28 December, 2016

things fall apart (with sauerkraut and mushrooms)

eating inappropriately seems to be a thing. as stated before, christmas dinner consisted of leftover tuna casserole. tonight's supper is a glass of sparkling white wine and a bowl of cheerios.

it's worth noting, however, that today i did several loads of laundry, ironed some seriously wrinkled pants, helped mr. monkey with certain work-related documents, and started working on a giant batch of bigos, having recently been inducted into the family culinary secrets.

it must be said that from its description, the dish sounds rather... unappetizing? if properly made, however, it is of surpassing deliciousness and my uncle's version (originally made by my maternal grandfather who made this part of his Manly Cookery repertoire) is the very best i've ever had. my mom's, my mother-in-law's, anyone else's, really, simply doesn't compare, and last week my uncle allowed me to participate in the blessed event: watching, sprinkling things judiciously into a Very Large Pot, mixing, tasting, and mixing some more. the end result was phenomenal (each year we say he has surpassed himself, though how likely is it that perfection should get ever more perfect?) we'll see how mine turns out.  because it is a two day process one typically makes large amounts and freezes them for future consumption. i'll let you know. better yet, you can drop by for a taste!

so that's that.

things that happened, in a vaguely chronological order

i gave the 2 year old a black eye. not my proudest moment, and entirely accidental, but it happened: my elbow made contact with her wee little face and an hour later she looked like a total bad ass.

side note: i sure am missing hanging out on the bed with the small cuddly humans watching movies. mr. monkey, sweet as he can occasionally be, is not anywhere near as cuddly.

saturday (christmas eve):
woke up at 3:06am, 14 min before the alarm was scheduled to go off. the sky was that particular snowfall pink and a fine sparkling dust was blowing everywhere. the drive to the airport went off without a hitch, but the sheer madness there made me vow never to fly on christmas eve again. i was forced to unpack bits of one suitcase and shove it into another one, as one was too heavy and one was light. not sure why this couldn't have evened itself out, but what do i know of the science of stacking suitcases in an airplane to prevent listing? nothing, that's what.

arrived in houston in one exhausted coughing snotty piece. came home to find a christmas tree decorated by 3 lovely elves. mr. monkey was not one of them, but he did give them access, so that counts for something.

christmas eve, the biggest of big deals in polish culture, passed us by. we drank a way-too-sweet lambrusco and ate grocery store sushi and gyoza. no biggie.

sunday (christmas day):
drank coffee by the pool. mr. monkey tinkered with the volvo. i read a book outside. our supper was left-over tuna casserole. not particularly christmassy either, but it was a nice quiet day. if i wanted to run away from my excessive social life and fall into a fluffy quietude, then i have succeeded.

monday (boxing day):
went to a walk-in clinic. looks like it's bronchitis II. came out with antibiotics, cough syrup, and some wee pills that are supposed to stop the coughing. went to see star wars: rogue one, and enjoyed it quite a bit (hurray for low expectations!) the last scene was super cool and also very poignant in light of yet another celebrity death.

drove to austin in the evening.

did some official stuff in austin. the state capital office was in a gorgeous old building but seemed logistically stuck in the early 1980's: we had to fill out chits with our credit card info, and watched the lovely lady punch things into her surprisingly modern computer. i was expecting a typewriter and carbon paper, but nope, just lacking basic* credit card infrastructure. tiny cheap pens: small government apparently means tiny pens.

walked around austin for hours, hoping to adopt a stray agave pup, but alas, those things are hard to rip out of the earth sans shovel. we were ill equipped for this.

drove back home. went to sleep.

*once again, as with american banking, i'm shocked at how many years behind they seem to be here in certain areas: did i tell you about seeing a young woman paying for groceries with a cheque? or people lining up at a bank window to withdraw money?! i know, right? while also simultaneously boasting futuristic weaponry and state-of-the-art computer technology. a country of contradictions, this is.

15 December, 2016

exeunt, pursued by a bear

for the three months that i managed to hold an adult office lady job, one of my small daily frustrations  was the battle with the toilet paper dispenser.

our office had typical toilet cubicles, each equipped with a spinning 4-roll dispenser. in the morning, it was more likely than not that i'd come upon a dispenser filled with 4 virgin rolls, which meant that i had to start the damn thing. since the spinning mechanism was rather loose, each time i almost managed to grab a roll, it would spin away from me, leaving me holding the tiniest piece of paper, roughly of a size needed to daintily dab the lips of a fruit fly.

after several such attempts, i would find myself still toilet-paperless, having produced nothing but a sizeable pile of wee little paper scraps on the floor and having also pretty much managed to drip dry to the point of toilet paper pointlessness. by then, though, i was committed to the process.

eventually i'd get frustrated (this took longer than one would think) and start tearing the nearest toilet roll with one finger, while jamming my other hand into the receptacle to stop the inevitable spin. this, more often than not, ended up with me pulling out a mangled chunk of toilet paper that was only about 2 squares long, but approximately 47 layers thick, i.e. exceedingly comfortable to use.

take that, toilet paper bears!

