Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Update: Math is Hard!

Just kidding-- I haven't had to do any math in my new job yet. I did, however, come home from my first day at the new desk with a killer headache and a decided incapacity to keep my eyes open/focused on anything for any length of time. I'm still trying to determine if this was because of the (very bright) lights in my VERY OWN NEW OFFICE (did I mention the window? And my very own patio??), the staring-at-the-computer-all-day-long thing, the INTENSELY NASTY Febreze (Febreeze?) that somebody decided to drench our office hallway in, or the fact that I've been trying to wean myself off of the horrible Marty-is-away "diet" (which consists mostly of takeout sushi and loads of espresso flavoured chocolate) and have been experiencing intense caffeine withdrawal symptoms because of it. And I thought I was going to be so good and disciplined while he was away...

In related news, I positively cannot wait for Marty's return (tonight!!). I hate to sound like a suck, but this was the longest we've ever been apart since we met each other 4 and some years ago, and I found it rather rough. I got lots of cleaning and silly errands done, but I also managed to prove with empirical evidence that I have a wee bit of an emotional eating issue. And by issue, I mean that I ate nothing but CRAP the entire time Marty was away! (OK, OK-- I could have done much worse than takeout sushi, but I also could have done much better than German Cappuccino chocolate bars...) So much for that cleanse I did, and so long to fitting in my special pants. Le sigh.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Something.... Unexpected

I never thought I would see the day when Salt 'n' Pepa's song Whatta Man would be used to refer to Jesus. But it was! Explicitly! By the girls themselves! In a church! And I saw it! (Just don't ask me how or why. I don't want to talk about it.)

Yes, a number of key lyrics were edited/omitted to make the whole performance seem less dirty and to get around the whole 'this is the VERY DEFINITION of sacrilege' thing. But still, Jesus?! Something just doesn't feel right about it. But I'll let you be your own judge...

The lyrics: (graciously just copied, pasted, and left here in their original early 90s glory, without the added benefit of my social commentary written in brackets. For the record, that commentary would be mostly "???????????????"s, "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"s, and various permutations and combinations of the two. But anyway...)

Whatta Man

Yeah, yeah (Oooo)
Uh, hey hey
All right, yeah

What a man, what a man, what a man
What a mighty good man
What a man, what a man, what a man
What a mighty good man
What a man, what a man, what a man
What a mighty good man
What a man, what a man, what a man
What a mighty good man

I wanna take a minute or two, and give much respect due
To the man that's made a difference in my world
And although most men are ho's he flows on the down low
Cuz I never heard about him with another girl
But I don't sweat it because it's just pathetic
To let it get me involved in that he said/she said crowd
I know that ain't nobody perfect, I give props to those who deserve it
And believe me y'all, he's worth it
So here's to the future cuz we got through the past
I finally found somebody that can make me laugh(Ha ha ha)
You so crazyI think I wanna have your baby


My man is smooth like Barry, and his voice got bass
A body like Arnold with a Denzel face
He's smart like a doctor with a real good rep
And when he comes home he's relaxed with Pep
He always got a gift for me everytime I see him
A lot of snot-nosed ex-flames couldn't be him
He never ran a corny line once to me yet
So I give him stuff that he'll never forget
He keeps me on Cloud Nine just like the Temps
He's not a fake wannabe tryin' to be a pimp
He dresses like a dapper don, but even in jeans
He's a God-sent original, the man of my dreams

Yes, my man says he loves me, never says he loves me not
Tryin' to rush me good and touch me in the right spot
See other guys that I've had, they tried to play all that mac shit
But every time they tried I said, "That's not it"
But not this man, he's got the right potion
Baby, rub it down and make it smooth like lotion
Yeah, the ritual, highway to heaven
From seven to seven he's got me open like Seven Eleven
And yes, it's me that he's always choosin'
With him I'm never losin', and he knows that my name is not Susan
He always has heavy conversation for the mind
Which means a lot to me cuz good men are hard to find


