Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Blog Hole

There must be a blog hole out there. 

A place where us bloggers - once quite prolific - have seemed to have slipped into.  Well, not all of us, but some of us.  A place, you'd imagine, where we would all be sitting on a desert island somewhere, unlocatable by GPS, somewhere in Bermuda sipping Mai Tais.  I can almost imagine it, if it weren't for all the rain here in the Vancouver area.

I don't know what it is, frankly, that have caused so many of us collectively to lose our voice - or our expression.  Many of my favorite bloggers have gone quiet lately, too.  Some have written an "I'm back" or "I will be back" post in the recent past, but few have returned full speed. 

Maybe it was a wave we were all on.  Maybe Mercury is in retrograde - or whomever the God or Goddess of blogging might be.  (Well, of course, the Bloggess IS the Goddess of blogging, that kind of goes without saying...)

My wife feels bad.  That my life is so good, that I am no longer beleaguered by nagging posts that need to be written.  Frankly, it is true that I have found a live human audience to share much of my observations on life with on a day-to-day basis.  But I'm also not going out into the world so much, either.  I am not yet able to work, so I am conserving what funds I can by sticking close to home.  They think they can fool me by pricing their gas here by the litre and I won't realize what unbelievably astronomical price that gasoline is here in Canada.  But I can do rudimentary math.

The reality is that I am most often inspired - or the ideas for a blog post are most often going through my head - as I am trying to fall asleep.  More importantly, as she is trying to fall asleep, and as she is the bread-winner of the family, I think it important for me not to disturb her sleep.

But tonight I slipped away.  Not just because this blog entry was in my fingers, but what may become the next blog entry, too.  We'll see what actually gels and publishes. 

I have recently begun helping my nephew here academically, and one of the things I have been pushing him to do is write daily.  So, perhaps, in the spirit, I should regroup and begin writing here, again, on a more regular basis. 

I think, unfortunately, I am now down to only three of my regular Ukrainian readers, but hopefully news of the Borg will spread again, and those who used to come will return again.  :) 

I have missed you my friends. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Be Careful of the Internet...

You never quite know where random searching where your ADD whims might take you on the internet might land you.

I just found the obituary for a friend of mine who I happen to know is quite alive - just receiving texts from her, in fact - and the woman's surviving brother has the same name as her son.  Kinda gives me the willies.

Oh, you know how it goes.  You see one thing on FaceBook or Twitter, and your mind goes wandering, and then you start googling.  Google counts on it.

I don't spend as much time on my laptop as I used to, it overheats, and I don't use it for work or for viewing television any more.  So every once in awhile when I get on it, I do that old sport of random browsing.  I don't do much random browsing anymore - I tend to be fishing for specific answers these days when I pull out the iDevice (whether it be iPhone or iPad), rather than random strolling through the Internet.

But today I went looking for an old friend (a different friend, in fact) and there, as one of the results was the "images on the web", and there really was an image for her.  So I went to see if there were any images for me, and was surprised by what I found that actually did relate to me, but that's a whole different story, and then I decided to punch in my other friend's name since I noticed her FB posts are being broadcast to the world.

I did NOT expect to find her funeral notice.  Nor I am sure, would she, and I don't plan on telling her.  If it gave me the willies, imagine how she'd feel?

Just goes to reinforce that the Internet can be a scary place...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Hidden Objects Game

So my wife and I were given an iPad as a wedding present, and we've been having fun exploring the opportunities available to us with this new powerhouse of technology and potential productivity.

What we've probably spent the most time doing, however, is playing hidden object games.  You know the ones, Mystery Manor and the like.  You go from room to room or area to area and you have a limited amount of time to find a particular set of objects.  Often these objects remain in relatively the same places, and sometimes they move around.  To suck you in, of course, they try to make it a little easier for you and keep things in the same two or three places so you have a chance at finding the objects.

Living with ADD, sometimes (and probably even without it) can be like playing a Hidden Object game.  In an ideal world, everything has it's place, so it takes you no time at all to find the hat on the ironing board, and for you to be ready to move onto the next thing.  But sometimes, things get tricky and they move around.  And you can't find them as easily even when they are sitting in front of your face.

Good habits teach us to put things back.  Life, however, often gets in the way.

So, for example, that hat that's usually in the closet next to the ironing board, if it doesn't get put back, could be anywhere within the apartment.  I know I wore it last night.  I wear it out sometimes when my hair is a bit of a mess - short hair, likes to spike up in all the wrong places sometimes.  Last night, in a brief lull in the thunderstorm we ran out to get pizza, and well, I wore the hat.

But where did I put the hat?  I'll tell you where it isn't.  It isn't in the closet next to the ironing board.  Nor is it on the couch or the coffee table, where it sometimes hangs out when it's not in the closet.  It's like one of those hidden object games.

I'm lucky.  Even though with my ADD I may play these games more often than others, I happen to have a wife who has a reasonably good memory. Definitely an above average memory.  And if I really needed that hat now to take down the pizza boxes, for example, to recycling, I could call her and ask her where it was.  She'd have in three guesses, I imagine.  The first would be the closet, but I might give her an early hint that it wasn't in there.  She might next think about the coffee table / couch, but she also might remember exactly where I was when I came back from bringing the soda up from her car, and where I put the hat when I returned.

It's probably on the soda.

An Open Letter to the Bloggess

This is too long a response to try and type and risk having my comment be erased, so I'm just going to write you a blog post.  My first blog post in well over a month.

I have bad news for you.  

You are human. 

Some days being human just sucks.  I know you know this already.  To answer your question, yes, we all have days where we feel that we don't measure up.  Even the perfect stepford wife looking parents all have moments where they don't feel that they measure up.  IN FACT, it is BECAUSE they feel that they don't measure up often that they work so hard to create a facade that suggests that they have it all together. And if someone knocks a chink in that facade, it might all fall apart like a house of cards.

Flylady is a website that often reminds me of this.  Not specifically relevant to the things you specifically mentioned, but it has a lot of people writing in about not being perfect, and always feeling that they're behind and that they didn't and don't do enough.  In fact, their motto, on their hundreds of emails that they send is "You're not behind"

Part of the secret of life is trying to figure out how to (or if to) measure oneself, and one's life.  At the end of the day, we must each find that way, that measure, that ideally will bring us happiness, or at a minimum, comfort.

I'll tell you a little about what works for me (and this from a woman who hasn't "worked" in the traditional sense in six months now; and I ain't no house-wife, either, my wife (God bless her) does 98% of the "housework" including the cooking and the dishes).

My goal is not to make things worse.

It's a real simple goal.

And this is an overall measurement.  Overall in the day, try to make things a little bit better, not worse.  Try not to offend people (that one might be hard for you... *grin!*), try not to hurt others, try not to add to the discord that is often swirling around us.  AND, if I'm lucky, try to add a bit of good.  Bring a smile to someone's face, a laugh (my sense of humor is one of my greatest strengths, I believe).  Help restore someone's belief, if only for a moment, in the kindness of their fellow human beings.

And if I make it through the day and make someone else smile, alleviate their burden for a moment, make someone else feel loved, then it's been a pretty damn good day.

I'm not that ambitious.  I prefer to think of myself as realistic.  I realized long ago I was never going to make some grand scientific discovery (I dropped out of college chemistry a lab or two in... I am sure beakers were broken, but I can't remember).  I will not develop penicillin (of course since it's already been discovered, it's kind of late now).  I won't be a great explorer, a record holder, a great athlete, or even a (great) parent.

And the most freeing realization is that I don't need to be any of those things to be a good person.  Neither do you.

I can list off like many would and you asked us not to do all the good things you've done.  But me recognizing it isn't the issue, is it?

The short answer, though, is no, you are not alone.  

(Really, have you NOT been reading your Twitter feed lately, or what??)

(P.S. Tonight I intend to check this off as my something good for the day, so-o-o....)

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Okay, so here is the question:

For what type of things should a photo identification be required?

I'll be honest.  It's the whole voter ID question that is raising it for me today, but let's face it, there's a lot of different places where the question could be raised.  Medical care, perhaps?

And the problem with raising the issue over voter ID is that apparently there is a whole lot of other issues at stake.  And I respect that the application of a law could be discriminatory even if the law itself on the face of it is not discriminatory.  If I remember correctly, this is a good legal argument to use in front of the Supreme Court.

BUT, given that we're required to provide a photo ID for just about everything else in life, including leasing a property, banking, cashing a check, obtaining a marriage license, and sometimes even to receive medical care, it seems that someone who does NOT have a valid photo identification at this point in life is missing out on a whole lot more than possibly just voting.

In Canada, a photo-ID is required to vote.

I was shocked, frankly, when I first showed up to vote and wasn't required to provide a photo ID.  And I'm in my 40s.

I think, long-term, a photo identification should be required to vote.  There may be legitimate arguments against requiring photo identification.  And I think we should address these arguments.  In the meantime, however, I think we should provide some sort of step-up system so that we reach that long-term goal, but we address the short-term issues.  For example, if the issue is that the people can't afford to get IDs, let's set up a fund that will help pay for the photo IDs.  Let's allow people to use Medicare cards for the next x number of years, since I admit, often that was enough for some medical care providing.

