With a Whimper or a Bang, I’m out.

Dear Future Leslee,

Listen, I haven’t posted in three weeks. It isn’t so much that nothing good has happened, but more that I just don’t feel inspired to talk about it. And that’s the sad part, really: I don’t feel much like blogging in my usual style. Funny shit still goes down, but my insensical love of italics and caps just isn’t making it happen. Which brings me to my point: it’s time to retire this blog.

I can’t say exactly how I came to this conclusion. Afterall, I’ve gone weeks without posting before, but never weeks without wanting to blog. These last few times, though, I would stop by, and look at the “add new post” page, and get kind of sad. And then I’d go to craiglist and day-dream about puppies.

That was a sign.

Many blogs seem to fade away to nothingness, posts slowing down and then eventually stopping completely, without fanfare and without a proper farewell. I don’t want this to happen here. I loved this blog, and some of you loved this blog too, for awhile. It isn’t a failure because it’s ending – it’s a grand sucess for existing. I blogged for a long time! 62 posts; nearly a year of regular wackyness. I’m proud of that.

It’s been a helluva ride.

Not that I’m going to stop writing. That’s crazy talk. I’ll be blogging over at letterstofuturelifeforms.wordpress.com, which is a brand spanking new blog for my brand spanking new ramblings. I will still occasionally yell about people on the bus, but I will also write poorly-spellchecked treatise on happiness, internet dating, war, Christianity and whatever else I might strike my fancy. There will be Big Ideas. There will be little ideas. The style will be different. But it will still be magical.

Things end, things begin. I’m a little sad. But I’m ready.

Thank you to everyone who made this an experience worth having. Thank you to everyone who read and commented and wrote me private facebook messages with the best, most heart-warming sentiments I could ask for. I love you all.

“…the chief commodity a writer has to sell is his courage. And if he has none, he is more than a coward. He is a sell out and a fink and heretic, because writing is a holy chore.” -Harlan Ellison.

This blog has been wonderful to me. It has given me a sense of community, it has given my voice a place to live, and most importantly, it has made someone laugh. Laughter is truly a holy chore; everythink else is housekeeping.

Thanks, everybody, for everything.

See you on the other side,

Past Leslee.

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Stupid things are stupid, also traveling

Dear Future Me:

You know what? Shit’s stupid sometime. My new job, which is amazing (and also my excuse for not having updated in forever) has been screwing up. Hilariously. And I don’t want to talk to much about it (because it’s the internet, and I’m paranoid) but basically: my old boss never filed the paperwork to terminate me, so my new job couldn’t file the paperwork to hire me. So I don’t actually officially have my job yet.

I tried to get an ECOpass, and couldn’t, and then I tried to terminate myself from my last job, which ALSO didn’t work, then I cried a bunch, and then I asked my HR person if I could please please please get paid, because, you know, I feel like that’s reasonable. Anyway, the pay thing will probably work.  Which is nice. I guess.

Then, I went to get my passport, and somehow in the process I misplaced a page of the application. I could definitely fill it in memory, but didn’t have a spare copy. So I asked the nice girl at the desk if she could print me one, and she said she “didn’t have access to it”, ‘it’ being the internet. Seriously? I call shenanigans. Also, apparently I can’t use any pages from their application, because it “looks suspicious”. WHAT. THE. HELL.

And then I walked back to Ontario from Gatineau, because none of the buses were running  in the direction I was going. Golden.

In better news, I’M FUCKING GOING TO FUCKING ENGLAND FOR FUCKING CHRISTMAS. This is awesome, for several reasons: one, I’ll be in England, and two I won’t be with my family! You might think I’d miss the warmth and friendliness of my kin during the holiday season, but you’d be stupid. The WORST time to be with your family is at Christmas, especially when they’re crazy. Did I ever tell you about the year that Christmas was almost ruined by turnips?

