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the entirety of my weekend spent outdoors was done so in a hoodie under a thin wool jacket; i'm getting prepped for seed-sowing, and it's light until nearly eight: the will to live has returned. and oh yes - possible thunderstorm tonight (please!)
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*****

QUIZ!

a friday evening that begins with whiskey on the rocks in the bathtub while listening to leonard cohen can only end in:

a) euphoric things
b) horrific things

i'm going on an indefinite sabbatical to europa, the lesser of the galilean moons of jupiter. i'll be sure to write.
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okay, forgive the repetitious prostheletyzing here, but i would once again like to heartily extol the virtues of the slow cooker for those of you who are uninitiated. i've got what promises to be a delicious lentil sloppy-joe concoction a-cookin' right now, the recipe for which was lifted from an amazing book of vegetarian slow cookery, (which i will reveal the title of only on request, for fear that you will put a hold on the library's copy thereby forcing me to return it).

i noted with some amazement this afternoon that - prompted by a complete and total lack of money, and a thus far fairly steadfast resolve not to sink any further into a quagmire of debt - i haven't eaten a single scrap of restaurant food in over a week. with the exception of stretches of time spent miles away from the nearest restaurant, i can honestly (and ashamedly) say that this is the first time i've achieved this distinction in about 13 or 14 years.

in other news, a slow 'plock-plock' water leak mysteriously appeared in my ceiling today, and then just as mysteriously (and mercifully) disappeared. melting frost in the attic, maybe? i have no means of accessing my attic; i think the access panel must, in a moment of brilliance at some point over the last hundred years, have been plastered over. it's no secret that my finances are presently a very unsteady house of cards, and one unexpected repair that would require calling in a professional (or, god forbid, being out of work) would be enough to blow it all over. there's a minor leak behind my shower for example, which i plan to continue ignoring until tax return time comes around. ditto insulating the basement, which i can't afford the materials for (i just barely make too much raw income to qualify for the low-income grant, but WAY too much of said income is allocated for debt repayment to qualify for any kind of useful loan). anyway, whatever - i'm far from starving to death. it would just be nice to not have to panic at the first drip of water from the ceiling, (and to have a fourth pair of pants). oh, pink collar ghetto.

my neighbourhood association conducted one-of-two community consultations yesterday morning, and - not that i purport to know what's best for the neighbourhood - i was yet again thrilled by how excellent and inventive my neighbours are. i sort of half-expected to show up and have to make a very active case for and against certain things, (safety and its cultivation is a fairly key issue in these parts, for example), but everyone was pretty unanimous in their desire for community-based solutions for everything from crime to economic development to affordable housing to community greening to resource accessibility. it was pretty terrific.

also, why did nobody tell me that emmylou harris released a new album months ago?
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as a confirmed culinary incompetent, my singular triumph of 2009 thus far has been demonstrating dominance over the slow cooker. armed with new-found confidence and an arsenal of recipes, i feel as if the world has completely opened up to me. lasagna in 6-8 hours, everybody!

also the februaries - and more specifically the trauma of waking up in the dark 5 out of every 7 days - are only just starting to take their usual toll, and right on time. to compensate i intend to use a lot of my overtime in the near future, starting with this friday: my itinerary thus far consists of sleeping in, nose-picking, not changing out of my pajamas, farting a lot, and drinking with corine.

ps. piece of me by britney spears is a really excellent song.
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honest to god, what the hell is wrong with this City? i could list any number of areas of inquiry, but what i'm referring to specifically is the fact that our entire urban planning ethos seems to center around replicating what other cities did in the early '80s, and have since rejected as colossal, community-destroying, ghettoizing failures. at which point, our hideously incompetent and short-sighted City Fathers (yes, fathers - let's be realistic) decide to take up the charge.

anyway, add this one to the forthcoming ikea debacle: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/gut_historic_buildings_hydro_substation_plan_angers_groups_in_exchange38129794.html

http://riseandsprawl.blogspot.com/2009/01/philistines-set-to-sack-city.html

the older i get, the more i just want to disappear people.
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i woke up this morning to shadow (the cat) licking my teeth and purring like an outboard motor in a fit of touching but deeply misguided affection. this was not only a fairly gross way to start my day, but also represented a major setback in my efforts to teach her about what constitutes normal and appropriate amounts of love, (a subject to which we are constantly returning).

