Monday, December 01, 2008

Dick Clarke's Rocking New Year's Eve

First off, thank you Margaret for the nudge to develop a new post.

Ok, so It's December.
The year is 31 days from being over.
31 days until 2009.
That was fast!

And while Christmas is a family holiday, and most people have set traditions for this time of year, I find that New Year's Eve is a whole different story.

It's the most anti-climactic holiday of the year as far as I'm concerned. Now I think I'm fairly lucky in that I usually get a couple of invites to a couple of different house parties, where we kind of just mellow, and if I'm lucky we play Trivial Pursuit (my favourite game!). It's just the right way to pass into the new year: In the company of good friends.

But this scenario didn't really develop until I was old enough to have friends with their own houses.

And I think a lot of people like to dress up and go out somewhere exorbitantly expensive and a lot of emphasis is put on whom you are going to kiss at midnight.

Well I had a boyfriend for 3 New Year's Eve's and I never kissed anybody at midnight.

I also think it's weird that so much planning and excitement is put into this event, and then it;s like a 10 second count down, a kiss, a couple of noisemakers, and you're done. How much does that suck!

Ok, so I propose a new tradition. Here are the rules:
#1 - the party has to go to 2am at least, preferably all night, if you are able.
#2 - if you have somebody to kiss, you must kiss them at least 3 times, and between each kiss tell them how happy you are to love them, and get to start the next year with them.
#2 a - if you don't have anybody to kiss (like me), you have to do a "I'm happy to be me" dance for at least 30 seconds.
#3 - you need to eat your body weight in sugar or caffeine over the course of the evening (this will help in accomplishing #1)
#4 - Be genuinely happy to have survived 2008, and to have 2009 to look forward to.
#5 - absolutely under no circumstances are you to make any resolutions. (well except maybe find a husband this year - although that didn't work out so great for me last year).

I know it's early, but I just wanted to wish everyone a peaceful and joyful holiday season. And I hope you're not drowning in work like I am.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Energy Drains

I am so disgustingly tired.

It's like any energy my body meagerly attempts to produce is being trickled out.
So I am unable to find the source of the leak - to plug it, and can't seem to produce energy fast enough to augment the leak.

This does not bode well.

I have a big presentation tomorrow night in class - and I am so tired right now, that all I am imagining is me saying to the class - "ok here's the info, read up and good night!"

Just got to make it through tomorrow night, just got to make it through tomorrow night, just got to make it through tomorrow night.....
Not the most inspiring of mantras, but for right now, it's pushing me through.

Even an intense work-out yesterday didn't help. Today I'm tired and muscle sore - which only encourages my tiredness!

ok, so I figure it's just all my travels catching up to me - and I'm hoping that by this week-end, I will have found a way to "recover" my energy.
Because I really would like to just be bouncy again!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My own worst FunSucker!

Egads! I am turning into my Mother!

I always complain about her being a catastrophizer and here I am doing exactly the same thing.

I am sick of being bummed out.
I am my own worst FunSucker - so I felt the need to inject a little more JoyBringer into this blog.

Everybody all together now - "I'm walking on sunshine, Woah-o!, walking on sunshine....."

So what if I'm going to be 31?
It's really only 1 day older than the day before - big whop!

And so what if I actually spent a whole week-end with my family, that doesn't negate that I have any friends, it just means I designated time to my family. And that's a good thing!

I have a home - now furnished - that's a place I wasn't at this time last year.
I have great friends! Seriously great friends, and LOTS of them - makes me happy.
People keep telling me I have great skin - thank God for that, because every time I try to apply make-up, I end up looking like a battered woman.

I am free to work, practice my religion, shop, cook, vote, live. I am not persecuted for my age, race, religion. I am not forced into servitude or marriage.

I have a good life!

Thank God I remembered that - well thank God that He reminded me :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In Other News....

I am moving up the weight ladder.
I managed 5 bicep curls with 15lb. weights.
And I'm up to a 20 lb. weight for my triceps.

3 months ago, I could barely do 5 bicep curls with 5lb. weights.

Seems small I know, but very exciting!

Today, bicep curls - tomorrow I might just be able to keep up with Emma in the pool!

14 days and time keeps speeding up!

14 days until I turn 31.
Yup, 31.

I thought 30 was suppose to be the milestone year?
Why does this feel like such a big deal?