No? That’s because it’s not even fucking noteworthy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. They are amazing, crazy people. But you know what? They are amazing crazy people all year long. We can get together some random Thursday and have dinner and experience family togetherness and then we can all piss off, and there isn’t any stress to speak of. I spent last Christmas breaking up with my boyfriend and hanging out alone with the Gorg’s cat, and that was probably the third best Christmas ever.

So, England. At Christmas. Unless the guy I’m going to visit gets a girlfriend in the interim, at which point: too bad, I’m sleeping on the floor. Relationship ruined.

Otherwise, I’ve started the second level of swing dancing! And it’s awesome! Except that one of the guys in our class is the Trololo guy.

I have danced with this guy like six times.

TERRIFYING. But fun! Like singing without moving your mouth.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted about all my adventures.

Yours,

Past Leslee.

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IS IT BEARS? – How I Sleep

Dear Future Leslee,

If you know me, you know that I am a slightly neurotic obsessive-compulsive hippie grandma robot, and it’s weird. One of the ways that this weirdness manifests itself is in my sleeping requirements, because while I can sleep pretty much anywhere and anyhow, I have very specific needs when it comes to really enjoying my sleep.

First, there is the outfit. I HATE sleeping barefoot, and have a very hard time sleeping without socks. Feeling my feet touch things is weird, okay? Doesn’t it bother you when you’re just hanging out, trying to nod off, and then one of your feet touches the other?? No? My point exactly.

Next, I need to sleep in long sleeves and full-length pants, because I am always cold, even in the summer. If I have short pants, then my legs touch each other, and that’s just weird, and if I have short sleeves then my arms get cold unless they are always under the covers. I often sleep in sweaters, because I simply stop producing body heat unless I am concentrating very, very hard.

The hardest part of sleeping, however, is sleeping with other people. Other people like to snuggle in their sleep, or fall asleep spooning, or some other bullshit. I hate it when people touch me in my sleep, because I am such an incredibly light sleeper and so innately high-strung that I assume that if you are touching me it is to wake me up because bears are attacking. Or something.

HOLY CRAP BEARS

Why else would you touch me in my sleep if not to warn me of imminent danger? If the house is not on fire, then stay on your own damn side of the bed. I’m not opposed to a post-bone cuddle, but once we need to get on with the business of sleep, you need to stay a foot away from me at all times.

I probably wouldn’t be so bad, but my last Mancandy was notorious for hitting me in the face in his sleep, or launching himself into a sitting position by slamming his hands down into the bed…and my chest. Like Riker, he led with his beard, so more than once when he turned over I got head-butted in the face. By the end of our relationship the slightest transgression onto my side of the bed provoked an immediate flight-or-fight response, and also a defensive scooching-over as far as possible.

All this to say that not only do I feel justified in being incredibly stressed while sleeping but also that I have come up with some helpful diagrams to illustrate just what I’m looking for in a good sleep.

The following diagram shows an unacceptable sleeping equation:

I am not good enough at paint to accurately express how angry this makes me.

Unfortunately, some dudes feel the need to express affection by being close to me. TERRIBLE IDEA. Every time you touch me, I wake up with the same degree of instant readiness that I would during a zombie apocalypse. If you’re sleeping like this, I can pretty much guarantee you that I am angry ALL. THE. TIME.

The next is an acceptable sleeping arrangement:

Blue side: mine, green side: yours, red line: blanket decompression zone (to prevent drafts)

The above is comfortable for me, and usually involves the least waking-up-in-a-panic. However, in an ideal world…

blue: my side, red: de-militarized zone, white: I don't know, you can sleep on the floor or something

See how happy I look? That, my friends, is the way to sleep.

Anyway, this is probably why I’m going to be alone forever.

Have a lovely day, my darlings, and sleep however you want and in whatever way makes you happy.

Love,

Past Leslee

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New Job, and etc

Dear Future Leslee,

Things! They continue. I’m trying to decide what I want to talk about first, but to be honest it’s all amazing. Well, it isn’t ALL amazing. Some of it is ridiculous. I’ve often said that my life feels like an inside joke that I’m not in on, and this hasn’t changed much over the years.

