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

arrivederci

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

done.

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.

imvubu

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

cooked

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

nepal

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

um...

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

gifted

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

snacks!

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




26 July, 2014

moments of perfection

i'm watching a tv show right now. the main character walks into a church and for a split second the vaulted ceiling of the church is in view. the ceiling is an unexpected periwinkle blue and i think to myself, this is perfect.

moments of perfection are little gems granted to us (or better: available for us to grasp, which adds an active dimension to it, one i feel more comfortable with since i don't believe there is anyone or anything out there to do the granting) and when we step inside them, they are a way out of the mundane, the dull, the grey.

i once talked to a patient whose husband was slowly and inexorably dying of cancer. we talked of living in the moment and she said that in the end, she doesn't believe we, as regular average human beings, are able to maintain that sort of existence for more than a few minutes at a time. i don't know if she was right or wrong; i know that i can't maintain it longer than those fleeting moments. these perfect moments, perfectly lit by the evening sun; perfectly captured by the song ideally suited to the time and place; perfectly coloured in a way that stops my breath just for a second, they are a taste of what it would be like to fully be present in all that life has on offer. but we hurry along, we run, plunge headfirst into life, buzz in and out of sensations, thoughts and feelings, hurtling through to the end.

so yes, a little bit of philosophy courtesy of HBO.

and yes, i realise i haven't exactly been present on here lately. it just feels like one more thing to add to my ever growing to-do list, and i don't like to lose the pleasure in the writing. i promise to try, though. truly.

21 June, 2014

funny ha ha

c: i met up with X….(details about X follow)
moi: i like X, though X lacks a sense of humour and under pressure goes all Y-like.*
c: i know! X didn't crack a smile once! and i am damn funny.**


*read: unbearably intense.
**for the record, yes. yes he is.

thoughts on anger on a summer solstice morn

anger used to rule me. i still sometimes get tangled up in it, but i have learned to let go of it quicker, disentangle myself, as it were, move past. it is useless. it spurs me to very little action other than hollering at the sun, which, as we know, accomplishes nothing other than a sunburn. my dad and i have had many arguments over this: he believes that a righteous anger at things that are wrong in the world is somehow useful or superior; i believe that even a righteous anger only turns inward and destroys, does no good whatsoever for the world at large.

i'm not going to go all preachy and talk about how "love is the answer" because statements like that are the gateway drug to sparkly unicorns and crystals and FREE HUGS, and i'm not particularly interested in any of those things,* but i will say that refusing to get angry and stay angry and carry that anger like some sort of weapon or a cause is exhausting and i am feeling much lighter now that i've given it up.

similarly, i refuse to burden myself with other people's problems. my mom and aunt and i used to spend hours getting all fired up over things that other family members were doing, and, just like the "righteous" anger, it accomplished nothing good externally, and a whole lot of unpleasantness internally. i dedicated the latter half of my thirties to teaching myself to let go of things that were not my problem. still not easy, that, but getting easier, and, like letting go of anger, it makes life easier, smoother-cornered. don't get me wrong - i can still see things that are wrong and that i would do differently; i just choose not to make a project of them if they're not mine to change.

i will not lie, i must admit that my little pink pills have been instrumental in helping, and that is one reason why i am nowhere near ready to let them go. i still think we overmedicate, i still believe there are alternatives, but having been on them for almost 2 years now, i feel like someone whose quirky adrenal imbalance or clonky elbow has been fixed - i don't want to go back to broken. the difference is subtle, even to me, but it is noticeable, and i am unwilling to go back to the old me because it was exhausting being angry all the time.


*that's a lie: i love sparkly unicorns. who doesn't? sick bastards, that's who!


13 June, 2014

words, wasps, wait...

on tuesday night, mr. monkey and i drove to calgary. wednesday morning dawned bright and early, and our drive to the university was filled to the brim with swearing and frustration. perhaps i was nervous, perhaps i was emotional and it came out in the deep and earnest desire to kill calgary. all drivers on the road were incompetent assholes; all construction was specifically aimed at making me a. late and b. confused; all things conspired to make me as stabby as possible at a time when i should have been filled with pride and joy and shit.

