Tuesday, February 27, 2007

report on dancing, Smitten's muscles, and a student my class

We attended a dance/social for the ballroom dancing club on Saturday. It went well. There were fewer people and more beginners there than usual because the higher level dancers were at a big workshop.

I felt reasonably comfortable. Smitten was little more anxious than I expected she would be. I was a little less anxious than I expected to be. I guess my time on stages and behind podiums paid off in keeping me calm. The crowd wasn't watching or judging us (many were in the same boat as us...) and we treated it like a practice session.

We only went for the last 90 minutes of the dance. We had spent the whole day lounging about and talking and I still wanted to work-out (2 hour time requirement), so we were late going to the dance. My working out is something I have put forward as a priority - my exercise has been getting short shrift lately because of our mutual desire to spend time together.

We had fun, we were both a little distressed when it ended - we wanted to go longer. We have decided to ditch our kids this coming weekend when there is another dance (usually they are once a month, but this is some special thing) and spend another evening dancing.

My massage therapist referred Smitten to a specialised physiotherapy unit at the university. With a referral from a medical professional the initial number of sessions are paid for under our universal medicare.

It appears that Smitten suffered some muscle damage during childbirth and that is what has been the root of her muscular difficulties. She still suffers, but, since the professional massage, my help with acupressure and basic massage, and the physio and exercises they taught her, along with her existing chiro treatments - she is having longer and longer periods free of pain, and with lower levels of pain.

HAH! I will "cure" her yet!!! yes, i know that it is the others that are really doing most of it... but without my research and prodding - and paying for the first massage treatment with my RMT - Smitten would have stayed in the same track she had been in for the last 7 or so years. Smitten says she had just sort of resigned herself to the pain (having been through it with doctors for years) and that without my well intentioned interference and prodding she would not likely have gone down this path. So I claim at least the moral victory of having initiated a new set of actions which are leading to her wellness.

Also on the Smitten wellness front. I have discovered a variety of malabsorption syndrome which appears to match Smitten's symptoms. For example celiac disease is a malabsorption syndrome (Smitten is not celiac - she can eat gluten). I have found enough case studies and other research materials that match her symptoms that she is going to wait for me to finish my current bit of research and then she will take it to her doctor.

The down side is that she will likely have to have a down esophagus lapropscopic procedure to see if her intestinal lining is damaged in one particular part of her small intestine, but if it confirms the problem, then that is likely a good thing.

If it does confirm it, then we can design an "isolation" diet that will promote healing of the region.

I teach post-secondary computer classes part-time. I have a new student in one of my classes that wandered up to me and asked me a number of questions surrounding whether I was an election day worker/volunteer about 10 years ago in one particular instance. I confirmed that I was.

There had been a big schmozzle at one voting station and I was sent out from the campaign that I worked with to represent our interests. It was a mess. A bad one. All the various (7) party/candidate representatives were fighting - people were having problems with getting to vote - the district electoral officer was threatening to resign on the spot - there had been one shoving match already.

And yes, by applying a little bit of calm and by being a big guy with a deep reassuring and relatively commanding voice (and by knowing what all the rules are - and having some common sense) I managed to get everything calmed down, the problem sorted out and solved to all the campaigns' satisfaction. I also got all the various campaign representatives (most of whom were new and inexperienced) set-up and doing what they should for all their campaigns (even if they were working against my candidate).

This lady (a volunteer for another candidate) told me that she had always wished she could say thank-you but I had disappeared before she could.

I was touched.

I don't always give myself credit for things I do right - I usually end up focusing on my negatives and failures - so this was a nice moment of validation.

Friday, February 23, 2007


went to dance practice the other night

each time i go, i am filled with panic and anxiety


there's a word

One entry found for competence.

