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

explanations

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.

30 November, 2016

rivers

a poem that took a long time getting written:


A river of bunnies, real loathsome and vile
Are strutting down Champs Elysees single file

A river of hedgehogs, hopped up on pink pills
Hot-wiring cars for some cheap nighttime thrills

A river of donkeys, so tough and tattooed
Could talk to your grandma and not once be rude

A river of weasels, all dressed up in blue
Went into a deli and ordered a stew

A river of swordfish, très fancy and suave
Picked up a marshmallow but ate a guimauve

A river of turtles, with wind in their hair
Are burning down Main Street to outrun the hare

A river of monkeys, bewildered by sin
Drank liquor and let all the strippers come in

A river of aardvarks, astute and aware
Uncovered deep truths and laid secrets bare

A river of kittens in warm fuzzy hats
Decided that dogs were superior to cats

A river of lizards, amazed all the while,
Walked in looking blah, but walked out in style

A river of hedgehogs, entombed in despair
Walked slowly with ashes and rain in their hair

A river of puppies came up with a plan:
They all quit their jobs and ran off to Bhutan

A river of possums, morose and uncool,
Picked up some plastique and blew up the school


27 November, 2016

stuff

the upside of minimalism:

  • fewer dishes to wash
  • reduced capacity for entertaining and elaborate meals
  • easier household maintenance
the downside of minimalism:
  • cutting your toenails with utility scissors 

black and grey

it seems like we haven't had sun here for weeks. this is most likely not the case, but that's what it feels like. all grey skies all the time, inside and out, baby!

this morning i put mr. monkey on the plane and only shed about 17 tears. i then went to the doctor and got myself diagnosed with bronchitis. the examination was perfunctory at best, and i feel that had i shown up with a leg bitten off by a tiger, he'd have diagnosed me with the exact same thing. still, he's the one with the M and the D after his name, so what do i know? maybe there's a particular sound that unwell bronchioles emit which all doctors can immediately recognize.

two of my ladies, knowing full well that i might be a bit of an emotional mess today, stepped up: sanity salad took me out for breakfast, and then, joined by crusty juggler, we headed for a day at the-formerly-largest-mall-in-the-world-alas-no-more-but-still-damn-well-big-enough-what-with-the-ship-the-amusement-park-the-waterpark-the-whale-the-skating-rink-and-the-walruses-or-whatnot. there's something about that particular mall (since i despise malls in general) that soothes me. perhaps because it is the mall of my youth, the place i'd go to hang out with my best friends when i was but a girl. there's also something strangely comforting about being surrounded by masses of humanity that you don't actually have to interact with. it's not a mood i get often, but when i do, west ed hits the spot.

we walked, we shopped, we tried on expensive penis-shaped hats, we laughed our asses off, and sat watching people skate,. after the mall, we went to crusty and d's house, where d made his Amazingly Delicious Udon Noodles and then crusty finished the night off with Ridiculously Yummy Lime Bars. i'm now in bed, feeling the greyness settle on me. perhaps i'll watch some telly and then catch up on my sleep. i pretty much decided that i'm taking tomorrow off work - the cough/chest pain combo, even though it doesn't pack the dramatic punch a heart attack, is doing a number on me.

this big empty house sure seems extra big and empty tonight. as much as mr. monkey's presence seems to immediately result in a mess, i would welcome it with open arms. i have a bananologist appointment on wednesday. hopefully she can help me unpack some of the bad decision-making that's been happening around here of late.

this is one of those posts without a satisfactory denouement, so i'll just cut it off here and bid you all adieu and a sweet night. know that your words of care and your encouragement and your worries about my health are most appreciated and really do help to lift the grey a little bit. you are, by far, the best poultries a woman could wish for!


things that go "plop" in the night

this house is noisy. all manner of snaps, crackle, and pops, but i don't really care all that much except when they wake me up at 4am and my body cares because it is jolted awake by an adrenalin surge. but otherwise, meh.

mr. monkey is here. this is making me see that he really is some sort of anti-depressant in human form, since i'm only now FINALLY realising that each time i leave him, i fall into deep depression. perhaps i ought to stop leaving him.

here's the thing: he wants me to come back. he misses me. he wants me there BUT he wants me to prove myself first (to the office, sure, but to myself predominantly) and the very possibility of going back to texas, while not at the top of my hurrah-list, is making me rethink my definition of home. because, sure, edmonton is home, but you know what is home most of all? mr. monkey. i bet y'all knew that already! i bet y'all were sitting there in your various arm chairs looking at my life choices, shaking your heads, and saying, tsk, tsk, is it really such a good idea to leave your man behind when you actually super-like him? my mom recently told me that for a person with depressive tendencies i seem to make a lot of life choices specifically designed to make my life harder. she's got a point.

granted, i was supposed to be the avant garde, the scouting mission, the one sent to prepare the way, all john the baptist like, but now that mr. monkey's horrid boss is no more, he is suddenly sleeping and enjoying work and not thinking about coming back right away at all. sure, who knows? with the inflamed orange anal gland in power in the US things might get all sorts of interesting (shudder) but for now, he's happy.


