30 September, 2013

the feeding habits of the ego

i have come to several conclusions lately.

one of them is that a heart break and an ego break are so close as to be virtually indistinguishable, except with expensive and invasive tests that are the equivalent of splitting a horse into its component pieces to see how it's made, and then wondering why it won't go.

my other conclusion is that the ego is a scavenger with very low moral standards. i said so to two people recently: the first ignored the statement, having misunderstood my message; the second told me it was a very chilling and dark metaphor, but true.

most of us don't like to know we have caused others pain, obviously. but the feeding habits of the ego are dark and unsavoury, and sometimes, if we're really honest with ourselves, in the quiet secret places of our hearts, we can admit to a certain pleasure in having the kind of power to hurt someone, the kind of power to break a heart, or wound. we don't always like to see where the ego feeds, it isn't a pretty sight, but feed it does, and not always from the bowl of wholesome kibble we set out for it. pay attention and you will see that on occasion it comes home looking shifty-eyed, with blood on its muzzle. you'd best not look too closely; you might not like what you see.


29 September, 2013

carpeting the universe in high quality wall-to-wall purple shag, one galaxy at a time

my fabulous roommate decided to rip up some carpet in the basement. he asked my opinion. i gave it.  later on, he explained what he wanted to do with the carpet remnants.

moi: i'm not really going to judge you on your carpet demolition choices, you know.

my fabulous roommate: i know. it was a good idea though and i forgot to tell you. i'm brilliant... but forgetful.

moi: that's good. it means you can be brilliant many times on the same topic!

mfr: yes, i try to do that with different audiences.

languishing langoustines leer limpidly

there is nothing to write about, absolutely nothing to report. for anyone even vaguely familiar with my whining bullshit egomaniacal drivel writing, this is no news at all. clearly, having nothing to write about has never stopped me from writing. pages and pages sometimes. whole lyrical episodes. tomes, even! why, an entire e-oeuvre! my sweetest marsupials, my desire to write is so deeply ingrained that i would not ever allow something as minor, as minuscule, as insignificant as the utter lack of topic stop me. all i need is a functioning keyboard, functioning fingers and what passes for a functioning brain these days. and boy, what passes for a functioning brain these days is really starting to frighten me a little. my only hope is that before long i shall lose my marbles so completely that i will not be aware of being totally sans marbles. i have been told that stress makes your memory worse (um, is there anything that stress makes better? other than effective bruxism? or thorough nail biting? or insomnia?) and i am living proof of this... what was i talking about? ahem.

so, to get to the point (a collective sigh of relief was heard from one end of the world to another*), there IS no point. the universe doesn't care. this is nothing to get sad about. a universe that gave two shits about every one of us would be utterly terrifying. i mean, that's one hell of a nosy universe! and if it's busy making sure that a particular team goes to the world cup, and a specific movie wins an oscar, and some kentucky businessman gets that business deal, well, it seems to me that it might be spread just a bit too thin. you know what they say about multitasking? it ain't good for you. it just ain't right. and i, for one, do not want an almighty, endlessly interested but mentally unbalanced universe. personally, give me an impersonal, cold, careless universe. with a universe like that you know exactly where you stand: on quicksand, that's where. everything could collapse at any second. this is not a bad thing. no, this is precisely what you need to focus on if you want to achieve that zen-like state of living in the moment.

and so i bid you adieu, having achieved nothing short of my duty to you, my fellow humans: remember, the universe does. not. care. you should care twice as much to make up for it.


*my stats tell me this is true. i apparently have readers everywhere: predominantly in the united states (hi! y'all are awesome, but your governments frighten the living bejesus out of everyone else in the world), canada (hi! nobody cares much, but we really need to get harper out of office! and also quit visiting the whole world while ignoring some of the most spectacular scenery known to man that's in your own back yard!), indonesia (great food! seriously, fantastic food! keep it up!), russia (putin? really? come ON!) and others, including latvia (yay! latvia! hurray for being the least densely populated country in the EU!). i suspect most of these people drop in by accident** but it boosts my ego, it does.

**some search keywords that recently dropped readers in my lap include: "tits in tulsa" and "tit milk tales" - so sorry for your disappointment, folks! no tits here. well, no, that's not strictly true, but i don't really share them on this here forum. at least not in the way you were likely hoping. and also, "tits" is not a very nice word. we ladies do NOT much care for it.


autumnal algorithms

i know it's utterly silly, but i feel that in two days, when this infernal month is over, i will feel better. this has absolutely no logical basis, nor even any gut-feeling behind it; it is merely an idea that since september had kicked the legs out from under me, stomped on my equanimity, put an ever-present fist in my solar plexus, wrung seemingly endless tears from my eyes, made me lose that hard-won feeling of being myself again that made my spring and summer such a joy, that maybe its end will mean the end of all that shit. october, as i wrote earlier, is a month of lesser pretense, greater emotional integrity, stripped bare of leaves, flowers and all the accoutrements and frippery of summer, the bare bones of tree branches writing on the sky the truth about the coming of colder weather. let's hope that it brings me some clarity.

school's kicking into overdrive, and suddenly those wednesdays and thursdays without classes that seemed so excessive and unnecessary a couple weeks ago, start looking like less a luxury and more and more like a necessity. i think part of my lack of enthusiasm this semester is that having worked in "the real world" in my profession this summer, i am impatient with all the silliness of a deeply flawed and disorganized program and just want to get on with it, get those letters engraved in the space after my name, and start working for realz, as the kids say these days.

so, i raise my mug of coffee to the immediate future: here's hoping for an october that gives me back to myself. i miss being me.