In a hundred years, perhaps, we'll only need our retinas to provide positive identification...

SCAM! Please, please, avoid....

I'd like to think all of you are smarter than this, but clearly there are some unknowing victims who fall for these phone calls that they continue.  And, the operators sound quite insistent and firm that they are legitimate and not scam-artists even when told to their face (well, it's by phone, so not "face") that no, thank you I'm not interested in your scam.  "No, ma'am, this isn't a scam.  This is legitimate".

I didn't have a home phone back when I was most recently living in the states, and my cell phone number used to belong to a woman who apparently applied for a lot of pay period loans and was surprisingly behind on her credit cards, so I didn't answer my phone unless I knew the caller.

But now, for some reason, I get amused answering the home phone.  My wife thinks I'm nuts to participate in these calls, but I get some sort of amusement.  Until I get pissed that is.  Maybe that's the part my wife worries about? Nah.

I love the ones that call insisting my computer is having a problem, and they are the ones to fix it.  Since, gees, I got my computer oh, several years before I ever arrived here, and my wife didn't have a computer that she used before I came, so I know there is no computer registered to this phone number here.

But this morning they called again telling me that Microsoft has not been able to update my computer.  Amusing, really given that yesterday when I shut it down it did update.  So, I called him on it.  He said, quite insistently, that no, there was a problem, and if I would let him, he would gladly show me what is wrong with my computer.  I was quite clear there was no way I was allowing him to remotely access my computer, thank you very much.

He never gave in.  Eventually I bid him a good day and hung up on him.  But I know there are people who actually believe them.  In fact, when we went to the RCMP to get fingerprints for me, there was a guy ahead of us in line who was stopping by to make a complaint about having been scammed just like that.

It is tough, in this day and age, to figure out sometimes what is and what isn't safe.  My wife is surprised that I don't have more apps for games downloaded given how much I enjoy playing them - but the reality is that I'm scared to download apps much because even though there hasn't been much on iPhone viruses, I don't want to be one of the first to find out.  Ideally iTunes and the App store would weed out damaging apps, but I still am anxious.  I don't download stuff if I don't know where it's come from, for the most part, but it is impossible in today's day and age to always be that careful.  Sometimes there is no choice.

But people, PLEASE, take basic common sense in dealing with the electronic world and with the real world.  Ask questions.  Don't just take some stranger's word for it.  Use your own head and trust yourself.  And if you don't know, ask someone else you trust.


But in the meantime, if you want to be amused along with me by the idiots who try, then please, be my guest.  :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013



CSI: Cooking and Pancakes

So, as a single gal, cooking has to be something you enjoy in order to do much of it and eat more than processed and pre-prepared foods.  Because cooking creates mess.  It just does.  If you do it right, apparently.

And I'm not exactly the best about cleaning up messes.  So much of what I eat while my wife is at work is pre-prepared.  Leftovers from the night before, or easily prepared foods that are nuked and don't create much mess.  Because I hate cleaning mess.  I'm good at creating it.  Apparently, not so good at cleaning it.

I was really proud of myself the other morning, though, when I decided to make pancakes.  The first morning I made them was over the weekend when my wife was around to help clean up after.  Cleaning up with her is much easier than cleaning alone.  Hence, no fun cooking and eating alone.  More fun cooking and eating and therefore cleaning with others.

Well, we all know that pancakes aren't that big a deal.  In fact, I'll admit, this is even the mix that is just add water.  This way when I'm having a craving for pancakes, I'm not dependent upon whether or not I actually have eggs in the house.  Single-secrets.

Anyway, no problem making pancakes when my wife was around.  She doesn't actually let me cook much when she's home.  She was involved in something else at the time, though, and she didn't want pancakes, so I just did it.  OMG!

So, on Monday morning, buoyed by my success over the weekend, and craving more pancakes, I decided to make some on my own.

And I admit, I'm the kind of girl that washes the dishes for the day moments before my wife comes home.  I put stuff off. But when you cook, you're better off cleaning sooner than later, because stuff gets caked on and harder to clean.

So I was proud of myself.  I made myself a delicious yummy breakfast, and then, I was really good.  I cleaned up immediately.  All done quite quickly.  Much relief off my shoulders not waiting until the last minute to clean up.  My day was free.  It was all good.  I made progress and cooked on my own, and even cleaned up.  All was good.

My wife came home and unlike usual, there were no obvious signs as to what I had been up to.  Again, I'd cleaned.  And done it well.  Despite my annoyance in cleaning, generally, with cooking, I had a success I was ready to build upon.

Until we were washing dishes that night.  Suddenly dishes that were washed by my wife were suddenly streaky after I dried them.  Apparently, I had left pancake batter on the towels.  And she said that she detected batter on the floor, and in the vents, and on the ceiling and the light fixture.  Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it seemed that she found traces of my criminal, er, cooking activity wherever she went.

My wife is the CSI.  Each day when she comes home, she takes a quick examination and she can tell what I've done during the day.  Mind you it isn't challenging. It isn't as if I do a lot during the day, but, still....

So, here I find myself craving pancakes but wondering whether or kitchen can take it...

Except I know the answer my wife will think, if not say, when she reads this... Don't worry, I'll make sure it's fine and clean... Just, um, Borg, try to keep it out of the vents, okay? Thanks.

Something like that...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Recently I have been contemplating the impetus for writing.  Or in this case, not much writing.  And I can't help but wonder if I need to be depressed, or in some overly dramatic place in order to write?  Must I be lonely? Surely that can't be true.

But, the "problem" is that I am happy.  Those are strange words to type or to say.  That happiness is a "problem".  Because it isn't.  It's wonderful.  It's good.  It's all those things we hope for and hope it will be.

Is my life perfect? No.  Do I have everything I want? Ehh... yes and no.  The most important things, most definitely.  But it would be nice, for example, to have the CHOICE to work or not work, rather than just not work.

Although, if I were smart, I'd realize that at the moment writing apparently IS work... and then I'd just do this.

I'll get back on the horse.  When I started this blog, I thought about the things I liked most in a blog and tried to keep them there.  One of them was frequency. You hate to find someone whose voice you enjoy and then have them not write very often.  You want to read it frequently.  It's like handwritten letters found in a mailbox.  It's nice to receive them. (I get very few now here in Canada... postage has become QUITE expensive!)

The other thing I tried to remember when I first started writing this blog was that not all my entries were going to be winners.  And that it was okay.  I'd rather have a few bad posts than no posts at all.  So, I'll try to get better about reincorporating this as a habit.

Forgive me my absence, dear readers.  I am not dead...

Friday, July 5, 2013

"Social" Media

So, one of the things I have been pondering lately is the friending of spouses. Once you go to the trouble of finding a spouse suddenly all these people come out of the woodwork and want to friend you. Whose overtures and invites to friendship do you accept?

It is awkward on the other end too. I has found myself friending spouses I have never met or at least wanting to on occasion but refraining because it might seem weird.

It is not just the Facebook phenomena but also in real life too. How much of a friend are you supposed to be to the spouse of your good friend.

What is the protocol?

It is tricky to navigate. At one level such overtures from a spouse to a friend could seem overprotective. Domineering. In some circumstances it might seem sweet - taking an interest in those your spouse cares for.

But then you create a triangle and potential problems. What if your friend now bitches about the spouse you have become friends with. Whose side do you take? What if you realize after spending just a little time with your spouse's friend you recognize how toxic he or she is - do you say anything?

Then there's the insecurity that these two might become better friends with each other than they are with you!

In "How I Met Your Mother", Lily used to have a front porch swing test for the people Ted was dating. Would she want to sit on the front porch together when they were old? Lily went so far as to sabotage any relationships Ted would have with women who didn't fit her vision of the future.

Making friendships - any relationships - entails a certain amount of risk. But which folks should immediate red flags of danger rise?

Something to continue to ponder..

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today's Opinions - A Little Constitutional Law 101 - Initial Thoughts

One of the secrets I've kept all along is that I once was a licensed attorney.  So, I know a little more than the average bear about the legal goings on, and I went to law school, frankly, because my partner at the time and I could not get the same rights and protections that other opposite sex couples could get simply by saying "I do".

So, I know a wee bit about this area of law since it was my personal area of focus, and I did practice same sex law in a former life (that sounds MUCH kinkier than it was).

The Supreme Court has many ways in which to issue an opinion on a matter brought before it, including a decision not to make a decision at all.

Today's Supreme Court decisions have focused a lot today on whether or not they are allowed to even make a decision.  It's a great way for the Supreme Court to avoid making decisions when it wants to.  One way is to say that the people who are bringing the suit have no right to.  This is the basis by which the Court dismissed the Prop 8 case.

The Windsor case - the tax case - could have been dismissed had Obama actually refunded the estate tax and not simply refused to defend.  But because there was harm done to Windsor by the refusal to refund the estate tax paid, the Court had to issue a ruling.

All of the principles I learned in my law school tax classes came down.  If Windsor had refused to pay the tax herself, we might not ever have heard the case.  ALWAYS pay the taxes first, and then fight the IRS in court.  If you don't, you end up in tax court, and there is very little remedy for appeals.

Arcane geeky law stuff.

These cases however open the door and pave the way for further progress.

