Monday, 31 January 2011

Hey Look

It's the end of January.

And a Monday.

My name's Captain Obvious, nice to meet you!

(Sorry, I'm a little punchy.)

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Return


Y'all?

C-Dawg's coming home.

Not just for a visit this time, but for keeps.

I feel extraordinarily lucky. Not just that our friendship stayed as close as it did while she was away, but that things have happened in such a way that she's coming back home again.

I hoped and hoped at the time that her move wouldn't be forever, but I'm not sure I really believed I'd get my wish and that she'd be moving back.

Even just having her back in the same time zone will make a world of difference. Being able to talk every day rather than on the days our schedules matched was something I really missed and was having a hard time with.

(It also, apropos of nothing, is what made the relationship with Smith even harder and made for some very very late nights for him although he never complained about it.)

Her move back entails some sadness for her that also breaks my heart a little, but how much easier is it to hug someone who lives a fifteen minute drive away rather than a ten hour flight away? Much.

I'm not sure what I've done to deserve this treat but the Universe and whatever else might be responsible for this must know how grateful and thankful and happy I am.

They say you don't know what you've got til it's gone. But what if you knew what you had before it was gone and then you missed it even more because it was gone and then you got it back so it wasn't gone anymore and that just made it awesomer.

They should make THAT a saying.

*insert grin here*

Friday, 28 January 2011

Guess What?


They're HERE!

Already!

And yes, I've eaten some!

And yes, of course I plan on eating more!

I ran into them a week or two ago at the grocery store and nearly fell over with excitement.

Apparently (according to the website) they're available from January 1st on so that's awesome news (for me who loves them so.)

I know they're not everyone's taste but they're so so my taste and I think that they're only available for part of the year makes them that much tastier.

Which is probably the whole point.

But I digress. Please excuse my rambling. I've had rather a lot of sugar the past day or two.

Wheeeeeeeeee!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

New

I was thinking some more about this whole dating thing and the weirdness I'm going through going on these dates with these strangers.

Staring at the ceiling in bed the other night waiting for my brain to switch off, I realized something. With the exception of my first few relationships, I've always had a pattern. Not that the pattern is anything I'm proud of but at the time it's what worked for me.

When I think back on the great majority of my relationships I'd meet the guy (usually in some group setting where he was a friend of a friend kind of thing) and we'd click and hit it off that night. From there, we'd usually make plans to meet up solo a few days later and, well, then we'd usually end up sleeping together within a date or two.

As I've said, I'm not proud of this or condoning it but it is what it is.

And when you realize that my last three or four relationships were all variations of long distance relationships, things get skewed again. Because long distance relationships are all about intensity and being together when you are together and then longing for each other when you're not.

So fast forward to now and I think I can fairly say I've never done this before. I don't know the protocol, I have no history to refer back to.

I've met a few guys over the past year or so for a date, maybe two and then my brain starts messing with me and playing tricks and wondering when they might call or if or why or what it all meant. Because,usually, once I've met the guy, we're together.

Sex'll do that to two people.

So my previous relationships have (not including the first two, one of which was during high school and the other during my first year of University) gone like this:

1. We meet
2. We click
3. We have sex
4. We're a couple

Which means I have basically no experience with dating.

Even with the relationships where I didn't sleep with them right away (or at all as the high school case may be, I was a sweetheart of a girl at one point after all) we didn't date because we were just around each other all the time and our social group was shared. So I don't have an understanding or any practice in this area.

I haven't really gone through the "just hang out" phase or the "hang out a few times and then kiss" phase or the "I don't even know what to call it because I haven't done it" phase.

So when my brain gets all "bleargh, person X from last week's date hasn't called or person Y from the site hasn't messaged me back" I have nothing to fall back on and say "meh, no biggie, it's just part of the dating process; part of the getting to know you process."

I'm kind of relieved to have realized this because it means that my freaking out isn't so much because I'm insane and more because I'm going through something that's completely new to me and lacking a reference point means I'm figuring it all out for the first time when the people around me all have experience and and understanding of the process that I missed out on.

And no, I know it's not that simple and yes dating is confusing and complicated and no one really understands it but imagine it like this. . . yes I've been in a car before. But I've always had someone else driving for me and I just thought that that was how it worked. You got in the car and the driver took you where you wanted to go. Now I'm in a car again and I'm supposed to get somewhere, but there's no driver and I'm supposed to drive myself and I'm a little overwhelmed and confused by the whole thing and I'm pretty sure I can drive, but everyone else seems to be assuming I know what I'm doing when the truth is I can't even find the thing to turn on the wipers.

