26 February, 2007

boring is as boring does, and boy, does i bore!

ok, i was gonna do some more mewling and whining, but, as not so obliquely mentioned above, enough already. so i thought i'd start my own little game: some friends (in no particular order)and what they taught me. and then i'll tag y'all. ok? ok.

1. joan: that it is possible to drive 0 km/h under the influence of our fine green friend and still think one is going too damn fast. oh, and the drinking, i can't forget the drinking

2. tony: that not all dental professionals are boring, dull, uninteresting and ... did i say boring already?

3. julie and denise: that one can be a lawyer and actually much much nicer than moi. who knew?

4. teena: that playing the piano very well at 3 in the morning after a night of solid drinking is possible, and that animals fucking other animals is actually hilarious.

5. phil: that "goddamn motherfucking cocksucking piece of shit asshole" can be a perfectly acceptable term of endearment among friends

6. pitur: that one can spend time with someone 24/7 for a month, tell them to piss off and still remain good friends

7. evelyne: that sometimes a friend's ex does not become an ex-friend

8. anne: that friends come from unexpected places

9. genevieve: sometimes even from the dental chair!

10. no round numbers, remember? oh, and if you aren't on the list it don't mean that i don't love ya.

so: shana, teena, phil, tony, you're it!


heard this on cbc and thought i'd share. it's just so darn fun! from now on, i will provide party hats for my guests! wooo!

25 February, 2007

weltschmerzwurtz and other organ meats

i spent the weekend cut off from the internet because, apparently, a rabid beaver chewed through the optical cable and cut all of fort mac off from civilisation. that was saturday. sunday they repaired the cable but i had accidentally flipped the wee button that turns the internet off so i was still cut off from civilisation. all this translated to lots of spider solitaire (taking a break from tetris), reading and the oscars.

i made lasagne. it was only ok.

i ate lots of fruit. it was fantastic.

i actually drew a picture of a winged and horned mermaid type creature. i am proud. not because it is a particularly good picture (nowhere near the mastery and spontaneity of my "animals fucking animals"* series, teena) but because i used to draw all the time and recently (and by recently i mean the last decade or so) i have done nothing. so one picture is a good start.

still don't know when i am to start work. grrrr.

still working on being happy. work work work. they say if a relationship is all work it perhaps isn't worth keeping up. so how do i nicely tell myself to piss off?

*there might have been a mouse taking a giraffe from behind, a whale and a beaver, possibly other combinations that i do not remember. and yes, alcohol was a factor. teena, phil**, if you read this, would you mind sharing the combos? i'm pretty curious myself. always interesting to see what sits in one's dark basement of the mind.

**you will notice that by telling the world i have pretty much prevented you two from ever blackmailing me with these pictures, ha HA!

23 February, 2007

on the road to mangoes

as i drove to extra foods through the falling snow today, i made the following observation: this city seems to be peopled by three distinct groups, as witnessed on the road.

1. truck driving cocky young men, baseball caps on backwards, way too many wheels on vehicle, machinery or skidoos (NEVER just one) in back of truck

2. truck driving red faced middle aged men, baseball caps facing forward, ditto on wheels and toys

3. minivan driving women with truly bad small town perms or poofy little mom haircuts

does no one else live here?
how about a category for me?

4. economy japanese car driving pissed off polish women with good hair, goddamn it, who love fruit and will undertake a snowy excursion just to pick up a flat of mangoes

my category rules, y'all.

21 February, 2007

the breadstick of injustice nibbled by rats

have you ever been depressed? i don't mean "shit, i gained five pounds, i am SO depressed," i mean the real thing. the clinical thing. the diagnosed (or misdiagnosed) thing. the medicated thing. the thing in the brain that, having made its appearance twice in your life already, has a pretty damn high probability of recurring (yeah, tell a depressed person that. it really helps.)

well have you?

i have. i got over it both times. once thanks to something stupid i did that seemed to do the trick, for no reason i can even now possibly think of. the second time it was little pills. not happy pills, no. just no-longer-thinking-of-ways-to-cease-existing pills. slowly-starting-to-be-able-to-function-again-without-weeping pills.