Basically, the Supreme Court has declared that states have the authority to define marriage, and the federal law cannot discriminate amongst people the state has like-determined.  However, this doesn't solve other states which don't recognize marriage, and it doesn't necessarily recognize what another country does unless the state in which they are residing does (Windsor was married in Toronto).

These cases will come, and they will probably be resolved in favor of same-sex marriage, but we haven't gotten those opinions yet.

But this is a positive step.  :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sharper Mind...

Being in Canada has been an interesting experience in observing slight variations between the way things are done or referred to here and how they are done in the States.  Some things are inconsequential, and some things have bigger effect.

Here they pronounce car manufacturer Mazda differently.  Inconsequential.  Here gas is sold in litres at around $1.40 per litre.  At approximately 3.78 litres to the gallon, that translates to over $5 per gallon.  A little bit more consequential.  Fortunately I've only had to fill my tank once since I've gotten here because I live a rather non-vehicular life.

One of the things which really struck me as odd at first is cheese.  In the States, cheese may vary from mild to sharp.  One of the more common examples is when these terms are used to describe cheddar cheese.  I think, in theory, the descriptions are, well, self-descriptive, but essentially the milder tasting cheeses are labeled mild, or medium, and the more pungent, or, well, sharp the taste of the cheese, then it is labeled "sharp".  It seems fairly straight forward when that is all you know.

In Canada, however, the sharper cheese is called "old".  Or older, if you're describing varying degrees.  And, well, that's I guess a fairly accurate description of the process of making cheese, and makes sense.  Except us from the States might find a cheese described as "old" a bit too accurate and may be less likely to eat or get our children to eat.

Lately, my wife has gotten me sucked into the King variety of games.  The first teaser drug, er, game, is Candy Crush Saga.  Such a teaser it is that I even saw an ad for it on TV this morning which really surprised me.  But there it was.  My love is always looking for a new challenging game, and often when she finds one she likes, she finds all the varying options of it.  Think of Angry Birds.  She has at least two folders on her iPhone just of Angry Birds games.

So, about a week after starting to play Candy Crush, she decided to download onto her iPhone Pet Rescue Saga also from King.  And when she came home from work, she was excited to share with me.

I'm frankly leery of downloading every app that looks interesting.  I guess it's left-over protective instincts worrying about viruses and such.  But, if my wife has tried it out and her phone hasn't started making calls to Europe, I'm less leery and willing to download and check it out, too.  One of our ways of sharing time together.

Except, Pet Rescue Saga isn't available in the US store.  And even though I'm in Canada, and can apparently see it in the Canada App store, my phone isn't authorized to purchase (even though it's free) from the Canada store.

So, that led me to another evil.  Yes, that's right.  Facebook.  I *could* play the game on my Facebook account.

A long time ago, I was one of the pioneer game players for Zynga.  Long before everyone had their own farm, and their own factory job at Yo-Ville, I was one of the early Mafia players.  And then, you really needed to have friends to build your Mafia.  If you wanted to get anywhere, you needed to have more people.  So, you became "friends" with a lot of strangers.

I admit that for awhile there, I played the game religiously.  I had spreadsheets, and timers, and knew how to best maximize everything that I could get from playing the game.  This was about four years ago when the rest of my life was falling apart, and I soon realized part of the addiction was this was some place where I could measure my success.

Eventually I broke the habit, and I've stayed away from Facebook games.  I know their tricks to lure you in and keep you in.  They can be very seductive.

And yet, here I am...

As I have a bit of insomnia here, I have tried to persuade myself that I am playing these set of games to keep my mind sharper.  That the brain needs challenges to keep growing new synapses and such.  That it's use it or lose it.  And at some level these justifications do have merit.  I have lost some interest in Candy Crush because at the level I'm at, it seems that the success is more dependent upon the luck of the candy than any skill.  And I'm quite interested in Pet Rescue Saga because I can see how I have to really think about the puzzle although some of them are still dependent upon good shakes of the pieces.

Sometimes I wish that keeping a sharper mind, though, was as easy as making a sharper cheese.  That getting older meant simply getting better and sharper.

Monday, May 27, 2013

#250 or.. so who am I? (Third time's the charm?)

I must admit that knowing this is the 250th post is kind of daunting.  Of course, if I'd been writing daily since I started, I would have blown past this milestone a ways back.  But I do feel like there should be something momentous written on my 250th post.

And lately, I've been contemplating what might become a series of posts about "Who am I?"  Early on in the blog, I posited a random list of things about myself that I might have expounded upon in full posts at a later time.  I was single, grieving a relationship or two, living in a small town in the mid-West and trying to find an audience for my voice.  On my 25th post, I decided to go to Twitter, and see if I could get The Bloggess to look at my blog.

I was a, um, cynic of Twitter.  I kept my presence on Twitter quiet from those around me.  Surely there is nothing of value on Twitter, but maybe I might be able to find a few folks to come over and read my blog.  Maybe I might find an audience.

I had no idea.  There is no way that woman writing that blog and trickling on to Twitter in February 2012 - not really that long ago - would have had any idea what the future held for her.  Fifteen short months later, and here I am living in another country and married to the most wonderful woman I could never have imagined.

In December, when our relationship and our intentions had solidified enough to be willing to share in public, I had modified one of the items on my "list" - which was to cross off that I was single.  Now to look at the list, there are so many other items to cross off that are not presently true about myself.  For example, I can't watch too much Hulu now because Hulu won't stream in Canada.  :(  I clearly no longer live alone - I am living during my temporary visitor visa period with my wife, and of course, I hope and intend to make it a permanent thing.  This is the first year in four that I won't be coaching soccer, and while I will miss it, soccer was not my passion.  And I most definitely do not live in a small town anymore.

But the core of who I am is still the same.  It's just that some of my circumstances have changed.  I am a person who chooses not to take life too seriously, who loves genuinely and strongly, who gives people the benefit of the doubt and believes in the good of people.  Writing this description of myself feels more like trying to write an online dating profile, and it is impossible to capture who a person is in just a few sentences.  Frankly, I prefer medium length walks on the beach, not long ones.

And in the beginning, I felt detailing who I was didn't really make sense.  Because frankly, I hoped my stories would strike you as familiar.  I'd remind you of that person you know who lives down the street, or who you grew up with, or perhaps even remind you of yourself.  I think finding the commonality between people helps bring us together.  And so I planned to assimilate you.  Borg-style.

Because resistance is futile...

Trading Places...

So here it is. Daylight. On a weekday.  And I am wide awake and out of bed and my love still lies sleeping.  To be clear, she is the one who goes to work every morning.  And here in Canada, it is not a holiday.

Most mornings, even if I am awake before she leaves, I typically stay in bed until she leaves.  I do this, auspiciously, to stay out of the way of her morning routines.  While I say this tongue in cheek, it is actually a habit I developed during my year of living as a guest in other people's homes.

Let's face it.  In the morning you have certain routines you go about and do.  It's not that you're unmalleable, and you can't alter them to accommodate someone else, and perhaps even YOUR routines DO involve someone else, such as kids or even pets.  But you have a certain order of things that you typically tend to do from when you first open your eyes, to when you finally put your feet on the floor (or for some of you, there's just an instant second between the two), to when you pad towards the bathroom and begin your morning routine.  If someone else is in your bathroom, or in your kitchen, you need to make some adjustments.  Not unreasonable adjustments, but still...

I always felt it more respectful as a guest not to interfere with my hosts' morning routines. It wasn't that I couldn't insert myself into it, but most of them were heading off to work, and I usually wasn't.  Part of the reason I *was* a guest.

So, I'm used to hanging out in the bedroom out of the way, while my love does her morning routine.

THIS morning, however, I woke a good hour before the alarm even started going off.  There I was like a meerkat, bright eyed and bushy tailed looking around checking everything out, realizing that it was much too early for me to be awake and yet...

There I was.

So I did what any newlywed would do, I started to snuggle in closer to my wife, nudging her and kissing her and hoping, perhaps, she might enjoy a little morning rolling around before she had to go to work.  I mean what better way to start your day than to have someone wide awake make YOU wake up an hour early, right? I mean let's face it, I can take a nap later this afternoon on the couch, so what's there to lose? Oh, wait, yes, you mean SHE's not allowed to nap mid-day at her desk? Oh... yeah... well....

Actually, my poor girl gets killer headaches on occasion, and this morning happens to be one of those occasions.  Now wait! I can hear you now.. "Oh, only nine days into wedded bliss and she's already giving you the 'headache' excuse... Good luck with that one!" *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*.  Well... gosh.. when you put it that way... Well, thanks.  Way to make my day.  *sniff*

But seriously, my poor Poo is down for the count... and here I am bright eyed and busy tailed.  VERY unusual for me.  So, to be sweet to her, I decided to get up and head into the living room and WRITE about her instead.  Because isn't that what the wife of every blogger dreams of?

That's what I thought...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

One Word At A Time...

A blogger friend of mine has this tattooed on his arm.  To remind him to keep writing.  Tattooed.  Permanent.  It's like he takes this writing thing seriously or something?  What's up with that?

I admit the last couple of months I haven't been taking the writing thing seriously.  I've written a whole 10 blog entries - well published a whole 10 blog entries - since March.  It's been a combination of things.

