Archives for the month of: June, 2011

Usually I’m pretty good at putting procrastination off – I’m so lazy that I just can’t be bothered putting things off ’til later. If I put something off ’til later, that means I have to remember to do at some point and waste a bunch of time thinking about it or worrying about or avoiding thinking and worrying about it. That just strikes me as a lot of energy, so yeah, mostly when there is something to be done, I just do it.

This probably makes me one of the laziest people ever.

This week, however, I got right into putting things off. I didn’t even make it to the gym! Not once. Skipping Monday felt so good that I skipped Tuesday as well, Wednesday I did some training for a temp gig I have coming up and you know, Tuesday and Wednesday felt so good that I skipped today as well!

Yeah, I know, me = stupid.

I skipped reading and writing as well – giving the brain a bit of a break, lack of reflection and conversation.  Figure every now and then that is a-ok. Right?

Yesterday’s training was very enjoyable, the woman I am temp-ing for is super nice and very organized and we communicated very clearly on what she needed to happen while she was away. Coolest thing ever – she is into making miniatures! She showed me some pics of things that she has made and they were so wild! These tiny, lovely dioramas! I mean, I’ve always been interested in doll houses, not interested enough to like make them or collect them or anything like that, but if someone has a doll house or if is a doll house museum around, yep, I’m there.

These minis were a lot like doll houses – just tiny and perfect and lovely.

Very happy that I had a chance to meet her and see these pics and hear about an interest that I know nothing about. Sometimes I think, maybe, that is why we meet other people? To get into these unlikely and surprising conversations. Here is hoping that I can keep her stuff on track while she is on vacation and not make too big of mess for her…

Frantic phone call from dad early this afternoon, seems he didn’t take enough of mum’s meds on their road trip – he had enough until Tuesday and they are back next Sunday. Not sure exactly where the planning was this time round, but may I just tell you that I’m completely not impressed. It isn’t like those meds are new or anything. It isn’t even like they were close to running out or anything. Or that space was an issue or that –

Look, I’m going to stop on that tangent, it is pretty unfair and you know I think dad is doing a pretty awesome job of taking care of mum and if, every now and then, he slips up, well we are all human and prone to errors aren’t we?

Yes, I mean “mostly human”. Most of us, anyway.

So, surprise trip to the post office, happy that the strike is over and things are actually being sent. Nervous about whether the meds will get there in time or not, I went with a priority delivery, which is the highest level of service and the one the post is concentrating on while dealing with the backlog. But, holiday on Friday and they don’t work on Saturday or Sunday either. Will the meds get there for Tuesday? Probably not, but maybe Wednesday am. I’m hopeful.

I’m also grateful to the woman at the post office outlet who helped me – she gave me great advice about which service to use as well as letting me know she would slip my package into the bag for immediate pick-up instead of the one later in the day. It is funny how, with postal matters, seconds can actually matter in terms of service.

Fingers crossed.

Not much else happening, same old, same old. Still job hunting, weather is still a bit…odd. I mean, aside from me doing all this putting things off until later.

So, yeah, it is time once again to get back to putting off-putting things off. I think we could call that “metaprocrastination”?

 

 

Sunday afternoon climbs: 2 x 5.9, 1 x 5.9 and 1 x 5.10-.

We try two routes on that wall that slants towards and I fail out, miserably, on both., strength in little fingers lacking. Strength in legs – nonexistent.

Love that the is so much space in the gym, but feels funny to close this way, rather than start.

How about that.

I’m  shaky and tired and all that work that went into yesterday’s poses have everything feeling slow and tired.

Tiny little fingers muscles. Large hard leg muscles.

They are all. Tired.

Ack.

After, we try for sushi, haven’t had it in a while, but they are closed! So, back to Fresh.

Oh yum, today I try a peanutty rice bowl and it is warm and feeling and soothing and sitting outside eating, being here is so relaxing and people out and about, pretending that is far, far warmer than it really is, walking around, walking dogs, enjoying the day.

Yeah, plenty of changes. And non-changes, made for a pretty good kind of week-end. Looking forward to the week to be.

No climbing today.

Yes, it is Saturday.

No, we did not climb.

What is up with that?

My climbing partner had a golf-thingy today, so no worries.

I’m off, later than usual, to the gym to grab the Saturday yoga class with my fav instructor. 1h on the treadmill before class and working every poor, little muscle in this poor, little body in every pose.

You know what?

My poses are getting better, I am learning how to “work the edge” and yeah, it is leaving me totally exhausted.

In a good way.

