Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas Mr. Intellectual

I miss you, but I can’t reach out to you anymore. I don’t know if you’re still dating her and still against having anything to do with me or not. It’s only a matter of time before we run into each other somewhere. I want to know how your first semester at the post-graduate program went and how your family is doing. I want to know if you’re happy and still as deeply passionate about History as you used to be. I want to see you smile.

Right now I would give just about everything to turn back the clock to three years ago when we celebrated our last Christmas together. As difficult as that was, it was much simpler than what I’m trying to handle right now.

I hope above all, that you are happy with where you are in your life right now.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Home for a Rest

I came back to my parents house a few days earlier than planned. Originally I was supposed to head home Saturday morning for the Christmas festivities. However, that plan changed rather quickly as I started to have a personal meltdown over the difficulties I'm encountering with completing my Master's degree. Between the stress of finishing and my issues with my advisor I was sliding fast.

I don't do well during the Christmas holiday's to begin with. Something with having to go places I'm not particularly keen on going, and putting on a good face to keep up appearances. This is my first Christmas that in addition to the depression I'll be dealing with PTSD and it wasn't going well. The fact that my Mother emailed me this past Saturday and said that I seemed "fragile" was a clear indication that if I didn't do something soon I'd either be institutionalized or something far worse.

I think this is one of the first times that my Mom has caught wind of exactly how desperate my situation can be at times, which means I'm not holding it together well at all. So I decided to come home to rest and finish up in a supportive environment where people understand what I'm up against. I haven't disclosed anything to my current house mates and I doubt I will anytime soon given how intensely private I am.

I've managed to sleep better since coming back to my own room with my comfortable bed and surrounded by favourite things. It also meant I could take some pictures of a few of the other things I collect, like my tea cups. This is one of my favourite ones. It's a Royal Albert pattern called "April Showers". It is actually a cup and saucer that my mother received as a wedding present, but recently gifted to me. I had found the same pattern in a raspberry and yellow combination at an antique store a year or so ago and bought it. It was then that my mother presented me this one as a
gift. Buying antique tea cups and china was actually one of the first things that got me into antiquing and collecting many years ago, before I was even a teenager.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Razors Edge

I feel like I've been near the razors edge for the last little while with my thesis work. I'm so close to finishing my Master's and truly starting my Ph.d, free from the constraints of an unfinished degree. However, after a progress meeting this past week with my advisory committee I feel like I've been pushed off the edge. My head advisor and I are having what can best be described as a personality conflict. I'm extremely concerned that she's going to block me from completing this degree before the start of the Winter term in January. I wish I was over reacting, but I'm not and this whole situation has created quite the emotional turmoil for me right now.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Snow Day

Winter arrived with a bang last week, dropping several inches of fluffy powder on my neighbourhood. Despite not wanting Winter to come yet, the Canadian in me got the best of the situation and it was quite nice to sit inside and watch the storm come through. The huge flakes were pretty, and everything finally felt Christmasy enough for December.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Akin to Drowning

They say that you shouldn’t jump in after a drowning person, that even the strongest swimmer could die while attempting to rescue that person. Drowning people pose a risk not just to themselves but also to the potential rescuer because in their panic it’s possible that they will pull you down with them.

Depression is a lot like drowning. Your pain and inability to “make” yourself happy can pull down the person you are in a relationship with. Their natural instincts are to jump in and save you, because they love you. Despite the fact that in most cases they really have no idea what to do, and are not qualified to help you on their own. After a while they become tired, frustrated, and confused when all their efforts produce very little results. They take it personally, like it is a personal failing on their part because they couldn’t “make” you happy.

If it were just a matter of sheer will power, as a person with clinical depression I would have made myself ecstatic a long time ago. I really don’t enjoy feeling suicidal for the better part of my day, or watching the person I love hurting because of me. At times I think obsessively over what it is that causes me to be this way and why I can’t be happy- do I even know what happy is?

After bearing witness to the slow and painful breakdown of my relationship with Mr. Intellectual due in large part to my depression, I find it difficult to form new relationships. I never want to go through something like that again and feeling responsible for bringing down another human being.

When I look into the future, I see myself alone. Through somewhat twisted logic I just don’t feel right asking someone to take me on, it just doesn’t seem fair. When I’m alone I can cope somewhat better. It’s easier to control my environment and I don’t have the external pressure of living up to expectations or of maintaining a relationship. Each and every relationship I try to sustain brings up this point again and again.

I really don’t have the answer on how to fix this, or what anyone should do. My solution of course, really isn’t a solution at all, but rather an avoidance of the problem all together.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Not Ready for Winter Yet!

From my brother's garden this past summer

Today was quite cold and snowy, and even though it's the beginning of December I'm just not ready to face up to another Canadian winter. In protest I went through my pictures from this past summer to remind me that winter doesn't last forever here, it just feels like it some days. You can't help but think of warm summer sun when looking at tiger lilies.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Bad Night

He came home drunk and quarrelsome in the early hours of the morning, seething bitterness and malcontent. I was working late, my mind lethargic from a lack of sleep and slow to grasp the situation. Comprehension dawned on me too leisurely, but I quickly countered by retreated into myself as protection.

Words, sharp and barbed, penetrate yielding flesh and leave me reeling. I curl protectively around my vulnerabilities and set my mind free. It’s not enough, the damage is done and my thoughts crystallize on the hurt. I start to question what I’m doing and what I ever get out of this “relationship.” A heavy sadness descends to encompass me, and tears well up behind closed eyelids.

I hold back the feminine instinct to smooth things over, and apologize regardless of who is right or wrong. Instead I sign off and crawl defeated into bed, the covers pulled up tightly to my chin. I know it’s a desperate bid to forget what just happened, but to stay awake is to prolong the anguish.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"...because of, or in spite of."

This semester I've dealt with an unusual situation within the course I'm a graduate teaching assistant for. The long and short of it is that the sessional who is responsible for teaching the online course has essentially abandoned the course and his responsibilities towards the students. In light of this I've had to step up and take on more than my fair share of the work, considering I'm just a lowly Master's student and paid only to do the grunt work of marking assignments, midterms and the final exam.

I was called into a meeting with the chair of the department at my former University where I'm TAing the course to speak about the absent professor. After a discussion of the problem, in which I was told that this individual would essentially be blacklisted from teaching at my former institution for his lapse in duty and completely unprofessional behaviour, it was determined that I would be handling the course as best as I could on my own. I was already responding to emails, discussion board postings, requests for extensions due to medical or compassionate reasons and a host of other student related duties not officially on my work contract.

I took this on because of my students. My mother used to always have this phrase she would tell us while we were in public school and having a hard time with a teacher. I always found it to be annoying and immediately rolled my eyes when she'd tout the one out. She said that we learn because of, or in spite of certain teachers. This is an "in spite of" situation and I genuinely want to see my students learn and succeed regardless of the professor's falling down.

Over the last few day's as the course is winding down and students are gearing up for final exam's I have received a number of really touching emails from my kids, thanking me for all the work I've done for them and with them. Just when I'm reaching the end of my rope, and wondering why I'm doing all the work I am for a mere pittance compared to what they're paying this guy who's supposed to be the professor, these emails show up in my inbox. It's humbling and inspiring all at the same time, all while reminding me why I am here and doing what I'm doing.

I am here for day's like this.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Vanity Plates

I love vanity plates. I like the idea of personalizing something so impersonal as a car to reflect your style. It also makes long trips a little more fun trying to decipher some of the more complex license plates.

Back in high school I bought Mr. Intellectual vanity plates for his first car as a birthday present. It was a little hard to pick something like that for someone else since he had no concrete ideas of what he wanted as a vanity plate and I couldn’t straight out ask without giving away my gift idea. I eventually hit upon Catch 22, which was his favourite novel at the time, and still holds a special place in his heart as far as I know. It was a great surprise and I was actually impressed that it was still available for order and no one had snatched it up ages ago since it’s such a ubiquitous saying in society now. I still love that plate, and if given the chance would take it for my car in a heartbeat.

Catch 22 survived two cars in Mr. Intellectual’s life, however at last check it has been removed from the road. He got a new car a little over a year ago and the plates stayed with his last car, which his Dad drove around for a while. They have since been removed and are sitting in his room at home. For whatever reason’s he has chosen not to use them anymore. It's one of my favourite gifts that I ever gave him and it makes me a little sad to see them put away.

