Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hello? Is it me you're looking for?


Hello Blogosphere. It’s been a while and I’ve really missed you, missed you so much that I thought about you almost every day since I’ve been away.

In my time away from you, I’ve done a lot of thinking, a lot of working and a lot of living. I’ve rearranged my living room at least three times and it’s even now going under its latest transformation. I’ve moved couches, rescued an ottoman from the Goodwill for a meager $10 (I brought them down from $15) and offered new homes for things that no longer worked in my humble abode – things that no longer fit my existence. It’s been liberating and a little scary as I stumble to discover my new sense of self. My living room reflects that as I wonder what exactly my new sense of style and self entails. And, like myself, my home for the past eight years still feels unfinished despite the work that’s already taken place.

I will admit that I was stuck in limbo for a bit. It was like I was thinking “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But it was. I was. Broken. Holding onto an image of what or who I was supposed to be. I can’t say I’m fully better now, but I’m definitely a little closer than I ever have been before.

So, in celebration of the changes I’ve made I am going to let you in on what has been happening since I last wrote, the places I’ve been and the new experiences that have popped up.

  • I got myself a new tenant this past September. He’s got a snake tattoo but I didn’t judge him for that. While he’s a little rough around the edges looks-wise, he’s kind, decent, honest and he loves Kao, proving it’s best not to judge a book by its cover. Oh, and he willingly shares in the chores. My floors, bathroom and kitchen have never been cleaner. I also laid down the rules of the house before he moved in and I’ve remained true to them and to myself.
  • I developed elephant ankles and claw hands in August from a serious infection. And while it was not fun and I don’t want to see the inside of an emergency room or my doctor for quite some time, I did discover just how awesome my friends are – bringing me smut magazines, soup and cleaning my house when I could barely manage to walk the stairs to my bedroom.
  • On that note, I’ve forged an awesome new friendship with an old acquaintance – one that I hope to have for a very long time.
  • I visited an antique market with another new friend where we unveiled a love of antiques and a genuine appreciation for each other.
  • I found that my decorating style is not traditional and not modern but rather transitional, sort of like me.
  • I started dating, not as a way to find my next relationship but more to have fun, meet new people and to realize that not every fork will match my spoon.
  • I made Anasatan insanely proud because both of us realized that the initial change of not accepting second best was not a one-time occurrence.
  • I got hired, or I should say re-hired, on a part-time contract with the safety association and learned that I am a good event planner. It’s also closer to where I want to be career-wise and that my skills transfer brilliantly.
  • While we did not manage to attend the taping of The Rick Mercer Report one Friday night as planned (we got stuck in downtown Toronto traffic), Anasatan and my extended family did enjoy an awesome dinner, a lot of laughs and a plethora of smoked meat at a downtown deli.
  • Mags, G-Girl and I attended a comedy night on Labour Day weekend that, unbeknown to us, was held above a sex club. We looked in, curious to see what it was all about. Judging from the patrons already there, it was not for us. So, instead we ventured off to see what other trouble we could get ourselves into on a Sunday night and ended up getting a three finger salute from a rather attractive exotic dancer at a local strip club.
  • My Cloak and Dagger Dad admitted that we’re more alike than we ever thought. He too had a doctor tell him he was full of shit (he had a blockage in his lower intestines)… UPDATE: Dad has just been diagnosed with Crohn’s and has spent the last two weeks in hospital fighting a myriad of illnesses, including potential pneumonia and a definite irregular heartbeat. We’re hoping he’s on the mend since he hates the meals hospitals pass off as real food. I’m trying to keep my hopes up and away from googling his symptoms. The potential diagnoses are just too much to process right now.

 That’s not all but it’s late and my insomnia appears to be receding and I must catch that wave. Until next time, blogosphere. Oh, how much I have missed you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Missing: myself

The other day a friend of mine asked me how I was doing since The Ex Man had left my humble abode and my life. She asked if I missed him and if there was any chance that we would work things out.

It's been over a month so it was a fair question. I had time to be acclimatized to a bedroom without hitting my toe on a dresser that was too big for the space or sleep in the bed that kept mysteriously losing bolts (but only on my side - coincidence or murder plot... hmm...). I also had a full month of permanent garbage duty and poop patrol details, and a month of no cheesy lines or stories repeated verbatim ad nauseum.

The truth of the matter is that while I miss the companionship, the connection between two human beings I don't miss him as a partner. It was a partnership that never truly was. I don't miss the long silences and stares as he tried to guess how I would react before deliverying any news - from his dinner preference or weekend plans to his penchant for Money Mart loans. I miss laughing over Kao's antics or how he'd play hide and seek throughout the house and have Kao chase him up the stairs laughing (The Ex Man, not Kao - that's just ridiculous). I don't miss relying on someone who could not be relied upon.

Even though he was a quiet guy (and still is), the house is even quieter now. Kao has taken to grunting at me, constantly by my side to play, go out, romp, throw sticks, rubber chickens and pigs. He does let me sleep in and he hasn't tried to eat any more of my undergarments but I think even he feels the void. To say it's any one person, I can't say. He just senses the shift in dynamics, the table set for one. As I write this, he's grunting at me to go out or to give me a kiss. I sure wish he could use his words.

I miss words, conversation, a connection between two people who live in close quarters. I miss having my back scratched every night before sleep and someone to tell me how awesome, beautiful, sexy and smart I am. So now, I scratch my own back (don't use the spagetti strainer if ever you visit - it's not in the kitchen anymore). Every morning when I'm greeted with my image in the mirror, I tell myself exactly what I see: a strong, beautiful, sexy, smart and funny woman who stood her ground and refused to accept second best.

It's working, slowly but surely. But it's in these quiet times that I yearn for the hopes of days past when I believed in and was excited by the possibilities that lay ahead in the new relationship of four years past, and when I believed that there was a fork to match my spoon.

I know there will come a day when the quiet times and these feelings will slip away, and now, a month past, it is getting easier and easier. I may just have to keep the radio on 24-7 until I'm dancing joyously and missing nothing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

He's on a cougar hunt and he's found one...



I should have known when he danced up to our table and announced he was a progressive house DJ who hoped he would get the part-time gig as a sandwich master at Subway for which he had interviewed last week.

It was our first full day in Charlottetown and Anasatan and I had secured a table on the patio, listening to the band du jour at Peake's Quay down by the Charlottetown waterfront. We were tying on a few rum and Diet Cokes and were just thankful and excited to be back at Peake's, the scene for many a fun night during our last visit five years ago. We knew there would be young'uns but there had been a good mix of people in the past and we were looking forward to letting loose.

Mr. DJ looked about 19 though he swore he was 25, hip-hopping his way over to our table with an Alpine beer (swill) and Rev in hand. Besides his very stylish and exhuberant dancing, what stood out the most was his inability to look away, taking in what he thought was our predator pheramones.

We may have just entered the 40-club, but neither myself or Anasatan are ready to enter Cougar-dom just yet. Besides our need for mid-day naps, we did not look nor feel any of our 40 years. And, I certainly wasn't into the young meat Mr. DJ was showcasing. He was impressed that we hailed from just around Toronto, thinking we had the inside scoop of the latest raves, lounges and clubs. What he didn't realize was we were both more Jesus of Surburbia than downtown hipster. He also didn't realize that the conversation would turn from friendly to downright strange. He should have known. We, on the other hand, had no idea how the conversation (and our stomachs) would turn.

Just one of the things I love about Anasatan is her awesome sense of humour (and also her great taste in best friends), so I wasn't surprised when she quipped in with one of her zingers. After inviting Mr. DJ to join us at the table for some stimulating conversation and finding that he clammed up instantly when in the presence of our awesomeness, I was trying to make conversation and had asked him what brought him out on that particular windy night. I had grown tired of his adoration and non-blinking stare and needed to fill in the air space in with something other than his deep breathing and drooling (Yes, it goes without saying that we were hawt).

"Well, Scribe, he's out on a cougar hunt and he's found one," joked Anasatan in her usual devilish attitude, laughing at Mr. DJ's shocked expression. I wasn't sure how he was going to answer or if he'd manage a retort at all. He wasn't exactly rating high on the wit scale. What we got was even more shocking (and a whole load more disturbing).

"I can't do anything," he confessed. "I've got genital warts."

Yes, genital warts. Not "well, really, you're not my type and while I'm enjoying this conversation I think I'm going to drink up some lemonade and dance with the hipsters in the corner." Genital warts. Herpes. An STD broadcast.

And, while I appreciated his blatant honesty, the fact that I had not even expressed an iota of interest had me second guessing as to what phrase had actually left his lips. So, I asked him to repeat it. My ears had heard correctly. Genital warts. I did not know what to say, and it's a rare occasion that I'm left speechless and automatically feeling the need to wash my hands, my eyes, my ears and generally any part of my body that may or may not have come into contact with DJ Penil Warts.

Copious amounts of alcohol followed more to kill any germs that may have congregated on his chair during his thankfully brief time with us but also to be able to process what had just occurred. And process we did, telling everyone from the young ladies waiting for a taxi out in front of the patio bar to the waitress and the cab drivers we would hire throughout the week.

