Friday, October 26, 2007

Postcard day.

Getting in my car this morning I couldn't believe that I am actually getting used to being in the car at 7am and not in between the covers, pretending I didn't have to get up soon.

It helps that we don't play snooze tag. That was a horrible habit to break, but looking back, it seems so senseless to torture yourself with the snooze tag game, bribing yourself for 9 more minutes of sleep, and altering the time so you weren't quite sure how fast your clock was to help motivate you out of bed. I guess when you realize that if you don't get in to work you don't get paid, it becomes enough motivation that you get your ass out of bed and shimmy up to the coffee gods to help pry those eyes open and make sure that you are alert enough for the ride in.

So, about the postcard moment. Today dawned crisp and clear with a full harvest moon slowly sinking in the midnight blue sky. It was a beautiful morning, with the painted skies of the east, and my breath hanging in the air. I love fall - the changing colours, the crispness (when we actually dry out some), and the unexpected warmth when the sun comes out. My new work place has so many more outside spaces, and windows, and better places for cheaper coffee (for that 3pm pick me up to get me through the day). I am getting out for more walks, and my legs warm up by the time I am halfway to my office from the walk in from the car. Quite a novel concept - I actually am aware of passing is kind of hard not to be when you get in to your car and it is still dark out!!!!

T G I F. And I know I am in the honeymoon period of getting to know new people at work, but I am with a good crew. We have a good vibe going on, and some laughs. I think we are pulling together as a team, and I have a new friend in the deal. Much more and better than I expected. Plus I got paid today, and the increase is nice. Of course, this coincides with the need for minor car repairs and tires. Funny how that works out.

Tonight Ken went to hockey and Brandon and I hooked up with some old friends at The Grill. Not nearly as good as our dinner at the Cannery a few weeks ago (how do you compare an Italian meal (I do pasta well, so does Ken) to a romantic gourmet seafood dinner, the view, and the food we enjoyed over the several hours we feasted) but the ambiance was good and they were well geared towards kids. I have forgotten what it is like to drive downtown - the traffic, the bloody construction, and the thinking that you found a shortcut which really takes you in and out through the west end in a damned Gordian knot. I also pulled off a parking stunt - I hate how little street parking there is (or any kind of parking) in the city, and being someone who hates to pay to park, and never has cash on them for a valet, I scored a sweet spot about a block away from the restaurant. Of course it was permit only. Which I have never had. I did however cross my fingers and hope that the parking gestapo had far better things to do than to ticket a car on a side ride, a little off the beaten track on a friday night in the city. Nothing like that big sigh of relief when you check the dash and you have gotten away with your parking job!!! And free parking to boot!!!

Traffic sucked coming home. A few events going on, and traffic was almost like rush hour. At 10:30 pm!!!! WTF??

I was also relieved that today is Friday. Brandon has not been sleeping well this week and it has made it a really long. long, long week for me. Tuesday night he was up so much I felt like a mack truck had plowed through me. I had a full on nap that day. I was knackered. I have been starting to put him down just after 8, you know, that process of a bath and bottle and rock and b'feed (although that is just about done now, sigh), and comfort, and books... and close to 10 is when he nods off. Then the wake ups with the teething, etc. And our colds (yes, I am going on a good whinge) but the nice spin off about going out tonight - he was asleep in the truck within 5 minutes of pulling away from the curb, and when I got home, it was about 2 minutes to sleep after I pulled off his pants and pulled up the covers.

Brilliant. The quiet time is glorious. I am going to go and dive in to my book. Tomorrow I am going to try to update Brandon's blog after we go out searching for the great pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It's been damn hard to sit down and compose a few thoughts. Just been too damn busy.

It has been pouring. Literally buckets full of rain. Yesterday when the rains stopped and we had a clear, sunny day... it is hard to describe how it smelled - of course everything had that fresh smell after a rain, but there was something else - the ground was sodden, and almost a rich, fertile smell. Wet ground. Fallen leaves. Humidity. An expected day where the mercury goes up over 20 Celsius. And the incredibly short days of Autumn. The trees are beautiful - a symphony of colours and potentially striking pictures to take, if those rains hold off and the sun comes out.

Hopefully this weekend we will make it out to an old fashioned pumpkin patch - we made it to a smaller version of one a few weeks back and took Brandon on his first train ride, but now I want to go and get our feet dirty and wander around the great orange squashes.

I love this time of the year, and I guess I see it through slightly different eyes. Ever since my friend Kelz came over and spent time here (she is originally from Oz) and seeing the changing seasons through her eyes (there not being much changes down south where she is from) and watching the wonder as she gathered and then sent home different shapes and colours... I make sure I take the time to enjoy the fleeting splashes of colour, different than spring, no less lovely.

I like my new job. It is a breath of fresh air. I can't believe just how stressful my last job was - and not because my job was rocket science, but what it had become. Change is supposed to be as good as a vacation some times, and this job change has done wonders for my soul. I like the new environment, my broom closet office is more than adequate, and I have been left alone to slowly take in my new job, get the lay of the land, and feel good about where I am at before their version of chaos starts. Although after talking to my coworker (whom ironically enough came from a similar situation and had to take the same kind of leap of faith coming off of a maternity leave), I think that their version of chaos, and what I have gone through in the past are vastly different and this job will continue to be a cake walk compared to the shit I used to deal with.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Strange Books.