My man gives real loving that's why I call him Killer
He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller
He takes his time and does everything right
Knocks me out with one shot for the rest of the night
He's a real smooth brother, never in a rush
And he gives me goose pimples with every single touch
Spends quality time with his kids when he can
Secure in his manhood cuz he's a real man
A lover and a fighter and he'll knock a knucker out
Don't take him for a sucker cuz that's not what he's about
Every time I need him, he always got my back
Never disrespectful cuz his mama taught him that

CHORUS (Fade out)

Truly... could I even make this shit up?? I don't think so.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Scent of A Woman

At the risk of sounding a tad preoccupied and more-than-a-tad strange, I have been thinking quite a bit about smells lately. I have been paying more attention than usual to the smells that linger after people brush by, and it has left me wondering what my own scent is-- do I leave a tell-tale odor behind? Something that people can recognize instantly as my own? And pray tell, is it a good smell or a bad one??

Mostly I've been noticing how suffocated and allergic I feel to all varieties of synthetic perfumes, from Ex'cla.ma'tion fragrance ("Make a Statement Without Saying a Word" is right!! Yuck!) all the way up to Coco Chanel. I'm not sure if there's a common denominator ingredient in all perfumes that sets me off, but seriously-- I just can't handle them. Neither can Marty (thank goodness for that. We can be soulmates in our immuno-fragility.)

It never used to be like this. I started off trying to rip off my best friend's 'signature fragrance' (it was Ex'cla.ma'tion) in Grade 6 or 7 but then quickly progressed to a marginally more expensive drugstore perfume called "Longing". (It was classy with a 'k'.) There were the years (or maybe just months) when I wore CK One along with every single person in my Grade 8 class (so unisex!) and then I capped my illustrious perfume career off with Gap Dream... or maybe it was Gap Sun or something else like it. Something Gap. Something early 90s.

And then one day, within the span of a few hours it seems, I became allergic. I secretly blame the woman who sat in front of my sister and I at the movie theatre. We were watching Titanic. We were probably swooning at the time, though we would vehemently deny it years later. We possibly even denied seeing Titanic at all. At least in the theatre. 2 or 3 separate times. In any case, you didn't hear this from me.

The woman sitting in front of us at the theatre must have had a full-blown phobia of smelling badly. I infer this because as part of her coping mechanisms, she proceeded to douse herself (and I do mean douse) with a nasty lilac-ish smelling concoction at least every 20-30 minutes during the movie. Might I remind you that Titanic is nearly 3 hours long?? (At least from what I've read... couldn't tell you from personal or repeated experiences or anything...) By the end of the movie, the scent of synthetic flowers had been burned through our nostrils and stuffed like cotton into our skulls. We tried blowing our noses to get the lilac out. It didn't help. (By this time, the smell had crusted on to every one of our nostril hairs, and they weren't letting go.) We tried changing our clothes and washing our hair. This did help, but unfortunately, that essence of fake lilac has been chemically imprinted into my soul forever. In a very bad way.

Today, I'm OK with the scent of essential oils and if I had to go with an artificially scented anything (like if somebody was forcing me to buy a Glade Plug-In at gunpoint or something), I'm best off with smells like citrus, lavender, or vanilla. Everything else-- flowers, 'spicy undertones', mountainy springy breezes, rainshowers, etc. are no good for me. This makes it pretty difficult to shop for things ranging from dish detergents (I use Ecover) to shampoos (Aveda) to air fresheners (um, Nag Champa, if needed?), but I manage.

I still wonder, though, what kind of scent I leave lingering when I pass by people in the halls? Is it an unscented scent? A 'natural' scent (whatever that means)? Hopefully I smell like my DoBeClean soap or even my Tom's Of Maine deodorant and not anything displeasing or nasty. Or perhaps my non-scent scent makes the people wearing Coco Chanel feel suffocated and allergic. There's a thought.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Something to Brighten Your Day

I know that when you think of things that might brighten an otherwise drab or nondescript day, a terribly sad and disturbed baby face doesn't immediately come to mind. Unicorns and puppies MAYBE, but babies with obviously sad and/or angry eyebrows? Not usually. Conventional wisdom aside, though... is Lily cute or WHAT??!