the thing that was hard that noone ever told me about was the post-depression time, when a blue day, a pms day, a sad and gloomy day seemed like standing at the gates of hell again. i had to train myself, tell myself that it was just a day. one day. everyone has bad days. this is just one of them. i had to learn that one sad day did not mean the return of the monster.

do you know what monster i mean? the one that sits just at the xiphoid process, right where the ribs come together. its weight was always there, preventing me from breathing right - shallow little gasps, underoxygenated brain, panic and despair. aaaah, depression.

i am working hard at not going there again. popping st. john's wort, practising my yoga breathing, hoping that the deep ocean sound at the back of my throat will sufficiently oxygenate not just my brain but also my soul, keep the goddamn monster at bay.

there is also a lot of talking to oneself involved in this process. you know something is wrong in your life when you find yourself saying "breathe" a lot. i honestly find myself forgetting, slipping into the panicked shallow little gasps of a fish. i also tell myself that everything is ok. that all will pass. that things are not so bad. the bbc world news come in handy for that particular exercise - how can one honestly bemoan one's sad sad fate when listening to tales of mothers in refugee camps (pick a continent, any continent)?

then again the amygdala, that little bitter almond of fear, is not so good with the logic. it tends to do much much better with the screaming and the running away.

thanks for listening.

20 February, 2007

some money making ventures

Kitten of the Month Club

for those who like kittens but cats not so much. new kitten every month, thematically coloured(pink kitten for february! green kitten for march! black kitten for october!)

fed-exed to your door on the first of every month (except january - who wants a new kitten when spectacularly hung over?)

drop your used kitten in the nearest mailbox and it will be returned and recycled humanely.

next week - Puppy of the Month Club

for the spiritually curious - Deity of the Month Club

14 February, 2007

hearts, flowers and garlic sausage

bastard blogger did it again, but luckily it was a short post and i will rewrite.

valentine's day? no thanks. and obviously not due to bitterness, because i am in a kickass relationship with possibly the only man in the known universe who puts up with my shit and still genuinely loves me. i just don't like thought control, and valentine's day is, to me, a blatant example of marketing thought control.

if you love her A LOT, you will get her a discounted 99$ diamond necklace from k-mart. if you love her merely a lot, it'll be a dozen red roses (yawn) and a box of chocolates, perhaps with a synthetic lace thong from vicki's secret. if you just love her a bit, well, a last minute bundle of wilted carnations and a teddy bear from safeway are still better than nothing in the half hearted attempt to have Meaningful Sex on the appropriately scheduled holiday.

people, can you please think for yourselves? diamonds are not a tradition, they are a wildly succesful marketing ploy that has been beaten into the heads of young girls all over north america so that they have come to equate love with a sparkling thing on her finger. blah!
okay, if you want to have crazy sex featuring chocolate sauce, go for it. but not because of the date. do it because it is a good and righteous thing to do. and roses? red ones? me personally? i would run screaming from the room, but i am funny like that.

so tulips, a ring of sausage, and a terminator dvd, yes. red roses, teddy bear and a "romantic" flick, no.

and if you're even thinking of proposing on valentine's day? sheesh. i have NO hope for you at all. keep moving, bucko, nothing for you here. (unless you do it during a tour of a cheese factory or somefink).

11 February, 2007

six weird things about me

i've been tagged! i've been tagged! and by the ever creative shana, no less.
translation: yay! free topic and all.

1. i despise raisins. if i bite into an unexpected raisin in a pastry, i will actually gag. psychosomatic freakishness? perhaps.

2. i cannot listen to commercial radio. not for any snobbish "quality of the music" reasons. nah, i can listen to crappy music as much as the next person, but i can't stand the screaming patronizing dj assholes and furniture commercials. in 3 seconds of listening i can tell if it's cbc, ckua, npr or crap. i have a 4.7 second tolerance for crap.

3. i can handle any amount of farting but burp once and i will get ill. especially those deep gastric gurgling burps.

4. i am all for peace on an international level, but on a personal level? oooh, i'd like to kick me some serious ass!

