Thursday, March 31, 2005


Fantasies. We all hove them in some form or another. And no, not all fantasies are sexual. For exampl, I regularly fantasize about a white sand beach, soft breeze blowing, waves lapping at the shore. And me, laying in the sun with some kind of fruity rum-based drink in one hand. Funny, this fantasy always has me alone on that beach.

I do tend to daydream a lot. Especially while taking the bus every day. I've learned I get motion sickness if I try to read. You'd think they could drive a little more smoothly, especially the local park bus I take at night. Every stop I'm trying to catch something before it falls from the seat.

I daydream about selling my house and finding a new one. That's a big step in this whole process for me. I can see myself sitting on the floor, since my ex gets most of the furniture, surrounded by boxes. One might think this would make me feel sad, lonely, scared. That's kinda what I expected. Instead I feel happy, hopeful even. Not that this means much overall, it is just a mental vactation I sometimes take. But it does show a willingness to move on.

Sometimes these fantasies are so real, almost tangible. I can close my eyes and feel the sand between my toes and hear the waves. I guess this just shows the true level of my overactive imagination.

Visualization was a technique I learned at curling camp. I know, I know... Curling Geek. Basically you imagine yourself with a perfect slide, or making the shot, whatever, and it's supposed to help your performance. More than just "positive thinking," so, no, you don't just sit there and think "I can do it". You actually get a mental picture of whatever it is. I've tried it before and apparently need practice. There's also a whole other part to visualization that helps you focus. That I tend to use my yoga practice for.

It can be a helpful tool for preparation though. For example, should I ever find myself holding a rum beverage on a white sand beach, I will already know what to do. Enjoy the moment!

When it comes time for me to move, I will have pictured it so many times, that the feelings associated with that experience should be what I've imagined. Or so I hope. It's a mental preparation technique, that will enable me to at least limit my insecurities when the time comes.

I would try this for my dates, but to be honest there's no way to predict the actions of another person, so why set myself up for disappointment? Happens often enough as it is.

Now, if you don't mind, I was interruped in the middle of a particularly good fantasy this afternoon. And no, it isn't one I can share!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The three R's of my day...

Resting, reflection and reading. It's one of those days where no matter what I read, listened to or saw, I turned into a thinker.

I just finished spending a few hours curled up in an armchair in front of the fire. Not in the corner where the chair is usually stored. Nope, I pulled it over beside Tigger, since he'd already claimed his spot in the warmth, and curled up with a pillow and an afghan and a book by one of my favorite authors. I read; I watched the fire; I scratched a tigger belly that was so warm I'm surprised he wasn't smoking.

Fire. The very word conjurs up all kinds of images. Nights spent around a campfire, telling stories, spending time with family and friends. A nice warm fire in a fireplace, the epitome of romance when shared with someone special. Flames dancing, casting light and shadow across everything in it's path. Giving off heat and feelings of general warmth.

Then there's the destructive side of fire. Buildings burned, families left homeless.

Fire. "You're playing with fire," "Play with fire and you're going to get burned." "Fiery," meant to describe an intense personality. Fireworks, something one can only hope to find with someone else.

Tonight, for me, it was comforting. The fire wrapped me in warmth. Comforted me as I stared into its depths, mesmerized...much like Tigger tends to get. My toes were toasty warm as I stretched my feet out to the flames. And I realized I'd found my quiet place. The house is mine. I don't have to have the TV on when I'm downstairs. I can read on the couch, or really, anywhere I darned well want to read. If I just want to sit there and stare at the fire, all the better. I can move the furniture to best accomodate what I need at the time. I know, I know, most of this should go without saying. But after sharing a place for so long, these are revelations to me.

I thought about me and my attitude about life right now. This reflective side of me has hidden for so long that it's an adjustment finding her again. But it's good. Very good.

Society seems to imply that someone alone is wrong. Defective. Broken. Clearly there's something wrong with that person. I bought into it for far too many years. Worried people would think badly of me for being alone. Convinced I was defective if I didn't have someone to share my life with. Ironically, this past week, I've found more happiness in my decision to take a break from dating, either temporarily or indefinitely, than from any date I've had or planned.

It's a strange feeling of peace. Of finally understanding I don't have to be "with" someone to be happy with my life.

It's still going to suck being "the single one" when I go out with friends. And I know after what I wrote in the previous post, you've got to be wondering how I can consider this to be anything but a failure. I'll admit, it's partly a fear-based decision. But it's more a decision based on what's right for me right now. I have healing that needs to be done. Probably from more than just my marriage. Things I never dealt with that should've been dealt with. Until I do that, until I heal, it's not fair of me to involve anyone else in the mess I've made of my life.

The last thing I ever want to do is hurt other people. Once I heal and move on, I can consider involving someone else in my life, and know I'm in a better position to be with them without causing unnecessary hurt.

Now excuse me while I go do my impersonation of a cat and curl up in front of a toasty warm fire with a good book.

one last note on songs that mean something

Chris Cagle - "The Safe Side":

Have you ever wondered what life would be like
If you'd only went left instead of taking that right
If you had waited just ten more minutes to leave the house
Would it all be different
Every decision everything we choose has a consequence whether we win or lose
Nobody knows that any better than me

I left her standing at the station with a ticket and a dream
She's the train that I didn't take
The big commitment I just couldn't make
For fear of breaking my heart, I didn't risk the ride
She's the lesson I learned the hard way
Now being lonely is the price I pay
The river of regret runs deep and wide
Here on the safe side

I've spent my life living on the safe side. Doing what was expected, not making waves. The most freeing thing I've ever done is walking away from that and seeking my own happiness, no matter what the consequences. Life isn't lived when you're living in fear.

It's also not lived waiting for something to happen. I've spent too many years waiting for what I want. Wasted too much time hoping thing would just work out for me. The biggest risk I took was ending a marriage that didn't make me happy. That's probably the biggest risk I'll ever take. I hope it is. Like in curling, it all comes down to risk/reward. Is what I'm risking worth the potential reward for going for it. My happiness is worth every risk I've taken.

How many times have I been looking at a house filled with opposition stones, forced to decide whether to try a hit to reduce the number of points scored against me, or play the draw and try to get my one. How many times have I made that draw to the button... Ok, well, I don't have the exact number, but it's gotta be most of the time or I wouldn't continue to play the damned shot! I'm never one to walk away from a risk on the ice. Why do I do it in real life?

Take a look at Vegas. An oasis built on sand. Pristine white fairy tale castles, a replica Eiffel Tower, a hotel in the shape of a pyramid, roller coasters built high above the ground and a replica of the statue of liberty. These are but a few of the man-made paradise in the middle of the desert. Started by mobsters, taken over by corporations. Someone first took that risk with the first casino in a place with nothing else to draw visitors. Today the strip stands as a monument to man's obsession with all that glitters. People risking it all. Wedding chapels on every corner just in case you should feel that matrimonial urge, or crave marriage by Elvis. Vegas is all about taking risks. Maybe that's why I fell in love with it during my short stay. It represented the risk I knew I needed to take...even then.

I've played on the safe side for far too long. It's time I started taking risks, big or small. A friend told me that not trying is still failure. I disagreed that night, but today...failing to try, failing to take that chance, might be the biggest failure of all. I don't want to be looking back 5 or 10 years from now wondering "what if."

Life was meant to be lived. Go... live it. No regrets.

I just can't resist posting this...

I have a religious nut that bugs me on MSN once in awhile. Well, ok, pretty much every second day. Normally I'll play with the mental midget for 10 minutes or so then get bored and go back to work. Today... well, today was special. And quite funny. In the interest of protecting his identity, his name/email address has been replaced with "The Nut" It's an accurate description of him. As for my responses in this...I do like messing with his head. A lot.

Well, ok, it could be possible that this is ONLY funny to me based on previous interactions with him. Guess I should add the comment on his search for wealth is prompted by his username at the time which indicated he was moving to a foreign country to get paid big money. Previous interactions have also revealed his focus on wealth as well as his anger toward women. I wish I had some of them to post in addition to this, but I cleaned up my logs yesterday.

