Thursday, December 18, 2008

My car doesn't love me...

Today i dug my car out of the snow and drove it to work for the first time in probably more than a month.
For those of you who don't know the background to this story, i shall include a brief synopses:

* My car has been...unwell... for quite some time. I was quoted about 3 weeks of roadworthiness by a mechanic about 3 months ago. "Ma'am, the problem with your that you need a NEW CAR!" Thats a direct quote, kittens.

* The battery died in august and had to be replaced (an adventure! Nearly missed out on some very carefully orchestrated festival plans because of that one)
* A tire blew out on the Queensway in september. (Another adventure!) All four were so bald that it was a small miracle that only one actually gave out.... i had to buy an enitre set as none of the ones i had were remotely salvageable...
* It was at this point that i was told the brakes would need replacing.
* The gas tank has a hole in it, and has had for quite some time. Its near the top, so it aint all bad, but if you fill it more that 3/4's you're literally pouring your money down the drain and the entire car will reek of gasoline.
* both headlights have burnt out. I am reluctant to spend any more money on this obviously dying car. I'm also an asshole, so i just drive with my highbeams on all the time instead.
* My struts are on their way out. If i take a bump and a corner at the same time, it kind of looks like something out of mario kart where you skitter off to the outside of the curve...
* My fuel intake hose will soon be obsolete
* i don't evenwant to know what else...
* Oh, and it has 360 000 km on it.

* since the three week prognois, i have been relying on the bus to get to my main job at the Vet Clinic, and have had to give up my second job (the one i'd been saving up all my travel money with...*grumbles*) entirely.
* Instead of junking the car entirely, I decided to hang onto it - since i have a free parking space - and take the afore mentioned three weeks of road worthiness in increments of hours and single, short, trips, reserved for occasional scheduling conveniences and semi- emergencies. (it makes me squirrely to think i can't escape the city if i actually needed to get away from it)
* So, in light of all of this, I've been using the bus to get to work every day, which has beenits own special set of adventures, which i will not get into here...
* EXCEPT for the adventure about the ottawa transit system being ON STRIKE; Which leads neatly into the Adventure of trying to find a regular ride to work every day, where i am going against the general flow of traffic, and working very irregular hours compared to those of other car poolers.
* Today was the first day i had no other ride lined up....So i decided to dig out the car for this, somewhat urgent, situation.

As soon as i sat in my little junker and turned the key...a tremendous calmness came over me....It was like a home away from home...the seat was already adjusted just for me, the radio preset to my favourite was all so familiar and intimate...the feel of the clutch, the tilt of the mirror, the funny way the stick catches just a little when you put it into second if you don't do it just right... it was like seeing an old friend and finding that nothing between you has changed...(and friends....nothing here HAD car is still a piece of shit, just one that i happen to be dearly missing at the moment...)

SO i drove to work. i kept my speed low, i took it easy on the corners, i kept away from crowds of other cars...
and everything was FINE. no problems starting, no problems stopping. Nuffink at all.

So i'm thinking "this isn't so bad!" and that if i can just make it through the few work days left between now and January 3rd, then i;'ll be in Africa for the better part of two months and the whole stupid trasit strike will be over when i come back and i'll have some time to actually junk my little old beater car once and for all and everything will be FINE. Everything will be fine at the VERY LEAST.... maybe possibly even great.

So after work, i'm on my way home and i notice i'm out of washer fluid, so i stop to pick some up. I fill my gas tank 3/4 full (and the gas is so CHEAP, now that i'm not driving all the time!) and i pop the hood and begin to fill the washer fluid tank. I'm excited by the prospect of having clean windows in the wintertime (kind of imprtant!) and as i'm pouring, i notice a very small sound....

and i lean in...

and i listen....


"Oh!" I think to myself..."Oh it soundslike i'm sloshing it all over the ground!"

And i looked, and i wasn't...

but i kind of really was.

The fucking washer fluid tank has broken.

