Monday, July 30, 2007


It was a spectacular weekend. Nakedness and sex abounded. It was exhilarating and free.

I can't share all of the pictures (some for anonymity and some for other reasons...), but one thing that shocked me when I saw them afterwards is how young my face looked. I've got no hair, but my face looked as line free and youthful as when I was 19 or 20. I was really quite shocked - and yes that is the word.

Smitten is a spectacular woman. I am lucky to have her in my life.

This is from my dating website profile - part of what I was hoping for when Smitten found me last year:
I'm looking for...
A person who can be passionate about me, and about spending time together. Being adequate, or even excellent "companions" isn't enough. I want a person who will be interested in me with the same passion and strength that I bring to a relationship. I want to be active and fit together - exercise, dance (I've always wanted to perfect my Salsa). I want to live a life of exuberance, joy and travel, not a life of endless home renovations (don't get me wrong, I still enjoy building things), chores, and hedge trimming. Someone who laughs at my jokes - my friends think I am hilarious, and say that a smile is rarely far from my face. Someone who can let loose their wild inner self at the right time. I want to be a part of a world that rejoices in infinite diversity, not ordered in small boxes and neat rows... I want to greet each day with the freshness, enthusiasm, energy, and possibility of first light on a spring morning

The place we stayed at. Our camp site is the little lighter coloured dot in the middle of the picture in the middle of the trees. the light coloured dot is the tent.

Smitten going down a walking bridge

Me going down the same bridge in the other direction

A view of the sandbars where we went after the bridge

I am so in love with this woman.

Me sucking it in for Smitten's benefit

The bridge we walked across from the sandbars in the pictures above (and me).

And finally:

the other beach trip

a short retrospective:

about a week after the first beach trip we went back. we went to the resort town, not the quiet beach.

we hit there around supper time and had supper at a fish and chips place. the fish and chips meal was, while completely unhealthy, a must do thing for Smitten - she had spent many summers in the resort town - her ex-husband's family has a cottage there. it was while spending much time alone/apart in that cottage that Smitten realised she did not wish to be married to her husband.

we sat in the sun and looked at boats in the marina. we took a long walk down the trails she would walk - she wanted to show me the places she would sit alone - that we would be together being in/occupying/filling her alone places.

after the walk i suggested we go for drinks/beer at this one beach place with a massive deck. we sat, we talked, we enjoyed the heat, the humidity, the air, the sound of the water and the beer.

it was dark by the time we were going to leave. there were only a few people around. though it is a resort place - there was a massive party/festival/outdoor concert near, as well as a home football game on that night. that meant all the yahoos weren't at the beach.

and as we were leaving i suggested we go for a walk on the beach. it was clear of people. the beach juts way out in the water in a big sand point. no lights.

when we arrived Smitten decided to change into some shorts. she did it in the parking lot with the door open so she had a wall on three sides (2 vehicles and the door) and me standing in the other space - there was no one around. she was bugging me about whether i was going to drop me pants to - jokingly suggesting we could have sex there in the parking loot

so i dropped my pants on the spot. she was shocked until she realised i had my swim trunks underneath.

she then teased me about being uptight and needing to lose that tendency

forward in time:

we are walking on the beach and reach the point. she's breathing in the air and enjoying the sultry evening.

i say to her "So, i'm uptight am i?" and proceed to trip out of my clothes on the beach. she's a little taken aback but is a playful person. i splash a bit in the water and walk with her a short way.

i'm feeling a little awkward at this point and put my clothes back on on. She says that she wouldn't have had the guts to do that.

we head back to the vehicle and drive back to the city.

as we're driving a connection goes in my head. i say to her "You know, in reconsideration, I should have cavorted in the water and such for you. A bit of a display. I ended that pretty quickly because I was feeling awkward, but I shouldn't have - because it just occurred to me that that you actually like looking at me naked."

She said "Think about how you would have felt, or how you might have thought about it if it was me."

I said that it was a new thing to realise in my own head that someone found me physically attractive.

I was always of the view that i was OK enough looking, but that it was "patter" and "charm" that I had to keep a constant hustle going in order to get women to go out with me or sleep with me - the food and the dinners, the music and the events, the lines and the charm, the olympic sex - detailed study of female sexuality - that it was all a hustle because I didn't think any of these women were honestly attracted to me. That if I dropped the hustle for even a time they would realise that they didn't want to be around me...

It was a turning point in my view of myself and of my relationship with Smitten.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

emasculation and pain

i'm in a lot of pain. full blown fibromyalgia. as bad as it has been since maybe nov 2005 - feb 2006.

muscle spasms, headache, neck, everywhere - all locked up - rigid.

i have little feeling in most of my body - it's just locked and rigid - almost no sensitivity to the touch

went for massage this morning - my therapist was quite concerned and agreed it was a couple of years since it was this bad.

she referred me to an osteopath for some of my issues. i have been discussing some of the physicality of my sexual dysfunction with my massage therapist. i am of the opinion that part of the issue is muscular - there is one set of muscles around my hips/pelvic joint that when she releases them i can feel results in my penis and pubic area - not an erection but the change in feeling - that is - i can actually feel it...

i was having problems moving my legs this morning - especially after she began to work on them - just the muscle release alone - not pain - just release - made tears come while i was on the table

my massage therapist uses a different set of techniques than the usual beating to death swedish massage - hers are gentle and relaxation based - she works the muscles at the point they connect to the bone - it is called the St. John method (I believe this is the dude's website).

i picked up some codeine and am pleasantly buzzed right now - well buzzed anyway...

i am trying to redefine - to shift my view of what is happening in my life. at this time i feel powerless.

i am essentially entirely at the mercy of stbx-Mrs_C. taking her to court is a minimum of a six month venture. it will take about 6 weeks to get all the paperwork, notices and filing done for a court ordered mediation session (required by law before proceeding to trial). it will take 3-4 months to get a court date after that.

all she has to do is stall - my finances are on hold, my plans are on hold, my future is one hold... she just has to do nothing - and i'm still fucked.

i feel as emasculated as i felt before i left. and one of the things that's really shitty is that because of how i feel about this, she's able to cut me off sex without even being my partner... i'm tense and things aren't working

almost all of the things i want to do take money. the settlement is the key to moving forward. some pressure will be off starting in September a $418/month payment (vehicle) is over (last payment August 1)

money - house - is key to getting my daughter back.