I am finally settling in to life at my Mamasita’s place, and I can honestly say it’s gotten better. Still no internet on my lappy, but we went grocery shopping and I rectified most of my existential angst and juvenile frustration with the careful application of tzatziki and zucchini. The woman has cable and really good knives, which I appreciate, and a washer and dryer that weren’t built before I hit puberty, so things could definitely be worse. Also, last Wednesday she re-stocked the booze cabinet, and as long as I’m just a little bit drunk I really don’t mind my family that much at all.

I jusss....I juss love youguys sooo much...no, no...no...I mean it. I love youguys.

I should probably mention that I did come home a few nights ago to find my mom asleep in front of the TV, which wouldn’t be weird, except that she was mostly topless.

Yeah.

As for work, I’m back at the clinic for now, which means all the pregnant ladies, all the time, and it’s fabulous. It’s really delightful to be in a place where the nurses and the doctors and the patients all love me, and will tell me so, day after day after day. Mind you, I did threaten to punch the research nurse if she stopped loving me, which is probably not the best way to maintain functional work relationships. There is also the possibility that the threat of violence is the best way to ensure a good working environment, which is what I’m really hoping for, because otherwise I’m screwed. Well, at least if I get fired, I’ll leave this place the way I came in: punching everyone.

I have actually gotten a real, honest-to-goodness full-time job at the hospital, which is so exciting it hurts. One of the doctors I work with is the department head (my bosses’ boss) for the position, which I was unaware of until he told me that I he needed to interview me as the second stage of the application process. I’ve been calling this guy by his first name and making fun of him and sending him emails with smileys for the better part of a year, so I guess if he’s still willing to give me a job I must be doing something right.

Professionalism: don't waste your time

I’m taking swing dancing class now, and it is pretty great, except for that one guy who smells like pee. Like, strongly. Of pee. He also has probably the worst teeth I’ve ever seen, and I’m something of a teeth connoisseur, which is likely one of the creepiest things I’ve ever said about myself. After talking to my Mom about this, she suggested that he might have kidney failure and should probably see a doctor. I’m an advocate of telling him this, nicely (if there is a nice way to tell somebody they smell like pee) but both the Woman (who takes the class with me) and the Gorg disagree. The Woman claims that it is not our place to tell this man he smells like pee, and the Gorg thinks it’s unnecessary. Quote: “If it is kidney failure, then this is one of those problems that will solve itself.”

…best kind of problem?

Anyway, other than horribly offensive things and moderately offensive things and my family and my job and my various nefarious activities, nothing much is happening. Fall is on its’ way. I can feel the chill in the air, and it’s making me nostalgic for grade five, and the happy optimism of a new year of French grammar and beating people up in gym class.

I’m still fucking serious about dodgeball,

Love,

Past Leslee.

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And Then I Moved Home Again

Dear Future Leslee,

Do you ever make decisions – big, important, potentially live-altering decisions that you find yourself regretting mere moments after having committed to them? Because I don’t, usually, but I just moved back in with my Mom. I’m thinking this might have been the worst idea I’ve ever had, and I once shaved all the hair off my forearms because I thought it would keep me cooler in the summer.

Keep in mind, my family is insane. Crazy potatoes. Banana-sandwich. I haven’t lived in the ol’ homestead for almost three years, and to be honest, I had started to forget all of the psycho that was contained in that one small bungalow. I would look back on memories from my childhood and somehow they seemed so remote and charming that it made everything okay.

Home: Where Dreams Go to Die

For example, there was that one time I came home and found the upstairs fridge sawed in half and left on the front lawn, or that time I found two garbage bags full of socks and underwear on my bed. Apparently, one of my aunts thought that I could really use several bags of used intimates, and they were actually offended when I didn’t want the stuff. I always have to be careful about eating stuff in the fridge, because there is a fairly good chance that it was left in the fridge by someone who doesn’t live in my house to be picked up by someone else who doesn’t live in my house.