My car does not love me.

not at all.

not one little bit.



well at least its kind of funny.

and now all i can think of is Fred Flinstone saying "Droll. VER-y Droll...." and looking smug and unimpressed, while Barnie stifles himself and the great kazoo looks bored and impatient.

"thats right dum-dum...".

you need a new car.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

.... multiple confessions and one uncomfortable realization

i am not in love with the city right now.

i miss my sleepy small town
i miss my old shitty apartment with my derelict landlord and fight-club bathroom
i miss having a dog
i miss my family
i miss all the friends who live in the same city as me that i still never get to see
i miss not worrying about how i'm going to get to work every day
i miss the stars at night
i miss being able to run and run and run and never worry about how late it was or how empty the streets were, or which neighborhood i had wandered into
i miss drinking beer in the park
i miss the happy chatter with the regulars in my cafe
i miss being able to walk home from every bar in town
i miss small town insomnia
i miss impromptu beers at the pub with an old english lit teacher, and late night palavers with a back-woods mad scientist
i miss autonomy
i miss unexpected alliances

and i miss feeling like i never belonged there

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

cry it all out

Its been a long day.

One of my favorite patients died today with a belly full of blood and a sad look of quiet resignation on his face. I watched a woman cry openly with sheer frustration, helplessness and loss. I watched a sixteen year old boy struggle for composure in the face of his first real encounter with death. I watched him lose that battle. And then i watched a good dog die.

this is one of the ones that stings.

Monday, December 8, 2008

some haiku

there is nothing here;
no warm familiar faces,
in winter city

i stare through the grime
of a dirty bus window.
all the world is gray.

all the birds are gone
but the noisy, raucous, gulls.
they shriek in triumph.

you pull me to you
like the full moon pulls the tide.
i am overcome.

I think i love you
more than i reasonably should.
I'm okay with that.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Let it be known that lingerie-shopping is second in soulcrushingness only to bathing suit shopping.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

colds and needles

Out last night to Richelle and Ed's for dinner and drinks.

Nothing fancy, just a cozy chill night getting caught up with friends and conversation that bubbled until the not-so-wee hours of the morning.

Good for what ails you.

Hair of the dog for breakfast and an afternoon of tidying and laundry.

tonight i sew.

tomorrow brings an early surgery shift and an afternoon root canal.

I am sick of colds and needles.

Dali's cat

Friday, November 21, 2008

some things

* the slow ache of muscles that tells you you're alive, and that you've earned the right to a hot bath and to be tired in a good way
* metallic taste of nightime air, when snow is on the way
* walking home with no headphones on to hear the thrumm of the city - crystal clear sound that winter brings - echoing footfalls and eavesdropped conversations
* delightful sense of urgency from a full tilt run to catch the bus - the arch look from the driver's lofty perch that says "you're lucky i'm in a good mood, kid"
* revolution is good for the soul
* honour bestowed by a cat that declares you fit company and worthy of lap time.
* in bed, swaddled in a nest of egyptian cotton and goose down, i notice that my hair still smells like cold air

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

i saw you in the morning
huddled against the crowd and the cold
squinting into the light
breathing fog and steam

you looked straight at me, but didn't know me
didn't remember our time together.

how we sweated
how we ached
how we fought

only recognizing that my gaze lingered on your face
a little longer than was comfortable
you turned away.

on the crowded bus
we are two strangers with a history

truants and quitters
dereliction is our bond.

and i am the only one here who knows your secret.


your Kung Fu is weak, sir.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

loose threads

it was good to see you tonight
to pull the last threads from the spool

sitting in the dark
drinking coffee gone cold

suffocating on cigarette smoke
and all the things we can't say

down at the beach where the kids smoke weed
we say our roundabout goodbyes

we build a scaffold around the elephant in the room
with small talk and light chatter

i've said none of the things i wanted to.

and then its time to go

Monday, June 16, 2008

No complaints = No material

I am completely exhausted, bruised, blistered, smelly, ravenous and grinning from ear to ear.

