why is it that the very act of contemplating any kind of dietary restrictions makes me crave cake? sweet, sweet cake...oh cake, how i adore thee, dream of thee, long to gently crumble thee in my dentition, oh cake, you weaken me and make me a lesser woman, and still i love thee, cake!
(pms? is that you knocking?)
i tell you, if it wasn't for the silliness of the penis, i'd totally vote to be a man in my next life, but who the hell wants to have his reproductive organs swinging goofily in between one's legs? that's just nuts!
we're doing not too badly, if i do say so myself, although i tend to just check the score after the fact. all this watching of sporting events is taking years off my life. i cannot handle the stress. in fact, if in some bizarre way i ended up in an olympic event in an actual active capacity (snarf!), i can totally visualise myself quivering in a corner on account of the nerves. that, in a nutshell, is the reason i am not an olympic athlete. well, that, coupled with a wholehearted laziness and a supreme lack of skill, speed, coordination and strength or any musculature to speak of.
so, on we go. we are not owning the podium (except in the real estate sense) but neither are the people who think they are. here, without permission, is yesterday's medals per million recap of the situation by an acquaintance of mine. read it and weep:
as far as slogans go, this is a good one. after all, if we end up failing to even come close,* we can always shrug and say we meant it in the real estate sense. cause, like, we totally own the podium, right? it's ours. all the way. even if we rarely get to actually stand on it.
yeah. that's all i'm going to say. i will say nothing about the speed skating brothers. i will say even less about the women's skeleton. i will definitely think about fuzzy kittens if i am even tempted to consider thinking about the possibility of having hockey cross my mind. in fact, i will shut the fuck up about it all, and think about nice podium ownership. or curling.
we spent the weekend meandering around vancouver. for those who live far away and were unable to make it, do you want to know what the olympics are like? imagine a huge crowd of people in various shades of red, all yelling. a lot. plus there was lots of cowbell. and a guy in spandex being pulled down robson on skis, shooting sparks and being really rather charming. and then the yelling. did i mention the crowds? or the yelling? hey! let me tell you about how loudly all those people seemed to yell.
our skytrain trip home (around 1am) was an olympic event in itself. the train was so full that for the most part i found myself standing not on my feet, but on toenails, various bunions and whatever bit of moi i could manage to support myself on. in fact it was so crowded, that if it turns out later i am pregnant, i will not be at all surprised. there was a victorian youth** mooing intermittently, and in short order we found ourselves mooing as one, the whole wagon. it was very moving, mooing in unison with the possible fathers of my possible incipient baby. despite the extreme crowding, and the united yell of "wait for the next train!!!" every time the doors opened and someone attempted to get on, the atmosphere was genial and fun. unless you were my bunions.
hockey: i am relinquishing any medallic hopes. and i will no longer watch hockey. ever. if you see me watching hockey, come over and kick me in the head. the end result will be identical, and you will have saved me an hour and a half of my life: time in which i could conceivably write the prologue to a brilliant novel, or a ballad, or a limerick, or even stare at a computer screen blankly, all of which would be a far more productive use of my time.
olympics: loud crowds in red. lots of inconvenient fences. kick-ass transit ridership. and of course, owning the podium...right.***
*which, yes, is sadly the case. we even fail to bring home the bronze in medal count.
**meaning a youth from victoria, not a time traveller in funny britches and dickensian hair.
***just so you know, this isn't so much bitching, as much as the words of a heartbroken woman. it's awful seeing someone who's trained so hard, and given so much of their time and effort, only to come in fifth, or seventh, or get disqualified on a technicality. i'm far too soft for this business. besides, the US win every time so what's the point of even showing up?
one of the reasons i've been in a funk (at first i thought it was pre PMS, then PMS, then MS and now we're moving into distinctly post MS territory, so i may as well face it - i'm a wee bit depressed) is that i've been exercising with (for moi) astonishing regularity, and all i've been doing since leaving the northern hellhole of fort mac, is putting on weight. it isn't really a galloping weight gain, more of a creeping, sneaking, looking around and whistling while moving in on me, weight gain, but it's depressing the shit out of me.
thank god that muumuus seem to be making a comeback. if not for the batwing floppy top i'd be screwed. as it is, our foray into the world of nanaimo culture (joni mitchell's "the fiddle and the drum" ballet) had me creeping against the walls in the horrifying realisation that i have a fat lumpy back. i have never had a fat lumpy back before. let me tell you - i do not like it.