i hate her (stbx)

she has told son that she is stalling because she believes that housing prices will drop and then she won't have to pay out as much.

in the meantime i wait.

i have deadlines looming at work - critical work - critical deadlines - the final conflict is coming soon - we are not assured of victory

i have realised that since i am powerless to change stbx-Mrs_C's actions, i am powerless to affect the outcome or force it any faster than it will come - i have to proceed and accept that things will happen when they happen

i have to make sure that i am timely in what i do - that i don't slough my filings or deadlines

i have to take care of myself - i have to take my vitamins, do my exercise, eat properly, sleep enough, practice relaxation and meditation, and take time for personal peace

i have to make people whom i feel are putting undo pressure on me aware that i feel they are, and ask them to not do so. i have to be assertive enough to ask people to wait for the things they ask me for if i am unable to do it within the timeline they ask or i assume or volunteer. i have to try to say no when i feel overwhelmed, and if i have accepted too much i have to tell people i have overcommitted and that other arrangements will have to be made.

i have to stop over-anticipating the needs of others and creating anxiety for myself when i do not meet or fulfill the anticipated need i have defined in my own head


if i don't get my house until next year - i don't get my house until next year

if daughter doesn't come back until then... daughter doesn't come back until then

Dad has things lined up for a mortgage - a house that would be perfect is coming on market soon... but if i don't get it, i don't get it. i can live where i am now. daughter has to make her own choices too - and even though i believe that she is making a mistake, maybe she has to learn that as well.

perhaps i need to put the lean on daughter. perhaps she needs to say no to her mother - maybe that is why this is happening - the reason - maybe i need to learn to do the things i outline in this post, and maybe daighter needs to stand up to her mother's bullying. perhaps daughter needs to say yes to me - swallow her wants and desires for the time being for my sake - maybe she can suck it up and come and spend at least one night a week/weekend with me even if she doesn't like the apartment.

maybe i need to get mad at her and tell her what selfish little shit she's being and that she can suck it up.

(cool - that last codeine i swallowed has really kicked in - i am feeling much better at this moment)

i need to make my situation work even with the elements i cannot control or force - otherwise i am back in the box i was before i left

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dad's burial site... a road trip story

I had planned on only taking the first week of July off from work. The rest I would take later. When my Dad found out I was off of work his calls became incessant. He was seriously disrupting my personal time, and my time with Smitten.

I could have just turned off my cell phone. But I don't want to. I want to be accessible to those who need to reach me - my children, my workplace, my business partners, and - my Dad (parents). Dad just has a problem with boundaries.

Just like I refuse to give up my email address that I have had since the early '90s (because of spam - approx 700 per day]), I refuse to turn off my cell phone to avoid Dad's calls.

There must be another solution (with spam filters I receive only about 30 of those 700). Turning off the cell phone would only address a symptom, and would also impact me and my own desire for how my life should be structured. I want my cell phone on because there are people who need to reach me. I want the freedom of not being chained to desk, and I want the freedom of not having to arrange excruciatingly detailed backup for my presence/absence. But I want those around me to self-regulate. The cell phone is for my convenience, not theirs - not his.

Anyway, I told Dad that I was going to take some time off in the second week of July and we would go do something together. I figured if I could take son or daughter days, I could take a Dad day and do something just with him. He had asked about doing some traveling around our area earlier in the year.

He had specifically raised the idea of going to the area where his family homesteaded. He had found a place that he found very peaceful - and abandoned church site that has a graveyard that is still used. He was thinking about being buried there. I knew that was why he wanted to go there with me. My Mom told him that he was nuts to want to be buried there and he wanted some validation and he wanted share the place.

These are cell phone pictures from that trip. The fields we are beside are seeded in canola (yellow flower). These pictures were taken about a mile down from the place where Dad wants to be buried. You can see (sort of) the lake at the horizon of the first picture.

It's beautiful country. While I bemoan the wasteland sometimes, other times the hugeness and the emptiness of it all is breathtaking. When you look at the pictures, realise how small a piece of the view that is. Imagine the flatness and the emptiness in every direction. Just open space. The second picture is me just turning left from where the first picture was taken.

A lot of air. A lot of space to breathe.

Off at the end of the road in the picture, there is a dark spot on the left. That is the trees and the hill that the abandoned church and graveyard are on.

Dad took me to a swack of places - I should have taken more pictures, but I didn't think of it until the moment I took those pictures. As usual I took pictures of the places, and not the people. I didn't take a picture of my dad on that day even though he could die at any time - that being part of the reason we went on the trip. With these ischemic episodes he's been having he is feeling quite mortal.

I took pictures of the places because it was the moment that will be frozen in time - not the people. They live and their presence is in my memory. I need to change that - i need to capture the people. Because it's the people that are important. But for whatever reason I capture the experience and the moment by my surroundings and not by the people.

I saw a lot of places that I had heard Dad talk about, but i had not seen in person. Hilltop shrines, cathedrals hand painted by war refugees, places where people had been born, and people had died. A bowl that was hand carved in 1875 by my great-great-grandfather (it was a wedding present - currently in a museum). I saw the places they went to fight the good fight. The miles and miles my Grandfather walked during the depression as he fought for a better world - to change our society into one that served the needs of people, not profit. The places that had voted with us. The places that had voted against us. The places where the people had reached for their last few cents in the depression to support the cause because they shared the dream. The places where our people were beaten by gangs of thugs wielding axe handles. The resistance to change and the better world was strong. Those who felt they stood to lose were ruthless.

Many places that no longer exist, or are just a collection of a few falling down buildings. They exist in memories of people like my father.

Where my Dad worked and lived as he grew. The places he, like his father, organized on behalf of the movement. The places he worked to try to build that same better world.

I saw a lot of train tracks. The trains was his lifeblood - his point of mobility. Just like I effortlessly travel the world on my computer and my networks - he traveled our area, catching overnight trains to reach his destinations. He was a young man on the move with a lot of vigour and passion.

