father’s day festivities

20 Jun

vive la famille!

so we arrived at the suite to a distinct burning smell. as she let us in the front door of the complex, my aunt breathlessly explained that the day had gotten off to a great start, with a fire in the kitchen. as in, an actual fire, not just a little flame in an oily frying pan. my other aunt had put some bacon in the microwave and instead of 30 seconds set it for 3 minutes. the bacon and the paper it was sitting on both caught fire, to the point that the insides of the microwave started to melt and come detached, dripping globs of plastic on to the glass tray. the unit is totalled. we missed all of the action; by the time we got there, the entire lower level of the apartment complex smelled awful, and there was a big empty space where the microwave used to be in my grandpa’s suite.

we ladies then set about preparing lunch. as it’s a nice spring day we had planned on a cold meal (the bacon was the only thing that had to be cooked – so much for that). whilst putting our various homemade salads in large bowls, of course my aunt spilled some of the green salad that she was tossing – lettuce and oil and vinegar flying everywhere, decorating the walls, the floor, and staining her dress. (this was the same aunt that set the microwave ablaze.) yee-haw!

whilst eating at the table, my other aunt’s mother dripped meat juice on the table, soaking a good portion of the tablecloth in cold chicken drippings. at the same time, my aunt spilled coffee on said tablecloth.

for dessert, my aunt had brought two pies – one apple, one cherry – and had her son fetch them from the car. he, being a 13 year-old boy, didn’t pay particular attention to the way he was carrying them, and had them sitting up vertically in the bag. when his mother took the pies out of their boxes, their crusts were all cracked and broken, and both pies were squished to one side. somehow, it was a perfect end to the luncheon. i love my family.


calm down, sistah

16 Jun

the inside of my brain, circa 12:23 today

it’s a sunny afternoon. yesterday was a gorgeous day. the past few days have been glorious, warm, bright; i’ve had work to do, and it’s been work that i enjoy; and things are relatively stable on the financial and familial fronts. yet i’ve been feeling increasingly on edge – stomach in gnarled knots, nights plagued by insomnia, body nearly twitching with anxiety, whole self possessed by urge to flee… but why? flee to where? sure, there are some stressful things going on right now, but nothing i can’t handle, and nothing anywhere approaching past stresses i’ve endured. so what gives?

everything either frustrates, annoys, or angers me lately. my patience is at an all-time low, my sense of diplomacy and tact is wearing thin, and the judgmental side of me is operating in overdrive. so i’ve started to go on more walks, in an effort to burn off some nervous energy, and to distract myself with the pleasant smells and colours of late spring. maybe it’s just a sign that i need to keep myself busier. maybe i should take a holiday. maybe i should just lay off the coffee for awhile…

tonight, tonight

13 Jun

it was the first sunny day in weeks. despite the piercing blueness of the sky, and the brightness of the sun, and the fact that it’s june already, the air was cool – which was fine by me; i prefer a slight chill and bright skies over stuffy heat and humidity. n e way, here it is, 21:00, and the sun is starting to sink slowly closer and closer to the horizon. right now it’s a big orange ball in the sky, glowing fiercely, spraying its juicy colour through the branches of the evergreens on the neighbouring street. the breeze coming in through the open window is an intoxicating blend of smoke (from barbecues and backyard fire pits) and freshly cut grass.

it was the kind of day where we once would have hopped in the car and taken off down the highway, choosing the direction as we drove. we’d stop at a gas station or small grocery store in some small town to pick up some food for the drive and the destination: fruit, cheese, bread, chips, coffee. we’d end up in a provincial park, or a tourist trap, or a small prairie town, or a lake, and we’d walk and eat and talk. on the way back to the city, we might stop for dinner at one of the greasy spoons or mom & pop joints along the highway. that all feels like a lifetime ago.

tonight would be perfect for a bonfire.

of puddles and insects

10 Jun

that thing that looks like a river? it’s the street, in front of my house. you could say we’ve had a spot of damp weather lately.

i sometimes have the attention span of a gnat.

what is there to say when everything is so trivial compared to everything else? all the horrible things happening right this very instant, all over the globe; environmental disasters, humanitarian conflicts, guerilla wars… even small-scale tragedy: death of a loved one, loss of a job, ending of a relationship… bad news is everywhere. yet we focus on the trivial, which is just that: so very trivial. but i guess that’s how we survive: by reminding ourselves that there is something other than the bleak, the painful, the depressing.

the carcass of an ex-spider is glued to the back of my notebook. not literally glued, of course; i’m no avant-garde artiste. no, unfortunately my notebook became a weapon again, for the second time in as many weeks, landing firmly on the head of a large, fast-moving arachnid that was scampering across the living room carpet. i hate killing bugs, even evil spiders. actually, especially evil spiders, at least at this time of year, when the mosquitoes are beginning to hatch. n e way, i left that notebook there in the middle of the floor all weekend. why? to ensure the spider was really dead, naturally. (i’ve since picked it up and left it on a chair so i wouldn’t trip over it; but i’ve not yet peeled the squished bug off the back of it.) and so it sits. meaning i’m not writing or doodling these past few days. but i have a feeling that a sudden urge to clean will be upon me in the very near future…

update: just after posting this last night, i went to the washroom to prep for bed, and who did i find lurking there? yet another dastardly eight-legged beast. i shut the door, turned round and *poof* there he was, standing motionless beside the bathtub. i let out a loud gasp, but proceeded to change into my pj’s anyway – slowly, of course, lest i startle the wretch. then i slowly let myself out, closing the door behind me. i had to call for help to dispose of the creature; otherwise, i’d never have gone back in the room…

mise en garde:

6 Jun

use as directed.

the need to flee

31 May

the first of many great escapes.

i should be happy. i’m “newly single”, which is admittedly a difficult situation, but i’m cautiously excited about imagining a new life. i’ve got a steady paycheque from a job i enjoy. summer is approaching – one of the lesser seasons imho, but beautiful nonetheless. i’ve got some holidays + a massive family reunion in the near future, + a dear friend is moving to my city in 3 months. a trip back home to the west coast is a distinct possibility before september rolls around. i’m at the culling-and-cleaning stage of the search for a new apartment. and there isn’t much danger of having to see my partner in crime of 8-ish years with his new love interest(s), as he’s currently 9000km away. (when the dude leaves, he leaves.) on many counts, things are looking up: my life is full of possibility.

yet i feel like running. i want nothing more than to abandon this life as i know it + flee for parts unknown. this is a tendency i’ve had as long as i can remember: when the going gets tough, i get going. maybe it originated with the panic attacks in my childhood; wanting to run from the anxiety and the fear. the desire to just do something, to burn off the excess energy, to feel productive and distracted from the unpleasantness. it’s how i ended up in los angeles 11 years go, how i ended up in france so many times the past few years. each of those times, i learned some valuable lessons, and had some wonderful experiences that added richness and depth to my life and to my understanding of myself and the world around me. yet i also recognise them for what they were: distractions. sometimes we run to avoid having to deal with things that we simply aren’t prepared to process yet. the key is knowing that, and then coming back to those issues later on when we’re better equipped to deal with them.

this time, though, it’s simpler than that: more than a mere distraction, it’s easier to start fresh in a new environment (see, my hpb had the right idea). getting away from the drama, the gossip, the questions, + the daily reminders of a life that no longer exists. it’s hard enough learning to be a single gal again; doing so in the midst of the life that used to be is that much harder.

my general impression

26 May

chalk it up to personal experience. unfortunately.