i work out with perfectly coiffed old ladies 2-3 times a week. i walk uphill (both ways) on a semi-regular basis. i even try to limit my wine consumption (i know!). alas and alack, we have an astounding (and by astounding i mean satanically unequivocally evil) number of stellar (and by stellar i mean malevolently flagitiously heinous) bakeries that make truly delicious (and by delicious i mean...hell, you look it up; i'm running out of synonyms for "of the general vicinity of gehenna") bread.
while i can easily say no to wonderbread* or what passes for baguettes in most grocery stores, i cannot so easily walk away from a sourdough made from a real sourdough starter, or a double baked german rye whose crust requires the use of one's full uninterrupted dentition. nor, it seems, can i say no to creme brulee. but then again, i never could. i think it would make me less than human if i did. after all, come on - creme brulee, you know?
so, what to do? and how is it that while i always figured moving away from fort mac would result in me sleeping better (it did! it did!), looking better (meh.) and losing a tonne of weight from the sheer joy of it, the results have been, well, the reverse of the expected, frankly. is it because in fort mac i was so very worried about mr. monkey that i fed him vast quivering gobs of vegetable matter and now i figure the balmy air of bc is nutritious enough? because, my little poultries, if you eat the recommended 10 servings** of veg and fruit, you'll have precious little room for other stuff, like cake...oh cake....
this age-related metabolic slow down thing really really sucks.
so. keep checking on me, willya? call me names. being cheerfully called chubster mcfatty would likely do wonders for the rate of my cake consumption. missy backbacon ought to work as well. and i suspect that you can come up with some good ones yourselves. so go to town, my little poultries, mama's got to lose this gut!
my faithful audience (all 4 of you), thank you for listening.
*good lord, why, america? why? just answer me that one thing and i'll let you off the hook on all the messing about you've been doing on the political world stage. it's almost better than the crime against humanity that is wonderbread. gack.
** yeah, yeah, i know, the official number is 4-5 servings, but i'm with the health nuts on this one. at least theoretically.
one thing's for certain - i'll never be an international woman of mystery. The Mouth gets in the way. as i enter the last bit of my thirties, i am coming to terms with the fact that i am me, and being me means having The Mouth.
my first memory of The Mouth goes waaay back. we were in new york city, and my parents' taciturn friend had taken me to a baseball game. don't ask which of the two stadiums, i cannot remember. i don't know what lottery he won to be taking an eleven year old girl to a sporting event in which neither of us had any interest, but i clearly recall the fact that once i started to talk, i did not stop for the duration of the admittedly lengthy event. i talked to him. i talked to the people around us. i talked and talked and talked. years have come and gone, and The Mouth has not stopped.
you may meet me in the dental chair, you may meet me on the bus, you may meet me pretty much anywhere at all, and within minutes you will be privy to all kinds of information about me. you will know my political and religious beliefs in astounding detail; you will know who i am, where i come from, and how confused i am about where it is that i am going; you will likely get some pretty disturbing particulars about my most recent run-in with the medical profession; you will likely know more about me than you know about people you have known intimately for years. such is the nature of The Mouth.
and so, in the last few years, in the name of embracing the self, i am slowly making my peace with the fact that i will never have an alluring aura of mystery, that it will never be said of me "what is that woman thinking?", that i will never be referred to as an enigma. all this can be blamed on the force of nature that is The Mouth.
yesterday i took an early morning ferry to the city of van, where i had Important Things To Accomplish. firstly, after ferrying, busing and sky-training it to my destination, i picked up an official translation of our marriage certificate wherein my maiden name is misspelled (never noticed, in all these years). secondly, i stopped for a quick lunch at a corner tandoori place that looks like crap but produces tasty and cheap indian edibles, and finally hoofed it to the polish consulate. only to be stopped at the door by their hours.
the polish consulate hours, my little poultries, make bankers' hours look like slave labour. some days they sweat chained to their desks from 10-1. on alternate days, they slave away from 1-5. it breaks my heart, truly, to see compatriots of mine in such horrific working conditions. where's the UN when you need them? or whoever deals with such blatant disregard for human rights.
so i managed to get in by the skin of my teeth (actually by the generosity of a tall handsome polish man who let me in with his very own key when he heard my sob story of coming all this way from nanaimo) only to be told by the chilly* bureaucratic babe that they have little interest in the thing i had translated. that my actual and real marriage certificate can be had only from the bureau of vital statistics and that this thing i had brought her was worth no more than a blue ribbon in marriage from the 4H club. oh. ok, then.
i spent the rest of my time in vancouver listlessly shopping for clothes and shoes, thankfully buying nothing,** feeling cold, damp and depressed, fomenting vague feelings of hopelessness, frustration and disappointment. but that's glorious stuff for another uplifting post. if i can be bothered.
the trip was salvaged from total loss by my meeting two women, both of whom gave me career and/or life advice and their business cards. one of them, on the way into vancouver, suggested wine tourism as a possible career choice for a mouthy lush (that's not how she put it, but we all know the truth), the other talked with me about editing, books and movies and life and made the trip back fly by.
and so it goes. this weekend we shall go off to the lofty climes of victoria, where we will be given a bed and a breakfast, and go out for high tea with the queen. then we will return to nanaimo and i shall be faced with reality. good lord, wish me luck, wouldya?