These 2 hours leave me starving and looking forward to finding some sort of lunch and crashing out, stretching out and watching storm clouds roll in. Maybe do laundry?

The driveway indicates guest, but the house is silent.

Huh.

I find all the fixings to indicate a BBQ is about to happen here. A BBQ! No one told me.

Huh.

Nothing for me to eat – it is all mammal.

Drat.

Hmmm.

Greet the guests and very happy that I changed into something rather respectable looking at the gym and just didn’t come home in my gym clothes – have I told you that I can’t do that anymore? My gym clothes are usually soaked through by the time I’m finished with a workout.

At least I know my sweat glands and pores are working, body temperature regulation.

So, everyone is just sitting around, waiting for someone to do something so they can eat.

Haven’t found dad yet, but truly, I’m hungry and not in the mood to be patient.

Find myself something non-mammal to throw on the grill, then bring down some stuff people can put on their mammal-meat – I think people like that sort of thing.

Make sure those who want beer, have beer.

And those who don’t want beer, have something else.

Ok.

Bring down some plates – extra plates are never out-of-place when people come over, right?

Napkins?

Paper towels.

Huh.

Thought we had a stash somewhere, but I can’t find them.

Double-check people are having fun and talking and ask loudly about food.

Cut up the buns so they are ready to be warmed and eaten and hopefully any moment now some one will fire up the BBQ so we can get on with this whole thing.

I bring a little plate for me, I need to cut my non-mammal and totally fail out on bringing plates for anyone else – dad brings two plates. Presumably for everyone else to share? I don’t know. I’ve never even seen those plates before.

Halfway through I remember the salad I saw in the freezer.

Umm. No, I don’t know why salad was in the freezer, it wasn’t frozen salad.

I was looking in the freezer for ice cream. I found salad instead.

Which, sometimes just sort of sums things up.

Grab plates, forks and a serving spoon, I’m back out and get told off for bringing plates – why didn’t I bring the plastic ones?

We have more than two plastic plates? I didn’t know that.

Finished my lunch and I can honestly say it was one of the best lunches ever.

I thought for a bit there I was going to waste away from lack of lunch, but in the end, it was all ok.

First drops of rain and I’m back inside – the weather turned colder and damper and then –

Everyone is bringing stuff in and you know, I better get up and make sure things are finding their way to close to the right spots.

Soon after, everyone leaves for their various evening destinations.

Me?

I’m good here, stretched out, laundry done, relaxing and almost ready for bed.

A surprising sort of Saturday.

The plan today was to try out a Zumba class – one of my “gym friends”, actually my very first “gym friend” at this place – when taking a tour I asked her what she thought of the place, how long she had been a member, what she liked, what she didn’t like and after I joined, we ran into each other and kept talking – suggested that I try it out.

So what is Zumba?

From what people tell me, it sounds like a Latin-dance-based exercise class. The Friday yoga instructor said last week that it was probably the worst kind of work out someone could do, as it threw things out of alignment – twists, hip pops, shimmies etc.

Yes, hearing that made me want to try it.

I wasn’t sure of the time the class started though, and you know, I still have these pockets of pain, so I took my yoga mat, just in case.

Yes, I ended up in yoga class instead of Zumba,

It happens.

So, yeah, great yoga class, today we talked a bit about compassion and empathy and the throat chakra, which is the “chakra of communication”.  Wee bit of a different direction before poses.

Body feels good – shoulders take a lot of work today, they keep tensing up, hips are pretty good, I get more and more space every day. We hold pigeon pose for a while and it is one of my very favourites – the release of tension is incredible for me.

After, I skip the sauna and clean up super fast, avoiding the after-class rush of spinners, aqua-fitters and yoga-kids. I’m outta here!

Lunch is…rushed and forgettable and soon…I have guests!

My dear friend and her two kiddos are over for a visit. Yay! Dad grabs his friend and brings him back and we enjoy a bit of fresh air in the backyard – it is a beautiful day for drinking tea (or beer, whichever you like, no judgment here), sitting around the picnic table, watching someone cut grass and chatting.

Of course it rains!

Hasty retreat to inside and some quality sitting around.

Today was the first day that the little body (do you remember when I felt his baby-kicks through his mum’s tummy?) didn’t scream his head off when I held him. We got some incredible cuddle time in! And the little girl, in addition to having awesome hair, she is well on her way to being able to say my name. Properly.

Of course we talk each other’s brains out, all too soon, it is time to part.

Dad suggested a BBQ to have everyone over again.

Not a bad Friday at all.

(alternatively, this post could be titled “Snap, crackle, pop!)