after brushing my teeth i immediately stepped squarely into a little pile of barf, stubbed my toe badly when recoiling from it, and then sneezed all over the clean dishes in the drying rack. suffice it to say, my day started off in a somewhat less than ideal manner, and was augmented by kira (the cat) mewling incessantly at me in a manner that might suggest i had threatened to put her in an orphanage for bad cats.

what with this being a day that i took off work, i committed to shaking off the cranky and took myself for a long walk on the river, followed by a long sit in the pleasant and quiet little coffee shop in wolseley where i drank enough coffee to give me the mild shakes. (incidentally, despite it being the middle of january, a significant swath of wolseley still improbably managed to reek of citronella. how is this accomplished?)

the weekend in general was filled with news of the heartening variety, (my friend jen is moving back to town for a job; corine is going to be moving up the street; etc), activities of the fun variety (namely art's birthday), and weather of the maybe-we-won't-collectively-all-kill-ourselves-after-all variety. the weather having been -50C/-58F on more than one occasion last week, and colder than -20C/-4F for 41 of the 45 days preceding friday, the sudden spiral up to 0C/32F seemed heaven-sent.

now with the long, last stretches of winter splayed out before me, i guess i should start thinking about which of my lingering tasks to attend to, (insulating the basement, i guess?), in an effort to stave off the worst of the cabin fever. who's with me?
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though i have all but completely lost track of what day of the week it is (which is, psychologically at least, gratification at its richest), i've officially reached that critical holiday tipping point where i've been slothful and useless long enough that it's starting to get dull, and will shortly have to figure out semi-productive uses for my time. i realized with no insignificant horror, for example, that the last time i walked anywhere more substantial than to-and-from a waiting car was six days ago. yeesh.

my body continues its slide into total atrophy - led by my brain and a scratchy throat, and hastened by a diet of chocolate and alcohol. it's okay though - i feel like 3 days of decrepitude is an appropriate window of recovery time post-festive family bloodbath. today will see me at least as far from the house as the mountain equipment co-op, where i will pick out a new and sexy pair of snowshoes by way of a giftcard from my weirdo, cauldron-coveting boyfriend. i really ought to be researching how to frame in and insulate my basement, or something, but whatever.

the unstructured stretches of time have finally also allowed grandpa cam to familiarise himself with the biggest technological craze of 2003, the podcast, which has supplemented my recently stale music repertoire thanks to the good folks at cbc radio 3. i'm still pretty desperate for more though, so i encourage suggestions, (except from stacey).
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what could say it better than this?

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anyways, it's over now and that's what counts.
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home now from the one of the least traumatic family get-togethers in memory. rest assured that this is relative however, and i will still be getting drunk by myself in the dark for the rest of the evening.

five-or-so-almost-certainly-less-horrid hours tomorrow, and then the Special Times part of the holidays are mercifully over.

edit:please oh please do not for a moment think that this was an enjoyable experience, however. just all the usual trauma, this year somehow a bit diluted
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mother of god, it's starting already: i think my family is planning to ratchet up the crazy by a good 75% this year if today is any indication. as stated elsewhere, i am taking a deep breath, spitting into the wind, and hoping i'm still standing in 72 hours. apparently it's a cliché to hate christmas, but it is, without question, the most reliably traumatic day of the year for me.

PS. I FUCKING HATE CHRISTMAS

PPS. I FUCKING HATE CHRISTMAS
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what's happening on nye, people? the cabin plans have died, so i'm thinking the albert might be a best second bet.

also, i recently finished some fairly rigorous snow shovelling, which left me simultaneously pouring sweat beneath my down jacket, while also unable to feel my toes. gross.
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here's a change of pace for this tired old livejournal of supreme crabbiness: i had a great day today, which started with taking myself out for breakfast to the black sheep, which was typically packed to the gills. dominique and lancelot were there and kind enough to both invite me to join them and tolerate my pre-coffee nattering. this was followed by grocery-buying, notable mostly for the fact that it was really beautiful out: still well below normal temperatures, but snowy and pretty and a good 20 degrees warmer than recent days.