14 December, 2016

a barber shop quintet (badgers not included)

heading south in 10 days. in the meantime i've got good days and bad - i haven't had a weeping episode since i quit my job but the purple bad boys don't seem to be kicking in quite yet. yes, i'm supposed to give them 2-4 weeks, but i was really hoping for the same sort of nearly immediate miracle that the pink pills brought me. or how the steroid injection in my elbow 36h ago (damn you, tennis!) seems to have completely taken the pain away. perhaps i need a steroid injection in my soul? brain? heart? not quite sure where it would have to go, although i do happen to know exactly where my anxiety and depression sit* (thank you, mindfulness!)

i'm doing good things like: seeing people, tickling kids, buying barbie dolls (ptooie!), drinking drinks, discussing skinny house blueprints, going to movies, etc. i'm also feeling deeply overwhelmed by relatively small things like: do i replace the battery in my car (linked to - do i keep the car? do i drive the car down south in the near future? do i give the car to my parents who might or might not be moving west this spring? do i sell the car? what do i do with the damn car? (again)) do i pay my urban planning association dues for this year (linked to - am i running away from this profession again? is this a cop out? what's wrong with me? etc.)? and if i pay the dues (i probably will, just in case), what do i do about my continuing education courses that are required?

the good thing about being a depression pro is that i know none of these things are insurmountable and can be attacked in small manageable pieces. the bad thing about being a depression pro is that i know that logic can be used as a blunt weapon with as much force as i can muster and it still won't make a dent in the darkness.

still, some light in said darkness. i saw my bananologist and we discussed what i have learned regarding future jobs/careers: i don't care about status (clearly if i did i'd have some by now). i don't care about being challenged (hey, living is challenge enough). i don't care about money (a position of privilege of which i am fully aware). what i do care about is relationships. the primary measure of any future professional success, or lack thereof, will be predicated on the quality of the relationships that i can build at work. N1 and N2 were clear indications of this and it's a good and handy thing to know. plus the most cursory glance at my 20 years of working reveals that i have not held any one job for any length of time. i have temped and part-timed my way through a big chunk of my adulthood, and not always because of moving. it's one way to keep one's feet out of the quagmire of politicking and bullshit. it's good to learn things.

and that's it for now.

*my depression sits right at the xiphoid process; my anxiety sits higher up on the sternum. now you know.

09 December, 2016

freedom or failure?

i resigned from my job on monday. i worked my last day yesterday. it was all done in a positive and classy way with no feelings hurt or bridges burned.

what i feel:

relief: from the increasingly overwhelming and ubiquitous misery and uncontrollable crying.

shame: what is wrong with me that i can't handle working a job like regular folk?

residual sadness and confusion: not expecting that to end overnight.

excitement: at going back to mr. monkey AND the 2 weeks i now get to hang out with my people.

hope: that i will figure something out to be a semi-productive member of society. i have some ideas but i'm not supposed to say because apparently that can take the place of doing, and we don't want that.

cold: it's been  hovering around -20°C here all week and it's showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. oh well, i have the clothes for it and i'll take -20°C over any flavour of september any day.

sick: i can't seem to shake this respiratory shit that's been hounding me, but hopefully once i'm back in texas, i'll be able to breathe properly again. one thing i'll give texas: i did not get sick once.

cautiously optimistic: i will work on embracing the good in my chosen home base. after all, i lived for 5 years in fort mcmurray; i think i can handle living in a beautiful-if-dull community in texas. besides, i was only dissatisfied living there, not sobbingly miserable. there's a difference, i have found out, and it's heavily skewed towards dissatisfied, as it's more easily remedied, and with less dependence on pharmaceuticals.

grateful: for the unfailing and ever patient support i have received from all the people in my life, and that includes the emails and comments from you, my faithful poultries.

i'm hoping that this blog can stop being a platform for my mental health issues, but if not, well, so be it. it's a surprisingly effective form of mental health support, and i won't shy away from using it but here's hoping i can fill these here pages with the occasional guffaw to take the edge off.

01 December, 2016


how do you explain to someone who has only ever had a situational depression that your depression is based on nothing but the chemicals in your brain? how do you tell someone you love and who loves you that you are broken and scared that he will stop loving you because of how illogical and broken you are? how do you explain to him that his attempts to make you look at this logically are not only fruitless but also hurtful? i know none of this is logical. i know i've only been here two months. i know he only left less than a week ago. none of this matters. what matters is that i'm broken and sad.

i am a broken fucked up nest of snakes, inextricably tangled, hopeless and stupid and annoying and useless. i know none of these things are true but the point is, they FEEL true, and feeling will always beat knowing when it feels this real.

mr. monkey told me to see someone. not a counsellor, someone else. i don't know who i'm supposed to see. a psychiatrist? he'll give me more drugs. i already have more drugs which seem to not be working. unless their point is to make me cry uncontrollably for long intervals, seemingly out of the blue in which case, they're working brilliantly.

seriously, though, if you have any ideas about how to explain depression to the un-depressed in terms that they can understand, i'd totally appreciate any links or suggestions.

took half a sleeping pill.
seem to be drying off a bit in the eyeball department.
good night.