09 October, 2015

good job, princess!

i've spent the better part of my adult life judging people for their parenting choices. i've made fun of and despised the whole self-esteem movement wherein children are indoctrinated into a cult of their own greatness, regardless of skills, circumstances, or reality. well done, they're told when they finish last in a race. good job for only hitting their little brother three times instead of the usual sixteen. you're so artistic, this to the toddler that's just decorated the bathroom with her poop. you'r so smart, here's an A+, from teachers, professors, educators of all kinds. you're a princess and can be anything you want. this is not the way i was raised. as i've said before, i've held it as a badge of honour that when i came home with a 98% exam, i was always asked why i didn't get 100%.

i'm rethinking my stance. perhaps the little darlings raised this way are absolutely horrid to be around (hello, grad school!), and their expectations irrational, but you know what? they're horrible to others. i'm sure they love themselves plenty (after all, why wouldn't they? they're so fucking special!) and at the end of the day, it's yourself that you spend the majority of your life with. so what if you're a dick - if you think you're awesome, you're likely a dick who's much happier than i am.

henceforth, i shall attempt to love myself unconditionally. so if you see me walking down the street giving myself pats on the back, high fives, enthusiastic self-esteem building exercises, and excessive praise, know that i'm just trying to get over my childhood which attempted to make me grow up to be smart, useful and kind...to others. it's time i tried some of that kindness on myself.

good girl!

08 October, 2015

when you gotta go, you gotta go

yesterday i woke up super early, showered, dressed, drank a litre of water, held on to my pee as best as i could, went to leave the house, and realised that the lab visit wasn't yesterday, it was today, so i peed and went back to bed.

this morning, i woke up super early, skipped the shower, dressed, drank a litre of water, held on to my pee as best as i could, and am about to head off to the lab.

funny how many things we do instinctively, without a thought. several times already i have gone into the bathroom (to brush my teeth, wash my face, pick something up) and each time i'm this close to taking a pee because one generally does that sans thought.

à propos: what is the geneva convention stance on this? drinking a litre of water on an empty stomach and then holding it for more than an hour seems to me a rather cruel and unusual punishment.

05 October, 2015

renovations for the damned

my parents will eventually be moving back here and in preparation, my cousin is renovating their rental flat. my job in their absence is to coordinate with my mom regarding finishing choices: tiles, shower heads, shower cabins, all of the things my cousin needs now, as opposed to those that can wait until my mom arrives later this week. today i embarked on a quest for tiles, and lo, it illuminated the very clear limits to verbal communication: describing the EXACT amount of beige in what is being marketed as grey is rather difficult on the phone. questions like how dark is it? are similarly problematic. there isn't a scientifically accurate scale of greyness, beigeness, and darkness that one can carry in one's purse. i mean, sure, i could have RGB'd or CMYK'd the fuck out of those tiles, but i sort of lacked the technology then and there. so instead i used vague and less-than-satisfactory words to describe the tiles. eventually, having extracted a promise that my choice would not result in any unpleasantness if it were less than perfect, i bought a pile of tiles.

i grabbed a heavy duty home depot cart typically used to haul unwieldy things (sides of beef, dead moose, giant pumpkins come to mind) and pushed/pulled its reluctant metallic bulk to the flooring section. it exhibited the type of orneriness one usually expects from a shopping cart, but which, coming from a conveyance of this size, became rather more problematic. when i got to the tiles i began the nigh impossible search for help. a small wizened old man told me he couldn't handle the weight of the tile bundles (no! he could not!) but his attempt to rope in a muscular young buck failed, and he came back with a man of only slightly less advanced age but a much more positive attitude. this fine gentleman piled seven heavy boxes of tiles on the cart and off i went.

by off i went, i mean i used my entire body strength to push the protesting cart which, to add insult to injury, emitted the sort of noise one associates with a particularly inept abattoir or the less pleasant regions of hell  - it screeched and howled so loudly that every single person in my path looked at me in shock, horror, and/or merriment and promptly got out of my way. covered in a thin sheen of sweat and feeling as unladylike as i had all day (what?! sometimes i feel a little ladylike!), i arrived at the cashier who began scanning each box individually. i was about to roll my eyes at this when she discovered that one box was not like the others. naturally, the impostor was right at the very bottom of the pile, because where else would it be?

i managed to turn the cart around (accompanied by more screeching and metallic yodelling) and retraced my loud and laborious steps to the flooring section which was now as bereft of staff as it is possible to be in a pre-apocalyptic world. giving up on extracting the wrong box, i simply grabbed another correct box and hefted it onto the pile. then one more graceful pirouette, and yet another stately procession down the isle. when passing the incredulous ladies at the paint department, i suggested to them that this particular vehicle had outlived its usefulness and ought to be taken out back and shot. they agreed. possibly they couldn't hear me over the shrieks of the damned and merely nodded to make me go away.

i paid, had a young man transport the whole pile of tiles to my wee car and took it to its final resting place.

i came home utterly exhausted. and possibly slightly more deaf.


you're lying in bed and it's very late and you realise that the dis-ease you feel, while initially mild, soon threatens to permanently take away your sleep for the night. you're in the sharp and pointy arms of anxiety caused by any number of things, big and small, each of them projecting an almost physical sense of discomfort like experimental electrodes in your brain shooting impulses and shocks. you very quickly realise that if you are to get any sleep you need to go for pharmaceutical help. you get up and find your magical bottle of lorazepam.

you take the pill, wash it down with water and go back to bed, vowing to stay awake to watch it take effect. you lie there and think of the things whose sharp edges are even now intruding into your peace of mind. the move south is a big one - so many things to take care of. so many pieces of information to gather and weave into a whole. your inability to have a meaningful conversation with mr. monkey on the topic of the move (it weaves from exasperation at your wanting to know more to frustration with your lack of progress in finding detailed information on all aspects of the move, both fuelled, i'm fairly certain, by his exasperation with your continued unemployment. all this he would deny.) does not make the process easier.

the fact that your mother is coming in less than a week contributes a rather significant sense of discomfort. you love your mother, but the passive-aggressive melodrama that accompanied you merely asking her for the dates of her trip doesn't make you feel particularly calm about things. you are already angry and resentful and trying really really hard to actively use buddhist philosophy to calm yourself down and realising the absurdity of it. things aren't helped by the fact that you spent the day with your aunt and you told her all your mother-related problems, which made her floodgates open on her sister-related problems, as a result of which you learned some new things about your mother that you didn't necessarily need to know. and the bitch session only made you feel more anxious, and then guilty for not being loyal to the woman who bore you.

there is the shoe fetishist saga (in another post. once it's over. if it's ever over.) which, under normal circumstances would likely just make you vaguely uncomfortable but now adds another layer of pokiness. you are starting to hate those shoes, but are appreciating the great blog post it will eventually turn into.

there's the renovation your mom will be overseeing when she comes, but which you must oversee in her absence, ensuring satisfactory tiles and whatnots are chosen for the bathroom and the shower head will please everyone. but no pressure!

you lie there and enumerate all the points of discomfort, waiting for the sweet wash of benzodiazepine relief. you open your eyes in the dark and look at the colour-sapped still life on the bedside table and wish someone could capture that in a painting - the lack of colour that is not quite black and white, the fuzziness of edges and outlines, the clear perception of more hiding just out of the range of visibility. it's really rather beautiful.

you lie there and feel the knot relax a bit and you perform the psychological version of poking around to see if it still hurts or if the painkiller is kicking in. somewhere during this time, you finally fall asleep.

the alarm (birds singing on a too-short loop) wakes you. it's in the other room so, fuzzy or no, you need to get up. and now you're up and another day begins.

deeeeeep breath in.

24 September, 2015


i saw a very inspirational TED talk about gratitude. first thing you're to do every morning upon waking is to think of five people you are grateful to/for and express that gratitude in your head. this, before your feet ever touch the ground, is supposed to ground you firmly in positive emotions, feel goodery, and general unicorn fodder. i did it right after the TED talk. and then i never did it again.

my bananologist told me to write 3 pages of stream of consciousness every day when i first wake (i assume this is after i've expressed my gratitude to the special five). i've so far failed at that with an admirable degree of thoroughness.

each time i see my massage therapist he gives me exercises meant to make me feel less like an arthritic octogenarian. i have yet to do even one of those exercises, despite walking out of there with a very firm intention of doing them regularly.

my sports medicine doctor once showed me a simple and quick way of strengthening my core muscles. i did it three times. maybe four.

there are amazing people out there trying to help me get better at being human. they will fail every goddamn time, because i seem to have taken up the call of self improvement once when i started to floss daily all those years ago and apparently that's all that's available to me in terms of internal resources.

i am in the enviable position of having many toddlers available to me for close inspection and study without actually having to keep one in the house and i am appalled at their behaviour - they are tiny little emotionally fucked up sociopaths, a fact both mitigated and exacerbated by their short little attention spans; they are demanding; they have zero concept of time; they get frustrated by the dumbest things; they are terrifyingly egomaniacal; they are often violent; their mercurial charm is equalled only by their malevolence; they are dirty and loud and have those eternally sticky hands (ok, that last point is not really a propos to my subject) watching parents navigating the toddler years is magical and heartwarming, because my own auntly heart is often filled with feelings of loathing, frustration, and intense gratitude for my own child-free life. why am i going on at length about this? because i realised today that parenting toddlers is actually unnervingly similar to my own little journey of self-discovery and self-improvement.

each day the same questions need to be answered; each night, the same demons faced. each week or month the same lessons need to be learned. come to think of it, self-improvement is actually WORSE than raising toddlers, because they, at least, are sponge-like in their brainal area, meaning they learn things quickly. me? not so much. oh hey! you hate your body? i thought we worked this shit out! no? we have to go through this AGAIN? sweet jesus on a pogo stick! why? why? WHYYYYYYY? if i was my own parent on this little journey, i'd have dropped me off at the nearest orphanage and gone off "to buy a pack of smokes" because enough is enough.

but on i trudge, because, as the man says, it's the journey, not the destination. and if you think about it, it's kinda true because what is the destination if not death?

think on that!

