Archives for posts with tag: good

Ok, so second date – he contacted me Friday night, after dinner and asked if I wanted to do something on Sunday. I replied in the affirmative and, after receiving a list of suggested activities, suggested my own – checking out an exhibit at the AGO. He obviously checked it out and asked if I was talking about the Basquiat exhibit and said that he would be interested in seeing it, so we agreed on a time, he offered to drive and I took him up on that offer.

Fun times, this guy is everything that I should want. Funny, thoughtful, excellent driver (you know how some people say they are good drivers? This guy really is, so safe, so considerate that I actually even commented “You are a really good driver!” Not overly aggressive, decisive and safe.), sense of humour, intelligent, nice, good father, good storyteller etc.

I’m a worrier, so when he touched the frame of one of the pieces, I got a bit freaked out. I asked him not to touch the pieces as I didn’t want to get kicked out, he shrugged and said then we would kicked out. Only thing is, I go to the AGO a lot, I don’t want to get kicked out.

The size difference between us (him at 6’3 and me at 5’2) made for some interesting moments while we were trying to see the pieces – I also kept thinking I was going to lose him. In spite of his size, he doesn’t actually stick-out, he has an uncanny knack of blending.

He said, once again that he wanted to touch my hair. I, once again, said “Please don’t touch my hair.” And. He touched my hair. Ack!

What is going on here?

He collects fridge magnets so picked the one of the pic we both liked most, he offered to get me one, which I declined and then accepted as he seemed insistent.

We went over the Henry Moore gallery and he touched one of the plasters. I said to him “Your profile did not mention that you have a trouble making streak.” He said “Some things you have to keep a surprise.”

After the Moore gallery we ambled towards the exit, he invited me to dinner which I declined, citing a need to get ready for the week, he took it graciously. He asked to sit for a bit before we drove back.

He chose to sit at one of the stations where people can get some paper and draw something. He handed me a piece and took a piece for himself. We both started folding.

He made a paper airplane and was done before me.

Then he started to guess what I was making. “A fortune-telling device?” “A hat?” He listed all manner of things and I kept telling “I don’t know, we will see what it is when I’m done.”

He went to the washroom and I finished.

I set the origami crane up by his paper airplane.

When he came back he looked at it and said “Oh cool! I didn’t know you could do origami – your profile didn’t say you did origami!” I said “Some things you have to keep a surprise.” He said that it needed a name and I wrote “Basquiat” and the date on one of the wings and gave it to him.

He was thrilled.

We collected our coats and he wanted a pic of us. So we took one in front one of the posters for the exhibit. I’m not clear what the whole “Let’s take a pic of ourselves on a date!” thing is.  So the pic was us, the crane with Basquiat in the background. Cute pic.

We had a good talk on the drive back. He told me about raising his kids and a bit about the breakdown of his marriage (only a bit though) which was complimentary to him telling me about his work history and personal history that he shared with me on the way to the AGO.

And then he said something that threw me off. He asked about my recent relationship and said “You said it ended suddenly. Sorry, the way you said it, did he die?”

Wow.

I was thrown off for a moment and said “No. But it was sudden. The relationship died. After a weekend together he stopped communicating and then texted me that it was over.”

He commented “Sounds kind of passive aggressive.”

“Completely passive aggressive.”

We chatted a bit more about it and he said that he thought it was really too bad. I said how it was so surprising and that it only showed how the guy wasn’t a good communicator and that it showed me that I was ready to be in a relationship with someone.

We agreed to keep getting to know each other and then he dropped me off at home.

I got out of the car and went into my house.

Took off my coat and boots.

Went to my room.

And.

Really missed that guy who just broke up with me.

What kind of person I am that I want someone who hurt me so deeply, who obviously doesn’t want to be with me and isn’t available for a relationship?

It makes no sense and I’m upset about it.

I want my heart to be logical and my body to understand it should welcome touches from people who are kind and nice and gentle. They both rebel and do their own things, like they have their own opinions just to cause me confusion.

I wish I could be neater.

 

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I don’t know that much about Basquiat but I do know that he was one of my ex’s fav artists. My ex introduced me to some of my fav artists, so when I recognize a name that he dropped I do my best to check it out. “Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time” is Canada’s first major showing of any of Basquiat’s work so had to check it out.

Whoa.

