Thursday, August 31, 2006

Wow. She's nuts. So am I

No. Nothing bad. Not really anyway (an update at the end of this post).

I had re-read all the comments on the blog last week. I had read snippets of what I wrote. Today I read the whole thing from start to finish - all of my posts.

Holy shit

What a fucking nightmare!

I didn't even remember some of that stuff.

I'm mind boggled. Holy shit. Stunned.

I going to copy and format it into a small bound publication for myself. I intend to put it into the drawer on my bedside table.

Yesterday I went to the house to write out some post-dated cheques for the kids ethnic dance stuff. While I was there Mrs_C opened a conversation about the kids. And then school. And how she was relating to them. And how she had realised something about herself. And her need to re-engage our son who is so angry with her. And something she'd read in one of her Dr. Phil books. And how that reflected on our relationship. That she realised that she wanted me to re-affirm every day that I loved her totally. And that she would test me every day on how much I loved her. And get angry at me when I didn't meet her mark. And how that was wrong. And how she was changing and going to change and how I should come home.

Yep. It took less than 5 minutes while I was writing out the cheques.

Mrs_C tried to get me to re-commit to the "make it work" scenario. The "committed to making it work" scenario. I refused.

I told her that her actions spoke louder than words. That she hadn't changed. She said "How should I change? All you have to do is tell me."

I informed her that I had told her last fall (2005). Just leave me be. Don't analyse. Don't play psychiatrist. Don't talk about the relationship. Just live and be happy. Don't pressure me to make you feel special and that she is the one and only every moment of my existence. I told her that when I first agreed to stay fall 2005. Even when she was silent there was an undertone to her language and posture.

She's never actually left things to heal. Always picking at the wound.

I told her that even today she couldn't help herself and was on it like a dirty shirt in 5 minutes. And that she was keeping me from both eating and my exercise because she just couldn't help herself. And that I can't live with her.

She kept trying to engage me by bringing up yet another way of approaching the same old topic.

My son got a wasp bite in the afternoon. His arm was swollen from what the doctor thought was an infection. She had a prescription. I kept telling her that instead of talking about our relationship and re-hashing old ground she should go get the prescription. She kept on with the relationship talk. For a total of 20 minutes while our son had a swollen arm.

I got angry and I told her to stop it. To just drop it and be responsible as a parent. That it was inappropriate to have any conversation like this while our son was in any danger. That I was going to go eat and work-out. And I left.

She called me in tears at 10:45 at night as I was cleaning and preparing my lunch for the next day. She asked me if she could come over. If I would just hold her. That she had not place to turn emotionally. I snarled in my reponses at first (yes - at first). Quickly she broke me down. Tears do that to me.

I agreed she could come over with two provisos: 1) no sex or asking for sex (she's tried a bunch of times) 2) maximum 15 minutes.

I talked for 10 minutes and then told her I needed to finish my stuff. She could stay and stand in the kitchen until I was done. She blathered on with high pressure stuff about how bad the kids wanted us to get back together. Anecdote here and anecdote there. Part of the problem was that my kids had already briefed me on lots of these conversations and their version was different. My son has warned me all along about how he overhears (listens in on) his Mother's versions of conversations he has with her and how they bear no resemblance to what he said.

She didn't push me directly like earlier.

I finished my stuff and asked her to leave. She did.

Today I thought about the idea of going back and the illness it brought to me. The vomit feeling in my guts.

That's part of the reason I went back to what I had posted - to read the stuff I wrote describing the environment in our home before I left.

I thought about Mrs_C's whining and prying and levering on the issue of the effect of the break-up on the children.

And it brought this comment to mind:

"Your children, no matter how you've tried to veil the truth from them, realize the hard truth about your relationship. They're taking in every word, look, and move. They're learning how adults interact with each other in intimate relationships.

Like it or not, they're learning how to be like you and your wife. This will continue unless you show the strength I know you have, make a stand, and set healthy boundaries"

"Remember, I work with kids whose parents mimic more than a handful of your wife's behaviors. I see the scars each and every year in a new group of kids. Sure, television, music, movies, and gossip rags CAN contribute to the creation of personalities, fighting styles, and various other behaviors.

However, after working with the population I do for many years, I can tell you with great certainty that parents and homelife are the true deciding factors."

Monday, August 28, 2006

One Year

One year ago on August 28th I told Mrs_C that I had been looking for an apartment. 6 days after telling her we should separate.

One year ago I said "I've had enough".

One year ago I agreed to see if we could make it work.

One year ago Mrs_C had just come back from a walk with her Mother and Sister and they were all looking daggers at me.

The rage I feel is immense.

I contain it.

There is no good found in rage.

Channel it.

8 miles. 3 times a week. 8 miles. Full ramp height.

Turn my rage - my anger - and my fear - into will. The will to transform my body. Transform my body that fought against me with excrutiating convulsive muscle spasms for years. Master my body. Become at one - at peace with it.

Channel the rage.

While they were away on holidays Mrs_C told my children (they told me) that I had a pile of money stashed somewhere in preparation to leave her. That she would have to sell the house, and I had money stashed somewhere. They would lose their rooms - including daughter's just redone room (I knew there was an agenda behind that piece of renovation - but she got me on this one - I thought it was just a straight "look what a nice thing I did for you". but Mrs_C is more sly than that simple bit of bribery). They would lose their rooms - and I had money stashed somewhere.

That I have a girlfriend. A girlfriend that I have made plans with. That I will move in with in the spring. That Mrs_C would have to sell the house, and they would lose their rooms and their tree fort (that I built for them) so that I could move in with my girlfriend that I am having an affair with. That all the things I said about her were lies made up to hurt her and obscure the truth of my plans with my girlfriend.

My children defended me.

I am going to use a term I don't use very often. I don't think I have written it much (if ever) in this blog, and I have used it verbally maybe half a dozen times in the last 18 years.


