18 February, 2011

if punctation and grammar are not your secret lovers, skip this one

having done some research about punctuation (yes, i know, i know), i have become aware of the disturbing fact that for years now i have been using american punctuation specifically in relation to commas, periods and quotation marks. and since i am a stickler for british spelling, i think it only fitting that i get my punctuation in line with the british way. if this bothers you, feel free to tell me and i will free to listen or ignore you. the last sentence in body of the previous post uses british punctuation rules. it'll be our little experiment, ok? let's see how we like it.

i realise that the majority of you do not give a shit, but some might. i know i do.

carry on, then.

this is your captain speaking, we have reached cruising altitude and... holy crap! flying monkeys!!!

ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves for impact. i think i might be entering a full blown midlife crisis. no, dreaming about sexy men is not the symptom. if it were, i'd have been institutionalised years ago. what i mean is that i am totally and completely overpowered by the need to go dancing. i haven't felt this way in years and i think i might need help. in fact, i am now beginning to understand what women mean when they say they really really want children*. except, i don't want children; i want to go dancing but it's a deep seated physiological need. i really very badly need to shake my tookus to some hip and happening tuneage. the fact that i am using words like "tookus", "hip", and "tuneage" ought to give you a pretty good idea how long it's been.

please, someone, anyone, take me dancing.

*except my desire is less environmentally demanding, easier to satisfy and much quicker to get out of the system: win-win-win all around, then, no?

i reads'em as i sees'em

with the upcoming move and packing, i've been thinking about my books lately and this post by lucy finally pushed me to write a little something.

my mom and i have always been avid readers and, for the most part, share a similar taste in literature. she once said something to me that has stayed with me over the years:  "there are authors who love people, and authors who think humanity worthless." this is a rather loose translation/paraphrase but you get the idea. it tends to linger in the back of my head and pops up unexpectedly from time to time when i try to come up with reasons for loving or hating a book.

i remember listening to a recent interview with p.d. james and being astounded by how warm and witty she sounded. after all, her books, to me, demonstrate a deep seated misanthropy and i find them uniformly depressing, very well written, yes, but god, so depressing. my beloved dorothy sayers, on the other hand, coloured the same genre with the blush of love and tolerance for our imperfections. perhaps this is why i adore dorothy sayers and have all but given up on p.d. james.

i have just started to read jonathan franzen's freedom and although, like his previous work, this one is fairly well written, well told and reasonably interesting, i have found myself emotionally detached, and let's just say that is not my typical state. it was only when i remembered my mom's idea that i realised that yes, mr. franzen does not like people. he didn't like them in the corrections, and he sure hasn't changed his opinion since.

it seems that most of the books on my shelves, books i am committed to packing up every couple of years and unpacking with matching frequency, are mostly books by people who like people, which makes me question my self-proclaimed misanthropy. perhaps i'm not as misanthropic as i like to think i am (surely that little bit of psychic darkness is a more interesting character trait than constant pollyannic optimism?) or perhaps it's as i've always said: i may hate people but individuals are another story.

of course that is not the only way to categorise a book, and i do believe some authors/books defy categorisation, but overall, most of my favourite authors seem to be in the tolerant, humanity-loving camp (including, imagine that, eleanor h. porter's pollyanna).

i wanted to close by sharing some more of my favourites to illustrate my point, but found myself feeling entirely too exposed. sure, i can talk at length about fecal occult blood tests and syphilis, but i can't bring myself to tell you my favourite authors. go figure.

15 February, 2011

girls in cars and boys who are stars

allow me to be self-indulgent for a minute, i have to share this one with y'all:

let me set the scene: there's a movie. i'm in it. in it, i drive a small old red car (hyundai? dodge neon? some kind of shit car, anyways) really really really fast. it's a car chase and it's FUN! my role is small, but it's a role in a hollywood film filled with famous sexy people.

after the car chase, as i walk off the set i run into yummy, yummy colin firth.

moi: colin firth! i shall call you colin firth! because that is your name!

yummy, yummy, colin firth: yes!

moi: hi! we've met before!

y. y. c. f. : yes, we had. i thought you were a servant.

moi: a servant? no! i am a star! i have literally several scenes in this film!

y. y. c. f. : ah! well, nice to meet you!

moi: nice to meet you, colin firth!

and then the bloody alarm went off which was a pity, because you can be certain that if i was faced with the yummy, yummy colin firth in a dream, i would have taken full sexual advantage of the man situation. instead, i had to get up, eat a bowl of cottage cheese and now i'm off to zumba. oh, the humanity!

the true face of insanity

last night, mr. monkey found an online map of europe that was labelled with all the places from tolkien's lord of the rings. russia, of course, was mordor. i believe the scandinavian countries were rohan, spain/portugal made up lothlorien, middle-europe was gondor, and poland was ithilien.

mr. monkey: what's ithilien?

moi: it's the no man's land between gondor and mordor.

mr. m: gondor is which one?

moi: the one with minas tirith. where the big battle takes place.

mr. m: ok, and mordor is the bad guys, right?

moi: ... right.

mr. m: and ithilien is...

moi: where oh sam and oh mr. frodo see the oliphants.

mr. m: i don't remember that part.

moi: it's where faramir's rangers do their guerilla thing.

mr. m: i don't know who that is.

moi: it's where faramir captures oh sam and oh mr. frodo.

mr. m: i don't remember that part.

moi (increasingly frustrated): how many times have you seen this film?

mr. monkey (meekly): once.


you see, gentle reader, i have seen this film so many times that if i were to tell you, you would not only stop playing with me but you would back away slowly and likely call for a tranquiliser gun. let' just say: many, and be done with it. the fact that my beloved has only managed to see it once... well, it's incomprehensible to me.