23 September, 2015


bananologist told me to write stream-of-consciousness, three pages worth, every morning. leave it unread for a while, see what comes out, but not for public consumption. then later in the day write for an audience like this here blog. we'll see what happens, see what we uncover, see what monsters lurk beneath the cool calm exterior i like to cultivate (yeah, yeah, i know. shut up.)

i spent several hours today scraping the old mould-blackened caulking from around the tub: on my knees, poking, prodding, pulling, scratching, wiping, vacuuming up the silicone bits. a satisfying bit of work, and, as noted by sanity salad, quite reminiscent of my years in the dental field, but far less gross: no blood, no smell, no awareness of picking my way through someone's meals of yesterday (or worse, yesterweek!). i will let it dry, then recaulk it.

i wanted a renovated bathroom (well, the finished product, not the work we'd invariably be doing ourselves) but now that we're moving and renting out the place it makes little sense to sex it up with shiny new tiles and tubs and taps. sexy shiny new caulking will have to do.

a truly boring post, no doubt, lacking juiciness, pithiness, foul language, and/or adventures. no rock'n'roll to speak of and the only mention of sex is in relation to plumbing. my apologies. i'll try to do better, but i make no promises.

18 September, 2015

the forest for the trees

we arrived in houston after dark, picked up the rental car and drove north, windows open to that undefinable smell of the tropics. i spent the week exploring, floating on an inflatable mattress in the world's best roommate's backyard pool, evenings in the hot-tub listening to the cicadas, looking at the stars, relaxing: relaxed, relaxed, relaxed... i feel like my thoughts and feelings are taking a bit of a breather, as they tend to do on occasion, and i enter a sort of slowed down state, a whisper state, a mental hiatus, a glorious fogginess - i may feel a situation should require a particular response but i cannot actually manage one, and so i spent many an hour feeling my body relax into the space around it and thoughts disintegrate into fragments, and i breathed.

you know what? the woodlands is all sorts of things i don't normally like but i like it: it's humid. it's suburban. it's all cul-de-sacs and lack of sidewalks. it's rather obviously well groomed and well off. there are far too many squirrels. but: it's warm. it smells nice. at night the cicadas sing and the geckos come out to feed. there are protected bike paths along pretty much all of the streets allowing me to bike sans fear or helmet. the beach is close enough to drive down for the day. there are so many birds! the people smile and say hi even though they don't know you from adam and might very well be packing heat. rents are so low as to be ridiculous. driving through it feels like driving through a forest of pines and oaks and who doesn't like driving through a forest? 

i came back early so that i could volunteer at a planning conference but there is a whole lot of me that thinks i may not even work as a planner again. i mean, sure, if you offer me a job then i will. but perhaps i just want to write and edit, because that's my favourite thing to do. writing and editing would be just fine. i'm not ambitious. i'm never going to amount to anything spectacular. i'm happy with that. 

at any rate, i did volunteer today: i introduced two speakers, i directed people to a mystery gala location, and then i wandered the gala, ate nibblies, drank drinks, talked to people, and fastidiously avoided talking to the person who made me quit my job. i made one half-hearted attempt to say hi when she was obviously busy talking to someone else, and then i stopped. she never came up to talk to me. i think she knows but what're you gonna do?

then i walked home with my lovely boss who happened to be walking to the office to pick up his car and on the way, tongue loosened by wine and time, i told him the full reason i left, and he told me he knew. i told him i should have been fully honest from the beginning; he told me he should have tried harder to make things better for me. we blame ourselves, not each other, we're both of us right and wrong. it was a good walk. it was a good talk, but in the end, it changes nothing: i'm still not working, and me not working has facilitated our move south, however that may turn out to be. 

08 September, 2015

futura (century gothic light?)

today marked the (entirely self-imposed) day i had to get back to the work of being a productive human. i'm very very VERY tempted to tell you how very productive i actually was today, but, as per my bananologist's recommendations, i'll resist the urge and instead tell you that this thing is happening and i figure since you've been around for quite a while now, you deserve to be told.

august long weekend, mr. monkey and i were walking home along the river after heritage festival - a.k.a. "international dumpling, fritter, and meat-on-a-stick festival"*, and i turned to him and surprised both of us by saying, "ok, let's do it! let's move to texas!"

the idea of moving to texas first came up when mr. monkey got his promotion almost two years ago - his boss and the team are in texas; they expected he'd join them eventually. alas, he had a wife who, at the time, appeared to be in the middle of first grad school and then a respectable and enjoyable career, so that was a no go. turns out (oh, marital communication!!!), for the last few months, mr. monkey has felt increasing pressure to actually make the move: the canadian branch of the company ain't doing as well as it could be, while the texas branch seems to be needing him, and soon, so....well, no brainer, really. we could stay here and be unemployed in tandem, or we could move to a master-planned gated community** rife, granted, with trophy wives drinking white wine spritzers at lunch while fluffing their faux breasts, but also heavily forested and boasting a metric shit-tonne of green spaces. and kayaking. and an hour to the beach. and an hour flight to new orleans. and all the crawfish i can eat (i can eat a lot of crawfish!). and the world's second best roommate mere minutes away (because this is where the silly man moved to right after i finished grad school), and the roommates's adorable wife, crazy joan, available for drinking coolers and talking shit from october till april. so, ya know, not that bad at all!

i fear, just a little bit, that this sudden inexplicable desire to move to the woodlands, tx, is nothing more than a desire to escape what i still sometimes unfairly term my failure to cope***. and, having just spent a week camping with the female littles (oldest little/my goddaughter/my unofficial favourite (shhhh! don't tell!) slept in my tent the whole time and was goddamned ADORABLE!), i realise that what i'm giving up is bloody significant: the opportunity to watch the littles grow on a regular basis - these children, that i had nothing to do with but who have made my heart an inexplicably mushy organ. because, goddamn, sure, i don't want them to come to my house and put their sticky little hands all over my nice stuff but i would fucking take a bullet for them, so that should sorta even things out, non? but yes, seeing them will definitely take a nosedive if we move to texas. and all my people. all those wonderful, glorious, sweet, adorable, beloved members of my tribe. but there are cheap direct flights, so they'd best pack their speedos and come on out. still, sigh....

so there ya go. the news is out. we's movin' to texas! but not until the new year. whoop, whoop!

*seriously, how widespread are those three food groups across the many continents? VERY widespread.

** if there's one thing a planner is viscerally opposed to, it's gated communities: we're all about the public realm, man!

*** i have more than ample evidence that this failure to cope is not mine. why, just today, i ran into another coworker who is heading HRward to discuss evil mistress and the effect she has on her underlings (hint: not good.), so i'm far from alone in this, but still, the immigrant sense of self-esteem is unwilling to just go all american dream and declare the failure entirely external, ya know?

24 August, 2015


feeling once again lightly buffeted by hormonal storms, more and more resentful of this whole once-a-month emotional shit show. up and down, and up and down, and up and down again, every month (or near enough as makes no difference) the same old thing - depression in miniature: wee little tendrils of darkness; doll size bouts of misery; diminutive doldrums. ugh. i can embrace the goddess /feminine mystique all i want, but in the end i'm fucking sick and tired of having my emotional wellbeing dictated to me by the particular hormonal cocktail coursing through my bloodstream on a monthly basis.

things i'm doing to make things worse:

  • blogging and pinteresting when i should be packing for my short camping trip, which makes me feel overwhelmed and gross, which in turn pushes me further into the arms of the interwebs to distract myself from these feelings, when what i really should do is just get the hell off the laptop, shower, pack, do what needs doing already. 

things i'm doing to make things better:

  • using a calendar to track all the small and large things that i am doing. i used to live by my paper calendars but since i stopped buying them, i stopped writing things down, which causes anxiety - what do i have to do?! did i forget an appointment? what's happening when?! i'm now relearning that useful habit but in virtual format.
  • getting rid of clothes. many, many, many clothes. i don't know why getting rid of things always feels so damn good, but it does.
  • forging a (very slow) path towards greater minimalism in all areas of my life
  • trying to figure out how to minimalise my social life - that's a tough one, balancing my deep deep need for solitude and quiet with my equally deep need for connection.
  • continuing to see my bananologist.
  • giving myself a deadline to be lazy until after labour day (apt, no?) when i plan to get my shit together. (edit: i went back and removed the particulars of me getting my shit together because science, and who am i to argue with science?)

what are you doing that makes things better or worse? lessons to share?
and yes, i am now getting off the laptop and going to take a shower. 