The places where my father and uncles were born. Where my one uncle died long before I was born. The cathedral they tried to find solace in after his death at age 15. A cathedral hand painted by a war refugee, built by people who had fled the privation and violence that was endemic in many parts of Europe ant the end of the last century.

The places my grandmother stood and defended the idea of the common wealth, and defended her children from those who attacked them because their parents were demanding social change. Things like medical care for all regardless of ability to pay, free education, good roads, decent wages, and safety and protection in their workplace.

My father was sharing some of his life with me so that I would know too. So that it would be more than just words. It would be places and visions. So that it wouldn't be lost. With only that endless sky as witness.

...a road trip story.

Monday, July 23, 2007

why this blog is self-absorbed (RANT/BLAST)

to the person who reads this blog who thinks i should be more balanced:

the blog is about me

it is the place i go to explore my personal feelings. my feelings about my life. it is not the place i go to be balanced about things, or about my stbx.

it is the place where i reflect on what goes on in my head and how i feel - however unhinged or self-centred that may be.

no, person, i do not think i am so great. while i try to be good, and try to be decent...

i am well acquainted with my shortcomings as a human being. also, any that i am/was not aware of intrinsically were pointed out to me in detail over a long period of time. this blog and discussing my feelings openly and frankly is part of how i am changing myself - to get past my shortcomings

and part of how i will decide if any of those shortcomings are just character traits that aren't going away and that i choose not to change and anyone who wants to be around me is just going to have to learn to live with or they can kiss my ass - they can leave

i am approaching my life rebuilding with a methodology that i believe is sound. with a methodology that has been reviewed by 3 professional counselors (2 psychologists, and 1 social worker), and 2 doctors - and that is being reviewed with one of those counselors on an ongoing basis and with my doctor as needed.

all 5 of these people think i'm a little aberrant with their usual practice because i actually developed a change plan. a written analysis and plan (part of which is based on some of my blog entries) - they all said they thought that the plan and analysis was sound - just they'd never seen anyone be that methodical before - and that it was little strange.

part of the plan involves constantly examining how i feel - to understand the tones/flavours and nuances of my emotional responses in order to work with how i really feel instead of being in a state of denial or repression.

i am well aware that it takes 2 to make or break a marriage, but i disagree that both partners are always equally responsible for what takes place in it. to cite an instance we all know in the blogging world - is the Certifiable Princess (CP) equally responsible for the beatings and shit she took in her relationship with Tony? is she equally responsible for the break-up of that relationship? scroll down on this linked archive page until you reach Tuesday, March 21, 2006 The saga begins: A Four Part Story.. re-read that multi-part post - person with the comments.

and, opinion person, read CP's comment again:

"I want you to go to MY four part story and read it. Read it twice. Read it until you understand that the abuse that your wife is perpetrating upon you is NO DIFFERENT than the beatings, the bloody beatings that were inflicted upon me. I nearly vomited reading part three of your story, because it was the same vicious cycle of violence that I have experienced with my ex..."

Kristin wrote:

"For quite a few years I have worked professionally with women suffering abuse. Reading your blog has been almost as seeing their stories repeated ... with one notable exception: You have switched around the parts."

Cadbury wrote:

"Over the years she has pulled out every bit of my emotional being - like pulling a mussel out of its shell - and exposed it to air. And minced it. And then shoved it back in, or let me gather up the bits and try to recover.

Sort of like when you hear about the rapist demanding their victim pick up the clothes scattered around and put their clothes back on "Why are you naked? Get dressed!!!"

This conversation, on top of all of the rest over the last year or two, had left me with nothing left to be extracted for torture."

as for whether i should be saying anything good about stbx-Mrs_C - i do - sometimes. and to suggest that i am somehow insinuating that she did nothing right through our marriage is wrong. she just made most days misery, and on many that she didn't make miserable i was still hurting from the last time she shredded me.

so most of the time i don't feel very well disposed toward her and don't think that i need to or have to portray her in a positive light. why? because i don't feel like it. i'm really mad at her, and i'm really hurt, and to be honest i don't give shit if you think i should be nicer to her here on my pseudonymous blog.

so, person with the opinion, if you are looking for balance, go somewhere else - maybe FOX news or something. i'm not making you come back and read this blog.

as for me, i am going to continue to explore my life and its recasting.

to quote someone i know in the blogging world:

"It's for my benefit, not anyone elses. If you don't like what you're reading, then perhaps you are in the wrong place! "


my kids came back from their vacation time with their mother. i got to spend some time with them yesterday. went for brunch, got the boy a haircut, bought a few clothes they need, bought myself a few clothes.

a couple of things stand out at this point:

we were yakking about stuff, they were telling me about their trip and what they liked and what bugged them.

they were talking about how their mom and boyfriend bob interrelated during the trip. i just let them yak - both out of curiousity and to just them a chance to debrief. a couple of times i steered them away from some mom bashing they were doing (no really, i did). i reminded them that they did not need to bash their mom or bob to make me happy and that it was just fine by me if they liked bob or got along with him, and that i hoped that they would love their mother - and that everyone has their faults and their positives - "Even me" i said (humourous tone). i tell them that it i don't think i serves any purpose to have a bunch of back and forth between their mom and i.

they tell me that they were pleased to be out of the house because their Mom had gotten all "emo" and weepy the night before (after they had gotten back) and started looking at pictures in albums of the family when we were together and talking about how wonderful it was. i'm told she does this pretty regularly. she started the morning doing the same thing. she started talking about how i had destroyed our lives together and destroyed our family.

i told them that it is appropriate for a person to mourn and to be angry about that kind of personal loss. I told them that that how much each of us is to blame is irrelevant at this point. that even if i was totally to blame, that there is no going back now and we have to make the best lives for the future that we can.

we yak some more

while talking son says that he thinks his mom thinks he's going to grow up to be fat lazy and ugly. i'm going "Huh? explain this". son tells me that his mother told him "[Son], I want you to know - no mater if you get fat, or you don't have many friends or anything - or if other people say you're ugly or fat - I'll still love you. I'll always be there for you."

