Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sing for the Moment

Eminem: Sing for the Moment - WikiPedia

These ideas are nightmares to white parents
Whose worst fear is a child with dyed hair and who likes earrings
Like whatever they say has no bearing, it's so scary in a house that allows
no swearing
To see him walking around with his headphones blaring
Alone in his own zone, cold and he don't care
He's a problem child
And what bothers him all comes out, when he talks about
His fuckin' dad walkin' out
Cause he just hates him so bad that he blocks him out
If he ever saw him again he'd probably knock him out
His thoughts are whacked, he's mad so he's talkin' back
Talkin' black, brainwashed from rock and rap
He sags his pants, do-rags and a stocking cap
His step-father hit him, so he socked him back, and broke his nose
His house is a broken home, there's no control, he just let's his emotions

{C'mon}, sing with me, {sing}, sing for the years
{Sing it}, sing for the laughter, sing for the tears, {c'mon)
Sing it with me, just for today, maybe tomorrow the good Lord will take you

Entertainment is changin', intertwinin' with gangsta's
In the land of the killers, a sinner's mind is a sanctum
Holy or unholy, only have one homie
Only this gun, lonely cause don't anyone know me
Yet everybody just feels like they can relate, I guess words are a
mothafucka they can be great
Or they can degrade, or even worse they can teach hate
It's like these kids hang on every single statement we make
Like they worship us, plus all the stores ship us platinum
Now how the fuck did this metamorphosis happen
From standin' on corners and porches just rappin'
To havin' a fortune, no more kissin' ass
But then these critics crucify you, journalists try to burn you
Fans turn on you, attorneys all want a turn at you
To get they hands on every dime you have, they want you to lose your mind
every time you mad
So they can try to make you out to look like a loose cannon
Any dispute won't hesitate to produce handguns
That's why these prosecutors wanna convict me, strictly just to get me off
of these streets quickly
But all they kids be listenin' to me religiously, so i'm signin' cd's while
police fingerprint me
They're for the judge's daughter but his grudge is against me
If i'm such a fuckin' menace, this shit doesn't make sense Pete
It's all political, if my music is literal, and i'm a criminal how the fuck
can I raise a little girl
I couldn't, I wouldn't be fit to, you're full of shit too, Guerrera, that
was a fist that hit you...

{C'mon}, sing with me, {sing}, sing for the years
{Sing it}, sing for the laughter, sing for the tears, {c'mon)
Sing it with me, just for today, maybe tomorrow the good Lord will take you

They say music can alter moods and talk to you
Well can it load a gun up for you , and cock it too
Well if it can, then the next time you assault a dude
Just tell the judge it was my fault and i'll get sued
See what these kids do is hear about us totin' pistols
And they want to get one cause they think the shit's cool
Not knowin' we really just protectin' ourselves, we entertainers
Of course the shit's affectin' our sales, you ignoramus
But music is reflection of self, we just explain it, and then we get our
checks in the mail
It's fucked up ain't it
How we can come from practically nothing to being able to have any fuckin'
thing that we wanted
That's why we sing for these kids, who don't have a thing
Except for a dream, and a fuckin' rap magazine
Who post pin-up pictures on their walls all day long
Idolize they favorite rappers and know all they songs
Or for anyone who's ever been through shit in their lives
Till they sit and they cry at night wishin' they'd die
Till they throw on a rap record and they sit, and they vibe
We're nothin' to you but we're the fuckin' shit in they eyes
That's why we seize the moment try to freeze it and own it, squeeze it and
hold it
Cause we consider these minutes golden
And maybe they'll admit it when we're gone
Just let our spirits live on, through our lyrics that you hear in our
songs and we can...

{C'mon}, sing with me, {sing}, sing for the years
{Sing it}, sing for the laughter, sing for the tears, {c'mon)
Sing it with me, just for today, maybe tomorrow the good Lord will take you

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Son got suspended from school

my son is a dumbass

good kid

but none-the-less a dumbass

he goes onto some teen/younger crowd internet bulletin boards. like many of his contemporaries he wants to a bit of a badass. irreverence is the word of the day...

on one board in particular the word "nigger" or "nigga" is used freely and gratuitously (and in my opinion inappropriately). the social sting of such usage is taken away somewhat by the use of the word in popular culture such as in in Hip Hop and Rap music, and in TV shows like the Boondocks.

"Aaron has defended the show's heavy and at times gratuitous use of the word "nigga", by arguing that the large-scale usage of the word provides the show with a level of realism, due to the fact that the word is commonly used in the everyday conversations of some African Americans."

I have warned him about using the word and demanded that it not be used in my presence. He does not use it much in everyday usage (that i am aware of).

He is not overtly racist to my perception, and has both black and north american indian friends.

however, my dumbassed son put the subject line "niggaz everywhere" into an email to himself, when he emailed himself a school assignment as an attachment ("niggaz everywhere" is a quote from Rampage the Last Boyscout - Take it to the Streets, the ever tasteful lyrics: "Niggaz everywhere, bitches everywhere rockin to ramp’s new beat; When I hear his music I can’t help but get down like they do"). his story as to why he chose to put the line there is a little confused and will not detail it here - suffice it to say his judgement at 2AM after finishing the assignment, was lacking... i suspect it was to congratulate himself on a job well done

anyway, son was pulling up his assignment in school from email to show it to the class when the teacher projected his mailbox onto the big screen. and there was the subject line. there is one black girl in the class. one of the many ironies is that this was christian ethics class (catholic school [they're govt/publicly funded here])

son got interviewed by the administration and i got called. he's being suspended for two days, and serving a 3rd in school suspension day. i agree with the suspension and actually had the words "this will require a suspension" out of my mouth before the principal did. son will also be giving a re-approved apology to the class including the girl.