27 September, 2013

let's go back, waaaay back

i've been perusing my old blogosphere, back when i was like, way cooler, thinner, younger, smarter and generally really really annoying.

wanna read this? it ain't half bad.

because i can't make you laugh worth shit

here, read this. if it doesn't make you squirt coffee out your nose, you're obviously not drinking coffee.


psychololology

having recently read two (count 'em: 2!) articles in psychology today, i have become the self-proclaimed resident psychololology expert on this here blog. what have i learned, i hear you clamouring across the blogosphere, your voices rising heavenward much like the trumpets of angels, but slightly less portentous? well, turns out that when it comes to feelings (ah fuck, there's them things again!), we have primary feelings ("i feel sad") and secondary feelings ("i am sad that i'm still feeling sad").

this is not good, because it becomes a self-feeding machine, whereby instead of just letting* ourselves feel sad, we start to feel sad about feeling sad (or frustrated about feeling sad, or sad about feeling frustrated, or...the permutations are endless, although i'm sure any mathematicians in the audience would tell us otherwise and then give us a formula for calculating the exact number of possible permutations. please don't.).

so the trick is, as i said, to "let" yourself feel the initial feeling, and then carry the fuck on.

you're welcome.

the first session is free. any future sessions will cost you. please book with mabel on your way out, and i will see you next week.



* i have to admit that i'm a little frustrated with the notion of "letting" myself feel something; after all, what's the alternative? some sort of 50's era parenting statement à la "stop yer crying or i'm gonna smack you again!"? makes little to no sense. but i digress. as usual.

26 September, 2013

shine yer boots, we's goin' possum huntin'

because it's been getting cold here lately, and because i don't (yet) have the accoutrements for cold weather running (what would those be? mukluks? toque? seal pelt parka? snowshoes? a sled with a team of huskies?), i decided to use the treadmill that has been looming in the basement these last however many months.

it is a simple machine (which means it only took me about three tries to get it operational): there's a rabbit for speed, and a mountain for incline. obvious, really. i start out with 3.5 rabbits and work my way up. the incline is another story. i tried to get it to go up. then i tried to get it to go down. it seemed to not really do much of either, and i finished my walk-run (more and more run! less and less walk!) with a nice sheen of sweat yesterday. today, i thought i'd do it all over again.

5 minutes in, i realised i couldn't do it. not today. the running was beyond me, but i could still manage a very brisk walk* that seemed far more difficult that it should have been. i lowered my rabbits and still it seemed like hard going. thinking that perhaps the mountain was stuck, i tried to increase it in order to unstick it, hoping to then decrease it. well, as i pressed the UP button, the incline came down. and suddenly i had to double my rabbits to keep moving at any sort of pace. the goddamn incline buttons were reversed! my whole run yesterday was an uphill battle (that i won, thus proving the adage that while ignorance might not be bliss, it's way comfier than full knowledge of all pertinent information).

and before you holler that i ought to have looked at the damn treadmill, lemme tell you, that sucker is so tightly wedged in between the bookcase, the couch, a filing cabinet and the elliptical, that getting to it is a bit of a workout in itself.

so, for future reference: more rabbits = faster, up = down. which, you know, is a fitting metaphor for life, if i could only figure out how.



*you ever walk with me? very few people can keep up!

words of wisdom

it's easy to fall into a hole; it's beastly hard to get out.

oddly enough, the same holds true when one chooses to jump in.

liminal spaces

there is supposed to be a sort of pearlescent twilight beauty to limbo, i believe. that rough hewn, unclear kind of melancholy-flavoured hour of the evening when the sun's rays still lay their golden touch on the world, rendering the everyday magical. there should be a wistful quiet longing, drink in hand, looking out at the glowing rooftops from the window, wondering what it is that one is hoping for. that is the literary way.

the real thing is more dickensian (in the way that he is perceived, bereft of the warmth and wit that imbue his actual writing): all soot and big-eyed orphans slowly starving to death on inhospitable london streets.

and here i am, homework laid out all neat upon my desktop, choosing instead to engage in blogging. writing about feelings... again.

you are kind enough to say that you don't mind; i am honest enough to say that i am bored stiff of the ambiguity. i am an opinionated woman: i usually know my mind and am not afraid to say it. to be rendered floaty and ethereal, all fainting couches and smelling salts, diaphanous robes fluttering in my wake, lily-white hand clutching my throat in some victorian pose of hysterical melodrama, is fucking exhausting. and so i make it into words, hoping to create some sort of sense out of the matter, or at least to throw things out into the world, sans bottle, sans ocean, sans desert island.

and there you are, my darling marmosets, stuck, just like me, in that liminal space between real and unreal, my intended audience. oh what a team we make.

