25 April, 2007

how many yards in a cubit?

i think i may be dying.

my symptoms are an unprecedented awareness of the beauty that surrounds me. it scares me. when i crawled home from the party on saturday i was blown away by the symmetry of the shadows of the wooden posts along the walking path. shadows. of posts. gorgeous.
then on sunday, as i slumped on the couch recuperating, i saw mister monkey's fake birkenstocks lying abandoned in a pool of sunlight and my breath was taken away by the loveliness of the sight. i kid you not.
this, on top of the wow-o-rama that our drive to and from fort mac has become. apparently the trees that have always been there have lately rearranged themselves into more attractive poses because as i drive, i drool. it is bloody lovely.
not to mention the forest around our apartment where trees, all sleek, silvery, multihued in that subdued springlike way, make my heart beat a little faster. so, what do you think? i must be dying, right?

of course it could just be spring.

23 April, 2007

it's not me, it's the gorgonzola

hi. remember me? the paranoid hung-over swirly-eyed bundle of quivering insecurities? good news! actually several good newses!

good news #1: the world, apparently, does not revolve around me. i know, i know, it is a very strange concept to grasp, but it is true.

good news #2: i did not insult anyone. i did not break anything. i did not make out with anyone, although i did touch one breast, but i had a very good reason and mr. m knows all about it, so no blackmail for you, ha!

good news #3: i left at 1am, pished. the party went on till 4am, and everyone got even more pished. some people have no recollection of getting home, and to that i haughtily say: drunken losers! and all of this translates to few people having recollection of anything offensive i might have said, because everyone was far too busy getting pished and being offensive all on their own. which kinda brings us back around to good news #1.

good news #4: although i dislike my party persona, i have to say i make a damn good hygienist and people like me. so oddly enough, i find a little bit of security and self-respect in the one area of my life that really does not reflect who i am all that much. but whatever, i'll take good feelings wherever i can get them.*

bad news: i felt so crappy on sunday that the only thing which could lift me out of my abyss of nausea and weltschmerz (damn, i just like that word so much) was mcdonald's. i had a filet'o fish, large fries and a small strawberry milkshake. and then for supper i had curried coconut lentil soup to bring me back to my culinarily sane self. but still: mcdonald's! feh!

*as a crazy friend once remarked (and you know who you are), i don't care who diddles me as long as they are good at it.

22 April, 2007

disgrace in a key of shrimp

last night i did it again. there was a going away party for one of the dentists and i attended the party mister monkeyless. and, as you can well imagine, red wine was consumed. lots of it. and now i am in the throes of the usual feelings of self-loathing.

why do i mask my feelings of shyness and insecurity by drinking too much? why do i never shut up? why am i loud and obnoxious? why do i not stop after the second glass? why do i continue to up the ante - having once shocked laughter out of a group, i continue to repeat the performance of the polyester wearing herb tarlek, big mouth flailing, drink in hand (translated last night into drink on sweater - why oh why will i not switch to white wine already and save on the dry cleaning bills?) blah blah blah, just to feel, for even a few minutes some level of social acceptance? and why, for god's sake, can i not believe that people could simply like me minus the metaphorical lampshade on my head? do i not have good friends? do i not have good friends that have been my good friends for ever, thereby proving that i am not some loathsome vaguely slimy creature with bad breath and british teeth and a nervous twitch?

of course the irony is that to quiet my feelings of insecurity i become a cartoonish version of that very creature.

and really, all this agonizing is pointless because hey, maybe they had a good time last night with me. maybe they got to know me a little bit better. and sure, the boss' very nice wife had to help me zip up my coat but i know, i know that when it comes to zippers i could give up wine for a full year and still end up tangled up in a parka at the gap with three salespeople kneeling around me trying to extricate me. how do i know, you ask? uh, because it like happened. and i was stone cold sober at the time.

so really, the point is i guess that i really don't need wine to embarass myself. i just like the taste.

and you know, herb tarlek was kinda fun.

and the wine did come out of the sweater.

all i need now is some greasy salty food, a couple of advil, and i will be ok.

aaaah blogger, the world's cheapest shrink!