Those were older, less upsetting memories. During highschool, which was really not so long ago, my uncle (who inhabits the basement apartment) would have loud, naked pool parties with his four hundred pound girlfriends. I don’t even know what part of that last sentence to italicize. It’s all terrible.

I’m not here to judge, but I really feel like giant, naked, middle-aged ladies do not need to cavort around my backyard. Just a thought.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to a house full of family members, half of which do not live there. Did I mention that I’m an only child? Did I mention that I kind of hate people? Because I don’t, usually, but I am not usually awoken from a peaceful sleep to the sounds of my relatives arguing about windows or dog-grooming.

All of this, really, would be bearable if only I didn’t feel like a squatter in my own home. For one thing, I have way too much stuff for a childhood bedroom. I don’t eat like anyone else in my family, and the fridge is filled with crap that I have no interest in. Most infuriatingly, I have been home three days now and still have no internet. I am writing to you, friends and neighbors, from the uncertain embrace of local coffee-shop Wifi.

Pretty much the only reason I haven't killed everybody

I wouldn’t blame you for scoffing at my “first world problems”. Sure, internet access is not the biggest thing ever. After all, I have a roof over my head and a family that loves and supports me enough to let me crash at home while I save up for school. But like anything else in my family, being internet-less is more harrowing than it seems.

Thursday morning, when I realized my predicament, I went to my uncle (the keeper of the internets) and asked him for the Wifi password. He did not have it, and vehemently blamed my cousin, the most recent of my mother’s roommates. My uncle gestured to a pile of scrap paper, yellow sticky notes and torn receipts.

“It’s usually here somewhere.” He said. My heart sank. “Ask your Sopie, she has it.”

It’s true, my Sopie did live with my mom, and did use the Wifi while she was there. Nine months ago. Needless to say, my Sopie no longer has the password to my mother’s Wifi.

We tried a few things, but the internets did not cooperate. My uncle told me to go downstairs and sit in front of his computer, and call Bell, and make Bell fix it. Somehow. Magically. I declined, but did decide later to use his internet to check my book of faces.

That’s when I realized that he’d left his porn open on the desktop.

I wish I was kidding.

So anyway, I guess the moral of the story is that no matter how weird you think your family is, I win, motherfucker.

Also it took me an hour and forty minutes to get to work today. I live a twenty-minute drive from work. It’s heartbreaking.

The good news is that I have a real, honest-to-goodness interview for a real, full-time job at the hospital tomorrow, which I  am going to kick ass at. And it will be awesome.

All my love, at least until I kill someone,

Past Leslee.

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And They All Lived Happily Ever After

Dear Future Leslee,

 In about two weeks I will be moving back into the homestead, and while there will be many drawbacks (less freedom! More family ALL THE TIME! No more naked dance parties!) there will be some benefits, including the eventual realization of my goal of living by my own damn self for the first time in my life. Not that roommates are all bad by any means. I’ve managed to live with my Sopie for nearly nine months by now, and while I have occasionally wanted to put my foot through her alarm clock, I have never once wanted to put my foot through her face.

 There was definitely some trepidation when we initially moved into together; questions like “Can I really live with this person? Is this really a good idea? How strong is our friendship? What is the likelihood that one of us will go batshit psycho and set the other’s closet on fire?” naturally arose. In the end, though, we did it. We survived, and I feel like our friendship is stronger for all the shared bathroom experiences and bra-party jealousy and the fact that my Sopie uses all the damn spoons in the damn house.

 Definitely stronger.

 So I’ve decided to give you the top three secrets to a great living situation, based on my nine months of pretty much the best roommatery ever. Follow these simple guidelines and  when you eventually do go your separate ways, neither of you will want to throw the other off a bridge. Guaranteed!

