30 September, 2016


sad homecoming turned into busy/fun/exciting/overwhelming homecoming, so, just as i suspected, it is fine. sadness will come. it always does, but being here feels so absolutely natural, like a puzzle piece just popped right in.

it smells like rotting leaves, the air is chill, there is a koselig feeling to it all, and mr. monkey's absence notwithstanding, things are good. i'm home.

29 September, 2016

today's theme: crying in airports

fairly self explanatory, methinks.

heading home is bittersweet.

28 September, 2016

the gelatinous sads

so i'm in the middle of an entirely unproductive morning, too busy feeling like shit to get shit done. crying, actually, because i suddenly feel like my silly little heart is gonna break, even though i know it won't, and i know we'll be fine, and i know we've done it before, but try explaining that to a crying heart. it just won't listen. and since whenever i feel like shit i come here, here i am. again.

let's talk this through, shall we? let's dig through all the gelatinous bitter tear goop and get at the hard kernel of truth beneath:

1. taking this job was the right and correct decision. i have no doubt of this.

2. moving back to edmonton is the right thing to do.

3. i have an unbelievable support network in edmonton - family and friends, and i don't mean "hey, you're ok!" friends but true heart's friends, amazing human beans that bring joy into my life and make me think better about myself.

4. looking for work in texas (like, seriously furiously looking, not just sending out a couple resumes as i did) was beyond me for reasons such as: i don't want to live in texas.

5. i don't want to live in texas. not for any length of time.

6. i don't want to live in the US. love visiting, don't wanna live here.

7. mr. monkey feels the same about 2. and 5., although maybe not as emphatically as i do, so me moving home is a good first step in getting both of us home.

8. i am excited about this job, like for realz, not just because it's a job.

9. i have a year+ blank in my resume, which means that i needed to get this job badly.

10. mr. monkey will be home in november for a week, and then i will be in texas for christmas. we will see each other. we can talk daily because technology.

11. staying in texas is not an option. if i stay in texas and fail to find a job, things between us will revert to tense and all the sweetness will be lost. i will hate myself, i will feel like i'm wasting my life, i will be angry and ugly and bitter. he will resent me, he will feel like he's working his ass off for the both of us, he will be tired and stressed and i will see it and hate myself even more. this has happened before and is not just a theoretical exercise. so, let me repeat: staying in texas is not an option.

having enumerated all the logical bits and pieces, it's clear that this is the correct decision and i am not making a mistake. what i am doing is feeling entirely reasonable feelings under the circumstances: this sucks. it sucks badly and hurts a lot but it doesn't change the facts, which are that i must put my big girl pants on (jesus! i haven't worn pants in months!!!) and feel my feels, and then get shit done and move on, and make things work.

27 September, 2016

pirate pairings

we were at tb's for both a hockey game and an unofficial goodbye. i admit i may have had one glass of cava too many by the time tb started telling us about the brunch he had in austin on sunday.

tb: it was a restaurant linked to one of the people from perla's*. it's called june's. june is a somali...

moi: (laughing) is she a pirate?!

tb: ?

moi: (guffawing) arrrrgh, matey!!!

tb: ...

moi: (bending over and chortling) does she have a wooden leg?!!!

mr. monkey: (miming) does she scratch her glass eye with her hook hand? hhhrrrt! hhhhrt!

tb: ...

moi: (starting to weep with hilarity) does she have a parrot on her shoulder? "polly want a cracker!"

tb:  ... as i was saying, june is a SOMMELIER...

moi: oh... that last bit must have seemed confusing for you then.

tb: i did eventually get what you were going for, having just seen captain phillips.

moi: oh, good...

tb: she does grog pairings.

*we'd all had a fabulous dinner at perla's on saturday.