WRITTEN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO DAYS LATER, WHO KNOWS, DOES'T REALLY MATTER, OR (AS MY BOSS-FRIEND SAYS TO MOST MANY THINGS I SAY) IRRELEVANT:

he's flying out tomorrow morning and i've been bawling my eyes out like a crazy person, complete with snot bubbles and strange guttural howling noises and wheezing because i have no voice (see below) and here's the kicker: i've been suffering from some sort of respiratory infection that has me hacking out my phlegmy lungs, but in the last 2 days i've developed increasingly sharp pain in my chest and, because decisions are HARD, i'm having this super awesome wish that maybe it's a heart attack (hey! it could happen!) and if it is, then i won't have to go to work and i'll have a most excellent excuse to go be with mr. monkey while i recuperate! so this is where i'm at, my poultries, wishing for a heart attack, or trying to figure out what exactly a nervous breakdown might look like, because i seem to be too highly functioning for that, unless you count all the crying all the time, (although i do seem to manage to keep that outside of the 9-5).

ah, fuck. look, people, don't worry about it. or, you know, worry about it as much as you wish, but writing here is a strange and free therapy that i engage in, and i know i've been dumping a lot on you lately (worry not! i have a possibly funny post about toilet paper in the works! the chortles never stop here!) so if you're fresh out of words of sympathy etc. don't fret about it. just do like you do on zhoen's blog and drop me a stone (o) to let me know you're here, but no need to try and make me feel better because i have just recently added another pretty pill to my repertoire (a purple round one to go with the pink square one! hurray for pretty colours!) so hopefully that shit kicks in in a few days. hell, who knows, i might stop caring so deeply and thoroughly that i'll just stay here in this big shiny empty echoing snapping house, all by myself, and continue to go work for someone who, i'm fairly certain, has not yet said one positive thing to me about me or my work, and keep doing this corporate thing that i am evidently utterly unsuited for.

anyone wanna start a commune or something? i'm SO damn good at escape fantasies! if only one could get paid for that shit.

17 November, 2016

BANANANANANANAS!

i have another 2h before mr. monkey lands so i might as well talk to you. hi. how are you? are things going well for you? i certainly hope they are. i like you. i want you to be happy. am i happy? why, no, no i am not. i have my moments, sure, but i'd say that overall, the prevailing winds have not been happy winds.

the other day at work i gradually realised i was so anxious and tense that all the muscles in my head were feeling super twangy, like tightly wound guitar strings. TWANGGGG!!!! TWANNGGGGG!!! i had to use every power in my meagre considerable mental health arsenal of mindfulness to de-twang my muscles. i didn't manage to do it all the way, just enough to enable me to breathe properly. breathing is important, i'm told.

why was i so stressed? ah, see, there's this vicious circle that happens when you're depressed/anxious: you feel like shit, and so you come to believe that you're shit, and the work you're doing is shit, and you're liable to get fired in approximately, oh, say 5 minutes, and the anxiety caused by those thoughts causes you to become dull - all of that mental energy focused on the fight-or-flight response doesn't give you all that much intellectual wiggle room so you miss things, obvious things, and because you already feel like shit, you think, hey! i'm missing obvious things because i'm a shitty idiot who's shit at the job she's doing and that she's about to be fired from. this doesn't tend to make you feel better and so the spiral continues.

i'm currently learning to use the practice of mindfulness to nip this in the bud, but boy howdy, this particular anxiety attack was a doozy! (huh - is that how you spell doozy? seems weird, no?) at any rate, it happened several times and because my tennis elbow* was becoming seriously painful, i decided to go see my doctor. ok, confession time: i'd decided to go see my doctor about a month ago but somehow something always managed to come up and so i put my health second. tonight i finally saw my doctor and now i'm getting cortisone shots in my tennis elbow (whenever i get around to it).  i also told her that my anti-bananas medication isn't working any more. and i need more. please and thank you.

ok, let's reframe. i suspect that if i lived a normal life in which i lived in some sort of stability, with one job, in one place, with one husband, the anti-bananas medications would function quite well. alas, i keep engaging in massive upheavals like a crazy person (ha!) which means that my life choices have resulted in chaos that is far beyond the range of what your average decently acting anti-bananas medication can handle. the fault is not in the anti-bananas medication; the fault is in my life choices. i admit it, but nevertheless, i need more anti-bananas.

my doctor will consult her wise books, she will converse with a shrinkologist, and she will write me a prescription for something to will fill the gaps in my sanity. perhaps all this will work and it will result in me 1. not being fucking miserable all the time, 2. not having a twangy head, 3. figuring out what the hell i want from life (other than mental health, again, please and thank you).

in the meantime, mr. monkey's going to be here in just over an hour!!!!!!!!!!!!


*this time it's my left arm which i use to play tennis exactly as much as my right arm, which suffered from tennis elbow several years ago. i'm SO giving up tennis.

14 November, 2016

seven smiles

i've been wanting to write since last tuesday but, as you can well imagine, anything i'd have written would have been well marinated in tears and bile and a deep visceral anger. i didn't write the post i'd meant to write* and so i didn't write at all but then sweet lucy presented me with a meme that counterbalances at least some of the darkness: 7 good memories, an easy task, i'd think, given my ability to dress my past in garlands of joy (it's the present that is difficult, innit?)