Fucking bitch.

Fucking bitch says that to my children and then has the temerity to tell me she loves me and wants to get back together. That she wants me. Desires me. That I am the only man she wants to be with.

My children have asked me to not tell their mother that they tell me things that she says. I slipped once and it bit my daughter - put her in a very awkward spot. I won't slip again.

Mrs_C said some of those things above to me - but not quite that directly. I subsequently got the report from my kids. I used and opportunity to challenge her on it a couple of days later - saying she'd said those things to me. She said "Oh. I was angry. I didn't really mean it." You know - like she didn't mean it all those times she threatened me with her leaving me. With her taking my house and my children - because she was the woman and she had a good wage and I had nothing. When I didn't know our laws and judicial guidelines and their protections on a non-gender basis.

One year later I drank icced cappucinos at an outdoor cafe with my co-worker, then went out for Thai food with him and my friends at another wonderful outdoor restaurant. Neither restaurant I could ever even get Mrs_C into.

One of my friends asked me "So, are you happy?"

I nodded emphatically (i had a mouthful of food). The other friend said "Look - it's a [cadbury] bobble head!" Much laughter. I guess you had to be there...

One year ago I was alone in my own home.

As Mrs_C predicted, one year later I am alone in my apartment.

One year later I have hope.

My children will be coming to stay with me next week for a full week.

One year later - I will sleep well tonight.

One year later - I look forward to a new day.

Friday, August 25, 2006

I Think She Finally Gets It (or, alternate title: this could get icky...)

Excerpt from telephone conversation with Mrs_C:

Mrs_C: [Son] told me you were going in to work this afternoon. I thought when you said you called in sick these two days you wanted to spend time with me.

C: No - we stayed up too late the first night discussing logistics of the split for me to want to go to work.

Mrs_C: But you spent all day yesterday with me.

C: We were discussing the minutiae of separation and what led us in our relationship to the point we we would need to split.

Mrs_C: But you came over to watch the movie last night.

C: I told you that I wanted to spend time with the kids, and I don't have a DVD player yet.

Mrs_C: But you brought treats and brought a special one for me.

C: I brought soft drinks and popcorn. You can't eat popcorn, so I brought you rice cakes. This would be interpreted, how?

Excerpt 2:

Mrs_C: I thought you were playing a game with me. That you moved out to make a point.

C: And in the last 18 years, when have I ever played even one game? When have I ever relied on anything but straight words to communicate any idea? So if past behaviour is the most likely predictor of future or present behaviour, then the likelihood I'm currently playing a game is?

Mrs_C: And I wasn't listening...

Excerpt 3:

Mrs_C: You've been stringing me along for the last year.

C: Uh, excuse me. I've been rather direct on each and every occasion. You were the one that consistently asked me to stay and work at it longer. And I agreed. That hardly constitutes stringing. At each point when you have forced an assessment, mine has been the same - it isn't working.

Mrs_C: Yeah... I guess you did say it straight every time, but I would try to convince you to stay or play some game on you. I guess I always knew, and that's why I went a little nuttier - a little more over the edge every time. But I have tried to change. I have. You've noticed it.

C: Your behaviour never changed until your personal well being was sufficiently threatened. You didn't really change until after I moved out. If I was going to come back it would be forever. And you know that. And the liklihood of the change sticking would be - what?

Cadbury and Cadbury's boss/friend:

C: She always does this. She knew I was going to work this afternoon. She knew I would be heading out the door at about 12:45 and she calls and does some kind of spazzy thing.

C's Boss: It's called manufacturing a crisis. They don't even know they're doing it. It's all about self-centredness. It's a behaviour that's well documented in alcoholics, adult children of alcoholics, and people who have suffered in disfunctional families like family violence [info: boss's father was a violent alcoholic]. She knew you were leaving for work, so this way she could be more important than you going to work.

C: [silence] I'm just reeling here [pause] no - really - I'm bowled over - that makes so much sense. Everything is sliding into place on that one - it's like a Rubik's cube - all the colours on one side have suddenly lined up

[other conversation about personality disfunction and alcoholism and such]

C's Boss: No, [cadbury], you are doing the right thing here... Stick with your course.

Read my post on healthy breakfasts on the other blog

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Menu

Yes, I know it's not plated in the most spectacular way, but I was in a hurry and I had to make it able to be stakced in a normal domestic fridge.


Smoked Turkey (yes - I know the contrast on this pic makes it look horrifying)


Zero Fat Homemade Split Pea and Vegetable Soup


Salad (garden: tomatoes, green onions, and parsley; store lettuce)


Cucumber, Bean Sprouts, and Garden Tomato plate


Brown Rice




Carrots (we had some in the garden, but I didn't feel like washing and scrubbing that day)


Meatballs (in case my daughter wanted some... she loves meatballs)

And the coffee maker...

It made my day to hear that they had sort of stumbled in through the door, and Daughter opened the fridge and yelled out in a most excited voice "MOM! WE HAVE FOOD!!!"

They got back into town earlier than I expected, so when I went to drop daughter renewed library books off, they were home. I stayed to eat with them and listen to their stories.

It turns out Mrs_C did have a small can of really crappy coffee stashed in a cupboard. Her Mother hates the premium stuff I/we buy and brought a can of crap once.

More commentary on their vacation tomorrow.

[Later Edit]
Yes, I know I'm wallowing in this. But it was such a resounding success that I had to share it. They hadn't eaten since 2pm and they arrived home around 9pm. The kids ate huge amounts - every last bean sprout. And they all enjoyed it becuase they had been eating heavy Greek food and road food for the previous 10 days.

I'm just really delighted when ideas work well. I anticpated a need and a scenario and was exactly correct in my delivery. "Getting it right" makes me so happy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Patience and Prey

Somewhere in North America today there is a right-wing fink looking for a job.

