30 May, 2009

pain in the ass: the literal version

this morning i woke up with the firm intention to go for a run. no can do. i am in pain.

yesterday, my old old friend j invited me to a boot camp for moms, never mind the fact that i ain't got no babies. it was a beautiful day and the friendly tiny tough instructor kicked our lumpy asses all over the playground. most exercises made good use of picnic tables and skipping ropes...and pain. she was nice, but she wasn't that nice. ouch.

i'm totally going back next week. apparently the new me likes pain. just not enough to go for a run today.

my mom is coming for a visit for 10 days so if you don't hear from me, it's not you, it's me. 

28 May, 2009

the bluebird of happiness and other urban myths

there are very few times in my life when i hate being a woman, like that occasional week of migraines and endless, bottomless, unreasonable blues. this week, for instance.

for the most part i love my body, my way of thinking, my ability to multitask and have a deep conversation with other women. i don't even mind the whole bleeding thing, even though in my case it is simply wasting its time. but this, this deep pit of hormonal despair, when the sun is shining, when all is well, and there is no reason under the sun to feel like i do, this sucks.

seems like i am not alone. i had one friend cry to me over the phone today, and another tell me her partner is falling apart emotionally and she is having a really hard time with it. so, ladies, some yoga breathing for everyone?

27 May, 2009

crazy is as crazy does

i went in to temp at an office today (this one decorated in warm mediterranean yellows, complete with columns, frescoes and trompe d'oeil all over the place) and ran into an old classmate of mine from dental cleaning lady school, who pretended not to know me. odd. at first i didn't know the skulking creature to be her, but then i looked closely and BAM! sure, she changed her name somewhat (imagine annabel becoming anna and you get the idea) but she has a very distinct face* and it was all i could do not to smack her for being an idiot. and even if she seriously did not recognize me, well, my name is a dead give-away. not many of us practising the tooth cleaning arts with this name and this particular face. 

people: can't live with them, and waiting for climate change to finish them all off is gonna take an awful long time...

*is there such a thing as an indistinct face? i mean, outside of spy novels, which seem to teem with them? as a child i was always worried that my face was so average (on account of myself seeing it all the bloody time, i imagine) that if i got lost, my parents would not be able to find me again. 

25 May, 2009

stop making scents

nothing to report here, except the fact that the earth will shortly disintegrate and the world as we know it will collapse in a maelstrom of fish heads and random shiny things: i am taking my books out of the boxes wherein they have lived for the last 2 years, and i am placing them on my bookshelves NON-ALPHABETICALLY. no, i am not on drugs. yes, it hurts. 

what hurt more, was having boxes of books all over the house and while we wait for one more shelf to come in on back order, i decided to bite the bullet and see how the other side lives. frankly, the other side sucks, but whatever. 

also, my mom is coming to visit, the library is also a spare bedroom and i thought she might appreciate non alphabetically arranged books more than sleeping on top of boxes. 

the end.

19 May, 2009

mister and missus

in our household, i am the money man. i am the one who juggles it, tosses it from one account to another, and counts it while cackling gleefully. i am also the one who chooses the charities we support, and who writes the cheques for said charities. red cross was one such charity, and over the years they had gotten a fair bit of moola from the monkey household. unfortunately, a couple of years ago, the red cross was sucked into a space-time anomaly and reemerged in the 1950's, wherefrom it began addressing all our correspondence in the following format:

mr. and mrs. albert monkey (names have been changed to protect our privacy, duh!)

i wrote them once, very politely informing them of the current year and century, explaining that my name was not, in fact, albert, and never had been. it was my husband's name and while i had followed the quaint tradition of taking on his last name, i never gave up my first, along with my entire identity as an independent human being.

they persisted.

i then wrote a second letter, firmer than the last, and told them that they would not receive a red cent from the monkey household if they did not immediately start to acknowledge my existence, seeing as it was me (gasp! the woman!) who chose whether or not they got our support in the first place.

after a long period of silence wherein i stewed and fretted about having actually yelled at a charity, there followed a correctly addressed letter asking for money:

mr. albert and mrs. matilda monkey

i sent them money.

i thought it was over. i have just received a notepad addressed, you guessed it, to my husband and his nameless chattel, moi.

they will get no more money. 

