what's been getting me through this (beyond the oxygen supplied by scrumptious friends)

* du maurier and tanqueray
* gavin degraw
* my morning pages
* boycotting hair care (no dreads yet)
* the food network
* jon stewart
* travel fantasies
* oddly compelling shatner cd
* serendipitous postcard from greg b

out with the old

one week since me and the campaign reached an agreement and one week til the contract is officially ‘up’. i’ve got this box of files/filing in the middle of the floor of my main room – which i’m seriously eager to hand over – but i haven’t touched it yet. beck thinks i should just drop it off at the office AS IS with a big note in red sharpie that says “go fuck yourselves”. tempting.

usually we have to shush ourselves in order to hear the whispers of the universe as she guides us. this time, her subtlety was altogether lacking – instead, she left a bigass boot print in the middle of my back. as i slowly stop resisting the signs (and myself) i’m actually beginning to feel positive about the crossroads where i stand. i just need the dangling internal conflicts to sink to the bottom and settle there. that’s what i’m most anxious for: the settling down of the shit.

when mh asked me last week "isn't there even a little part of you that's excited?", i got all fucking agitated and almost defensive. i was all like well but this is what i'm supposed to do, so NO, i don't feel good and i thought up corny analogies like if i try something else, it'd be like cheating on a lover. sweet christ.

the more i accept that i maybe i don’t want to do this kind of work anymore, the more i’m aware of the excitement i think IS restless to come out and dance, like the crazy cgi baby from ally mcbeal.

feels a bit juvenile and naïve, though, to sit and gawk at the stars and consider that crazy thing called possibility. it’s as though i’m 16 again, staring into the years ahead of me and feeling giddy with imagination.

i don’t think i’m as scared as i imagine i should be. more sad than scared. i’m sad that i've lost the draw to the work i have loved, that has so loved me back. spent so many fucking years gathering confidence and passion and skill, convincing the world and myself that this is where i belong. thought it was for forever. and maybe it still could be. but maybe i need a break. maybe i need to figure out what else might light me up in the same way. maybe i just want more. all i know is that i’ve lost the taste for ngos and campaigns and coalition politics. maybe just for now. whatever, i just have to get okay with all that. and right quick, because the time is now for being 16 … wide-eyed, plucky, full of anticipation … perhaps not as intrepid, but jesus, a strong and grounded woman with the clean slate of a cocky high school senior? godamn.


breaking up's hard to do

it's like being stuck in an unhealthy relationship but you just don't have the balls to walk away from it. you start off with great expectations, full of lust and anticipation. then as soon as the deal is made, the sheen wears right off. you find yourself staring into the face of what was supposed to be the love of your life but has turned out to be the drainer of whatever energy and hope was left in you. you rub your eyes, blink lots, scratch your head. wonder how you could have been so bamboozled. wonder why you hadn't trusted that tiny voice that told you this isn't the one.

descend into resentment. shift from a genuine outpouring of commitment and devotion to a lifeless shuffle. go through the motions. wish you didn't need so desperately to stay in the very thing that is sucking the life out of you. compromise dreams and values just so that you can eek out some kind of payoff. question is, at what cost? the relationship has so rendered you another person that it's hardly obvious anymore why you stay and who you would be if you left.

that's what it was like for me and the fucking job. from the outside, we were the perfect couple: a complementary match, brought together at the right time with all the appropriate fanfare. friends were supportive, even envious, that we'd found each other. all the elements were seemingly in sync. behind closed doors, however, we were a mess of unmet expectations and miscommunication. it was clear right off the hop that i was not going to have my needs met, nor was i going to be able to perform in the ways demanded of me. i got myself into a bad situation that, despite all efforts, did not get better. i guess i thought if i didn't try to make it work, i'd be deemed unworthy by the onlookers. i figured if i left, it would cause irreparable damage to my credibility. so i stayed. and i really did suffer for it.

more than anything, i felt the timing was impeccable: i really needed the boost this relationship was supposed to provide. but this experience has shown me that the fire missing from my belly may well need stoking from a very different source. and that's a fear i fear was there in the first place. i don't blame myself for hoping this job would inject me with motivation, even in the interim. but now i realize it couldn't. even if it hadn't been frought with shitty planning and shitty management and shitty people. i'm not in a place that allows the best version of me to shine. combine a lacklustre work situation with a lacklustre me, and well, it just spells f-u-c-k-e-d.