I felt mildly guilty for not getting to the book I was supposed to read for my book club this month. I got over it, with everything else that has been going on.

I have picked up a few interesting reads of note in the last while. I am trying to read more Canadian lit in an attempt to balance off some of the more grisly titles that I have been going for.

I find it interesting what is considered to be "literature" and what is "mainstream" and what is considered to be "pocketbooks". I guess the thing about books is that there are always a range of opinions out there - I like looking at some of the big booksellers websites and seeing what other folks have to say about what I am reading - I generally tend to do this after I finish, or if I am having a particularly hard time getting through the book in front of me to see if it is worth the time to finish. Generally I do finish what I start so I can have a full and vocal opinion about the work, but if it is that bad or just not my thing, I let it go. Kind of like Lamb's She's Come Undone. Very popular. As far as I am concerned, complete shit and not my cup of tea. I don't think I got through more than 40 pages of that one. And the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, I have tried this one a few times, only to fall off the wagon about 100 pages in. I can't see a third or fourth attempt being tried.

I read the Summer of my Amazing Luck by Toews. It is a quirky, somewhat funny, look in to single parent life in the wilds of Winnipeg. I had no idea of what to expect from this book, but it was a good read, and a pretty fast one at that. This book gives voice to a story you don't often hear, it is a story of survival, and it draws you in.

I also just finishing reading Fall on your Knees by MacDonald. What a strange book. What an incredibly fucked up book at times. There were times I wondered if I could make it through the 700 odd pages of this tome, and times I raced through the pages, wondering what could possibly happen next. Was it as good as some of the critics would have you believe? I don't think so. Is it a complete write-off and waste of time like others suggest?? Nope. It lies somewhere in the middle. There are parts of this book that are beautifully written, and the characters are remarkable, even if they aren't always likable. This is a dark, sad novel at times. It deals with really dark topics - like incest, and rape, and death, sexuality, twisted familial relationships, but it is also about survival, and hope and multiculturalism, and growing up resilient on the east coast of Canada. At times I was shocked and appalled by this book, there were a few things that really didn't need to be written about, but I guess that is the sign of (at the very least) a provocative book. I reacted strongly at times, I was pissed off and frustrated, and I also felt sympathy and sadness, and I think I even laughed a few times. I was relieved when this book was done, to get away from some of the images, and to wonder about why so much Canadian literature is so sad, or deals with such fucked up themes. I couldn't help but recall this one wrong scene of a boy and a cow in another book (Cure for Death by Lightning, a disappointingly weird BC book) and question this twisted thread that seems to run through some so'called big L literary books. I can't come out and say that this is a good or great book, but it is well crafted, it definitely has a story to tell, it is an interesting read, it is hard to stay neutral about this book, and it isn't bad. You could definitely spark off a good conversation about this read, and perhaps at the end of the day, that makes this a worthy read.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A cold.

Last night I felt truly pathetic. I got hammered by the first cold I have had in ages. My head was pounding, I had the attention span of gnat, I couldn't breath, I had a lovely red (and somewhat tender) nose like Rudolf, and I felt overall lousy.

I felt like a pathetic whiner with a mere cold, and frankly, I half enjoyed that awareness - only as much as I hoped like hell that the cold wasn't about to take a turn for the worse.

I was even in bed by 9'o'clock. Apparently I needed a really good sleep because I woke up this morning feeling at least marginally better, and when I got home tonight, I felt like I was a little more on the ball to interact with Brandon.

The new job is going well - a lot less stressful than what I have been dealing with, and although it is completely different (while having similar undercurrents to what I was doing) there is a big learning curve to learn what my institution is all about. I am getting there - the big picture is starting to make sense, and come next week, I will more than likely be diving in to my training feet first. I am even working with people my own age!!!!! It is a very quiet office, so me and the woman I will be working closely with have already bonded because we are about the same age, with toddlers, and booming voices. Plus we both took a leap of faith and made the jump right after a mat leave to come to this new place of employment. Nice to work with someone who truly gets where you are coming from - a bit of a novel feeling when your next closest coworker is about 20 years older than you.... and we both shared a laugh because we have both been told we are "too loud"... which is a genetic gift and one you can try to tone down, but seems to break free and loose every now and then... It is nice to not have as much customer contact and hide out and take the time to learn my job - my daycare lady made a comment that I am already looking less stressed - she had no idea this morning what was running through my head, but I guess she is right. I am not running myself ragged at work, and even though I am the newbie, I think I am relaxing in to my new role... although there have been a few moments where I feel like a lost child looking for a parent, or like a deer in the headlights.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Testing something out.

So, on a whim, I am making this my avatar here. Just cause.