Crrrrrack.

Left knee – standing up for the first time.

Shnickshnickshnick.

Right toes and ankle – flexing and doing an ankle rotation.

Pop! Clllickcllickclllick.

Right shoulder – reaching up then circling.

Click-click.

Vertebrae – standing up after sitting for 20min.

Oh! I think my body is trying to tell me something.

Think. Thinkthink.

I know this. I know this.

Take the day off from the gym, spend time with kiddos.

Sounds like an excellent plan to me!

Morning is a bit of sunshiny-sweetness, after last night’s stormy weather, what was up with that? Thunder…and lighting….I’m going to say it. You want me to say it. Say it with me: “Very, very frightening!”

See, don’t you feel much better now?

Makes plans for the kiddos and dear friend coming for a visit, after the kiddos are fed and napped and etc.

Weather turns, again. Fog creeps in and although the clouds are grey and it is overcast, the rain coming is still a surprise. Seems luck is against me today, but with my friend – the kiddos most of the day away and when it time for a visit, it is rainy and there is no way we are going to get a walk in today, not in this weather, not now.

Too bad but that is sometimes how Thursdays go.

On the upside, having plans in the afternoon meant everything was done before noon!

 

 

Confusion setting in over the last few days, fast and furious, with some recent conversations.

Monday it was all about Dad taking some visitors to see Niagara Falls – from where we are, the drive is maybe almost 2.5 hours, one way. Usually when you go there from here, it is all-day sort of adventure. Drive there, park, walk around, take a pile of pics, walk some more, look at people, maybe do a tour or on a boat cruise, take more pics, admire all the water, have a picnic or find somewhere nice to eat, walk around some more, came back home the “long way” and enjoy the little towns in the area. See? Full day trip. I wasn’t expecting to see the until late so imagine my surprise when they were home way before the end of the day.

What happened?

Apparently the day when something like this – left late, drove there, parked, looked at the Falls, ate the picnic lunch, got back in the car and took a look at the dam and then drove home. They spent about 30 minutes there. Total.

Huh.

I guess it really does take all sorts.

Of course, upon hearing this, after I stopped laughing (and yeah, feeling a bit indignant, I mean, come on! These are the Falls people! One of Canada’s most famous places. One of the most amazing places in the world!) I decided perhaps I needed to bring some options to the table.

I mean, the back yard looks great – two of the trees are now neatly trimmed and the back patio is all de-cluttered, the picnic table needs to be sanded and re-painted and I know, I know Canada has good beer, but seriously? Come here for a visit and only hang out in the backyard and drink beer? When there are so many other things to do?

So.

Quick mental list, the city is pretty much our oyster here, cross a few off the list right away and settle with my suggestions.

I start small.

Movie?

Nope.

Metro Toronto Zoo? (can’t stand zoos, so you can imagine what this cost me)

Nope.

CN Tower?

Nope.

Roller coaster park?

Nope.

Soooo. I’m out of suggestions that I think would appeal – I’ve skipped over my faithful standbys of museums and galleries as they will not appeal to the audience I’m pitching to.

Well.

So. Am I going to regret asking?

I’m going to ask.

“So, what are you interested in seeing?”

“Strip club. Porn movie.”

Well.

I’m out of this conversation. Sorry, I think there are lines that I don’t cross, even in the effort to show a visitor a fun time.

Later, in conversation with my fav sales guy at the gym, we are having a lark of a conversation, hearing about how he helped his girlfriend celebrate her b-day on the week-end (happy belated b-day whoever you are!) and suddenly he comments about how round my breasts are.

I shake my head and think for a bit.

Did he just say what I think he just said?

Yup.

He did.

I couldn’t help it, I laughed my brains out. It was just…so funny.

And you know, the conversation pretty much ended there as well. When I walked away. This time, I was laughing.

Gym is going well – fully back at it this week. Monday treadmill and yoga, Tuesday trainer and weight machines and today back to the treadmill and yoga class.

Very excited about yoga, noticing an increase in re-gaining some flexibility and, yeah, able to put more and more into the poses. Feels great and the last two classes some of my vertebrae have clicked back into alignment, so it feels pretty amazing. The spine is loving it. My knees too, are getting better and my hips continue to release tension. So, no flaky stuff here, yoga just works.

 

 

 

 

Woo!

Happy Father’s Day to all those fathers out there – hope you had a superfantastic sort of day.

Seems like I rather ran out of things to say to the end of this week, so a bit of a mini-break from writing. And yes, still completely behind in reading and commenting as well – sorry.