21 August, 2015

navel gazing whilst newly unemployed

it's been several weeks since my last day at work (a month, very nearly) and i have accomplished approximately 2.84% of the tasks i set out to accomplish, thinking, silly girl that i am, that i would be inundated with free time. nope. instead i...well, i don't really know what it is that i'm doing exactly. spending more time walking, seeing the kids, pickling (well, ok, i've spent a lot of time pickling and pitting sour cherries for liqueur and freezing  - but it hardly accounts for the whole month), seeing friends, organizing the kitchen, sorting clothes (and shamefully realising what i have to sell or give away amounts to a regular person's generous closet)...so i guess, yes, i have been doing things, but to put it in perspective, when i was in the depths of despair at work, i took a couple weeks and painted my whole apartment all by myself all after work. with time to spare for a glass of wine.

yesterday i finally washed the floors and wondered why it had taken me this long to do it. alas, the world is an exciting place filled with exciting things to see and do and think, and, in some small way, i have been seeing and doing and thinking some of them. i've also been seeing my bananologist who told me that this desire to be useful, to prove to myself and others (especially mr. monkey) that i am, indeed, a productive member of society earning my keep isn't the best thing for me right now. that it focuses my energies too much on being useful rather than reworking the definition of usefulness as it relates to my own good self.

as i've said before, i figured my midlife crisis was me going back to school at 40, and that, once done, i'd settle in at my dream job, my "happily ever after," and if fairytales and rom-coms have taught us anything, it's that a "happily ever after" cuts things off right at the interesting part. walking off into the sunset, holding hands, gazing meaningfully into each other's eyes...ah yes...i have found The One, and the audience can give a little self-satisfied sigh and move on to the next tale. alas, The One ended up not at all what i had thought it would be. not all bad, oh no, but hardly something that warranted one of these:

so i moved on. and before i did, i started seeing the most wonderful bananologist, who's helping me negotiate the path that i'm on. because that midlife crisis is still going on, and it turns out it's great! as brene brown puts it: "people may call what happens at midlife 'a crisis,' but it’s not. it’s an unraveling – a time when you feel a desperate pull to live the life you want to live, not the one you’re 'supposed' to live. the unraveling is a time when you are challenged by the universe to let to go of who you think you are supposed to be and to embrace who you are. " which is precisely what is happening. yes, my poultries, i am unravelling, and i haven't felt this excited in a good long while.

10 August, 2015


please answer in the comments. i really am looking for a cross section of answers:

do you think that the world changes in tiny boring incremental steps because people lack audacity? do you think that a little more of said audacity would help bring about substantial changes?

29 July, 2015

blues light

i'm feeling a trifle blue. nothing major, just a slight unease, a gentle tugging at the tendons of guilt, a delicate murkiness on the edges of sunlight. in a word: hormonal blahs.

i met a friend for coffee then walked home in the rain and had a rather unpleasant epiphany of sorts*. a lot of the text that surrounded my quitting my job centred around opportunities, making space for new things, the opening of doors and such. as if, by the simple act of leaving a job that was making me physically unwell, i was opening myself up to a unicorn-bedazzled shower of miracles. by quitting, i was swinging wide the gate to the magical possibilities of Better Things Ahead.

well, fine, sure. but, said the epiphany in a slightly nasal and unpleasantly grating voice, life is a series of choices, and the consequences of those choices. my walking away from this job no more guarantees me a rainbow-hued future of professional bliss somewhere else than staying would have guaranteed me perpetual hell. i may or may not find a great job, and no optimistic realignment of crystals at my window during the new moon will change that fact. staying may have been the better choice in the long term - keep in mind that this is not regret but a simple acknowledgement of the unknowability of the choices not taken. i'm not sorry i left, but some of the sparkles have fallen off the faith in a golden future for which all i had to do was take this one simple step.

i guess this is the grown up realisation that i will have to actively get off my ass, look for work, apply for work, get turned down for work, get work, feel feelings about work that may or may not be better, and then repeat as needed. no guarantee of miracles here. which kinda sucks...

so yes, magic - you are no match for the harsh realism of my PMS! and yes, there was a period there where i thought it would all be magical from here on in. ha.

*past a certain age i think all epiphanies are "of sorts" - more of a reminder of forgotten knowledge or a recontextualisation of existing pieces than a discovery of some new beast lurking beneath the geostrata of calcified selfhood.

28 July, 2015

day one

since for the last couple of months or so i had taken mondays off (in a hopeful but obviously ineffective attempt to put off the inevitable), today marks my first official day of unemployment. it is now 8:55 and i folded and put away one load of laundry, i am currently waiting to hang the next up on the balcony (in true immigrant fashion!), i have two pans of granola baking in the oven, and i am getting ready to go for a long walk with a friend and my youngest niece who needs to be walked for her nap. all in all, not bad for not-quite-yet 9 o'clock. it feels good.

yesterday i walked to my dentist to get my tusks cleaned, walked back, and got ready to Be Productive. i lied down on my unmade bed (unmade* because ready to have bedding changed) to read for one second, and before you know it, i slept for two hours! a nap! in the middle of the day! for those of you who do not know my napping history - i nap only when i have pneumonia or flu or a light case of ebola. otherwise i do not nap, although i am not morally opposed to napping. i can count on the fingers of one hand the times i have napped in the last decade (this makes four), but there was no getting around it. my body was so exhausted and heavy that i had a hard time covering myself with the duvet. evidently, this was needed. perhaps a symbolic whatsit? a release of sorts? who knows.

so now we take it step by step (as if there is really any other way!) and see what happens. the idea of intentionality and deliberateness, discussed more and more among my circle as well as in the media, dictates that i take my time on this, although there is a part of me that sort of hopes for a miraculous something unexpected to fall into my lap - and that has been known to happen - but let's not hold our breath, shall we? there are limits to my belief in magic...

onward and upward, my poultries!

*spent too much time sick as a kid, so an unmade bed reminds me of illness and disease, and thus causes dis-ease. plus it's not exactly rocket science when you have duvet covers (yet another reason to eschew the flat sheet travesty** as far as i'm concerned).

**that i end up having wrapped around my neck in the morning like a hipster or a suicidal mental patient no matter what i do.

24 July, 2015


today was my last day at work. it was glorious. i was as unproductive as possible, while still managing to get some stuff done so as not to leave my colleagues in a lurch. i was showered with good wishes and hugs and gifts and delightful sweets. i was reminded once again how much i love the people at work, and how much i will miss them.

when i left, i felt sad and glad in equal measures, with a sprinkling of guilt and self-doubt - was my decision good? should i have given it more time? did i give up too soon? was i throwing away something great? overall, though, the doubts were of the niggling rather than the overwhelming variety. i've stepped out into the world and i have no idea what's about to happen. terrifying and exciting, but for some reason i am failing to be terrified, i don't really know why (although i'm sure my safety net has a lot to do with it).

last night i went out to a gallery fundraiser with my lady friends to celebrate my incipient unemployment, and we drank wine, laughed, and compared war stories. man, does it ever feel amazing to be part of a group of women who get it, whatever "it" might be. when it got too loud, l and i went out for one last glass of wine at one of our favourite spots and talked more indepth. i told her about my recent epiphany about living deliberately*, and she said she had a similar revelation about living intentionally. we discussed how both these words appear to be the active side of the more passive mindfulness, and both seem an essential antidote to the mindless work-consume-work-consume cycle our society is pushing on us so single-mindedly.

funny thing that when you start digging and talking and thinking and searching, it turns out that the very same topics are being dug for, talked about, thought about, and searched for by others. some sort of cosmic synchronicity, if i believed in such thing.

so yes, my poultries, i am out. stepped out of one phase; looking for the next. ideas?

*i've been playing around with a thought for some time now, trying to formulate it coherently so that it would fit nicely in a sentence, all to no avail.  then bj came over for dinner and said the one word that put it all into perfect order: deliberate. the life i want to live is a deliberate life. the people who are my friends, are of a similar ilk: few people in my inner circle react willy-nilly to whatever life throws their way or make their decisions based on marketing campaigns. thoughtful, value-based choices, decisions grounded in something other than the immediacy of thoughtless desire for short-term gratification. that.

12 July, 2015

my big fat classic polish vinaigrette

ok, time to take a breather and work with the food-related title of this here blog. here's a recipe for my (semi) famous big fat classic polish vinaigrette, that will make people love you. unless they hate garlic. then they'll hate you. either way - it's damn good and utterly flexible (unlike me).

my big fat classic polish vinaigrette

2 (+/- depending on size) garlic cloves
smoosh garlic cloves with garlic smoosher
if you wanna be all authentic and shit, chop garlic finely on a wooden cutting board and as it gets finer, add a teaspoon of salt and grind it with the side of the blade, and the coarseness of the salt will smoosh the garlic really well and make you feel all badass authentic

1-2 teaspoons of dijon mustard

1 small glurp* of something sweet (maple syrup, runny hunny, fruit juice, smooshed couple of raspberries, whatever you have on hand - the whole point here is to balance the savoury/sour/oily with something sweet)

1 large glurp of balsamic vinegar (another vinegar will do - fer instance, if you have a really dainty bunch of butter lettuce, use apple cider or wine; if you have hefty arugula, go for the balsamic!)

2 large glurps of olive oil (substitute another type of oil, but keep in mind that delicate flavourful oils will get lost in all the garlic so you might want to keep the really fancy ass ones for a simple oil and vinegar dressing)

mix in cup with a fork, using the fork to beat the shit out of the vinaigrette and emulsify the fat - it will turn creamy and thick pretty quickly - taste and adjust seasonings

if you make it ahead of time, re-emulsify before adding to salad greens

experiment with different types of mustard, add fresh herbs finely chopped, or other spices. in case you haven't noticed, this is more of a template than a recipe.

it's so damn good, you're gonna start eating a whole lot more salad, and when that happens, don't blame me! or blame me! i don't care!

* a glurp is also known as a glug but i can't help you with a more exact measurement because i'm polish and being polish is not an exact science, SO LEAVE ME ALONE, ALREADY!!!!

11 July, 2015


first thing friday morning, i walked into my awesome boss's office, sat down and discussed a project we're working on. then i closed the door and told him i was leaving. he took it as well as can be expected - wanting me to stay but understanding (and seeing) my recent unhappiness. we chatted, he asked if there was anything he could do (there wasn't), and then he gave me a hug and told me how sorry he was to see me go. an hour later he sent out an email informing everyone of my imminent departure. so that is that.

yes, i do agonize over things, and i take the time i need to take to make a decision. i have never been able to jump over the process, not ever, not once - i need to take the time i need and that is that. when i'm ready, i do whatever it is that i have to do, but i may well stick a hot poker up my bum, it's not gonna hurry me up. so yeah, thanks for listening. thanks for being there. thanks for supporting me.

hurray for incipient unemployment! let's see what's waiting out there for me!

