Persephone got a bum rap.

Last night I cracked open my first pomegranate of the season.

It was perfection.

Except every time I eat one of these, I can’t help but think about how bullshit it was that poor Persephone got roped into spending six months of every year rotting away in the underworld just for eating six itty bitty seeds when poms are so giant and filled with HUNDREDS of the things. Surely half a fruit should equal half a year, not a scant mouthful of seeds, no?

Disproportionate punishment! Disproportionate I say!

Then again, I like winter. Perhaps I shouldn’t be campaigning for a lighter sentence for Queen P when the alternative would be eternal spring.

Sorry Persephone. If it’s between your happiness and my sweater weather, I’m gonna have to pick the option that screws you.

Maybe keep your damn mouth shut next time and we won’t have to make these hard decisions.

Oh hi. It’s November. Sorry.

So I’m doing Nano Poblano because I suck at blogging lately and if an adorable chili pepper isn’t the motivation I need to suck less at blogging then I don’t know what is.

On the bright side, I’m really good at procrastinating, which is why you won’t see me on the official roster yet because I only decided I was doing this shit today.

I’m in a kind of weird head space at the moment so if this just turns out to be 30 days of raw, unfiltered verbal diarrhea please accept my apology in advance. Although to be fair, if you’re still reading this blog after all the piffle I’ve posted over the years, then you kind of knew what you were signing up for.

When we last met, I was waxing doomsical about the more flammable qualities of this beautiful province I live in while choking on the cremated remains of its forests. And sure enough, 2018 now officially holds the record for worst fire season in BC…at least until 2019 inevitably swoops in with an even worse one. Isn’t it nice to have something to look forward to?

But for the moment, despite an uncharacteristically sunny and pleasant October,  Vancouver is back to the way it should be: underwater.

Okay, so I may have overdone the rain dancing just a smidge.

Puddles, potholes, flooding, buses splashing innocent bystanders with tidal waves of garbagey gutter water, less innocent bystanders trying to poke my eyes out with errant umbrella spokes – ah, now this is the city I know and love.

In other news, my workplace is currently about to undergo a change of ownership and everything I do here is going to be under scrutiny while the new management decides whether I’m useful enough to keep on and I might be unemployed by Christmas but everything’s cool because I also started volunteering at the local SPCA a few months ago and WHO CARES IF MY LIVELIHOOD IS AT STAKE WHEN I CAN PET ALL THE CUTE KITTENS, RIGHT? RIGHT?!?

And okay, hear me out, is it kind of bad if I’m just a little bit hoping they will decide I’m expendable? It’s been three years I wondered aloud why I continued to stay in my stagnant office-cube-person mold when I longed for something more fulfilling, and only in the past several months have I even begun to try and formulate an exit strategy. And only then because the Boss Lady in her infinite kindness and acuity took me aside and said, “You’re not happy here. Figure out where you will be happy, and I’ll do what I can to help you make it happen.”

She rocks. I love her.

But the truth remains that I have a terrible history of remaining in toxic working situations when I should be running toward the emergency exits screaming, because
1) I’m bad at running, 2) I convince myself no other workplace in the known universe is desperate or gullible enough to hire me, and 3) what if I give it all up for something that just turns out to be worse? Better the crap hole you know, and all that.

So I stay in these dead end jobs until opportunity doesn’t just knock, but breaks down the door, hog-ties me and forcibly carries me off to greener pastures. In the rare event that I do try and actively improve things myself, the effort is tepid at best and I just end up tripping over my own feet trying not to screw up what I have until I’ve crawled within reach of what I want.

So maybe what I really need is for someone to just rip the whole choice out of my hands and say, “Time’s up. You don’t work here anymore. SEEYA.”

Also I’ve never been fired before. Should that be on my bucket list?

(FYI I do have a game plan either way. It’s just that a sudden state of joblessness would light a bit more of a fire under my ass to quit dicking around and get on with it already.)

I just realized I haven’t said the word “fuck” once in this post so far. Fuck, I really am off my blogging game, aren’t I.

That’s all for now. See you fuckers tomorrow.

Hands full of too many balls.

I turn 34 today. So that’s happening.

I didn’t accomplish anything on my to-do list for 33, with the exception of numbers 12, 28, 32 and 33. Except 12 and 28 probably don’t actually count, since those technically fall within the portion that was all a dream.

