Sunday, July 31, 2005

I Just Had What Was Probably My Scariest Day Ever.

I have led a boring life. Really. Yeah, I’ve done stuff. But not too much I’m ashamed of. (I'm regretful of tons of stuff, but that's not half as interesting as being ashamed.) When I was reviewing my life this afternoon while trying not to die, all I could think was… “Damn, Catherine, you are one boring boring girl.” No illicit flings (and not nearly enough licit flings…), no drugged-up rampages, no stunning victories. I don’t even have interesting dreams!

Basically, I live my life by halves. I do enough. I’m adequate. I’m too afraid of embarrassing myself to take chances. Maybe this is going to be it: the turning point. Maybe this afternoon could change my entire life.

So, this afternoon I really took a look at my life and realised that it is a very special thing and I am wasting it.

My “friend” Sarah Pelton said she had a lovely time canoeing down the Grand River with her boyfriend about a month ago. Jackie, Mike and I took off this morning for what we hoped would be a similar experience. Unfortunately, since Sarah was there, the government of Ontario saw it fit to remove a wide, calm, meandering, and leisurely Grand River and replace it with a too-shallow, too-rocky, class-5 rapid river.

Ok, it was not class-5, but it was not for novices, as advertised. Maybe I’m putting on airs. I mean, I’ve only been canoeing once, maybe twice, before. So, I am a novice, really. But I was browning my pants, so I guess it wasn’t suitable.

We capsized within a half an hour.

Oh, that was only the first time we capsized.

I’m not sure how it happened. At the time, I was sitting in the middle of the three-man canoe. I couldn’t get out fast enough when we started taking on water, so I ended up sitting in a sunk canoe while Jackie and Mike stood in the knee-deep water. Then the canoe tipped in such a way to act as a sail, catching the current of the water and being dragged away. We saved most of the stuff from being swept downstream.

The second time we went down was a big one. But stupider. We were in an uncharacteristically calm patch of water but after some overzealous paddling, we were suddenly underwater. I couldn’t touch bottom. Mike said he could. Swimming in flip-flips while trying not to lose said flip-flops is a monster mistake. I eventually just took them off and held them over my head as I swam. And I grabbed one of Mike’s as it floated by. I sucked some water into my head and I had dull pressure in my left sinus for about half and hour.

I stood there in the shallows, looked at my friends and said, “We have six university degrees between us. How can we not keep this fucking canoe afloat?” I’m sorry, even if you scoff at the mention of “booksmarts,” no one’s precious “streetsmarts” are going to help when your canoe is pushed perpendicular to the current and taking on water.

Soon after, Mike took the middle, I took his spot at the front, and Jackie stayed on “rudder.” It went somewhat better after that. We took on some water in an iffy moment, but otherwise, for some reason, it was a good balance like that – Mike in the middle. I was terrified of being in the front and having some responsibility, and I was still very afraid as we scraped our way over rocks and picked up speed.

I saw a muskrat. That’s one cool benign thing that happened. (I’m being positive.) Oh, and some birds of prey. And fish jumping out of the water. And tonnes of dragonflies. Blue Herons, Kingfishers, and what I think were swallows. I’m sure there was some pretty scenery along the way, but my bloodstream was supersaturated with adrenaline, so all I usually saw were blinding white-hot flashes of terror. Right… staying positive… It was really great to not be in Hamilton for a day. It was sunny with a breeze, and I got to spend some quality time with a couple of friends. We sang some songs (“Amazing Grace,” “Down to the River to Pray,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “Farewell to Nova Scotia,” “Rock the Boat” by Hues Corporation, and any and all songs we could think of that were remotely nautical).

Five and a half hours later, I was very happy to see the final boat slip. I climbed onto the bank and rolled in the mud, happy to be alive. Ok, I didn’t roll in the mud, but I was very happy it was over. Mike and Jackie are now respectively nursing sunburns and abrasions, and I’m going to be in traction tomorrow.

I think this was great. One of my classmates asked if I was interested in canoeing the (Mighty) Mackenzie River next July and August. Sure I’m interested. I’d love to think I had the mettle to do an adventure like that. I'd love to be that girl. Today reminded me that I like being clean, safe, and dry. So I’m boring. Maybe I like being boring. Maybe I’m just fucking boring! I need to find a moderately boring man, we can have a boring wedding, and raise boring children in a boring generic beige home.