i managed to meet up with c who escorted me to where our highly flammable robes, funny hats, and diplomas would be handed out. just seeing him made it all better and i entered the gym feeling good about life. seeing the rest of my classmates trickle in hammered the final nails in the coffin of my bad mood ("and the most awkward metaphor award goes to…") and i got robed and hooded and behatted with a smile on my face.

the ceremony was as such things go: many congratulatory speeches, applause, cheers, tearful bits, smiley bits, and then our class got called up. i made it up and down the stair sans either a wardrobe malfunction or a face plant, which, in itself, was a major success. and so i am now officially a master of something (notably a shitty phone camera because we forgot our actual camera at home. yes. yes, we did. i am just as shocked as you are, if not more):


the convocation was followed by a formal champagne reception (with no champagne, because…well, i dunno, you tell me!), which was followed by an informal restaurant reception. then mr. monkey took the bus home, while k and i decided that the way to truly celebrate this momentous occasion was to have as many different kinds of liquor in as many different venues as possible…well, we didn't actually decide, it just sorta happened. we drank ciders and wine at the restaurant, we drank really good old-fashioneds at b's place, we walked over to crusty juggler's place where i was staying and drank nearly half a bottle of champagne each, then took a cab to my favourite prof's place where we proceeded to (i think) drink a lot of wine, talk to a lot of people, and eventually be the very last ones to leave. 

i am fairly certain neither one of us wore a lampshade at any point in the evening, and equally certain that no public peeing or nudity took place. we did, however, insist on walking home despite a less than perfect knowledge of the vicinity. turns out my drunk compass is pretty fucking great because we found our way home via parks, stairs and odd little neighbourhoods in record time. k made herself comfortable on the couch and, because our judgment was more than a little impaired, we dug into crusty juggler's special chips that she was saving for her dad (drunk people will eat your shit. know this) before finally going to bed around 1:30am.

we woke up around 6am (hello alcohol, you fiend!) and knew that no more sleep was to be had. frankly, i suspect we were still running on fumes from the night before as our ability to form complete sentences was less than stellar; our ability to form sentences that were a propos to the conversation at hand was even worse. despite this, we managed to:

a. (very slowly) figure out what time the breakfast place opened (7am!)
b. (very tentatively) capture a wasp and release it into the wild
c. (very determinedly) utterly fail to retrieve crusty juggler's mail from the mailbox (keys=hard)
d. (very embarrassingly) even more utterly fail to pick up the three items crusty juggler requested i bring her (she's in edmonton for the summer)
e. (very successfully) get in the car and drive home, laughing almost incessantly

i came into work at noon, expecting madness, only to find out that the project i was to be slogging my way through was deemed a no-go. my boss came by, took one look at my haggard old lady face and told me to go home. and so i went home. 

overall, i'd say it was a raging success. all of it. every last damn thing.

10 June, 2014

ADHD or whatever the acronym happens to be these days*

* because seriously, haven't they changed it a bunch of times in recent decades? fitting, non?

aside from my recurrent bouts of depression, i think i may be suffering from emotional ADHD - things happen and i feel stuff and then i'm all, LOOK! shiny thing! and off i go, skipping happily into the middle distance. even my bouts of depression suffer from ADHD and just sort of bugger off after a while, distracted by something they'd just seen in a shop window. perhaps i am just a shallow fuck.




09 June, 2014

snowflake

mommy, why can't i be utterly unique and unpredictable?

because if you were, my darling, you would seriously curtail the ability of other humans to relate to you in a meaningful manner. if you were unpredictable enough, you would even make it nearly impossible for you to live with yourself. a certain degree of predictability is what allows us to function as a single species. take it away, and you have a collection of selves unable to co-exit.


let us gird our loins and vacuum the hell out of this floor!

sometimes shit happens out of the blue. sometimes you feel feelings that you have no right to feel but feel them anyway. sometimes, those feelings make you all sorts of angry at the feelings you are feeling (thus adding beautiful feeling layers to the whole complex web of feelings), and then, when you feel sucker-punched and…feely (?) you suddenly remember that you have a sanity salad friend who is the best thing ever and then, when you've had a reasonably short phone conversation with your sanity salad friend, you think to yourself, you know what? i'm sort of over it, the feelings are gone, oh, but look at the floor! i need to vacuum! like RIGHT NOW!