They are looking for a job because I spent almost 2 years waiting for them to make a miss-step. I have been baiting my prey for just about 2 years. Patiently. Never exposing myself. Never letting on they were being lured.

Where I live we have programs that feed children who don't have enough to eat. We feed them in the schools. It is our philosophy that the best way out of poverty and off of welfare is a job. You can only get a decent job with an education. Kids can't learn if they are hungry.

Therefore the first step to beating poverty is to feed children and break the cycle.

This right-wing fink and the right-wing lobby group this person works for say that their tax dollars shouldn't go to feed kids whose parents should be feeding them, and that it's not their responsibility or fault that these kids are hungry. So the program should be cut and taxes reduced (we have almost the lowest personal taxes in our country).

In my world having the lowest child poverty rate in North America (preferably the world) is one of the highest goals to aspire toward.

This fink says that we should move away from our current health care system where the government pays for everything (well, we pay our own dental, and for the first $800 per year in medication [unless you are too poor to afford it (income sliding scale) - then the government will pick it up as well]) and move to a user pay system. This person says that we should start by removing the lower income top-ups so that everyone can be "equal" under the system. When asked about the kids that would hurt (for a measly $42 million a year) this person says - they have no responsibility that these kids' parents won't support their kids.

And the list goes on.

I caught the asshole - saying that schools should be allowed to racially segregate if they want to. That it is the school's choice - the parents choice.

Not religious school mandates (which we have), but racial.

I got him.

2 years waiting.



this post will probably disappear later because it reveals a fair bit about what I do

you can understand that is potentially sensitive.

Preparing For Their Arrival

They're coming home today. The kids. Mrs_C.

It's an 8.5 hour trip if only one stop long enough to get gas. With meal stops and bathroom breaks - longer. It took them 10-11 hours to go there from leaving to arrival.

I may puke. I'm at work and I'm thinking I may leave early.

They're coming home. I want to see the kids, but I dread dealing with Mrs_C. My mind is made up, but I have such dread and fear around the subject of being harshly direct (not rude, though) about there being no chance in hell we will ever live together again.

I've been sloughing and avoiding the pain. For years really. The confrontation. Confrontation? I dunno. The wail of anguish. The tears. What will the kids say? Specifically daughter.

I know I'm justified, but I can't stand the pain I know I will cause.

There's almost no food in the fridge over at the house. I threw out much of what was left in the fridge after they left for holidays. Not that there was a huge amount in it anyway. It smells a little bad. I was going to clean it yesterday, but that's not my fridge anymore.

I bought food for them. I know that she won't make much of anything when she gets back. She'll be "too tired". I was the one who got everyone fed and watered after a trip. The kids will have to scrounge. They'll end up eating crackers or dry linguine (they're kids, what can i say...). Or maybe some of the buns that are left in the freezer from before I left. Or she'll pick one cucumber from the garden, or something.

As I wander around the house while they're gone - I feed and water the dog, walk the dog, I water all the plants indoor and out, I did my laundry (avoiding paying $1.25 per machine per load at the apartment) - as I wander, I notice all the elements of life there are gone. They were gone before they left too.

The house has turned much like Mrs_C's apartments before we were married.


They look like a furnished apartment or a hotel room that is waiting for someone to move in. All mess is confined to two areas - a table downstairs and their desks in their rooms.

I don't live there anymore.

I stayed up late last night cooking for their arrival home. They will be tired - they may or may not be hungry (kids are always hungry), but something is always needed on arrival home.

Both son and daughter phoned me on the weekend before they left (without knowledge of the other's call) to complain that there was no food. There was food - but we're talking kids here - scroungable food. I described some of that previously in: Monday, July 10, 2006 - Sunday Morning Coffee With Mrs_C

I tried to plan a menu that would be light enough after road food.

I've made a home made split pea-tomato-carrot soup, a bean sprout and cucumber wedges plate, salad, I rescued some frozen smoked turkey slices I had put in the freezer in late may (ziploc - their still good), and cut some canteloupe. There were some whole grain cibatti sour dough buns left in the freezer so I will have those available as well. I think I prepared something else, but I can't remember. I will plate it and put it under plastic wrap in the fridge after work.

I noticed she was out of coffee. Well, there's only one scoop left in the bag. I didn't buy any. Not buying her coffee mad me happy. Why? For an example read: This is getting beyond stupid posted Monday, May 15, 2006. The short version is that Mrs_C would go through an inordinate amount of premium coffee (at $15/lb) - wasting whole pots at a time - multiple times in a day. She has been known to go through a lb in 4 days on a long weekend - mostly through wasted pots. And then she would give me shit for 1) being "always out buying coffee" 2) spending too much money on coffee - saying she didn't need to have premium coffee - regular stuff was "good enough" 3) on having lousy coffee when I bought something other than the premium brand - and when I bought some regular stuff for her and my own bag of premium she would drink mine not hers - and when confronted not have a good answer.

I got quite a level of cruel satisfaction knowing that Mrs_C would be out of coffee on her first morning back after a 10 hour road trip. But she'll probabaly hop over to Shoppers Drug Mart and get some in the evening because she'll want some on arrival home.

But I can still bask in my small moment of evil-doing in not buying her any for her convenience. If I were truly cruel I would throw out her filters - but she'd use a napkin or something, and then I would have committed a sin of commission, not omission... (for all you fellow catholics out there). I told myself that I would never be actively mean to her, but that I would allow her to deal with her own, uh, ways - and not rescue her. Especially not pre-emptively rescue her. Like buying coffee because I know she's out.

That must sound soooooo petty.

But fuck it. If I won't be mean or retributive in a big way, I can still do it about some little things.