they think it was "an error in judgement" (read: dumbassery) and not overt racism as son has been in trouble in both elementary school and high school for fights and altercations where he has been intervening in racial catcalling to stop the catcalling. they want to reduce the incident to a minor one - hence the 3 days of suspension - school is out starting friday until sometime in january.

my son

the dumbass

now, the suspended dumbass...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

a little pissed this morning

awhile back my son was out and didn't have the right change for bus. he walked to my parents place from where he was (about 1.5 miles). it was mild enough, only about -12C that day. he wears a cosmic winter coat i bought him this year and has good gloves and such. he could have gotten change, but chose not to.

he had called me to ask for a ride - i said no because he hadn't even informed me it was a possibility and i was busy (i was in the middle of a dinner date with Smitten) i had earlier been in the area of town where he was, and had wondered whether i should pick him up, but he wasn't where he said he was going to be when i checked - i advised him of that. when he called i asked him if he had enough money for the bus and he said yes.

back to the original discussion - it concerned my parents and i that he might show up at their place and they wouldn't be home. and that it might be really cold on such a day.

he told them he didn't have the money for the bus. either they misinterpreted, or he misspoke himself - he had been up all night at a computer gaming tournament and was less than fully coherent. la monnaie in french means change. being french immersion his whole life, sometimes his english usage defaults to french words or their exact english translation and he is slightly idiomatically incorrect.

i had yet another discussion with him about what he should do in the event of being stranded somewhere. it's not that he is being irresponsible, it's just he might make a dumb decision sometime - especially if he was out at a party and had been drinking or whatnot... (yes, i know he is only sixteen - but let's get real here people).

i discussed with him that if he was stranded he had various options including phoning me, his grandparents, his uncles and aunts and so forth. i explained to him that even if no-one would let him use a phone, he can make a collect local call from a payphone. i explained to him that if he was stranded (lets say during a blizzard or at a party gone wrong [or having escaped to a corner store after a party gone wrong]) that even if we were unable to drive him (let's say i had some wine and shouldn't be driving [not that i do it much, but i was trying to model responsible procedures in the event of alcohol consumption], or my mom or dad weren't up to driving at night), that we could either use a credit card over the phone, or we would get a cab and come to where he was to pick him up. as well as single rescuing of him, we wanted to underline once again that neither he nor his friends should be driving, and that we would make things work - even if we needed to drive friends' cars (or friends parent's cars) home so they wouldn't be drinking and driving either.

blah, blah, blah

one of the things i did was make a zip-lock bag with coins and bus tickets - for emergencies. that way, he would have 18 hours of public transport and coin always available.

he put this coin into one of the many pockets of his coat (it's a snow boarding coat so it has a gazillion pockets)

the winter coat is white nylon.

it was getting dirty

his mother decides to wash to coat

like she has for the last 20 years, she doesn't go through pockets properly when she pulls something off the hanger to wash it.

she washes it without checking all the pockets.

the bag of bus tickets gets washed and for whatever reason the bus tickets get wet - probably because son opened it and didn't seal it right.

the bus tickets are wrecked

i know it's only $12.50 but it pisses me off

it pisses me off that my careful preparation is casually ruined by her bad habit of not checking pockets properly. it pisses me off at a bunch of levels.

and it's not like it's the first time. she's been doing it for years. one time (while we were still together), she took a cardigan that i had hanging on the chair in my room and decided to wash it because she need another green item. not because it needed washing, but to make a load big enough to justify washing it in her mind.

i had, the night before, put about a year's worth of massage receipts in my pocket to take to work to file the medical insurance paperwork. that was about $1200 worth of receipts. i had to go about getting official duplicates, and get special permission to file duplicates with the insurance company. a big hassle. over the years she's washed my checkbooks, my pens, my wallet, letters, bills, notes... and in items that were not in the laundry basket. several of the times with the pens, she took my shirt from the chair i had hung it on - i was doing yard work, and had changed into work clothes, but intended to change back into my original shirt later.


and once again, because of her total self absorption, her focus on only what she is doing, she fucks up some plan or preparation of mine. and if i hadn't quizzed my brain-dead child about the survival of his emergency bus tickets he wouldn't have even thought of it himself. that irritates me too.

i know she was doing it to be nice, but it is still all about her. she quizzed him for a half-an-hour last night about wasn't he really happy she had washed his coat for him, and didn't this prove she was a good mother. that she was fixing the problem i had made by buying him a white coat. that i might make the "grand gesture" (her words) of buying him the coat, but she was the one who had to do the work to fix my mistake of buying that coat... "because your father never thinks about things like washing and care".

(she has had the issues with son for awhile about clothing. son wants a particular item and she doesn't. so she uses one of her many styles of trying to alter the choice, leading up to simple imposition of her own will as a last resort. both kids have complained about having no choice about their clothes)


that's my rant

i'm irritated

telling you this story has helped me understand why i'm cranky to this level over $12.50 - hell, it's only the price of a couple of premium martinis, or slightly less than lunch out (not that I do either often).

but now i have to (or son will have to) peel apart bus tickets, and then go see if the transit authority head office will accept the damaged tickets back and exchange them for good ones. or it will just be a loss of about $12.50.

i'm a little pissed this morning

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

will there ever be time to blog?


so everyone that had their eyes glaze over on the Canadian Politics primer and breezed past it...

read the last section of that post


my dad went into the hospital again this past weekend

he had a seizure in about 2AM

my mom tried to reach me and couldn't

my sister-in-law did

Smitten and I had just had a major shaker Christmas party

for the first time in a long time i was so sloshed i could barely walk

i decided that i would not go to the hospital

my Mom won't say it completely out loud, but she's pretty choked i didn't come there

i told her that it would have done no good for me to come over if i couldn't maintain myself upright in a chair...