That's me and this whole dating people you don't know and also not sleeping with them thing. It's new.

I guess I just really do have to keep practicing and learning and easing into it.

Maybe I should stick an "L" plate on my back just to be on the safe side.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Huh


Not long after I ran into Runner Guy again I was wandering around on the online dating site and, lo and behold, there he was.

I thought it was (what's the right word here?) weird? neat? cool? interesting? fateful? that I had just seen him again and then he suddenly showed up on the dating site. Being one to read signs, I thought maybe this was one.

Of course, the rest of my brain was just going "huh." And part of it was going "Huh?" So there was some mild confusion and checking over my shoulder to see if someone was playing a trick on me or something.

So I mustered up some courage and told my inner voices to be quiet for once and I sent him a message.

We've talked a bit and one of his first questions when I told him who I was and that we'd dated a few times was why we had stopped hanging out.

I didn't really know what to say. "I didn't like your baldness" didn't seem right. Neither did "I didn't know I wasn't over my ex."

So I just said that I didn't know for sure but that for whatever reason we just sort of lost contact and stopped hanging out. Which is true. I didn't have a real reason at the time and I don't know what his reasons may have been.

I think we might hang out again, I don't know, but it was interesting seeing and running into him again.

I wish when life threw you little things like that they came with a tag attached that told you why and what you were supposed to do with it or get out of it or learn or whatever from it.

So, in summary, *shrug*

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

An Update On The Update

So not long after I finished typing out yesterday's post, I checked my messages and the guy had just sent me one.

I could have re-written or deleted yesterday's post, but it's what had been going through my mind for the week or so since I'd had the date with him and so I figured I'd just keep the post.

The message he sent me said that he had enjoyed meeting me but that he's finding that when he meets new people his old relationship (read: marriage) still echoes and he needs to sort through that and what it means and who he is going to be with new people.

I understand that and can respect it and I'm glad he let me know instead of just ignoring me.

There is, of course, a small part of me that wonders if maybe then he shouldn't *be* on an online dating site, but I think that's just me trying to be bitter and I know people go on those sites for a bunch of different reasons and he was clear he wasn't looking for a relationship.

So there you go.

Consider yourselves up-updated.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Heh, The Word "Update" Has The Word "Date" In It And I Only Just Realized That As I Finished This Post. Heh.


I know you asked me to keep you updated on what happened with the first guy I went on a date with, so here's your update.

At the end of our very nice, great conversation, lots to talk about date, we gave each other a hug and said it was fun we'd have to do it again sometime. He'd told me to send him an email and then as he was leaving he turned around and said, "Oh, here, I almost forgot, here's my card, email me about that [link we'd talked about] and I'll send it to you."

When I got home I messaged him through the dating site to say hey it was nice to meet you thanks for hanging out because I think that's the polite thing to do.

I didn't hear back from him and so a few days later I emailed him at his work (the email he'd given me on his card) to say hi and ask for the link.

I didn't hear back from him.

I'm not going to over-think it too much, but it's a little odd to me that I haven't heard from him.

Before we met, he'd respond to my messages the same day I sent them to unless his email has blown up my guess is that he's not wanting to correspond to me anymore.

Which is fine, but then why did he end the date by giving me his contact information?

I know he's separated and that he made it clear in his profile that he's just looking to date, nothing serious, so maybe he felt my contacting him was a sign that I LOOOOOOOOOOVED him and he panicked. But I'm also aware that you never know what the other person's life might be like or what they might be going through, so I don't know.

I just think it's polite for people to respond to communication and if they're not interested to let you know. *shrug*

I'm not mad or upset even, I'm just curious.

I'm still really really proud of myself for meeting him and I'm pleased with how the date went and all in all it's been a good experience for me even if I never hear from him again.

So consider yourselves updated.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Date

So I'd been messaging back and forth with this other guy and had told him that if he'd like a break from his studies he could let me know and we could go for a walk on Saturday.

He contacted me on Saturday but I chickened out and didn't meet up with him.

He wanted to meet for coffee and I just couldn't handle the idea of a sit down date. I'm not quite ready for that. I like to meet someone and be out and about, coffee in hand sure, but out and about where you can make eye contact when you want or stare off at the surroundings if you're feeling nervous or shy or uninterested.

