23 January 2005

Sometimes, all you need is a good swift kick in the --

Or maybe a punch. In this case, that's what it took.

I firmly believe that there are no coincidences. I've said it before, I'll say it again: There are no coincidences.

I guess Amanda has been floating through my mind quite a bit recently. A couple of weeks in a row I considered inviting her to various social engagements. As recently as Friday, I wanted to invite her to (Foo's bf) Duncan's gig, but chickened out.

And so, I wasn't really surprised when the phone rang this afternoon and it was her.

I can't give the long story. It hurts too much right now. Bottom line, her bf punched her in the head last week during an argument. And that's what it took. Again, she says it's the end. She was driving to her friend's house in a raging blizzard (I exaggerate not) to leave him. She has until the end of the month to move her stuff out (as long as she's not there when he is). She has asked her Dr. for a referral to a counsellor. She went apt-hunting this week and found a place that she likes. She's hoping to be able to stay with her cousin until then.

I have no idea how to react. I should be really, really happy and relieved. But I'm just too scared that it's not going to stick. She's been this close before, and each time she's gone back.

Marked differences include telling her Dr. about it, not leaving in the heat of the moment (although a blizzard is just as dramatic), and her calm resolve (and apparent understanding) that she just can't live like that anymore.

Unfortunately, I have a year of history that contradicts her intentions.

I feel selfish for doubting her, and feeling bad about this. I was supportive on the phone for her, and my usual "It'll be okay" self. But I'm not going to feel better until she actually moves into a new place of her own. I can't relax until then.

22 January 2005

Let go

So, I've been having a shitty week. Or, so I've been telling everyone.

I guess that's just too bad for me. It's really hard to feel sorry for yourself when your capacity for self-pity has an inverse relation to how pitiful you really are.

So I'm unemployed. Big deal. Besides making it clear at the office that I want a job, I haven't done anything to rectify my unemployed status. I haven't looked in the paper, or at online job sites. Now I'm faced with the possibility that I'm holding out false hope. Depending on the teacher's union vote next week, I may look into applying for something educational next year. But that would still be 7-8 months away. It's stupid, having finally consolidated ideas and plans into something you know you want to do, and then realizing that you might not get to, so suck it up and move on....

So the movies on my list are feeling more like a chore than a fun project. They won't all suck. I guess I'm more used to movies being a social activity, though. When I have a movie on, I'm constantly walking over to my computer to see if anyone is online. I'm paying attention to the movie, but I'm also aware that I usually do movies with friends.

So I have nothing to occupy my time. This is actually total and utter bullshit. I have a story I've been ignoring for over three years. I have reading to do for my Management course. I have 8000 pictures to put into albums. I have skis and furniture to sell (and buyers?). It's not that I have nothing to do, it's that I have nothing to do to make me busy enough to think I have no time to do those things. As I said the other day, procrastinating is a lot more fun when you have something to do. Maybe I've programmed myself to believe that I need to always have something to do in order to get anything done. I need people and events to make demands on my time so I can point out how busy I am, and so that, when I do get downtime, I can either relax without impunity, or feel accomplished for getting some of my other shit done. Maybe I should see a hypnotist.

And so I have to "babysit" my grandfather this weekend. My parents have gone to some function or other in MB, and he spontaneously decided -- after weeks of begging to go home -- that he was going to stay until the end of the month; even though my parents were planning to be away, and he knows that I'm barely home for 6 minutes in a row on the weekends. But, wah, wah, wah. He's my grandfather. I don't really know how to get along with him, but he's 87.5 and he won't be here forever. So it's "inconvenient". Boo hoo. As Richard Carlson would say, "Will this matter a year from now?" Either it will because I will be glad to have made the decision to spend some time with my grandfather, or it won't, because it won't rate. So, it's either positive or neutral. I think I can suck it up for one weekend.

So, having realized that I'm not spontaneously going to come into a large sum of money (unless Lani or I win Super 7 some day), and that I won't be taking a fabulous tropical vacation to help launch me out of my midwinter blues, it's time to get a grip and do something.

Details to be announced at a later date.

21 January 2005

Wanna see something awful?

Click the link in the title. Those are the pictures that the mainstream media isn't showing you of what the war in Iraq looks like. What makes it even better is that the elections are scheduled to take place in about a week.

19 January 2005

Residue

In the past 36-48 hours, I've been thinking about Tim quite a bit. While I generally like to pretend that he no longer exists as a person, a recent (upsetting) conversation with Andrew, brought him to front-of-mind again.

I realized that there's a difference between getting out and getting over. This might be why, when he comes up in conversation, I become a geyser of bitterness, resentment, and anger. After the inital break, the suicide watch, and acceptance, I was relieved. I was so happy to be out, so happy to have escaped, so happy to be alone... I left it at that.