stbx-Mrs_C is losing her marbles. the kids are complaining that she is REALLY unstable


the counter-petition from her lawyer arrived

it contains a number if shitty untrue statements - luckily i have written documentation to rebut them


work continues to be non-stop from the moment i get here until i leave - often quite late

the new set-up is quite an adjustment for everyone involved

bumping egos and old processes/attitudes that do not fit our new station in the universe are casing problems


balh, blah, blah

i will actually detail some of all of this when i have some time, or i'm not too exhausted to do it

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

i'm third from the top on google


so i was just looking through my visitors on my counter (seeing if any of you actually read/scanned through the treatise on Canadian government to find the point of the post...) and i discovered that someone had come to this blog courtesy of the search term:

"glow in the dark tingler ring"

when i see funny terms (or even sometimes sad terms) i like to check out the google lists to figure out why someone would choose to come to the blog from the hits they got.

here's the page with my number 3 google placement

Monday, November 26, 2007

i'm alive

more or less alive

so much has happened

so much has changed

so little is different


i'm going to have to stretch out my posts about the last two months because it would be the mother of all posts to do one single update


i'm still employed even if many of my friends aren't. much of my life is clustered around the business, and so are my friends. i like having friends whose worldview is like mine.

now the people who made up my daily life and who shared my passion are scattering

it's sad

it's an adjustment

i will see how many friendships endure beyond the common tie of work


my Dad had a couple of major TIAs (transient ischemic attack). He was hospitalised and had partial paralysis in his right side. He is still recovering from the paralysis.

"TIAs occur when a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery, and part of the brain doesn't get the blood it needs. The symptoms occur rapidly and last a relatively short time. Most TIAs last less than five minutes. The average is about a minute. Unlike stroke, when a TIA is over, there's no injury to the brain."

TIAs are also called mini-strokes. It's a bit of a mis-nomer. A stroke causes permanent damage, a TIA does not.

The medical folks believe that this episode caused no permanent damage. They found evidence of dead tissue, though - so he has had real strokes already. This doesn't come as a huge surprise to me. He has had various confusion issues - he is really quite brilliant, so his slightly damaged brain is still sharper than most people's full capacity. But knowing him - he is diminished - as noted in a couple of past posts.

My mom isn't talking it very well. Dad is being his usual asshole self. Concerned for the first little bit, adjusts to the minor discomfort and then doesn't change.

He has the adult version of teenaged invulnerability. He has always been such a capable individual he was able to handle anything and everything that was ever thrown his way. Add to that a politician's ego and you have a recipe for ignoring the decrepitude of age. Add to that a healthy dose of physical laziness. He can work physically hard - he farmed for most of his life in addition to his professional career. His jobs have been extremely demanding - he always works hard at anything he works at - but only what he chooses to, and only what he wants to. And he doesn't do exercise. It holds no interest for him. He can bluff, and slough, and slide his way through everything else. Now this too.

Add to that a streak of stubbornness that would put a mule to shame...

We'll see how all this works out.


after being stable for awhile

stbx-Mrs_C is losing it

in a bad way

the shit that used to be directed at me is belching out toward my kids

it has accelerated over the last 3-4 weeks

that is a subject for a whole post


it's home time, so all the rest of what i was intending to write about will have to go by the wayside for now

i will post a few pictures from the wine tour Smitten and I went on - where we got to meet Balloon Pirate.

things are good there

sometimes wonderful

sometimes tired

not the relationship

but the people

there is a lot happening - maybe most of it is happening in my own head

but it tires me out


home time

more later


P.S. sorry to have been a bad blog buddy, but there was little choice over the last while

i have tried to keep half assed up to date on your blogs, but have sucked in general. i will continue to suck for the next while - just not as bad as i have recently

thank-you to everybody that checks in and who has inquired

thank-you for being friends

Thursday, November 08, 2007

trolling for wien


i'd like to read your blog, if you are interested in having me as a reader - you've made it private now

if any other readers have contact with wien, please pass along my request


we lost


most of my friends are going to be out of work shortly...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

went away, conflict nearing end, son's birthday

We went away last weekend on a wine tasting tour. it was fun - more later

Smitten and I met Ballon Pirate in person - that made me very happy.

My son is now 16. Took him for Indian food for his supper.

Smitten stuck a candle and a sparkler into a Gulab Jamin and gave son a green cone party hat with a sparkly fringe on the bottom. He was thrilled by dinner and his celebratory dessert.

The owner of the restaurant was so thrilled about this 16 year old white kind loving Indian food so much he brought out extra stuff for him to enjoy.

More on son's birthday later, too.

The conflict is about a day to be over.

We're going to lose.

Got to man the barricades.

Monday, October 29, 2007

are you the same person?

are you the same person?

am i the same person?

I have lost a lot of weight. People see me differently because of that.

Does changing your physical self change the essential you as a person?

Does changing your activities and actions make you a different person? If you didn't do things you wanted to before, for whatever reason, and now you do them - are you a different person?

Do your actions constitute who you are? even if you have the secret area inside of you, if you don't act - is that secret self really you? If you are with someone who doesn't love the same things as you, and so you don't do what you love - does that make you a different person than if you did do those things?

These questiona are prompted by 2 things: Signgurl and her transformation and discussion of those changes and a discussion I had with Smitten.

I told her that i was mad at her ex-husband the other weekend.

I was mad at him while we were shopping. I was angry that he would have never taken the time to experience the joy of getting her new clothes. I was mad at him for denying her the joy of receiving such gifts, of denying her the appreciation of him watching her as she smiled.

I was mad at him for being so stupid as to have let this woman go. I thought to myself "What the fuck? What the fuck, man? What could be running through your head as to not do everything in your power to keep this woman with you?"

