Monthly Archives: August 2011

EVOLUTION

The latest theories of dinosaur evolution may be pushing the limits of the boundaries of our understanding of dinosaurs as we know it, but they are ruining my childhood.

I know, I KNOW, a lot of people are lamenting that the Progress of Things are ruining their childhoods, but I’m not talking about space movies or muppets, glossed over for the sake box office bucks.

I’m talking about science itself doing the job this time.

SCIENCE, motherfucker!

According to paleontologists, some dinosaurs most likely evolved into birds or were on their way to that because of SCIENCE, or whatever, while others had “protofeathers” for insulation, or something.  It’s EVOLUTION (“things change…because”).

Fine.

But, wait, no.

NOT FINE.

Okay.  So, remember Jurassic Park?  Remember how scared and thrilled you were as you sat, entranced, as the Velociraptors outsmarted that vaguely Australian guy (“clever girl”), terrorized those Spielbergian brats, and threw down with the Almighty T-Rex?

Wasn’t that AWESOME?

Dinosaur Dick Says:

He really doesn't.

There’s one in every humanity.

Jurassic Park was a great movie that helped bring our dreams of dinosaurs to life.  It helped make real those drawings you made and plastered all over your room; those plastic T-Rex and Triceratops toys you “fought” over and over in your front lawn; that entire library of books filled with pictures of TERRIBLE (as in “FEARFULLY GREAT”) LIZARDS that you kept under your bed.

And it still paled in comparison to what we were able to imagine before the advent of CGI.

Yeah, yeah, yeah!!!

Oh HELL yeah.

But it looks like that’s all, retroactively, over.

Because, according to the people who study the bones of beasts so old the bones are stones, there are dinosaurs out there that were always and have always been covered – in part or in whole – with feathers.

Feathers.

Feathers aren’t TERRIBLE.

Feathers aren’t awesome.

Feathers are hollow.

Feathers are lame.

Feathers, on dinosaurs, are pretty much interchangeable with the following, on dinosaurs:

1)

And purple, no less.

I lived in a house made of this once. It was as great as that sounds.

2)

Just add sauce.

Not to hard, not too soft, firmly disappointing.

3)

The only good use I've ever been able to attribute to olives, ever.

The pimento is the best part of a bad situation.

The situation with these new-fangled dinos is a lot like that of watching the generation of kids who grew up after you, who only know Michael Jackson not for his music.

You and Yours.

The King of ???

Them and Theirs.

See what I’m getting at?  They are getting in trade something that resides on the wrong side of incredible.

It’s awry.

"Get me Alan Grant!"

The Before the After.

The After the Before

Our only hope:  Birds, go back!

Do it now.

Save us from ourselves!!!

FINE.

 

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Bed Time

I’ve been sharing a bed with a boy for quite some time now.  But the boy – my boy Stephen – is currently out of town, and it dawned on me soon after he left that the bed – the whole bed – was mine for the time being.

An unencumbered bed.

A bed undivided against itself.

MORE BED.

For those of you lucky enough to be single (HA, HA!  I’m kidding.  It’s not great.  Rationalize all you want as stream The Daily Show and devour your store bought perogies straight from the pot)

(then again, being in a couple left me tingling with excitement and bad intentions over having my own bed to myself and feeling like I was actually getting away with something just because there was no one around to reinforce my good behaviour)

(huh)

(we all make our own Hells)

…or fortunate enough to have a bed to yourself, you are probably baffled by why I so manifestly lost my mind over something as seemingly trivial one night’s altered sleeping arrangements.

Mine. ALL. MINE.

I have been to the Great Wall. I have walked the Himalayas. I have seen the sun rise over the Ganges. Yet, it is this glorious THIS that has brought mine eyes to tears.

How to explain?

It’s a lot like being a lion at the zoo that discovers that one of the Plexiglas walls is down.  There’s suddenly more SPACE available to occupy, explore.  Kitty can thus claim more territory for herself.  Kitty can roam, claw and roar to her kitty heart’s content.  Kitty can eat the children.

