30 June, 2010

promoted and shit!

i came home last week bursting with the good news that i had gotten a promotion at the bookstore where i volunteer. apparently, because of the stellar job i am doing in running the canadiana section, they are offering me the position of back-up supervisor, which means that if another supervisor is unable to make it, i would work in the store, supervise the staff (WORK, BITCHES! WORK!!!), and then lock it all up. and get paid! considering how much i love the bookstore, this is a fantastic thing. but before you get too excited about what an amazing, smart and cool person i am (oh, go ahead, get a little excited), let me be frank:

yes, i am a shining star at the bookstore, but mainly because the majority of the volunteers are elderly, frail or have developmental issues. we're talking people who are unable to work for a living for a variety of reasons. hell yeah, i'm a shining star. who wouldn't be?

but still, i am happy. a back-up supervisor! can you believe it?

i'd like to thank my parents, mr. monkey, the baby lord jebus, and my beloved high school english teacher, for bringing me thus far.

and speaking of courage...

yesterday was a good day, which is surprising because it included a stranger sticking her finger in my bum, and not in any sort of sexy way.* normally i would not be sharing this with y'all (aw, fuck, of course i would be - i am!) but i wanted to give you the heads up in case i die of some nasty cancer of the giblets. consider yourselves forewarned.

in fact i really wasn't going to write about this, but a) consider this a public service announcement: you shouldn't die because of embarrassment, and b) i had a dream last night in which mr. monkey had to be put down because he had an incurable wart on his big toe and it got me thinking about mortality and such. so, to sum up: bums are body parts too and shouldn't be taboo (oh, rectal poesie!), and i might be on my way out, but perhaps i'm not. we'll see. i'll keep you posted. who knows, i might turn out to be one of those people whom the looming prospect of death behooves to greater creative heights and hey, maybe i'll write a book and finally paint another picture and become famous on my death bed...which would really suck.

the end (nudge nudge, wink wink)

*which, by the way, i am so sorry, but i just don't get. it's an object. in the bum. it is NOT pleasant, and it most definitely is not sexy. just: no.

26 June, 2010

in which i screw my courage to the sticking place* and go try on swimsuits

it was friday and i thought it was as good a day as any to go try on small bits of spandexy fabric in poorly lit cubicles, so i did.

it started off interesting. i found what i thought was the perfect swimsuit, i.e. a suit that would magically transform into a swim-dress for those days when there might not be enough time for, shall we say, good and thorough personal grooming, and there might be a stray wolverine or two hanging about on the upper thighs, if you know what i mean, and i think you do (if any of my audience members are regular brazilian waxers, i salute you, but also i am a little bit disturbed).
i tried it on. it was not good.

the girl: how is it?

the girl: ... that's not good, is it?

moi: no. no, it's not good.

it went downhill from there. i did not buy a swimsuit. but i tried on many many many swimsuits and would like to know why i can look halfway decent and relatively toned when i'm at home, but in the change rooms i magically transform into a quivering pudding of a mysterious greenish hue.

then i went and got the first good haircut since september and forgot about my lumpiness.

*no, i don't know where that is. yes, i know it sounds dirty, but i am in fact quoting shakespeare, so piss off.

** there is such a show, no? and it features curvy women in tight dresses with big hair, no? jesus, i am so out of the loop...

24 June, 2010


here's a meme courtesy of outright ingrate who is funny and interesting and all those other things i aspire to be (when i'm not drunk and just randomly hitting the keyboard with my fists):

What experience has most shaped you and why?

i'm going to have to say immigrating to canada, not because it was difficult and harsh (if it was, i have suppressed those memories and replaced them with memories of some seriously kind people) but because it has given me a double outsider status which informs pretty much all i am and say and do. i am no longer fully at home in poland despite linguistic fluency, and i will always look at canada from a slightly different angle than someone who was born here, and i like it.

If you had a whole day with no commitments what would you do?

easy, i've been doing it for months: wake up way too early, sit around in my bathrobe, read my blogs, play too much spider solitaire, consider tackling art, fail to even look at a blank canvas, play more spider solitaire, feel like my life is passing me by, cook something, eat it and then go to bed way too early.

What food or drink could you never give up?

normally i'd say red wine, and it'd be expected of me, but i haven't had any in weeks...hm, yogurt? cheese? fruit? yummy things?