They're still coming home tonight.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Too Nice A Guy

I ran into some friends today. One of them was a woman whom I went out with years ago. The other was a woman that I tried to get to go out with me for about 6 years (I'm nothing if not tenacious...). I had actually introduced these two ladies and they became fast friends. We all had a relatively ribald and positive sexual tension laced co-relationship - we all had a sort of proprietary interest in the others and would provide colour commentary on each other's choices in partners and exploits. The woman I dated is designated K, and the woman who would not go out with me is designated B. I was also a convenient, um, uh, "friend" for K in the years after we broke up before getting married (in periods we were both without a "steady".

I had not seen them in years. They both moved out of town. I found out that B was working in town right now on a contract (she lives a couple of hours away normally. K is on the west coast. K had kept in contact with B and since they were in the same location they were out for coffee and some shopping. I was getting some keys made down at the mall.

When they inquired about Mrs_C and things I advised them we had split.

Wine and hot tubs are apprently too nice

B said "You were too nice to her weren't you?" I stood there with a dumbfounded look on my face. She continued "That's why I never went out with you, you know. I knew I would shred you up and destroy our friendship... And then you'd hate me."

I continued to stand there sort of working my jaw for a moment. It was suddenly a little awkward. I responded with humour "Well, you could have at least slept with me instead," I counterproposed.

B said "...and then we would have started dating and I would have gone bitch on you and you wouldn't have known what hit you, and you would have been standing there with that confused look on your face like you just had, and I would have felt like shit.

So I never dated you."

B has always been a little over the top.

Indoor swimming pools - waaaay too nice

I'm also caught right between the eyes. When I was single I had a number of women say they wouldn't go out with me because I was too nice. Not that I was arrogant. Not that I was sleazy, or promiscuous, or lazy, or boring, or ugly - but "too nice". What the fuck is that?

I'm stumbling. This is a little out of the blue for me.

K steps in and suggests we all go for coffee. So I go with them.

And not cozy bed and breakfasts - no, not that. you're too nice. why would i sleep with you dumb fuck?

The core of what I was told in that conversation is that according to them I need to be a bit more of a bastard. I need to be less accommodating and more demanding. I need to put the screws to the other person sometimes.

Apparently this is why Mrs_C didn't respect me. Because I always accommodated her whims. Made like a carpet and begged her to walk on me - and wipe her feet.

I always thought that doing nice things and taking people to nice places (like the one all these pictures are of [a real place I took us to]) was the way to win someone's heart and soul.

"I as a boy, I believed the saying the cure for pain was love".

I just don't get it. I really just don't get it.

I listened to my two friends and I thought about Mrs_C. I thought about when it was that she suddenly started to get sexually interested in me again - after I rejected her.

Don't even bother with special breakfasts!!! FOOL!!!

When did she get REALLY, um, uh, open to trying or, uh, experimenting a little? After I said I was out the door.

What the fuck is that?

She phones me and whines at me - even while she away on vacation here. I asked her "Why? Why did you do it? Why were you such a miserable fucking bag?" (yes - real words). She says "I guess I got to into the Mom role. I stopped thinking of you as a friend and as a person and only thought of you as a spouse - someone who was supposed to do all these things you could never possibly get done, or reasonably do. An then i just got mad about it. Instead of thinking about how it would make you feel."

What the fuck is with that? Huh! What the fuck is with that?



and then she still gets mad at me about the one time (months ago) I said "Well, I guess you should have thought of that before!" (I was telling her that I wanted to leave and that she shouldn't have been such an asshole to me)

so I ask her why she didn't think of it at the time. I ask how she expects me to believe that she won't revert. I ask her how I should get over being soooooo angry. I tell her that when I told her how hurt and how mad I was all she did was try to bully and pressure me into backing down.

She's coming back from vacation tomorrow. I've been thinking about her and my marriage a lot. She wants to go out "just the two of us" on Saturday. She says I can have "anything" I want. I said I didn't think it would work for me and we need to talk. I'm pretty sure she knows what's coming. I think that's why she was trying to dangle the sex carrot.

Running into my friends and their lecture just built up a fair head of steam in me. I'm really mad that the world doesn't work the way I think it should and the way I want it to work.

I want to be nice. I don't want to be a bastard. I want to be so nice it makes you hurl.

Not in a weak sense. I'm not weak, and I'm not wimpy. No-one has really ever accused me of being wimpy.

But where does this fucking "You're too nice" shit come into play?

[post proof-read edit:]
sorry if this was a little incoherent and weird, but i'm rattled and emotional right now

Monday, August 21, 2006


Yes, that's Ironing, not Irony.

Ironing, I hate ironing. I used to not do it at all (read: when I was mostly single). I wore my clothes either hung up straight out of the dryer (and how often did that happen? hell, I was at the bar - not ironing) or rumpled.

* youthful cadbury may not be exactly as shown

I'm lying actually - because I wore suits to clubs a lot (it was the 80s after all) I ironed all the shirts I wore to go dancing (5 shirts a week or so...). I would have had them done by the dry cleaner, but I was a student and all and my dry cleaning bill on my suits was killer (I sweat a lot when engaged in strenuous activity).

When I was dating mrs_c I didn't do much ironing.

At first.

Then I got comments from mrs_c like "Yeah, it's funny, my Mom said 'I noticed that [cadbury] doesn't always iron his shirts'. I guess she doesn't understand the bachelor lifestyle.


Why don't you iron your shirts? It's not like you don't have the time..."

That last reference about having the time was a not very subtle poke at the fact that I was unemployed at the time - well, I was working part-time by that point - but mrs_c called it unemployed.

Anyway, comments of this nature continued throughout our courtship. I eventually made sure that everything I wore around mrs_c and/or her family was ironed - including jeans and t-shirts.

After we were married I continued ironing. Mrs_C would also iron my stuff.

