Sunday, September 30, 2012

And knowing is half the battle

This is one of my favourite sites in the entire internet:

They run something called "Thirty Days of GOOD". I have done parts of 30 days of art and the 30 day digital makeover. During that last 30 days one of the attempts at living a better life was I tried was Track your time online

So I downloaded Rescue Time and for the past three weeks it sends me an email on Sunday afternoon that breaks out what I have been doing online for the past week. What I have learned is thus:

I spent 30 hours and 24 minutes online last week. I spend on average 4 hours 28 minutes a day online on my laptop at home. Of that time 65% is spent on social networking, games and shopping.

I actually feel kind of bad about this. I have no idea why I spend so much time dicking around online when I have so much to do. My house needs time an attention. My cross stitching needs time and attention. I have to find a new job. I don't want to hate my life any more and that is why I've been trying to do things differently for a while now.

But the good news about Rescue Time's emails is that I am now being more mindful about what I am doing with my time and on what page I leave my computer idling on when I leave the screen. I silently applaud myself when I realize that I didn`t turn the computer on until I needed that day, rather than turning it on and idling away my morning with Facbook, Twitter and news sites.

Being confronted with the hours I spend doing nothing but clicking flash games and waiting for my friends to say something funny/witty/insightful/offensive online has been a small revelation. Now all I need to do is decide whether the time I spend on this site is very productive, productive, neutral, distracting or very distracting.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Falling backwards

Sometimes when I crouch down to tie my shoelace or get something out of a low cupboard, I tip over backwards. It's one of the strangest MS symptoms I have.

For five days now I have had major spasticity in my legs. Right now it's the long muscle on the side/back of my right leg, yesterday it was both my calves (Which isn't that unusual. They're always a little tight, just rarely hurt.). Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday it was my left leg. It was that muscle more to the inside of my thigh, but down closer to my knee. Crazy pain, too painful to walk far, and no non-narcotic pain reliever in my house was helping at all.

As a result of this stupid MS symptom, I haven't walked for exercise since Monday, except to get to and from work. Wednesday night I had an attack of MS fatigue that was so bad I fell asleep at 5:15 PM for for a couple of hours.

I was suppose to sit down this evening and work on some writing projects I've been carrying around in my purse for two weeks, but instead I printed pages and art to personalize my project planner. I fail at getting my life together tonight. I think this week is generally full of fail.

I'm glad it's over.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Highway of Tears

Deceased U.S. convict linked to 3 B.C. cold cases

DNA of Bobby Jack Fowler linked to 1974 death of teen Colleen MacMillen

Colleen MacMillen went missing when I was not quite a month old. I can't imagine going 38 years wondering if justice was ever going to be served in the terrible death of a sister or daughter. Bobby Jack Fowler has also been linked by circumstance to two other women - Gale Weys and Pamela Darlington, both killed in 1973 — and remains a possible suspect in as many as 10 others.

The RCMP made these developments public yesterday (Tuesday) to solicit help from the public.

"We believe there are people out there who employed Fowler, worked with him, socialized with him or even waited on him while he was in British Columbia. We are asking you to think back to the 70s, 80s and 90s and your own memories of that that time period, then have a look at his photos, and please call us with any information you may have about him."
There are too many women who have been killed and far too many more who are missing. The fact that they have been able to close one of these cases, especially after so many years, is a testament to modern science's advances. I am also glad that the authorities haven't stopped working on these cases even when it has been 40 years.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


It has happened again. I am back in this job that nearly drove me to the edge of sanity and after two months of work it's clear that I am getting back in that rut.

I don't want that. I also don't want to stop getting paid until I find some other way to support myself.

So... serious job search starts tomorrow. I will find the job that will be perfect for me for the next 20 to 22 months before we go back east when Joe finishes school.

I will do it because I made a choice a year ago to change my life, and started putting that plan into effect the day after my birthday. I've been focusing on making healthier choices for my physical body since then, and in a couple of weeks I was going to start focusing on putting together a nice home for us. With my realization that my brain is spinning out of control I'm going to move up the career/job change I was going to put off until the new year.

