27 July, 2016

on the same subject once again, this time with subtle differences undetectable without an electron miscroscope

came home to a cooler texas than i left it (yay!)
but i came home to a messier house than i left it (boo!)
came home to mr. monkey (yay!)
but i came home to a pool that is green and filled with algae (boo!)

i am singing the poor little rich girl blues
won't someone tell me what to doooo
i hate my big house
i hate my shit
i want nothing more to do with it
i am singing the poor little rich girl blues

i don't want this idiotic big house. i don't want all the idiotic things that are in it. i don't want to be here in this idiotic state in this bananas country. i don't know what to do, but in the meantime i'm looking for work at home. and trying to remember to meditate daily so that my head doesn't explode.

to end on a more positive note, here are some photos from my time in ontario:

20 July, 2016

it's done

ladies and poltergeists, the resume has been sent. i gave myself until noon (eastern time zone) to quit tweaking and picking and changing and moving commas and shifting spaces and send the damn thing. it went out at 11:49 and it is done.

what happens next is anyone's guess, but i guess that's what Real Life is all about, innit?

19 July, 2016

real life™

what i've found in these recent moments of panic is the sudden realisation that what i'm going through is actually Real Life. and how, then, can you not become clearly and unquestionably aware of the privilege of your position - when the very idea of Real Life only occasionally imposes on your peace of mind (medicated or not)? how then, can you not feel like a class one asshole who sits in the glorious position of someone for whom Real Life is nothing more than an unpleasant break in the monotony of an existence in which all things are pretty much taken care of and pleasantly irrelevant? this realisation, and all that follows, made me see that i've been acting very much like a child and it's time that i grow the hell up.

when i analysed the almost overwhelming fear and anxiety that accompanied the very possibility of my getting a planning job again, i came to the conclusion that despite some valid reasons for being frustrated with the planning world in general, and the planning world in north america in particular, my ultimate rejection of being a planner was nothing more than the angry and hurt response of someone who got kicked off a horse and never got back on again. the fact that i let my professional membership lapse (a fact that will now cost me an additional approx. 200CAD) is indication enough - i wanted to back out and burn the bridges; i wanted to lock the door behind me and have fewer ways of getting back in. and worst of all,  i lied to myself about it: built a whole ideology about why and who and what and how this was the only proper way of going forth into yet another new (and possibly painless) direction!

last couple of days when i found myself working through this insane anxiety, i forced myself to realise that it was nothing more than fear. the fear of the horse that bucked me off a year ago. the fear of the possibility of a new job within my chosen profession. the fear of failure - that, more than anything else, is what caused this anxiety. the fear that i, who did well in school (oh, that ever fleeting and wholly imaginary world!) would damn well fail in the real world as i (half) feel i failed before. the fear that i will disappoint my friends c and sanity salad, not to mention n whose unfounded faith in me (unfounded not because i don't deserve faith, but because our interactions have been almost exclusively social and not professional in nature) is causing her to speak up for me to her boss. it's oh so easy to be above it all, to be smart and capable in one's own estimation, but having a job in my chosen field is the ultimate test, innit? this is the real world!

of course there is the other massive elephant in this room - me getting a job in edmonton (oh, look at all this talk of a job that i haven't even applied for yet because i can't seem to be able to finish tweaking my fucking CV!!!!) means that mr. monkey remains in texas while i head north, and that is nowhere near an easy choice to make. but i have decided today (while picking herbs from a family friend's garden) that i cannot do anything else but apply. if i fail to get interest, that's fine. if i get an interview and then don't get hired, that's fine, too. but if i don't even try, then i'm a privilege-surfing asshole. yes, i'm afraid. but you know what? i was terrified of going back to school but i did it. and you know what else? all my friends, every last one of them, were scared when they started a new job. and mr. monkey isn't happy at work, so me saying, no, i can't do it because i am scared privileges my emotional wellbeing over his and i can't continue to do that.

so there you have it. i realise that the internet isn't the place to announce how you'll get fit or over booze or stop mistreating your pet walrus, but this is MY place to tell you that at the very least this privileged upper-middle class white girl will get off her arse and TRY.

wish me luck.

free therapy session? why, yes, i think i shall! thank you blogosphere!

recap of recent life bits and bobbles:

2 weeks in poland
1 week home getting over 2 weeks in poland (see above) and getting ready for 2 weeks in ontario (see below)
2 weeks in ontario, helping parents empty their house of their many, many, many, MANY possessions in preparation for eventual sale of said house and move back west to be where the family is

being here in ontario, a place that has never been my home (my parents flew the coop and left me behind in edmonton - this has only ever been a place of occasional visits), has for some reason unravelled my tightly controlled positivity about living in the US. perhaps it's being back in canada that does it. the fact that i breathe better here (metaphorically, not physically; the air in texas is just fine, y'all), the fact that this country (if not this province) is my home, all came together and made me get all manner of melancholy. i'm suddenly missing aspects of living in western canada that until now  i never found particularly special or of any particular importance.