5. the sound of anyone brushing their teeth is like fingernails on a blackboard for me. i will run out of the room screaming like a little girl if you start to brush your teeth in my presence. (also, i am a dental hygienist.)

6. i am polish but i don't drink vodka. don't get no weirder than that!

i'd tag more people, but the only one i know who has a blog and who hasn't yet been tagged is tony. so, tony - you're it!

10 February, 2007

now pasteurized for your health and safety

so hey, yeah, woohoo, we are here. yeah baby, we are HERE. and when i say "here" i know y'all know that i mean the only "here" of any significance in alberta. when i say "here" i know y'all get the hidden nuances, the nudge-nudge, wink-winks of what i mean. because, darlings, what i mean is that We Have Arrived. as in fort mcmurray.

our spacious apartment boasts an open concept kitchen, insuite laundry, a walk-in closet off the master bedroom, heated underground parking, and a beaver pond out back. our spacious apartment boasts what no apartment of ours has boasted for nearly five years - a TV. we even have (temporary) cable. all this makes me happy because i can now watch cbc and not care about what the weather is doing to the car. i can now do laundry in my underwear. i can cook comfortably with ample counterspace. all this is lovely. all this is lonely, too, because on this here saturday, i sit bored at home and mister monkey sits bored at work. also, we are here.

philosophers will tell you that in order to be happy one must find peace within, or, as the bumper sticker gurus have so aptly pointed out: wherever you go, there you are. huh! i bet those smartasses never had to live in fort mac.

the drive here made me realise that i had forgotten how ridiculously stupid drivers here are. we were nearly driven off into oblivion at least twice (once, mr. m and i simultaneously and spontaneously stuck our extended middle fingers into the windshield - oh marital solidarity!). there were at least two people i wanted to beat into a bloody pulp and i was inspired to write a poem. so here it is, possibly the only poem ever inspired by fort mac and its drivers:

ode to fort mcmurray

oh fort mcmurray
you strip me naked
remove the sleek hypocrisy of civilisation
reveal the killer within:

i want to clean dried idiot blood
from under my fingernails
with a hunting knife
dulled from much use

oh swirling vortex of dumb
oh mass exodus of the human lemming
leaving your hell hole
for a weekend of puking off whyte avenue
painting my hometown
the colour of your cheap digested beer

oh you, with your macdonald's bags
tossed out the window of your speeding truck
with far too many wheels
and too few brain cells

oh fort mcmurray
you make me ask the question
that man has asked for countless years:
how many skidoos does one person need?

oh backward baseball capped and gold be-chained
oh toothless and uncombed
oh smelly and unwashed
your crusty pants besmirching the already oily breeze
why do you not go home?
the sea calls you
does it not leave a number?
go home
and let me go home too

what do you think?

07 February, 2007

who am i?

i just got off the phone with my cousin and am a little shaken. in case you don't know me, my cousin is a huge part of my life. we are both only children and therefore treat each other more as siblings than cousins. he is a close friend as well. so when he tells me that he has noticed lately how money oriented i have become, it worries me. he told me he had wanted to mention this for a while but, what with his huge home renovation and our moving all over the place, we haven't been spending that much time together.

i suppose it is true. we have been making decisions that seem unlike us, that the only way we can justify is with dollar signs. but. BUT. a big old greasy but - when one starts to justify decisions based on dollar signs alone, the consequences can be dire. i have told you before that i want a simple life and peace of mind. and i do. good god, it is the one thing along with health, that i really really want more than anything else. and yet we have just purchased a house we do not need, just for the possibility of future gain.

and speaking of health, i worry so much about mr. m and yet we are now moving for a year and a half to a place where he will become chronically tired and stressed, where he will have little time for physical activity and where we will see very little of each other. all for the dollar signs.

true, we didn't have much choice in the fort mac move, but we had some, and if mr. m put his foot down, his company would simply try to place him elsewhere.

i feel ill right now. i feel a knot of darkness right at the seat of my soul, that small place where i first feel the rightness or wrongness of things.

and still things are not beyond repair. there are things i can do, things we can do. easy things.

i think we shall sell one of our places. after all, who needs more than one abode, especially if said person is always in exile? we do not have it in us to buy multiple properties and become slumlords. we just don't have it in our blood to evict widows and orphans in the middle of a pre-christmas cold spell, and if you can't do that, you will have little fun in being a landlord!

we will go to fort mac, but if mister monkey's health becomes in any way compromised by the inhuman working conditions (why do people there put up with that? why? $$$ and lots of it. why have a life when you can have three skidoos? why have a wife when you can spend 2K on strippers in a night? why see your kids when you can see the number of zeros on your paycheque?) i will put my foot down and get us the hell out of there.

there, that's (a little) better.