[09:51] The Nut: hi
[09:51] giggles: hi
[09:51] The Nut: how are you today?
[09:52] giggles: I'm good, you?
[09:52] The Nut: pretty good
[09:52] The Nut: I am moving tommorow
[09:52] giggles: I see that by your name. Won't your cougar miss you?
[09:52] The Nut: she is going to come and visit me
[09:53] giggles: I see
[09:53] giggles: you're far too focused on the material things in life and money
[09:53] The Nut: lol
[09:53] giggles: you might be happier if you stopped pursuing riches so much
[09:54] The Nut: well thank-your your input, but honestly i didn't ask for it, so please keep your opinions about my happiness to yourself,lol
[09:54] giggles: just a comment
[09:55] giggles: it might make you less suspicious about the motives of the women you date. And to be honest, I've never asked you to comment on my social life or morals.
[09:55] giggles: so fair's fair
[09:55] The Nut: lmao
[09:55] giggles: as long as you feel free to pray for me... I'll feel free to comment on your obvious materialism
[09:55] The Nut: lol
[09:55] giggles: which is typically in direct conflict with most religious teachings
[09:56] The Nut: no, Jesus was a rich man
[09:56] giggles: but did he expect all his followers to be rich as well?
[09:56] The Nut: yes
[09:56] giggles: what fucked up religion are you following
[09:56] giggles: one must be rich to worship your god. sad
[09:56] The Nut: Christianity, and please don't say that
[09:56] The Nut: no
[09:57] The Nut: God will make me rich
[09:57] giggles: well, I'm afraid I can't be christian then, as I prefer to worship something more substantial than the allmighty dollar
[09:57] The Nut: yes, so do i
[09:57] giggles: And I tend to be generous and give my money to causes that need it more than I
[09:57] giggles: as well as my time
[09:57] The Nut: The Lord Jesus
[09:57] giggles: who expects you to seek out materialistic things according to you
[09:58] The Nut: no, but he blesses me
[09:58] The Nut: financially
[09:58] giggles: And typically Jesus is the son of God
[09:58] The Nut: cuz i give alot of money to him
[09:58] giggles: uhhhh huh
[09:58] giggles: well, you keep it up
[09:58] The Nut: i will
[09:58] The Nut: cuz I am on my way to being a millionaire
[09:59] The Nut: by the time i am 30
[09:59] giggles: everyone has goals
[09:59] giggles: if you feel that's appropriate for you... by all means
[09:59] The Nut: well I am halfway there
[10:00] giggles: I'm almost thirty and not overly close at all. I find I'm happier without the stress of trying to reach an artificial goal financially. Especially considering I'd never enjoy that money if all I am concerned with is accumulating it.
[10:00] giggles: I prefer to live my life and be happy now, than expect a number to bring me happiness
[10:00] The Nut: well i know women spend money
[10:00] giggles: nice
[10:01] giggles: you know nothing of me
[10:01] The Nut: so i make lots for my future wife
[10:01] giggles: or my spending habits. So perhaps you should avoid gender based attacks
[10:01] The Nut: lol
[10:02] giggles: and accept the fact that I am a successful woman who is happy and independant. Perhaps it's that I seek happiness that god has granted me with that gift instead of the gift of paper, an artificial currency developed by man, that typically is considered the root of all evil.
[10:02] The Nut: no the love of money is, get it right,lol
[10:02] giggles: right
[10:03] giggles: one and the same for me
[10:03] giggles: as for someone who's primary goal in life is the accumulation of money, I would suggestion you have a distinct love of money
[10:03] The Nut: lol
[10:03] giggles: yup, lol usually means you have no response for what I've said
[10:04] The Nut: no, if you were smart, you would know it means I am laughing out loud at you,;)
[10:04] giggles: I am typically considered above average intelligence so attempting to insult me based on that is ridiculous
[10:05] giggles: please, laugh at me all you wish.
[10:05] The Nut: yes, trust me I have, your very entertaining,lol
[10:05] giggles: I will live a much less stressed life than you, in my quest for true joy instead of an artificial joy created by the pursuit of cash.
[10:06] giggles: Tis ok, you are quite entertaining as well. as far as religious folk with no clue of what they're really worshipping go.
[10:07] The Nut: lol, yeah, well all your new names are entertaining too,cuz, I see how unstable you are, and how you hate your ex! When in all reality he is probably a nice guy, but you treated him like crap so he dumped you,
[10:09] giggles: erm, my names have never referenced my ex in any way as he and I still correspond daily on MSN. He is a very nice guy, and the reasons for the separation and future divorce are none of your business. Ditto with who is the leaver in the situation. I'm happy with the decisions made and at peace with the situation.
[10:10] giggles: again, your attempts to insult me are quite amusing, but far from the intended mark.
[10:10] The Nut: yeah I will let all your future lovers do a better job,lol
[10:10] The Nut: ;)
[10:11] giggles: I'm not sure what that comment is meant to be. And I'm sure they'll do a better job than you in several areas.
[10:12] giggles: how does "Giggles" show that I'm bitter? Or..."I am SUCH a geek"?
[10:12] The Nut: lol, well you will never know, because I don't date girls like you
[10:12] giggles: like what? honest, hardworking, moral women?
[10:12] giggles: that's your choice
[10:12] giggles: you may be less angry at the female population if you reconsidered the women you date
[10:13] The Nut: well you never gave me a chance
[10:13] giggles: but you don't date women like me.
[10:13] The Nut: well i might have been pleasantly surprised,lol
[10:13] giggles: And you wrecked your own chance when you had your little temper tantrum. I dated an abusive man for 3 years. That was plenty for a lifetime
[10:13] The Nut: he probably kept you in line,lol
[10:14] giggles: yup, another christian attitude
[10:14] giggles: laughing at the abuse of a woman
[10:14] giggles: you are indeed a prize better left at the bottom of the cereal box

Ok the last part is quite frightening actually. He has a scary attitude toward the treatment of women. Not that it surprises me, tended to show up in previous discussions.

Well, anyway, hope you enjoy my little bit of daily insanity. Might as well share the fun

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Music that just...Fits.

Ever picked up a cd or turned on the radio and just had a song hit you? If you haven't right now you're thinking I'm nuts. But I tell you sometimes the songs just strike a chord. Fit exactly what I'm going through at the time.

Six months ago, it was Chris Cagle's Look at What I've Done. Now, if you're not a country fan... heck, even if you are, you probably haven't heard this song. I bought the CD mid-separation. You can find the lyrics here: I couldn't believe it when I heard the song. One night my ex told me he was worried about me if we separated. Didn't think I could "take care of myself." Can you feel the love? The respect? The sad part, I thought he might have a valid point, until I heard this song.

Silly, I know. But sometimes it just takes something small to give a person hope. In this case it made me think about what he was saying. And I realized it was ridiculous. I lived on my own for a couple years in Calgary before I married him. OK, so I was still at DeVry and Mom and Dad were helping with the bills, but sheesh, it's been 10 years and things have changed. I have a good job and believe it or not, I've matured! I know, I know, scary thought.

Well, today I went and bought a couple new CD's. One is Chely Wright's The Metropolitan Hotel. The second song, "Back of the Bottom Drawer"...describes last night perfectly. Lyrics are here: First it made me feel better about my packrat side. And it's not the worst thing in the world for me to hold on to stuff like poems from my first boyfriend. Ok... they got destroyed in a mysterious shredding incident. In my defense... they sucked. A poet he was not. And it was a cleansing experience after I moved in with T. Kinda symbolic of walking away from the past.

The card from my first boyfriend... Ditto, still have that. Found it awhile ago while I was cleaning a closet out. It went right back into that box of memories. Along with a card from my best friend giving me hell for spending too much time with the loser. Lesson learned, listen to your friends. They usually know wayyyyy more than you do!

No Mardi Gras beads for me, just some small souveneirs from a weekend in vegas. Memories from a week in Texas. Hurricanes and an empty stomach... bad combination. But I didn't fall into the Canal at the riverwalk. I am still considering going back to see if they really do keep margaritas in the one water tower... A girl can dream can't she?

It's all about lessons learned. And a little about the good times and good memories. Just because things didn't work out, doesn't mean it was all bad. Even with Clayton...abusive ass that he was. There are still good memories. Good times. If not do you really think I would've stuck around? Hey! I'm not that much of a dumbass. Even back then.

The beauty of The Metropolitan Hotel is there's more. Yup. Not just one song that fits my life for my money. The third song on the CD, "I got him ready for you," reflected some of the concerns I had. Lyrics...

Again, something my ex said to me makes this one significant. He commented on the good changes that happened to him because of me and my family. It bugged me at the time. I'm like... yeah, I did all this work and some other girl will get the reward. Ohh, no, it was when he told me that how much he wants to travel now. At some point, I got over the absolute rage that caused in me. It's all I wanted him to figure out earlier. I leave and he figures it's time to find out why I'm so interested. Kidding. I'm all good now.

The song made me laugh because I have considered how I'll feel when he starts dating again. But hey, I know now I'm not alone. Other people go through the same things. And he can look at me and some new guy and think "she never used to touch fish! I taught her to take them off a hook." Or something like that.

Guess what, there is yet another song that brought back memories. Your Shirt - Lyrics... I did this with Clayton. I had one of his shirts after we broke up. I can still picture the damned thing. It was SOOOOO ugly. really. Seriously. That's not bitterness talking. Heck, I kept the darned thing! It still smelled like him. And many nights I went to sleep holding on to it so I wouldn't feel quite so alone. I was tempted to do this with one of Trevor's shirts, but I'm really not willing to hold onto the past quite so much anymore. Not this time.

K, that's it. Enough songs that describe my life in the past.

At some point I'd like Chris Cagle's "What a beautiful day" or "My love goes on and on" to describe my life. But my time will come.

God, I've just spent almost an hour comparing my life to song lyrics. Excuse me while I go bury myself in a good suspense novel and think about people being murdered. Much better use of my time, don't ya think? Been thinking too much lately.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Moving and moving on.

Warning: read the following at your own risk. I've had a rough night.