18 May, 2009

enthusiastic housewifery, accidental exhibitionism and the need to keep one's frank in one's pants

you know what? i really enjoy doing all the housewifey things, like shopping, planning meals, cooking said meals, laundry etc. i could totally be a 50's housewife (complete with drinking problem, hurray!).

why, just today, after washing the dishes, shredding important government documents (oops!), folding and putting away the air-dried laundry (is there a better smell?), i decided to tackle the small pile of minor sewing that needed to be done. you know: tightening some button holes so that i would no longer flash my bosom at random strangers (at winners and the movie theatre - my apologies, gentlemen), fixing some small tears and, last but not least, sewing up two pairs of mister monkey's underoos which, brand new and deadly comfortable, had the small yet serious problem of...ahem...not containing him entirely. and really, what is the point of underoos if your little dude is blowing in the breeze?

so, two glasses of a new zealand sauvignon blanc later, i engaged in the deadly sport of drinking and sewing. good thing mister monkey wasn't present, or he might have found himself permanently fastened to his sexy new underoos. ouch.

mind changing

those who know me, know well that i have a matching set of fairly strong, well-formulated opinions on a number of issues.

those who know me well, know that i am open to discussion and having my mind changed with well supported arguments. i am not an ass (most of the time).

still, it isn't all that often that i find my mind fundamentally changed by a book. twice now, i have read a book of essays that has subtly but permanently altered my worldview. i am now reading a third book that is pushing me in a new direction once again.

all three books* were written by the same author, one of my all time favourites: barbara kingsolver -  biologist, author, farmer, crusader and, apparently, enemy of the state.

although i love her fiction, it was her books of essays that have snagged my attention, spun me around, and changed my mind. her latest, animal, vegetable, miracle is doing it again.

the book, beautifully written and well thought out, talks about what and how we eat, and the answers, though heartbreaking, are hardly surprising, given the well documented obesity and diabetes epidemic that is sweeping the continent. so although i have been trying to be more diligent about eating locally (do i take the organic apples from chile, or the non-organic from washington state?) and supporting my local farmers, i will now try harder (goodbye, pineapple!)

but that's not the sea change i am talking about (or, to be more precise, the possibility of sea change). so what am i talking about? i am talking about meat. while ms. kingsolver is dead set against feedlot operations (anyone with a fully functioning head and heart ought to be), she is also fairly firm in condemning vegetarianism or veganism based on "loving the little animals" and she makes a very good point.

choosing to eat ethically raised and harvested meat is more honest, says the author, than eating vegetarian only and turning a blind eye to the wholesale habitat destruction and animal "collateral damage" that is part and parcel of the growing of soy and grain in north america. 

since i have never been a big fan of the school of thought that preaches that all killing is wrong (i doubt the preachers have let a mosquito nosh on their blood unpunished, or left a bacterial infection untreated), and have personally been nauseated by the fluffy rainbow mentality of "no kill" animal shelters, i guess it is no far stretch for me to have my mind changed by her superbly argued point of view.

does this mean i will start to eat meat? probably not: i don't like it that much. but i will most certainly start to purchase mister monkey's meat from the local farmers, and if i ever find myself in some small italian town and get offered grilled homemade rosemary garlic sausage, i might just have a bite.


introvert! introvert!

although i like to go to bed early and get up early, i am not, under any circumstances, to be confused with a cheerful morning person. yes, i am up. yes, i'd rather be up and not waste my day sleeping, but no, i don't want to talk to you. in fact, chances are, the only person i am willing to talk to at this point is mr. m, and even that can be debatable.

now because my mom is always on the computer, and because she is 2h ahead on ontario time, she is always there to sweetly wish me good morning and have a wee little conversation about what i have planned for my day. all nice, this, but not for me, not in the morning, not when i have just gotten up and am resolutely misanthropically antisocial.