A-Rod wuz ROBBED! But day-um that S'Hawks defence was amazing.

If you love me you will bid enough money to win me this. Or you could just BuyItNow for me.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Best of Intentions

I have to be awake and dressed and on public transit in 9.5 hours. I need to find some sleepiness in order to do that.

Sleep and I have an adversarial relationship. On occasion we work together for the common good, but mostly Sleep is a cold and brutal tyrant who wants to drive me insane by withholding its affections and presence in my life. Not sure how its going to go tonight.

I've decided that I am going to be a fan of the purple NFL teams. Minnesota is my NFC team and Baltimore is my AFC team and I will now spend the remainder of the National Hockey League lockout learning everything I have ever wondered about American football.

"Tim Tebow's throwing arm is PROOF there is no god."

I had intended to make this post awesome, but I have apparently been using up all my awesome on an essay piece I've been working on for almost a week.


Friday, September 21, 2012

1 Less than 10

Nine years ago; almost this exact moment nine years ago, I took the biggest step in changing my life forever I had ever taken. It might actually be the biggest step I HAVE ever taken.

"The flight crew would like to be the first ones to welcome you to Vancouver. The local time is 10:35pm. It is 12 degrees and foggy. Thank you for flying JetsGo."

I had just spent more than 5 hours flying the Canadian airline equivalent to riding Greyhound. I had about 1/3 of my worldly possessions with me on that flight, having sent the other 2/3 out by Greyhound over the two previous weeks.

Meeting me at the domestic baggage carousel were two people. The first was my best friend whom I had not seen in more than a year and the guy I'd met online that I had been flirting with for 6 weeks or so before deciding to pack my shit and go west.

My best friend needed me, I needed out of my old life, and the contract for my job had run out. The local prospects for employment had dried up and I needed to get the fuck out of that small town I had been forced to move to in order to keep my job after my previous relationship had broken up.

I was taking the biggest risk of my entire life. I was 29. I was single. I was without hope, limited in every respect by not only what other people thought of me but by what I thought of myself. I needed to move on and to find a way to reinvent myself.

In the time honoured tradition of 18 to 30 year-old Ontarians who have no fucking clue what to do with their lives, I got on the plane to Vancouver with everything I had in the world and a couple thousand dollars in the bank. This was going to be the best thing ever.

It wasn't. But it totally wasn't the worst thing ever either. I would not be the person I am today if it weren't for getting off that plane at YVR on September 20, 2003.

The best friend isn't my best friend any more. In fact I've talked to her three times in 8 years.

I haven't spoken to the guy I met on the internet in more than 2 years, and that was the first time I'd spoken to him in 4 years before that. He disappeared off the internet in 2010 and I just have no idea where he might be.

In fact, of everyone who was in my life at the time, I don't speak to any of them. Connections lost, none of them I particularly miss. I'm pretty good with all of it.

Nine years on the Left Coast. It's been real.

Or something.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Today has been a day of few words for me. Hardly spoke at all at work, spent 2.5 hours at a meeting where someone else spoke, then had a brief discussion of my evening out with Joe before he returned to his math-doing.

Now I sit down to fill a page of words and nothing comes.

I have this quote I read bouncing around in my skull:

"Real life is far more fucked up than you can imagine."

I agree. I want to have 750 words about  how that is true for me, or for others or for SOMETHING OTHER THAN THIS TEXT BOX full of words that don't matter and don't mean anything to me.

But I don't. I've got yet another blog post full of fucking angst about how I'm not writing. Or I'm not writing the way I would like to be.

I will continue to bang my head against the desk until it comes together.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Trying the Blogger Android app

It's super basic and from the reviews it's shite at posting photos but we'll see if this is a format worth future consideration.
I'm awake far too late (again) because of my 6-hour catatonic state yesterday. I even forced myself out of bed at 10:30am in hopes that less than 6 hours asleep would have me exhausted by 11pm.
No such luck because I mainlined caffeine all day to fight the fatigue I don't want to show. It's just wearing off now. Sleep may happen in the next 60 minutes if I am lucky.
I've been thinking about what I would do if I won a $50 million Lotto Max and I've decided that I would split the money in 3- Joe, me and Us. My third I would put away enough capital to earn $200K a year in after tax income and the rest I would give away to my friends and some family to make their lives easier/better.
I think about this a lot. I think about it most when I realize I have forgotten to purchase a ticket.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Lost Day

"May cause drowsiness. Do not operate machinery."