Wednesday has affectionately dubbed this photo the "You're Not My Parents!" look. I love it. And lest you think she was one giant cranky pants on her first birthday, check out the raw, unfiltered, and unadulterated delight she exudes when discovering that the pyramid of rainbow-coloured plastic donuts is, indeed, being gifted to her:

(chin disappears into back-up chin and neck) We should all have something in this world that causes this much excitement/chins! Something to reflect upon... You may resume your regular activities now.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Let's Discuss: Hugh Grant

If there is one (more) thing you should know about Marty, it is that he cannot stand Hugh Grant. At all. He has no tolerance for the man-- for his pretending- to- be- bashful- when- he- is- probably- incurably- conceited- in- real- life movie star smile, for playing many a slimeball, potentially without even needing to act, and for umpteen other reasons that Marty cannot clearly articulate-- it is enough for me to see his exaggerated eye rolling and to hear his hiss of sheer disdain to know without a doubt how Marty feels about Hugh. (It's like me with J. Lo movies.) The thing is, Marty is mostly unwavering in his anti-Hugh Grant stance, even when faced with persuasive movies like Love, Actually, which make it nearly impossible to feel anything but lightheaded and decidedly pro-love afterward. (In that case, Marty felt goofily pro-love afterward but still very much anti-Hugh. Some things never change.)

I certainly sympathize with Marty's feelings about Hugh Grant. I have an extremely hard time getting into movies where he is the object of attraction or affection-- I just don't find them believable or even plausible. I also don't actively seek out Hugh Grant movies when I'm going to the theatre or renting a movie, like "Oooh, Hugh Grant is in this?! Let's go see it, hon, pretty please???" Not a chance. Here's where Marty and I differ in our views on Hugh, though: I think Hugh does a pretty great job in his more smarmy roles. So what if he's not acting in them? I get a kick out of Hugh Grant playing scum.

Seeing as we have an unspoken 'no Hugh Grant' rule in our household, I usually only see his movies when Marty is away. (And for the record, this isn't because I'm 'finally casting off the yoke of Marty's irrational and totally unfair decree that thou shalt not watch Hugh Grant movies in my presence', it's more like I go to library to rent some DVDs while Marty is gone and a Hugh Grant movie just happens to be there. Let's get one thing straight, OK? I have no overriding urge to see Hugh Grant movies at all cost.) Anyway, back to the point:
one of my movies- to- watch- while- Marty- is- living- like- a- king- at- training- camp- in- California * (sniff!) was American Dreamz. Can I just say how much I loved this movie?

Tongue-in-cheek spoofs of American Idol + tongue-in-cheek spoofs of American politics = Recipe for a perfectly entertaining movie on a Sunday afternoon

Yes, it did technically star HUGH in a leading role, but I think that jazz hands, Superfreak, and Dennis Quaid using 'Gee-dammit' as a swear word have the potential to soften up any resistance, even Marty's stalwart "Just Say No To Hugh" stance. Just a thought.

* And to confirm: Yes, Marty is on his way to beautiful and sunny California for an intensive cycling training camp as we speak. It's not all roses, though-- he is expected to endure a 100- 160 km bike ride each and every day he's there. But anyway: as is always the case when he leaves, I sobbed like a little baby while I was bidding him farewell. It's like a reflex, this weeping: I have no control over it whatsoever, and even if I resolve that I will be stronger and less overcome by emotion the next time he goes on a trip of sorts, it never happens. Part of me wants to be more 'grown up' and stoic in the face of his leaving (especially because seriously: it's only for a few days!), but another part of me secretly never wants to become somebody who doesn't feel any sadness, even if it only lasts for a little while, when the person they love departs. I miss you, my dearest! xoxo

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wednesday, Wednesday

The abridged life story of my middle sister, Wednesday:

1. Born in 1983; very soon overshadows me (her older sister by 20 months) in size, smarts, and cool factor.

2. Never one to be put in a box-- resists boxiness in all incarnations: cribs, stereotypes, sweaters that are too short and too wide at the same time, 80s haircuts, etc.

