Saturday, June 30, 2007

birthday party

went to my friend's birthday party hosted by some friends of mine. she has invited me for the last 7 years. i had not gone until now. stbx-Mrs_C said she liked them both - he's a little more gruff, but she liked him. my friend is an auto mechanic with red hair - stbx-Mrs_C as a technician could relate to my friend.

but somehow, she just never felt like going. for 7 years.

Smitten and I went last night.

It was great time. many people. a few i knew, most i did not. My friend just installed a hot tub. it was well broken in.

had a lady try to pick Smitten and I up. that was interesting...

we're off to another city to go to a music festival

see you

Thursday, June 28, 2007


son went over to the house to supervise daughter and her school chums who were having an end of the school year party/sleepover.

son confronted/talked to his mother about the sudden reversal of her position. she said that she just didn't want to deal with it before holidays, that she really didn't know what she wanted to do one way or another, and that i had been rude to her on the phone and that's why she said to talk to her lawyer.

son was sitting next to me when i made the call to his mother the night before.

the rudest moment in the conversation came after told her "Don't send an 11 year olds to do your dirty work or your messaging" - she said "I didn't, she called on her own. I said I didn't want to talk to you. You can talk to my lawyer, because i don't want to talk to you."

my response was "well, i don't want to talk to you either"

way rude

i guess

when confronted she twists and turns and lies. when confronted with the recounting of a recording of her own voice saying "sell the house", her response? lie. twist. point a finger at me as being bad, or having inappropriate behaviour.

i have decided that i am buying new phones - phones capable of recording any calls i might receive from her. that was completely effective in countering her lies. i want to do it again.

i used our recording stick at work to record the voice mail, so i would have a better record of her call to me. i emailed a copy of it to son. he may desire to play it for daughter as his mother subjects them to constant negative propaganda about me for the next 3 weeks.

i hate this.


i sent all the documentation to my lawyer to just go straight down a legal path

i've had it with trying to deal with her

she wants me to talk to her lawyer, no problem

i still intend this to end up in mediation, not lawyerville - but the process has to be formalised

the idea that we could work it out between ourselves and then move it to mediation hasn't worked out. it has also ended up costing us more than lawyers would - the unpredicted effect of an insane housing market has ended up costing far more than the lawyers would have to begin with.

$30,000-$60,000 average increase since last year in housing prices in the range i am looking

amortised over 20-25 years... $30,000 works out to almost an additional $30,000 in cost of borrowing over a 25 year period - so that's a $60,000 cost for waiting a year. that's also $30,000 in capital gains lost - so even if you dismiss the addition 30K in interest as fluff, a 30K increase in cost, and a 30K loss in potential capital gain is nothing to sneeze at.


"If you are really serious about divorcing Mrs. C~quit talking about it.
*Quit talking to HER other than to discuss the children.
*Just stop it and file the paperwork with the court.
*What's to talk about?
*Pay the lawyers the $ and let THEM talk about it. Just think of how it will save your sanity.

I really don't mean to upset you.... but please remember that I've been there....with my divorce and with my husband when he went through his. Also keep in mind that I worked in Domestic Relations dealing with paternity/child support/divorce for twelve years. I was in court 6 times a month with these same types of issues.

I've seen it all. I've heard it all. You and Mrs. C will NEV-ER be able to work this out without lawyers. Mrs. C won't allow it. She says she will. But she'll just drag it out and then you'll end up having to hire an attorney anyway and you would have wasted all that time and energy arguing with her about it.

Why prolong the inevitable?

You've been going through this pattern with Mrs. C since I started reading your blog.


September 05, 2006 7:26 PM

[bold mine - Cadbury]

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

she did it again

pulled the rug out from under me.

she told me we were going to sell the house (june 10). i got all my shit together, did all the prep, wrote a letter and dropped it in her mailbox yesterday. I wanted to get the go ahead to get it on the market since i found out they are leaving town for the upcoming 3 weeks.

last night i get a call from my daughter "Dad, why do you want to sell the house?"

i say "First of all, your Mom shouldn't be sending an 11 year old as her messenger - if she has something to say to me, she should say it directly. You see, your Mom said we should sell the house and I agreed. I have a voicemail where she says that and i could play it for you if you want. [blah, blah, blah more conversation.]"

i repeat the above about 5 different ways. Daughter says that she chooses not to listen to the recording.

I call back a few minutes later and stbx-Mrs_C answers. I say "Don't send an 11 year olds to do your dirty work or your messaging"

she says "I didn't, she called on her own. I said I didn't want to talk to you. You can talk to my lawyer, because i don't want to talk to you." blah, blah for about 30 more seconds

the end of the call

fucking bitch

she says to sell the house. i have the recording in my voice mail and now she pulls this stunt?

now i'm left waiting at least 3 more weeks - more like a month before anything happens.

fucking bitch

Smitten warned me she believed the sell the house thing was just another stalling tactic

and so it would seem

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

road trip

the boy and i went to another city to see a band at a music festival. i first heard of this guy/these folks in 2005 when i was in Montreal - i bought their CD on the recommendation of a music store owner.

i have been hooked ever since. i saw footage of them at the Montreal Jazz Festival (not just jazz, let me tell you) and they rocked out!!!

I wanted to see him/them live. i got my chance. we had a whole day of music and DJ Champion and the G-Strings

unless you really, really hate this music - humor me and listen/watch each of the videos, please. here is a link to a music video (clearest sound):

at the juno awards (like the grammy awards - but for Canada)

and links to some live stuff - give you an idea of what a concert is like:

bad sound but gives you an idea of the energy:


it was good.

DJ Champion is the skinny nerdy guy off on the side of the band with all the computers and mixing equipment. he formed the band - the project - as he calls it, when he was totally broke. he composed all the music himself, and when he asked the lead singer to come sing on it, he told he couldn't pay for her, and that he had no gear - he didn't even have a microphone and had to ask her if she would bring her own.

watch the interview here

i am a huge techno/ambient fan. i love acid jazz. but weirdly, i also like to rock out to a really raw metal sound. i am a big early black sabbath fan. i like older Rush a lot (it's a little dated now). i like blues and jazz. and this band hits all the spots for me: driving beat; technical proficiency; intelligence; historical musical relevance (blues base); heavy rockin' guitar

the sound is based in turn of the century blues. he says in one of his interviews that one of his favourite albums is a blues recording from 1910 that was done inside a prison by blacks doing hard time in the deep south. he wants his blues to be raw and to feel.