It also became our phrase of the entire holiday: "Oh, I can't do the dishes - I've got genital warts," "Oh, I think I need to  take a third shower today to ward off those genital warts," "Oh, Mr. Cab Driver, we can't possibly consider inviting you in for a drink - we've become afflicted with genital warts." You get the picture.

What a picture it is... having never seen or come into contact with anyone with genital warts I was curious. Rule to live by: never Google images of genital warts after ingesting a meal... or ever. In this case, it's better to remain curious than to be in the know. Unless you've got itching and your member looks like a roll of braille. Then it's time to go see a doctor and put that penis or vagina into hiatus, hiding or just chop it off.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

There's not room enough for the both of us...


I am under no delusions that real-life mice are like the little mice in Cinderella and all other Disney films - cute, friendly and more than likely to break out into song at every turn. I know that if I run into a crab it's not going to be the calypso singing crustacean from the Little Mermaid. I will not invite them into my house for a visit and I will not tell them to pull up a chair to share a meal with me.

I'm a lover of all creatures, despite recent reportings of a Thumper killing. That bunny had a death wish and a crazed look in his eyes; I was doing society a favour.

I love my boxer boy, I continue to love my soccer ball cat though she has left this world, I even love the robin who visits me every morning in the garden 'though I would never consider a parakeet, cockatoo or even a budgie within the confines of my home. What I do not love is the scurry of little feet across the ground, and that is why I want to crunch their little tiny brains under my feet, take a stiletto to the cranium and poison the feck out of the little varmints.

About three years ago, well before I started this blog, I learned that I can shriek like a girl when I come into contact with a mouse, especially if it runs across the counter right in front of me. And rats... forget about it. Bubonic plague, anyone?

I live in a townhouse complex. I like my neighbours, for the most part, and because we all share a common roofline it's often in the best interest to eradicate the critters. I haven't seen any in the past two years ('cause I poisoned the crap out of the last bunch), so imagine my surprise when one ran across my patio (thankfully still outside) a week ago. Two, three, four sightings followed on a daily basis. I'm not sure if it's the same mouse or its brothers or sisters but my first instinct (to scream) came to my lips immediately. And then I wanted to kill them. To poison them. To trap them and feed them to snakes, watching their round little bodies and tiny brains devoured, digested. Gone. Oh, and I dislike snakes even more.

So, to arm myself, I called in for reinforcements. Artillery. Nuclear weapons. While they are still outside, I know when the temperature drops and snow starts to fly, they will seek heat and that heat will be in my house. The pest control came the other day to place sticky traps underneath my hollow concrete stoop. I hadn't seen any activity for a few days, so I thought it was one and that we'd got him. Not the case.

I don't know how many there are, but tonight as I was sitting out enjoying the last few rays of sunlight, I heard it. The squeak. The call of Stuart Little (whose cuter than these backyard visitors 'cause he speaks English and wears a bow tie). And then I saw his friend sent in to haul his platoon mate off of the battlefield and away to safety. And then I heard a louder squeak as both (if not more) got their tiny feet and tails stuck down on the lacquered surface of the trap.

Kao's ears were doing double duty with him cocking his head to the left and right as he heard the screams of death and the scratching and munching as the mice tried to gnaw their legs off and execute their escape. I'm just thankful he has yet to notice the mice running into the hollowed out shell of the stoop or try to get into the mouse cemetary underneath the stoop.

I think I'm also becoming accustomed to sharing the backyard space for them as I now make sure Kao is far away from them instead of screaming like a banshee first. Don't get me wrong... if one runs across my foot I will not guarantee that I will not freak out. What will do it is if the mice start sewing buttons and doing my laundry as they deliver a very cute rendition of "It's a Small World." Now that would be freaky.

Friday, July 22, 2011

We're all full up here


I have a confession to make... a lovely, guilty pleasure, sweet confession... I have spent the last two days in limbo, in a cozy space I created for myself with no ringing phones but welcome texts, hours spent in the full heat of summer with a hot dog and a garden hose. And, all I wore was a bathing suit and a cover-up as to not shock the neighbours.

My house is a bit of a mess, cereal box on the counter, bowl and spoon left suspended on the drying rack with no motion towards the cupboard. The books that I removed from my livingroom bookshelf for rearranging or packing up elsewhere still sit on the floor waiting for something - for movement, for a day out of limbo.

It's deliciously decadent. At a time when I should be scouring the job ads I've pointed my curser to other parts of the net, clicking on that site and that one over there and avoiding the sites that seem to bring disappointment, no movement.

There's another resident living with me in these days of limbo. It's a familiar face and one that comes back for visits time and time again. While familiar, it's not a welcome guest as it points out over and over again what I'm doing wrong, what I should be doing, the person I should be.

I don't know where he comes from or where he goes when he disappears from me, but each time Guilt visits it's like a constant barrage of fists in the gut. Equally timed and each jab a little bit harder than the next, Guilt pummels me until I doubt my very existence. I can't wait until he moves on.

I'm hoping I can get him to pack his bags a little longer by moving out of limbo, out of my yard, away from my garden hose and into the house where I can find a new home for my stack of books. Movement, I think, is the cure.

Just to be sure, I'm going to hang a no-vacancy sign on my door leading into my brain. There's no room for you here, I'd call. We're all full up.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

9 Days...

Christopher sitting in the red sands of the Atlantic Ocean.

Every day for the past two weeks, I've called my friend Anasatan or she's called me and said two words. Today it was "9 Days!" followed by a squeal. I used to get so excited when I was younger counting down the days and sometimes hours until an exciting event. I hadn't done that in a long time - until now.

We've been planning this trip since last year and in detail since January. As of 2:45 p.m. on July 28, we will be on our flight to what I believe to be the world's smallest airport - Charlottetown, PEI. I'm sure there will be many who would tell us there are smaller airports, but I loved the fact that you could, while standing in arrivals, wave to someone in the departures "lounge." If memory serves, there is one carousel for all flights. In short, it's lovely, it's quaint and I can't wait to get there.

Prince Edward Island, and Charlottetown in particular is a breath of fresh air when you're used to a city of smog. People are friendly - like really friendly - and you'll probably get the same taxi driver for every errand. A smile will get you a hello, a wave will get you a new best friend (don't worry, Anasatan, I'm not trading you in... yet).

Now, for something that we've both been looking forward to since January, the countdown is on. T -9 days, blogosphere. We've got tentative plans, which I hope will include whale watching, jewellery making, people watching and just relaxing in general, taking the slowed existence in stride and taking a deep breath. I've been yearning for such a deep breath, and while it's possible to breathe deeply here, the air is different, the outlook is different, I'm different.

Here's proof in point that Charlottetown is friendly (or the Charlottetown Tourist Board is on the ball): when I announced on Twitter that I'm looking forward to touching down at what I think is the world's smallest airport, someone on the tourist board pounced nay leapt to welcome us personally and to spread the love. Either they're really friendly or they're pretending. I think the former is true.

Other PEI experiences I'm looking forward to (and hoping it's still the case): pop in glass bottles (there's nothing like it), Cora's within walking distance, Peakes Quay and the array of stores, bars and restaurants, the bench outside of Linda's Coffee Shop at the most dangerous intersection in Charlottetown as no one obeys traffic laws or signs... it's amazing just to sit back and people and car watch.

I might even kiss the ground, but more importantly I will breathe.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Who are ya?

Blogger is at it again... it's hiding new followers so I can't say hello, check out their blogs or even comment since I don't know whose been reading and who wants to continue reading my blog.

So, if it's you and I've been remiss in saying hello, drop me a line with a link to your blog and I'll be sure to stop on by. It's not you, it's not me - it's Blogger.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Sirloin

I'm quite enjoying the single life - being responsible for only my own well-being, coming and going freely save spending more time with Kao so he's not so lonely - so you can imagine my surprise when I considered entering into a union so delicious that I was aflush with excitement, drooling at the possibility of a rendez-vous with a piece of fresh meat.

It started this past Wednesday evening at a dinner held by an old co-worker from Cell Block C. Her and her husband had invited me to break bread with them, perhaps taking pity on me cooking for one again. As I sat down to a barbecue dinner, I looked across the table and felt a pang, a flitter of my mending heart.

He was rich, full-bodied, red-blooded, and I couldn't wait to ravish him. I raised my glass and gave a slow wink and an even slower smile to show my interest. A flirt by nature, I had forgotten how fun it was to flutter my eyelashes and use my feminine wiles.

He was the perfect companion, the strong silent type but with an aroma that spoke volumes. He wore a suit of reddish-brown, with a spicy disposition that bordered on saucy.

Our initial rendez-vous was brief but I knew I had fallen in love and announced at the table our intention to marry. My fellow Cell Block C inmate was surprised but laughed, knowing I was serious but also realizing that the union would never hold up.

I tried to savour it, hold on and lovingly caress his flank. It had been a while since I had seen such a specimen, choosing others with a more refined, blander palette. It was sometimes easier that way - less temptation and a bit less guilt. But in this case I was done for. I had succumbed.