I talked to Smitten about it.

Among other things she said "I'm not the same person as I was. I don't know if I would have shined the way I do with you. The way you make me blossom. I don't know. I didn't ever experience it. I was dead before - numb - and I'm alive now. So I don't know if he could have the same experience as you, because i don't know if i could have."

"I was a different person."

was she?

am I?

can you be a different person?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

on busy, on clothes, and on eating right

I'd like to write about things that are funny or full of pathos. But it's all used up right now. The conflict is grinding on. It's the end of week two. Two more weeks to go.

It's like a football game that is scoreless and all gets played mid-field with no real gains on either side. Like an NFL game - a rushing game - a game where it's just linebackers slamming into each other.

(or it would be if I had ever actually watched an NFL football game... but my sports inclined buddies used a hockey metaphor and i figured that i would translate it into a more U.S. centric version)

The hours are long. It has been a bit of a lull for the last 5 days for me. My hell time was getting the IT infrastructure up and running in the week prior to the beginning and for the first 7-10 days.

Network install orders gone wrong, missing computer shipments, missing screens and missing computers, server issues, email issues, blah, blah, blah. The expected kinds of start-up problems when you trying to simultaneously start about 60 offices and some 600 full-time volunteers in 3 days. Offices that have to be up and running in 24 hours or so... yep - didn't happen - well, it did, but not fully. As for advance prep - well you can plan, and you can put in standby orders, but we don't have fixed conflict dates here like you do in the U.S. It can be at any time - we knew it was probably coming - but we got about 5 days notice that it was a for sure go, and we can't spend much money in advance under the law (also just being really cheap bastards) - leaves us in a hellish scramble to put it all together as soon as the launch happens.

It's actually better this time. I was pretty much alone in IT infrastructure last time. Now there's 5 of us. We are doubling as the data people, but most the central data work doesn't happen until after the initial set-up.

There has been no defining issue in the conflict so far. A set of published statements by each side and the slow attrition of "you suck" - "no, you suck" - "no, you suck more". The press doesn't help. They are interested in so called "Human stories" rather than substantive debate of issues.

Our opposition doesn't help either. They are trying to cover up their real agenda by watering it down into milquetoast so people won't be scared or their hard right agenda. And the fucking press gives them a pass. We have years and years of the other guys on the record with really fucked up ideas (like no minimum wage, hacking at occupational health and safety, getting rid of source water protection [environmental regulations designed to protect drinking water]) - but the press ignores it. Yet stuff our people said in the 1930s gets air play.

Fuck I hate the press.


The conflict has been interfering with my time with my kids and with Smitten. They accept it as a fact of life.

Even the kids have lived through several conflicts before - even in their short lives. They accept the necessities of the fight. They understand the duty. Son has been working the phone banks. We did literature drops previously, but this is his first full involvement. He's 16. I am pleased he is interested enough to do it (the $12 an hour he's being paid is a motivator too... i am sure). Daughter, at 11, is still too young - in my opinion. I was knocking on doors as a full canvasser at the age of 9. Different era - different parents. I won't do that to my kids.

They are believers, such as they can be at their ages.

Smitten has been gracious. We have watched several historical works together - they describe the beginnings of the movement and the call to action. She has listened to me go on and on about what I believe. She has bleeding heart tendencies already, though she has not been active or involved in my particular turf, so it's an easy sell - her long history of community involvement makes what I do a short step for her.

The passion for a better world. The call to action. The will to stand up for it.

She says this is part of what attracts her to me. That she understands that the time spent is part of the cost of that passion and belief.


I got part of the proprty settlement. I was able to liquidate part of our stock holdings. A substantial chunk of change. Paid down some debt. Paid some bills. And bought a swack of new clothes. Threw out a bunch of old clothes.

I like wearing clothes that I bought. That I picked. My own taste and style.


I spent some money buying Smitten some clothes. And some boots. She thinks the boots are for her. I say they're for me. They are up to just under her knee, are shiny black leather, have interesting buckles and spike heels. You figure out whom they are for [heh!].

She works at a community organisation - a helping the poor place. She makes a lot less money than she should. For years she has bought clothes that were on sale and were just classic styles in order to stretch her dollars. she had complained one time about just having old stuff - and that she is looking forward to getting a new job so that she can afford to actually have a clothing budget.

Smitten is applying for new jobs right now - I think I mentioned that in previous posts - she is tired of living on the edge financially because of the wage constraints of her current organization.

I wanted her to have some clothes that were just for her (well, for me too - i like to look at her a lot - but clothes that are her decision). So we went shopping. She has always been an on her own kind of person - I've talked about that in the past - she was essentially abandoned when she was 16/17. It has been a big hurdle for her in our relationship - accepting my help - being reliant on anyone else.

At one level it was pretty hard for her to accept me doing this for her. But it was also joyful. She likes to look good and be stylish.

We got some really nice stuff that day.

We are also going on a trip in the near future and i wanted her to have some new clothes for the trip.

I also wanted her to have some new clothes for any interview she might have.


Made waffles for Smitten last weekend. She hasn't had waffles in about 15 years since her dietary issues became troublesome. These were made from bean flour - a friend of mine gave me some 5 bean flour and a recipe. I went out and bought a $10.00 waffle iron just for the occasion.

they were really good - couldn't tell they were bean flour. I'll post the recipe somewhere (here or eat it and weep).

Smitten was delighted. It was a big deal.


I have been buying food and cooking for some of the people in the central office. Offered to do laundry for a couple of the other IT guys, but they found time last weekend.

A lot of delivery restaurant food was being consumed.

I made a bunch of healthy stuff and put it in the fridge so they could eat vegetables and light fare.

