24 April, 2014


i packed last night for my trip to poland. as usual, i had planned on only taking a carry-on, and as it was, i couldn't fill that darn thing. i added an extra shirt, an extra dress, and still, lots of wiggle room in there.

this morning, my mom called me and gave me a talking-to, because i had forgotten that a. i have one free piece of checked luggage and b. i would be coming back from poland with books and such, so i would need extra room. and so i grabbed a ridiculously huge* suitcase that mr. monkey had borrowed from his mom and hadn't gotten around to returning, and moved the contents of my half-empty carry-on into its cavernous interior. i added another pair of sandals. another two tops. a jacket. guess what - still half empty!

so here's my question to the interwebs: what the living FUCK do people put in their suitcases when they go for a week long beach vacation and bring three? full sized bottles of shampoo? six pairs of shoes including emergency hip-waders? fur coats in case the mexican evening gets a little chilly? i seriously do not get it and i'm a clothing addict - i have many lots of clothings and i love them to death and i like to look good, so it's not like i'm packing a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt (good lord, i'd have my polish citizenship revoked immediately, if not sooner!). so please, explain this mystery to me, oh people of the interwebs: what does it keep in its suitcases?

*likely a perfectly reasonable size…to most people. clearly, i am not most people.

23 April, 2014

migraine? check! embarrassment? check! nausea related to both? check!

hello. i am an idiot. or something.

right now everything is fixed, but i am still sitting here with a nauseous belly and residual redness draining from my face. why? because i'm an idiot… or a "moreon" as i appropriately texted crusty juggler the other day on an unrelated* topic.

i spent the last few days editing and polishing the crap out of our huge final report, as detailed in last post, and lo, today i get an email from the prof saying that a bunch of links are missing. yes. missing links. you're welcome, favourite prof - you want missing links? i provide!

so yeah, ok, not the end of the world, this. not even anywhere close to the apocalypse or armageddon or you know, a global outbreak of ebola or even a plantar wart pandemic. however, i have made a point to offer my editing services to said prof, going on at length how fucking detail-oriented i am. jesus. i could smack myself. even trying to quiet the nasty yelling voice inside my head by using the whole "would you talk to a friend like this?" thing isn't working, because if said friend had gone on and on about how she didn't trust anyone else with this job because of what a perfectionist she is and so forth and then forgot to link a bunch of stuff, i might not say these things to her face, but i sure as fuck would judge her on the inside. for being a stuck up moreon.

the only thing that is making me hate myself a little less right now is the fact that i almost used my grandma's possible lung tumour (she's going into the hospital right in the middle of my visit) as an excuse, and then felt like a triple asshole and didn't. because i only found out today. and because it's irrelevant. and because i may be a moreon, but i am not an asshole.

i fixed the problem pronto, by dropboxing him every single file he asked for within 5 minutes, along with other files and then some more files. i believe that's called a "snow job" in the industry…sheesh…what a moreon!

*well, related in the fact that i'm an idiot or a "moreon" on multiple topics. hurray for multitasking!

22 April, 2014

burn, baby, burn

last night, after much back and forth'ing, toing and froing, fixing and refixing, promising not to reread and then promptly rereading, burning DVDs and then having to reburn them on account of all the revisiting of documents, i finally finished compiling, synthesising, and polishing my group's final project. i was supposed to be done by late afternoon. the last DVD got burned well after 10. i blame television (well, what?! all work and no play and yadda yadda), and my ridiculously tenacious perfectionism. and i can hardly blame myself when on the last rereading (the one i wasn't supposed to let myself do), i found a rather glaring mistake that could have cost us marks, not to mention a whole host of decidedly non-glaring mistakes that would have cost me peace of mind. but lo, it was done and i spent the next hour diddling around the interwebs chuckling quietly at the vague sense of guilt that kept trying to sneak in but which i kept at bay via judicious applications of reality.

this morning i woke up way too early as is my wont of late, and putzed around on the interwebs some more: it has become a habit to crawl downstairs, blearily open up the laptop, park my arse on the arse-shaped chair i have been occupying lo, these past two years, and begin work… except: no work. sure, i could sabotage my peace of mind by opening up the report yet again, and tweaking some glaringly obvious misuses of a semicolon that has miraculously escaped my attention last night, but that way madness lies.