So I spent the night doing some more packing. Which is fine, although hard work, except I got to go through some more painful stuff tonight. Wedding pictures, gifts from him, wedding gifts. Even cards. There's always a decision to be made... trash it or keep it.

So I went through the little moments from the past 10 years of my life. piece by piece. The balloon that came with the flowers he gave me when I got my first job in Edmonton. Postcards from our trip to Vegas. Little things, lots of memories. Lots of hurt.

I've already thrown the photo albums into boxes and put a name on them. One of us gets to sort that out. Wedding pictures... well, I can't trash em. Much like the wedding dress. Well, I could trash that and I probably will. Maybe. Damn my sentimental side.

Ok, so I think we can agree I'm still hurting over this. A lot, when I'm faced with the pieces of the life I'm trying to pick up and put back together. Only with huge parts missing. I like puzzles, but they're no fun when you don't have all the pieces.

I'm at a point in my life where I don't know what to do. Being alone sucks, quite frankly, when you're not used to being alone night after night, day after day. And I'm pretty much a fish outta water when it comes to dating. Not a clue what to do or how to do it. I'm a geek. And a soft geek at that. I don't know anything about who I am. I know, sounds so cliche, but, I've spent 7 years married to a guy and now I'm not sure what parts of that life I want to keep.

I know who I am. I'm a geek. Curling's always been a part of my life. I have hair that's pretty much black...well except for the large number of grey hairs that Karen covers so well for me. It's naturally curly, which drives me nuts. Guess that's not so much me, is it? I love my car. Love animals and I want to continue fostering dogs. Which means a house makes more sense then renting something somewhere. Family means a lot to me, and mine is slightly nuts, but they love me. I want to travel. Hell, travel is a big part of the reason I'm single again. Heh, I'm not writing this to tell you who I am. Or even to figure that out.

I'm a slightly soft geek. 7 years of complacency and a knee injury that kept me out of the gym over the winters. The only time I've been in a hospital for myself - to get an MRI on my knee. Worrying that I may have ended my curling "career," before it ever started. So guess who gets to hit the gym and actually try to get into shape for curling. Don't hear that often, do you?

Anyway, back to the not knowing who I am. Well, I'm in a bad spot to try dating. Kinda a stupid thing to say after I spent an hour crying and dealing with the pain I still feel over my ex. So, Robyn can celebrate. I'm going to be done dating. I've already cancelled my date this week with A. That had to be done anyway. I'll have the other date on Friday, but then I think I need to get used to spending time with me. And my critters.

Tigger tried to "help" me pack earlier. Nothing like a soft little cat purring as I rub his belly to make me feel all soft and girly. And a better option than continuing to screw things up with whatever guy is interested in me. I actually realized today I can, and definitely should, have standards when it comes to my life and the people in it. I guess I started realizing that last fall. If I don't want to repeat the mistakes I've already made, I'd better start putting me first and demanding I get treated better. By everyone in my life. Even my parents.

There's not much I can do about the cats. They're going to keep coughing up hairballs at the worst possible times. But hey, tonight, I got my closets cleaned out and boxes moved downstairs. Now... who wants to give me a massage? My back is SO going to hurt tomorrow.

A general need to rant

Ok, so I changed the name of my blog because I really wasn't answering any questions. Well, other than perhaps questions on my sanity. So since I appear to be pretty much talking about the whole roller coaster ride of emotions that make up my little life transition, we'll go with Starting Over. Since that's what I'm doing. On with the rant.

I chatted with my ex this morning. Now, I'm frustrated. More than a little. I can't afford to live from month to month... ok, last month the brier affected my spending more than I should've allowed, but still! And he's walking around with new Oakley sunglasses. But ask him to take on the boat payment and he says no. LOL, last weekend he bought raffle tickets on a quad...he won the quad.

I can't afford to put gas in my car. I'm looking at my chances of actually buying a house here in Edmonton and it's not looking good. Well, I shouldn't say that quite yet. There are some that might actually fall into my price range, but that doesn't mean they'll be houses that would be a good investment for me... or that they're in a neighborhood where I wouldn't need a large dog for security. And the additional food and vet bills required to keep him around. Not that I'm against having a dog, I just don't want to pick one based on the size of his teeth.

And I might be being a little cranky today, but... dammit, I'm living in a house that is not supposed to look lived in. It takes me an extra 10 minutes to get ready in the morning (so much for breakfast) because I need to run through the house to make sure the cats haven't left a hairball I didn't notice. And god forbid I don't make the bed. Or leave a towel on the floor. So far I've even managed to hit the hamper with my underwear - almost a miracle in itself. There's also the need to ensure all glasses are properly hidden in the dishwasher. Ditto for forks, knives and plates. I'm sweeping up cat food crumbs daily. Cat hair too. Darned cats. I'm starting to think that its maybe not such a bad idea to shave them. An added bonus: Tigger wouldn't be in such a hurry to run out the door the second it's opened. At least as long as it's still cold out.

I've packed pretty much everything so far. And it appears as though the job of patching holes in living room walls and repainting will also be my job. Same with taking down the bear rugs on the walls going upstairs and patching those holes. I asked my ex once to clean up in the basement. I'm really not sure what he thinks he did, but nothing was really done. In the garage, he managed to put the cans and bottles for recycling into plastic garbage bags...oooooh, job well done.

So through this all, I'm doing the majority of the work. Ok, so he's inconvenienced because he's living in a friend's basement, which I understand is a separate basement suite anyway. And he's paying minimal rent on that. Meanwhile everytime someone wants to look at my house, I have to find something else to do, somewhere else to be for usually about an hour. And before that, I need to vacuum and clean everything in sight. I haven't been able to wash my good work clothes for a month now because they're hang dry and with my luck, I'd get them hung up to dry and someone would want to come see the house.

He's looking at buying a brand new house. I'm looking at houses 50+ years old that very likely will need a lot of maintenance. In addition to being teeny, tiny little dwellings. But that is my choice, and that's the type of house I want. I just want to be able to afford it. It drives me nuts that we're looking at houses about $40,000 apart in value. He doesn't have a car payment (hello company truck!), so a mortgage is easier for him to handle to start with.

Ok, so now I'm sounding petty and jealous. Well, dammit, I am. Give me my moment on this. I have a good job. I work just as hard as he does and I don't get my curling paid for. I don't get a company vehicle. If I go out for lunch...I buy, not the company or some supplier. I don't win anything (well, other than the 50/50 at curling that one night) and certainly not $8500 quads. I don't get a quarterly or annual bonus... oh wait, I might get the annual one. But that's a year away yet. I just get frustrated by the whole situation.

And all I'm asking is for him to take on the boat payment. Oh, and cancel the freaking RRSP's I'm still paying for. Yes... still. His boat. His RRSPs. Now I understand why people get so mad during divorce. It sucks and, as it was when we were married, he continues to take advantage of my niceness (for lack of a better word, so "feisty" I can't even think straight!). He drives me nuts.

Ok, I can smile again now. He actually offered to help me move. Yup, because I want him there while I'm moving into my tiny little house. Or apartment. Right now that move is going to involve.... Robyn and hopefully several male friends. Most of whom are easily bribed with beer... or wine. And most of whom consider me to be like a little sister. So, guys of Roam... I'll be calling in the next few months. Don't worry, it'll involve beer and pizza. And one rule - no talk of Roam. Oh, and one of you has to drive since I'll be in the back with the beer.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Kissing too many frogs

Well well well. Here I am. Successful computer chick. Not half bad the right light...I have a good laugh and a great sense of humor. But I am now the single one in a group of married people. So, for a girl who's never been single in this city... how do I meet people? My married friends have been married long enough that they no longer have single friends. Then again, I'm just ending the relationship caused by my last blind date. Do I want to do THAT again? chick and all, I figured why not try online dating? So I did. I'm on my third online dating site and seriously questioning the validity of the entire experience. Sure, when you get a smile or a's a great ego boost. But then you smile at someone and...nothing in return. Ouch. Even better. You have a date, then a second and a third with someone and you enjoy their company. You aren't exactly setting a date and checking out the white dresses, but you are thinking maybe, just maybe this is someone you could hang out with a bit. Maybe introduce to your friends. You stop checking online for smiles every day. It soon gets down to once a week and you certainly aren't making an effort to smile at anyone.

But you notice something, everytime you're online, the person you've been dating has been online too. So... you check more often and sure enough they're online more often. Right down to daily. The questions start. Maybe this guy isn't so interested in me - after all, he's still looking all the time. What if he's just killing time with me until someone better comes along? How many other girls IS he dating. Do I even matter, or is he just killing time with me.

The rules have changed. Fine, so I've spent about 10 years out of this game, and I never really spent enough time in the game back then to know the old rules. What are the new ones? Should I expect someone I meet online to be dating multiple girls at the same time? Or just working some other ones in case things don't work out with me? Hell, how do I tell if I guy is interested? They don't seem to call at all anymore. None of them. Well, ok, one or two, just in case they read this ;)

Should I just be me and be honest about what I'm thinking? Everyone claims to hate games, but when I go with honesty I don't hear from the guy anymore. Is it a bad thing to tell a guy I like spending time with him? Do guys like the challenge of a girl who doesn't appear interested? Should I ignore my phone and pretend to be offline just so he has to work for it?

