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hazmat-suitso i survived the plague. barely. what’s with rampant sickness taking over vancouver? seriously people, i need you to take some vitamins and stop passing your goddamn germs around. alrighty. that feels better. but seriously – i was sick for a whole week. like snotty-face, laying-prostrate-on-the-couch-sick. i even had to teach in that state and that was hella painful. i was teaching poststructural theory kids – a mindf*ck on any day of the week – let alone during plague week. so during my almost-death week i stumbled upon some crucial life lessons and i will fill you in asap!

  1. as the title of this post demonstrates – i am a full-fledged batshit crazy germaphobe. like, for reals. i am pretty sure i cont(r)acted this disease from a fellow conference-goer at a fabulous conference i attended a little over a week ago. fabulous except for the fact that it was ripe with human germs. this is the second time i have almost died after attending a conference. this leads to me to believe that i should stop shaking people’s hands. like EVER. i am currently working on a strategy to never touch strangers that will not turn me into a bonafide nutter (any suggestions would be appreciated). i figure it has made howie mandel more endearing so why not me? when someone goes in for the handshake i’ll just say, “you know that thing that howie mandel has? i totally have that too. so keep your fucking hands to yourself mister” or something equally entirely inappropriate.
  2. i am pretty good at feeling desperately sorry for myself. when people don’t manage to muster as much sympathy as i have for myself, i kinda hate them.
  3. i seriously had a virus and not even the norwalk (which my friend M. managed to get at her workplace) and i still questioned if i had the will to live.
  4. fortunately cadbury cream eggs are out because it is spring/easter-time and they restored my will to live. but just barely. i had to eat at least one a day to keep from seriously freaking out.
  5. my home became the den of sickness which basically means that due to a lack of cleaning (related to the lack of the will to live) cat fur started to engulf t-bone and me. seriously, if anyone wants cats who constantly shed and yell really loud after they take shits, we have the sweetest pair for you.
  6. pizza hut pizza also has the ability to restore the will to live. i think it is because it is basically cheese and pepperoni on top of a doughnut. yummy. doughnut pizza.
  7. i get really spastic when i get sick and become convinced that life will never be as it once was. t-bone tells me it is because i take too much over the counter cold medication but i think it is because demons possess me after the virus weakens my immune system. and no, i didn’t get that idea after watching almost the entire first season of true blood when i was sick.  so shut it.
  8. hbo really does make the wickest television serieses. and yes, i am aware that serieses is not a word.
  9. it was raining while i was sick and lead to the sickness-induced conviction that i was clinically depressed. t-bone opened the blinds and my clinical depression became more of a general malaise.
  10. i started to wonder how much a hazmat suit might cost.
  11. i made t-bone promise me that i would live. and if i didn’t it was so f*cking his fault. *shakes fist*
  12. i got really angry at oprah. because she never has anything good on her show any more. *throws cat at television while screaming “why are you doing this to me oprah?!!? what have i EVER done to you?!!?! no one cares about people’s dirty houses – you know why? because we ALL HAVE DIRTY HOUSES AND WE DON’T F*CKING CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE’S DIRTY HOUSES! either come clean ours or give us a car or shut the fuck up. now.”*
  13. t-bone is the bestest sick-person caregiver in the world! he didn’t even mind when i let food fall from my mouth while saying things like: “you call this fucking chicken soup? jesus dude, i’m fucking dying over here!”

these are my current realizations about the nature of my existence. if you too have recently undergone a near-death experience due to a mild illness, please share in the comments section.

chefas i sit lately between the dual screens of my computer and my beloved television, i try to come up with more reasons to whine. sometimes i think whining is the ultimate procrastination technique. or my genetic disposition. or my destiny. in any case, i am going to regale you with ridiculous stuff i am whining about today in order to um…well procrastinate. instead of my usual list however, i will present my whiny-ness as a series of conversation fragments in order to illustrate the silliness of my supposed ‘troubles.’

here goes.

SCHOOLWORK

me: “yeah. i have to revise my dissertation. it’s like editing but so.much.worse.”

unnamed voice of reason (who is currently writing their dissertation): “yeah but look at the position you are in – actually finished a draft and editing basically. i can’t wait to be there.”

me: “i’m not sure you heard me – i have to revise. and revising is like editing which i hate. you like editing, don’t you? you’re not that busy are you – wanna do it for fifty bucks?”

KITTY LOVE

me: “there are cats everywhere. they are on me all.the.time. they also have way to much soft fluffy irresistible fur. do you think [unnamed dissertation writing/fan of editing friend] would take them instead of the fifty bucks i offered her?”

t-bone: “um…are you okay?”

me: “do you think we could get more? i mean, they are pretty cute…”

t-bone: “so you want to sell our cats?”

me: “i’m not a terrible person! shut up! why would you want to get rid of the cats?!?!” *sobbing uncontrollably while squeezing hobbes too tightly*

LAUNDRY

me: “why do you even wear underwear? boxers are ridiculous anyway – they don’t do anything with regard to containment, protection, or general control-age of the junkage – maybe we should just throw all your underwear out and then i won’t have to wash them. EVER.”

t-bone: “i’m gonna just pretend you didn’t say that.”

CLEANING

me: “i have cleaned three times in the last week. wtf is with that?”

friend: “you should get rid of your cats – it is all their fur.”

me: “THAT’S WHAT I SAID! i’ll let you have one of them for fifty bucks.”

COOKING

me: “i’m on strike.”

t-bone: “yeah. i pretty much figured that out about five years ago.”

YOGA

me: “i don’t have time to be zen. i am too busy trying to line up someone to edit my dissertation, pawning my cats on unsuspecting friends, not cook and clean, and surreptitiously throw all your underwear out.”

t-bone: “i just asked if you wanted an omelet.”

