24 December, 2012

merry christmas and bees

mr. monkey (looking at the best pictures of 2012): look at this! world's greatest bee covering!

crusty juggler: what?

moi: man. covered in bees.

crusty juggler: it's amazing how quickly that gets boring. even though the man is covered in bees.

16 December, 2012

dancing machine

last night, the plans and words of years finally came to fruition and lo, i went out dancing. the evening began at a local watering hole where we met ms. c.'s friends. this motley crew comprised, among others, a bison rancher and a newscaster from the best radio on the planet. i might have given in to a little squeal of delight when the latter fact came to light but i just managed not to ask for an autograph. still, he was rather pleased to not only have his name recognised, but to have me visibly glow when i gushed about ckua.

the bison rancher, a big strapping blond fellow, sat in the chair with his boots (and occasionally his socks) off and at first declined to go dancing because he'd get too hot. turns out he didn't just have fur-lined boots and wool socks, he also had long-johns under his jeans. when i suggested that those be removed to facilitate improved temperature regulation, he pointed vaguely at his crotch area and said, it's a little busy down there. silence followed until we realised that he was, in fact, pointing to the downstairs bathroom and not to the party in his pants.

later at the club itself, ms. c. opined that she'd be more than willing to dance with me on the empty dance floor if there was more base and so i went to ask for more base. when i returned, breathless and giddy, i told the table that i'd slept with the d.j. their looks of incomprehension moved me to explain that this did not, in fact, happen in the 2 minutes that i was gone (admittedly, this would have been quite a feat) but many many years ago. i felt très carrie bradshaw about all this - in all my years living in this city, i have somehow managed to evade old lovers up until now, and the feeling of sophistication was delicious. dude might or might not have recognised me, but from what i gathered at the time he was a man of many women and i was but a one.

the crowd was friendly and we danced with various youths, all glowy from exertion and lack of life-experience. we watched one young woman (let's call her "tits") simulate all manner of sex acts on the dance floor until one of the men she mounted carried her away. we wish "tits" well, wherever she may be. she might have miscalculated her venue somewhat, because this was not a meat market and she oozed all over the floor in a distinctly libidinous manner. my first thought, being me, was that this was not a floor over which i would ooze, but then again, i am older and wiser and know how much dry cleaning costs.

ms. c. and i walked home inordinately proud of ourselves for having managed to stay up so far past our bedtime and promised to do it again, and soon.

14 December, 2012

school of life, baby!

this march i turned 40, quit the career i've been in for 17 years, left my hometown and mister monkey and moved 3h south to go to grad school. by november 1st i made the decision to remove my name from the register of dental hygienists (there goes the back-up plan!). i was miserable for the first 2/3 of the school year and blissfully happy for the last 1/3. overall, a fairly eventful year:

the theme for this year, other than terrifying change and uncontrollable tears, was learning from others, sometimes far younger others.

lessons of the year (some letters have been changed to appease my paranoia):

from c, dear, sweet c, i learned that it's ok to take it easy, chill out and sometimes just do the bare minimum. as a result, i finished my first semester with not half bad marks, having also managed to watch all five seasons of true blood, which i think is fairly impressive, given that i handed in all of my assignments early. c is my tv dealer at the moment (sorry, crusty juggler, you've been temporarily replaced) and my dealer in calm. 5 minutes with c, and i breathe a little deeper. and he's only 23! who knew there was wisdom in such youth?

from p i learned that i am as deeply in the box as he is outside of it, and that it's ok. our drives to and from calgary flew by in a flurry of conversational bliss and my constant amazement at the unbridled creativity and beautiful madness that fills his mind at all times.

from l i learned that the KISS* principle really and truly works. and that partnerships can be a good thing.

from bt i learned that things can come unexpectedly and madly out of ether and sometimes it's ok to keep your fucking big mouth shut. he'd disagree about the last bit, but i think i'm right here, and since it's my blog, i get final say. i intend to take the lesson to heart and be a little more circumspect. at least in some things.

from t i learned that friendships can be put on hold and then blossom again unexpectedly, and that family and home are fluid concepts. he has made me feel at home when i didn't think it possible and has listened and talked and eaten all the mandarin oranges i've managed to toss at him, figuratively and literally, drunk and sober.

from jn i learned that some friendships go on and on and on and just get better with age.

from j i learned that sometimes one ought to feel bad about wanting to kick people in the teeth. i want to kick people in the teeth so often that i'd forgotten this is not really a good thing. thanks for the reminder!

from cn i learned that first impressions can be wrong and though we would never work on paper, on the short bus we've become fast friends. i'm so looking forward to another semester of gossip and inappropriate humour.

from k i learned (again) that appearances can be deceiving and we are all hurt and broken up inside, even if we look just fine for the company, and that it's important to go to a movie for mental health reasons at least once a month.

from all my classmates i learned that i am good at presentations. from myself, i learned that i LOVE presenting in public, even getting off on it a little, if you don't mind me over-sharing (and if you do, what in the hell are you still doing here? go! there are better places for you out in the interwebs!).

i'm sure there were many more lessons, but this is all my feeble brain is able to conjure up at the moment.

what have you learned this year?