With the exception of Amanda (the first person I told due to her catalystic statement that resulted in my action), and Jillian, most other people heard the news as a reference of JOY. I was elated and excited to have gotten through it alive.

I've been carrying the relief with me for three and a half years. It turns out that it's not enough.

It doesn't help that I have recently been made aware that Tim was (how shall I say this?) a whore. Despite his ardent and earnest declarations of love and devotion (and co-dependence), it turns out that there were anywhere in the neighbourhood of 3-7 other women. That I know of. And I now know about these because of some people I recently met who knew him before, during, or after our relationship. In a few cases, these were people I didn't know existed, but that he was "good friends" with. So, what did I know? I believed him when he said he was going to Rob's or Adam's (I can't be bothered with psuedonyms for one mention) to play video games. I would tell him to call me the next day. Now it seems that I was much deceived. He didn't have a cell phone, and I was the one who'd play the games trying to make him jealous.

I'm not overly surprised to find out that he was cheating. He's unscrupulous. He didn't care that his best friend had feelings for me. He had no problems destroying his own (and some of my) friendships over it. I understand now that it's part of the cycle. Isolation equals control.

I'm more surprised that he didn't get caught. I'm also surprised at the amount of emotional flak I took for not being up to various things that he was probably getting elsewhere. I'm surprised that I took it, and surprised that he'd have the audacity to dish it out.

So, oops. It turns out that I'm still a wreck about it. It turns out that this is one of those things I buried, somehow thinking that it would never be relevent again.

It turns out that I'm okay with this, but it still sucks.

There is no conclusion. It's an ongoing process. But, it turns out that I'm actually kind of excited about it.

18 January 2005

Subconscious trauma

I had an awful dream last night. Just awful.

I was being attacked by dogs. My whole family was. And I'm not just talking about a few wild canines, I mean like Trojan-war quantities (in fact, that allegory came up in my dream). They were all light-coloured dogs. Larger, like Golden Retrievers. And they attacked with military precision. The only advantage we had was that they could only get in through the door a few at a time.

I remember using a chair to keep one back. I remember the teeth. I remember successfully using to chair to break his jaw -- so he couldn't bite anymore -- and then his hip. Finally, I broke his neck.

Just before I woke up (or was aware of my consciousness), I managed to realize that it was a dream. I remember thinking that I could control my dreams if I just changed my mind. But the dogs kept coming in, and I brandished the chair again.

Then I could hear my parents talking about the cars in the driveway and I realized that I was awake. I was soaked. My hair was wet and stuck to my face. My top was stuck to my back, and the sheets were damp where I had been laying.

I rolled onto my stomach and looked at the clock. It was 8:22 am. I considered getting up and going to yoga with my mother. Then I remembered that I stayed up until quarter to 4 and thought better of it.

I'm still really upset. Not only was the entire dream violent, but it was violent dogs and me being violent to them. I'm sad about how the dream transpired.

This is an occasion where I would have liked to get up and see my puppy and have him remind me that he (as a dog) is the most amazing thing on the planet. I think I need to visit one of my surrogates. Otherwise, this is going to stick with me for a while.

16 January 2005

So it begins...

Now that I'm officially unemployed (Beth has yet to offer me a new contract, and teaching is kaput), I've decided to start my ambitious odyssey through my list, Movies to See. The list has 257 movies, and is ever-expanding. It includes such venerable films as The Jazz Singer, and such pulp as Master of Disguise. I've included films from the AFI's 100 Years Series. The original list, "AFI's 100 YEARS...100 MOVIES" is already on it. The other lists will be added as I manage to slough through what I have. Maybe when I get down to 150 or 125, I'll make additions. As it stands now, I need to watch at least 2 a week just to keep up. I'm constantly adding as new movies are released. I know it's crazy. I'm hoping that I'll get through some of this in the next 60-70 years I hope I have left.

Today's film is an A&E made-for-TV Edudrama, inspired by a true story. So educational; so dramatic; so inspiring. It's Shackleton, the story of the first man (and his crew) to cross Antartica. Chosen because of some bizarre affinity I have for Kenneth Branagh. And because it's a well-produced historical drama. Generally, the Hollywood, big-screen productions are all flash and dazzle. The A&E/BBC co-productions, while dry, are particular favourites. Longitude is another on my list.

Frankly, I'd rather be working than watching hour after hour of anything, educational or frivolous. But, meanwhile, this will make a generally amusing pass-time.

So, loyal and esteemed audience, I'd like to know one of each: Your favourite movie, and one you'd really like to see, and why.

13 January 2005

Internal Influences

Subtitle: Link attack!