26 September, 2016

coming right up

thursday afternoon i go home. this might be the very first time in my life i ever bought a one way ticket anywhere (well, except for the whole immigration thing but i didn't actually buy that ticket so it doesn't count)! i'm excited and happy and utterly miserable because it's hitting me now (again and again and again in little intense bursts of misery) that i'm leaving mr. monkey behind. it'll be fine, i'm sure, because i'll be busy and surrounded by my people, but i really do kinda like the guy. like, a lot. and we've been getting along really well lately which makes things worse. which sounds weird, i realise, but i kinda wish we'd be fighting and growly and mad at each other, and thoughtless and mean, so i'd be happy to leave. alas, we're disgustingly deeply enjoying each other right now. damn.

sanity salad visited for a lovely week. we meditated every day and walked and biked and kayaked and drank too much wine and lo, it was good. we spent this last weekend in austin and i can't recommend that city enough. it's everything that the woodlands is not - highly walkable, architecturally varied, filled with lots of independent businesses, many interesting looking people, great little restaurants, cooly renovated 50's architecture featuring a lot of breeze blocks, many dogs, great coffee shops, the most gorgeous landscaping i'd ever seen in a city (agaves! prickly pears! something that looks like a relative of lavender but smells like bitter orange mixed with sage! yukkas the size of giraffes! ivy! and more!) we saw less than we wanted but also managed to relax, which is important on vacation.

driving back (on a schedule since we had to deliver SS to the airport on time), we hit the classic texas rainstorm, which was not the best time to realise that our front tires are essentially bald. hydroplaning ensued but we survived. let's just say that it was very fortuitous that i sat in the back and missed most of the drama, because i don't have the best track record for staying calm in situations of near death and SS handled it beautifully, which is precisely what was needed at that moment. we got her to the airport with only a minor delay and all was good. directly after that, we went out to a japanese hot pot (shabu shabu) place where we met friends who wanted to say good bye to me over broth and slices of raw meat. then mr. monkey and i came home and continued to get along famously, which is really just getting annoying.

it's now half past ten and i'm still in bed, reading and writing, and doing my best to put off the inevitable - i.e. finishing packing. i don't mind packing, but i do mind having to get up... today. not normally - normally i am out of bed within minutes of waking. this is, i'm sure, some sort of psychological whatsit that i need to overcome and overcome it i will. as soon as i finish writing this. and reading this one other thing. and... well, ok, no, i will most definitely get up then. i'm getting hungry and it's getting close to lunch.

16 September, 2016

a weighty matter

two days ago i went to see my doctor about a thing growing out the side of my lower back. i didn't think it was cancerous but just in case it was a long-lost twin popping in for a lengthy visit i had her treat it with nitrogen. good bye, twin! as with my last visit, the first thing that happened was being asked to step on a scale. remembering how it went down last time*, i didn't look down. fuck that, i can hate myself for plenty of reasons that do not include a scientifically proven measurement of my weight.

at some point i mentioned having started swimming and walking again and the doctor said, ah! that's why you lost nearly 20 pounds. i nearly passed out, because generally, when i'm not paying attention, i tend to gain pounds, not lose them. then again, the temperatures over the last several months have hovered between jesus-h-fucking-christ-what-the-fuck-is-this and too-damn-hot-for-human-habitation, which means i ate a lot of salad. then the temperatures dropped to oh-for-god's-sake-you-have-to-be-fucking-kidding-me, with several hours before noon dropping as low as it's-fucking-hot, which means i restarted my walks. if nothing else, texas has taught me what it feels like to have sweat oozing out of your pores. i don't think i'd ever experienced that before, so thank you. at any rate, possible weight loss reasons.

mr. monkey, when informed of this development, started calling me skinny puppy again, which made me feel all good until i stopped to think a minute:

the weight that gave me hypertension was shocking.
the weight i accidentally lost moved me back to the place i was when i wanted to lose 20 pounds to be at a place i was when i wanted to lose 10 pounds. so when you look at it that way, it's a classic case of 3 pounds forward, 4 pounds back, to my detriment. still, i'll take the 20 if i can get (or lose) it.

then again, the following day, mr. monkey and i went to his company's health and wellness whatsit where we were measured, weighed, tested, and poked. the number on the scale yesterday? 10 lbs more than the previous day at the doctor's office. now, granted, i wore a weirdly heavy dress, but still... at any rate, any of my yeg readers waiting to see me again - don't expect anything other than what you last saw. minus the twin growing out of my back.