It has been a pretty great week.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Doomsday Celebrations

We spent the day at the beach; brought baskets of food, blankets and towels and all the instruments we could carry.
Aside from the livid colours in the sky and the fervent intensity of the celebrations you would never know the end was drawing near. It could be any other day; just an arbitrary holiday marked with seaside celebrations.
We have determined to meet it, not only on our feet, but dancing;
smiling and laughing.
Squeezing every last drop of joy there is to be had out of what remains of this life.

We want it all, and we haven't got long.

There are no sign bearers here. No nay-sayers, alarmists, or sermonists preaching damnation. They are perched outside the council halls, at parliament, and on the remaining broadcasting TV stations. They have kept to the warrens of the city; and they are welcome to it.

Before the sun goes down, Aubin claims a seat on one of the bluffs overlooking the ocean. He sits and paints it as it pummels the rock cliffs at the north end of the beach. He paints the lurid cloudscapes and the sea birds diving off the cliffs. He paints the surf as it breaks across the beach and the sun slipping towards the horizon. He does not paint the growing crowd. His beach is empty. He gets the waves just right. Likely, his work will be destroyed long before the oil paints have a chance to fully dry . It doesn't matter because this piece isn't about production or documentation. Its about doing what you love.

As the light begins to fade bonfires spark into life along the sands. The crowd continues to grow as more and more people arrive.

Drums pound. There is every manner of instrument being played. Voices join in chorus and laughter percolates through the buzz of the crowd. Fire spinners work their magic. There are more than a few costumed and painted faces here, making last appearances, determined to make the last show a good one. A set of whirling dervishes set to work entrancing themselves. Great huge skeletons and reapers move through the throng; hovering overhead on tall staffs. They reach out menacingly or lilt and dance according to the whims of their puppeteers. Someone brought a projector is is blasting old movie fragments onto the rock face.

Occasionally a shark explodes from the crashing surf and hurls itself towards the beach. Most of them are small, and are carried back out to sea by the retreating waves. A few larger ones have been marooned and lie; thrashing, gasping or still, on the sands. Some opportunistic party goers have already begun carving steaks for roasting over the fires. No one knows for certain why the big fish seem to be driven towards land. We speculate about offshore weather patterns and pressure systems. We talk about horses getting skittish and dogs going crazy before tornadoes and wonder how they know the things they do. We wonder when the big wave will come.

Tucked away in the quieter corners of the beach there are tall tales being told. We regale each other with our greatest moments; and the most delightfully embarrassing moments of our friends'. A posse of old ladies share a last pot of tea (or two) and cackle over their bridge hands. Lovers kiss in the shadows.

This is the very best of what our species has to offer; secrets and songs and stories. We are at our finest; drumming and dancing the night away. We will pour it all out on the sands one last time.

We refuse sadness.

We are, all of us, temporary.

Monday, May 12, 2008

glitter synapse post run afterglow

late night trek through the back streets and wood lots

my breath is metered in foot-fall syllables.
heart pounding
ragged smile

I'll never not love this
The streets are empty
the air is cool,
heavy with lilac, crab apple and birch pollen
trees in rut,
shouting tawdry, hymenopteric "come hithers"
their perfumes are deafening.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

you happy now

You know those days that are kind of great, but for no good reason?

Today was one of those.

I got to sleep in and gently drift to consciousness without the assistance of a screeching alarm clock, have breakfast at a sugar shack with McKenna and Simon, Dig out my bike and go for a tour (albeit a tiny one) with Shawn and Mikey, and then have drinks and eats with my cuz Shianne and Auntie Chris and her friend Sue.
The sun was shining, the conversation was good and i didn't do a SINGLE productive thing, all day. Plus i got invites to play Road Hockey, Go Hot Tubbing, and go Whitewater rafting. (yes, yes and YES! )

And somebody said my skin looks nice, and not in the creepy, 'are you about a size twelve?' silence of the lambs kind of way either.