"I love this so much I  think I want to marry it," I had announced as I slipped my knife in time and time again, stretching the culinary experience out for an hour or more. Sauteed mushrooms, summer salad with feta cheese and olive oil, corn on the cob, roasted potatoes... it was all good but nothing held my attention the way Mr. Sirloin did.

Now, three days later, I find myself yearning for him, calling him in the middle of the night as I remember how tender and loving he was - the way he fit perfectly on my fork and let me take from him time and time again with no questions, no requests and no strings.

Okay, so yes, I didn't have an encounter with a potential new partner - certainly not this soon after I'd managed to oust the Ex Man and take my house back - but it was intense nonetheless. And, it was a great break to the week, to visit with friends, talk over dinner and enjoy a piece of meat that I don't otherwise ingest. I'm sure we'll meet again, but I may have to wait. After all, I am in mourning for the last rendez-vous I had around the barbecue.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Goose crossing


They may look cute, but don't cross them!   Photo courtesy of Robin Lindsey
 I ventured out of the house and away from the computer today to do some much needed facialscaping, namely my eyebrows and my upper lip. Waxed. Gone. Deforested. I was thinking it would be just a jaunt to my favourite esthetician, a mid-day break and about 20 minutes of me time. It was so much more.

It was only 20 minutes - a 5-minute drive and 15-minutes in the weedwacking chair. It was uneventful, save the momentary "Argh" moment as every follicle was ripped out of my forehead and moustache area. It was on the way home that the adventure and the laughter began.

If you live in Canada and are situated anywhere near a park or mass of water you will run into our national bird. In flight, they are beautiful. On land, they can chase, bite, honk, flap their wings, poop and can generally be a nusance. And, considering it is illegal to purposely or even accidentally kill these honking poop-machines, we have a huge population. About 15 or 20 of the population had decided they needed to cross the road - one of the busiest roads in Brampton and almost during rush hour.

There were adults, adolescents and babies - a nuclear family of Canada Geese - and amazingly traffic on both sides stopped, six lanes of traffic, to watch these majestic yet mean creatures cross. There was no honking - from the cars, that is. One I assume was the padre of the flock was on high alert, watching each of his family cross safely, honking at the stopped cars and with a glint in his eye (I could only see one) as if taunting the drivers Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry-style to make his day. "Go ahead, I dare ya, and I'll fling my whole body into the front of your car. The cops will come and you'll be done for - shackled, read your rights, taken away to spend the night in the big house." Really, it was in his eye(s).

It took 10 minutes for each bird to cross, slowly, steadily and with not a fear in the world. It was just amazing to watch. I think others thought so too as they watched the procession, no one inching forward but just staring at these brazen birds.

A change in environment

There's nothing like shedding skin, shirking off old robes and creating a look and space that is all your own. This is how I spent my weekend and subsequent days after.

I had mentioned briefly my intent to create a new living space after the Ex Man moved out. That was last week, and after looking at the empty space in the living room where his couch once sat, I got off my ass and started re-arranging - just like I'm re-arranging my life to suit my new reality.

While the paint and the tear up of the god-awful Peptol Bismol pink carpeting will have to wait, I set out to work on the changes I could make. The living room was first, and thanks to The Girl and my tremendous negotiating skills, I am now the proud owner of a new-to-me ottoman to match my sofa and to fill in the hole where the couch once sat. A re-arranging of the sofa, coffee table, tv and the addition of an already-owned bookcase and the living room has a different feel for a different kinda girl. Bookcases and china cabinets were dusted and decluttered. Books were given a new home (with some an exit out of the home), and next we were onto the bedroom.

Oh, the bedroom. The pink carpet was vacuumed within an inch of its life. The bed was moved, a new-by -my-standards dresser (thanks Anasatan, Passion Flakey and Bina) was granted residence and the leaning tower of a tall boy dresser was axed down and set out for the garbage. Clothes were sorted, folded and put away - whether in the drawers of the new dresser or in a Salvation Army bag. Everything was light, airy and fresh - just perfect for a new start.

It's amazing how uplifting it felt, a shirking off of old garments, useless armour. We grabbed the lunch we had originally forgotten to eat in our enthusiasm and splurged on an ice cream on a hot day before heading off to a birthday party with old friends. Sunday brought more purging and putting away, a well-deserved nap, a swim and barbecue, and while the day was a bit overcast, you'd never tell from the smiles on our faces.

"What a good weekend," we kept saying in between singing to the radio and laughing about how Kao had tried to attack the dreaded vacuum. And while we cleaned away the cobwebs and dust bunnies, we felt it was so much more - a move away from the old life and the opening of another better organized and intentioned life.

I've got a new spring in my step and a new place to rest my head. Things are definitely looking up.

Monday, July 11, 2011

You kiss your mother with that mouth?!?!

Re-posted from Secure Woman... it's so good not to share...

It's 7:30 a.m. and Annaliese has just woken up to get ready for school. She is 8.


Looking in the mirror, she takes in her hair, her wide set eyes, her chin before concentrating on the rest of her reflection, wishing and hoping it would miraculously change. She equates everything she sees in her skewd mirror with her self-worth. It starts with the physical and then moves onward to her personality, her flaws. Aggravated and upset, she starts to berate herself in the mirror. "You're so ugly and stupid and fat and know one likes you," she cries at the mirror, clenching her fists and blinking away her tears. She's so engrossed in her tirade that she doesn't see the wrong in what she's saying. The fists come next, laying punches in the stomach she thinks is too big, the thighs she wishes were thinner and her head where these thoughts rage day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

It may sound extreme but it's not a new scenario although it's quite alarming when an 8-year-old utters the phrases that many women tell themselves daily. We look at our faults as a long list of should haves. We should have stayed two hours at the gym instead of one, we should have not had that donut at the morning meeting, we should have gone to another college, taken another course, or should have stayed longer or worked harder at the office today. The list is exhausting and customized for each woman, but what remains consistent is the length of that list and the fact that we look on it and add to it over and over again. At 8, at 18, 28, 38, 48 and so on until we break the cycle.

But where does this cycle of negative self-talk come from? It's not ingrained in our DNA, nor are we fed it while in the womb. We learn it from our environment, whether we listen to our parents talk negatively about themselves or they direct it at us. We learn it from society and its opinions on what is beautiful and worthy and what is not. And, often it's easier to look at what we think is missing in us than to list the attributes that make us unique individuals. And, it's exactly this practice of listing our pros that will break the cycle.

While many corporations still feed into our inner guilt, there are a few that step out of the box and into a way to inspire rather than tromple our psyche. It's an extreme example, but just look to the Maxwell House Optimism is Catching campaign, and in particular the commercial that shows a little girl standing in the mirror being her own cheerleader and telling everyone (and herself) exactly what she loves about herself and her life. Yes, it is extreme, but the message is dead on. Instead of berating yourself with all of the should haves and a supposed lists of negatives, be your own cheerleader and list daily the things you do like about yourself. It could be physical, but it also extends to the things you excel at - sports, school, music, art - whatever it is, celebrate it and celebrate you.

And even our faults are not as dire as you may think, and it may be what someone else thinks is endearing. That person should be you. Every foible, every asset adds up and makes us the unique individual, and that is definitely worth celebrating.

The process is hard - it's like a cult deprogramming. It takes time, practice, repetition, and sometimes you may slip. After all, you've been doing it for years. But when you do and you feel your fists clench and your teeth grind at something you don't like about yourself, remember that little girl and ask yourself if you would say the same thing to her as you would to your own mirror reflection. It's extremely easy to be a cheerleader for someone else. We can boost anyone up whose having a bad day and a barrage of bad thoughts. It's another thing to do the same for ourselves. It's about time we start.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I is a -changin'... on my own terms

I've been asking a lot of questions over the last few weeks, mostly directed internally. I'm questioning my reactions, my future, my drive and what really makes me tick. And, I've discovered a few answers.

The biggest question weighing on my mind is "where do I go, what do I do next?" It's a particularly telling question since I've been in transition for the last two months with changes to my employment status and relationship, and it's forced me to turn inwards - far more than I have ever before.

Here's what I've learned so far:

1. I'm a lot stronger than I give myself credit. I've made a lot of changes in the last few months, some forced and some not. At a time when my career life was up in the air, I found myself taking a stand on a personal front and ending a relationship that was toxic to me. Whereas before I would wait for the best time or stick my head in the sand hoping for the other person to change, I chose to say goodbye to my partner and start afresh with no apologies. I had reached my limit and took my stand.

2. The only one I'm responsible for is myself. I can't be responsible for other people's issues. This came from the Ex Man and it was a long time coming. I realized that while I am responsible for myself, I was not put on this earth to "fix" other people. Just as the changes that I'm making must come from me, other people must too make the changes for themselves. It won't stick otherwise.

