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Jan. 23rd, 2013


you only live twice

Listen, internet (particularly you youngsters, who (let's face it) probably aren't on lj anyway, but should be, because here is some truth for you): my friends and I, we've been joking for awhile now about Second Puberty. See, you hit a certain age, which I will not name because I am a lady, and things? They start to happen.

LIke what, you ask, impressionable youngsters?

Well, it ain't pretty. You start to break out, for one. Certain undergarments no longer fit the way they once did, which is an expensive pain in the chest. Your lady business? Which had, after a rocky, painful start, basically settled into a predictable (if totally annoying) routine? It starts to get REAL.

I thought that was all, and hey, it was bad enough, but no! Turns out there's more!

See, it's not just your body screaming back toward adolescence. It's your all of you. It's your mind, your heart, your every insecurity, all conspiring to make you twelve again.

It goes a little something like this: I like all the boys! ...but I don't understand them. Why are they so mean? Do I look okay? Do I look like her? Or her? Or her? Where are my friends? What are they doing? Do they think I'm cool? Why are they so mean? Is this normal? Am I normal? Am I the only one who feels this way?

Tell me I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Jan. 21st, 2013


it's so cold in this country

This Monday is frozen, this whole week stilled by cold. The ground is dull and hard. Every heel strike my boots make sounds hollow; the rubber is too cold to yield against the pavement. Instead, the impact shivers up the back of my legs, stopping just short of my spine.

Inside, it's no better. Part of me is always cold, no matter how well-wrapped I look. Winter sneaks in at the walls and creeps along the floor, invading the spaces I've tried to warm. I can't keep it back. It's futile, I know. It's like watching the condensation build up and flow down my windows, an inevitable progression from steam to droplets that swell until they can no longer cling to the glass, but must plunge headlong to the sill, catching others, building speed as they go. It almost looks like spring, but for the buildup of ice at the edge of the pane. And the water heads straight for it, no clue it's about to chill, to slow, to stretch for one last inch before it's caught, frozen in place. Waiting, like the rest of us, for thaw.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Jan. 15th, 2013



It really is too late for me to be an astronaut, isn't it?

Unless I pay someone to fly me to the moon, Lance Bass-style, I'm never going to wake up weightless. I'm never going to watch the sun rise over the Earth. I'm never going to tweet from outer space, let alone take jaw-dropping pictures of the deserts and rivers and cities we know, transformed and stilled by distance, perspective.

Seriously, I can lose myself in those pictures for hours. I love this Earth up close, but I want to know so much more about it when I see it far away. Why do we bother with urban planning when we see how a river winds its own course? The ones that cut their way through the ground in long, broad curves are lovely, almost lyrical; I imagine the water flowing slowly out to sea. But I love the ones wound up in tight, wild twists. That water is angry. It finds its own way. The difference between the two is like Beethoven to Monet.

Is it too late for me to be an astronaut? How much should I know about science, exactly?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Jan. 11th, 2013


salad days

I really hate salad. This may come as a surprise to some of you, given how much I consume. But it's true.

I eat salad at mealtimes, but I don't consider it a food. It's a pile of leaves, or of chunky vegetables, or (if the chef has gotten all fancy-like) finely chopped sticks. It's something I put in my mouth to stop myself from putting other things in there.

Consider: if I go out for lunch and (because I am feeling reckless, or particularly thin) order a sandwich instead of a salad, the server will generally offer a choice of fries or salad. This isn't a real choice. If offered fries, who wants salad? No human being. It's simple evolutionary biology: you wanna stay alive and reproduce while that scrawny sucker over there keels over in the middle of hunting and gathering or being preyed on? Pick the fries, dummy! They're full of life-sustaining calories! Also, they taste WAY better, and that's why evolution gave you tastebuds. So there.

But I'll order the salad (with dressing on the side), because in today's world, to stay alive and have a chance at reproduction, I am far better off to limit my calories instead. What's more, I'll eat it first, which generally means that I end up too full to finish my sandwich. Watch me next time we eat out. You'll see. If I start with the sandwich, that means I was really hungry. If I order fries, then I have either thrown all caution to the wind or reached the halfway mark in a half-marathon training program, where my body burns through what I give it so fast that I either eat everything I can get my hands on as fast as I can or I EAT YOU. (Or else I just felt like some fries. It happens. I'm unpredictable. It's part of my charm.)

The other thing I really hate, for the record, is when people mess with my plans. I don't like routine, but I like feeling that I have some measure of control over my day, you know? So yesterday, when I was informed that I would not be able to leave my desk at lunch and should therefore bring something from home, I got twitchy. And today, when I woke up and realized that the only lunch I'd be able to assemble from what I had on hand was salad, I got angry.

There's a tupperware container filled with resentment sitting by my briefcase, and I can't wait for noon, so I can dig in.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Jan. 8th, 2013


puppy love

I would be a terrible, terrible auntie.

This is how I know: my neighbours acquired a puppy. I know because they came over to apologize for it; they were worried that its whining during crate training might disturb me. Oh no, I assured them, I don't mind at all. I used to have dogs back home--I hardly even hear it! Don't give it another thought! ha ha ha!

But while I was talking, here's what I was doing: holding my hand out to the pup, paw-shaped, so she could check it out. Ignoring the people and looking at her, but not too directly and not for too long. Crouching down to make myself smaller. Smiling at her without teeth. Stroking her head, all the way down to the tips of her ears.