25 September, 2013

easily digestible pastilles of thought

there once was a girl from bahamas
who thought she was going bananas
she went for a run
thinking it would be fun
wearing nothing but turquoise pyjamas


but you know pyjamas are comfortable, turquoise is an optimistic colour, running is good for the body and soul, and so in the end i think a full blown crisis was averted. also, i am not now, nor have i ever been to or from the bahamas. any similarities to real persons or places are purely coincidental.

general mental health update, now in easily digestible pastilles:

  • lows getting far more manageable and decreasing in both frequency and duration
  • highs getting higher and sweeter (but not like creepy manic or whatnot... except for that one time, but i blame that really good song)
  • whole chunks of days pass with me feeling like.. i dunno... myself, i s'pose. in the best sense.
  • chunks and flakes and bits of epiphanies continue to pile up (i even started writing them down, so as not to lose them in the blizzard)
  • crying is being kept to a minimum
  • learning lots and lots about what makes me tick (there's a whole complicated clockwork in there! who knew?! well... i sort of had a hunch.)
  • still grossly unmotivated in the school department, but i have discovered (or rediscovered) a coping mechanism, wherein i approach even individual assignments as group work, bring my peeps together, and thusly force myself to do work, in public, in plain sight, keeping me on the straight and narrow
  • learning to embrace the good days, use them as breathers for the bad, and staying ever hopeful that there is a solution on the horizon, because that is my default setting (hopeful)
  • attempting to be kind to myself, and gods know, that can be so damn hard - the things i say to myself (or, more accurately, think at myself) are things i would never ever say to another person; this is getting marginally easier with the help of some really special friends
  • attempting to embrace who i am (oh lord, this is such an ongoing slog! at my age i ought to rock this shit!) - yes, i am someone who is emotional, open, and who continues to make herself vulnerable to situations that can wound, but the alternative is to close myself off,  build a tough exoskeleton, and become guarded, and even if i wanted to be that person (which i don't), i don't know if i could do it. previous point notwithstanding, i quite like myself as i am and am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who seem to feel the same, so that option just isn't particularly viable
  • running might not be the panacea that committed runners and psycholologists make it out to be, but holy shitsnacks, it is certainly a damn good thing!
and thus ends another episode of "welcome to my mind." stay tuned for next week's episode, where i use a numbered list. or write a haiku. or perhaps perform an emotionally riveting interpretive dance to the tune of something serious. 

mwah mwah!


23 September, 2013

and that is what i am

today in the kitchen with my fabulous roommate, while making lasagna:

moi: this weekend, i'm gonna make you a salad that's fabulous. when you hear the ingredients, you're all, meh, ok, but when you try it, you're like, make me more, bitch!

moi: ... please don't say that.

my fabulous roommate: no, i wouldn't. you're not the scariest woman in my life but...

moi: ...but i'm up there?

mfr: yes. you command respect.

moi: i wish i was scary. make my life easier.

mfr: it's just as effective. but nicer.

pants on fire!!!

september* is a playa. september can be warm and golden, hold you close and whisper sweet nothings in your ear. september will make you feel the promise of warm and glorious days to come that you can almost believe in. but all along, the angle of the sun tells you that we're all gonna die. alone. in the not too distant future. most likely slowly and in considerable pain.

by october, you're past it. you know what's what and you look at life with the kind of blasé world-weariness that thinks leaves on trees are for soft assholes who can't handle reality. by october, any bit of sunlit lies you get, you take, because why not, but you're not buying any of it, oh no. by october, you've moved past it. by october, it's likely you've picked out a nice shiny urn for yourself.

and then winter comes (possibly by the middle of october**) and it's all good. by winter, the worst has happened, and if there's one thing i've learned in life is that having the worst happen can be a madly freeing experience: it releases you back into the world of the living, a world where hope can put down roots again. by winter, all is white, and calm, and cool, and you know that spring will come... eventually, which is something one can hope for with impunity.




*for those of you living in more normal climates, feel free to substitute october or november in here. in alberta, september is fall. i know i have told you before that in polish the word for november can be roughly translated to "the month in which leaves fall" but in alberta we think that's the funniest thing ever - we laugh, and laugh, until tears are streaming down our faces, and then we realise we weren't really laughing at all. na-huh.