If you could travel anywhere, where would that be and why?

south-east asia, because of the food. or italy, also because of the food. and if i could winkle around with the space-time continuum, i'd pick africa at the turn of the century, not because of the food, but because of hemingway.

Who do you have a crush on?

ugly men with big noses.

If you were the leader of your country, what would you do?

execute a lot of people who annoy the crap out of me. take the whole tree hugging thing to a whole new level. you already know what i stand for - line drying clothes, driving a small car, eating locally and mouthing off about all of the above. i'd try to make canada the place we like to think it is (i.e. peaceful, environmentally friendly, open minded, leftie pinko liberal), instead of the place it is slowly becoming (i.e. paranoid, racist, redneck conservative, backwards thinking, chauvinist, capitalist etc.).

Give me one easy savoury recipe that does not include cheese.

curried coconut lentil soup: chop up one large onion. saute until golden and soft in some coconut oil (or olive oil) in a pot. add one cup of dried red lentils, a whole whack-load of chopped garlic and ginger, some curry powder and enough water to make it the consistency you like (i like a watery soup; some like it thick). feel free to toss in some cauliflower florets or other assorted veg. simmer until lentils and veggies are cooked. add one can of coconut milk. you might need to add more water. salt to taste.

In an ideal world, if you could have particular services/staff at your beck and call (eg butcher, baker, candlestick maker, prostitute, someone to dispose of the bodies), what would make the biggest improvement to your quality of life?

someone to play with my hair. this would calm me and all would be well.

and now my own question:

what does it all mean? discuss.

since i don't have too many people who read this or who have their own blogs, i'm tossing the ball into the tiny court occupied by those who do and who can feel free to ignore this.:

and possibly anna maria, if she's still around.

if you're lurking and have your own blog, first of all, fess up you dirty lurker, and second of all, feel free to also meme away if you're so inclined.

23 June, 2010

on the many ways you can hurt yourself while learning to kayak

it started with a spectacular wipe out while attempting to get into the kayak while on dry land (yeah, i know, i'm nothing if not talented). i plonked down on my ass right in the cold soggy gravel, and babies, that's some special way to wake the hell up on a gloomy sunday morn. so, before we even hit the water, i was already sporting a sandy butt and rock-encrusted knuckles, but hey, i can laugh at myself and the experts say that's what counts.

once out on the water, it turned out that in my dash to pick the prettiest green kayak, i had also picked the least maneuverable* cow of the lot. but hey! green!

we had democratically (read: stupidly) decided to start the lessons off with the least pleasant item on the to do list: falling out of and getting back into the kayak. so, glacier fed lake, unseasonably cool early june morning, glorious scenery and a bunch of campers watching gleefully from the shore. let's GO!

i was the second one to go under because i thought it beat being the last. it made no difference. the minute i hit the water my brain froze up and i was unable to figure out anything at all, including which end of my kayak was the front and which end the back ("put your leg into the back end! no! the BACK end!") or what to do next ("find the paddle float and unhook it!" (yeah, try doing that with frozen fingers, you young fuck)). my body sent me into such a complete brainless panic that i totally forgot i was wearing a life jacket and was certain i was about to meet my maker (hi mom and dad!) until the instructor reminded me of this fact and the panic eased. somewhat.

there was a lot of panting, shaking and spastic heaving. there was graceless clambering onto the kayak. there was flailing of limbs and muttering of curses through cold-clenched teeth. i was so cold and miserable that i really didn't care about flashing my bathing suit-encased ass** at the world at large as i lay on the kayak wondering what the fuck i was even doing there. once i was in i got to pump the water out and this was the closest thing to fun so far that day.

it turned out later that as mr. monkey went under, his splash skirt wouldn't release and he had to fumble underwater for a bit before he could come out. as evil as this sounds, i am truly glad it was him and not moi, because had that happened to me, i would have called it quits right then and there and never gone anywhere near a kayak again. ever.

at the end of the day we had learned some basic paddling techniques, turning techniques, edging techniques* and some theory. mr. monkey emerged unscathed. moi? i have scrapes and bruises on both sides of my knees, scratched knuckles, scraped shins, and a gigantic bump on my noggin from where i whacked it full force on the car door (i was wearing a sunhat and had no peripheral vision).

it was a good day, but it did have mr. monkey repeatedly shaking his head in wonder at the fact that life is so bloody dangerous for me.