First, the easy excuse to lay down is that I have kind of moved (visiting, I swear, CIC, just visiting, but hoping to move) to another country.  I've left behind a good group of friends that I'd managed to develop - a community - over the last four years.  I drove 2600 miles (give or take) in a short period of time (like three and a half days), and have shacked up with my Twitter love.

Well, um, last weekend we made it official.  No longer just "shacking up", we married each other.

That's my second excuse.  Yeah... that's it. :)

But actually, that has been another issue.  Blogging - for me - sometimes is writing about nothing (that's what I promised you in the early entries!).  It's about taking something small and just writing my (ideally amusing) musings.  Shampoo.

These days, though, I'm not running solo, and I'm not talking about people who are anonymous and who have no idea that I'm writing about them.  Now, though, if I write about those endearing idiosyncrasies, I'm talking about someone that others who read this blog know.

I admit, that this has stymied me on occasion.  There have been a few blog entries gestating, gurgling, waiting to find their way to the surface, that I have squelched out of a sense of decorum.

But I need to remember my friend's tattoo (tattoo! Permanent! Still impressed by that) that I need to just write. One. Word. At. A. Time.  And I know that my love loves me, and if I write something gently teasing her, that she'll still know how very much I love her.  But I can also find many other topics of interest to write about too, and if I can't, then I need to get out into the world a little more.  After all, I'm in a whole new country - surely I can find something amusing to write to you about.

I'll try a little harder... One word at a time.  Thanks, Ken! :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Big Brother

So, I'm one of many people who have many email accounts.  I created one a few years ago when I got a new iPhone for work to create an iTunes account that was separate from my home account.  This was after I'd left my old life.

In my old life, I was a member of CostCo.  Where I was geographically there was no CostCo - Sam's Club was the local warehouse store.  I was no longer a member of CostCo, but at some point I started getting CostCo e-mails at the new account which I was reserving, I admit, for mostly commercial e-mail kind of stuff.

I really didn't think twice about it.  Until they told me my annual renewal was coming up.  I scratched my head wondering, but, again, didn't think much of it.  Thought they were mistaken.  Whatever.

Now I've been in Canada almost two months.  And this is an account I only access on my iPhone.  I may have logged in once or twice on the computer, but it isn't an account where I am particularly active.

So imagine my shock - still in quite a bit of disbelief - when a little over a week ago, CostCo sent me an email from Costco.ca.  The Turbo Tax ad had a maple leaf and all.


How did they know I'm in Canada to customize / change the emails they are sending me?  At what point did they realize I'm here for longer than just a vacation?  I mean really?

And since then, there have been three more e-mails from them.

Makes me wonder what communicates with what around here.  Did Gmail communicate to them where I was when I opened (or frankly, just likely deleted immediately) their prior emails?

Anyone with any plausible explanations would be useful.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Drop the shovel...

Sometimes you just watch your friends shovel themselves into the hole that they are in.  You can see the complaints coming ahead "Help! I'm stuck in a hole!" but you know if you say, "Hey, if you keep digging, you might find yourself in a hole shortly" they won't stop.  And they always look surprised to find themselves in the hole.

Sometimes they'll get a rope and some help out of the hole, but often they just begin to start making steps out of the hole when, oops, there goes that damn shovel again.  There they go digging like they're in that old 80s video game of Dig Dug.  And there, again, is that surprise: "What? How did this happen? How did I get in this hole?"

So, next time you find yourself in a hole, and wondering how you got there, check your own hands: are you holding a shovel? Often the answer to how to get yourself out of a hole is to begin by stopping digging.

Drop the shovel.  And just because you begin to get your head out of the hole and think you're out of it, don't pick up the shovel again.  Look around.  Is your whole body out of the hole? No? And why do you need that shovel anyway?  Where exactly do you think you'll go?

This happens with relationships, with money, with possessions, with dreams, with all sorts of scenarios.  We find ourselves in holes.  It's natural.  It happens sometimes.  But for goodness' sakes, just drop the shovel.  And drop the surprise.  And, um, the whining.  Yeah.  That too.  And find a way to work your way out of the hole.  Chances are you didn't get in the hole overnight - it takes a long time to dig a hole deep enough for us to fit in - and chance are, then, you won't get out overnight.  Do the hard work.

Teddy Bear Nursemaid

So, I've been in Canada about a month and a half, and my poor sweet baby has had two incidences of feeling sick enough or bad enough to stay home from work.  So I've had two opportunities to play nurse-maid to my sick baby.

And I must say I've done a smashing job of it.  I've discovered that the job is quite easy.

Let's face it: what we need most when we are sick is rest.  Sleep is the best way to allow our body time and opportunity to heal itself.  So, sleep is what my baby gets.  The first time she was sick - battling strep throat, she slept about 21 hours each day for about three days.  I did what any good partner would do.  I stayed with her while she slept.  And, um, slept myself.  It was, after all, a good way to allow my immune system to stay strong to avoid contracting the strep throat myself.  (I could post a gruesome picture showing the infection growing on her tonsil, but I imagine she'd rather I didn't...)

Today (er, yesterday?) my baby had a horrible headache when she woke, and I did what any good girlfriend would do.  I stayed in bed with her and slept while she slept it off herself.

Unfortunately, my friend insomnia decided THIS time to come visit me this evening.  He thought I'd had enough rest and sleep in the last few days, particularly considering I had gone to bed early the night before myself.  And so she sleeps now, in the middle of the night like she's supposed to, and I return to my old craft of blogging.  The lost art.

Because I am the teddy bear nursemaid.  I heal by allowing you (well, not YOU, but, the sick person who happens to be my partner) snuggle up to me like I'm your teddy bear, while we let Mother Nature do the hard work.  Who needs chicken soup (particularly when your baby IS a chicken, and there's all sorts of cannibalism questions there) when you can have rest and snuggling?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Old Friends...

It is natural that when you move, you may lose a few friends along the way.  There are some friendships that require your presence to be maintained.  And some friendships that survive the distance, and which may also survive infrequent contact.  Time, often, is the only way to tell which friendships will be which.

Some old friends, though, frankly you are glad to be away from, and you hope they'll lose your number, your e-mail, and forget how to contact you.

Tonight, one of my old friends, nonetheless, whom I was hoping to leave behind has seemed to catch up with me.  Yes, that's right, my old friend insomnia.... My how I've missed you.  NOT.  You could have stayed back in the U.S.  Nothing here in Canada requires your presence.  You may move on, my friend, and return from whence you came.

Insomnia when you're single and when you live alone looks different than insomnia when you're with someone else.  First of all, when you're alone, and you toss and turn in your bed, at least you aren't keeping someone else awake.  Second of all, then, you can stay in your own bed while you wait for insomnia to be on its way.

Sharing a bed with someone else means that there is a moment when you finally decide you can't be helping her sleep, and if you're going to continue to be wide awake, well, then, you might want to be nice to the one you sleep with and go some place else to be wide awake.  Trouble is, of course, is half the time they realize you've gotten up and left, and you may not have solved anything.  Except, of course, you can blog in peace without worrying about the tip tap of fingers on the keyboard waking them further and making them wonder when the hell you're gonna fall asleep so they can too.

In the time that has passed while trying to fall asleep, my mind has wandered in many different directions.  But I will spare you those wanderings.

Suffice to say, my old friend, I wish you'd stayed back in the old place.  And with that, my eyes begin to droop...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Love is Not Petty

Which is why I am out of breath from having quickly made the bed after having left it unmade all day out of pettiness.

See, I have no need on my own to make my bed - in case you haven't figured that out yet - but it is important to someone else.  It makes her day start orderly. 

When I sleep in - after she's left - I have made the bed.  I have written in here how it is an act of love.  But, I have learned to get out of the bed quickly when she does, hoping, expecting that since the making of the bed is important to her, she will make it before she goes. 

Which she has.

Until this morning.  She gave me an evil laugh as she walked out the door and said, "Yeah, I'm leaving it like that..."

To which petty me responded, internally, "Well, then, won't you be surprised when you come home and see that so did I?"

Luckily, I didn't say it out loud.  And she's not quite yet home.

Remembering that I had stated only last week that making the bed was a way of saying "I love you", and given that she said she started her day feeling bitchy, I decided it wouldn't be particularly nice of me to leave it and have her wonder, even for a millisecond, if I didn't love her...

And here she comes through the door... :)

The Other Voices...

When you live with someone, it doesn't take long, sometimes, to realize you now live your life under the microscope.  There is someone there to hear you (and, er, smell you) when you toot.  Someone who realizes that all you eat is cookies.  Someone who discovers that you have no idea how to use ______.  That you never ______.  That you always ______.  Things about yourself that you manage to hide from the world when you live alone. 

In really "fun" relationships, the other person will often share their observations... usually with a little derision.  And those observations stick with you.  If you're really lucky, you'll hear those voices long after you no longer share space with that person.  (Yes, that *was* sarcasm....)

Sometimes, even, these things end up being buttons.  Things that gnaw at your self esteem, things that are buttons that others might inadvertently trip over, things that create secretive behavior.


