11/24/2010

I will eat a spicy tuna roll

It is my birthday tomorrow. I will be twenty-six.

Twenty-six, I suspect, is not so very different from twenty-five. There are no added perks with this birthday as far as I can tell, but, equally, I do not see any real downside to it.

At work, each staff member's birthday is celebrated with a gourmet cupcake. I had been adamant that I did not want a birthday cupcake. "I appreciate the idea of it, but I will not eat it. I do not want $2.50 wasted on something that I will not even eat," I explained at lunch one day.

"I will eat it," a coworker piped up.

"Instead of a birthday cupcake," I suggested, "when we meet that morning to discuss our feelings, I would like to run around the circle and get birthday high-fives from everyone." The table was suddenly quiet. I would have felt uncomfortable if I was not so sure that everyone was secretly cursing themselves for not having that very same idea on their own birthday.

Today, my boss is taking me out to lunch for birthday sushi, even though it is a day premature. "If anyone asks," he stage whispered, "it is a business meeting because we are not supposed to celebrate birthdays beyond the birthday cupcake."

In reality, my birthday lunch is less about celebrating my birthday and more about my boss's desire to try the sushi place down the street. "I've heard they have all you can eat!" he'd exclaimed one day. Ever since finding that out, he's been trying to casually lure a group of people over there for lunch. "You know what would be fun to do one day?" he has asked on more than one occasion, "if we were to go to that sushi place down the street and get some lunch!" He's also been known to throw out a casual, "Hey, how about, when we're going to have a meeting or something, we go to that sushi place down the street and just go over some notes. It will be lots of fun."

I do not trust his judgement when it comes to fun things though. Other things he has told me are high in "fun factor": Silent auctions, breakfast meetings, investment seminars, board meetings, award presentations and getting insurance quotes.

11/10/2010

Aiming High

When I google my own name, I am often jealous of the lives of my name twins: A registered massage therapist, a gastrointestinal specialist, a general medical practitioner and body builder, among other things.

I would like to be all of these things at once.

I am adding it to my goals in life.

11/01/2010

Death Blows

My grandfather has brain cancer.

I can't decide how I feel about this.

That's not entirely true; I know that I am sad about this, but I keep telling myself that it is not such a big deal. My grandfather is an old man. He is 87 years old after all. He has lived a full life.

But he is my grandfather. And no matter how old he is - no matter how old I am - I will always want him in my life. I have never known a world without my grandfather in it, and it breaks my heart to think that not only is this a reality, but it is a reality that is right there, waving at me and jumping up and down from a stone's throw away.

And I am scared for him.

What will his decline be like? I think most everyone hopes for a peaceful death, ideally in their sleep. Does this mean my grandfather has no hope for this?

I am intimately familiar with death. I deal with death on a daily basis. It is my work. I try to give voice to the dying and their families. I try to ensure that the resources are there so that everyone has the opportunity to die with the same dignity they had in life.

It's not the same though. No matter how much I may come to care for the people I see during the day, they are not my family. And having born witness to the decline involved with death, if only from a distance, in the final months, weeks and days, I do not know that I am strong enough to provide my grandfather, or even the rest of my family, with the support that they will need and deserve.

I like to live my life in a bubble, ignoring the negative until it is no longer avoidable. Knowing that the end is in sight.... Knowing that I should not waste the time that I have now with my grandfather because it is so very obviously finite.... I am scared that I will take the cowards way out and not say the things that I want to say or do the things that I need to do so that I know, without a doubt, that, when taking his final breath, my grandfather knows exactly what he has meant, means and will always mean to me - that he will know I love him whole heartedly and will always be proud to be his progeny.

9/28/2010

Street value or sentimental value?

Several, several months ago, I baked some cookies and sent them to my brother via Canada Post.

They were chocolate chips cookies, and they were made with a whole lot of love, a lot of chocolate and just a splash of marijuana.

I paid extra to have them overnighted because, after all, I did not want them to go stale. It was important that the cookies arrive as fresh as possible so that they retained all of their cookie goodness.

The next day, I called my brother to see if his cookies had arrived. "What cookies?" he responded.

"Are you being coy, or do you really have no cookies from me?" I'd asked.

"I really have no cookies," he'd said.

Upon calling the next day, I found that, again, he was cookie-less. And so, like any good sister, I used the tracking number I had been given to try to find out where his cookies were.

According to the website, someone had attempted to deliver my cookies but had found that the package had been addressed incorrectly.

Lies.

The package was addressed both very clearly in marker on the centre of its front, as well as on a sticker thing put on after I paid for delivery. I can assure you that the address was correct both of these places.

Regardless, the website said my package was returning to the Ottawa depot to be readdressed and then would go out for delivery the following day. Two days later, however, the package was still not in my brother's hands and, instead, according to the website it was on its way to Brampton.

Of course. Mississauga. Why not?

And Mississauga is where that package stayed, apparently, for a day before heading back towards Ottawa, where the website stated it was simply waiting at the warehouse.

Only here is the thing, Internet: it was not waiting at the warehouse. When I called Canada Post to figure out what the hell had happened to my package, they informed me that it had been destroyed because they had been unable to deliver it.

