31 December 2004

Happy New Year?

I am absolutely blasé about the fact that tomorrow is 2005.

I'm going to a party at Andy's house tonight, but ultimately, I think I'd rather stay home and go to bed at a reasonable hour. This could have something to do with The Cold That Will Not Attack. I've been cowering for weeks now, waiting for the full force, but instead, it teases me with alternating symptoms; stuffy nose, sinus pain, hacking cough, fatigue.... But never all at once. I'm getting tired of this game. I just said to Rooster that I probably wouldn't drink tonight, since alcohol tends to make whatever illness I have worse, but I might change my mind. Maybe it would help speed up the onslaught so I can just be miserable and get over it.

Phil is getting married tonight. Actually, the deed is probably done. The wedding was at 6. I RSVP'd my acceptance to the festivities, but spontaneous car trouble (how many 28 month-old cars just seize up like that?) is keeping me in the city. I can't risk the 2 hours drive only to have to pay hundreds of dollars to get towed back. I'm sure you all know how disappointed I am.

Okay, fine. It's not all doom and gloom. I just don't like when I'm disenchanted with events that would normally have me up at 5 am for the excitement of it all.

Good things about starting 2005:
  1. I have goals. First on that list is paying off a sizeable chunk of my student loan, followed shortly thereafter by getting my own apartment (or condo...).
  2. Lots of exciting things in store for my friends: Lew's getting married in September; Foo may get to start her Master's, as might Rick; Jenn is having a baby. Those are the monumentals, other people will have different triumphs.
  3. I'm going to take more risks. That's not a resolution. I don't think I've made one since New Year's Eve 2000, and I'm waaaay too embarrassed by it to repeat that mistake again. The closest I get is, "Be Happy." It's the one thing that I have more control over than anything else. And it works better and better every year (except maybe in 2003). It's also not based on some guy's arbitrary decision to make January the first month of the year. The risks include personal and professional. I have a plan to sit down with my would-be boss and have a serious discussion about why I'm being offered full-time contracts but not full-time employment. I'm feeling stifled and impotent. I want to work (despite my life-long yearning for retirement) and I'm frustrated that it's not enough. If it's something I have to do, I want to know what that is. My first opportunity to do that will be next week, which just happens to be the first week of 2005.

Good things about ending 2004:

  1. Actually, I'm having problems with this one. 2004 has been a good year. I'm really reluctant to see it go. And while I know that there isn't a cosmic shift that happens at midnight in every time zone, that it's symbolic, everyone else is determined to make 2005 completely different, and I'm not convinced that's a good thing. I'm going to miss 2004. It taught me so much about myself.

So, a toast to 2004. She was a good year. Here's to hoping that 2005 isn't much different (for me). And here's to every year getting better and better.

Cheers!

26 December 2004

A Dogless Christmas & Chrono-biology

So, I survived. My first Christmas in 15 years, sans puppy. I was surprisingly okay. The hardest part was when I remembered saying last year that I just needed one more Christmas with my dog, and how I got that. Maybe I should have needed two.

But I've been lucky this year. It may have been a shitty start, but 2004 has been a great year. Not an easy year, but still great. I'm even getting used to not having Tripper under foot all the time. The not getting up at 7 to feed him and put him out was pretty easy to adjust to, as was being able to leave the house for more than 4 hours at a stretch. But the important parts of having a dog have been awful to get past. I still look at the top of the stairs as soon as I open the door. I can't count the number of times that I'm positive I saw a little dog curled up in the kitchen. And for whatever reason, I was reduced to tears the night of the US presidential election because he wasn't with me.

I have surrogate dogs in Lucas and Jesse, but it's not enough. I'm still thinking of a time when I'll have my own dog again. My parents don't want another dog because they don't feel they want the responsibility again, so I know I have a long wait ahead of me. But having survived Christmas, I think I can be patient.

I'm more worried by the past two days of baby-immersion. Our friends brought their 20 month-old to our Christmas Eve shindig, and then to Christmas dinner yesterday. I had mild "I want a baby" cravings. Mostly I was having fun playing with her. She's mobile enough that I don't feel like a pram, but dependent enough that I got to be her world for a while. Maybe it was just the fact of being adored. Luckily, it didn't last. I got over it promptly when she got fussy and cranky and started screaming. That's when I remembered, "Oh, right. They're only cute when they're smiling. The rest of the time you have to feed them and change diapers and listen to them whine and cry." Hmmm. Maybe not.