concentrated kitty-cuddling dominated the mid-afternoon, followed by a trip with lizzy to the cheap theatre to see nick and norah's infinite playlist which was an unexpectedly adorable and charming romantic comedy for the indie-rocker teen set. anyway, i bought it hook, line and sinker, which i was especially willing to do for the three dollar admission fee. it also reminded me of times when i was young and fun and not so deeply misanthropic, and went to places like new york and stayed up all night, and didn't know how to make an excel spreadsheet.

now i'm going to consume coffee and cheese and relax before a birthday party. it's also probably worth mentioning that i've been weirdly and intensely preoccupied with karen carpenter for the last few days.

two-or-so hours on monday morning, and then i'm on holidays. who's up for being young and fun and not so deeply misanthropic and going to new york and staying up all night and not making any excel spreadsheets? or at least getting a bottle of whiskey and leaving the house?

USA! USA!

Dec. 17th, 2008 06:10 pm
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i am doing my best (and largely winning, i should note) to fend off the turbo, turbo cranky and wholesale misanthropy that are bubbling juuuust under at the moment. oh god, two more days until holidays - or the wholesale collapse of late capitalism, whichever comes first. as long as i get to work less and stop this hideous habit of getting up before the sunrise (while retaining the ability to pay the bills), i'm happy either way.

my plans for the holidays thus far mostly center around perogies and whiskey. i haven't gotten much further than that and frankly see no reason to.
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whatever i've been doing for the last week, it definitely hasn't been listening to grace by jeff buckley more-or-less constantly, i can tell you that much.
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the best part of my day, without question, was spent coming up with theoretical pickup lines to try out on skids. to wit:

"come over here, baby, and give me a big, wet anar-kiss"

"work it like the proletariat works it, you sexy thing"

"why don't you show me what democracy feels like?"

"when you're done overthrowing the state, why don't you come and overthrow my pants?"

"cast off your shackles, and cast them onto me, daddy"

"let's put the 'come' back into communality"

"is that a set of bolt cutters in your carharts, or are you just happy to see me?"

"baby, i've seen critical mass, but this is the first time i've seen critical ass"

"fuck the pigs and feed me the hog, sugartits"

"baby, you make my cocktail explode - and i don't mean molotov"

i totally encourage you to try all of these.
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here's a wild saturday night, and here's me getting ready for bed just past 11 pm. i survived the policy retreat at work today - if only marginally, (a post-full workweek saturday comprised of 7 hours of minute-taking that is primarily concerned with contested semantics is, let me tell you, exhausting).

the great thrill upon returning home was discovering a mattress and boxspring sitting on my front porch - not only gifted to me but also dropped off by friends replacing theirs. these represent an upgrade from the 30+ year-old mattress from my grandmother's basement that i've been sleeping on for the last 15 or-so years, (it lying on top of another, equally old mattress), and through which i could feel springs up the entire length of my spine and ribcage while sleeping. needless to say, going to bed before midnight does not represent a great hardship. it didn't occur to me that i'd need to acquire new and larger sheets as well as a new bedframe, but i'm way happier to have to scrounge about for those than for the mattresses themselves, (seriously, how do people afford these sorts of things?!).

anyway, 30 days until the holidays.

also,

my fury's rising faster than bus fares
can someone clarify why
there's no structured narrative?


remains the sort of lyric that only the weakerthans can get away with without a trace of irony.
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the below video seemed to appropriately traumatise a large enough percentage of my facebook friends that i thought it warranted reposting for the viewing pleasure of all of you.



so what happens to children raised under the progressive parenting model, anyways? what about shame and pathos, and all those other things that make life interesting? well-adjusted people are inexcusably bland.

on the subject of the Worst Things Ever, we have a six hour policy retreat at work tomorrow at which i will be taking day-long minutes of people debating semantics. appendix, if you're ever going to fail me, i beg of you: do it now!

also, today they're testing the fire alarm system through the building my office is in. the (deafening) alarms will be going off randomly for the next three hours. the good thing is that i'm the only one who's coming in (they have to test ours, someone has to be here), so i can turn the music up to obscene levels. methinks it's a sonic youth sort of day.
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