3. Some time in between elementary and junior high school, grows 5 (or 6 or 7) vertical inches but stays the same weight. Describes her new figure good-naturedly as a "ruler with apples on the front"; incurs silent admiration mixed with envy from her shorter, more curvaceous sisters.

4. Does not play "The Game". Wears everything from camera film to plastic farm animals in her hair, accepts an award for Highest Standing student at school wearing a grey 50s maid outfit and pink rubber gloves up to her elbows, and delivers a scathing (yet incredibly perceptive) critique of the junior high experience in her final project: while everyone else is writing yearbook-esque poems about 'never losing touch' and 'having a great time!', she delivers a mock Teen magazine cover with the headliner: "QUIZ: ARE YOU NORMAL?" Touche.

5. Decides to pursue a Fibre degree in art college. Finds her element.

6. Continues to make her older sister proud, amused, amazed, envious, and sometimes even a little bit horrified (but only when her outfits incorporate neon yellow and/or appliqued cat images. The above image does NOT fall into the 'making her older sister horrified' category. I love the Christmas-esque 80s workout attire. LOVE IT!)

Happy 25th birthday, Wednesday! I love you so much.

xo, li'l bro!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

V.D.: Are You a Lover or a Fighter?

Forget the glistening tear of the regretful 'if only I'd have known' variety: I happen to be a lover of Valentine's Day. Whether I've been single, dating, or married like I am now, I say you can't go wrong with a day that celebrates LOVE with CHOCOLATE! (Two of my favourite things!) True, I feel like the definition of love that gets celebrated on Valentine's Day proper is very hetero, straight-edged, and commercial, but still-- one can technically celebrate any kind of love on any day at all. Valentine's is just a great time to get everything in a red or pink wrapper and shaped like a heart! And chocolate! Did I mention the chocolate?

In honour of the Day of Love, and to pay homage to my New Favourite Blog of All Time, MegFowler.com, I am going to post my very own Love List!

(For those of you not yet in the know... and believe me, you should run right now to become in the know... OK, maybe not right now but perhaps after you finish reading MY post, Meg Fowler typically posts a weekly-ish Love List to chronicle things, people, and places that she's enamoured with for the moment. I love how specific, random, and always changing these lists are. Plus: When I read them, it makes my love for Mason jars feel AOK!)

Dana L.'s Love List: Because Really, What's NOT to Love?

- Marty
- Growing whole plants at home from single leaves or stems
- Thrift shopping
- Scoring priceless finds at thrift stores or used book stores (see: 'The Teenager and VD' example above. Priceless.)
- Tarot cards
- Decks of cards in general
- Rye bread with caraway seeds
- Lighthouses and windmills
- Religious icons
- Embroidery
- Alpaca wool
- Butter!
- Licorice Spice tea
- Depeche Mode, especially (at the moment), the Violator album
- Subtitled movies
- Found magazine
- Hummus! (All types: regular, roasted red pepper, roasted garlic, black bean, etc.)
- Sushi
- Listening to the same CD every night softly as I fall asleep
- Lavender
- Seeing crocuses sprouting up in FEBRUARY (February, people!)
- Finding new, non-saddlebag hiking pants
- Reading my horoscope at work; emailing it to Marty when it seems dead on
- Sending and receiving postcards
- Secretly plotting surprises for people I know
- Remembering random bits of information about people: scaring them a little if I bring said details up in conversation
- Our food processor
- Being an aunt but not a mom
- Reading blogs at work; stumbling across new blogs through other blogs
- Acupuncture
- Girl Guide patches
- NHL hockey
- My big pot of all natural beeswax lipgloss from The Beehive in Calgary (not to be confused with the Beehive here in Victoria)
- My retro 70's floor lamp, given to me FOR FREE by Janet
- signing notes as "Dana, M.A.", and putting my 6 years of postsecondary education to good use
- walking/hiking/kickboxing ASS enough that my muscles ache for days afterward
- making soup; feeling superior and extraordinarily healthy at work when my coworkers ask me if I made it myself
- making plans to knit amazing things; accumulating supplies to make amazing things
- red, pink, and orange things
- dance-offs and choreographed dance scenes
- 80s and 90s dance music, though only in small doses (What is love? Baby, don't hurt me!)
- Funny home videos... not America's Funniest, but something similar... especially reels with people falling down, slipping, or losing their balance. I know, I'm a horrible, horrible person

... and YOU?