I was making that dog love me. On purpose. Because when I opened the door and saw that liver-coloured fur and those soft, clumsy paws, all out of proportion to the tiny body they propelled, I wanted that dog, and I wanted that dog to love me. It worked, too--guess who makes straight for my door every time she passes it in the hall? That's right: my pseudo-puppy.

This has worrying implications for parents of small, engaging children: I will take your children in, I will make them imprint on me, and I will send them home again. It will be entirely intentional. And if they're at least as smart as puppies, they will find their way back to me.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Jan. 5th, 2013


in which my parents learn to use FaceTime (the first in an occasional series)

The following things actually happened during an hour-long conversation between me, the top third of the refrigerator and the bottom half of the liquor cabinet, a blinding set of pot lights, the right side of my mom's face, and my father's left ear. And, occasionally, when he coughed, his left elbow.

My mother rotated the entire computer rather than reverse the camera.

A partial flower arrangement floated into view from the right side of the screen. (The gladiolas were lovely.)

Mom tilted the screen so that I could see Dog 2.0, who immediately began humping a cushion.

Upon being corrected for this behaviour, Dog 2.0 swiftly changed gears and opted instead for a vigorous grooming of his "personal area."

Upon being corrected for that behaviour, Dog 2.0 jumped up onto the bench in front of the picture window and resumed his business, essentially turning my parents' driveway into a doggie peep show.

Upon being corrected for having shown me that, Mom adjusted the screen and resumed our conversation.

Dad's major contribution ended with the words, "and those are TWO places you don't want urine!"

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Jan. 3rd, 2013


where i go when i'm not here

Sometimes I go home. Or on vacation. Or out on my balcony, for hours on end.

I disappear into books. Or blogs. Or Netflix. The Walking Dead, Dexter, Charlie Wilson's War.

I play sports. (Or at least I try.) I play the field. (Or at least I try.)

I drink wine. I eat crackers.

I lose myself at work.

I start a million different pieces, finish none. I save my best words for someplace else.

I'm sorry. I'm back, for now.

But I can't say it won't happen again.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Jan. 1st, 2013


ceci n'est pas un post

I. what i watched on my christmas vacation: one-line movie reviews

Dark Knight Rises: That kid from 3rd Rock sure turned out well.
The Bourne Legacy: Say no to drugs.
Skyfall: James Bond + Home Alone
Jiro Dreams of Sushi: Eldest kids get the shaft.
Lawless: Mennonite girls shouldn't date boys with a still.
Premium Rush: This entire movie could have been prevented had one character had cab fare and initiative. (PS: Get a real job, hippies!)
Les Miserables: Protests never work.
Life of Pi: Okay, so you have a tiger and an orangutan and a zebra and a wildebeest, and you need to get them all across the Pacific; who goes in the lifeboat first?
This Means War: The CIA is overfunded.
Taken 2: I can't believe I spent a week in Istanbul and didn't get to run across a single rooftop.
The Wedding Singer: I think I used to like this movie, but the plane landed before I could remember.

II. what i read on my christmas vacation: one-line book reviews

Bride of New France: Promiscuity doesn't pay.
Sussex Drive: As sands through the hourglass, these are the Days Of Our Canadian Lives.
Slaughterhouse-Five: Vonnegut will always be more clever than you, and he'd be happy to remind you of same.

III. math i did on my christmas vacation

46 lb suitcase on arrival - presents distributed + presents received + clothes purchased + giant tin of Christmas baking + stuff delivered from Anthropologie + 5 lbs of frozen sausage = 53 lbs

53 lb suitcase - giant tin of Christmas baking - stuff delivered from Anthropologie = 49.5 lbs

(Stuff removed; sausage retained. I can always get more stuff, but I can't get more sausage.)

IV. what i thought on my christmas vacation

I'm cold.
I'm so cold.
I feel like chips.
Oh god, it's cold.
I shouldn't have eaten so many chips.
Why is it so COLD?
Tu me manques.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Oct. 17th, 2012


i hab a code id by node

There comes a point in the lifespan of an extended cold where people lose all sympathy for you.

That point is pretty much immediately after you say "I think I have a cold."

Colds won't kill you. They'll just bore you to death. You, and everyone you come in contact with. Contagion isn't about who gets the next box of kleenex. No, you're not spreading germs; you're spreading boredom.

When you have a neverending cold, you're on a constant quest for someone who will feel sorry for you. And because your head is full of stuffing and DayQuil and a faint buzzing sound, you just don't get that no one cares. Your persistent misery forces you on, describing your symptoms to anyone who'll listen, oblivious to their shifty posture and glazed eyes and dismissive "mmmhmmm"s and "that's too bad"s. Talking about the cold makes it new to you; putting words to the feeling of "unnnngh" is as refreshing for the sufferer as a lotion tissue on a red nose. Not so for the audience, unwilling participants in your low-grade misery, but since a cold dulls all social cues, you complain freely and wait for the sympathy to roll in.

You guys, have I mentioned that I have a cold?

Wait. Where are you going?

Oct. 13th, 2012


Good Samaritan?

Help, internet: a dilemma. I have been watching an old man in a pretty sharp blazer attempt to use air canada's web check-in for nearly 15 minutes now. This should be a 15-second procedure. Do I try to step in, aging and emasculating him in the process, or do I let him learn on his own, the way nature intended?

He STILL doesn't know whether his baggage contains dangerous goods. Argh.

Now he's typing where no dialogue box exists.

Maybe I should just rent him a car?

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