*got on scale, nurse called out a number, i hyperventilated, my blood pressure was checked and pronounced massively high**

**i have textbook perfect blood pressure. unless i've just been informed that i broke an unspoken weight barrier

12 September, 2016

recreational use of cheese

i have a culinary rant that needs ranting. it's small and insignificant as rants go, but there are some who will agree with me that enough is enough. i'm talking about the recently re-discovered and consequently ubiquitous mac'n'cheese. what's wrong with good old macaroni with cheese? NOTHING! nothing at all in its natural state wherein macaroni is smothered in vast quantities of cheesy sauce, and covered in a gorgeously browned gooey cap of molten cheese.

alas, this is not the way most places serve it. typically, you get a dish of macaroni in béchamel sauce with a more or less generous sprinkling of grated cheese on top. now many foods get served with a sprinkling of cheese on top without warranting the "n'cheese" in the title. if you only put cheese on top, you're basically using it as a garnish and garnishes don't deserve their own name. you don't order an omelette'n'parsley'n'tiny-slice-of-desiccated-orange, do you? why should this be any different? my point is this (as always, eventually, there is a point), macaroni in béchamel sauce sprinkled with some cheese is NOT mac'n'cheese; it is mac'n'béchamel... with a garnish.

proper macaroni and cheese requires that the béchamel sauce be knee-deep in cheese, insofar as béchamel sauce can be seen to possess knees, and that there be a generous, nay! a heaping! amount of molten cheese on top, as an added bonus not as a half-hearted nod to the dish's name. one shouldn't wonder what kind of cheese, or if any cheese at all, was used in the making of this dish. a proper mac'n'cheese should ooze. it should holler its cheesiness from the rooftops, making the vegan and the lactose-intolerant quake in their boots.

thank you.

10 September, 2016

eye roll, please

i just spent well over two hours searching online for a new smartphone (the one i have - and love - will not be able to come to canada with me). then i spent another hour looking for a case for the phone. now i'm spending even more time shopping for a salad spinner because i accidentally hurled the one i have - and love - onto the tile floor of the kitchen, cracking the bowl in several places. when i was in edmonton this spring and needed a temporary cell plan, it took me roughly 3 days (THREE DAYS!!!) to pick one. this is what happens when i shop online - i scour the reviews, the articles, the specs; i read and ponder and make mental notes. not so with big life decisions, oh, no: let's move to texas! let's get a job in edmonton and leave the husband behind! whoopeee! but heaven help me if i spend 8$ on a phone case and it's the wrong one!

salad spinner recommendations welcome in comments section.

08 September, 2016

neither here nor there


i know i've mentioned this before, but i do tend to make my big life decisions on the fly. case in point 1. walking back from heritage days (a.k.a. meat-on-a-stick festival) over a year ago, i turned to mr. monkey and nonchalantly said, hey! let's do it! let's move to texas! case in point 2. while visiting my parents in ontario mid july, i suddenly got the hankering to text my friend n: hey girl! i wanna come home! any jobs at your place?! will work for peanuts. she responded with the highly professional and mature: whoa-whoa!  for realz?!? let me talk to the boss. and thus it is that a mere 3 months later, in about 3 weeks, i will be leaving mr. monkey, taking up a career-type job, and moving home. granted, i'm not leaving him in the manner that word tends to suggest, but for all intents and purposes, i am quite literally leaving him. in typical mom fashion, i worry more about him than me - i'll be swamped with catching up, working, settling in, drinking with folk, checking out all the new buildings, and will have little time to wallow. then again, he needs far less social interaction than i do, and will likely enjoy this opportunity to rewire the garage, retile the shower, and work on his spoon collection in peace. it will be fine and the year will fly by and then he'll come home and we'll take a month of constant fighting to readjust to each other.


if i were designing a human-animal hybrid, or if i could go in for some specialized corporeal augmentation, this is what i'd order:

1. prehensile feet (what a wasted opportunity for usefulness our feet are in their current state.)

