Saturday, May 30, 2015

My Orange

Digging my nails in
until successfully
the thick, rough peel and
after piercing the thick case releasing the sweet, juicy pulp inside
the orange
that I bought from
that store that sells oranges and other stuff
one piece and then
and another still
more please
they enter my mouth and juice
all over my face and hands and chair as if
recently granted parole
and the sticky sticky fluid
goes everywhere
staining my shirt
dotting my glasses
I know I must look
like quite the beast as
devour the fruit
breathing hard
wiping my brow with my glossy fingers
making a mess that I should be self conscious about
but the orange is
that good
I must have another.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Dear Diary: October 10th

October 10th

Hi Diary,

Sorry it has taken me a few days to write, but I've just been so exhausted after work these first few days.

Work has been very busy and, while I love it, it has not been without its challenges.

I expected there to be some bumps and bruises early on, but I naively believed that they would all be as a result of my own clumsiness or giddiness. Some of my new colleagues were initially like karate instructors what with their kicks and pins and belts until I realized that my new office was on the third floor. 

My actual colleagues had put together a small welcome party complete with cute, dainty sandwiches that had all gone stale by the time I finally left that dojo, but it is the thought that counts, or at least that is what my overly analytical mother used to always tell me during bath time when all I wanted to do was relax in the hot, soapy water not think and play with my duckies.

Diary - I finally have my own desk! How I have always wanted a job with a desk! It just seems like proof that I have made it in life as I imagine that there are limited desks and not enough to go around and only the golden ones and those of us who just can't afford to visit tanning salons on a regular basis get them.

It is quite the desk too and exactly as I had imagined it which is probably because they had called me the other day asking me what kind of desk I wanted and I was quite descriptive to the point where they had to abruptly end the conversation by running away screaming.

I spent much of the first day standing near my desk just marvelling at the craftsmanship and that unique slightly-used desk smell. Don't worry diary - they offered me a new desk and I politely turned them down saying that I wanted to prove to them that I was worthy of new office furniture as it would both motivate me and not make me feel so guilty when I accidently poured scalding hot tea on it every other morning because I forgot to blow on it. I am very forgetful, as you know, when starting a 
new job and holding hot drinkable liquids.  

As I previously told you, I was so excited to share all of my ideas with the others to show them that not only was I creative and innovative but that I knew how to communicate that in at least three different ways using multiple colours. And I arrived this first week hoping to hit the floor running, only to find out that all floor running had been banned due to a recent rise in head injuries. Instead, I found myself glued to my desk which was at least partially my fault due to my overzealous use of glue while trying to impress my next door neighbour who seemed the type to be impressed by glue usage.

My neighbours in the cubicles on either side of me have been friendly and supportive in a silent and distant sort of way. I have tried to break the ice, but the office has a strict no-ice-pic policy. After two days of silence aside from the occasional cough or loud sigh, I tried smiling and laughing at everything, as my high school Spanish teacher had always told us "when in doubt, smile, and if that doesn't work, smile all day and don't stop until you receive a smile in return even if it is obvious that the returned smile is filled with annoyance and frustration". I always took that to heart, although I'm sure something was lost in the translation.  

I'd be lying to say that I wasn't hoping for more warmth right away, but the office is particularly poorly heated and I obviously need to invest in more woollen sweaters. Everyone is competing to move ahead and I was told it was dog-eat-dog which I found both oddly motivational and repulsive, as my brother was almost eaten by a rabid dog when I was ten until I remembered that I not only didn't have a brother but that it was just two overly amorous teenagers that left emotional scars I'm still recovering from. 

I'm just not a huge fan of workplace competition and I'm hoping that over time I can help institute a new collaborative and dog-assist-dog atmosphere around here with incentives and dog treats for all. 

The boss is enthusiastic to a fault, although I'm not entirely sure what that means. He is positive and believes in everyone's ability to do everything regardless of countless and negligent failures on a daily basis. His blind faith clearly inspires everyone to show up each day and after that it wears off as there is only so much momentum faith can bring. He tries his best, and it is unclear whether his best just isn't good enough or if he just needs to wear lifts in his shoes.

I plan to wow him and be the star around here. I just have to keep my head down as the ceilings are unfinished-crawl-space low, work hard and eventually I'll get my chance. I just know I can do it and I need to be patient. Patience has always been hard for me; hard and cold and sort of like granite or quartz.

I have been so busy and I haven't been taking care of myself as I know that I need to. I know that I need to eat better and not just neater and using the rules of etiquette that my parents made me practice for much of my adolescence until I grew to despise them and those rules. They literally tried to hose me off with those rules and I rebelled in the only way I knew how: breakdancing.

