21 June, 2014

funny ha ha

c: i met up with X….(details about X follow)
moi: i like X, though X lacks a sense of humour and under pressure goes all Y-like.*
c: i know! X didn't crack a smile once! and i am damn funny.**

*read: unbearably intense.
**for the record, yes. yes he is.

thoughts on anger on a summer solstice morn

anger used to rule me. i still sometimes get tangled up in it, but i have learned to let go of it quicker, disentangle myself, as it were, move past. it is useless. it spurs me to very little action other than hollering at the sun, which, as we know, accomplishes nothing other than a sunburn. my dad and i have had many arguments over this: he believes that a righteous anger at things that are wrong in the world is somehow useful or superior; i believe that even a righteous anger only turns inward and destroys, does no good whatsoever for the world at large.

i'm not going to go all preachy and talk about how "love is the answer" because statements like that are the gateway drug to sparkly unicorns and crystals and FREE HUGS, and i'm not particularly interested in any of those things,* but i will say that refusing to get angry and stay angry and carry that anger like some sort of weapon or a cause is exhausting and i am feeling much lighter now that i've given it up.

similarly, i refuse to burden myself with other people's problems. my mom and aunt and i used to spend hours getting all fired up over things that other family members were doing, and, just like the "righteous" anger, it accomplished nothing good externally, and a whole lot of unpleasantness internally. i dedicated the latter half of my thirties to teaching myself to let go of things that were not my problem. still not easy, that, but getting easier, and, like letting go of anger, it makes life easier, smoother-cornered. don't get me wrong - i can still see things that are wrong and that i would do differently; i just choose not to make a project of them if they're not mine to change.

i will not lie, i must admit that my little pink pills have been instrumental in helping, and that is one reason why i am nowhere near ready to let them go. i still think we overmedicate, i still believe there are alternatives, but having been on them for almost 2 years now, i feel like someone whose quirky adrenal imbalance or clonky elbow has been fixed - i don't want to go back to broken. the difference is subtle, even to me, but it is noticeable, and i am unwilling to go back to the old me because it was exhausting being angry all the time.

*that's a lie: i love sparkly unicorns. who doesn't? sick bastards, that's who!

13 June, 2014

words, wasps, wait...

on tuesday night, mr. monkey and i drove to calgary. wednesday morning dawned bright and early, and our drive to the university was filled to the brim with swearing and frustration. perhaps i was nervous, perhaps i was emotional and it came out in the deep and earnest desire to kill calgary. all drivers on the road were incompetent assholes; all construction was specifically aimed at making me a. late and b. confused; all things conspired to make me as stabby as possible at a time when i should have been filled with pride and joy and shit.

i managed to meet up with c who escorted me to where our highly flammable robes, funny hats, and diplomas would be handed out. just seeing him made it all better and i entered the gym feeling good about life. seeing the rest of my classmates trickle in hammered the final nails in the coffin of my bad mood ("and the most awkward metaphor award goes to…") and i got robed and hooded and behatted with a smile on my face.

the ceremony was as such things go: many congratulatory speeches, applause, cheers, tearful bits, smiley bits, and then our class got called up. i made it up and down the stair sans either a wardrobe malfunction or a face plant, which, in itself, was a major success. and so i am now officially a master of something (notably a shitty phone camera because we forgot our actual camera at home. yes. yes, we did. i am just as shocked as you are, if not more):

the convocation was followed by a formal champagne reception (with no champagne, because…well, i dunno, you tell me!), which was followed by an informal restaurant reception. then mr. monkey took the bus home, while k and i decided that the way to truly celebrate this momentous occasion was to have as many different kinds of liquor in as many different venues as possible…well, we didn't actually decide, it just sorta happened. we drank ciders and wine at the restaurant, we drank really good old-fashioneds at b's place, we walked over to crusty juggler's place where i was staying and drank nearly half a bottle of champagne each, then took a cab to my favourite prof's place where we proceeded to (i think) drink a lot of wine, talk to a lot of people, and eventually be the very last ones to leave. 

