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list 6: période de pointe survival kit

February 26, 2010

We are officially entering the busiest time of the year at work.  Otherwise known as la période de pointe. Otherwise known as my own private hell. Also known as that period when I disappear under a pile of financial statements, wade ass deep in alligators and become ever more absent from this blog than usual (if at all possible).

(Let’s be honest… am I ever really here?  This place is destined to become the wasteland of lost lists. Ah! But I am being melodramatic. Fatigue will do that to you. It’s true that this blog feels more like a layover than a home lately, but at least it’s a safe little place to land between here and there.  And the digs aren’t too shabby. And they serve single malt scotch whiskey.  And the couches are cozy.  Are you cozy? I’m cozy.)

Where were we?  Lists. Yes, lists.  These are the things that keep me (somewhat) sane and help me survive the 12-hour-days, staying-at-the-office-late and bringing-work-home-on-the-weekend, which make up the bulk of March.

  1. Espresso. When I feel like my eyes are about to roll into the back of my head and knock me unconscious.
  2. Counting down my trip to Iceland and New York, which is now under the 60-day mark. Vacation is like the promised land after crossing hell and back.
  3. Whiskey and popcorn. No matter what happens during the day, no matter how many hours I’ve clocked at work, things seem somewhat innocuous if I know I am coming home to a double of the good stuff (hold the ice) and a bowl of air popped organic corn with nutritional yeast and flax seed oil.  I believe the term you are looking for is heaven.
  4. The subway. A 20-minute opportunity to read something other than financial statements and annual reports and auditors’ consents.
  5. The Blue Hour. It’s my new drug. Seriously, it’s all that and a gram of smack.
  6. Laughter. When the team is past the point of exhaustion, we send each other videos like this and everything turns to giggles.
  7. Swearing. Always helps.  In French, bien sur, so that my point gets across clearly. And my point is usually this: I do believe these statements were put together by monkeys with flippers using chop sticks for pens and an old version of Excel *shudder*. Osti! Non, mais sérieux! Why did they feel the need to get all Picasso on my ass?  Why they gotta be that way? Are they trying to distract us from the actual figures with all the pretty fonts and lines in a million different colors?  They might as well add goddamn emoticons and animated GIFs……..Wait for it…..Osti de câlisse de tabarnac de st-ciboire d’enfant de chienne de sacrament de crisse de putin de merde.  Purée qu’ils font chier avec leurs saloperies. Yes. That pretty much covers it. I will not even begin to attempt to translate.  Let your imagination go wild.  Conjure a colorful string of profanity and double it in length and shock value.  Then add the C word for good measure.
  8. Vanilla rooibos tea.  For when the stress level goes through the roof.
  9. Music. Glorious music. I am lucky to work in a place that allows me to plug into my music as I see fit. And it saves me. Every day.
  10. Vitamins and spirulina when there have been one too many take-outs in a week.
  11. I might as well add masturbation to the list. I mean we are, after all, talking about stress releasers and tension relievers.  Yes, I realize I just said masturbation on my blog. One of the side effects of working long days is that your mind starts to malfunction a little bit and words come out all messy and disjointed and without much pre-thought and before you know it, you are saying MASTURBATION on your blog. The blog your mother reads. Oh! The humanity. I do it. You do it. We all do it. And if you don’t, you should. Ain’t no shame in it. I just wish there was a better word for it. Because phonetically?  I’m not feeling it.
  12. When brain waves have essentially flat lined, I turn to old reruns of Arrested Development.  Short of that, there is always the option of staring into space.
  13. Running. Always and forever.
  14. Saturday morning yoga here is bliss with a cherry on top (a fresh one, none of that maraschino crap).
  15. Visits to my osteopath and massage therapist. These women are angels on earth.
  16. Photography. It quiets everything and reminds me of what is true.
  17. Knowing that there is an end to the madness. That it isn’t always going to be like this. That it’s a crunch, a rush to the finish line and then we can all collapse in a collective heap of exhaustion and sleep.  After which we will slowly come out of our caves, like moles blinking at the harsh light and ask What the hell just happened? And then we’ll meet life and be all… Oh! Hello life. Haven’t seen you around here much lately. And life will ask… are you ready to take me back? And we will be much obliged.
  18. When all else fails… chocolate. We each have a stash for extreme circumstances.
  19. And ridiculous non sequitur chats with friend, wordsmith extraordinaire and whiskey compadre:

* * *

9:34 AM
r: yo caron, tired beyond all reason.
me: did you go to bed late after all?
r: well i was in st-henri when i texted you so it took a while
me: and then you fell into a vat of whiskey
r: i slipped. BAM. into eating and whiskey.
me: that would be like the best sequel to alice in wonderland. alice falls in a tub of whiskey.  oh the adventures would only begin.

12:24 PM
r: so today against all habit i made a sandwich because i have these amazing fresh buns of bread at home and they are irresistible. but because of that very characteristic i have already eaten the sandwich and now i am bored.
me: starving too.  accidentally started my period yesterday. and by accidentally, i mean unexpectedly. which means that i am eating for 6. will def. need coffee around 2ish considering i only slept 3 hours last night.
r: coffee this afternoon def. needed. wish day were over but it isn’t. your typical foggy type thing

1:57 PM
me: coffee?
r: fuck yes. FUCK. YES. BUT IN EVEN BIGGER FONT!!!!!
me: ah. the limitations of gmail. so disappointing. meet you in washroom? like. NOW?
me: no cars GO!