But I did them, anyway, for extra credit. Since there’s not a lot else I can take credit for.

Okay, I’ll just say it, I wasted another year.

I was going to do things. Some responsible, some purely because I wanted to. But I did nothing instead, because that was easier, and my hands are full of too many balls, so easier usually wins out these days.

Quit snickering. I can explain.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory method of describing day to day life with disability and chronic illness. If not, well, there’s the link right there.

The first time I heard it referenced, it was like some golden beacon of understanding and wisdom had cropped up on my horizon. I sought out the original post immediately and read it again and again. At a time when I was still struggling to explain to my family and my superiors at work why one stupid gland in my body refusing to do its job was taking me out of commission so damn much, it very likely spared me a nervous breakdown.

But the longer I live with this piece of shit thyroid and the douchecanoe prefix and suffix that have turned it from a useful organ into a motherfucking moocher couch potato, the more I feel like the spoon idea just isn’t doing it for me like it used to.

The trouble is, spoons are so passive. So innocuous. So utterly lacking in perilous pointy edges. You don’t have to arm wrestle a spoon into letting you eat a bowl of soup; at least, not unless you’re trying to steal the spoon from someone with better biceps than you or you’ve welded it to a Shake Weight or something. I don’t know why anyone would do either of those things, but if the internet has taught me anything it’s that reasons are apparently overrated when it comes to people doing/making weird shit. Seriously, if you don’t hit on something that makes you go “The fuck…?” or “DEAR GOD WHY?!?” in the first five result pages of any Etsy search, then your internet is probably broken.

Anyway, my point is that sure, it’s miserable that you start every day with a limited number of spoons and have to prioritize what to spend them on, but what I don’t think is stressed enough is that following through and spending those daily spoons on what you said you would is also really fucking hard. Harder than doing anything with a spoon has any business being. Your spoons don’t just vanish upon use like single-serving genies. You have to fight to expend each one. You have to bend it and warp it and cram it smaller and smaller until it’s a twisted little lump of silvery carnage, and then you have to point in a random direction and say, “That’s a funny place for a credenza,” to distract everyone’s attention as you surreptitiously shove your misshapen Franken-spoon pellet behind the sofa, because fuck it, good enough.

And the day’s spoons aren’t always just sitting there in your pocket for the taking. Sometimes you have to paw for ages through all the sharp, dangerous things in the silverware drawer and nearly grate your fingertips off just to find one. There’s a whole lot more blood, sweat and tears involved than a pretty, shiny spoon has in it to convey.

And yes, I know Christine was just using what was at hand and that the spoons in question aren’t literal spoons, but these are the kind of stupid thoughts that come to you when you’ve apparently spent the past year doing fuck all other than waking up from dreams that won’t come true, swearing, and stuffing your face with black forest cake while occasionally giggling.

I know, you’re still wondering (and snickering) about the balls. I’m getting to them.

You may have noticed I’m not doing the A to Z challenge this year. That’s because I’ve only managed to publish a whopping one blog post per month since 2017 waltzed in the door, and writing each one of those posts was like pulling teeth, and I can recognize a pattern when I see one.

Despairing that I would ever manage to think of even one thing to write about for the entirety of April, I appealed to Twitter to name my next blog post in the hopes that someone else could come up with a more interesting jumping-off point than I was currently capable of thinking of myself.

Predictably, owing to my limited following plus the Twitterverse’s general attitude of not giving a fuck, I received only two responses.

Option 1:

…thanks, Gina. Tell ya what, you can keep that title, free of charge. I guarantee I want to read your story a lot more than whatever I would’ve tried to come up with.

And then there was Option 2:

Okay, these are clearly my people, but am I allowed to hate them a little anyway?
Just a smidge?

I was actually kind of pissed off, because this was something I had honestly been planning to take seriously. But despite my repeated pleas to the Twitter gods for mercy, no more suggestions were forthcoming.

I swore a few more times, for good measure.
I contemplated deleting everything and pretending it never happened.

Except, the more I thought about Ballpit_Gangsta‘s suggestion, the more I realized it solved my problem with the spoons.

Because I don’t feel like I start my day with a pocket full of spoons, not really. I feel much more like I start my day with my hands full of too many balls. Which I’m already juggling at peak height and momentum before I even convince myself to crack open my dark-circled insomniac eyes.