Just tell me this...if someone is interested in me, why can't they just be honest with me about it? Just say "yeah, I like you. Let's do stuff." Is it so bad to plan things with me? Set up some dates with me? Why do I always feel like I'm planning things and setting up the dates? So for now, I give up. I have one profile remaining online. I know my separation is an issue for some. And I can't blame anyone for that. I myself have advised friends to run fast and far from men who are in the process of a divorce.

My final pet peeve about the whole dating experience...unreliable men. Guys who call, even call often...potentially even regularly. They'll call from work. They'll call from home. They even call as they're leaving the gym. They make dates with me. Woo hoo.... hope! Not only is he interested, but he doesn't expect me to do all the work. But... oh wait... another phone call...can't make it tonight. Working too much, too tired. In reality, he hates the drive from the west end to as far east as you can get in the park. He asks me all the time if people have looked at the house. How the sale is going. So yeah, he likes me, but there's a limit to how far he's willing to go to be with me. So maybe tonight won't work, but how about Tuesday? He'll pick me up from work. And those are his days off so he won't be tired, he assures me.

So I agree. Knowing I won't believe it until his car is parked outside at 4:30. And I'll wonder why I keep agreeing to go on dates with this guy I expect to cancel on me. I'll swear I'm going to end it with him, then chicken out. Let's face it, the only person I've ever ended a relationship with is my ex-husband... or soon to be ex husband. And that sucked. It's not something I want to repeat. Which is the same reason I should end this now because I can see the guy is selfish. I know better.

So I sit on my couch watching City Confidential and practicing what I should say to him. The problem is, he's always got a good reason for cancelling...well, not so much this last time. Like T would say, "he's just not that into you, Erin." And it's true. If he was interested, a drive across the city couldn't be such a problem. I tell myself it's a good way to kill a night, dates with him. But really, there's a limit to how many nights I'm killing when most of the time I'm listening to another excuse for why he can't make it.

Am I looking for forever...right now? No. I'm looking for someone I can count on. Someone I like being with. Someone who makes me laugh and treats me like the wonderful girl I am. Cause I am pretty darned wonderful! Maybe I'm just looking for some friends, people in my life who care about me and can be there for me when I need them. Forever can wait. And you can be darned sure I'm not doing forever again unless I'm sure it's going to work.

Oh! Hey, I bought a Cooking Light magazine. That means I can access the recipes on the website. I've gotta go search out some good food. Spending Easter Sunday by myself, might as well have some good food and, of course, good wine.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Sleep.... I need sleep

This is ridiculous. I was in bed by 9pm last night and sleeping shortly after. I didn't get up until 9 this morning. And I'm still tired. Which means I'm still sick. So, it's a good thing I stayed in Edmonton. If A is right, I'll probably be back on antibiotics, like the girl he works with. And she's still sick. Lovely. I have been told that rest is pretty much the only way to get rid of this so I'll be having a nap later.

Before my date :) Ok, so it's just another date with A. Which means it may or may not be a date with him. And I can pretty much guarantee he likes me. The guy talks to me online daily and calls almost as much. But when it comes to actually making plans with me...not so reliable. Annoying, but, well, I'm starting to figure out that my separation is a bigger problem than I'd ever thought it would be. But only 7 months left until I can finalize the divorce. Stupid divorce laws. But, it's either do the year separation, or go into court and lie. I don't like lying when I'm NOT under oath. Lying in court would just be wrong. And I already feel more than guilty enough about the whole situation. Well, it's more of just feeling like a failure. Never have liked failing. Never done it much either.

But hey, I had a weird dream again last night. Which means I'm stressed. At least it didn't involve snakes or anything as far as I know. I did wake up kneeling on the floor looking under the bed. Wish I knew what I was looking for...

Just means I need to find a creative outlet. And clearly this blog isn't enough. Probably because it's not so much a creative outlet as just an outlet. More of a journal of what happens to me daily. A place to vent when I need to, which hasn't been nearly as much as I figured it would be. Ah well....I guess I'm just not angry and bitter enough yet.

Hard to be angry or bitter when I come home and someone's shovelled my snow. I think it might have been Bob next door, but the shoe prints looked way too small for a guy. They were about the same size as mine, so maybe it was Shari... Hard to know who to thank for it when I don't know who did it. But I do appreciate it.

Ok, mindless babble done. I'm going to bed.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The logically challenged

I actually had to debug some code today that I'm not sure ever worked. It couldn't have. The creator of said code is very, very logically challenged.

What the code does is create repeat meeting room reservations. Now, that sounds simple enough. Only... Well, it did everything ass backwards. Near as I can figure anyway. It would create the first room reservation, increment the date, create the next room reservation document, then increment the date again and go check to make sure the room was available for the date. The problem.... the room was never checked for the second repeating meeting. So, I moved some code around and I discovered the second flaw with this logic....

Once the room reservation is created, it's added to the view that we're looping through to check for conflicts. So...... because the reservation is created BEFORE the date/time/room is checked when we loop through the view (similar to a db table), there's always going to be a reservation previously created for that date/time/room. The one we've just created.

So now I understand why the code incremented the date before checking for the next room... I just don't understand what genius wrote the code that allowed a room to be booked without actually checking the availability of the room. I'm also a bit surprised this didn't bite us all in the butt ages ago.

But, code fixed now. It'll register conflicts properly. I am a bit concerned that room/time conflicts can still happen as the room isn't being booked until after we check availability. So should two people want the same room and create their reservations at the same time.... But this system is being replaced in less than a month with a much more reliable system and theoretically the rooms could be, and often were, double booked before this by people creating their reservations at virtually the same time. So really, it's a known issue and the app is being replaced to fix that problem. My code isn't breaking it any more than it already was. It's either that or completely rewrite the code already written to fix the many other flaws in there that caused the flawed code I got to fix.

Yes, I really can rationalize almost anything...

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

First day back to work

My first day back at work is over. What a long day. I just couldn't get into the work I was supposed to do. Then I got sleepy which is what started all of this. Time to face the fact I'm not a morning person and 7:30 am is just too early to expect myself to have my butt at my desk at work.

In fact, I am SO not a morning person, I caught the wrong bus out of downtown tonight. At least I managed to properly identify the gorgeous white, silver & maroon markings of a Sherwood Park...errr... Strathcona County bus. I just mistook the 403 for a 413. Ones and zeros, I should be good with them.

It only put me slightly off course, landing me at the south Transit Centre rather than the norht park and ride. Luckily, at night, my local bus starts its trip from the Transit Centre. Another lucky break, it's parking spot is immediately ahead of the 403 limiting the searching I'd have to do to find it. Go Erin!

This also means I can now take the 401 from downtown should I get to Telus befroe it does. The remaining question is how much longer this trip will take. As I write this from the back of the 407L. Pen and paper, almost relaxing, if it weren't for writer's cramp.

Well, here I am home. It took no longer, in fact, I ended up on the 407L with the people I would normally leave downtown with. So really, not such a bad trade off. The 401 might even let me catch a slightly earlier 407L. Hmmm, my little screw-up might actually get me home earlier. And on a bus with Lawrence....never hurts to get to know management better.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Solitude and silence

Everything is dark around me. The deep navy of a winter's night. There isn't a breath of wind ar fat white flakes fall silently fto the ground. I tug my gloves on and walk slowly, my feet cruncing in the freshly fallen snow. Aside from my footsteps there is no sound. No traffic, no kids playing or dogs barking.

On a clear night, the moon would reflect off the snow, lighting up everything around me, but tonight there are no stars, no moon, no northern lights to light my way. Just me and the dark quiet of a prairie winter night.

Years ago, I wouldn't have been alone. But it wouoldn't have been a date with me. It would've been Lady, my sweet dog. Well, maybe she wouldn't have been with me either. She liked to run ahead in search of something to chase. Herds of antelope, the odd porcupine and , my favorite, skunks. I never knew what she'd chase out of the brush at me. Her tail waggin, tongue hanging out.

But tonight I crave the quiet solitude of my parent's farm. Sure, I know I'm not there. I'm watching the snow through my bedroom window. Instead of a dark prairire landscape, I have streetlights, fences, cars and a school.

Tomorrow morning, my alarm is going to go off at 6am again. And backto the office I go. Returning to endless lotus notes problems and my favorite...calendar problems. Buy a date book and deal with it people. Technology isn't perfect. It does scare me a bit that someone needs a daily reminder to do something...

But never fear, as a company, we spend millions on IT services. So people can access each other's calendars and date books online. Not because the pipeline actually needs these conveniences to run smoothly, but because our society runs on cute little features that really aren't worth the price of admission.

As I write this, Tigger is trying to "help" me. I actually wrote it initially on paper since the first time I tried to save it online, I got a server error and all my wonderful words of wisdome are lost. So out came the pen and paper. And a little grey and black furball determined he can write as well as I can.

I'm not sure what he'd do with the kind of solitude I'm craving right now. He's a horribly social little furball.