20 April, 2007

fido-plankton! the low-energy, high-yield pet!

yesterday, after posting poetry and politics, i was determined to lighten up. i wrote a light witty post about ugly things for sale, featuring penguin lamps and hawaiian shirts. the post got lost when my laptop suffered a severe bout of existential angst. i then rewrote the post, determined as always to entertain and inform. blogger, apparently under the influence of some serious weltschmerz, ate the second post. i have given up - you will be given neither penguin lamps, nor hawaiian shirts. deal.

last night we went out for dinner to boston pizza with a bunch of mr.m's co-workers. boston pizza, to my non-canadian friends, is a canadian chain of sports lounges with mediocre food. it has nothing to do with boston, and really should not advertise its pizza either. also, calling something "gourmet" does not make it so: gourmet spaghetti and meatballs is still spaghetti and meatballs*.

its menu was the least vegetarian-friendly menu i have seen outside of bob's barbecue bacon shack or uncle larry's chitlin' hut. their salad menu boasted a fine selection of salads, none of which was meatless, which i found rather funny. "i'll have the salami and ham salad with a dressing of bacon fat, garnished with deep-fried chicken feet. oh, and hold the parsley, it gives me gas."

the side salad i finally ordered comprised (roughly) 52% iceberg lettuce (which, i suspect, is not really a vegetable at all), 2% "others" (red cabbage, soggy tomatoes, an inexplicable sprinkling of crisp chow mein noodles) and an unfortunate 46% onion. now i know that you are used to me exaggerating slightly, but in this case i speak the truth. i began to remove the onion slices ( i usually hate it when people do that - if you hate olives, order without, for crying out loud, but who knew my garden salad came from the onion patch?) and soon enough i had a plate full of onions and a teeny tiny little salad. who eats that much onion? who? i demand to know!

i consumed two glasses of a south african red which i suspect was full of sulphates because all day today i have nursed a headache that suggested a whole bottle of cheap vodka was sloshing around in my system instead. i also proceded to do my usual drunk routine also known as "can anyone, for the love of the little baby jebus, shut this woman up, in the name of all that is good, holy and pink?!?!?"

[the good thing about mister monkey is that he never tells me how awful i was drunk. even if he has to carry/pull me upstairs and put me to bed way before midnight.]

i like to think that i was articulate and engaging, but i fear i might have just been loud.

hey all! ckua is having their spring fundraising campaign and i highly recommend that you give them some money because they rock**. if you want to know that somewhere out there is a radio staffed by articulate, intelligent and well-informed people who play almost entirely non-repeating music that you are unlikely to hear anywhere else, and who will not talk down to you in the manner of commercial radio stations, do your part and give them some money. i do.

*unless perhaps you dollop some foie gras on top.
**rock in the non-musical sense, although they do that as well sometimes.

19 April, 2007

three letters to politicians

dear prime minister stephen harper,

you are an ass. you may be marginally more articulate than your political pal down south, but you are still an ijit. your inability to say anything of substance is embarassing, your penchant for opening your mouth and offending frightening, and your repeated denial of any sort of responsibility for anything at all juvenile. your ignorant comments about lebanon made me embarassed to be canadian, even though i never voted for you. you continue to blame everything on the liberals and it is getting old. also, ease up on the hairspray. your hair is so very wrong. in short, you make me throw up a little in my mouth every time you appear in the media. drop dead,

yours truly,

dear president bush,

i used to hate you. now i feel a little sorry for you. you are, bar none, the least intelligent leader of any country. the fact that the country you lead happens to be big, strong and dangerous does not make the above facts any easier for the world to bear.
you should not speak in public. ever. i recommend coloured posters with simple slogans (à la fox news) printed on them in big letters that you hold up while smiling. it should appeal to the slack-jawed yokels who voted for you. yes, yes, i hear rumours that some intelligent people voted for you as well, but these are unsubstantiated (that means "unproven" in case you were wondering.) and frankly, if they were really intelligent, why did they vote for you? it's patently obvious that you are unsuited to running an ant farm, nevermind a powerful country.
by the way, as far as speaking engagements go, you should immediately (that means "right away") fire whoever allowed you to appear repeatedly next to tony blair who has an amazing ability to be articulate in public. unlike you.
i hope one day you understand that your idiotic policy has taken the world's opinion, which was very much pro-US following the 9-11 attacks, and reversed it completely. i hope you realise that you and your advisors are personally responsible for the rise in extremism and terrorism, those little things you claim to be against. and yes, i do understand that many of your golf buddies own arms factories, and it is good to be nice to your buddies. however, there is also the rest of the world to consider. that would be those other countries. you know, those places where they talk in funny languages.

yours truly,

dear president kaczyński,

you and your twin brother are short, ugly and embarassing to poland. even though you might not be biologically related to the unabomber, you boast a similar level of scariness. he is better looking than you though. i suggest shoes with lifts, comprehensive cosmetic surgery, and shutting the hell up with your right wing homophobic "pro-family" agenda. welcome to the 21st century, boys, where we no longer burn witches and fags.
other than that, get over yourself.

your truly,


p.s. despite public overtures of friendship, what do you wanna bet dubya has no idea who you are?