10 February, 2011

yelling at a charity again (i also kick puppy dogs and trip old people)

dear red cross,

come on, now, we've been through this before so i really don't see why we have to go through this again. you're a worthy charity, your running costs don't outweigh your charitable expenditures, you are well respected in the world and your marketing must be doing something right because that logo recognition thing? damn good! so why do i have to be right back where i started, threatening to cut you off, huh? shall i tell you again what it is that bugs me? you really ought to know by now, seeing as i've cut you off before, but you seem to be suffering from some kind of selective memory loss. either that or you've been watching too many mad men episodes, slurping back old-fashioneds like they're going out of style, convincing yourself that it's the 1950's all over again. after all, how else can i explain your dogged insistence on addressing your mail to mr. and mrs. albert monkey, when you know damn well my name is not, and has never been, albert.

let's recap: yes, i am married to mr. albert monkey, but everyone knows my name is matilda monkey and, last i checked, the 50's were over, and i was allowed to get my own name on an envelope, especially in light of the fact that it is i, matilda monkey, who makes the charitable donation decisions in this household. yes, red cross, i know it's very very hard to wrap your whiskey-sodden little brain around that strange new-fangled concept, but it is fact. mr. monkey has relinquished his god given manly rights to that particular decision-making process and it is i who decide. and, like the time before, when you ignored my initially polite, and then increasingly irate letters asking you to remedy the situation, i think i shall have to cut you off again. that's right, mrs. monkey over here, has had enough of your misogyny and is saying: no more.

but don't worry, red cross, i won't spend the money i'd have given to you on hookers and blow, tempted though i may be. no, red cross, you can rest easy in the knowledge that your loss, is médecins sans frontières' gain. last i checked, they were totally cool with my existence as a human being in her own right. don't call me, please, and for god's sake, don't write: it's over.

09 February, 2011

on stating the obvious (i think i was really really tired)

driving home last night:

moi: (à propos nothing*) i don't like ice cream cakes.

mr. monkey: oh yeah?

moi: uh-hm.

mr.monkey: ...

moi: i don't like ice cream much either.

mr. monkey: hm.

moi: ...

mr.monkey: ...

moi: ice cream cakes are made of ice cream.

mr. monkey: ah.

*ok, we had just driven past dairy queen with its pink advert for a valentine heart-shaped ice cream cake and i can't imagine anything worse... except maybe a dozen red long stemmed roses sent to my place of employment to trumpet my partner's love for me to the unwashed masses. gack.

08 February, 2011


on the ferry, watching UFC* in the car:

mr. monkey: wow! he just kicked that guy right in the liver! he's DOWN!

moi: where is the liver, anyway**?

mr. monkey: in the stomach somewhere...

moi: ah. i suspected as much.

* the polish film*** we had watched earlier had left such deep emotional scar tissue on both our souls that we needed some clear-cut blood and violence to cleanse our metaphorical palate, if you'll allow me to awkwardly mix my metaphors.

** there's one thing one can say about UFC - it's a great way to learn a little about the human anatomy.

***if you do not speak polish and cannot read the synopsis, ask someone to kick you repeatedly in the nether regions, as this will give you a fair approximation of the film's emotional effect.

crazy little thing called onomatopoeia

hi. i've been away for a while and i know you're worried that contrary to my assurances in the previous post, i have been expiring from both syphilis and tuberculosis, plus other ailments which i might have left unspoken because, you know, they're embarrassing... unlike syphilis.

but no. no, what i have been doing is sorting through my (impressive) internal collection of Very Bad Words, trying to figure out which would be most fitting for mr. monkey's organization which, as is its wont, has exercised its typical care and usual thoughtfulness and given us our marching orders 4 days after the date had passed for giving legal notice to our landlords. oh, how i love that company. our marching orders are to leave the island, bundle up our belongings and ride a donkey over the snow-covered mountain passes into alberta in less than 2 weeks, because who needs more than 2 weeks to tie up all manner of loose ends, find a place to live (well before the end of the month, natch) and hire movers? why, we certainly don't.

still, before i unleash an honest to goodness bitch-storm, i must admit that it ain't all bad: they're moving us, start to finish. and the job that's waiting for mr. monkey out east* will be a typical 8h day, something he has not had these last 7 years or so. also, my parents' tenants just gave notice and will vacate a handy and extremely well located condo right in time for our laden donkey's arrival.

and so, we're coming back to edmonton sooner than planned. sure, it's not what i had hoped for (i had hoped for april, so that my winter would be cut a little shorter), but it's all good. edmonton is like an old pair of pants, familiar and comfortable. they may not be the nicest pants, but they're my pants and they feel nice on. plus, i suspect they make my ass look good.

*god, it's weird to call alberta "east," all maps be damned.