It's been a strange holiday of sorts. Watched the coed game friday night, did some stuff around the house saturday, and then we went to Ken's men's hockey game, and then to his side's family dinner for dessert - they didn't do a turkey - they ordered in chinese food??!!! So it was a strange evening in a way, it didn't feel like a special "holiday", more like a social family gathering. Today I was up to my ears in laundry (now that I wear more than plaid pants around the house it seems like I go through my entire wardrobe on a weekly basis) and food shopping, and making apple pies. My side family dinner was actually better than they have been - more laughter, more relaxed, and Brandon is a great distraction and a lot of fun. Plus we get to talk about the upcoming wedding, and that is always interesting too.

Been odd times with my ma (again). Some of the things that come out of her mouth, or the thing she says and/or does without thinking through floor me. Today, I was cleaning in the kitchen after dinner and overheard snippets of a conversation she was having with my Aunt and Ken's mom, and she was talking about my gran, and how she is doing since her hip replacement. Well, these were updates I haven't even heard yet (not that I even caught everything)- it really pissed me off. Why do I have to beg my mom for information about my gran?? I am just going to say fuck it, and get the info for myself. It bugs me that she doesn't call me (within reason) after she talks to my Aunt on the island to fill me in - the thought doesn't even seem to cross her mind - yup, thanks mom. Grrrrrr. As you can tell, that just pisses me off. I guess ultimately, I am an adult and have to take charge of what matters to me, and if I don't like how things are being handled, so it is time to do something about it.

It bothers me that I haven't been feeling all that close to my mom. Brandon has done amazing things for my relationship with my dad, but not with my mom. It has driven us further apart at times over the last 2 years. I have talked to a few friends, and this doesn't seem to be all that unique of a phenomena, but it isn't easy. I guess your mom has ideas on how to raise kids, and well, you are just figuring out your own, and then there is all the rest of the baggage you have too from growing up together and being moms and daughters. Not easy relationships all the time. I'm not quite sure how to make it better, or how to ride it out, or how to bridge the gap at times. I know I am telling half stories here, but there have been a bunch of little things - like my mom asked me to come up the other day (we co-own the house together with separate spaces) and talk about some financial stuff, I sit down on the couch next to my dad to say hey, I am here for the talk and he looks at me and asks me, "what talk." Then I look like an ass when I ask him if he has talked to mom about it yet.. and then the financial stuff, well, my stuff was done 3 weeks ago and their part is in limbo - it'll get done tomorrow (heard that a few times). Well we need that stuff done to get a few other projects done. It is hard not being in control and waiting on other folks to do their part, especially when it is your folks!

Then there was a late invitation for Ken's mom to come to dinner. It became a bit of a "big deal", which is so strange, and ended up so wonderfully in the end. It was a bit of a trauma during the week, but I am glad that things worked out because she does fit in with our crew, and as far as I am concerned, we are all family, so the more the merrier. I look forward to the days when we have a bigger place and we can really entertain, even if it is just dinner parties. 6 people here in the living room and you have a crowd and not everyone has a seat. It was weird how long it took to get something happening with Ken's side of the family too, anticlimactic in a sense. So I took the bull by the horns to at least settle on the time and place for their side Christmas dinner since my side gets Christmas this year (ah yes, that Christmas dance of splitting time between families... I wonder how long that will work for us until we just say, hey, we are doing our thing, come to us...or who knows..)

I think I am just babbling at this point. Typing to see myself think on paper. It must be some kind of post-turkey-something-or-other.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


It's been a damn long week.

So much to say, so little time to sit and just hammer away the keyboard and post some meaning(ful) bits on the old blog.

4 more days of the old job after tomorrow's holiday, and then in for a whole new cup of tea. Well, not so new, but new location, new employer, some new responsibilities, and perhaps that chance for much, much more. It will be interesting to see what a year will do and where I/we are at a year from now.

It was good, got to catch up with a few g'friends on the phone this week - and I am trying to catch up with the rest and not doing so well. The "old" job is getting marginally better - I am getting more of a chance to get caught up, and this week I will wrap up my job and attempt to leave it "in good standing". I don't believe in burning any bridges. I think it will be a few lunches, and on Friday they are going to do a bit of an open house so people can swing by and see me off. 10 years!!! I can't believe it was 10 years ago, as a wet behind the ears kid I started out in my present career.

Now that is a real wake up call that a) I need some new clothes because I know some of the clothes I used to wear 10 years ago are still in my closet and b) Change is not such a bad thing, apparently it is also linked to growth c) with new clothes, comes new shoes! YAY! Hell, I am even considering a jacket - the leather jacket I have is a hand me down from my grandpa... perhaps now we can swing it and get me one that fits me... and no matter how cool that jacket is, it has never been a perfect fit....

Man, sometimes it just smacks you in the face that you make do with what you have, make some shopping excursions, but with an eye on the price tag and the coupons, and the sales to make every dollar stretch to its limit. I think I will try to cut loose a bit in the next few weeks up and pick up some current items - like funky shoes that fit and don't make my feet hurt like hell by the end of the day, that I didn't buy on ebay (that almost fit but you can't really take back).

This whole week feels like a blur of extra hours (trying to not feel the pinch of paying back the overtaken vacation as much) and my last night shifts, and trying to keep our house together, and god only knows what else.