It's Sunday. It's not yet ten in the morning. I should be spending the day chilling on my balcony in my new hammock instead of working.
Outside the monkeyco office, there are hordes of grown men playing street hockey and high fiving each other. I'm six stories up, I can hear the sticks on the pavement and the boisterousness of men who clearly don't have anything better to do with their lives except to play early morning street hockey...
Guys, it's bad enough I have to work today, but did you have to rub it in as well?
Life isn't fair.
[ed note: Hm...maybe I should take a break later and bring the boys a beer...]
My lack of fluency in any language other than English is notorious within monkeyco which does not bode well for me considering that we are predominantly owned and occupied by people who barely speak English. My fluency in Chinglish and Biblical Hebrew do me no wonders either, hence I’ve been trying to teach myself Spanish and French.
Perhaps I should have focused on one language at a time. My reading comprehension of French is passable. My written abilities definitely sub par, and my spoken abilities even worse. My Spanish, believe me, is worse than that.
Somewhere along the line, I learned a few phrases…
Buenos dias. Good morning.
Mucho gusto. I’m pleased to meet you.
Donde esta el bano. Where is the washroom?
Estoy muy caliente. I’m very horny. (I have NO idea where I got this.)
I purchased a Lonely Planet Spanish phrasebook for the turtle saving trip to Costa Rica, thinking ambitiously that perhaps I could learn a couple of key phrases so that I could say something meaningful to the locals. (By meaningful, I mean, other than ordering a cerveza and saying something other than please and thank you and I’m very horny which I'm sure could land me in a world of trouble.)
I flipped through the book, and landed in the “Relationship” chapter…
Lo siento, no puedu levantarla. I can’t get it up, sorry.
No te preocupes, lo hago yo. Don’t worry, I’ll do it myself.
WTF?? What kind of people are writing this thing? As if I would have the phrasebook in one hand, and God knows what else in the other…
Of course, when I started teaching myself French for “increased communicative abilities” with fellow coworkers at monkeyco, I HAD to purchase the Lonely Planet French phrasebook.
I flipped through the book, and landed in the “Romance” chapter…
plus fort Harder.
plus vite Faster
Chouette alors! Oh yeah!
C’est sensationnel. That’s great.
Vas-y mollo. Easy tiger.
I’m thinking wow, French really is the langue d’amour and then I flipped through a couple more pages, and read a few more phrases.
He was tall, asian (whoa, where did THAT come from?) and a little bit funny looking. He was wearing scrubs, and his ID badge read St. Michael's Hospital (i.e. just around the corner from Monkeyco). His name started with an R... Robert... Rene... Renforth... R... R... argh...
Gosh darn it, did he ever make my heart flutter.
So, man-of-my-dreams, if you really do exist and you're not just a figment of my short-circuiting REM cycles, meet me between 9:00 - 9:15 at the Tim Hortons around the corner. I'm there practically every morning. You know where it is.
[ed note: You know what this REALLY means though... no more late night House marathons.]
In university, I had a dust-coloured hamster named Harley that I bought from Petsmart and named after the bike that roared past us on the way back to my shitty basement apartment. I probably should have named him Ralph, but Harley was the first thing that popped into my head, so Harley he became, and Harley he remained.
Harley and I were alike in very many ways. We slept like logs during the day, and both liked cheese and cheese flavoured snacks. We hated when people poked us and tormented us (sorry Ro!) and we both woke up extremely grumpy.
We bonded at night; he running in his little wheel as fast as his scrawny little legs could carry him, me “studying” late into the night and watched fuzzy football on my 20 year old rabbit-eared television. Sometimes I’d put him into his hamsterball, and he’d run around leaving a trail of hamster poo behind him. He liked his freedom and escaped as often as possible, once crawling into bed with me and scaring the crap right out of me.
Occasionally, I’d let Harley run around on my desk while I did my studio projects (brilliant plan to avoid exams by taking art studio 101 turned out extremely time consuming and not so brilliant). He’d run around my desk sniffing at my ink, and nibbling on whatever crumbles I had on my desk. And then he’d poop.
[Aside: I don’t know if you’ve seen hamsters poo. Very interesting… very gross. Harley had a habit of reclining on his back, sticking his huge bum in the air, pooing a little poo-stub, and then using his MOUTH to grab the little poo-stub to pull out the rest of the poo, and then FLINGING it as hard as he could.]
One night before the deadline of a huge drawing assignment, I lost track of time. I was drawing and smudging and erasing as fast as I possible could, and quite simply forgot that Harley was roaming around my desk getting into his usual mischief. Deep in concentration, I put my B2 pencil into my mouth, chewing on it as I reached for another pencil.
Something eventually clicked in my mind…
Hm… something isn’t quite right? Why is there an old raisin stuck on my pencil? I wasn’t snacking on rais… OMG… IT’S HAMSTER POO!!!
Freak of a little rat (RIP) had fling his little thing onto my pencil where it had dried so that I could chew on it.
It was like having Stacy and Clinton (of What Not to Wear fame) following my every move.
“No more boots. Your running shoes are for RUNNING only. Just because they have a little pink does not make them cute.”
“No more black. You need COLOURS!!”
“No more no-name jeans. You need jeans that LIFT AND SEPARATE.”
This weekend’s “Shop. Eat. Shop. Eat.” trip to Montreal was a blast. We hit Simons, Cour de Mont Royal, Saint Laurent; shopped until my credit card smoked and my bank account emptied. Major deals were scored, and we walked away knowing that better prices would not be possible at any outlet mall below the border.
We shopped until exhaustion.
And then we ate. Oh, how we ate. Justin bistro a vin for foie gras, Kaizen’s for sushi, Schwartz for smoked meat sandwiches… and Bubba’s in Kingston for Italian poutine. Sure, it was partially an eating trip, but the sheer amount of food consumed… incredible. I’m stunned that I don’t need to shop again to accommodate the consequences of our gluttony.
Three things I learned during the family trip to Hawaii:
1) I am no longer terrified to death of sharks. Surfing in shark infested waters is fun!
2) Never tell the Maternal One that you don't know where you're going... even if you really have no idea where you're going, and she's the only one who's ever been there before.
3) The polite thing to answer when someone (i.e. a boy) asks you what you’re doing that night is not “meh.” Instead, you should answer, “We want to go to a club, but we don’t know where. Do you have any suggestions?”
While staying in the Montreal Sofitel, QWW and I came up with the most brilliant of brilliant plans to meet single eligible businessmen.
Over breakfast in swanky hotel restaurants…
While these single eligible businessmen chill over their eggs bene and coffee in the early hours of morning, not only are they impeccably dressed (thus weeding out the gainfully employed from the not-so-gainfully employed), but they’re usually alone (and far away from home) thereby making them more susceptible to conversation openers such as “Are you done with that newspaper?” or “Do you know of a good place in [insert city here] that has a good bar and great music?”
Chances are they’ll jump at the opportunity to get to know sexy single women because 1) we all know that what happens out of town stays out of town, 2) meeting new people helps the evenings pass by faster (instead of watching Friends reruns in the hotel gym), and 3) as QWW so eloquently argued… “morning wood.”