and so, under the influence of said melancholy musings, i started a conversation with a friend on facebook. a friend who is a decade or so younger but roughly a century more experienced and a thousandfold more driven. the type of woman who is not only working 70 hours a week, but also sitting on 5 committees, volunteering for 14 organizations, and chairing 3 charitable women's groups. on top of which, her weekends make mine look like those of a hibernating sloth with a glandular deficiency. whenever i tagged along with her, i would make it home at an ungodly hour, having consumed vast quantities of liquor in multiple venues of varying chicness. and then, when all i wanted to do the following day is to gently moan on my chaise longue, she'd want to do it again.

this powerhouse has for some reason taken a shine to me. she thinks i'm aces. so when i casually asked her if the sexy company she now works for was hiring, she immediately jumped on it, immediately talked to her boss (even though it was sunday), and immediately told me to send my CV to him directly. my response to this was to immediately fall headfirst into an anxiety attack. thank gods my mother has a stash of benzodiazepines that i can access sans delay and judgment. my reaction to this... this nothing, really, since nothing has been promised and nothing has been done, is ridiculous, but alas, this is my response, ridiculous or not.

both my response (the ridiculous one, yes) and the situation have made me think and you, gentle reader, are as usual the happy recipient of my outpourings. let this set the stage for what i've come up with. for now, i shall leave you with this, and return forthwith to finish my lengthy CV, so i can stop hyperventilating and move to full fledged panic.

08 July, 2016


after spending well over an hour last night cleaning the pool, i topped up my plastic glass of wine and floated for a bit in the cicada-filled darkness of my suburban white privilege. i reflected on how facebook (or twitter) activism is the one way of feeling less powerless in the face of all the ugliness, but how useless it ultimately is because it merely hollers into the echo chamber of like-mindedness, changing nothing. then again, if not that, then what? what do i do? where do i march? the dallas shooting last night showed an ugly alternative to inaction  - apparently the angry white man in this case was angry at white people and especially white cops. hey, i get it, but his choice of response was... well, what can you say about discharging semi-automatic firearms into a gathering of people? (oh, i know! you can call it the fucking second amendment in action!)

this morning i listened to NPR in the car and the conversation, as always after these almost daily occurrences down here, turned to the age old question: "what do we do about this?" within seconds i found myself flailing madly at the radio, swearing, and utterly appalled - and the NPR is as "my people" as it gets in the US media! "what do we do about this?" SERIOUSLY?!?!

i found myself imagining a country in which people are encouraged to consume candy in vast quantities. it's a badge of honour to walk around with a lollipop or caramels or taffy; bags of candy are everywhere, readily available and much beloved. but, lo and behold, there is (and has been for some time) a massive epidemic of tooth decay! people wring their hands, offer prayers, hold vigils, blame those who don't floss, but never once for a second consider removing the candy from the equation because the status quo is a sacred thing. this, for a canadian, is what the situation looks like. i sit on the sidelines and wonder how it is possible that this is even a question any more.

what do we do about this? seriously, america? i dunno, perhaps if you demanded to buy your soul back from the NRA; perhaps if you took your head out of your ass long enough to notice the rest of the world; perhaps if you stopped venerating the founding fathers as if they were prescient political gods whose creation, the constitution, was a document of biblical immutability; perhaps if you examined the second amendment within its historical context; and maybe, just maybe, if you stopped hollering about your exceptionalism and how great you are and paid attention to the bigger picture, then maybe you could become the kick-ass place you have the potential to be.

until that happens, i'm so done with you. this fling is over. and if you don't cease and desist your violent ways, i may yet take out a restraining order against you. don't call me.


and then i see something like this and i literally weep because most of you are good people who don't want this shit at all, and i don't know who to be angry at anymore.

07 July, 2016


it seems that each day that we've been back from poland, another dainty news item has thrown me for a loop: with the recent killing of alton sterling, i felt a shift, a crack. i got (and remain) so fucking mad at america that i've started looking for work back home. and before you tell me canada isn't perfect - believe me, i know, but we don't shoot unarmed black people every fucking day of the goddamn week.

so i did what one does these days: i wrote a post on fb (only to be told in no uncertain terms by mr. monkey that i need to keep my politics to myself), i've tweeted, i've read, i've talked, internally howling all the while, and i wonder how this will end. it seems like there are cracks all over the world, a great big instability leaving us teetering on the very edge of an abyss: the glorious experiment of the EU might be breaking up; politics seem to be swinging back towards the unmitigated angry tribalism of yestermillenia; the institutionalised racism in the US comes out on almost daily blatant display such that i wonder why there hasn't been a race war yet.  then there are the floods; the fires; the constant screaming anger of so many people (myself included). surely this can't last!

our society feels like a great big intricate vase, useless and dusty but somehow still valuable, held together with wishful thinking and dried up old crazy glue, standing too close to the edge of the shelf and i, for one, want someone to nudge it over. i think that maybe we are due for something, though i don't quite know what it is, and i fear that when it hits, it'll be a hell of a crash.

i suppose many people have felt this over the ages. surely, this is nothing new, nor particularly original, as far as our history goes. what lends it such a feeling of immediacy is that now information is thrown at us faster than we can process it, gobs and gobs of ugliness striking us again and again until we think we will never be able to breathe normally.