I was kind of mad at myself though, because I knew I was being chicken and I'd wanted to be braver than that, so when I heard from him again on Sunday I told him I'd meet him at the coffee place in half an hour and I just made myself go.

I was nervous, sure, my hands were shaking as I got ready, but I think having the other date the week before showed me that a) I *could* do it and that b) it really wouldn't be that bad.

He was a nice guy and it helped that when I met him I could tell he was nervous too. When I saw that I just wanted both of us to be at ease and not worried about making an impression or saying the right thing or anything.

So we walked and we chatted and it was good and I'm glad I, once again, got out of my comfort zone and went on a date.

I still wouldn't say it's my favourite thing, but at least I'm doing it and not *not* doing it just because it's scary.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Again


I had another date this weekend.

I maybe should have told you Monday morning, but I think the other things I've talked about this week are relevant to the fact that I've had two dates in as many weeks.

Because you know it's been since Summer since I've had a date (if you don't count Cary, which I don't.) And you know it's been longer since I've been in a relationship.

So two dates in two weeks? It's a big deal for me.

It means that I've pushed myself through my fears. Had them and did it anyway.

And I'm not just talking about the big fears, I'm talking about the littler ones, the going on a date ones, the meeting someone for the first time ones, the what if it's awful, how do I politely escape ones, the what if there's that awkward, dead silence fears. I've had them and done it anyway.

Do you remember how I said I'd messaged three guys?

Well, now I've met two of them. And I'm proud of myself.

If nothing else, there's that.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Forward

You know, that was a pretty profound piece of insight I found myself having the other week.

If I don't like a guy in the first place, he can't break up with me.

If I find something, or somethings, about you right away that will turn me off of you or if I go to meet you and I hold myself so tightly away from you that the mental emotional wall I'm putting up can not be ignored and you won't want to hang out with me again and so that'll turn into something else I was right to not like about you you can't break up with me.

If I don't let you in, you don't ever get to leave.

If I make sure I don't fall for you, I can't get hurt by your breaking up with me.

If I never love again I'll never get my heart broken again.

I've said it before, it's easy being single.

Sure it's lonely and I miss the intimacy and closeness and having someone to talk to and hang out with but it's also safe.

There's no risk to being single.

The hurt is a fairly constant one, maybe hightened at Christmas or Valentine's Day or when you watch a romantic movie, but it's not the intense, heart-wrenching pain of a break up. It's not the torn to shreds feeling of being left by someone you wanted to plan forever with.

It's easier.

So knowing this. Knowing that I can be happy in my alone-ness. Knowing also, though, that I've had up walls and boundaries in anticipation of a hurt that can't possibly happen with those walls and boundaries up I need to ask myself if I'm ok with taking the risk again.

I think I am.

I think I know myself better than I did with Smith. I think I've grown in a lot of ways and I think I'm stronger and I think, I hope, I can do it. I also think that I like myself a whole lot more than I did when I was with Smith and that this makes me more willing to believe that if I let someone get to know me they will like what they get to know and if they don't, it's more their loss than mine. This is a confidence that I certainly did not have when I was together with Smith and while it waxes and wanes, it is there and growing.

I think these discoveries have helped me let down my guards. I think it has, well, embarrassed is not quite the right word, but it has opened me up to a not very helpful way of thinking I didn't know I was harbouring. It has enlightened me.

And so I think I'm willing to meet men again, but to be honest and open, honestly, to seeing if I'm attracted to them or interested in them instead of finding the flaws in them I can use to mentally keep them at bay.

I think knowing this about where I've been has made me able to move away from where I've been.

And I think I'm looking forward to that.

But I'm a little bit scared of it too.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

I'm Not Together But I'm Getting There

When C-Dawg and I did the 10K on the first (which, I have to say seems like months ago isn't that a weird thing) there was a reception of sorts after with pancakes and prizes and "well-done-ing" all round.

Someone got up to make a speech and as he talked, I stood there, my head turned to the side a little as I confusedly tried to figure out if I knew him and if I did know him, how I knew him.

My brain clicked the pieces together and I figured out that it was Runner Guy.

For those of you who're new around here or whose memory is as mushy as mine when it comes to the thousands of men I've talked about on here (Ha! ahhhh hah hah hah hah! Ahem.) Runner Guy was a friend of a friend I went out with a couple of times and then, after a bit, didn't hear from again.