2 : the quality or state of being competent

Main Entry: com·pe·tent

2 : having requisite or adequate ability or qualities

i want to dance. i like to dance (such as i am able), and am told i am a good nightclub "freestyle" dancer, i can waltz, and polka. but that's it.

dance - latin dance specifically - is a life goal. i want to dance so bad it hurts.

this dance class is just sending me over the edge. well, i'm exaggerating a bit, but it is a hell of a thing. i am used to being competent. instantly competent. i can absorb amazing amounts of knowledge and synthesize it without effort and very, very quickly. i can read (scan) a book on carpentry or electrical (which i have a minimal grounding in) and by the end of a day i am doing competent beginning/handymanish level work. work that is judged adequate by real (journeymen) carpenters and electricians.



i am told that i have some grace in movement. i consider myself ungainly, but enough people who would be "honest" have said i am not awkward. i feel awkward. with the fibromyalgia i felt even more lumbering and stiff.

i was accelerated in grade school. most of the kids in my class were almost 2 years older than me. i was on the small side of average for the class (big for my age), but i was physically less developed and more awkward than them. i was mocked for that. you will all (probably) remember how kids in elementary school mock the kids who can't do sports or activities... i tried to avoid organized physical activity/sports then and all through my life (not quite true - i wrestled [not a lot of "grace" required for high school wrestling], and i played rugby [*prop - my only job was to stand in one place and hold the "hooker" up - that and slam/grind hard into my opponents in the scrum - about 18 inches of brutal movement - sort of like a linebacker with no padding and less politeness - not much finesse involved at my level of play])

this damned dance class. they are introducing new steps so fast. i am not an athletic guy. i have just come away from years of poor mobility from the fibromyalgia. movement and body are not my thing. it's always been my mind that works for me - not my body. we are learning 4 dances and they introduce new steps for 2 of the dances each week. i never feel caught up. i've been practicing with Smitten for 1.5-3 hours a week in addition to the class time, but i'm still in serious panic mode.

i love the dance. i hate to feel incompetent.

i really dislike being less than competent. at anything. that's one of the things that sat really badly every time stbx-Mrs_C criticised me during our marriage. i don't have to be perfect. i need to be compentent - or at very least - adequate.

every class i want to quit. i don't say it to Smitten. i just get overwhelmed and panicked about not getting the steps right. i feel it should come more easily.

i won't quit because i want this so very badly. i won't quit because i haev committed to this course of action for very good reasons and strong desire. and even if it takes me years (which it will) to become (truly) competant i will. i ask the instructors and volunteers for help and direction several times per class (it's a dance club, not a commercial studio). i ask the questions i need to about how the steps should be accomplished.

it doesn't help that Smitten dances and gets this faster than me. as she says "my body feels the beat and wants to move to it".

I don't work like that. my learning method for something like this, or for something i do not know works in one way - my way - it's been successful and easy so far in my life. i focus solely on the mechanics until i have those down. once the mechanics are down i worry about anything else. in this case - the beat.

the instructors piss me off and so does Smitten sometimes. until i feel a little more comfortable, i need to focus on mechanics. they demand that i be on beat before i even know what i'm supposed to do to be on beat to. they all think that the beat is more important than the mechanics and that if you just move to the music everything else will follow.


since the first couple of classes Smitten has adjusted her ways to accomodate me.

i am joyful during some of the dances (until they throw some new moves in...)

they also mix up all four styles in each class. with two being dominant each class.

i like to learn one thing at a time. full focus.

i practice alone in my apartment. i practice with Smitten, I practice at the classes. I am relatively comfortable with the cha cha, and am becoming moreso with the merengue. the style of waltz we are doing and the two-step are not doing so well for me. mostly because i have practiced the latin dances more (interest) and i'm not a big country music fan... and that's what we do the waltz and two-step to.
(before the country music fans out there kick me, there are a number of qualifiers on my broad brush "don't like country" statement)

i wish i could spend a whole weekend doing intensive work on a single dance.

i have also decided that this is a good exercise for me. an exercise in vulnerability. of being "out there". while i do things that a lot of people would consider "daring" i don't usually stray out of my confort zone. it is probably a good thing to stretch myself and confront my fears and discomfort.

i'm thinking of seeing if i can bribe (pay) and/or cajole one of the volunteers into helping me (us). but i will have to wait until i have more cash.

in the meantime - there's a beginner's practice dance/social this weekend that we will be attending.