09 July, 2015

which came first?

at work today:

e: do you want the good news or the bad news first?
moi: oh, i want the good news first, i always want the goo…wait, wait, WAIT! NO! i want the BAD news first! then i want the GOOD news for dessert! i ALWAYS want the bad news first. i just got confused.*

*seriously, this is one of the main tenets of my existence - bad news first, so i don't know what the hell happened, but i blame that particular lapse (as well as the lengthy chicken clucking episode in three voices that took place later…twice) on heat stroke.


at work today:
bta: why are you fondling that hippo?!
moi: i don't know!!! i have nervous hands!!!

06 July, 2015

a sad tale about the princess and the pea

i saw my wonderful bananologist this morning and together we tried to get at the "why" of my seeming inability to quit in the face of some fairly compelling physical evidence that perhaps i should. things she said made sense, and i kept pondering and thinking and head-scratching and then i sat down to write an email to sanity salad, and this is what came flooding out:

"having a hard time with the quitting thing - like i'm a quitter, like i have failed in this job, like i should try harder and not be a whiner, like i'm a little bitch princess who needs to suck it up, like i owe it to others, like i owe it to mr. monkey... yes, an entitled little whiny bitch princess who is bored at the job she was handed on a silver platter… i'm too soft! i'm spoiled! i'm too delicate and need to get over myself! there will always be bosses and people hard to work with! this is a GOOD company and it has GOOD benefits! how dare i think i can do better? how dare i walk away when there are people who don't have work? how entitled and selfish and weak!"

and as i wrote that i realised that while a part of me knows this isn't true, there also is a part of me that very much believes this to be completely true.  funny how we can simultaneously hold conflicting beliefs on any given subject, eh? cognitive dissonance, anyone? with a side of fresh self-doubt?

my bananologist also asked me to look back at my history of depression and note if my emotionally knotted stomach wasn't usually an indication of me not being true to myself,or choosing paths to please others, and hot damn if it wasn't the case! how can i, a devoted self-analyzer, have missed something so patently obvious?

greetings and salutations from the spoiled little princess trying to find her comfort zone sitting on a particularly pointy corporate pea.

05 July, 2015

small mercies, large lizards, medium marmite sandwiches on nondescript white bread with the crusts cut off

last night i took an ativan to slow down the brain which was running like a supersonic miniature hamster on an appropriately miniature hamster wheel* and my eyes kept leaking. the ativan did its magic and made everything feel like it was covered in slightly fuzzy felt, all tactile and smurfy (don't you think the smurfs are a little fuzzy? no? just me, then?) . funnily enough, the last time i took an ativan was when i was getting ready to move to calgary to go to school, and was freaking out about HAVING TO USE COLOURED PENS AND PENCILS. yes. that was my fear. i suppose that means that in two years i am likely to look back on this time and go, WTF, girl? you felt this strongly about whassername? or i'll be all, huh, if not for that particular slice of misery, i'd never have run away and opened a highly successful marmite sandwich shop in tasmania, and now here i am, making a fucking killing! although to be honest, i find marmite rather blech, though i do like nutritional yeast. especially on crunchy-friend tofu that had been marinated in ginger and garlic, served with a side of steamed green beans.

anyhow, where was i? oh yes. crying and self-medicating: two of my favourite pastimes! yay! mr. monkey told me that provided i don't become a facebook zombie, i can quit my job, because he doesn't want me to be miserable, and i am clearly miserable (the crying and self-medicating might be a bit of a giveaway). so now i'm trying to figure out what precisely is keeping me chained to this job, if mr. monkey's good to go, and the bank balance (my usual source of fear and trepidation, oh blame the immigrant mind!) is doing a-ok. i guess this will be the topic i take on with my brain-person tomorrow.

tomorrow (on to mr. macbeth now: "...and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day…") is my day off, which means, of course, that i got an invitation to a meeting by boss, which i am assiduously ignoring until such a time that i can no longer go because a. i have an appointment and b. it's my FUCKING day off, thankyouverymuch. i also have a meeting featuring said boss on tuesday, which has been stinking up my weekend so badly that i've gone into full on "i quit!" fantasy mode. oddly helpful, that. because, you know what? i may just do it! or i may not! it will depend on many factors! i don't know what they are yet, those factors! but they will play a major role in this! you may depend upon it!

i was thinking lately about my instinct of self-preservation, and i have come to the conclusion that while i know some people who seem to have been born without one, mine is solid but a trifle slow on the uptake. it does get me out of bad things…eventually…but jesus h. christein, it could hurry the hell up a bit. took it 2.5 years (out of a total of 3.5) to get me out of a really fucked up relationship. it does its job, but if it were a contractor, it'd be paying penalties for project delays all the fucking time. so yeah, instinct! get to it and get me out of here! until you kick in, i'll be all sorts of flavours of miserable, gnawing on bits of myself, wondering why the hell i can't seem to either shit OR get off the pot.

in some positive news that i didn't mention in my last post because OVERWHELMING SADNESS, i used the frustration related to my job to finally paint my apartment! yay! i'd come home and instead of drinking many wines, i'd paint and paint and paint and now it's almost all painted except for the entrance which i only recently decided to paint with chalkboard paint, because it'll be a great place to scribble the shopping list, or dentist appointment time, or (drunk guests, i'm counting on you here) a giant picture of a penis.

so that. is. that.

* went to a delightful fire and wine at j+m's, where, in order to do a good deed to a shy newcomer to our circle, i consumed too much wine.** at the end of the night, we ended up indoors, and there, in their living room, were two terrariums, and in each one, a tiny little hamster ran on a hamster wheel so fast its tiny little feet were a blur. the next day i had to double check that there were indeed two tiny little supersonic hamsters running on two tiny little hamster wheels in their living rooms and that the wine was not in fact playing a trick on me. nope. they actually have two tiny supersonic little hamsters. so weird.

**i consumed too much wine because i was making sure he was consuming enough wine and pretty quick the enough and the too much got really confused and we both went home rather wobbly. i'm hoping that unlike me, he didn't find an embarrassing text on his phone the next day that he'd sent to someone with what looked very much like a profession of love***

***i love m, but i don't love her, if you know what i mean, and in my defense, i have no recollection of writing the text, which takes us right back to ** and besides, mr. monkey should know that my phone is to be taken away from me when i've been into the wine, so really, it's his fault.

03 July, 2015

required: one small life

i seem to have caught bta's disease - some sort of chronic allergy to civilisation, to societal expectations. work has been beyond drudgery of late - i've gotten into the sunday blerchs, which aren't helped even by taking mondays permanently off - just moving the discomfort, nausea, ennui, misery off by one day - there it still waits, poised over my head like a painfully slow death sentence, and not even that, because at least a death sentence comes but once (barring a particularly incompetent executioner carrying a dull blade).

to think this job was my hope, my dream, the culmination of my midlife crisis/career change! to think i once hated fridays! to think i thought the work itself was exciting, even the dullest bits! to think, to think, to think - all the thinking ain't changing the fact that i am slaving away for mediocre money (this is not the problem - i am lucky to be in a situation where that, at least, is not a problem, although wads of cash do have a tendency to quell some misgivings, if at least temporarily…), doing utterly pointless things to make money for people who are doing their best to do the very least within the confines of our civic bylaws.

turns out (and who'd have thunk it?! not me, that's for damn sure!) i have a strong moral compass and feel supremely uncomfortable doing things i think are detrimental to the urban fabric. equally awful is the realisation that what i am doing, really, is merely perpetuating the bureaucracy that makes up the majority of my profession. a professor to whom i went for help today ("what can a planner do that does not involve…planning?") wrote me that most of what we do is process-based, not outcome based, which is a simple statement that goes a hell of a long way to explain why our outcomes are so fucking atrocious, why we keep doing that which makes financial sense to a chosen few rather than evidence-based sense to the greater society.

a day does not go by that i don't mutter, hamlet-like, in my head: "how weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this work world!" yes, sitting here wrapped in my privilege, i do feel bad about hating a stable, decently-paying job that i didn't have to do a blessed thing to get. then again, when wave after wave of misery flows over me, i stop feeling bad. we all die. one day, i will die. i don't want this to be my life, if i have any say in it, and i do have a say. sad thing is, i really don't know what i DO want my life to be. just not this.

you should know by now that i'm not a romantic, nor much of an idealist, but i can't muster enough realism to get me through the day. sure, i want to make the world a better place. right now, though, i'd settle for a new career. stress headaches, muscles aching from constant tensing, stomach twisted into a knot, nausea that comes at the exact moment that i see/hear/read the name of my superior. coming home: drinking too much, fighting with mr. monkey because he's a target i'm not afraid of lashing out at, sitting slumped on the couch with eyes glazedly staring into the middle distance.

bta and i talk a lot. both about how meaningless what we do seems to be, and what huge amounts of resources go towards perpetuating the systemic meaninglessness. if one half of the money the process uses up went into generating outcomes, oh what a lovely world we could inhabit! but alas.

so why not leave? well, there you have it. that self-imposed, societally-supported idea that one must work, and work is hard and unpleasant, and there is some sort of moral imperative to continue doing it. but i'm giving myself a limited amount of time before i leave. i've always had a pretty hefty instinct of self-preservation. let's see where it takes me, and how long it takes me.

so thanks for listening. and sorry for the silence. i've been busy working.