That being said, I was never able to come up with a vanity plate of my own that I was truly happy with as a personal reflection of my style. It wasn’t a pressing issue since I never had my own car and as such was an irrelevant concern, but it was fun to think about. I wanted a plate that reflects my passion for history, my love of education and my playful side. The idea of having “DR HISTRY” was one choice but seems a little pretentious and what happens if I don’t end up finishing my doctorate? My other plate idea was “19141918” for the years of WWI, 1914-1918, since that’s going to be my area of expertise once I’m done my education. Both are currently available as of this morning when I checked the MTO website, but I’m still unsure of having them permanently on my car.

As much as I like “DR HISTRY” I think I’ll leave it alone until I finish the doctorate and then re-evaluate my feelings on its level of pretentiousness. I think in the meantime I have hit upon a choice that I can be happy with indefinitely since it’s properly ambiguous. Recently I’ve been thinking of the Latin term “ex libris” quite a bit, which roughly translates into “from books.”

The only unfortunate part of this plate is that someone already has it, which isn’t surprising. If I want the plate I have to go for “EX LBRIS.” It’s tempting to grab it right now before it’s gone, however eventually Ontario will have to go to 9 character license plates, and when it does I can get the full ex libris since the space counts as one character.

The other thing holding me back is the price tag. At $239.35 it isn’t exactly cheap, but I do remember spending $500 on Mr. Intellectual’s plate since 8 character licenses had just come out and everyone was running to grab the vanity plates they had coveted but couldn’t quite get with only 6-7 characters. I was in high school and my overhead was almost non-existent which is far from the case these days so I’ll just have to shelve this idea until I start making more of a living wage.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Office

I made an effort tonight to watch tv since I rarely watch anymore. I missed the show, The Office and wanted to see what was happening, not to mention I needed a laugh. I wasn't disappointed, but I did miss quite a bit since last season. It reminded me though, that I should have the DVD's on my Christmas list, including the British version since that was my first exposure to it, and still my favourite.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Dying Days of NaBloPoMo

With a mere 3 days left of the NaBloPoMo challenge, I'd be remiss if I didn't say I was glad to see it ending. It has definitely been a challenge to get to the computer everyday and put something up. I found Friday's and Saturday's to be especially difficult since that's usually when I'm out with friends in the evening or over at the Jock's house.

In the beginning I laughed at the little vignette Mrs. Kennedy of Fussy, and the instigator of this whole endeavor, included within the instructions for NaBloPoMo. Something along the lines of posting every day, including taking time out of Thanksgiving dinner to update her "blob" and incuring the wrath of her mother for doing so. While I thought I'd never be the one doing that, I was sadly mistaken. Three times now I've snuck away in the middle of either a house party or a gathering of friends to find a computer and update my blog.

It's unfortunate that I wasn't aware of NaDruWriNi ahead of time, since that would have made things easier and a lot more entertaining. I always got my post's up before I got too drunk to make sense. Apparently, I was doing it all wrong. Interestingly enough this has spawned National Drunk Blogging Day.

I'm some what impressed with how long it took me before the burn out caught up and the post's became more filler and less meaningful. My one fear of the 30 day challenge is that as soon as it's over I'll take a huge break and go back to sporadic posting. I think a more realistic blogging goal is to aim for 3 to 5 good posts a week, and take the weekend off unless inspiration hits.

I seriously love the newest NaBloBoMo seal. It's so apropos.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bump & Grind

In fall I purchased my first car- a 2000 Buick LeSabre in bronze, which is really a tan colour. I was sad to give up Betsy, my mother's sky blue 1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, since that was the first car I learned to drive in and spent the majority of my time on the road with. It was also a seriously pimping ride, as compared to the old man mobile I now own. However, the new car is more reliable, gas efficient and an all around nicer ride. It is a car I'm grateful to have.

This past Friday during the morning rush hour commute through town on my way out to the highway I had a minor fender bender. Some middle aged yuppie in a Jaguar rear ended me at a stop light. There's some minor paint transfer- his black on my tan - that isn't noticeable until you're told it's there. I was just annoyed that this happened in the first place because of his carelessness, however it was such a low speed impact no major repairs were needed and I'm hoping that I can buff out the paint transfer.

I take a certain amount of sick satisfaction in the fact that it was a Jag that caused the accident and he'll be paying more to fix his car than I would be. Had it been worse I would be quite upset over it all. As it stands I'm just thankful it wasn't any worse and no one was hurt.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Birthday...

Due to thesis work, and marking from my course, I was unable to make it home for my niece and nephew's combined birthday party. Little Miss E turned 4 on the 20th, and Daddy's Boy turned 2 on the 28th. I haven't seen them in weeks, and I'm starting to really miss my family. My mother emailed me afterwards to tell me how it went and give me an update on the family. It makes me sad to miss out on these sorts of things, especially since the kids are growing up so quickly, and my grandparents are aging rapidly.

Happy Birthday Little Miss E & Daddy's Boy!

Miss you lots. xoxo

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Gulliver's Travels

Tom Otterness, 2002 from the exhibit "Free Money and Other Fairy Tales"

I came across this a couple of months ago while searching for something completely different. I found this sculpture and the artist's style to be fascinating. If it was a little more affordable I'd probably buy something of his.

Friday, November 24, 2006


I wonder at what point does the body rebel against you when you're depriving it of sleep, proper nutrition and hyping it up on caffeine to get the job done? Is it possible function and write well on only 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night for days on end?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

In Honour of American Thanksgiving

In honour of American Thanksgiving I present this clipping from 1888. If you're coming up short for novel recipes to wow the family with, this should do the trick. I find it interesting that there are no baking instructions included with the sponge cake recipe, but then again it's not surprising since there was no way to consistently control temperature on a wood stove. Happy Thanksgiving America!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Old Hurts

There it is again. That ever present ache and sense of drifting through my own life. A disconnect with self that I can’t seem to explain or even begin to fix. Will this be here for the rest of my life, I wonder? Will I always be bumping into the ghost of your presence at every turn?

It’s been almost 2 1/2 years since we called it quits, and over 6 months since we last spoke. I’m still confused about what precipitated the end of it all, and hurt at how it’s been left. Knowing you didn’t value our friendship the same way that I did, and probably never did cuts me to the core. How quickly you forgot, and tossed me aside. Callous and indifferent. Was it self preservation, or disgust with me? I’ll never know.

This feeling, this hollow ache and sense of loss has become embedded in who I am now. Like a pearl nestled in the folds of a clam, irritating the soft flesh, causing it to increase in size one iridescent layer at a time. Maybe some day it won’t hurt.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Under the Gun

The sessional I'm a teaching assistant for this semester in one of my TAships is beyond incompetent. Due to his incompetence and some unforseen assholery I must now mark 60 midterms and post marks tonight. I'll probably be up until 3 am at least to get this crap done. I was never a big fan of unions and our Union in particular, however right now I'm glad I have them because some shit could hit the fan in this situation, and I may need the union to back me up.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Throw Away Posts

I knew that the NaBloPoMo challenge was going to eventually find me dry for ideas to write about. For the past few weeks I've attempted to create posts of quality but I knew it was only a matter of time before I was left with nothing and forced to put up a throw away post. This is that day. I've got nothing, not even a picture worth posting. I think I should break down and buy Maggie Mason's book now, or find some sort of inspiration to break the writer's block for tomorrow. Here's hoping.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


For various reasons I dislike gambling. One of them is due to my religion and their stance on it, regardless of the fact that I am no longer a practicing member.

Unless you can afford to lose the money, I believe you shouldn't put money down expecting a big pay out because the house always wins. As a student, and one barely on the edge of solvency, I think that gambling for me is not a good choice. That doesn't mean I don't buy the occasional scratch ticket (Win for Life being my favourite) or the odd Lottery ticket. I buy them for entertainment, without the expectation that I'll see that money again. I don't buy them as a means of solving my financial difficulties or bank on it for retirement. I rarely if ever gamble and if I had to guess I probably do it once or twice a year, if even.

What if my partner doesn't view gambling in this light? What if they believe in it less as a form of entertainment, and more as a legitimate way of making money? Of creating financial solvency and retirement funds? I don't like pushing my views on others, but how do you create a sense of peace between two conflicting ideologies?