3. While I do have my issues (don't we all), for the most part I really like the person I've become. My sense of humour is off-colour and may not suit everyone but I can laugh at myself and find the funny in the everyday. I'm smart, pretty and kind to others, sometimes when they don't deserve it. My laugh can sometimes be too loud (yes, I've been told) and not everyone appreciates spotted dick jokes. To them I say "walk away."

4. To truly change, I must take ownership of my part in the conflict that rages in my head. While looking inward can be scary, it's even worse to stick your head in the sand and pretend the problem does not exist at all. And, if it's change you want, embrace it. Don't pay lip service to it and expect change to come to you. Change needs a forward motion and not just hot air.

5. It's okay to say no. It's okay to put yourself first. It's okay to listen to your gut instinct. We have it for a reason and often we ignore it in the name of the common good - of what everyone else wants or expects for us.

Despite these relevations, there are still difficulties - a nagging voice in my head left over from my childhood, of expectations I perceive whether they're based in the actual world or in my own grey matter. The overall goal, however, remains the same: to learn to accept myself, to revel in the supposed flaws that make me human, and to embrace and not avoid the changes I need to make for myself.

That's where the idea for Secure Woman came about - it's a new online forum and yes, I'm hawking it. My very dear friend Anasatan and I had discussed at length the many negative messages we receive on a daily basis telling us to change this, change that, that what we're doing is not right, that we can improve by following countless steps. 10 ways to get your  man to notice you, lose 20 pounds in 10 days and get that perfect beach bod booty. You'll be better if you only did this (insert any activity here). What these step-by-step instructions fail to do is to celebrate the things that make you you, and that you as a person, as your authentic self, is a pretty neat package.

Sure, there are things we want to change. We all have our warts, but the underlying message we're trying to get across is that it's okay to love yourself - loud laugh, karaoke singing, off-colour humour and all.

Check us out at securewoman.blogspot.com. We'd love your input.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Visitation rights...

Who the hell does he think he is?!?!

This is the question I yelled as I threw an oven mitt across the kitchen and against the wall early this evening as I realized another reason why The Ex Man and I are no longer. It's just lucky for the kitchen wall and the neighbours that I didn't choose something a little more smashy to throw, although the kitchen chair was my next obvious choice.

The Ex Man is leaving the abode in exactly 5 days, three hours and 55 minutes. I had invited a mutual friend over for dinner and asked if he wanted to partake in the chicken/shrimp/roasted vegetable combo that we would be ingesting for dinner. With an irritated look on his face and several minutes and a deer in a headlight look later, he said no, that he didn't feel like it. I took that as his answer, and although annoyed about the look on his face and the fact that it took over 10 minutes to answer, I headed out to pick up the chicken breast and roasted potatoes I was missing. I was gone less than 20 minutes. It is also important to note that the said friend was bringing her dog so Boyo and he could be introduced.

I learned two lessons tonight: 1. Do not go to the grocery store hungry, as my $100 bill will attest - I came in for chicken and mini potatoes; 2. When The Ex Man has an annoyed look on his face he will leave the house, taking the dog with him - the same dog that was to meet the dog of the mutual friend.

I'm not upset that he decided not to accept my invitation to share our dinner. I wasn't even really angry at the deer caught in the headlight look since I've gotten used to it over the past four years. What I am pissed about is that he was spiteful and Boyo was caught in the middle.

He took the dog to the park without any mention of his intention to take him. He took him while I was out, knowing that it was expected that the dogs would have a meet-up and potential play date. And, this is the big one - it was that he did it out of spite because for whatever reason he was unhappy that I invited this mutual friend over to share in the BBQ.

If you've read anything about passive-aggressive people it's that they express themselves and their feelings not in words but in little actions like this. For instance, if the Ex Man was mad that he had to launder the bedsheets, he would let me know by not ever my putting pillow cases on my pillows. If he was miffed that he emptied the dishwasher twice in a row he would express his dissatisfaction by boycotting dish duty for weeks at a time and then bring up the fact that I said I would empty the dishwasher three months ago and did it the next day instead of the day I had uttered those words. If we ended things and he stayed for two months longer, he would not do or help with any chores for that period of time. And, when asked why he had originally taken advantage of me one that fateful day in May, he said it was because he could.

On a one-on-one basis, these are petty complaints (except for the latter complaint). They are not relationship breakers. Oh, so he didn't put your pillow cases on your pillows... so what... And, I would tend to agree with you if this was an isolated incident. It's just a few examples in a myriad of incidents, including ignorning my request to crate Boyo whenever we were sleeping after the pup ate my sock and ended up almost dying. Did he listen to my concerns and follow my lead, knowing I had already lost five pairs of underwear and four socks because the dog can't control himself around my undergarments? The answer would be no, having on at least five occasions left the dog to amuse himself with my gotchies. This is despite the fact that I explained my reasoning the same five times and asked if he was just paying lip service to me.

He expects to visit Boyo after he moves out, perhaps having a sleepover at his new bachelor crib and taking him to the dog park - in short, he wants visitation rights and I would not be surprised if he brought up joint custody. The answer, especially after tonight, would be a resounding no. Just like he does not have access to the couch, coffee table, washer, dryer, fridge and stove that were all here before he moved in, the Boyo remains with me. He's not a possession, but i had adopted him before the common-law partnership and I intend to keep him. And while I had considered these visitation rights, I am now nervous that the Ex Man will show up and hoist the pooch into the back of his now licenced and insured car and take off on a cross-province, cross-country abduction run.

Again, I will say that it appears I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. This could be true, but judging from past experience, this little jaunt to the park is a wolf in sheep's clothing. On the outside, it's all fluffy white clouds and a frolic through a pastoral hillside. On the inside, the wolf is lying in wake, zipping up his wooly costume and licking his lips at his clever disguise.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Altering legal unions

Twitter is all a-twitter with the news... same-sex couples in New York can now marry making it the sixth state in the United States of America to see the light. Or, at least, the New York State legislature gave its final nod for the bill that will see same-sex couples heading to the altar.

I've been married before in a male-female union. I've walked down the aisle surrounded by family and friends to stand in front of a minister and exchange vows. I had the big party with the numerous shots and Jesus Christ Margaret caught in the bushes smoking the same cigarettes she vowed she gave up. I even had two out of three bridesmaids sick with the flu but there nonetheless to lend support, stand up with me and even help me pee in a white flowy gown. We had a first dance, the cutting of the cake and many photographs to document the special day. I just believe that everyone should have the right to the wedding of their choice to the man or woman of his or her dreams regardless of whether they're straight, gay, lesbian or aliens. If you love someone enough to want to spend the rest of your life with them, then no one should stop you regardless of what others think the bible says.

I wrote a post a while back in my first days of blogging about my new religion - compassion. Compassion for everyone - man, woman, child, animal, mineral... you get the picture. I try not to judge anyone until I've walked in their shoes. Imagine my dismay when I wandered upon a Tweeter that not only spewed forth religious quotes but in the same breath called gays the one word in the English language that makes me shudder... fags.

I'm not going to give you the web page address of this hateful site. It's vulgar. What I will say is that while everyone is entitled to their opinion, the abhorrent hatred laid out on this site and others like it is the only thing about this gay marriage debate that I find offensive. I find it offensive that followers of what is supposed to be an all-loving god can throw such hatred to the winds, going as far as to say that god will deliver a fate worse than 9/11 simply because two people want to commit to each other, no matter their sex or sexual orientation.

I'm not centering on one religion, one denomination, but all that take this stance. I'm straight but I will not pass judgment on those who find the same sex worthy of their love. It's just too bad that sites like the one I stumbled across could not stay away from the hateful, mud-slinging narrow-mindedness that proves we're not as evolved as we'd like to think we are.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

F-O-W-L

I'm in a foul mood today and the only way I can describe it is with three letters. P.M.S.

It's a few days before the circus visits and the clowns start to come out of the really small Volkswagen Beetle juggling. My mood depends on how many clowns and if they hit any organs with those damn bowling pins they use in their act. I think they've got about 50 in there, judging from the scowl on my face and my urge to throw things against the wall. Luckily, I've stuck with jello, and while it doesn't seem to stick, it does leave a goopy mess, which I will have to clean up.

Speaking of which, I'm supposed to be cleaning. Instead, I'm surfing, watching a soap opera and thinking "I really should move my ass today." So far, my self-motivation hasn't worked. I'm thinking it's because on a unconscious level I am looking to sabotage myself. And, I don't know why.

I have two tenants coming by to look at my place as a potential head-resting place. I should be aiming to get it into showcase shape. I'm not. I have dishes to do, bathrooms to clean and a floor to mop. But I'm not. I'm thinking the bad mood has something to do with it. Or just sheer laziness. Whichever it is, it's not exactly inspiring, it's not putting my best foot forward. Instead, I want to put my foot up someone's ass.

So, beforewarned. Tread lightly. And when I'm feeling better I will feel horrid and apologize profusely. Until then, my blogosphere. Wish me luck (and say a prayer for the poor sucker who gets the foot).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Let there be... AIR!

I know I needed some air... some breathing room, alone time, space... but what I truly missed most has now returned and just in time.