Son says that he doesn't think he's fat (he has a bit of a belly on him - not much - maybe 10-15 lbs [he's 15, approx 5ft 8in, and weighs about 190 - he's like me in build - ultra solid build - really huge legs - his shoulders are wider than mine])

i say "Well your Mom has her own standards for things. Standards others could never quite meet."

my daughter laughs and says "You know what's funny. Both you and Mom say exactly the same things about each other. Mom says: 'I could never live up to his high standards" and 'I could never do anything right'".

I responded "Those are my lines. Your Mom doesn't get to steal them. No, she doesn't get to steal them."

"Think back to when she started saying that, and you'll realise that I have been saying the same thing for several years. But that's what your Mom does. Any time I have ever accused her of something, or have actually given her shit about something, it came back to me shortly after."


Yep, now she's using my lines...


that bugs me.

at least she could get her own complaints - or stick to her own complaints.

Friday, July 20, 2007

do you think i'm too available?

Smitten asked me that question.

She said "Considering you can have me pretty much any time you want me, do you think I'm too available? Will it get boring for you - does there need to be the 'thrill of the hunt'?"

I thought she was referring to my intermittent sexual dysfunction. To me not hopping after her every second of the day.

I was overwhelmed by emotions i don't have any name for.

I told her it was one of my strongest desires to be desired. To have someone who was truly attracted to me.

I rather haltingly told her that if she was to pull herself away, or make herself less available to make me "hunt" more, that it would destroy me. I told her that I didn't want that to be viewed as a *you must sleep with me or it will cause irreparable psychological damage* - i told her that she was free to say no for any reason - even whim - but that if she were to withdraw artificially - for the purposes of making me chase her more - i'd be crushed.

I was lying on her bed. She came and straddled on top of me. She saw that she had gone somewhere bad for me. She told me that she was asking because she was unsure of whether it was "proper" or the best thing to do - that she had never been as sexually attracted to someone like she is with me - and thought about whether her actions were crossing any boundaries they shouldn't. That she wasn't even considering it from the perspective of my feelings, just about her behaviour - sort of a "good girl/bad girl" thing.

I was relieved to hear what she said.

I was pretty highly emotional by that point. her question had come out of the blue for me, and had bypassed all sorts of filters and had hit a fear pretty deep inside me. having my leash jerked like that again would kill me.

I began to cry. I tried to stop but she whispered in my ear to let it out - to not control it. To allow the tears to heal - to release. i cried deeply and for some time

i knew i was angry. i knew i was affronted. i knew that i was traumatised.

i hadn't quite seen the deep hurt before.

it was someplace else than the other things i've talked about

i'm still not quite over that incident even though it's been almost 2 weeks.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

house hunting and mortgages

i've been looking at houses

i keep wondering what's the point. without a settlement i can't do anything.

stbx-Mrs_C will be back this weekend sometime. we'll see what transpires.

i told the lawyer to get everything ready. i'm a little pissed because i have been phoning her (the lawyer) since last week with a question and she hasn't gotten back to me yet.

she's a junior lawyer in the firm i've used all my life, and the firm my parents have used since the '60s

i am a very good friend with the senior partner, but hesitate to complain quickly.

my dad is prepared to buy a house on my behalf and then rent it to me for a month or two until the settlement is done - then i would buy it from him

there is a house that would do me perfectly that is coming up for sale. i don't want to miss it.

it is in my price range (approx $135,000). it meets my specifications for number of bedrooms (3) and bathrooms (2). it is not far from Smitten and is a couple of blocks from one of daughter's better friends.

it has a decent yard, is in a reasonable neighbourhood, and has space for a garage. it is a small house (about 841 sq ft main floor) with a basement. it has room and a structure that is suitable for an addition if i wanted.

i don't want to make myself beholden to my Dad, and have been trying to explain my concerns about the transaction and the relationship he and i have. i'm just trying to face it straight on.

my Mom was going to participate in the transaction, but has decided it is too much for her to handle. she is also not quite as happy with the way i have been living and spending lately.

she figures that if i am poor enough to ask for help, i'm too poor to go on trips to the music festival and stay in the hotel we did and such. she is also concerned about my job prospects if things go bad during the final conflict.

i told her that i would keep my job (union) unless we were completely wiped off the map, but i guess the fact that i had such extensive plans for disaster said more to her than my assurances. at least that's how she presented it to my Dad.

she also is concerned my Dad could have a debilitating stoke or die between now and a settlement and doesn't want to do clean-up on matters. I told my Dad that the best solution would be a step by step set of understandings as to how it would be dealt with that would be prepared by his lawyer (the senior partner, not the one that doesn't call back...).

blah, blah, blah

i wish i had a house

i'm sick of living in the apartment. i'm sick of hanging in between. i'm sick of my credit card payments. i want them paid off.

i'm sick of stbx-Mrs_C still being able to jerk my leash with this last bit of shit to deal with.

I want to move on.

i want my own place.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Beach Trip

i don't want to work anymore

i don't want conflict as a way of life

for the first time, i don't want to go back to work


the first week off continued. Smitten and i decided to go to the beach. there is this beach outside the city - a small cottage community. not a resort community - a cottage community. it is up a hillside and has a small beach. it is about 10 miles from the big resort community outside our city.

i like the cottage place better.

1 store. that's it. fully treed in, little gravel roads, small lots, kind of crazy construction. no new lots allowed. no new construction areas.

the resort community is going full bore. it's a town - not a cottage place.

the resort community is kind of dun because of it's touristy nature, but like going to the fair/exhibition - only fun for a few hours at a time.


we went to the beach.

we laid in the sun.

we got tanned. dermatologists be damned. i have a vitamin D deficiency remember...