so like the insecure half of an abusive relationship, i stayed. i chose to remain with that seemingly perfect partner. i'm not sure if i thought it could save me, or me it. then, fortuitously, my decision was made for me. what i feel now is equal parts OMIGOD and THANK GOD. i've been replaced by a more fabulous version of myself, a bigger superstar than i'll ever be (at least i wasn't followed by an idiot). funny thing is, i find myself too relieved to even give a shit about my reputation or my employability. oh sure, i'm suitably nervous about what comes next, but as for what was to have been the greatest campaign of my supposed career, i'm glad to be free of it. i'm strong enough to speak my own truth about what really happened. i see now that i was in a choke-hold. and i'm already breathing easier.

now, if i can only figure out a new way to go. scary as all hell.


the hills are a-buzz

i've never been one of those people who refers to ottawa as sleepy or boring. but that's only because i'm a political junkie. so imagine my delight when the fit hit the shan today. this town is a-buzz over belinda-gate. it's fucking exciting. barely a pre-teen in terms of her life in federal politics, the sassy mp not only crossed the floor today, she did it without giving any heads-up to harper. and she really did more than just cross the floor. more like leapt to the other side, high enough to land her pert self a big cabinet seat. as if enough havoc isn't wreaked with her defection, a certain senior tory may be nursing a wounded heart because he might have thought he knew her. apparently, they are now taking a break.

so score one for martin - albeit a little one - and too bad so sad harper. martin's acquisition may not be enough to impact the much-anticipated budget vote this thursday, but then again, it may. given how quickly things change in this town, anything can happen. on the other hand, the reaction to today's belindamania provides a harsh reminder of how things don't change in this town. it's hardly the case that men in politics - however provocative their choices - would be referred to, venomously, as "attractive", a "dipstick", or "whoring" himself to another party.

the sexism that continues to pervade politics should hardly be a surprise, but somehow, always is. i don't give a good god damn what belinda's career ambitions are. c'mon, anyone who runs for any kind of public office has ambitions - too few noble. but that's not the fucking point. whenever the white men in politics get a chance, they rush to media scrums to pin a bulls-eye on a female colleague and lambast her. look back to lethal-turned-personal criticism heaped onto the likes of hedy fry, jane stewart, sheila copps. questionable decisions or not, women in politics continue to have to endure the most scatching and inappropriate attacks. it's fucking apalling and it makes me sick. it happens all the time and we just let it. meanwhile, the men make shitty decisions every minute of every fucking day, and we usually re-elect their sorry asses. guess it's not the female politicians who are "vacuous" ... maybe the entire fucking electorate is one big ditzy blonde.

speaking of ass, members of the us s
enate subcommittee for homeland security and governmental affairs got theirs whooped today. and it was beautiful. i saw footage of british mp george galloway's testimony, and i swear i got a big boner. it was hot. on the agenda: investigation into the so-called oil for food scandal. galloway was called in to defend himself against alleged involvement. and he was pissed. the anti-war politician unleashed a fierce indictment of his own, calling the subcommittee's claims the "mother of all smokescreens" and even referring to the post-"liberation" democracy in iraq an installed "puppet government". the subcommittee was rendered virtually speechless, the room was stunned. galloway was fearless, articule, credible, and fucking brilliant. he may not have made a single friend during his hour on capitol hill, but he made sense - and that's refreshing by any washington standard.


punk'd, personally

surmised last night that ashton kutcher is sitting in a trailer somewhere near my house, laughing his skinny iowan ass off as he pulls the most drawn-out torturous gag on me, the least-interesting target on earth. there he is guffawing into his oversized headset like a drunken fratboy…

“ok, now stuff more overdue bills into her mailbox!”
“send in the incompetent and manipulative coworker!”
“yeah, now tell jimmy to put the dent in her car!”
“ain’t it time for her laptop to crash again? do it!”
“cue gina to phone her as the crusty collections officer!”
“get that slimy political guy to fuck around with the stupid election”
"ooh, that's a good one! k, now get that karaoke hostess to slip 'er some tongue!"