*"There are two props in rugby league, numbered 8 and 10, which pack in to the front of the scrum on either side of the hooker. The two props are usually the two biggest, strongest, heaviest players in the side. When scrums were competitive their strength was key in winning possession. In the modern game their strength is more useful in the tackle or as a ball carrier. However, it is still possible for an alert tight-head prop to help his side win a scrum against the feed by striking for the ball in conjunction with a drive from the rest of the pack. Formerly, striking for the ball was primarily the responsibility of the hooker.

Props run upright with their head up, trying to run into space, but often directly into tacklers, trying to break through with shear force or keep an arm free for a strong fend, and look for support to offload the ball from the tackle. They get noticed probably most when the team are in possession coming away from their own territory. They are expected to make “the hard yards”; going forward whilst being gang-tackled by 2, 3 or even 4 of the opposition. Tactically they may either go down quickly when tackled and look for a quick play the ball, or when in an attacking position stand up in the tackle and offload the ball to a supporting player to switch the point of attack or create a gap to run through" (wikipedia)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


my pain is still gone

i'm not sure what to do

this omnipresent overbearing presence in my life is missing. i feel like something is missing. i didn't want it here, and now it's gone. it was a central defining element of my daily existence - to steel myself against the pain. to exert will to overcome the pain and the exhaustion every single moment for so long. sometimes it would be less and i would feel somewhat human, but it was still only a reduction to the verge of alive.

and now there is no pain. i am not sure what i am feeling in my limbs. just like my emotions, i am no longer in tune with my body. my legs sort of tingle and they are very sensitive - not like when they were in pain, but i can just feel all this stuff i didn't feel before.

i have no normal in my memory to compare it to anymore.

i am almost holding my breath because i am so afraid that it will come back. i had a period of about 5 days of hiatus in the first few months. then i gave blood and later that day i was in hell again.

i want to live. i want to be alive. i want to feel - with my body and with my emotions. i have just held it all in check with will for so long i don't know what to do to just live naturally

to just feel naturally

emotionally or physically


i was pretty filled with hate last night.

I was filled with hate and rage and anger for stbx-Mrs_C and for my daughter. I woke up and it was still there. It built all through my morning routine. As I thought about things stbx-Mrs_C had done over the years and recently. About my daughter rejecting me. About the reasons daughter gave me, about the things stbx-Mrs_C has done to damage my relationship with my daughter, about the additional information son gave me about daughter and her decision to stay with her mom. That daughter won't talk to me about what she feels or thinks that way. That daughter's all happy when she's with me, but then made the choice she did to stay with her mom.

On the way to work I decided I'd better make a counselling appointment.

The feelings were still there even after i got to the office.

Until i got an email with the subject "good morning love". Then it all just dissipated.

But i think i'd better do that counselling.

'cause it's back now.

I am soooooo angry with stbx-Mrs_C. I try to leave that sitting on the side. I try to leave it behind. I try to just get past it. Sometimes I can just go on living life, but then other times it builds into this sweat drenching shaking rage. This ball of hurt that just won't go away. The hate.

And trying to separate myself from the love that used to be there. To re-frame the caring into something more distant.

I want to lash out, but it's really not in my nature to hurt people. Even when I'm really angry. I always try to just settle it down and make it go away. This isn't going away.

(and no - when i say hurt I AM NOT talking about violence)

I hate her for whipping me for so long. I hate daily criticisms. The constant criticism. The constant belittling. I hate her for jerking my leash. Getting a little nicer when i'd get upset, and yanking me harder than before for daring to challenge her. and punishing me for expressing my feelings. so that i would hold them in to avoid the resultant punishment. and the i would be castigated for being emotionally flat - my way of coping.

I hate her for the lies she is telling now.

I hate her for actively trying to turn daughter against me. Not just the usual sort of trashing thing you would expect, but an active day-in, day-out slander campaign. Aimed at an 11 year old.

I hate that she told daughter that she was going to re-do daughter's room, and that daughter would need to stay in mom's room until its done. So they sleep in the same bed and daughter now calls it "our room".