and if needing to vacuum isn't the best response to what could have been a crisis of sorts (if not for sanity salad friend's singular good sense, kindness and, let's just say it, ability to hit the damn nail right on its damn head) then i don't know what is…oh wait, i'm also gonna run some stairs later (and by run, i mean initially walk briskly then very quickly run out of steam and eventually end up in a leisurely crawl, but for like an hour or so). and make some tzatziki. and maybe try my newly pickled radishes. and have some campari and tonic. BECAUSE I CAN!

recap? sure! some lessons that either are or are not pertinent at the moment, but are likely going to be pertinent at some moment in life:

life: good.
actions have consequences.
self-care should trump most other things.
it's best to err on the side of compassion.
campari and tonic is the best summer drink.
CAPITAL LETTERS ARE FUN!

i think i'm out of ideas. anyone? toss me a good one, and i'll post it right here!




08 June, 2014

city love affair

to counteract the deep and convoluted bullshititis of the previous post, and to show you that my life is actually pretty damn awesome at the moment, i shall tell you about my saturday.

i woke up too early, as is my wont, and headed out to the downtown market to meet the absolutely amazing k (seriously, my poultries, you should meet her - she is my sanity salad with nuts on top and was instrumental to keeping my head above water on so many occasions that you'd think she was circular and orange* and kept on boats for that express purpose). we bought coffees and vegetarian sammiches and sat amongst the beautiful crowds of the downtown farmers' market, discussing Things. there are few people i'd rather discuss Things with, and this time was no different. some satisfying answers were arrived at.

post breakfast, we wandered the market, then went around downtown checking out the various new holes in edmonton - the arena hole, the museum hole, the assorted condominium and office tower holes and other things that make planner-girls like us salivate. watching the city that we love grow in wonderful ways is such a thrill! i can hardly remember the ghostly rail yards that are now full of bustling activity, parks and assorted human-centric development…but enough about that!

we hit up the pride parade for a while, and then mr. monkey and i headed off to buy tickets to the folk fest. each year it becomes more difficult to get said tickets as the organizers try to make things "fair" by instituting various lotteries, whereby, quite often, the first shall be last and vice versa, in all sorts of beautifully biblical ways that make me get all stabby, but tickets were gotten after a few tense moments. it's a good thing that folkies don't tend towards violence, though, is all i'm sayin'.

afterwards, we met up with our friends p&s and walked to downtown east to check out the city holes and new developments there, and ended up in a taco joint that's been garnering rave reviews, which turned out to be well worth it, despite retardedly loud mexican rock blaring from the speakers (note to restauranteurs: i want to eat in peace, not be yelled at. capiche?). a good sangria and taco buzz got us home and the real work of the day began.

the year i'd been away has seen the unprecedented growth of unsorted documents in various piles scattered haphazardly throughout the apartment. this needed to be dealt with. furthermore, the recently announced pregnancy of the dear friend who has been cleaning our place has resulted in her handing in her resignation and a proliferation of dust bunnies and mushrooms growing in the bathtub - t'would be nice to take a shower without catching six different venereal diseases, methinks. so that, also, needed to be dealt with.

a wild saturday night at the monkey household, non? sorting mail, shredding documents (always one step ahead of the IRS and the CIA, that's me!), scrubbing tiles and demushroomating the bathtub, while not high on a list of Fun Things To Do On A Saturday Night, can nevertheless engender a deep sense of satisfaction. after all, this is home and home should not inspire revulsion. we are one step closer to that lofty goal. revulsion-o-meter is waaaay down!



*she isn't. circular and orange, i mean. she's lovely, though, and highly effective.

learning, unlearning, relearning, i.e. the circle of life

i wonder if we, as a human race, are congenitally unable to learn our lessons and keep them learned. if we're condemned to perpetually repeat the same mistakes, chipping away at life in bursts of inspiration, pushing that damn rock up a hill, sisyphus-like, wondering philosophically what the fuck. then again, maybe it's just me. maybe others don't step in the same pile of shit twice…though i seriously doubt it, and not just to be charitable to myself because it's sunday and this is as close to church as i'm likely to get, but because there is compelling evidence that we are all, each and every one, committed shit-steppers: it is our way.