DJ Champion is the "conductor" of the band - he live mixes their sound and conducts/directs their live improvisation during concerts. every concert is different because a lot of it depends on how he and the band are feeling and how the crowd is reacting.

they are into their own music - they rock out while they are playing - it is such completely raw energy. if you watch the live video you will see them starting to jump up and down as they get into the beat - the crowd responds to them jumping up and down and putting their arms in the air

so we're at the outdoor concert - there's thousands of people in the green in front of the band shell and we're all jumping up and down with our arms in the air in time and on the lead of the band. you could hear the deep, deep bass and feel the ground shake from all these people jumping up and down

it was sooooo intense


there you go

i really like this band

a lot

Saturday, June 23, 2007

last weekend now and a year ago

{started this post on June 18th - written over several sessions]

go to the June archive and read last year's father's day weekend. it is a series of posts from Hell weekend - Part 1 (prelude) to Monday, Monday


Friday night was a wonderful thing. Smitten and I missed each other a lot this week. She was out at her son's outdoor education camp as one of the parent leaders. Didn't talk much.

We ate supper, we talked, we listened to music, we made love.

On Saturday we got up late, got ready at a leisurely pace, and went out to an annual outdoor art show - one of the big ones in the city. It was a gorgeous day.

I had made arrangements before we left to go to a jazz festival in the near future in a nearby city - reservations at a classic old hotel, tickets for the shows. I got a really good deal on a really snazzy room.

the art show was well attended - ran into a few people i knew.

again - can't say enough about what a wonderful day it was. that evening we made sushi and vietnamese fresh rolls. i gave Smitten a long massage, we made love, and fell asleep (well, actually we had really hot sex - but this bit of writing is supposed to have a bit of a dreamy stars in the eyes lilt to it...)

on Sunday we went out for brunch with Smitten father and sister, then off to a friend of Smitten's for a garage sale preview (moving sale). i got a next to new vacuum cleaner for $5. Smitten got a George Foreman grill for $3. we also got a bunch of other household odds and ends - including a home elliptical trainer for me at the low price of $150

i wanted to get one for those days i can't make it to the gym. i also want one for son who is packing on a few pounds and needs to get more activity in his life.

his lousy diet on weeks not with me doesn't help much either.

anyway, we got a bunch of stuff. it was good

we picked up the kids and went to my parents place for father's day dinner. it had started to rain by then, so my mom's plans and efforts for a BBQ on their massive deck fell through.

daughter interacted well with Smitten and they had a few yucks and smiles - and even some physical contact (arm touchy things). my brother and his wife were there with their kids and things also went well in that set of interactions all round.

the kids didn't want to end the evening and wanted to stay fairly late (after 10pm)


blah, blah, blah - it was nice - i ran out of steam on this post

read the two entries - the point will be made

have a great weekend

i'm off to a music festival in another city with my son tomorrow to see an obscure band i really like - thought about taking daughter but she doesn't like the band as much as he and i do, and i'll be coughing up for her to see gwen stephanie (sp?) later this summer... so i made it a him and i bonding moment

she and i spent lots of time together today

Friday, June 22, 2007

chicken noodle soup

Smitten has been progressively more ill the last couple of weeks. The wednesday night ("didn't try to fix it" night) was bad. Smitten went to her doctor. He figures she had an infection in her colon that was a result of the medication he gave her for a urinary tract infection she had a short while ago. he gave her some new stuff that was supposed to fix things.

Smitten wasn't eating for the last couple of days - everything she ate made her hurt and caused troubles.

I went over to her place after work to make her something to eat - i stopped by my place to pick up some spelt flour and other stuff for making chicken noodle soup - no chicken, just soup base/bouillon and spelt noodles. I was trying to get something hot with some nutrients and food energy that she could actually survive eating.

I didn't have a pasta maker, so i had to do it by hand. I had quick grabbed a recipe off the internet - who would think someone could go wrong with noodles...

i made a larger batch because i was going to leave some fresh pasta for her kids and her to eat today. well - this internet recipe was a little messed. i ended up with batter, not pasta dough. i added more flour but it was too much water. so i poured a bit out into a smaller bowl and added flour until it was right. that was a little frustrating. i had a lot of batter...

spelt dough tends to be way stickier than wheat dough, so i had a lot of trouble with the dough sticking and tearing as i tried to roll it thin enough for noodles. i end up making pretty fat noodles which i dropped in the soup. they swelled up a lot. it looked like it was going to be long skinny dumpling soup, not noodle soup.

Smitten worked on her books. she hadn't eaten in a couple of days, hadn't slept well, and was on her last legs. she began to cry at one point because her books were not making sense.

she had always kept a time based set of books - essentially a historical cash flow statement, and had never built a set of books out of incomplete records before. without going into details, let's just say i have a little experience in this regard... or, a lot of experience.

because things had been a little messed up this year with her time, and because she had been pressured into being treasurer again (4 years in a row) she hadn't been as diligent as she should/could have been. especially during the critical period - cookie sales (her Dad was in the hospital and was having serious problems). she had accepted all the records as provided by the other leaders as being accurate instead of checking them at the time. she had also bundled deposits instead of making each deposit match each leader's money.

fast forward - she was unable to make it work. i stayed silent while cooking. she talks to herself while figuring out stuff she's having problems with (i do this while doing books and programming, so i don't find it especially weird). i had a good idea of what problems she was encountering. after an hour and a half, she said "I just can't make this work". I had stayed out to that point. I asked if she wanted any feedback. She said yes, because anything would be better than where she was.

I discussed the concept of breaking down their activities into activity groupings rather than on a time basis. That way she could construct how much she is supposed to have and compare it to how much they actually had. That way she wouldn't have to actually match up the deposits to the activity. If she made each activity set a sub ledger, made the revenue balance against the expenditure by activity, and then put the net revenue against their bank balance she would be able to see if they were OK - and even if it didn't quite match, if it was under a $100 out, it really didn't matter that much. The Girl Guides organization wouldn't be crabby about that situation and it would be off her plate.