Still, it was rather frightening to discover that I have a biological clock. I always thought of it as a social construct, ingrained by years of brainwashing à la fairy tales, Harlequin, and Hollywood romantic comedies. But BOOM, out of the blue, there it was. I plan on surpressing it long enough to acheive maximum selfishness and independence.

Then I'll get my dog.

My surrogate daughter Posted by Hello

24 December 2004

Christmas with the cranks

So, it's that joyous time of year again. In the next 24 hours, I foresee many fights with my mother. I have no idea why she insists that Christmas is the Devil (ironic, eh?).

Alors, until 3 and a half minutes ago I thought I had all my Christmas shopping done. Then I remembered.... So now, Oops. Shit. I hate the mall.

But, I'm soooo excited about Christmas!! I'm excited for the party tonight (annual C.E. shindig), and I'm excited that my brother and grandfather are here. Except for the part where I rarely spend more than 8 consecutive minutes alone in a room. Other than that, it's cool. I put a lot of work into presents this year. And by work I mean thought. And waaaay too much time spent in big box stores.

No time to put into this now. There's gettin' ready to do, and Psycho-mom comes out if you don't jump on command. The higher you jump, the better Christmas she has. And, consequently, the better Christmas I have.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Festivus.

16 December 2004

Ode to Daphne (in prose)

I'm missing Daphne beaucoup today. This happens occasionally. I so desperately want to communicate with her, but she's so far away, and it just feels futile. A phone call is to expensive, an e-mail goes unanswered. And the fun thing is that I know that she occasionally has the same spurts as I do, but feels just as ridiculous about breaking the silence.

It hard because I want so desperately to be part of her life, but that requires transcontinental relocation. Looks unlikely for the time being. On both ends.

She always seemed so stable. To me, she was. For the longest time -- 7 years, to be precise -- I had no idea that, underneath it all, she was possibly as neurotic as me. She just had clever devices to hide it. Cigarettes and marijuana, mostly. Occasionally, beer. But she is still my French voice of reason. In some ways, no one understands me better.

When I saw her in July she said that I seem much more centred than I ever did before. I told her about my year. Two years, rather. The sum total of my B.Ed., complete with insanity, ecstasy, intoxication, heartache, and rebirth. I'm glad she could see what I'd already been feeling for a while. I used to feel like such a wreck that I couldn't imagine being any other way.

She doesn't believe in God or the Devil. Or Heaven or Hell. She believes that people are inherently good, and that the bad ones are just misguided. She constantly reminds me that everyone has something of value to contribute, even if you don't like it or see the value.

She has an amazing ability to cut through the crap and get to the point. She is generous, adventurous, caring, fascinating, and comforting. If she were a blanket, she'd be cashmere.

She buys almost everything at second hand stores, and I marvel at her ability to always find something that fits. Everything she wears looks like she was born in it.

No matter how much time passes, she will always be there for me. She will put me up if I need a place to stay, and will put up total strangers on my word. She will show me a world that tourists never see, and still indulge my touristy desires.

More people need their own Daphne. Mine's a lifesaver. We all need those sometimes.

13 December 2004

Explanation-free!

No, I'm not going to fully explain what my previous blog was about. Suffice it to say that I was Pissed Off. For those who weren't involved in the Drama of the previous 72 hours, you'll have to deal with it. I spent a long time yesterday analysing, overanalysing, and reanalysing. Many tortured hours later, I feel satisfied that things are resolved to a degree that is comfortable enough for those involved. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm not feeling angry or hurt anymore, and I can't make up problems to solve for other people, so I'll deal with anything as it arises. I think that laying it all out here is just wallowing in what happened, and not wallowing is one of my more successful efforts this year.

It's too bad that Amy decided to remove both her comments. I didn't get to read the second one, and I'm curious to know what it was about. I can only figure that she somehow felt that it was inappropriate and didn't want people (read: me) to see it.

In other news:

Happy 26th Birthday, Lew!!

12 December 2004

Non-violent Protest

Clarification:
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone" -- John 8:7

10 December 2004

No redudancy here

So, I was going to continue my tirade from Robyn's blog, but decided against it as you can read the whole sequence fo events for yourself, including comments.