1. Agree on Standards, But Keep it Flexible

By this, I do not mean to say that you and your best friend/roommate need to sit down a sign a contract (with a witness!) determining exactly who will do what and when. Don’t set up some arbitrary system that is possibly not practical with your life, and don’t assume that either of you will be one hundred percent perfect all the time. Eventually, somebody is going to have loud sex on a school night or leave dishes in inexplicable places, like the upstairs bathroom. Because we are all just human, and sometimes humans are jerks.

Still, you need to agree on some basics. For example, my Sopie and I have about the same tolerance for filth, meaning that we will become blindingly disgusted at around the same time with unwashed dishes. We are also both very reasonable about necessities, like buying toilet paper and garbage bags. Plus, we agree pretty much completely on the foodstuffs that are sharable (milk, bread, peanut butter) and the foodstuffs that are not sharable unless otherwise specified on pain of death (asparagus, fancy cheeses, expensive chocolate).

It sounds obvious, but if you can’t agree on the basic than don’t live together. If one of you regularly bleaches the cat and the other hasn’t washed her sheets since hitting puberty, you are going to have issues. Avoid them all together and live with other people.

2. Don’t Be Home Too Much

I guess it sounds weird to say that the secret to living together is to not be around each other too much, but it really does help if at least one of you is not home most of the time. This works well especially if you have different schedules, so you aren’t fighting over the shower in the morning or the kitchen in the evening. In my case, I am usually out of the house working strange shifts or having adventures, and now that my Sopie has a manfriend she is also often AWOL. We avoided the whole morning bathroom issue because I get up ridiculously early, and my Sopie is often not even out of bed by the time I am putting on my shoes, which I totally don’t even resent her for in the least little bit.

Not being home too much will keep those occasional moments of resentment from boiling  over  into full-blown beating-them-to-death-with-the-ribeye rage when they do that thing with their bagels that drives you mental. So if you’re both homebodies (unless you’re both a little boring and not too sexy) it might be a good idea to find somebody else to live with.

3. Have a Third Roommate Whom You Can Vilify

This one takes a little more work, but is totally worth it. Want to keep your best friendship really strong, despite the struggles of shared accommodation? Then make sure to get a third, much more annoying roommate so that each of you can look on the other as the “good” roommate. My Sopie and I accomplished this little trick nicely with the careful application of dudes. Our male roommate likes hunting, watching hunting shows all night long while I’m trying to sleep, leaving the toilet seat up, and not washing his gross-ass dishes for sometimes weeks at a time. While none of these things are “deal breakers” (the incredibly laid-back attitude is certainly relaxing) it is, often, FREAKING IRRITATING, and that’s the point. My Sopie and I both have someone who’s habits are just a little mind-boggling that we can look on as the “weird” one. Sure, I’ve forgotten my laundry in the dryer before, which is a pain, but I’ve never left my crossbow on the kitchen table or antlers in the living room.

Perspective, people.

Basically, that’s all it takes to live happily ever after. Actually, one of rules that I forgot to mention is more of a pre-screening process, and it boils down to not being best friends with total psychopaths. If you have bad taste in bffs, than you are going to be miserable no matter how much you both hate vacuuming or want to watch the same shitty prime-time TV.

* * *

In other news, I am going cottaging next weekend and it is very exciting, but first I am working six days in a row and of course still partying and also packing and trying to move my shit. There are words for people like me. Long, complicated medical words.

 For crazy.

Anyhoo, all the my love and unwanted advice,

Past Leslee.

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Montreal

“Where the dips are deeper, the spins are faster and the tandem is closer.” My Sopie.

Dear Future Leslee;

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll recall that my goal for this summer was to have ALL THE ADVENTURES so that in the fall (when I turn into a thrift-obsessed hermit) I’ll have some lovely memories to look back on. I promised myself that I would travel, and specifically I wanted to visit Toronto and Montreal. Well, I went to Toronto at the end of May, and I went to Montreal last weekend.