After we had children things changed only in that my participation in ironing decreased as my time on food/meals/dishes and child care increased.

Now I'm on my own.

I still don't like ironing.

Except now I actually like to have ironed clothes. Not so much because I give a shit about whether they are ironed or not, but because the vast majority of women that I have any interest in prefer a neatly pressed man.

* a dramatisation of a well pressed cadbury

(have I got pretty much only one thing on my mind? yes. but you already knew that didn't you...)

The juxtaposition of mrs_c and ironing associations and prepping myself for sex appeal through well ironed clothes is creating a somewhat itchy spot in my mind.

[later edit: I realised, as I proofread, that it's not true - I actually like to be neatly pressed now. I think. maybe. but chicks still dig ironed more than rumpled. in fact one of the young guys in my office never irons his shirts. I keep thinking "he should iron his shirt". but i'm not sure if it's conditioning or actual preference. he also doesn't have the hems on his pants done properly. I gave him the double sided interface tip...]

Friday, August 18, 2006

Toasted Ham And Cheese With A Side Of Computer Games, Hold The Exercise

A post that wanders...

When Mrs_C left for holidays she left a bunch of food in the fridge at the house. She asked me to clear it out. "Use whatever you can use, and throw out the rest" she said.

I went over to check the fridge and maintain the house and feed the dog and water the plants (I'm house sitting my own house). Threw a couple of spoiled items out - some had been there since I left in early July. Mrs_C was never good with the whole food management thing.

Daughter had made sandwiches for the trip before they left.

[tangent style="rant: bitter+1;"]
Mrs_C (without me) had been flummoxed on how to get them out the door for the trip on any kind of a timely basis (my daughter didn't actually use the word "flummoxed" when she called me - she said "Mom and Grandma don't have a clue how to get us out the door or plan a trip like you")

Anyway, Daughter thawed and opened a package of low fat ham I had bought and put in the freezer before I bolted my marriage. I had made sure the house was stocked with food before I split because I just knew Mrs_C wouldn't pay any attention to food [or rather - feeding the kids] - so I made sure there were enough supplies to get them through her period of trauma... it turns out that she still didn't pay any attention anyway (as detailed in Sunday Morning Coffee With Mrs_C [a rant])

Daughter used the stockpiled ham to make sandwiches because at the ripe old age of 10 she realised that if there was no food in the vehicle she and her dufus 14 year old brother (who still wasn't out of bed at 10:30am on the day they were supposed to leave) would be going hungry because Mom and Grandma wouldn't stop for food (they both do that meal skipping bullshit).

So there was leftover ham. I couldn't bear to see it going to waste (I have a mega thing about wasting food). I also had some cheese in my fridge from when the kids were there that was going slightly moldy. I convinced myself that it wouldn't hurt me to break diet a couple of times to have a couple of hot toasted ham and cheese sandwiches.

whole wheat bread, sliced onion, spoonful of tomato and basil spaghetti sauce, ham, cheese - put in sandwich maker - works with pepperoni and salami too - sort of a pizza sandwich - poor man's calzone with bread - really fast - kids like it - me too

So I ate two sandwiches with not much cheese and some ham along with various piles of healthy food (see the other blog for more details on healthy food)

And on each of the two nights I did that, I felt vaguely sluglike afterward and didn't go exercise.

I also had spasms in my calves and convinced myslef that it would be just as well to not go so as to not exacerbate my tight calves. And I was tired. And I had food to make and ironing to do.

And what did I do, gentle readers? I stayed in the apartment and played computer games until about 2am.

My conclusion:

I need to stop eating ham and cheese sandwiches. Bite the bullet and throw out the remaining food that does not conform to my diet. I don't feel as active or spritely when weighed down with heavier food.

Also, I need to realise that I may be a little depressed - I don't think so - but I need to understand that I may have more reaction to all this than I want to admit to myself. I have issues with slacking and avoidance when under heavy stress (as detailed in Problems Completing Tasks).

I will be reviewing it with my counselor. I will not be accepting any medication from anyone. Good diet and exercise is probably the best prescription, I think.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Father-in-law Forgets Who My Daughter And Son Are (Literally)

I got a call from the kids yesterday. They are on vacation with their Mother in another city. They went with Mrs_C's Mother and Father.

Father-in-law has always been, uhhhhh, a little slower. Not stupid, per se, but slower. He's not a well educated man (grade 6), and he's 80 something, and he's worked either on the farm by himself or in manual labour jobs his whole life. English is also not his first language. He has also suffered from depression in his life. His manner of speaking is slow. He repeats himself a lot.

He's a decent enough man, even if he holds a number of racist and right-wing and conservative catholic religious views I do not agree with or care for. He is a product of his era and his life history. Because of this I do not hold much against him for his views, even while they grate many times. He is not an active hater, and while he regularly makes cracks and racist remarks about various visible minorities, he actually voted for the only black guy to ever run for public office in his area.

Anyway, son and daughter tell me that on this trip Father-in-law has been forgetting their names and who they are. Repeatedly. He forgot who their father was and then couldn't remember my name when he did actually remember who they were a few minutes later.

Son and daughter and I just got back from my Uncle and Aunt's 50th wedding anniversary. My Aunt has Alzheimer's. She is functional but doesn't remember anything except who her husband is. This was identified some years ago. My children have witnessed her deterioration in visits my Dad has had with his brother (Uncle) and with this Aunt. They have been gracious and kind in dealing with her. I have been proud of their patience. She was recently put into a "home".

The kids have seen and dealt with the outward symptoms of Alzheimer's for some years.

In the last two days they have witnessed tremendous and abnormal forgetfulness on the part of their Grandfather. They told their Mother and their grandmother.

Mrs_C and Grandmother (and Mrs_c's sister that lives in the same city as us) have in the past resentfully rejected any of the suggestions that either the kids or I have offered over the last few years that there is something more to Father-in-law's ways.