I hate that daughter says she doesn't like it at my apartment. That it isn't big enough or nice enough.

Daughter is giving me the same "not good enough" lines her mom always fed me. That I'm not a good enough provider. That I don't give her enough stuff. That if I go to work out at the gym to stay healthy and lose weight I obviously don't care about her, or I would stay and spend time with her (when I did, all daughter wanted to do was watch music videos).

I hate that her mom is buying daughter every weekend, and that when I ask daughter to even go out for a coffee with me, most of the time I can hear her mother in the background saying "Well, I was going to take you shopping...". I hate that my own intent to to be decent and not disrupt stbx-Mrs_C's life and that of the children is being turned against me. I would have a house and more than a $1000.00 more per month if I hadn't done the decent thing and allowed all this time for stbx-Mrs_C to get her financial ducks in a row. My own decency and kindness is being used to shaft me.

No good deed goes unpunished.

I hate that when I asked daughter to go with me for coffee last weekend, daughter chose to stay with her mom to go pick up the boyfriend because he was bringing daughter stuff from Mexico. I hate that daughter so proudly showed me her new Mexican silver earrings (i told daughter they were nice - because they were nice). I hate that he built her a new dollhouse. I hate that fucking dog that stbx-Mrs_C got for daughter (it's a lovely dog, and i actually really like it...) because it is all daughter talks about. I hate that stbx-Mrs_C told daughter that even if i got a house that i would never allow the new puppy over there and she would have to leave her dog behind. stbx-Mrs_C told daughter i said that.

stbx-Mrs_C is now telling everyone that i admitted to having affairs. stbx-Mrs_C is telling the lies to anyone who might listen, anyone that she can talk to that might know me. and playing the aggrieved woman role to the hilt. and society conditions people to believe that i had an affair. that she keeps telling people "i don't know why he left. i just don't understand."

(for awhile i considered actually making the big list of everything and handing it to her. anonymous suggested it a long time back. my lawyer said "don't do it". Smitten even suggested it - suggesting that it might finally give me the peace to not have to engage with stbx-Mrs_C when she would ask the *why* question, yet one more time. i chose not to, because it would just give her the opportunity to try to split hairs and to demand that i respond to her rebuttals - to reel me into more hours and hours long conversations. and because then she would give copies of it to other people and those people would be privy to things that should only be between her and i)

I hate her for those lies. I hate her because she can't deal with the fact that it might be the misery she inflicted on me that drove me away, and that she is making up lies to cover for it.

i hate her for saying that she really wanted me to be in charge in the marriage. No - really - she said that. This from a woman that tried to determine the kind of toothpaste i was allowed to have.

I hate her for the all the times she rejected me. That she told me she used denial of sex and intimacy as a weapon against me, and then at the moment i became strong enough to walk away she was all over me to do it with her. that she told me that it was my newly transformed self that attracted her. that she later told me she had just used it all as a hook to try to get me to come back to her.

I hate her because she couldn't ever stick to one set of consistent demands. I hate her for the monthly, weekly, daily, hourly changes in what she asked of me through out whole marriage. I hate her because no matter what i did I could never measure up, because even if i met a previous demand or condition, there was always a new one that was the new eternal truth.


i think i'd better make that counselling appointment.

i'm going to try to go out with daughter again tomorrow night. maybe. if she'll agree to do something that doesn't cost me money because i'm broke. i got hosed for more cash for school trips and stuff, and a cheque i was supposed to get isn't here because the lady that does the cheques at the place that owes me has been sick for 2 and a half weeks...

hate - rage - anger - despair - despondence

sheer joy


i'd better make that counselling appointment.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

An Interesting Article Excerpt On Deviant Online Behaviour

Deviant Behavior in Online Multimedia Communities and Strategies for Managing it

Don't Argue, Don't' Bait

Part of being polite and dispassionate is not arguing with the snert. This is exactly what some hostile, oppositional users want. Some of them - especially the "freedom fighters" - will be exceptionally good at luring you into a fight. It's a trap because it's impossible to win such debates. The snert's true underlying (passive-aggressive) motive is to feel powerful and in control by antagonizing you into doing something hostile. It's a game to them, and you're their pawn.