*of course she was chilly: i had made her stay 5 minutes over the doubtlessly exhausting regulation 4 hours of hard, sweaty desk duty.
**shopping is a residual fun activity from my old days of consumerist pigdom, made that much better if i actually buy nothing at all because as you all know i want nothing and get mad if i get given stuff. i try on clothes and breathe a sigh of relief if they look like crap. and yes, i know, why do it at all, but it was a cold, grey, damp, unpleasant day, and i needed a distraction from the utter loss of not only this day, but of the last few years of my life. so there.
i am listening to cbc's Q. jian ghomeshi is interviewing julie powell, the author of julie and julia.
what has just come out of her mouth is "eric and i's marriage." excuse me? you call yourself an author? eric and i's marriage? really? what in the name of fuck is that particular grammatical malfeasance all about? woman! go to your room without supper!
i will now go for a long walk, breathe deeply in and out, and hopefully come around from this momentary desire to blow shit up.
who stole the "e" from blonde? since when is specifying the feminine considered sexist or rude? what in the hell is up with that, my little poultries? i think that if i see another woman described as a blond, i shall scream. and ladies, being called an actress instead of an actor is neither sexist nor offensive, it is a description of a job, no more, no less.
come on. we've already turned the chairman into a chair, thus depriving the term not only of gender but of actual humanity (i shall NOT be a piece of furniture. i refuse to!) all in the name of some ridiculous sense of linguistic equal opportunity.
guess what, we are not the same. some of us have breasts and vaginas. some have penises. and some have confusing permutations of the above. but we are not the same and thus should not be offended by being named - man, woman, other. after all, if i have a child, by extension of this ridiculous trend, i should be called its parent; should we entirely do away with the terms mother and father as they could be seen as offensive, sexist and limiting?
all this is dumb and does little to alleviate actual real inequalities in pay, workload and political opportunities. so can we focus on the practical and quit murdering the language? please? thank you.
that thursday, jerry's horoscope warned him that "strange things will happen today." jerry continued with his raisin bran and smirked. jerry always read the horoscope during breakfast, and he always smirked.
jerry smirked at horoscopes, jerry invited black cats to cross his path (having specifically adopted three black kittens several years back), jerry opened his umbrella indoors (much to the consternation of fluffy, muffy and buffy), and the only thing that kept him from walking under ladders was healthy common sense.
jerry liked to think of himself as a no-nonsense kind of guy and that's pretty much how he was viewed by the world at large.
and so it came to pass, that as jerry drove to work that thursday, taking his usual route, he was abducted by aliens.
i invented a salad for lunch that was so very very good that i just had to share it with you. here goes:
1 fennel bulb, washed, trimmed, halved then sliced very thinly
1 generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, washed and dried and torn off the stems
1 orange, peeled, halved and sliced thinly (fancy people would take off the pith but i couldn't be bothered)
a bit of feta, crumbled (don't ask me how much, it was a bit)
a handful of walnuts (toasted if you remember, i was far too hungry)
a splash of nice olive oil
a squirt of lemon or lime (i used lime)
some salt, fresh ground pepper to taste
toss, sit, eat, sigh with contentment.
this tastes way better than it has any right to and took advantage of everything that was currently sitting in my fridge, looking forlorn. i suspect some pomegranate would have done rather nicely there, too, in the colour department, alas i had no forlorn pomegranate. no get thee to the greengrocer's and make this thing!
it went well. i did not get drunk and dance the fandango (what in the hell is the fandango? could i even dance it if i were so inclined? does it require a set of skills outside my scope of practice? does it ask that the dancer touch her elbows to her arse? are there flaming swords involved? why do i not know this? why?), the food all turned out although the greens were a tad overcooked on account of ex-boss getting lost and having to face off with some deer on his way to our place, and, most importantly, i expressly did not mention fecal-centric sex acts, although sex acts were mentioned and not by me. that'd be ex-boss. boss from texas is far too tame, though he did, at one point, demonstrate how a gorilla walks. apparently i was doing it all wrong.*
the evening was a raging success - the foodie asked for seconds, the non-foodie ate everything on his plate in a slow and methodical way that put our sow-like scarfling to shame, and everyone had a lovely time. if mr. monkey fails to get a promotion, ** he cannot blame me at all.