*of course i didn't realise it was the least maneuverable kayak until near the end of the lessons. i spent the whole time thinking i was simply the slowest of the middle aged lot until the instructor enlightened me. "oh, yours won't edge. it's not built for it" this, after i spent countless minutes contorting myself into a yogic pretzel to get the damn beast to tip in a slight but elegant manner.

**renting wetsuits, while a good idea, proved to be a bit of a logistical nightmare so we chose to suffer and suffer we did. oh yes.

18 June, 2010

pillow talk

last night while spooning in bed:

moi (muttering): mandible, manDIble, MANdible, mandible

mr. monkey: hm?

moi: the lower jaw is called the mandible. the upper jaw is called the maxilla.

mr.m: hm.

moi: have i ever told you that?

mr. m: no.

moi: wow! in all the years we've been together i've never told you that? isn't that weird?

mr.m: very weird. go to sleep.

17 June, 2010


i had an epiphany today - instead of hating my body and perpetually feeling guilty about eating this or that, i will simply throw out my bikini. brilliant and simple, no?

i am so profoundly sick and tired of that stretchy bastard sitting in my lingerie drawer, judging me, making comments under its breath about that chocolate mousse tart i had on wednesday (it was delicious!) and about that glass of wine i had with dinner today, that i decided the time has come to embrace the moi of reality, and wave bye bye to the moi of fantasy.*

i think that since i last looked fantastic in a bikini around the time i was still jail-bait, the hope of looking great in one in my pre-40's is a little ludicrous. i will show off my killer legs, my toned arms, and my belly? well, i'll leave that to your imagination.

*the moi of fantasy has a washboard stomach and can keep her mouth shut. i know, i know, that's why it's a fantasy.

13 June, 2010

caprine reflections

why is it that as i age i seem more and more to resemble a goat? is it just the fact that i am ridiculously tired tonight? if i get some sleep will the goatiness fade and my human features reestablish themselves more firmly on my visage?

when i was young and stupid,* there was a time that i seemed (to my own shallow stupid self at least) to get better and better looking with every passing year. at this rate, i stupidly, and only half-facetiously, thought to myself, smiling coyly in the mirror, i shall be the hottest octogenarian around. which year was it, precisely, that put an end to this, real or imagined, upward pulchritudinous trend? when did i saunter away from my sylphlike figure and start to casually canter towards the caprine?

at the very least, i am far less caprine than sarah jessica parker is equine and i can remain thankful for such small mercies as are granted me in my declining years.

meh eh eh eh.**

*a large window of time. some would argue it is an age that is still upon us.
**sound goats make. i googled it.

edit. note: having gotten a full 8h of sleep, i can happily announce that as of this morning, the goat has left the building.

hey! who knew? humans aren't all evil!

this weekend mr. monkey and i had ourselves a little adventure that served to reestablish our faith in humanity. it's not funny and there's little swearing, so if you came here specifically for that, you might want to dip into the archives and come back later.

we had decided to take a day trip to hornby island. to get there from vancouver island one takes a 10 minute ferry to denman island, then drives across the lovely countryside to the other side of the island and catches a 10 minute ferry to hornby. the ferries are timed so that you have plenty of time to make your way from one side to the other in a leisurely manner without having to ignore the homemade "SLOW DOWN: CHILDREN PLAYING" signs.*

we spent a gorgeous sunny day on hornby, meandering from beach to beach and from park to park, stopping only long enough to sip some local mead and have a picnic on the beach. the last ferry was to leave at 7:15 and since we made it to the dock with plenty of time to spare, we thought nothing of the fact that we were the only ones there. except that there was a ferry there and it was unloading and look! a large schedule proclaimed that the last ferry on every day but friday was 6pm. mr. monkey wondered over to the disembarking staff and was told that we had indeed missed the last ferry (over an hour ago) and would be spending the night on beautiful hornby island. oops.