The works are filled with anger and passion and challenges to conventional roles and stereotypes. I loved the use of colour and primitive symbolism. I particularly liked the works that had words on them – being a reader and sometimes writer, anything with words has my attention.

I love the use of colour, although there was one piece that I found too disturbing for my mind, so moved on very quickly. It was interesting to see his works all laid on, side-by-side as it helped show recurrent themes and symbols and I found it interesting to see how symbols evolved and devolved over his use.

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and, if you are in Toronto, then I highly suggest you check it out. You will be amazed by the graffiti style, the range of imagery and media and it will give you some insight about what it was to be a black man in the 80s in New York. Food for thought indeed.

In addition to this whole…metamorphosis, I’m still in school!

Yesterday, when I should have been working hard on my group assignment, I was playing my ukulele and singing.

So, sometimes maybe things we love get in the way of what we should be doing?

On the up-side, it appears that I wasn’t the only who got side-tracked by other things, when I finally got on-line I was the first one to make contact and received back other replies noting how people have been out of contact.

After very concentrated time and effort, we are almost there.

Very happy with the effort that everyone, myself included, put in.

There are some details still to be taken care of, but we are so close.

In other news, went out the other night and saw Evil Dead: The Musical on Friday night.

Third time seeing it and first time in the “splatter zone”!

A good time was had by all.

And yes, we were quite “splattered”!

I’m not sure if it is possible to perform open heart surgery on yourself.

Or if it is possible to recalibrate your brain chemistry.

Or if it is possible to heal old wounds.

I don’t really know about the impact time has on these things. I don’t know how much of it is bounded by the constructs of our humanity or how free-will plays into it all.

I know that many, many years ago, when I broke with my ex, I thought I would never write again.

Then I started this blog.

I thought I would never play music again.

Or sing again.

And certainly not in front of other people.

Seven weeks ago my brother walked in to the house, handed me a ukulele and said “Learn to play this. I help host a Ukulele jam every second Monday over at The Stone Cottage. The next one is four days. Learn some chords and see you there.”

So.

I don’t know how things work in your life, but in mine when my older brother tells me do something, I’m rather inclined to do it. He is a big influence on me, I have a great deal of respect and love for him. He has never steered me wrong. And, from conversations with friends who have less than stellar siblings, I am very, very lucky to have him in my life.

I started.

It was horrible.

My fingers hurt. I couldn’t get the fingering right. I couldn’t strum probably and when I showed up at the jam on Monday evening – I was completely lost.

And.

I loved it.

I don’t know what it was or why it was, but I loved it.

I kept trying.

I went out and bought a tuner. And I practiced every night. I found songs I wanted to play, that were way too complicated, but I tried them anyway.

I tried singing

My voice is…rusty and not used to singing any more. I must have hurt my throat a few time struggling for notes.

The last time my brother was over, he asked me “So, I think you should do something for the Open Mike part of the jam. You should be the first.”

I laughed because at that point I knew 3 chords and I could play one consistently. (The one I could play is open strings – C6!) But I heard myself say “Sure. I’ll find something.”

So I listened and looked.

And I found something to play.

I needed to learn and do 5 chords consistently.

I needed to be able to carry a tune, without losing my way.

I needed to learn the words/lyrics.

I started.

I played every night.

I took a cheap ukulele to work so I could practice my chords on the fret board without making noise during lunch hour.

I sang my heart out.

It isn’t perfect, but sometimes you just have to say “Enough. I’m ready, even if the song isn’t.”

So.

Last night I did it.

I got up in front of my peers, the ones who came out to the Monday Night Ukulele jam and I performed my song.

Whoa.

Whoa!

And I know it wasn’t great. After seven weeks, I’m not great, I’m still learning, but, the audience was forgiving and friendly.

And I did something that I was scared to do.

I did something that I didn’t think I would ever do again. Well, I did a few things I thought I would never do again.

And you know, the best part was looking in my brother’s eyes and seeing pride there. It was a great feeling.

It is a remarkable thing to track and observe one’s own changes.

Now that I’m learning to play music again, I’m more relaxed, my heartbeat is slower, I’m smiling more, my walk is looser and slower. My breathes are deeper, my brain is faster and can’t stop hearing music and wants to problem-solve and try, try, try.

And my heart.

Well.

My heart feels.