this has led to e-lurking. i will engage in a guerilla style email check - drop in, read emails, drop out. i leave my skype off the hook. i ignore chats. and i do feel guilty. i really really do. it's just that my aversion to early morning conversation trumps the guilt.

when i holidayed with my parents in arizona in april, my dad insisted on talking to me all morning. and talking. and talking. (this from a man who, at the best of times, is fairly monosyllabic (unless you get a political/religious discussion going but i refuse to delve into that here (or anywhere else, for that matter))) when i finally snapped, he wondered why i was so pissed off and, after actually thinking before answering for once, i realised that i am in no way shape or form angry in the morning, provided you shut the hell up

furthermore, i am being invited by family members to hang out with them, on account of my all alone monkeyless status, and as much as i appreciate the gesture and the genuine concern for my emotional well-being that informs it, i have to say i am loving being on my own. 

more and more evidence is cropping up that i may indeed have a very heavily disguised core of introvertedness.

17 May, 2009

the trek to the stars and other movies

hi. i just got back from a marathon movie day that started off with star trek and ended with state of play (was there a point in that movie that explained the title? did i miss it? do i care?).

the only thing better than a 2-for-1 movie deal (pay them twice? are you nuts?) is the spontaneous cooperation that occasionally makes me renew my faith in humanity (i am not talking about the star trek movie, i am talking about a completely random woman offering to hold the unlockable bathroom stall door for me while i went pee, and me returning the favour, while the rest of the sheep stood and stared, their little bladders distended  painfully but unable to cooperate in like fashion despite my rallying cry of "we need another tag team here!"). 

so, movies:

star trek 

first of all, you have to take into consideration my complete and abiding love for the series. i loved the original when i had just come to canada and was learning the language, and i loved the next generation, though it took me some time to get over the alarming non-styrofoamity of the rocks and the utter lack of sweating captain pectorals. 

i know i have fessed up to having had a significant teenage crush on mister spock (a harbinger of years to come spent dating emotionally unavailable men until i broke the mould and married mister monkey, the single most emotionally available man i know) and boy, was i ever proven right - the younger spock? yummy! utterly lickable, from pouty lip to pointy ears. 

you can totally see the young james tiberius kirk growing into the sweaty charmingly misogynistic shatner, scotty (shaun of the dead!) is utterly delectable, and bones? well, let's just say that karl urban is one of my few exceptions to not wanting to lick pretty men. and he nails mccoy. utterly nails him. (and speaking of nailing, that'd be a resounding "please and thank you" which in the original? no thanks: too much mascara.)

the villainous romulan ship was a gorgeous swiss army knife slicer and dicer extraordinaire and hey, if anyone wanted to destroy my race and shoot red antimatter gumballs at my planet, eric bana would be my man. delicious. i even forgive him his ears.

so, did i enjoy the movie? hell yeah! i realise i am the last person on the planet to see it (except for that masai shepherd who got suckered into watching the cow herd while the rest of the gang went on cheap tuesday) (oh, and except my husband who got suckered into being responsible for the whole project while the rest of the gang got drunk on molson canadian), but i loved it. i will go see it again with mister monkey when they let him out on good behaviour.

state of play

let's see, we have a fat russel crowe, a wooden ben affleck, a greasy jason bateman, an eternally classy helen mirren, an anorexically cute rachel mcadams, a tired but lovely robin wright penn, and a jeff daniels you just know is up to no good. there are ex-military bad guys, congressional hearings into the big business take over of the free america we all like to pretend was ever actually there, conflicted but honest reporters, good hard working cops, and a political story with a twist. and oh, what a twist. yawn.

it was ok. i'm glad i didn't actually actively pay for it.

the end.


things you won't find in my house:
  • ketchup
  • wire coat hangers (which i firmly believe are of infernal provenance)
  • wonderbread
  • danielle steele or dan brown books*
  • stiletto heels (unless mister monkey is holding out on me)
  • process cheese slices
  • jack daniel's (temporary shortage due to denver airport brain fart which will be remedied as soon as i cross some border somewhere, and yes, yes, i know i can purchase jack daniel's right here in canada, but it's like this: because i have so much eminently quaffable booze in the house right now, i cannot for the life of me make a firm case for going out and buying it full price, ok? ok.)

things you will find in my house that you would not expect:

  • a pink dress (that i actually wear)
  • two pairs of white socks (let's be honest: socks formerly known as white socks)
  • respectable quantities of white wine

*watch me exercise an unprecedented amount of benevolence, magnanimity and forbearance in using the term "books" at all, when what i really think is "craptastic drivel in book format"

edit. note: i actually do have a half-used half-forgotten little bottle of ketchup in my fridge - boy, am i surprised! it must have been left behind by a folk fest BBQ guest last year. my most profound apologies for misleading you.