Me, however, I miss having that place I can go when life gets to be too much. My "happy place." A place that allows me to hide and just be me.I haven't had that kind of place since I lived on the farm. Maybe that's why a blog has replace the more creative efforts I used to produce.

Making decisions for the future

I'm trying to sell my house. It should be easy enough and today, surprisingly, I'm not going to rant about realtors. You're safe for another day. I am going to try to figure out where I want to be. Because when I do sell this house, I need to know what I want to do.

The way I see it, I'm here for another year. I actually have a second for my team in the park next year. So as long as we can manage to hold on to Candace for another year - unlikely as she's one of the better leads OR seconds out there - we're going to have a fun team. I should have no problems getting Tara as she'll be a new curler and people don't typically like taking the new curlers.

Add to the sherwood park league my plan to spare in the ladies superleague and really I'm in the best curling position staying in Edmonton for another year. Plus it does make it easier to finalize all of the divorce stuff. October 28th the divorce will be filed. Still seems so far away, but it feels like we've been separated forever too. Probably have the wrong date on the separation. Almost guarantee we do. But what do I know?

Being alone is probably one of the toughest decisions I've ever made. Maybe if I spent as much time deciding whether to marry him I wouldn't be in this situation. But I was (am) stubborn and I did it. So now I get to deal with that. And it sucks.

It's not that he's a bad guy overall. Or that anyone else is really aware of. I just can't be married to him. Sounds bad, doesn't it? Like, for me. I know my family wants to know why. Some of my friends know and they're good with it. Others don't and for the most part, they haven't asked.

I talked to my friend Dawn in september when I was in Calgary. I asked her how she knew it was time to end things with her ex. She told me she knew it was time to when he would leave and she hoped he wouldn't come back. I couldn't believe it. I used to feel so guilty for thinking things like that. Not that I wanted anything to happen to him. But I wanted out of the marriage without having to actually leave him. Stupid huh? It's hard to explain. But for years I did wonder what it would be like to be single again. Well, now I know. And now I know that I should've ended it before I ever followed him to Edmonton. Out of 7 years of marriage, I was unhappy for at least 5, but probably 6 or more.

So maybe I shouldn't have done a lot of things. But when it came to ending it, I still felt guilty. So I tried to make it easier on him. I didn't want him to be hurt. So I tried to make it friendly and that made it harder on both of us. Especially since me being me, I spent a lot of time trying to make it easier on him.

But that's not what this is about. This is about where I want to be. Next year when it comes to the end of curling season, I'm going to figure that I want to curl with them again, and I'm probably going to stay in Edmonton again. If things go well in the superleague it would be really bad timing to wander away from the city too. Not that I'm really holding my breath on that, but if there are going to be team changes, this is the year it'll happen. After this any team changes could cost a team in the rankings and affect Olympic trials spots for 2010. Yeah... like I'll be on a team for that. But really, whatever I want to do with my curling, I have to stop procrastinating and do my best to actually start moving forward on that. And it'll give me something to do in the winters.

So looking at it from a curling point of view, I'm probably much better off planning to stay in Edmonton for a longer period of time.

Personally is another story. If I stay and have to deal with T, I'm going to go nuts. He knows how to make me feel guilty. I'm sure over time he'll adjust and move on. I hoped it would start sooner than now. I know he isn't ready to know I've been dating. Or he's just using that to make me feel guilty. Who knows.

Sigh, I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with the money from the sale of the house...and Bailey's drinking water from my glass. At least she hasn't dumped it yet. Odd for her.

It really makes no sense for me to buy a house, especially since people think I'm nuts for wanting to buy the kind of house I want. Sure the hardwood creaked. I might not have a whole lot of closet space. The yard isn't much bigger than what I have in my current suburban hell. I'll probably continue to be surrounded by young families and older couples. Then again, I'm fairly sure I'll be short on $$ again this month so maybe looking at buying a house is a bad idea. Really, paying off my car and having some money for travelling is probably a better idea. I could dump some more money into my RRSP's too. Really, that makes the most sense, and gives me more time to figure out where I want to be.

Now, I have to go get a fresh glass of water and go watch City Confidential talk about Mormons killing each other.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

On being a cat...

I've finally figured out why I envy my cats. It's not the ability to lay around all day doing nothing. It's the ability to lay there looking so cute, soft and cuddly that someone can't resist going over and rubbing their bellies. Hell, Tigger and Bailey are both experts at weaseling out full body massages just by looking cute. THAT's what I envy. That's a skill I need.

Ferbey vs Martin. Who's got the gloves?

Could there be two skips who hate each other more than Ferbey and Martin? It's tough to find, out there on the ice. A sport that's typically considered a gentleman's sport. So the boxing gloves may not be necessary, as they will abide by the rules and it's not like you'll ever see these two actually beat each other up. Except in the media.

The teams. Well, if you know anything about curling, ya know the Ferbey Four. David Nedohin, Randy Ferbey, Scott Pfeiffer and Marcel Roque.

And Kevin Martin. - Kevin, Don Walchuk, Carter Rycroft and Don Bartlett.

Both teams quite talented. It's interesting, you watch Randy in the Brier and he's chatting with the other skips. Today, silence between the two skips. Is there too much made of the rivalry between the teams? Or moreso, between the skips? After the WCT split from Curl Canada, the two teams didn't play against each other for a few years. Even now, they rarely end up on the same sheet of ice playing against each other.

I'd like to see Martin win it. Not that this matters, Martin now has his trials berth. A good thing since they are the silver medalists from the last Olympics. Besides, when you think of the top teams in Canada, you can't help but include the top Money winner on the cash circuit. And Kevin Martin is that.

This game should be a real battle on the ice. If both teams are curling as well as they should be, the winner will be deserving. And the fans will get to see some great shots. Like the last rock angle-raise double Martin performed perfectly in the second end to score his two.

Ok, me, watching curling has always been bad. Yes, yesterday with Kleibrink and Betker playing in the final, it was harder for me. After all, that's a game I could actually be in. And would've been in if I'd just taken my curling a little more seriously back when I moved to Calgary. But I didn't. I took some time off and got soft ;) I know what's involved in curling at that level. God knows I have 3 years of curling camp and my coaching certificate to show for my dreams at one point. However, with my knee, do I want to get to the point that Don Bartlett's at? Between ends, he's lying on the floor between the sheets thanks to severe back problems.

LOL, yeah, I'm not going to try to curl competitively because of my knee. Uh huh. Sure, it's a good excuse if I can't make it - "well, you know my knee caused me a lot of problems." But let's be honest, I just need to strengthen those muscles and lose some weight and it's all good. Or should be.

Fourth end, Ferbey throws one in the house, Martin hits it. LOL, nothing like doing the unexpected to throw the other team off a bit. First comment from Nedohin, "I didn't think he'd hit it!"

Whoever compared curling with chess never watched these two teams play. It's one thing to compare the strategic positioning of stones early in the end to a game like chess where you're fighting for position and the best angles. But once you get to Ferbey and Walchuk and the extreme peel weights they can throw to move those stone and make the opposition pay for that slight mistake in lining stones up, any comparisons to chess are gone.

And from Dec 3-11, I get to sit in the 14th row in the Halifax Metro Centre watching these teams do their things. The Brier fields may be tough, but the Olympic trials don't limit the teams to provincial boundaries. Three teams from Alberta alone competing in the trials. Randy Ferbey, Kevin Martin and John Morris. Every cent spent on that trip will be worth it. Happy Birthday to me.

The fifth end is going to be a big blanked end. Somehow they started running rocks and the Ferbey team is not happy with the clean end. Ouch, Martin missed the last shot and fails to blank the end.

Ok, well, there isn't much to comment on in htis game. Pretty standard stuff. Good game, but... Besides, the posts where I pick on me are much more entertaining.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Don't waste the pretty

My friend T loves to bug me about the guys I'm dating. Apparently there's a book out there every single girl should read. The big mantra... don't waste the pretty. Or "he's just not that into you." Either way, he feels these are lessons I need to learn.

This T isn't the same T I'm in the process of divorcing. This would be Oracle DBA T. Sushi Boy, T. I can go on, but really...who cares. So...It's funny, I start dating and he tells me not to waste the pretty. Theoretically, I've been wasting the pretty for over 7 years. Bah, theoretically...

It's kinda funny, I get sick and I start getting all philosophical. Take the need for human contact. We all have it, in varying degrees, but we do all need human contact. Here's the sad part. I had one offer...ONE...for said human contact this week. Mom and Dad coming up to look after me. Just what I need. My parents here driving me nuts. I guess that sounds pretty bad huh? They're cool, really...they're just having some trouble with me being single again. Something I'm starting to get used to in the people around me.

It's funny the people who are avoiding me. My friend S. When I moved up to Edmonton 5 years ago, she and her husband were having big problems. I was there when she separated from him. Hell, I spent a week on a yoga trip with her in Jasper. Which, while fun, cost me a lot of money and wasn't really what I'd planned for my vacation that year. But...friends do that, right? She needed me and I was there. Again and again. Then they reconciled and I rarely see her anymore. And once I told her about T and I? Yikes. The one person who knows what I'm going through is hardly talking to me. It's nuts.

