31 July, 2009

all graceful and shit

today i dropped a loaded paintbrush (twice, no, thrice) and a spoon covered in yogurt. i also banged my head forcefully on the low bit of ceiling on the basement staircase.
but i'll have you know, i did it all beautifully, with much grace and poise.

the "fuck" that followed each and every one of these balletic moments, was clearly enunciated and spoken in a well-modulated genteel tone, to go with all the grace and poise, of course.

30 July, 2009

a steak by any other name...

as i drove by a fruit bouquet boutique i realised that there is a huge business opportunity that is being ignored by the Public Displays of Affection industry. sure, you can send a bouquet of flowers, you can send a bunch of cookies-on-a-stick, there are lollipop and candy arrangements and the aforementioned skewered fruit, but one thing we have not yet bouquetized, and i for one think it's high time, is meat. the sausage-o-gram would be an instant hit, i am certain of it. 

how about it? anyone in my audience (of 3) with the requisite business sense? i can be the ideas man: i am polish, i know my sausage (i may not eat it, but i know it).

who wouldn't want to receive a wurst ikebana to celebrate one's 6th wedding anniversary? a jerky garland for grandma? how about an engagement pork chop posy? maybe a lamb lei for your love? 

i think i may be on to something.


as i was buying dessert in the save-on-food bakery, a very big, very bald, very gay man, who happened to be buying large quantities of sliced meat in the deli section, sidled over to me, leaned in and said, "you carry yourself beautifully!" now i may be polish,* but i know how to take a compliment which, let's be honest, was completely unexpected and incredibly sweet, so i thanked him prettily and sashayed out of there like a supermodel. so now it's official, my little poultries: i carry myself beautifully, and i shall try to keep that in mind as i wallop my hip into the wall or walk into the coffee table yet again, so i can do it beautifully as well.

*polish people, unlike north american people, are not raised on a diet of steady (and often undeserved) praise and thus have a hard time accepting compliments to the point of absurdity and sometimes rudeness. i am trying to break this trend by teaching the polish women i know that a smile and a thank you, even if painful to the complimentee, is much more pleasant to the complimentor, than a stream of awkward and vehement denials.

29 July, 2009

i fought the law and the law went away

i got pulled over yesterday! by a real honest to goodness edmonton city cop*! 

my first thought, whenever i see the Flashing Lights of Law, is "hide the crack!!!" before i realise that, as per usual, i do not have any crack, nor have i ever had any crack, nor have i ever even seen crack (which, by semi-logical extension means that i might have a trunk full and wouldn't even know it! which would be a LOT in terms of street value! early retirement, here i come! except i really don't think i have anything resembling crack in my trunk...damn!)

after the crack fear passed, i pasted my best bambi smile on and prepared to find out what the heck i had done wrong.

what i had done wrong was failing to renew my license (for a long long time, it turns out), apparently an offense punishable by a 230$ ticket, a towing, and a popsicle up the ass, all of which the officer kindly enumerated before announcing magnanimously that he must be having a good day, because he was going to let me go. (must be the bambi smile.)

"where are you going now?" quoth he. i almost opened my mouth to say, "superstore to buy cherries, why, you want some?" before i realised that what he wanted was for me to say, "to get my license renewed" so instead i said,  "straight to AMA, officer.**" "do not pass go, do not collect 200$," replied the Law. "do i get a 'get out of jail free' card?" fluttered moi. he smiled and walked back to his cruiser.

i drove to AMA pronto (my license had expired in april 2008!!! this is so unlike the typical anal moi and i have NO idea how this lapse occurred) and gave them lots of money for which i received a small blue sticker.

then i drove out of town to bury the body that was decomposing in my trunk, followed by a quick hit of crack which, it turns out, was in between the seat cushions all along. although, come to think of it,  it might have been petrified cheese since there didn't seem to be that much of a high. except, of course, for the joyful glee i always experience when burying bodies.

*does it make it less real if he had an aussie accent? it was all i could do to keep myself from saying "that's not a gun, THIS is a gun!" which, under the circumstances, might not have been in my best interest. also, i don't have a gun, big or little, in my car.

