29 November, 2009

merry holidays

isn't it grand? it's that time of year wherein companies turn themselves inside out so as not to offend any religious minority when sending out invites to "nondenominational festive winter dinners." what's really cute is that these very companies are run, for the most part, by fundamentalist christian american warlords. merry december to y'all.



as we all know, this is the time of year when we celebrate the birth of rudolph who overcame years of teenage unpopularity and nasal acne to become enslaved by santa and his amazing technicolour dreamboat...or something. i think there was roast lamb, and camel-riding ninja kings who brought take-out, and perhaps there was some mention of mary, the donkey vaulter extraordinaire.



right.



friday and saturday we had festive holiday dinners with mister monkey's company. free drinks were hoovered, free food eaten, people chatted with and dangly earrings worn. i even flatironed my hair.

i managed not to throw my wine in the face of redneck hummer-driving texans which, to me, is always an unmitigated social success. even more spectacularly, i managed not to get smashed and ruin mister monkey's future career prospects. i talked little beby jebus to the christians, hugged trees with the druids, and smoked up with the stoners - my chameleon-like superpower to be all things to all people came in handy yet again.

in other news, i secretly bought a sweater i don't need (on account of getting rid of heaps of clothing in the last year) plus a facial balm that smells like expensive old lady perfume, so if you see me, let's please not mention the fact that my face smells like an octogenarian dowager, ok? ok.

over and out.

25 November, 2009

duh duh and a bottle of rum

1. mister monkey forbade me going out and getting more liquor "until we finish what's there." oddly enough, i went along with this inanity for weeks before realising that "what's there" is a bar, and a bar should always be stocked with a mouthwatering variety of drinkies, not treated like a fridge filled with various slightly moldy edibles. so i went out and i stocked up.

2. mister monkey was taking his vitamins and i wanted in on it, so i asked for one.

mr.m: but it's the cute enzyme 10! it's for my heart, you don't need it.
moi: it's also for youthfulness.
mr. monkey (accidentally having poured a whole hill of CQ10 into his palm, looks up at me, looks at the pills, looks up at me): have a lot.

bastard.

3. so far, i like the rain but let's talk in 2 months.

4. i have thus far handed out resumes to most of nanaimo and the surrounding towns, and for the most part been given not an ounce of hope. yesterday i got a call from a dentist who gratuated with me. he also dated my friend. did he have a job to offer me? no. why did he call? because he couldn't quite remember who i was. did the call help? i doubt it. but, hey, thanks for getting my hopes up, and just so you know, my friend thought you were an idiot.

5. today i shall attempt to perfect my cannelloni which, if i do say so myself, is pretty close to perfect already but i will add bechamel sauce. jealous? you ought to be.

21 November, 2009

nurse, we need 10 cc's of plasma and a bucket of bile, stat

mister monkey has a co-worker who is currently employed on the same island project, but whose wife continues to reside, along with their offspring, in boyle, alberta.

boyle, for those of you not on intimate terms with the northern alberta landscape, is a town whose name is an apt description of its state of being - nothing that couldn't be cured with an aggressive course of antibiotics and a thorough lancing. it is a small, nondescript hamlet on the highway between edmonton and fort mcmurray, and it is rife with pulp mill fumes and john deere trucks.

the town does have an obligatory chinese restaurant, this one named hooters. i presume that the reason the eponymous international chain of burgers'n breasts hasn't swooped in to launch a legal assault on this humble establishment, is similar to the reason why a horde of bloodthirsty mcdonald's lawyers have failed to sue every lonely goatherd who sells kabobs from his yurt in northern mongolia under the moniker "mcnuggets" - there's little fear of either being mistaken for the real deal.

boyle's hooters serves mediocre chinese food and mediocre western food, both deep fried, their only distinction, the former being doused in bright red phlegm sauce, the latter in lumpy sodium-laced gravy - in a word: delicious! there are no hot busty chicks working there, most of them having presumably given up the small town charms of boyle for the promise of the bright lights big city stripper establishments of fort mac. and hurray to them.

my point, as i do indeed have one, is this: what woman leaves her husband to go forth and work in paradise while she stays in a place aptly named after a epidermal condition? i followed mister monkey TO fort mac, while she refuses to follow her mister to vancouver island? what sort of madness is this? is her wednesday bridge club so beguiling? is it her lovely split level with discount laminate flooring and a bay window? is it the promise that lies at the end of the curving highway? what in the fuck would cause a woman to stay when the alternative is so damn palatable?

any ideas? feel free to ignore me in the comments section. bonus points if you tell me your word verification and make up a definition, just because it's fun, and fun is what i am all about, motherfuckers!