Great. I have to go read my opening paragraphs again, I think, or I’ll be permanently on this boring path. I'm going to go to sleep and try not to have nightmares about the Lady of Shallott.

So, the bottom line is, Sarah Pelton is trying to kill me. I knew she was too nice to be trusted. [I’m now squinting my eyes analytically.]

Friday, July 29, 2005

Viking Funeral.

I forgot to mention: I had that meeting with my advisor and she was unexpectedly lauditory about my latest chapter. She said my writing is getting better and she had no problems with this last chapter. "Damn skippy," says me. I hated writing this chapter.

Now my next deadline is the 8th of August. I have to hand in all four chapters, revised, and the draft of the intro and conclusion. Jackie is here until Monday, so really, I can't start hitting that until Monday the 1st night (but really, Tuesday the 2nd).

On Sunday, Jacks, Mike and I are going on a 5-hour canoeing trip. Yup. Three of us. Trapped together in a boat. For 5 hours. I hope something really cool happens. $5 says I will hear the phrase "squeal like a pig" at least once.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Dave Matthews Band.

Usually, when I’m spending the 4.3 seconds deciding what I’m going to title my posts, I try to be clever or shifty or have some sort of stupidly circuitous reasoning. Today, I don’t think I can go with anything but “Dave Matthews Band.” Anything else would be disrespectful.

Like I mentioned earlier, Jackie is here from PEI for a visit. Plunked in the middle of her trip was the DMB concert, outside of Buffalo, New York. We rented a car yesterday and took off for the border.

Oh, first, we stopped for some outlet shopping. I bought a sweater that’s too small and might as well have “BOOBS!!!” written on it, but on Mike and Jackie’s approval, I bought it anyway. They are both in the “If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It” School. Jackie bought a suit and Mike threw a temper tantrum because he was boooorrrreeeed. (I tried to type the way a whine sounds… did it work?)

Crossing the border was a joke. I always get kinda uptight because of the assumption of guilt. They ask, “Are you taking anything across the border with you?” but they really mean, “We’re going to give you a rough cavity search because we know you are carrying a bale of BC bud with you.” I managed to keep the flop sweat under control, pulled up to the booth, and the guy (officer?) in an awesomely thick New Yawk accent asked where we were born, we answered and he waved us through. He might as well have been playing Minesweeper at the same time.

Anyhow, after getting embarrassingly lost, we got to the concert grounds. I felt so old. It was like a frosh week party. Girls with eight inches of flesh between their pants and shirts, boys with the ubiquitous Adam Brody haircut, all carrying beers. I might as well have stood in the middle of the crowd and yelled, “Hey sonny! Help me get my walker out of the trunk! My girdle’s let go and I can’t lift it!”

We got past the gate after some tricky “we are so from the suburbs” illicit camera smuggling, and got to our really, really great seats (thank you Jackie!). Then I started watching the crowds. I don’t know if it was all my years as an usher on PEI and in England, or all the Anthropology I’ve learned about how big groups of people behave (communitas, yo!), but I have the compulsion to watch audiences at events.

The show eventually started and man, I was impressed. I’m not a Dave Matthews Band fan, by any stretch. I just checked my audio library and I have 9 songs of theirs. Not bad, I guess. I also have 4 Duran Duran songs, so… Anyhow… Mike is more familiar with them than I am, and Jackie, well, Jackie is in another class. She knows great obscure stuff and I was pleased she could answer a lot of questions I had.

I did get a little bored by the instrumentals they often descended into. The fiddle (electric violin?) guy was crazy, and at times he used his instrument percussively instead of melodically. The sax guy was mind-blowing. I thought of Jon MacInnis often and how he would really dig listening to this guy. He would blast out some great chest-thumping lines on the baritone, and then pick up the soprano and blast out another equally great riff. I liked him. And the drummer was filled with… I dunno… glee. He just looked very jolly as if he was enjoying himself.

Dave Matthews. Where to start. Jackie and I had a discussion about “the Guitar Affect,” meaning, slap a guitar in front of any guy and it automatically makes him sexy. John Mayer addressed this once, by saying something like, “If anyone thinks I’m sexy, it’s just more proof that the guitar can work wonders” (paraphrased).