  1. my first christmas outside of the communist block - we walk the streets of a tiny mountain town in austria where we are waiting out the seemingly endless immigration process to canada, and i am astounded by the sheer beauty of the store windows: lit up, filled to the brim with lights and decorations, sparkling and joyful. this is new to me after the dour greyness of the poland of my childhood. it seems like the very soul of christmas - snow, candles, toys, colours, and beauty - so much beauty!
  2. i'm walking to my university class, the first class i've taken since becoming a dental hygienist several years earlier. i'm excited at the intellectual stimulation that i'm finally getting but it's also summer - may? june? it's early afternoon and the sun is golden and syrupy and it lights up the cotton willow fluff that seems to be dancing from the sky in slow motion. years later, this moment comes back to me again and again as a confirmation of  quotidian magic. 
  3. my cousin calls my cell just as i leave the gym. i sit in the volvo in the rain and he tells me he has a daughter and i immediately love her, sight unseen, and sit in the car and we cry over the phone, both of us loving this small first child in the family. 
  4. i walk up to a street at the university and mr. monkey is there, waiting for me, standing by his bike, wearing one of his awful striped shirts. i see him and i feel my face breaking into a smile so huge it threatens to fall right off my cheeks. it's not dramatic. it's not romantic. it's just love, that's all.
  5. we're walking along a fern-leaved path somewhere in oregon. it's damp, green, misty and absolutely lush. the stream we are following weaves in and out of the foliage and then, suddenly, without any warning at all we find ourselves in a deep valley, the walls covered in a multitude of terns bedazzled by dew, which opens up to a wide white beach. you can hear the ocean out there... i don't think i've ever seen a place like this - elves should live here, not humans, and yet here we are. 
  6. i get off the tram and am walking to school. i can see my shadow on the sidewalk and i've got two huge red bows in my hair. i feel so grown up, such an independent girl. i'm in grade 1 or 2. 
  7. i've only recently gotten my driver's licence (late bloomer that i am) and i now have a brand new second hand car to go with it. i live in calgary but my friends and boyfriend are in whitecourt. it's a bit of a drive but when i fly along the secondary highways of central alberta, i feel indomitable, the world belongs to me: it's not the car but my own damn superpower that drags the highway beneath the wheels, pulling me along home. i am a goddess!
my natural tendency in these dark days has been to hunker down in the land of fantasy, or at the very least to stay away from the news. between that and full immersion there must be a happy medium that will keep me informed but not broken-hearted. i'm still looking for it. and in the meantime? books. 



* about how, at 44, i've finally been given to understand the full depth, breadth, and sheer unadulterated ugliness of misogyny in a way that evades my ability to forget the bad. oh, world, you are an ugly place right now!

06 November, 2016

#nospoons

i was living in my cousin's basement up to a week ago. that's where i had that breakdown from the last post. sitting on a sofa bed in the dark at 2am, bawling my damn fool eyeballs out. things feel better now.

last thursday i moved into my cousin's gorgeous brand new house that's huge and airy and modern  and white and echoing in all sorts of magical ways. it's never been lived in and because he feels it won't sell over the winter, i've been set up as a sort of house sitter. my rent is exactly what it would be in my parents' rental plus it's about a 7 min walk to work. i feel like a rich person without the encumbrances of furniture. just me and some beautiful art on the walls. i do get a bed. and a couple towels.

the night i moved in here, i went to the grocery store and bought myself the makings of a greek salad. i realised i had no knives so i bought one of those and only when i was unpacking the groceries did i realise that i had neither forks nor spoons. i cut the salad fixin's into large pieces and ate it with my fingers. the next morning's planned yogurt for breakfast didn't happen for obvious reasons and i broke fast with a glass of milk and granola eaten straight from a box. posting my plight on facebook (#nospoons) caused a friend to give me a beautifully bundled bunch of mismatched spoons from a second hand store and yogurt has become a reality. funny how simple life can be. i wanted to minimize my possessions. i wanted fewer spoons. joke's on me!

the house is right on the edge of downtown, and right on the edge of a ravine. there's the constant comforting drone of traffic on the road below but all i see is trees. it's a strange sort of lot and it's the reason my cousin bought it - best of both worlds. yesterday morning, i looked out the window of my upstairs bedroom at the large sloping yard and noticed that one of the pieces of recently laid sod was flipped upside down. i walked down in the afternoon and flipped it back over. this morning, another piece was upside down. i admit i was a little freaked out - animals don't scare me; bipeds with a bizarre sense of humour do. i called my cousin and found out the likeliest culprit is the coyotes that lived on this lot until it was taken from them by the development. coyotes i can deal with, though i do wish they'd leave the outdoor "carpeting" alone.

work goes. it's interesting and some days fulfilling. personality issues are being ironed out. i'm teaching myself that part of choosing to put my big girl pants on is growing a thicker skin or at least learning to take things less personally, or, at the very least, not considering running away whenever i feel mistreated or disrespected. most days i succeed. i meditate daily. i walk more than i have for the last year in texas. i miss mr. monkey and am consistently failing to get him to pick up his cellphone when i call, so our communication is limited to daily morning calls to his work landline and late evening skype sessions. clearly, he's not a fan of the telephone portion of cellular technology.

i will try to blog more, but right now i'm relishing my silence and peace. trying to piece together some semblance of balance and inner peace in what is really a rather unhinged time in my life.