Now it has smacked them in the face. They both saw it happening on this trip. There are no signs of anything like a stroke (according to the kids when I quizzed them about the situation over the phone) - it's just the same memory and personality issues exacerbated many times over.

The kids are handling it with humour and aplomb.

Their Mother and Grandmother less so. Both kids are concerned that they will feel the brunt of the emotion about it. They report that their mother has already said (they were listening in through an open window while the other two talked outside) "And isn't it great that this happens at the same as [cadbury] leaves me."

I told the kids to call me any time.

I'm not there, and I have a great desire to limit my contact with Mrs_C, so I have no intention of intervening. I have concerns about the old man's welfare under the less than informed and highly emotional and erratic guidance and decision making of the people around him. But he's not my Father and they have all rejected me pretty hard since things have occurred with Mrs_C and I.

Father-in-law actually suggested that I would have to "Answer to God" for my actions surrounding the separation with Mrs_C - and not "answer to God" in anything other than the eternal damnation scenario.

I think that unless my kids ask me to do something I am going to resist my natural do-gooder tendencies and stay out of the situation. It is also the sort of thing that Mrs_C would absolutely use to try to guilt me into staying tied to her.

I'm saddened.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Problems Completing Tasks

I've always had a problem getting things done when I'm under stress or overwhelmed. The critical tasks all get done. Deadlines that need to get met are met, but other things will begin to fall off the table. Even things that are important in the medium to long term.

Take billing/invoicing for example. I just need to do some hours totals and put together the invoices, but it seems completely overwhelming so I put it off. I can't seem to muster the focus.

And it's not like I don't need the money. But it won't kill me today, and it won't kill me tomorrow, or even this month. So I end up sluffing it. Too many things on the plate. Too much running through my mind.

I prefer one or two items that I can focus in on and take apart and reassemble.

Too much stuff all at once rattles me. That, in fact, is usually the source of any times I blow up at my kids. When they ask me to do too many things all at once and there is no way I can meet all the demands I lose it and get angry.

I imagine that part of it is just learning to say no. Learning to refuse more than I can actually handle.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Life On A Day To Day Basis

I've spent so much time obsessing about the state of my marriage that I don't completely know how to write in this blog about anything else. I think I will decide on a series of topics and work from there.

The ongoing life narrative:

I received an email from the teacher lady I went out with. She was in a 5 year relationship before going out with me. She had decided to start dating again, but for whatever unexplained reasons decided to revisit that relationship again. She described it as her "stubborn" "make it work" side.

Oh well. I wish her well. She's a very nice lady whom I very much enjoyed my evening with.

I'm getting set up by a number of people who know me. They have friends who are single and many people who know me don't want me to return to Mrs_C. Especially to 50something ladies in my office and building. So they are looking around.

So, I went on another date. Nice lady, but terrible mismatch. She's a correctional facilities worker/staff instructor. I was talking to her before we went for coffee - I made a reference to nerdy friends (as a computer guy I have a few...) who spoke Klingon - she didn't even know what Klingon is.

We still ended up going for coffee. She's nice enough, but we have almost nothing in common.

I'm still trying to get my apartment organised. Now that the kids are gone with their Mom I expect to have a little more time to work on it in the next week. I've made a little headway.

Went to my Uncle and Aunt's 50th Anniversary this last weekend. Saw cousins that I haven't seen in decades. That was OK. My kids went with me. My daughter tried to balk a bit about going, but Mrs_C forced the issue with her. I was prepared to let it go and allow daughter to stay, but Mrs_C forced it - much to her credit.

Mrs_C said "There were lots of times when I was a kid that I didn't want to go to some family event, or some place and was even mad about it at the time - because I wanted to stay home and have fun. But now as an adult, I am so very glad I had the opportunity to meet those relatives and be in that place."

Kudos to Mrs_C.

Daughter ended up having fun. Daughter would have had less fun if she'd stayed. She wanted to stay because one of her cousins had his girlfriend arriving for a visit from overseas and she wanted to see her. This poor lady was so jetlagged and tired (about 2.5 days with no sleep) when she arrived that she was not interested in anything - certainly not a 10 year old girl...

You see, daughter wants to spend any time she can with women in their late teens early 20s that are "hot" and "cool" - like her cousins and this girlfriend.

More later - work beckons.

Friday, August 11, 2006




I know.

You told me so.

Fuck you too.

Went to address logistics of this coming weekend (kids with me and some stuff we're doing out of town) and my taking care of the house while Mrs_C and the kids are gone on vacation in the immediate future.

Nice night. I like our neighbourhood. I sit all day. We went for a walk around the neighbourhood. She tells me all about how she knows she didn't treat me right and stuff and she wants me to come back, blah, blah, blah.

I'm saying - no, this is a discussion just about logistics. She's saying but you need to know what I'm thinking. You need to know how I'm feeling. You need to know how much I'm changing.

I tell her that the discussion was agreed to only be about logistics. She reticently agrees to stick to that topic.

We complete the discussion. She's been quite pleasant. I leave. I'm actually thinking positive thoughts about her (not about our marriage). Thinking "My, she CAN be reasonable sometimes."

My son (14) calls me today. He's very upset. Seems he just got of the phone with his mother. He got into an argument with his mother because he didn't want to go shopping for new pants with her. He said he'd phone me to see if he needs dress pants for the event we are going to. His mother accused him of always subverting her rules by phoning me. Says that neither daughter or son will listen to her. His mother then accused him of trying to manipulate me in my "sensitive state", but wouldn't say what about. She says to son that he's trying to manipulate her and the whole situation. She says that he's just being stubborn about everything - and that she's not going to have both him and me telling her that we're right all the time. Just like his Dad - always has to be right and she has to give in to try to save the marriage and what a long time it will take to "get things back to normal" after all of this. Blah, blah, blah (some other stuff).