And I need to resume my exercise regiment and tighten up. I'm feeling saggy and not in a good way like last time. I think I'll try to go for a bike ride after work tomorrow as the fresh air and endorphins are exactly what the doctor ordered, and yes, I know that the doctor is only a figment of my imagination and that the huge majority of what he says is ignorant and racist as many of my figments are.

Take care diary and I promise I'll write again soon.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

One Size Fits All

Why does the forecast of isolated showers leave me with a hint of optimism and all other uses of the word isolation just leave me feeling sad and alone?

What are they putting in the water and do they need any help? I'm just saying I have some free time and their secret is safe with me up until it begins to harm me and/or someone offers me enough money to buy a hot tub. I really want a hot tub.

Why creative ideas by one guy are enough for the optioning of a new TV series, by another guy the details of a Friday night interactive murder mystery role playing game full of intrigue and by another guy seen as just too much delusions of grandeur mixed with unhealthy amounts of paranoia for everyone to feel safe and relaxed.

Why does an inadvertent wink of an eye to a pretty girl (note- what is seen as pretty is all relative and much is based on the era we are living in -1870s the sheer amount of available skin would lead to spontaneous heart attacks, in 1100s she would be seen as a witch, in 1200 BCE it would be believed she was an alien 

Who should I see if I'm having boundary issues and I honestly don't know where you end and I begin?

Would life be better if I were more triangular in shape? I am really asking for your opinion and your input before I go ahead with the expensive elective surgery I have scheduled in a few weeks time.

Is it just me or does "one size fits all" sound more like a threat and less of something we should all be happy about?

Is the minute hand jealous of the hour hand and should we know whom to blame if the hour hand strangely disappears one day?

Is there a point in which I should be less focused on upping my intake of fibre and be more focused on what can only be described as "fibrous" growth on my back?

What does it mean when others exhale on me like rows of hair dryers whenever I enter the room?

Can I actually absorb information?

Do sheep ever lay awake at night wondering what those cows are actually talking about and whether they should trust them as sheep are attempting to be less trusting in general?

What do I do if I have nowhere to hang my hat? And don't suggest I buy a hatrack- I've tried that and it didn't help at all.

How much red paint can I use in my paintings before someone starts to suggest that I "lay off the red as you are starting I creep us all out with your nervous laughter, shaky brushstrokes and often vacant stares at the ceiling tiles"?

If I wasn't so comfortable in my skin, who should be most worried?

Am I the only one who feels badly when someone mentions a third party getting involved and I can only try to figure out why I wasn't invited?

Is it weird if I want to actually put a smile on your face? Like use my hands somehow.

Why do I dream of a world populated by large benevolent fluffy bunny rabbits who have found a way to solve world hunger and end all poverty and make the idea of war obsolete all-the-while bouncing cutely around, somehow providing universal healthcare, and schooling for all with the only downside being having to slave away as a carrot grower for the rest of my days?

How come everytime I make a suggestion I am greeted by a round of groans and moans which quickly turn into shrieks and screams, but always end in the suggestion being warmly adopted by all and a pizza arriving seemingly out of nowhere?

Where have all of the good ones gone and why am I being asked to make do with the bad ones when I know the mediocre ones are free and have been waiting in the wings just raring to go once given a shot?

Friday, May 1, 2015

When I Stop to Think: My Kitchen

I seem to always find myself in the kitchen either cooking or cleaning or eating. I am usually with my family, but even when by myself, I am never truly alone. When I look around I see that I am always surrounded by the cooking appliances and pots and implements that help me, and those I care about, live. Though I am usually so busy racing to get the next meal cooked or dish washed or morsel chewed, I do try to pause amongst the craziness of my life and think.

I think about my toaster always taking plain, limp, lifeless bread products and turning them into bronzed, rock-hard Gods and Goddesses that I long to slather with butter or peanut butter especially on Thursdays. I can imagine him saying "Once, just once, I want someone to toast me. Not sure why, just seems like it would be fun."

I look towards my ladle - long and smooth and slender - we couldn't be any more different physically unless I finally caved in and paid for the plastic surgery that everyone is always hinting and clearing their throat's about. And yet, on the inside, I feel like we are the same. We both want to scoop large, steaming cups of soup in our arms - hold them close to us for a fleeting emotional moment where we feel more complete and at peace with the universe than ever before, but then we must pour them slowly and mournfully into a cold, uncaring bowl with a large degree of remorse all-the-while knowing that this is the order of things. Oh, and we also both want to spoon with other ladle-shaped objects, but those opportunities are few and far between.

I think about my chef's knife. So long, lean, sharp and metallic. We are so alike in so many ways aside from my inability to slice tomatoes without making a total mess and her inability to solve even the simplest of quadratic equations.

My eyes gaze at my mortar and pestle - always grinding things up into pastes and powders. Though a tad gruff and always all-business, a valuable ally to have on my side when I'm invariably attacked and pelted with peppercorns, cumin seeds and mint leaves each autumn.

I think about my ice cube maker always churning and whirring and popping out small cubes of frozen bliss. I can almost hear it say in the lull between cycles "Water comes in, I mold it and shape it and freeze it and out pops ice. It's really pretty simple - not sure what you are confused about. It's not rocket science and I would know as I once worked in rocket science....don't act so surprised."

I look at the steamer and reminisce about all of those times when I've poured cold water in and a few breathless minutes later I've sat at the table and enjoyed some freshly cooked vegetables and throughout it all the steamer has always been there, silently working away without a peep and all I've had to put up with is a steady stream of pro-communist literature that, while I'm not currently interested, is quite impressive with its word choice and perfect grammar, for a steamer.

I think about my collection of shiny forks and marvel at how adept they are at enabling me to easily pick food off a plate and place it in my mouth while also being the biggest whiners and complainers about having to share such a small space with those crazy, unpredictable knives and a-little-too-obsessed-with-their-curves spoons.

My mind turns to my vegetable peeler and I can nearly hear it saying "true, I can remove peels from vegetables and fruits and yes, I can also make thin ribbons of certain vegetables and, of course, I am thin and light and unassuming, but know this, if you cross me or my family, I will be your worst nightmare."

I think about my cutting board always being whacked with knives and stained with juices and treated like nothing more than a block to chop on and I imagine that it not only has complex feelings and deep thoughts, but also wishes it was more three dimensional.

I think about my large soup pot towering over the rest of the small cooking vessels that literally and figuratively can't hold the soup that it can and yet, despite its brash and proud demeanour, I can almost hear him whisper "Yes I may be tall, and yes I may be large, and yes I know the other smaller pots and pans not only look to me for guidance in these harrowing times in which we pots live, and yes I may be able to hold litres upon litres of mouth-watering soup, but I would give it all up to feel true love regardless of my inability to feel emotions based on my being a pot and all."

I think about my oven mitts - keeping my calloused, aging, sensitive hands safe from the heat that aims to burn me and how do I show those brave heroic gloves how much I care and honour them? I wear them to help me imitate a seal, which they happen to find both abusive and quite hilarious.

I think about my brand new red food processor with its sharp, spinning blades.  He looks so serious as he sits there, imposingly, on the counter, demanding attention and awe from all those around based on the sheer limitless capabilities that he seems to possess. When the revolution comes, I'll be glad he's on my side up until the moment when my comic relief and way with words is outweighed by my superfluousness.

I think about the worn and weathered wooden spoon that has seen it all in its time in the kitchen: bubbly and warm casseroles, hot and sizzling stir fries, sweet and aromatic bread puddings and through it all, he always shows up on time, never complaining even when new splinters have appeared overnight. He just does his job. I guess I should give him his stuffed animals back now.

I think about my grater and can almost see the extreme pleasure she gains whenever she shreds something except on those rare occasions when she either accidentally or is forced to grate someone she truly cares about. "It's true," she is probably always moaning to anyone nearby with ears (which is actually almost no one) "it is as my mother always told me as a child but I just refused to believe, you always do grate the ones you love."

My mind turns to my plastic measuring spoons each one slightly larger, and thus more egotistical, than the one before. Time and time again they have demonstrated their ability to measure small amounts of food items with a precision that is growing more and more rare in the modern world in which we live. If only they were collectively and individually more humble.

I think about the backsplash and can imagine it saying "you can splatter me with sauce, you can splash me with hot water, you can douse me with soapy bubbles and you can even throw vegetables scraps at me when frustrated  but you can never take away my dignity, my sense of worth, my right to vote and my girlish looks."

I am eying my sink and can't help but admire its shine and its drain and its sense of humour in these dark and depressing times in which we live and, when no one is watching, I am often tempted to not only share my innermost secrets and gambling strategies but also my overly dramatized tales of love that I plan to turn into a series of graphic novels.

My focus turns to my garlic press whom I have a sneaking suspicion is either a spy or a mole or, at a minimum, at least partially to blame of the spike in my anxiety, near-paralyzing self-doubt and garlic breath. 

I think about my chopsticks and instantly remember the nightmares of my youth where I was living in a world inhabited by large, wooden, tyrannical chopsticks that not only enforced a curfew and had me living in a constant state of fear, but, even after they eventually embraced democracy, still gave me sliver after sliver after sliver.

I think about my large, well-used frying pan that has helped me create countless incredible and filling meals that have helped my children grow and given me the strength to go out into the world an make a difference and I can almost hear it say "stop caressing my handle, sicko."