2. prehensile tail, or at least an elegant feline tail (none of that canine or equine flailing about)

3. night vision

4. gills

5. chromatophores


oddly enough,  once i got the job, i immediately started to enjoy texas. texas (and the states in general) go down easy in the short term but are unpalatable to me in the long term. visit? yes! live? no. live and learn, people, live and learn. i look forward to many wonderful visits to this beautiful country.


i am realising that my self-imposed american politics cleanse has done wonders for me. i care less, and not just cause i'm moving home to canada (after all, having a big, dumb, well-armed, ignorant, orange next door neighbour isn't exactly safe, and there is the possibility that post-november that is exactly what we'll have. i hope for hillary, but the media seems hellbent on ratings over rationality so who the fuck knows?) excessive exposure to insanity tends to spread said insanity. unlike my mental health, reality remains unaffected by my choices. well done, me, for backing away slowly and averting my gaze.

06 September, 2016


i got the offer of employment letter today. shit just got real: i'm going home. this means that i must look reality in the eye and start planning. my fear of jinxing the process has given way to a jumble of emotions, most of which are positive (i'm going home!!!!) but some of which are tainted by confusion and slight trepidation. not about the job. no, not yet (oh hell, that's coming for damn sure!), and not about missing mr. monkey (THAT will not be fun), but about the logistics. i now have a start date, which, with sanity salad's visit towards the middle of the month, gives me roughly 2.5 weeks to get my shit together.

i started with simple stuff - moving my fall and winter clothes from the walk-in closet into the spare bedroom. i toss them in a pile each time i go upstairs; the packing will come later. so far i'm taking my vitamix with me, plus we have more than enough spoons, ladles, and wooden cooking utensils to outfit an army, so i'll dip in and make mr. monkey share his bounty. i know i will have to borrow some furniture and kitchen stuff - there is no need for us to buy anything ever again, so i don't want to add to the pile of things that already haunts the murky edges of my consciousness. well, maybe one dresser. maybe.

it'll be an interesting time: once again, as when we moved down south, there really isn't a solid plan. but this time, rather than jumping into the black terror of the unknown, i'm aiming for the fluffy comfort of home: family, friends, the cold of winter, the street corners that i can navigate with my eyes closed! my bananologist! my massage therapist! and did i mention my friends?

kids' books are filled with stories of adventurous ducks and bears and dinosaurs who undertake a journey of self discovery. i'm not sorry we moved south. the move was just like a cute family of racoons setting off to see the big world. and just like those racoons, we found that there's no place like home. so i'm putting my things in a bundle, tying it to a stick, and heading north: homeward bound.

02 September, 2016


yesterday was our 15th wedding anniversary. we celebrated by eating a very quiet dinner, mr. monkey spending some time in the garage with a candle, and a swim in the pool. he's been under increasing amount of pressure at work and instead of being his usual twitchy goofy annoying self, he's become withdrawn and silent. it breaks my heart to see it and i fucking hate it. to make matters worse, he found out about the death of his family's dog yesterday, so the quiet candlelit vigil in the garage was to mark his passing. not a horrible day, perhaps, but nowhere near a stellar one.

after some very enthusiastic and friendly back and forth with the boss, i'd all but given up on hearing back about the job thing (having moved from relaxed whateverness, through angry WTFness, and right into nobody'severgoingtohiremeness), and was getting ready for a quiet and slightly sad long weekend in san antonio.

after our swim, we went to bed. i heard the strum of my phone notifying me of a text message. i figured it was just my cousin but on a what-the-hell chance i went back downstairs to retrieve it and there it was: The Text. The Offering Me A Job Text. shocked into silence, i slowly walked upstairs and handed the phone to mr. monkey. he took one look at it and seemed to deflate onto the pillows. oh, thank god, he said, i'm so relieved. i'm SO relieved. a big portion of his cares was that he was the sole breadwinner at a job that's taking more and more out of him emotionally. and while we have a buffer saved up, it's not the immigrant way to use that up. me getting a job (even if it's a job in another country. or perhaps BECAUSE it is a job in OUR country) was the relief he needed so badly.

best wedding anniversary gift ever. never mind copper and paper and gold, the most appropriate 15th year anniversary gift is clearly a job.