Showing posts with label my boyfriend needs a better alias. Show all posts
Showing posts with label my boyfriend needs a better alias. Show all posts

Sunday, April 20, 2014

First outing(s) of the year.

Goddamn this late winter.

That being said, this has been a pretty darn decent Easter weekend.  I had the day off on Friday, so I got to chill out around the house with the children and the Well-Travelled One.  Since he and my youngest were busy tearing down and rebuilding a computer (He guided her through the rebuild after which she was apparently able to install Linux on her own. I'm not particularly techie, but that sounds pretty impressive to me), I spent some extra quality time with the eldest.  

I engaged her in a vaguely uncomfortable talk about various "grown-up" topics (read: sex, birth control, consent), which although she was hesitant to open up, I hope she thanks me for later.  This basically came about because I finished reading Jessica Valenti's "The Purity Myth" and some of the chapters on abstinence-only sex Ed made me curious about what the schools are teaching the kids.

Not much, apparently.  It could also be my daughter's selective memory combined with a strong desire not to have this conversation with her mother, but it sounds like they pretty much touch on the basic logistics and cover a little bit about birth control, but not much else.  I guess it's not as bad as the "Just Don't Ever Unless You Are Ensconced In A Fully Procreative Heteronormative Marriage" approach that the abstinence-only programs in the U.S. seem to use, but it leaves a lot of gaps to fill for us parents who wish their kids to be fully informed on such subjects, including but not limited to sexual identity, pregnancy and STIs and consent.

But anyway, that's a post for another day.  Back to my weekend, after making my daughter cringe at least 27 times in the span of an hour, I let her off the hook, and suggested we take a walk around the block and discuss lighter topics (such as the Comicon that she was going to the following day). Usually the eldest is loathe to do much that involved physical activity so I was quite surprised and pleased when she joined me with little to no heavy sighing or eye-rolling, and we had a lovely walk around our neighborhood.

Upon our return, The Well-Travelled One and my youngest were off on their own walk to get a coffee and a treat for successful completion of the computer project, so T and I went to her room to move the wardrobe that had until now been used for storage in the basement into her bedroom, as the girl is getting older and her clothes take up more space and my poor house sorely lacks closet space.

The girls were to go to their dad's house this weekend, so after dropping them off, we decided to head up north for a bit of a drive and to scout out some locations for hiking and checking out waterfalls this spring and summer.  The idea is to try and hit some of these places while they are still at their spring high-water mark, as by part-way through the summer, they often dry up somewhat losing some of their majesty. We walked down to the canoe launch at McRae lake, which was challenging as there was still a lot of snow and walking in half-melted snow can be a lot like walking in sand, only more slippery.  My calves and ankles, even with decent footwear, were not liking me much.

With the cancer and the surgery this year, I have backslid quite a bit from the fitness level I was at two years ago, or even last year (even though last year my energy levels were already deteriorating).  For a while I was able to walk or hike fair distances but now, depending on how I've been eating and drinking, a walk from work to the bank can be exhausting.

Taking baby steps, we're trying to revisit some of the less challenging trails and taking shorter walks so I can build back up to the fitness level I was at.  It's going to take some work.

At any rate, we made it over to White's Falls where even dammed, the water was in full force, and then over to Big Chute, where I got to revisit the fun that is peeing outdoors since a great need for hydration also means I have to pee a lot more, in places where bathrooms are not readily available.

White's Falls
Me, back-lit. Later in the summer I can sit on the rocks about 3 feet to my right here.
Saturday was more of the same, after the laundry was done.  We drove as far north as Huntsville, before taking some fun sketchy roads back towards home.  We made a couple of stops, once again at McRae Lake and another stop on the Sequin Trail, which lies atop an old rail bed.  Because, I am told, trains do not like going up and down hills, these rail-bed trails are handy for me because I too, do not like going up and down hills.

View of the rail-bridge from the bank of the Seguin River
Sequin Trail.  Newish foot bridge.  The giant concrete pillar signifies where the rail bridge would have existed.
Seguin River
Stand clear.
I am sore today.  Mind you, after we got home I forced myself, against social anxiety and general exhaustion, to go out to my friend Lori's 40th birthday.  My attempts at dancing after tromping around bush and rocks two days straight were probably not the greatest idea, but I had a good time and was glad I made myself go.  But I am paying for it today.  I know this is part of getting myself back to the shape I was in, so it's worth it, but ow.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Being Okay with Being Single.

This post is a long time coming.  I started writing it in my head over a year ago, after reading one of Chally's final posts at Feministe.

It seems odd, I know, for me to write about being single now that I'm in the longest relationship I've had in years.  At least, longest consecutively-running relationship that can't easily be amended with descriptors like "Off-and-on" or "Dysfunctional" or "Toxic" or "Vaguely Demoralizing".

