Open Letter To The Algorithm Oracle

Dear Omniscient Cloud Oracle:

computer-geek

This may be the Facebook Oracle who affects my future

You’ve always been there, anticipating my secret thoughts, then poking those sensitive, insecure spots. Like a comfortable, yet emotionally abusive boyfriend.  I want out and yet I love you because no one else will ever know me like you do.  

I’ll never forget when I first had my babies and went on a posting rampage, sharing those typical first-time moments: first smile, tummy time, first bath.  And in response, you started sending me weight loss ads. Only you knew I still had 30lbs to go before my post-baby body would be fuckable again and your daily reminders really helped. So. So much.  weightloss-ads

It seems like just yesterday you once again portended my body image issues with advertisements for facial rejuvenation services and breast augmentation. I used to get these in my inbox at least once a week and wonder as I scrutinized my pores and floppy tits: “Did someone complain?  How else would you know?”

If I think really hard, I can remember a time when I may have searched “Single mother’s housing options + Vancouver”  and “How to survive on one income” during a big fight with my husband.  But it was hard to hide my feelings of restless and resentment wcheating-sitehen both my Facebook page and my inbox were flooded with ads for divorce lawyers. You may be disappointed to know my husband and I worked everything out – and without cashing in your coupons for Tinder and Ashley Maddison, but thanks for those thoughtful suggestions.

Timg_2650oday you sent me this ad.

I don’t know how to interpret this and it actually fucked me up a little because I just got through a mid-life crisis and shit like this actually makes me regress a little. I’m hoping you’ll read this blog or sense the intention behind it and consider sending me alternative ads for rock concerts or experimental theatre shows. Or better yet, a coupon offering a heavily discounted membership for a wine club.  Just a suggestion.

Sincerely yours,
Maia

What lovely little tidbits is the Facebook Oracle sending you?  Let me know.

And also subscribe and/or share because it will greatly improve my sense of self-worth and general well being. Thank you.

One of those Sunday Mornings

dad-screaming-at-kid     It was unusually chaotic this morning.  Which really got things off to a good start.

In retrospect, this day was a by-product of human error.

Beginning with the ill-conceived idea that my husband and I could get a few moments to enjoy a small luxury – like coffee in bed, maybe a little light petting -by putting on the Wii and letting the kids play a tank game.

I know… We are the worst people in the world.  Within 5 minutes I’m forced to race into the living room, topless, in full view of the street below and condo windows across the street, to pull my son off my daughter, who was just going for his eyes.  All while my husband runs around screaming that someone in the building will call Social Services for sure and have our children removed from our care. Naomi begins to have an anxiety attack. Just as Felix decides to teach us all a lesson about what the future will be for us all if we don’t side with him over Naomi:  He starts hyperventilating.  Yells something he knows will be very offensive, then starts shrieking,”No. Daddy No,” while running down the hall into his bedroom.  All because my husband has finally lost it and yells, just behind our thin front door, that Felix had better stay in his room or risk being killed. Maybe for real.

brad-pitt

Brad before people found out that he is a normal parent

 Poor Brad Pitt.  I am instantly filled with gratitude that we cannot afford to have staff since one of his staff was certain to have reported his “child abuse” to the LAPD.  This is a complete reversal from my earlier position, which was that the only thing standing between me and complete happiness was shortage of staff.

I have to accept a ruined Sunday morning as punishment because really this was all my fault. For breakfast, I allowed our daughter to finish off the last of Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie (Sure. Take as much whipped cream as you like). And Felix pretty much finished off half a box of cinnamon buns, under my direct supervision. Just because I was just a tad hungover (just one double gin and tonic – Fuck, I hate getting old) and didn’t want to make anything for breakfast or do the dishes after.   So how can I be mad at the kids for my own idiocy?kill-me-now

To celebrate this amazing mental breakthrough, I reward myself by leaving.  (don’t judge me – it was after II make them some eggs and get everyone to the table, chests still heaving from their exertions, still smarting from the injustice of it all.)

“Bye. Just running to the store. Love you. Take care of each other.”

Since Amsterdam, I have been orchestrating and savouring these moments of true Freedom.

I float down the street to the chocolate shop so I can shoot the shit with Heather, the owner and my new life-coach.  She has an idea, easy to execute, that will make me look like a rock-star with the PAC for my kids’ school.  I just love her.

Then I wander up the street to the grocery store, where I try all the samples.  And also pick up the ingredient I need to prepare a glorious Family Sunday Dinner, which is going to become a weekly and mandatory thing – but hopefully in a happy, quality time sort of way.

As I walk home, I look up and am rewarded again with the most beautiful cloud-shaped shades of grey and purpley black.  I let the rain patter down on my face, soaking up all the negative ions. Feeling my heart open and grow patient again. Feeling the tightness in my neck and shoulders. Then holding onto a tree trunk for a little stretch.  I drink in calm and the beauty of a peaceful, glimmering city by a gorgeous body of water.   Thank you. Thank you. My church rocks!! I just have to figure out how to incorporate a little sip of wine during my service and a little more “body” (if you get my meaning…) And I’ll be ready to apply for tax-free status.storm-clouds

I invite you to join my congregation and take a little time away to savour something that makes you feel free.  (and make it a news-free day. Unless it’s John Oliver, then it’s ok.)