Thursday was still me fighting things off and feeling low energy, Friday I made it back to yoga and you know, I’m not sure if this is possible, but I put so much into my poses that I was completely exhausted by the end of class. Climbing on Saturday, my legs actually ran out of strength on the last climb and my climbing remarked that this never happened to me before – my legs are very strong, so to have no strength left in them was something else. Exhausted after climbing too, so just eat, sat around and enjoyed some quiet. And vanilla vodka with soda – which sounds kind of awful but was actually rather nice.

Stayed up too late last night – ever been too tired to get to bed? Yep, that was me. I kept on snoozing in the chair with the TV on and telling myself that any minute now I would get up from the chair, go up the stairs and get into bed for a proper sleep. Man, just thinking about doing those things made me even more tired!

But, I got there. Then had an awesome sleep-in this morning, yes, I skipped yoga class! Go ma!

In celebration of Father’s Day and two birthdays my bro (a father himself), sis-in-law and niece had us all over for a BBQ. Yum! What a perfect day too – clear, with a bit of a cool-ish breeze from the lake, toasty in the sun and cooler in the shade. Always awesome to hang with the family, see them and get caught up. Great good and excellent wine too and yeah, for those beer drinkers my bro had plenty on hand.

Something completely warm and fuzzy about being around one’s family with food, drink and a beautiful day.

Ah, me.  Ah, life.

 

S’up?

Still feeling under the weather, but so very slowly feeling better.

Upside: I had a job interview today. Very positive and enjoyable. Which, I don’t know, maybe aren’t the usual words to describe job interviews. But, yeah, it was really enjoyable. And you know, the interviewer didn’t even ask the dreaded “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question, so that I’m quite thankful for. Very nice time indeed. So, fingers crossed.

Rest of the day was resting and trying not to feel so tired.

Right now, I’m determinedly ignoring the final game of the Stanley Cup as in June, yeah, hockey is a little unseasonal to me.

I know, it is totally un-Canadian of me.

Whatever.

Stumbled across yesterday’s newspaper.

Not sure exactly how to feel about some of these things…perhaps you’ve already heard?

Turns out that the blogger “Gay Girl in Damascus” is actually some dude in the US, so a little less of “Amina Arraf” and little more “Tom MacMaster”. Huh.

This just…I don’t know. I’m not sure exactly what to think and feel about this. Personally, I never read the blog, but I can’t help but wonder why someone would lie about their identity like this. I mean, I understand fiction and role-playing and acting, I understand why someone would want to write a fictional blog about fictional things. But…aren’t all these stories about people lying and deceiving others about who they are and what they have done in their lives just becoming too much? I mean…why lie about who we are, who you are, who I am?

Is the attention worth the lie?

Are we so needy for good, dramatic, personal stories? Have we completely lost our ability to think critically and discern reality from fiction? Have we taken the idea of creating our own personal narrative and self-re-creation too far?

I don’t know. I am getting tired of these kind of stories. If you are writing fiction, then just say “hey, man, this stuff, right here – fiction, never happened, but I’m asking you to read and use your imagination to understand the experience of a fiction person in a possible situation such as this…it will help make you more empathetic.

In the same paper, there was this story about Dean Philip Baker of the University of Alberta ripping off his convocation address from a piece in The New Yorker – originally a speech by Atul Gawande given to grads at Stanford in 2010.

He didn’t source the speech.  He apologized for his “lapse in judgement” – you can check out the entire letter.

Nothing disciplinary-wise has happened to the Dean. But, according to the newspaper story action will be taken if a formal complaint is made.

So, umm.

Sorry, but doesn’t what the Dean did pretty much amount to plagiarism? And can’t students be expelled or at least disciplined for plagiarizing?  And shouldn’t people who are faculty live by these same kinds of rules? I mean…shouldn’t the Dean be…disciplined? It doesn’t matter that the speech was intended for a “private audience” or that he apologized and the apology was accepted by the original author – he took an original source and passed it off as his own, without citing the original source. For shame. He knew better than this, if this has been one of his students, you betcha that an apology would not be enough.

My only personal brush with plagiarism happened in one of my philosophy classes, years ago. It was the middle of the exam for this class, Advanced Ethics, if you can believe that and suddenly some students were called out of the room, came back in, asked to leave, cane back, talk to the prof, talk to the head of the department who arrived, entered the room, left the room and loads of whispering and rumours were flying.

It was upsetting and so very difficult to concentrate on writing the exam. After finishing, I hung out just down the hall from the exam room – it was small class with loads of discussion, so it was only natural to wait around and chat with classmates.