And let me tell you, I’m crap at juggling. I know, shocker. But it’s true. I can’t even do it with two of those dumb little trainee bean bags, let alone with an entire host of adult concerns and responsibilities. And yet that’s exactly what it feels like I’m trying to do, every day, constantly. I wake up with my hands full of too many balls, and even though the rational part of my brain knows there’s no way my sluggish hypothyroid fingers can keep them all aloft all day, damned if depression and anxiety don’t still inevitably snatch up the first opportunity they see to swoop in and each whisper in an ear that if I drop even a single ball, I’m the worst piece of crap failure in the world and I’ll never be whole or happy again.

But of course that’s still too simple. Because they’re never all just regular balls, are they? Sure, putting on underpants and brushing your teeth and making a cup of tea are all light and smooth and and easily handled, like a Nerf ball or a Silly Putty egg. But what’s a real juggling act without some chainsaws, or flaming torches? Will your dexterity be up to the challenge when life starts pitching you cinder blocks and broken bottles?

Maybe you get to work and your boss hits you with an anvil and a bucket of hot coals by deciding to once again completely break down and reforge all the office protocols you and your colleagues just finally got used to. You catch them, barely, but the anvil cracks a plastic egg mid-air and the coals melt one of your Nerf balls into a hunk of neon sludge.

Maybe later, once you escape the office, you stop by the walk-in clinic looking to discuss your medication dosage, but instead of finding a listening ear you’re suddenly lobbing syringes and a blood pressure cuff around just to convince His Smartassery, M.D. that your last lab results falling within the so-called “normal” range doesn’t mean you still aren’t painfully, debilitatingly symptomatic. As he shoves yet another basic lab requisition that will accomplish nothing into your hand, one of the syringes punctures a water balloon which, until that moment, had been one of the easier things to keep in the air.

And then maybe you get back on the road only for one too many asshole drivers to suddenly cut you off in rush hour traffic. Custom rims, flying at you like Frisbees; think fast!

Maybe finally getting home and doing your taxes and being reminded of just how much money is not going into your own pocket after all the anvils and hot coals you’ve had to put up with – and calculating how much of what did go into your pocket now has to come back out again, because apparently the CRA hasn’t finished looting you yet – is a cartoon grand piano that crashes down from the heavens, breaking your fingers and smashing you flat.

But don’t forget to keep a smile plastered on your face the whole while, because god forbid you make the people around you have to juggle a wet blanket on top of their daily quota.

J/k. Resting Bitch Face ftw.

Normally I would apologize about all this whining, but today I say fuck it, it’s my party and I’ll write a thousand and a half snippy words about balls if I want to.

I also don’t apologize for using “snippy” and “balls” in the same sentence.

I took today off work, because fuck anvils. Likewise, any ball or piece of crap masquerading as a ball that doesn’t directly contribute toward a) my basic survival or b) shameless self-indulgence is getting dropped like a hot potato and kicked down the nearest sewer grate for the next 24 hours, or longer should I somehow manage to belatedly fulfill #1 on last year’s list by winning all the lotteries.

I can worry about doing a better job of being 34 than I did of being 33 tomorrow.

In the meantime, happy birthday to me. And good riddance to my balls.

Stranger things.

My mother always told me never to accept rides from strangers.

This, in general, seems like sound advice.

Until it’s 8am on a Monday and you’ve been standing for an hour and a half out in the snow that forecasters swore up and down was going to melt overnight, waiting with zero success for a bus, ANY bus, that maybe perhaps might have the most remotely conceivable potential of getting you to a Skytrain station so you can make it in to work.

That’s when your priorities start to shift…when your fingers and toes are starting to scream at you in the early stages of frostbite despite several layers of woolens, and you can’t move around to get your circulation going because if you step even one inch out of the lineup at the bus stop, your place will be immediately assimilated like the Blob taking over a small Pennsylvania town…when the lady behind you with the complete lack of regard for your personal space keeps periodically deciding to shift closer and jostle you yet again because she spotted a few spare atoms’ worth of room she thought she could squeeze into…when the heavenly aromas of people passing by with sugary seasonal lattes and greasy McDonald’s breakfast items encourage your stomach to do its most convincing Chewbacca impression for the restless throng…

Suddenly, the idea of being stuffed into an axe murderer’s trunk doesn’t sound half bad. Gotta be warmer than the street corner, right?