"What do you mean that it has been destroyed? Why would you destroy it?" I'd questioned. I did not listen to their answer, but it amounted to claiming that they did not know what to do with the package once they had determined it "undeliverable."

"What is the return address for? Is that not what it is for? As I paid for express shipping and had to give you all of my information, you very clearly had a return address."

Do you know what I think happened, Internet? I think someone ate those cookies. I declared the content of the package to be cookies and I think someone at Canada Post got hungry.

If that is what did happen, I hope they at all of the cookies at once and freaked the fuck out when the drugs kicked in.

About three weeks later, Canada Post contacted me to inquire about the value of my package. They wanted to send me a cheque to reimburse me for the costs I had incurred trying to be a great big sister.


9/06/2010

Surreal Moments

11:30 p.m. on a Monday night.

Sitting, alone, in your apartment taking bong hits while watching a video in which the Sound of Music cast is reunited (after 40 years!) and singing Edelweiss.

8/28/2010

Things I know

- All relationships are finite and invaluable.
- Sometimes good people do bad things.
- If you pick at it, it will scar.
- If there are dirty dishes in your sink and you leave them there, and no one except for you ever enters or leaves your apartment, those dirty dishes are just going to stay dirty.
- Happiness cannot be found at the bottom of a carton of ice cream. Temporary contentment can be, but it often leads to indigestion and cottage cheese thighs.
- Lying is not for lazy people. It takes too much thought and organization to be good at. Trust me, it is just not worth it.
- There is no cool way to choke on your own spit.
- At some point in time in your life, a dog is going to lick you directly after licking its own anus.
- There is no need to be embarrassed if you slip and fall in mud. Mud is slippery. It is not your fault.
- Adding chocolate chips to chocolate pudding does not make the chocolate pudding more awesome. You will just end up disappointed and feel bloated.
- Wearing white clothes allows you to fully realize just how dirty you truly are.
- At any given moment, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Unless you are running late or are lost, in which case you should really have a map and learn to plan better.
- Breakdance cannot be learned through osmosis. You're going to have to practice that shit.
- It is best not to make bacon while naked. Especially if you do not even eat bacon and are just trying to be extra sweet. It is in your best interest to put an apron on.
- Even when the little man is lit up and, as a pedestrian, it is your turn to cross the street, it is important to look both ways. Some motorists are assholes and will run you down.
- Frequently, men seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of trimming their toenails.
- Saying, "Why me?" when something bad happens to you just makes you sound like a whiner. Why not you? Why not anyone?
- Being embarrassed about pooping is a waste of time. Everybody poops. You should be proud that you have regular bowel movements.
- Although they may claim otherwise, most people would eat a bug if you gave them enough money or if they were really hungry. Besides, most people have probably already eaten bugs in their sleep.
- If you get pink eye and you have not been around another person who has pink eye, you probably do not wash your hands well enough after you go to the bathroom.
- Eating fourteen hash browns in one sitting: better in theory than it is in practice.
- If you are somewhere that is foreign to you (specifically a country) and what you are eating tastes good, don't ask what is in it. It is sometimes better not to know.

8/07/2010

But I will admit that, after brushing my teeth with a bottle of Jack, I am too drunk to be functional

I am not going to lie, Internet I really relate to the song "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha because I, too, often wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy.

It is true. Frequently, I open my eyes after a night of slumber and feel exactly how I would imagine a 40-year-old black male rapper, record producer, actor, fashion designer, dancer and singer feels.

I am not surprised that many people are unable relate to this particular bit of lyrical genius. Few know this kind of joy and are therefore resentful of those who are able to appreciate Ke$ha's timeless wisdom.

8/05/2010

In honour of my cousin's wedding

"I'm going to tell you a secret," I half whispered, "I am a little drunk."

It wasn't really a secret though. It was actually fairly obvious to most anyone within a 100 miles of me that evening. One whiskey sour, four gin and tonics, two glasses of wine, one glass of champagne and three screwdrivers will do that to you though.

"I am drinking on behalf of my sister and in honour of my dead grandparents," I told anyone who would listen - or at least anyone who looked like they may be judging me.

At the end of the night, I pulled my father aside and had a frank discussion with him. "Here is the deal," I said, "I need you to go get me pizza because if I do not eat something now I am going to throw up tomorrow in the car when we are driving home." I was anticipating a 'no,' so when he promptly agreed, I celebrated by having one last drink.

When I returned home a few days later, everyone asked how my trip had been. "Was it windy there? Is Chicago really the windy city?"

No, Chicago had not been windy.

The only "wind" I had experienced came in the form of an unexpected burst of air through a grate above a subway line. Accidentally showing strangers your underwear, while walking down the street, is a good way to make friends. Remember that.

7/02/2010

And, naturally, there will be shirtless Saturdays

I am moving, dear Internet.

I am moving on up, to the West side (of Hamilton), to a deluxe apartment that is, like most apartments, technically in the sky.

