Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Monday, June 25, 2007

I'd like to talk about liberation

Dear Charles Burkowski,

I have never carried a mirror with me.


Natalie Zed updated @ 8:04 p.m.!! 0 comments

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Poets vs. the Perp

Hawk: So what did you do on the weekend?

Me: I went to my friends' wedding on Saturday. It was great.

Hawk: Cool.

Me: Then Sunday I had to work.

Hawk: Drag.

Me: Then it got interesting.

Hawk: Yeah?

Me: Well, the bride, groom, best man, maid of honour, and one of the ushers all went out to dinner Sunday night. You know Soba Ten?

Hawk: Maybe.

Me: So we're eating dinner. My seat is facing the dinner. I am about to put some yakitori into my mouth when I see a guy attack a homeless man.

Hawk: What?

Me: It was crazy. This big dude grabbed the homeless guy by the jacket and started shaking him. I told my friends what was going on and the bride looked, then called 911.

Hawk: Holy shit.

Me: So I watched the guy hit the homeless man in the side of the head, then I ran outside and --

Hawk: You what?

Me: I'm a moron. Anyway, I ran outside just as this guy was dragging the the homeless man into traffic. I yelled something at him -- probably "stop" or something -- and he didin't even look up, but let the guy go and started walking really casually away.

Hawk: You went outside.

Me: I said it was stupid. So we helped the guy to the curb and the police showed up. They were very cordial to us and surprisingly polite to the homeless man -- one was a little grumpy, but in general they were great. We had to fill out witness statements and everything.

Hawk: Your life is far more interesting than mine.

Me: It was pretty crazy.

Hawk: So are you going to have to go to court?

Me: Probably not. They picked the attacker up right away -- He was just walking down the street. Very casual. Apparently he didn't think beating up a homeless man was a big deal.

Hawk: Wow.

Me: The hilarious part was really out statemets.

Hawk: Why's that?

Me: They were given by two English grad students and a librarian. We all filled the whole page and then when the cop was going over them, were all keen about it -- asking if our descriptions were good, if they were helpful -- you'd have thought we were being graded on them.

Hawk: Cute.

Me: We also learned what a peace bond was. Our cop had to go check for us. It was actually really interesting.

Hawk: Only you would manage to turn an assault into an educational experience.

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Natalie Zed updated @ 1:27 p.m.!! 0 comments

Monday, June 18, 2007

Congratulations to Jason and Andrea

from the depths of my black little heart.

I am honoured to have been there at your wedding. It was a beautiful thing to be a part of a community so overjoyed for the two of you.

You're wonderful people and you deserve each other. I wish you all the happiness in the world.

You're going to have a blast =)


Natalie Zed updated @ 10:51 a.m.!! 0 comments

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Clown Shoes

While looking at my brother's Facebook profile this afternoon, I came across a term with which I was unfamiliar. One of Mike's friends had called him 'clown shoes.' Befuddled, I asked my brother if this was a nickname, or a more general term of affection/insult.

This was his reply:

"'Clown shoes' is part of the vocabulary, only occaisionally an appropriate word. It's defined in the Mike Walschots Advanced Learner's Dictionary as, quote "pronoun: variation of the pronoun 'clown' which is used as a derogatory term against one who acts like the said type of entertainer. 'Clown shoes' is an improvement on such a term by implying that the individual being referred to has gotten to such a point of 'clowniness' that their character is manifested in all aspects of their appearance, presentation, etc. hence the conjuct term 'shoes' symbolizing here an aspect of one's 'clowny' personality being embodied in outward appearance.""

He is not allowed to move away.


Natalie Zed updated @ 7:16 p.m.!! 1 comments

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cords and bead chains

~ a found poem

Cords and bead chains can loop around a child's neck and
Young children can STRANGLE in cord and
bead chain loops and in the loop above a
cord stop. They can also wrap cords around
their necks and STRANGLE.

Move away from cords and bead
Children can climb furniture to get to cords.

Make sure cords
do not twist together and create a loop.


Natalie Zed updated @ 1:19 p.m.!! 1 comments

moments of weakness

For the first and last time in a while, Ed and I had a quiet night at home last night. After watching Jeopardy, we flicked through 500 channels of Nothing On (thanks Bell ExprerssVu!) and finally settled on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Ed tolerates the show occasionally. I try to avoid watching it, but last night I was sucked in.

They have scientists that run this show. Scientists who can calculate the exact combination of factors required to completely and utterly break the viewing public. The mother of the young family featured was a recent cancer survivor. Years ago, she'd become very active in raising money for breast cancer research after her own mother was diagnosed, only to be diagnosed herself. She's undergone a bilateral mastectomy and a hysterectomy before she was finally pronounced to be in remission. She and her husband had three little kids -- 8, 6 and 4 -- and were only 26 themselves. In addition to completely rebuilding their house, they organized a 7-day marathon walk to raise money for cancer research.

Sometime around the point when one of the design team -- the guy with thick plastic glasses -- started to cry, Ed became aware that I'd beens sniffing and wiping my eyes on my sleeve. He looked at me and grinned.