I thought it was interesting that I'd run into him again and it got me thinking.

One of the things I remember about Runner Guy was that he always wore a hat. And I mean always as in "the two or three times we hung out."

At a certain point, I remember him lifting his hat off to take off his sweater and he was balding. Balding in a way that wasn't flattering or didn't suit him or just for whatever reason I found unattractive. I remember telling someone it was a "bad balding." Because I think some guys pull it off and it genuinely suits some guys.

Maybe I didn't expect it or maybe it really didn't look good on him I don't remember, but I do remember shutting myself off from being open to being attracted to him and not being too bothered when he stopped contacting me.

So fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and I find myself wondering why I didn't keep going out with him. Like, really.

I was introduced to Runner Guy and a couple of other nice guys not long after Smith and I broke up.

I'd wanted a new relationship, I'd told all my friends I was looking, but I think, in retrospect I really wasn't ready.

When I think back to it there really wasn't anything huge that I can remember being "wrong" with Runner Guy. I think the honest truth is that I didn't really want to start a new relationship and I was finding convenient excuses to not like people.

Maybe that's just me painting the past in a prettier colour than it deserves but I think I was truly not ready.

I remember hearing John Mayer's song "In Repair" for the first time and thinking that that was exactly where I'd been, unknowingly for a while now.

Oh it's taking so long I could be wrong, I could be ready
Oh but if I take my heart's advice
I should assume it's still unsteady
I am in repair, I am in repair

I feel badly, a little, for the very nice guys I've met and then not liked. I know I went into a lot of those dates with my walls up, looking looking looking for the reasons *not* to like them. Wanting this to be the start of a relationship but pushing so damn hard to keep them away from the get go.

I think my heart was thinking something along the lines of "if I don't like you in the first place then you can't break up with me and I won't hurt, so I don't like you."

But I don't think I knew that.

I think I know it now and I think I'm closer to being open to trying.

No, I *am* open to trying, just gently, slowly, carefully.

Oh it's taking so long I could be wrong, I could be ready
Oh but if I take my heart's advice
I should assume it's still unsteady
I am in repair, I am in repair


John Mayer - In Repair

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

DYAC!

You guys? As always seems to happen with the internet, I was directed to a website that I'd never heard of before through unrelated circumstances.

And it couldn't have been more perfect timing because with everything that's been going on I was having a bit of a blue weekend.

This site had me roaring with laughter. Wheezing, silent laughing unable to breathe laughing. Tears streaming down my face laughter that my neighbours *must* have heard it was so loud.

So here, here is the site that had me in tears and gales of laughter over and over this weekend. I hope you love it as much as I did!

Now excuse me while I go laugh til my sides hurt some more.

Monday, 17 January 2011

A Catharsis


There is much much going on in my world, my life at the moment. Much that is pressing heavy on me as I do my best to support friends and family and loved ones through things no one wants to go through but things that life puts us through wanted or not.

I'm still dealing with the shakiness that came with my Dad's suddenly becoming sick; suddenly becoming someone who will die some day even though I knew that. Knowing it and *knowing* it are two different things and my perfect perfect strong and untouchable father isn't as perfect as my childhood eyes have always held him and that is difficult to come to terms with; mortality sucks.

There have been sudden job losses (not mine, a blessing I thank Heavens for even on the bad days, of which there have been a few too many of late) and upheavals and I find myself unable to know how to support someone who has become, over the last two months, unemployed, devastated by said unemployment, pregnant and I want to be overjoyed by it but I'm worry worry worried for them because I'm still shaky myself and with the shakiness comes a difficulty to trust that all will work out. For me? Yes. For them? I don't know. I hope so.

And now there's a separation. One that I both understand and am saddened by. Sad for my friend's sadness and for the pain they both must be going through. Are going through. Will go through. Sad that I can't take it from them. From her. Sad.

There are broken hips and difficult pregnancies and things happening that should only ever happen to someone else. Not in my back yard I understand. Not in my family, my friends.

I could use a break. I've had enough. Enough sadness. Enough difficulty. Enough things I need to support people through. I need a break. This is enough. We have enough. We will manage through this, I know we will, but this is enough.

Please no more. Please only happy. Please let this be the last.

I am strong. Atlas strong, with the weight of everyone's worlds on my shoulders. Because their worlds are my world but when they're hurting it's hard to ask for their help. Hard to ask them to give *me* a hug. Hard to ask them to let me cry on their shoulder when my own shoulder is already damp with their tears.

