Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fucking School

Fucking School. It's its fault. I have nothing to say as the following words have shut down my creative process:
 socio-economic location, system, discourse, the Global South, social capital, retrenchment, the welfare state, reflexion, self care, APA 6, abstract, qualify, quantify, reify, marxism, neo-liberalism, Global North, intersectionality, dialectic, deontological, relative, subjective, bias, critical, ethical, social justice, community, societal, accreditation, Harper, meso, macro, micro, minutiae, syllabus, reference list, 118707715, ISP, field, field notes, codified, residential schools, oppression, repression, obsession, suicide, story telling, Kubler Ross, Foucault, feminist, hetero-normative, life course, phenomenological, relative, inconsequentially, (Klein, 2012), grounded theory, statistically, outlier, mean, functional, structural, subconscious, Jungian, urban, rural, healthcare, eldercare, care, trach, deadline....

I will write again when my means to and end has come to an end.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I never get sick. Well "never" is a stupid word. I rarely get sick. I did this week though. My kid brought it in the house. She is the port of entry for all germs. Usually I use a magical combination of placebo to ward off any bugs, but this time the virus outsmarted my brain and my immune system went into overdrive, stuffing up my nose, congesting my chest and aching my bones.

There is a question on OK Cupid, how do you feel when you do nothing all day? Good or bad are the choices. I chose bad. Nothing all day bores the shit outta me. I don't consider reading a book for 8 hours in a row nothing, or writing a blog, or even flirt chatting with random strangers. I consider lying on a couch forced to watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory and What Not to Wear as "nothing".  More so, the nothing is characterized by my self imposed quarantine. Not wanting to inflict the plague on loved ones, I cancelled a much anticipated poker night with pregnant friends and multiple lovers. It was going to be my kind of fun. Instead I stayed alone, feeling quite pathetically sorry for myself as I blew my nose and drank copious amounts of tea I could not taste.

My mother told me when I was a kid that I was very rarely sick. If I was, I would come home, say I was going to bed and then sleep it off till I was better. She never really plied me with chicken soup and head rubs. If I injured myself she would get mad at me. I understand now, she was just worried and it came out mean, but as a kid I always wondered why she would yell at me when I came in bleeding. Maybe that is why I would retreat, so as not to get my mum pissed off. Let me be clear, my mother was not abusive or uncaring, she just had an old school attitude to sickness and injury. That it was kind of your fault and that you should suck it up and deal with it. Grin and bear it has been her mantra. She had a lot to grin and bear, and I quite honestly respect her for her strength. Perhaps she thought if she paid me too much attention, I would get sick more. There might be something to that logic. I have occasionally applied it to my daughter on "itchy bum" nights. Those of you with kids may know what I am talking about. When your child works themselves into a frenzy because something is itching them. I hear my mother's voice come out of my mouth sometimes, "well it's just an itchy bum, it's not going to kill you, so you better just relax and go to sleep because there is nothing I can do for you."

One of my fondest memories is when I was about 8 and I had the flu. I can count on one hand the amount of fevers I have had in my life, and this was the first that I recall. One of my other mothers that lived in the collective, who had a kinder, gentler attitude towards illness, put me in her bed and played in my hair till I fell asleep. To this day, petting my head sends me drifting off to my happy place. I struggle between both. Wanting to be left alone, and wanting to be coddled. I like to think I am stoic, stiff upper lipping  it like a British WWII propaganda poster, when there is a lot of me that craves being tucked into the big bed and gently caressed to sleep. Hmm, any connection here with last weeks blog??

I blame this meandering installment on the mucus in my brain, but I have been thinking about it a lot recently. What it means to care for and be cared for. I hope with my daughter I make her feel better. Although the other day's crying accusation of "you are not sorry for me!" as I  told her to suck it up after she whacked herself with a rebound door nob after a  frustrated door slam, hints that I am trending towards my mum's school of thought. Truth be told though, I caught this fucking cold by letting her in my bed the night she was sickest so that I could cuddle her to sleep.

Monday, August 13, 2012


  I have only had my heart broken once. It was a very long time ago. His name was Hart. A perfect name really. I was in university and very young. He was a Jewish rugby player with dark black curls that a friend of mine dubbed the "hair of the future." When I first met him, I was not all that interested. I had just split up up with another rugby player, this one of Scottish descent and I was really just looking for distraction. We ended up talking all night and going back to his place. We stayed up till the morning. I remember watching Sesame Street with him. Our sides ached as tears of laughter rolled down our faces watching Bert do the pigeon shuffle. Bert's legs are pretty much the most comical thing you can experience on no sleep, a few to many beers and a joint or two.