I couldn't even operate consciousness.

The good news is my three day headache is gone. The bad news is that I completely lost an entire day to unconsciousness.

My To-Do list has become much shorter. I am also starving because I haven't eaten since 9AM.

Have you ever just sat there, stunned that everything you'd planned to do that day is just not possible, so now you're just not sure where to start?

That's where I am at; confused, kind of bleary and hungry.

Think I need to stop what I am doing, sort my thoughts and find some food.

Stupid sinus pills.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I haz a sad.

There will be no hockey in Hockeyville.

My dad says no hockey until Christmas. I've known this for months, but I didn't really want to believe it.

2005 was a terrible winter. I'm surprised I didn't take up with the NFL then. I don't want to go through that again.

I think Gary Bettman is an asshole and a detriment to the game.

I think the owners need to realize that they will make $0 from hockey games if there is no hockey. Most billionaires don't like to lose out on revenue.

I also think that the players deserve more than 50% of the revenue because without them... there is no revenue. THAT, to quote Bill Clinton - Secretary of Explaining Shit, is just arithmetic.

That said, I'm not going to quibble about how much more than 50% the players deserve. That's Donald Fehr's job.

I miss hockey so much. June was so long ago, and now... now it seems even further away.


Sad flailing

I am officially a math widow. Calculus, Statistics for Science Majors, and 300 level programming have left me spouse-less until December.

Who wants to hang out more regularly?
Who wants to watch football with me on Sundays?
Who wants to entertain me?

Someone come visit me.

The person who invented math? I hate that guy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I was as sure then as I am now that it was the best choice I could have made at the time and I am as certain now as I was then that I did the right thing.

It was the path that was going to lead me to a new life, and it did, just not the life I thought I wanted to walk into. This one is much better. This one has different limitations.

If it had lasted. If I hadn't caught him in bed with a young woman I knew from high school who was mainly trying to get even for me dating her ex-"fiancé" 9 months after they had broke up. If hadn't been drinking so much. If I hadn't been drinking so often. If hadn't been trying to cram myself into a gender stereotype that didn't fit.

If I hadn't been trying to find a way to live with myself and what I was told I should be ashamed of.

If I hadn't learned the lessons...

Today would be my 19th wedding anniversary. The 19th anniversary doesn't come with a traditional gift, so I can't even crack wise about missing out on the "papier maché"or "aluminum foil" anniversary.

I could have been married for exactly half my life today had he not had the sense to cheat on me and treat me so terribly that I had to go looking for Plan B. That's the truth of it. I would be someone completely different than I am now if he hadn't done that.

For the record, my Plan B was terrible. But it got me to the place where I read the books that changed my mind, which led me to the place where I learned about the internet and through the internet I figured out how to use my words. And when I finally, FINALLY, learned to use my words I realized that the guy had done me a favour. I had limited my life to what I thought was expected of someone of whom little was expected as soon as he handed me the ring. The failure of our marriage after seven and a half months (plus three additional months of drama, emotional blackmail, threats, violence, reconciliation, more drama, more threats and spending a night in jail) was the humiliation I needed to reconsider my future.

Not that I saw it like that at the time. Oh no, I was mad. Mad in the English sense of the word, not the North American one. I was broken and fallen and tired of living and I would not turn 20 until the week before the drama ended.

I didn't know it then but I know it now, my divorce was the first step I took toward saving my own life.

Rob, I have no clue where you are but I hope that you are happy. I also hope that you are as happy as I am that this isn't our wedding anniversary.

Pep talk

I need a new job. I just can't take the chaotic upheaval that happens every time my boss shows up feeling like he's late or missing something. It's exhausting.