15 May, 2009

satan in love

several nights ago night brain came up with an interesting bit of entertainment - a very frightening low-budget little dream in which satan fell in love with me and came around the house. a lot. 

the acting could maybe have been a wee more refined, the suspense was laid on a little thick, and the climactic scene where i smashed his hands with the door as he tried to get in left a lot to be desired. still, it scared the crap out of me, especially the part where satan actually became visible and looked a lot like jon lovitz. thanks, central casting! what, nathan fillion wasn't available? need i remind you of the fact that evil needs to look good in order to suck us into its vortex of...evil? evil that looks like jon lovitz simply sucks.

14 May, 2009

plaid polyester pants

same dentist (see previous post) mentioned today how horrible the 50's are and to enjoy your 30's and 40's. now this really pisses me off for the following reasons:

the first decade of life is pretty much a write-off on account of extreme ignorance and ingratitude. i mean, come on! someone is meeting your every need, feeding you pre-cut veggie chunks and animal crackers, wiping your ass for chrissakes, and all you do is cry. next comes school - waah, waah, grade two homework sucks. yeah kid, try the real world, where you're expected to actually pay for those dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.

the second decade is wasted on worrying about the size of your breasts/kneecaps/balls/zits/video game scores and/or the presence or absence of secondary sexual characteristics/parties interested in exploring the wonderful world of "i'll show you mine if you show me yours"/parties interested in dating/kissing/fondling. you are never at ease but are busily hating your parents/life/teachers/skin. all very painful and deep. yawn.

the third decade rocks. a little less stress, a little more self respect and self awareness. granted, you look back on the second decade and miss the lithe physique you spent so much time hating, the metabolism-in-overdrive, and the parties characterized by wild abandon and genital herpes (just kidding), but overall life is good. except on the horizon looms the realisation that you are about to enter middle age, or the fourth decade.

the fourth decade (and this is all hearsay from here on in) is like the third but with more wrinkles, slower metabolism, divergent sexual needs along gender lines, and the subsequent emergence of the cougar phenomenon. more stuff has been acquired, younger spouses have been interviewed and purchased: you still have your vigour, which, coupled with a stable income, really brings the trixies running. 

the fifth decade is where it all begins to go wrong (according to today's boss - and, to be perfectly frank, my mom would back him up on some bits). the eyes, almost overnight, go. the knees begin cashing the cheques written by your youthful (read: stupid) exploits (see second decade). the male libido checks out of the hotel entirely and prostate problems move in. the breasts head south, the back aches can no longer be ignored, and the downward slide begins.

the sixth decade is more of the same, only worse. granted, my father just ran his 40th marathon in his 61st year, but i think we can all agree that this is hardly what you can hope for, especially given some people's predilection for yummy things in large quantities washed down with vats of liquor. mental faculties begin to flail and fail and you begin to drive like a frightened old person. the face seems to have become covered in slowly melting dough so it's a good thing the eye sight keeps getting worse.

you don't want me to go to the seventh and eighth decades because it's just too depressing, although there is the bonus of no longer giving a shit if you fart in public or if your pants are pulled up to your armpits.

then you die.

so basically out of all this time allotted to us, we get to enjoy and appreciate roughly 20 years. 20 years out of 80. harrumph.

not what i signed up for, let me tell you, not it at all.

i am the walrus

which is a song i have never understood, having taken too few drugs in my (admittedly somewhat soggy) life. let's drink to that. 

new year's resolution: take more drugs.

response: ok. could i bother you for some crack, please?