I would like to not be strong now.


No. . .

I would like to not *have* to be strong now.

This too shall pass I know. I've lived that so many times I know it's so. But how about a break after this too has passed.

How about some good. Much good.

How about it being time for much much good for my beloveds and my hearts and me.

I'm ok, I really am. There's just a lot going on and I needed to say it. Out loud.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Um

How have I never tried Mike and Ike's before?

(Wait, should I not be talking about this after the other day's post?)

Friday, 14 January 2011

It's Too Early


Silly flowers, it's January.

I mean, I know you live in Victoria and every year in early Spring, we like to giggle at the rest of Canada as they dig out of snowstorms and we parade around in our shorts waving our blossoms around obnoxiously, but come on... it was snowing when I took this photo.

And it's January.

I'm not sure if you guys are confused or if you're reading an old memo or if someone's playing a joke on you but trust me, it's not Spring. Really not even close. We only just started Winter.

I mean, look at yourselves. It's so dark and dreary no one's even going to get to admire you and your pretty pinkness and there's not a whole lot of sun around. Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe that's what confused you, the lovely sunny weather we had this weekend. Was that what did it? Were you maybe in the middle of a poker game when you noticed the sun was shining and so you all panicked and came out?

I'm just suggesting that maybe you should consider just kind of slinking away and having a bit of a nap for, oh, let's say two or three months. Because as much as I love you, it's much much too early for you to be out.

Silly flowers.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Discovery (Re)

I should know better than to set myself up with a "not going to" resolution type of thing.

Especially when it comes to sweets.

My sweet, sweet, sweets.

I tried the idea of "no sugar before 11" but what I found, two days in to the work week, was that come 11 o'clock, there I'd be stuffing my face with all the candy, chocolate, sugar, sweet, whatever I could find. It was bad.

So bad that I figured I wasn't doing myself any favours and was ending up with just as much or even more sugar than I was saving myself.

There's something manageable I can do when I tell myself I *will* do something every day and when I give myself a goal that's reachable, but when it's difficult and I'm taking something away? No good.

So I've re-discovered that I'm not great with New Year's resolutions. I'm just good at being stubborn.

In a good way.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm better at doing something than at not doing something.

Can anyone tell if I'm making sense? I just had a handful of candy and my mind's a bit blurry.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Let's Rewind For A Moment, Shall We?


So how on earth did I get to having a date this weekend without you guys knowing? Well, let's see. . . .

A week or so before Christmas, I went out for drinks with my friend James (who I used to have a crush on until I found out that when he said "partner" what it really meant was that we weren't ever going to smooch.)

James was telling me about a couple of dates he'd been on since the last time we'd hung out and the guys he'd met and how he was turning out to really like one of them.

James and I are on the same on line dating site and so when I went home, inspired by his stories, (and fueled by some Cosmos) I went back home and boldly giggled my way through a list of cute guys and ended up sending a message to three that I quite fancied.

I wasn't too tipsy, so they were still cute the next day, (whew!) but I had been tipsy enough to be brave enough to send them the message and hadn't really expected to hear from them (a "Hi! Merry Christmas! You seem nice!" was not something I expected to elicit much of a response in the clear light of day thank you very much) so I was pleasantly surprised to hear back from all three the very next day.

One of them, I'd messaged because he'd put on his profile that he'd like someone to learn to salsa with and I'd told him that I'd be up for that (I totally would), another I messaged to say congratulations on his having finished a marathon earlier in the year (because I know what an accomplishment that is) and the third I emailed because he seemed sweet and was also a spy and I wanted to wish a fellow spy a Merry Christmas (so I did.)

I was really happy to hear back from them and have been emailing (messaging, whatevs) with them and they all seem like nice guys. I'm proud that I put myself out there (even if it took a little liquid courage to stop me from over analyzing myself out of it) and I'm happy to be talking to three guys who, so far, appear to be nice, attractive, and interesting.

I'm also really really proud of myself for going out there and meeting one of those guys (the marathoner.) I've known for a while that I needed to go out on some dates just to get over the fact that I don't like meeting people and I don't like going on dates, so even if I don't go out with this guy again I'm glad I did it and it feels like an accomplishment.

If you're wondering, (and I know some of you are) the date was good. He was nice, and we had a lot to talk about and a good number of things in common. I wasn't uncomfortable and that was a relief and it seemed like we'd been walking and talking for ages but it turned out to have only been an hour and a half. I would like to go out with him again and get to know him more but if that doesn't happen, I'll still still, as I said, feel proud of myself for getting out there and doing it and making the whole process a little less scary.