**it also took all my willpower not to say "ocifer," because that's just silly and most probably  counterproductive.

28 July, 2009

the royalty of cheese

one of the items we took along with us on our little trip, was mclaren's imperial cheese product. this is a european style processed cheese product (differing from north american style processed cheese product in that it actually contains cheese) which proclaims on its perky red package that it is "carefully aged." you have no idea how good this made us feel, so much better than the industry standard of just tossing it any-old-where and hoping for the best:

bob (cheese product aging manager): mabel, 'ave you seen the cheese? don't seem to recall where i put it. i think it might be done right about now.

mabel (executive assistant to cheese product aging manager): not rightly sure, bob. i think i might have seen it last month in the janitorial supplies closet...behind the mop bucket.

thank goodness for careful aging. far less hair and rat droppings that way.

26 July, 2009

tales from the great little tour of southern alberta

1. drumheller:
if you are interested in dinosaurs or have children who are, drumheller is great. the royal tyrrell museum is lovely and has the added bonus of air conditioning, which our enviro-car lacks. sadly, we discovered that we are not at all interested in dinosaurs. 

highly highly highly recommend this little oasis in the middle of the prairies. got the last room in the only hotel around: jacuzzi tub, king size bed, the whole works. i discovered that after 37 seconds (give or take a second) of filling up the two person jacuzzi tub, i could not do it. the earth is short of good quality potable water and i simply could not waste a double tubful just to cool my mosquito bitten ass. 

stunning park, gorgeous mountains, lovely lake and a town taken over by dumb tame deer who pee in the lake right before drinking the water. the most overpriced crappy hotel we have ever stayed in complete with drunken polish people (not us, oddly enough). i loved the stunning array of vegetation that both jasper and banff lack. expect to see loads of botanical porn when i upload the trip photos.

4. pincher creek area/crowsnest pass highway/hwy 22:
if you've never driven this particular stretch of alberta highway, get in your vehicle right now and go. that's all i'm saying. 

5. canmore:
oh how we love thee, canmore. too bad you've sold your body to the highest bidder. still, for a corporate whore, you is a hottie.

6. hwy 93:
one of the loveliest stretches of highway in the world. sadly, i've done this so many times i think i might be immune. still, we hiked up to see the pile of brown ice cubes that remains of the columbia icefield. and then a quick little jaunt to horseshoe lake which looked roughly like whyte avenue on saturday night: groups of loud tattooed young'uns (backwards baseball caps and goatees optional but encouraged) sprinkling cigarette butts, beer cans, muddy t-shirts and soggy towels all over one of the loveliest spots in the area. public decapitation for littering might solve the problem.

7. jasper:
when viewed back to back with canmore, jasper sadly suffers from a disturbing lack of trees and in-town body of water. still, it isn't the shiny little sell-out that canmore is (more of a sad skinny ho with missing front teeth.) went our for korean (sentimental reasons) and found that edmonton's korean restaurants deliver twice the goods at half the price: have you ever walked away hungry from bibimbap? i didn't think so.

and now we're home.

20 July, 2009

poetry on a monday evening

here i am
and there you are
here's a cow
and there's a car
definitions thus define
the cow is yours 
the car is mine

and then this thing happened followed by stuff: or yet another episode of my amazingly exciting life

a.m. exercise session followed by a light snack of cottage cheese and a final decimation of the small limp organic carrots from the farmers' market.

taste of edmonton (a.k.a. The Thirty Dollar Lunch Of Tiny Styrofoam Plates Filled With Delicate Dollops Of Food) with s: deeelicious padmanadi curry, decent sweet potato fries, godawful pad thai from krua wilai, not bad crab cakes and jostling for space in churchill square with various besuited men and women in high-waisted pencil skirts and stilettos which appears to be the businesswoman attire of choice for this season. s and i then walked back to my place carefully avoiding fallen trees and discussing the end of the world as we know it followed, one hopes, by the ushering of a new age of greater understanding and decreased assholism. 

