Underthecurrent


One month later
November 30, 2017, 12:21 am
Filed under: nomadisms, unrelated thoughts

This winter has been nothing but hard rain alternating with biting cold, the darkness seems to come earlier, the carbohydrates more seductive.  Nothing gets done, each day blends a bit into the next.  Work has slowed down a lot, which is fine given that early commutes in the pouring rain would not necessarily be ideal.

Planning a trip to LA.  Travel in cities is always more technical, there’s more to see (and miss) and it’s easy to accidentally spend a lot of money on pointless things like logistics and average food.  I had always written the city off a bit, it was booked in part because airfare was so ridiculously cheap and it is likely to be just a little warmer and less rainy.

We’ve been entertaining ourselves, in the meanwhile, with random evenings out of the house.  Shutting down multiple bars on Sunday nights.  A birthday that ended with a shot with a favorite dive bar owner.  Pancakes and other welcome diversions.

Everyone keeps asking about plans.  Where do you plan to be?  What are you planning to do?  There was a point where it became clear that the answers were designed more to appease than out of any sense of reality.  The point of this is to stop having so many plans, in lives that have been full of them, for awhile.

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flashbacks
March 27, 2017, 11:54 pm
Filed under: insight, unrelated thoughts

Seven years ago, almost exactly.  Not so much has changed.  We get into all kinds of astrological mystery calculations for guidance over tequila, as accurate as any career counselor.  A recruiter emails a personal message; it’s like getting hit on at a bar on your bachelorette weekend.

Lately, the body rebels, if the mind was at all being tricked into staying, the body is voting.  It’s a bit easy sometimes to think – just a month more, just a month more than that money would be enough for [fill in the box].  Where the mind tricks itself about exhaustion, the body sends out small aches:  don’t even think about it.  Ping.  The massage therapist says “there’s a lot of tension here” and prescribes things like a heat bag and chiropractics.

The steam room smells like eucalyptus.

 



A Catalogue of Winter
February 27, 2017, 10:57 pm
Filed under: popconsumption, unrelated thoughts

Chelsea Boots with wooden soles.  Impulse purchase in a store entered to escape the bad weather.  “We have an excellent exchange policy,” the clerk said, as though the boots were the wrong size, even though they were tried on, or the credit card holder looked a bit shabby.

A vegan snack box.  Vegan snacks are taste Russian Roulette, where the secret ingredient is always dates and cashews.  Unfortunately, non vegan ‘healthy’ snacks are always sneaking in weird dairy iterations.  Powdered-milk-whey-cream.

One bag is literally dried apples.  Another is basically rice and salt.  It could be worse.

Japanese pens.  The kind of ink that’s between gel and not gel, precise.  Just hard enough to get.

Summer concert tickets.  These same tickets three years ago – same venue, same artist – sold last minute because of a work thing.  The one that got away.

A fake Rails shirt.  Those drape-y plaid shirts that women in LA wear that are hand wash only and like, one million dollars.  No, it is not strange to have no idea about this.

Hawaiian Coffee.  About four years ago, when the dollar was low (or was it the commonwealth dollars were high?), Honolulu.  Honolulu is expensive even when it’s cheaper and it was a few hours until a flight with currency to burn.  This bag of coffee, not the adulterated gift shop version but the real thing roasted fresh, the stuff of fever dreams.  This most recent bag is okay but it’s not the same.

Bluetooth Headphones.  Obvious.



since you’ve been gone
January 24, 2017, 12:32 am
Filed under: unrelated thoughts, voyageur, work work work work work

“You can stand anything for 10 seconds.  Then you just start on a new 10 seconds.”

The countdown came and went.  Holiday time was jet-lagged and rushed but still a break from the pinging messages and churning pointless to-do list.  The countdown (which has now ended) used to represent the time after which it would be okay to just quit; paid holidays cashed out, enough money saved to walk away.  When the countdown started, that is where things were focused, just making it that far.

Now there are all these small goal posts, like trail markers on a marathon.  Just. A. Little. Further.  As every one goes past, the load gets a bit lighter.

*

“I don’t know if I’ll ever get to hold your children,” she says.  She starts to cry a bit.  We are helping, half helping, pack the house they have been in for almost two decades.  She will pack the leftover pieces up for us, for when we come back.  Wine glasses and casserole dishes.

*

We buy them cigarettes, bread and washing powder.  They kiss us goodbye.  It’s complicated.  This place never stops being complicated, maybe that’s what’s so attractive about it.  This time, again, there are changes.  Those paved roads, hydro poles and preschools.  Maybe not enough, not fast enough, but something forward.