I spent the entirety of the Thanksgiving long week-end with my family. Yep - all 3 days.
It was pretty uneventful and fun (which is shocking for 3 days in family confinement).

Here's the weird part - relaxing week-end, no conflict with the family despite 3 entire days of interaction, yummy thanksgiving dinner, which
I made in it's entirety, that should be a great thing! But instead of feeling happy, I can't help but feel discontented.
I have this sad feeling that this is the best my life is going to get - me and my mother for the rest of my life.
I had zero exciting plans - I just cooked, knit and sat on the sofa scanning through channels all week-end (to add insult to injury, there was nothing good on TV).

In all honesty I did accomplish a lot.
I made dinner for 6 (although I made enough for 12)
Turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy and maple pumpkin pie. (It was starch heaven!)

I finished the sweater I was knitting for Catherine's baby (started in May, baby was born in July). I even got to deliver it.

I got to unpack, do laundry, repack

All necessary stuff, and should have been worthwhile ends - but they just feel like shallow accomplishments.

but all I keep thinking is "so what?" and "now what?"

Thursday, October 02, 2008

My Birth Month

It's October already.

Time just keeps speeding up. It's surreal.

The "what have I done with my life" contemplation has started to set in. It's not pretty.

I am nowhere different than I was a year ago. Other than just older, with nothing new to show for it.
Well that's not true - I have a sofa and a dining table and fabulously painted walls. This time last year we were sitting on Caty's sleeping bag in an empty condo.

I have 26 more days of this sad contemplation :(

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Weirdest Dream

Now this may have been because we were talking about the discomforts of gender specific medical exams after dinner last night. Or maybe even because I watched the episode of 90210 where Andrea goes into labour prematurely right before falling asleep, but I had the weirdest dream last night.
And lucky you guys, get to read all about it.

So my dream begins with me suddenly being about 6 months pregnant. And the way I discover in the dream that I am pregnant at all is because the baby starts to move around and makes an unusual impression on my belly which a lady at church sees.
So I am just as shocked as everybody else that this is going on at this point in time.
Then the associate pastor of my church takes me aside to talk to me about this new development. and I say to him - "Mark I have no idea how this could have happened, you don't understand, I've never had sex."
He looks at me skeptically and I am feeling real desperation that he doesn't believe me.
"No seriously, not even close - nothing south of the equator, I swear!" "Heck, technically nothing south of the North Pole!"

So now I am feeling yucky - I am pregnant, I feel like I am totally being shunned as a heretic (who do I think I am the Virgin Mary?). I am pregnant which is cool - but I will have to go through the pain of childbirth.
And I have no idea how any of this happened to me.
I spend the rest of my dream trying desperately to convince people (everyone I know) that I am still a virgin, and nobody is believing me. In fact people are starting to doubt my sanity, and the dreaded sympathy for the poor crazy pregnant girl is coming out.

That's the last part I remember. It was really weird. Especially because I had such mixed emotions in the dream - I was in awe that a life was developing inside me, and shamed because people thought it was ill begotten, and confused because I had no idea how it happened, and hurt because no one believed me.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Jet Setting

I think I may just officially qualify for jet setter status at this point in time.
The first qualifier is that the staff at the hotel counter now know me by name - I've checked in and out weekly for the past couple of week and will continue to do so for the next little while.

I recognize the airline counter folks - there's a super cutie named Andrew who has a British accent at the Porter counter in the Ottawa airport.

And I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo sick of eating out.
I never thought I would ever say that. Normally a restaurant meal is one of my favourite things. But having to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner for so long, is just not as fun as having it as a treat.
I have also had some very yucky restaurant food this last week.

So listen to my twisted, incorrect logic. I had this mediocre Greek food from a restaurant by the office on Thursday night. I didn't like it too much, so I ate less than half. So then I decided to get the rest packed-up for lunch the next day.
Well, in reality food that doesn't taste good does not magically start to taste better after being microwaved the next day.
But I just couldn't bring myself to throw it out. :(

In Arabic there is an expression, "kosara ya batni, l'a ti kob il tabik". Loosely translated it means, better to spoil my stomach than throw away food. I have been raised on that principle and it's a hard habit to break.

On the flip side, I have had some very amazing food - I tried authentic Poutine from a Pattaterie in Quebec for the first time, it was awesome!