Please share a time you’ve found magic in the mundane…

And also I’d deeply appreciate it if you’d subscribe.  This way I can send you this new thing I’m trying:

I’ve got two lines of snappy little quotes you can print off and stick on your fridge…
1) Unsolicited Advice  2) Weird Shit I Overhear

recite-u5hllx

I can also let you know when I’m doing a storytelling gig near you and want to crash on your couch.

xo
Maia.

Inspirations From Amsterdam

I haven’t written any posts since I’ve been back from Amsterdam because, really, who wants to hear from a happywoman-1008690_960_720 person?  I mean you’ve all been very supportive since I started writing about my midlife crisis and I’m sure you’re glad I finally pulled myself out of that rut. But one thing you may not know and may not be at all prepared for is that when I’m happy, I tend to get a bit born again-y about whatever it is I think may be responsible for my cheerfulness.

And then I annoy people. Which makes them grow distance-y, which is sad but also great because then I can write funny stuff about feeling alienated.

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Finding Myself In Amsterdam Pt 1

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One of my favourite stops. Here I’ve met some of the most interesting people ever.

My new Oracle is an app called Hopper.  You just type in a place you’d like to visit and it sends you alerts if the airfare goes down.  When a return flight to Amsterdam came up at $599, taxes in – I took that as a sign and booked the flight.

I know travel is also good medicine for me.  My family and I have travelled quite a bit since the kids were born. Adventurous travel. Like taking a 1 year-old, who insists on jumping in any body of water, to Venice.

But I haven’t travelled alone since before I met my husband. That’s 10 years ago.  That poor guy has had to listen to my 10-year-old travel stories about a million times. I pull at least one out at every dinner party. He never complains, but I know it drives him nuts.  That might be the biggest reason he encouraged me to go.

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I said, “Get a core” Not “a whore”, stupid.

 

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Nothing has the power to bring me crashing back to earth faster than pissing my pants in public.

I was feeling pretty good on the day I stood in line at the bank to get some forms signed.  Pretty good until I started coughing at the exact moment the line moved and I stepped forward.

It wasn’t a soaker, but there was definitely a gush and since I had no idea how I looked from the back, I bolted from the line and sped walked home.  Feeling like a moron. A middle-aged moron with a floppy, stretched out bladder.

Why oh why did I push for natural childbirth?  It wasn’t so great and now I piss my pants.  Is this one of those fucked up punishments for being a woman because a million years ago some ignorant chick ate an apple?  You have to admit, that particular decision-maker is one messed up dude.

eating apple

A weak bladder hardly seems a fair punishment

“It’s because you have a weak core,” Alice informed me when I called looking for sympathy.

“You’ve got to do something. Get a ben wa ball  or do some kegels.  Because no one loves a grown woman who smells like piss.” (more…)

An Unconventional Cure For Writer’s Block

 

happy woman

 

You haven’t heard from me for a couple weeks. This is because I’ve been lost in a morass of self-doubt and fear. I think I was waiting to find a funny angle before I could write it out, but no matter how I tell it, there just isn’t any humour there. The timing couldn’t have been worse because after my last blog, my loving and patient husband laid down the law: “Every time you write about me, you make me seem like such an asshole.  Really? You don’t have anything else to say?”

I realized that I didn’t actually. And this was enough to create a huge writers block.

Desperate to pull myself out and keep my blogging momentum going, I tested out humorous versions of this story with Alice, who berated me for trying way too hard.

“Why not just do something to change your focus. Do something that makes you feel good.”

She convinced me to join her at the Synagogue.
“But, Alice, we’re not even Jewish.”

“Just wait.”

When we got there, Alice insisted we sit in the first row.
“Trust me, you’ll thank me later.”

A few minutes later a shortish man with just the hint of a receding hairline walked out and stood at the front of the room.  His head was lowered and his demeanor, meditative.  “Oh shit,” I thought.  “A fucking religious self-help talk.”

jewish cantor

Now I get the attraction to organized religion

But then the man raised his head and began to chant.  I couldn’t understand the words, but in a moment it was clear why Alice brought me. She always has the best ideas.

The man’s voice was deep and completely filled the room.  When he hit the low notes, the resonance of his voice hit me right in the clit.  I looked over at Alice.  She had her eyes closed and a little smile.  I then glanced around me and noticed that the first three rows were entirely filled with women.
“So this is why people get into organized religion…” My last thoughts before I allowed the sensation to overtake me.

Today, I feel much better.

ok I'm feeling it now

In a much better mood today

 

This morning I talked to my husband about converting to Judaism, but that’s another blog post.