     We started dating. He took me to a Marx Bros festival and showed up looking stiff and uncomfortable. It was because he had hid a flower tucked into the back of his pants under his jean jacket. It was simply romantic and I remember it perfectly. He liked me more than I liked him. He told me he loved me on the phone soon after, and I did not love him back. I think I just said, "oh, oh ok.." He kept wooing me and we would smoke pot and give each other artificial respiration on the couch. He could fireman carry me. One day I was touching his abdomen, he had a very strong body, and I said, "I like these, " referring to his washboard like stomach. A few weeks later he pointed out that they were more defined. He said, "I made these for you, cause you like them."

One night, and this dates me of course, we went to see Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I started feeling woozy about halfway into the movie. I made it till the end but I was getting sicker and sicker. We took a cab to his apartment and I rushed to the bathroom. I have never been so ill since, as I sequestered myself in his bathroom, projectile vomited into his spaghetti pot, evacuating from both ends simultaneously. When there was nothing left in inside of me, I said, "Ok I will grab a cab and go home." He would not let me. I said, "You will get sick..." He said, "No I won't, I am the Wolverine." I was not a comic nerd back then. I read Dickens and the Brontes;  a whole other level of Masterpiece Theatre nerd, so I asked,  "The Wolverine?"

My fever was high and painful and I felt like I was dying. He said the Wolverine was indestructible. The Wolverine did not get sick or die. He told me the complete story of the Marvel Universe to distract me until dawn and I finally fell asleep. When I woke up, I was irretrievably in love. It was a love I had never felt before. He had taken care of me. I had let him. This was new.

The semester came to an end and he went off to Israel to play rugby in the Jew Olympics. He wrote me one very strange letter, and that was all I heard from him. I imagine he met some heptathlete with matching abs and better genetics. I was destroyed. I did not know why he did not love me anymore. There is no happy ending really, just a summer of ice cream and pathetic videos in bed, crying jags and hermitude. School started again and I never really found out why he went off me the way he did. I remember looking for closure years later and writing  him a letter, but there was no response. I still google stalk him in fits of nostalgia.

So where are these memories coming from? They have all been safely tucked away in a wistful space in my brain. It is my whippet man. He reminds me. He has wooed me, and he has taken care of me. I didn't want him at first, but he just kept persisting. When I look at him sometimes I feel the same. He won me. A different love. I have been panicking recently. A new witch doctor I see has unleashed some emotions and tells me that I need to stop fighting all the time. He keeps asking me what I am seeing as tears roll down my face in his office. I am seeing me letting go. Maybe they are tears of relief. I have been pretending since I was a child, that I was ok all by myself. I  don't feel sad. I am just on a precipice. Panicking before I jump.

I call the whippet guy Superman. He looks like a cross between Clark Kent and Woody Allen. Good thing he can fly and catch me when I leap.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Whippets are one of my favorite cookies, beaten out only narrowly by oreos. What makes them so special? It is a complicated convergence of a hard chocolate outer crust, which needs to be cracked and peeled to reveal a soft fluffy marshmallow centre sitting atop a not too sweet, but satisfyingly firm and crunchy graham cracker foundation.  I was shown recently the "proper technique" for cracking the outer layer, through a surprise attack whack on the forehead of your unsuspecting whippet eating companion.  

The forehead whacking guy is a new lover who likes to tell me how refreshingly normal I am. I think he means, not crazy, or not overly dramatic. I think he means resilient and balanced and independent.  I think he means rational. How normal these traits are, I don't know, but I know he means it as a compliment.   I keep warning him that he has just not seen my crazy yet. I am only half joking. People rarely see my crazy, unless they bump into it on day 22 of my cycle. I tend to hide it under a hard sweet layer of chocolate  exposing  it only semi anonymously in under- read blogs.

I do have a squishy marshmallow centre though. I noticed it today when I had to wrap a broken winged pigeon in a tea towel in front of my daughter and next door neighbors. They looked at me in awe a bit, as I calmly called for a shoe box and held the bird gently and firmly in the palms of my hands. They were relieved I was doing something, releasing them from obligation.