Better.

It is like. Is it possible for a heart to learn how to beat again? To learn how to fly again?

And what is so funny, so strange about this.  I thought my heart was just fine.

I thought I was happy.

I mean, I’m pretty happy. I smile a lot. I joke, I go out, I have friends, I have things I love to do.

But this.

Having music back. Raising my voice in song.

Well.

It is something completely.

Different.

And I love it.

I got caught up in this whole “how I learned to start worrying and hate online dating”, that I’ve neglected to say anything about all the amazing stuff that has been going on around this place.

The first part of the summer was spent working hard on a school course – trying to what? Better myself? Better my situation? Better get more designations to move up and onto other things?

After that all wrapped up, it was a lot of time out – fondue and beer nights became something of a staple with a dear friend and managed to get out with others for nights away and nights out.

Excellent times – loads of laughter and lots of getting to know new people and connect with them.

Then – a series of miracles.

I think miracles are those things that happen that seem go against the “laws of nature” or are unexplained.

In my life, miracles are when things happen just as I need them too, before I even know I need them.

A friend posted a comment on my blog and it has been about 2 years since I last saw her in person. (Are you reading this right now, do you recognize yourself in my words?) And that prompted this need to be her company again.

And you know. Her timing was perfect – I was beginning to ached from not knowing what was going with this guy and messed up about where it could possibly lead or how it could possibly end. I was mixed up and mortified that someone I hardly knew, someone I barely met, could make me feel so…tense and unsure of myself.

I made a mental to call her as soon as I was home at a reasonable time.

The next day, one of my dear friends came by my desk to drop of a Valentine. He said “I don’t know bex, I saw this and thought of you and figured Friday the 13th was the perfect day to deliver it to you.”

I read the Valentine: If you get attacked by a bear with chainsaws for hands, I hope he stays away from your face…because I think you are cute.

I laughed my brains out and pinned it to my board.

Then, while I was away from my desk, another friend took a post-it and left me a noted that said “I heart you!” – with a kiss and a hug.

Two days later, I got a LinkedIn invite from a friend I haven’t seen in 15 years. 15 years!

I accepted and we are now back in touch.

(You know who you are. Are your reading this right now?)

And you know.

As some parts of my life end, other parts begin again and flourish.

This week was totally focused on the social event of the season – The Wedding.

New dress, new shoes, went out and got my nails done (I’ve already wrecked 2!) and have a hair appointment in the morning.

Oh yes, I went down to make sure everything was all good and the manager of the department asked “So bex, you getting drunk tomorrow night?” When I demurred “Hey, we will just have to see tomorrow night.” I posed the same question and got “Of course!” as the answer.

I’m lucky.

I’m surrounded by people who understand and know me and love me and want to have fun with me.

I’m loved and kept safe by them. I get to laugh and cry with them, I get to be a part of their family and fun times and times of distress.

There is something about people coming back just in time, isn’t there? Those telepathic butterflies that those we love “M’aidez, I need your love and kindness, contact me, come back to me and lend me your strength. Carry me in your heart.”

 

I love Mondays.

I love waking up Monday morning, getting out of bed, eating a good breakfast, showering off what is left from the week-end, putting on nice clothes, doing my hair and make-up and…viola – ready to take on the world.

I love the potential of Mondays.

Anything can happen.

There is this moment where everything is only possibilities. Who knows what the week will bring! Could be something horrible. Could be something wonderful. There are all these unplanned moments of potential that are just ready and waiting to happen.

Mondays at work are often marked by corporate orientation. And I love seeing all the new faces that I’m going to start seeing around the place and maybe work with and probably help, ‘cuz I’m helpful like that…

Mondays at work are filled with news of what people did on the week-end, maybe they saw new films or old films, maybe they went to a karate tourney and their kids got a gold and silver medal – each! Maybe they did yard work and they are looking to hear about what I did on my week-end and I can tell them all about my climbs and my school work.

Maybe I will have to drive to another branch to drop off some diagnostic equipment for one of my colleagues.

Maybe it will be cloudy and suddenly rain and I will think about not wearing my hood and my hair will get drenched and go curlier and my make-up will run and I won’t care.

Maybe one of my friends will suddenly decide she doesn’t want to eat the salad she has for lunch and suggest we go for the mall and instead of my cheese and crackers, I will get some mall sushi. And an Orange Julius.