09 October, 2016

elm branches outlined in snow

i tried newness. each time it was the old adage - wherever you go, there you are. some places were fine; some horrid, but newness by itself achieved nothing. just like coming home, despite the comfort level inherent in it, will achieve nothing without an active input of... oh god, i'm not quite sure of what, though it's some flavour of being a responsible grown-up who doesn't run away the second things turn wonky.

i drove home today from a delightful turkey dinner and caught snippets of my past in my rear view mirror. turning down one street conjured up flashes of my 20's. driving under an overpass brought back my teenage self, high school bound, high on the drug that is young adulthood. not whole memories but tiny shards with just enough context to bring back stories about my life.

that is the joy (and pain) of being home - so many tales on every street corner, under particular trees, around bends, and bridges. this place has stories of me written all over the map, and i am fine with that: right now i want to be somewhere that knows the stages of my being - who i was, who i am, all that happened in between. this place means i was, i am,  though no promises of i will be - one never knows.

it snowed all friday afternoon, all saturday, and a chunk of sunday. last year the october long weekend was sunshine and warmth - you never know around here. slush, snow, a windshield wiper that chose the most inopportune moment to self destruct, and a winter that came too soon (although winter comes when it comes. "too soon" is not a term that can be applied in this case, no matter what we think).


this one other small thing (again):

i've been angry for the last couple of days. impatient. petulant. livid. done. exhausted. because i feel the darkness coming and i am so profoundly sick and tired of it. i feel like i work on my mental health so goddamned hard and the chemicals in my brain are all, hey! you know what? FUCK you! fuck you and your effort!  mindfulness? pfffft! meditation? ptooie on your meditation! conscious breathing? i fart in your general direction! therapy? ha! expensive designer drugs? well, that was nice for a year or two, wasn't it? but now? FUCK those too! the joy of coming home? FUCK that! new job? MASSIVE SELF-ESTEEM CRISIS!!! FUCK YEAH! breathing? SO OVER IT! another 40-50 years of this? no, thanks. i am a morbidly obese person living on celery and water, running a marathon a day, and still gaining weight that (spoiler alert!) isn't muscle.

yeah, i realise i have moved cities (and provinces AND countries) in the last 6 years. i have dropped out of a lengthy career-type whatsit, gone to grad school, left my husband to live by myself twice, started two new jobs, etc. etc. all of which, statistically speaking, is pretty much designed to fuck up my equanimity, and i've done it not once, not twice, but, like, a whole bunch of times that still manages to stick to the single digits but just barely. so yeah, technically i know i have a right to feel this way, but i also know that i don't give a goddamned fuck about how unsurprising this is - i just want to feel human again. hissy fit? why, yes! yes, i am having a hissy fit! i am having a hissy fit because i'm so over being allergic to life.

and btw, dear poultries, don't feel the need to be helpful and stuff because this isn't an easy one (or any longer an interesting one, if it ever was that) to comment on. i have my tools; they have proven ineffective. i am searching for new tools, so really just wish me luck and move on. nothing to see here. someone will come by and clean up the mess soon, i'm sure.


05 October, 2016

ideological delousing

when i first told my cousin i had applied for a job in edmonton, his immediate reaction was to invite me to stay as long as i needed. when i got the job, he announced they'd hose down and delouse the guest bedroom in readiness for me. and indeed, when i arrived it was neater than i'd ever seen it. living here is noisier and far more chaotic than i'm used to, but it's pretty damn nice - pretty damn nice, too, to have dinner ready for when i get home!

yesterday, my second day at the office (an utter shit day: emotions welled up; i felt useless and annoying; i missed mr. monkey so badly it hurt; i wanted nothing more than to curl up and cry) i called my cousin after work to chat and he announced that the girls had lice. i itched in the capital region for the remainder of the walk, and, once home, we were all treated with lotions and potions, we washed hair, we dried hair, we combed hair. i was hoping to have been spared but alas, i found one vile creature and something that could possibly have been an egg. so. fucking. gross.

today the adventure continued: my cousin and his wife spent the whole day combing the kids' hair and nit-picking like a pack of tall blonde baboons after the girls were refused entry to school. i would have found it funny if i wasn't one of the afflicted. i'm sitting here now, tea tree oil, lavender oil, and some industrial strength concoction marinating on my head, killing the noxious creatures. wish me luck, wouldya?



30 September, 2016

update

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

decisions:

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.

animals:

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


texas: 

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.

politics:

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

home

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

yes.

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.