 **yes, that's the kind of life we live. we're tough. very tough. don't fuck with us.

19 September, 2013

eons and eons and many lots time units of some sort

it has been a damnably long time since i've done anything resembling my usual blogging thing... wait, do i even have a usual blogging thing? hm, no idea. still, so much melodrama, so much angst, so much fucking misery, i think it's time to come up with some sort of list-like thing that will take my mind off my mind, and take your mind off my mind, and then we can all just go bananas and it'll be like old times. ok? everyone! take off your pants and go jump in the pool!!! oh yeah!

list of things that are like other things but unlike other other things, if you know what i mean, and i think you don't, because i sure as hell have no clue what it is i'm blathering on about, but if THAT ain't my usual modus operandi, i don't know what is:

1. retroactive wisdom is a serious temporal fuck-up. i mean, what is the point of 20/20 hindsight? and don't tell me that the point is to learn lessons for the future because who even does that? do i? do you? does anyone you know (other than those boring people who wear bedazzled cat sweatshirts and make bland casseroles with canned soup and are painfully earnest)? see? exactly!

2. what is up with me suddenly turning into sporty spice and climbing hills (even actively looking for hills to climb! seriously! WTF?!) and running? i mean, if you're gonna have a nervous breakdown/midlife crisis, isn't the customary thing to buy a red corvette and a cabana boy and new breasts*, not necessarily in that order? but nooo, this one, she starts to run and do yoga. just plain weird, if you ask me, and i think you are asking me, or at least you're here and reading this which is just like asking me. only without the asking.

*seriously, though, i am perfectly happy with mine. if i were to go under the knife, it would be to get a cat tail implanted, because that's some cool shit.

3. i am entering year 2 of my master's program and lo, it is slow going and such. i actually want things to get busy and fast-paced and stressful so i have less time to sit around and think, OHMYGOD OHMYGOD what the FUCK is going on here**?!?!?, which i think clearly sums up the thought processes of the last few weeks (and, if i'm being honest, months, but for that one must dig deep into the dusty recesses of my subconscious, and who the hell wants to do that? other than a trained professional, that is. one sort of exactly kind of like this, i think.) watch me come to this interwebbelicious forum in the next month or so and bitch, with a tearful quiver in my voice, that i am so very tired of school... though that is unlikely as i only have 3 courses this semester, instead of the 5 i had last semester. but you know, i might. i just might. watch me!

**in my head.

4. and what's with all the blogging? always with the blogging, lately. i mean, i've sat in almost complete radio silence through my unbelievably awesome summer, and now, all of a sudden, it's all blogging all the time. must i really be miserable to blog? if i were you, i'd be more than a little pissed, because i'm obviously the opposite of a fair-weather friend: i am a foul-weather blogger, and how fair is that to you, my poultries? i'm sure you wanna know all the rainbow-flavoured sparkly shit that i live through, not just the goth-flavoured*** dark and as filled with pathos as...um...something that is filled with something else to bursting...shit.

***what would that be, i wonder? razor-studded candy apple wrapped in barbed wire? bitter chocolate cake with ennui icing? help me out! ideas?

5. hey! i never said this was gonna be easy! feel free to leave whenever you feel like it, but wait for a break between the numbers, and do close the door quietly on the way out. thanks.

6. which reminds me of the time when i was quietly whining to myself (ah, the good old days before i had an audience for my whining!) about how something or other was really hard or sad or whatnot, and in my head, in my whiny voice i said "i didn't sign up for this hard life" and then i just had to laugh, because a. yeah, my life is SO hard. poor little rich white girl, with her overwhelming first world problems and b. jesus! does anyone? it's like cake or death all over again. i mean, please, girlfriend!

7. so here we are, we made it to number 7, well done, well done. how does it feel? ok? a little tired? confused? hungry? no? shall we keep going then? yes? no? oh? you want me to decide? typical!

8. which is not a number i'm particularly fond of, as i keep mentioning whenever my synesthesia acts up, because it is lumpy and greyish and feels vaguely like a sausage that's been languishing somewhere that a sausage ought not to languish, like under the sofa, or in the corner of a mudroom.

9. i was gonna be serious for a moment, but then remembered my implied promise to keep it light and so i erased a whole entire sentence. i do hope you appreciate the sacrifice, as it was a very good sentence. flawlessly crafted, witty, insightful, incisive and such. (lies. all lies.)

10. so this afternoon i'm going to some sort of hors d'oeuvre-laden, hopefully free wine-swilling soiree that celebrates this and last year's award recipients and introduces them to the award donors, thus enabling what the industry charmingly calls "networking," a concept that makes me throw up a little in my mouth, despite the fact that i'm damn good at it on my extroverted days (though terrible on my introverted days when i can be found in the corner on my fourth glass of free wine trying really hard not to catch anyone's eye, other than the waiter with the tray of those delicious salmon pate canapés). so yeah. that'll be fun.

11. (because i refuse to end on a round number even though not doing so aggravates my slight but adorable OCD tendencies (go ahead! ask me about how when i buy gas i always need fill up to a round number! no, really, go ahead and ask!)) no idea. but, um, yeah. this'll be it. in a nutshell. though they never do specify what kind of nut, exactly, do they? i mean, there's a real variety to choose from, innit?