06 February, 2007

the cornered animal syndrome

my big mouth and i got to talking and we figure we'd been on a bit of a rampage recently. my big mouth and i feel sorry and want to explain a few things. my big mouth, in particular, feels pretty awful about all this.

my big mouth and i realise that we've been doing a whole lot of yelling and pointing fingers and throwing things which, we assume, does little to endear us to our already tiny and very patient little audience. we are sorry. and, like i said, we'd like to explain.

you see, my big mouth and i have been scared. maybe we didn't realise straight away that we were scared but a little bit of soul searching made us realise that, yes indeed, we are scared, and not facing it will only result in hurting innocent bystanders.

here is what my big mouth and i are scared of/worried about:

1. moving to fort mac. any way you slice it, it is frightening. mostly, we worry about mister monkey who will be working insane hours.

2. mister monkey's health - he has very high blood pressure and i am petrified of the consequences. and, considering that we already eat better than 98% of the people we know, i am at a loss of what to do. exercise, you say? great! after a 14 h day in the oil field, when exactly do you propose we fit that in? sigh...

3. my new job (which i haven't got yet). i am not worried about finding one, but about it being a good one. having temped for a while, i have gotten used to being relatively free. i hate a place? i don't go back.

4. new house - specifically the hassle of doing a light reno and finding renters. i feel angry at myself for this particular $$$-oriented decision. we wanted a bigger place for us. we ended up with a rental property that cost a shitload of moola and will require supervision. all no big deal, i realise, but we are after a no fuss, easy breezy lifestyle and this ain't a part of it. sure, one day we'll sell the house and wipe our asses with dollar bills (wait! it'll have to be loonies! can one even attempt such a thing?) but that isn't even certain and in the meantime we are still in our somewhat too small a place so nothing has changed except for an overabundance of annoyances.

my big mouth would like to add that it is particularly worried about 2. seeing as it often contributes to the issue.

so if you are still with us we thank you and, again, apologise. my big mouth wanted to add that you look really good today but i suspect it is just sucking up.

05 February, 2007

speak softly and carry a big semicolon

please, in the name of the little baby jebus, stop mangling the english language! here is a very quick lesson (be thankful i don't run the world, or, instead of a lesson, you'd find yourself facing the barrel of a very big shotgun - i am THAT serious about this shit)

1. comprise

INCORRECT: the band was comprised of six singers and a drummer.

CORRECT: the band comprised six singers and a drummer.

got it? what you probably meant to say was "composed", in which case, please, don't let me stop you. most people have no clue how to use "comprise" and should therefore stop.

recap: a whole comprises its parts/parts are comprised by the whole.

2. me/I

this one really gets under my skin. when pseudo intellectual ijits say things like "this is between you and I" or "he came to see bob and I" i am ready to do violence. big tarantino violence. blood pouring down the stairs violence.

i will now take a couple of yoga breaths and tell you once and for all that if you are unsure, do not follow the multitudes sheeplike into the vortex of stupidity, but remove the other person from the sentence in question which will give you a very swift glimpse of the correct pronoun. example? certainly.

would you, except under the influence of several bottles of gin, say something like "he came to see I"? no. probably not. therefore the correct pronoun in that case is "me." "he came to see bob and me (or me and bob)" like i said, this will hurt at first because of the general and overwhelming stupidity of the populace (including people who should know better including writers and professors) but do not give up. better to be the lone voice of brain, than the roar of dumb.

if dumb people correct you, smile an enigmatic little smile and just walk away. better yet, carry a grammar book with you at all times and gently hand it to them open to the page that backs me up (and it will). if this doesn't work, walk away. resist the urge to beat the offender over the head with the grammar book. this will damage the book.