There's R. She is a surprise. Like the sister I never had. She's the first one to kick my ass when I need it. And the first one offering hugs when things don't quite go my way. She's also the first one trying to find out a guy's MSN address so she can threaten his life should he hurt me. I know she thinks I'm vulnerable and all that, and I probably am more than I'll ever care to admit, but threatening guys is more likely to scare them off....wait, I think I know her plan... dammit. Actually she was against me starting to date, but...well...she's seen how happy I've been so she's good with it now. I know it's been real hard for her because she doesn't agree with divorce. Which is why it meant so much when she told me she was happy for me 'cause she hadn't seen me this happy in years.

There's T, she's not so much a friend of mine as my Mom's. But a year before I left T, she left her husband, even though everyone thought she was nuts. Her divorce was final this last winter. It was really cool to get an email from her and actually have someone understand what I'm going through. And have someone tell me that I'm not doing the wrong thing. That meant a lot to me actually. She knows my ex and my family. I've always had a LOT of respect for her. So really, having her support is cool.

D and J. My two best friends from high school. D is right there behind me. She's divorced with a daughter. She's great to talk to too. J, J is never going to change. The big party girl in high school all settled down with two kids and a great husband. Not sure she understands, but she'll never question it.

Ok, how did this turn into chatting about my friends and how great they are lol. It's about I tell you. It's all about me! Oh, wait, I've got someone waiting to play crib. Gotta run. If I can't have actual human contact, I guess I've gotta live with virtual contact.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Wow. One little word. Well, two, because you need to clarify the kind of cancer. Thyroid cancer. My brother, father to a new baby boy, has cancer again. For a third time. But, hey, it's a different cancer this time. Like that should make me feel something different.

It wasn't two weeks ago he was assured it wasn't back. That it was just an infection. After all, his blood counts were normal. Ha.

Well, tonight's entry started out as an internal debate on whether I need a fresh start. I know I do. I mean...damn. Leaving my ex took a lot. Especially for someone like me which serious confidence problems. But.

Finding a job a person loves is not easy. I know, I've had several jobs, and really very few I can say I loved.

MBT - My god, my dream job. I wore jeans to work every day. Wranglers, and they fit right in. Until they wanted to move the office to Denver.

Noteable, yup, I liked that at first, but I was screwed from the start there thanks to who I knew. Odd situation that. Which reminds me, gotta let Todd, Dave and Tim know that I'm working with Bob's son now.

TransAlta - cool at first, and a better situation than noteable, but the move to edm came at a good time. Although, looking back....

Roam IT. For the first year and a half. Heaven. Great people, great environment. I would've stayed there forever. After the investors forced out the founders and brought in high priced, moronic contractors with no clue about the healthcare industry - not so much

AU - horrid place. Wouldn't go back.

Enbridge. Good team. good environment. Great boss. Pay's decent and prospects are good. Company's not going to fall off the face of the planet tomorrow. I even like what I get to do day after day. woo hoo. Who'da thunk it ;) even doing support.

At this point, I'm not ready to walk away from this job. Give me a year, maybe two and yeah, I might start getting itcy feet. At that point, when my brother is done his cancer treatments ( god I hope ) I can consider moving on and trying to find a fresh start someowhere else if I still feel that I need to.

My week as a cat

Should I ever look at my cats and say "I'd give anything to live like a cat"... kick me. Really. Really hard even. I know I just said it not that long ago. Umm like... Sunday as I looked at Bailey crashed out in front of the fire toasting herself. Today, as I curled up in the sun on the couch with Tigger I realized I had what I wanted. Nothing to do, nowhere to go. And it sucks. No wonder my critters sleep all the time, they have nothing else to do. Well other than chase each other up and downstairs. Oh, it also explains why Bailey chases her food and right now is eating soft food with her paws. She's got nothing better to do.

I've considered possibly leaving the TV on during the day, but let's be honest, if they aren't loony now, daytime TV will do it for them. Although I'm quite happy that I'll be home on Monday to see the Osbournes on Dr. Phil. If you can't be, might I suggest taping it? C'mon, what could be funnier than that? Nuff said.

I never thought I'd say this, but I have stuff that needs to be done. Both at work and around here. None of it is getting done because even going up stairs prompts fits of coughing that make me want to kick my dr's ass for not thinking I might need a decent cough syrup while I recover from this. Apparently they exist with codeine in them... and I'm stuck with over the counter crap that really does nothing. And that is SO not cherry flavored. I'd probably be just as well off drinking the syrup from a bottle of marachino cherries. At least it would taste better.

When I get healthy, I am soooo going out for sushi (hmmm, raw fish, perhaps my cats and I have too much in common). Well, healthy or not, I'm going out in April to help G and S celebrate their respective birthdays with sushi (mmmm Matsuya sushi) and hopefully something after that besides bed. Sad isn't it, that the prosepect of raw fish and a night out has me this happy?

Now go get some rest...

I have one brother. And now one sister in law, who I love like a sister. And of course, the little dude - Cameron. 11 years ago I was in college. Remember how I said it's funny the things you remember?

I'll never forget that day. I was 18, maybe. Lived in a basement suite on 17A street NE Calgary. Grey tiled floor, wood paneled wall beside where my phone was. I still have the end table my phone and answering machine were sitting on. But I threw away that phone awhile ago - the cord kept getting tangled. It fell off that end table several times and even a 2 foot drop to concrete is hazardous when it happens often enough.

Mom called and with mom, you can tell when there's something wrong. She told me my brother was going to Saskatoon the next day. Nothing outstanding on it's own but what the hell, I ask "why?" More like, why is this important to me? Well I soon found out. He was getting really tired at work. Couldn't even sweep up the shop floor. Not good for a 20 year old. So he went to the hospital and Dr. E felt there was something wrong. So 2 days later, my brother was in Saskatoon. Now, if you're not familiar with healthcare in Sask, nothing moves that quickly. So I knew that this wasn't just a doctor thinking maybe, possibly there was a problem.

I called my boyfriend at the time. And no, not my current ex. Although this response is why this guy was very quickly my ex boyfriend. I'm clearly upset and he says "It's nothing." That's all. LOL. Don't worry about it. It's nothing.

It wasn't nothing. Then it was Hodgekins Disease. Another weird thing I'll always remember, looking that up in my old Webster's dictionary. From that definition, I had to look up Lymphoma to discover that my brother basically had cancer of the lymphatic system. Something about D and I...we never fought much. I mean sure, all siblings do fight, but for us it was just the odd disagreement. The odd slammed door, thrown object. Nothing major. I used to borrow his car all the time. Just don't tell him about the time I scared the hell outta Dawn playing cat & mouse....

Anyway. That summer, I watched my brother go through Chemotherapy. That is hell on a person. The chemo, watching too, but I really got the easy part of that job. Now, if you know D, you know he doesn't sit still. Ever. We play cards at christmas? D is up wandering around between hands. He just doesn't sit still, never has. That summer, I have pictures of him with a cat sleeping on him on my mom's couch. And he doesn't like cats. I was home for 3 weeks, and that's ALL he did. Sleep. After that, he did radiation in Saskatoon, but I was back to school in calgary.

The next phone call isn't so clear in my memory. The first one is probably just burned in memory thanks to the shock of it all. But a year or two later, my brother's cancer was back. Same cancer. This time they weren't going to do the chemo and radiation. They were going to send him to Calgary to get a stem cell replacement done. I guess this would've happened in 1996. The Tom Baker Cancer Clinic was on my way home from work...

Anyway, getting ahead of myself. My brother made several trips to Calgary before the actual replacement. He had blood taken so they could separate his stem cells and treat them with chemo. I think there were three trips to do that until they had enough blood for the treatment. Then came the actual procedure. I will always have soooo much respect for my brother for what he went through.

Chemotherapy. Poison. Same thing. Really. Only with conventional chemotherapy, they don't give lethal doses of the chemicals. In a stem cell replacement...they do. This happened in the fall. How do I remember that? Hunting season so T was missing in action and my parents were harvesting. So there was me to go and keep D company. And guilt... well, guilt sucks.

So every night, I went to see my brother. And he'd try to stay awake for me. But there was no point. He finally asked me to stop going to see him. Guess guilt affects him too. Must be genetic.

Another weird thing to remember. My brother and parents staying in my little apartment, this time 427 3rd Ave NE. Horrid green carpet in that little place. We were having hamburgers and dad was frying onions. The smell made D sick so he went outside for fresh air. He still can't stand the smell of onions frying.

Anyway. All that over and done with and the cancer was gone...again. Woo hoo. After 5 years, a person is considered cured. The whole remission thing and all that. So, after 5 years, my brother got engaged, then married to S. I think the whole family celebrated and Dad could finally rest assured D wasn't gay. Cause we had that discussion once. Another thing I'll never forget. But at least that makes me laugh. My dad speculating on my brother's sexual orientation.