18 September, 2013

?

what are you now
but that soft frightened question
you ask yourself
when standing at the crossroads?

17 September, 2013

speak don't speak

we humans are a complicated bunch. ostensibly, in our particular communities, we speak the same language, the same meanings attributed to certain sounds and groups of sounds. but enter emotions, enter pain, disappointment, hope, anger, and suddenly what is heard, what is understood, is nowhere close to what was meant.

when i ponder this, i wonder how it is we manage to communicate at all. with all the baggage that each of us carries, with all the accrued detritus of meaning, the subtlety of meaning, piled in huge drifts against our perception of the world, how is it that we manage to break through and have these gorgeous moments of communion? how is it that we can shift and dance and play with words, tossing them back and forth, lightly, with laughter, only to have them plummet at our feet days, hours later?

words, words, words, imbued with meanings only the speaker understands and even then, not fully, not always aware of all the weight they carry, informing them with shades and tonalities no dictionary can ever hope to define. words, words, words, the listener takes them in, through equally convoluted passages of all that came before, all that is hoped for, inferred, implied, looked for, feared, seen, unseen, heard, unheard.

gods above, how do we ever say anything to anyone? how are we ever understood? do we agree to accept the vaguest outlines of shared meaning, losing the essential infinitesimal bits and pieces that flesh out the truth that we perceive? can one ever be truly understood by another? are those rare moments of light and connection more than a little illusory? perhaps that is why mankind invented god, to have someone out there who really and truly, fully and completely understands the finest strands of our every thought.

being both godless and a chronic optimist, i choose to believe that it is possible to break through the confusion sometimes. that is what makes the difference between the people in your tribe, your circle, and those outside - those momentary, fleeting, precious moments of understanding. and no, i don't think it is possible to understand another completely - how can it be when it is not even possible to understand oneself completely? but it is possible to get glimpses, and they make it all worthwhile.

16 September, 2013

venti vidi vici

i asked my fabulous roommate to show me how to program the coffee making apparatus so that a fresh pot awaits me in the morning. he put in the filter, counted out the scoops, rinsed the pot, and grabbed the pull-out faucet in order to pour water into the machine.

i was watching with bated breath and bated brain, as evidenced by what happened next: while he was still pulling the faucet towards the coffemaker, i suddenly decided to be helpful and turned the water on, spraying him directly in the face and upper body, essentially soaking the poor man.

calmly, because he is a calm man, he asked me, "why'd you do that for?" by then, i was laughing so hard i couldn't answer. again, being a calm man, he took a towel, wiped his face and continued to explain how to set the timer. after a while he looked at me bent over, howling beside the sink and said, "you're not getting any of this, are you?" nope. too busy trying unsuccessfully to apologise... and breathe.

"i can't wait for your turn to make coffee," quoth he. calmly.

when i quieted down sufficiently to be able to pay attention, he calmly continued his demonstration, told me he was glad it was warm water, gave me a (slightly soggy) hug and then bid me a good night and went to bed.

my stomach hurts; my soul feels great.

the golden hour

tonight, fuelled in part by anger, in part by the desire to stop it with the crying already, in part by the overwhelming desire to cry, i went for the first run in over two years.

it was the golden hour beloved of photographers - everything glows, from the dandelion fluff to the bees dancing around the last of the autumn flowers, the light infuses everything not only with its magic, but with an overwhelming feeling that somehow, despite everything, despite whatever sadness may befall one, everything will be all right. better, even. that all the bad things are nothing but alchemy.

if this reeks of one of those annoying "inspirational" posters, c'est la vie; the golden hour is nothing to joke about, although i did swallow one fly.


comes a moment...

when you realise that enough is enough, and frankly, i'm getting pretty tired of feeling like shit. and all this crying? booooring! shall we move on, kittens? yes! let's shall!

oh, there'll be moments* when i still bawl my silly little eyeballs out, but you know what? fuck it. it'll be ok in the end.

thanks for hanging in there and lending a helping e-hand. y'all really are the best audience a girl could ever wish for.




*and i'll be sure to share every gory little snot-bubblicious detail with you. worry not.

15 September, 2013

in which you learn how committed i am to the profession of urban planning but feel moved to gently suggest i get help

yesterday was a day of high emotion. oy, quoth you, again? aye, quoth i, again. i like to maintain a certain degree of predictability in order to know what is what. and where it's at. and whatnot.

so, i managed to maintain my composure through a largely pleasant and uneventful day. but then big mistakes were made and i ended up in a car in the middle of saturday in a shopping centre nightmare. mr. monkey drove, thank god, because at one point, having realised there was literally no reasonable way out of there (cars were lined up several blocks deep at each. and. every. stop. sign. and. light. i kid you not), i broke down, scared the crap out of the mister (wife! insane! crying randomly! help!) and reinforced in me the feeling that i need to finish this godforsaken degree, get the hell out of school and DO SOMETHING! but in the meantime...