i packed up my stuff, took a shower, made myself a protein smoothie, polished the stainless steel appliances for mfr who is getting the place listed and photographed today, and then, halfway down the stairs it hit me: i'm free! i'm done. it's over. AND i have a job. and also? it's over. and i'm free. and did i mention the fact that i'm done school? no? because hey! guess what?! i'm done school! forever, if i'm so inclined, though forever is a mighty long time as the minstrels say, and i still have a date with amsterdam linked with academia, so who knows…

but yeah, for a longish moment there i felt light and loose like a soap bubble, a butterfly, a balloon, or another light ephemeral item floating prettily through the air. free!

even this morning's migraine that i have no way of dealing with (all my industrial strength meds had been packed up and taken to edmonton last weekend: how handy! how efficient!) can't dampen my spirits. my spirits! they are undampable! undampenable? undampacious!!!

today, i go one last time to the hallowed halls of the place that has made me laugh, cry, kick things, swear (more than is typical), cry, weep, clench my teeth in frustration, cry, and all sorts of other feelings and actions like crying.* i shall remove my painter's-tape'd name off my locker. i shall take my monster lunch-pack filled with crayons and felts (do y'all remember how scared i was of the colouring? ha!). i shall pack up the bits of odd-shaped plexi that the architects leave all over the place that makes fantastic found art. i shall boil water for my tea in the shitty kitchen kettle one last time. i shall drop off my report DVDs to the best prof ever to grace these halls (he's getting DVDs that look like mixtapes, on account of my penchant for defacing every DVD or CD or whatnot that comes within the range of my sharpie). then i shall go and watch a final presentation by the second half of our class. then i shall go for drinks with whomever is interested. and then… well, y'all don't need to know my whole itinerary, but i will be in poland by friday.

it is done.

*the crying was mainly first semester. but hell, there was SO much of it! so very very much!

18 April, 2014

cheese, among other things

so i went out today filled with a certain amount of trepidation.

i came home with two chunks of very expensive and delicious cheese…and a job.

well, not A job, per se, but THE job. as in the full time equivalent of the best summer job ever of yesteryear. as in… boy, i was gonna make all sorts of "woot woot!" noises but then i realised that, really, i'm just very very tired. i suspect i'll be thrilled as soon as i get over this numbness, and in my head, i'm totally happy, just the rest of me hasn't caught up yet. too much to do, i suspect.

but no, really and truly: i got the job and i am thrilled beyond (evidently) my capacity to feel it at the moment. but yes: happy!

i just realised i put more excitement into my post about olive chicken than this, but my darling poultries, i really really am exhausted! why am i so exhausted? oh, yeah. the school thing.

alrighty then, back to the grind, but i wanted to take a few minutes to share my good news with you. seems like only yesterday i was telling you that i was going back to school, don't it? and now here i am! with a job! like a real honest to goodness adult! and a job that doesn't (hopefully) involve me coming home covered in blood and saliva, to boot!

16 April, 2014

oh, live chicken!

c and i had a study date today, finishing the least pleasant of this year's assignments. he suggested we meet at a recently opened establishment called olive chicken. it had good online reviews but i wasn't leaving the house today (snow. more snow. snowing all day. i mean, i know this is alberta, but come ON! if i cared about weather, i would be livid. luckily i a. don't care and b. realise the very limited benefits of meteorologically-inspired lividity*) where were we? oh. yes. chicken. so i asked c to pick us up a take out order and hot damn! it was SO SO so so sososososososo so good. i am not generally a fried chicken fan, and will not ever eat the skin because ew, but in this case i caved and carnivorously consumed every crumb and crease (huh? yet another example of the failure of alliteration!). this is korean fried chicken and it's covered in a sticky gooey spicy gingery sweet hot chilli sauce that deserves more than these seven measly adjectives, and soon i had all those adjectives all over my nose, cheeks, fingers and likely elbows. it. was. good.

the restaurant must surely be a front for some sort of crack-based business because i have not been able to stop thinking about the chicken. i want more. i want some right now. right this second. as i type this, i am salivating uncontrollably at the thought of getting my hands on some more olive chicken**.

i'd just finished telling my fabulous roommate and the newly arrived mr. monkey about the chicken experience. i got so excited i got a little addled:

moi: it's SO good! it's fried chicken! it's chicken on the inside and fried on the outside!

mfr & mr. m:

moi: sometimes i amaze myself.