3. "simplistic" and "simple" are not always interchangeable. look them up.

4. routine poor spelling (typos exempt)

hey! ever heard of spellcheck? or the merriam-webster online dictionary? in this day and age there is no excuse.

5. i was going to go into you're/your, it's/its but i really think that if i need to tell you about the differences between these, there is little hope for the future and i should just go have a drink instead. only it's barely past noon so i'll just shut up and hope you figure it out on your own. (this is less hopefulness and more laziness on my part)

6. apostrophes

oy oy oy! it's not "kid's clothes" unless it's "this specific kid's clothes," if you are talking about MANY people, then the apostrophe goes after the plural s. as in "seniors' discount" or "kids' lunches" unless of course the word is in itself in plural form like "women's group" or "men's club."

i will not address the mindnumbing idiocy of "open thursday's" or "ski's on sale" or a grocery store isle dedicated to "cup's and napkin's" because if you don't know that one does not pluralize with an apostrophe, then nothing can save you and i can only hope you stumbled onto this blog by accident and will go away very quickly, scared of all the big words and lack of pictures.

7. "off of"

guess what - no such thing. one does not get on of a chair, so why should one get off of one? you do not jump off of a building, you jump off a building, and if you don't know that, better just jump already.

* * *

and yes, i know, i may be called a hypocrite because i do not capitalize but that is my one foible, necessitated by the speed of my thinking vis-à-vis the speed of my typing, which means that either i lose most of my thoughts or i skip a non-vital process like capitalization.

and yes, i know, i am a language snob. sue me. if you think language is fluid, you are right. if you think that means you can do whatever the hell you want with it, you are wrong.

04 February, 2007

sweeten the bitter

i might have been a tad bitter in my last post and, having spent the brunching hour today with two delightful toddlers (roughly 1 and 3 years old - i will not give their ages in months in that mom-specific way that drives the childless nuts), i must concede that there is joy to be had in parenthood.

i'm just not interested.

all about (your) children

you might have noticed (had you been paying attention...had you been even reading this) that recently the topic of procreation has gone to the backburner. and, as usual, when i stop thinking, questioning, weighing options, agonizing, the status quo reasserts itself. the truth is: children bore me*.

sure, give me your baby and i will eat its appendages in a frenzy of gastronomical baby lust - who does NOT love baby fingers and toes? who does NOT want to blow raspberries on their gorgeous tummies? who can resist their doggone cuteness? after all, they were designed to be adorable so you wouldn't be so quick to throw them out the window after six hours of solid crying followed by an all-orifices fluid emission session.

then they become toddlers and i get exhausted. i see parents in the grocery store attempting to purchase the foodstuffs necessary for life and it is a battle of wills with a very small person, who should (in my tidy and sometimes frightening little mind) just sit down, shut the hell up, and do as they are told, on account of them being that much smaller and less important than the parent. this, however, is north america, and actually exerting your authority over a child could result in a Diminished Self Esteem, and god knows nothing is more important than little darlin's Self Esteem. after all, it will help them write spectacular resumes, and bullshit their way into countless interviews and promotions in their future adult life, bypassing those of us who were actually raised to be decent hardworking human beings.

eeeh. anyhow. also, they are boring. "what's this?" "what's that?" who can deal with that many dull questions? and their endless stories about the cat. or their nose. or whatever.

then they go to school and rarely say "please" and "thank you" because (i'm guessing here) it would further infringe on their fragile Self Esteem. and they don't wash their hands. and their rooms are a mess, or else mommy or daddy just cleans everything the hell up and who wants to be the indentured servant to a small annoying little person who has dried boogers on their upper lip?

then they become teens and at least it becomes interesting for the friends of their parents because the stories get that much better. there is conflict. there is strife. sometimes there is adult language and drinking. so sure, it gets good for us, the audience, but i know it must be hell for the parents themselves: hey, i will live in your house, eat your food and borrow the car, all the while treating you with eye-rolling contempt and ill-concealed disgust. i know, because i remember feeling that way about my parents and i really have no use for anyone treating me that way.