spent the rest of the day sitting on my front steps, eating cherries, reading a book, drinking campari and tonic and giving the evil eye to the next door neighbour's electrician who came to check out the damage to his wiring following saturday's storm, and left his gigantic truck idling for a good 20 minutes. apparently the weather in tropical edmonton is so extreme, that to leave the truck off for 20 minutes in the excruciating 23C heat would have caused his polyester pants to melt right onto his fleshy buttocks and his man-bits to spontaneously combust.

sometimes i think that i am singlehandedly responsible for the delay in entering this coming age of greater spiritual awareness because i HATE some people THAT MUCH. and then i get over it and we move another step forward to the fulfillment of 21 december 2012 (when the mayan calendar ends...ooooooooOOOOO!!!).

19 July, 2009

lo, and there shall come down rains and torrents of fish and amphibians if ye persist in thy sinfulness

as much as i love storms (i love storms a lot) last night scared the bejesus out of me.

as i drove home, i found myself strangely confused. it took me several blocks to figure out that the source of my confusion was not the beer and a half i had consumed (by the way, heineken sucks) but the utter darkness enveloping the area. no lights. none at all. and then the branches. everywhere the branches, leaves, pieces of trees and finally a whole tree lying across my way.

driving along whyte ave on a saturday night is never a fun project, one must always concentrate on trying to avoid drunk backwards-baseball-cap-wearing yokels and their assorted shrieking push-up-bra'd trixies. doing it in the dark in gale force winds was extra lovely. 

inexplicably, i had my window open and was thus treated to a toonie-sized hailstone whacking me right on the crotch when the hail began. after cursing and rolling up the window, i silently offered up thanks for a) not being a man and b) not being a stripper 'cause truly? ouch.

this morning i had another reason to offer up thanks - the aphids that practically ate the tree next door caused it to be less wind resistant and thus still standing, unlike the tree in front of my house which is, even as i write this, sprawled across one lane plus sidewalk, and the next door neighbour's tree which broke his fence, pulled down some wiring and fell on his neighbour's house. 

oddly enough, our delicate swaying gap-toothed fence is still standing. go figure.

all night i did as i typically do and worried about things i had no control over, in this case, the things in my freezer. 9h later when the power came back on, even the ice was still frozen, so no worries.

but hey, to prevent lawsuits arising from the delicate north american constitution, planet organic and save-on-foods were throwing away massive quantities of organic yuppy foods that might have become horrifyingly toxic through several hours of slightly higher than recommended temperatures. good lord! no wonder we panic at every conceivable new flu bug to come around. you've gotta wonder how our ancestors lived - they of the root cellar and occasional ice block.

so to sum up - no lights, no refrigeration, hail in the crotch, trees in the streets and i lived to tell the tale. 

16 July, 2009

let us write down strange words and praise the lord of the heavens

you know that thingie that finishes your words on the phone? the same thingie that allows mad people to text as they drive? apparently my phone came with a mentally deficient (or psychotically creative) version.

in ottawa, i wanted to enter a friend's number. his name begins with POU, which my phone immediately took to mean POULTRIES. have you ever seen the word poultry pluralized? i know i haven't. even my macbook spellcheck is having trouble with it, but it works for my crazy little phone.

recently i began entering another friend's number. his name begins with FIS. what did i get, my little chickens (poultries?)? no, not fish. not fisher. i got FISCHERSPOONER. 'cause that's so immediately obvious.

i can't wait to enter new people into my phone just to see what the crazy little machine comes up with.


re: the whole american apparel ad campaign and the inexplicable return of the 80's onesie and the high waisted dress: just because it's vintage, doesn't mean it's cool. sometimes we move on for a reason, a very good reason. can we please move on now? i mean, i know, i know, i am now a single speed bike owner so you'd think i'd just go with the look but something deep inside me rebels.

dirty girl

i like to think of myself as a reasonably clean person. ok, my floor will never be the type of floor you could eat off, but then again, who the hell wants to eat off a floor? when you can afford dishes, no less? so yeah, reasonably clean. i rarely smell, i tend to shower regularly and take pride in putting my garbage INSIDE the garbage can. 

so why is it that my laptop looks like it is the regular recipient of explosive expectorations of chunky spit? why is it always my wineglass that looks like its owner is a developmentally delayed hare-lipped 2 year old with a hypersalivation condition? 

meh, there are people living in mud hats where dusting the floor is not an issue on account of the goat getting in the way. i think i'll live. at least i know which wineglass belongs to me (hint: the empty one).