Like I said, I started this post in my head well over a year ago.  However, it seems relevant today since this is a day many people bitterly lament their single status and the often-frustrating search for Twoo Wuv™.  I was one of those people for many years.  Hell, in solidarity with my formerly single self, I still refuse to give this Hallmark Holiday more than a perfunctory nod, because love - of ALL forms, not just romantic or eroticized love - should be something we celebrate everyday and not necessarily the consumer-driven, materialistic, hetero-normative version that is pushed on the general public by the greeting card and diamond industries.

However, I digress.

I had, at the time, come to the conclusion that I was going to be Okay With Being Single.  Not "I'm okay with being single because I know someday someone is going to love me and I will have my Happily Ever After" but "I may possibly spend the rest of my life as a Single Woman and that is okay."  I was coming to the conclusion that I was done seeking the be-all, end-all, heteronormative ideal.. the relationship.  I vowed to stop thinking of myself as All Alone because, dammit I was NOT alone.  I had my children, my family and many wonderful friends.  I decided that would be good enough.  I may or may not consider having sexual encounters but solely on my own terms.   I was done feeling like a failure, like less-than because I was unattached.  

From Chally:
Singleness is treated as something to be fixed. It’s treated as a state one would surely want to change as quickly as possible. If you’re single, you’re automatically miserable, and everyone’s going to try and figure out what’s wrong with you... What would society look like if little girls weren’t expected to organise their lives around finding a sole and central heteronormative relationship around which everything else in their lives must then revolve?
The words rang true.  So I made my decision to stop searching and just enjoy my life as it was.  And then in true fucking cliche'd fashion, when I stopped looking.. boom.  That was just over a year ago.  And it was good.  And continues to be good.

So that post never got written.

However, that decision never quite went away.  I'm still okay with being single, even if I'm not currently.  Because the future is always uncertain.  Make no mistake, I hope that things between the Well-Travelled One and I continue to be good, for a good long time.  Frankly, I like him a lot.  I know, though, that if things between us were to go south for whatever reason, I will be sad, I will Cry the Ugly Cry and wipe my nose on my sleeves and so on and so forth and miss the hell out of the guy, but ultimately life would go on.
It sounds callous, but not really.  It's actually helpful in quelling (some) of my myriad insecurities.  I'm here because I want to be and if  I didn't, I wouldn't have to be.  I have many years of experience in knowing I'm fully capable of being on my own.   On that same level, I like to think that he's with me because he wants to be and not out of any feeling of obligation.

Cliff Pervocracy wrote about the fear of the The Worst Thing In The World and framed this fear as something that may be a motivator for abuse and emotional manipulation in relationships.  The fear of the Worst Thing In The World (ie, a relationship ending) can provoke an extreme fear response:
I remember when my first "I love you" relationship ended.  I couldn't  abide the thought.  I screamed.  I cried.  I tried to seduce him.  (While still crying. Sexxxay.)  I threatened to harm myself if he didn't come back.  I called him until he stopped taking my calls.   The ridiculous thing is, I didn't even like him that much.  It wasn't about getting the joy of the relationship back.  It was about avoiding [The Worst Thing In The World]... What I did to my ex-boyfriend--threatening myself and refusing to leave him alone--was abuse. Fortunately it didn't go on very long, but it was abusive. And I didn't do it because it felt good to scare and upset him. I did it because I was so deeply afraid of losing him.
Cliff goes on to explain how realizing that this wasn't The Worst Thing In The World helped hir to deal with later breakups in a more dignified and mature manner, because it wasn't a 60-foot cockroach, it was only a 6-foot cockroach (read the full post if you're confused as to where cockroaches play into this).

Similarly, the Worst Thing In The World allows a lot of people to put up with a lot of bullshit.  Some people fear their inability to function without a significant other, that they cannot take care of themselves, support themselves financially and so on.  Some people buy into the idea that pairing up must be a life goal.  I had a friend, single at the time, say to me forlornly "I've never had a relationship last."  I looked at them quizzically and thought "Well, no shit.  If you did, you'd be in one right now."  It struck me funny but I realized afterward that in our society an ended relationship is seen as a failed relationship.  And this fear of failure becomes The Worst Thing In The World.

It's not, you guys.

Being single is not a failure.  It's not The Worst Thing In The World.  There is no moral imperative to get yourself all paired up.  Also, no one owes you a relationship.  Nor do you owe it to anyone else.  Spend time with people whose company you enjoy, without worrying if zie is 'The One'.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Days are just Packed.

Whoa.  Neglectful much?