Now I just have to find time to meet the other two guys.

No, seriously. They've both suggested we hang out and I'd like to!

I know, right?

So there you go. That's how I ended up having a date this weekend.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Y'all?

I went on a date this weekend.

I went on a date with a nice,good looking guy this weekend and you guys?

I totally fell.








No, I mean I actually fell.

Like, literally.

Trying to cross a river sort of thing on the beach and he put his hand out to help me and I was reaching for it and I fell.

In slow motion.

I'm so very smooth like that.

It only still slightly hurts today.

Ahem.



P.S. Happy 11/01/11! Or 1/11/11 or 11/01/11 oh man, the more you type it the weirder it gets!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Procrastinating


I should totally be writing a post right now. I should absolutely be.

Instead, I'm sitting here stuffing my face with the popcorn I just made about to watch some terrible TV show and damnit I'm going to enjoy it. (Even though the popcorn bits will get stuck in my teeth and I'll have to floss them out later and stuff.)

I should totally be telling you about my weekend which involved hanging out with some friends and trying two new things one of which involves poking myself in the eye and the other involves a guy and a walk.

So I should really be writing a post right now, but instead I'm going to eat popcorn and watch bad tv.

Sorry about that.

How was y'alls weekend though?

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Awwww!

Someone in my building got engaged!

No, I don't know who, but I kind of want to go knocking door to door to find out.

See, I live in an older building and there's no real soundproofing. Or any sort of sound proofing at all, so when I'm in my bathroom brushing my teeth with the door open (as I was last night) and someone walks by my front door talking on their cell phone I can hear what they're saying.

I usually don't listen in to the conversations but somehow I could very clearly hear this girl's voice.

I missed the first part of her sentence but caught up with the phone call to hear her say "and we were walking down the beach and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!" before she was out of range.

I can't quite explain why, but I'm so happy for her whoever she is and I even find myself imagining I know who it is and that would make me even happier if it is.

I think I'm just happy to see (hear) happy things going on in the world and people falling in love and living their lives together and just yay.

I'm really happy for them and I'm glad I got to overhear.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Ohhhhhh


So do you remember that flickering light bulb? (No relation to the murderous light bulb.)

Well, here's what ended up happening. . .

It was back a few weeks ago when we were having lots of heavy winds and my parents' power kept going out. They'd quite regularly phone me to go on line and check when the power company was thinking they'd be able to have power restored, so I was used to having "the lights are out" conversations with my folks.

I tell you this to explain, perhaps, why I reacted how I did when, one night, as I was talking to my Dad on the phone, just having walked through my front door, still taking off my shoes everything went dark.

"OOH! My power just went out!" I said gleefully, starting to feel my way towards the wall.

"If your power's out," my Dad asked me calmly "how are you still talking to me on your cordless phone?"

"Ohhhhhh, right." I replied, my brain a little slow to process the fact that it was a calm, windless night and that yes, my electric phone was still working and um, well, maybe it wasn't the power going out but rather the flickering light bulb finally giving up the ghost.

"Er, yes." I mumbled, trying to change the subject but still stumbling around in the dark with one shoe off and one shoe on.

Sometimes my brain gets so excited it forgets to be smart.

My brain's a little like a puppy that way.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

I Never Said I Was Mature

C-Dawg and I were doing some shopping before Christmas when we got up to the counter and she nudged me.

"Look at that magazine cover" she said "is that not an unfortunate choice?"

I glanced at the magazine to see a celebrity holding her new twin baby boys.

Now the celebrity in question was also wearing a nicely low cut blouse showing some cleavage, possibly breast-feeding enhanced cleavage.

None of this would have been a problem but for the title they'd included with the picture. . .

"Meet My Twins"

The fact that this had C-Dawg and I in fits of laughter at the checkout counter days before Christmas is yet another one of the reasons we're such good friends.

I'm still chuckling over it.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Nom Nom Nom


I had what I'm going to call a couple of cooking successes this week.

I've always seen the cooking process as a somewhat overwhelming thing. You buy things then you cut them and wash them and add things to them and put them in the oven while you boil other things on the stove while cutting and don't forget to sautee and broil and is your dessert setting in the fridge and you should probably be garnishing your plates by now and why isn't your husband home making martinis for the guests?