Still, Dave had the “up to no good” look of sensuality. His voice and lyrics are very sexy. Or is it the way he sings… Maybe the little shuffle dance he did? I can’t say. Who can pinpoint that thing? Anyhow, he’s got that thing.

I heard a piece on CBC Radio One a couple of months back about the guitar and how it is commonly considered a phallic symbol, it’s a male-dominated instrument, and how guitar riffs often emulate orgasm. Building… building… teasing… urgency raising… faster, faster, faster, higher, faster!!! And… release.

[Shakes head, coming back to reality.]

I digress.

We got back to the car and waited for an hour while our parking lot emptied. Even when we left the lot, it took quite some time to get out of the traffic. Mike sat in the back… Oh, I forgot to mention… all they had on the lot was a Chrysler Sebring convertible. It was stupid and awesome at the same time, like we were not sure if we were pimping or going through a mid-life crisis.

Finally, let me say, I didn’t get nearly high enough at this concert. I mean, I was hoping to at least get a buzz off all the other potheads, but I only whiffed weed about a dozen times. I was sure there would be a blue haze over the grounds. I smelled more tobacco than pot. Thumbs down on not getting free residual buzzes.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Alexander Keith Hates Me.

To quickly catch up on my week, I’ve been writing and I took a day to go see Marianne in Toronto. She moved back in May and I hadn’t seen her yet, which is silly, but we’ve both been busy. Her friend Martin met us at Union station. We went to eat and then got tickets for that night’s Blue Jays’ game. They were playing the Mariners, which is good because the Mariners stink (not like that helped the Jays with the Devil Rays, but I’m over it). We got $11 seats and were directly over home plate. It was great. Later, Mare’s friends Chris Kaynes and Natasha joined us. Nat wasn’t too into the game, but Chris made up for her apathy. (Side note: I really should start calling them my friends, I guess.) After the game, that the Jays did manage to win, we went to a place that was a sensory overload for me. It was a busy restaurant with too many choices, colours, and too much activity. I got a beer and an apple cakey-pie thing, which was very tasty. Natasha drove us back to Marianne’s place, which was a nice old house in North Toronto. ‘Twas a good visit.

Yesterday, I gave my advisor the last chapter of my thesis. It’s the L.M. Montgomery chapter, not like I have to tell anyone who has read this blog/talked to me in the last two weeks. I decided to get over myself and remember that I’m not writing about LMM but her influence on PEI tourism. Still, I don’t think I threw my A game. I think it could qualify as a B game, but not A.

I have a meeting with her on Monday to discuss it. I expect Ellen to tear me a new one. I haven’t decided if I’m going to turn on the waterworks or fly into a rage.

So, after this goes through, I have to revise all four chapters, write the intro and extro, compile data into appendices, lose about 2 weeks of sleep worrying about the defence. Great.

I went to Emily’s defence yesterday. It was awesome. I want mine to go just like hers. She was calm and professional and the questions that the committee asked her were great critical questions, without really questioning the fundamentals of her arguments. Well, I guess one guy kinda did, but she totally went toe-to-toe with him, or whatever metaphor works for the academic world. Duelling Brain-joes?

Then, afterwards, I went to Mike’s place because Jackie arrived yesterday! We hung out for a bit (i.e. Mike v. Jackie, Super Mario 3 Throwdown, a.k.a. the most boring spectator sport ever), and then we went to watch Mike play with his rec. softball team. It was fun, actually. They only lost by one, which is the closest they’d ever come to winning. Yay! Ok, so they suck pretty hard, but still, there was just all the more excuse to go drinking afterwards.

We went to the Phoenix (Mac’s grad student pub) with his classmates/teammates. I’m not kidding, I’m really not: all of a sudden we were drunk. It’s not like a “and then the cocaine fell up my nose” kinda comment. It just seems like we were barely there, and then I was slurring (as I do), pointing (as I do), and being loud (you know the drill). The three of us left at about 1am (I think), Jackie went all Carrie Bradshaw on us and hailed a cab like nobody’s business, and we stumbled back to Mike’s. Jackie was alternately seductive and repulsive, Mike was alternately seduced and repulsed, and I was just trying to make stuff stop spinning.

It’s now 6pm-ish and Jackie finally has her pluck back. She was hungover in style, naturally. We went to the Farmer’s Market this morning to get a few things and she started to panic. I think all the food (especially the butchers and fishmongers) was turning her stomach. I don’t blame her, really, because the raw meat usually makes me want to yack, too.