* yes, i realise that's not what this word means, but you know what i mean, so shut it.

** no olives*** on the menu. inexplicable. pickled daikon, though, is readily available and refreshingly delicious!

*** mfr came up with the name "o, live chicken!" which is slightly more appropriate in that it acknowledges the absence of olives, but simultaneously egregiously fails to acknowledge the death of the chicken.

p.s. final push. final push, my pretties. once this hateful pile of unpalatable donkey dung (wait, is there palatable donkey dung? i suppose for some species there is… no judgment) is finished, i can start my heart's work, i.e. compiling and editing the 40 or so page document that is our final project, which, by the way, we successfully presented yesterday. wanna see? here:

14 April, 2014

games played with sticks and balls

last night, after i blogged the darkness in my soul, i decided that the thing to do would be to step away from the computer and join my fabulous roommate in his dungeon where he was watching golf. i don't watch golf. why in the hell would i watch golf? why does anybody? but i needed some human company, particularly if it involved non-destructive humans i could count on, and so i took my residual wine and my residual tea and joined him on the couch.

the poor man. all he ever wanted of the evening was to sit in peace and watch privileged white men in polyester pants whack the ball around the course. what he got, instead, was an embittered cranky polish woman with a big mouth who proceeded to heckle everything from the men's names ("bubba? who the fuck names their child bubba? even as a nickname! southern US, you need to stop this shit right now!"), to their facial hair ("douchebag fort mcmurray facial hair, and you tell me he's SWEDISH? he's an embarrassment to the Scandinavian Way!"), to their pants (those are terrible pants! the blue, it is a smurf blue - one should never wear smurf blue once one is out of diapers!), to the outfits worn by the caddies ("white coveralls are so fetching…"). i made fun of everything, occasionally realising i needed to shut up and then utterly failing to do so for more than a minute at a time.

bubba won, and when he came off the course into the waiting arms of his tall blonde athletic wife and adorable toddler, the man was BAWLING. this is the point at which i lost it, because what the hell? mfr scoffed and said the man had just won the most prestigious golf trophy. yeah, golf. trophy. as in: golf. as in: a game played with sticks and balls. then i realised that large amounts of money were involved (like, some serious big ass moneys, people! for golf. ) and that made me swallow bubba's emotional outburst a little more… but then, when i waxed cynical about that, i suddenly realised that what i was doing with my big, loud, uncontrollable mouth, was kinda ruining the moment for mfr. so i left.

i can be a bit of an asshole sometimes. i try to apologise when that happens.

but really: golf?!

13 April, 2014

an analogy in lego

having asked my fabulous roommate if a glass of wine is an appropriate accompaniment to giving up on humanity, and gotten an affirmative, i am now sitting here with my glass, typing away my frustration, though perhaps a punching bag or a good cry would be more appropriate.

no, no, no, nothing really bad has happened, it's just that… well, imagine if you will that you have built an intricate structure out of lego. you moved things around and around until it's almost perfect. the red blocks are on the bottom, the white in the middle, and so on. this took a loooong time from the initial model that had the general look of what you wanted, but did not follow the rules assigned. see? there it is! it is a thing of great beauty and it fills you with pride, because you have spent a long time on it. you have buffed it to a high gloss shine. you have honed it to a fine edge. you have spent a long time loving it. a long time. it was an enjoyable time, true, but not as enjoyable as, say, watching some seriously crappy television sans guilt. so yeah, there it is.

so say you now ask your partner to add blue turrets to it, on all the applicable levels, as per project assignment. the partner knows where the turrets go. you trust the partner. perhaps you are an idiot. or perhaps you have so many other things to do you have no choice. and so you work on the yellow wingnuts and let the partner have at the blue turrets.

when you come back to the structure several days later, behold, there are the blue turrets, on all the applicable levels. but…BUT. but as you look closer, you realise that in the process of putting in the blue turrets (on all the applicable levels, natch), your partner has completely (though subtly) rearranged things so that that gorgeous and perfect thing of neat and clean colour coding you have spent such a long time on, is now disrupted. there is a yellow amidst the greens; a blue in the whites: a sort of lego-version of the most unwelcome benetton ad ever made. because in this one instance you really want white to stick to white, and so on… and so you take a deep breath, and then you start, AGAIN, to rework the very things you had already done (well) once. it takes a long time, and as you dig deeper, you realise that the structure has been altered in other ways, ways that make you want to sob, but ways that nobody but you will notice, and so, heartsick, you let it go.

and then you tell c that you are now officially over fucking group work and that you want out NOW. and then you ask mfr about the wine. and then you drink the wine and blog about it and realise that it can't be so very bad if this thought comes roughly 9 days before the end of it all. this thought tries to lift your spirits, but it's hard going. because you loved that fucking lego structure and you made it fucking perfect and you don't understand how someone would fail to see the importance of the details after a semester in a class that brought detail-oriented joy to your heart, the heart that is now, if not broken, then seriously bruised.