Last month, during one of the hottest days (it was 28 degrees in the house), I flipped on the AC that had not been used since the weather cooled down last year. I flipped from "Heat" to "Cool" on the newly installed thermostat and click... and then nothing. No fan. No air. And praise Darwin, how I needed that air.

It wasn't a new problem. I had to replace a couple of fuses last summer (again, during Heataggedon), and it seemed like the issue was resolved. That is, until I flipped the switch again a few weeks ago. Nothing. I turned on the ceiling fans to give some reprieve and stepped out to buy more fuses, changed the fuses, crossed my fingers and... Nothing.

Calls into the AC company garnered no results. "It's electrical," they said. "The AC should work. There's an issue with your wiring." $100 later and I still had no results, so I called in an electrician that had come recommended and with a reasonable price tag for a home visit. That was this morning.

By reasonable, I mean that the bill did not enter into the $300 mark for an hour-and-a-half visit. At $200, I expected some answers, and although the AC is now working and my electrical has received a full health check, I'm still wondering why the AC worked for the cologne-doused electrician and not for me.

I'm thinking it was because the AC unit could smell him coming and wanted limited interaction. I personally don't mind a little scent here and there but not the Drakkar cloud at nine in the a.m. Or, the unit may have been in lust with the guy and his scent and was all set to impress.

Either way, the summer is now a little more bearable. It may also spur on The Ex Man's packing as the countdown is now on... T minus 10, people, before Scribe is officially on her own again.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm climbing that mountain when I get to it...

The boots may have been for walking, but my wedge sandals were definitely not.

Tonight, I ventured into Burlington for The Sound of Music Festival. There were no Von Trapp Family Singers, no climbing every mountain but there was a hell of alot of walking and people watching as Anasatan and friends headed into the downtown core near the waterfront to listen to an array of music - from Dixieland jazz and Indie Rock to the classic stylings of The Nylons.

Now, if you don't know who The Nylons are, you're not alone. I don't know many of their songs but our friend Leenie loves them. Literally loves them. If she could have worked her way through the throngs of people, of all ages, and to the stage, I think she would have thrown a pair of undies at the guys and their drum machine. As it was, she had to settle for standing room only at the back of the crowd. I, however, opted for the less crowded area across the street, and that was okay by me especially for my favourite pasttime - people watching.

Of course, eye candy is always welcome but I'm talking more about the mix of people - the Abercrombie and Finch crowd, the motorcycle dudes, the nuclear families with 2.5 kids and a dog - they were all there and represented all age ranges.

It was a welcome reprieve from the sort-of bad news I received today. I attended a meeting at City Hall today to discuss an upcoming event in which the association willl be participating. The meeting went well - the officials were excited about our involvement and the whole theme of the city-wide event. The disappointment came a little later when talking to the executive director of the association who told me that unfortunately there is only eight weeks of funding left for the work I've been given instead of the end-of-September deadline as previously mentioned. We're working on finding sponsorships for the event, with a portion of the donation earmarked for the program itself, and hopefully, my continued involvement. Paid involvement.

And even though I knew that there was a chance that the funding would run out and my contract may not be permanent, I was still hoping. Hoping that they realize the worth I can bring, and at the same time, love the work I'm doing. I love working on the program and it allows me to work from home when needed. So, it's two months, and it's better than nothing, but I'm still panicking just a little. The Ex formerly known as The Man moves out and onward into his own apartment, out of the relationship and out of my life. With  the move comes a lack of help on  the mortgage front. I have not yet had any luck in securing tenants, and I'm not really sure why. The good thing is that further change is coming and instead of running from it, I'm trying to embrace it no matter how many demons spew forth from my mind.

I am happier - case in point, tonight. I was able to put the upcoming contract end in the back of my mind to enjoy the festival, the sights, the sounds and a pretty cool braclet and ring I picked up for a song and dance.

Oh, and how I did dance. In the crosswalk, the intersection, all through the festival locale. I think Anasatan was mortified, judging from the shaking of the head and the eye rolling. But, I'm used to that. She's just glad I didn't sing "Climb Every Mountain" or put on the puppet show with the lowly goats. Perhaps next year...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shame, Vancouver, for shame...

I know I'm going to get lynched for this but... "it's just a hockey game, people!"

Since when does a dismal loss in the Game 7 Stanley Cup Final become a catalyst for pushing, shoving, setting fires and utter unrest in a city that just a little while ago was so full of love, hope and friendship?

The city of Vancouver and certain Canucks fans showed a dismal side tonight, milling in the streets shouting obsenities, damaging properties and taking matches and accelerants to parking structures. And for what? A rather pitiful final hockey game.

Sure, I was disappointed that the Canucks did not want the Stanley Cup enough to tromple the Bruins as they and the city had predicted. Sure, I was frustrated when the judges allowed the third goal in the game, but I did not take to the streets with violence in my heart.

It's a hockey game for which tickets were dear. But that hardly condones the actions of the people who took to the streets and showed a very different side of our west coast brothers and sisters.

The Canucks lost. They lost big, and Luongo should have been replaced in the third period. They did not play well and Tim Thomas was unstoppable in the Bruins' net. End of story. End of the season.

And that, my friends, will be the last post about my nation's favourite sport. I tip my hat (if I was wearing one) to the Bruins. I'm sure there will be no such reaction on their streets when they bring the cup home. I am more than a little bit ashamed to be a Canadian tonight.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hanky panty...

I'm all into checking out my blog's stats - namely who visits and how they find me. Imagine my disturbance when I saw that someone visited my blog by typing in "ice skating panties." I just hope it was a misspelling...

I don't think I own a pair of ice skating panties and have no clue as to what  they would look like. I know mine would be with a massive amount of padding as I would be falling on my ass the entire skate time. Kindergarteners would skate circles around me, laughing, pointing and taunting me because they can do the hockey stop and all I can do is stop with my face...

Psst... buddy, can ya hide this for me?

It's official. I am now a contract worker for a community safety association in my hometown.

You know that media launch I was working on last month? Well, it was a resounding success. So much in fact, that I was personally recognized in the speeches and thanked profusely. It led to more work helping to organize a golf tournament, and today, I headed in to continue my work on the neighbourhood program I helped to launch to the masses. It's a good day, blogosphere.

Now in saying that, the gig is not full-time. Yet. There's pesky budgets and government funding to go through first, which can mean a lot of red tape. But, I'm in a unique position to market myself to government agencies, associations and the like. I'm gaining experience and confidence, sloughing off the asswipes and their negativity at Cell Block C.



Funny you should mention them... two of the wardens were at the golf tournament last week. And, as I figured it was ass-kissing time, but this time it was my ass being kissed. Guilt does a wonderous thing to people. I was professional at all times. I didn't take out the shiv I had prepared just in case. I also didn't ram their head into the putting contest billboard, though the bile still formed in my throat.

The best thing about being on this journey is the realization that I will be okay and that the job that had me in ulcers means nothing in the long-term. What matters is that I move forward, upward and onward with my head held high and a skip to my step. But, if you don't mind, I think I'll still hang onto the shiv just to keep my gangsta rep intact...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chinese Water Torture

Recently, I've gained four people who now follow my blog. Thank you for coming and checking me out. BUT, Blogger has not let me access my "follower" list in weeks so I don't know whose new and whose still there.

I'm always one to give a welcome to anyone new, visit their own blogs and comment on anything that has caught my interest. With Blogger's little guffaw, I can't and it sucks.

So for those who've recently joined me at Scribing Life, make yourself known and let me know how to access your blog and I'll be sure to connect.

Next step is to hang Blogger up by its fingernails and perhaps some Chinese water torture. 'Cause I'm evil like that.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Solitary

When I woke up this morning, I had made a decision. I would do what I never do. It could have meant anything - brush my teeth with Preparation H, eat dessert for breakfast, take up yodelling or decide to roll in the mud pit that is my backyard. The point was I was to do something that I would not do normally.

So, I went to the movies. That in itself is not unusual. While I don't go often, I have on occasion picked up the phone and invited friends to go to a movie or stepped out with the now ex for a little popcorn and Hollywood. Today, I went by myself. And, it wasn't as awkward or weird as I thought it would be.

It did help that it was a matinee, so the theatre was a little emptier than normal. It also helped that I was a little late in getting there (no surprise for any of my close friends - watches and I do not mix). But, in a sense it was liberating - a step away from couplehood to the new single life that I will soon lead.

I am leading a single life at the moment - somewhat. The ex is moving out at the end of the month, having found a bachelor apartment to rest his head. It also means that I have less than a month to find new tenants to bear some of the load of running a household. That's not the daunting task - the hard part comes with opening the doors of my house to potential strangers, strangers with habits different than my own, habits that may irk me, and I must decide what can stay and what must go.

I am looking forward to a decluttering - of my house and my head. With the ex gone and his large, bulky furniture, I'm looking to make my bedroom light and airy - a fresh coat of paint, a fluffing of the duvet and perhaps some green apple sheets to put a little spring in my bed and my step.