Actually, I do not know that it is technically a deluxe apartment. I am not entirely sure what a deluxe apartment is. I think this is in part due to the word "deluxe" being open to interpretation. For instance, what I consider to be luxurious may be not-so-luxurious to Donald Trump. Equally, what a homeless person considers to be sumptuous may be something I consider to be a shit hole.

I am excited about my move. So what that I do not really have any furniture anymore. Who needs more than a bed, a dresser, two side tables and a desk? Sure, some people may think a desk chair goes hand-in-hand with a desk, but those people are just being silly. And who needs a kitchen or dining room table? Not I, that is for sure.

Plus, Wednesdays will be "no pants" day, and that is just going to be more kinds of awesome than I can even describe.

4/08/2010

Adjusting to being employed

As I sat there, in my skirt, I realized that, between my floor-to-ceiling window to the hall and my open office door, anyone who passed by could easily take a gander at my whoo haw if I forgot to carefully sit like a lady all day long. Sure, I was wearing panties, but the idea of my whoo haw was out there.

These are the kinds of problems I have been having at work - unintentionally potentially exposing my whoo haw to coworkers.

2/12/2010

No Monkey Sex

Yesterday, I donated blood for the first time.

I strongly dislike needles, and I strongly dislike seeing my own blood leave my body via tubes even more than I strongly dislike needles. But the thing is that people need blood, and I have blood. Sure, I am technically currently using all of that blood, but there is enough of it in me that I can easily part with some of it.

The questions they ask in the privacy room seem ridiculous. Do I work with monkeys? No, I do not work with monkeys. Have I had sex with a gay man? No, not to the best of my knowledge at least. Have I solicited sex or used injection drugs? Nope, sure haven't. Have I had sex with anyone whose sexual history I did not know? Not penetrative sex, but I did once have phone sex with a man who worked with HIV positive gay monkeys who became infected after soliciting sex during the five years they lived in Britain. And those monkeys, they also used to take cruises to the Dominican Republic, where they often contracted malaria.

Does that preclude me from donating? No? Good. Let's get this party started then.

And the party did start. It took me nine minutes to give that pint of blood. "You are doing great for a first time donor," the nurse told me. This caused me to wonder if there were any measures I could take to become an even more awesome blood donor the next time I go in.

1/25/2010

But I will be back with Starbucks

The mental health ward was not what I expected, although, admittedly, I hadn't really expected much of anything.

Our first several minutes of visiting seemed awkward. I admit that it was probably my fault when I opened the conversation by saying, "So, do you come here often?" I asked her if she'd made any friends or met any cute guys. We quickly decided that developing any type of relationship, friendship or otherwise, while under an involuntary hold was likely to result in more complications than it was ultimately worth.

We talked about many things in the two hours I was there. I vowed to bring her slippers and a bouncy ball ("Be careful not to hit that thing," I said, pointing to some sort of fancy looking device on her ceiling. "We had something like that in residence, and, if you hit it, it caused an alarm to go off in the whole building," I explained). We discussed what other entertaining items were permitted on the premises. Glass and cords are forbidden, as is anything that can easily be used to self-harm. It sounds simple enough to avoid these items but causes a lot of second guessing when you really think about it. If a person is intent enough, anything can be used to self-harm.

We talked about the arts and crafts patients are requested to participate in each day. We talked briefly about her therapy sessions and the other inhabitants of the ward. But what I really wanted to tell her was that she had nothing to be ashamed of. There will be people who judge her for the time she has spent in this place. There will be people who will see her in a different light when (or if) they learn that her brain isn't quite right, chemically speaking. But those people are not worth more than a passing thought. While it is technically true that there is something wrong with her, her value is no less than any other person around her. She should never let her self-worth be determined by the opinion of anyone but herself.

It takes courage to admit you need help. It takes strength to keep moving forward when you are so paralyzed with fear that you can hardly breathe. It takes bravery to remove yourself from your comfort zone to go to a place where you know you will be scrutinized by professionals who have the ability to turn your voluntary three day stay into an involuntary two week long admittance.

There is nothing to be ashamed of, but there is a whole lot to be proud of.

"I will see you tomorrow?" she asked just before I left.

"No, not tomorrow, but you will see me Monday. You will also see me Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.. Well, you get the idea. I will see about having chocolate bars delivered to you each day at noon as well."

And then, with a heavy heart, I left.

1/16/2010

Spiderman stickers are pretty awesome

"Megan," he whispered, "at night, the cat jumps into my bed and sleeps on my pillow. And my tongue tries to eat him."
"What?" I asked, thoroughly confused.
"My tongue tries to eat the cat," he replied, as if I was daft for my lack of understanding.
"Why would your tongue do that?" I asked.
"I do not know," he said, pausing thoughtfully to consider the question. "I think my tongue must be hungry," he decided.
"That is awfully silly of your tongue," I told him, and he proceeded to giggle.

Little boys can be endlessly adorable. They can also be endlessly frustrating, especially when they decide that "fooled" is a bad word, rip up the picture they had previously been colouring for you and then, filled with remorse over ruining said picture, begin crying with such despair that you would think someone had died.

In the end, most every problem can be solved with a cookie, a spiderman sticker and a hug.

I do not think that adults and children are that different after all.