at that point in the proceedings, another car pulled over behind us and i thought to myself, "oh good, another moron; at least we are not alone in our stupidity" except, gentle poultries, this was not another moron. this was an elderly couple who had only just disembarked, seen us standing there staring forlornly at the schedule, and decided to turn around and offer us a place to stay for the night. now as the lady got out of the car i saw a bible in her hand and had that sinking feeling that we were about to become a captive audience for some particularly rabid sect of christianity. alas, i was wrong.

we followed them to a local pizza joint where we sat on the picnic bench under an apple tree and joined them for supper, then followed them to their small cabin where we were given a bed, towels, toothbrushes, a nightie, and, the following morning, breakfast of fruit, homemade bread and jam.

these people do not run a bed and breakfast. they do not preach. they are a sweet lovely warm retired couple with seven grown children, who simply saw someone in need of a bed and offered it to them.

wow. that's all i can say.

*mr. monkey always wonders what kind of parents let their children play on the highway, but hey, who are we to judge?

11 June, 2010

one cider* is all it took

can't write. too tired. eyes blurry. gaaahh.

*yeah. one cider wrapped around a work week:** like someone knocked out by a silk handkerchief, wrapped around a large brick.***

**don't hate me. it's not that i'm so fucking delicate, it's just that i'm currently not used to working so much because i've been fucking unemployed for months. OK??!!!

***my thanks to douglas adams who is, and will continue to be, sorely missed.

09 June, 2010

don't fear the reaper, dude

which i don't...well, i do, but only if the reaper comes in the form of The Cancer, in which case i am totally scared shitless. nothing beats a long, drawn out, painful illness, no?

so, what i do fear, however, is my phone. or any phone, for that matter. this seems to be a pretty typical fear* and as much as i hate to be typical, well, there it is - i fear the phone. and hate it. it is a pretty potent mix of equal parts hatred and fear, with perhaps an extra twist of hatred.

first of all, our reception is shit. we live on an oceanside hill which wreaks havoc with all the little microwaves flying through the air (nice visual, non? you're welcome.) so to counter the fact that i was missing nearly 73% ** of my incoming calls, i got an answering service. an inane ridiculous answering service (wo)manned by a perky bitch who is completely unreasonable.

i call and she asks me perkily "who's calling, please?" which prompts me to input my PIN. i hate perky bitch and wish she were actually there so i could tell her off. after all, after all this time, surely she should be able to recognize the soft snuffle of my breath on the line. surely. but no.

if there is a message, i hear, "if you would like to listen to your message, press 1" which makes me wonder what the hell else i would want to do to my message: eat it? have a furtive petting session in the broom closet with it? slap its face and call it nasty names? what? it's a message, i should like to LISTEN TO IT if it's not too much to ask. jesus.

all this stresses me out way more than it should and so i get mad at mr. monkey when he leaves a message because then i have to go through the whole circus of inputting my PIN and pressing 1 and this is Very Difficult, you see. and just now as i typed all this, i realised that even though i yelled at mr. monkey yesterday for leaving me a message, just a month or two ago i got mad at him for not leaving a message. you see, my phone tells me i missed a call and sometimes it tells me there is a message even though it's an ancient message that thrice i tried to erase but didn't, so if i see i missed a call and there's a message, i have to run the electronic gauntlet only to be given the message i had already heard seven times and not the one i was expecting at all.

dude, between this and the constant nail filing thing, i really don't know how i manage to make it from day to day.

*jump to the comments section to see how many articulate intelligent people are thrown into paroxysms of fear by the phone. it's weird!

**fuck, yeah, i made that number up. how the hell could i know?

07 June, 2010

dude, have you seen my head?

following the whole home invasion thing, i am now constantly on the lookout for unwanted multi-legged things walking on me. and it seems like all the time now multi-legged things are walking on me. it's very annoying. and it makes it even harder to fall asleep than usual.

moi: monkey, could you please come over here and check if something is walking on my head?

mr. monkey: i'm busy over here, gluing things, check your own head.

moi: that's it! next time you need me to check if something is walking on your head i'll ignore you and we'll see how you feel.

he came right over. i sure can make a mean threat, no?

jesus, i think something's crawling on my back...