17 April, 2007


one thing i noticed this weekend was the swelling of the buds, the awakening of trees after a six month long sleep, and it got me wondering why, every single year, spring retains its element of surprise. leaves could come out in mid june and i would be flabbergasted.

winter, each year, is a given, the solidity of its presence unquestionable, the sheer length of it burning itself into even the most soggy brain. spring, though, now that's a different story! wow! look, mr. m! the little buds are out! soon leaves will come out! spring! it's here! along with all its exclamation points (unlike the frozen ellipses of winter).

and so, blaming the season, i will now share a poem that i wrote fairly recently although i have no recollection of the event. perhaps i was under the influence. it does happen.

now don't make fun, kiddies. it is a small one. and, unlike the majority of my poems, has no nudity or sexy bits. nevertheless, enjoy.

the skeletons of poems
crumble in my hands
i wipe their moth wing dust
from fingers stiff from long disuse
i wipe them clean on the backs of strangers’ couches
undersides of office chairs
and hope that noone sees

meep meep meep

this weekend was an orgy of renovation. mister monkey continued his cerebral pursuits of wiring, design and architecture, while i continued in the age-old path of slack-jawed physical labour. i huffed. i puffed. i would like to say that i took on the floor and won, but the truth was otherwise. after hours and hours of scraping with sharp objects ranging from the appropriate to the wildly inventive to the patently useless, i managed to get paint off roughly a square foot of concrete. poly-strippa did not help at all unless one counts the fumes as a sort of alternative consciousness enabling tool, which might have made the colours a wee bit brighter and the shapes a wee bit more fluid, but it did little to actually remove paint, its apparent raison d'etre.

still, walls were painted, electrical circuits strung up, plug-ins wired in, brakers installed, walls framed, putty puttied and consequently sanded, floors swept, and wood nailed, screwed and sawed, not necessarily in that order.

two weekends down, many more to go. aaah, the innocent us of yesterday, thinking this would take a few weeks, no more. ha, i say. HA!

also, the basement sink is leaking. and the eavestroughs (now there's a word with a typically anglosaxon excess of letters, eh?) are filled with leaves. and the yard is filled with dog poop.

at least we have a hope that the last item will be taken care of by someone other than us.

still, we like this house. it has a good feel to it. in fact we might actually move into it. of course we haven't seen the unpstairs since the actual day we first (and last) saw it and it, too, might have some surprises in store for us. still, this might be our home. and you might be invited for wine.

by the way: we are renting out our one bedroom condo in downtown edmonton and a two bedroom basement suite off whyte. pass it on. someone might be interested. $ and timing is still under discussion.

16 April, 2007

burnin' up the night in my pimped up popemobile

it was the pope's birthday today, and his holiness is hosting a dinner for a few of his closest buddies. there might or might not be balloons, there might or might not be cake and pizza, but you can bet your sweet catholic ass that there will be funny hats.

i am frankly a wee bit tired of the polish press's (she lisps gollum-like) infatuation with all things catholic. did the cbc mention the pope's birthday? did the bbc? probably they did, but i am sure it was in passing. polish press loves its guys in robes and never fails to go on and on and on about all things catholic. one word: yawn. i am sure that salt lake city news regularly shows the latest stats for convert-hunting among its missionary minded mormon youth, but i would rather not have my birth country on that particular end of the crazy spectrum, thankyouverymuch.

oh, and to celebrate the pope's birthday, everyone on the vatican payroll receives a bonus of 500 euros*. good to know that the ol' church has got its priorities straight. after all, you give money to the poor and more than likely all they'll do is spend it on booze and drugs. or food for their children. or medicine. this way you keep it in the family: i'm sure the staff is even now snapping up commemorative pope benny plates from the vatican souvenir shop.

somewhere up there, a very frustrated jesus is practicing his kickboxing moves. or so i like to think.

*almost 800 $ canadian

11 April, 2007

the march of angry parrots

1. so they closed down our favourite vegetarian restaurant in vancouver. this is what happens when you relax your vigilance even for a nano-second and go off traipsing into other parts of the continent. bastards!

2. also, it is snowing. high of plus 4, snow coming down - hey! mama nature! you're messed up! just thought i'd mention it. of course it could be that the woman's high on whatever we've been pumping into the atmosphere for the last hundred years or so and her judgment is a little clouded.