Smitten has seasonal affective disorder...

sunlight is good. it clears out a lot of cobwebs.


we went to the beach.

i was so at peace

i was so unstressed

i was so not worried about anyone or anything

i didn't have to worry about protecting myself or about possible sudden massive attack from out of nowhere

i just was

i was warm, and i was relaxed

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


i gained weight. i'm up to 224 lbs again, or maybe a couple less because of when i weighed myself, but that's still a minimum of 15 lbs up.

i'm pretty upset.

it hit home the worst when the other night i was hugging Smitten goodbye and she patted my abdomen and said "oh no, you've got the curse"

the curse that she is referring to is that all of the men she has been in relationships with have gained weight.

i was crushed. i was really hurt. i spoke to her about it the next day and told her how it made me feel. she apologised profusely and said that it was something that popped out, and she realised as she said it that it was probably not a good thing to have said.

i'm a little non-plussed. the reasons i am gaining weight:

1) skipping exercise - a) ditching it to spend time with Smitten; b) ditching it because of child obligations and helping son/daughter; c) i injured/strained my shoulder for about a month at a time twice in the last 5 months and was only going to exercise about half my normal occasions while i was in severe pain;

2) not eating as healthily (eg meals with Mom and Dad), not spending as much time as i should pre-preparing my low cal food (c.f. spending time with Smitten and kids), being more slack about what i am prepared to eat;

3) alcohol consumption

A couple of beer in a week: 300 calories; a couple of glasses of wine: 600 calories; a couples of brandies or scotches: 400 calories

3.5 oz of beef: 280; 1 lean pork/beef sausage: 220; 1 bun/slice of bread: 220; 1 oz skim mozzarella cheese: 72

adds up pretty easily. every skipped session of exercise is over 1000 calories not burned... and so on

"Once we know your metabolic rate we can calculate more accurately your daily calorie use.Knowing the daily use, simply subtract 400-500 calories per day in intake. After seven days, you've cut 3500 calories out of your diet. If there are 3500 calories per pound of fat, you've just lost almost a pound of fat. (Assuming you were exercising while dieting.)

A couple things on this, first it's important that you not cut your daily intake by more than 500 calories. Any drop below this will trigger your body to store more fat as a defense against starvation. I know, you're not really starving, but your body doesn't have a conscious mind that reasons that way" -

that means that in the weeks that i only went to exercise once a week, i gained 1 lb over a two week period... it means that 4 drinks, and 2 sausages in buns later i'm at 2/3 of a lb... add being careless with a little salad dressing (even moderate ones at roughly 60 calories per Tbsp, or even 30 calories) - eating salad 2 meals a day add up to the rest of that lb in a week

i'm imposing some personal discipline on myself to make sure i exercise every session i should (3 times a week for 1.5-2 hours). if Smitten whines about the time i'm spending at exercise i will remind her about patting my abdomen. she can't have it both ways.

i understand that it is my choice, and has been my own choices that got me here, but i want to make the people in my life happy and a priority. sometimes that has meant putting myself on the back burner.

i need to make myself and my continuing transformation a high personal priority


i was a little freaked about the incident - it flagged one too many stbx-Mrs_C moments when she would criticise me about gaining weight, but would make it abundantly clear she wanted me to spend every waking moment with her.

Smitten doesn't get put out like the stbx, but still makes it clear she'd like me to be around as much as possible. i just need to establish a boundary.


i picked up that used exercise machine i wrote about a little while back.

even if it it is a home machine and isn't as sturdy as the one at the gym, and even if it doesn't have the "elevation/hill climbing" setting (makes it a lot like a stair climber), and even if it isn't quite the right width (or rather the one i'm used to), i think i can learn to use this machine OK.

i figure if i can use it at least 3 days a week of the remaining 4 days i'm not at the gym, and work off 100 to 200 calories per use (approx 100 calories per 10 minutes at my settings) i can make a significant impact on my weight.

my original idea was to use it for 30 minutes in the morning and at night, but i tried 20 minutes morning and 10 minutes night on Sunday and it hit me pretty hard. i was quite fatigued.

i think this new regime will have to be grown into...

oh, and the other part that irritates me?


switching back hardcore to the fully fucking vegetable laden diet has really given me bad gas in the last week. i need to investigate beano or some such

Monday, July 16, 2007

some pics from music festival trip

I forgot my camera - they're cell phone pics...

Yes - that's Buddy Guy in the white pants and red shirt on the stage. Yes it is the same stage and festival as I went to with son - the festival lasts for over 2 weeks.

This is the hotel at night from across the street. We were sitting in this great sidewalk cafe listening to a fantastic acid jazz band (after a day of great live music), after a great Thai supper, drinking martinis (the modern kind - really just cocktails served in a martini glass) and enjoying the incredibly warm and insect free night. It was utterly fantastic. I have lived for and dreamed of such moments.

The thought of the evening brings tears to my eyes it was so perfect.

This is a picture of the crowd and the grounds.

This is the back of the hotel. The picture makes it look overcast, but it was perfect and hot. Perhaps a little too hot - but great to be in.

I shaved my head all the way down to the scalp (not even the usual stubble) for this weekend (and the whole vacation period) so that nothing would interfere with tanning my head properly.

Smitten loves it being warm, so she was in her glory.

long weekend

we started the vacation time with my friend's birthday party and with everybody's friend, hot tub sally. it was a great evening.

the next day we slept in, packed up, and left for another city for the music festival. i had booked the hotel as part of a special deal for ticket holders. the rooms we were in were normally over $300 a night, but i was paying $139. we were on their special "club floor" with the pass key to get to that floor and all. not as special as you might think. bath sheets instead of bath towels, and an extra basket of shit they try to sell you. free continental breakfast, and free hors d'ouvres - but an extra $150 a night? get real.

i inquired as to how we ended up on the club floor when other ticket holders didn't and the front desk told me that i/we probably met the demographic profile to make the special offer to. having been previous guests, age and occupation, and having left customer comments, and having participated in the guest post stay surveys would have all counted toward the special offer in the computer system - a "regular customer" who wouldn't likely disrupt the "club floor" and their exclusive guests... we did get the smallest room on the floor, but that was ok.

we were attending the music festival. it was in the back of the hotel - the hotel and its gardens are part of a larger park. on the Saturday we saw 5 bands including Buddy Guy (described below). It was a lot of fun. we ate the free food while the concert was on and then went out later - went to a really great asian restaurant i knew. i really love how Smitten likes the same kind of food i do. or rather, eats the same way i do. i still like beef and pig and things and she's not so swell there - i just don't eat it much anymore. we are equally wowed - she is amazed that there is a guy out there that would eat the way she does instead of solid pizza hut and steak (remember - her ex-husband wouldn't eat food that was mixed together - as in even a casserole - or mixed vegetables [when he would eat vegetables]). no really... lasagna was outside his desires.