Smitten wasn't happy with the notion of everything not balancing, but liked the idea of getting it out the door.

When she began to break down her activity areas she found that two of the leaders had done their numbers incorrectly when providing her with their information. That solved most of the problem.

In the end she was about $36.00 out.

Meanwhile, the soup was done. she had not had a homemade chicken noodle soup before.

with most of the weight of the books off her shoulders, and some food in her she began to feel better.

we went to the drugstore and got her prescription filled. we did a walk by on a house i'm looking to buy - it's not on the market yet, but my real estate agent is working with the folks.

by morning Smitten was feeling much better. sleep, food, and the medication appeared to be working its magic.

she is off work sick today - her boss told her to take the day off, and Smitten relented under pressure.

as i packed all my stuff up, she wanted me to leave the chicken soup so she'd have something to eat.

i am hoping a day in the sun just getting her world in order will do what it needs to do for her.


Update: as of this morning's review of the documentation, Smitten was only out $6

Thursday, June 21, 2007

didn't try to fix it

Smitten was having problems last night. She is treasurer for her daughter's Brownies troop (or Sprites, or whatever the hell they are).

She was having trouble getting it to work. All the money is there, but the financial reports that the girl guides use are very specific and detailed about how they want everything reported, and it can be troublesome to fill in all the blanks given that there is often more than one volunteer leader handling money and doing the event level record keeping - plus some bits of paper get lost and so on. Then it gets dumped on the treasurer at the end of the year.

Anyway, she told me about her troubles.

I listened.

I didn't suggest any fixes or solutions.

One step.

Monday, June 18, 2007

fig tree

before i was married i had this fig tree.

i bought the fig tree and was going to put it in my apartment.

you see i had his big split with my best friend/roommate awhile earlier (about a year). he was a guy who was constantly criticising/needling me and telling me how i needed to improve my life (sound familiar?). he was more outgoing than me, he was slim, he was athletic, he was blond and not going bald. and had a really big schlong (observation and reports from girlfriends).

i had recovered financially and was putting my life together - i had moved out of the hole i was living in into a decent apartment. i was going to have an apartment my way.

one of the things i wanted was a fig tree. i thought they were cool. i bought it and left it in my car on a very hot day. i only left it for about 10 minutes, but it dropped all it's leaves and turned into sticks.

i clipped and trimmed and tried to save it. eventually it was down to a stick with a sort of green bud out the side. i fertilised, i gave it light, i did everything i could find.

stb-Mrs_C (at the time) couldn't understand why i would keep the plant. i felt responsible for having injured it by my stupid action of leaving it in the car. i wasn't going to abandon the plant and kill it because of my failure.

eventually we got married and the plant went with me to our mutual place

it had its one leaf now - not just a green bud.

one day i came home and the fig tree was gone. stbx-Mrs_C had thrown it out because it wasn't worth saving the tree and she didn't know why i wasted my time on it. it apparently made our apartment "ugly"

she wouldn't ever agree to have a fig tree again "they're too hard to grow"


i have a new fig tree now

Smitten bought it for me. i am 100% certain that it was intended to be a symbolic message to me, as well as just buying me a gift i liked

i have been dutifully watering it and fertilising it

it has grown quite a bit

the lady who sold it to us warned that fig trees drop their leaves at any kind of shock and that it might look a little sad until it adjusted to it's new place - and not to move it or it will lose its leaves

it lost no leaves

it has lost only one leaf to date (4-6 weeks or so)

i like my fig tree

thoughts on garage conversations

something that has been trundling around my head for awhile.

this post refers to historical interaction with stbx-Mrs_C. i see a number of places where the she is not that specific. the current tense she is Smitten. most of the past tense she is stbx-Mrs_C...


i've been trying to figure out why stbx-Mrs_C would still drag me into the garage for those goddamned conversations even though i told her they were killing our marriage and our relationship.

i remember when i told her that in extremely strenuous tones she said (from really fast post, May 12, 2006:

another thing she said the other day - she said: "even though things have been really bad i have felt more connected these last three weeks on an emotional level than i have in years because of the emotional outpouring during our discussions."

then she said:

"i'm almost like a bad kid looking for attention. i'm deliberately provoking clashes because of the intensity of emotion that swirls around them."

that book i got - Surviving A Borderline Parent - talks about people with stbx-Mrs_C's behavioural characteristics. One of the things it talks about is the fact that they cannot generate enough feelings of self-worth within themselves. They rely on others for their feelings of emotional self-worth.


It was obvious something was bugging me last evening. She didn't push - she will sometimes ask, other times she will wait for me to discuss whatever i am thinking about.

I talked to Smitten about the question of why stbx-Mrs_C wouldn't have listened to me. Without specific context, I first asked her a professional question about the nature of people with self-destructive behaviours and if they knew/know their behaviours were/are self-destructive - and why they would continue if they did.

She said that it usually involved a form of denial - that even though they may recognise a problem (which she says they either don't truly internally recognise - and just pay lip service to others' complaints), they think they can handle it. Like the alcoholic who quits for a week to prove they can stop drinking - or smokers who will quit for a little while.

I told her that i was thinking about what stbx-Mrs_C had said, and about why she kept on pushing me into those conversations. Smitten response was "Because you went. Because you didn't say no. It worked before, and it fulfilled some kind of need she had."

I could not wrap my head around how someone could be told that the behaviour was destroying the marriage and would still do it.