16 - 18 hour days under huge stress and eating shitty food - recipe for problems. I've been pressuring people to eat healthily. Many of them - this is their first time in central office in a conflict. They don't understand the pacing or the realities of surviving.

I pissed a few of them off by harping on the subject, but to a person they came back and apologised for getting cranky and said that they realised after eating decent food that I was right.

Even if they were just jollying me (which I doubt), I'm just happy they are starting to eat better. They've also offered money to pay for the stuff. I've been bagging at them about sleep and taking walks too. I have harped on a few to go take walks around the area during moderate downtime. They went.

As one guy told his mom (who's been giving him grief too) "Don't worry Mom, I've found a surrogate mother in a large hairy deep voiced straight guy*. He's been making me eat right and sleep." His mother has been working conflicts since he was in utero... (*he's gay - so that's where the "straight guy" thing came from).


Sorry if this post was a little disjointed, or incomplete, but I wrote it in a small gap in time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

run for the cure

a couple of weeks ago we went to the local run for the cure - the breast cancer run.

Smitten and her dance troupe were out and belly dancing as part of the entertainment and "festival" that surrounded the run. there were dancers, drummers, bands, food, and other stuff - across Canada they raised almost $27 million through the run (if that doesn't sound like much, remember - we only have 30 million people in Canada).

i played taxi for smitten - dropped her off because there was no parking nearby - by the time we got there (10 am) there were over 4500 vehicles there already - most of the cars with multiple people - this is in a city and region with only about a quarter of a million people - pretty good turnout.

i was general pack-boy, water bearer, and photographer. most of the pics were on other cameras, but i did manage to get a couple on my cell phone. i still hadn't figured out how to set the size of the picture properly on this day, so these pictures are enlarged from their original tiny size - that's why they are shitty.

it was a beautiful fall day. pretty cold in the morning though - i felt sorry for the dancers who had worn costumes with bare midriffs - they were cold...

in the top two pictures the colourful blobs in the front are the dance troupe. the other pictures are of runners crossing the finish line.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

pumpkin patch

At the beginning of October we went out to some market gardens near our city. These are some pictures of that day. I took them with my cell phone and accidentally turned down the picture size while shooting - that's why some of the pics are so small.

I have always loved the fall market trips. stbx-Mrs_C only wanted to go a few times in all the period we were married. Smitten jumped at the chance.

stbx-Mrs_C told me she loved to do such things before we were married but then dragged her feet about going. Eventually I just didn't bring it up anymore. Bait and switch, I guess...

As for Smitten, going to the gardens was one of the things she wanted to do, and talked about when we first met. She was very happy that i would put together the plan for the activity and then execute that plan. In her marriage she had to do the planning and follow-through.

Yeah - I know - I shouldn't compare so much - but I do. I review and I validate. I ask myself how I feel about how my life is going and if it is happy. I ask if my life is fulfilling my needs at this time, and i ask if my life is changed/changing in a manner to address things that made me unhappy in the past.

If something makes me unhappy - i'd better have a good reason for doing it.


The Mexican figure that greeted us at one of the market gardens.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"the conflict"

it begins formally today

i literally don't have the half hour to do a decent post

posting will be pretty spotty this month

i feel like a ship that has a pump that is slowly losing the battle with the water coming onboard - stuff is getting tossed my way faster than i can deal with it all. the usual confusion of the first part of a conflict. in about a week it will be smoother and much of the stuff will be dealt with or just won't matter because it wasn't done in time - such is the way it happens

i feel like when i exercise - the first part it is kind of shitty - your muscles are complaining and don't want to work, and then it gets smoother and you start to enjoy the body feeling and you hit your stride.

that's how i feel - like i'm hitting my stride. it's game day for just over four weeks - every day, every waking hour.

the adrenaline rush is incredible. there's nothing like it. at least in my world - strategy, tactics, media, marketing, conflict, subterfuge - and minutes can count.

i was born to this world

and while it may have permanently altered me in some ways - made me a little different - it's still one serious fucking rush.

i was pretty anxious about preparations over the last couple of months. a lot of responsibility dropped on my lap because a couple parts of the organisation (volunteer) literally collapsed in the lead up to the conflict. there is also the possibility of a higher conflict overlapping with ours - and some of the people we had been promised from other regions of the country are spoken for in their home regions - so we lost some outside human resources. i had to go recruit some of the retired folks to come back for one more. some of them are cranky with our current client group (who are responsible for the withering of the organisation - hence the crankiness of the old ones) - but because i am old blood (my family helped found the movement) i can talk to them in the old ways with the old language - and find the buttons to push to get them to come out and work one more for the cause.

this is the most responsibility i've ever had in a conflict. many things i can let slide and be sloppy - but this event is not one of those. my concern for quality in regard to the conflict borders on the obsessive. i was worried that i was not up to snuff. it's funny, but talking to the old ones and the retired folks to bring them back to fight one more has filled me with a lot of confidence in the job i am doing. these are people whom i've known since i was born (literally) and they don't mince a whole lot of words... you know - the whole bullshit walks thing...

i briefed them on what i'm doing, and on what other true believers inside the org are doing - they said i was doing pretty good. these people fought the good fight. some were thrown in jail in the 30s and 40s for being activists. some were beaten by gangs of men with axe handles when they tried to organise the movement (really), or lost jobs and had family members threatened (even my sister when she was 5 year old - my family was threatened with guns in the '60s [before i was born] - i personally got beat up in school). surviving such experiences bring about a purity of purpose and language. they persevered and succeeded - for decades now. when they say i'm doing OK - i know i'm doing OK.

it's game day for just over four weeks

the IT and rapid response units (my groups) are primed and ready.

if we pull this one off - it'll make history - literally

game day

Monday, October 01, 2007


Pissy, eve, Cole: Thank-you.