I’ll try to check in again this week, but on Wednesday we’re off to NY State for a Dave Matthews Band concert, we’re going on a canoeing adventure (helloooo, melanoma!), the Royal Botanical Gardens, Toronto for a Blue Jays game, and, if I can control my excitement, M&M Meat Shoppe.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Debate Team Drop-Out.

I wish I'd been on a debate team. I think I should have better developed debate skills.

Yesterday I actually worked up the balls to talk to Jeremy. It didn't go too bad. I don't think I really got myself accross.

He told me that he didn't know I was being bothered by the constant presence of an extra person, nor by the noise they were making in the common area of the apartment. He said I should have said something about it and they would have made an effort to knock it off. I just said, well, I don't do that. I stew instead. (Which is true.)

Afterwards, though, thinking about it, that was the inconsiderate part of it all. He should have thought about me a little bit, pre-emptively being considerate without me having to tell him.

Well, now that we're had our talk and we've decided we're cool, the chance is gone. I can't go back and say, "Oh, yeah, and another thing..." I guess I'll just have to store it up as ammunition for the next argument.

Jeremy has a guest for a few days in August, I have Jackie at my place for a few nights at the end of this week, and otherwise, there shall be no more guests. Or no more guests for extended periods of time (I can't back myself into a corner, here! =wink!=).

Well, I'm going to stay over at Sarah's for a couple more days. The air conditioner is pretty sweet. I shut it off in the middle of the night last night and woke up sweating, delirious from the heat. I had another short-lived case of Tent Head, but shook it off.

Today I have to write like my life depends on it. I really want to be finished of LMM. Tomorrow, I'm going into the Big Smoke to see Marianne. She moved back to Toronto in May and I haven't seen her yet!!! Insane! Basically, I'm going in, we're going to have a nice meal somewhere and catch up, and then go to a Blue Jays game! I've never been to one, and I'm really stoked. Of course, we're only getting the $9 tickets, so I hope the Mariners continue to stink worse than the Jays. Holy Shit! I just checked the Blue Jay's website and I can't believe it!!! They lost to the Devil Rays yesterday!!! That means they went 1-3 in that series! God! The Devil Rays SUCK!!! They're 20 games back! How did we lose? Sigh.

This is, by the way, the 8th day in a row that the GTA has had an extreme heat warning. Or was it smog warning... I dunno, basically, I'm waiting for a pale horse.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Still Nextdoor.

I'm still camping out at Sarah and Lily's.

Yesterday Jeremy's guest left. He got back from the bus station and I was still over at my apartment having a little lunch after doing some laundry in the morning. Jeremy said, "Hey, Catherine, I just want to say thank-you for putting up with a stranger in the house for a week and a half."

I said, "At least you said thank-you."

(I kinda wish I'd said, "Since when is 12 days a week and a half?")

I would have liked an apology instead.

Am I totally being a petty bitch for not saying 'you're welcome'? Also, me not talking to him about it is just about the most childish thing ever. AND, if he doesn't know why I'm irritated, me not talking to him is not going to enlighten him. I can't assume he knows. He's fairly oblivious.

I'm just going to stay over here to cool down a bit. He knows something is up. I can't do this whole silent treatment thing for too much longer, though. It's just not in my nature. I'd just like him to recognise that he was inconsiderate to the person who pays half the rent with him.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Yay On Me For Not Spazzing Out!

I just organised my sidebar a little. Considering I'm code-ignorant, I was basically mashing the keyboard with open palms. I can't believe it worked with my first try! I think the universe knew that I am one messy-code experience from losing my gourd.

Venting My Spleen.

I’m spending the next couple of days next door at Sarah and Lily’s. (These are a couple of my classmates/neighbours/friends from school.) Lily is in California for the summer, and Sarah is going to visit family and do some work at a cottage for a few days. Knowing I was irritated by the heat and the guest in my apartment (day 11, by the way), Sarah was kind enough to offer me her empty apartment and her air conditioner.