We some discussion and I arrived at a few conclusions - or rather collated a couple existing conclusions:
  • stbx-Mrs_C is an emotional junkie - she needs her fix

  • she is so torn up and hurt inside from what has happened to her in her life that she needs constant reassurance of her self-worth

  • stbx-Mrs_C did indeed feel a sense of connection when we were talking

  • she used to like to have me hovering around or "attending" on her - always needing to be the centre of my attention

  • i suspect that she felt that me paying utter attention to her, to her emotional state, to the subject of our marriage made her feel that i cared

postulate: i may have made the conversations worse by saying it could kill our marriage.

if i was still willing to go out and have the discussions, even after saying how damaging the discussions were, then that must mean i care even more.

do you see what i mean? if i was prepared to walk 5 miles to see her it means i care. but if i'm willing to walk through sniper alley in a war zone to see her, i must REALLY care.

and, assuming that my view of her as being able to only poorly internally generate feelings self-worth - those conversations must have been a serious emotional crack hit. i would throw away everything else to have them - kids, work, house stuff, exercise, etc.

it would then be a "game" to see if she could ratchet up the volume high enough to get me to engage - in order to prove to herself once again, that i cared


just some thinking

Friday, June 15, 2007

the house, the shit, tossing my dad from my office, and my shoulder (part 1)

haven't had much inspiration lately. just no energy. the emotional toll of bringing the issues out and really saying what i think would have been too much.

that's one of the things about blogging, about journaling, about actually living my emotions. before i could ignore them. now i am making an effort to live my emotions. to actually experience them and consider them - like flavours in food - the subtle differences between varieties of a spice - the subtle differences in the shades of colour

the exhaustion - it's like a person who has been confined to a hospital bed. their muscles atrophy. their exercise is much more draining than an athlete that has years of activity and mind body connection.

the exhaustion - i have such a desire to escape everything. it's not that it's hard work, it's just so messy and not straightforward to have to deal with stbx-Mrs_C on all of this. what is it about her that turns everything into an excruciating ordeal?

we are selling the house now.

i called her up and told her that in the feverish housing market we are in right now that we needed to work together to make sure we both didn't end up getting screwed. that in this whole situation there was a scenario where we both can end up in a good position.

she freaked.

she freaked because one of the things i pointed out was the insane price the house next door had just sold for.

she freaked because she didn't actually listen to what i said

she interpreted my words as i wanted to screw her out of money. or she willfully misinterpreted so as to force me to appear to be forcing her to do what she really wanted which was to sell the house

i believe her agenda was to cut a deal with me that saw me take a partial cut on the house and then she would roll it over and buy a new place herself with a larger share of equity than i would have.

she's been talking to the kids about selling and getting a townhouse/condo since last year.

i made her repeat the words back to me, she said "you are trying to tell me that you want to work together to make sure we both don't get screwed in this market"

then she just spazzed and said "i can't afford anything more than i've already agreed to... [freak, freak, freak]"

i'm saying "i'm not necessarily asking for more money, i'm trying to ask you if you are willing to work together to have a mutually beneficial outcome. it could be something like me taking a part payment right now, or using part of the line of credit and staying in my apartment until the market stabilises or something"

she says "i've always been willing to work with you that's why i offered to give you a down payment on a house out of the home equity line of credit last year while housing prices were still OK, and speed the divorce so we could have been done by december!"

i say "oh right... if i agree to say i was committing adultery"

she screams "BUT YOU WERE!!!"

i hang up

she calls awhile later and leaves a message with my son (real appropriate) that she thinks i'm trying to screw her out of more money and am forcing her out of the house that she was staying in just for the sake of the children. and that she wants to sell.

i don't call her back.

she leaves a voice mail saying much the same thing, and saying we should sell, and saying it's up to me to make all the arrangements. she awaits my plan...


she freaks, she delays, she causes trouble and drags her feet and then when it's really time to deal with an issue, drops it in my lap so she can watch from the sidelines and tell me what a shitty job i'm doing.


you know the business i'm in

some groupings to understand:



big brains/manager/wanna be bureaucrats...

warrior caste/true believers/idealogues


it's been a mortal combat with the other guys/forces of darkness week. as we edge closer to the final conflict (for at least this 4 year cycle) the combat people (like me) are being put in charge more than the "manager" types who usually run things.

after having been running things for the better part of 2 decades, the "manager" type thinks that they are there because it is their right, and also starts to think that management and the institutional imperative is more important than what the people desire. and their policy sucks - from a public perspective. sound fiscal management is important to keeping things running but is hardly sexy with the public.

because we have reflected institutional interests instead of "combat" interests and the public's interests lately our ratings suck

because panic is setting in among the cool kids/manager types, people like me (the "break open in case of emergency types"/"fanatic warrior types") are being asked to take the lead in decision making.

we are in seriously shit shape, but have the better part of half a year left to try to salvage our situation.

this last week the other guys coughed up a huge opening. i'm going negative, going hard. got them running for once.

the big brains that got us to our current situation have tried to put their fingers in, but i/we have slapped them back. it is working so far. the big brains don't like the fact that their dire situation has caused them to have to cede control to the warrior caste for even a few months.

i'm feeling a lot of pressure because i'm directing our "offensive" and i don't want to fuck it up. we need the win really bad - especially this issue. i've also got both internal and external foes who are willing to pounce on any misstep.


my Dad came by one day. Dad is former warrior caste (you can never really leave it). he is a true true believer. he stills wants to remain in the game. he was in both support and "the client group", and was always a true believer

he has some pet issues and always has to tell me about them and pressure me to get something done about them. one day he dropped by. my shoulder was out (strained during exercise) - had been for a couple of days. i was in excrutiating pain. he insisted on blathering about his issues even though i was in the middle of a big play.

i listened patiently. he was done. i was waiting for him to leave.

he tells me that my mom is pissed about $40 i borrowed at the end of the month and have forgotten to repay. i thank him for reminding me and explain i will be by later to pay her.

then he launched into all the stuff i would have to do to get the house ready for sale. i could not cope with any more. stbx-Mrs_C, the house stuff, the school calling about son and him being dropped from a second class (another on he is/was failing), the work pressure (serious pressure), and truly excruciating pain in my shoulder - and he starts in on lecturing me about what i have to do to prepare the house

i cut him off and say "there's only so much time i can spend on personal matters at work. you'll have to go now." and stood up.

he took the hint and left.

he raised it with me when i was over later and said he wants to talk to me about it, and that he isn't happy about how he was treated.

he has left me alone for the time being, and we have yet to discuss it. i intend to write down some notes to explain how i feel

he always has some issue that he picks up, contrives, or honestly needs to harass me about. he always has some way of making me feel either obligated or under the gun.