Then a few weeks ago, he found a lump again. His blood tests came back clean, but he came up here anyway to see Dr. S. A naturopath who really helped D last time, just with the treatments and stuff. he checked D out and felt it was just an infection, nothing to worry about. So, that, combined with clean blood results made us all feel things would be fine. Thank god the surgeon insisted on removing the lump.

Well, hows that for a little emotional dump this evening? LOL, I started this an hour ago, and several tissues ago. Funny the things I remember. I can picture that wall in that old basement suite like I was still there. And the green carpet in that horrible apartment. And his hospital room at the TBCC. Washing my hands when I went in because he had NO immune system at that point. I'm not sure I can handle all of that again.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Under house arrest

Or at least I might as well be. I'm a social person. Hanging out at home all day...driving me nuts. I'm stuck with messenger as my only method of contact with other people. And they're all at work. So guess what...I'm going to type here. Lots.

Tonight I had to cancel on my curling team. That was hard to do, but sometimes things have to be done. I went over anyway to do the banquet stuff and make sure all of that was done. So I bought a 50/50 ticket cause I was there anyway. And I won. LOL, a week late on that...Brier 50/50's averaged $8000. I won....$28.50. Woo hoo. Which means I'm buying drinks on Friday at the banquet. Yes I'm going. Maybe I shouldn't, but I am. There are worse things I could do.

Speaking of worse things to do - went to my lawyer today to sign my separation agreement. Also got served with divorce papers which are being filed at the same time. Wasn't a surprise. Just kinda weird seeing that. But, hey, it's all done now. It's what I wanted, just a surreal feeling. Imagine this... my lawyer's dad was from Unity. LOL, lately I've been meeting far too many people who know where it is to start with. Not to mention being from there.

I think I'm going to go do some shopping this weekend. I'm hoping to find a new computer desk. This one is really old (not in a cool "antique" way) and falling apart. I am hoping to find something that fits into the antique look. Something with a bit of personality...just like me. It's interesting trying to figure out what that personality is. I went to Home Sense on my way home, looking for a new comforter for my bed. Something that's not just a plain green. Until I finish my quilt (which isn't going to happen until someone buys this house). I can't wait to finish that, it's going to look incredible! But maybe a queen sized quilt was a bit big for my first project. But I never start small. That's just too easy.

Wow, I'm easily distracted. Ok, so... Home Sense. I found NOTHING I liked for my bedroom. Some cool furniture, but a) I had my car and b) no point buying furniture for a house I'm moving out of. Well that and apparently my ex won't take over payments on the boat until we sell the house and pay off the line of credit. Which means....I've go NO extra money right now. I still have to pay for my trip to halifax. He's getting 3x the tax return I'm getting and he won't pay the &^%$ing boat loan. HIS boat loan.

Ok, didn't want to rant on that tonight. So Easter's coming up. If I'm still sick I shouldn't go home because the last thing I want to do is infect the little guy. But I do need to take home his easter bunny. I'm the evil aunt. Spoiling the little guy. But everyone needs an easter bunny, right?

Well, enough babbling from me for the night. I'm going to go absolutely nuts staying home this week. I know I need to rest and all that, but geez. It's funny the things you take for granted in life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bring out your dead...

At 2 am this morning I swear I heard someone wandering up and down the street calling that out.

"But I'm not dead, yet!"...just wishing I were.

12:00 am: I wake up feeling worse than I had yet. I couldn't believe a person could feel this bad without being dead, or almost there. I even considered it could be the plague, as certain friends have been teasing. I knew I was thirsty and as we all know, with the flu, the worst side effect is dehydration. So up I get for water. Shaking and trying to hold a glass of water long enough to drink it without wearing it. Then back to bed to try to sleep.

1:00 am: I figure I really should take my temperature. Up I get to turn on the light, find the thermometer AND my curling stopwatch. Only me. 3 minutes later - 101 degrees. Not great. Tylenol... tylenol reduces a fever. I MUST have tylenol around the house somewhere. Like a junkie in search of my next fix, off I go rummaging through cabinets and shaking like a leaf. I can barely hold the glass of water to take the two extra strength pills. At this point, I wonder if I really should be going back to bed or making my way to a hospital for expert care.

1:43 am: I wonder if my temperature dropped with the tylenol. I whack the touch lamp a couple times for some light and dig out the thermometer and stopwatch again. Yup, still up over 100. Maybe I should call someone.... Meanwhile, Tigger's decided he's had enough of me waking him up tossing and turning. So off he goes in search of food. At this point, I realize I forgot to feed him. So on top of being closer to death than I've EVER been, I'm going to have a pissed off cat wanting me to feed him. I turn on the radio for some background noise and await the inevitable. As if on cue...up jumps Tigger. He paces across the head of the bed a couple times meowing. At my groan of pain, he stops and looks at me. He walks over and sniffs my head as if trying to determine whether I'm faking the death groans. Seconds later he starts purring and curls up next to my head. It's a miracle.

2:00 am: Ok, I need cough syrup and some kleenex. Both are downstairs so off I go. Probably not the wisest decision but I managed to somehow get down the stairs...and back up...without falling and seriously injuring myself. But when I stopped to feed the cats I forgot the kleenex. I decide to leave them downstairs and again question my sanity. 911, it's an easy number to dial. Ooohhhh, better yet, I could call T, who lives in another town 30 minutes or more away, and ask him to come get me to take me to the hospital. Instead, I roll over and try to fall asleep.

3:00 am: I just want to die. Every time I roll over I'm reminded that my fever hasn't gone down any - the heat waves rising from the pillow are the big tip off. Hospital? Or wait for that dr's appt at 10:40. I decide again to wait for the dr's appt and drag my butt to the bathroom for another glass of water. Something has to help. Then back to bed. I wonder if the dr will send me to the hospital. I wonder if anyone would come visit me. Hell, would anyone even know I wasn't at home? At some point I fall asleep again.

Some early morning hour: a vague memory of weird dreams about cute medics telling me I should've called them. Yeah, I know. But at least it's better than nightmares about snakes. Also a vague memory of being bathed in sweat. Hmmm, I think I should wash my sheets.

7:45 am: I get up and send work an email letting them know I won't be in and am going to see a dr.

9:30 am: Who woulda thought a shower could feel soooooo good? I stood under that hot water for what seemed like forever. It was pure heaven. Ok, so there would be no carts rolling by the house carrying me away with the dead. At least not yet. Hey... I might even get out of this without spending time in the hospital. Just one more bonus.

10:40: I'm in the dr's office telling her my symptoms. Shockingly, she's on time for once. She checks my breathing and plays that little joke dr's love when people can't breath well..."Take a deep quickly exhale." Yeah, that's easy. She chuckles as I start to cough and says she figured that would happen since she heard the 'bronchial spasm' Go figure. Off she sends me to the X-Ray lab since she is concerned I've developed pneumonia. Great, just what I need. Another miracle and the X-Ray lab is almost empty. I'm the first one called in (woo hoo) she hands me a blue shirt thingy and tells me to strip from the waist up, put on the shirt, then wait until I'm called. Wow, will the fun ever end. Anyway, before long, I'm back in the dr's office. At this point I'm tired of the dizzy spells. But I want to know what's wrong and I want something to fix it. NOW. So I wait. When I get back in to see the dr, I find out I have bronchitis and possibly in the beginning stages of bronchial pneumonia. I leave with a prescription for antibiotics and a dr's note telling me to stay home for a week. Damn, now I have to cancel curling...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Realtors, familly and the search for MY perfect house

I'm tired of trying to sell my house. Yes, you may see a pattern here. I am tired tonight ;) Frustrated. Wanting to move on, but stuck where I am.

I found a house. A perfect little house for me. It's a wonderful 1.5 storey house in the SE. Not a bad area, original hardwood floors, a lot of work done on it. Perfect for me, if a bit small. But it's just me, and right now it's going to be just me for awhile. So do I need a huge house? Hell, I hate cleaning. It'll be nice to have 1 bathroom instead of three. The kitchen is a little small, compared to what I'm used to, but I think it would still be good. I just love the style of house.

But, apparently I'm wrong. It's old - 1947, if I remember right. Only two bedrooms so what will my family do if my brother AND parents come up at the same time. Well, let's see. If they'd like to consider my place their own personal hotel, I can charge per night and afford a better house for them. This is one thing I'm sure of. I love that old style of house. With the bedrooms in the "attic." Nice cozy little rooms with the slanted ceilings. So yes, it is the style of house I like. AND the style of house I'll buy if I can find one in my price range in decent shape. This one was both, even if it's at the top of my price range.

Now, Selling my house. Realtors call and I leave so they can come by and see the place. Sometimes they show, sometimes they apparently don't. But so one has offered on this house. Which I find disappointing and a small surprise. I love this house. It may not be my style, but it's a good house and the yard is amazing. OK, so all of the work was done by my ex, myself and our families. But still. It's pretty impressive overall. And not a lot of maintenance overall. It can't be too overpriced because a lot of people still come to see it. And the house is only 5 years old. So it's not like it's falling apart at the seams or anything.