That makes a lot of sense.

"The... ...true underlying (passive-aggressive) motive is to feel powerful and in control by antagonizing you into doing something hostile. It's a game to them, and you're their pawn."

There are a few teachers that read this blog. I'm guessing this is exactly the sort of thing you see in grade-school children all the time.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Vitamin D deficient

Finally an abnormal result in my bloodwork. I'm Vitamin D deficient. I'm on Vitamin D3 supplements now. We'll see what the results are.

Vitamin D deficient symptoms: chronic fatigue, physical weakness, anxiety, sleep disturbances, headaches, cramping of toe, foot, and calf muscles, muscular aches, restless legs, pins and needles sensations of the hands at night time or hands and legs during the day time, bloating and indigestion, chronic diarrhea or chronic constipation, night sweats, and chronic allergic nasal congestion.

Do you think maybe my fucking doctor could have thought of that one? Nice lady, well qualified, good doctor, teaches new doctors in the medical school... but I'm the one that has to find references to Vitamin D deficiency and muscle spasms online and ask for the test?

I have asked for every other test known to mankind (minor exageration), and she has been really good about trying all the things within all the books for fibromyalgia, but...

She has been supportive of my various naturopathic experiments (and reviewed them to see if i would poison myself) and has referred me to dieticians. She gave me prespcriptions and letters for acupuncture, massage and physiotherapy.

She's signed all my notes and given me referrals to specialists. I've been to see the specialists. None of them could have thought of it?

I asked them if there wasn't some kind of fucking database that they could put my symptoms into and then we could work our way through all the possibilities. No.

Goddamn - I'm a computer guy in Canada - who doesn't drink milk. Do you think there a fucking possibility that I might be Vitamin D deficient?

I know it's obscure and that they are trained to deal with things that are a little more straightforward, but this really hurt. For years.

If this cures me I suspect I will be both pleased and really mad.

I'm one week into the vitamin D therapy and the pain in my thighs went away 2 days ago. That's the first time in years.

Maybe it's a placebo effect. Maybe not.

Hoping it works.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Logfiles and things are fascinating

You know, I was looking through my logfiles on my statistics system. And one thing I did discover is that a very special blog commenter appears to be arriving from Georgia. It's interesting that someone who appears to be using the internet access of the Georgia Department of Education would be quite so free to leave sporting comments on blogs.

It sure makes me wonder what access to information laws in Georgia would turn up from the internet access logs of their proxy system. Especially since the special commenter appears to be always accessing this blog from the same class C address block.

Yep. No telling what might happen if a person went digging.

BTW, Jonesboro, Georgia is a long way from Michigan, so that certainly supports 'chelle's claim not to be anonymous/blog_surfer.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's success

[warning: long and detailed post of the minutiae of our valentine's. proceed at your own risk, and only if you have a bunch of time...]

Valentine's was a rip-roaring success. I had booked reservations at that restaraunt to avoid the anxiety of preparation, but my son chiselled $100.00 out of me for a band trip - and there went the evening. So we ate at my place.

Smitten got tied up and was about 50 minutes late. That bothered her and she phoned me three times during that period (she hates being late, and doesn't like people to be late [i'm trying, but she may eventually be in for a shock...]). I was happy that she was that late because I underestimated my timeline to shop, pick up flowers, shave, change, clear up, and cook... Her timing was perfect from my perspective, and we shared a good laugh about that bit of luck.

Preparation (notice the painful lack of counter space in my @#$%ing apartment. It would be barely enough if I didn't have the microwave taking up a huge chunk of space. Oh well, I've begun looking at houses):

I did things a little different this time. Instead of having everything ready and put on the table at once, I prepared in courses. I had the two starting cold courses ready prior to the meal and had the water ready for the steaming, and the George Foreman grill hot. I had the second course cold and plated in the fridge.