Here's what I think the problem is: Everyone is so wrapped up in their own beliefs that that can't bother to look at the underlying issue dear tricky is trying to explain: Feminism used to be a movement for equality, but it is now associated with marginalized extremists.

Sound familiar? What's your perception of Muslims and Islam? Is it of a hate-based group of people who want nothing more than to destory "freedom" in the West? Or is it of a reasonable religion with specific tennants again murder, and the commercialzation of society?

I guess that depends on whether you take your definition from the media, or go and take a look at the ideology for yourself.

Please don't send mail bombs, I'm just making the point that while words and definitions change, it's not always for the better, and sometimes we're right to lament how things get twisted when ignorance is allowed free rein and a large bank account.

07 December 2004

Idiosyncratic?

Boy, am I cranky a lot lately. I'm not sure if I should blame the lack of sleep, the illness that refuses to take hold and knock me out properly, the cold weather, or the newly out-of-whack hormones.

Possibly a combination.

At any rate, I'm a now a big fan of staying in bed as long as possible in the morning and showing up at least half an hour late for work. I'm sure that looks great to my potential full-time employers.

Frankly, I'm a little disappointed in myself. I had become quite adept at getting up when I needed to.

Flash of brilliance: Today my body could possibly be reacting to the lack of sugar. A quick web search has further convinced me:

"The symptoms of sugar withdrawal can include headaches, fatigue, depression, drowsiness, skin eruptions, and mucus or throat discomfort. Some of these symptoms, especially the mood swings, fatigue and drowsiness, can occur on a daily basis as the blood sugar rises and falls on a high-sugar diet." -- http://www.stress-free-weight-loss.com/February-4-2003.htm

I spent the better part of two days indulging in pretty much everything that came my way. And since I spent the better part of two days next to a dessert manufacturer's display/sample booth, plus an afternoon at a baby shower, you can probably imagine where my lack of self-restraint got me.

I'm trying to be good today, even though I know that I'm about to go down and buy a sugary coffee-like drink from 2nd Cup, and will probably indulge in some organic chocolate when I get back.

I'm allowed to cut back slowly, right?

Incidentally, "idiosyncratic" is a synonym for "cranky". Which makes cranky not necessarily bad.

Excuses, excuses....

02 December 2004

Partial Retraction

After much consideration and some gentle nagging, I've decided to amend what I posted yesterday.

In retrospect, Elton John wasn't really the target of my anger, but rather the incompetent reporter who couldn't be bothered to write a real story, and as such, is the actual sexist asshole. His story was mostly conjecture. Only twice did he actually quote EJ, and neither quote was especially inflamatory unless read in the context of story. The reporter probably made a lot of shit up to sell a story.

However, Sir Elton is still partially to blame for discussing his friends' private lives with reporters. For shame.

01 December 2004

The following is rife with sarcasm:

Today I'm having an angry feminist day.

I read in the paper that Elton John blames Victoria Beckham for her husband's affair.

Excuse me?!?!

I'm not concerned about this on a celebrity level. I didn't know that the Beckham's were having marital issues. I don't care that that they are/were.

What pisses me off is Sir Elton's decidely sexist view of marriage. According to the report, Victoria didn't move to Spain with David when he was traded to Real Madrid; she stayed in England to work on her (disappointing) signing career. And it's because of this absense that David felt he needed "companionship", and had an affair with his personal assistant (I wasn't aware of that part of the job description -- where's mine?). So, because Vistoria didn't support her husband by moving to Madrid for 6 months of the year, it's her fault that he couldn't contain himself.

Um... hello? As my fabulous former English teacher said, "Hasn't he heard of self-service?"

Besides ingnoring the fact that it was Mr. Beckham who had the affair, it also absolves him of any responsibility for his actions. Apparently, it's the wife's job to sit by her husband 24/7 and make sure that he's faithful.

Thanks very much Mr. John. Thanks for clarifying marital responsibility for me. Now that I have a clear view of my potential responsibility, I can take that into consideration before I make any decisions.

Oh, yeah; and fuck you.

I'm so annoyed. That some man would have the gall to lay the blame for an affair on the absent wife. That's disgusting.

So rest easy, men! Go on business trips and sleep with co-workers or complete strangers to your heart's content. Elton John says it's okay. And it's your wives' fault.