I knew he would die. I took him to the vet .  I asked them  to pretend they were going to save it in front of my kid, all the while aware that they were just going to euthanize him. Only once my daughter was safely plugged into some commercial free kid animation did I go out back,  curl up fetally in my hammock, and become intensely sad. I had had a client today, she had had some past trauma which was unspeakable, and she kept sitting bolt upright on my table with the same look in her eye that the pigeon had. She wouldn't speak either, except to say over and over again that she was sorry. I felt quite helpless, and the bird brought it all flooding in. 

The thing is there was a moment when I saw the bird plummet from the balcony upstairs, that I paused. I thought should I do something? Do I leave it to my cats to finish the job? Do I go into the house and close the door and pretend that this insignificant creature was not writhing in pain under my neighbor's porch? I really wanted to pretend it wasn't there. My solid, semi sweet graham cracker foundation would not allow me to walk away. It shored up the marshmallow and forced me into action. My client is coming back at the end of the week to try again. On the inside I am dreading it, wanting to refer her elsewhere. I keep seeing the bird. 

Ok so next blog will be a raunchy account of a threesome with two African Americans as illustrated through a racist oreo metaphor .. it will be so much more entertaining. (just joking, it will actually be about pirate cookies)

Monday, June 25, 2012


I just spent the last eight months of my life rehearsing a play about super villains in grad school. We did our 6 night run last week. It's all done and I feel like I should write about it. Not sure that I really want to write about it, which is  ironically mirroring my feelings about the play.

I don't want to be an actor when I grow up. I have decided. I always had a sneaking suspicion that I might, but it turns out I was wrong. Don't misunderstand me, I liked the people, I liked the script and I loved my costume. I just didn't like the INTENSE self doubt. I don't generally doubt myself. At least not with any real conviction, anyways.  I would almost say it was a flaw, my inherent lack of self doubt. Perhaps I should have more of it. Luckily I got a healthy dose last week.  I have taught classes, given speeches and pranced around on a stage in skin tight shiny silver pants, but memorizing lines I did not write was somehow different.

I think it is because I don't play well with others. I am the "i" in team. The wrong vowel. I got too wrapped up in when was MY next line, did I say it right, would the other actor be able to say theirs? Will I look like an idiot cause my fuck up, fucks up someone else. I like to take full responsibility for my fuck ups. If someone else's is riding on it, it makes me nervous. I personally, can accept failure, but being the weakest link in a group, freaks me the hell out.

Plus I knew the universe was mocking me again when my handy menstrual cycle app predicted a frowny faced PMS emoticon on opening night and little red period triangles on the rest of the run. One of my final lines in the play was, "That doesn't make any sense. Are you trying to say that when chicks get their periods they can't do shit?" To which my fellow actor responds, "Precisely!"  My role was that of an Uber-feminist with super strong hands, overblown intelligence and a complex about her lower class henchman family heritage. Really, I couldn't make up better irony, as I downed iron pills and belly breathed my way through hormonally inspired waves of nausea and back pain.

 This is not to say that I embarrassed myself. I mean, obviously I did... a little. Some nights more than others, and some nights not at all. I held my own most of the time. I even had a couple of really enjoyable performances. I liked the camaraderie, or whatever the fuck you call it when 12 people decide to jump on the same crazy bandwagon. But in truth, I am happy it is over. 

I wrote a joke in the play though. It got a laugh most nights. Strangely enough I never forgot those particular lines. I want my girl guide badge for acting now. Sew it on my sash and move on to the next challenge. Do they have a badge in Standup? What the hell is wrong with me? (mmm self doubt)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Show me Your Teeth

So i have decided to leave the soul searching neurosis this time to just go on a silly rant about the dentist. This year my teeth decided to stop putting up with my night clenching and shoddy flossing habits. They opted to fall apart..en mass. Six fillings, two root canals and several deep cleanings later I have formed a special relationship with my dentist.

My dentist is lovely. I would totally marry her. She is blond and sweet and she charges me way less then she should. She hates making me cry. And I do cry. Mostly because I have to deal with the bills and student dental insurance is.. well.. meager. Though you would be surprised how much pain can be had for 60% of $1500.00.