Friday, November 17, 2006

I'm a Tool

I had to fill in for the Professor I'm a Teaching Assistant for since he was away at a conference today. Originally I was supposed to prepare a lecture, but at the last minute he decided I should show a video instead.

I got to class early to make sure everything worked and lo and behold, the sound was too low on the projector to hear anything. I fiddled around with the machine and the small sheet of instructions taped to the box but nothing did the trick. Finally I gave up and called IT since I didn't want to have to cancel the class.

The IT guy came down mere minutes before class was supposed to begin. Apparently there were a set of knobs on the side of the box that I had overlooked, since I was looking at it head on. Not only did I look like a serious blonde air-head, I ended up looking like a tool in front of a number of my students since they had begun to filter in already. Awesome work Jane. Next time it might pay to be slightly more observant. Ugh.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Progression of a Relationship

I had this text message exchange last Friday afternoon. We've been casually seeing each other once a week when I'm in town, for dinner, coffee or to just hang out for a bit, but I wasn't sure exactly how to take him. He always seems interested and genuinely pleased to see me, but I have my nagging doubts. We always have a good time and I was disappointed when he didn't call on Wednesday or Thursday like usual to set something up.

Him: What are you up to tonight?

Jane: Dinner with friends and early to bed since (little brother) and I are heading home early tomorrow.

Him: Awe. Was hoping to see you. Should have called.

We exhanged a few more messages while he was at work. In the end I agreed to meet up for a drink on Saturday night after I had dropped off my brother at his University and on my way out to my University town. It's interesting to see how this is slowly unfolding, since it is more like a courtship without the hurried pace to get me into his bed. I like the fact that he's trying to get to know me without the complications of a physical relationship.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Freezing Love

I've come to the conclusion that without my mother's generosity I probably would have starved already. Every time I go home, which isn't often anymore, she sends along food with me when I leave. Whether it's items she knows I can't buy in my new city, or things I won't make for myself, I always leave with enough food to make me feel slightly guilty.

Lately she's been setting aside enough of whatever she makes for dinner into containers sized perfectly for one meal. She is all too aware of fact that when I'm heavily into writing or marking, like I am right now, I won't take the time to make a meal. If it can't be microwaved or prepared in 5 minutes or less, I won't eat it. This leads to some appalling dining habits, like cereal for dinner, just a cup of coffee for lunch, random snacking on junk and a profusion of PB&J sandwiches which fulfill the need for protein and good fats. Meat and vegetables become non-existant, and I know that my habits and diet makes my mother cringe. This only lasts for a few days to a few weeks at a time, depending on the work load I'm buried under.

My housemates poke fun of the fact that my mother feeds me like this. They've commented that I eat odd things, and the only time I eat a "real meal" is when I pull one of my mom's out of the freezer. Whatever, I'm just grateful that my mother understands my lifestyle and supports what I'm doing, even if it means making sure I'm eating properly as if I was still a young child of hers and not a grown woman. Everytime I open up the freezer I'm reminded of how much I'm loved, and I wouldn't trade that feeling for the world.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Christmas Shopping

My mother's Christmas present came in the mail today. She's always admired my costume jewellery and it's over the top flash and size, but it's clearly been my style and not something she'd wear. She has a small collection of her own that's mostly lapel pins and a few simple necklaces. However, over the past few months she's expressed a desire to have something more elaborate. She's beginning to be more comfortable with wearing costume jewellery in general and has hinted a bit that perhaps she'd go so far as to wear the more flashy, bold and daring pieces like those in my collection.

I bought this Juliana set off eBay to match the beautiful dress she had for my brother's wedding last year. Although I liked the jewellery she picked to go with it, I believe the dress deserves something a little more fitting than the simple mass produced fashion accessories she picked up at the mall. I can't wait until Christmas morning! Now if only I could pick out that perfect gift for my father.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Something's Changed

I slowly awaken in the deep of the night to the feel of your touch on my back. I’m curled up on my side, facing the wall like I usually do, one hand tucked gently underneath my cheek. Your hand softly, gently, moves up and down my bare back, gradually changing to kneed and massage my shoulders and lower back. Your body moves closer to me as you feel me waking up and I sigh in contentment.

Later you tell me that you woke up in the middle of the night like you sometimes do. I was snoring softly, and you found the sight to be too cute. The peaceful, innocence of me in slumber, with my eyes closed, oblivious to the world made you want to reach out and touch me. You said that you wanted to watch me smile in my sleep, since unbeknownst to me I always give a small smile whenever you touch me regardless of whether or not I’m awake.

After a while I snuggle up against your body and doze off. We spoon in our sleep, and you keep a protective arm around me. This is the first night that I can remember where you want to keep me close like that in your sleep and actively seek me out. Maybe your declarations of love are more than just words, but actually carry some truth? Perhaps your joking and frequent proposals of marriage are done less to annoy me, and more in the hopes that I’ll truly say yes? It is a thought that I have never given any consideration to before now.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Vintage Costume Jewellery II

Here's another vintage costume jewellery piece from my collection. This one is made by Coro and has a matching necklace. It's an incredibly sparkly piece due to the aurora borealis finished rhinestones. I love how it throws out hundreds of little rainbows like a disco ball in direct sunlight.

I bought this set off of ebay shortly after the Juliana bracelet. It's a nice neutral coloured set which makes it pretty flexible in terms of what I can and cannot wear it with. I recently found out that it was made with a pair of earrings as well that I don't have right now. I'm going to keep my eye out on ebay to find just the earrings. Unfortunately the set I saw had red rhinestones instead of aurora ones so I didn't bid.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Remembrance Day

On the eleventh day, of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour (November 11th, at 11:00am), 2 minutes of silence is observed to pay our respects to Canada's fallen soldiers. It is a tradition that began shortly after World War I and continues on to this day in Canada as a National day of observance.

Two years ago the Royal Canadian Mint issued the world's first colourized coin. It was minted, with the permission of the Royal Canadian Legion, to honour and pay tribute to Canadian War veterans.

I came across a few in circulation that I kept and have put on my desk. It's a constant, yet subtle, reminder of our past and what I have to be thankful for everyday. As a pacifist I am accutely aware of the sacrifices others have made so that I have the luxury of never having to experienced a war, and never being conscripted to take up arms. So although today is the official day of observance, I like to remember what we went through as a country everytime I look at these coins as I go about my daily life.

Friday, November 10, 2006


What do you do when you lose the trust you had in someone? Can you ever go back, or is there always that crack in the glass, etched in your memory, gnawing away at the relationshp...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Collections & Vintage Costume Jewellery

A few years back I began a modest collection of vintage costume jewellery. It all started with a huge rhinestone cocktail ring I picked up at a garage sale for a dollar when I was 13 or 14. It didn't become a full fledged hobby until after I discovered ebay and bought my first piece, a large intaglio cameo pendant.

I blame this Juliana bracelet for turning my hobby into an obsession. I bought it last spring to go with the dress I had found for my brother's wedding, and immediately fell in love with the way it offset the simplicity of my gown. Since then I have added a number of different sets to my collection and familiarized myself with a few of the popular designers in production between 1910 and 1970. I don't see my obsession abating anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Things in Under 24 Hours

If you haven't heard of Freecycle, you have to check it out. We had a few things around the house that we didn't need or want anymore, so I posted them on Freecycle. Within 5 minutes our old area rug was spoken for, in another hour the table was gone. Over night someone emailed me about our barbeque. All these things will be leaving our house in under 48 hours. It's a great concept, (offer unwanted items for free to those who need/want them), and it seems to work really well. I've managed to pick up a number of boxes of books amongst other things from using the website. It's like Craigslist, only all the items are free.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why I Want to Live Alone Again

Moving in with housemates again after two years has had its advantages and disadvantages. Despite all the little advantages, I'd prefer to live alone again. What follows is a top 10 list of reasons why I want to live alone again:

1. You open the fridge and reach back for the Britta, only to discover that whomever used it last neglected to fill it up and returned it to it's place with less water in it than can fill a shot glass.

2. Someone's boyfriend arrives unannounced for the night and then proceeds to use your clean, fresh towels like it's a hotel, without asking if it's okay, after a long day on the construction site. Said boyfriend then repeats this process almost weekly and on random days, foiling your best efforts to remove your towels before his arrival.