03 June, 2010

and speaking of aging...

you know, i have made my peace with the fact that i have my dad's wrinkles, my mom's early greyness and my grandma's beer belly. i have taken resigned stock of my atrophying mental function. i have even reluctantly come to terms with the fact that i shall have to embrace the hipster love of the mustache, on account of, you know, actually growing one and everything. why just last week i bleached and trimmed the sucker so it is practically (virtually? essentially?) invisible...i hope. but when what felt like hot flashes started last week, well, baby, this mama's getting a wee bit pissed. i mean, COME ON!, i'm not even 40 yet! and yes, yes, yes, it can be argued that i am not actually using my lady giblets to their full baby-making potential, but that's no reason to make me sweat profusely during work. that's just not right and i want my money back.

if i have 20 more years of this to look forward to, you'd best be prepared for a hell of a lot more cranky content, if it's all the same to you.

i think i shall get my hormones checked out in the near future, cause surely it's too early, right? right? fuck.

cricket, anyone?

last month sometime* mr. monkey found a small insect climbing up my leg as i was getting ready for sleep. i used my mind-over-panic mode to calm the fuck down and thought this was but a harbinger of spring. in the last few weeks, i have found three (count'em: 3!) motherfucking beasties climbing over my face as i was falling asleep. not all at once, mind you, but over the course of several days (or weeks?*). then there was one in the bathroom. enough is enough, i said, it's time to inform the landlord and have the exterminators brought in.

mr. monkey found these bugs particularly creepy because although they were vaguely grasshopper-like, instead of healthy bouncing, they moved (to quote my husband) "like dracula in that film." you know that film, right? that horrible horrible, terribly miscast joke of a bram stoker film? oddly enough, the moment when dracula climbs a wall outside his castle moving like our bedroom invaders, was the moment i left the theatre because i was laughing so hard. i mean, come ON! where is the respect?

turns out the little buggers are escaped lizard food from next door, for which our landlord was heartily apologetic. i told him that i had absolutely no problem being walked on by a lizard. bugs? not so much.

the end. i am sorry this story isn't particularly funny or interesting, but both adjectives require greater mental leaps than that which i am capable of after scraping geriatric dentition all day long.

*this whole chronology shit is getting away from me; i no longer have any idea whether an event took place last month or last week or 2h ago. this whole aging thing seems to be like an extended THC episode.

02 June, 2010

perpendicular is the new parallel

i just want you to know how dedicated i am to this here endeavour: i was half asleep in my warm comfy bed when i had an idea. the idea would not let me sleep and so i wrapped my shedding orange chenille robe around myself and came out to where the macbook lay languishing on my cheap IKEA coffee table (is that enough modifiers for ya? huh?).

the sad thing is (and i know you know where i'm going with this) is that i had such a brilliant title pop into my head that it immediately dislodged the whole post and now all i have is this brilliant title and nothing to put inside. it had something to do with poking fun at the whole caring universe drivel, on account of, you know, the universe not giving a shit at all, as evidenced by all the good people dying of horrible diseases and all the bad people running countries and oil companies...what in the HELL was i going on about?

oh, oh oh! i remember now: i took this wednesday and i throttled the motherfucker with my bare hands and the irresistible Power of Positive Thinking! that's it! i decided that i would not remain crushed by the wednesday place of employment with its weird psychic vibes and unpleasant people with truly horrible haircuts,* that i would unleash the Power of Positive Thinking, focus its laser-like beams on the situation at hand and DECIDE to feel good and have a good day. the truly fucked up thing is: it actually worked! i went to an unpleasant place and not only did i have a decent day, i actually had lovely patients and i even made the boss laugh with my silly little tale of cheap wine.**

shall we try this some more? it frightens me a wee bit on account of skirting the truly weird territory of "the secret" and other neo-new age bullshit which brings me right back around to the fact that, and i am sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, the universe DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT.***

*where does one go to get a lawnmower haircut? and why does one go there? it should be stopped. it really should. there is no reason why a grown working woman in this day and age should have a lawnmower haircut, especially if she doesn't seem to be either from texas or newfoundland!

**i can't tell you now. i probably already told you anyways, my repertoire being rather limited and all, but if mr./mrs. anonymous-poo keeps hounding me i need to have some other posts up my sleeve. tell you what, if you hound me (more than 2 comments, preferably 4 or 7 actually), i will tell you my wine tale (again). deal?

***it's psychology, people, it's not the universe showing its love to you, ok? ok.

now fuck off! i'm exhausted!