I feel for my dentist. People hate coming, she makes it as nice as she can. She has a lovely wall sized photo of a Costa Rican rope bridge to a lush island in front of the chair so you can pretend you are not there. They give you sunglasses. I am not sure if that is more for her than for me. They hide the tears. Still, I end up wearing a bright blue paper bib listening to soft jazz muzak waiting to be injected in the  palate  They couldn't design better humiliation and torture in a Chinese political prison, and no pair of sunglasses or escapist photographic scenery can change that fact. And you get to pay through the nose for the privilege.

I caught myself lying to my daughter today. She has to get a tooth pulled this weekend. She has shark teeth, baby ones who refuse to leave and big ones growing in behind. I told her , it's cool, the novocaine. It doesn't hurt and it makes you drool. I told her the story about how once I had work done on both sides of my mouth, so I was completely frozen. I could barely speak, like Dudley More in "10". I was walking home when I saw an elderly woman collapse in front of me. There was a traffic cop, right in the middle of the road and I yelled, "officer" but it came out drooly and slurred.. "othflicfluer, othflicfluer," I spat out like a stroke victim, gesticulating wildly at the sidewalk where the woman had fallen. The policeman ignored me, thinking I was some mentally challenged or ill person he just did not want to deal with. Fortunately some upstanding non, post op citizen got the cop's attention. It would be a funnier story if the cop hadn't been such an obvious dink.

How do I conclude this? By going to the bathroom and flossing, I guess. Then to bed with my sexy mouth guard so I can rest at  ease knowing if I take a punch to the face while sleeping, I won't get a concussion.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Metaphorical Dust Bunnies

My kid was not invited to a party last week and I emotionally imploded.  It turns out I am still 8 years old. In grade school. And miserable. Ok demons.. let's confront you.

When I was  kid I was very smart  and pudgy. I wasn't type II diabetes American obesity epidemic fat, I was 70s, boobies too early and chubby cheeked fat. I had a pair of jeans called Husky. I hate the word husky. There was this girl. She was a mean girl. I was her target for two years. I used to hide in the back of the library with Judy Blume so that I wouldn't have to deal with it, but she usually found me somewhere everyday and made my cry. I read a lot.

Years later I was working at my local pool and this girl, now an adult, showed up to swim. She recognized me instantly and her whole face transformed. She looked upset and remorseful and began to apologize. She told me it had haunted her, the way she treated me. Her parents were going through a nasty divorce and both her and her brother were assholes at the time. I told her it was all fine. I was fine. I had survived and it had honed my razor sharp wit and deep love of teenage novels. It did not kill me or scar me. At least not as badly as it seemed to scar her. That's what I thought at the time.

My daughter is in grade 2. She asked me if we could invite a friend swimming, so I called her mother. The mother said, oh. she is going to a birthday party. My kid overheard and her face crumpled. Everyone is going to x's party but me. X is one of my kid's closest friends. My heart stopped. What? Why weren't you invited? I felt tears burning, heart pounding, and I was instantly transported. I called this girl's mother. I couldn't stop myself. Why isn't she invited? The answer is simple. Because they are 8 year old girls and they use birthday parties as the end she was invited and had a great time. This is not the point of my story.

The point of my story happened in my head as I tossed and turned in my bed that night. I imagined the next two years of my daughters life, feeling rejected and humiliated. I put my childhood on her and it broke my heart harder than I felt when it happened to me. I realized she was going to have to go through shit. Not exactly the same shit, but shit none the less. There was nothing I could do about it. There was nothing I should do about it.  It is an inevitable right of passage.

I could go off an a rant here about today's parenting and their hamster-ball like over protection of their future anxiety disordered children, but I wont. Mostly because I fell prey, prey to trying to smooth my daughter's road. Of trying to screw with the hurdles she should have to leap. Of using terrible metaphors. The thing is, my childhood made me who I am, resilient, funny, adaptable and a reader and writer. Would I wish it on her? There are scars that make you beautiful. Not all do though.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Food for Thought

I don't know if is is the kinda cold dismal spring we have been having or some iron deficiency inspired by my peri menopausal hemorrhaging, but the last month or so I have been feeling quite uninspired. Spring is in the air though and I went trolling for stories.

 One great story came from a client whose family is Greek. It's not really a story, it is more a description. She was talking about her childhood, her dad and animals. They were poor immigrants and lived in a tiny apartment. There were always all kinds of animals in her house, most of which ended up in a pot of some kind. We talked about eating lambs heads and eyeballs and how she came home to snapping crabs in her tub. Once her brother came in with a live chicken he found, this is in urban montreal in the 80s, not some rural village, and how her mum killed and cooked it.