Perhaps solitary won't be as daunting as I thought. And, I don't have to share the popcorn.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Backyard shenanigans

You might think from the title of the post that I'm getting a little kinky sumthin' sumthin'. Yeah, not really. In the more literal definition, I decided last night after the air cooled that I would take on the Jurassic Park that is my backyard.

The weeds were up to my armpits - okay, an exaggeration - but they were really out of control, a definition of my current state of affairs at the moment. There was no time like the present so I grabbed the closest machete and went to chopping. The weeds are now at a more manageable level (not attacking my armpits), I've cleaned up the boxer's cesspool of feces (it rained and rained over the last couple weeks negating my poop patrol efforts), I spread topsoil, put up a barrier that could best be described as a chicken run and seeded, seeded and seeded some more.

Kao the mad boxer is now lying at my feet, staring at the enclosure and wondering when the chickens will appear, or the rabbits, and either one he's good with. What he is not happy about is that I've restricted his access to only a small swath of grass so he can no longer be craptastic over the entire backyard or roll in the mud. He can also not be Mr. Nosey Boxer and run at the fence doing his wiggle bum whenever someone passes outside of the fence. I think the neighbours are thankful since he's scared the crap out of some of them with his exhuberance.

He is, however, keeping patrol on the chicken/bunny run for brave birds who swoop down and steal his seed. One has already tried to dive down and do an airforce strike on his (and mine) but he's not deterred. I think I heard him mutter "Not on my watch, you damn birds." Or was it just my imagination?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waiting for the SWAT takedown

Momma always knows... or at least in my case, Jesus Christ Margaret has some amazing powers of persuasion to extort information out of one Cloak and Dagger Dad. Or, it's because Joe just can't keep a secret for the life of him. I think it's the latter, but Marg has a way of weaseling information out of people when her suspicions are raised.

In short, my mother now knows that The Man and I are no longer. You may have already deduced that from the previous post. He's moving out at the end of June, and I'm a bundle of nerves. I know I've made the right decision for me. It doesn't mean that I'm not scared. In fact, I'm crapping my pants right now. (You're welcome for that unwanted visual...)

While my dad has been calling every few days to check in, Margaret's imagination has been running rampagnt, with visions of domestic disputes, police reports, SWAT takedowns and a stint in the witness protection program for the entire extended family. I may be exaggerating here, but not by much.

You would know this if you read previous posts about relentless phone calls, sending out the search party when told I was going for a walk around a few blocks (I live in a very safe neighbourhood and it was daylight) or phoning the cell and the house phone consistently until someone picks up.

My dad promised to keep her in check, however. It's a kind thing to do, but after all, he's the one who spilled the beans. Lesson learned: keep dad away from the cloak and dagger-like stuff. 'Cause he's pants at it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

An open letter to a passive-aggressive partner

I can't tell you how I hate you, how much, how little or even if I do.

There's a fine line between love and hate, and try as I might, I don't want to trip over that line.  I do hate the way you neglected to open up to me. I hate the way you used insincere words and a lack of action to control me. I hate that you neglected and took advantage of me because, in your words, "you could."

I hate the silence, the puppy dog eyes that follow me from room to room, from this life to the next. I despise the fact that you will never take responsibility for your part in this, only to say that "we tried, but we couldn't make it work."

There's a fine line between love and hate and I walk that line precariously, my feelings changing on a minute by minute, breath by breath basis, mourning for what could have been and relishing the thought of stomping out what it actually was.

I hate that you would never open up, taking my feelings and discounting or discrediting them. I hate your inability to really get close, connect, make love without thinking about your shortcomings. Control replaced love, insecurities replaced closeness and at the core, you blamed me.

I hate the way you made me feel when time after time I forgave you only to realize that it would happen again because you didn't want to change, you didn't want to own your mistakes. It was rare that words followed by legitimate action, only enough to appease me. Until the next time and there always a next time.

I hate that I believed we were entering into a partnership, one that was doomed from the start because you could no longer hide things from me but tried anyway. I hate that the mere definition of a passive-aggressive bears an uncanny resemblance to you. I hate that you held onto grudges for a year or more, or even for forever and that I would never know until you exploded from surpressing everything, stuffing everything down and sticking your head in the sand and pretending you didn't know that the world, our world was crumbling. I hated that you lied to me for three years or more, and that I had to find out from the police officer that pulled you over. I hated you for thinking you could get away with it. And, that you almost did. I hate that I had to take a final stand, and even then, you will not learn.

I hate that you found it so easy to ask for one last favour even after admitting to taking advantage of me, and that my natural reaction was to acquiese despite proof that you were not to be trusted. I hate the fact that silence hangs in the house, accusations a blanket shrouding what is real. I hate that you were surprised when I told you I had considered looking elsewhere when you witheld from me for years with no explanation.

There is a fine line between love and hate. I'm not sure which side I now rest. I just know that it's more important to love rather than hate and I have to start with myself.

Wishing you all that you deserve,
Scribe

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cloak and Dagger Dad

My dad is the cutest thing ever. (and I'm not meaning in a reverse Freud way).

Last week, I confided to my dad a new development in the life of Scribe. It was a monumentous change and one that is coming at the most inopportune time. I also told him not to breathe a word of it to "Jesus Christ Margaret" a.k.a. June Cleaver. Some things are better left unsaid, under the cloak of secrecy. This is one of them, or at least for now. Otherwise, it's the Spanish inquisition and I don't need that right now.

Since then, he's been calling me almost every day to check in, to see if I'm still sane - or as sane as I've ever been - and he's been doing it all cloak-and-dagger-like, waiting until Margaret /June is out of earshot, out of the house, or busying herself dusting the table legs. He's also handing me money like it's crack. He says it's to tide me over and I say "no, I don't want it" even though I have Snake waiting on the corner ready to hand over the goods with an eye peeled for any po-po patrols. In actuality, he calls it an emergency fund and it's really not that much. So, you burglars reading this and getting ready to stake out my house, a bite on the ass from my boxer is just not worth it.

He called the other day since he's coming over to "fix" the kitchen tap he put in last week and wanted to firm up the details of when he should drop by. He lives near Niagara Falls and I live in Brampton, so it's a big deal to get the times right. As we were signing off, he heard a flurry of activity and realized it was Margaret/June seeing the red "busy" light on the phone and wondering with whom he was conversing. Perhaps it was the new retiree who had moved in down the street... and there was no way she was getting her hooks into my father's non-existent, flat (and saggy) ass (no offence, pops).

He whispered a veiled bye and quickly disconnected, hoping she wouldn't hear me breathing on the other side of the telephone wire. And while I asked only not to tell my mother that big piece of startling news, it's funny that he's taken it to the Watergate/Deep Throat extreme of checking for telephone line bugs, looking over his shoulder and changing his voice whenever he calls.

I'm expecting him to visit tomorrow with the promised tool to get my tap sitting flush to the kitchen counter. I just hope he leaves the trenchcoat and shades at home. Otherwise, my neighbours might just call the po-po and my grow-op/temporary meth lab/brothel will be discovered.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Christopher "Gus" Brockbank --- May 13, 2010

I don't have the words today, so instead I will rely on photos to say how much I miss hearing Gus' laugh and feeling his arms wrapped around me.

He was a handsome little man and I thank him every day for his love and honesty.






Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Little Bunny Fou-Fou frolicks no more


The Easter Bunny is no more. I killed him, little poopy eggs and all. I squished him with my tires and I'm sure the hangman will soon be down from the gallows to hang my sorry ass. But, on a positive note, I at least waited until after Easter to explode his innards all over the road and all over my usually clean tires. Vehicular Bunny-Slaughter.

I didn't mean to do it, really. It's not like he refused me chocolate eggs so I took up my weapon, in this case my car, Roxy, and mowed him down in cold blood. I was a little cold from the outdoor temps but my heart was in the right place. My tires, however, were not.

I was driving back from grabbing a coffee with a couple of friends - a bit hyped on the java - but clear-headed and reactive nonetheless. It was quick (the rabbit and the whole situation) and I'm pretty sure I saw his eyes glaze over as his life flashed or sprinted across his mind. Of the easter eggs he won't get to ever hide again, the carrots he left on the kitchen table for his return, or his millions of children that will now go parentless.

This is my story: I was traveling down an empty road when all of a sudden there was this white (actually tan) streak in the road, ears up and running across the road without looking both ways. Otherwise he would have seen my headlights and the tires that very quickly met with the head and the attached ears. It was hoppity-hop, hopitty-hop. The Oh-no-I-can-see-my dead-momma-waving-to-me look passed across his expressive face, and nothing. Lights out. Bunny down!

I'll just explain to the judge and jury that it could not be avoided. That he was all stealth-like until his very last second before impact. I'll say that his death was deserved, a mercy killing because he told me he was all stressed over the Easter-egg vs. Peeps debate. Chocolate vs. marshmallow. I see a clear winner. I will show some remorse for the situation but will not confess to knowingly taking out the Easter bunny.

I just hope he worked ahead and has already hidden my Easter eggs for next year. If not, his wife will get it next...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I really do need a life...