The only parts that sucked were trying on bathing suits ( I've decided that i look better naked than in spandex, by the way, and that skinny dipping is definitely the way to go - i've known that since i was about 3, actually - and i will only ever wear a bathing suit again if its a choice between that or fines for public indecency - "*sigh* Tuttle's naked again...better call the cops...." )

AND i never DID find anyone to play frisbee with! Not a single, solitary throw...TSK! So be forewarned...I have now given up on asking, pestering, pleading, begging, wheedling, trying to subliminally mind rape, coax, cajole, or blandish anyone into playing with me.

The new rules are as follows:

1. It shall be understood that any time i am speaking with you, hanging out with you, in the same postal code, or in an upright position and or breathing between now and November 1st, that i am likely to have a frisbee on my person.

2. The frisbee does NOT have to be in plain sight for a game to be initiated.

3. At any point during said ' hang out' , i may launch the Frisbee towards your face, provided that i shout your name before it actually gets there.

4. You will simply be obliged to catch it in some manner.

(hands or teeth, its your choice...*shrugs*)

5. In the event that a player elects to not have fun, and catches the frisbee with their face, a game of Tag may be substituted at said injured player's discretion, depending of their degree of eye watering and desire to throttle me.

6. Although slightly less fun, it shall be agreed upon that a player may preemptively thwart surprise frisbee attacks by directly asking to play, and participating in at least five tosses - even if they suck. This will be sufficient effort on your part to humor me until next we meet.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

the smiler

So the other day, I woke up at about 5 am, way before the alarm clock, and realized, as i struggled towards consciousness, that i must've been smiling in my sleep. My mouth was all dried out and my lip was plastered way up above the gumline. I can only imagine how creepy that must've looked...
Me carelessly sprawled on the bed, French curled up by my side...swaddled in down duvet and egyptian cotton sheets, first light blushing through the window as the birds begin to chirp in the first days of spring outside... brow completely unfurrowed by the daily grind, eyebrows making a gentle accent of circumflex bliss on my forehead...and then....pan down... to the toothy, too wide, perma-grin of a hapless, hungry zombie that has managed to chew its own lips off.

*flashbacks of the movie Seven*


Now that Must've been some Goooooood Dreamin'.

and at least i'm not a chatterer like e-dot.


Sunday, April 13, 2008


Ok, so,
My shift at the Good Food Company today might best be described as "Nighmarish", or perhaps "a harrowing ordeal"....(it was CRAZY busy, people were weird, people were cranky and then the cash register completely broke and half of the transactions that DID get put through were done on 'void' with no paper trail to track the numbers....wheeeee!)

I was dead tired and ready to drop by the end of the day, so i was completely surprised when one of my tables wanted to make a donation to the "Send April to Africa" fund. I said it was very nice of him and thank you very much, and please help yourself to any of the Photo prints if they should happen to please your eye.... as he left a rather large tip for the table, and i assumed that that was that.

Needless to say i was completely stunned when he wanted to make another transaction for a 250.00 donation for the trip. (!!!!)
I protested that it was too much, and he said, no, I'd been serving him and his family for years, and he strongly believes in helping out people within the community and he thought it was a good cause, and that was that. !

so yeah! pretty awesome!

then at the end of the shift i ended up with a huge wad of tips from the crazy busy day...and when i got home and checked the mail - expecting a huge cell phone bill and not much else- there was a government cheque for 600 bucks in outstanding GST credits. So all told, Travel fund is up a cool 1000 bucks in one amazing day.



Saturday, April 12, 2008


I am sick of apartment hunting.
I am am restless.
I am pacing.
I do not wish to go out.
I cannot bear to stay in.
I am sick of my own company and at a bit of a loss as to how to remedy that (shall i just ask myself, politely, respectfully, and in a non threatening manner to give me some space for a little "me time", away from me?).
I did not want my first entry to be a rant, and yet here it is....undeniably rant-ish.


and i have a sneaking suspicion that the retardedly happy good bliss high phase of a delicious crush is fizzling...and i so don't want it to, not yet...not so soon...

i want to smoke.
i do not want to smoke.

the apartment needs cleaning.
i do not want to clean.

i am annoyed
and annoying!


and apathetic.