yo, that must be what’s going down, aiight? can’t be no otha reason for things to have reached this level of nuts up in here. some scrawny overrated ballcap-wearing bad-movie-making mtv-dominating former model is engineering the dominoes of bizarro that knock each day of this life into the next.

then again, oprah and chopra and this life strategist with the freakishly large face tell me that i alone determine my fate. and thanks to this movement of science made cool, i’m doing the requisite peptide work to de-program my neurologically-based addiction to victimization. and i try to create my day. i’m journaling, stretching, meditating. i mantra all the livelong day about my optimal self. i’m getting professional help. and i’ve even got fridge magnet poetry… still in the box, mind you, but the intention is no less valid, muthafucka.

gets me thinking… everytime i pop a vein about some stupid job stress, put off booking a doctor’s appointment, dab on the cologne of a former lover, replay that song, eat another bite, curse that mistake, spend another second with him on my mind … i’m pretty much punking my own damn self. punking myself into thinking that this might, in fact, be as good as it gets. ok, so like, if the sheer silliness of the shit going on lately is a personal episode of punk’d, AND if i'm actually in charge of my own destiny and shit, well then i’ve got it pretty good, cuz my life doesn't actually suck ass, i’m ashton, i'm banging demi, and i'm fucking loaded.


the bigness

sometimes i catch a glimpse of myself from the side and from behind in the crazy images bouncing from the mirrors in the corridor of the atrium in the building where i work. i have now seen the bigness of my hair from bizarre angles. and i can't believe no one has told me. to wonder about the chaka-esque size of my hair is not new for me. but i could never have imagined the sheer magnitude of the bigness until the gauntlet of mirrors put it in front of me like that. i'm not sure how i feel about it. holy hell that's some big fucking hair. if i'm every woman, then ladies, we gots some frizz.


battle weary

quite a week for this beleaguered warrior. on the surface, our wee campaign had a pretty good week: the u2 concerts and related west coast events yielded a surge in coverage and support, taking us that much closer to our goal of mainstreaming the campaign brand. bono was king of the canadian media for awhile, and we did our best to seize it. our tour contacts blogged rather positively, may i say, about how the campaign was received by u2 fans. behind the curtain, though, a festival of chaos continues to thrive thanks to ongoing lack of coordination. stressed interpersonal dynamics that were born of that very problem were in play during the frenzy. i’m tempted to just stop pressing for better organization. when will i get it through my head? i’m dealing with people so dazzled by five minutes of media attention that concerns about better coordination and efficiency are heard as only the maniacal ramblings of a killjoy.

speaking of maniacal, in an impressive display of pettiness and manipulation, someone orchestrated his very own coup in order to clear me from his path to power. and what an intoxicating power it must be, ruler of an empire like this dinky ndp riding association. after deciding i was the enemy because i had the audacity to ask him to just be a candidate and leave complex and critical issues like font and lumber to the minions, it seems the guy has spent the 12 months plotting my removal because clearly, i’m a dangerous element.

i guess i should be flattered… sorta like survivor when the ‘threat’ gets voted off the island. but now i’m trying to figure out how much i want to do with a party that would prioritize the immature whims of a self-serving candidate above supporting and defending skilled long-term party activists. thing is, our struggling wing lacks the capacity to provide that strategic support even if the wisdom for it did exist. so busy with the baby steps, there’s no way to propel (or even just prop up) the talent in our midst. sad fact when it’s we, the expendable foot soldiers, who are most likely to stick around and keep the joint open with duct tape and twine until the next time a flavour-of-the-month candidate’s name goes up in flashing neon. the rank and file who show up for grunt work whether there’s a chance of an electoral gain of 3 fucking % or not.

any sour grapes? i suppose i feel cornered, with a bit o' anxiety. too battle weary to bother brushing up on the art of war and too under-resourced to determine what a worthy battle even is. that's pretty much all areas of my life right now. i'm way past the fucking grapes. let's just say it's more like rancid wine... which uncorked into an evening of drunken release last night and spilled into a day of headachey lethargy today. can't wait to report for duty in the a.m.