20 November, 2009

i am a one woman smack-down!

remember that worry i have? of dying* from something entirely stupid and preventable? turns out it's completely justified!

last night i left work in the pouring rain, which, as it happens, has nothing to do with the story, but sets the mood admirably, no? i walked to my parked car, fumbled with the bags of stuff in my hands while attempting to unlock the door and, as i went to get in, smacked myself in the face with my lunch bag filled with not one but two heavy glass containers. i now have a welt on my cheekbone and strangers shoot me sympathetic glances (well, they ought to but haven't since i am still sitting on the couch in my bathrobe, surfing instead of breaking fast or working out or any of the number of things i ought to be doing but am not on account of being a battered lump of low self esteem.)


* i know i have written about this at length elsewhere in this blog and i did my utmost just now to find it and link to it for any poultries-come-lately but no luck. recap: although i am a dental hygienist who routinely pokes sharp pointed instruments into the unarmed delicate mucous membranes of the general public and who does it well, i am a gobsmacked klutz when it comes to slicing my hands with kitchen knives, getting deep cardboard cuts and tripping on perfectly smooth surfaces which will one day finish me off in a ridiculously embarrassing way. now you know.

18 November, 2009

self esteem is for losers

have you heard about this "homework ban" wherein the family of children too overwhelmed by the high stress world of...ahem...existence negotiates with the school to ban homework altogether?

pity the little ones - homework! from school! every day! what can they be thinking, those inhuman monsters some like to call teachers? surely it is WRONG and worse than that, surely it is Detrimental To The Children's Self-Esteem! and god knows, anything that even remotely deteriorates one's self esteem is the product of satan, no two ways about it.

frankly, i am seriously thinking of suing my parents, the edmonton catholic school board and the government of canada for good measure, for all the years in which i did homework, homework that destroyed me, injured my brain, irretrievably took away the time i could have spent playing pacman or reading teen fashion magazines, time, in short, that could have given me a stronger sense of myself, thus Improving My Self-Esteem. 

i'd especially like to sue my parents for allowing me to read well before grade 1 thus depriving me of at least several years of blissfully sweet ignorance, for pushing me to Excel Academically, for expecting Results, for demanding Attendance and, horror of horrors, rewarding me for Making The Honour Roll. what cruel fate to have landed me with parents whose primary motivation was for me to Succeed in School, rather than massaging my trembling self esteem like a kobe beef, hoping that one day i too could be a puffed up loser with a tremendous sense of self importance which, as we all know, is the true measure of success.

grrr.


09 November, 2009

this is your brain on cake

i suspect that sometime in the last few years i might have suffered a series of mini strokes which have left my vocabulary seriously stunted. i mean, i always have had trouble with one or two words (i now have a separate file on my computer called "fennel" because i am never able to remember the bloody bastard's name*) but it seems to be spreading.

this is especially frustrating when i am in the throes of a particularly pungent post and am in need of keeping the flow, but get stumped on what i know is a basic word. mister monkey is of no help whatsoever. often this degenerates into a very poor game of charades:

moi (frustrated, much flapping of arms): i need a word! i can't think of it! it's like when you're watching a scary film and you don't know what happens next!!!
mr. monkey:...
moi: HELP ME!!!
mr. monkey: fearful! scared! anxious! pineapple!
moi: i need a FUCKING NOUN!
mr. monkey: horror?
moi: AAAARRRRGHHHHHHH!

for the record - the word is suspense. 

and don't tell me to look it up, because the minute i try to thesaurize similar words, my mind goes blank and i can barely conjugate the verb to be.

could it possibly be The Drink? or is it part of that little game brain plays with itself called "Not Only Were You Skinnier And Better Looking In The Past, You Were Also Way Funnier And More Intelligent," a game designed to make you feel bad about your current downfall while retaining some shred of pride in the glory of the past, no matter how delusional all this might be.