Kitty is, however briefly and superficially, FREE.

For one night, for one beautiful night, the Possibilities were ENDLESS.

The Reality, therefore, was inevitable and (of course) crushing (OF COURSE).

A reality in which I fell asleep on the couch in front of a t.v. warming in the sweet fires of the melting pot mosaic that is the OMNI channel.

(OMNI: programming so diverse, it’s miscellaneous!)

With Stephen gone, I also overindulged in sleep – waking up only briefly enough to appreciate going to sleep again – and then waking up after that to horrible visage of Lucy Zilio.

Lucy Zilio: the Brian Adams of her Thing.  And not because they're both Canadian.

Ugh.

Who would buy patio furniture because of this woman?  Her endorsement makes me not want to play the lotto for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  Her status quo smile and empty, vacant, dead DEAD eyes make me want to run away from all spa treatments, yoga classes and Caribbean vacations forever.

Lucy Zilio, you are the price I must pay for my Simpsons fix.

Lucy Zilio you are, like, the Mary Hart of Canada and everybody else in Canada is that other lady from the New England Journal of Medicine.

Lucy Zilio, you are the straw that broke the camel’s back which is to say Kitty’s back which is to say the straw actually has a lot to do with the Plexiglas and the kitty is ME.

THE GLASS MOVED WHEN I WASN’T LOOKING AND ALL I COULD DO IN THE END WAS STARE AT YOU FROM BEHIND IT!

Next time, then.

Next time, Unencumbered Bed, my bed without encumbers, my lovely, you will be mine.

Oh yes.  You will be mine.

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Good Times

To keep up certain habits (i.e. food, shelter), I took a job at a Goodwill store a few months back, which I subsequently quit a few months back.

My home away from home away from homeless.

My home away from home away from homeless.

Now, you’d think that working at Goodwill would be like going to a thousand garage sales a day EVERYDAY where you get to have THE BEST TIME rifling through other people’s stuff and making snap judgments on poor lifestyle choices not made by you…and maybe, also, pick up a little something nice for yourself. Like a hotplate or Robocop on VHS!

God, I thought so too.

At garage sales, people generally try to sell things that they think other people would want to buy, despite a little wear and tear.

Most of the stuff that ends up at Goodwill is the refuse of all that PLUS things that were never good enough to make it to a garage sale (Robocop 2), things that should have been trashed (Robocop 3), and things that just should have never been (Robocop: Prime Directives) but, Jesus, who wants to get another bag?

Hence begins again and anew the cycle of THRIFT!

Thrift, I learned, is one part Abundance, one part Hardship, and one part Crazy.  The portions shift now and then and Crazy bonds well with either of its counterparts to help create the supply and demand side of thrift, but the ingredients remain much the same.

Thrift is born from fashion and growth spurts, from broken relationships, pay-raises and pink-slips.  From bedrooms without any cushions and bathrooms with too many accents.  From living rooms missing furniture and dinning rooms full of nick knacks. From crushing loneliness, immobile desperation, chronic boredom and hipster irony.

And it all rolls downhill, as Things generally do.

And A Hot Plate!

Why must you elude me, hotplate? Why can't we just forget the world and be together?

It starts off, say, with a box of musty old books and your aunt Gertie’s Hummels, and maybe a bag of unwashed laundry that your cat had a litter of kittens in a few weeks ago.  It ends, for you, with a drop-off box by the 7-11 or a quick stop at a donations door.  A courteous hello, maybe a handshake, and you’re suddenly a slightly better citizen with slightly less stuff.

For the stuff, however, turmoil. Because once those things cross that threshold at the donor door, they are ripped open – eviscerated as their contents are spilled onto plastic table tops – and are seized, snatched up and sorted by frantic, ravenous hands on a quota system with a razor thin margin for error.

And that is how I ended up day after day with your tattered, shit-stained underwear dangling from my thumbs and forefingers.  It is how I found myself gagging at your discolored, crotchless sweatpants, and it is how I laughed away many a shift upon the discovery of yet another one of your “Wolf Against the Moonlight” shirts.