Now, you might be bemoaning the fact that it has taken me more than a week to write this post (if you’re boring). I’m sorry, but that is just how long it takes to recover from a weekend in Montreal. The number of times I said “This is the best _____ ever” over those glorious three days should make this all pretty clear. Basically: Montreal was awesome.

Or as I like to call it, "Cheap Canadian Paris"

I spent the weekend in Montreal with my Sopie, the Woman and natives Adam and Aimee, neither of whom could come up with clever nicknames for themselves. I got to go up on the train, which I love, if only because I can make-belief that I am much more important and romantic than I really am. No, I’m not going to couch surf with my friends. Obviously, I’m  an Important Business Woman Attending a Prestigious Conference, or at least an International Lady of Intrigue Slipping Out For An Illicit Rendezvous. Okay, so the most exciting thing I do in a day is usually not get my fingers caught in my pants zipper, but on the train, for just a little while, I am Carmen Sandiego. Or something.

The first night in Montreal, my Sopie and Adam and I went swing dancing, which is where the quote above comes from. Let me tell you, swing dancing in Montreal is not at all like swing dancing in Ottawa. In Ottawa, about one-third to one half of the leads at any given social dance will be cute, possibly friendly and sometimes good dancers. On this particular Friday, ninety percent of the leads were cute and friendly and good dancers. It was at this point that my Sopie decided to move to Montreal, which was about an hour after her arrival. Awesome? I think so.

After swing we took a wander through the gay village, which made me realize how much I wish my life had more occasions for rainbow balloon banners. We discussed other places we’d travelled, and I mentioned Newfoundland, where merely breathing the air is a sweet and pleasurable experience.

Wharf speed!

My Sopie was not particularly impressed with my description of Newfoundland. “That must get old eventually. Oooh, look at me, I’m breathing again. Every day. More breathing. Whoop de doo.” Which is both hilarious and probably a really depressing description of how a lot of people in Newfoundland feel on a day-to-day basis.

Back to Montreal, though: there was a wine and cheese (where, it occurs to me, I had neither wine nor cheese. But I did have aggressively delicious chocolate torte). At one point we went into a bar where they lit my drink on fire. We visited the Insectarium and the Botanical Garden, which we eventually broke out of like the badass hooligans we are by jumping a fence. Sure, most people hop a fence to break into someplace, not out of it, but we’d been walking for a long time and we couldn’t find the exit. To once again quote my Sopie: “I like the Botanical Gardens, but I don’t want to die here.”

Importantly, going to Montreal was a great excuse to dress up ALL WEEKEND, not that I really need much encouragement these days. I will pretty much dress up for any reason ever. “What’s this? I’m sorry, I thought the mall food court was black-tie only” OR “Doesn’t everyone wear their wedding dresses to Chuck-E-Cheese?” That’s my life, y’all. I have no shame.

Now, there were a few ‘bad’ moments in Montreal, which can only be called such because they were much more on the ‘weird-awesome’ side of things than the ‘awesome-awesome’ side. For example, at breakfast on Saturday morning Adam ordered orange juice. What he received was the decimated remains of an orange that must have seriously pissed someone off. Did the orange insult someone’s mother? Did it run out on some gambling debts? The pulverized corpse of the orange arrive at our table in a glass, complete with pulp and seeds. Adam had to eat the thing with a goddamn fork. I’m surprised they didn’t send the horribly maimed skin along, just so we’d know how much this brunch place was willing to seriously fuck up an orange for us.

fuck you orange

Not pictured: his widow and fatherless children

The second weird-awesome ‘bad’ moment came when we crashed the gay pride parade after being stuck in traffic for thirty minutes so we could make our train home. I felt kind of guilty, but how many of you can say you were in the Montreal gay pride parade, even for thirty really awkward seconds? That’s what I thought.

Now, if only I can get my grampa to stop calling it “the Homosexual Parade”. It’s…it’s not quite the same thing, grampa. *sigh*

Yours, home at last,

Past Leslee.

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