... big fat tears were streaming down my face and i was alternately laughing (cause, come on! this is getting ridiculous!) and crying (cause, come on! who the everliving fuck planned this logistical nightmare of a shopping centre?!). in the end, maps were consulted, opposite directions taken, and a full mental breakdown disaster narrowly averted. but sweet jesus on a pogo stick - i have never in my life seen as big a planning clusterfuck as this, and that includes south edmonton common, which i tell you, sucks big dripping syphilitic donkey balls, but at least you can leave it when you have had enough.

which, i do believe, is why normal people don't ever go shopping on a saturday.



13 September, 2013

well heya, here comes one now! (a post in which i channel a 14 year old girl who italicises everything)

first, i am going to engage in a particularly egregious form of douchebaggery and quote myself. granted, it is not a published work, or a work read by legions, or, really anything other than an undergrad essay, but still...

so:

"i don't believe in epiphanies. this, of course, was a gradual realisation."

my prof loved it. i thought it was spot on, and just too fucking witty, in a quiet understated way. i got an A.

since then, i feel i've had to rework that sentiment a little bit. i still don't believe in the hollywood-style epiphany wherein the beautiful heroine, who up till then had despised the handsome hero, suddenly, suddenly, realises that she is unable to live another minute without him, drops everything, gets on a plane and... well, you know, that bullshit. so yeah, none of that. however, and i am fighting the urge to italicise the "however" because i have already italicised two words in this paragraph and one has to draw the line somewhere, i feel that sometimes one may experience a sudden realisation of something that had been percolating in the nether regions of the brain for a long time and merely decided to make itself known in that particular moment.

which brings me to my epiphany. tom, who's been a regular and thoughtful commenter on this here blog for a while now, asked me if i had one brewing. well, dear poultries, i can only hope that the nether regions of my brain are cooking up some kind of self-knowledge buffet for me, cause this girl is hopelessly lost. however, i think i may just have had a mini-epiphany. it is miniature in its meaningfulness - it affects me not at all, but it gives me hope that it is but a pebble that starts a veritable avalanche of epiphanies, self-discoveries, dawning understandings and other things that will make me stop feeling so goddamn miserable and confused.

so, what is this epiphany? ha. you're gonna be so disappointed. first: i woke up angry. livid. pissed off to the heavens and decided that some yoga followed by an aggressive uphill* walk would be just the thing. once i worked out some of the reasons i was angry and gave myself a stern but loving talking-to (yes, i have a therapist in my head. very handy and très chic. all the new yorkers are doing it.) i started my walk home and then it came. The Epiphany. (oh lord, you are going to be so very disappointed.)

The Epiphany:

i am no longer a dog person. at all. not even a little bit.

i've known for a longish while that i am moving in the direction of cats (via total petlessness, where i may linger for a while yet), but having grown up in a dog-owning household, i've always figgered myself for a cat-liking dog-person on temporary hiatus. nope. today it hit me like a tonne of bricks (but not real bricks, given that i really don't care that much) - i am not a dog person.

oddly enough, this really perked me up because it came out of the blue and made me realise that yes, there are thought processes happening underneath all the ridiculous crying, and if all they can throw me now is that particular bone, well, whatevs, i'll take what i can get. perhaps tomorrow i shall inform you that i really like chartreuse (no, wait, i know that already...) or something equally mind blowing. hey, i aim to entertain.

strangely enough, the last biggish epiphany i had was when i realised that there was absolutely no reason i needed to continue keeping god in the back of my head and so i let him go. so i suppose that means i am neither a dog-person nor a god-person...tee hee. but that's a story for another day.



*you can tell how fucked up i am by whether or not i seek out hills to walk up. if i'm happy, i stick to level ground. unhappiness and anger makes me climb things. yes, it's weird.

12 September, 2013

bookses

so, instead of awkwardly shuffling my feet as i stare at the ground, let's just get this out there - my name is agnieszka, and i drink and blog. i could make promises that this wouldn't happen again, but i am, after all, a realist, and i don't want to lie to you. instead, i shall promise to endeavour to do this as seldom as possible. after all, we can't look each other in the eye the morning after, it's awkward and weird, there are headaches and really, i'd rather just be able to hang with my poultries without endless apologies and explanations. so, are we good? good.

now, let's talk about books.

first of all, i am a proud re-reader, something i know certain people find incomprehensible. there are books that i have read several times, and know i will come back to again and again.  books, like music, evoke certain emotions. there are books that i know will tint my mood in a certain way, move me in a certain emotional direction, and so i pick them depending on what it is that i want them to do for me. much like music which i keep in mood-related playlists (mainly minor key, as i so... ahem... eloquently wrote in my drunk post), i reach for old books knowing exactly where they will take me.