i feel like i'm once again exposing myself to getting hurt in a way that would seriously be too stupid if i let it, on account of work done under the same heading in the past. still, one thing i have carried with me over the years, is an (admittedly fluctuating) sense of self-acceptance: i will not, for fear of getting hurt, grow spines and wall myself off from the world and the (sometimes poky) people that inhabit it. some things are worth it, some are not, and the magic of living a life lies in finding and maintaining a balance that doesn't leave one flailing around emotionally while allowing for the various experiences you need to fluff out the resume of your existence. so you know, same old, same old.

ah, you say, you're being awfully enigmatic, the darling apple of our collective eye! yes, i answer, blushing prettily at such a sweet sweet compliment, i am being awfully enigmatic. you should have learned by now to expect full disclosure only on the emotional plane; the occurrences, events, happenings, and other whatsits that inspire said emotional responses are often off limits.

so what i'm doing is taking a deep breath, stepping back for a wee bit, and making a virtual in-my-head excel chart of pros and cons of a given situation so that i can make a cool and informed decision about where i stand…KIDDING! hell! seriously? did you think i could do that? really? because if you do, then you haven't been paying attention very well and should have marks taken off! because one of the things i rarely do is manage to plan out an emotional course of action. i'm ALL about flinging myself off cliffs, plunging into holes, and other assorted methodologies of light insanity. i just can't help it. so yes, right now, i am stepping back, taking a cool look at shit and analysing it and all, but i know that when the wind blows from a particular direction (or when i've got a couple glasses of wine in me) i will either slam that door again or fling it wide open, or possibly just maintain the fragile status-quo, and frankly, i have not a clue about which of the above is going to happen. i likely won't know until i've done it. i'm full of surprises like that.


04 June, 2014

facilitate THIS!

so in the interest of full disclosure, i am now fine. my day of weeping gave way to a day of meh, followed by going on a work road trip that left me too busy to feel feelings. i have spent roughly 14 hours today working on facilitating a public engagement session put on by our provincial government, and as much as even typing that sentence makes me want to doze off (also, i am really rather tired, natch), it was actually a fun day and i think the boss lady might have been maybe a little not-wrong in placing me in this team because i think i may be good at this. who knew?! she did, that's who! sorry for doubting the wisdom of your ways, boss lady. and also? the small town catering thing was phe-no-me-nal! seriously! kale salad with pine nuts in (i shit you not) the white supremacist capital of alberta. good stuff, that!

to bed now, more of the same tomorrow. i suspect i won't get home until late evening and will fall face first on the bed sans brushing of teeth or washing of face. just kidding. that would NEVER happen. i don't ever ever ever ever EVER go to bed without washing my face and brushing my teeth…well, except for that one time and we will not talk about that.

mwah! mwah!

02 June, 2014

crybaby

this morning my boss (the woman who interviewed and hired me twice now) came up to see how i'm doing: great. great! everything is great. my face hurts from smiling, everything is so goddamn great. i spent the day doing this and that, and chatting with the lovelies who came up from the third to say hi to me, and then had a solitary lunch and a non-smoke break (quick walk around the block long enough to finish a cigarette if i were a smoker) and then a heavy duty post-work walk to meet mr. monkey at a doctor's office 7km away, uphill and running and trying to sweat some of the goddamn great out of me.

in the car, on the way back, the great broke and i started to cry like a fucking three year old because i hate being on the fourth floor; hate being dumped unceremoniously among the autistic landscape architects, hate being put into a team that is taking so long to warm up to me that i keep checking if i still have a pulse. i have made one new friend. i have had one guffaw at my plant decoration*, which made me feel that there are still people who get me… a little. and so i cried like a small child, blowing snot bubbles and derailing our dinner plans (nobody wants to go into a restaurant while blubbering like a spoiled toddler, even a cheap vietnamese restaurant), laughing at myself intermittently, knowing that i was being immature, unreasonable and emotionally fucked-up, and hormonally emotional. having spent the weekend in calgary, i was also emotionally messed up from realising how much i miss not only school (well, my school people)  but also my fabulous roommate who really really REALLY is fucking fabulous. so yeah…having cried for the better part of an hour, i'm better now…ish.

i'm off on the road tomorrow night, going to start working for realz, yo. tell ya how it went. first stop? alberta's white supremacist capital! woot woot! if that doesn't make me appreciate the landscape architects, i don't know what will! i also am well aware of the fact that this is my typical transitional idiocy and that having found my pace, i shall do well… if the white supremacists don't get me.