27 August, 2016

feewings

ladies and gentlemen, between the stresses of my current situation* and my natural monthly hormonal fluctuations, i am officially a hot mess. mr. monkey and i watched blue planet last night and i bawled (and i mean BAWLED) at a segment where a pod of orcas attacked and killed a baby grey whale. even the silken voice of sir david attenborough couldn't snap me out of it. then i had a meltdown of epic (read: 4-year-old) proportions because there's nowhere to walk to to get food in this god forsaken suburban wasteland and the only place that delivers is super shitty pizza and i NEEDED JUNK FOOD NOW. mr. monkey, being his usual calm and lovely self came downstairs and mcgyverred me up something vaguely pepperoni pizzaish and quite delicious (though still too wholesome to pass for the junk food i needed). this morning, i got teary eyed at a twitter feed and all the goddamn burkini-related news. then, when i went to quartz, thinking that sciency-type articles would be a safe bet, i watched a funny commercial that made me inexplicably dissolve into tears once again:



i am now giving up on social media (yeah, cause the real world ain't gonna make me cry at all. hah.) going to get some groceries and some pickling cukes, and if pickling don't cure what ails me, then i'm a lost cause.

so: don't talk to me today. i might just start to weep.


*waiting and hoping and stuff

26 August, 2016

roswell

two nights ago we were in bed, nearly asleep, when we heard a strange mechanical sound going up and down the local streets. keep in mind that unlike my last totally urban location this place is quiet: local traffic only, rarely at that, and almost never late at night. it's the 'burbs! so this dopplering strange sounding vehicle piqued my interest. when i heard it coming up our road, i jumped out of bed but only caught a glimpse of the back of a vehicle lit up by an inexplicable green light. i almost went back to bed but mr. monkey reasonably pointed out that this is a cul-de-sac and one of the physical laws that govern cul-de-sacs is "what comes in, must come out" and so i waited.

soon enough the strange mechanical-but-not-exactly-vehicular sound started to draw closer. it was a truck, a white half ton emblazoned with logos, and sporting on the back a large green light which illuminated some sort of industrial sized diffuser on the back of the cab that sprayed a fine mist into the surrounding area as it drove. probably mosquitoes, i thought, but i'd watched enough tv shows of late to at least entertain the idea that mind control might be on the table. perhaps this is precisely how suburbia works! how else do you account for people "choosing" to live in places that are dull, repetitive, offer no destinations, no distractions, nowhere to walk, no sense of actually being somewhere, and nothing beyond an aesthetically bland placidity?

if in the next wee while i start writing odes in praise of the suburban life or take up golf, you need to stage an intervention, but remember: government agents are watching.

24 August, 2016

sparkling diamonds and prancing unicorns

as much as i hate being at the mercy of my emotions - that sudden fist-in-the-solar-plexus burst of anxiety or inexplicable swoop of the sads for no ascertainable reason - sometimes, rarely, but often enough to make a difference, you get a gift. an equally sudden and equally inexplicable moment of grace and magic.

more than a decade later, i still remember walking to the first class i took when i returned to university - it was a spring/summer semester, the class was philosophy of science. i walked through the u of a campus in the late may afternoon and the fluff from cottonwood trees was slowly floating through the golden light and it. was. perfect. i can still see it in my mind's eye, and keep in mind this happened 15? 16 years ago? small mercies, tiny miracles,

i went for a walk this morning and in the midst of the sweaty march i suddenly found myself in exactly such a moment which rendered all things perfect. the perfect song started to play and i noticed that the grass all around was still covered in drops of dew from the morning's fog, sparkling like diamonds as far as the eye could see. the resinous scent of the sun-warmed pine needles, the clouds above the trees, the dappled sun through the leaves - all perfect. and through it all, i was filled with a deep and much needed sense of security, well-being, and hope for the future. everything was going to be all right. though one walks through beauty many times a day, it doesn't always make an impact; it doesn't always sing.

it never occurred to me until today that these perfect moments are the mirror image of the sudden sads, unexpected gifts from the out-of-control emotions, tiny highs to match the dismal lows. sure, the ratio is definitely not in their favour, but that just makes them more speshul (i imagined a bunch of 90's gifs of prancing rainbow unicorns and pink sparkly comic sans font when i wrote that last bit. forgive me.)

everything is going to be all right.





23 August, 2016

superstitious

let it be said: i don't believe in beaming out positivity and the universe responding in kind. i don't believe that wishing or praying hard enough will accomplish anything. i most certainly don't believe that things happen for a reason. i don't believe (although i'm sorely tempted by) magical thinking. but there is a belief (or something akin to belief, it's more of the deep dark root of belief, something beyond visceral, something primordial and ugly) that causes me to fear speaking about things that are not yet locked up. despite my rational mind's pleas, i have a hard time saying, hey! i had a job interview! unless i already know i got the job. that deep dark thing believes (or makes me believe) that if i tell someone i think we found the house we want, it will somehow jinx it, make it go sideways. my mind knows this to be silly but the fear persists. it's all the worse for me knowing how irrational it is. if i fully embraced it, i'd be fine, but having these two forces duke it out inside me, the rational and the primordial, feels distinctly uncomfortable.

while i believe one ought to embrace one's own self, warts and all, there's a balancing act here: some warts i'd pay to have removed like that atavistic thing that makes me superstitious and fearful. i guess it's the fear that i resent the most, this feeling that if i say too much or say it to too many people, i, myself, will be responsible for the failure of the job or the house. so maybe, in a roundabout way, it's really about trying to assert control over situations that give me none (after all, i can't control if my house offer will be accepted or a job offered, i can only do my best) if that's the case, and i suspect it is, then it looks like excision of the thing is all about accepting that sometimes in life one is powerless.