I know, I know, I’ve written rants about air conditioners, but when it’s 40-42 degrees out, I make exceptions. I’ve been the victim lately of what has been called alternately “Tent Head” and “Brain Bake.” It’s like when you fall asleep in a tent in the middle of a sweltering summer day and it gets so hot and you get so delirious that you don’t even have the wherewithal to extact yourself from the offending tent. That's what it feels like everywhere in Upper Canada these days. Tent Head.

And I should also say that Jeremy’s guest is not irritating me personally. I’m sure she’s nice. She’s very quiet and clean and respectful. I’m more irritated at Jeremy for having a guest in the house for almost two weeks when he knows I’m stressed out about writing my thesis. I can’t wait to live alone again. Jem’s not all that bad, but it’s great to have complete control over your space. I’m sure he’s in a tough spot, too. He’d be more considerate, perhaps, if he didn’t have to balance consideration for his roommate with getting laid. He is, after all, only a man.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Normally Abnormal.

Why aren’t I more uncomfortable? It’s very hot outside, but I'm not schwitzing as much as one would expect. Maybe my attempt to control the heat by closing all the windows has paid off. Mum always does this, and, as we all know, Mummies are a very clever species. Anyhow, the closed windows are stopping the 40-degree breath-air from pouring into my apartment.

Jeremy has had a guest here for nine (!) days now. I feel a little like a guest here myself, cloistered in my room. I have to keep the door open because of the heat, but they watch a lot of movies in the living room (which is adjacent to my room/office). I found a pair of earplugs that further separate me from the monopolized (and considerably cooler, as I’ve mentioned previously) living room.

I’m so cranky from the heat and stress of writing the last chapter of my thesis, all I can think about is all the added heat that the extra body’s respiration is causing. Petty? Perhaps? Agitated about a somewhat-inconsiderate roommate? Yup. (I know, I know, I could do way worse, but after 14 months, my patience for some things is beginning to falter.)

So, I was home last week for one full day. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want people to think I had time to hang out. I had to return to PEI for an ophthalmologist’s appointment, and, in the end, everything was fine. Apparently, my father had convinced himself that I had the early stages of a terrible disease called Keratoconus. My slipping eyesight, it seems, is perfectly normal bad astigmatism. So, I’m normally abnormal. Dad was thrilled. I had to put up with dilated pupils for about 6 hours after the appointment. It looked neat at the beginning, like I was cranked on E. Later in the day, however, one pupil was more dilated than the other, making it more like I’d sustained a blow to the head or was in the throes of a stroke. Not as cool.*

Speaking of strokes (no, I’m not proud of that segue), I took two hours this morning writing a cover letter to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. I’m applying for some jobs here and there, not because I have time to, but because some have closing dates that are sooner rather than later. This one at the H&S Foundation looks great. It’s permanent, full-time, and in downtown Ottawa. Oh, and I don’t think I’ll need to use my Sorbonne French.

I’m about to start writing now. For real. I have my earplugs, my fan, my water and homemade iced tea. (I steep a pot everyday now, chill it overnight. That’s right, eat your heart out, domestic divas!)


*I never have, nor will I ever endorse drug use as a way to look cool.
Tattoos! Tattoos are the way to look cool!
Oh! And promiscuity! Putting out = cool.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Tull.

Does Jethro Tull ever really rock? I've been listening to some today, and it's poncey flute solos followed by long-winded organ solos.

Conclusion: they do not rock.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Tots.

I live directly accross from an Elementary school. This is kinda good, because that means there's a lot of open space and not a huge towering apartment building. Fine. I have named the school "The Screamington Institute for Vocally Gifted Youth." There seems to be a perpetua-recess where the kids ball their fists, clamp their rectums, and scream at one another.

I was glad when the bell rang on their last day of school last week. I thought I would be having silent days filled with enlightened writing. =cough=

There seems to be some sort of day camp being hosted on the grounds of the school now. It's obviously just all the kids from the school all gathered together for an extended scream-a-thon. I think I shall call it, "I Holla Urban Day Camp." Well, that's weak, but something with the words shrill, squeal, or yell in it. I'm taking suggestions.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Too Boring to Title Properly.

My days seem so busy. Why don’t I feel like I’ve accomplished much?

On Saturday I went to a small party thrown in honour of one of my classmates who was briefly in Hamilton. She’s doing a PhD and is performing fieldwork in Paris, France, this year. She’s studying secularism and the state, and especially the whole debate over the hijab in French schools. It’s a super cool subject. Anyhow, it was cool to see her, and the hostess was an old classmate of mine, too, who I rarely see. She was very hospitable, et al.