And this is the fun awkward point of the blog entry.  The point of the post where I know that if I don't admit it here that later I'm sure I'll be asked as to what prompted the post.  Well.. uh... there is a bag of cookies sitting beside me.  A half empty bag of cookies.  And well, to admit, that last week I actually put an empty bag of cookies back into the cupboard to make it seem as if I took an extra day to finish them off. 


It is funny, though, how those other voices stay in your head.  So that when your significant other comes home and asks, "__________" you suddenly hear a completely different question.  Suddenly that question is loaded.  And you find yourself already being defensive about a question that hasn't even been asked. 

It is important and yet impossible when you start a new relationship to leave the baggage at the door.  To give the person that you are with an opportunity to just be themselves.  To see them for them, and not for all the other people who might have come before them.  To enjoy the moment.  To not read more into "________" than a polite enquiry by someone who cares about you. 

And as I secretively nosh on a few more cookies before she comes home, I know that the voices I hear chastising me for eating so much sugar aren't hers.  They are the voices of others. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


So, as we wind up the third month of the year, I have come to realize I have written less posts this YEAR so far than an average month last year. 

Kait takes the blame. 

But I don't know that I would blame her, although certainly, her presence in my life has filled up some of the holes that I used the blog to fill.  (Don't over-analyze that too much, I don't want to...)

Some of it, I will admit, is when I am inspired, I may be spending time with her, and it's not the same as spending time with oneself to pull away and write.  Like before I wrote that last sentence, which I had composed in my head, she put her head on my computer and smiled at me and suddenly all I wanted to do was close this window and kiss her.  Except she's been sick.  Or last night, when I was having this wonderful inspiration, but I didn't want to get out of bed to write it.  Not only didn't I want to wake myself, but I didn't want to risk waking her.

But frankly, that's as much an excuse as anything (except these last few days she's been home sick) because frankly I have five days - ALL DAY - when she isn't here.  When I would have plenty of time, to say, have a full-time job, let alone write a silly little blog like this. 

It's been two weeks, and I feel fairly at home here.  Kind of surprising but really kind of nice. 

Canada is still a foreign country, but I have lost track of how many hockey games I have watched - either in full or even partial while flipping (kindly) from some place else.  I am learning how to translate Celsius to get an idea - 10 degrees is now warm.  Still trying not to pay attention to the fact that there are 3.78 liters litres to the gallon and at $1.39 per litre, gas is OVER $5/gallon.  I have made it to the library.  Twice.  Getting a refresher in French by reading labels at the grocery. 

(Yes, by the way, there IS a Canuck's game on, so Kait is not paying as close attention to me as she might otherwise... Given the consolidated hockey schedule, I probably have EVEN more time to write, and there is even less reason to blame Kait).

But when I think about where I was a year ago... it is such a different place from where I am now.  I had no idea my life would change so much in such a short amount of time, but really, I give myself a break and recognize that this change was a long time coming.

I miss some parts of my old life.  Some people, mostly.  But I am happy here.  I am getting into routines (see my last post). 

Tomorrow - if she's feeling better and goes to work - I will try to reinsert this whole blog-writing thing back into my routines.  Because I still have things to say and share. 

Even if life (or Kait) gets in the way.... ;)

Friday, March 22, 2013


Hmm... as my hands dry from the third .. or is it fourth?.. time washing dishes today, I can't help but wonder how I became domesticated so quickly. 

Think of me - generally - as having more the habits of a guy (I know, guys, you're probably better than me, so forgive me the insult).  For the last three years, I've lived alone.  Answered to no-one, had few guests, and so chores were, well, optional.  Except laundry.  Don't worry, I did laundry.  Although I did learn how to make certain items of clothing last longer.... (I also own many, many, many pairs of underwear.. oops TMI)

Make my bed? Why? I was gonna be back in it later that night.. Aw hell, who am I kidding? If I was at home, I'd be back in it within a few minutes, getting out usually just to go to the fridge or the bathroom or something.  I was the only one using my toilet, and I had no pets (for the most part), so there was no reason to put the lid down.  My bathroom was spacious enough it wasn't as if I had things above the toilet waiting to fall in.  As long as I could get back and forth to the fridge and the bathroom and the front door, who really cared if there were clothes, or books or other things on other parts of the floor?  If I had plenty of clean dishes (and I had plenty of sets of dishes) what was the rush in washing the dishes?

Well, I wasn't necessarily that bad...

Oh, wait, that's right, my girl reads this, I can't get away with that...

But it's been just under two weeks here, and I have been quite domesticated.  If I'm still in bed when she leaves in the morning, I make the bed.  (Usually not until about 3 PM or so, but still...).  And if she's here, I often help her make it.  I've learned to put the lid down on the toilet because the bathroom is, shall we say, cozy.  I don't always get it right.  I've learned to pull the shower curtain shut before drying my towel, so that it won't get mildewy on the bottom.  And, I've learned how to wash dishes after every meal (or right before she comes home, whichever works...), and put the dishes away, even. 

I have been domesticated. 

It's not necessarily a bad thing.  I'm not sure if I ended up living on my own again any time soon (and I'm not hoping for this, understand) I'd probably quickly revert to my slovenly ways.  Because I understand very well what the motivation is for doing them now.  (Hopefully you haven't eaten any time soon, because I might make you gag....)  The motivation is "Love". 

Now, it would *PROBABLY* be more loving if I didn't point it out every time she came home, "Hey, babe? Look, I made the bed!  You know what this says?" She's started to roll her eyes at this point, and frankly, I can't blame her... "It says, 'I love you!'" 

I do these things because it makes HER happy.  And that's reason enough.  And that, my friends, is how I have become domesticated. 

P.S.  I'm sure I still have quite a ways to go... but I am a work in progress at least... ;)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

O Canada...

.. I need a router, away, you wired Internet...

(to be sung to the tune of O Shenandoah...)

Well, folks, here I am in... you guessed it... Canada.

We got Internet today, but despite having had my hands on three OTHER routers in the last three weeks, I can't seem to put my hands on one of them today.

Well.. the wire still works. 

And, here's the thing.....

If this is the worst thing that happens to me today? Not such a bad day.... :)

But for those who were wondering / worrying... and who didn't catch a few random tweets passing along the news, I made it the 2,600 miles to my new home. 

I'm working on learning the TRUE words and tune to the Canadian National anthem. 

Oh, and by the way, hockey IS as big up here as we joke that it is... eh? Eh!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Risky Business....

... and yes, you do show your age, if what you just thought about was a 16 year old Tom Cruise sliding along in his whitey-tighties...

The whole relationship business is a risky business.  I have just spent the last week with my family working on condensing some of my belongings that were in storage to a smaller amount.  Getting rid of some of the vestiges of my last long-term committed relationship.  And if that weren't enough impetus to send me down memory lane and throw up some red flags regarding the risk of relationships, the ex whom I hadn't heard from in two years decided to rear her ugly head. 

My family is concerned about this move to Vancouver - rightly so, in theory - because of the risk it may not work out. 

It may not work out. 

That's true.

A crappy possibility, but a possibility nonetheless. 

And here's the thing.  If it doesn't work out, the folks here in this small town have made quite clear to me that I am welcome back.  And Robin Sparkles, who also lives on the West Coast, could probably tolerate me as a short-term room-mate if it didn't work out. 

If it didn't work out, what I have learned from the last relationship, is that it isn't the end of the world.

Now, for awhile there, that wasn't clear.  My ex was a frightening mentally ill woman who made the last few months I was living in the same state with her, let alone home, hell.  Actually, she made hell look good...

Needless to say, I haven't really missed her.  I'd like to.  I'd like to have fond memories of the time we've spent together.  I'd like to remember the woman I did fall in love with fondly, and just think it was a shame that it didn't work out.

But it REALLY didn't work out in the end. 

I've spent a lot of time the last three and a half - nearly four now - years trying to figure out what I could have done differently.  IF I could have done anything differently.  IF I should have left earlier than I did.  Trying to solve the "problem" so that I could avoid repeating the mistakes.

I've been looking at that a lot more intensely these last six months as I've embarked upon this new relationship.

Because even though it may not work out, I know you'll be surprised to discover that isn't my preference. 

It is easy - perhaps even preferable - to blame it all on the ex's mental illness.  It's simpler that way, right?  But I'm not a person who can make things simple, sometimes. And, I am a person who tries to accept responsibility for my own actions. 

So what words of advice after all this reflection would I give my new love about living with me?  What can I do to prepare us for a good life?  And how can I enter this new life without the insecurities planted by the old one?

I think I've healed.  I'd like to think I've healed.  I hope I've healed.

But then she comes back, two years after the last contact, the last thrashing of me, and rears her ugly head.  Her e-mails start off sounding reasonable, normal, even pleasant.  Well-wishing, peaceful, still loves me and forgives me.  But it doesn't take long before the anger bursts forth. 

That's always fun...

Particularly fun to have dumped on you when you're excited and happy for new changes and new possibilities in your life... and trying to get a lot of stuff done so you can take that next step...

Particularly when you wonder when the next shoe will drop... what is coming next... if it will ever be over.  If she will ever just let go. 

It makes a girl pause about entering into ANOTHER relationship. 

I mean apparently I've ruined the ex's life.  Is it fair for me to do that to someone else? Will I do that to someone else?

And how can I make promises of "forever" again knowing that it didn't work out the last time...?