*keep it simple, stupid!

13 December, 2012

hey! it's over and shit!

so, like, yeah, you know? as of 5:59 this a.m. (barring unforeseen circumstances, like perhaps revisiting my work and finding it wanting*) i officially finished my very last bit of work for the first semester. i thought i was done yesterday, but chatting with my classmates made me realise that the essay, a shining pinnacle*** of erudition, wit and smartypantsedness, was not at all what the professor wanted. what the professor wanted, god bless his shiny little head, was a paper written for the mayor and, let's be honest, barring the lovely mayor of cochrane who is a classmate of mine, the elected official does not always boast the most astute intelligence. at least not according to the professor. and so, having dropped the manila envelope off at the office that morning, i went and retrieved it that afternoon and decided to let the dumbing down begin.

sadly (oh lord, so very very sadly) i chose to go out for one drink. one. that was my first mistake. my second mistake involved ordering wine instead of my usual grad school beer. you see, beer is not my love. beer is a good pal. i can have one, or two, and on rare occasion, even three beers. and i remain myself. oh sure, a little more boisterous and a whole lot louder, but i remain firmly ensconced in me-ness. wine, on the other hand, wine, my love, opens up the floodgates of me. it's me squared, and as lovely as i'm sure that sounds to all you out there who adore me, let me tell ya - scary shit, that! my third mistake was forgetting the sad fact that for the past 4 months my alcohol consumption has been negligible. one glass done and a sip of the second glass in, i had his worship in stitches, and my other classmates astonished at the fact that i seemed all of a sudden totally and completely wasted as i told them i loved them (well aware of the drunk "i love you, man" that i was referencing - i'm SO fucking post-modern it hurts... no, really: it does hurt). some people left, and i ought to have looked to them for inspiration. instead, i made my fourth mistake: went to another bar with two lovely folk who will never look at me the same way again. there, in that friendly little neighbourhood pub, i made my fifth mistake, and ordered a half a litre of wine. my roommate came and picked me up on his way home from the airport which, i am certain, prevented me from making any more mistakes. i am certain we talked on the way home, but i do not know about what. i am sure i told him i loved him, cause i was on a roll. once home, we sat and chatted for a long while, then i went up to bed and made my sixth and final mistake: i took half a sleeping pill which is possibly still in me now. i jolted awake at 3:45 (some sleeping pill, that. though, to be perfectly honest, it might have been having some sort of pharmaceutical powwow with the wine and the other stuff i'm on****) and that was that.

i was up before 4:00, reworking my essay between 4:30 and 5:59, and 6:30 finds me sitting here in my flannel pyjamas talking to you. let's call that my first and second successes of the day. if i'm careful and the gods love me, arriving safely in edmonton will be my third success of the day. after that, i think i'll lower my expectations somewhat so i don't get cocky. people hate a cocky gal.

one thing's for sure - writing an essay at 4 in the morning is not a great idea, but taking an already written essay and dumbing it down for political consumption is a fantastic idea. i added bullet points, made long words shorter, cut out hifalutin concepts and even briefly considered making a pie chart with actual pie smeared on the page, but i found myself bereft of pie. i am sober and awake enough to realise that i ought not send the essay to the prof yet, on account of any residual judgment impairment. i will go home, let it sit for a bit, look it over tonight and repost it with the promised note of "dumbed down version."

and thus ends my first semester: not with a bang, but with a head-shaking, eye-rolling frustration at my continued inability to control my wine intake or verbal output.

* one's expectations, talents and grasp of basic concepts like punctuation and grammar are admittedly not at a high point at 4 a.m., with wine AND sleeping pills still flooming**through one's bloodstream

** yes it is a word. i just made it. it means floating really fast in a zooming-like fashion: flooming. come on! pass it on! let's make it real!

*** is there any other kind?

**** stuff that is keeping me from bursting into tears at inopportune moments

10 December, 2012

everyone knows cows love cherries!

a magpie is sitting up in a pine tree
it looks down and sees a cow walk up
then the cow begins to slowly and laboriously climb up the pine tree
the magpie is looking on, amazed, until the cow, slightly out of breath, reaches the branch and sits next to the magpie
what are you doing up here, cow? says the magpie
oh, i just came up here to eat some cherries, says the cow
cow, this is a pine tree, not a cherry tree! says the magpie
not to worry, says the cow, i have the cherries in a little jar right here!

04 December, 2012

mongolian mornings

you know it's gonna be a good day when the first live conversation of the day ends with you saying "i wonder what the R-value of a yurt would be."