Do you see any change?


I know the answer too.

That's called a rhetorical question.

And I don't actually mean fuck you too. I'm just astounded at the lack of results for the good intentions side of the universe.

Everybody sing along:

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love,
Where there is injury, Your pardon Lord,
And where there's doubt, true faith in You

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there's despair in life let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness - only light,
And where there's sadness, ever joy

Oh Master, grant that I may never seek,
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood, as to understand,
To be loved, as to love with all my soul

Make me a channel of your peace,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all men that we recieve,
And in dying that we're born to eternal life

(did i mention that this was sung by the soloist at my wedding at my request?)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Reasonable Question Asked

"why are you still going to "marriage" counseling and starting "dating" at the same time" - bg's Little Sis

I agreed to go to counseling after I blew up on the phone. The atmosphere of our conversations was increasingly hostile. At least I was hostile and she was manipulating my hostility (in my opinion). I agreed to have a discussion with Mrs_C with the counselor as a "mediator" or "mediating presence" about how we resolve to work together on raising the kids.

One of the things that has caused me to be hostile is that Mrs_C is dragging "I want to you to come back" stuff into the "what are we doing about and with the kids" discussions (we are setting up the lesson and activity line-up for the next school year).

I dislike anger, yelling, fighting, and tension laced personal situations (I have no issue with it at work because that's not a matter of "the heart"). I am now of the belief that Mrs_C actively provoked me as a ploy to get back to the marriage counselor. I am so naive that way...

So, I agreed it would probably be just as useful to use the counselor we have already seen, because we wouldn't have to bring someone new up to speed.

Mrs_C proceeded to use most of the session with the counselor to try to put getting back together back on the table for discussion.

And that is the answer to the question.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Blogger Made My Post Go Away

So I had a post half way done. It was about how Mrs_C pissed me off by lying and skirting the issues and trying to pull her old tricks during a counseling session I agreed to go to recently. It was about how for the first time in 18 years Mrs_c has the audactity to say "I think [cadbury] is the sexiest and most exciting man I've ever met" (I suppose there's a first time for anyone to say anything - but that statement might have been nicer a few years ago...). It was about catching her in inconsistent positions all through the session - and her and the counselor knowing it - and the counselor saying "I don't think catching [mrs_c] on inconsistencies is going to help anything" (idiot counselor).

And then the post disappeared.

I think it disappeared because my greatest urge through the whole written diatribe was to stop typing the story about Mrs_C and say "Fuck this! I am a happy man."

I wake up early without headaches.

I have women who think I'm hot (well, at least they want to go out with me) in real life. Who smile deeply at me.

But I started to go negative again.

So, thank-you blogger, for screwing up my post.

"Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin"

Bellissimo date!!!

Late night after date post.

Went on a date with the teacher lady. She's really nice. Very attractive - and best of all, likes me ;-)


She even gave me a hug (two big hugs, actually [no - I did not try to kiss her] I was blown away suprised by the hugs) as we parted and said she'd like to go out again. If I didn't think I'd look too stupid I would have started softshoeing up the sides of the walls, lampposts and a fountain as I walked back to my car at the end of the date - sort of a Gene Kelly singin' in the rain moment except it wasn't raining...

We started off with a simple coffee at 7:30 and ended after midnight at a pub with music (not a dance place, but a nifty downtown pub). We walked in the park downtown and stuff - neither of us wanted to end the date.

We talked and talked. I took some pics (printed wallet sized ones off the colour printer) because pictures are worth a thousand words. Want to see I'm a nice guy - look at my kids in their ethnic dance outfits, the massive tree fort, and the all weather dog house with kennel and even his own private tree to pee on.

I was up front about the length of time since my separation. She was terribly understanding (having been through a drawn out "maybe this can work" soul draining split herself some 6 years back).

She put up well with me blithering on and on (I cover for nervousness with talk lots of the time - I think it's entertaining and intelligent talk, but I can still go on a bit). I tried very hard to shut up (and did lots). I asked her lots of questions and was highly respectful of her answers and ideas.

It was really nice and really fun. I'm beaming like a little kid.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!

If I was the little dog in the Bugs Bunny cartoon I'd be bouncing up and down panting and wagging my tail with excitement.


Oh, well.

I hope this post doesn't come off sounding too idiotic for a 40 year old guy.

But I'm soooooooo happy. Time for bed. Got to work in the morning.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

And Now Its A Couple of Weeks Later

First - Holiday pics on the other blog

A few of you have asked for updates. This is one. There is just so much less drama to report, though...

Oh, and thank-you for being interested and caring. Really. I mean that.

We went on holidays. Well, we took a holiday. We did mostly day trips out of the city and slept at the apartment.

The first couple of days we slept. We slept late. We just kind of lounged and slacked around the apartment and went out for a few hours on each of the days. We listened to cool music and putzed about. I had planned for much more excitement, but sleep seemed to be the order of the day. Mrs_C and her whatever it is that she does to us emotionally is soooo taxing on the body and spirit.

We put stuff away in the apartment. I built desks and work surfaces for their crafts and models and for the computers. The kids helped with the building. Daughter painted a picture and we bought a frame for it.

We saw movies and wandered and enjoyed the peace.

I am amazed at what that woman does to me and does to my children. I don't understand how someone could have such a disturbing presence.

We enjoyed the peace.

So much of things is kind of a blur. I should have diarized it at the time, but with the kids around and only one computer and all the other stuff needing to be done I didn't.

Mrs_C kept phoning. I yelled at her once when the kids were around (not much choice - they can't be very far away in the apartment). She was demanding time and that we talk and wanting to know whether I had any feelings toward her, or any commitment, and why wasn't I making more effort to work things out, and how long would I be not talking to her for...

