...nice.
Tara: As much as I hate to, I agree. Azamat's breasts are actually quite...shapely.
Me: They are shapely moobs.
Tara: You know what else Azamat has?
Me: What?
Tara: A gunt.
Me: Ha!
Tara: I know.
Me: He has a double-decker gunt.
Tara: WHAT?!
Me: Well, there's the traditional, lower gunt obscuring his peen, and a second, upper, auxilliary gunt just above that one.
Tara: *wiping away tears* Is this going to show up on your blog?
Me: Verbatim.


Natalie Zed updated @ 10:11 a.m.!! 0 comments

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Why I Am an Alien

This began as a game we play at work. I say 'we,' but what I really mean is that it's a game my coworkers play while I am in earshot. The original title was "Why She Ain't Right," but slowly morphed into "Why She's an Alien." Let's see if I can remember 50. Kind of like one of those '50 Things" or '100 Things.' Only not at all.

These may, or may not, be true.

1) I have a sense of smell that dogs would envy. I can tell if someone has been sick lately, if they're getting enough vitamin C, and how they're feeling just by how their body chemistry differs on a particular day. I can also pick out great melons.

2) The space-time continuum does not seem to apply to me.

3) My pain tolerance is not normal. I am constantly looking down at my hands, seeing blood, and being mystified as to when or how that could have happened. One time I only realized I'd cut myself because the slicer made a weird sound while my hand was near it. This is Hawk's favourite reason to site for why I'm an alien.

4) I am a complete klutz. Your earth gravity befuddles me.

5) I do not tan. Ever. I don't even burn, like you'd expect in someone whose skin was the colour of cooked egg whites. Apparently my skin in impervious to the effects of your earth-sun.

6) My hair is a living, cognizant, independent, and rather impudent being. Yesterday it thought it was a sea anemone, today a parakeet.

7) I can drink many cups of strong black tea in a row and not feel the effects of the caffeine. I say it's because of a time I drank 6-8 cups of coffee a day. Hawk says it's because of my extraterrestrial digestive system.

8) Mysterious illnesses. To me, not mysterious at all. To them, watching me nearly collapse in pain because some dumbass is wearing half a bottle of cologne and it's triggering a migraine actually indicates that, were my planet ever to invade, my species could be fought off with supersoakers loaded with Eternity for Men.

9) I once referred to a very cute baby as an "unripe human."

10) I can remember the facts that Pliny the Elder wrote about Cantal and that Riopelle was named after a painter, but actually remembering the codes for cheeses, 4-digit numerical codes that I use literally hundreds of time a day, seems to be impossible. Numbers vex me.

11) I have two ankles on each foot.

12) I have mysterious scars, clearly from implants that allow me to survive and my homeworld to track my progress.

13) When Hawk hurt his back, I prodded him gently in three places and told him what he'd done and how to fix it. Hawk now occasionally accuses me of "dissecting him with my mind."

14) I am warm blooded, so cold doesn't really bother me. I didn't notice, in fact, that JB, my former Manager, had forgotten to even turn the heat on. It was January when Crap Sandwich, my other Manager, discovered this. She almost had a conniption fit. I said I always thought the cool was better for the cheese. It was at this point that CS started playing the game along with everyone else.

EDIT: The following entries were actually generated by my husband. I told him about the game, expecting sympathy; instead, he announced that he thought it was a great game and asked to play. That's right. Pity me.

15) I have the ability to fall asleep anywhere. Ed calls this my narcolepsy, but it's not exactly the same. I can sleep upright in chairs, propped up on the floor of Broken City, curled up in a snowdrift.

16) I think it might be physically impossible for me to ruin a pie crust. I have been making fresh pastry since I was a child, and never yet had one fail or split. Every cooking show always reassures more than they instruct re: pastry, so Ed has come to believe that baking is hard and pastry-makers have supernatural ability. Seriously. Sometimes I don't even use Cold Butter.

17) Despite being a resident of this planet for 23 years, I can't seem to fix it in my head that traffic is actually dangerous and I should probably avoid wandering into it.

18) I sometimes sculpt little ducks and dinosaurs and people out of tootsie rolls. Or bread. anything pliable in a storm, really.

19) I don't really talk in my sleep. I don't open my mouth, but I make the sounds in my throat as if I were talking. In my sleep. So I've heard.

20) There are about 5 or 6 locations that I tend to dream about, none of them real places. At least, not earth places. Ed believes I meat with my commanding officers in these somnolent places.

21) I can watch graphic surgery on the Discovery channel without batting an eyelash, but fake violence and gore in movies sometimes freaks me out.

22) People open up and talk to me, despite their best efforts to be closed and secretive. I believe it is a genetic predisposition I inherited from my mother. Ed believes it's due to my advanced training in earth information extraction techniques.