i am fairly certain neither one of us wore a lampshade at any point in the evening, and equally certain that no public peeing or nudity took place. we did, however, insist on walking home despite a less than perfect knowledge of the vicinity. turns out my drunk compass is pretty fucking great because we found our way home via parks, stairs and odd little neighbourhoods in record time. k made herself comfortable on the couch and, because our judgment was more than a little impaired, we dug into crusty juggler's special chips that she was saving for her dad (drunk people will eat your shit. know this) before finally going to bed around 1:30am.

we woke up around 6am (hello alcohol, you fiend!) and knew that no more sleep was to be had. frankly, i suspect we were still running on fumes from the night before as our ability to form complete sentences was less than stellar; our ability to form sentences that were a propos to the conversation at hand was even worse. despite this, we managed to:

a. (very slowly) figure out what time the breakfast place opened (7am!)
b. (very tentatively) capture a wasp and release it into the wild
c. (very determinedly) utterly fail to retrieve crusty juggler's mail from the mailbox (keys=hard)
d. (very embarrassingly) even more utterly fail to pick up the three items crusty juggler requested i bring her (she's in edmonton for the summer)
e. (very successfully) get in the car and drive home, laughing almost incessantly

i came into work at noon, expecting madness, only to find out that the project i was to be slogging my way through was deemed a no-go. my boss came by, took one look at my haggard old lady face and told me to go home. and so i went home. 

overall, i'd say it was a raging success. all of it. every last damn thing.

10 June, 2014

ADHD or whatever the acronym happens to be these days*

* because seriously, haven't they changed it a bunch of times in recent decades? fitting, non?

aside from my recurrent bouts of depression, i think i may be suffering from emotional ADHD - things happen and i feel stuff and then i'm all, LOOK! shiny thing! and off i go, skipping happily into the middle distance. even my bouts of depression suffer from ADHD and just sort of bugger off after a while, distracted by something they'd just seen in a shop window. perhaps i am just a shallow fuck.

09 June, 2014


mommy, why can't i be utterly unique and unpredictable?

because if you were, my darling, you would seriously curtail the ability of other humans to relate to you in a meaningful manner. if you were unpredictable enough, you would even make it nearly impossible for you to live with yourself. a certain degree of predictability is what allows us to function as a single species. take it away, and you have a collection of selves unable to co-exit.

let us gird our loins and vacuum the hell out of this floor!

sometimes shit happens out of the blue. sometimes you feel feelings that you have no right to feel but feel them anyway. sometimes, those feelings make you all sorts of angry at the feelings you are feeling (thus adding beautiful feeling layers to the whole complex web of feelings), and then, when you feel sucker-punched and…feely (?) you suddenly remember that you have a sanity salad friend who is the best thing ever and then, when you've had a reasonably short phone conversation with your sanity salad friend, you think to yourself, you know what? i'm sort of over it, the feelings are gone, oh, but look at the floor! i need to vacuum! like RIGHT NOW!

and if needing to vacuum isn't the best response to what could have been a crisis of sorts (if not for sanity salad friend's singular good sense, kindness and, let's just say it, ability to hit the damn nail right on its damn head) then i don't know what is…oh wait, i'm also gonna run some stairs later (and by run, i mean initially walk briskly then very quickly run out of steam and eventually end up in a leisurely crawl, but for like an hour or so). and make some tzatziki. and maybe try my newly pickled radishes. and have some campari and tonic. BECAUSE I CAN!

recap? sure! some lessons that either are or are not pertinent at the moment, but are likely going to be pertinent at some moment in life:

life: good.
actions have consequences.
self-care should trump most other things.
it's best to err on the side of compassion.
campari and tonic is the best summer drink.

i think i'm out of ideas. anyone? toss me a good one, and i'll post it right here!

