29 May, 2014

who you calling bozo?

thing is, i'm working now, and i know y'all are just dying to find out if it's all it's cracked up to be. short answer: no. why no? you holler like some sort of lightly deranged international greek chorus, complete with rending of garments and pouring ashes on your heads (seriously? enough with the drama already!) and lo, i shall tell you:

the best part of last year was being surrounded by heaps and oodles of like-minded individooooals who were funny and witty and awesome and friendly. this year, as some sort of bizarre punishment and/or an attempt to prevent me from decreasing the productivity of the entire third floor (as i suspect i did last year), i have been placed in isolation on the fourth floor. no big, right? wrong.

the fourth floor (a.k.a. the gulag) is home to just a small pile of largely absent planners (more on that later) and a whole host of landscape architects. what's wrong with landscape architects? well, given my less than stellar experience with the head of our school who was initially a landscape architect, i should have been worried. i wasn't. but i should have been. turns out she was a classic example of a typical landscape architect: socially awkward, unable to maintain eye contact, incapable of the simplest human interactions, and refusing to acknowledge the existence of Strangers. turns out, i'm a Stranger.

my desk is placed right by the door to the kitchen (my cubicle with window of yesteryear is but a faint memory…) through which pours a countless stream of landscape architects who REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACT THAT I AM SITTING RIGHT THERE. RIGHT. THE. FUCK. THERE!!!! like, right there! you know they can see me, because they would have to be legally blind not to, and yet as they near the entrance to the kitchen, their gaze is magically whisked away from me, and into the wildly exciting wall to their right. you know the way two magnets repel each other? that shit is what fuels the eyeballs of landscape architects.

so, since i tend towards egomaniacal paranoia (you likely have noticed but were too polite to say anything, i know, i know), i took it personally. it was one of two things: either a. word went out from the top, for everyone to stay the fuck away from me, or b. there was some sort of aura of ill-concealed violence and hatred emanating from me (what?! one doesn't always notice these sorts of things about oneself!). then i started talking to my people. turns out, it's not me, it's landscape architecture.

both the planning group and the environmental group, AND my boss, AND several unrelated people have told me, on their own, that landscape architects are an odd bunch. yeah. odd. rainman odd. i'm thinking low-to-moderate-functioning asperger's but less sociable. with a few exceptions, natch, like my old pal n, and the top boss who is a lovely lovely guy. but other than that? i feel like i am actually hurting them when i can't hold back any longer and say hello. oh, they answer, but it costs them a lot. i betcha they have had to up their meds since i arrived on monday.

but back to the whole work thing: it'll be fine. i have two neighbours who have the potential to be pretty awesome, and there is one guy whom i will LOVE (it has been promised. i'd better love him or heads will roll…) who is currently away. and really, i'm there to work and not to party. plus heading down to the third floor every once in a while and getting all the positive feedback is highly gratifying. and also, i am currently doing sweet fuck all, while on tuesday my real work begins. i am being tossed into the seething cauldron of public engagement and will be travelling all over alberta for all of june, during which time it is possible i shall be insulted, yelled at, and possibly even have projectiles hurled at me. at least that's what i'm told public engagement is all about. frankly, i'm pretty stoked: hell, i might even have to get a company american express card, and if that doesn't impress you, you are cold and dead inside.

as for the titular bozo? y'all will have to wait. i ran out of room and i generally hate lengthy posts like this.

25 May, 2014

what just happened?

last night a thing happened. i went to bed well before mr. monkey and promptly fell asleep. i have no idea what i was thinking or dreaming about, but i (half) woke when he came in and i must have figured he was either a stranger or god knows who, because i (apparently) tried to get up in a panic and managed, in a rather dramatic and spectacular fashion, to fall out of bed*…right on my tailbone. because i was half asleep when this whole thing happened, the first clear thing i remember is lying on the floor, tangled in the duvet, experiencing massive pain. it. fucking. hurt... mr. monkey, after semi-succesfully managing to stifle his laughter at what must have been a rather entertaining sight, grew alarmed at my continued distress.

i suspect i was on the floor for a good 15 minutes. the pain was so intense, i grew nauseous from it, and had to be given water. mr. monkey kept asking me if i could feel my legs, which did not calm me one bit but i could (and i still can). i finally managed to crawl back into bed and quickly realised i needed to ice my butt, so off he went into the kitchen to bring me my icepack, but instead brought me a cloth sack filled with plastic iceballs for chilling drinks. so i iced my aching tailbone with a bag of iceballs and was grateful to boot and every once in a while i heard mr. monkey chuckle, no doubt remembering the sight of me flailing out of bed, wrapped in a quilt, and landing on the floor. i'm sure it was funny. i just wish it hadn't been so fucking painful.

am sitting on the couch now, typing this, feeling rather tender. still, gonna get out there and do some stairs, because i haven't been running in a month and stairs are a reasonable alternative, plus, living as we do a short block from edmonton's steep river valley, we are blessed with a large variety of stairs to run. off i go. we'll see if i manage to do it without any more drama!

*a very tall bed. we have an extra tall bed, apparently for added drama in cases such as this.

20 May, 2014

old country and new

i am back. almost two weeks in poland, followed in close proximity by almost two weeks with parents and mr. monkey hiking in the glorious parks of utah, means that although i have had good times, what i need more than anything else at the moment is to sit up alone, listening to my favourite radio show, doing things of no particular importance, at my own damn pace, alone, by myself.

how was it, you ask? (and i knew you would ask, my poultries, because you are sweet and lovely). 'twas good. my plans to pop into poland before whiling away the better part of my vacation in prague or berlin came to naught: there's a power to an almost-94-year-old grandmother, a power based on the ticking away of time… prague will likely be there next year, my grandma? well, the likelihood is nowhere near as solid on that one, and i chose the path that will give me a clear conscience. and also, despite the warnings of my parents who had spent 2 weeks in the old country just before me, it was actually a pleasant visit once i decided to embrace its pace, to acknowledge the power of the passage of time, and to take on the responsibilities of love. i am glad i did it.

the hiking trip to utah was pretty damn good, despite mr. monkey's…ahem...scheduling difficulties. my mom and i are early birds. my father isn't but is amenable to persuasion when faced with the prospect of physical exertion*. mr. monkey? not so much. some conflicts were had. other conflicts were averted. my people-pleasing nature kicked my ass once or twice and made me wanna give myself a nice firm talking-to but what's a girl to do? they're all still talking to each other and seem to have gotten to know each other a wee bit better. drinking in small hotel rooms will do that sometimes.

the parks in utah (monument valley, natural bridges, canyonlands, arches, and various assorted nameless bits of beauty) were breathtaking, human-friendly in scale (except for the rude bits that made my fear of heights go into overdrive), beautifully coloured and ridiculously photogenic (pictures to follow). spring in the desert is something that needs to be experienced - the way that everything seems to be trying to outdo each other in blooming profusion: shrubs, bushes, trees, flowers and cactuses, against the red rocks and bright blue skies, the honey-scents, the buzzing insects, the birds singing, the cicadas…seriously, i could go on and on and on. don't make me go on and on and on; just go already, ok?

at any rate, i am back, i have a bit of free time until work begins on monday and i shall attempt to clean up my act, which has gotten rather sloppy of late. i shall also try to keep in touch, ok? ok.

*the man who will take his sweet time getting up before 9am on a weekend, will jump out of bed with no incentive whatsoever when faced with the prospect of a marathon that typically begins at 6am and therefore requires at least a 5am wake-up. go figger...