he is always perfect at the "things that matter" (finance, personal organisation, remembering shit to do). he still has his notebooks full of his personal accounts dating back to the late 1940s. his paid bills/records dating back at least 20 years. other stuff he has handed over to the public archives for them to store (yes even his personal books/bills and accounts are desired items by the archives). his dad's stuff is there too...

me - i've tended more to focus on relationship stuff like cooking, feelings, helping out, blah, blah, blah. so Dad always has something to criticise me about. i'm never fucking organised enough for him. and even if i'm hanging on and am half-assed balanced, he'll score me hard on some planning for the future shit i should be doing.

anyway, i tossed my dad from my office. now i need to tell him how he makes me feel because while i may apologise for hurting his feelings, he's not going to leave the conversation without me expressing how he makes me feel.


more later. it's 5:22pm and i need to drop son off at his mom's and meet up with Smitten.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

holistic cooking

went to a holistic cooking class with Smitten last night. she had found out about it through an email list she's on and signed us up and paid for it

had a lot of fun as an outing and for something different to do

but it wasn't very holistic. it was a lady who used all organic ingredients to make some really good tasting, but seriously fattening food. and a bunch of ladies who seemed to be there to eat the desserts not learn about holistic cooking (i was the only guy)

lots of organic heavy cream, lots of organic olive oil, lots of unrefined sugar, lots of organic honey

oh, the holism astounded me...

so, we paid $25 a piece to watch someone cook with organic ingredients and then eat some good food - well i ate it. sort of like the food network only inside someone's kitchen

Smitten had told the instructor lady directly that she couldn't do dairy... but the lady used all dairy even if the recipes all said you could use tofu. so Smitten was only able to try a bit - but it caused her pain for about 2 hours after the class. Smitten was able to eat some of the non-dessert foods

$25 a piece for this bit of fun was well worth it. even though we had a number of issues with the class, i am still excited about having done it. i would describe my reaction as "bubbly" even with the problems/criticisms

and got some good recipes

that i can modify

and discovered how easy it is to make home made ice cream/frozen yogurt/frozen fruit concoctions. she steamed her potatoes for the potato salad - that was interesting - i will do that. used quinoa for tabbouleh - again - interesting - will do that

fun class, fun evening - i'm really glad Smitten came up with it

yeah - i'll do that again in a minute

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

keeping things separate

[insanely long post warning - written over 3 days from Sunday through Tuesday]

It is a beautiful day here. The weather is about as perfect as it could ever be. Went for a walk at lunch.

My mind is going about a hundred miles an hour. I wanted to declare this an "emotional growth free week".

I am considering the various elements of my life. I am not satisfied right now with my life. I am not where I had planned to be, I am not where i want to be, and it is making my awfully dissatisfied.

I hope that I can keep my dissatisfaction with my life separate from any issues there may be with Smitten.

In no particular order:

  • I want the property settlement done
  • I want to be in my house
  • I want my daughter back
  • I want my son's trials with school to become settled
  • I want my credit cards and other debts paid off
  • I wanted to have done a trip to Montreal and Quebec City by now
  • I wanted to have some tickets and rooms booked for two music festivals I want(ed) to attend
  • I want my holidays and travel plans more solid (money is the key issue)

  • I want to not be triggered by almost everything in my life for some piece of repressed anger bullshit

i am so fucking sick of all the everyday activities that trigger anger and upset from my life with stbx-Mrs_C. here's an example:

Smitten is filling up her water filter jug - one of those Brita things. It makes me think about how she uses it to fill her coffee maker and to fill her ice cube trays. I think it must make better ice-cubes. Which makes me think of stbx-Mrs_C giving me shit for not making ice-cubes properly.

Yes - you read correctly - not making ice-cubes correctly.

stbx-Mrs_C would give me shit for not making ice-cubes with hot/boiling water because she had heard somewhere that boiling water first gets rid of the gases in the water and will make them clear.

when she made ice without boiling water first it was OK because "well, i'm just in a hurry this time"

yeah - ice-cube flashbacks

how's that for a mood changer?

i am just so goddamned vulnerable to being freaked out by things at all times i have no idea of what to do. i have no reasonable filter with which to decide whether i am just a nut case myself now, or whether i actually have anything to be uptight or concerned about in my current life and relationship.

that's one of the reasons i have to write it down. because i can't separate reality from paranoia. i am still hypervigilant. i am still waiting for it to crash on me. i am still waiting for Smitten to be the same kind of freak that stbx-Mrs_C is. I'm still waiting to bolt and run.


i try to keep an objective idea of what is what in my head and on paper. i am good at ignoring my emotions and feelings. did it for a lot of years. what's a little while longer?

the difference now is that instead of repressing or denying my emotions and feelings i am trying to live them and feel them.

i just don't always act on them. i try to honour the validity/realness of the emotion without necessarily concluding that the emotion is grounded in or attached to fact or reality.

it's a feeling. the feeling s real. it provokes or causes a response in me.

it's like shadows in the dark. the fear of the shapes is real whether the threat is real or not. it's like a nightmare - it can still bother you even if it exists entirely in your own head.


i know that i think that Smitten is gorgeous.
I know that on many occasions she turns me on a lot.
i know that sometimes i'm just kind of shut down sexually - then she doesn't.

my head feels, and my emotions seem to feel, but my body just doesn't quite get in tune. i've known for some time, and have discussed here, how i couldn't perform sexually after stbx-Mrs_C would rip into me. same thing here - if something has jolted me hard enough - and it can be really small little things (and that pisses me off) - the equipment just won't work, or work right.

sometimes i'm just filled with a swelling song of joy when i see her. it's pure and it's wonderful - it's beautiful like she is. sometimes i'm just completely pulled back and in to myself.


i raised how i felt about the picnic in the park with her.

i told her that i had the impression that plans were a little more tentative than they turned out to be, and that i felt that she had dismissed my suggestion (daughter's suggestion) and had not been collaborative in her decisions - and that i had realised after talking to her that her plans were more set than my initial impressions - that my impression had been based on the tentative language she had used in raising the idea with me (how does that sound to you? does that sound like something that could work? is that something that could come together? what do you think?).