today i made up for having worked one day in april, and two days in may (so far). today i put in overtime. yes, i can see how you would have trouble imagining this, but it did happen. i was more of a passive recipient than an active participant, as i watched in growing horror as the dentist for whom i was working simply would not shut up. and because i am sure my temp agency charges him an arm and a leg for the privilege of working with the world's most likeable dental professional (yeah, me, bucko! wanna make something of it?), he will be deeply sorry when the bill comes for that last half hour which found me standing, eyes glazed, lips open, drool pooling on my non-iron scrub top while he regaled the patient with tales of his knee surgery and i periodically proved my alertness with cheerful non sequiturs and bon mots. my poorly simulated attention ain't cheap.

13 May, 2009

whence came this power, and whither will it lead me?


ottawa was great. 

it was a lovely walkable city demonstrating what spring can be like in more civilised places, where the people are nice and there is a startlingly high percentage of very attractive men (noted on previous visit, re-noted this visit, and no, it's not the suits, i'm not the suit type). there were trees with actual leaves, grass that was ferociously green, and packs of wild tulips were roaming around, harassing the populace at large, but in a nice, tulipy sort of way.

multiple friends were met, mostly of the highschool variety. spouses were introduced, babies were cooed over, bounced and taught to high five (yaaay!!!), and, in the case of one exceedingly charming young lady, penguin-making options were (very) briefly reconsidered.

our bed and breakfast spoiled us rotten, what with the comfy bed, candlelit breakfasts of mouthwatering variety and nutritional balance, and the lovely hosts. highly recommended.

the wedding was one of the nicest we ever attended. we loved the presence of actual airplanes, the shortness of speeches, and the japanese song about sea cucumbers. my nylons did not rip until the very end and nobody threw up, so the evening can be called an unqualified success.

large quantities of poutine were consumed, with the unspoken (and deeply flawed) understanding that calories consumed during holidays do not count. 

we walked, and walked, and walked, and then we walked some more. i did not develop a single blister (how odd!) but managed to walk myself to extreme tiredness (odder still!). 


good friends, good food, not unusually excessive amounts of alcohol, rekindling old friendships, enjoying the company of charming babies, and spring, lots and lots of spring.

and then we came home where on this mid-may morning the temperature was in the single digits. alberta, you have smote me once too often, and i am through with you.

05 May, 2009

celebrity fucker list

 i just confessed to mister monkey my lustful yearnings for a patient (because he looked like this guy) and his reaction was pure mister monkey: joyful laughter. he's the coolest husband EVER. 

so then i had to introduce him to the marriage loophole list of 5 celebrities (thanks, dooce) that every member of every marriage should have. 

mister monkey called out (with much alacrity, i might add)"franka potente!" then began the long drawn out process of coming up with more names. 

"vanessa paradis" quoth he, "though i don't know what she looks like these days."

"better google image her," quoth i, "you wouldn't want to embarrass yourself."

he then scoffed at my suggestion of angelina jolie (who, i'm pretty sure, makes my list), "she's very pretty, i guess, just...not my type."

"that's ok," quoth i, "brad pitt doesn't do anything for me either."

than he jumped in with the whole idea that franka potente sometimes looks like a man, but that's ok. "actually," quoth he, "i think we should do away with the whole genderfication thing altogether."

people, be reminded - i married a POLISH man, and THIS is what i got! how cool is that?

then we stopped quothing at each other because we both must go to bed. yes, boys and girls, i am working again tomorrow, looking for more young boys to lick. (provided, you know this part, they look like this guy.)

good night, my sweet little lemurs. 

micromanaging the crap out of crap

1.i  went for a second walk/jog today and it felt good except for the one part which felt bad.

2. the one part which felt bad involved waiting for the cars to pass in order to j-walk across the street and then, of course, some fool decided to stop for me, even though he was the last fool in a group of fools and i didn't actually need him to stop, but still, that sort of thing is nice, if a dying art, but my initial annoyance burst forth in a curled lip and the waving of various appendages (no fingers - i don't play that way) and then i finally did cross in front of him (he was stopped after all) and i saw his goofy grin fade into hurt, and then, after i rolled my eyes and got to the other side i suddenly realised that i might have been singlehandedly responsible for turning one nice guy into an asshole and i felt rather terrible. stomp on the baby bird, stomp, stomp!