She said she liked eating everything, everything except quail. I asked her why not quail? She said because it reminded her of pigeons. Especially her pet pigeon. Which her mum cooked and fed to her one day after it had croaked.

 Strangely enough, this was a funny story, a touching story. Both us us were tearing up laughing when she told me about it. It was a story about how her dad was a macho Greek man and her mum was a superwoman who watched over neighborhood kids to make ends meet and fed her family on nothing. It was a story of living without much money but with life all around you. And it was a fucked up story about being made to eat your pet. She was so poor she had to eat her pet. Seriously funny.

 I have been bitching and stressing about poverty this winter. It has stolen my sense of humour and quite possibly a portion of my sex drive. Spending an hour with this woman and having this conversation put things into focus for me. It sparked me back up. I do often wonder how I will make rent, but I got to see my kid ride her bike with total confidence and no training wheels today, then she read me a book. On Saturday I get to dress up like a unicorn and perform an awesome number on stage with girls dressed as dudes. I am in a play where I am a super-villain graduate student with fists of steel and I am currently pinned under a shit eating dog and two cats. I get to walk on the mountain on Thursday mornings and I do actually love my job.

 Oh..and I am getting a tax return, so I will not yet have to feed my daughter her dog.
Life is all around me too.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Stone Cold Fox

I seem to be reverting back to death. I am surrounded by it. Most people would say that is dark, and sad and scary, but I choose to have it all around me. I work with the group of grievers. Every Thursday morning we go for a walk on the mountain. It is a support group of sorts, the people come to be with each other and spend some time in one of the most lovely urban parks I have ever been in. A forest at the top of a mountain with the view of the city island. A big red fox lives there. He visits us sometimes, making us point and grin and notice a real live moment. He appears like Aslan's sarcastic brother, giving us a knowing and amused look. Life still exists it says, don't forget about magic.

I love this group. They are mostly men, which if you know anything about support groups you will understand how weird that is. There is a gentle giant ex pro football player, who is trying to recover from a broken heart at the death of his mum. There are some widows and widowers and a lovely urban hermit who has opted to come out into the world after loosing both parents in the space of two weeks. And there is one widow in particular, who I tend to mention, whose grace and humour and intelligence make me want to behave more accordingly.

Sometimes we talk about the weather, or a movie or a crying jag. We have coffee and the football player likes to bring sweet stuff treats, continually sliding pieces in front of me. Eat he says. Death has an effect. It makes people sad. It makes them ache. It makes them cry because it is irreversible. It takes time to learn to live with the absence. They come to us quite broken, and over the weeks we see them brighten, bit by bit. For some the group is the thing that lightens them, the new friendships, strangely enough, the laughter, the leaves, the trees, my shit eating dog. He comes with us and the men like to take his leash. Though they all get smiles when I let him run free as he dolphins thorough the snow.

I have a new love in my life and he has also been surrounded by death. But not by morbid choice like me. He is sweet. He thinks of things like what flowers he should grow in his garden for his mother who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Purple is a the colour of recovery he tells me. His thought to plant lambs ears so she could have something soft to touch melted my heart. He has a grandmother who is entering palliative care this week, and a dead father, and nephew, and the list goes on. He is American and we woo electronically. I want him to walk with us. I want somehow to show him the fox. There is still magic and beauty. A space is left when someone you love dies, it feels cavernous at first, but then it fills. It fills with people you would never have met otherwise. If you let it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Good Girl

I signed the last of my divorce papers the other day. Now all I have to do is wait and see if a judge who looks at them in my absence agrees that its ok for me to be officially single again. The lawyer's assistant at legal aide says that they will and on April 8th I will be legally divorced.

It was a bizarre encounter, my last trip to legal aide. They are very nice, and they divorced me for free, so it seems there are advantages to being poor. The time before the last time, I sat in in the windowless meeting room staring at the 4 page document that outlined our irreconcilability, our ownership of nothing and our 50/50 split on everything including our daughter . It was very short, very concise and rather unimpressive for a piece of paper that was borne of years of angst and struggle and hurt feelings. I didn't really feel anything. Until. Until the sweet, well meaning Romanian legal secretary looked at me with such empathy and asked me if I was alright. I was. Then I wasn't. Eyes burning, I okayed the document and thanked her and left. As I got to the elevator I started to cry. No thoughts really, just an unstoppable cry. I got a text from a boy at that instant asking me how I was, so I texted back, that I was fine, but sad because of where I had just been.. in his cute French/English he returns, good, so you now are marriable. It made me laugh.