Blurry photo taken with Blackberry of the countless rubber chicken taunts. He's back again. Save me.

One Walmart special pink, bikini-clad rubber chicken with pink-painted toenails + one crazy 3-year old boxer named Kao...

= hours of uninterrupted fun, with chases, taunts and the occasional fling across the room.

I really do need a life. Or at least more rubberized farm animals.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Peeps: Not just for Easter


It's been three weeks or so since the Easter weekend, so you'd think the Peeps would be put away, forgotten on a high shelf. Apparently, some people still feel the need to bring them out and parade them around. Even on camera.

I'm not talking about the sickly sweet, marshmallow yellow chick-like treats. I'm talking peeps in the extreme voyeuristic sense. And, this past week, I was assaulted, nay my eyeballs raped by Peeps.

I shall call him Edgar, which is not his real name, but if I use it here his identity may be threatened and he may feel the need to wield his mighty sword and smite me down. Edgar is a MSN webcammer, a friend from way back in my scholastic days and I thought while he was off-colour, witty and harmless, his webcam and his use of it isn't.

It started out innocently. "Hey, how are you? What's new? What have you been up to lately.?" Nothing much was the answer. He asked if I had a webcam, and since I hadn't seen him in the flesh since we left our hallowed halls, I thought I'd like to see into which this new-age Edgar had morphed. We chatted, laughing, reminiscing and basically getting caught up. That is until he asked me if I liked Peeps.

I'm not one for the sweet and the sugary. I prefer my snacks to be more savoury and I said so. "Not those Peeps," he said, adding that he had to stretch his legs. "Okay," I said. "Go to town." And that was when my computer and my eyes, brain and all other senses exploded. And not in a good way.

"Peekaboo, I see you," he typed in caps as if yelling at me to look. "NOOOOO!" I screamed in cyber-talk, my cursor rushing to the minimize button. "Hey! Where'd ya go," he typed.

"I think I'm blind," I responded, clicking the maximize when I knew he had sat down, ready to type and to see my response to his little escapade.

"My eyes, my eyes, Edgar! They're burning. Oh, it hurts, it hurts. Make it stop."

"Did I do that," he asked ever-so innocently. Yes, yes, he did and I don't think I'll ever look at a webcam without that vision permanently burned into my retinas.

"I need to stretch again," he responded. "NOOOOOOOO! I typed, in caps and repetitive OOO's so he would know not to stand up, or at least pull on a pair of pants.

"Do you have insurance," I asked, thinking I may just have to sue him for affronting my senses.

I'm not a prude by any stretch of imagination. I speak about spotted dick, for heaven's sake. But, when you're expecting an innocent "hey, how ya doin' buddy" conversation with the person who used to steal your fries in the cafeteria line and instead you're subjected to a smorgasborg of beans and franks and those evil Peeps, then you take a step back to say "Whoa, Nelly!" or Edgar, or Gertrude or whoever is on the other side of that webcam. You reach for the first aid kit and rumage around for the eyewash station you know you packed in there thinking, oh, I'll never use this.

But you will, and especially if you ever come across those Peeps again. I pray to dog you don't. Unless you're into that sort of thing. And, if you are, I have someone who may just be willing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Live by what you say...

Words are merely that... words... and they often lose their power if they're not followed up by action. It's not a new revelation but it's one that I have learned again and again, forgotten the lesson only to relearn it with feelings hurt.

I am one to take people at face value. You tell me one thing about yourself and I will believe it so vehemently that if anyone else disagrees I will take up a bat and beat them into submission for doubting this apparent truth. "It must be true because so-and-so said so. They haven't lied to me before, and I don't care that I've only known them for x-amount of time."

Actions, however, are where it's at. Actions prove intent and words followed up by the action set forth with those words are my new gold. My talisman.

This lesson was actually taught to me years ago by the wonderful parental units. They counted to three and they said when they hit three and I was still doing the act that necessitated the counting then I was in for it. They reached three once. As sure as the skies are blue (at least for today), my father wound up and slapped me across the fanny. Wallop would have been a more appropos word. I got walloped. But they followed through with what they said and they never reached that scary number again.

Now I'm not saying we should revert to the old counting method or hit our children with belts, but a lesson can be gleaned by many from this story. Follow through with promises. Don't say it if you don't mean it. Don't tell half truths and if you don't really want to do something don't say you will. It's okay to say no. Say what you mean, mean what you say and live by it. And, if you agree to the promised action more than once, then you damn better stand by it. Otherwise, you'll force me to count to three and you don't want that.

Monday, May 2, 2011

In which I make progress

I had a temporary mind lapse today in that I forgot about mine.

I'm not sure if I announced this or not -probably for  fear of jinxing it - but I've signed on to organize a media launch for a new neighbourhood initiative in Brampton. I won't go into details, but it's a new program that promotes a journey back into the days of old where you knew your neighbours and  spoke up when something did not bode well in the neighbourhood, whether it be overall safety, community involvement or concerns about new programs or developments. It's a great initiative and I'm excited to be involved. It also lets me wear more than sweat or yoga pants during my day-to-day dealings. Sweatpants are comfortable but as an everyday uniform it can get quite depressing.

But I digress... so I was working  in the office today, creating the media invite and working out the details for potential press releases. I was in my element, so much so that I forgot about from which I came - namely my last position in which the life was sucked out of  me. I had been researching alternate news sources and was getting ready to post an event to a local web portal and noticed that a former client from Cell Block C had received a business award - an outstanding business award. My first thought was "Oh, I should call up Mr. Ass and let him know so he can send a gift, a note, a whatever." And then my hand went to the phone. I still have his cell phone number seared into my brain. It's probably because he's Belzebub and the flames of pergatory had flickered out and branded me with his evilness. Or, it's because I'm a chump.

Either way, the number was half dialed, my finger resting on the final digit when I thought WTF and immediately hung up the phone. He did me no favours in the almost four years I worked at Cell Block C. He was Sybil in the male form and would go from giddy to gastrointestinal ass-hat in 60 seconds or less. He was a condescending, little snivelly twit who would run to mommy and daddy to complain about anyone and then would kiss ass in the next minute to get you back on his side. You can tell we had a love-hate relationship, and while we got along swimmingly for two years before the psychosis became too evident, our parting could not have come too soon.

I really don't think I'm a chump. I actually think I have selective memory disorder and the little girl who asks how high to jump when asked tends to revert back to the known. I also think that I can't change my integral self. I like to help and will give you the shirt off off of my back if you have a need. It's been ingrained in me and most times it's one of my better attributes. Except for those times that I offer the assistance, the caring to the wrong people.

The good news is I didn't bite. I didn't dial that last number and I didn't have to subject myself to the Jeckyl and Hyde that is Mr. Asshat. I didn't need to put myself in the situation where I had to talk to someone who I knew would be all sweet and mired in bullshit one moment and backstabbing you the next. I'd seen it before and I'm not going back.

I may not be past the initial instinct to help, no matter who it is, but atleast I can realize who is worth the effort and go from there. It's onward and upward to a better me, but one that will still break out in song in the middle of the grocery store and offer to buy complete strangers a can of spotted dick - 'cause I kinda like that girl.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Moons on Jupiter

I've just finished my final week of art class - today, Sunday. I have no idea how many moons Jupiter has (I should look this up on Google search but it's late and I'm tired), but I'm pretty sure this would be what its inhabitants would see if they looked out of their window.



I didn't set out to paint Jupiter. I had an inspiration from a painting borrowed from my friend's bathroom wall, which she had purchased at Walmart. Yes, inspiration at Walmart. And, it's one in a series. So, tomorrow or the day after I am off to the art store as I've decided to paint the next in my series. It will have the same tone or feeling but with a different orientation and on a much larger scale.

This piece as all about the blending, which I've discovered just may be my forte. Me... a person trying not to blend in with the crowd and live a life outside of a neatly organized and labeled box. Perhaps it's by taking on the blending in this vein that I can make my mark, or at least one of many marks that will pepper the map of my life.

It certainly beats the Paint by Number paintings I started out "creating."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Scribe and the Evil Skip-It

It looks innocent. Don't let it fool you. It's evil in lemon packaging.


I may have mentioned my tousle with the evil skip-it but I don't think I've told the story with all of the gory details. The writing prompt for Studio 30 Plus suggested we talk about our family gatherings this past Easter Weekend. There were no skip-its this weekend, but the misshap did occur one fateful day after Easter Sunday.

It was an Easter Sunday like many other. I was with my parents having dinner at my brother's house. My neice and nephew were outside mucking about, riding their bikes and skipping. At 35, I felt still nimble and quick so I had a turn on the skipping rope and it went exceedingly well. It was like riding the bike and I demonstrated the skipping skills I had perfected in my childhood and through a few years of boxing. Even June Cleaver got in on the act and showed my neice how at 73, she could still wield a mean rope. The Skip-It came out next and I slayed it, jumping circles around my neice who still couldn't believe that her grandmother and aunt not only knew how to skip but had once owned both a skipping rope and a Skip-It (called a Lemon Twister in my day, but the premise was still the same).