Maybe my friend will think about getting salad for lunch and I will tease her for giving up salad for salad and she will opt to have something that she isn’t eating like a pita with chicken.

Maybe all of those things will happen.

Anything is possible on a Monday.

Even one of my colleagues saying that I’m so happy Monday mornings that she is sure the rest of everyone feels the worse for it – they feel even more “blah” when they see how happy I am, especially on a Monday.

I don’t know.

When I smile at people, they smile back.

When I tell a joke, people laugh.

And when I tell people how good they look or how much I like what they are wearing, they seem to grow a little, stand taller and smile a bit wider.

I like Mondays. They contain all the potential of the upcoming week.

 

Slept  in, enjoying my second last day of vacation. Decided to not do my hair and threw on the shirt from yesterday and went out into the world – dropping off doll clothes for my niece, filling-up the car, getting a car wash and grocery shopping.

At the grocery, I was offered a 10$ gift card if I allowed a newspaper to be delivered to the house for 1 month for free. Good deal, too bad about the newspaper – I object very strongly to this newspaper. After finding and paying for the groceries, I passed by the guy again and he asked me if I was single, I am, and would I be interested in having dinner with him, I was. So we exchanged numbers and a bit of information, like our names and promises to talk and arrange soon.

Surprise!

After a truly grueling skills test (seriously, more difficult than last week’s final exam, seriously?) I was, finally, really and truly on vacation.

Plans with a friend started off by meeting on the train to the meeting place – we were on the same car and everything.

Walked over to the theatre to pick up the tickets and then, my friend was feeling “adventurous” so I took her over to one of my fav Indian places downtown. She doesn’t know a lot of Indian food, so I spent some time trying to explain a few dishes and making suggestions. I think she enjoyed.

Then back to the theatre for our seats. But, we had to wait – there is this massive children’s film fest on and one of the staff said the children “exploded” all over the theatre. I’m pretty sure she meant that metaphorically, but in any case, they needed some extra time to clean. So, we went over and grabbed a drink.

And what a drink! It was a riff on the ole’ champagne cocktail, called “An American in Paris” and with bourbon, vanilla bean, cava and brown sugar. Delicious.

Then the film.

It was early, after the film, so we went for a walk. A very, very long walk. In and out of shoe stores and clothing stores – questing to find my friend a dress to wear for a wedding she is attending in June. She found neither shoes nor a dress. I found a dress, though.

This whole shopping thing is a bit strange. You can never find something when you need something, but when you aren’t looking it is possible to find something.  Been having the same, strange shopping conversation with several friends recently, strange, becuz I dislike shopping and for me to tell other how best to shop is incredibly comedic.

I figure if I’m braving stores, then I’m going to look at everything and if there is something that looks good and fits in my budget then it comes home with me. I figure, there is always a reason to wear a pretty dress or wonderful pair of shoes. This takes the pressure off me to find a perfect dress for a specific event – I can just go through my closest and pick something out, knowing that it looks good.

Works for me.

We walked so much, back and forth, missed dinner, didn’t have any more drinks, that it ended up being a late night. Got very caught on all the goings-on in my friend’s life.

A very good day.

 

Here is me, once again, in an airport waiting for a flight out.

And you know, it is true – there are worse waiting rooms. Like a hospital waiting room. Or a walk-in health clinic waiting room. Or a dentist waiting room.

Yep, waiting for an airplane is one of my favourite things to wait for and an airport is one of my favourite places to wait.

Today I’m flying out to Alberta. Calgary to be exact, to get a connecting flight to Lethbridge. To see one of my dearest friends.

It is only a few hours now. About 9, I think.

I’m sooooo excited about it!

I was ill all week, so sick, in fact, that I was sent home on Tuesday and spent the following days in bed. Sleeping. And trying my best not to be sick all over the place. It was unpleasant. And boring. It really wears a person down, not having energy.

When I saw the doctor on Thursday he said he thinks I have a virus.

Which is sucks rocks, ‘cuz there is nothing to do about a virus, just let it run the course and hope it doesn’t do too much damage.

He also encouraged me not to go into work on Friday, but I did anyway – a person can’t miss 4 days of work and then go on vacation! I stuck it out for about half the day and then left. Everyone knew I was going to leave, so no surprises.