3. off to the city today to work on the new house which, to those of you surprised by the development, i have been mentioning in this blog since november. pay attention! you will be tested on this knowledge. or maybe not.

4. i put on mascara to work for the first time today. let them bask in my overwhelming beauty. maybe they can handle it.

5. why barney? well. big and purple ought to do it. though the "i love you, you love me" song is pretty dang appropriate!

6. life in the fast lane, baby! nonsense and a glass of wine! yip yip yippeeee!

09 April, 2007

gustav, put down the cheez doodles!

hi. miss me? i've been busy doing grunt work for my husband, the mister engimaneer.

1. we have finally gotten possession of our house last week and got down to work immediately. he is the brains of the operation; i am the brawn, weak and pathetic though i am. he plans things, drafts blueprints, figures out the strategic placement of 2x4s, while i madly rip up carpeting, pull nails from wood with abandon, and carry the de-nailed and ripped-up bits and pieces out to the driveway out back. oh and the sweeping. lots of sweeping. like i said: grunt work.

and you know what? i like. especially how my ass feels like i've been to the gym, without actually having to set foot in one, how my arms feel like i've done some heavy duty yoga, how tired i am at the end of the day in that good physical way. not to mention the feeling of intense and irrational feeling of satisfaction at having mastered the saw. i rock. demolition woman - c'est moi!

2. so hey, have i bitched lately about what the general population eats? it frightens the crap out of me. they are saying now that canadians are becoming an obese nation. really? hmmmmm....i could've told you that based on what i see in people's shopping carts. you know i love my frutas y verduras: i keep telling you that. but for the average joe rigpig and his missus? well, let's see, there's wonder bread, usually white; pizza pockets, pizza puffs, pizza snax, frozen pizza; cheese products in various shades of nuclear orange; crackers and cookies and other yummy members of the hydrogenated food group; 1 banana; whole milk; diet (!!!) pop in disturbingly large quantities; kraft dinner and/or frozen mac'n cheese; frozen dinners of all kinds, barring any strange and weird "ethnic" food 'cause who knows what those weirdos in other countries eat anyhow; bologne; flats of ground beef and sausage-shaped beef-flavoured product; deep pre-fried frozen fish fingers and/or chicken fingers; overpackaged jello and pudding cups that you can bet will end up in the landfill because social and environmental consciousness is so exhausting; campbell's canned soups because god knows cutting up a bunch of veggies and cooking them in water is well beyond the culinary grasp of your average north american these days; chunky soups which deserve a category of their own because they are a soup that eats like a meal with enough sodium per serving to bring down a hypotensive elephant; potato chips, french fries and other vaguely potato-based pre-fried frozen products and so forth. you get the general idea.

yikes! we are all going to die!

well, we won't because our innards are full of fibre and strawberries. but everyone else will. and i really don't care.

3. perhaps i am a tad anal about this but the next person who tells me that winnie the pooh is their favourite disney character will be on the receiving end of a well aimed kick to the groinal area. people: winnie the pooh is not a disney character. disney might have purchased winnie, but winnie is a goddamn character from a goddamn book by a. a. milne, and that's that. ok? oh, and hans christian andersen's little mermaid (also not a disney character, jesus!) does not marry the prince in the original. nope, the chick commits suicide to allow the man she loves to marry the woman he thinks he loves. a little passive aggressive, yes, but far more interesting than the disney version which, i am sure, has by now spawned sixteen sequels in which twelve dancing barbie princesses and the entire mattel toy shelf feature prominently, in a typically incestuous marketing ploy.

my generation knew about books. real books. written by real people. sometimes even by real dead people who wrote scary stuff where children were eaten and people got their eyes poked out. today's children are kept away from horrors such as these. they just play grand theft auto and learn about violence without the annoyance of morals and all.

4. if i am repeating myself it is because my brain has been malfunctioning lately. as i offered my place for a friend to crash with his children, i suddenly failed to remember if i have put away barney, my purple personal...ahem...massager. after all, i do not want to scar the delicate innocence of the future generation. did i or didn't i? every bloody day a little more brain goes south. jesus, perhaps that's why pooping is fun at our house - not because of the copious quantities of fibre we consume, but because each bowel movement is lubricated by the grey matter that breaks off my brain in chunks in a manner not dissimilar to the icebergs of the north pole, polar bears be damned. so if you see me wandering down the street wearing my pants on my head, call mister monkey or take me home. please.