Wolf, wolf, WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THESE?

Those, however, were the slow days.

During my tenure at Goodwill, the real “treasures” that came through those doors were many, and included:

  • One singed marriage licence (Texas)
  • A broken wine rack crawling with sliver, eyeless cherubs
  • Three glazed and lacquered alligator heads (large, medium and small)
  • A grocery bag full of woodchips
  • A small Ziploc baggie heavy with pot
  • One Banana GuardTM , which my co-worker thought was a dildo, which evidence suggests quite possibly was used not to guard bananas.
  • An assortment of shapeless, mismatched men’s socks with a cat poo in the middle
  • A million leotards inside one giant, incomprehensible leotard
  • One bag of pristine Boston Pizza dipping sauces.  With napkins.
These are the things that filled my days.

Later, gator. Oh wait.

We had pricing sheets plastered all over the walls near our workstations.  Phase Two was to determine the Value of the Things before us in accordance to the listed prices.  There was a sliding scale based on, for example, condition of object, original cost, rarity, age, brand name (if any), smell, current status as on object of desire…

It was awful.

To have to focus, really focus, on a pair of ratty-tatty Aldo boots in order to decide if they’re worth $7.99 (base price) or somewhere in the $12.99 range.

Or watching the store manager ignore burgeoning international law just so that she could place a knock-off Gucci bag in the store’s “Special” (read: theft-proof) display case at a whooping $21.99.

Or to have tell some broken-eyed woman that, no, you can’t have that bag of grimy MacDonald’s toys for $1.00 (all she had) because it costs – it is worth – $2.99.

Yet, as traumatizing as all this was, it was the Collections that haunt me so.  We got dozens of them; boxes and boxes and boxes of unwanted inheritance, forgotten hobbies and discarded trends.  I remember hordes of figurine frogs, beanie babies, salt-and-pepper shakers, elephants great and small, bananas (yes, MORE B-A-N-A-N-A-S) and cows and monkeys and babies and kitty cats and bells and napkin holders and schnauzers and tea pots.

Smile, smile, smile, smile, smile buddha style!

Oh. My. Buddha.

Can you imagine?

These boxes weren’t the result of an intensive citywide canvassing campaign.  No.  They came from ONE house and most likely from ONE person who was most likely dead, or close to it.

Can you imagine?

Picture, if you will, a small army of anthropomorphic lizards that silently gaze at you as you butter your toast in the morning.  Or a chorus of white baby angles that witness your every move in the bathroom.  Or an entire troop of monkeys that watch you as you sleep (etc.) in your bed.

Oh god. They're conspiring!

Bizzaro Monkeys.

Now concentrate that – put all of it into a box for some poor, unsuspecting soul to explode upon themselves as they open it, and combine that with the unenviable task of having to price it all out after the fact AND under the watchful eyes and blunt mind of an upper management convinced that the Vietnamese mart next door was run by “the Chinese mafia.”

It became a second-hand Hell, sorting it all out. Reliving someone else’s bad decisions, bearing witness to other people’s regrets, excising retroactive impulse control on behalf of total strangers, all in order to make a buck or two.  Or three.  Or $21.99.

CAN YOU IMAGINE?

And I can still see them, those sharp little eyes staring up at me every night in my darkest dreams.

See any green flecks?

Hey there, Bright Eyes.

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure is another person’s living, waking nightmare.

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I Have No Idea What’s Between My Legs

I am serious.

My 20’s are just about up and I still have no idea what’s going on down there.

It started with my mother, who to this day refuses to refer to the human vagina as anything other than “the butterfly”.  This led to at times whimsical but more often than anything terrifying confusion throughout my formative years.

For example: do butterflies have butterflies on their butterflies?  Is it infinite butterflies?  FOREVER??

Also, despite her squeamishness of using The V Word, Mom used to say things like, “Cindy, you forget everything!  You’d forget your butterfly in the street if it weren’t attached to you.”**

(I used to have nightmares of businesspeople stepping on my detached and disembodied “butterfly” as they made their way to work.  Then it would get caught in an updraft and land, daintily, on a box of chocolates in Tom Hank’s lap).