A lot.

Thank-you for your affirmation.

(this references the last post and its comments)

I want to quote a paragraph from September of last year:

I cried
"I'm not capturing it well, but I think you get the idea. You have some idea of the kind of person I am, and you understand the pain this point of entry would cause. I tried so hard. I loved that woman with everything I had. And in my mind, now she's saying one more time that it just isn't good enough. That on top of all the other times I just didn't make the mark, now the amount of love that I had/have isn't enough either. That if I just loved her a little more it would work. In my mind she's pointing out one more deficiency and one more shortcoming - just like the last 18 years of never quite making the mark."


You see, I re-read my post I Rock The Party and I heard the stbx's voice in my head "You only do all this stuff for show. To make other people think you are such a good guy, but as soon as there is nobody watching, you turn into a lump. Something else."


The fact is, I did put extra flourishes on when her family was around, or other people were around. Her family often treated her like shit - so I would put on extra show so that she could wear it like a badge of honour - Look what [cadbury] did for me. So that she could be the princess, instead of the stepsister...

But I tried very hard to do things and say things when it was just us as well.

As I look back on our relationship, and as I understand her more - I realise that she probably didn't get the same kind of rush when I did something in private as when it was in public - so that made my private efforts less worthwhile - a BPD person gets their primary sense of self externally - so the higher the level of external positivity - the higher the internal feeling.


Pirate: Prompted by your comment, I just did a search on "characteristics of an addict" and this is a list from the first hit:

"To gain insight, consider carefully this commonly accepted list of personality traits found in the addicted person. These are characteristics that occur in normal people, but in the addict are exaggerated and uncontrolled. These things render addicts incapable of being at peace."

Low Frustration and Tolerance

The page referred to above has a detail on each characteristic.

You've mentioned the behaviours before - and each time it kind of throws me.

It all fits stbx-Mrs_C. It's kind of weird. My former boss - who's Dad was an alcoholic - said that it's a personality set that precedes alcoholism - and that alcoholics are just self-medicating their pain. My stbx had a (and now has a larger) problem with alcohol, but didn't drink much because I took steps to make sure alcohol wasn't readily available. So I don't normally think of her as an alcoholic.

Smitten did the 12 step program for family of alchoholics (al-anon) while as part of her search to deal with her issues with her Mom.

Your reference to co-dependent spousal behaviour - i think i need to do some more reading there. I have done a bunch of reading on PTSD and spousal abuse survivor stuff - but I think I need to look at some of the spousal behaviours you reference. I need to understand myself as myself - not just as a reactant to the stbx.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Why do I feel the need to talk about my success?

Because for so long I was told that what I did wasn't up to snuff. There was always something that would make the day go sour no matter what I did. That something that I did wouldn't be nice enough or sincere enough.

Because I was told I was insensitive.


Lacking awareness.





Friday, September 28, 2007

I Rock The Party

Made her cry again...

It was Smitten's birthday. I had gotten her two very funky picture holders (no pictures at this time) - heavy glass ones. Inside the holders I put pictures of the two of us, as well as a picture of me in the superman underwear. I put a slip of paper into one of the blank spots on both with the words "For Memories Yet To Be Made" in a fancy script font.

Her husband had rarely remembered her birthday, and often asked her what she wanted and then just went and bought it. Sometimes she would just say "Forget it." The presents were not wrapped either.

On my birthday Smitten had wrapped one of my presents with the lid and present wrapped separately so you just have to remove the lid. She was little embarrassed about that and said "I always wanted a present wrapped like they did in old movies - it was so cool."

Being the attentive guy I am I decided to:

I picked the stuff and wrapped it myself. Well, daughter helped me find the bows at the craft store and gave suggestions - but I did go with my own choice. She offered opinions on some of the combinations I considered and discarded.

I got help from the ladies at the office - they were all wowed that I would even do that much (being a man and all...) and said they would wrap it for me (as I told them I had little idea of the mechanics of such a wrapping job). I declined their kind offer, because I wanted to learn to wrap presents well. I discovered one lady previously worked in a jewelry store and knew all the secrets. I wanted the effort and "design" to be my mine. That is part of the gift.

The thing that bugged me is that the wrapping paper, bows, and box ended up costing more than the two glass picture holders (mega sale). I was (am) little cranky about "woman culture" that demands fancy-assed wrapping and therefore sees wrapping stuff and cards being so expensive because they know people will pay that much... The ladies in the office told me I should go to the dollar store to buy paper and bows. Then they looked at the quality of the paper and such and said that while I might have saved some money the stuff I bought from the craft store is way nicer.

I consigned myself to the thought that the box is a photo box (part of the theme) and can be kept and used for photos. I still have more of the paper left. I also consoled myself noting that I chintzed on the card.

Also - I would think nothing of dropping an extra 5 or 10 bucks on dinner, so why not on paper and bows?

But it still bugs me to spend that much. the stbx and I had that argument lots when the kids were going to birthday parties. I would buy a $1.00 gift bag and tell the kids to make the card and then spend the $4.50 I would have spent on the card to top up the gift to a $15.00 nicer gift instead of buying a less nice $10.00 gift and a $5.00 card that only the kid's Mom would read. stbx-Mrs_C was always on my ass about "What are their Mom's going to think? That we're too cheap to buy a card?"

Anyway - it's a thing with me.

But, back to the gift. Smitten and I are going on a trip in early November and I'm footing almost all of the bill. So that's why I went for a lower cost gift. The holders were part of a one day only sale and were $7.00 each - normally $30.00. If you can believe the original price. All things being equal - even if we weren't going on the trip I believe this would have been more than enough gift. It's the thought that counts, I guess.

Last year I didn't wrap the gift - I used the gift itself as the case, so this was a step up from that.