on the sunday we watched another 6 bands for Canada Day and wandered about the park looking at the booths. i bought some interesting Sri Lankan batiks. i will post pictures once they are framed (or maybe sooner if it takes awhile). Smitten was broke, so I was covering most of the weekend - got her a belt and some funky earings. it was all quite reasonably priced (cheap).

we hit a fabulous Japanese restaurant that night. it was teppanyaki style so they came out and did all the chopping and cooking right in front of us - complete with flaming food and the whole bit. that was a lot of fun. it was my first time doing teppanyaki - Smitten had before. we were seated with some people we didn't know, but soon enough engaged in conversation. the lady was a professor who was moving from the atlantic coast to our region - a professor of art history.

it was a fun conversation. i was very pleased that Smitten was both completely up for engaging in conversation with strangers and enjoyed it during and after (yes - bitter historical reference(s)).

on the way back i stopped at a lake that has a particularly large marina with a lot of sailboats and we clambered about on the docks talking about sailing and such.


the thing that was/is interesting about these events is the absolute lack of tension involved.

i cannot underline too strongly the weird feeling i had through all of it that there was something missing and that it was pre-naturally calm - almost surreal.

it really was like a dream. you know when you have a happy dream - but something seems missing?

that was this whole weekend. the thing that was missing was the need for hyper-vigilance and the fear of making a mistake - oh, and the constant criticism and second guessing.

yeah - surreal.

tim horton's with daughter

this is more of a diary entry than anything.

daughter and son left with their mother on vacation the last weekend of June. on the friday night before heading to the hot tub party i picked up daughter from the house and we went out for a little bit together.

daughter had called me. she was feeling a bit stressed. she was mad at her mom because her mom was doing her usual pre-holiday freak-out. stbx-Mrs_C always has a major spaz before any special occasion. i guess it's her way of dealing with the stress - unleash on the others around you.

daughter was mad because she had been relegated to doing all the housework - and even though daughter was being paid for it ($20), and had accepted the task, she said she was always ending up doing the housework now. she said part of the reason she accepted the money is because she knew she'd just end up doing it anyway.

apparently she was also irritated with boyfriend bob who had made a side deal with daughter on the housework as well - $20 more than Mom was paying. she didn't communicate the details very well but apparently boyfriend bob had promised extra cash if stuff got done on a timely basis to "Take the stress off your Mom."

[heh] I don't think boyfriend bob realises the road he is starting to walk down. he is already beginning to compensate for stbx-Mrs_C's instability.

we saw stbx-Mrs_C in her car as we drove to Tim Horton's and i confirmed with daughter that she had in fact said where she was going. you see, it looked to me like son was in the car with stbx-Mrs_C.

it turns out they had left daughter by herself and daughter was unaware they both had left (daughter just bellowed down the stairs at where she thought son was when she
left with me. i had daughter phone home every 10 minutes or so until we reached her mother.

her mom says she told daughter. daughter says she didn't hear.

either way, i'm a little irritated about it. i am a formal advisory kind of guy. i require an answer/acknowledgment from the other party when i make such pronouncements. even when (especially when) the kids were little, i would always do a formal hand-off of supervision to someone - at home and elsewhere. if i was heading to the bathroom, i would say (and require and answer) "I am going to the bathroom - you are on supervision at this time." and then do a briefing on location and activities if necessary. same with being at a relative's house - i would ask, and designate someone to supervise the kid if i had to leave the room.

i'm a little anal retentive that way - safety first.

daughter is still having issues with stbx-Mrs_C's mother telling her she's fat or needs to lose weight. daughter now avoids her grandma at all costs. it's kind of sad because when daughter was little they were quite close. or at least i thought they were close.

my mom told me that daughter told her that her other grandma was really swell about doing crafts, but that when she would make a mistake, or do something in a different way than other grandma wanted, daughter would get pounced on and given heck. other grandma would also always do a comparison of their respective work after they were done. daughter always came out on the short end. daughter was, i dunno, 5, 6, 7...

my mom was pretty sad that a grown-up would have to compete with a young child.

anyway, daughter complained about not being able to take her dog on the trip. i had to advise daughter that on that one i agreed with her mother. the dog should not go on vacation. daughter wasn't very happy but reluctantly agreed with the logic. i asked her if she actually agreed or was just giving in. she said she could see the reasons, but thought she should be allowed to take her dog anyway.

i laughed and we left it at that.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

vacation time

i've been talking some vacation time. i need to burn more than 30 days in the next 90. that'll still leave me with 3 weeks holidays that i intend to take in winter - hopefully going somewhere warm - assuming i'm still employed after the final conflict... i should be (95%), but the business i'm in is pretty volatile in outcomes - look at what happened with my boss...

so many things to write about

enjoying myself

doing things instead of writing about them

will post as able

thank-you for being my friends

got to run

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Smitten's daughter (9) had a birthday party. Her Dad was out of town at his family's cottage, so i helped out with taxi service and party support. Smitten checked with him, to see if he was cool with it, because otherwise he would have been doing taxi. He was fine with me doing the driving.

It was a nice party for the girl and her friends.

I was helping with cooking and food (surprise) among other things. It was time for the kids to eat. I began asking each of them what they wanted on their hot dogs and preparing them for the kids.

Smitten asked "What are you doing? let them make their own dogs."

It kind of rattled me for a few minutes. I did what she asked, but it bothered me a bit. I couldn't figure out why. she was right, they were old enough to load up their own hot dogs.

When it occurred to me. I loaded all my kids food, and all the kids food at parties at our place because if there was a spill, stbx-Mrs_C would get all psycho on me. as i thought things through i remembered that she had gone all freaky on me one time when one of the kids had friends over about some mustard that had gotten spilled on the white plastic outdoor table and had demanded that i bleach it until the tiny yellow mark was gone.

she had just gone mental all over me about this stain. the table wasn't new. it had that sun worn and slightly greyish undertone that those cheapo white tables get.

it occurred to me that she would usually get spazzy about spills and such - even if they were easily cleaned up, or just part of normal kitchen use.

that's one of the reasons i eventually rarely got to eat with my family was because i was too busy cleaning the kitchen up to avoid getting grief to join them before they had finished eating.

when i talked to Smitten about it, she said "that makes a lot of sense. when we had that picnic in the park, and you were loading that plate with food, i assumed it was for you, but it was [Son's]. i found it strange that you were loading a 15 year old's plate. but that makes perfect sense. you were serving it on the table cloths i had brought, so stains and spills would have been on your mind. i was wondering about that, but it makes sense now."



i let some kids load their own dogs today

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Music Festival

JAZZ Blues GROOVE Funk HIP HOP World Beat SOUL Gospel

we saw Buddy Guy among others. it was cool. Buddy Guy is cool. I am sad to say that i had not heard of him before booking tickets to see him, but it was well worth it. more on the weekend later (which was wonderful) - i need to go now.