There are no guarantees.  There simply aren't.  Relationships are a risky business...

But if we're lucky.. more time will be spent sliding across floors in our underwear together, then worrying about replacing the precious crystal egg. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Burning Bridges...

Well, this past week, in particular, I have been struggling with the dichotomy of the fear of potentially burning bridges, and a realization I may never come back here, so...?

In particular, I was angsting over this project I had been contracted to do.  But I was also angsting a little over the church, too.  And yesterday, it all came to a head quite quickly.  In an ideal world, of course, everyone would be happy for me, and everyone would want me to be happy, and that would be all that mattered.  But we don't live in an ideal world, do we?

Apparently, I do. 

Go figure. 

O! M! G!

So, I was on Twitter this morning, and I suddenly had this FEAR that I had missed my blogging anniversary.  I knew I had started in mid-February last year, and I thought it was around the 12th.

Well, it was.  AROUND the 12th.  Fortunately, it was the 15th. [Here is my opening post... ]

So today, then, is the last day of the first year of my blog.  The first of perhaps MANY years, I can hope...

But WOW! What an amazing first year!  What an incredible, incredible first year! 

I don't even know where to begin in my recap...

But one of the reasons for this blog was because I'm real cheap, and this was free therapy. So thanks, guys! ;)

No, but seriously, at the time I started this blog, I was deep in grief over two lost relationships, and I was feeling incredibly lonely in a small town where I was trying to dig roots, in a job that ultimately I felt both overwhelmed and bored with.  I had lost my best friend, and was feeling a deep need to find someone to tell all the random thoughts and silly things (and perhaps profound?) that were screaming through my head.

So, I thought the whole world was a suitable audience to share everything with...

But I had no readers except my good friend Robin Sparkles (thank you, Robin!) and apparently I wasn't the type who liked to talk just to hear my own voice.  Apparently, I'm so selfish and self-centered I actually want OTHERS to hear me too....

And I had decided to give it a whirl because I enjoyed hearing The Bloggess' voice and thought I can do that!  So after twenty-five blog posts, and hoping that meant I was going to stick with this, I called her out. At the time, on her blog, there was an incident that she has asked us to no longer name with an actor whose first memorable role was as the second Joey in One Life To Live, and I encouraged her to share a picture with me as she might have wanted one who shall not be named to send a picture to her of him. 

So, to get her attention, I did an evil thing.  Something that from high above in my lofty cloud I thought was much too far beneath me.  Something I never thought I would do.

That's right.  I joined Twitter.


And The Bloggess - bless her heart - was my VERY FIRST FOLLOWER!!!

At some point along the way, I found Kit.  And I believe I found her through Jenny.  And I found her posts - particularly her posts about sex - to be really funny and amusing.  I liked her voice too.  And I'd like to say she was my second follower.. but I'm not sure... Either way, with #wineparty, she opened up a whole new world to me.

A world of 30-40-something Mommy bloggers.  (Primarily)

You guys are great.  Considering I am most definitely NOT a Mommy... 

And I have a Sci-Fi name that should turn you off. And it took some of you awhile to realize I wasn't a guy hitting on and flirting with women, but, um, a dyke.  But you enjoyed it and flirted back.

And one particular chickie - who played a little hard to get at first - flirted back and foolishly fell in love with me.  ;)


And slowly, but surely, I've built up a following.  I have a steady readership of about 20 readers... ;)  and I have had over twelve thousand hits.  I have a strong Balkan following.

The CANADIANS have been quite impressive fans.  They are so polite.  They'll apologize when YOU fart.  I love the Canadians... And so... today is as good a day as any to make the official announcement that, well, I'm moving to Canada.

'Cuz, as I've already mentioned, there's this particular chickie.. and well.. she's a CANADIAN chick.. go figure... We're not entirely sure she likes me and that she isn't just being polite to me, "Oh sure..." but we're gonna run with it anyway.  ;)

(Actually, no, we're QUITE sure she likes me, very much... and if I left that sentence alone, particularly after her sweet Valentine's eve series of love notes, I'd be in trouble... and that's no way to start a life together... )

Goodbye small town.  Goodbye single.  Goodbye soccer coach.  Goodbye America.  Goodbye job.  Goodbye church...

Woah.. what's going to be left of me when I go?

All the essential parts of me will still be here. 

I have enjoyed very much living in a small town, but I didn't particularly choose this place.  They have been good to me.  Very good to me! I have really enjoyed coaching soccer, but I have no inherent skills or even love for the sport.  I enjoyed the girls - they were great!  Can't say I enjoyed being single, but I can say that I got out of it what I needed, and I have most definitely let go of my past relationships and am ready for this new one I'm already in (so it's, um, a good thing, eh?)  America? Well... you're hard to ignore.  And I'll be living in a border town (okay, border megaopolis), so I have a feeling I won't miss you too much.  Job? Pfft... well... it has always been a gap-filler.  And it and the church, and the soccer have all sort of helped me get a firmer understanding of what I enjoy doing, and in a larger city, I will have a better opportunity to find something that fits those things. 

What a year!  I mean, really, what a year!  One thing which has NOT changed, though, over this past year.  And that is being and knowing that I am very, very blessed. 

Who knows what themes will emerge with this blog in the next year?  Change will probably be one of them.  I'm going to try and stuff my life into five duffel bags and stuff them and my bike into my car and start over.  I've always always always wanted to have such little stuff in my life that I could stuff it all in a car and go.  I have a couple of weeks to pare things down to see if I can do it.  If I manage it, that's another WOW!  I am looking forward to trying.

Alright - a few other topics are creeping into my head to write about, but it is clear to me that they are separate posts. 

But I wanted to say WOW! and THANK YOU! for an INCREDIBLE year.  INCREDIBLE! 

Who knew when I started this that this is where it would lead?  But I am so grateful it has! 

I am blessed. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Flip a Coin...

Sometimes it would be nice if you could make the hard decisions easier by just flipping a coin. 

Heads, I end the blog post here with that one line.  Tails, I write more...

Tails.. Damnit.


As many of you know, I've not been happy with the work I've been doing - my contract - for some time now.  I thought when one aspect of the project came to an end at the end of September that it would be it, they would thank me for my time, and I'd be moving on.  I stockpiled at Sam's club.  (That reminds me, I should have spaghetti for dinner tonight...).  I prepared for a period of unemployment and was gently surprised when the end didn't come.

I briefly got excited about a full-time opportunity with them, with benefits, but that didn't come either.  And so for the last four or five months I've been biding my time trying to figure out what I'm doing, and whether or not it was time to start looking for other opportunities.  But at some level, I am committed to them. 

Except I wasn't supposed to be.  Originally, when we approached this local business run by someone who my partner and I both knew from church, this was supposed to be a gap-filler for me while we looked for the work we supposedly wanted to do.  Initially, we hadn't exactly made any promises to be there long-term, and the point was that we wanted this job to provide some flexibility, so that if I got another project in the area where were hoping to build our business, we could put this one on the back burner and bring it back up to full boil when each other project ended.  It was intended to supplement our other business development.

But they were happy with the work, and it was providing steady pay, and it was 30 hours a week, so there wasn't a lot of room to fill in around it.  And the opportunities weren't there immediately, and by the time they might have been, I seemed to have settled comfortably into this, and we didn't want to rock the boat. 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  ;)

But seriously, one of the things we were hoping for and expecting with this assignment was some flexibility.  And slowly, but surely, as time has gone on that flexibility has eroded.  So much so that shortly, after they finish installing software onto a computer that I can use, it would be hard pressed to make the legal distinctions between me as a contractor and me as an employee.  Now it has come all down to the hours I work, and that the hours I work are on-site.  Certainly no longer encouraging me to work on the project when I want to, nor making me want to work on the project much at all.

If I were not planning on moving from here, this would be an even more delicate situation than it is.  I'm ready to be done with this.  I need something different, something that doesn't keep holding the potential end of the contract over my head like the blade of a guillotine, and something that brought me more security and ideally an opportunity, perhaps, for benefits.  They have had an opportunity to hire me for awhile, but seem deliberately to have chosen not to.  And I don't know, had they made me a job offer, it would necessarily have been better than what I have - it may not have been.  But, it would have been nice to have had the chance to decide.

There's that annoying song by Beyonce about "put a ring on it" - and it's only annoying, of course, because it gets stuck in your head and at random times, you'll find yourself singing "uh, uh, oh.. oh,oh, oh oh...." (you'll have to know what I'm singing to know what I'm singing, but I think you know! You're welcome!).   And a part of me thinks that he has had plenty of opportunity to make me a more permanent employee and secure my loyalty, and that he hasn't done so should give me some freedom, some freedom without GUILT, to not feel so loyal to him.  To move on. 

Instead, there's been a bit of an arrogant boyfriend chipping away at your self-esteem kind of pattern going on.  And if this were a romantic relationship, not being happy, not getting what you need out of the relationship, well, it might seem like a no-brainer.  Particularly if he hadn't put a ring on it! ;)

So why am I agonizing over this? I have a new opportunity in front of me.  And while it might not have been the one I thought I was looking for professionally, I am prepared to make a change and a positive one for my future.  Why am I allowing this outstanding string to act as a yoke?