So I have my fingers crossed for some great home cooking this week-end, courtesy of my Mom and more enjoyable culinary adventures next week.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

FunSuckers and JoyBringers

I have lots of friends, and usually I consider that a good thing. But every once in a while I can't help but notice that some of my friends can sometimes be a "FunSucker".

My definition of a FunSucker is someone who somehow manages to suck every ounce of happiness and joy from any event, activity or comment. Like a person who tells you that reason why what you're wearing is not flattering is because your body just wasn't made to look good or will never look good in clothes or some such other thing.
In my experience (and since it's my term, my experience gets to be the expert) they are also the kind of people who perceive the world through a negative lens for themselves as well and are always looking to prove just how much their life sucks worse than anybody else's. The "you think you've got it bad, well...." kind of people.
They're kind of like the black hole of a friendship.

My most recent FunSucker ambush was earlier this week. I had been having a fun day, actually was humming under my breath most of the day at work and had some friends over in the evening. Our conversation turned to me being single (as somehow conversations tend to flow to the most innermost of my thoughts) and I casually mentioned how this can sometimes be a struggle for me. My friend's response was "well you better get used to it, because you're probably going to be single for life. So deal with being lonely, you're stuck with it". DING! all the Fun/Joy of the day immediately sucked out of the room, sucked out of the evening, even sucked out of the day.

In opposition I also have some "JoyBringer" friends. These are the folks whom you just can't help but be happy to be around. They bring fun and happiness to even the most mundane of tasks.

In fact, I have one such friend that my ex-boyfriend used to jealously call "Fun Rob". He would complain that all Rob and I would do is drive around and yet somehow I considered it the most fun activity. And when he and I would drive around it was not as much fun. And he was right. Something about Rob's pleasure in simple things and joy at driving down a new street and blasting the radio was always just so much fun.

Now sometimes the FunSucker and the JoyBringer are not even people but just activities or events or circumstances.

For me, I seem to find many more JoyBringers than FunSuckers fall into this category.
For example, no matter how nasty my day, seeing a rainbow - the symbol of God's promise to Noah to never again destroy the earth in a flood -makes me smile. It reminds me of God's presence and His love.
Or the way I can only smile and sing along when I hear Great Big Sea. It's hard to stay in a bad mood with that music playing.

The fact that laughter is contagious. Or that when the sun shines, people sort of instinctively close their eyes, and turn their faces towards it and smile.

The part that makes me sad is that the FunSucker always trumps the JoyBringer. It doesn't matter how many instances of JoyBringer you've received in a day, it only takes one FunSucker to nullify them.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Lunch Hour Dilemma

Would you rather spend time with people or save money?
What would you do with a free hour in the middle of the day?

I work in a 247 call centre environment. And I am one of the few who is not in a queue answering phones. What that means is that most everybody else is on a staggered lunchtime schedule.
So depending on the time you start you get to take lunch approximately 4 hours later. Also our phone folks are not allowed to overlap lunch - so people only get to be off one person at a time.

So I get an hour for lunch every day - and the possibility of someone being off for lunch with me.

Here's the dilemma - I have an entire hour - and if I bring a lunch I finish it in about 10 minutes, sitting looking lonely by myself in the lunchroom, because nobody from my department is on lunch with me. This is of course the more frugal and healthier option.

If I decide to run errands on my break - I am rushed through them, get back to the office, and have to figure out what to eat super quick at my desk.

If I decide to go out for lunch, I usually find someone to come with me, but I am spending between $5-$10 a day on lunch - not including my $3-$5 on breakfast. This is most obviously the most social and expensive choice.

So I hate being alone - especially for meals. That should come as no shock. but I am getting tired of eating out everyday. It's boring, expensive and unhealthy.

So I pose this question - what does everybody else do with their lunch break?
Give me some good ideas, I'd like to break free of my mold!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I am Loosing my Credibility

Have you ever been told that you talk too much?
I think that it may just be the #1 sentence that I have heard in my life.

It's been a while since I heard it - it was more of a birth through graduating High School sort of thing. Actually I have also been told that I speak very quickly, especially when I get excited.

The school bus driver I had in grade 2 used to call me Jabberwocky after the Poem. He said that the faster I spoke the more my words blurred together and stopped making sense.

I am a very sensitive person by nature - I do not always respond well to being teased - but hear something enough and you start to develop a thick skin about it.

My memory is cloudy, but I think it's a statement that just stopped bugging me because I heard it so much.