A week later I get a call from the lawyer. She is the third that has been assigned to me because they don't last long at legal aide, and here you have to wait a year for the divorce to come through. She told me the court date was set for the 14th, but that we should not go. We just had to sign some papers and the court would make the decision without us since everything was agreed to in the 4 page summary encasing the end of my marriage. So you mean I DON'T have to go get divorced on Valentine's Day? I asked. Because there is nothing I would rather do than witness the death of my relationship on such holiest of holidays. We both started to laugh.. and she commiserated that the choice of date was less than ideal. Personally I thought it was perfect. I applaud the universes endless capacity to sarcastically poke fun at my failed relationships.

So there I was, two weeks after signing the agreed upon paper back in that same windowless room. So that's it? I asked the Romanian sweet girl. Yes, she smiled. Unless the court decides to say something, but they won't. And this is where I felt it get bizarre. The girl thanked me and said, you were such a great couple to work with, so easy and polite. Your ex too, she said, he asked good questions, was polite and nice, you two were great to divorce. So amicable, she remarked. I wish more clients were like you two. I found myself accepting the compliment, on behalf of myself and my ex, quizzically smiling. How do I feel about being great at getting divorced? A heretofore undiscovered talent of amicable pretense. Well, I said, you need to be a grown up right?

So it is done, and I did it well I guess. So did he so I give him that. Am I now marriable? I don't fucking think so.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Gospel of the all mighty dollar

Poverty blows. How do i write a rant on capitalism without coming off as some disgruntled overeducated, up my own ass whiny white privileged pot head. Oh wait.. I am all of the above, so I guess it is impossible. The pot head part is perhaps on hiatus, but it will return no doubt once the creeping anxiety ends. The anxiety will stop once the poverty ends. Ah endless circles of catch 22s.

I met a girl once at a party I threw. She was a standup comedian and I instantly crushed on her. I love a girl in a tie and caustic wit. We escaped outside to flirt and banter. We talked about a lot of things, but mostly we talked about feeling anxious and depressed and sex and open relationships. It was very hard not to kiss her. I remember one thing though.. when presented with the question "WHY?" As in why were we so fucked up as a culture, why were our relationships so difficult, why were we so depressed and anxious. I blurted out one word... Capitalism.

I used to make some money, not tons, but enough to own a car, take a vacation, buy stupid new electronics for my husband and order in Thai food when I was feeling lazy. I was not happy back then. I would go to my desk, answer my email, hawk the souls of my artists to advertising agencies and then go home tired and deflated to watch the television sell me stuff. I came to the conclusion that none of it made sense. They way we have turned money into god. Money buys you freedom, money buys you time, money buys you health, money buys you.

It is no wonder so many people are unhappy and anxious. Disembodied. We work to make money so that we can afford to buy time where we don't have to work to make money. The concept of saving for retirement is in itself soul destroying. Here, sacrifice your present so that one day when you are too old and tired to keep doing this thing that you hate you might be able to take a cruise to Alaska and play bridge with your pals. If you don't make this money now and save it in make-believe investments, then beware of your inevitable fate of spam eating and elder abuse.

I know I sound harsh, but I blame it on the likes of Stephen Harper and the rest of his criminal neo con gang. They have embittered me in this domain with their slashing of communities. I opted out. I decided to stop selling art and start massaging bodies. One person at a time, with my full concentration. I decided to work for pleasure, and helping and present moments, rather than pipe dreams of Nike commercials. So now I am poor and being poor is hard, because I cannot afford to buy time.

So what does crushing on a cute comedienne have to do with capitalism? Nothing really. She was on my mind tonight and it was the last time capitalism really made me laugh. Truth be told, I am not quite so bitter or downtrodden. I think of my clients as the travel I cannot afford. Their stories take me places. My financial advisor told me once that I would have to save 30k a year if I wanted to retire, so I opted out of worrying about it. I learned to do a lot with Spam when I was in Australia. I have instead opted into living in the present, shopping only for my basic needs, trading in buying new clothing and gadgets, for conversations and hugs. Sometimes my gas bill scares me, like right now in the middle of February, but I am happier. I am happier being an atheist who does not buy in to the gospel that money sets you free. Nothing is free in capitalism.