*not that i talk about fennel a lot, but it is frustrating, especially when explaining it to non-foodies who look at you funny when you say "it looks like a cross between kohlrabi and fresh dill fronds but tastes like anise"

08 November, 2009

so like, yeah, all professional and shit

dearest poultries, i have gotten my papers and will henceforth be legally allowed to practice my twinkie debridement skills in the province of british columbia. my first reaction to this glorious event was several hours of hyperventilation followed by nausea and panic. yes, i am THAT happy to go back to work. 

fort mac, you malodorous bastard, when i arrived i was happy to be a dental type person. when i left, a scarred, twitching, quivering shell of my former self, the thought of teeth made me throw up a little in my mouth. thanks a lot, you goddamn prick, you have taken away whatever shred of professional dignity i might have had. now i must get over the fear and panic, remember that not every office is a den of backstabbing retardation and machiavellian machinations in a key of duh, that there are indeed places that, unlike my last place of employment, will respect what i can bring to them and allow me to do my fucking job. hopefully crying on my way home every day will also be optional.

rant over. sort of.

as i was editing my cover letter i was struck by how ridiculous all this cover letter bullshit is. i mean, anyone, barely simian, single-digit IQ, the work ethic of homer simpson, can write herself a glowing cover letter, one that would read exactly as inane and dull as my own and who's gonna know?

moi: listen, "i come to you with a positive attitude and excellent interpersonal skills" sucks!
mr. monkey: well, tweak it a bit then. make it better.
moi: but that's the thing - what can i tweak? it's all true!
mr. monkey: ...
moi: well, okay, except for the positive attitude part.

cleansed in the blood of the lamb, and other plumbing horrors

my little poultries, i have married an innocent in the ways of the lord. listen and marvel:

we were watching a show last week, wherein a character led the congregation of a church in a rousing rendition of "cleansed in the blood of the lamb." when these particular words of the hymn were sung mister monkey turned to me with an incredulous smile on his face and asked if they were serious or if this was some crrrrazy shenanigan cooked up by the writers of the program. he honestly had no idea that people in church routinely sing such grotesque hymns and think absolutely nothing of bathing in the bodily fluids of small furry ruminants. 

they say that when you have a child, you see the wonder of the world anew with the eyes of your babe, amazed at a rainbow, awed by the sparkle of sunlight on soap bubbles, (supply other nauseatingly hallmark-inspired moments of wonder, because i feel my dinner starting to clamour in my gut). i need no child. i have mister monkey. a man completely bereft of any kind of religious education. a man who might have heard passing mention of christ*, but whose attempts to cross himself are as guaranteed to produce hearty guffaws as his attempts to speak french and who knows not one single bible story. 

in short, the very ridiculous nature of organized religion is shown anew to me, through mister monkey's eyes. having grown up semi-catholic, and having spent a goodly portion of my teenage years NOT smoking, NOT fornicating, NOT drinking and NOT doing any of the things my parents hoped i'd eventually get around to just to prove i was not in the clutches of some kool-aid cult, the religious language is second nature to me. i have heard about the cleansing power of ovine plasma so many times that i hardly hear the literal beyond the metaphorical. 

mister monkey has opened my eyes. no more showers of sheep! hurray for atheism!


*"jesus fucking christ-on-a-stick" is a particular favourite of mine, though i don't know if blaspheming counts as spreading the name of the lord to that infidel husband of mine.

07 November, 2009

sir david attenborough has left the room

mister monkey, out testing his newly refurbished bike, ran in and told me there were two male deer fighting next door. 

by the time i got there, they'd stopped butting heads but kept eyeing each other like a couple of drunk skinheads armed with broken beer bottles in some back alley. every once in a while they'd issue a threatening bleat that sounded almost exactly like the kind of pre-diarrheal fart that has you checking your pants. 

you learn something new every day. nature, i salute you!