15 July, 2009

world, meet margaret, margaret, meet the world

last weekend mister monkey built me a bicycle. she is red and skinny and her name is margaret. she has yellow electrical tape for handlebars and she cost three dollars. that's right, i have a three dollar bike. 

at some point during the building process mister monkey asked me if i would be embarrassed to ride margaret and i must say, i was a little offended: after 10+ years he ought to know me well enough - this be the girl who boldly proclaims to the heavens that she is wearing a 5 dollar skirt to anyone who will listen. i'm no lover of designer duds, unless said designer duds are spectacularly cheap. so, no, i don't mind!

how did i get a three dollar bike, you ask? our next door neighbours accidentally moved to texas, or at least it seemed like a last minute accidental sort of thing because they left half their chattel in the driveway. my aunt got 4 chairs, various random strangers got baby buggies, tables, desks, vinyl LPs, lamps, plastic toys and anything else you could possibly imagine. i got a beautiful pottery bowl and mister monkey picked up a bike carcass, two wheels and several tires. all that was missing was some handlebars and we picked those up for, you guessed it, three dollars, at the edmonton bicycle commuters.

being a total bike ignoramus (all i know is which end goes first) i figured building a bike would be a convoluted and excruciatingly difficult process that involved welding, rolling out metal, sweating profusely and doing it all in some sort of factory setting. nope - margaret was built in a couple of hours in our back yard.

i took her for a ride and she rides fast and bony. mister monkey once told me that the sportier the vehicle the more you feel the ride. by extrapolation then, margaret rides like a testarossa. she kinda looks like a ferrari, too, but that's just me. 

one thing, though - she is a single speed, on account of the gear thingie being unusable, so i have joined the ranks of single speed riding emo kids, the very subculture i have been making fun of for months and months. i guess i'll have to get me some tight pants and an asymmetrical haircut now...oh well.

14 July, 2009

czech it out!

yesterday, ottawa issued a visa requirement for the czech republic. immediately, the czech ambassador was recalled from canada and new visa requirements for canadian citizens visiting the czech republic issued.

is it just me or does this sound like grade 6 oneupsmanship? "amanda didn't invite me to her birthday party, so no way am i inviting her to mine!"

politics, thy name is idiocy.

last night's supper:

4 portuguese custard tarts*
1/4 hunk of a chevre wheel
2 glasses of campari and tonic with lime
a book

* i am so used to craving these little flaky bits of charred custardy heaven and finding that the italian centre has none, that as usual i went to their bakery section, parked myself in front of the glass display, looked left, looked right, found them missing, and asked the young bakery wench if and when i could be sure to find these in store. she looked at me quizzically and pointed to the blind spot right beneath my gut - a whole tray full. riiight. hi!, quoth i, i'll have 4! i honestly thought they'd do me for a couple of days at least, but as i was in mourning for mister monkey's earlier-than-usual departure, i self-medicated with portuguese** custard tarts.

**for anyone who reads this with any regularity, it shall come as no surprise that i tend to look at myself as rather spectacularly spell-aware. apparently i have never had to spell portuguese before because that second u? it stumped me! who knew it was there? hello second u in portuguese! nice to make your acquaintance!

12 July, 2009

that sweet sweet ocean smell

while draping walls with poly*, in preparation for ceiling spraying

mr. monkey: this plastic smells like smoked mackerel. what the hell do they make it out of, sea creatures?

moi: it's made of 100% endangered dolphins...and their stomach contents.