19 August, 2016

oops.

because of all the decisions and thoughts and reflections and such of late, i found myself looking back at some point wondering if selling the edmonton condo and buying the texas place were good ideas or massive mistakes. my reaction to the possibility of them being mistakes was quite telling:  it's quite possible i made the comic shocked face:


because heaven forbid! i made a life mistake!

keep in mind this isn't because i feel i sail errorlessly through life; more that i choose not to dwell on less than stellar choices on account of time only going in one direction. mistakes? i haz maked them. but this for some reason felt kinda raw and terrifying. too close and yet too far gone. so i made a conscious decision not to think like that. i know for a fact i don't regret moving to texas (though in retrospect it seems like the dumbest fucking decision ever - moi. in texas. seriously?) because one can't know what works and what doesn't unless one tries new things. hell, my many many years as a temp surely have taught me that.

zhoen's latest post made me want to reevaluate things a little bit. rejig. reimagine. revisit. shuffle assumptions. hey! life is hard! it is! it can be! tell me you don't know this. and the thing to do is keep trying. keep looking at what matters and learning from your mistakes. oh hell, i know some of you are currently rolling your eyes and mouthing "birds go tweet" but do allow me this opportunity to say, hey, i'm still learning shit and the general hierarchy of what matters in my life is top of the pile.


monkey's choice

we stood at the entrance to security at the houston airport, watching SIL wheel away the sticky, loud, annoying, adorable, sweet, cute, crazy littles. we were subdued and quiet and misty eyed. mr. monkey cried silently in an emotionally-open but entirely manly way*. when he remained withdrawn on the drive back, i asked him what he was thinking about and he told me he was reflecting on the worth of us being here. like me, he didn't regret the decision to move to texas, but, like me, he decided that we would be going home as soon as it was possible. being close to family trumps a hell of a lot, including a coveted lifestyle that we have never coveted.

so it looks like we're both on the same page now, fully. we're working our way home.



*just kidding. he did cry but fucked if i care that crying is perceived as diminishing one's masculinity. but i guess you already knew/assumed that about me. 

16 August, 2016

lady's choice

driving mr. monkey home after lunch yesterday i simply opened my mouth and told him that i'd be looking for work in edmonton and that my plan of action was to return there. he looked at me a second and said ok. i listed the way i see things: the things to sell, the things to refinance, the things to buy, the things to take, the things to leave behind. again, he said ok. i expected something more - a fight, perhaps, or an undermining of my ideas by way of reason. nope. he seems perfectly willing to let me take the lead and take us home. perhaps spending a week with his beloved nephews has something to do with it. or his increasing lack of professional happiness. or both.

i think i've given up on the idea of trying to make it work here. texas feels like a marriage undertaken under false pretences after a whirlwind romance that manifested nothing of the underlying reality. and, having once realised that i ran away, using texas as a convenient rebound after my work-implosion, i must now go back and make things right. somehow. sure, the analogy breaks down at some point, or else i'm just confused but i do think you can sort of work out what i'm trying to say. after all, you're still here, aren't you?

lately i've been nibbling on the edges of missing home. nothing too drastic: no favourite neighbourhoods or festivals (though tears were close to the surface when all my well meaning friends started sending me photos of themselves on the hill at the folk fest last weekend), just suddenly missing a particular bike path in jasper, or a specific (and rather unattractive) bit of 97 street near the empty prison. i find myself wanting, for some strange reason, to see things that never really mattered that much before. these are safe things to miss - unlikely to cause me to fall headfirst into misery. just small flavours of home.

i was talking to sanity salad today about how weird it feels to make this decision, and that maybe i shouldn't have done it. but as soon as those words are out i realised: what the hell else am i supposed to do? who else gets to decide? life? sanity salad told me life is not a decision maker, unless, of course, you let it become one.

zhoen recently suggested that i ask myself these three questions:

1. what do you know?
2. what do you want?
3. who do you love?

1. well, i know that i am happiest in edmonton. 
2. i want to be in edmonton.
3. i love my friends and family who are... wait for it: in edmonton!

kinda makes it clear, don't it?

14 August, 2016

small humans too

i suppose it doesn't really speak too well of me that i get long-term (like hours!) snarky at a four-year old because he was whiny and tired and annoying but there it is: some times i love him lots; other times, i want to smack him up the side of the head really really REALLY hard and walk away permanently. kids. annoying, high maintenance, adorable, sweet, dimpled, loud, and SO FUCKING STICKY.

why are they sticky all the time? why? has science delved deep into this and figured this shit out, because maybe, just maybe, there's like a super amazing new glue, or nanotechnology or, hell, even a perpetuum mobile solution hiding in that ever-present stickiness? i betcha there's a cure for cancer linked to it. there must be; surely nature wouldn't have just made them sticky for no reason!

it rained last night and all morning. mr. monkey had the littles help him clean the pool and wash the car. on top of having the wee-est of them all running pieces of watermelon to our assorted mouths first evening here, i guess there are some uses for children. but i think i'd prefer to get my own watermelon. just saying.