(The tradition now is to either post a mini-list in the comments or to post your very own Love List on your blog and link to it in the comments! SPREAD THE LOVE, people! And Happy V.D.!)

When I grow up, I want to be just like Celia Deschin, Ph.D. Love those glasses!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Lesson Learned the Hard Way

I had been following a gently cleansing diet for nearly 2 months before I went to Calgary last week. Yes, I also did the Wild Rose D-Tox as part of it. (I must have been inspired by Karen's tales of 'ass blasting trips to the loo'... or not.) Even though, from the outset, it sounds nearly impossible to stick to an eating plan that forbids such wonderful foods as:

- chocolate
- cheese (and yogurt. And dairy except for butter. BLESS BUTTER!)
- fermented foods including vinegar (no pickles!), tempeh, soy sauce, yeasts, and alcohol
- wheat and flour
- refined sugars, including honey
- caffeine
- tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, papaya, and even dried fruits and grapes

... I find my body really loves me back when I make a valiant attempt to cut the crap out. It (my body) rewards me in multiple ways for my efforts, like keeping my stomach regular-looking and not bloated out like a nine-month pregnant belly every night; keeping my skin clear and more elastic; affording me more energy and stamina; and even letting me slip back into my favourite pair of pants without busting any seams. (My ma bought them for me in Thailand, where the sizes go something like: XXXS, XXS, XS, S, or GIANT THAI FISHERMAN'S PANTS FOR MEN. Of course they will always be too small unless I'm very diligent. Very. Very. Diligent.)

'The Pants' when they fit, circa 2006. Please ignore the 'long-haired-cat-in-a-steam-bath' look of the top half. FOCUS ON THE BOTTOM HALF!

Alas, although a cleansing diet helps transform 'Dana L.' into 'SUPER FABULOUS Dana L.', one (major) downside to the regiment is that I'd need much more than imaginary super powers to keep it up while on the road or visiting with... pretty much anybody. (Aside from my equally-sensitive-to-nearly-every-food-on-this-earth friends, and I have to say, I have quite a few of them!) Try stopping at any restaurant or eating over at anybody's house and handing them a list of all the 'do not eat' foods. That would pretty much be your cue to leave... Thank goodness I'm a social recluse for the most part!

When we went to Calgary, I decided to adopt the 'resistance is futile' motto, especially because I knew we would be staying at my inlaws' place, where fried foods, white flour, and melted cheese reign queen. I figured that I had been eating so well and being so good for so long that I could afford to relax the rules a little bit-- nay, I even deserved a break from all my saintliness.

Let's never do that again, OK?

We celebrated Marty's belated birthday with one of his mom's specialties: a monstrosity of a cake that managed to combine nearly half of the 'not allowed' foods into one gloriously elaborate confection. In one sitting, I ate a piece of white, wheat flour cake mixed with COCONUT CHOCOLATE and filled with layers of pudding, whipped cream, and pineapples. Oh, and sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. (I declined the offer to wash it down with a glass of red wine.) Resistance is futile, right?

As I was eating the cake, I thought to myself: 'This isn't so bad. It's not like the sugar and flour and dairy and tropical fruits and chocolate are killing me'. But then I had to digest it all. And let's just say I might as well have strapped a john to my ass (no, not that kind of john-- THIS IS A DIRT FREE BLOG! Well, sort of. I am talking about ass-blasting trips to the loo after all...).

The problem with the whole situation is that I only know how terrible I felt afterward, but not what food specifically triggered the horribleness. The whole point of eliminating so many foods at once is to re-introduce them gradually, and one at a time, so that your body can tell you plain as day what feels good and what doesn't. None of this smörgåsbord of everything-bad-all-at-once.
So it's time to start over now, isn't it? On Sunday when we got back home, I made not one but two wholesome soups, and I've been diving back into the goodness of salads and grains again. And butter. Sweet, sweet butter.