I've never enjoyed the process and have always found it too long for not enough reward.

As a side note, over the holidays I spoke with two family friends who have recently been widowed. They both spoke about how cooking for just themselves now that the kids were out of the house and their husbands had died wasn't fun anymore and how, in fact, it was quite difficult to cook for just yourself. I thought this was interesting insight.

I've had a slow cooker for more than a year, I'd guess, as people all told me they were as simple as you could get. But something happens to me whenever I open up a cook book or look at a recipe and it's something akin to panic and I just never start.

Well, that's not true, I often have good intentions and go out and buy the ingredients and then watch them sit in my fridge for so long they go bad, so my intentions haven't always been followed through on.

Time, effort, whatever it is, I haven't had it.

But this weekend, with the extra (glorious) day off (with added sunshine bonus) I found myself with the time and inclination to try.

Add to that the fact that C's Mom had given me these simple slow cooker seasoning packages that had, oh, I don't know, five steps to the recipe, I felt like I could do it.

So I shopped, I peeled carrots, I chopped carrots, I silced mushrooms, I opened cans, I mixed packages, I (ewwwww) cut up chicken (double ewwww with added cleaning frenzy) and then I threw them into the slow cooker, pressed a couple of buttons and that was it.

Fast forward four hours and I found myself with a meal AND four or five more to put in the freezer.

So I did the same thing the next day with a different package and now I have a freezer full of a couple of week's worth of meals.

Fascinating.

So maybe this is my cooking version of "at least a walk around the block" or "I'll take a photo every day but it doesn't have to be great." It doesn't seem like real cooking to me, but it kind of is.

The preparation part of it was easy enough and the actual cooking part of it was as simple as using a microwave. Just not as instant.

I've learned something else about myself, and it's not a new lesson, just one I haven't completely learned yet.

I'm not good at selling myself. Not even to me.

I told C about having slow cooked the chicken noodle soup her Mom gave me and what I said was "well, I didn't really cook it, I just kind of stirred the package and cut up some vegetables."

I fully expected her to joke it off with me, but she said "Dude, you cooked. YOU did that, no one else did. You cooked."

So I guess I need to give myself more credit.

I didn't run a marathon the first day of run clinic, but I ran for 10 minutes and I was pretty damn proud of that.

I didn't cook a four course, five star meal the first day I cooked, but I cooked something that wasn't pre-frozen and I guess I should be proud of that too.

So the good news is, I've managed to use my slow cooker and I guess I cooked for myself. Go figure.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Three Sixty Five

One of the things I kept meaning to do in the last couple of months was talk about the things I committed to doing each and every day of last year.

They weren't resolutions, I've talked before about how resolutions don't really work for me, or perhaps, that I don't work for them.

Last year, I told myself that I'd try to exercise every day and that I'd try to take a photo every day. Every day for the entire year.

And I did both.

The daily exercise was easy enough because I allowed myself an "at the least" that I could reach even if it meant I had to walk around the block (or few blocks) at the end of a long day or at the start of a travel day.

What I didn't expect was that going for at least a walk around the block every day for a year would lead to me being willing to join a run clinic and then to me running a 10K.

I'm not sure I'd have joined the clinic if I hadn't been committed to daily exercise. (I also wouldn't have joined it if C-Dawg hadn't joined hers on her side of the country or if S hadn't signed up and gone with me. Funny how these things all work out, isn't it.)

As for daily photos, well, that one was tougher. Tougher because I love to take photos outdoors and, well, there's only so much light in a day. This made it difficult because some days there wasn't a lot of time between work and appointments and clinics or classes before dark and sometimes it felt like a lot of pressure to get a photo taken.

Sometimes too, I was frustrated when I'd rush to get one taken and then not like what I took.

I learned that I had to go easy on myself and that the best I did that day was good enough. And that good enough was more than ok because really? At least I was out there doing it and challenging myself.

I'm not sure what I expected from the 365 photo project, perhaps that I'd suddenly become an amazing photographer or that me shooting every day would mean... I don't know...something.

What I did discover, or re-affirm is more like it, is that I love taking pictures. Love it. Love the process of seeing the world and seeing images in it and wanting to capture that beauty to look at over and over and to share the beauty around me with others.

I've enjoyed looking back at the photos I've taken because with many of them I can remember the moment or the day or the situation and I get to replay that story when I see the photo.