new books are exciting in the not knowing, though i have found that i can depend on certain authors to maintain a fairly predictable emotional timbre. what i love, though, is how detailed, how specific that timbre can be. when i think of certain books, i know the exact shade or tonality of mood that they will elicit. for someone who has a history of depression, this has always been a godsend. instead of taking drugs or drinking much, i could self-medicate with a judiciously applied piece of literature*.

there is a light or darkness, a particular palette, a warmth or coolness, a sense of space or enclosure that each book brings. there are warm cozy books; books that spin the universe out of control just a little bit; books that take me outside of myself so that i don't want to return; books that scratch an itch; books whose words are like poetry, finely hewn and polished to a high gloss shine. i go through times where i read voraciously and times when i slow down. sometimes i read fluff, i admit it. but one of the main requirements i have of a book is that it is written with some degree of respect for language. genre is secondary to quality, without a doubt.

and there is that indescribable joy in finding a perfectly crafted sentence - each word unmistakably in its place, in the right order, falling like stones into a pool, creating ripples of pleasure.

i have been lazy with my reading in recent years, not really challenging myself as much as i could, but i have also decided that life being short, i shall read for the pure enjoyment of it. how do you read?



*yes, yes, i ought to have picked up a book instead of that third (or fourth) glass of wine...

tennis, anyone?

last several days my right elbow's been giving me a lot of grief. it was a strange sort of grief that in no way got in the way of yoga, but has increasingly made me unable to lift a book.

i realised how bad it got when i got tossed a frisbee in studio on tuesday and threw it back in a direction that was somewhat but not entirely arbitrary and resulted in it hitting a window with a terrifying thunk. my classmate shot me a look that made it clear that though i do not aspire to any sort of publicly acknowledged athleticism, throwing a frisbee east, when he was clearly standing west, AND hitting a window, was pathetic. i blamed the elbow.

today the doctor tells me i have tennis elbow. lotions and potions shall be mixed and applied. if they fail, injections will follow.

so not only am i falling apart emotionally, lapsing into a voluble sort of alcoholism (well, short term, anyhow; i've no wish to repeat last night's maudlin performance, you patient little beasts, you), but my body's playing some sort of weird prank on me: i mean, tennis elbow? as far as i know i have never played tennis in my life. not once.

as i told the doctor, flying balls terrify me.

11 September, 2013

untethered


going back to school was a big decision. you know this, my little poultries; you've been along for the ride. since then, after an exceedingly harsh beginning, i've settled into what i could annoyingly, but relatively truthfully, call "the time of my life." thanks in equal measures to pharmaceuticals and finally doing something meaningful, i began to experience a strong sense of rootedness. this summer's work experience only enhanced the feeling of being exactly where i ought to be. in a word, i was content.

now suddenly (or not so suddenly: one never pays close enough attention until it's too late, it seems) i find myself untethered, unmoored, cast adrift. i feel i can no longer trust my instincts on matters of importance. a yes becomes a no in the matter of a heartbeat, and i float.

a part of me is terrified; a larger part of me seems to be enjoying the ride. i'm fairly certain that i haven't deliberately sabotaged my peace of mind. instead, i think, i've awoken things that have lied dormant, things that may have required my attention for some time, attention that i was unable to give them for being busy elsewhere, and which are now pulling me in all directions.

if i'm being enigmatic, dear poultries, it is only in part because of my natural reticence (yeah, yeah, you think i tell you everything, but note that i do tend to stick to embarrassing drunken escapades far more than deep heartfelt shit), but mostly because of my own cluelessness as to what, in fact, is going on.
thing is, i am really looking forward to finding out.

drunk post... been a while, non?

hi. it's that time again where i let my judgment take the backseat to my desire to share that which should likely remain unshared. what tantalizing tidbits am i about to share with you, my darling poultries? why, i haven't a clue! this is just as exciting for me as it is for you, except for the fact that i bet you 2$* you're not the one crying right now. well, actually, to be perfectly honest, i'm not crying right now either, which is a marked change from the rest of today. but you know what? crying isn't that bad. it clears the fluids from your sinuses, cleanses the humours, engages the soul in stuff, makes you feel fucking ALIVE**.

so, what shall we talk about today? well, let's begin at the beginning, pass through a middle, and, if we're lucky, end at the end. does that sound fair? exciting? marginally compelling? listen. i can only do so much for you. you're a big boy/girl. i think the world is an interesting enough place, if you only take the time to look, listen and feel... or whatnot.

so here it is. haikus about the perineum notwithstanding, there is a certain degree of literary freedom that comes from inebriation. sad thing about drinking is that it most certainly works as a highly successful means to an end, if the end is numbness, stupidity and a general feeling of being at peace with things one should most certainly not be at peace with. hell, i totally get the temptation to jump headfirst into a pool of merlot; the only reason i don't do it more regularly, is that i am a responsible, balanced, thinking individual***.