But realtors complain that it backs onto cloverbar road. Well, let me tell you, that is one dead road most of the time. Sure there's some traffic during rush hour, but overall it's pretty quiet. I've had complaints about the cats, and even one realtor claim the house is a "real mess." Ok, I was home SICK that day. Sorry I had a cup of tea on the floor in the living room and a blanket on the couch. Trust me, after my trip looking at houses, that's NOTHING.

I looked at one 1.5 storey house over by the University. My god. The tenants never bothered leaving. There were dirty socks on the floor in the living room and sinks full of dishes. The bathroom mirror was a shard of whatever mirror existed there previously. But cat hair is a problem in MY house. Sheesh.

But hey, good news, another realtor showing the house tomorrow between 11:30 and 12:30, which means should I stay home from work again, I need to be out of the house for an hour again. Perfect when I get lightheaded and have a fever. Maybe I'll get a dr's appt during that time.

Until I have a good offer on this house, my realtor doesn't see the point of me putting an offer on any other houses. Which is fine, because there's only so long I can hold a house pending the sale of my house. But still. I'm ready to start moving on. It's time for me to start getting a fresh start, and having my own house is a big step in that.

On Wednesday, I go to the lawyer to go over the separation agreement and sign it. Another big step in starting over. This week could be a long week the way things are shaping up. I hope I'm healthy for the weekend so I can go out and do stuff instead of sitting here sick all the time.

I hate being sick

For the past month, I've been sick. Not just a little cough and sniffle. Sick. Now, I'm never sick. Never. Since I got my degree I can count the number of sick days I've taken. And I'm fairly certain the total for the past 8 years won't add up to the past month.

My problem? I just started a new job. I've been there less than three months. It's not a great time for me to be sick constantly. I thought I was over it. Coulda swore I was. Even had my voice back yesterday. LOL, I spent a week without a voice. How about that. Me...unable to talk. Worth a laugh, isn't it? Can I afford to call in sick again tomorrow? God, I know what I'd think - faking sick days to get some time off. But I'm not. I swear it. I would so rather be healthy and working than feeling like this!

Anyway, this morning at 9:30, my realtor calls to let me know someone wants to see the house at 11am. And I had no voice again at first and felt like I'd been hit by a truck, or a freight train. But, my parents are here and I've gotta get out of the house anyway so off we go for breakfast. Well, that was a bad idea. No appetite. Zero. Now, if you know me...that's odd. I enjoy a good meal, even better if it's french toast. MMmmmmmm french toast. But not today.

Now, I'm tired of this. It's been a month. I've taken 7 days off work for this crap and that's enough. Not to mention the mess it's making in some parts of my social life. People tend to avoid those who are sick. Can't say I blame them, to be honest.

I even tried going to a walk in clinic today. 45 min - an hour wait in a waiting room full of kids. Little walking, sniffling sources of even more illness. And it's clear my immune system is on vacation. Probably down in Mexico somewhere laughing at me. Sipping Margaritas and dancing on the tables. It is my own fault, I did put a lot of pressure on it to keep me healthy when I clearly wasn't interested in doing it on my own. It deserved the vacation, a little warning would've been nice though. And at least a post card. Maybe a sombrero and SOME indication when it'll be back preventing me from catching every bug that comes within 50 paces of me.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

He never thought I'd leave

OK, this didn't take's my first rant on my Ex. Yup...T.

Before I go too far back in time. Let's start with the separation. We left the counsellor that day and he dropped me off at the dealership to pick up my car - getting a warranty inspection done on it. Funny the things I'll never forget. I finished up there and drove home. I found a suitcase by the door and my ex packing up. At this point it was a temporary separation and he was off to find a hotel.

That was hard for me. For all the hurt I felt for everything that happened, I was watching someone I loved walk out the door. Yes, I loved him. Enough to be married to him? Probably not. My mistake and I won't hold him responsible for that.

Shortly before this point, he and I had had a...well...discussion that lasted for a couple hours. He told me that night that he worried about me if things ended between he and I. He didn't think I could take care of myself. Nice huh? Now I see that as an attempt to scare me into staying with him. I am a strong person and only time will tell how truly strong I can be.

Anyway, in October, he left and that started an incredibly turbulent roller coaster ride of emotions for me. Happiness, guilt, hurt. Friends have told me they haven't seen me this happy in years. Yet they aren't there when I have to deal with telling family that I've separated. How about my grandparents? They don't see the tears when I have to answer endless questions from my parents on how things are going. If I'm still in counselling with him, why we're selling the house... They don't have to deal with hearing that my Dad said "this is your uncle T, too bad you'll never get a chance to know him," when T met my new nephew for the first time. How's that for guilt? Look Erin, it's not just you and T involved. You're taking him out of our lives too.

Anyway, backing up again... one night after the separation, he came to the house and we talked. I don't really remember that conversation anymore. I just remember the sudden realization that he felt he never had to worry about what I wanted because he never thought I'd leave him. So I said that to him.

And he agreed.

Imagine knowing that the person you loved and compromised sooooooo much for over 7 years, never cared enough about you to just want to make you happy. No, he was always more concerned with manipulating you so you agreed to what HE wanted...all the while promising next time...

We'll pay off the boat and then travel.
We'll pay off the fifth wheel and then travel.

Oh, he always had rational reasons for it. We want to start a family. If we have to camp in a tent we won't go and we won't use the boat.

And don't get me started on the boat. A purchase made when I was working for a start up company that was in the process of cutting our wages... But sure, let's throw a boat on credit and hey... we'll pay for it with MY account. Yup, that and my car. No pressure Erin. Don't worry about losing your job...But when it all comes down to it...what I wanted never mattered to him. Making me happy was never a priority as long as he was happy.

It explains a lot. It explains why when my brother was in the Tom Baker Cancer centre in Calgary, T went hunting and left me there visiting my brother alone. It explains why the first year we were in Edmonton, he went hunting in Saskatchewan instead of going to my company christmas party with me. For a company I worked for for 3 months, but never in their office as I was contracted out to another company. It explains why he would use his 3 weeks vacation every year to go hunting... for three long weeks every year; plus weekend after weekend.

All because he never thought I'd be strong enough to walk away.

But I did walk away.

I am strong enough.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Sugar and spice...about being nice

Well, there it is. Nice. Isn't that what all little girls should be? Sugar and spice and everything nice. Don't offend. Follow the rules and meet expectations.

Well...that's me. I hate hurting people. I've spent my life camoflaging whatever backbone I might have in an effort to blend, conform and just be a nice person. Because really, shouldn't we want everyone to like us all the time?

Well, I'm learning now that isn't the person I like. OK, I can make the rest of the world happy, and I've been trying to for far too many years. But at what cost? Making the rest of the world happy is only costing me in the long run. So now I need to seek that balance. Make others happy, but in doing so...make me happy. Stop giving in and letting myself be hurt just so I can please someone else.

I have friends who are trying to teach me to be evil. One is my cat, Tigger. He's a grey tabby and basically he's only in this for himself. If I forget to fill that food bowl before I climb into bed, there's no way I'm getting any sleep. Sure, after that bowl is filled, he curls up by my head and purrs until he and I both fall asleep. And if that bowl is filled when I go to bed after curling, he crawls under the covers and helps me warm my butt up. When I'm sick, he curls up on me and makes sure I don't move. When I need a hug, he snuggles right up to me and makes sure I know I'm not alone. LOL, maybe I should stop my search for the perfect guy. If only Tigg were able to cook and clean. And a little less hairy...

My first rant...I'm so proud.

Well, hi there.

Hmmm, I took the time to set up this blog and get started with a great rant...then the blank page and an equally blank mind. What to write about? Will anyone read it? Will anyone care? Do I care? But since I was looking forward to my first rant... here it is.

Pink. I'm not sure who decided pink was a color, and even worse that it ever should be made into an article of clothing, but it's everywhere. I went out at lunch in search of some retail therapy - I need lots, but can only afford so little - and all I found were shelves coated in pepto-bismol tinted clothing. Apparently once the fashion gods have determined the acceptable "color" range for the year, we must all conform to that and buy candy colored pieces of fabric that at best look acceptable on little girls.

Then again, with little girls dressing...far too provocatively, I'm left to wonder why, at age 30, I find myself thinking the same things I'm sure my parents thought when I flipped through 80's fashion magazines... "there's no way in hell I'd allow a child of mine to wear that kind of clothing!" So perhaps it's a good thing that I have no children (more on THAT later).

Back to pink and the fashion gods. Shockingly enough, people are different. We have different coloring and not all colors look good on all people. As consumers we need to stop believing that who we are is determined by the color of clothing we wear. Perhaps when that day comes, and I'm shopping for something that looks good on ME, I'll be able to find something in red or navy or any other dark color. Something that makes me look great instead of washed out and just another cookie cutter version of what someone thinks is "in" for the season. I refuse to buy pink, wear pink and even the horribly bright versions of orange and turquoise that are one the shelves make me wonder what women are thinking.

Perhaps I should cave and join a friend of mine in Luau Fridays. Break out the hawaiian shirts and get lei'd. I'm fairly certain I haven't seen a pink hawaiian shirt...recently.