3. A house mate exits the shower completely soaking wet, leaving large pools of water on the floor and soaking into the bathroom carpet. You walk in with socks oblivious to this fact and leave with wet feet, a personal pet peeve. Repeat almost daily.

4. You go to use the bathroom at 1:00 am before heading to bed for the night, only to discover that some asshole used the last piece of toilet paper and left the cardboard tube in the holder. There are no fresh rolls under the sink, nor in the bathroom downstairs. There is no toilet paper in the house, a fact that no one mentioned to you when you ran out earlier in the day to grab a few things from the store. In an attempt to not be that asshole you go out to the 24 hour grocery store down the street to pick up a new package of toilet paper and a liquid handsoap refill since that's empty as well with no replacement in the house. It's just you, the fat cashier and two teenage stockboy's at 1:00 in the morning- and you're the one that looks like a freak.

5. When you go to open the freezer above the fridge you discover it's already ajar several inches. Who knows how long it has been this way? A careless configuration of frozen goods has allowed the door to be propped open. You rearrange the freezer so the door firmly closes and continue on with your day.

6. The cast iron frying pan you have carefully been seasoning to perfection for the past 4 years is cleanly washed and vigorously scrubbed until it is dull, lifeless and leached of all moisture and good things necessary to create that non-stick surface.

7. Winter is approaching and despite the heat on in the house you notice a chill in your room. You later learn that the house mate who is perpetually cold, and runs around with a blanket wrapped around her torso like a wrap dress, leaves her window open several inches, regardless of the weather. I didn't realize our utility bill was being used to heat the outdoors.

8. This graduate degree is something you are trying to treat as a real job, with 9-5 hours and consistent results. Despite your best efforts, work leaches into the late night hours of your day. Attempts to work are continually foiled by your silence being broken from a nearby house mates room who insists upon accompanying her music, often off key, with the door open and the level just slightly above acceptable for allowing you to concentrate on your academic endeavors.

9. Interpersonal drama is rife throughout the house. This is what comes of living with girls, especially if it involves the kind who's personality tends towards the high-strung. Your "business" and everyone getting involved makes for an uncomfortable environment for me, someone who doesn't want any part of the drama, let alone your drama. I don't bring my problems into the house, upsetting the fine balance of harmony and leaving tense, sullen encounters in my wake.

10. You bring an air popper into the house and share it so everyone can enjoy the benefits of air popped popcorn, which all promptly indulge in. One day, several months after moving in you discover it no longer works. Some one has broken it, either through misadventure or misuse. Either way, no one bothered to let you know about it, or apologize for the destruction of your personal property, leaving you to discover its untimely demise at your own leisure. Restitution is not forthcoming and you begin to fear for the state of your other belongings now in common use since unknown persons can be unnecessarily hard on the kitchenware.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Making Lists

I’m a consummate list maker. I make lists for the grocery store, things I need to pick up, errands to run, a list of things to accomplish during the week, a list for the readings I need to complete on any given day, things to clean up and organize, people to call or email and anything under the sun that could possibly be put into list form. I have found that the older I get the more I make these lists. Something about forgetting the minor details, and the satisfaction you get from crossing off something, that compels me to create these lists.

I found out shortly after the death of my Grandfather that this is a hereditary quirk. My Grandfather made lists for everything; a fact I only learned after my Mother and Uncle helped my Grandmother clean out some of his things from their apartment. It was also then that I found a misplaced to-do list of my Uncle’s in our truck, which he had borrowed. I was well aware of my mother’s long-standing habit, but had no idea it extended to her brother and father as well.

I was fascinated by how similar our styles of creating a list were. I had always wondered where I picked up my almost obsessive break down of my day into morning, afternoon and night sections for certain lists, and for some went so far as to chart out the approximate time it would take (ie. 10:30-11:00 – Dust & Vacuum room, etc.). My Mother and Grandfather never seemed to take it to this level, but my Uncle and I certainly do. I’ve just come to accept this as part of who I am, and what I do to stay organized and on top of things.

Below is a basic list of things to get done on a random day. Click on it to see the full version, if you’re that curious and really want to see what my handwriting looks like.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

An Exercise in Self-Indulgence

Participating in the NaBloPoMo challenge has got me to thinking about blogs in general and my blogging in particular. I can’t say exactly why I started, but I believe it has much to do with the fact that I too wanted my voice to be heard amongst the masses, albeit anonymously. As I mulled over the question, I kept coming back to the issue of, so what? What is the point?

Finslippy pointed me in the direction of a post put out by Palinode who wrote a piece for the online journal Reconstruction. Within it he raises some interesting points, and brings into focus some of the things I couldn’t put into words. I recommend reading the whole thing, since he’s a great writer.
"It is my firm belief that blogs, like books of poetry or really good jokes, are useless. I mean that in the best sense of the word…The elements of blogging, as far as I'm concerned, are already junk. Our lives, our entire world, form a heap of trivia and disaster. To some degree we're stuck in the tragic position of Klee's "Angelus Novus", unable to reach back and mend the catastrophe of history. What we do have is memory and language, which, along with a high-speed connection, is all you need to reshape it, hold it up for your readers, plunge your hand in and rip out the joke. It fixes nothing, changes nothing: a completely useless task. But I can't stop doing it."
When I really think about it, I find the overall experience of blogging to be an exercise in self-indulgence. How arrogant is it to believe someone really wants to read the minutiae of my life and thoughts? Then again, I didn’t start throwing out my life to the internet to gain a readership of any kind, or recognition. I was looking for a place to process the turmoil in my life.

After parting ways with Mr. Intellectual I lost my best friend and confidant, the safe outlet to share my struggles with. I was finding the exercise of writing in a traditional pen and paper journal less and less satisfactory and aspects of the blog were appealing. The traditional scrapbooking aspects, wherein pictures, links and ephemera were incorporated with the written word, without the effort of the cut and paste tangible scrapbook, was quite alluring. A blog seemed more flexible, less restrictive, and more private than a written journal, while at the same time being painfully public despite my anonymous authorship.

While all this sounds great, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that on some level I find blogging to be self-absorbed, and even tending towards the narcissistic at times. I still have no answers as to what purpose it serves in the grand scheme of things. Much like I have no answers for the reason why I, or anyone else for that matter, exist. Do I find it completely useless? Probably not.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Since moving the the New University Town I've been able to spend a lot more time with one of my cousin's and as a result he and his girlfriend have introduced me to being "slurpified". On random nights when we need a break from studying or just feel like a treat, whomever is home piles into the car and we head on down to the local convenience store for slurpies. They're actully Frosties, but they're just as good. It's the perfect sugar-high for a late night at the computer, crunching out an essay, or marking papers. I'm partial to the Pepsi flavoured slurpie.

Friday, November 03, 2006

High School Art

Back in High School I always took art classes and loved them. What I find interesting now is that at the time I really loathed the odd class devoted solely to art history. While I found aspects of it interesting I was always eager to get back to whatever project we were working on that week. A couple of years later and I would become an Art History minor in University.

I love Art History now and try and find ways to incorporate that side of my degree into what I'm doing these days, which is straight history. I was flipping through an old sketch book from back then and found this picture. This was done as part of an exercise, I forget what the point of it was though- either to examine colour, or to create a new fantasy animal by looking at the world slightly askew. Either way, I still love it and the fact that the boy's face looks like one of the guy's in that class who briefly modeled for the drawing.

It's been months since I've picked up a pencil to sketch something, and even longer since I have put pencil crayon to paper. I know I've lost some of the art skills I learned in High School and University fine arts courses, since you have to practice to keep it up properly. Despite that I think I'd like to try sketching again on a more regular basis. I think it would be good for me to get out from under the mountain of textbooks and journal articles I have to read and focus on something completely different for a change of pace in between.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Academic "Love Notes"

I always get a big kick out of the little notes that my students leave for me in the margins of their exams and midterms, or the post-it notes discretely stuck to the final page of their major papers and assignments. I call these my little love notes.

Most of the time it's an apology for sloppy handwriting, not double spacing, or thanking the Professor for a great class at the end of term. Other's are explanatory notes for why the assignment is late, some minor problem they had with formatting or sticking to the word length. My favourite are of the thank-you variety. The keeners who hope to inspire feelings of good nature by kissing up so that we'll be more lenient in our marking. Most of these types of love notes are directed towards the Professor since students mistakenly believe that their Prof actually sees and marks their work.