Today I emailed a seriously embarrassing draft of another chapter to my advisor in preparation for our afternoon meeting tomorrow. It’s a chapter on rejuvenation. I must have phoned in that entire semester of Celia Rothenberg’s “Ritual and Symbolic Healing” seminars because I realised that I knew nothing. My advisor (the awesome Ellen Badone) is going to tear it a new one. Oh, well. One of my classmates told me that was the job of the grad advisor – to make unreasonable 4am-ramblings of caffeine-cranked grad students readable.

Mike and I went for groceries today. It was hot again today, which I’m starting to hate. Since the only part of my body that I feel is toned enough to expose is the section of flesh displayed with a v-neck shirt, going outside for any amount of time is really exhausting. Oh, and I have a really annoying v-neck tan, despite my IV drip of SPF 45 sunscreen.

My ants are taking the piss regarding the long weekend. Really, they should be back at their desk jobs by now. But no, the gluttonous little buggers, they’re still having their hedonistic buffet. I asked Ivan today when I could expect Pest Control since on Thursday he told me that he would call them. He obviously hadn’t and started mumbling that his wife was dealing with it so I should ask her. I wasn’t having it. I told him to tell her to call me and let me know when to expect them.

About a half hour later, he knocks on my door and barges in. I tell his back, “come in, Ivan,” as he walks by me to my room. Manners? Anyhow, he got right down on his hands and knees and put his face right up to the traps, which was kinda funny, because the ants are so small, he didn’t think he could see them, but they were probably jumping onto his beard. (Of course he has a beard – who didn’t picture him in a beard?) He saw them and said, “Oh. Oh.” Hah, it’s fun to be right.

Ok, so I’m grasping at straws in the power struggle here, because I, of course, am the one with an ant infestation, but still, Ivan works for me, and sometimes I think he forgets that.

I’m going to go to bed. Unfortunately, Jeremy gets back tonight, and he’s having a guest in, who (I assume) is sleeping on the futon, usurping my place of rest for the last four nights. Last night I was awoken at 3:40am by what I thought was two gunshots. I never found out, but my heart was racing. I grabbed the phone and Coonie (a.k.a. Bright Heart Raccoon, or, my childhood security blanket), and slept for another four hours.

Jeremy came back between the time I wrote that paragraph and this one (obviously). He is riiiiiipe. Jesus.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Takin' Care of Business.

I watching the Live 8 concert live on-line (Randy Bachman's on now), eating my lunch of a can of corn and pecking away at a little work. A foot away, my ants are still having a grand old time at their long weekend picnic. Why won’t they die?

End of a Century.

No patriotic rant on Canada Day. I’m still too pissed. Patriotic rant is pre-empted for another rant.

Here goes:

I am borrowing a proper computer chair from Mike. He offered it me, and Jeremy drove me up to get it on Tuesday. Mike, recently ODing on chips, also gave me a half-tube of Pringles. I enjoyed a couple that night, put them in the kitchen.

The next day, I took them down for a little snack. I ate a couple, and absentmindedly, I set them beside my computer desk.

The next morning, I was looking for something and noticed I had left the Pringles out. Cap on, mind you. Through the almost-transparent plastic cap, I could see it was swarming with those GD ants. I tied them up in a garbage bag, threw them out and got out the vacuum again. I sucked up all I could see (a lot, considering how tiny small they are – I really cannot stress how small they are), stuffed the vacuum nozzle with newspaper to keep them in, and was about to go back to my day.

I noticed a couple of little ants on my new computer chair. I didn’t want to squish them because they’re so small, it would just make a mess, so I was proud of myself when I thought to get a strip of duct tape, wrap around my hand sticky-side out, touch it to the ants and throw them out with them stuck on the duct tape.

I tapped the three or four ants that were on my seat, and I looked down to the carpet. I thought, “Hm, those ants are so small, I wonder if they’re still in the carpet and I can’t see them?”

So, I touched the tape down to the carpet and drew it back to see if I caught a couple of unsuspecting vermin.

It was carpeted with ants. Meaning, my carpet was carpeted with ants. Wall-to-wall ants. Gack, says I.