Turns out that some of my classmates had discussed their final papers, wrote them separately, but the papers contained many of the same sorts of arguments, examples and they neglected to cite the conversation. Whoa.

The prof accused them of plagiarism and got the head of the department involved. I think it turned out that the students weren’t disciplined, but only after they had several conversations with the head of the department and the prof. Yikes. They almost lost the course and their whole degree ‘cuz they were both philosophy students who should have known to cite properly.

Seems lately there is so much about truth, Truth, lies and taking others’ work and passing it off as their own. Man, I just don’t know sometimes…

Hard time falling asleep on Sunday, so hard time waking up on Monday. But, yeah, made it to a sensational yoga class – new poses, feeling very stretching and bendy today. By the end of the class all the pain, the acid in my muscles, is gone.

The rest of the day = I’m wiped out.

Mid-afternoon and I’m 3 of the 7 Dwarfs – Sneezy, Sleepy and Dopey.

Ok, yes, 4 of the 7 – I’m Grumpy too.

That makes me the lesser known, lesser loved, 8th Dwarf – Sicky.

Blerg.

Early to bed which should mean early to rise only –

This morning, I’m too tired. Can’t move, don’t want to move. Looks like weight machines aren’t happening today.

On the upside, sleeping in is happening today.

Today’s saving grace – today is Tuesday. So even though I’m ill, at least there is that…

And you it was a really clever title too, I think I got from an over-heard quote that made me laugh out loud.

Anyway…

Late home = late to post = late to sleep = minus 2 hours of the needed sleep.

My bed is so warm and comfy and my eyes are tired and my body is sore in all sorts of interesting place, the place of the most pain? My fingers! They are killing me.

But, well, I promised myself to get to yoga today. And I promised myself that I would do about an hour on the treadmill before class…

And you know, if you can’t keep a promise to yourself…

Haul myself out of bed and whoa, I hurt.

Ow. Owowowowowowowow.

Ow.

Moving in slow-mo – times like this I kinda wish my life is recorded in front of live studio audience as this would be hilarious to see – me, every movement small and forced and, I’m sure, a grimace of pain on my face.

Ow.

I get to the gym and it is looking pretty empty this am. Maybe everyone climbed a 5.10+ yesterday and they all decided to take a day off?

Well.

Yipee for them.

I wonder if they can tell me how to stop the hurt.

Sleeping walking on the treadmill, this is one of the longest hours of my life.

Get into the studio and stretch out on my mat.

Oh! I’m just going to stay here for a while…Oh, yeah.

Let my yoga teacher know about Saturday’s climb and one of my gym-friends shakes her head and says how crazy I am.

Not sure exactly how I get through the class. I fail to even try the bridge pose, I’m there, on my back, with my arms bent and my hands under my shoulders with fingers pointing towards my feet, knees bent and feet up near my hips. The next step is to push into the mat with feet and hands and you know what? I’m not pushing anything. If I push, my arms are going to give out and I’m going to boink! on my head. Of course, it would be pretty funny to see…But I don’t do it.

Great class.

I’m slow rolling up my mat, still have loads of pain, even though things are nice and stretched out. My gym-friend and I chat with the yoga instructor and they laugh some more at me and shake their heads at the climbing. I ask for yoga poses that specifically target fingers. I think they think I’m joking about that…I’m not.

Get some tips about how to work up doing the bridge pose – over a ball! And you know what? There is a ball, right here at home! And it is exactly the right size to do use to work up to the pose! And I wasn’t using for anything!

Huh.

So, yeah, something to work towards. And a reason to use the mystery ball!

Sauna, shower then home for lunch.

Oh, lunch is awesome. I find a tomato, pickle and have a BBQ chicken breast on a bun. With loads of water. And a banana.

Yum.

Laundry, then some time sorting through the pics from last night and yes, updating the Flickr account. Right now, I’ve only uploaded the night-city-scapes from the cruise. Quite happy with some of them, reflections on the water worked particularly well this time round and had some time messing around with some of the different effects – fireworks was a fun one and did some intriguing things to the night lights.

Haha, “night lights”.

As always pics are here.

Sorting through the dance pics – I think some of them turned out quite nicely, so very excited about uploading them.

Whew! Aside from gym and yoga, nothing much else. Relaxing, making a nice dinner for everyone and enjoying some quiet. Superman films were on, so indulged in those. And you know, I know it has been a few years, but. I still miss Christopher Reeve.

Ah! I think I feel an early night creeping up on me, as my eyelids begin to droop.

Tonight’s promise to myself – treadmill, gym in the am…