Today I've been marking a glossary assignment, where students had to create a glossary of 30-odd terms given by the Professor on a book they're reading for class. The assignment states that it is to be no more than 6 typed pages. I found this little note tucked inside one student's assignment.

It reminded me of a note I had a couple of weeks ago on an assignment that was supposed to be no more than 4 pages. One student left this note for the Professor:

"I appologize for being 7 lines over the 4 page requirement but I simply could not justify taking out any more content without compromising the integrity of the report.

I had to laugh at this one, since it's a first year course and what some would consider to be bird-course, especially if you're a hardcore History major. The Professor's response:

"Do not stress over 7 lines!" (amongst other things relavent to the assignment)

In this case the Professor was actually marking the assignment, but it's an all too rare occasion for first year courses.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I've decided to participate in NaBloPoMo(National Blog Posting Month), an alternative to November's NaNoWriMo(National Novel Writing Month). For those not in the know, National Novel Writing Month is a program wherein the participants pledge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. The goal is to accumulate enough words to fill a novel. While I like the concept behind NaNoWriMo, I lack that drive and desire to write a novel in 30 days. I also have to finish a 100 page thesis in those 30 days so I think I'm good on that front.

Posting on a regular basis is something I've wanted to keep up with, however I've been sadly lacking on that front. This challenge gives me the push I need to see if I can post something everyday- even the weekends. They're also offering some pretty cool prizes as an incentive to keep up with the posting.

NaBloPoMo has also inspired me to figure out how to post a linking button on my sidebar. I'm a complete noob on the HTML, so it took me the better part of an hour to get it right, but I'm happy that I figured it out. Now I just need to scrounge up $20 to buy Maggie's book, to ensure I have enough fodder to last me 30 consecutive days and I think I'll be good to go.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Different Kind of Wealth

Not too long ago I started to take direct control of my finances on a daily basis to make sure I wouldn’t bounce my rent cheques or run out of money for groceries. I learned how to balance my chequebook for the first time in my life, and budgeted out to the dollar what my spending for the month would be, instead of just eyeballing it and guesstimating what was in my account. Along with this I’ve also started reading a number of personal finance blogs on a daily basis to help and inspire me on what can be a discouraging task at times.

This morning I clicked on a link from Get Rich Slowly that led me to Christine Kane and a post she put up entitled, “Don’t GET Rich Quick. BE Rich Quick.” It was definitely not something I was expecting to read and was more of a positive thinking/motivational piece. However, that doesn’t negate its value in my eyes and instead got me to thinking about my finances and life in a different way. She advocates for being more prescient in your daily life and taking pleasure in the little things, the here and now, valuing what you have instead of striving and worrying for things you don’t have.

I feel like a bomb has gone off in my life recently. I already had difficulties looking at my eyes in the mirror and finding value within myself on most mornings. Since the herpes diagnosis I have retreated from life even farther, feeling like a social leper and more confused and hurt about my future, relationships and what life holds for me now more than ever. Intuitively I know it’s not the end of the world, but emotionally I’m wracked with guilt and regret at some of the choices I have made that led me to where I am now. Any time I take a moment to really think about it, I end up in tears of despair.

What Kane’s post got me thinking about is the intangible wealth in my life and the things I should recognize and be grateful for on a regular basis. I have parents who are so supportive of my education and goals that they are willing to do anything necessary to see me through this, including sacrificing their time, money or going out of their way to get me what I need. My siblings are equally supportive, even if they don’t know exactly what it is I’m doing here in University, but they are interested and encouraging nonetheless.

While I don’t have a lot of money, I also don’t have a penny of debt which has been an incredible feat considering the fact that I’ve spent the past six years straight in post-secondary education. I have a roof over my head, a very nice and reliable car to get me where I need and more than enough clothing to keep me warm, dressed and even reasonably fashionable. Regardless of the herpes, the depression, my slipping weight gain and inactivity, I am still a beautiful person who has so much going for me if I could just see what other people see in me.

I desperately need to stop hiding from life, sequestering myself in my room, sleeping away my days in the futile hope that when I wake up everything will be taken care of and the stress will be gone. While I sit here and worry about the future and the things I don’t have, my life is happening. I have become so disengaged from living everyday that I’m missing out on so many things unnecessarily. Wealth is so much more than just the numbers in my bank account, and it took a blog for me to be reminded of that.

Monday, October 30, 2006

One Rainy Afternoon

After canceling plans with him the previous weekend, we finally met up for coffee this past Friday afternoon. It wasn’t the dinner he had envisioned, but under the circumstances it was the best I could give him. Our first plans fell through because I didn’t feel up to it after having gone to see my doctor for a barrage of STD test’s and blood draws that day. I was understandably upset and the thought of putting on a happy face to socialize was more than I could bear. I was feeling so bad that I cancelled over text message- something I’m not really proud of.

I was still apprehensive about attempt number two, but I made myself go regardless. Our original plans were to meet for dinner, but I called and said I had to be back in the New University Town by early evening because I got slammed with marking that week and was under the gun with deadlines. He was really great about it and suggested meeting up for coffee mid-afternoon at one of the independent café’s in town. It was nice to feel like a priority in his life since he took time off work to spend time with me, something Mr. Intellectual never did.

We caught up with each other’s lives from the past two years over multiple cups of coffee in a quiet little corner of a café I immediately fell in love with. It was so quintessential Uni Town in its atmosphere, décor and patrons. So much had changed and yet stayed the same in the past two years. He’s become more focused and settled, but has retained his boyish exuberance and frenetic energy at the same time.

Unbeknownst to me he has kept up with the major changes in my life through one or two of my brother’s. I have no idea exactly how much of the details he knows, but he knew about my job move, my move to the New Uni Town, and my Ph.d acceptance. I also knew through some of his friends that prior to the party at my brother’s house, he had asked to find out if I was going to be there and was excited to see me again. I was flattered and surprised to discover his continued interest in my life after we parted ways.

Conversation flowed easily and we found new common ground while traversing old paths of shared interests. For that afternoon we were just two old friends lingering over a great cup of coffee on a cold and rainy day. It was nice to just be uncomplicated for a few hours. We parted with a hug and he promised to call me again the following week to make plans for when I’m back in town.

I’m still uncertain of a relationship with him, but I feel that he of all people would be the most compassionate and least judgmental about the herpes, my depression and my driven, border line workaholic lifestyle. That being said, if I’m going to become more than good friends with him, I need to cleanly break away from the Jock once and for all. Which is easier said than done, especially right now.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Test Results, Part I

The Jock's test results came back this past Monday. He tested positive for Herpes Simplex Virus 1. Chances that I don't have HSV-1 as well? Zero. I don't get all my labs back until November 10th and from what I vaguely recall, my doctor said that they couldn't test for herpes without the presence of lesions, which I didn't have at the time of my initial visit.

I've been sick ever since I heard the diagnosis. A severe migraine has kept me in bed constantly for the past 48 hours and I am just now able to get up and do a few things without excruciating pain, light sensitivity and nausea. I don't know if its the combined stress or just a regular migraine that I get periodically.

Apparently 1 in 4 North American's have herpes. Which is ironic since I've only slept with 4 men. I don't know for certain who it was, but I do know for a fact it wasn't Mr. Intellectual since we were both virgins. The Jock and I have agreed not to play the blame game and accuse the other of passing it on. That doesn't help the situation for either of us.

He's taking it surprisingly well and educating himself on what it is and how to treat and prevent outbreaks, both medically and naturopathically. He ordered the book that his doctor highly recommended, The Truth About Herpes by Stephen Sacks. I on the other hand just don't really want to deal with this at the moment. I know it's not a healthy response, but if I think about it I can't stop crying. I can't afford another set beck on finishing my thesis and taking care of the two courses that I'm a Teaching Assistant for.

I suppose I should order my own copy of the book, but I can't justify the expense at the moment given the fact that I'll be coming up $20 short on rent this month. Once my pay cheque comes in a few days after rent is due, I'll reconsider.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Beyond Consoling

There's an 80% chance I have herpes. The test results won't be in until next Monday. What I thought was a yeast infection that I passed on to the Jock may in fact be something he shared with me. I am beyond upset at this news and really don't know what to do. I just keep thinking that I've only slept with 4 men in my entire life! I have been far from promiscuous.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Then and Now

The snow was falling in great big, thick flakes. You were living in that run down student house with a couple of buddies from work- fight club. You called the house Fight Club. After the movie and its impossibly dilapidated house where Tyler Durden lived.