23) All it takes for a tv show to be canceled is for me to like it. God, The Devil, and Bob? Stressed Eric? What it's Like Being Alone? Gone the moment I tuned in. Apparently the government believes I communicate with my overloards through the television.

24) Someone, something, is looking out for me. I have lost track of the number of times I should have been killed or dismembered. I must be kept intact until the end of my mission, so sometimes the higher-ups interfere.

25) Ed cited my "fashion sense" as a reason I am an alien as well. I was somewhat hurt by this, until he explained that he was specifically referring to the fact that I have 3 different sets of antennae affixed to headbands. One of them lights up. Apparently I wear the artificial kind because I miss my real antennae.

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Natalie Zed updated @ 10:35 a.m.!! 1 comments

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Law Won

The VERY NEXT DAY after I wrote my last post, another ticket arrived in the mail.

Same Godforsaken intersection, two days later (Feb. 9th and 11th). This time, we were dinged for going 43 kms/hr in a 30. ONE WHOLE KM MORE. Oh the sloth babies we placed in peril! For this crime, we owe another $85.

I am unamused.


Natalie Zed updated @ 8:34 p.m.!! 3 comments

Friday, March 02, 2007


One of my coworkers, whom I will refer to for blog purposes as Marie Perrault, calls me a thief. She says it in her quirky Quebec accent, and so it sounds like 'teef.' She's a lovely young woman with masses of red hair and a nervous, high-strung disposition, which means it in in my nature to torture her. I try to be very gentle. I steal her saran wrap and make small objects disappear. As soon as she stops looking for them they reappear in plain sight. She'll swear blind she never even took her eyes off what I moved, but she did. You all do. And whenever I've yet again managed to blip the piece of saran wrap she carefully laid out right out of existence, she calls me a 'teef.'

It's my turn to call 'teef,' and I call it on the Calgary Police Department. It seems that the day after we returned from California, Ed was driving along 5th avenue, very close to our house. Right past the intersection of Crowchild and 5th, there is a (badly marked) playground zone. It's definitely there, but very hard to tell when exactly it begins and ends. There's a small park with one lonely swing that is almost always deserted, and several blocks up there's a middle school that also has a playground that sullen preteens smoke in. We're very careful driving there, as it's a very residential area, and never thought to be overly concerned about the playground zones in particular.

Just the other day, Ed got a piece of mail from Calgary law enforcement. It contains a picture of our (very dirty) Corolla, and a ticket for $82. A ticket for $82 that was issued because Ed was driving 42 kms/hr in a 30. FORTY-TWO IN A THIRTY. 30 kms/hr is less than my car's IDLE SPEED. Eve at 42, if the playground had been populated by baby sloths and one of those sloths managed to DART INTO TRAFFIC, we'd still be able to stop safely.

But we aren't going to fight the law, for the law will win. Instead, I am going to write a cheque for $82 and make fun of the law on the internet.

I should probably let it go with no more than a grumble, but that's a lot of money. Ed and I don't spend money. Even without our resolution to Buy Nothing in 2007, we're a very frugal couple. We buy groceries and plane tickets. That's about it. Since I've been stewing over it anyway, here are Several Things I Could Have Done With $82.

- purchased most (91%) of a Le Creuset grill pan. Oh how I lust after it. Tiffany over at One Red Sock has one, and I am painfully envious. I currently use a cast-iron grill pan I got for $10 that's impossible to clean.

- had a Very Nice Dinner out somewhere with Ed. With the exception of the occasional bit of food at the KP or eating Wendy's in the car because I yet again have to go straight from work to an event, Ed and I don't eat out. We used to; then we redid the budget.

- purchased 46% of a Perfectly Decent laser printer. My crappy little hp 3-in-1 is on it's last leg. It won't print black ink -- it claims there's a paper jam that doesn't exist -- but will print blue ink. Even printing in blue, there's a ghost blur in the center of every page and it binds up every 3-10 pages. It hasn't scanned in a year.

- purchased most of Warren Ellis and John Cassaday's Planetary. I say most because it isn't finished, though the trades that are available are AMAZING.

- Purchased a beautiful, hardcover, complete collection of Alan Moore's Lost Girls. I saw it in a comic shop in Santa Monica. It was there, and beautiful, and impossible to get in Canada. I left it because of our resolution, and have been kicking myself ever since. It was $75.

- paid for 35% of my plane ticket to Vancouver in April.

- bought Very Good Tea for months.

I hope you're happy, City of Calgary, for all the comic books and cooking utensils you've taken from me. Teefs.


Natalie Zed updated @ 11:16 a.m.!! 1 comments