Knowing the super was in the apartment above me doing renovations, I took the ant-tape up to show him. I asked for his help, saying I don’t have a car, so it would be a help for him to either drive me to Canadian Tire or to get me ant traps and I’d reimburse him. She said something like, “What, right now?” I told him, no, but today would be great, once again proffering the ant-tape to him. “Tomorrow, everything will be shut for Canada Day,” I said.

“So, Saturday or Sunday, I guess,” Ivan replied.

I stood there and stared at him. I felt the rage boiling. “Forget it. Thanks for your help,” I sarcastically said as I turned on my heel and stormed off. As I walked down the stairs, I heard him say “You’re welcome.”

Sarcasm, you thick Russian asshole! Look into it!!!

In a rage, I went downstairs, slathered myself up with sunscreen (oh, have I mentioned it was another 40-degree, Humidex-warning, smog-warning, extreme-heat warning day? Yeah, it was), and set out.

Canadian Tire is about 10-12 blocks away, so I got on a bus going East. The bus was air conditioned, which was sweet, but it was getting really really full, and about two blocks from Canadian Tire, a guy in a wheelchair was about to get on, which makes it all the fuller not only because of the chair, but because they have to make three people to stand up to clear way for the chair. (This is merely observation, not a rant about the nuisance of wheelchairs, which I don’t experience.) Since the Tire is so close, I decided to get off and walk the rest of the way.

I had just grossly underestimated how far we’d gone, so I had another five or six blocks to walk. Whatever, I got there, finally found those little disk ant traps, bought them, and instead of walking all over creation for another bus, I decided I’d walk the 15ish blocks home.
”I’ll stick to the shady side of the streets,” I thought.

There was no shade. God, I’m a dumb fuck. I finally got back to my place, and the sweat was rolling off me – I could feel it dripping down my back and torso.

The ants were still having their Jim-Jum-Jamboree, so, I set two of the traps and called Mike to see if he wanted to go to a movie. I needed to relax the rage in an air-conditioned environment.

We saw Batman Begins, which, by the way, was arrsome. Standing outside my apartment just before we parted for the evening, Ivan walked by and said something like, “You know, you can get those ant traps at any corner store.” I didn’t hear him the first time he said it, so he repeated it, and, out of spite, I pretended I couldn’t understand him the second time. I totally did. Anyhow, I said, “Actually, Ivan, I walked for an hour in the heat of the day to go to Canadian Tire to get traps. I’ll give you the receipt so I can be reimbursed.”

He said something like, “whaaa?”

I said, “Yeah, because control of pests and vermin is your responsibility.”

He said, “Yeah, I’ll call Pest Control.”

“Good,” I said, “I’ll let him in when you do.” And then I turned away from him to tell Mike I’d talk to him the next day, and I went into my apartment.

I’m still really pissed as this asshole super. Even if he couldn’t get ant traps for me, he could have shown a little concern or, jeez, I dunno, interest or common decency to realise that it’s GD gross to have microscopic ants layin’ down their thang on my bedroom floor.

I have three ant traps down now. They’re the kind with yummy yummy goo in them that they’re meant to take back to their colony and they all die die die. I don’t know how long this dying thing is meant to take, because they’ve been in a feeding frenzy since I chummed the floor with the traps.

I think they’re only in one corner. Unfortunately, it’s the one where my PC is tethered, so if I want to work on the thesis, I have to ignore the crawling feeling. So… I just didn’t do any work today. Tomorrow is a new day, hopefully with lots of work and lots of no ants.

Ants… Jesus. Who gets ants? As Mike said, my apartment just keeps getting better and better. Yup. Mice. No heat. The Stomperson family upstairs. Jackass superintendants (Seamus and then Ivan).

I want to be rich. If I was rich, I’d either live in a nice apartment with none of these problems, or my own house and I’d be able to take initiative for pest control, heat, so on…

Another thing that pissed me off today was the fact that neither Ivan nor his wife was anywhere to be found, and I had to give them rent and our letter of notice. I do not want them to be assholes about us not technically passing in notice two months before we go. Well, it’s not my job to stalk my super to pay rent. I’m not going to change my day so they can piss off to some Canada Day party and not do their jobs. Fuck ‘em.

I’m going to go to bed. I’m sleeping in the living room. It’s cooler and there are no ants, to my knowledge.

Props to anyone who recognises the significance of the title of this post without the aid of the internet.