So when a random woman pulls over in a large SUV, rolls down the window and calls out, “Anybody need a ride to Cambie?” you say, “Yes please!” and you and the four other strangers who responded in kind swarm into her vehicle like ravenous locusts before she has a chance to reconsider.

And because you have all the luck, she turns out to be a thoughtful saint of a person who drives skillfully and safely, is pleasant and easy to make small talk with, and doesn’t bring out a chainsaw to lop off all your heads at the first red light.

It’s a Festivus miracle!

Seriously though, to my mystery chauffeur – and all the other kind souls before her who stopped and offered lifts to various places to our sorry stranded crowd – my sincerest gratitude. I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t a million times over rather be at home in my pajamas sipping hot chocolate than sitting here making awkward eye contact with a big dying poinsettia in our drab little beige office, but okay yeah, showing up to work and getting paid like a responsible adult has its merits too, I guess, and I have nobody but you to thank for making that possible today and reminding me that awesome people do still exist.

I will pay it forward. Promise.

Anyway, enough of this gooey sh…show of emotion. Back to our regularly scheduled sarcasm.



Walking in a winter wonderland.

Fact: I am still just as excited to wake up and see snow outside my window as I was when I was an itty bitty kidlet.

Only now I have a better camera than when I was an itty bitty kidlet, so it’s possible that these days I’m even more excited.

I left my car at home today. The only thing worse than trying to get up our steep driveway in the snow is trying to get back down it.

Instead I took about fifteen “me” minutes to just walk around in the white stuff and be enveloped by the stillness that came with it as it wafted softly down. I photographed the silent streets and breathed deep breaths of fresh, crisp air until my heart was as light and carefree as a helium balloon.

Then I reluctantly acknowledged the reality that it was Monday and I had places to be.

I joined a line of some two dozen texting and muttering people waiting anxiously for a bus. Approximately three minutes later, we got the word from a kindly couple in a truck that there were five buses stuck down at the bottom of the hill and not to get our hopes up that they’d be heading our way any time soon. At that, about three quarters of the line dispersed. Out of some misguided sense of duty, I decided to wait another ten minutes before giving up.

Exactly ten minutes later, the bus arrived.


Two transfers later I was on a community shuttle, seated directly in front of a bunch of college kids who were just not having it.

“Who was it that told me it never snows in Richmond? Who? Was it you, man?”
“Nope, not me dude. I said it was gonna snow Sunday, remember?”
“Some motherfucker told me it doesn’t snow in Richmond. When I remember who it was, I’m gonna punch him in the face.”
“Heh. I kinda hope, like, class is cancelled, but at the same time I kinda hope it isn’t because I came all this way.”
“Seriously man, I know someone told me it never snows in Richmond. When I remember who, I’m gonna kick his ass. Punch him right in the face. This is bullshit.”
“You should, like, drive over to his place and block his car in. Be all, ‘How do you like it?'”
“And then I’ll pack his exhaust with snow. Freeze his carburetor.”

They got off the shuttle at the first stop, still churning out increasingly outlandish threats to the mystery misinformer. I had to stifle a smile as they passed by.

The silence closed back in around us when they had gone.

We drove onward.

I arrived at work an hour and twenty minutes late. The snow is still falling softly outside the window.

I am happy.






Beauty and the ginger beard.

I saw it coming.

I willed him to just keep walking; the man with the flannel shirt and shocking red beard and the joint perched jauntily in one hand. Move along, move along, nothing to see here. But he was slowing already, drifting over to where I stood with my camera and bringing with him the acrid stench of cheap weed and stale body odor.

I tried to ignore him. The sun had set and I was losing light fast. I adjusted my settings and snapped off a few more shots.

But when I pulled back from the viewfinder, he was at my shoulder, staring at me expectantly. “…Eez eet beauteeful?” he asked in a startlingly thick French accent.

When I didn’t respond, he gestured toward the rapidly dimming scene and then at my camera. “Eez eet beauteeful?” he repeated. I paused, weighing my options; I didn’t need a repeat of Angry Tree Lady. Eventually I shrugged noncommittally and said “I think so,” and returned my attention to the camera.

He nodded and turned away – I assumed to leave – but he only wandered a short distance before stopping again. I could see him in my peripheral vision standing some feet away, looking intently back and forth between my subject and I as if trying to solve some sort of advanced mathematical equation.

A few more shots and adjustments later, I finally arrived at an image I was happy with. Red Beard perked up visibly as I began packing up my gear. I could see the anticipation in his eyes before the question was out of his mouth.