11 June, 2015


i've been waiting for something interesting* to happen that i could toss on the blog-grill, but nothing kept happening for a whole long while until today, when i microwaved my hands.

yes, you heard me. i microwaved my hands.

for a really short time, but still.

'twas getting close to lunch and i needed to heat up my chana masala** so i popped it into the microwave, set it to two minutes, and waited at my desk. when i went back into the kitchen, it was just getting to the final 5 second count-down*** and i stood and waited for the microwave to stop before i opened the door (as one does). when i put my hands in to retrieve my chana masala i realised the MICROWAVE WAS STILL RUNNING! i squealed and pulled my hands out and slammed the door shut, which caused the microwave to turn off. i opened the door again, and it started running. slam! off! open! on! slam! off! open! on!

my coworkers, alarmed by the slamming and squealing, came over to investigate and i had the opportunity to ascertain that i wasn't in fact hallucinating: the microwave really was shutting off when it was closed, and running when it was open.

at this point my fear of having  just microwaved my hands was fighting tooth and nail with my frustration at being unable to get my lunch out. i was really hungry! but i wanted to keep my hands! (eating chana masala sans hands**** could be…uncomfortable) eventually the coworkers managed to unplug and remove the microwave from its perch,and i could get at my delicious chana masala.

i learned, however, that the fear that one has just inadvertently microwaved one's hands will put a damper on the enjoyment of one's lunch. i kept checking if my right hand wasn't redder than the left. it felt funny. floppy, sort of. like a hot dog, you know? slightly painful in an utterly nondescript but equally disconcerting way. my eyes felt weird too - after all, i had been peering in when i first opened the damn door. i could have microwaved my eyes, too! i kept thinking about my poor denatured proteins.

everyone i told about my adventure (which was everyone who came into the kitchen for the rest of the day. and the people at the meeting. and the facebook people. and now you.) told me not to worry about the radiation, which confused me - i wasn't worried about the radiation! i was worried i had cooked my hands! entirely different!

eventually i did what every sane person does when looking for solid scientific research - i googled it. turns out microwaves can't really hurt you much in a couple seconds. and if the interwebs say that, it must be true, amirite?

despite the (surely peer-reviewed) post on yahoo answers, i was still nervous, but eventually was convinced that while the fan and rotating whatsit were working, the microwave itself likely was not, on account of there being no arcing from my rings. so there you go. i didn't really microwave my hands, which means that i could have totally skipped this whole post, and maintained radio silence. so sorry!

*getting really depressed about work and having a certain person blame me for things that are evidently not my fault using a raised voice is not a topic i'm willing to get into at this point.

**when mr. monkey goes away for any length of time, he cooks me a big pot of chickpeas, and then i make chana masala and eat it while he's away. he cooks them for me because he thinks if i use the pressure cooker, it'll explode and take my head off. given my propensity to stab myself, or even the general topic of this post, he might not be too far from the truth.

***yes, yes, i know i'm getting into excruciating detail, but i'm trying to build the tension. and see? you're totally tense!

****or worse yet, with floppy, microwave-boiled hands!

30 April, 2015

dead birds

i had a sort of epiphany some years ago - so many birds, so many many birds in the world and no dead ones, no bodies, no carcasses, no wings, to mark their passing. it puzzled me that with all the birds around, there was nothing of significance left behind.

since that time, i have begun noticing wings, rib cages, bits and pieces of dead birds along the streets and sidewalks of my daily commute.

part of me (the rational part, let's agree) thinks that this is simply a different way of perceiving - having once noted something, its manifestations become obvious: a new word, recently learned, pops up repeatedly in conversations, media, etc.

part of me (fantastical, mad, imaginative and hopeful that there is something more than mere grey rationality) thinks that the powers that be, those who lay out the daily scenography of our lives, were suddenly made aware of a failure on their part, and, as a direct result of my noticing the lack of dead birds, reevaluated their set design and decided to incorporate more dead birds. to stop the suspicion, see?

what do YOU think?

28 April, 2015


friday night i chatted with my parents about the details: pick up good face sunscreen; make sure we have sock liners; should my mom bring her old gore-tex jacket or try to get a cheap but decent knock-off there. we signed off and i went my merry way, visiting with crusty juggler and d in calgary - all tinkling glasses of prosecco and vinho verde, banter, laughter: the usual, then off to bed.

satuday morning, i was woken too early by the phone. my dad's voice was serious when he told me our trip to nepal (13th of may…coming right up) would not take place. i assumed immediately that my grandma's declining health was the reason. no, my dad told me, kathmandu has been levelled by a huge earthquake; base camp was flattened by an avalanche. still groggy, my first assumption was that this was a joke. i actually laughed. took me a while to filter the fact that my dad isn't the type to call me early in the morning to play a prank, prankster though he may be. he told me to check the news, and as d got up to make coffee, we opened up his laptop and saw the headlines.

my continued reluctance to go made the news feel like my fault in some bizarre way - no, of course, in my mind i know i had nothing to do with it, but there was (and remains) a tiny part of me that feels to blame for this, like i didn't want to go so very much that the strength of my will caused the very earth to quake. i know, megalomaniacal AND silly. but still.

disasters tend to feel painful in a perfunctory and vaguely theoretical way. we're not wired* to truly care for all of humanity; if we were, we would surely implode from the sheer pain of empathy. still, my typical reaction is rarely as visceral as i would wish it to be. this, however, hit me hard, because two weeks from now i would have been there and as such, the place was more real to me than some random cataclysmically afflicted corner of our globe. nepal, by virtue of the ticket i had purchased, the pile of clothes awaiting packing, the prescriptions for anti-altitude sickness pills i had obtained, had gained a reality that made this one hurt.

my dad and my cousin have already been there several times, each time falling in love anew with the warmth of the people as much as the beauty of the landscape. who knows if they will go again…and if they do (and if i do), the monuments that have stood for many long years are standing there no more. at any rate, it's a country of great beauty, but also great poverty. this won't be easy on them, and with the monsoon season a month away, they're racing against time to make sure people have shelter.

medecins sans frontieres, oxfam, red cross - these and others are doing their best to help. please donate.

*reading a book right now, "sapiens," that is opening my eyes to a whole lot of interesting about our species. simply written for the non-entirely-scientifically minded, but not at all simplistic. broad strokes of what sometimes could or should be obvious, but is often forgotten. highly recommended.

03 April, 2015

hairs and friends

hanging out with crusty juggler and d on a late friday night chez nous:

moi: it's strange - i got my haircut and now it's totally darker.

crusty juggler: no, it' not!

moi: you haven't seen me in a while!

d: i'm literally looking at you RIGHT NOW.

moi: fuckers.

dear diary

dear diary,

for the last several weeks i have wanted to stab my eye out with a plastic fork on a fairly and disturbingly regular basis. the desire became noticeably stronger last week, for which i blame my blessed lady hormones working in tandem with work stress. right now i am vacillating between ennui black as tar, sticky self-hatred, and deep visceral disappointment with the world in general and myself in particular. 

i have fantasies in which i am a texas housewife, riding high on wine fumes and designer antidepressants, or a goat farmer in a quiet corner of vancouver island. doesn't matter, really. i just want to be able to take deep breaths in (and the corresponding deep breaths out) on a regular basis, and not feel like i suck, because it gets really tiring fighting off the feeling that you suck, when you know damn well you can't suck as badly as you half suspect you suck. i know i am neither as good, nor as bad as i sometimes think i am. i'm likely somewhere in the middle, but still, the perception of suck lingers. 

of late, i have also started eating my stress, dear diary, and as much as i have heard that expression used before, i have never before felt the sweet sweet reality of melted cheese soothing emotional pain, or the delightful wonder of french fries plugging the rips and tears in one's soul. deeply disturbing, dear diary, ain't gonna lie.

i am tired of whining to friends and family. i am tired of whining to myself. i am tired of listening to myself whine to friends and family and myself. but it seems to have taken on a life of its own, this thing. of course, as anything that has a life of its own, it is likely to end, and i just hope it ends in the foreseeable future. and so, dear diary, i turn to your pages for solace and understanding. 

28 March, 2015


recent search keywords that brought people to this here blog:

"kipper snacks for catching cats"

"piece of crap fords"

how disappointing for them.

bad duck

4 o'clock yesterday afternoon found me face down on a massage table, breathing deeply for what felt like the first time all week. ah, the week! what a week it was! aside from maintaining several smaller ongoing projects, i had two big'uns to contend with - one, an eye-rollingly pointless exercise, the other, a fascinating research report - the very type of thing that made me want to be an urban planner in the first place. both were due on friday and both stressed me to the hilt. the former, because it needed to be done, and the latter, because i wanted to impress. i came in early, took a short lunch (and only because my adorable coworkers bj and bta have now made it a daily tradition to come eat at my desk and dissect topics of import and complexity), and worked late every single day, feeling that ball of tightness just below my xiphoid process that prevented me from breathing fully.

thursday night i went out for dinner with a work friend because i felt a deep need to eat my stress in the form of steak. i had a misguided notion that i was over the hump and that friday would be smooth sailing. nope. a last minute mandated-from-the-top personnel switch in my document erupted on friday morning as a serious threat to the budget of the entire proposal (no, you don't need to understand any of this, and yes, it is as boring as it sounds). unfortunately, that morning the supreme boss was nowhere to be found, the boss-boss was away on vacation, and the coworker/mentor in charge of the budget was at that moment driving 3 hours to attend a family funeral. the onus was on me to make a decision that i was absolutely in no way capable of making. i think i may have been a little pasty-faced because when the supreme boss did make it in, she took one look at me and told me to breathe. then she promptly solved the problem and we were able to send the proposal off to the printers with time to spare.