I've also certainly grown as a photographer. I think it's hard not to when you're doing something so regularly and I'm happy with that.

I've also learned to be gentler with myself and to be kind about my creative side. There's no point in finding the flaws in something you create if it's going to make you not want to do it anymore.

I took a photography class with a friend this year too and I learned about the nitty gritty and technical aspect of things and I'm glad I did. It was also good to get some feedback about my photos and to be reminded that while I'm not as good as I could be, I'm also not so bad at it either.

Many times the two combined and I would get a walk in with my camera, making it around the block or further taking shots. The photo walk became one of my favourite things to do, but on some days, it was an added thing to fit in and sometimes stressful.

Sometimes I'd combine a photo walk with grocery shopping and would wander down the road with bags and my camera slung across my back.

This only became tricky on rainy days when adding an umbrella to the mix made taking a photo a balancing act.

On rainy days, the umbrella tended to stay home so I could take shots more easily.

So, would I do them again?

Yes and no.

I will most definitely be continuing with daily exercise, even if it's only a walk around the block. I'm also planning on running the TC10K this year and, well, I guess I'm hoping to improve on the time I made at the 10K I ran last month.

I will also be taking a photo every day this year. But I may not be uploading every one of them and if I don't manage to get out and take a photo occasionally, that's going to be ok too. So it's like I'm doing it, but I'm not committing to it, so it's just something a little less pressurefull (no, not a word, I know.)

What else am I going to commit to doing every day this year?

Nothing that's as measurable as a photo a day or daily exercise, but I'm working on my eating habits. More protein, less salt, no sugar til 11 (C-Dawg picked the time for me, I told her to) and to generally watch what I'm eating more. Partly for my weight, partly for my health (it's almost impossible to have a good run on no protein or water let me tell you) and partly because of my Dad's heart attack and wanting to make positive changes for myself in that area too.

I know it's not a good idea to make goals that aren't measurable, but I feel like I can stick to the 11 am sugar one and I feel like I'll know if I'm doing the others. I kind of feel like the same attitude and commitment I started out last year with towards exercise and photography I want to apply to my eating this year. (And my writing too, but I haven't wrapped my mind around how to do that quite yet, I'm working on it.)

I suspect that wanting to improve my eating habits will also have an affect on my cooking, so we'll see how that goes. (So far so good, I just used the slow cooker that up until now has been gathering dust and now have an enormous amount of soup. Chicken noodle anyone?)

So:

Exercise every day.

Eat more protein and less salt every day.

Not eat sweets before 11am every day.

Take photos every day.

Write. Something that could be called a book. Maybe.

(And, push myself out of my comfort zone more.) (But that one goes in brackets because it's scary, so I'm not admitting to it.)

That's what I'm going to try to do this year.

Two of them I know I can do.

The rest, I can only try, right?

(Damn it. I hate it when I write them down like that, because it means I'm going to have to carry through and then the panic sets in. Breathe, Victoria, breathe!)

Monday, 3 January 2011

Switch Over


So, how was your New Year's?

Me? Well, I celebrated New Year's in four different time zones, starting with Scotland and working my way around to here.

Oh, and C-Dawg and I ran a 5K and then we walked a 10K the next day so my New Year's was kind of awesome thank you very much, ta da!

At the start of last year, I would never have imagined I'd be here and that fact alone makes me really excited about where I could be at the end of this year. It feels rather limitless and I'm grateful for that.

I have no idea what wonderful things this year may have in store for me or what I might just surprise myself with.

Last year was rough for me in a lot of ways and I'm glad to be done with the year but I'm even happier to be starting this new year already fitter than I was four months ago and with something that helps me clear my mind and feel proud of myself. Learning to run has shown me that I can do so much more than I'd ever imagined of myself.

This year has shown me that I have a stubbornness or a determination or focus or something I didn't know I had and makes me realize I can probably do so much more than I think I can. No, it actually makes me *know* I can do so much more than I think I can, I just have to want it enough and set my mind to it.

So here's to the next year and wherever it might take me. And here's to being in a better place than a year ago. May that trend continue.

Happy New Year.
Please don't steal stuff from here, it's not nice. But leave a comment, why don't cha? And drink more water. It's good for you.

P.S. If you think you know me? You probably don't. If you're sure you know me? Pretend you don't. I'll never admit I know what you're talking about anyway.

P.P.S. All this stuff is copyright from then til now (Like, 2006-2017 and then some.) Kay? Kay.