Sunday, September 30, 2007

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

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

Because I was told I was insensitive.


Lacking awareness.





Friday, September 28, 2007

I Rock The Party

Made her cry again...

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

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

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

Being the attentive guy I am I decided to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway - it's a thing with me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

I Rock The Party!


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

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

With all my being.

And I believe I have found that someone.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fall colours and hiking

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

Friday, September 21, 2007

control, loss of control, and rescuing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*close interlude*

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

blah, blah, blah


[later edit]
excerpt from Smitten's reply :

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


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

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

feeling better today - starting updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

daughter and son heading up to the vehicle parking spot

Monday, September 17, 2007

filler pics, tired and swamped

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 13, 2007

fibromyalgia, cycloprene, and a down week

i'm ill again

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

more summer vacation pics

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

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

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

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

hiking trail we went on

the boy

the boy drying his socks

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

Monday, September 10, 2007

went to a party

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

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

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

the theory is that the event itself will energise us.

we had a great time that evening.

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

you can sort of see the tent in this one

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Hyper Kids? Cut Out Preservatives

Hyper Kids? Cut Out Preservatives

Thursday, Sep. 06, 2007

"Parents who suspect that artificial ingredients in food are affecting their children's behavior can now point to some cold, hard proof. A carefully designed study released Thursday in The Lancet, a leading British medical journal, shows that a variety of common food dyes and the preservative sodium benzoate — an ingredient in many soft drinks, fruit juices, salad dressings and other foods — causes some children to become more hyperactive and distractible than usual."

Read the full article here

read this post on another blog

i would like you to read the following post on AlwaysArousedGirl's blog (warning - not really worksafe)

Evil People Somewhere

i don't always care for what she has to say, or some of her actions, but she is an intelligent and often thoughtful person (in the middle of her EXTREMELY graphic descriptions of anal sex toys...)

this is a post about her marriage ending

it evoked pretty strong feelings in me

many of the replies that i read were very thoughtful as well. it's so weird how a crowd that comes around for anal sex, group sex, and masturbation stories is also thoughtful and that emotionally sensitive

please also look for my response to her post

also: a recent post that illustrates why her marriage is ending...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

the conflict has begun

shelling has already started

it's not official but it's begun

it's keeping me busy

my unit is providing most of the raw information that is shaped into the weapons we use.

speeches, ads, pamphlets, circulars

the other side has already signaled that no quarter will be granted.

it's going to be ugly


Smitten has issues with her sacroiliac joint (SI joint) dating back to a motorcycle accident some 20 years ago. It affects her hip, back, and neck. She generally goes to the chiropractor - but with my influence has also begun massage and physiotherapy (I'm also able to provide massage and acupressure a couple of times a week). Where her condition was pretty consistent before, but only holding steady, it has drastically changed since the new therapies. Her pain is different, and her body is reacting differently. Most of the time she is better - sometimes she'll have a massive new effect. We (us and the medical professionals) believe that her body is shifting toward normalcy and that some of the extreme discomfort is muscles that have been in spasm or atrophied for years - complaining about being back in action.

Last weekend I spent most of Saturday (9 hours) giving her a massage (also ended up a couple more hours on Sunday). She was in pretty extreme discomfort. It's not the first time that it has been a whole day of constant touch - sometime massage or therapeutic touch - sometimes just touching.

She said to me "In the last year I have been touched more, I think, than I was for my entire life to date. Cumulative."

Kind of mind blowing.

She reminded me of what I had said on our first date (Smitten). She sort of interviewed me - asked a bunch of really personal questions. One of them - she asked me if I liked to touch. She asked me if I was the kid of person who casually touched while doing things in the kitchen or while walking or whatever.

After some hesitation my reply was "I'm touched starved."

"I don't know if I can do that because I haven't had the opportunity. I think I'd like to, I want to, but I don't know. All I know is that I am aching for simple touch."

Apparently that was some of the raw emotion and honesty that attracted her to me. She didn't realise at the time how much of a leap of faith it was for me to be that open emotionally. Maybe it doesn't seem like that big a deal to you either... But I've learned to be very guarded. That's part of what I'm trying to relearn.

I like to touch. I like to be touched.

I'm intending to take a series of massage courses so that I can be better at that, so I can help Smitten more. The massage, acupressure and reflexology based stuff I do already has been such a huge help to Smitten - I'd like to take it up one more level. If I can, through regular intervention, keep her pain free - it would be a wonderful thing.

And getting to touch for long periods of time is its own reward.

What is the sacroiliac joint (SI joint)?
The sacroiliac joint is a firm, small joint that lies at the junction of the spine and the pelvis. Most often when we think of joints, we think of knees, hips, and shoulders--joints that are made to undergo motion. The sacroiliac joint does not move much, but it is critical to transferring the load of your upper body to your lower body.

The boy has been hugging me more lately.

He did before sometimes, but often I was not completely receptive to him.

He's almost my size. That's kind of weird. Hugging a man... I try to hold him as long as he wants to be hugged.

Part of me says "What's wrong with him?" or "He must really be feeling the pressure or emotional trauma of the situation."

Or he could just want to closeness and support of a hug from his Dad.

I used to hug and hold him all the time. Until he got big. Then not.

I still hug and hold the girl, but still not as much as I used to (per hour of exposure).

There is a chunk of me that says it's wrong to hug him. That men don't hug - and if they do - only with women or children.

My parents weren't touchy feely. Our family has huge personal space. I can remember hugging my Mom once outside of childhood. So that would be once in the last 30 years. I'm not sure if I hugged my dad in that period.

I've never hugged my brother (and have no desire to).

I remember how freaky it was when my sister started doing the hug thing. I just froze.

That was kind of like hugging my mom when I did 10-20 years back... She was completely stiff to my hug/contact.

Yeah - a little uptight...