08 June, 2014

city love affair

to counteract the deep and convoluted bullshititis of the previous post, and to show you that my life is actually pretty damn awesome at the moment, i shall tell you about my saturday.

i woke up too early, as is my wont, and headed out to the downtown market to meet the absolutely amazing k (seriously, my poultries, you should meet her - she is my sanity salad with nuts on top and was instrumental to keeping my head above water on so many occasions that you'd think she was circular and orange* and kept on boats for that express purpose). we bought coffees and vegetarian sammiches and sat amongst the beautiful crowds of the downtown farmers' market, discussing Things. there are few people i'd rather discuss Things with, and this time was no different. some satisfying answers were arrived at.

post breakfast, we wandered the market, then went around downtown checking out the various new holes in edmonton - the arena hole, the museum hole, the assorted condominium and office tower holes and other things that make planner-girls like us salivate. watching the city that we love grow in wonderful ways is such a thrill! i can hardly remember the ghostly rail yards that are now full of bustling activity, parks and assorted human-centric development…but enough about that!

we hit up the pride parade for a while, and then mr. monkey and i headed off to buy tickets to the folk fest. each year it becomes more difficult to get said tickets as the organizers try to make things "fair" by instituting various lotteries, whereby, quite often, the first shall be last and vice versa, in all sorts of beautifully biblical ways that make me get all stabby, but tickets were gotten after a few tense moments. it's a good thing that folkies don't tend towards violence, though, is all i'm sayin'.

afterwards, we met up with our friends p&s and walked to downtown east to check out the city holes and new developments there, and ended up in a taco joint that's been garnering rave reviews, which turned out to be well worth it, despite retardedly loud mexican rock blaring from the speakers (note to restauranteurs: i want to eat in peace, not be yelled at. capiche?). a good sangria and taco buzz got us home and the real work of the day began.

the year i'd been away has seen the unprecedented growth of unsorted documents in various piles scattered haphazardly throughout the apartment. this needed to be dealt with. furthermore, the recently announced pregnancy of the dear friend who has been cleaning our place has resulted in her handing in her resignation and a proliferation of dust bunnies and mushrooms growing in the bathtub - t'would be nice to take a shower without catching six different venereal diseases, methinks. so that, also, needed to be dealt with.

a wild saturday night at the monkey household, non? sorting mail, shredding documents (always one step ahead of the IRS and the CIA, that's me!), scrubbing tiles and demushroomating the bathtub, while not high on a list of Fun Things To Do On A Saturday Night, can nevertheless engender a deep sense of satisfaction. after all, this is home and home should not inspire revulsion. we are one step closer to that lofty goal. revulsion-o-meter is waaaay down!

*she isn't. circular and orange, i mean. she's lovely, though, and highly effective.

learning, unlearning, relearning, i.e. the circle of life

i wonder if we, as a human race, are congenitally unable to learn our lessons and keep them learned. if we're condemned to perpetually repeat the same mistakes, chipping away at life in bursts of inspiration, pushing that damn rock up a hill, sisyphus-like, wondering philosophically what the fuck. then again, maybe it's just me. maybe others don't step in the same pile of shit twice…though i seriously doubt it, and not just to be charitable to myself because it's sunday and this is as close to church as i'm likely to get, but because there is compelling evidence that we are all, each and every one, committed shit-steppers: it is our way.

i feel like i'm once again exposing myself to getting hurt in a way that would seriously be too stupid if i let it, on account of work done under the same heading in the past. still, one thing i have carried with me over the years, is an (admittedly fluctuating) sense of self-acceptance: i will not, for fear of getting hurt, grow spines and wall myself off from the world and the (sometimes poky) people that inhabit it. some things are worth it, some are not, and the magic of living a life lies in finding and maintaining a balance that doesn't leave one flailing around emotionally while allowing for the various experiences you need to fluff out the resume of your existence. so you know, same old, same old.

ah, you say, you're being awfully enigmatic, the darling apple of our collective eye! yes, i answer, blushing prettily at such a sweet sweet compliment, i am being awfully enigmatic. you should have learned by now to expect full disclosure only on the emotional plane; the occurrences, events, happenings, and other whatsits that inspire said emotional responses are often off limits.

so what i'm doing is taking a deep breath, stepping back for a wee bit, and making a virtual in-my-head excel chart of pros and cons of a given situation so that i can make a cool and informed decision about where i stand…KIDDING! hell! seriously? did you think i could do that? really? because if you do, then you haven't been paying attention very well and should have marks taken off! because one of the things i rarely do is manage to plan out an emotional course of action. i'm ALL about flinging myself off cliffs, plunging into holes, and other assorted methodologies of light insanity. i just can't help it. so yes, right now, i am stepping back, taking a cool look at shit and analysing it and all, but i know that when the wind blows from a particular direction (or when i've got a couple glasses of wine in me) i will either slam that door again or fling it wide open, or possibly just maintain the fragile status-quo, and frankly, i have not a clue about which of the above is going to happen. i likely won't know until i've done it. i'm full of surprises like that.