11 August, 2016

small humans

mr. monkey is a most excellent uncle. i'm just the person who tells the kids not to eat/jump on/do shit. he can spend hours and hours with them, keeping them entertained and safe. i'm not like that at all. five minutes into playing "volleyball" with the 4 year old i'm bored stiff thinking to myself, kid, come back in 10 years when you can actually throw the ball in my general direction. or in 20 when we can discuss the intersectionality of race and gender.

i escaped upstairs to bed this evening, trying to combat the massive sads that hit me for no ascertainable reason. lying in bed, reading some articles, the entire family suddenly marches into our ensuite led by uncle monkey and his sister, the little boys naked as the day they were born ready to be rinsed in the walk-in shower. i am lying here, listening to the silliness and chatter: "make sure you wash your penis," random weeping, incomprehensible blather of the 2 year old.

the small one just got carried out wrapped in the towel and the older one is trying to convince his uncle to shower as well. not at all how i expected this evening to go, but entertaining nevertheless. i can feel the sads dissipating somewhat under the pressure of silliness.

and just now, lying in the bed, i got handed a small freshly laundered child who needed to watch masha and the bear with me, before being joined by a slightly larger freshly laundered child. 5 minutes of cuddles and giggles and they're gone and the sads have receded a little further still, though i can feel those bastards lurking.

the end.

hiding out

i'm still in bed. mr. monkey's gone to work and i can hear activity downstairs: smallest nephew periodically yelling incoherent words, loud crashing noises from the kitchen. i don't want to investigate. i woke up with a headache and a sadness. both will pass, i'm sure, but i'm giving myself the luxury of a few more minutes by myself.

i could easily give up this damn big house. i could easily give up our stuff... well, some of it anyway. but you'd have to pry my solitude from my cold dead hands. and if that isn't a most solid reason not to have kids i don't know what is. when you have children, unless you're a total asshole or extremely talented at time management and/or time travel, you are essentially giving up your solitude for a good number of years. couldn't do that. would go mad. kill people, that sort of thing.

so i'll take a few more minutes, ignore the crashing and yelling (it sounds benign), and enjoy my last few minutes of being alone.


10 August, 2016

sink or swim (hint: sink)

sister-in-law and nephews are here. it's been loud, joyous, fun, exhausting, infuriating, excellent, annoying, magical, and messy, and they've only just arrived last night. the highlight of the evening today was stepping in something soft and squishy in the pool. the red light made it clear - it was one of the slices of tomato i'd prepared for our barnyard burgers*. i'm not a fan of the red light - in fact, until last night's Fun Experiments With Buttons, the light was a lovely classy shade of clear. now, it has become an ever shifting niagara-falls-like rainbow hue. the red said tomato, definitely. unfortunately, after the red came clear and the clear said, no, dear, that is not a tomato slice; it is poop. it might have been, on the other side of its digestive journey, a slice of tomato. alas, it was a tomato slice no more.

mr. monkey, in his entirely admirable desire to free the youth from the constraints of diapers, removed the two-year-old nephew's swimmers' pull-ups and plopped him in the pool. an hour later, poop ensued. mom immediately donned swimming goggles, dove to retrieve said piece of excrement and disposed of it in short order. hurray for motherhood!

the pool is chlorinating like crazy right now. it's gonna be fine, i'm sure. nobody's gonna come down with ebola or whooping cough or rubella or whatnot. after all, it was just poop in the pool.

i've taken my own disinfection very very seriously and drank a large amount of wine.


*three or more kinds of meat to reduce dependency on beef.

07 August, 2016

not that kind of hole

c and i made a pact not to talk about american politics because it is not good for our mental health. we've been doing quite well for the most part. the rule was this - don't share/post anything that makes you angry and/or wanting to kick something. last night i texted c my little adventure with gun-loving dad. this was his response (or series of responses):

c: holy shit. that is fucked up. how fucking welcoming at a public place to have a dude with a gun.
kid will probably play with it and shoot his sister or something in a few years. why are americans so scared!

c: don't answer!

c: not going down that rabbi hole!

c: rabbit!

c: rabbi's don't have holes

c: well they do, but not the type I mean.

06 August, 2016

bad romance

goofing around in the pool, mr. monkey leans in for a kiss.

mr. m: mmmm.....garlic....it's the ultimate hermaphrodite...

moi: WHAT?!

mr. m: or something.

moi: you mean "aphrodisiac"?

mr. m: yeah. that's the one.

05 August, 2016

when in texas...

bear with me for a second because i'm sane canadian - we came out of the star trek movie and followed out a man carrying his sleeping son. walking up the stairs to the parkade, mr. monkey used his chin to point our that the man carrying the sleeping child was also carrying a gun. i just about fell down the stairs from shock. after the guy on the motorcycle (with a helmet!!!) at the red light, this is only the second person i saw here packing heat. ha ha. packing heat. open carry. so many little phrases. whoooeee! bang bang! but when you see it, it fucking hits you: this person has chosen to carry a firearm on his pants, a weapon that could easily destroy the lives of many at the drop of a missed antidepressant or a bad incident of road rage.