As I was telling someone else earlier today by chat, it isn't as if I am relying upon him for a good recommendation....

Oh, wait... it's that whole burning bridges thing.  That wherever you can prevent burning a bridge, you should try to avoid doing so.  That's generally a good plan, I admit.  And I have been fortunate the one time I napalmed a bridge on my way out of a job, it actually got rebuilt, and I was rehired nonetheless.  I did feel a bit of regret at having napalmed it, but, overall, things worked out fine in the end.

And where does this bridge I'm afraid to burn leave me anyway?

Is this really a Kobayashi Maru scenario? (and yes, I did have to google to remember the name of the unwinnable scenario from Star Trek - despite the Borg name, I am NOT that geeky (or so I pretend)).  In which case, why am I so worried? Or what am I so worried about? 

I don't know. 

Flip a coin.. Heads I leave tomorrow (okay,well, maybe not THAT quickly).. tails I get stuck here, forever (definitely NOT!).  Maybe I need one of those D&D dice so I can have a few more options...

Wait.. who just turned into a geek?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What AM I waiting for?

Waking this morning to find heart-breaking tweets from my love, I can't help but be asking this question.  It isn't like it's the first time in the last week that I've asked the question.  Ever since my passport arrived last Saturday while she was still here, we've been - or I've been - asking the question.

There are three or four "hooks", I guess, that keep me from taking off immediately, and even then, their ability to hold me here keeps loosening.

The first hook we talked about when we first became romantic was the one that provided us the structure of the laughable idea of a two-year plan.  My commitment to my church.  But I have quickly grown to realize that these people truly care for me, and what they would want most for me is to be happy.  And the new guy we have in as priest is doing a good job getting himself settled in and taking ownership.  They don't need me like they might have needed me if he hadn't done this as he should.  When we were dealing with supply priests - a priest who was just filling in as a supply for our need - then we were the ones still responsible for running the church.  That just doesn't apply any more.  Thank goodness!

So while I will feel some guilt and some loss at letting go of this fine community that helped me sail through my healing and recovery process, I know, nonetheless, that when I'm ready to say "goodbye", they'll be okay.  That is a hook that I can gently release.

The second hook is actually two fold - just cleaning up and packing to go and leaving nothing behind.  I have accumulated some junk - none of which I am attached to to keep other than if I am living here.  Furniture, basically.  And I've just accumulated a lot of paperwork that is unnecessary to keep - stuff that I couldn't throw out because I *MIGHT* need it.  As well as the general paraphernalia for running a household.  Like a fridge.  Or lawnmower.  I need to clean these out of the house, apparently, before I were to move.  And to pack up what remains reasonably enough to fit in my car.  This is somewhat easy, although, I don't want to call Salvation Army to pick up my bed until the car itself is packed and ready to go...  I kinda enjoy having some place to sleep other than the floor...

The second "fold" of this is that I did manage to rescue some stuff from California when I left.  And it has all been sitting in a storage unit about 300-400 miles away near where my folks' live.  Surprisingly it is not worth continuing to pay $200+ a month to keep.  They have been kind to help me do so, as I have been unable to face the overwhelming monstrosity that is the storage unit, but it is time for it to be cleaned out and stuff to be tossed and sold and given away.  I have been ignoring it for three and a half years now, it is time to face it and deal with it - before I move on.

The last hook is an awkward one, frankly.  I finally return to work this week after having been gone for nearly three weeks, really, even though she was only here for one of them.  I had a parishioner who was dying, and I stayed with him and his family for the last two days of his life, and I had a few of my "old ladies" go in and out of the hospital, and I did have a funeral to help prepare for.  The two weeks before my love visited were full, to say the least.  So, I get a bit of understandable guff from the guy who owns the place and who was kind enough to hire me over whether I'm still working here or not.  On more than one occasion.  And so I have to pretend like it's business as usual because it isn't as if I have any clue exactly when I will get everything together to go, and money - particularly for making a move - is a good thing.  And I'm a writer for him.. I have several outstanding things I've been working on.  Some of which - yes - could be written remotely, but he'd prefer to see my face to know I'm working on it and making progress.  I can't exactly leave entirely without finishing what he's been paying me to write.  And I'm not exactly sure how and when that will happen.

But I want to pack up my car and go now.  Call a friend and ask her to deal with the Salvation Army for the furniture - tell her she has until the end of the month since the rent is paid up.  Offer the appliances to the landlord.  And go.  That's what I want to do now. 

But there's an annual meeting for church that I'm running...  and then there's those pesky projects that need to be finished and the outstanding storage unit to be dealt with... 

I have the passport burning the metaphorical hole in my pocket...


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sleepless 'til Seattle....

I have just returned home from the airport to an empty house.  A house that has been filled the past nine days with the presence and being and sounds and scent of the woman I'm incredibly in love with.  A woman who is now on a plane to take her to another plane that will take her back to Seattle where she will still have another long drive across the border. 

My "journey" for this trip is done... but hers is just beginning. 

The original plan had been for me to make the trip and come and see her first.  I have more flexibility in my work schedule since they don't pay me when I don't work and I had intended to come out for a long visit to be with her.  But the original certificate of my birth given to my parents 40+ years failed to list them on it, and thanks, I imagine to the Donald requiring a long-form birth certificate, so does everyone else now.  So to get across the border to see her I needed a long form birth certificate to get a new passport. 

This process has been a comedy of errors.  Primarily in getting a new birth certificate.  But that arrived about three weeks ago - about six weeks after I requested it - and I sent it off for my passport about two and a half weeks ago.

When she was here, we "joked" - although I was kinda serious - that if my passport arrived before she left, that we would just pack up the car and go, and I'd leave this one horse town.

To the State Department's credit, they processed my application in record time - just over two weeks!

It arrived yesterday. 

Believe me, we did seriously consider it.  Well at least I did.  She has a sounder head on my shoulders (have I mentioned yet that she's smarter than me? She is...).  And tonight, I do wonder just what it is that is keeping me here...

I will probably be sleepless until she arrives in Seattle... Seeing her here and there... everywhere but really here in my arms. 

Hopeless romantic...

Monday, January 21, 2013


In my head, and in my heart, I suppose, I have certain things that I expect to be done or felt between people who love each other.  That if A loved B then X wouldn't really matter but Y would.  Now, wait, I sound like I am writing an algebra equation.

I have been quite the observer - particularly over the last three or four years - of people's relationships.  Trying to figure out what makes them successful, and where there are signs of failure.  Trying, I presume, consciously or subconsciously, to figure it out so I have a better shot the next time I jump into the relationship waters.  Trying to figure out what behavior is loving and what is not loving. 

And I think I have a pretty good idea of some of the important ingredients necessary for a successful and loving relationship.  Some things are pretty straightforward.  Things like valuing what your partner values.  Being respectful even when you disagree.  Realizing that being right doesn't always mean you need to win, and that winning often - at least with arguments - isn't really winning.  Lots of good trite guidance, but stuff that nonetheless I believe in.  And maybe one day I will write a post about these things. (Or maybe I already did?)

After my marriage came to an end, I was told by more than one person that I needed to find someone who would love me like I loved them.  Seems reasonable enough, but what does that really mean?  I think it means some of the things I discovered in my observance above.  That someone who really loves me will find the things I find important simply because I do.  And won't worry about the things I find unimportant.  Who will love me for me, and not for my things, or for what I can do or bring to the relationship.  Who will love me despite my ADD or maybe even love me for who my ADD has made me - flaws and human and all. 

If you have been reading this at all, you'll know that I have dipped my toe into the relationship waters, again.  Actually, I seem to have dove in head first.  Or more accurately heart first.  I tend to do that sometimes.  I did bring wee bit of baggage.  Criticisms from girls past.  Things that I know shouldn't matter but often do or have. 

And so, in these early stages, we have traipsed along some of these issues and as I have left myself vulnerable to her and exposed my insecurities, she reacts as I would to someone who would do the same to me.  Laugh, basically, and call me silly.  Silly to worry.  Silly to care.  Silly to think that she would care.  But not silly in an emotionally abusive intentionally hurtful way, but in a way to help me realize that these matters I take so seriously, and worry so much about, are not so serious, and do not deserve worry.  She reassures me in the moment.  And then, later, as she's had more time to think on my concern, and perhaps in an unconscious (or conscious? who knows? She's very smart - much smarter than me!) effort to make sure I didn't feel dismissed, she usually will write a follow-up e-mail saying, "Look, Borg, I've really been thinking about Y and how you feel, and I want you to know, I really do believe..." and reassure me again.  AND THEN, because that may not be enough, she'll bring it up later in a conversation, gently, and reassure me once again. And IF I am too silly to realize I don't need to be silly, still, and I tentatively express a concern or a worry, she hears my underlying insecurity and addresses it again. 

WOW!  I mean really.. WOW, right?

I'll give you an example.  My most recent insecurity has been coming to accept and acknowledge (although really I'm still in denial) that I am a slob.  I am still in denial because I will tell you I am better than many.  It is all relative, after all.  But I am not the standard that *I* would like to be at, and I do feel, often, that my environment is chaotic.  I would prefer to be neater, but there are some bonafide and perhaps less bonafide obstacles standing in my way.  (Being Human, see earlier post, is one of them.. SHOCKER!).  I do pride myself that I don't have anything growing outside the fridge, but I do also have dust bunnies copulating in the kitchen and the bedroom.  They entertain me.... (okay, not, but it sounded cute for a moment in my head). 