Grade school and middle school proved to be informative, if not enlightening.

Here, the female genitalia were variously referred to as:

1)  The Beaver

2)  (Your) Pussy

3)  The Pink Taco

4)  The Black Hole

5)  The Muff

(If you think it’s just not possible for kids in grade school and up – but ESPECIALLY grade school – to use these words with gleeful relish, abandon and intent, you are adorable and I shall put you in my pocket.  Pressed tight against my inner thigh. Right next to my Muff.  Nice and warm).

We began learning about the “sex organs” and “the reproductive system” sometime around the 7th grade.  But the only things health class taught us girls (separated as we were from the boys) was that the vagina (“THE VAGINA”) – not to mention our other requisite lady parts – is best viewed from the inside-out and, much like Homer Simpson, nicely in profile.

I have NO IDEA what any of this shit is.

High school was worse.  It was pretty much a rehash of 7th grade health class, but with one critical difference.  We got to see that ONE slide (black-and-white and badly drawn) with a full-on, full frontal vagina.  You know the one.  But it appeared and it disappeared so swiftly and effortlessly I’m fairly certain it was actually some kind of fantastical mirage.

We spent the rest of our time putting condoms on bananas.

There are means, I suppose, to figure this Thing out for myself.  But it has been a logistical nightmare.

PLAN A: Get A Friend

FLAW: Secondary, indirect knowledge.

PLAN B: Build A Vagina Viewer

I could set a series of mirrors at 45-degree angles inside a tube of some sort.  In addition to detecting enemy subs, I’d be able get a feel for the basic surface conditions surrounding me.  Or rather, those I’m surrounding.

Failing that, I could get some wood and screws and use the powers of light and dark to project an image for myself to trace and study. Camera obscura vagina.

FLAW: Requires basic knowledge of arts and crafts.

PLAN C:  Cameraphone.

FLAW: The likelihood of these pictures ending up on the Internet is something in the area of 100%, so no.   Also, it’s hard to get the right lighting on shots like that, you know?  So many floodlights…

What the hell is it like down there?

I can only guess.

**Translated from very loud Vietnamese.  But she said this in English too.  A lot.

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Day Planners Are For People Who Do Things

Now that I have officially dropped out of my PhD program and am underemployed, I have come to the realization that day planners are for people who do things.  It was pure arrogance and folly for me to have picked one up after wrenching myself so abruptly from the tender pink womb of academia, and now I am paying for my own abortion.

Case In Point:  Before my life went to total shit, my day planner read like the annals of an accomplished, successful adult human being:

See all that stuff up there?  That was me.  I was TREMENDOUS.

Now, the only things my day planner is good for is counting off the days until the up-coming year and keeping track of my period.  It has become a record for the obvious and tiresome.

And yet, I feel that I have to plod bravely on, if only to prove to my day planner that my life is still worth the effort of living it.

It is not going well:

Do I really need to remind myself that it’s garbage day?  No, goddamit, but I have to fill the pages somehow.  Gone are the confident days that I gave day planner the privilege of being privy to the wonderful goings-on of my day-to-day life.  There are more question marks than exclamation marks in my notations now, like I’m asking DayPlanner for permission to carry on.

Because I NEED DayPlanner’s approval in order to validate my continued existence.

Am I good enough for you, DayPlanner?!  Are you fucking satisfied, you fucker?!

I am trying, DayPlanner, I’m trying so hard to please you, o.k.???!!

(don’t you look at me)

So, to all of you busy people, with your lives of purpose and day planners replete with jobs to achieve and events to attend, remember that I, too, was once like you.

I, too, had things to do.

And now my day planner, once accomplice, devotee and comrade, seethes at me from its place on the corner of my desk.  It is an unhappy, sexless marriage of two formally vibrant, compatible individuals.

But I made a commitment and I intend to keep it.

I am even trying to spice up our relationship by making predictions and setting goals for the future!

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