Slept really well and then did a complete last-minute, crappy job of packing.

The friend I’m seeing is going to have a field day teasing me about the size of my luggage! And the amount of useless stuff I’m bringing.

I don’t even think my camera is charged.

Oh well!

Today, I feel like I have a bit of energy.

I smiled today and I swear it feels like it has been weeks since that happened – just not awake enough.

Only about an hour until it is time to board the plane and fly away.

Upside: I’m on vacation!

Another upside: I’m seeing one my dearest friends!

Also an upside: I managed to stop and get her and boyfriend some treats that are hard to find where they live!

This too, is an upside: I’m traveling again!

The past week was difficult, but I’m so happy that I made it to today. This is going to be an excellent week.

Started today at an office different from where I usually am – good to have a change of scenery and get out and see some other colleagues. Great meeting, and it ended with me walking out with a pile of Action Items.

Go me.

Struggled all day to catch up and stay on top of these things that I have to do and things that I’m behind on and tried not to be too bitter about the things that I’m being asked to do that aren’t really what I do. For example, I actually don’t keep track of people’s education days nor their education monies – we have a department for that, it is call Human Resources. And, I don’t put in suggestions to the Social Committee on your behalf – I’m not on the Social Committee anymore, put your own suggestions in.

Another day of being head down and not really coming up for air, people are starting to notice…a lot actually. Ran into one of my friends in IT and he said “bex, I’m worried about you. You are really quiet lately and I know you are working hard, but maybe you are working too hard.” When I noted to one of my managers that I was behind on minutes for a recent meeting, she remarked that it didn’t really matter that they weren’t done immediately. However I told her “The longer the delay in getting them done, the longer they sit on my desk waiting to be done.”

Near the end of the day, I finally got over to say “Good Morning” to another one of my friends and I ended up speaking with a totally different colleague. This conversation was kind of wonderful.

I should clarify something here. I take my job, I take working seriously. When I started working in an office (many years ago at this point) I wasn’t very sure about working in an office. I was actually rather afraid that I would mess up in horrible ways, so I decided that any free time I was spent learning how to be better about doing office-y type things, like sending emails, running meetings and communicating with people in general.

One department where I had this job had a bunch of departmental Best Practices for email use. These were amazing Best Practices. They suggested things like “If you want to say something very short like “thanks” or “a task is completed”, change the subject line to say “short message: thanks!” this will allow the person receiving the email to read your email without reading it and they can delete it right away which saves space in your inbox.” I really like this policy. I liked it so much, that now, years and year later, I still use it!

And.

And!

People actually notice, comment and say it saves them time!

They actually think that I know some way of formatting the subject line of an email to say “short message” before my little message.

This colleague and I talked a bit about emailing and she had a lot to say about how much she likes the way I email. So much so that she wants to “steal” the way I communicate.

Which, you have to admit, is pretty flattering.

Truth be told…I’m thrilled and flattered that someone thinks this about the way I communicate in my emails. I mean, I spent and spend a lot of time making sure that I communicate in a friendly, clear and professional way. It matters. It is part of how people know who you are and often, is the only way people know you. I think clear communication is important and I value it.

Tellingly, this same department had some suggestions that email wasn’t always the best way of communicating with people and that before you either start and email or reply to an email, you think about if email is the best way of communicating or if in person or the phone is a more appropriate mode.

I took that one especially to heart and I find that when an email to one person gets way to long, I go for an in person visit. When it is quicker to phone than to type – phone call all the way.

After work, it was a quick-change and suddenly I was ready for an evening out. I went back over to see my friend, to say “Good Morning” and she looked at me and said how much she liked my hair and how did I do it ‘cuz I wore it down all day and now it was in an up-do. I laugh at myself, I just took my hair and shoved it up and put an elastic around it. Not even 30 seconds to do…

As I raced out to the car, I ran into another couple of colleagues who wanted to know why I was “all glam-ed up” – it is amazing what wearing hair up and putting on red lipstick does.

Arrived an hour and half late to the temple and whoa – I really should have bought a sari when I thought of it. I must have been one of the only women there not wearing one,. Oh well, next time for maybe!

Stayed about 3 hours and decided to call it quits. The temple has great food, so very happy that I stayed for dinner.

And very happy too, that I can clean-up nicely after working hard all day.