after several more years (during which society expects that i give up my hard earned travel money to finance junior's romp through several meandering years of a liberal arts education while he "finds himself") they grow up, have children of their own and we all have lovely christmases together. this last bit i could use. it's all the preceding bits that frighten the crap out of me.

now i know those who have children (a small percentage of my teeny tiny audience) will tell me that there is the love. the kisses, the cookie-making, the sense of wonder, the little bare bum running around the house, the shrieks of joy, the absolute incomprehensible LOVE. and i say, yeah, whatever, i have all of that already minus the diapers, the headaches, the pain. and if the love i have is nothing like a parent's love, well, it seems like that much heartbreak to me anyways - you will love your children more than anything else all the days of your life, but they, once they reach junior high, will pretty much stop thinking that heavenly light shines out your ass, will barely acknowledge you, and will then move on to love someone else. no thanks.

*my apologies to my be-kidded or soon to be be-kidded friends. don't worry. your offspring are endlessly fascinating. really. probably because i experience them in small doses.

01 February, 2007

flying bush

now for an encore: wheeeee!

BEHOLD! my life story part uno

so you get born. you're red, wrinkled, and screaming, but it's around 5am, so who can blame you, really?

you don't grow a lot of hair for a hell of a long time, but your grandma still manages to embarass you via hairstyle: a ponytail strategically placed in the centre of your forehead, in lieu of cutting your bangs, i guess.

you spend your early years in a communist-run eastern european country of which you're scarcely aware, being far too busy climbing trees and old abandoned tanks and overcoming some bed wetting issues caused, no doubt, by the single ponytail of your toddlerhood.

you do not care what you look like provided you are clean. you are a fastidious little thing with big staring blue eyes, serious as hell. i can't stress this enough: very very serious.

at one point, you are uprooted from the communist system and plonked into a capitalist system. you don't notice much. sure, the language changes, the stores stock many kinds of cheese, and suddenly, inexplicably, you are being taught french as well, but whatever. when people are mean to you, you do not put a chip on your shoulder and call them anti-immigrant. you merely figure they are assholes. you're very perceptive that way.

when you are eleven, you go to florida and discover that Clothes Matter. from then on, your life lacks the simplicity that marked the early years. from then on, you crave fashion. you also begin to hate your:

lack of breasts

not necessarily in that order. in fact, by the time you graduate from highschool, you will have convinced your parents to offer to pay for a nose job in poland. you will later reconsider, take the money and buy your first car. you will be far happier with the car than you would have been with some mythical Nice Nose. (although you might have been Discovered, and would even now be pursuing a career in hollywood: drugs, unsuccessful but well publicized relationships, crashed cars, drunk driving convictions, desperate pussy flashing publicity stunts, depression, and plenty of money...so, maybe you shouldn't have bought the damn car!...but you did.)

your teens are characterized by self-hatred, depression, intense creativity and a stupid inability to see how fucking gorgeous you are, a fact you will wish you could beat your younger self over the head with, repeatedly, and with much noise.

you have best friends, you fight, you make up, you fight again, you sneak on make-up despite not actually being allowed to wear any until grade ten, when you let loose and embrace the goth-lite look, not for any ideological reasons, but because you don't know any better. if you ever get glaucoma or cancer of the eyeball, you will blame your stupid teen self. you look at pictures and shudder. that's a hell of a lot of eyeliner, girlfriend!

you have smaller boned friends whose mothers insist on calling you big. yes, you are big. as in tall. big boned. beautiful and slim. but being a stupid teenager, you choose to believe them and thus spend years thinking you are fat (luckily you lack the will power to develop an eating disorder. thank god for your weak will.).

you do not get your first kiss till grade 12. it is worth the wait and your first boyfriend is everything a first boyfriend should be: polite, gentle, sensitive, artistic, sweet and handsome. until he dumps you and breaks your heart after three years and a secretly purchased engagement ring (when you find out much later that the ring was later stolen, you are very very happy. serves the bastard right!). it takes you a year to get over him and you spend a lot of time sitting in your room, staring at walls, talking to god.

then you discover sex and alcohol. you stop talking to god.

thus ends part one.