To quote the wikipedia article:

"Guy's reputation spread to Great Britain with the American Folk Blues Festival in the 1960s, where young rockers like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and the Rolling Stones were seeking out the roots of American blues. His first trip to the UK was in February 1965, during which Rod Stewart acted as his valet and Guy shared a bill with the Yardbirds. Guy’s tour exposed his music to a whole new generation of British musicians eager to soak it up. He was surprised to see how influential his music had become to English guitarists.

Guy later recalled:

"Of course, I had a lot more energy than I have now—I was playing the guitar with my feet and throwing it up in the air—crazy stuff! But although I was getting to play overseas, back home I still didn't have a record. I thought that maybe it was because I played too loud and with too much feedback, then the next thing I know, Clapton and Hendrix are out there using the same tricks and selling millions of albums."

"Guy could arguably be considered the inspiration, directly or indirectly, for every rock power trio format since Cream (i.e., bands such as the Jeff Beck Group, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Rush, Nirvana). Clapton admitted that he got his idea for a blues-rock power trio during his teenage years while watching Buddy Guy's trio perform in England in 1965. Clapton later formed the rock band Cream, which was “the first rock supergroup to become superstars” and was also “the first top group to truly exploit the power-trio format, in the process laying the foundation for much blues-rock and hard rock of the 1960s and 1970s.”

Eric Clapton said "Buddy Guy was to me what Elvis was for others." Clapton, who's not prone to hyperbole, insisted in a 1985 Musician magazine article that "Buddy Guy is by far and without a doubt the best guitar player alive...if you see him in person, the way he plays is beyond anyone. Total freedom of spirit, I guess… He really changed the course of rock and roll blues."

Recalls Guy: "Eric Clapton and I are the best of friends and I like the tune "Strange Brew" and we were sitting and having a drink one day and I said ‘Man, that "Strange Brew" just cracked me up with that note.’ And he said ‘You should...cause it's your licks...’ " "

"In recognition of Guy's influence on Hendrix's career, the Hendrix family invited Buddy Guy to headline all-star casts at several Jimi Hendrix tribute concerts they organized in recent years, "calling on a legend to celebrate a legend." Jimi Hendrix himself once said that “Heaven is lying at Buddy Guy’s feet while listening to him play guitar.”"

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

hot tub sally (part 2)

as i write and review the story, it doesn't read to me as nearly the fun or the good time that it was in real life. i think i wll need to refine recounting story at a future date. i hope this telling lives up to expectation at least partially...

[later edit: it occurs to me that i have no idea how to write this so that it doesn't sound like a penthouse letter...

dear penthouse, i'm just an average guy and i never believed anything like this would ever happen to me.

one day i was attending a hot tub party (hosted by my exhibitionist friend L, a slim redhead who orders most of her her clothes from Victoria's Secret), with my girlfriend, a slim hot blond, where we met sally, a curvaceous dark haired woman with 44 DD breasts...]


we were drinking scotch as our BYOB (12 year glenfiddich). Smitten had been not feeling very well and had some digestive difficulties the previous week. her doctor said it was likely some kind of intestinal infection. she had been on medication, but didn't want to have any kind of mix - mix and soft drinks are often a source of discomfort for her.

i was trying the jello shooters because they were offered. i'd never had jello shooters before. a friend of L's had made a massive tray of them and dropped them off at the party (the friend wasn't able to stay for the party but made the shooters as a gift)

Jello Shooters

back to the hot tub:

i was quickly told by L that how you do jello shooters indicates your prowess or ability with your tongue - how much jello is left at the bottom - or not left in the little plastic cups.

there was much generalised hooting and hollering by those in the tub and the folks who were gathered just around talking/interacting as each person proceeded to do their shooters. everyone hammed it up appropriately.

my shooter cups had no jello left. i was plied with several to see if i would miss any. i didn't.

i guess you had to be there, but it was a moment of substantial hilarity and even of a little embarrassment for Smitten as the other women razzed her about my tongue action... L said she was going to never let me live it down at the lunch table. i asked what there would be to live down and suggested that such reports would only do good things for me and my reputation.

anyway, many jello shooters later

several more scotches later

one of the guys brings a joint over to the hot tub. we smoked that.


sally was at least one sheet to the wind before we even got in the tub.


my friend L is more than a little bit of an exhibitionist - she also can't stand being in a wet bathing suit. she is slim and looks good in a bathing suit. that added together meant that she changed her suit 5 or 6 times during the evening. all her suits are from victoria's secret. she would model each one for all watchers as she entered and sat in the tub.

sally is a vivacious curvaceous woman in her early fifties who was feeling the joie de vivre at that point, let me tell you... she was highly interested in me from the moment i walked up to the hot tub. i later found out she has a thing for shaved head hairy guys - or at least so she said - at least so she subsequently demonstrated...

(remember - my comments now are also with the benefit of hindsight)

she also has a thing for slim women - like L - like Smitten - it would seem...

she was touching me and displaying for me from the moment we got in. she spent a lot of time talking to smitten with as much body contact as she could muster. it was certainly at the edge of just normal fun and ribald interaction, but was within bounds of someone who was a little bit gunned up and feeling frisky

she was all over the earth mother/earth sisters thing with smitten. that's a little more new age/eastern philosophy than i have migrated to - but it's their thing. smitten was enjoying the attention and the teasing about Smitten's and my sexual interaction.

i was enjoying the attention and the ribald environment as well.

we were drinking more scotch, more jello shooters, and smoking more dope...