The feel of your three-day beard, rough, on my face while your lips were so warm and soft on mine.

You had walked back to the house with me from the bar that night sometime after midnight. I was leaving early in the morning for my parent’s home and the Christmas break, so I left the get together early. We were alone in the front hallway, and emboldened by the knowledge that I wouldn’t see you until after the holidays…

I moved closer, assertively took your face in my hands and kissed you passionately, unexpectedly and without shame.

When our lips finally parted, we promised to see each other when we both got back from the holiday before I walked out into that cold, quiet, December night. It’s almost two years later now and there you are, in my brother’s house. From across the room I can see your smile and hear you laughing over some joke between friends. I have no idea what happened between us and why we never did see each other after that night. You never called and the next time I saw you, it was months later and you had another woman on your arm. Tonight you’re alone.

This time, you keyed my phone number into your cell at the end of the night and promised to call. Your lips are as soft as I remember them.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fortune Cookie Fun, Part II

I went out to lunch with The Jock last week at a chinese restaurant. After the meal the obligatory fortune cookies came out. We both had the same fortune, which I found a little ironic. I'm still spending time with someone, weeks after I wanted to get out of the relationship with them. For various reasons it hasn't happened yet. How do you break up with someone right after their grandmother dies? And then an Aunt? I suppose there really is no "good" time to leave someone.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Family's Expanding

"We're going to have a new baby, and it's in Mommy's tummy already!"

That was the proud announcement my four year old neice, Little Miss E, gave to her Great Grandmother yesterday. My Sister-in-Law is pregnant for the third time and we couldn't be happier. The best part about it is the fact that she's due on my birthday.

We also found out this past weekend that a cousin of mine is expecting their first child this Spring. Their due date also happens to fall on my birthday. May 11th is going to be a busy time next Spring. Although chances of delivery actually happening on that date are pretty slim, it would still be pretty fun if it did happen.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Taste of Winter

I woke up this morning to a bright, albeit chilly, fall day. That all changed as heavy clouds obscured the sun and then proceeded to dropped snow on us over the noon hour. At first it was more pellet-like frozen rain than real snow. I watched from my bedroom window in slight amusement until it turned into a white out of flakes and strong winds. It has now been snowing off and on all afternoon.

This is happening a little too early for my tastes. I knew that the new University town traditionally had more snow fall than both my hometown and my former University town, but this is crazy. The leaves have just begun to turn colour and haven't even started to drop in earnest yet. I don't know if my depression can handle a long, drawn out winter if I'm already experiencing some troubling episodes and it's barely October.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

25 Ways I Save Money

I’ve recently become fascinated with personal finance blogs, since I’m trying to find ways to save money or cut costs given my current situation. As a graduate student I don't have a lot of money coming in, and I have a lot of expenses at the moment. Frugal For Life posted a list of “25 Ways I Save Money” and invited readers to share their list. I wasn’t sure I’d have a whole 25, but it didn’t take long before I realized I do a lot of frugal things without realizing it. So, for something completely different on this blog I present my list of 25 Ways I Save Money:

1. I cut my dryer sheets into 8ths.
2. Wash my clothes in cold water and wait until I have a full load before doing laundry.
3. Borrow books from the library, friends or family and buy them used whenever possible.
4. Take my textbooks out of the library since I get full semester loans as a graduate student.
5. Watch movies at home.
6. Bring lunch to work or school.
7. Go public skating for free at my University- it’s subsidized by my student fees, just like open swim, the indoor track, squash courts, badminton, and gym memberships which only cost $30 a semester.
8. Use my bus pass when possible since it’s paid for by student fees.
9. Save all paper with 1 blank side for scrap paper, or printing off for proof reading.
10. Buy my clothes on sale in the off season as much as I can - I always find fantastic deals on summer clothes in fall, or winter clothes in spring.
11. Use empty food containers (like peanut butter jars and margarine containers) for storing leftover food, uncooked pasta, home made soup for in the freezer etc.
12. Use business cards for bookmarks, which I can never have enough of.
13. I bought a 6 foot banquet table to use as my desk. It folds down for easy moving which is a blessing since I move so often as a student and I can use it in the future for its intended purpose.
14. I read the newspaper online for free every morning instead of subscribing to the print edition.
15. I don’t buy bottled water or Britta filters, but I do keep a jug of tap water in the fridge at all times since I choose not to drink juices or pop.
16. Use old t-shirts and flannel pajama’s cut into squares for dusting cloths.
17. Eat out and order in very infrequently.
18. Bought my car used.
19. I pay off my credit card every single month to maintain a zero balance.
20. Look for online reviews of products I might want to purchase, everything from make-up to electronics, and then decide if it’s really something I want to invest in.
21. I don’t subscribe to cable or magazines since I have so little free time to enjoy either.
22. I bought an air popper and buy my popcorn kernels in bulk for a healthy snack I really love.
23. I use to find out where the cheapest gas is, especially if I’m traveling out of town.
24. Wait for great sales on school supplies I know I’ll use and stock up or I buy in bulk. Photocopy paper in bulk is much cheaper than buying individual packages of plain white paper and I know I can never have enough of it as a graduate student.
25. I only buy clothes I absolutely love and fit well so that I know I’ll wear them, instead of having a closet full of clothes that I hardly wear because I don’t really like them that much for whatever reason.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Unbidden Thoughts

A wispy vision of your smile, and the freckles on your face drifts through my memory. Your long slender hands, and the peanut butter sandwich’s you made us for lunch that summer when I couldn’t cope. Spooning on the couch and the crackle of a fire in the dead of winter, your arms holding me tight. Tears blur my vision and I try to put the past out of my thoughts. It’s hard to look forward knowing you’re not there beside me, even as a friend.

Sometimes when good things happen during my day I want to call you up to share my elation and excitement, knowing you’d be happy to hear about it. With a twinge of sadness I realize that part of my life is no more. I can’t call you up to share my highs and lows. In the late hours of the night, as I ponder over a turn of phrase, a line of inquiry, a methodological problem in my work I think back to the time when we could go over it together and work towards a solution. It was so easy with you because we were both budding professional historians. If I couldn’t find the words to explain the problem you could pick up the clues and help me solve the puzzle. The easy banter back and forth over our work. I wonder if you miss that too.

But I’ll never know, and so I must pick myself up and continue on. Slowly one foot in front of the other towards something I can’t distinguish anymore. The echo of your words drifting in and out of my thoughts.

“I like to think of you just continuing on. Some where out there, growing old…”

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


From a 1922 book entitled, "Cheating the Junk-Pile: The Purchase and Maintenance of Household Equipments"

I'm at a loss for words to talk about my current personal situation, so a picture from my research will have to suffice. I love the turn of phrase for these captions. This advertisement from the N.Y. Edison Co. was in the chapter entitled, The Fire Hazard. There's something so amusing about reading through these old home makers manuals.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Unnecessary Criticism

I lay next to you on my side with my head propped up on one hand and watched the late afternoon sun filter through the blinds and over your naked chest. As we lounge in bed, my eyes fix on your face but my mind is elsewhere. Absently you run your hand over my hip and graze my stomach, letting it rest for a moment before you pinched a small roll of flesh between your thumb and forefinger, gently shaking it back and forth.

“Time for you to start playing hockey again, eh?” You say, as you look disapprovingly at my stomach.

I am shocked back into the present as I slap away your hand, my brow furrowing, as I make an offhanded comment about the season starting soon, and you feeding me too well.

Later on, when I begin to think about it I become increasingly perturbed. By no means am I fat, quite the opposite really. I lean to the low end of the BMI index to the point where I’m almost underweight and sometimes feel emaciated. My housemates call me tiny to my dismay, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with my stomach. My anger flares when I think about you, and the excess weight you’re carrying that I never mention, knowing it’s a sore spot for you.

Is this all you value for me- how I look on your arm? Are you so shallow that if I gain a pound or change over time you will no longer want to be with me?

Fuck you and your third-trimester beer gut.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

First Dates

I love the possibilities that a first date represents. I love the blank slate, and all the potential that is inherent in each new man. I love that you only know a little bit about your date, leaving the rest up to your imagination or to the anticipation of finding out the rest of the story. Inevitably the reality never quite matches up to the fantasy and in some unfortunate cases it’s not even close.