04 June, 2014

facilitate THIS!

so in the interest of full disclosure, i am now fine. my day of weeping gave way to a day of meh, followed by going on a work road trip that left me too busy to feel feelings. i have spent roughly 14 hours today working on facilitating a public engagement session put on by our provincial government, and as much as even typing that sentence makes me want to doze off (also, i am really rather tired, natch), it was actually a fun day and i think the boss lady might have been maybe a little not-wrong in placing me in this team because i think i may be good at this. who knew?! she did, that's who! sorry for doubting the wisdom of your ways, boss lady. and also? the small town catering thing was phe-no-me-nal! seriously! kale salad with pine nuts in (i shit you not) the white supremacist capital of alberta. good stuff, that!

to bed now, more of the same tomorrow. i suspect i won't get home until late evening and will fall face first on the bed sans brushing of teeth or washing of face. just kidding. that would NEVER happen. i don't ever ever ever ever EVER go to bed without washing my face and brushing my teeth…well, except for that one time and we will not talk about that.

mwah! mwah!

02 June, 2014


this morning my boss (the woman who interviewed and hired me twice now) came up to see how i'm doing: great. great! everything is great. my face hurts from smiling, everything is so goddamn great. i spent the day doing this and that, and chatting with the lovelies who came up from the third to say hi to me, and then had a solitary lunch and a non-smoke break (quick walk around the block long enough to finish a cigarette if i were a smoker) and then a heavy duty post-work walk to meet mr. monkey at a doctor's office 7km away, uphill and running and trying to sweat some of the goddamn great out of me.

in the car, on the way back, the great broke and i started to cry like a fucking three year old because i hate being on the fourth floor; hate being dumped unceremoniously among the autistic landscape architects, hate being put into a team that is taking so long to warm up to me that i keep checking if i still have a pulse. i have made one new friend. i have had one guffaw at my plant decoration*, which made me feel that there are still people who get me… a little. and so i cried like a small child, blowing snot bubbles and derailing our dinner plans (nobody wants to go into a restaurant while blubbering like a spoiled toddler, even a cheap vietnamese restaurant), laughing at myself intermittently, knowing that i was being immature, unreasonable and emotionally fucked-up, and hormonally emotional. having spent the weekend in calgary, i was also emotionally messed up from realising how much i miss not only school (well, my school people)  but also my fabulous roommate who really really REALLY is fucking fabulous. so yeah…having cried for the better part of an hour, i'm better now…ish.

i'm off on the road tomorrow night, going to start working for realz, yo. tell ya how it went. first stop? alberta's white supremacist capital! woot woot! if that doesn't make me appreciate the landscape architects, i don't know what will! i also am well aware of the fact that this is my typical transitional idiocy and that having found my pace, i shall do well… if the white supremacists don't get me.

*when i started working here last summer, my aunt gave me a small potted orchid to keep me company (not that i needed it last summer…sigh) and after producing its single solitary bloom, it went into hibernation mode. when i went back to school, i gave it to a co-worker for safe-keeping and only just reclaimed it midweek last. it isn't blooming now and has not bloomed since its early days, and so, because it is essentially just a small tangerine pot with some droopy-looking dark green leaves, i decided it needed a little something extra and i made a flag out of a pink post-it note. on it, in my best calligraphy, i wrote "herman the disappointing orchid," which i thought was pretty damn hilarious.

this weekend, when i told a lovely friend about it, he chastised me for being cruel: "sure," quoth he, "you could say a thing like that… IN YOUR HEAD!!! not to herman! how does that make him feel? maybe he's trying really hard and this is the best he can do!" needless to say i felt pretty badly about it, though not enough to take down the flag. herman needs tough love. life is NOT easy. why, sometimes you get put on the fourth floor!!!