*as part of my tough grrrl self preservation technique, i walk like a gorilla when walking alone after dark. it's supposed to say to possible assailants that i am tough, fierce and really like bananas, all of which causes them to have second thoughts, cause have you ever smelled banana breath? dude, it's as bad as coffee and almost as bad as cheese.
**mr. monkey would kill me if i got him a promotion. he's discovering as the years roll on, that he has little interest in a Career, Networking For Success, or Climbing Corporate Ladders. i suspect he'd be really happy making pottery and most likely good at it. he's got that patience thing going, and a natural kindness to clay.***
***no, i don't know what i'm talking about. but it sounded good. come on, admit it!
you know that flintstones episode where fred neglects to tell wilma that he invited the boss home for dinner? or maybe it wasn't the flintstones, maybe it was some random sit-com from the early 80's. who knows. the thing is, how did those marriages survive? i mean, really? when it is quite possible that when mr. monkey comes home i may be entirely pantless, or sporting a fetching charcoal mask on my face, or sitting in the toilet with the door WIDE open, he'd better not be bringing the boss home. except today he is bringing the boss home. but he told me about it. gave me plenty of warning and all, so we're good.
we went hiking (and falling in vast quantities of cold mud) with said boss last weekend and had a blast, so... i guess it's time to clean up the house, wash my mouth out with soap, and start cooking. boss, i am told, eats very little. mainly he snacks on crumbs from rice cakes and whatever krill might be floating in the air, so i guess he'll be overwhelmed by our pig-themed feast of plenty. then again, after our hike, he picked up a sandwich that had fallen, filling-down, into the muddy ground, picked off the bigger wood chips, and ateit. gotta love a man like that.
visiting ex-boss will also be making an appearance. this man is an avid foodie with an eye-twitch, so you can well imagine we get along famously, although he is occasionally floored by my excessive use of the word "fuck". i'm guessing his is the "oh my gosh" kind of family and i...well, i will stick a needle in my eye before uttering that particular obscenity. oh my gosh, indeed.
wish me luck, my little poultries. let's hope i don't ruin mr. monkey's career with some random reference to a fecal-centric sex act or whatnot. after all, the man is from texas.
last night was not, in any way, shape or form, sleepless. it can be honestly classified as sleepful. gloriously, supremely sleepful. the dream i started out with featured a caribbean island, privately owned by a family with whom i first shared the boat, then the mansion, the wine, the bicycles through the vineyards etc, etc. all in all, what better way to spend the night? they had several good looking sons as well, the best looking of whom kept catching my eye, but even in my dream i knew that i just don't like'em quite that pretty. there were dinners, parties, swimming and all kinds of fun to be had underneath the palmtrees.
then, as i was in the hydrotherapy room of a spa, i suddenly and unaccountably gave birth. yet another baby dream. oh Brain, i do wish you'd either stop with these baby dreams, or put the desire into my waking time. otherwise i'm just not going to do it. how can i trust you, Brain, when not two nights ago i dreamed that i surprised my grandma getting it on with some elderly gentleman? huh? that's just not right!
alas, the baby girl was gorgeous if hirsute, i loved her immensely, but still could not make up my mind whether or not to keep her,* so off we went, looking for mr. monkey to be the final arbiter (yes, it's not fair, and yes, i do tend to do that in real life as well). in the meantime dream daughter grew up to about 6 years old, wore a white taffeta dress covered in large orange polka dots, behaved impeccably and held my hand in the hotel lobby while we went searching for daddy. daddy appeared, approved, and then i woke up. keep in mind, while smiling to yourself through the pink haze of this nighttime tale, that no diapers were changed, no temper tantrums experienced and no night-time feedings administered during the making of this film. so there you go.
the thing that continues to perplex and amaze me, is the breathtaking emotional verisimilitude of my baby dreams. i have not ever loved a child of mine, on account of having never had a child, and yet, in my dreams, the love i feel for the little critter Brain has cooked up for me, goes beyond any type of love i have ever experienced. it is intense, deep and endless. it is, in fact, precisely the kind of love parents describe having for their children. and i wonder, where does Brain get it from? is there a tickle trunk in our soul somewhere which holds all the possible emotions we are ever likely to need during the course of our life, a tickle trunk in which , in my case, maternal feelings languish unused and dusty, until shaken free of the mothballs by that trickster, Night Brain?
*the keeping or not keeping thing had nothing to do with adoption. i seemed to think that if i decided not to keep her, she'd simply go back...ahem...inside, and then become smaller and smaller until she ceased to exist at all, an idea many parents have fantasized about at some point, i am told.