so, things. stuff. let's talk about it, shall we? because, let's be honest, that's the real reason you're here. yes, you care about me. yes, you're friends of mine. but really, you're hoping i'll slip and feed you some good dirt. well, sorry to be a party pooper, but my fences are so fucking well constructed that the best you can hope for is 1. hints and nudges and winks and my admission that i am 2. inebriated and 3. very very sad.

why are you sad, you ask. why, i am sad, quoth i, because sometimes when one makes decisions, they take you to unexpected places and then sadness happens. sometimes, if you're lucky, happiness happens as well. it's not a cynical sort of declaration. i'm not really a cynic, despite my wholehearted attempts to make you believe that i am one. no. i am actually a realist with a sweet soupçon of romanticism thrown in. you know, i am me. i think you're good with that.

so.

life = things + sadness + happiness + wine + music that makes you sad and/or happy**** + people coming and going (and if you're really lucky, coming again, because it's all an oceanic ebb and flow and shit).

life = things that hurt and elate***** and surprise and make you feel things and do things and say things and... stuff.

whoa. this is exhausting, innit? all that talking in code, throwing enigmatic tidbits in your general direction... all those FUCKING asterisks! so sorry. and really, this is a strange form of therapy that i am more than likely to delete tomorrow (actually, i'm really curious to see what i think of this when sobriety wipes the vaseline off the lens of my perception).

so, thanks for coming, but, like the passersby in a train-wreck, i think it's time to move on. go read the paper. there's some good stuff happening in your local arts scene, i'm certain. i'm fairly sure there's a book you've been neglecting on your bedside table. hell, go talk to someone. go hug a child, pet a dog, talk to an old person. really, there's nothing to see here. just me. having a september. as per usual...



*i'm not a betting woman. 2$ is as far as i'm willing to go. because what do i know? you might be having a september too! it's statistically highly likely, i'm told.

**in a way highly similar to the way a hammer on your thumb makes you feel ALIVE.

***you have no idea, but i am now slurring my words. retyping "individual" five times black-on-white with a 100% final success rate does not have the same effect as muttering "innividuelle...indiveedool...innivindoel..individual." but see how i'm working on giving you a fairly accurate representation of what will likely be an entry erased on the morrow? you're welcome.

**** what can i say? i'm a minor key junkie. very little of what i love, musically, can be described as happy, or even marginally unlikely to render you suicidal within 5 minutes. that's the way i work. can't even say i'm sorry. sorry.

*****oh, hello tears. welcome back. i'd been wondering when you'd make another appearance. please stay off the mousepad; you make it hard to use.

little red and the damn autumn wolves again

it's disheartening, sometimes, to see that having come so far, learned so much, grown so big and strong and self-sufficient and amazing, you've come no distance at all from the squishy emotional creature you were in high school. silly girl, where the hell's that shell of yours? did you lose it on the way home from school?

and just what the hell is it with september that it finds you curled up in a ball, weeping, year after year?



09 September, 2013

a furry sort of non-metaphor that fails in all sorts of ways but what the hell

life. a confusing sort of beastie.

at its best, it purrs, lets you feed it scraps, rubs itself against you, and sleeps at your feet when you're feeling blue.

at its worst, it bites and scratches and gives you rabies.

still, it's your damn beastie, and it keeps things somewhat interesting, so what're you gonna do? walk it, feed it, try to comb out the tangles from its fur, make sure it gets plenty of exercise and clean water. you know: life.


06 September, 2013

melancholia


a trope used in literature with some regularity is the wistful remembrance of something beautiful and lost. the protagonist looks back at a love lost, an opportunity missed, and smiles gently to herself. this has never failed to piss me off. i am not one for wistful remembrance, and telling me that one day some heartbreaking event will evoke just such feelings in me is a sure-fire way of getting the blunt end of my temper. having finally become convinced in recent years that i am a realist with a soupçon of romanticism thrown in, it makes sense that i refuse to squander opportunities and lose loves for the express purpose of generating some pretty sunlit memory. things lost and squandered piss me off, and i refuse to do it for the sake of feeding some esthetically pleasing but morally questionable melancholiaphilia. pretty sunlit memories are made of things done, embraced, attempted, tasted and accomplished. the rest can fuck right off.

haruspicy


one of my odder character weaknesses is my propensity to look for signs. it is something i have fought every step of the way, and have come close to eradicating. i am tempted, always, to look for the presence or absence of certain things as a sign of something of import. in my religious younger days i looked to god to provide the signs, and i suspect that it was partly his utter failure to do so that contributed to the demise of our relationship. the signs can be external (“if i see the sun in the next minute, it will mean that…”) or internal (“i have a strong feeling that…”). the former is plain ridiculous, while the latter patently dangerous. after all, feelings change; a shift in weather patterns can bring on the subtle kind of gloom that portends all kinds of evil. 
as a result, i have had to teach myself over and over again that the heart cannot tell the future, but it can certainly tell the present, if only one takes the time to listen.