i've been having a hell of a time lately being kind to people close to me. oh, i think i manage for the most part (though my track record with mr. monkey's been pretty shitty of late, and my mother's two week visit pushed me to the limit) but it's hard work. i feel like my default setting in recent weeks is to snap, to growl, to roll my eyes, and to get immediately annoyed at bloody everything. that seething anger one gets behind the wheel of a car in rush hour traffic is the feeling i've been experiencing a lot. i'm mad about so many things, some of which are tiny and some of which are large, but my anger seems fairly democratic in its approach. so, without further ado, here is a list of things i am currently angry about (varying levels of rationality, randomly laid out for your reading pleasure):
1. plastic storage containers - when you bring me food in a plastic container i will eat the food, wash the container, and then RETURN IT TO YOU BECAUSE IT IS YOURS. apparently this is a little too complicated a concept for some people, as a result of which, i am constantly buying new ones. or asking for them back. because it's HARD to return someone else's shit. this makes me stabby. very, very, VERY stabby. i am also aware of how petty this is, which doesn't help at all.
2. RSVP - when i send out an invitation (and crusty juggler will attest to the fact that i put a lot of time and effort into my invitations), i expect people to RSVP. they don't. because they're busy. they're apparently too busy to press a button attached to an email, choosing one of 3 options (yes, no, maybe), which takes a whole 5 seconds to do. let's be generous and round it waaaaay the hell up to a minute to allow for checking one's calendar. perhaps it's because people don't know what the letters mean. FYI (though, as far as i'm aware, none of my readers have ever done this to me) it means: répondez s'il vous plaît, which, in the language of our lord jesus, means respond to this invitation, for the love of god, so the hostess can ensure an adequate amount of snacks, drinks, and seating. with a hearty emphasis on respond.
4. my "career" - so i changed careers, went off to school, blah blah, yadda yadda, y'all've been around for that particular ride. then i got my dream job. then i quit my dream job because it turned out i was working with a bully. fine. shit happens. that should have turned me off that particular job. and it did. but there was an underlying disenchantment with my profession as a whole. an unhappiness that was reiterated each time i went to yet another inspirational talk/conference/symposium/lecture about things that were exciting, good, evidence-based, clearly superior, that WE WERE NOT IMPLEMENTING BECAUSE. because the transportation department. because the engineers. because the developers. because the public. because the businesses. because bureaucracy. because FUCK YOU.
so here's my response - screw you, north america, if you want to continue building strip malls, overpasses, multi-lane highways, cul-de-sacs, big box stores, and profoundly uninspired beige subdivisions that are responsible for mental illness, loneliness, obesity, and death: fuck. you. i'm done. i was told once that my kind of passion was needed to make a change, but ha ha, turns out that my kind of passion is no match for the institutionalised inertia, short-sightedness, greed, and conservatism that characterises this business. screw evidence-based decision-making. screw building a great public realm. why do all that (and hell, it's not even news! most european cities have that shit covered!) when you can breed a populace that thinks it's ok to drive 45 minutes to a poorly-lit mammoth grocery complex to buy flavourless vegetables from china and a 6lb bag of cheezie-whatsits, along with a gallon of antibiotic-infused milk that tastes like nothing that ever came anywhere near a cow (because ewww!); a populace that lives in their navigators and escalades and other obscene gas guzzling monstrosities because it's their fucking human right to have the biggest car on the road; a populace that sees taxes as evil as opposed to membership dues for society; a populace that is fat and sullen and angry and lost but fears any kind of change.
if my last 3 weeks have taught me anything, it's that if someone offered me a job putting together ikea cabinets at a decent wage, i'd take it. and flip a bird to "urban planning." which, of course, makes me angry, considering how this was supposed to be my thing. my path. my fucking shiny unicorn farm.
5. basic grammar - i listen to public radio (big surprise there) and am appalled all too often of late. if i wanted to hear someone pepper their speech with "like" and "sorta" i'd go hang out at the local high school or listen to a commercial radio station. hearing public radio reporters or even the allegedly intelligent researchers being interviewed sound like pimply 14 year olds makes me despair for humanity. i realise that intellectual snobbism isn't really fashionable, but why in hell can't public radio be a bastion of sense? thank god the bbc still retains its standards...for now - i have yet to hear vocal fry, "like sorta," or that recently fashionable little girl voice on that network, but that day is coming, i'm sure. because elitism...
6. my body - each morning the joints in my fingers are stiff and painful. the arthritic big right toe hurts pretty much all the time. the place where i squashed the top of my hand with my bed 3 months ago is getting worse not better. my back is sore. my head hurts. i feel like an 80 year old. the doctor tells me i'm fine. i beg to differ, and want something to be done. but what can be done when blood work, bone scans, x-rays and other such methodologies yield no useful results? i've got a way to go to 80 yet, and i'd prefer it if it didn't feel like this.
7. my ideals - i'm pretty much ready to toss those useless things aside, as evidenced by my enthusiastic embrace of our plan to move to texas, where i will live in a large suburban home, with a front-facing garage, likely on a cul-de-sac, too far to reasonably walk to anything useful, and as far from the "densely populated urban centre" of which i'm such a fan, as possible. hell, maybe i'll even buy an escalade, and shop at costco for 20 gallon jars of mayonnaise.
8. my anger - it's exhausting. it's exhausting fighting it; it's just as exhausting feeding it. i'm tired of this and am considering doubling up my horse tranquilizers or giving myself a lovely artisanal DIY lobotomy - after all, if you've got nothing nice to say then perhaps sitting in a corner drooling quietly to myself isn't really a bad option.