Monday, January 30, 2012

daddy issues

I went to see Hugo today with my kid. She is recovering from the flu and we needed to escape from the excavation of our basement. Maybe there are bodies down there, I wouldn't be surprised. Why do they kill parents? They love to kill parents. It seems that a kid can't be a hero unless they are orphaned.

I met a guy recently. He likes to take photographs. I dislike having my picture taken. It is like my face is trying to escape the scrutiny. He had lights on me and was obscured behind a lens. Then he started to ask me things. He asked me about my dad and I found myself at a loss. I wanted to tell him something. He seemed like the right person to tell things to, but I was blocked, I was thinking, all girls have daddy issues.

My father was a photographer. He was also unhinged. He had been a brilliant PHD student, destined for academic stardom, but he got sidetracked. Sidetracked by a Leica and a collective of New Mexican hippies, acid, Buddhism and a wanderlust. My mother and he had a very different relationship, I think, although it is all conjecture. She doesn't talk about it. She would if I asked, but I seem to know not to. He would wander and she would sometimes follow and sometimes not.I know he must have had girlfriends, I can see it in the eyes of one of his photo subjects.

Eventually she moved to Montreal from New York City and had me. My sister was already 3. We lived in Outremont, next door to a houseful of kids called the Rings. My father came to visit sometimes, until he had a psychotic break and was carted off to the local crazy house after leaping on my mum. My sister, 5 or 6 at the time, ran to the Rings for help. After that he went back to NYC where he continued to take photos of crumbling garbage heaps and dilapidated signage. I don't have any memories of him. The only one I can recall is looking out the window at the rain spattered glass while my mum told us that he had died. He fell out of a window she said. I was 4 and she says I cried. I don't remember. I just recall the view, obscured by those plastic decals of triangles and squares and circles that you could stick and remove and make houses out of.

New York's finest were thieves back then, and they stole his cameras. They left the prints though, and I have them. They are my only evidence. I can see his humor, his intelligence and his complicated view. There was interest a couple years back and a gallery contacted me so they could mount a show. They did and through that I got in contact with a woman who was one of his closest friends. She sent me the story of his death, because she had been there. By now I knew he did not fall. The story was heart wrenching. He did not die right away. She found him, three stories down on the ground, and in the ambulance he was telling her it was alright, he was going where he wanted. She thought he was going to survive.

I thought about the pain this must have caused her. She knew something was wrong some days before, but hippies like to let people be. They don't question the weird. Strangely enough, I don't either. Sometimes I feel that I should feel more. Some kind of loss, some kind of deep pain. That I should be broken somehow, as orphans often are. I am not. I had family and love and I was young. I don't miss him. There is no hole.

I like this photographer, and I also have a weakness for academics, it seems. My daddy issues must be there somewhere, like it is for most girls. I come to the end of this post feeling much the same way i did when I was questioned under the lights. Thinking that I am trying to say something, but not sure what it is.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


First off I want to say thank you to those of you who wrote me such kind words of encouragement. It is not that I forget that I have an audience, after all, I am writing with you in mind. It is more that I am continually surprised that you stay and listen decide to come back. It moves me that this blog gives you something.

I was torn about what to write about this time. I wanted to write about my shit eating dog and then I also wanted to write about love. I wonder if there is a way to put them together? Let us start with the dog.

I have a dog. He is perfect in every way. Except one. One very very imperfect way. He likes to eat shit. More specifically, his own shit. Well he will eat the shit of other dogs too, but what he loves most is his own fresh shit. This dog is beautiful, sweet, loving, obedient and silly. I would let a two year old walk him. I want to train him to be a therapy dog because he is so perfect. I think I love him.

I got this dog because my ex husband was depressed. I have always had cats. I still have them. My ex had a dog when he was a kid, and somehow I thought a dog would help him. Maybe get him to walk outside and have a buddy. Someone on his side that he could just get support from in a way only a big furry mop of a dog can do. So I found this big black muppet of a dog and he had a fatal flaw. The kind of flaw that makes you hate him. The kind of flaw that makes you consider getting rid of one for. How can you love a dog who just ate his own shit?