Lessons learned: 1. Resistance is NOT futile. Vive le resistance! 2. When trying to strike a balance in the eating department, the balance does NOT consist of nothing-nothing-and-nothing on one hand, and sugar-wheat-flour-dairy-more dairy-chocolate-and-pineapples on the other. But wouldn't it be neat if it did?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dear Calgary:

After visiting you again on the fly for a few days last week, I have to say that I am wholly glad we broke up when I moved to the island a year and some ago. The long distance thing wouldn't have worked very well, and I have to say that I just can't deal with many of the things that go hand-in-hand with living together.

The floor mats in stores that are soaking wet with the snowy sludge of a thousand other people's dirty shoes? I don't miss those mats at all, and my pant hems also appreciate not getting doused anymore (although it is much more rainy here in Victoria than it ever will be in Calgary).

Crawling through traffic in a sea of Hummers and SUVs, spending hours on the Deerfoot just to get from Marty's parent's place to see my own family on the other side of town? I don't miss that, either.

Brown grass, salty roads, gravel and ice caked together where the adventurous dare to ride their bikes on the daily commute, so many people in a hurry all the time, biting wind that pierces through even the thickest of fleece/merino wool outfits, and temperatures that routinely change 30 or 40 degrees overnight (for better or for worse)-- I'm glad to be done with it all. Yes, Calgary, it was wise of us to end our long term relationship.

Our hot new van against the splendid (and green!) surroundings on the island

Our hot new van looking dirty and cold in the freezing conditions of Calgary. Notice the Traffic-esque cinematography of the blue hues. Nasty.

It's not all doom and gloom, though, Calgary-- although I have my issues, I am not so bitter an ex that all I can muster up is an unequivocal slam of you. Indeed, there are things I cherish about you and even miss about you. In no particular order (and not counting my family and friends-- those are just too obvious), these include:

Great falafels. Why oh why, in the restaurant capital of Canada, can I not seem to find a good, even a decent, falafel? There are some paltry imitations here in Victoria, but I have yet to stumble across anything that wins me over. Calgary, you still reign king in the falafel department.

Big skies. I always thought it was cliche and cowboyish to comment on the grandeur of prairie skies, but last Thursday, when the sky was mostly clear and the temperature was pleasantly mild, I saw more sky than I had seen in many months on the island. It was beautiful.

The MEC store. Two glorious levels of outdoor gear! Ach, Calgary-- you've left me pining for everything from hiking socks to full on kayaks!

Kananaskis. So close and so chock full of adventure! Also included in this category: a wide selection of detailed and accurate topographical maps of hiking trails. Why is there no such thing here on the island? Or random 'estimated distances' for island hikes? It doesn't help when the '4 km' hike ends up taking 4 whole hours! How are we supposed to plan our day trips that way??

The Farmer's Market at Currie Barracks. We have plenty of farmer's markets here in Vic, but nothing compares to the indoor goodness of the Calgary market and the sweetness of Lund's organic carrots.

Various restaurants: The Coup, Cadence, Diner Deluxe, Cedar's Deli, and Infusion restaurant out in Bragg Creek. Though I have to say, the sushi restaurants here in Victoria kick some serious ass, and the Blue Nile Ethiopian restaurant here gives our old favourite, Marathon, some stiff competition.

Yes, Calgary, you are complex and I feel love and non-love for you at the same time. Mostly, I love how you prepared me to fully appreciate the beautiful place I live now.

Time Goes By/So Slowly

Oh, who am I kidding? One day, our little chops (or 'Chopz', as we like to call her- it's more festive that way) was resting peacefully in her incubator, a mere 4 and some pounds:

Then I blinked and it was her first birthday!

Rockin' the birthday suit for her first birthday! February 08, 2008

I have to say, she is an incredible little girl (even though the total time I have spent in her company still adds up to less than 12 hours). She is clever, a little bit devious (just like her mom!), gorgeous, and most importantly: healthy and happy. I wish she would have bared her actual chops for some photos during our drive-by visit... but no go. I am thrilled to bits that she sports a GIANT space in between her two front teeth-- at latest check, a whole two nickels worth! Aw... that means she's family!