Last week I went on two first dates. Date number one was a guy I wasn’t all that keen on, but figured why not. I’m new to this city, don’t know any really great places to go yet and at the very least it was shaping up to be a date rife with entertainment value. After morphing from a simple cup of coffee, to dessert at an upscale café with purportedly divine desserts, it finally ended up being a double date with two of his good friends at a new restaurant in town that was modern and trendy looking. While the man hadn’t really impressed me over the phone, or our email contact, I ended up having a good time, mostly because he was clever in bringing along two good friends. They were a really great couple and I enjoyed their company. The beauty of it was there were no lulls in the conversation or awkward moments because the double date provided a buffer for any of his nervousness, or an inability to come up with a topic of conversation. The bad part was that I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him one on one so there was no opportunity to see how he really was face to face.

Date number two was a meeting at Dairy Queen for Blizzards. Initially I had a great feeling about this one since we had been having really great conversations on msn and our phone calls had been pretty good as well. However, prior to our date I got a hint of the possibility it might not be all I thought it was. In person date number two did not live up to the hype. His personality and conversational abilities fell completely flat. Most of the time was spent with him talking about his job in a field I don’t know much about and doesn’t exactly make for riveting conversation. After a rather painful hour and a half of listening to him talk about himself, I was able to extract myself to breath a deep sigh of relief and head on home for some peace and quiet. While the ice cream was fantastic, the rest of it was a write off, since he couldn’t even be bothered to ask me any questions about myself.

I’m going out with the first date again later this week for dinner and a movie since he seems like a really nice guy with some potential after all. Plus, he deserves the chance to show me what he’s all about on his own. Any future overtures at a second meeting with date number two will be quickly shut down. I have no desire to spend any more time with someone who is that self-absorbed, and thinks more highly of themselves than is warranted. I’m thinking of just calling him up tonight and telling him that while he’s a nice guy, I just didn’t feel any spark between us and that because we’re both busy individuals I don’t think we should waste our time pursuing something that isn’t going to go anywhere. I’ve never been good at rejecting people, and for some reason my previous methods have always left the door open for them to believe that if they tried harder they could reverse my decision when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Bright Spot in My Day

I love that you call me sunshine, just like my mother used to when I was a child.

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years Ago

Five years ago, I awoke to the sound of the phone. It was my Mother on the other end of the line telling me to turn on the television, something big was happening. It took my sleepy mind several minutes to grasp what I was seeing and I remember vaguely the words “World War III” coming from the somewhat frantic conversation I shared with my Mother that morning. What I saw that day, and in the newspapers the next morning sickened me. Images of people jumping from the burning towers were like a visceral punch in the gut to my 20 year old self. I bowed my head, closed my eyes from these horrible images and willed this to not have happened, but nothing could turn back time.

One image in particular struck me that next day. It was a small red-haired rag doll, nestled amidst piles of now useless paper, covered in ash and debris on the street below where the Towers used to stand. To me that image spoke of the futility of the life that was spent in those offices, amassing files and shuffling paper, only to have it blown out the building and rendered absolutely useless. All that work, and for what? On that day, no one spoke of missed work and deadlines. It was about family and loved ones and the sorrow of life lost. That doll seemed so out of place in that scene, yet so poignant. I later learned that this rag doll, Little Red, was created by Sarah Ferguson for her New York charity, Chances for Children. Their offices were located on the 101st floor of Tower One in donated space from Cantor Fitzgerald. This wasn’t the first time Little Red had been exposed to senseless acts of destruction.

Seven years prior, Little Red was present at the Oklahoma City Bombing. A young boy, badly burned was rescued out of what was left of the building. He was given one of Sarah Ferguson’s rag dolls for comfort while he was being treated by medical personnel. It is disheartening for me to see children so badly hurt by adults, and adult problems and the image of this doll resting in the ruins of an adult world brought that home to me once again.

I didn’t cry that day five years ago, but thinking of all the children who were affected that day, through no fault of their own, brings me to tears today. Perhaps it comes with age, a deepened sensitivity towards the frailty of life and time, which allowed me to gain perspective on that day. Whatever it is, my thoughts go out to all the families who lost a loved one that day, because every single person who lost their life that day was someone’s child.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I took this picture for a photography course in Undergrad approximately 4 years ago now. It was a shot to use up the roll of film and ended up being one of my favourite pictures. It inspired a series of pictures taken of every day objects and scenes on the farm.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Inch by inch you are breaking me down. Even my own self-loathing feels like sweet caresses compared to the stinging criticism and cruel remarks aimed for maximum damage. When nothing I do is ever enough, and nothing I am is good enough.

Shameful, dirty…depraved and unlovable. Backed into a corner and cowering.

I wish you would just hit me instead. I could understand the physical aggression, but this emotional and mental onslaught is insidious and confusing. Pouncing out of nowhere and retreating. Circling, searching for that tender spot and pouring salt into my wounds.

Where a victory is marked by my tears and an apology is never forth coming.

I wonder how much longer I can hold you off before there is nothing left of me. Before the desperation to end my pain, to end the pain you heap on me becomes all consuming.

I am left wondering what I ever did to deserve your vitriolic retribution.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Random Comment

"Look at that ass."

"There is so much pussy here this weekend," came the reply from the second guy.

I was already three steps ahead and a beat too far away before it registered in my head that they were talking about me. I had to laugh. I was at a baseball tournament for my oldest brother, who at 32 was the average age of the players here, and as far as I could see it was a sausage-fest. The few women around me were the wives and young children of the players- hardly what could be considered a target rich environment for these twenty-something guys. I was already late for the start of my brother's game so I just rolled my eyes and kept walking like I didn't even hear them.

I guess no one ever bothered to tell them that if they're going to talk about a girl's attributes they had better wait until she's farther than 3 feet away.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Swedish Berries

I went to the movies last night with a friend.
We snuck in contraband candy.
I then proceeded to gorge myself on Swedish berries until I felt positively ill. It was fantastic.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


It’s amazing to me that one conversation can turn my emotions upside down so easily. Last night I talked to a friend I haven’t spoken to in several months. We were teammates this past season and really hit it off. I had forgotten how incredibly nice, supportive and genuinely interested in other peoples lives he was. I had also forgotten how confusing it could be to speak with him.

He has a girlfriend, but he only mentioned her once after a rather embarrassing exchange where I finally screwed up my courage and asked him out on a date. Since then I haven’t heard a word about her and he continues to talk to me in a manner that leads me to believe I am a temptation to him. I have no idea if they’re even dating still, but I imagine they are since I was led to believe it was a long-standing relationship.

If it’s possible to have a purely intellectual affair, then I believe that is what we have. It reminds me of Mr. Intellectual and I and how we had such a great connection in that respect. For a long time it was all about pure academia, intellectualism and really great thought-provoking conversation. Right now that is what Jack and I share, aside from our passion for Hockey.

It’s an interesting relationship, but it also stirs up feelings in me that I haven’t had in a very long time. I have always been attracted by smart men who border on the nerdy in their predilections. Jack encompasses all those things I have been looking for, it’s just a shame someone found him before I did.

Monday, August 21, 2006


I bought these shoes on a whim this Spring. A total impulse purchase that has made me happy everytime I slip them on. It's hard not to feel incredibly sexy when I wear them. Something about the cigarette heels, the gold leather and the pretty, frivolity of the rhinestone encrusted sunburst. I think every woman should own at least one pair of impractical, but beautiful heels.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Year In Review

I think I'd like to have a do-over for the past year, please?

If I could somehow just wake up tomorrow and it was April 2005, that would be okay with me. I think I'd trade in all the good moments just to erase all the bad moments, because there were a lot of really bad moments in the past year.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Quiet Desperation

My mind flutters to a start, but I keep my eyes closed, willing myself to remain in that state of oblivion that only sleep can bring. It’s still dark out and the street is quiet. What should be a peaceful time of day is anything but in my mind. While my unconscious brain struggles to wake up an unbidden tear slides from underneath my tightly closed eyes. The tears come before I can even wake up, as if I had already been crying in my sleep.

The thought floats wispily around my increasingly alert mind.