I fell in love with my husband at first sight. That has never happened before to me or since. I remember walking into the bar where I was supposed to meet him and sitting down across from him and looking into his face and knowing instantly that the game was over. That this person across from me was who I was going to be with. I even knew he felt exactly the same thing at the same time. We were together every day from that point onwards. We were repulsively affectionate and sex was in a place I had not been before. We fit. I remember the second time I saw him. He came over and we sat on my porch swing surrounded by the branches of the tree that was planted below and we held hands. We stood up in the kitchen and we kissed. All I wanted to do was lift my shirt so that the skin of my belly would touch the skin of his. I did. And when our stomachs touched it radiated a warmth that melted me.

Later in our marriage he wanted fish. I hate fish. I said to him, they are your fish. I am never taking care of them. He wanted them anyways so we had fish. When he moved out he left them. I saw it as a passive aggressive fuck you and at the time I was mad at him still. Mad at him for not being happy I suppose. I was stuck with the shit eating dog and the stupid fucking fish. I am not proud of what I did next, but I did it anyways. I could not bring myself to flush the fish, and i certainly did not want to be vacuuming up fish poo and cleaning filters and dealing with all the horror that it is to maintain a tiny glass box filled with imprisoned fish forced to live in a world of plastic plants and weirdly coloured rocks. I was always told that fish were delicate, that if the water got cold or the filter was broken that that would die instantly. Well it turns out that is not true. it turns out that guppies and neon tetras can live for a couple of months.. in stasis.. with no food, no filter no water change in a green sludge of algae. I would go in each day, hoping that they would be dead, but they weren't. I was horrified at my cruelty, yet I could not bring myself to either flush them or feed them. I just sat there and watched them slowly die. They did finally. There is guilt there .

I still have the dog though. Over the years I have learned how to curtail his shit eating ways. He gets some sometimes, but it is not often enough for me to hate him. My yard is spotless and I diligently ensure that I can still love him. My ex takes the dog on the weekends with our kid. I think the dog makes him happy now, they wrestle and hang out. The fish tank is long gone. Thank fucking christ.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Not Unicorns

It has been a long time since I have written. I could blame it on the holidays, but I wont. A friend of mine who reads this blog told me he thought that I wrote it one step removed. That I wrote other people's stories and ones from my past and that these were at safe distances. I think he is right. I want to write about unicorns. Metaphorical ones. But I can't because it is about me and sex and love and I am not up to exposing that yet, mostly because of the story I am about to tell you. It is a story about me. In the present. And I am writing it because I was angry.

I am trusting when online, I chat with people with brutal honesty. If they ask me something I like to tell them the truth back. As I mentioned before, I am online dating. I have met some friends, and even some unicorns, but I have also met ones with whom I was not well matched. Blame the robot, his matchmaking statistics are sometimes way off base. (This is a shout out to my OKC clan.) Well I must have pissed someone off.

I was chatting to a guy who decided to google me. You know, you have done it. We all google ourselves. If you are unlucky enough to be in the entertainment biz, IMDB will tell you your rank and how many points you lost this week. If you are a doctor or a teacher, go to rate-my-whatever-profession-people-want-to-bitch-about and see what the gossip is. If you are someone: wikipedia will know you or, if you are a just a plebeian, you can just see what comes up in the google search.

Well this dude turned up me, giving hand jobs, being "fucked by bull dykes" and other such lovely descriptors. It seems someone was mad at me. They posted impersonating me on all kinds of comment boards and then linking them back to my work site. Conversely they posted on gay and lesbian sites having me make homophobic and right wing christian statements. Which belies a certain sense of humour I suppose, the irony not lost.

It was the ultimate bathroom wall stunt. I can't lie, it shook me. It frightened me and it made me feel like I was back in grade school being bullied in the hallway. It served its purpose, it made me stop writing things that were personal. It made me feel exposed and vulnerable and criticized. It made me feel shame. As I have written before, I am not a big fan of shame. It highlighted to me that there is
so much hate and homophobia and repressed sexuality still in the world.

The thing is, I am not a pudgy smart kid in grade four anymore. So I say this.. fuck you and your shame. It is not mine. At least not anymore. I will write about unicorns, and kinky sex and queers and love and death and more. I promise.

Next time. After I have finished washing off the bathroom wall.