I worry, needlessly, that she'll step into my home for the first time, see the stacks of papers and go screaming in the other direction.  And yet, in addition to her reassurances, I know I don't have to worry.  She's the kinda gal who gets upset at people who tweet how much better they feel about themselves after watching Hoarders and pleading for them to have compassion for the mentally ill (although I think she phrases it even nicer than that..)   So, it's good to know she'll have compassion for me and my mental illness.. No.. wait.. that isn't where I meant to go.  Hmm....

She's coming to visit me soon, and I created a 72 point list of things I'd *like* to do before she gets here to get the house in order (Remember #3 in the list of So Who Am I? is that I'm a geek).  But God has a sense of humor, and life, unfortunately, has gotten in the way.  Actually, more accurately, death - a parishioner in our church passed away Saturday morning, and I sat with him and with his family the last two days of his life, and will now be with the family in preparing for the funeral arrangements, and prepare at the church for the service itself.  As much as I would like to get to those 72 items (or at least, even, 25 of them) the reality is I probably won't get to more than another two or three that are really important and the rest will go by the wayside.. Or, in a fit of idiocy, I'll take everything in the rest of the house and shove it all into one room where I will never let her see... Oh. Wait. She reads this blog... that won't work.. she'll be too curious to open the door NOW!

And she's said to me, quite often, "Look, Borg, the only place I want to be when I come is in your arms.  I don't care about the rest...."  You know something? I actually believe her. 

Now that, my friends, is love...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Being Human...

And no, this isn't a post about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost... (has anyone else seen those commercials?)

This a shower post being written a good six hours after the shower, so we'll see how much of the brilliance I managed to retain.  And yes, Ken, I did write myself a brief e-mail..

The other night I was whining to my girlfriend about shall we call my failings or my limitations and my frustration with my ADD and my frustration with blaming it all on my ADD and not really being able to understand or differentiate what belongs to that issue and what doesn't.  And on, and on...

(God bless her for listening)

And when I was done, she said to me simply, "Babe... those things about yourself that you blame on ADD, the rest of us for ourselves blame on being human..."  I.e., welcome to the human race, you're normal. 

And it is funny, because I am more than able to acknowledge I am human in other circumstances - mostly that I'll make mistakes and I will misunderstand, and I forget a lot of stuff.  But for some reason, in other areas, I hold myself to a higher standard. 

It reminded me, too, of another e-mail exchange with another friend a little over three years ago, where I was expressing some of my fears - particularly surrounding my temper.  I was kind of scared to be admitting my concerns and my issues, and feeling really vulnerable, and really afraid that expressing it to another person would make them suddenly realize what a horrible person I really am.  And I probably had been holding my breath from the moment I sent it until the moment I got her response. 

And it was a really simple response: 'OMG! Borg, you're human!"  (Yeah, well, we both know she didn't use the word "Borg", but Rose by any other name.. blah, blah, blah...)

I remember how relieved I felt when she said that.  Recognizing that I wasn't alone, and that feeling the way I did, did not mean I was a horrible person.  I was just a person. 

I clearly know I am human.  It is one of those tags on the side.  And frequently, when I see others beating themselves up, I am quick to remind them of that universal fact.  And yet, sometimes, I find it harder to accept for myself.  I'm sure some Freudians, or Jungians or some other psychobabble following could come up with some reason why I hold myself to a higher standard.  I'm sure it is because my mother didn't breast feed me, or maybe because she DID breast feed me.  Because my father was cold and distant.  Or my father was too involved. 

But I am amused because I think the very ironic reason that I hold myself to a higher standard than perhaps I might hold others and therefore find it hard, sometimes, to simply accept that I am human is because.... well... Go figure! I'm human. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Jodie and the Coming Out

I did not watch the Golden Globes last night.  I do not have a television.  I did, however, before the night was through, see the video of Jodie coming out. 

And today, I have the pleasure of reading the hype and the backlash.  Woo hoo!

For most of us, it was no surprise.  Like, "Okay, tell us something we didn't know..."

For her, it was clear, it was something she'd been struggling with and debating with and even then, kind of did it in a round about way.  Even debating, apparently, with her publicist. 

I sent a link of the video and to a news story to a friend, and she texted me last night asking what Jodie was coming out as.... I said merely a woman who loves another woman.  Many are angry, apparently, that she didn't give herself a label. 

My friend then wondered why it even came up?  I mean at first she was confused if she was winning an award - which I clarified - and even still, why it came up. 

I explained that she wanted to thank the people important to her, and that this included her ex-partner and co-parent.

My friend replied "Oh."

But it is part of an ongoing conversation I have been having lately about why come out and I guess, even, when or if or how you should come out.  I addressed it in the recent post about Dear Abby coming out... except Abby wasn't really the one coming out.  And it has been an ongoing offline conversation I have also been having.

That conversation or discussion, frankly, is two-fold.  One is about "ordinary" people coming out and "celebrities" coming out. 

I came out originally about 25 years ago, now.  Click on that coming out label over there and you'll see several posts I've written on the subject, including a little about my own coming out.  (Note that unless you are a celebrity or live in a very small area where everyone just knows you're the resident dyke and you never move, you are always still coming out or choosing not to.)

Is coming out political or personal?  The problem is there are an ardent number of rabid folks who think it's political.  Who think it's necessary and required.  Who have done it themselves, possibly suffered for it, and (A) are angry at those who seemingly avoid such consequences by hiding, and/or (B) believe sincerely that the more people come out -- especially celebs -- the easier it will be for the next generation.

And really 25 years IS a generation, and I can say it is overall easier for this generation than it was for mine.  Often the response you'll get is "so?"  Much, in some ways, the response was to Jodie last night.  And that is great.

I do believe in doing things that make it easier for others to do things, but I do not feel that anyone else has an obligation to put themselves out there and take a risk simply to make it easier for someone else to do so.

Gay teen suicide is real.  Consequences for coming out HAVE been and remain real.  I've written about some of that already.  I am ecstatic that we are at a place now where we can go "So?"  And I am appreciative of those pioneers who came out earlier.  Not just Ellen - although she's done an incredible job - but those who came out before her when it was even harder.  Yes, it was harder than it was for Ellen.  God bless them. 

And I sit on the fence about outing people who are publicly homophobic.  It is one thing not to help, it is another to harm others like yourself. 

Personally, I believe that coming out is a personal decision.  And who you choose to come out to and when you choose to or not to come out is your personal decision.  I do not, as clear from the last paragraph, condone using homophobia as a misdirect - but many folks who do that are currently, sadly, hating themselves and so... I do feel a tiny bit sad for them. 

But my friend's question from above is quite a pertinent one:  "Coming out as..." because that is part of the short-sightedness in those who feel the need to compel people to come out.  They feel the need to stick them in some kind of box.  Some kind of label.  And who are they - the outsiders - to decide what label is appropriate for someone else? 

That hasn't stopped many people today from filling in the blank that Jodie did not fill in.  And I think that's a shame that people feel such a need.  She's just Jodie who had a fabulous woman in her life that she wanted to thank for her support and her co-parenting.  Why isn't she allowed some measure of privacy?  Why is who she loves anyone's business other than the person whom she loves and her own?

To bitch today and say that Jodie wasn't a proper role-model dismisses everything else that she did and everything else, frankly, that we, as consumers, have done to her.  She has been in the limelight since she was 3 years old. 

There are two excerpts from the transcript of her speech that I feel are important to share:

"because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met. But now I’m told, apparently that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show."

She came out to everyone she actually met, everyone who knew her.  She didn't hide in the closet.  She just didn't feel the need to have a press conference.  I mean do other people have press conferences to announce they are straight?  She led an honest and open life.  God bless her!

And the other excerpt clarifying what has been her life:

"But seriously, if you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you’d had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you too might value privacy above all else. Privacy. Some day, in the future, people will look back and remember how beautiful it once was.  I have given everything up there from the time that I was 3 years old. That’s reality-show enough, don’t you think?"

Yes, she received benefit from being a celebrity - payment for her movies, etc., but at a cost that at THREE years OLD - or even at thirteen years old - she was not capable of rationally choosing for herself.  It is one thing for someone who seeks attention and who has chosen a public life during adult hood to expect them, perhaps, to share certain details.  It is another for someone who was made a star at three years old and acted throughout her childhood constantly in the public eye and to not allow her to create something that IS hers? 

This isn't that well organized.  I appreciate that.  But I think, at the end of the day, what we need to give Jodie Foster is just what she politely and kindly asked for: 

"I guess I have a sudden urge to say something that I’ve never really been able to air in public. So, a declaration that I’m a little nervous about but maybe not quite as nervous as my publicist right now, huh Jennifer? But I’m just going to put it out there, right? Loud and proud, right? So I’m going to need your support on this."

Rather than trash her, let's give her the support she asked for.  And not spend time as Monday morning quarterbacks questioning her choice to live her life as she chose and now chooses.  Instead, let's focus on our own lives.  :)