I've been trying to talk myself into turning out a serious, serious job hunt; complete with networking events, cold calls and harassing everyone I know well enough to harass about my job hunt.

The thought of it is exhausting and spirit smashing all at once.

I can do this. It might take forever to be successful, but I can find a new job.

I hope.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"And that, of course, is a cat."

I went to the TheatreSports Improv drop-in class at the community centre on Granville Island yesterday afternoon with an old friend that I've known since kindergarten. We haven't seen each other in over 20 years, and have lived about 30 minutes apart for the past 5 years. Yesterday we finally made plans to do something, and improv class, food, drink, gelato and a long walk were the order of the day.

We talked about the past in ways that made me extremely grateful I started dating smarter men in my 20s and relieved I decided to get the fuck out of my home town so many years ago.

Improv class was fun, challenging and tiring. Playing "Build a Story One Word at a Time" is exceedingly difficult when your partner is there because his ESL teacher has suggested it as a fun way to work on his English. It's also difficult to play a game that has ONE RULE with someone who can't seem to remember that single rule. It's maddening to be left hanging out to dry like that. There is also a tonne of walking in improv class. I had to sit down twice that I remember. Maybe three times.

We met a lovely young man named Ed from Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. He is 28. He loves it here in Vancouver but his girlfriend most decidedly does not. He had a drink with us before heading off to meet up with his girlfriend. That is pretty much everything I know about Ed.

I don't want to be an actor. That much is clear.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

It happened again.

I went on "vacation". I went back to work.

I've just finished my second week back and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror in the bathroom at work... and it hit me like a tonne of bricks.

Let me fill you in on this. I work for an elderly man who should have been retired 20 years ago. Or more. He has no clients come to the office. He solicits no new business. He has not changed his business practices since 1976 and hasn't upgraded any of his technology or software since 2003. His office is still on dial-up.

So, all I have to do is shut up and type, file, make statements and answer the phone. He does not care what we wear to work, he cares that we show up for work.

I'm fairly certain that his assistant accountant has come to work in her pyjamas multiple times.

I'm really certain that his office assistant who's working on the archival/document destruction project wore the same clothes to work three days in a row last week.

After looking in the mirror at work I'm pretty sure that I stopped giving a shit. My clothes are clean and I don't look like an unmade bed. I didn't, however, put product in my hair or put on make up. I wore board shorts and skate shoes, a tshirt and a hoodie, a baseball cap and a pair of knock off Wayfarers. I carried a massive black and white tote bag because it is big enough to hold all my crap AND two bottles of wine or four liters of soup.

I realized that I wore something similar on Wednesday and Tuesday and pretty much all last week. I stopped giving a shit about how I look the day after I returned to work.

I have been here before, and I'm kind of pleased that I noticed after only two weeks. I am treating this as a wake-up call. I need a new job. I need one now. I can't have this job suck the life out of me for a second time.

The last glass of wine (well a little shy of a standard serving) was not as yummy as the first and second nights, but still drinkable.

I have never considered doing improvisational comedy as a hobby or interest (I'm more of a stand-up kinda woman) but I am apparently going to the TheatreSports League Open Drop-In tomorrow afternoon. What the hell, I've got a husband trying to finish an album using his brand-new and completely awesome Reason software and who's started Week One of The Year of Calculus; it's not like we had plans.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Under the Weather

My hips are on strike today. I can barely walk. They are better than they were at 6 AM  but man they just suck. They hurt a little bit, but mostly they just don't work.

I hate having MS. I never can get comfortable with my routine because today my body just broke for no reason. It was fine yesterday.

"You were fine yesterday."

"You were fine this morning."

"You were fine an hour ago."

How many times have I heard that - said that to myself too - and it always sounds like I'm having a failing pointed out. It feels like an accusation of cheating or faking. It feels like I'm just not good enough.

I really like Joe Biden. I don't care who knows that.

What's left of this wine is still really good.

I understand my thoughts aren't rational. But I hate using MS as an excuse. Then I remember there is a big difference between an excuse and a reason.