i asked her to use more definite language when she had a definite plan, eg: i want to do this... would you like to do this too? i am thinking this - are you good with that plan? these are the things i have in mind...

she asked me to reciprocate by asking her if some proposal was definitive or was open to modification.


she told me that she was going to agree to change location at first, but then decided not to because she had a plan. she said that in her previous life she had always ended up changing her plans based on what others wanted and then not getting to do it her way.

i asked how that squared with her always being the one to make all the decisions on how things worked.

she said that she stopped doing things she wanted because her husband, while he would do whatever she proposed, would always do it less than enthusiastically and that after awhile she just stopped doing stuff he didn't want to because she couldn't bear the disappointment of his unenthusiastic response. that she would then end up planning and co-ordinating things she actually didn't want to do. and that grated on her very much.

that she had been trying out an assertive behaviour on me. that she felt safe enough to be assertive with me.

i can relate to such a statement. i am trying out being assertive with Smitten. being kind of pissy with her and voicing my objections on a relatively immediate basis and saying things like "yes, i am getting very defensive" are new behaviours for me. in the past i would have either apologised for getting my back up or would have said "i'm not getting defensive" and then have folded right there.


i talked about my need to have friends. that i needed to make time to develop some friendships. about who some of my possible friends might be.

i have none

not really

i have my one friend, the artist, but that friendship is a little strained as a result of bad propaganda being directed at his wife by stbx-Mrs_C (they see each other when son goes to visit their son [good friends])

i have people that i have known for a very long time, and some who were friends, but the relationships lack some of that essential quality that moves them out of the occasional lunch zone and back into the *friends* column.

i will work on a few of those.


i have told her that i want to make sure that i am a solid and stable individual, and that subsuming too much of my self to our relationship will not be good in the long run. that i have to be fully formed as an individual, not just as a partner in a couple


i haven't broached the not every night phone call thing. she's strong but she's weak.

not weak - fragile - in many ways

she has spent most of her life with just herself to rely on. she has compensated for many things in her life by being a little brittle. by covering for the fact that she felt so alone by being the get things done, in control person.

she always had the car, she always pulled the booze, she always had the smokes (she smoked when younger), she always had the money and her shit together.

under that shell is someone who is still the child who was essentially - well not just essentially - was abandoned by her mother as a teenager - after her father had already been absent - after her mother had already left her to her own devices for most of her life (latch-key kid extraordinaire) (but being left alone is probably a good thing given the fucked-up'dness of her two siblings after having their mother more present in their lives).


Smitten's Mom was quite the piece of work.

Without going into the huge explanation, her mother was hypercritical of her kids.

I have observed the results in Smitten's sister G. G is always worried that her best is not good enough - always bringing out one more plate of food, always apologising that what was brought out isn't good enough - her house isn't clean enough - isn't decorated well enough - keeps a special set of sheets that are only ever used for guests that are only used a few times so that the sheets are always new enough, blah, blah, blah.

Smitten's Mom flat out told Smitten that she wanted her to not think she was anything special because she didn't want her to have a high opinion of herself - because she thought Smitten might get uppity because she was attractive.

Smitten's Mom worked evenings and Smitten was left to fend for herself from a pretty young age. All the way to doing things like the household grocery shopping and other pretty adult behaviours.

When she was 16 Smitten moved out because she couldn't cope with being around her Mom. The guidance counselor and vice-principal at her school told her she would fail and drop out of school like all kids that tried to move out at that age - that she'd never make it. After a year of working full time and going to school she decided to move home. Her Mom told her she was selling their house and moving away. That Smitten had already proven herself capable of looking after herself and would be fine.

She was on her own.


So you see, one of the worries that I have is that Smitten's mother was a lot like stbx-Mrs_C and her Mom - without the whole beating and abuse thing...

being as all this stuff is multi-generational

except Smitten hasn't ever followed through on being a bag after we bump or disagree.

i will get panicked and worried that she is is pulling a stbx-Mrs_C and then it doesn't happen. there will be a minor bump - which, with stbx-Mrs_C, would have precipitated a major blow-out. with Smitten the blow-out doesn't happen.

she doesn't bring stuff up or torture me with the past. so it's different. i hope that after awhile i won't trigger like i do now.

Monday, June 04, 2007

cell phone pics

One of the dozen or so pavilions we went to. About 3000 eating and drinking people in a sweaty and humid hockey arena. It was great time. It is where we ended Saturday night.

Latin dancers:

Steel drum band:


From a different day, Al Gore. No really - that's him - the little speck. A Cadbury brush with greatness.

the four pillars

last year in the fall i decided that the four pillars of my new life would be:

1) sex

2) sleep

3) food and drink

4) enjoyment

when i ask myself if i want to do something, i ask if it works as part of any of the pillars

if it doesn't then it is very likely discarded

i am still unsure how my ongoing dedication to my children fits into the pillars

i have decided that for the time being the four pillars are my personal pillars for self-fulfillment and are in my week without kids

not a lot of sex when they're around...

i'll get back to you when i figure out how they fit into my projected life of sensuous abandon and adventure yet to be fulfilled

i figure that for now they can live in the last three pillars

Saturday, June 02, 2007

evening out

there is a massive city wide ethnic festival going on. Smitten has a friend in from out of town. we are going out tonight to the festival.

yesterday she phoned me while i was at work after five and began discussing the route we would take. she invited me over for a few minutes after work to discuss plans - i declined because i wanted to drop son off at his mother's and go exercise - which i haven't found/made time for in 2 weeks. i was irritated because this was yet another Smitten distraction (it felt like stbx-Mrs_C and her shit always trying to pull me away from my stuff) from my exercise. i also wanted them to have pure "friend time" and not be the boyfriend hanging around. their relationship needs to exist outside and alongside my presence. i feel pretty strongly about that. in the past i have declined some joining Smitten and her friends on some occasions where i thought i would be intruding.

anyway, we are intending to take the bus as there will be some drinking involved with this evening. there are special festival buses that take you from location to location around the city. Smitten asked about which ones i would like to go to and i tried to do it from memory. we had a few minutes of discussion. each location is dedicated to a specific culture/ethnic group. i named one location and she said "oh, but that's at the very furthest point away at the very end of a bus route." i was in the middle of writing my last post and was in full steam. i was slow and clear and deliberate in my response "All I said was that I would put the Indian Pavilion on my list of places to go." She said "I wasn't saying we couldn't go there, i was just talking about logistics" i repeated "I wasn't making a demand or insisting that we go there, i was just telling you that i would put the Indian pavilion on my list of places to go. we can settle the logistics after we see which pavilions everyone wants to go to."

she says "i sensing you are getting defensive about this" i said "yes, i am getting very defensive."