*when i went to pick up the poly at home depot, there were many rolls and on every roll (and on every shelf price tag) was written "ultra thin" or "medium" or "extra thick heavy duty" but nowhere did it specify what it actually was that i was buying. not one single place. when i asked a passing staff member if this was indeed poly and not some bizarre single serving pack of whale condoms, she looked at me in a panic and told me it was her first day and she didn't know. oh. ok, then. it'd be like going to the grocery store and picking up a can or two of "extra spicy" and a box of "light and crisp." 

08 July, 2009

are we there yet?

i have spent the last several days draping plastic on furniture and floor and painting the crap out of stuff. ceiling? check! walls? check! windows? sure! door frames? why not?! 

i thought i would be done today but these old curvy houses are not particularly conducive to a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am school of painting. oh not, there are corners, there are festive curlicues, there are dainty bits of craved wood on the windows. 

the result is lightheadedness, sorebackedness and an intense desire to move. 

and we're not even done yet. the newly excavated fireplace needs to be (re)tiled and i'm not even going to mention the bathroom (oops, i just did!). 

tomorrow marks the grand return of mister monkey and my hopes of presenting him with a freshly painted home might fall flat, unless i scurry home right after work and finish the living room off.

it's amazing, though, that no matter how hard this work is, and it is, 8-9h every day, i still prefer it to the psychological torture of my occasional paid labour.

i'd rather paint a dozen old-timey windows than scrape any more mouths. there is a certain zen peace to the whole procedure - the radio plays, i move my step ladder from wall to wall, paint, sigh, swear at the plastic for shifting, snap at the paint for dripping, talk back to harper whenever he makes an inane remark on the news, and then paint some more. 

perhaps this is my new career...hmmm.

06 July, 2009

moi:1 brain:0

i am sitting here computerating and goddamn, something seems to be crawling up and down my right leg. i don't see nothin' but hot dawg, there it goes again! might be another brain melt-down symptom à la peripheral cat

speaking of brain, brain and i had a little falling out recently and i finally slapped the living shit out of it with little blue sleeping pills. take that, brain! i WILL sleep, even if i have to kill liver to do it. but it's ok. my doctor gave me these pills so they must be ok. i trust my doctor. i trust that she is absolutely not in cahoots with Big Drugs and is absolutely not trying to get me hooked on smack. my doctor is nice. she wears cool shoes, and if that's not an indication of a pure soul, i don't know what is...although my mom's evil realtor friend also wore cool shoes, so there goes that theory.

hey! i finally figured out what growing up is - it is the slow and sometimes painful process of pulling your head out of your ass and i think mine has finally reached daylight.

what do you think?

oh wait, i forgot, nobody reads this. 

p.s. my tenants' tendency to cook nice smelling meals makes me ashamed of my diet of tuna sandwiches and yogurt. 

04 July, 2009

ok, then

as usual, whenever i reread my older posts i sense a terrifying, dizzying downward slide towards mental decrepitude and, worse, excruciating dullness. why oh why does it seem like the moi of yesteryear was a funnier, wittier, edgier moi? could it be the drinking? could it?

perchance it is my life - the hilarity of my fort mcmurray exile provided ample fodder for the blogosphere. here, now, my quasi-monastic metropolitan existence leaves me with little to write about. 

oh sure, i just about killed my uncle on wednesday, and then spent most of yesterday peeling gigantic chunks of paint off my ceiling, but really, do you need to hear more about my renovations? i know i certainly don't. and my uncle? well, he says he is slightly bruised but very much alive, thank god.

my limbs are still attached to my trunk, though mysterious chartreuse bruises occasionally make an appearance (i blame the endlessly shifting furniture) but that doesn't bother me much, especially in light of my absolute love for chartreuse. and i am sporting two swanky cross-shaped stigmata where my mysterious growths used to live.

so there you have it - every night i read a book, drink one glass of wine, followed shortly by another (or two), every day i scrape/paint/sweep/sand and occasionally go to work. what is there to write about? no boss to engender a murderous rage, no co-workers to feature prominently in blood-soaked fantasies of revenge, not even a town filled with dodge ram driving escaped lobotomy patients. the problem is i live in a little island of sanity in alberta...except of course for that shouting twitching crazy man on the corner tonight. 

i'm just


good night.