Happy birthday, Lily! Go, C-H-O-P-Z!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

"I Like Math?!" and other Shocking Realizations

As much as we talk about the need to 'think outside the box', or about not wanting others to put us in a box, or to label us, or to define us by such narrow standards, the truth is that we often put ourselves into our own boxes without even realizing it. Our identities are so tied up with particular elements that their box-like status becomes invisible to us, until of course somebody exposes them for what they really are: damn hell ass boxes!

For the greater part of my life, I have put myself into various (but always cool, right?) boxes: the vegetarian box (which is of course made out of 100 % post-consumer materials and will be recycled if ever I choose to step out of it); the 'i hate to debate for the sake of debating' box, the chocoholic box, and the 'alternative' (whatever that means) box. Boxes I have religiously avoided or distanced myself from include the 'let's critically engage with the issues because we're scholars and that's what scholars do' box, the 'practicing Roman Catholic' box, and others that I will choose not to mention here, lest the sarcasm and subtle nuances of the descriptions be misinterpreted on the other end (and we don't want to give anybody a stroke now, do we?).

Anyway, one box that has never really crossed the path I identify with contains all sorts of math people: accountants, engineers, mathematicians, physicists, etc. I have many friends in said professions, but nothing about that math box ever enticed me enough to want to jump in. Despite my (totally fake) near-perfect averages in all my high school math classes, it was the subject I dropped out of my life as soon as I had the chance (bless the Faculty of Communication and Culture for that). In my mind, math and I just didn't jive. And if we ever did jive, it was because we were forced to, a la the social dance unit in junior high dance classes. In other words, math had the potential to be fun and exhilarating, but mostly it was awkward and disastrous in practice.

Getting to the point of this post (in a roundabout way), as I hinted last time, I have been feeling the blahs at my job lately. We were insanely busy for the last 4 months, and then all of a sudden everything stopped, and I was left surfing the internet for most of my days. I love surfing the net as much as anyone else, but when it comes down to it, I'd really prefer my job to be challenging, stimulating, and to keep me busy for the full 8 hours versus paying me just to sit there and be bored. Just saying.

I started looking for other work-- something different, and then I felt guilty for never being satisfied with where I am and for always keeping an eye out for something better. (I might not be a practicing Roman Catholic, but I certainly am a recovering one!) A new job was posted in my workplace, and 3 out of 5 managers asked me to please apply for it. But when I looked at the job description, at the scattered and vague job requirements, my first thought was 'I'd rather vomit'. So I kept my eyes wandering...

Yesterday, in the strange and auspicious voice of the universe, I was asked if I would consider applying for a vacant accounting assistant position in the organization, and strangely, I found myself saying yes. I SAID YES!!! This comes from the woman who swore off math like a bad habit, who dreads tax time every year (except for the refund part!), and who thought (up until a few hours ago) that numbers of all sorts were best used like a narcotic to induce a deep, coma-like sleep.

Since when are math and I best friends again... or, for that matter, at all?

How I can potentially rationalize this complete deviation from my norm:

1. I might not particularly like numbers, but I am very good at solving problems and finding patterns.
2. I have a secret crush on counting money and adding things up. (Just don't get me started on the subtraction business. Or any long division.)
3. Apparently, I am extremely good at entering in random codes and numbers at lightning speed, and having them be correct.
4. As much as I love the open-endedness and creativity of qualitative inquiry, I equally love it when there is only one right answer to any given problem. It's like the job description of accounting is to have things balance out-- each and every time, and honestly, who doesn't love balance?
5. Even if I cannot comprehend why on earth I would ever want to pursue something in accounting, I trust that when the universe practically drops a job in my lap, it's for a damn good reason. I just haven't got the foggiest idea what that reason could be yet.

The next steps (i.e. applying for the position, picking out a pair of sensible 'accounting' shoes and an equally sensible/conservative pair of glasses to wear on the job) are still in the works, so for the time being I'm still bored and surfing the internet at work. However, starting tomorrow, I have a whole week off, so I can sit back and let the universe orchestrate my next wacky adventure and you can all tune in to see it unfold when I get back!