Part of the reason she cried (i think) - or, rather started to - and then controlled herself - is because I had rescued her twice over the previous two days and she was still recovering from the stress she felt. You see, she was applying for this new job on short notice and Smitten doesn't do well on short notice with reports/writing/submissions. She takes a long time to make things perfect.

Writing and spin is part of my job almost every day. Most of the time all we get is a few minutes to come up with lines and responses. Stuff that will be ripped apart in public by an ultra-aggressive set of other guys.

I was able to package up her cover letter in only a couple of hours. It was a thing of beauty. Smitten said "Wow. I sound so good the way you write it." I told her it was because she doesn't give herself enough credit. Then the online application process threw her a few curves - also being an internet/computer guy I was helpful there - and they had some dumbassed questions and stuff in the online application that in essence required you to write a 3 paragraph summary of your resume... so I quick wrote that, too.

She was quite upset by the process - she has pretty exacting standards and doesn't like writing to deadlines. She wants perfection (I can relate to the anxiety - read any of my dinner party preparation blog entries to remember how i get wound up).

We got the application process done by about 8pm - and then Smitten needed to get ready - she had projected being done and ready by 7pm, so that wound her up too - she hates being late and doesn't like it when people are late. This killed her. She was pretty rattled.

When we hit supper at about 8:30pm she was starting to wind down a little. I think the relaxation and emotional release is part of what caught her off guard. Also, I had cleverly put the box into a gym/carry bag so she had no idea of the wrapping job. She assumed I had just put a present inside the bag and not done any wrapping.


We went to an authentic Thai place in town. Good food.


I am very pleased with myself. [he says, patting his own back]

In communications this is what we call a pure hit. Conceived, planned, and executed to perfection.

I Rock The Party!


I am terribly thrilled to have been able to make Smitten happy. I want that so bad. I want to make someone happy. To make someone feel special. To put all the thought and intent into my actions to underline just how important that person is to me.

I want someone who loves me - and whom I can love back.

With all my being.

And I believe I have found that someone.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fall colours and hiking

Smitten asked me why I was muttering about getting good examples of prairie landscape. When I told her I was going to be blogging the landscape pics she grabbed the camera and said "Blog this!". So I am:

Friday, September 21, 2007

control, loss of control, and rescuing

Lara wrote this on her blog:
"Speaking of random.. sometimes I think my life is random. Like I have no control over where I go, what I do, or whether or not I'm on time.

Or maybe that's just a result of being the parent of teens?"

Lara's post Me, randomized *warning for those at work - adult content - nudity*

it made me think about the issue of control over what a person does in their own life. Honi also has a very thought provoking post on the issue of control *warning for those at work - music will play from the link to Honi's post*

my reply to lara is posted below:
when i split with my stbx i discovered that i didn't have nearly the time i used to have to do things - not things i wanted to do - just all the things i did do - especially the driving and doing for the kids. i had to let some of it go - and demand that they deal with more of their own things

i had tried so hard to be the good parent who allowed his kids to be kids that i didn't get any *me time* - and spent all my time being a servant - or servitor to my kids

my choice - but when they became upset or resentful that i wasn't always there to cater to their every whim or to solve every one of their problems or their fuck-ups of their own doing...

i was always anticipating other people's failures so that i could be the rescuer

i decided that being good to them might have gone a little far

i don't know if that applies to your situation - but it might - from what i have read

as i read my reply above i noticed one line in particular:

"i was always anticipating other people's failures so that i could be the rescuer"

i wrote last year about my son rescuing his friend who was having issues with his parents. those parents kicked their son out and he is now living (paying room and board) at stbx-Mrs_C's house (this is one of the things i've had in the works to write in detail about, but work has been crazy).

another of my son's other friends is having serious issues with his parents - they moved out of the city to a small town just outside (pseudo-suburb-nuevo-riche develoment). this friend got pounded on by the local boys - small town kids resentful of the nuevo-riche types moving into the new development. the kid is turning 16 in about 6 weeks - he has now moved in at stbx-Mrs_C's place too - as of today - and will be returning to the school my son attends. he stayed at my place last night and will be moving in with stbx-Mrs_C and the happy gang at the house today. he will theoretically be moving home when he is 16 and gets his driver's license and can drive himself to school. he will theoretically get a job to pay for his own gas - his parents will partially subsidise a beater car.

in both of these instances i fault the parents. in the first the parents are born-again strict types (and who are also [in my experience of the last 2 1/2 years] self-centred assholes), in the second the boy is the child of the mother and was adopted by the father - there are now 3 other children who are full blood of the father. the father is a merciless asshole to my son's friend and lavishes gifts on his own blood children and tells the oldest boy (my son's friend) that he is useless, blah, blah, blah. i've known this boy since he was 5 years old - and have known the family well - i have witnessed and heard for too many years.

i have chosen not to get involved with the rescue of this boy. i will do what i can - he can stay at my place sometimes when my son is there - i will feed him as appropriate - if he ends up stranded somewhere i may go pick him up - but in his life choices i will not rescue him.