(i didn't say it at the time to Smitten, but stbx-Mrs_C would always do shit like that "oh, it would be so much trouble to do whatever," she would say, and then "but we can still do it" and then it would be problematic if i insisted - she would ruin the activity in one way or another. the festival runs every year and stbx-Mrs_C was really bad for cutting out pavilions i wanted to go to - for 18 years [including the dating 2 years] she refused to go to a couple of them...)

Smitten said "i already apologised for putting you on the spot because i have the festival guide in front of me and you don't"

i said that if there were some pavilions that i wanted to go to that they didn't i would just go by myself that evening, and then do the rest with them.

there was some other short discussion and the call ended.

i called her back when i got to my place and said that i could hardly get cranky with her about what locations we were going to if i wasn't prepared to have a discussion about it, so i would come over and we would discuss it.

dropped son off and went over to her place.

it was a little stilted at first. some discussion and a scotch later i was a little less pissy/grumpy.

her friend suggested that we go that evening as well. i underlined that i had rather specifically not wanted to go over there because i didn't want to disrup their "friend time". that i was even uncomfortable in being over there, because i wanted them to have their time. they said it was fine, that they appreciated my sentiment.

we decided to go.

it took a bit for me to loosen up, but it turned out to be quite a fun evening. it was after 8 by the time we sorted out a few things and we only hit the Indian and Hungarian locations - but we saw a lot of dancing and drank some imported alcohol and ate a lot of good food.

i was in a good mood and very tired when i dropped them off. i went home and son was there burning some CDs on my set-up - we always make back-up compies of our new CDs to keep the originals relatively pristine and let the copies get scratched and fucked up. i was tired and left him doing his thing and went to bed.


9 and half hours of sleep later i feel good. best sleep in about a month.

i am not nearly as pissy and moody as before.

i am in a sanguine state with the world.

i will go exercise now for a little while. i am late, so it will only be an hour long session (we are going out to do more ethnic revelry starting at 2pm), but i wanted to clean up my place and do some of this writing to continue to clear my head.

I hope that all my negativity toward Smitten has more to do with my physical state than anything.

i think i have identified some problems that i are larger than i had realised and will see what i can do to express my wants and needs. and to try to do it in a slightly less bitchy and aggressive way.

i think i am getting aggressive because when there was a problem with stbx-Mrs_C there was no way of changing things. that i would lose in one way or another on every expression of self. i think that a collection of issues and my physical state built up into the kind of anger that should really be directed at stbx-Mrs_C. and that i am attributing the same kind of sinister motivations to Smitten.

i am a reasonable writer and can build a case for my view of the world - my choice of phrase, adjectives, which quotes i use and how i paraphrase statements are all loaded choices.

i know - i do that for a living. i load language and underlying impressions into sentences. that is why my love of etymology (since i was a little kid) stands me in such good stead in my work. i will argue over wording for hours sometimes because the person writing the piece doesn't understand the history of the words they are using and the nuance that they are putting on a piece of writing with the words they choose. yes - the original latin and old english or middle french meaning is relevant to what you are trying to say.

i will see how things go today after clearing some of the guck from my body by exercising.

i hope that most of the toxic ooze that has spewed out recently can be attributed to my physical state.

see you later

what is the source of the tension and malaise?

[the day after most of this was written i have gotten a good night's sleep and directly addressed a situation where there could have been a collision and i feel better now. this post still informs what is going on my head so i will post it, even though i am no loger feeling quite as ucky]

there's something taking a chunk out of my spirit. i don't know whether it's the weather, lack of sleep, disrupted sleep, or whatever.

it all really started after the head bump described in kinda cranky with Smitten

there were a few more minor issues (in my own head) before then, but that is the first real event of note.

other issues before:

1) i find the need to spend each bit of free time together when we don't have kids a little difficult. i have stuff i need to do.

i need to go exercise, and i need to do laundry, and i need to do dishes. i don't have in suite laundry and no dishwasher. i can't just dump a load and run. i have to be there when it finishes the load (i haven't followed up on the laundry service). i need to exercise, but i feel the same pressure to make it shorter that i felt with stbx-Mrs_C. that even though there is an explicit statement of support for the effort, i feel an underlying message of "hurry up" and "this takes away from our time together" and of disappointment when it goes too late. you see, if i leave work at 5:30pm (which i often do) and get home 20 minutes later - bathroom, meal prep, and eating later it is about 7 when i ready to go work out. that means it is after 9 when i am done (2 hour workout) and then i need to shower as well. i feel a lot of pressure because of the disappointment i perceive in having a short evening together. if i were to tell that to Smitten she would say that she understood and was fine with it. i don't believe her. there is a tone in her voice and such that i believe betrays disappointment.

2) i also need some self time. if i don't have Smitten, I've got son. I get Monday night every two weeks to myself - she has her daughter on mondays when it is our kidless week.

3) she sends emails all through the day. that's ok. it was a pattern that was set early in the relationship and i'm ok with the contact, but it also takes time and focus while i am at work. lso, if i tell her everything that i'm doing all day, what the hell is there to talk about that evening. because she likes to have a conversation at bedtime. she says she feels good when she talks to me. that makes me happy, but at times it's more than a little constricting. every night at 9:30 or so i talk to her before bed... it bugs me a little

sometimes i don't feel like talking

i know that if i said that i was busy or didn't want to, she'd be fine - but there's this expectation that i perceive that isn't sitting well with me.