Fastforward to the next day. Still confident from the previous day's experience, I grabbed my Skip-It out of the basement and had a few turns around the living room. It felt like a fun way to exercise and it was a nice day so outside I went. I set myself up for the first step, not looking at the uneven patio stones that had shifted during the winter months. One skip, two skip...

And then Scribe was down. For the count and for about four months after. I had landed wrong on one patio stone. Actually it was two patio stones with one of them being uneven. My ankle buckled, twisted, turned and it was over. Embarrassed and incredulous that I had forgotten I was indeed accident prone, I removed my shoe (mistake number 2, the first was actually touching the Skip-It again). It swelled instantly and I could no longer put my shoe back on. I was also very stoic and told myself to "suck it up Princess" and went about my day like nothing had happened.

Denial.

My denial caused me to think that it was the perfect time to continue with the housekeeping  chores that I had already started. A sprained ankle couldn't keep me down, but apparently a chipped bone can.

As my doctor and subsequent x-ray revealed that my fifth lucky sprain on that ankle had also resulted in a chipped bone and four months of swelling. Purple, blue, black, yellow... my ankle went through many stages, and to this day, it still pains me when it rains.

I should have known it would end badly, as did the speed bump, roller skating evening and escalator. And, while those other things happened a long time ago (and still proves my landlubber's ineptness), the fact that I was 35 and playing with a Skip-It makes this one instance even more monumentous. Just ask Anasatan who keeps threatening to buy me lemons as a present. I just turn it around and make lemonade and I stay away from any Lemon Twisters. They're evil, you know.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Have you heard the truth?

Truth... we all strive for it but when it comes up upon us we sometimes want to put our head in the sand and ignore it. The creators of Studio 30 Plus posed the question about what truth is and what it means to us as a potential jumping point for our own musings. I think it's a great question but one that scares the crap out of me.

Is it because I don't want to admit the truth to myself or is it because I haven't found my own truth yet? Both is true. I grew up in an environment in which I learned it's easier to please everyone rather than listen to what I want. I wasn't allowed to want. I was expected to do everything right according to someone else's rules. Don't rock the boat. Don't push the envelope. Conform. To do otherwise would mean silent treatments, disapproving looks, the tut-tuts when I lifted one finger out of place, stepped out of line. Or, it meant hearing how difficult, overly independent and unworthy I had become. After years of doing what is expected I'm struggling to find my authentic self. I'm learning bit by bit as I realize that my laugh is mine and not the unattractive guffaw I've been told. I realized that while I find the usual things amusing, it's the off-colour humour that really gets me going. I've discovered that it's okay to say no and to go about doing what I like with no apologies and without looking to others for confirmation that I'm doing things right, and according to whose  rules.

Yet, I still have the urge to go with the flow. It's something I still fight with, day to day. I now take a few minutes not to think "what would Oprah do" but what it is I really want - out of life, work, my own self.

I was reminded today that it will be a long, hard haul. And, it's bound to be a journey of many regresses as I resist the urge to go with what is expected of me, always the agreeable little girl of my past. The truth of the matter is that I must stop questioning myself and looking to others for approval, to mother myself.

So, I've taken a lover... Myself. And, I vow to love myself warts and all and find my true, authentic self no matter the consequences to my existing relationships because the most important relationship is the one I have with me, whoever she may be.

That is my truth.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yin and Yang

I'm not feeling very original today, so much so that I'm actually borrowing (okay, stealing) words that only minutes before were uttered by someone else. I'm very disappointed in myself, I know. Me, a supposed writer, not coming up with my own witty copy, new dialogue so fresh and so full of perspective that you can not help but look on me in wonder.



We were talking about balance, in life, in relationships, in nature, I suppose, and I was at a loss for another word to describe this precarious walk of life, of finding a lid to fit your pot (yes, I also stole that too, but this time from a book and I'm not telling you which one so you'll spend all of your free time wondering how you can find your own gems - stolen gems, that is).

So, what did I use? Yin and yang, the traditional symbol of balance, of good and evil, light and dark. It fit, it was just too bad that those words had just left my friend's mouth. And yes, I was accused of stealing, and I looked on sheepishly and felt shame, but not so much that I would admit to outright stealing. After all, it's not copyrighted and who would be able to prove that such a daliance took place, a thievery of words and phrases. I sure as hell wouldn't own up to it - I have a rep to manage.

One could say that I was merely in agreement and wanting that person to feel accepted and understood. Imitation is supposed to be a  form of flattery after all, and all I want is for people to know I understand them and empathize.

The yin and yang of it is that although I consider myself to be a good person, I sometimes slip up. Word Thievery is among  my charges. The others may be too many to list completely but the top ones are (get ready for this):

  • Taking the last of the toilet paper and not changing the roll;
  • Idling my car as I wait in the line-up at the Tim Horton's drive-thru (I know it's probably faster to go inside the store but sometimes I don't feel like it);
  • Leaving packages in my car that I think I will take out next time or until I have to put someone in the back seat;
  • Getting sucked into really bad straight-to-TV (and not even video) sappy, chick flick movies;
  • Channel surfing - my dad did it and now I do it - I'm afraid I'm going to miss something (and I really detest commercials);
  • Leaving the popcorn bag and empty pop cup at my seat at the movies for others to clean up;
  • Emitting a huge burp and then giving myself the highest rating on the burp-o-meter;
  • Calling my mother June Cleaver (to her face and while calling into her office) because she always dressed up for Dad coming home and told me never to leave the house without lipstick;
  • Getting a fake nose ring while away on a  trip to prepare the fam for the real thing;
  • Tying my nephew's and niece's socks together EVERY  TIME I saw them;
  • Letting one rip as the waiter walked by and waiting as my friend blamed him;
  • Leaving just enough time to get anywhere and thinking that half an hour is really enough time to drive to Scarborough... or Burlington... or Ajax - you get the picture;
  • Forcing friends to watch said chick flicks, or better yet, musicals like West Side Story and then threatening to recreate them in the grocery store.
I think that's enough for now.  Rest assured, there is the yin to yang. After all, I'm the most balanced person I know...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I stoled this...

Yep, bad grammar and an admittance of thievery. Scribe is at her very best. And, since it's 2 a.m. in the goddamn morning and a late-night coffee has held my eyelids hostage, I thought there was no better way than to inspire you.

I was inspired tonight by an old college friend, Psychic Chick. After four years of no one-on-one, in yer face contact, we conspired to meet. To Swish. To chatter at each other. And then I was inspired to steal this gem from Lulu of Earwig Sandwich fame since it communicated how I feel about friendship.

"I want all my friends to come up like weeds,
and I want to be a weed myself,
spontaneous and unstoppable.
I don't want the kind of friends one has to cultivate."

I hadn't seen Psychic Chick in four years. We met for some chicken and convo at the Swish in Scarborough and as soon as I walked in, it was like we left each other only days, minutes, hours before. Everything picked up right where we left it, draining in the kitchen sink, resting on the stair, lingering on our lips. Four years and four hours later, we were refreshed yet a little stiff from sitting in a small booth. We didn't have to cultivate conversation. Segues sprouted, tangents were embraced and I left with a promise that it won't take another four years to find our way back. We were never really gone.

Now, do yourself a favour and take a trip to Earwig Sandwich and read the Chair Saga. You won't be disappointed. Lulu is a good weed, just like me.

Ma testicles...

I really don't have a lot to write about, unless you want to know about the countless resumes I've sent out, the courses I'm considering taking to up my mad skillz, or the fact that even my volunteer efforts have garnered few results.

I'm in the position to volunteer my services. For free. To keep me relevant and away from the daytime television gods. I've done my work and will continue to plug away. Tomorrow, I'm headed to the Big Smoke to do some reading. Outloud. It's an audition for VoicePrint, the organization that provides voice recordings of news articles, textbooks and books to the visually impaired. It should pan out. After all, I did earn my balls on college radio.



So that's where I left my balls...

I'm not paid in balls, though Boyo the Boxer would like this. Forget about testicles too. I already have them. My radio instructor told me so. You may be aware that I used to be shy. Really. Seriously. I had a soft voice that would come out even softer when in the spotlight. Forget public speaking. Ears would strain to hear my vocals. That is until my second year of college when I had to take to the airwaves to deliver the news that I and my classmates re-wrote from the newspaper and wires for radio consumption. Every Friday afternoon one of us would take the stories written by our peers and deliver them to the masses. It didn't matter that it was Friday at 4:30 and most students were gone. We were the radio gods, or in my case a semi-god. After afternoon upon afternoon of soft speech and the radio techs turning my mic way up, something changed. It was my voice. It was clear, succinct, beautiful. And full of balls. Judy the instructor hugged me, and to commemorate, presented me with fuzzy balls to hang on the rear-view mirror of my non-existent car.

I have no fear tomorrow. I will read the news or whatever tomb they present to me and I will be clear, concise  and testicle-strewn. Because  once you've found your balls it's hard to misplace them again.