MS is a reason why I can't do things. I hate it. Though I think that I prefer to have a reason than the excuse of my own procrastination or neglect.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Holding back

Every night I come to this flashing cursor and I have a tonne of stuff I want to say, but I try to follow the rules I have set for myself.

What goes in this blog has to be about my life, as it relates to my day-to-day, I say nothing that I wouldn't want published on the front page of the Globe and Mail (or New York Times), and it won't hurt anyone I love.

So here is the grey area.  There are things that I would like to say; about my beliefs, my values, my politics. It doesn't bother me much that my parents wouldn't be happy, but they either love me as me am or I don't talk to them. They get that. I think.

The problem is that what I want to say would upset my in-laws and severely alter their opinion of me. That really doesn't upset me much. But I know that it would upset my husband, because they are his parents and he wants them to like me.

So, I pour another glass of wine (#2) and suck it up.

This wine is very good.
I'm listening to my husband tell the story of his first day at the University of British Columbia.

It's going to be a very, very long two years.

Blah blah blah

I really, really hate looking for a job.

I really, really hate having MS.

I really, really hate not having enough hours in the day to slack off playing Facebook flash games and get the house work done, learn pilates and/or yoga, work on my book, work on my idea(s) and buy lottery tickets.


Today I got a coffee as a mid-afternoon pick me up and I saw that this particular java purveyor had a shiny shaker full of "vanilla sugar".

I love vanilla sugar in coffee. It's been a couple a years since I had some, I'm pretty sure.

I finished that cup of coffee around 3 PM.

Ever since then, randomly and without warning and at no specific interval, I can smell vanilla sugar.


I had a thought, now it's gone.

I've got a date with Stephen Colbert. Good night.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Sometimes the misery of others reminds me just how far I've come.

I haven't thought about killing myself in over two years. (I think)

I haven't done anything damaging to my life or my relationship or my continued employability in well over 7 years.

Today I was forced to think about the graphic details of my own history with depression. I was talking to someone I love very much (and who's association in my life will remain confidential) who's life imploded on Friday. Relationship, home, security, everything just gone because this person couldn't deal with their depression. That sucks. I offered what little I had, but mostly I just listened.

The Crazy (as I like to call it) is irrational. What's balls about it is that most people I know with it are some of the most logical, rational and reasoned people I know... and among the smartest I know as well. I know my biggest problem has often been reasoning myself out of a reason to live.

Wellbutrin and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy saved my life. The Wellbutrin kept me from killing myself long enough for the therapy to work, and a few years later I'm not on Wellbutrin or in therapy any more. But that wasn't a quick fix and I suspect that I am not even close to sane.

But I'm employed, my relationship with my husband is awesome, my friends are great and I've got some sort of a plan - as vague as that is - and as far as I am concerned that kind of peace of mind is good enough. Happiness is fleeting. I'll take content.

Had We're Awesome Lunch  with my friend Erin today.
We're doing pretty good. We've both come a long way in the past two years. So we had lunch in Yaletown to celebrate our Collective Awesome.

Monday, September 3, 2012


When you avoid the sun (and heat in general) and really have no interest in being outside, seeing the unofficial end of summer is kind of a relief.

That said, these are the things I wish I had done this summer:

  1. Spent some time drinking wine on the beach at sunset.
  2. Gone to Grouse Mountain just to see what the fuss is about.
  3. uh... I don't think there is a number 3.
Goodbye Summer of 2012. I won't really miss you at all.

I don't have a lot to write about these days because what is on my mind has nothing to do with day-to-day life with MS or day-to-day life with me.

Since I went to the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, and have been reading news story after news about how people continue to be cruel to each other because of their race, class, ethnicity, sex, gender presentation, sexuality and/or disability, I've been looking at people differently.

My time in Ohio left me changed and I am not sure that I have the tools or the capital to make any kind of difference. The only thing that I can do is try to live differently, or something.

I have spent the past 30-40 minutes with my hands on the keyboard watching the cursor flash in anticipation of the next words to come out. I have nothing to add to this. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Will anything go wrong if I use you to make my decisions?

This is going to be awesome. I can now abdicate all responsibility for my choices!

(sorry about the flash flare)