4) she is a little less than "collaborative" in her wishes for how things will work, sometimes.

i will never be dictated to again.

as mentioned in It rolls on (part 2) we had a little rub that day too. there was also a minor collision unreasonable anger, trigger, my jaw hurts and i have a headache there are moments when i feel like i'm missing the option of choice.


after stbx-Mrs_C and Smitten had the clash at the kids ethnic dance concert in December 2006 - the first time they ever encountered each other - stbx-Mrs_C said to me afterwards "You think I'm bad at telling you what to do...? Man, she's a piece of work. She'll be all nice for awhile and then she'll start giving the marching orders."

(i can't find any reference to that clash in my archives, so i will give an overview at the end of this post)

Yeah - i know the source. But the suggestion is insidious. I trusted stbx-Mrs_C's views on people for a long time. She has always had a pretty good handle on people from first impressions. As a kid who was abused i suspect that it was a survival skill to be able to read people really fast... I know she's twisted and has a vested interest in tilting my view of Smitten - but the comment still plays in my head. Especially since she would have nothing else to source that from. She could have said a whole lot of things - but she said that. And then i hear about Smitten running the whole show with her husband.


lat december at the christmas ethnic dance show stbx-Mrs_C came over to where we were sitting. Smitten's kids were with us, and both of my kids were there as well. they had split their sitting time between each of us.

stbx-Mrs_C walked up, looked and said "I'm his wife. You know - the one he's married to." I cut in quick "There are children here, this is hardly the place for this." stbx-Mrs_C said a little more and left.

Smitten was pissed and wanted to say something in reply. she was incensed at that kind of a "drive-by" with the kids around. we had the kids stay in a place and went to just say that this was out of line. my instinct at the time was to let it go, but Smitten was pissed - and not going to let it go unconfronted as a behaviour. as she put it - these kind of people do a drive-by and normal decent people are left just standing there dumbstruck at the sheer audacity and poor taste of what has been done.

Smitten told her what she thought. stbx-Mrs_C tried to cut her off. Smitten told her "Don't cut me off - i'm talking - you got to say your pice a few minutes ago." it escalated qucikly, stbx-Mrs_C got really loud - there were a lot of people around. she started saying wild and carazy shit. she started telling Smitten that we had slept together recently and stuff like that. it was pretty wild.

anyway - in a comment after that stbx-Mrs_C said her deal. it lurks around my head.


the emotional blech that prompted both of these last two posts is gone.

i'm still posting this because it will provide clues on my thought train

Friday, June 01, 2007

tension about the park barbeque

as mentioned in It rolls on (part 2) there was a little tension the day we went to the park for the barbeque with the kids.

i was out with daughter doing the Cousin M art show. i had discussed with daughter Smitten's idea of a barbeque in the park. daughter was game and suggested a location in the park. a location daughter liked.

i was speaking to Smitten on my cell phone about things and she was short with me about the idea of moving the spot to the other location. even with just the proposal. she humoured me a little, but in the end just said she wanted things the way she had planned.

i was a little unhappy with that. i told her that i thought that the decision making was a little less than "collaborative". she said that if daughter ever comes up with the suggestion that there should be a day in the park, and picks the location and activities than daughter can do that, and that Smitten would follow along, but that she had some things in mind and what about the consideration for her ideas.

true enough

i let it drop

but it still bugs me. if she was putting it together, then fine. but being as i had gone out and scored the chicken and a bunch of other stuff for the event - and i didn't really want to do a picnic in the park - i figured i might have a little say in things. i was also less than happy because i was running down on money and had to spend part of my end of the month reserve paying for her fucking idea.

i don't care for the idea of alternating command. sometimes you're in charge and sometimes i'm in charge. no. i like always inclusion. one person can have lead, but room for other suggestions. i guess she didn't want to put me off immediately and that's why she humoured me for a little while, but if this was such a hard and fast plan it should have been presented as such in stead of as a tentative plan like she did (at first) when she suggested the whole deal.

also, i was having some time with my daughter, on my weekend with my kids, and Smitten was horning in on my time with my daughter by suggesting all this group shit. i was reveling in the fact that my daughter wanted to spend time with me, and not with mom and grandma. that she was tired of bob and just wanted family around. me around.

but Smitten has an agenda of normalising relations between her and daughter. and that's fine.

and Smitten doesn't want to be "run by an 11 year old" or "dictated to by an 11 year old" and sees some of daughter's behaviour as a reflection of stbx-Mrs_C and thinks it ought to be cut off at the pass [later edit: those quotes are from a few months previous, not that conversation]. Buddha Girl made a comment about that a long time ago on the likelihood of daughter being more manipulative as a result of the role modeling she would observe from stbx-Mrs_C. Smitten worked with troubled kids and young offenders, and BG works with school kids. I think HippiChick (again school/kids) made the same observation from professional experience. i respect that viewpoint and that experience.

but Smitten still pissed me off. sure - i'm sucking up to my daughter a little. i want her to feel like she has some say in things. i want her to want to come back to me. i miss my daughter so much it literally makes me cry.

and it stuck in my craw that i thought Smitten was getting in the way in between my child and myself.

and it stuck in my craw that i felt dictated to. that i was doing running around and spending cash i didn't feel like i had, and then i got no say. that bugged me. still bugs me.

when we were at the park i was pretty quiet, and just did what i do. get food and stuff ready, make sure everyone has enough to eat and then eat. the oters all wandered off and ended up finishing alone. Smitten came back and said that she was sorry that i had to eat alone (she is aware that it bugs me). i said "whatever" and cleaned up the site. it also irritated me that i had to go get the dog from the house (and encounter stbx-Mrs_C) and daughter just ditched the dog.

i was happy that she was not wholly wrapped up in the dog, but irritated that i had to watch the dog.

the tension of things dissipated as the evening went on and it was fine by later, but is was a set of sour notes.

Smitten called me the next day or so and told me how much she appreciated me just handling things with supper. she said that in her previous life she had to do it all - planning, prep, and execution.

well, that happened with stbx-Mrs_C too. she would get some idea and then give me shit when i didn't do it exactly her way. i just pulled back from my enthusiastic action with her too.

i have wondered if Smitten's husband wasn't the way he was because she was bossy as shit. and i wonder whether it isn't coming out now.

i'm not going to be bossed either.


that should shed a little light on some things. i've started another post on some of these subjects and realised i should tell this story for background.