05 November, 2009

pffft!

alright, alright already. 

you've made me see the error of my superficial attention- and approval-seeking ways. you've made me realise that living solely for my...ahem...Art is the loftiest of goals. that gnawing on dried rusks in a garret somewhere in nanaimo and drinking heavily watered wine (when i can get it) is the preferable option to actually being read.

the general gnashing of teeth and the rending of garments and the pouring of ashes on assorted foreheads has softened my cold materialistic heart and for all those who have written (literally single digits!), i shall continue. 

maybe.

funny though, how my heart-rending word picture of lonely little old me speaking to an empty room failed to elicit any sort of emotional response other than disgust at my frivolous desire for an actual audience. 

oh well, you may be jerks and there may only be 4 of you, but you're my jerks and i wouldn't trade you for a hundred blog-reading commenters...oh wait, i would. in a heartbeat! cause i am THAT shallow. 

04 November, 2009

and another thing

you know, i am this close to giving up on this blog thing here. you wanna know why?

i read blogs, blogs written by intelligent women with interesting (sometimes disastrous) lives. and their blogs are good.  i wonder, is mine as good? well, its merits (or lack thereof) can be debated, as can the increasing tendency to talk at length about food preservation. but i ain't bad. not really. 

so what's my problem? my problem is that to their dozens (or more) comments on every post, i get one comment every dozen of posts or so. if i'm lucky. and i feel like i am standing at a lectern, with my overhead projector humming gently in the background, my transparencies ready, my notes nicely organized in front of me, and as i start my talk, there is no one there. nobody. dust motes dance hypnotically in the light, the janitor pokes his head in to look curiously at the crazy lady delivering a lecture to an empty room, then moves on with the industrial floor polisher, and i drone on.

so perhaps there is that deep seated need to blather at length about all sorts of things that this is a wicked cool medium for, but frankly i can just start to update my facebook status on an hourly basis - i get way more feedback there, and feedback makes me feel like someone likes what i do. otherwise why lie awake all night trying to come up with the perfect turn of phrase for some ridiculous thing i'd seen earlier that day? (well, that is a waste of time, seeing as i never write it down and have rarely been able to emulate in the daytime my nocturnal verbal profligacy) 

but anyhow, this isn't a threat, this isn't anything really, but if i really only have 4 readers, then i might as well shut up as these are people i routinely talk with in real time, and what the hell is the point?

ok. last call for lurkers, or this thing just might just slink off into a dusty corner and jab itself repeatedly in the eye with a pointy stick.

hello? 

anyone?

anyone?




yeah...i thought so.

sauerkraut or bust

the homemade sauerkraut, in case you've been gnawing bits of yourself in wild suspense, turned out fucking delicious! it's lovely how salt+veg+time=production of lactic acid and non specific healthiness and yumminess.

it's too bad north america is so bloody dumb about food. (no, i won't go on a rant again. i promise, but you know what i'm thinking!...ok, maybe just a little rant. a rantlet, if you will.)

they look at fermented foods and giggle nervously, they make fart jokes in the presence of sauerkraut (don't get me started on how using the german word does absolutely nothing to improve this lovely beast's culinary cred - choucroute you'd eat, non? sauerkraut? nein! eh! we call it kapusta kiszona, which just rolls off the tongue, don't it?), they turn up their noses at the vermilion glory that is kim chi, they think pickles require vinegar and that sour milk is a bad thing.

north america, get your head out of your overpackaged, overprocessed ass, and go ferment something! git!

03 November, 2009

mr. & mrs. monkey, circa 2040

this morning, in a walk-in clinic waiting room



ancient and wrinkled husband: grumble grumble mumble mummummble grum grum.

ancient and wrinkled wife: huh?

aawh: grumble grumble mumble mummummble grum grum!

aaww: what?

aawh: GRUMBLE GRumble mumble mummummble grum GRUM!

aaww: i can't hear what you are saying. *turns away*

aawh: grumble grumble mumble mummummble grum grum.

aaww: ah.

i suspect she still didn't know what he was saying but got tired of the ridiculously low tones that managed to simultaneously lacerate my eardrums, reset my cardiac rhythm and shatter all the urine sample receptacles while remaining completely incomprehensible to any species outside of bats.

grrl power in pink

highlight of my day yesterday:

as i walked by an elementary school, i saw a little girl, no more than 5 or 6, standing outside the chain-link fence. she was dressed entirely in pink except for tiny black patent leather mary janes: pink tights, frilly pink skirt, pink jacket and a billowing pink organza ribbon on her ponytail. 

she hoisted a rubber boot that someone had apparently thrown over the fence, chucked it back over in one fluid motion, executed what looked like a series of ninja stretches, pulled her skirt down and started to climb. the fence was easily 1.5m tall but what's that to a pink ninja grrl?