First course, salad: A bed of red leaf lettuce with grape tomatoes, red pepper slices, cold shocked steamed green beans, mushrooms and bean sprouts - topped with low calorie pear and guava salad dressing. Yes, that's a white carnation on the plate. Edible flowers were too expensive, and this was a budget dinner.

Second course, buckwheat tabbouleh: Smitten can't eat wheat (no she's not celiac), so I couldn't use normal bulgur for the tabbouleh. I substituted buckwheat kasha. I make my kasha on the less mushy side, so it worked wonderfully (I knew it would because I often mix my salad and kasha together when I eat it). I couldn't find any fresh mint, so this wasn't truly tabbouleh, but whatever. Note how it's shaped like a heart in the foreground picture. The other plate is too, but the flowers on the plate obscure the shape a little.

The final two courses were served on one plate. Steamed snow peas served on/with nicely colour contrasting steamed red peppers, and grilled marinated salmon steaks. The marinate was pretty simple: a little balsamic vinegar, a little soy sauce, some pepper, some ground thyme. They were beautiful steaks so I wanted as much of the natural flavour to come through. The steaks were very moist after grilling and had problems staying together, so a little extra care was required in plating.

Smitten brought the wine. I followed through with the invitation and the candles and setting as described in the last valentine's post. We both dressed for dinner. She is sooooooooo beautiful. She looked like a dream come true (she is a dream come true).

The entire apartment was candle lit with feng shui compliant candle clusters.

I used a dim fluorescent camping lantern in the kitchen for light when getting the various courses and putting the hot dishes to cook while we ate the second course. I made sure that my plating of the final course was simple and obvious for the lighting conditions.

I did not take a picture of the dessert, which was a strawberry soy ice cream (zero dairy - no dairy for Smitten). I put some roasted cashews at the bottom of the dish with a dribble of frangelico to make the last spoonfuls of dish "clean-up" an interesting taste contrast with the strawberry "ice cream" (more of a sherbet, really - not that "creamy"). I put the ice cream bowl (which was a matching green glass bowl) on it's own plate, with black grapes on the plate around the bowl for further colour contrast. It looked good and tasted fine.

Smitten, who is used to usually getting some kind of pain or abdominal distension when she eats, marvelled at the end of the meal how she felt no discomfort. She good-naturedly blames a little of her weight gain on me because nothing I make hurts her, so she eats more than she otherwise would ;-) Telling me how good she felt and how energised my selection of foods always makes her feel after a meal was perhaps the highest compliment she could have paid me. I like being right, and I like being competent. Those successes and being able to use my skills to make her happy, for me, is a triple play like no other.

Smitten was bowled over by the attention that I paid to her needs and desires. She said I was the only person to have ever done anything like I do for her in her whole life.

I would like to thank signgurl, terry, pirate, and pissy for pulling me down from my anxiety perch, and for advising me to tone it down and keep it simple. Less worked fine. I will attempt to remember that for next time. I also remembered to only make enough to feed about 6 people instead of 20 - so there was enough for leftovers and for me to be able to pack both our lunches this morning.

Smitten did something very wonderful and touching for me. While we were having some after dinner scotches, she laid a collection of hand made red paper hearts on the coffee table. She told me to pick them up one by one and read them out loud (needed a light on for this one). She had hand written either a message about me, and what she loves about me, or some other cryptic words on the hearts. Each one corresponded to an item she had in a bag with her.

Things like the humourous and teasing "For when you want a suck" - she then gave me a heart shaped valentine's sucker. "For when you want the finer things in life" - a small sample bottle of Courvoisier. And so on. She said that she was sad that they were just little things, but she was kind of broke. I was touched by all the things. To the point I was almost embarrassed to go on. I told her, and she shushed me - and said that she wanted to give me everything she has.

And then the last item. A child's valentine with our names on it. My eyes began to tear. That was the first "valentine" I had ever received from a female. Certainly cards as an adult, but never one of those valentine cards.