L and most of the others eventually left the tub

hot tub sally began to show us her butt cheek tattoos. she also began to have little side conversations with a lot of body contact with smitten. sally began to discuss her own 44D breasts and show them (still barely contained in her swimsuit) to us

there were 4 people in the tub - the 3 of us and a guy with whom she had slept on a number of occasions (we were informed).

sally kept doing sister embrace things with smitten. i have teased smitten about the whole encounter, but have yet to inquire as to whether she knew what was going down by that point. smitten was pretty hammered.

i suspect smitten was fully aware, because smitten made reference to her only almost girl-girl/bi moment (which was also in a hot-tub... some 22 years ago). i think that after the fact, smitten may have been a little embarrassed and may be conveniently not "getting" it for face reasons

anyway, the other guy was right into watching the two women interact. i certainly didn't have a problem with it - i don't know how i feel about it going anywhere else - but certainly any contact between the two women in the context of a public hot-tub would likely be fine.

i have been naked in a group in a hot tub before (before i was married) and this was less risque than that ( nude beaches, skinny dipping, various situations of group nudity - no group sex - no threesomes) [for some reason the auto spell checker in firefox knows the word "threesomes" but doesn't know the word risque... hmmmmmm - modern times]

conversation and contact went on for awhile. sally was starting to grope more heavily on me - and i assume on smitten. when she began going for the business i began to get concerned - it's not like i could call a time-out and discuss the situation with smitten, and smitten has previously spoken in strong terms about exclusivity. i did not want some harmless fun to get out of hand.

sally got in real close with smitten and said something to her. i believe it was a proposition, but we have not discussed it yet (smitten has expressed to me how she feels like she lets go of propriety around me sometimes and i do not want to make her feel uncomfortable as she explores herself and her sexuality [she feels a level of historical reserve about sexuality but has been more free with me] - more on this another day)

sally moved away from smitten and came closer to me. smitten was looking a little dazed - she says that is the moment she realised just how fucked up she was from all the alcohol and pot. i leaned forward to take smitten's hand - i thought that she was about to get upset with sally. smitten stood up. sally decided at about that moment to stick her hand down the back of my swim trunks (lycra swim trunks).

i was pretty unsure how to handle the situation. it was when sally's fingers hit my asshole that i knew hot tub time was done. i stood up with smitten - was unsure if my trunks were coming down with sally's hand in them, but i assumed she would take it out.

we left the tub. sally said "you don't have to go, there's still plenty of fun in the hot tub"

we went upstairs to get dressed.

we left fairly shortly after that as we were both tired.


another tidbit

i went inside the house to get smitten more scotch. T and a bunch of the guys were standing in the kitchen. T bellows at me in his gruff way. "[Cadbury]!!! if you don't marry that woman the first chance you get... well, i don't know what's wrong with you." the 4 other guys all made similar exclamatory remarks.

i told them i thought she is a keeper


that's the story

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

hot tub sally (part 1)

you better slow yourself down... ride sally ride

(with all due apologies to every blues musician in the known universe)


we got to the party around 7:45. i was running a little behind - there was stuff to finish right up 'til just past 5 at work, and daughter had called me to see if i wanted to get together at all (they were leaving on vacation at 7am saturday). i needed to get a couple of groceries for stuff to eat at the birthday party.

it was a nice dinner with daughter - she ate - i watched - we had some iced cappuccinos. more on that dinner later.

but, back to the party.

i took my swimsuit, but smitten did not take hers. she has temperature control issues in general, and especially in hot tubs. and while smitten has a bit of an exhibitionist streak, she also has a very reserved, shy, unsure side too.

out hosts were my friend L (female) - the red hair auto-mechanic by training lady. she works in the same building as me as chief of staff to one of the client group. her partner T works in one of the community offices for the client group.

i've known L for about 10 years and T for about 25 years. T is kind of gruff and grumpy and is a HUGE football fan. we have not collided, but we are of different mindsets - so we were never close. we've worked together and gotten along - he, for all his grump, is a total true believer - and that common goal can you past most issues.

L is quite the wild woman. more about this later (no - it wasn't her who tried to pick us up). nice lady. we hit it off from the first moment we met. she knew stbx-Mrs_C and liked her. they had invited us to do things for pretty much the whole time, and started inviting us to the birthday party about 7 years ago. we saw them at a few office/organisation functions and had a good time, but i could never get past that with the stbx.

smitten and i got to the party at about 7:45. we walked in the door and T and a bunch of the guys were watching football (THE team) on the big screen in the living room. the party was well under way in the back yard. it had started at 2pm with various people who had the day off. i stashed the food in the fridge - the party was BYOB and BYO food on the invite - but L had gone to town with a massive table of food and many others else had brought food potluck style (we'll know for next year). we poured ourselves drinks and went out to see what was up. i knew very few people there. i thought the party might not be as fun as i wished. i could tell from smitten's demeanor that the crowd was not quite what she was expecting either. we had been expecting a crowd about our age (L is 43). it was pretty heavy on the greying boomer side of things (no offense to any greying boomers...) - we just felt a little out of place in a crowd that was not a good match demographically, and which obviously knew each other well already. L joined us at the table - there was a couple of other folks as well. everyone was gregarious enough and we loosened quickly. shortly after the football game was over and THE team (our local franchise) had won. the was much rejoicing.

we ate and drank and our table diminished. some other folks i knew arrived and we went to sit with them. they are pretty neat folks. ex-hippie (real hippies) save the earth folks. they had lived around the world and in various strange good works/development exercises. fun and with good stories.

we continued to drink...

after awhile i decided i was going to go in the hot tub. smitten had not brought a suit, but L had thoughtfully bought 6 suits ($7 wal mart specials [not bad style though - basic black]), male/female, s,m,l for anyone who hadn't brought their own.

L keeps her tub just slightly higher than body temperature - so it is not an insanely hot tub. smitten figured she'd be good with that.

did i mention we were drinking?

hot tub sally had been in and out of the tub for awhile. people were drinking in the hot tub and smoking dope.

there were many hoots of appreciation from the audience when we arrived on the scene - smitten is just generally hot, and i was easily the best built guy there (a fair number of middle aged paunches - it wasn't hard to beat the crowd). sally was highly vocal from the first point she saw us. moments after we got in someone brought the jello shooters around. that was the start of the slide into reckless abandon...

[to be continued]