02 November, 2009

anybody want a peanut?

where: the shoppers drug mart at the corner of commercial and broadway

when: late enough in the day that "it was early" could not be used as an excuse; early enough that the opposite would have failed just as miserably in explaining our behaviour. we were sober. 

why: mister monkey and i, in anticipation of frequent weekend jaunts into vancouver, decided to purchase a couple of transit ticket books. easy, no? no.



moi: (brightly) hi, do you buy...gobble gobble mugglbrk...*smacks self on forehead*...let's try that again... *points at mister monkey in desperation*

mr. monkey: (brightly) hi, do you sell traffic tickets?

moi: (red faced) he meant transit tickets! transit tickets! for the vancouver transit! in a little book! two of them!

mr. monkey: we're not from around here. we're from alberta. that's why we're like this.

no, i shall not. no, i shan't. will not. nope. fuck off.

today i decided (haphazardly) that i will neither go for a run nor exercise with old fat curvaceous ladies, but will spend the morning making more plum butter and reading blogs, followed by some amount of Getting Things Done when the guilt becomes unbearable.

screw you, jelly belly! up yours, raging wind! fuck your bum, feelings of accomplishment!

today i say NO!

truffle pig, weekend edition

we spent the weekend in vancouver, forcing girlie drinks down g's throat and eating vast quantities of crunchy delicious homemade tofu fingers dipped in polish mayonnaise. it was fun. on saturday, we went on a truffle and wine tour. it started way too early and i did the one thing that is guaranteed to make sure your day rocks - i rued the moment i decided to say yes to a tour that began at 8:30 am and bitched heartily (though internally, for a change) at the very idea of losing my saturday to a scheduled event. i'm serious, the best way to have a great time is to think you're going to have a rotten time. it works every damn time. ah, the joy of low expectations!

so, did you know they grow truffles in canada? yup. they do. we expected walks through mature oak groves with leashed pigs (well, i did, anyhow) but ended up standing around wee little tiny hazelnutlings and oaklings. there were no pigs, but there were dogs and kittens. and interesting people who love mushrooms. a lot. everyone was really really nice, except for the pompous old bastard with furry ears whom we promptly renamed myco-cilia. the mushroom community obviously rocks.

after the tour, we went out to eat (and drink) to prep ourselves for the afternoon wine tour and tasting. lunch was delicious. you all know how sick and tired i am of fancy dining which typically translates to a large white plate with artful chive weavings, julienned roasted pigs ear and puree of caramelized gristle drizzled with a reduction of cauliflower jus. not this place, my friends. the food was fancy but flavourful, though tall.

while perusing the menu, mister monkey asked me how to pronounce boeuf bourguignon, and much hilarity ensued. i swear, i want to take this man to france just to listen to him butcher the language. the fun never ends. we drank two bottles of wine (6 of us), ate a multi-course meal, took a tour of a winery and scowled at the bastards who poured their left-over wine into the spittoon.

then we drove along the american border and hurled insults down south (only at the republicans, my poultries, only at the republicans).

THEN we checked out the lululemon warehouse. it is a great and wondrous place, provided you are a diminutive yoga diva who wears size 0. or a topless fanatic who eschews clothing waist-up. neither of which is moi, so i walked away empty handed, soul aching from the broken expectations.

that night we slept in our very own new westminster condo which is currently in between tenants. the inflatable mattresses were marginally better than sleeping directly on the floor but watching the tug boats on the river all morning made it all worthwhile. i love our place. i cannot wait to live there and have you over and cook you stuff. really. especially after we rip out the wall to wall bacterial infestation that they call carpeting.

it was a weekend of much giggling. let's do it again!