this brings me back to the interesting research project. i dug. i wrote. i thought. i fought word* on lay-out step by step (a sort of trench warfare, with casualties, blood spilled, very few gains to speak of, and a very high chance of developing PTSD) and finally sent it off to a peer reviewer thursday night. friday morning, after putting the proposal to bed, i opened up the reviewed draft and faced a veritable sea of blue track changes. gulp.

ok, let's sidetrack for a moment here, and because this is my blog i will fight the urge to apologise for its  navel-gazing nature. this last year has been a continuation of the frustration that began in grad school. i went from being someone comfortable with her skills and knowledge to someone feeling cast adrift. school was supposed to prepare me for the work force; it did no such thing. the year working has regularly made me feel stupid, slow, and unable to grasp what, i suspect, might be rather simple concepts. despite the management's words of praise at my performance (boy, they must have exceedingly low expectations), i feel like a bit of a failure - picking my nose, drooling a little, and gazing with blank befuddlement at the world of urban planning. there are two things that have kept my ego for utter despair - one is my people skills and the fact that people seem to not only like me, but actually respond to me and do what i ask. the other is my writing. having been told i was one of the top writers at the group was a salve for my wounds and i have held that assessment close to my heart in moments of turmoil: i may be an utter dolt, doofus, and dummy, but damnit! i can write!

facing that document full of edits and additions (by the company's premier writer, no less) was a punch in the gut. it hurt. and when i went over his edits, i found them so obvious and beautifully laid out that i deflated. i wanted this to be something i was proud of, instead i felt smacked down. i felt like the one thing i had going for me was shown up for the sham that it was. oh, granted - i had never written this type of document before, and the only template i had been given was much more technical in nature. granted, this was my very first attempt. but, logically or not, i wanted to be that unknown schmuck who shows up at the olympics and wins a gold medal out of the blue. realistic? oh sure!

i made my peace with it, i think. the edits made the piece flow better, added more flavour, not to mention his superior knowledge of the area in question from an urban planning perspective. overall, i think they weren't as ego-shatteringly extensive as they seemed at first glance. still, as i breathed on the massage table and had my tension knots worked out** i heard my work phone make that deceivingly pretty sound that announced incoming emails, and although i managed to breathe through it, the first thing i did when i got off the table was check my inbox - supreme boss liked the draft, and she doesn't throw praise around carelessly. despite knowing that it wasn't ALL my work, there was a feeling of some satisfaction.

so perhaps i needed to be taken down a notch. perhaps it is necessary to remember that while i may be good there are others better (oh god, how much of an asshole that sentence makes me sound!). perhaps i need to chill the fuck out and make my expectations for myself a trifle more realistic. lessons learned.

*am i the only one stumped why a program that has been around as long as word continues to exhibit the sort of inexcusable glitches one would expect of an untested newbie? microsoft, you suck!

**you don't HAVE knots, my massage therapist said, you ARE one big knot!

06 March, 2015

things as they are

i woke up on this, the morning of my birthday, looking like death warmed over, thanks, in no small part to that third second glass of red wine last night. it seemed like a good idea at the time, embracing, if you will, that pernicious north american notion of "i deserve it!"- a marketing ploy as morally repugnant as it is successful*.

as i gazed at myself critically, i wondered if this would be the year i would finally welcome that aging woman in the mirror into my inner reality. having always been a firm believer in working what mama gave  you, i.e. embracing your best bits, not spending 30 years of your life straightening curly hair, or curling straight hair, etc., i am having one hell of a time  in this one area (as evidenced by these self-indulgent posts).

i have learned some valuable lessons in the last few years, and walked some interesting paths, so perhaps this, my 43rd year, will prove to be the year i get it. it doesn't help that so many of my friends are far younger than i am - people my age are, for the most part, armpit-deep in child rearing and don't have the time to drop everything and go for a drink. sometimes i stop and wonder if i'm a creepy old woman trying hard to recapture her youth by making "that's what she said" jokes and giggling maniacally. then again, second guessing who i am is counterproductive. as i said before, i is who i is and other than trying to buff that to a high gloss shine, trying to become something entirely different is futile. and stupid. and sad.

so why all this questioning and such (crusty juggler asked me recently)? because i think i am trying to find my footing: i was damn good at being a kid. really great at being a young woman. i kicked ass at my thirties. now, suddenly, my insides have stopped matching my outsides, and it's taking me longer than i'd like to figure out what is what. still, if there is anything i could choose to guide me, the love of my friends is a sure winner - if i was a creepy dirty old woman** i wouldn't be having as much fun with as many lovelies as i am.

so - onward and upward!

*does a woman in india getting gang-raped on a bus deserve her fate? does a homeless child? it's all an accident of birth, my poultries, deserving has sweet fuck all to do with it.

**plenty of time for that yet!

20 February, 2015


in this day and age of electronic and cellular communication, of e-mail and e-banking, the only mail that comes to one's mailbox is bills (or, in the case of me, mrs. monkey, tools or thingmabobs or whatnots for the volvobeaste from amazon). rare is the letter. much rarer still, the parcel. the rarest of these is the parcel from overseas (and i don't mean from china via ebay). a couple weeks ago was that most magical of days - i got the much awaited parcel from lucy and tom. had it held nothing but the little card, it would have been enough. alas, it also held the most perfectly coloured hand-knit little baktus/karius scarf ever.

if nothing else, this blog has helped me retain my sanity by letting me air my inner demons and finding an audience of the most beautiful people, some of whom i may never meet, but who nevertheless play a very important part in my life.

for this, i thank you.

too much information? i'd best not run for office anytime soon...

having consulted the interwebs, i have just schmeared some banana peel poultice on my butthole. yes, interwebs, you need to know that i have hemorrhoids and apparently banana peel helps. i'll keep you posted. science? i blow raspberries in the face of science! gimme homegrown grandma remedies anytime! and if it's food related, i'm all the more interested. chocolate chip cookie crumbs for inner ear infections? hells yeah! peanut butter for psoriasis? yes, please! bleu cheese and pear mousse for tennis elbow? i do believe i shall try it!

added bonus - you get to holler, i can't hear you! i have a banana in my butt!

so yeah. that.

have a grand weekend, poultries. i wish you smooth anal walls. it is a gift that keeps on giving.

14 February, 2015

galentines day

a few days ago, m asked me if i would be her galentines date on friday as she had been invited to do a talk at a local independent bookstore. i gladly agreed since it had been a while since we'd seen each other, and suggested a fantastic local watering hole for a drink before the event. we met, we ate, we drank, we laughed and then we practically skated over to the bookstore because of the freezing rain that had covered the sidewalks with a treacherous glaze.

the bookstore talk featured three local writers, each reading a little snippet of her book. one read a piece about the stain and shame of menstruation; one read a piece about the gathering of metis women in a small cabin, and the illicit pregnancy of one of them; and the last one read a very evocative piece about a young girl envying her friend her beautiful communion clothes. it was heartwarming to know there was such talent all around. then it was m's turn to speak.

m teaches women's studies at the university and is intelligent, warm, and funny. she always pushes me to think, expands my mostly organic home-grown feminism with her academic perspective, opening my eyes to so much, causing me to rethink, and in no small way changing the way i see a lot of the things around me. she is the wife of a high school friend of mine, and i am ever so glad to have her in my life.

her talk began with a virginia woolf quote from a room of one's own about two women liking one another. she moved on to talking about a group of radical feminists who managed to maintain strong friendships despite being often vocally and passionately opposed in their points of view. she ended with  the story of us - how when she first me me (at a gods and goddesses party, where both of us came dressed as fairies, and where i remember her husband wore a toga and a solitary horn attached to his forehead) she immediately decided she did not like me because i was tall, confident and the centre of attention. i, of course, don't remember that last part, probably because i was used to being the centre of attention and didn't think much of it. still, she had decided. much later, when we were both living in the east, she and i met again at a dinner where she was surprised to discover she liked me after all. now, all these years later, we live in the same city, and see each other regularly at parties, shindigs, firepit gatherings, and our annual folk fest hot dog and coffee breakfast and talk.  the point was - that initial jealousy could have prevented what in the end is a really wonderful friendship. i am so glad it didn't.

as i have said here before, the older i get, the more i crave women friends, although i still enjoy my boys and men immensely. i am ever so blessed in both departments (to the point that k, my sanity salad, says i need to stop bragging about my friends quite so much!)

at any rate - happy galentines day to all my ladies, and happy valentines day to the rest of yous!

04 February, 2015

at least it wasn't newt gingrich

yesterday at work:
bta: it's been a long time since you dressed like a republican. lately you've been dressing like an undergrad fine arts student.
moi: alright, which particular republican would you like me to dress like?
bta: michele bachmann.
and that's why i love my job.