2:22 PM
r: GLOOP. all gone. choco-awesome
me: ha. en feu avec le shooogrrrr
r: OH MY GOD I WANT OUT! heaven help us. deliver us from evil. mine ass wobbles thusly on towards bethlehem. christ. i am all messes and no filing cabinets.
me: you’re in a mighty sorry state, you are. and i would surely come to your rescue and partake in all sorts of note exchanges (à la high school) on rainbow colored post its however i am all but here and also. ass deep in boite ling. rescue me, sally
r: HOLD UP GERONIMO. what’s that bump up in the road AHEAD. it’s not a HEAD you fool it’s a BUMP.
me: wtf? have you been drinking? wait. let me rephrase. do you need a drink?
r: YES to your second question and only TEARS to your first. clearly my answer to the former question proves the mathematical issues surrounding it. x = ? the solution in back of book. x = yes.
me: x= 2 ounces of whiskey stat! also. needle in the hay monday. hard rock version!
r: needle in the hay. eye of the needle, apple of my eye, ides of march, to the beat of a different drum, drum up some whiskey girly it’s a long day and no mistake.
me: damn the man. it smells like teen spirit in here. jazz style
r: pot and body odour.
me: you make no mistake. the boite ling is like a rash on my ass. i need some calamine.
r: pink bath à la pepto bismol for all boite ling ills.
me: pepto bismol jello fights pour les intimes

2:38 PM
r: damn. we need a strobe light in here. pieew pieww piiieeww piew piew piew piew. (lazer show.)

3:20 PM
me: favré. funny guy, he is.
r: yeah and good quads.
me: he could work on his pecs though. poor boy could barely bench a peanut. which is cause for concern on the confidence front.
r: poop. (the sound on a peanut being benched. is that. no way around it sorry but you can’t fight city hall.)
me: i can fight city hall. with a damn trombone, if i wish. that is paper clip. not wind instrument. just so we are clear. HORNS!
r: oh god. i am dying. dying.
me: don’t you die on me lake. death is not an option. die another day. carpe fucking diem. you get the point. and now must hop away into meeting. which requires post-coffee gum. would you happen to have such a thing in your cell? i mean, cubicle.
r: i do. i do have such a thing.
me: stop drop and roll first because you are en feu. flamèches. pssshhhoo!

3:40 PM
r: dude i so want out of here it’s mad. i mean i have about an inch of whiskey and 1.5 inches of vodka and 3 inches red wine at the house. and i can picture them all perfectly. is this indicative of something?
me: only of how much you want out. as for me, since i didn’t buy wine yesterday, do you think that is grounds for me buying wine today? wine tomorrow, wine yesterday but never wine today. god damn this day is dragging its ass. and god damn tickle in the throat. and god damn why does apple juice look like urine?

* * *

On that crazy note… if you don’t see much of me over the coming weeks… well, I guess it won’t really be a departure from the usual. You can simply assume that I am drinking way too much coffee and that I will land, eventually.

En feu!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2010 11:21 am

    and just when i thought i couldn’t love you more.
    would you please take this show on the road? you could save the masses with this stuff, seriously.
    i feel redeemed. levitated. and like i want a drink.
    you are THAT GOOD.

  2. February 26, 2010 12:15 pm

    me and arrested development…pure. bliss.

    if i wasn’t already married and he wasn’t already married, i’d go hunt him down. you know who i’m talking about…uh huh, michael bluth.

    because cute and funny wins every time. every. time.

    much love. and if i don’t get to see you in NYC, (even if you’re on a love fest), i’m going to hunt you down. hahahaha xoxo

  3. Alison permalink
    February 26, 2010 12:27 pm


  4. safski permalink
    February 26, 2010 1:16 pm

    i LOVED this. Thank you for making me laugh and giving me a little dose of your wonderful crazy!! xoxo

  5. February 26, 2010 1:27 pm

    love brian’s blog – seriously, how can every day life just look that pretty. *pulls hair*

    ugh – sorry, i don’t miss this time of year being out of banking all of that. but i can relate to not having enough time to enjoy. tie a knot in the freaking rope and hold on. 🙂

  6. February 26, 2010 1:38 pm

    just found your blog. great stuff here. big fan of brians too..

  7. February 27, 2010 5:30 am

    brilliant list 🙂

  8. February 28, 2010 9:16 am

    best. list. ever.

  9. March 2, 2010 6:58 am

    hey… about that trip to new york…
    well, i have a little treasure hunt for you to do like you did for lisa in london.

    will email you about it later
    love you, hang in there. i’ll sup a whisky for you from here too


  10. March 3, 2010 11:24 am

    Loved your list.
    Just discovered your blog: beautiful photos and great space!

  11. March 3, 2010 1:29 pm

    I am dying laughing. Can’t believe you put masturbate on your blog. Laughing so hard I choked on my lunchtime soda. My students (all second graders, mind you) are going to be asking my why I am giggling all day long. What, pray tell, should I tell them??


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