SNOW

me: “why the f*ckballs is it snowing? yesterday i had allergic reactions to cherry blossom trees blossoming and NOW F-ING SNOW?!?! well, at least i can pretend it is xmas again.”

t-bone: “maybe i’ll get boxers from santa?”

DEADLINES

me: “time is relative. life is relative. just ask tom green. i mean – who ever thought he’d be on t.v. again – now look at him! i should prolly just pace myself. that is what tom would want me to do.”

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME

me: “i’m so freaking tired. what the hell time is it? no – like the real time – like the time it was yesterday before nothing happened and we switched the clocks ahead an entire hour. yeah. that time.”

SPRING

me: “it’s f*cking snowing in vancouver and we are gonna set a record for snowfall. tonight. don’t talk to me about spring. it is just a teaser. a myth. like hairless cats and personal chefs. all lies.”

friend: “so that means you don’t want to go outside?”

me: “no for sure i do! i’ll go and get my catfur coat. be right with you!”

and there you have it – my muddled, whine-ass state of mind lately.

perhaps it’s paralyzed spring fever.

but here’s to shedding winter like an old catfur coat and un-needed boxers! jacks needs to bust out baby – so watch out!

no seriously – watch out. might try to sell you a cat or get you to edit my dissertation.

so seriously. um…watch out.

big-white-09-0511hi – it’s me! your favoritest blogger returned from the land of big white and mini skis (pictured left).  so i haven’t blogged in a while, so what? you also don’t do stuff your supposed to so get off my back. okay – i might be a little bitter because i am still getting over fuzzybrain that plagued me at the extact same time as it did last year. creepy? yes. methinks so. (please suggest possible reasons for this recurring cottonbrain conundrum in the comments section. especially if you are a doctor specializing in hypochondria and/or germaphobia. many thanks). anyhoo – a couple of days – in the deepest depths of my fuzzybrainness – i was going to regale you with all the minutiae of my life but then i began to have interesting conversations about a particular topic that kept coming up. and no, it wasn’t because of what t-bone suggests – that i have to tell the same story over and over again in his presence just to test the limits of his capacity for unconditional love and tolerance (okay the latter half of that was my inclusion but the first part – that i endlessly tell the same stories is all his – just ask him about it – he’ll rant for a good hour). i am going to call this topic ‘failure,’ although as we’ll see, this kind of failure is the new fantasticness. stay with me.

so i am turning 30 this year (and this will be one of my repetitive stories so brace yourselves and don’t bring it up to t-bone or he might have an aneurysm. oh – if your the doctor that is diagnosing my hypochondria could you tell me what an aneurysm is because i use it all the time and have no idea. many thanks.) and it has made me realize that if 40 is the new 30, then 30 is the new 20. by this i mean that myself and many of my friends are currently experiencing the thirties as a renewed moment of indecision, not unlike that moment you had just out of high school (pre-20s) when you begged your parents to let you live free and die young. or any other approximation of not-going-to-university. or was that just me? anyway, the thirties seem like this moment – when we have enough education, maybe have made enough money, and are perhaps pre- or post-marriage but definitely pre-children – were we step back and say wtf? what do we want out of life and how are we going to get it. it is like realizing anything is possible which we didn’t when we were begging our parents for travel funds to europe or a year off to ‘find ourselves’ (i.e., working at denny’s and then running for the nearest educational institution). see, we were dumb in our twenties. we figured everything would work out and that life wasn’t something to be worked at. instead it would just happen to us just like everything else had happened to us since birth. and it was gonna be good times.

so some of my friends have been working in interesting and challenging careers since before i started grad school. and while i kinda hate them for making the wise decision to start making money light years before me, i empathize with their concerns about if what they are doing is what they always want to be doing. their questioning about if this is ‘it’. since i am the cusp of finishing something that has kept me busy since 2001 when i started my m.a., i am asking the same questions – what do i want out of life, what is possible, what isn’t, what do i deserve out of life, what do i never, ever want? an interesting aspect of this questioning and decision-making is the diversity of what constitutes both achievements and failures for those of us making these decisions. over some sausage and eggs recently, my friend N. and i discussed our visions of the ‘failures’ of so-called social achievement. we questioned the social pressure to marry and procreate as ‘whose’ values – our own or more appropriately classified under the rubric of ‘social expectation?’ we wondered where social expectation ends and our own desires begin while trying to acknowledge the impossibility of somehow ‘living outside’ such expectation (and its inevitable impact on the shaping of our desires).

after too much coffee and a walk to air out the nauseating diner smell, i continued to think about how one person’s achievement is another person’s personal failure and how different valuations of values can result in both feelings of inadequacy and superiority. and i wondered if it wasn’t the people who engage in the flouting and touting of their so-called social achievements who really suffer. the ones who measure their worth against the perceived ‘successes’ and ‘failures’ of others that perpetuate the expected outcomes of social expectation. this is not meant to be self-righteous, but rather a consideration of the multitudes of valuation that exist but are ignored. that persist but are disrespected. deciding that marriage and children as ‘success’ is not only the privileged domain of a heteronormative value system (by and large) but it is necessarily exclusionary and intolerant. however, even those who live in difference need to heed the value systems of others as equal as long as they are not oppressive. my point – if i have one – is to suggest that we must acknowledge that our lives are a culmination of the values we privilege. and what is most interesting about those values is that, despite the notion or appearance that they are universal and uniform, are easily in/subverted by desires that move outside the realm of the expected. suburban dreams as failures. and achievement measured by how comfortably you can live in your skin and accept others regardless of how closely they fit what we were all once told to want.