Now, as a rule, I have always felt that individuals who say little tend to be perceived as wise when they speak, by virtue of the fact that they don't choose to speak very often. I think people start assuming, that your words must be of great value if you only engage in them ever so often. Maybe it's like the economic law of supply and demand.

And even though I do talk a lot (I have never disputed that fact - but I do believe too much to be a relative term), I usually feel like what I have to say is taken seriously and respected.

I have been starting to loose that confidence lately. Sometimes it's like I'm watching the scene from a third person perspective and I can actually see people tuning out or not listening. Now this can be a normal part of interaction, and from time to time is not a big deal - I engage in such behaviours myself, it's normal.

But I have been feeling like this is my full experience of communication lately. Like every time I open my mouth to say something, the listener has already decided that not only is what I have to say not worthwhile, but also that I couldn't possibly hold any level of knowledge or expertise in what I am saying.

Now here's the kicker for me anyways - the logical part of my brain says, 'it's not worth arguing over, just stop talking' but my tongue isn't paying attention to my brain and wont stop. Then I get frustrated and annoyed as I am watching my non-listener cut me off, ignore what I say, question my credibility.

If I were to turn it into a cartoon - it would closely resemble the Coke Zero commercials with the eyeball and the 2 tongues.

Only, I am feeling kind of bullied by my non-listener(s), which is a concerning feeling to have.
And despite this I just can't seem to get smart enough to shut-up.

So the really troubling thought becomes - am I no longer credible? Do I really have no idea what I'm talking about, and am living in some sort of dream-world? Do I need to suck it up and either shut up or get educated? Or am I genuinely being bullied and need to just have a tough skin about it - like when I would be told I talk too much?

Sadly answering any of the above questions in the affirmative is a negative thing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bad Food Karma

I am cursed.
Once might have been a fluke but twice now - something must be up!

Last week I went to COSTCO on my lunch break to pick-up some groceries and grabbed some pre-packaged sealed Tabbouli salad for my lunch.

I got back to my desk at work - and opened my sealed salad not due to expire for like 4 days and I found it was mouldy.
Yep - stinky, fuzzy, mouldy!

So I got up, went back to COSTCO and returned it. I ended up getting one of their hot dogs for my lunch - not nearly as healthy but reasonably safer to eat I felt.

This morning, I went down to the cafeteria in the office building to grab a bagel. So I come back to my desk with my bagel and decaf, settle back into my work load and am just about to take a bite when I notice something on the top of my bagel nestled into the sesame seeds. I take a closer look and upon close inspection to my HORROR it's a dead bug. Yup, a bug!
And remember this is me we're talking about - we all know how I feel about insects and creatures with exoskeletons in general. It was all I could do to remain composed and not scream. After all I am sitting at my desk in the office.

So I pick up my offensive treat, and rush back downstairs to return it to the cafeteria lady. She is shocked, advises it must have been packaged that way (like I care about how it happened, I am freaked out that it happened to me!) and proceeds to make me another one.

She and I both must have inspected the poor second bagel like 3 times.
So far it's got the all clear and I am cautiously eating it now.

I am not sure what the moral of the story is here - always inspect your food maybe?
I think what I need is a cup bearer - in Biblical times a cup bearer would taste and inspect everything for the king before the king would eat or drink anything. Now of course the cup bearer was actually checking for poison, but I figure the lack of possible death from poisoning on the job might be more likely to entice someone to the position in today's day and age.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday, Monday!

Wow! Monday already.
Didn't we just leave this party?

It feels like last thing I knew it was Friday night, then blink, almost missed the week-end, and now we've rolled around to Monday again.

I know the science behind the feeling that time is moving faster- and it is solid, but experiencing the phenomenon is somewhat surreal. How much more can things speed up as I get older? I am not actually old yet, so there is nowhere to go but faster.

Here's how it is explained:
Each of us measures the passing of time using our lifetime as a reference. That is when when you are a child everything takes forever because a year when you are 5 is an entire 5th of your life, that's a long time. But a year to a 50 year old is only a 50th of his/her life, not really very much in perspective.

So here's why I worry. If it already feels too fast and we're only talking about a perspective of 1/30 - how much more complaining am I going to do about this when it's 1/70?

Maybe this is the beginning of "When I was your age, I had to walk uphill both ways in the snow year round to get anywhere!"