Our friends there talk about the same things our friends here struggle with.  Uncertainty about the future.  The price of property, being able to afford to have children.  How the older generation pays us poorly as they spend freely on themselves.

*

The world is a crazy place right now, women marching all over everywhere, questions about the future of free trade, political maelstrom.  More questions than answers, big questions shaking the foundations of the West.  The markets hold, Atlas shrugs.

We spend the weekend cleaning our apartment.  Taking long walks to see what is opening and what is closing.  Shutting down the news cycle, the talking heads, the rotating scandals and smokescreens.  The impulse to refresh in hope of answers instead of venturing out into the world to find them.



What Happens Next
October 20, 2016, 11:19 pm
Filed under: unrelated thoughts, when I grow up

Waiting for the drilling to stop.  Upstairs, banging, drilling, almost the sound of pressure washing.  Over and over.  The Taj Mahal of renos.

Tick, today’s main event ends.  There’s one more big thing tomorrow.  The month is careening quickly towards being over.  The mostly-joking extended countdown ticks into “reasonable” countdown territory.

There have been a series of moving end points for this project.  First, it was about getting to last summer.  Then, it became about finishing the year.  Now, it’s a question of sometime between February and May, and a the bigger question of a clean cut or a slow fade away.  There’s a nearing reality of actually not doing this anymore, this starts to lead to the question:

What happens next?There is no obvious answer.  Almost five years ago, there was an apparent answer (this).  Before that, there was an answer (quit, travel).  Before that, pure pragmatics (graduate, gain the minimum amount of experience to open the door later).  For the last, oh, fifteen years there have always been fairly apparent steps and doors, everything unfolding in ways that seemed to make sense.  There’s an immediate next part (adventure) but beyond that it’s far less obvious.

*

The fascinating act of disappearing a relationship from the internet.  No outbursts, no inappropriate emojis soliciting comfort.  The absence having more meaning that the presence of things.

Online breakups are often preluded by the end of joint social media postings by couples who have almost completely documented their relationships in the semi-public (and haven’t had kids and lost so much sleep they can’t remember passwords).  If it’s amicable, there may still be friendly acknowledgment once in awhile, but soon that will stop too.

Suddenly, there will be a profile picture cull.  All those joint shots, blip.  If looking already, a new swipe-right shot will appear (fun! cute) [future life, if this is around in ten more years – that was a jokey reference to Tinder].  This is the major clue.

Is everyone else playing social media detective?



Things That Have Happened More
July 16, 2016, 12:01 am
Filed under: unrelated thoughts

Since arriving here.

Kombucha.

Television watching.

Eating pie.

Accupuncture.  Facial accupuncture.



Big Brother with No Sound On
July 6, 2015, 3:52 am
Filed under: Canada, unrelated thoughts | Tags:

Hair salon.  Medium cold brew coffee and a fresh well-fried donut.  Afternoon ceasar with horseradish.  Finding a new farmer’s market. The wildfires blanket the city in an unfamiliar haze.  There are very few days we can’t see the hills in the distance.  It settled in last night, we wait for the ocean to pull it out to sea.  Everything smells like campfire.  It’s a good reason not to hang out laundry (or to do laundry at all).

*

Right now it’s time to get back into work, Sunday evening.  In theory, this is month 18.  In theory, about 77 more Sunday evenings like this.  There’s always the possibility of a radical shift in plans, because: who really knows?  But imagining a time when Sundays don’t mean a cloud of building obligations and bubbling stress is kind of nice. It’s obviously not harrowing, but it’s unsustainable and sometimes pushes a bit towards feeling kind of insane.  I think about life after this and what it looks like is not that clear yet.  I think about limiting how many things come in the house because I’ll have to get rid of them or ship them.  I think about the looming paperwork to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

*

in theory, this summer so far has been pretty rad.  We started by seeing Jurrasic Park in 3D on June 21, after ending Spring with a barbeque and friends.  A few days later, a classic four day road trip that ended in Revelstoke, with picnics by glacial lakes and social river banks.  Yesterday, we lived out an 80s yuppie fantasy with hours of ocean jetskiing (reality = windswell = butt bruising), then cooked a strange variety of sausages on the BBQ.  Next weekend is a wood cabin in the mountains.  Then, there will be a Talib Kweli show and… a soap making class?  We’re going back to see my family for a few days at the lake.  The weekend after that maybe an out of town air show.  At that point, there are a handful of proper summer weekends left.

No big festivals.  Nothing crazy.  Lots of Canadiana.  Quite a bit of family.  A lot of hours on the sunny patio, easily the best feature in our place.