07 April, 2014

the edge

i am standing on the edge of a precipice. the wind is whipping my hair into my face. the waves are crashing into the rocks below me and it seems like it's an insurmountable distance. there are voices behind me, and a huge sky in front. i know the water is bone-shatteringly cold, but i also know i cannot stand here for any length of time. after all, the way leads forward, doesn't it? i am filled with the same kind of excitement and fear and exhilaration that i felt last september: a sort of death-wish coupled with the awareness that to stop or go back would cost far more than the temporary comfort of no-change is worth. there might be sharks, sure. but maybe not. or maybe it doesn't matter, i mean, jesus - there are sharks everywhere (metaphorically speaking, of course).

all of last week or maybe two (you should seriously just make peace with the fact that the passage of time is beyond my grasp these days), i have been walking around with a knot in my belly. oddly enough, it's not the same sort of stomach knot that depression brings me - this one is a sort of deep visceral fear mixed in equal measures with excitement, elation and something i can't quite put my finger on, some sort of feeling of the beginning of another era, i suppose…

i think that it's essential to note that the feeling i have right now is a sort of uncontrollable giddiness not because i'm almost done, but because i'm in it. it's the being in it that's making me thrilled and scared and overwhelmed and fucked up and and and… you know, feeling feelings.

what i fear is that i won't be good enough. that they (those not-so-mythical "they" who STILL HAVEN'T CALLED ME BACK ABOUT A JOB!!!) will see that i am a stoopid fraud with only her big mouth to fall back on. but that's not the biggest fear. i fear a new life, not seeing the goofy mugs of the lovelies who have made me happy these last two years: k, with her quiet calm and ability to listen and say the perfect thing; c, who has taught me that in friendship age is irrelevant and who has continued to amaze me both with the unexpected depth of our connection and the shallowness of our gossip; mfr, whom i will miss for his kindness and caring and patience, and for being there and NOT being there precisely when i needed it; j, for her tranquil vibe and much-needed lessons in self-care; dd, for her frenetic energy and huge heart; and others and others and others…

i remember each time i left school for any length of time i felt i would die of loneliness, and then swiftly found myself splashing joyfully in the world that awaits me 298km north of here, and found i didn't die after all. except this time it's for good and i'm a big enough girl to know that friendships don't always last when the string gets pulled too taut.

but that's not all: this is big. this is the new me, diving into the ocean like a girl who forgot her fear of heights and sharks. watch me: this is big!

01 April, 2014

the end is nigh!

two weeks, my bunnies, two weeks. in two weeks i will be as close to done as makes no difference.
am i happy, you ask? well, you'd think i would be, no? done with the drudgery and idiocy and frustrations… instead, i seem to have come down with a nasty case of stockholm syndrome, and find myself maybe not dreading the light at the end of the tunnel but definitely wanting to curl up in the dark where i know it's safe(ish).

the thought of being out in "the real world" doesn't phase me. nor does the fact that i have not yet heard back about my job prospects at My Number One Most Awesome Choice Job Ever and have neglected to apply ANYWHERE ELSE.* what it is, is a feeling of security and comfort in this dismal institution. why, even the second-in-command has become all smiley and friendly-like since we've gotten our official accreditation! i know where i stand here. i know that the amount of work i am expected to complete is simultaneously unreasonable and completely doable. i know that these hallowed halls (with electrical outlets so badly decayed that they sprayed c with dramatic electrocution sparks as he tried to unplug his laptop three times!) are a sort of home. i know these people (some of whom i have wanted to murder on multiple occasions) are a sort of family. and given that this last semester has been a challenge nirvana for this poor beast, this beast just sort of wants it to continue. see? classic stockholm syndrome.

i might need an intervention.

*ain't nobody got time for that shit!