I pointed out that I had ended up speaking with her every single day since I left, and had seen her on more than 3/4 of the days since I left, so how the hell did she call it ignoring her. Blah, blah, blah.

I apologised to the kids for losing it as bad as I did in their presence.

I did not apologise to Mrs_C.

She tried to horn in on stuff a couple of times but I told her to butt out.

She did.

The kids went with her on one of the days for some time. I asked them if they wanted to stay at their Mom's place overnight. They said no. They wanted to come back to the apartment.

We did a border run and saw some stuff in the U.S. for a couple of days. That was cool for them. Because we weren't going on any big trips I tried to think of things that they could talk about at school that would be cool.

We went to the homestead sites of my Mom's family and saw the land and the abandoned (pioneer) buildings. We saw some small town museums and saw a few relatives. Scored a few free rooms and meals. The kids surprisingly enjoyed it - including the relatives.

Without hubris, I think I can say that just enjoy being with me. Also, the peace and calm of it all was so new. They clung to the calm.

Mrs_C is in competition with me to attract the kids. She redecorated daughter's room. It looks really nice. Quite stylish. She called me to solve one of her decorating problems. I did before I realised I was helping Mrs_C in her bid for appeal to daughter.

Mrs_C generally isn't doing a very swell job of competing. Before they came over here she would whine at them to climb into the bed and cuddle and sleep with her. The kids complain to me that they just get hot and uncomfortable. Son refused to do it after the first couple of days.

I am staying constant with who I usually am. My ways of doing things and my non-demanding nature is all the contrast needed in the political push and pull with the kids. I may be non-demanding, but it's because I have rules and I have discipline - it is a structured environment - I am painfully consistent, and even when I am not I usually note the exception, or go back and correct the inconsistency. Mrs_C tends to be fairly arbitrary in her supervision. There is little consistency. Kids crave consistency.

I also include the kids in the decision making - and they actually get to determine outcomes. They complain that Mrs_C asks them what they want, or want to do, and then bugs, hectors, and harangues them until they give in to what she originally wanted (sound familiar folks?). And then accuses them of insolence when they try to hold their position.

Mrs_C is working a later shift next week, so I will be seeing the kids for supper each day. They will be going out of town with her after this week. There are some interesting ways all that has come together, and some interesting swirl in Mrs_c's holiday arrangments that will be the subject of another post.

Went on a date

Yes, I went on a date. It sucked. It blew. It blew chunks. It bit.

Did I say how bad it was?

It was a blind date fixed up for us by two people that know each other that know us separately, and who got to talking about their two friends who might be looking for a date.

The first three sentences of the date weren't bad - well, make it three minutes of ordering coffee (she doesn't drink coffee so hot chocolate for her) and picking a table. Shortly after the conversation went to where I work. I work someplace that makes policy decisions that affect the operation she manages. Only obliquely, but she blames us for her lack of resources (remember politics people).

After awhile (about an hour and a half) she made up an excuse to leave. I was OK with it.

Yep. This woman was everything I didn't want. Arrogant. Convinced of her own superior station. Demanding. Inquisitorial.

Yep. After less than a half an hour I was having to justify my own existence.

But in one way it was fun. I could make the choice.

Speaking of choice, I am choice meat, people. I have been asked out twice outside of the above blind date.

Once by a teacher I know peripherally that I ran into in the grocery store. She asked me how I was doing, I told her that I had separated and was getting my act together, and she said "Is it too soon to ask if you'd like to go out sometime?". I said I would be delighted. Stay tuned this week.

The other, get this [heh], was while I was taking daughter through dress shops the other day (no - it was not in front of daughter). Son was out doing something with a friend, and daughter and I went to a nifty Italian deli and had lunch in the park (that whole afternoon - that time together - was dreamlike in its perfection). We then cruised the downtown, and I asked her if she wanted to go into wedding and evening dress boutiques and look at the dresses (she was so thrilled). She buys prom dress magazines and stuff, so it just seemed to be the right thing to do - something she'd like.

We had gone into a couple already, but then went into one that was little different. It had some groovy music on, and some very funky fashions in addition to the wedding dresses and regular evening gowns.

The lady inside appeared and I gave my stock comment about looking at dresses with daughter, and the stores being like a life sized prom magazine.

Daughter was wandering at the other end of the store. I commented on the music - how much I liked it - and then realized it was from a CD I own. It was new CD for the lady - none of her friends liked it but she did. We laughed and she played some other CDs she had recently gotten. I made some suggestions in the same musical genre. We talked a bit and I told her how daughter wants to be a fashion designer.

It turns out this woman owns the store and is a designer - clothing and costuming for movies. She's hot. We gab. Daughter wanders in and out. She is a precious child with a wonderful soul who never fails to warm anyone's heart. She knows how to lay it on thick too (Dad knows how to lay it on thick as well - I've been using "the voice". The one my kids razz me about - you remember - the Barry White/James Earl Jones/Gregory Peck voice. Oddly enough it gets deeper and more manly the more I'm trying to impress some unsuspecting woman [the voice never seems to come out around guys...]). Store lady is thrilled by how encouraging I am of my 10 year child's dream to be a designer. Daughter preens at the attention of an artsy hot chick.

Daughter wanders off some more.

Store lady asks me where Mom is today. I say "I think she's at home - I'll be dropping the kids at her place later in the day. This is the last day of our vacation together".

Store lady asks "Oh, you live at separate places?"


"Do you drink coffee - we could talk more about music..." she says (or something like that - this is an abreviated version).

"Absolutely." She suddenly seems embarrassed at her forwardedness - so I wrote down my name and number and said I would be thrilled if she called.

Daughter wants me, so I go with her to look at some dresses.

Store lady is looking at the piece of paper as we wave as we leave a little while later.

I think that's enough for now. More later.