Me: Watch the damn show.

Ed: It finally broke you, eh?

Me: I can't help it. This show targets me exactly where I am most vulnerable.

Ed: Was it the construction guy crying?

Me: No. It's the combination of my two weaknesses: tales of great personal struggle and triumph, and fantastic appliances.


Natalie Zed updated @ 11:12 a.m.!! 0 comments

Monday, June 11, 2007

a strange history

I'm not sure I'll keep it, but here's a new look. Better than the green (sans nerd berd), anyway. One day, I'll learn to code like a grown up.

I made a discovery yesterday: a blog that I was keeping when I was, oh, around 18-20 (from 2002 to 2003) is still online. Gathering intertubular dust, but still intact. I was writing almost daily for a long time, so there's a lot of material to slog through. Much of it is painful. It's amazing how much I'd forgotten. Most significantly, it records the time that I met my husband, and the first year or so of our relationship together.

I've no idea what to do with it. And I wonder what other historical nuggets are floating around out there like meteors.

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Natalie Zed updated @ 9:25 a.m.!! 1 comments

Friday, June 08, 2007


Last night's Flywheel was excellent. I am used to attending events where one or two of the readers are new to me, especially if they're form out of town, since I am still relatively newish to the Calgary scene. Last night, though, three of the four local writers (Tom Muir, Emily Cargan, and Emily Elder) I'd never seen perform before. Emily Elder has just moved back into town and both Emily Cargan and Tom Muir have been hiding out since before I arrived in town. Sharanpal Ruprai, the only reader I'd been lucky enough to see perform before, read all new material as well.

What struck me about this particular reading was how different the styles of the four readers are. Tom's work was the most lyric, and his pieces tended to be longer. I found myself often listening more to the cadence of his voice, the sound of the words rather than their sense, the pattern that they made in his voice. Emily Cargan did something I haven't seen in a while: she actively played with point of view. Her pieces were all written in different voices, almost characters, which affected the way she wrote and performed the pieces. Emily Elder performed her pieces more than she read them, changing her voice as well as her body depending on the piece. She mixed up poetry and fiction as well, all under the guise of a (life?) long project called Working Thru the Minotaur. Sharanpal's work had the feel of a ceremony to it. She held all the words in her mouth carefully, as though they must be released just so and with proper reverence for her performance to work. Her pieces have the feel of little ceremonies too, all the smaller pieces coming together to make something.

If only I could work a mic properly. Damn my shortness.


Natalie Zed updated @ 11:08 a.m.!! 0 comments

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Names have been Changed to Protect the Fluffy

It was an otherwise quiet day at work yesterday. Polly and I had cleaned all there was to clean and amused ourselves for a little while by playing badminton with a crumpled up cheese wrapper. We were talking about movies at about 4:30pm when Polly suddenly yelled "Holy Shit!" and ran out of the store.

From his alarmed tone, I thought he'd just seen an accident happen in from of the store. I ran out after him to see what was going on and got outside just in time to see Polly dart into traffic to scoop up a tiny, bewildered, white puppy.

It had fur like a dandelion gone to seed and black, buggy eyes that stared beseechingly at us for help. We immediately took it in, gave it water, and tried to calm it down a little. It clung to Polly and shook.

Polly told me that he'd watched a car almost hit the puppy and swerve at the last second, which was why he bolted. The puppy was clean and immaculately groomed -- clearly a loved, indoor dog. There was no sign of an owner anywhere.

After a little while, I called the number on his tag -- his name was Puffball -- and left a message on the answering machine with our address and number. I offered to take him home if no one came to claim him by 7pm, and top keep trying to contact the owner. Once puffball was feeling better, we asked the very nice girls at the tanning salon to watch him for a little while, since puppies and cheese don't mix.

About an hour later, Just as Polly was getting ready to leave, a man walked into the store. He had at least a foot and a hundred pounds on me, and was wearing the steel-toed boots and orange vest of a construction worker. He was livid; his eyes were a little red, as though he'd been crying or was furious, or both.

He strode up to the counter, took a deep breath, and said in a quavering voice: "I think you have my dog?"

I assured him we did, that Puffball was fine, and took him next door to be reunited.

As soon as we walked in the tanning salon and Puffball caught sight of his daddy, the puppy freaked out. The big guy dropped onto both knees. His voice broke as he yelled "Puffy!" and the little dog dove at him. They kissed each other for several minutes.

Finally, the man stood up, cradling the puppy in one hand. He thanked us repeatedly, his voice hoarse.

I suddenly noticed that his knuckles were bleeding. I asked him if he needed a bandage.

He seemed confused, then followed my line of sight. His face hardened a little.

"Nah, it's fine. I just had a little conversation with my roommate about what to do when Puffy barks and I'm not home in the future." He kissed the puppy again. "Puffy is NOT an outdoor dog."

And he was gone.

Do not mess with Puffball's daddy.


Natalie Zed updated @ 11:09 a.m.!! 3 comments