What a terrible thought, I've just transformed myself into an ornery old man at 30!!

Well, I guess if I'm destined to be ornery, I can strive to do it well. Oh, and ladylike - I don't want to be mistaken for a man.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"The Chase"

Yesterday Emma and I swam together.

It was our first time working out together in this fashion.

And let me tell you, as a novice who paired up with a swim team elite - it was a lot of HARD work.

Emma agreed to follow my laps schedule - which gives a 2 lap walk break, because I need it.

Ok, so early on, she had comfortably lapped me.
Not wanting to be that much worse than she was, I did my best to move as quickly as I could and catch-up.

So at one point, I was getting closer and Emma said "Wow! That was good, I had to speed up a little" and in my head, I was shouting "yes!"

Now to give you a perspective about out adventures, I must reference Pepe Lepew and that adorable cat that he kept mistaking for a skunk and chasing while enamoured.
Remember how the cat was at an all out run, completely frazzled and working as hard as she could? Meanwhile Pepe was sauntering along, enjoy the "chase" and barely breaking a sweat.

That was Emma and I - Me the cat and she Pepe Lepew.
I was working as hard as I possibly could and completely out of breath, meanwhile she was enjoying a leisurely swim, barely a hair out of place.

I imagine that to any onlookers it must have been a comical sight - but my goodness was it ever fun and rewarding.

So I am looking forward to our next scheduled swim. And even more so I am looking forward to the day when we're both keeping pace and being Pepe Lepew!

Friday, July 04, 2008


Yesterday while in a counselling session a client said to me "I feel like there is no meaning to life"

I cognitively re-framed and said "What if you decided that it's your responsibility to bring the meaning to your life. And that Life's activities have the meaning you choose for them."


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Is that it?

Ok, I know it has been a looooong while - I am now up and running with an internet connection at home, so there should not be such a large gap in my future.

So I find myself on July 2nd going about my regular everyday business as usual, and I can't help but think "Is that it?"

Is this sum total of regularity the full spectrum of what I was meant to experience?

Don't get me wrong, I have a good life.
My own condo, slowly but surely filling to capacity with furniture (and more importantly a phone, internet and TV).
I have great friends whom I have a lot of fun with (and the sunburn to prove it!)

But there is something nagging at the back of my brain telling me that if this is it, this is not what I signed up for.
And I am not talking about being single vs. being married or coupled.

I am not looking for roller coaster drama (being a teenager brought enough of that about)
I am looking for meaning.
I know it sounds weird.

Some days I think that any other person could step into my life and take over my tasks with barely a hiccup.

What is it about the things that I do, that makes them important for me to be the one doing them?
I keep coming to the same conclusion - Nothing. It's all stuff anybody else could do, and most are.
I mean seriously - where's the meaning in doing the laundry or making the bed or cleaning the house or making a meal.

I don't mean to say that I don't or can't do these tasks with some level of skill, I know that I can and do.

Is that it?
Is this the most I can milk out of life, regularity...

Will I just slip back into my routine and let the regularity lull me into thinking this is good enough?

Is it good enough?

Do I have the right to expect more?
Can I achieve more? How?

In other news - I have some routine things to take care of that I should be getting back to.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year, New You!

2008 already!

As mentioned in previous posts, I am not one for New Year's Resolutions. I become more reflective and tend to make resolutions around my birthday. but I do find it very interesting to watch how geared-up our culture gets about resolutions.

Yesterday, on the Women's Network the entire day's worth of programming was about Diet and Weight Loss.

Today, my first day back at work since before Christmas, I've already had 3 conversations about people wanting to "eat right" or "loose weight" or "get fit".

I wonder what it is about January 1st that gets people so focused on "bettering myself". Why not Mach 12th?

Hey, we could invent a holiday - a "Make me into something I'm not day" or "Resolution Day" for short. And the whole purpose of the day is to decide on 3 resolutions. 3 Life Changing things that we can market as manageable and talk about turning it into baby steps, etc....

We could play it like New Year's eve and say that the point of the holiday is to find 5 friends who have similar goals, and then you countdown to Midnight - the start of the date - then you yell "Happy New Me!!!!!!!!" And we take it from there.

Heck it would be another Holiday and with some creative marketing we might even be able to get the government to turn it into a STAT holiday.

Now we just need a date....hmmmm...maybe in November or April? This year, they're the only months without a STAT holiday.

Who's with me?!