“Eet eez beauteeful?” Such hope infused into the words.

This time I didn’t hesitate. “Yes,” I replied, smiling despite myself.

At that he grinned, and threw his arms outward as if to embrace the sky. And he strolled away down the darkening road, whistling into the evening air.

Bye-bye Bob, bye-bye baby, hey hey Mama.

I like meandering down back alleys on my afternoon walks around the neighborhood. It’s interesting to see what lives on the flip side of all the reasonably presentable, generic facades the average street has to offer.

Old furniture is a staple finding. Grandma’s retro kitchen chairs upholstered in orange floral vinyl; chipped and dented and otherwise abused IKEA “Lack” coffee tables; mattresses with “FREE” signs duct taped to them. As if anyone in their right mind would touch a back alley mattress with a ten foot pole.

Graffiti, too, can be entertaining despite its general lack of finesse. I’m always on the lookout for the handiwork of two taggers calling themselves John and Joan Cusack. I like to think that the real John and Joan Cusack are behind it, sneaking around my city in the dead of night whispering, “Who’d ever believe it?” and snickering together as they pen their permanent marker scrawls.

But it’s the items that were never again intended to see the light of day that interest me most. The thrown away tokens and mementos that spill from poorly tied bags on collection day and either float or crash back down to earth, naked and exposed for anyone to find.

“To Do” lists. Love letters. Hate letters. Broken trinkets. Children’s drawings, likely surreptitiously “misplaced” one by one off an overflowing fridge. Novelty Post-its scribbled with illegible text. Toy soldiers with missing limbs; Barbies with crookedly shorn hair.

A Valentine from Bob, who appears to be a man of few words.

The portrait of an angel, discarded amongst office supplies and unopened moist towelettes for reasons I will never know.

I spot and I examine and I wonder. Glimpses of all these lives and stories that may never truly intersect with mine but which I will carry in my memory and imagination nonetheless, in pocket-sized pieces.

I leave with more questions than answers.

Two blocks later, I find something deemed worth keeping.

I smile. And I walk on.







Music is my hot hot sex.

I woke up this morning with one word on my lips: Muse.

This is the first work day in recent memory where I have been genuinely excited to get out of bed.

Nutty Hubby and I are going to see Muse play at Rogers Arena tonight and the anticipation is powering me like some kind of nuclear fusion reactor. To be honest, there’s a good chance I might just spontaneously combust before I even get to the venue, because I have the most unladylike hard-on for Muse’s sound and I’m already having impure thoughts about humping the nearest speaker when I get to hear that shit live.

I’ve always had a strong physical response to music I find particularly compelling. The day I bought Matthew Good’s Avalanche CD, my cells tried to explode in every direction in solidarity with the album’s unapologetically defiant tone. The first time I heard the Smashing Pumpkins’ Tonight Tonight, I was weeping uncontrollably four notes in from the sheer beauty of the strings. I could probably spend a year just listening to Clint Mansell’s soundtrack from The Fountain; mind suspended in a state of euphoria; heart, a glowing sea of molten gold pounding itself into surf against my ribs.

And then there’s the existence of people like Muse’s Matthew Bellamy, whose vocal cords apparently have a direct line to my G-spot.

I need a cold shower just thinking about this concert.

Google tells me my sense of heightened arousal caused by music is a paraphilia called melolagnia. Yikes. Normally I like to be able to put names to the faces of all my little oddities, but is it just me or does “melolagnia” sound like some terribly unsexy medical affliction, like a suspicious mole’s lazy no-good brother-in-law who’s 41 and still lives in his parents’ basement?

“Oh yeah, baby, you send my melolagnia into overdrive.”
“…you probably should go get that checked out.”
“LOL, it’s not-”
“LALALALALALA can’t hear you, busy showering in bleach…”

Yeah, thanks, Google, but I think I’ll just stick with “prone to the occasional soundgasm”.

On a related note, I’m really hoping they’ll play Hysteria tonight, partly because it gives me a big ol’ bass guitar boner but also because I find the title delightfully apposite on a personal level, considering the whole female hysteria craze of yore.

Also on that note, fair warning; should this prove to be my final blog post, it means I died of a colossal excess of pleasure during Knights of Cydonia.

Please, do not mourn my passing.

It’s how I always hoped I’d go.