In grades 5,6, and 7 I received zero valentines from anyone but myself (I hated how few I got, so I always salted a few extras into the box from "Guess Who" and "It's a secret" and so on, so that I wouldn't be stuck with the very few that I ever got). I had received some from male friends in younger grades, but none through those 3 grades. I had some friends and I always wondered why they didn't give me any cards. Sometimes I wonder if the "popular kids" who were in charge of handing out the cards didn't stash the ones to me, just to hurt me... I hope.

Anyway, my first valentine from a girl.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Psychologist stuff is done for now

I went to see stbx-Mrs_C's psychologist 4 times since the beginning of January. We went over a bunch of stuff related to the separation and impending divorce. We discussed the kids and how they are handling the situation.

The last time I went (last week) he said he didn't need to see me again. He said that he might give a call when the property division and other details of the separation agreement are in negotiation and mediation (and potentially heating up), but he would see.

He said that I appeared to be handling things well, and to have a solid understanding and plan for my life. He said that nothing any of the other 3 (including stbx-Mrs_C) have said contradicts anything I told him, so he takes it at face value.

I am apparently, from his professional standpoint, boringly normal and more stable than most people he has seen in my situation. He thinks that I need to keep working on expressing emotions and anger rather than swallowing/suppressing them, but that given my recognition of those issues, it wasn't something I should spend $100.00 and hour working on...

He suggested making sure I had friends and family to talk to. He said to try to avoid much discussion of issues with the kids. He said that the way I have dealt with the collisions and "outings" of marital issues in the past - steady, fully honest, and in an unexcited manner would help the kids by providing a stable response for them to model from.

He cautioned against talking too much about my marriage with Smitten. He suggested that if I needed someone to talk to that this blogging circle sounded quite useful (even if he has never blogged), and that if I needed an objective viewpoint I should access the counsellor at the co-operative clinic I belong to (no charge for members).

He said that he didn't think I would need much more than someone to vent to at this point.

I told him that I was prepared to do what I could to make sure that the kids were supported in coming to see him, and that if there was something I could do to keep stbx-Mrs_C going to see him I would do that. That I had wanted her to go for counselling for so long, and that i was happy she was seeing him.

He said he would keep my offer in mind, and that he hoped that stbx-Mrs_C would continue to see him until she had an opportunity to work through both present and past issues (with inflection), and that they were linked to her future well being.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Pics

The event went well. Enjoyed by the whole table I had arranged to go to the event. We shut the place down, and the organizers/hosts came to party with our table after things were done.

Many folks there had not met Smitten before. I am well known in all of those circles (business, film, music, new media, and political). I was pleased with the accolades directed toward her.

Smitten enjoyed herself as did I. I hope we will continue to go out like this.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Weekend Event

Going to an event with Smitten this weekend. It's an artsy gala thing with artists, local filmakers, music and recording industry people, multi-media people and many politicals. This is the sort of "happening" event that I had to go to alone for so long. It is the sort of event Smitten had fantasized about going to on a social - a non-work basis.

It is an event where you will find people in everything from jeans to Armanis.

I didn't feel comfortable in any of the clothes I have, so I went out and bought some new stuff. I had sloughed the consideration of clothing for too long.

I was pretty anxiety ridden while and after buying it. I wasn't sure if I would look ridiculous, or if I had just wasted a swack of money... Remember, i am trying to move my fashion state from vaguely stodgy/conservative/classic to something more dynamic. I have not been looking at anything but "long term wear" as a variable for years.

Also, I was wearing scarily older guy clothes while trying stuff on in the "hip" store. I had not shaved. I saw it on me and it looked terrible given the combo of street clothes and the suit. But I could see the potential. I really want to look good at this event, so my choice is important to me.

I want to be hip and fashionable, but not trying a ridiculous attempt at youth.

I bought a charcoal/black coloured suit from a local trendy store that would be appropriate on either Dr. Evil or Dr. Hugo Drax (the villain from Moonraker). It does however have an interesting shimmer in the fabric.

As I was trying it on at the store son told me I looked like a comic book supervillain. That was what really clinched the decision for me. If I'm going to a sort of pretentious artsy thing, what could be cooler than a sort of Dr. Evil/Lex Luthor look?