This has been an interesting week. I can't say I particularly enjoyed parts of it, but it hasn't been too bad.

It started off with conflict with my grandfather. First there was the lecture on how 11:30 is too late for "little girls" to be getting home at night. Then there was the threat of loneliness and boredom if I move out of my parents' house. Then there was the silent treatment. He finished it off with a 180, showering me with affection, etc. It really frustrates me because I don't know what I can do to please him. I avoid anything that would seriously shock or upset him, but I can't become a completely different person when he's around. So, I guess this conflict will continue for the (up to) two weeks remaining in his visit.

Then was the Sad Anniversary. One year ago Monday was the day my lovely puppy died. Okay, so he was almost 15 years-old, but he was still my puppy. I was actually okay. I remembered a few days before, but the day of, I didn't remember until I was sitting in the staff room where I was teaching that day. Christmas was actually harder than the anniversary was.

I started auditing a business course called Strategic Marketing. It seems like it's going to be pretty interesting, but we didn't start the work yet, so the jury's still out. Because I'm just auditing, I don't have to do any of the actual work or assignments. The prof is Beth's husband (she recommended the course), and he's just asked me to do the readings, keep up with the in-class stuff, and participate. I think I can handle that much. The idea is for me to get a feel for business courses, since it's highly recommended that I get some business education if I'm serious about Event Management/Marketing.

Tuesday was the Concert for Asia. It was a huge fundraiser for the Earthquake/Tsunami disaster. It feels weird to have such a good time for such a horrible event, but it raised so much money for OxFam, that I'm not really going to be picky about it. I fell in love with a guy and a guitar, as usual. I also made fun of Foo a lot. Her boyfriend was a stagehand, and she spent many a set change squinting at the stage, deciding which roadie was him. So I spent many a set change poking fun at her.

I was also given Amoxicillin for a sinus infection (aka Sinusitis). One pill, three times a day for 10 days. By the time I'm done, my stomach should be a wreck. Can't wait.

Last night I saw my grade 12s (I know they're not mine anymore, but I feel protective of them) in their class production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. I was pleasantly surprised. When I taught them the week before Christmas, they were far from ready. They really pulled it together, though. It was a little rough, and I did notice some dropped lines, but I was proud of them all. I dragged Andrew to the show with me, because that's the kind of cruel and sadistic person I am. He said it wasn't too painful, mostly that the seats were the most uncomfortable ever. And that yelling isn't a good substitute for bad acting (or was it lack of acting skills?). Either way, he was right on both accounts.

The highlight of my week (after the concert) was that I wasn't needed at work today. The buses were cancelled, so the students wouldn't be at school. So, I got to sleep in. Something I needed, since my uterus has exerted its authority once again. I forgot that Depo doesn't take hold right away. I've been moderately relieved since my first injection in November, but last time it took 6 months for the full and glorious benefits to remake my life. For now, I'll have to wait until injection #2.

In related news, I finally got an appointment with a dermatologist. March 31st. The speed with which health care in this province works astounds me. Really.

06 January 2005

Who needs dignity?

I just asked for a job. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. Basically I just had to express my interest, my willingness to starve until the opportunity arose, and pile on the flattery.

I hate "selling" myself. But I had to. I don't think it was clear that I'm desperate to a) have an income, and b) work in event management. I was right in thinking that she wouldn't have an answer for me right away. I don't expect that you ask for a job and they say, "Oh, yeah, sure! Here's one!" But I did my part. I know it wasn't clear that I was willing to commit to this because everytime she talked about work for me, I'd say, "Well, I'm teaching this day, and this day, and all next week." That doesn't really make me seem open to making a commitment to them.

So, in the next couple of weeks I'll find out what the next couple of months will offer. And it's a start. I wasn't shot down. She (she needs a pseudonym) said that I would be the first person she talked to if/when the opportunity was available, which according to Cheer Bear is the best response ever. Otherwise she would have said, "We'll notify you when something comes up," (i.e., you can apply with everyone else) or, "I don't think we have any upcoming opportunities" (i.e., fuck off).

Generally she considers nepotism a drawback, but is impressed with the work I've done and thinks it balances out.

I'm not holding my breath, but I'm hopeful.

Attack of the Incompetent Barista

What part of DECAF Vanilla Bean Latté with Soy don't you understand, bitch?

(It's easier to complain here than take the elevator down 12 floors to explain the pain I'll be in until I can get home to take my pill.)

04 January 2005

Give Praise where it's due

The Toronto Star saw fit to print BlogsCanada's List of the best blogs in Canada.

I'm happy to annouce that one of my favourite blogs made the (alphabetical) list. Can you guess which one?

http://www.blogscanada.ca/topblogs/