*when i started working here last summer, my aunt gave me a small potted orchid to keep me company (not that i needed it last summer…sigh) and after producing its single solitary bloom, it went into hibernation mode. when i went back to school, i gave it to a co-worker for safe-keeping and only just reclaimed it midweek last. it isn't blooming now and has not bloomed since its early days, and so, because it is essentially just a small tangerine pot with some droopy-looking dark green leaves, i decided it needed a little something extra and i made a flag out of a pink post-it note. on it, in my best calligraphy, i wrote "herman the disappointing orchid," which i thought was pretty damn hilarious.

this weekend, when i told a lovely friend about it, he chastised me for being cruel: "sure," quoth he, "you could say a thing like that… IN YOUR HEAD!!! not to herman! how does that make him feel? maybe he's trying really hard and this is the best he can do!" needless to say i felt pretty badly about it, though not enough to take down the flag. herman needs tough love. life is NOT easy. why, sometimes you get put on the fourth floor!!!

29 May, 2014

who you calling bozo?

thing is, i'm working now, and i know y'all are just dying to find out if it's all it's cracked up to be. short answer: no. why no? you holler like some sort of lightly deranged international greek chorus, complete with rending of garments and pouring ashes on your heads (seriously? enough with the drama already!) and lo, i shall tell you:

the best part of last year was being surrounded by heaps and oodles of like-minded individooooals who were funny and witty and awesome and friendly. this year, as some sort of bizarre punishment and/or an attempt to prevent me from decreasing the productivity of the entire third floor (as i suspect i did last year), i have been placed in isolation on the fourth floor. no big, right? wrong.

the fourth floor (a.k.a. the gulag) is home to just a small pile of largely absent planners (more on that later) and a whole host of landscape architects. what's wrong with landscape architects? well, given my less than stellar experience with the head of our school who was initially a landscape architect, i should have been worried. i wasn't. but i should have been. turns out she was a classic example of a typical landscape architect: socially awkward, unable to maintain eye contact, incapable of the simplest human interactions, and refusing to acknowledge the existence of Strangers. turns out, i'm a Stranger.

my desk is placed right by the door to the kitchen (my cubicle with window of yesteryear is but a faint memory…) through which pours a countless stream of landscape architects who REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACT THAT I AM SITTING RIGHT THERE. RIGHT. THE. FUCK. THERE!!!! like, right there! you know they can see me, because they would have to be legally blind not to, and yet as they near the entrance to the kitchen, their gaze is magically whisked away from me, and into the wildly exciting wall to their right. you know the way two magnets repel each other? that shit is what fuels the eyeballs of landscape architects.

so, since i tend towards egomaniacal paranoia (you likely have noticed but were too polite to say anything, i know, i know), i took it personally. it was one of two things: either a. word went out from the top, for everyone to stay the fuck away from me, or b. there was some sort of aura of ill-concealed violence and hatred emanating from me (what?! one doesn't always notice these sorts of things about oneself!). then i started talking to my people. turns out, it's not me, it's landscape architecture.

both the planning group and the environmental group, AND my boss, AND several unrelated people have told me, on their own, that landscape architects are an odd bunch. yeah. odd. rainman odd. i'm thinking low-to-moderate-functioning asperger's but less sociable. with a few exceptions, natch, like my old pal n, and the top boss who is a lovely lovely guy. but other than that? i feel like i am actually hurting them when i can't hold back any longer and say hello. oh, they answer, but it costs them a lot. i betcha they have had to up their meds since i arrived on monday.

but back to the whole work thing: it'll be fine. i have two neighbours who have the potential to be pretty awesome, and there is one guy whom i will LOVE (it has been promised. i'd better love him or heads will roll…) who is currently away. and really, i'm there to work and not to party. plus heading down to the third floor every once in a while and getting all the positive feedback is highly gratifying. and also, i am currently doing sweet fuck all, while on tuesday my real work begins. i am being tossed into the seething cauldron of public engagement and will be travelling all over alberta for all of june, during which time it is possible i shall be insulted, yelled at, and possibly even have projectiles hurled at me. at least that's what i'm told public engagement is all about. frankly, i'm pretty stoked: hell, i might even have to get a company american express card, and if that doesn't impress you, you are cold and dead inside.

as for the titular bozo? y'all will have to wait. i ran out of room and i generally hate lengthy posts like this.