When I got home I shaved my face and my head (my head to extremely short stubble, not smooth). Then I tried it on with the shirts I had in mind (purchased from the same store before new year's). It looked great. Son said I was looking "vaguely sinister" (with a laugh [It does look kind of intimiidating]). He thinks I look great in it, though.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Valentine's Day

So I'm contemplating Valentine's Day with Smitten. We do not have the kids.

I have two options before me:

1) Dinner out
2) Dinner at my place

I am checking for reservation on a place she wants to go.

If that fails, I think I will make a dinner at my place. I want to add a few extra touches to the event. I am having a grphic artist friend on mine make a Valentine's background for a custom dinner invitation.

I am interested in some suggestions as to things I could do around the apartment that would be "extra touches" that would help make it "special" that won't cause me to have my usual cold sweat panic in preparations.

I will have things set up with a table cloth and red candles. I was going to put a swack of other candles around and make the entire deal candle lit (have to figure out how to do lighting in the kitchen or what to make that won't require much light for final serving...). I was going to have roses or other flowers. I was thinking of flowers as part of the presentation on the plates as well. A small chocolate fondue and some fruit.

What else?

I was looking at some kind of crepe for dinner - probably seafood. A steamed vegetable, and a salad. I don't know on appetizers yet.

Not too much food because she doesn't really eat too much... I made enough for about a dozen people that last dinner. I think I will concentrate more on plating ideas for this meal. If I only have thre courses, each of us could have a plate for each course and I could do something funky with each plate.

Help me out people.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

returning to work

a lot of the tension and emotion seeped out of me in the last week. i'm sure it will arrive back at some point, but for right now i feel pretty normal. well, whatever normal is.

i feel relatively devoid of anxiety. i am having zero panic attacks. i am ok,

didn't get everything i wanted to done in the last few weeks. but i don't care that much. they don't seem like the insurmountable hurdles they were before. mostly because i did get so many things done.

later this month i expect to finally be clear of the tar baby that was my business (i discussed that situation last year). all the tax and other stuff is finnlly looking like it will be cleared up. i have negotiated a settlement for roughly what my legal costs would have been to take it through the full appeal process. i consider that a win for me.

this also clears the way for me to claim all my shareholder loans to the business as an allowable business loss deductions. that will come to more than the settlement and leave me in a positive cash situation. i will be able to clear up most of my credit card debt with the remainder. a set of payments ended on Feb 1. my vehicle payments end shortly.

i have a verbal agreement with stbx-Mrs_C on the shape of a settlement as well. not perfect from my perspective, but fair enough. the closure is worth a lot of money to me.

i should be able to seriously begin looking at houses soon.

just to wander off on the cash valuation of a settlement for a moment (yes, i'm rationalising): avoiding a legal wrangle: at least $5000 (low end); reducing counselling costs (let's say cut in half...): $1200 per year; reduced massage (tension headaches and fibromyalgia attacks) $800 per year; potential equity lost on buying my own house vs renting: approx $3600 per year; capital gain loss on projected property value increase: estimated $10,000 this year; reduced interest costs: est $2400; reduced mortage cost by buying now in a rising market: est $600 per year; [later edit] i just realised there would also be about $5000 - $10,000 more in property costs as well as the lost capital gain[end edit]

peace of mind and not having to think about it anymore: priceless

so, lets's see, this year alone, settling quickly will be worth over $23,000 [later edit]( actually over $28,000-$33,000)[end edit] in one year - in my pocket

plus the avoidance of pain and suffering

plus my daughter will come back to stay with me for my weeks

plus it will allow me to do the travelling i want this year and to easily buy my boat and trailer.

estimated value of going for everything i could theoretically get: est $22,000 (including pension allocations that i morally don't really want) plus some of the above values (cut them in half because of a minimum of a six month timeline) total: $35,000

if it takes a year to settle and more lawyer money... i break even (absolutely best case scenario) and have all the pain and suffering. [later edit]to wait more than six months likely sinks any positive financial outcome[end edit]

yep - i'm rationalising. and the rationalisation looks good from here.

the sooner the full break comes the more free i am. the better i'm able to live the life that i want.