04 January, 2015

another day

i started a post reflecting about the old year. i considered a post about planning for the new year. eventually i gave up on both - it feels so arbitrary, this shift from "old" to "new." i don't really believe in new year's resolutions - i think self improvement ought to be an ongoing item on one's agenda, or not at all. i understand the need some people feel to give themselves a sense of direction, or turning a new leaf, but perhaps because this last year carried with it its own momentous ends and beginnings (graduating from school, starting a new job), i feel the new year is merely a continuation of business as usual.

our christmas was quiet, with at least 2 or 3 days given over to doing not much of anything at all. crusty juggler and d spent two weeks with us, thereby raising the bar for guests for all time to come: coffee was made every morning, breakfast more often than not, and while we still worked, d would have dinner ready for when we got home. frankly, i didn't want them to leave. guests who feel like part of the household are the very best kind of guests!

we rang in the new year with a soiree that has become an annual event - this year our guest list topped 40 (including the shortest, cutest, and least reliably toilet-trained segment of the population), and much fun was had. whenever i start to question the quality of my humanhood, all i have to do is look around at the people in my life and i am forced to recognize that i cannot be all that bad when i am surrounded by friends and family of such top shelf quality. mists me up, it does.

i managed to drink relatively responsibly and was thus able to get up the next morning (after hitting the hay after 4am!) and vacuum the party room with very little physical or existential discomfort. mr. monkey and crusty juggler and i managed to clean up a lot the night before, but some decorations remained. turns out some intrepid fellow condo dweller figured the leftover decorations were fair game and took off with two of my dollar store snowflakes, which caused me more disgust than pain. boggles the mind, it does, but whatever: there goes $2.50 along with my faith in humanity...

we are now in the midst of our customary january deep freeze and tomorrow work begins anew. i'm just thrilled beyond anything that the thought of a work monday after two weeks of indolence and bliss doesn't bother me one little bit. and so, life goes on.

may the new year bring you a continuation of the good of the old, and a cessation of the bad!

27 December, 2014

how it is

i have two eggnog bread puddings baking in the oven, the table is set, the coffee made - brunch with my ladies this morning chez moi: i'm really really looking forward to it. k, my sanity salad, and m, of the broken bourbon fame, as well as k's friend whom i have yet to meet, along with crusty juggler, are all coming over this morning. k and m and crusty are women whose company i adore - intelligent, sharp, kind, witty, able to broach topics that some would consider improper for polite society, but what the hell, we're a new breed of lady: wicked smart and taking no prisoners!

i might have said so here before, but having always been surrounded by a gaggle* of male friends and one or two good girlfriends, i have found myself increasingly craving female company in recent years. don't get me wrong, i still enjoy menfolk, i enjoy them a lot, but what i need, in a pretty deeply visceral way, is female company. as we get older, we diverge - men get considered more attractive, grey hair is sexy, wrinkles a badge of honour, age a guarantor of financial success, while women, well…we turn invisible. at best, we are "previously beautiful," or MILFs, at worst, simply a butt of jokes: the cougar, the soccer mom, the chick lit/chick flick afficionada, not quite the wise old crone, but nowhere near the desirable virgin. men, as appealing and intelligent as they may be, fail to grasp the subtleties of this transformation. as a woman of a certain age (42, to be exact, and not willing to play coy) i need my ladies to help me deal with this. and so we brunch.

it's nifty, too, to have company on the road to dirty old womanhood - to sit and drink and feel at ease. AND it's fun to mispronounce "vaginal" (to rhyme with "spinal"), to giggle and guffaw and skewer the tropes that try to limit and define us, while critiquing society's expectations, swigging wine and reinventing ourselves as we shed our old skins. not hockey mom: feminist hockey mom. not cougar: self-actualised sexy 40-something. not desperate single: intelligent professional. in the company of other women my age, i become myself more than elsewhere. m, who had just come back from a feminist conference in puerto rico told me that the best place to make peace with your body was in a pool filled with aging feminists. this is the closest i have at the moment and i adore it.

to my ladies!

*seems like the wrong term. murder? host? harem? yes, i think i like harem the best.

24 December, 2014

may ye sparkle merrily

my darling poultries, you who have been here with me through thick and thin, offering words of advice or support, waiting patiently on my silence, cheering heartily from the sidelines at my words, may you have the most glorious season, filled to the brim with warmth, cheer, loving people, delicious food, irrepressible giggles, restful sleep, and much much joy and happiness. i may have never met most of you, but that doesn't mean i don't appreciate your lovely e-presence in my life.

have the merriest of christmases and a splendiferous new year!

09 December, 2014

up yer butt!

when k and i were gallivanting in las vegas (and by gallivanting i mean getting up at 6am every morning and hiking in the desert…then capping the day off by drinking a bottle glass of wine every night in our hotel room while yelling at watching terrible terrible television and eating junk food snacks) we decided to get cheap pedicures, because, as everyone knows, the united states of america is a place of contrasts: food deserts BUT trader joe's; designer everything BUT 20$ pedicures… i could go on but i'm bored, and thus i suspect you too are bored. so. pedicure. toenails.

an hour in a chair that vibrated in all sorts of salacious and sometimes vaguely disturbing ways, getting scrubbed, rubbed, having pounds of foot skin removed with what looked almost exactly like cheese graters, and eventually having polish applied to our shiny pink toesies. given the price, i didn't expect it to last, but alas, last it did: more than a month!

thing is (oh yaar, there is a thing. the thing is (another thing! the layers! they pile up!) one needs to wade through a whole lotta crap to get to the thing, eh? eh? well, so it goes. you read the fine print, no? no? well, then, i can't help you)…anyhow…where was i? oh! the thing! the thing is, several years ago i lost my second smallest left toenail after doing a marathon. every time i walk or hike a lot now, it comes off. just sort of peels off, painlessly but in a really rather yucky manner. i mean, it's a human toenail, not a fucking exoskeleton of a hermit crab. but there you have it: it just comes off.

so, to return to my really elongated and convoluted tale with a seriously underwhelming pay-off (consider this your foreshadowing, my poultries), i woke up one morning and saw that all my toes were still perfectly painted, except the second smallest left toenail, which seemed to have mysteriously shed its exoskeleton. i halfheartedly looked around the bed, under the bed, and inside the bed, but having found nothing just sort of forgot about it.

           … * * * … * * * … * * * … several days passed… * * * … * * * … * * * …

i was in bed with mr. monkey a couple nights ago when he gets this strange look on his face, reaches his hand under the covers, digs around for a bit while frowning and comes up with something small and dark.

mr. monkey: what the hell was that on my butt?!

yes. you guessed it. he was not impressed, and rightly so. at least hermit crabs eat their damn exoskeleton. me? i just shove it up my husband's ass.

07 December, 2014

the perniciousness of gravity

this being the season of rampant consumerism, i've been doing my best to counteract it, or at least refocus it, by going to local events and supporting local artisans and the like. yesterday i met the lovely m at a craft show. it wsn't your grandma's craft show, unless of course your grandma is a moustachioed hipster who knits sweaters with skulls, rocks a kick-ass tattoo sleeve featuring illustrations from a children's book, makes her own bitters, and has nary a pink acrylic crocheted toilet paper cover in sight.   the point of the afternoon was to do some christmas shopping* followed by dinner at my favourite bbq smokehouse restaurant named, appropriately enough, MEAT.

dinner was stellar (their pulled pork and garlic fries are divine), as was the conversation, and when m realised how early it still was when we had paid our bill, we decided to take advantage of her evening of childlessness and walk back to my place to have another bourbon based drink, because delicious. the walk was bracing, and as soon as we came home, i had the realisation that we did not, in fact have any bourbon in the house because mr. monkey bought scotch instead, and my body does NOT like scotch. or rye. or any whiskey product other than bourbon. it just doesn't. it makes a pfffft face and shakes itself dramatically and then pouts, no matter how fancy the scotch.

m and i decided to remedy the situation and walked across the little bridge to the liquor store where i bought a bottle of bourbon. we were laughing and talking and having a gay old time, until i hit an icy patch mere metres from my front door, and found myself flat on my back, having cracked my elbow on the ice, broken bottle in hand, bourbon and glass chips all over my shearling coat. while m hovered over me, trying to ascertain the state of my wellbeing, a man walked by, casting the kind of glance one reserves for drunk street people making up after a bitter fight. once i stopped laughing and gathered myself up (m was very concerned), we walked back to the liquor store and bought another bottle. as we stood by the till, i realised my left hand was gruesomely covered in blood, smelling like a wino, laughing like a mad person. yes, this is what living downtown does to you, boys and girls!

in the end, mr. monkey made us his utterly addictive bourbon-based drinks. i cleaned myself up. we shook residual glass off my coat. we sat around and had a lovely conversation while i iced my elbow. twas a good day, truly.

*for m, mostly, since i had already done mine earlier last week. and speaking of which, i am suffering, my poultries! since the kidlets have gotten old enough to appreciate a good gift opening, the sweet halcyon days of no christmas shopping are done. and now we have to negotiate that labyrinth of getting something that is attractive, not too expensive and small, because, like most other north american children, they already have everything…in triplicate. ugh. me no like. i mean, i like buying gifts and making the children happy but i also realise their spatial constraints and am not an asshole who will buy a mountain of plastic that will make negotiating a hallway treacherous. and they're too little for books in any meaningful way. ok. rant over.

27 October, 2014

cue trumpets

every monday morning, precisely at 8:30, we have a planners' meeting which takes place in a glassed-in conference room just a couple metres from my cubicle. i routinely forget about the meeting because i rarely have anything to report or ask for from the techs, and so i find it's a waste of time. sometimes i have time to waste. sometimes i don't. still, the meeting: i forget about it and it's usually the stream of planners going by my desk or the constantly slamming door to the back staircase that clues me in.

this morning i went down to the third floor to make my social rounds, say my hellos, and show off my 1960's italian merino wool mustard striped sweater from the antique mall (as one does). i lingered and chatted and then took the back stairs up to my floor. as i walked by the open conference room, i noticed it was filled with boss, planners, other people, head people, sub-head people, and such, in a way quite similar to the usual suspects. i looked at my watch, saw it was 8:07, freaked out that i was late, and tried to sneak in (this was hard to do because the lay-out of the room means that the second i came out of the back staircase my every move was on display to the whole room). i said sorry, and sat down quietly next to m. everyone was looking at me funny, but that's ok, it was because i was late, right?

m quietly turned to me and said, this is not the right meeting. this is the financial meeting. your meeting's after.

the lights went on. the looks thrown to me by my colleagues suddenly made sense, as did the presence of people who are not part of the planning group, like b the a, whose head shaking and eye rolling suddenly took on a whole new meaning.

i apologised AGAIN, and turned to leave. as i walked out, my shoulder slammed into the open glass door which made a loud booming sound, not unlike a majestic fanfare. subtle it was not.

a while later, k, my co-summer student from last year and current co-worker, told me about how two weeks earlier he freaked out that he was late to the weekly planners' meeting, ran into the conference room, sat down next to m, who gently told him that he was at the wrong meeting.

they must think they hired morons.