“The only way to stop this is to break your promise…”

Now that I no longer even speak to Mr. Intellectual that promise seems redundant and worthless. Why keep holding on when the person binding you to it has bowed out completely?

I roll over into a fetal position, the covers pulled tightly up to my head, and my internal monologue begins to compose the final note. I don’t know why I feel the need to explain to him the reasons for breaking our promise, when he never explained why he walked away from me completely. When he chose to disappear the promise become irrelevant.

I don’t blame him for his choices, but I am disappointed and part of me aches deeply for the loss of his friendship, which is why I silently continue composing the mental apology for not living up to his expectations. As the sun gently breaks through the cracks in the blinds I carry on creating the suicide note I will never put to paper.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Decision Time

I woke up this morning feeling better than I have in a while. While lingering over my morning tea and surveying my new neighbourhood from my desk I realized I had some decisions to make.

It's time to move on from The Jock. He is the embodiment of the man I fear ending up with. We can occasionally have fun together and the sex is always good, but that does not a relationship make. He is in love with the possibilities I present and not who I am, which is evident from the way he dwells on my future earnings potential after the Ph.d is complete and what I can provide for him if we stay together. I am little more than a gravy train with a good body and skills in the bedroom. He of course would try to deny this, but I see it.

While all this is more of an annoyance than a reason to walk away, there is a greater reason. He treats me with zero respect for the majority of the time I’m with him and isn’t above cruel personal attacks, unwarranted sarcasm, and taking out his frustrations or depression on me. While I understand to a degree why he does this, there is a bigger part of me that knows I deserve better. I have never truly dated an asshole, just the occasional guy who pulls an asshole stunt, and I’m not about to start now. I gave him a chance to pull it together and start treating me the way I would expect a boyfriend to, but he hasn’t.

Today is the day I realized I’d had enough and to just walk away without looking back.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Stress and Control

Under stress I stop eating, or restrict when and what I will eat. This phenomenon is exacerbated when I happen to be living under my parent’s roof, where I’ll actually start skipping meals. There is something soothing about the pain of hunger and the martyrdom of abstaining. Like this small measure of control, and self-inflicted punishment realigns my world and makes the uncontrollable aspects of my life bearable.

I wouldn’t consider myself to be an anorexic since I don’t follow a strict regime of calorie counting, over-exercising and complete forfeiture of food everyday of my life. This is an infrequent habit that can last anywhere from a day, to the record 3 months of last summer while the stalking began and then took over my life. Perhaps I’m just in denial surrounding the whole thing, but eating and I have had an uneasy relationship since I was 8 years old. I didn’t realize it until last year, but I can actually pinpoint the day that I began to feel incredibly self-conscious and even shameful when eating infront of other people. However, that’s a story for another day.

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Moment of Depravity

Not long after I wrote this post, I decided it was time to get out there again and date. So, I posted a profile online and started talking to a number of nice young men. A couple of day’s later I got an instant message on one of the dating websites from The Jock. It was an interesting conversation but a little too heavily laced with sexual innuendo and a generally sexualized discussion. While I’m not a prude that’s usually the type of conversation I’ll indulge in every once in a while since human nature intrigues me, but it automatically garners you a spot on my “never to date” list, and I’ll rarely converse with this person again. If you have a one-track mind and aren’t afraid to show it immediately that’s not the kind of person I want to build a future with.

To this day I have no idea why I allowed it to go as far as it did, but in hindsight I believe the emotions I was feeling from the Anesthetize post were still very strong in my subconscious. It also appears that it’s that time of year again for me wherein I need to find a boy toy to use, abuse and then loose if I’m not in a committed relationship. However I’m wary of the “Friends with Benefits” relationship since last time I tried that I ended up with an emotionally unstable and delusional man who was unable to accept the arrangement and would not leave me alone when I tried to back out of it and disappear. The repercussions of that whole situation are still alive and well today and affecting my life.

During that conversation The Jock asked about pictures and after I was assured that he wouldn’t be sending me naked photos with below the waist shots, we exchanged headshot styled, normal photos. He turned out to be kind of cute in that curly-haired, boyish grin, preppy-dressing, slightly overweight Jock look. That’s not my usual attraction, but he wasn’t an absolute turn off. In a round about way it came out that he had a webcam and wasn’t adverse to showing me the full monty- after all, he said, “A cock is just a cock, not a huge deal.” I quickly declined the offer, embarrassed that this is the turn the conversation had taken, but we continued to talk about other things and now my curiousity was piqued.

It was getting late, curiousity got the better of me, and next thing I knew he had started a webcam chat with me. There he was across the city, unabashedly naked, and unmistakably aroused. In a moment of true depravity I didn’t click off, but sat there in a mixture of stunned abhorrence and fascination. I was just thankful that I had never purchased a webcam and wasn’t expected to reciprocate since there was no way I could have crossed that threshold. As loath as I am to admit it, I watched as this man jerked off to climax for me. To this day, I don’t know what possessed me to not only watch, but to continue talking to him.

A week later I had agreed to meet up with him for drinks, after much cajoling and discussion. I didn’t want to but he knew how to annoy, infuriate, get under my skin and in general push all my buttons until I gave in. For all his exhibitionist tendencies and overtly sexualized behaviour, there was something more to him that peeked out every once in a while- something sweet, and a little mournful. It was this imperfectly hidden person that I wanted to discover.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What It's Not

I rolled over to hug the wall for the night in a futile effort to minimize body contact, something I know he doesn't like too much when sleeping. There are no quiet whisperings of things accomplished that day, or hopes for the future. A complete absence of witty bantering back and forth and hushed laughter in the darkness, feels foreign to me. Instead as I stare wide-eyed at the pattern on the wall, in the ever-deepening silence, a feeling grows in me. Overwhelming sadness bubbles up from somewhere inside and I take deep breaths trying to silence it. I am hyper-aware of the body next to me and try desperately not to betray what is happening. A silent tear pools at the corner of my eye and slides noiselessly down my cheek, falling to rest on my pillow. Another quickly follows and joins the growing wetness. The trick of silent crying learned years ago saves me from waking him up to discover the pitiful scene.

As the tears continue to fall and the ache in my chest grows deeper I yearn for what is gone. The knowledge that I long for Mr. Intellectual at that moment hits me like a shock. It has been almost 2 years to the day since we broke up and for the most part I had put away all feelings I had for him, particularly in the bedroom, but apparently I was wrong. The contrasts between the man sleeping peacefully beside me and Mr. Intellectual are starkly blatant. That realization for unknown reasons makes me miss Mr. Intellectual intensely. It is in that moment that I know what this 'relationship' is not and the tears continue to fall.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Credit Card Theft

I received a call from my credit card company while I was at work recently. They wanted to verify some unusual activity on my card. I haven't used my card in almost 2 months, aside from the purchase of my class ring the week before at the University Bookstore. I thought perhaps that was the reason why they were calling since it had happened before when I put a large unexpected purchases on the card, like my laptop or a huge Christmas present. Turns out that someone had actually stolen the number and used it to gamble away $600 in online casinos or poker. I called the campus bookstore to let them know they may or may not have a problem at their store and it might be a good idea to look into the situation.

I guess I should be more upset about it, but the credit card representative assured me that I wouldn't be paying for the online gambling and a new card will be issued to me in the next week or so. I was also a little more preoccupied with moving to the new University town, and ending my work contract a couple of weeks ahead of the signed date. It has been a bit of a pain since I cut up the card since I would have liked it to make some purchases for the new place, but it's not a huge deal. Thank heavens for interac.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


I moved to the new University Town this past Tuesday. It just so happens that Tuesday was also the hottest day of the summer. So hot in fact that I ended up giving myself heat stroke which including dizziness, nausea and vomiting. The worst part about it was that I didn't realize it until I was driving out with the last load of stuff in my car. I was 20 minutes outside of the old town and about an hour or so away from the new town when I started feeling horrible. Long story short I ended up calling the Jock who was about 15 minutes from where I was and stayed the night at his place. I felt a bit like I was imposing since we haven't really been seeing each other that long, but he was a real doll about the whole thing and was really sweet with me while I was sick.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Lunch Break

A few weeks ago I was out in the field for work. We happened to be by this private beach on one of the lakes in Ontario. This is where we stuck our feet in the water, enjoyed the sunshine and took our lunch break. Sometimes my job can be really fantastic.