3. i went to work today, in an office that has a pool table in the waiting room, industrial concrete floors, and art by an old roommate of mine. it was ok as far as work goes. it also marked my entrance into the world of cougarship (cougarity? cougarishness? cougarosity?) i mean, i know i am not technically a cougar what with the marriage thing still going strong but there was this young thing, all of 22 years old (which, to the slower members of the congregation means he was born when i was 15! so i could conceivably have been his mother (had i been having sex (i had not) at that particular time in my life))). 

the minute this boy took off his glasses, i realised that he was a younger version of this guy and i promptly had to focus very hard on not licking him. it is hard to work on someone that close and not lick him. but i did touch him very very tenderly. a lot. 

mothers! lock up your nubile sons! i will lick them! (provided they look like this guy).

03 May, 2009

them ribosomes

speaking of endoplasmic reticulum (yes, yes we were, look down...further down...see?) - i have forgotten much (most?) of what high school had to teach me, but i think i shall forever be able to draw mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (with or without ribosomes). such is the power of cellular squiggles presented repeatedly to a helpless visual learner. 

also, i will forever remember the disappointment of learning that monarchy returned after the french revolution. it was the first time i realised the cyclical nature of history and the fact that bloodshed or not, the poor stay poor, the clergy stay corrupt, and the new order invariably becomes exactly like the old order, but with different people in the dungeons. they started us on cynicism very very young.

but hey! i can draw you a mitochondrion! 


"A real man consists of manliness,stamina endurance,and strength"

(ability to punctuate properly apparently optional) 

and here i thought a real man consisted of bone, fleshy bits, hairy bits and butt cheeks. i also thought mitochondria might have come into play somewhere, possibly even endoplasmic reticulum (with or without ribosomes). and striated muscle tissue. and follicles. and testosterone. and pointless nipples. and the inability to ask for directions.

still, i think i shall have a t-shirt made for mister monkey: "a real man consists of manliness."

02 May, 2009

spring and cheezies

a friend recently recommended a "healthy" organic cheezie type product. the only problem with this product is that, unlike actual fluorescent orange cheezies, this stuff tastes like...cheese. you know, it tastes like actual cheese. i can taste* the cheddar and it's freaking me out.

craving cheezies, cheetos or other bright orange petroleum byproducts has little to do with craving actual cheese. i know - i have several wedges of spectacular and expensive italian cheese in my fridge. them, i didn't want. i wanted bright orange petroleum byproducts. instead i got organic cheez puffs that taste like cheddar. bastards.

good things:

people sitting on benches all along whyte avenue

that late afternoon light that makes me all giddy

having yummy homemade raspberry wine with my aunt and uncle in their lovely yard

weaving my way home after, in that delicious golden light

robins singing

organic cheez puffs - i admit, i am about to finish the whole damn bag, after all, they're organic! 

*they even say it right on the bag "real cheese you can taste in every bite." i guess i can't say they didn't warn me.

01 May, 2009

cubicle death

due to the high volume of calls, we have been forced to hire more unhelpful, rude, underqualified idiots. this has been harder to accomplish than one might think - to find all those qualities in someone who shows up to work on time and has grasped the fundamentals of good personal hygiene is nothing short of miraculous.  still, we keep trying:

we offer a semi-competitive salary and a benefits package plucked straight out of a dickens novel. we can, however, guarantee that the chair you will sit on has not had anyone die on it from a strange and possibly communicable disease...recently...for the most part.

our firm boasts a warm and friendly work environment (if your definition of friendly comprises sociopathic tendencies heavily marinated in alarming quantities of cheap liquor), however sex in the broom closet is actively discouraged, except on casual fridays and, of course, christmas parties.

please submit your resume online. yes, spelling counts. swear words are discouraged, especially when pertaining to your previous places of employment. nude pictures will not help you get hired but might get you laid.