27 September, 2014

thinglets in the rain

there ain't much to report.
alternately, there's so much to report that i can't look at the keyboard without needing a stiff drink, and then getting distracted by some shiny new thought and entirely forgetting to come back and write.

september, despite some dark days (in the single digits, thankfully) is almost through, and despite my fear and trepidation, there hasn't been a repeat of last two years' emotional debacles. i keep on keeping on, and all that shit. fingers crossed, wood regularly knocked on, natürlich.

i was given a hint of a possibility of moving back to the third floor by bossman and immediately put the kibosh on that - the last few months have found me bonded for life (well, the 8-4:30, mon-fri portion of it anyways) with my fourth floor posse, "the johnsons". the neighbouring landscape architects continue to evade eye contact for the most part, though some have fallen prey to my indomitable charm and tenacity. some even say hello of their own free will!

my biggest challenge of late (read: since work began) is unprecedented: getting some sort of manageable work-life balance. my previous iteration as a dental demi-goddess had none of these issues - when work finished for the day, it was finished. overtime and deadlines were things of which i had no inkling, other than in a purely academic sense. well, it's a trade-off, innit? now i'm surrounded by people with whom i can have real conversations,* doing something that i give a shit about, and enjoying all the social side benefits (food truck events, scavenger hunts followed by pub nights, boozy barbecues, etc.). still, my cooking/exercising/down time have suffered, and i've taken september as my Month To Fix Myself. so far, so good.

heading off to a breast cancer fundraiser momentarily, where i shall hang with co-workers, dance to a live blues band, and likely drink too much. life is good.

over and out.

*granted, sometimes they are conversations that end with "nobody wants to see monkey genitalia " but still...

07 September, 2014


at work, i am the generally acknowledged purveyor of snacks - i have a drawer dedicated solely to microwave popcorn packets, rice crackers, chocolate covered raisins, dried pineapple and cherries, almonds, and whatever else.

b the a, a resident hyper-intelligent surly misanthrope with a sharp tongue and filthy mouth (and thus one of my particular favourites) often comes over with an almost dickensian look on his face ("please sir, i want some more"), and i toss him a snack.

friday, somebody was microwaving popcorn and, as expected, this brought b the a out of his cubicle, quite literally sniffing the air as he walked towards mine.

moi: 'twasn't me, b, but if you like i can give you a whole pack.

b the a: um, no. have you seen how fat i'm getting?

moi: a little.

b the a: wait. what did you say?!

moi: (confused) why, what did YOU say?

b the a: i said, have you seen how fat i'm getting?

moi: (relieved) ah. yes. and i said, a little.

as much as the man bitches about the beige police that influences much of north american life (ya know, perpetual political correctness, pasted-on smiley-faced surface politeness, paying lip service to diversity while terrified of anything truly different etc., etc.), i think he was truly floored that i said what i said. it's all good, though. we're still friends.

24 August, 2014

hello hitler (again)

crusty juggler and i have been going to an antique mall around these here parts, and coming out almost invariably laden with lovely whatsits, trinkets, and doodads, mainly of the jewellery and linen tea towel variety, inexpensive and pretty and happiness-making.

the mall stocks everything imaginable, including, imagine that, a print from the munich archives of a watercolour painting by one adolf hitler. it's an innocuous and utterly forgettable work, if not for the artist. each time we go to the antique mall, i walk over to see if hitler is still there. he is.

post-antiquing, we went out for some hamburgers and beer. invariably*, talk turned to hitler.

moi: i keep checking to see if somebody's bought it. and nobody ever does. i wish somebody would.

d: i think you need to be the change you want to see in the world. buy the damn print.

*not really. we rarely talk about hitler. we're more likely to talk about vaginas which are a far more pleasant topic all around…unless you're in your twenties, i suppose.

18 August, 2014

the victim remains in serious but stable condition. the culprit has been apprehended.

last week i stabbed myself in the base of my left middle finger and promptly came as close to fainting as i ever get,* not because of the pain (which was nowhere near the worst i had ever inflicted upon myself over the many years of attempted self-mutilation), nor because of the blood (which, though copious, was neither worrisomely profuse nor oddly coloured), but because i immediately realised that there was a profound difference between slicing off even a generous portion of one's finger tip (guilty as charged on multiple occasions - one more reason i could not get into a life of crime: my papillary lines are far too peculiar for simple acid-based augmentation) and jabbing the business end of a sharp knife directly and rather deeply into a fairly complex piece of machinery that is the finger. as i stood there in shock, with my hand in my mouth (i was afraid to look), mister monkey calmly turned on the cold water tap and directed me to stick my hand in it while he went hunting for a bandaid. i stood there for a while and then got hit by said faint spell, and went down hard on my knees while my heart pounded in my ears and i began to hyperventilate. eventually i made my way to the couch (i may have either lurched or crawled; the memory is fuzzy), where i was brought water, hydrogen peroxide, and a band-aid by my ridiculously calm husband**. i eventually made my way back to the land of the fully conscious and went to work.

today i was slicing beets when mr. monkey came home. he came up to me and when i turned to give him a hug and a kiss, i inadvertently (and inexplicably) stabbed him in the sternum. it produced no more than a small red dot, but made me wonder if i should give up cookery all together, or perhaps blend the fuck out of whole things, just so that we both can live.

*close enough to wish i would actually faint. it is not a pleasant state. nothing even remotely dainty or elegant about it, thank you very much.

**you may or may not recall that he, and his entire family, is closely related to fainting goats and drops at the smallest provocation.

05 August, 2014

personally, i think you're wrong

crusty juggler, miz meow, and i went to a pop up art show put on by two upstanding young men, one of whom is a co-worker of mine. there was alcohol (red wine? yes please! down the front of my silk dress? mais oui! how'd you know?!), snacks of various provenance and varying level of delicious greasiness, and hordes and hordes of adorable youthful hipsters. the crowd was pleasant, friendly, and perfectly willing to speak to the geriatric division (i.e. us). crusty took off early (i can completely understand - had i not been flying on the extroverted end of my 50/50 extro/intro spectrum, i would have done the same), leaving me and miz meow to work the crowd. a very hot sweaty hour later we too left and walked home together laughing about how absolutely delicious it is to shock the very young - and this generation seems eminently shockable - by saying things like…vagina, or talking about topics even vaguely sexual. they are so cute, these ones - they blush and stutter and you can actually see them cringe physically as their body attempts to get rid of the toxins.

if i can't enjoy my old age by randomly shouting "VAGINA!" at young people, then i refuse to get old.

03 August, 2014

enough with the fluffy shit!

last night we had an indian-themed dinner party. we made indian food and decided to forego the usual dressing up on account of it being goddamn fucking hot and humid, because, you know, india is an arctic country and all that. personally, i just didn't feel like being draped in floaty shit and the indian earrings that i do have are so heavy that my heat exhausted ears could not handle them. they are also likely made of the sort of metal that turns green when exposed to sweat, and not in a classy old world copper cupola sort of way, but more of a need-to-amputate, jesus-god-what-happened-to-your-skin sort of way. i mean, i don't know, they might be made of high quality pseudo gold, but i have a nagging suspicion that this is not the case. i refuse to place my ears in harm's way for a dinner party, you know?

the highlights of the night include me licking large quantities of delicious mango lassi from the counter after i spilled it. there are pictures. some are on facebook. i am ok with this because at the time, i was already rather tipsy, and thought that this was the funniest thing ever: pictures of me lapping up the lassi from the counter top, lassi on my nose and all over my face. ha ha! SO funny. ahem. yes. throughout the night i kept finding lassi on my top, then my pants. i'm fairly certain there was lassi on every part of my clothing. still, je ne regrette rien, on account of it being fucking delicious. crusty juggler can come to my house and make mango lassi any time.

sadly, much mango lassi also spilled on my delicious sliced pickles, and, rather than waste them i washed them in the sink and then revinegarated them. i am nothing if not crafty and dedicated to pickles. you know it's a good night when you find yourself washing pickle slices in the kitchen sink, amirite?

speaking of french, i announced at a certain point in the evening my intention to speak only french to the dog, mainly because i hate the dog*, and neither one of its owners speaks french, which then would free me to say what i really think without offending its wonderful owners. in unrelated news, my repertoire of french insults is sadly lacking.

at another certain point in the evening, we came up with an idea of a musical called "hello, hitler," the eponymous theme song of which became the theme song for the night. as a polish person, i feel i can sing about hitler - it's the entitlement of my people. yes.

there was also an entirely unscientific ear survey - turns out half of the group have weird ass squishy ears, and half of us have normal ears. there was much walking around and touching of ears…mainly by me. because science.

on the way home a possible conflict arose when crusty juggler asked mr. monkey to stop licking his tongue at her, sparking the discussion on whether one can actually lick one's own tongue. we tried and made the sorts of noises five people** would make when attempting to lick their own tongues. afterward, there was much speculation about whether we were, in fact, as funny as we found ourselves to be. i think we were. jury's still out.

*haven't met many dogs in my life that i hated. i've disliked a couple, but this one? hoooo boy. i. hate. this. bitch. seriously - a two-faced psychotic little yapper with some serious psychological issues.

**80% of whom were inebriated