dear america, the rest of the world (outside of actual active war zones) looks at this as GODDAMN FUCKING INSANE. are you aware of this fact? perhaps you should be. you have made a religion out of an addendum to your constitution written during a time when muskets were all the rage. you are not normal. statistically, you are the outlier. YOU. ARE. NUTS. carrying a small sleeping child AND a fucking gun qualifies you, in the eyes of the entire world, as FUCKING NUTS. i just thought you should know that.

good night.

supporting the sweatshop economy, one impenetrably packaged item at a time

a parcel came for mr. monkey: a very light styrofoam box from china, wrapped in roughly 17.6 billion layers of tape. because mr. m was doing skilled electrical work, it was up to me to unwrap the parcel. it took a long time. far longer, in fact, than it took to swear a bunch and have this conversation:

moi: #%$*@.

mr. m: ...

moi: #@*&%*!!!

mr. m: ...

moi: is there anything else i can help you with?

mr. m: *waggles his eyebrows suggestively at the box*

moi: !!!


*much time passes*


moi: so what is it, exactly?

mr. m: a glass beaker.

moi: how much was shipping?

mr. m: free.

moi: how much was the beaker?

mr. m: five bucks.

moi: holy shit! that's cheap! how do the chinese do it?

mr. m: they pay their workers five bucks a week.

moi: and you support this?!

mr. m: well, they can buy themselves a really nice beaker.

04 August, 2016

fighting sexism, one squirrel at a time

sitting outside in the goddamn hellish evening texas heat. i watch a neighbourhood squirrel hop along the fence, then up the neighbour's palm tree. a while later we can see a disturbance up in one of our palm trees. small things are raining down, leaves are shaking.

mr. monkey: she's up there! what a bitch!

moi: maybe it's a he! what a dick!

mr. m: i can SEE her!

moi: or him! what an asshole!

small things continue to rain down... right into the damn pool.

moi: what is it DOING up there?

mr. m: you've seen squirrels throw nuts down from trees before.

moi: well, yes, but this is a palm tree. (helpfully turning to the squirrel) HEY RETARD! IT'S A FUCKING PALM TREE!



edit:: yes. i realised later - coconuts. but it's not that kind of palm tree.

02 August, 2016

so it's like this...

i've become wary of announcing life changes (other than, you know, irreversible ones like, hey! i lost my leg to a 'gator!) because a lot of that shit don't stick. when i first started meditating regularly, i suddenly lost the need/desire/hunger/thirst for large quantities of booze. well, that's gone... then again, i've only been meditating regularly again for the last couple of weeks, so that could change. still, i've been noticing a gradual paring away of stuff. might be related; might be unrelated. who knows? who cares? i don't. do you? of course, you don't! you don't even know what i'm talking about!

i stopped colouring my hair a while ago and, for the first time in my life, i actually really really like my hair. i love the grey. i love the wavy thing it's been doing. i just generally love it. i've also stopped doing anything with it (although i've never been much of a hair doer) - i let it air dry, and boom! shake what the good lord gave you (hair).

since we've been living in this suburban pit of despair lovely southern texas community, i've stopped wearing make-up. it's simply too fucking hot, and since i see nobody and talk to nobody and do nothing and don't go anywhere, why bother? and when i DO occasionally see somebody or talk to somebody or do something or go somewhere, well, then that bit of colour on my face makes me feel all kinds of special. the funny thing about (unofficially) giving up make-up is that at first you feel all weird about your face, like there's something missing, like you've just looked down at yourself in church and realised you forgot to put on pants. and then, as time goes by, you're all, hey! face! how goes it? nice to see you again! it might also help that 1. my sight is gone to shit and 2. i barely ever remember to look at myself in the mirror anymore. i could be walking around out there with a big chunk of dried up booger hanging off my left nostril and i wouldn't know. and you know what? i don't care.

i know that southern women are supposed to be all big hair and fancy clothes, but in my experience it's all lawnmower haircuts, denim capris (it's 40°C out there? WTF?!?!) and sensible blouses. the fake nails are there all right, but other accoutrements of southern style? not that i've seen. but whatevs. no, seriously: whatevs. having spent 2 weeks with my parents, and having been exposed to the massive tsunami of judgment that my lady parent unleashes on ALL TOPICS IN ALL THE WORLD AND EVERYONE AT ALL TIMES ALWAYS, it's nice to sort of say in my head, hey lady! that lawnmower haircut looks like ass, but you look like a happy human being so rock on. just rock on. anger. letting go of it.

hey! maybe it was make-up that was making me angry! maybe it was the red dye #3 and ground up beetles that were leaching into my bloodstream making me all grrrr all the time?! maybe it was the hair dye! damn hippie henna! no wonder the health food store workers are so morose and judgy all the time - it's the damn henna! oh, man, i'm so glad i figured this out!

so anyways, yes: grey hair, no make-up, trying to meditate. everything is oh so lovely.... or is it? ok. fine, it isn't. i'm having moments of extreme nostalgia. moments of what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-this-country (i've imposed a semi strict trump-free rule in my media consumption, but i do occasionally backslide). (many) moments of feeling overwhelmed by the stuff we have here. but overall, having now conquered the algae bloom that made our pool look like an award winning suburban front lawn, things are relatively level. i've made peace with my face, and that's something, innit?

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: