Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Everybody's a Damn Artist

I've never been really big on conspiracy theories. Seems to me that there exist certain factions of the population who enjoy conspiracy theories just for the sake of feeling pissed off about something - damn hippies - but really, some of the theories are quite convincing, especially those where you can infer an obvious motive for conspiring. I'm most likely to feel there's some truth behind conspiracy theories where money is a motivator. Case in point: cigarettes are toxic after all, imagine that! Who'd'a thunk tobacco companies would have been lying all that time?

**insert cash register sound here**

Though I'm not totally certain that qualifies as a "conspiracy theory". Maybe it is better defined as, say, a "successful business model". Hey, corporations are people too, you know - think of it from their point of view: what good can come of a product that doesn't create a self-perpetuating market? Hence, disposable goods. Addictive substances. Toilet bowl cleaners.

Oh, yes, toilet bowl cleaners.

It's a well-known fact among the wifely set that the scent of Toilet Duck exerts a powerful laxative effect on those Y-chromosome types. Try it, you'll see - the damn instant you finish scrubbing the john someone will invariably be in there stinking the place up again. In fact, and this is where the conspiracy theory gets really dark and treacherous, I even suspect toilet bowl cleaners are somehow formulated to enhance creativity.

Because it's always a Picasso Dump.

Truthfully, I think old Pablo got the raw end of that particular bit of nomenclature, because "Pollock Plop" really is far more apt, not to mention catchier. But maybe that's a theory for another day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Don't ask me how the conversation got started - I assure you it has nothing to do with anyone in this household getting the occasional cold sore... which incidentally, I feel is one of those things that should be included in some sort of pre-relationship disclosure form, because, not speaking from experience, it's a pretty rude thing to have sprung on you a few years in. Anyway, DH and I somehow got on the topic of communicable diseases. He thought scabies was an STD, while I was pretty sure it was some sort of skin disease. Naturally, we Googled it and - also natch - I was right.

In the event you ever find yourself in the midst of a similar debate with someone you love, scabies is an itchy, contagious skin disease caused by parasitic mites.

"Okay," conceeded DH, "but isn't there some sort of STD that sounds like scabies?"
Yes there is, DH:
Babies are sexually transmitted. And I think that if everyone truly understood that concept, really got it in all its true, terrifying depth, there would be a lot less sex going on.

Ironically, reduced sexual activity is a common side effect of Babies - damned if you do, damned if you don't, eh? - though I suppose whether or not Babies conforms to the definition of disease is primarily a matter of semantics and/or one's mental condition after yet another Babies-induced sleepless night.

Other common symptoms/side effects of Babies:
- deep, abiding envy of species whose young reach maturity and leave home within weeks of birth;
- pervasive, vaguely diaperish odour about the home;
- poor feng shui (i.e., living room furniture arranged with the sole purpose of covering plus-ins);
- heating vents populated with Cheerios;
- persistent shar-pei-like entity affixed to abdomen.

Spread the word, man, this Babies stuff is deadly. And if you already count yourself among the afflicted, don't worry - I hear it clears up in 18-27 years.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Drinking Problem

Can't quite recall which number I'm on, but let's call this one #29: I have a coffee dependency.

#30: And also, a heavy falafel habit. They are not, as DH would have you believe, called that because they are "fulla awful". I actually fantasize a little about falafel sometimes, they're so fulla wonderful. Seriously, try them.

But back to #29. I began to notice I had a problem when anything less than four cups a day led to withdrawal symptoms - headaches, bitchiness, hives. The usual. But today... today. Today I am old in addition to addicted. I brewed myself a pot of coffee in the afternoon, and I drank it up, and I am experiencing no adverse effects of late-day coffee consumption.

Spare me! I'm too young to be my grandmother!

But the true horror of it is how utterly frigging awful the coffee at my workplace is. They say addiction kills, but seriously, that shit is brewed from armpits or something. And to buy four cups a day (minimum!) of decent coffee in downtown Calgary? My wallet hurts just thinking about it. But, addicts is as addicts does, sir, and:

#31. I'll miss you, left kidney, but I just really needed the cash.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Shellfish Gene

I am biologically programmed to be the person who says that things are going to be okay. And behave as if things are okay - rosy, even - even if they aren't. If someone asks me if I am okay, or if things are okay, or if I think they, or a situation, or a menu item, or a sick kitten or flesh wound or atomic war or blind date is going to be okay, my answer will invariably be yes. This tends to result in a lot of nervous and generally inappropriately-timed laughter on my part, as a vital part of every rosy situation involves giggling in my warped worldview, and I also need to buy time to crank out a rationale for saying things are going to be okay when it is clear that they aren't. (Blind dates are never okay.) But I just can't help myself.

In a terrible twist of fate, I am secretly also biologically programmed with a) naturally elevated levels of anxiety, b) natually elevated levels of bitterness and distortion and c) a vivid imagination with a knack for defaulting to the worst-possible-case-scenario. In short, I am probably the least likely person to actually believe anything is going to be okay, ever, but my unfortunate tendency to blurt out sanguine snippets and laugh nervously when confronted with traumatic events causes people in distress to gravitate toward me like toddlers to potted plants, seeking elucidation on the silver lining that must surely be clear to me in all my ostensible optimism.

If only I were religious, I could just pass the buck to God. When people ask why I'm so convinced they/their kitten/their blind date will be okay, I could pat their hands and say something really... biblical. I can't think of any good biblical examples right now, most likely because I am not religious, but religious people always seem to have some sort of perky adage for troubled times. Like divine fortune cookies. Probably without the lucky lotto numbers on the back because most of the gods out there don't seem to be in favour of gambling.

Though they did let my ex-husband loose on the world with his vas deferens intact and his brain stem not so much... and if that isn't a gamble I don't know what is.

And hey, speak of the devil - congrats on yet more offspring, Colin! What's that you say? Unplanned, again?

Don't worry, I'm sure everything will work out okay.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Like Riding a Bicycle

Sometimes - in those few, fleeting seconds of awakeness that occur between climbing into bed and utterly conking out for the night - sometimes, at those sorts of times, you gaze blearily at your loved one, who is usually already asleep and possibly drooling slightly at this point, and you find yourself thinking, "I don't think I remember how to kiss."

And this thought, surprisingly, doesn't keep you up at night. Not much can when you're as tired as you are these days. But it does come back to haunt you the next day as you're riding the train to work in the morning, and you carefully turn the thought over in your mind and examine it from all angles and think, "Yep. It's been so long that I am reasonably sure I can't remember."

And because you are chronically sleep-deprived and the train is rocking you lovingly to sleep at this point, the next thoughts that follow in a very natural and drowsy fashion are, "I should practice more... when do I have time to practice?... it will have to be at work... maybe I could even bill some time for it... I love creative billing... this woman is wearing too much perfume for seven a.m..." and so forth.

And by the time you arrive at work, you realize you have just mentally committed yourself to some extramarital activities that may or may not receive spousal support on submission for approval, but you still haven't had any coffee yet today so a defense of your proposal begins to develop an amorphous, sports-analogy-type shape in your head: "It's like rollerblading, dear. Hockey doesn't mind rollerblading during the off-season because ultimately you are working towards better hockey when hockey is unavailable because it is too tired from two kids-job-laundry-gardening-cooking supper-housework to play hockey, so you go rollerblading instead. Just so, in eighteen years or so when the possibility of hockey arises again, you can remember how to get around on the ice."

Fortunately, there is plenty of caffeine available at work and soon your mental function returns, and you realize that anyways, your workplace has far too many windows and not enough supply closets, and to hell with catching up on laundry tonight, you will just have to give re-learning how to kiss the old college try at home instead.

The neural pathways already exist. How hard can it be?