(in other things i haven't written about...) my mom and dad have had a pretty rough spell in their relationship recently. my dad has been trying to drag me in to it. to take sides. i have resisted and got into a bit of a wrangle with dad. dad turned the screws on me a bit (guilt, money i owe him/them). it hurt. dad then changed tactics and tried to start telling me how to live my life and manage my affairs instead of attending to his own life and relationship

*close interlude*

with regard for the newly dispossessed child - i sent this email to Smitten this morning:

i'm feeling pretty bad for [M-friend] this morning

i was making lunch for him and i asked if he liked mustard - he says "oh, [Cadbury] you don't have to make me lunch..."

i said "fuck you [M-friend] - that's what i was telling you last night - you're not alone - you don't have to do it all on your own - you can accept help"

he walked away for a minute and then came back and said "oh, and [Cadbury], for the record - i do like mustard"


i'm going to have to do some work with him. i'm going to probably need to talk to at least [Son], and probably to [stbx-Mrs_C]

[M-friend] is so fearful of being a burden - i think an aftereffect of [M-friend's dad] constantly telling him how useless he is and how he never does enough (sound familiar?)

but i am not going to become a caregiver for him - i have to focus on me - and my life

i could easily try to solve his problems - like my dad trying to tell me how to run my life - but i'm not going to

blah, blah, blah


[later edit]
excerpt from Smitten's reply :

Something to think about: Although I understand why you feel you need to talk to your ex about [M-friend], however think about the mixed message that you will send her if you do that... You have set the precedent (from what you have told me) that you will only talk with her through your lawyer or on paper. If you begin to talk with her about [M-friend], then that boundary means nothing.


and the blah, blah, blah goes on [surprise musical link]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

feeling better today - starting updates

i've been on muscle relaxants since last week. i had been doing pretty shitty. i have been doing acupressure all week, but last night it started to have some effect, or at least that i noticed)

i have so much to talk about from the last 6 weeks - a more detailed description of the vacation and some of what went on there, changes in my relationship with my daughter son's friend moving back into stbx-Mrs_C's house, my Dad putting the screws to me and pissing me off, the impending conflict (work), blah, blah, blah.

so i might as well start with some of the oldest stuff.

vacation went relatively well. the kids mixed well. 2 of mine, 2 of Smitten's, 1 of Smitten's brother (G). there were no real bumps. there were plenty of trigger points for both of us because of our respective previous camping experiences...

the place we went to in Ontario was beautiful. it rained, but the campsite was alright because of the rock and sand (not much mud). there were some points of strain - Smitten and I had envisioned campsites much closer together. you see there were two campsites ours and Smitten's brother's (and some family). He picked the two most scenic, but not the best from a logistical standpoint - so there wasn't as much group cooking - and because there were only adults at the other site they were faster set-up and clean-up on their side (G's daughter stayed with us - with the other girls in their tent). so we were often doing chores (cooking, clean-up) while the fun was being had at the other site. so that didn't quite work out as planned.

climbing up a small set of rapids while we were all out on the hike

Smitten's daughter on the rocks, brother's wife climbing rapids

caught in the act - this pic won't stay up very long on this blog

still able to eat well, even in the bush...

daughter and son heading up to the vehicle parking spot

Monday, September 17, 2007

filler pics, tired and swamped

I was going to write a long entry today, but we've started "shelling" in the the pre-conflict period and the fever is everywhere. So my peaceful day has been interrupted with requests for new systems to be put online and for fast response on some communications... and i'm moving pretty slow.

So i'm throwing in a few pictures as filler. The stories that go with these pictures will have to wait as well. These are from summer vacation.

My children's dogs. Took them on a few days of vacation after we came back from camping. My parents drove them out to their cottage where we were staying for a few days. Guess which one belongs to which child.

The view from my parents' cottage. Thats one thing about where i live. The sky is very, very big. Always.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

fibromyalgia, cycloprene, and a down week

i'm ill again

i've been denying it for weeks (nay, months) but it caught up with me hard this week.

the pain has been building and my muscles have been refusing to work more and more - until this week it became so bad that i had to go to the doctor. i got prescribed cycloprene and amytriptline - i've been on them before. the cycloprene is a muscle relaxant, and amytriptline is an old anti-depressant. in very low dosages it changes sleep patterns. they tried to prescribe paxil or xanax but i refused - last time i was on those they fucked me up bad. i need my brain - i am about to be in the most high pressure scenario since 4 years ago... the conflict.

i'm stable and am just exhausted now. my legs are a little wobbly, and i drop things because of the spasms and resulting muscle weakness in my hands and arms - but i think i am the road to being OK.

been running around all afternoon and it's hometime now - pickingup daughter to watch movies tonight, so gotta go now

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

more summer vacation pics

a few more pics - there are still more to come.

this is the view from the campground beach early one morning when i went to the bathroom. there was one quite nice day, the rest were a little rainy. it was mostly light rain during the day with thunderstorms at night. i dread camping in the rain, but this was pretty good. being on shield there was lots of rock and sand instead of mud.

this is a bear proof garbage container near the beach. not a lot of bears in this vicinity (none) but it is theoretically bear country so federal guidelines say bear proof garbage - and the feds paid for an upgrade to the beach - and this garbage.

the view of our camp from the top of the trail from the road leading down to the actual site

hiking trail we went on

the boy

the boy drying his socks

the girl swimming - yes, you can see a reflection in the water of Smitten's brother's daughter right behind my girl. i don't have permission to put her on here, so i did a quick photoshop erase

Monday, September 10, 2007

went to a party

attended yet another charity fundraiser - it was fun. trout fishing tournament, dinner and a band. i won a prize for fishing - i was the fastest to hook a fish for 2 rounds, but came in second on the final so i got second prize - a framed print - would have rather won 1st - IMAX party for all your friends.

it was at this outdoor place - weddings and stuff happen at the facility. it has this big tent thing and a beautiful garden (and a massive trout pond out back). there were heaters in the tent and two massive bonfires - blacktie service, and good food. everything from the food to the service to the band was donated.

we were both tired from stuff going on in our lives - and in another lifetime we might have decided not to go, but that would have been old pattern - and we are doing only new pattern if possible. if the choice is between going out and having fun, or staying in and collapsing - we are going out.

the theory is that the event itself will energise us.

we had a great time that evening.

these are a couple of cell phone pictures from the event:

you can sort of see the tent in this one