In my own defense, it's been nothing but go-go-go for the last 2-3 weeks.  I've officially been a homeowner for two weeks now.  When I first took possession of what would come to be known as The Funhouse (a previous, unpublished blog post was tentatively titled "From the Dollhouse to the Funhouse) due to the various DIY/WTF home improvements, I experienced some initial buyers remorse as the Well-Travelled One and I walked through, cataloguing every bit of chipped paint, every crack and every misguided wiring job.

Overwhelmed by the seemingly daunting tasks ahead, I had sank down on the stairs and sobbed in terror.  Holy fuck, I am NOT ready to be a grown-up.  He had out his arm around me and reassured me that it was all going to work out fine - the problems were all small and far from insurmountable - and continued to reassure me for the next week as we made numerous trips from The Dollhouse to The Funhouse and back, loading the car with boxes each time so no trip would go wasted.

I lived part-time in Home Depot, Rona and Canadian Tire.  I cried tears of frustration when attempts to paint the eldest child's room was thwarted by the previous owner's shitty, half-assed paint job and then sucked it up and moved on.

I suffered a few minor coronary episodes shopping around for carpeting for the girls' rooms, one being in the basement with a concrete floor and one having been previously "carpeted" with an overly large, untrimmed area rug that had not been trimmed to size and which had a school of Goldfish crackers living under where the bed had been.  We had a run-in with a carpet saleswoman who not once, but twice, used ethnic slurs in her sales pitch, you know the one - the one about a certain religious group and haggling.  Rhymes with getting "Schmoooooed".  For fun, when we left, I wished the lady "Shalom!" and junked their quote, which was too expensive even if I did want to do business with bigots.

Saturday it poured down rain and all the mildew and dust from packing the house up had nestled its way into my sinus and bronchial cavities so I was good and miserable and not quite sure if I was going to have movers, but with much help from friends all ended up working out well, if a little soggy.

Going back to work, I had loads to catch up on and I'm still, this week, trying to empty out the inbox. Unpacking has gone much better, the place is slowly but surely coming together with a lot of help from the well-travelled One, who has been a lifesaver, to be honest.  My misgivings upon taking possession have all but dissipated and I find it feeling more and more like home, everyday.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My boyfriend scares me sometimes.

This post is a short preamble to the longer post with pictures that I have planned, that i may or may not get around to writing, of our adventures in the Bruce Peninsula.  Now that Blogger's iPad page has an actual editor, I may get around to posting more.  Also, it's my birthday today, so feel free to fawn accordingly in the comments.

So, this weekend The Guy For Whom I Have Not Come Up With A Good Blog Alias™ who for the purposes of this post, I shall refer to as My Navigator and I took a trip up to Tobermory, Ontario.  One of the stops was to the Bruce Caves, just outside of Wiarton, Ontario.  This conversation happened.

Approximately 1.5 hours before getting to Wiarton, we're looking at the map.  Navigator claims he has never been to these caves before. I'm a little skeptical, since he is one who has Been Many Places, but he insists so I believe him.
Navigator:  So, we have to turn onto Grey Road 1, but since it's in town, it'll probably be called something different.  I dunno, something like "Frank Street".
Me:  It'd be funny if it was actually called Frank Street.
1.5 hours later, we are in Wiarton, driving around getting gas, food and Tim Hortons coffee.  We turn onto a side street.  It's Frank Street.
Me: Whoa, there actually is a Frank street here.
Navigator: weird.
Me:  Heh.  I wonder if that's the road we have to take? That'd be freaky.
We go get coffee and he goes to check the directions to Grey Road one.  He gets back in the car.
Navigator: Okay, so we have to take a right out of the parking lot and another right at the lights. 
So, following his instructions, I take a right out of the parking lot, and a right at the lights.  The street we turn onto, which we have been told is Grey Road 1, looks familiar.
Navigator:  Look.
Me:  Holy shit.  Frank Street? 

Navigator: yup.

Me:  *blinks*  You're fucking scary.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

700km, an Off-Roading PT Cruiser and the Faint Sound of Banjos, part 3 (the not-so-dramatic conclusion)

Part One

Part Two

So it looks like this, the third part in my "What I Did A Few Weeks Ago" trilogy will likely be the shortest of the series, as my memory is getting increasingly fuzzy. But, hey, I don't want to leave anyone hanging. In other news, holy crap! TWO posts in one week. How about that??

So Sunday we woke up by the faint light of the sun rising over the blueberry stand across the highway, groggy and stiff from trying to stay comfortable in the back of the Cruiser. Not an easy feat, as he's not one to be scrunched up to sleep and although i generally tend to curl up in the fetal position to sleep, I was trying to remain somewhat conscious of not kicking or hitting the poor man in my sleep. Which I am told, I have a tendency to do.  Sleeping me is quite violent.

This is possibly the shittiest sunrise picture ever taken.  I took this one.
Watching the condensation slowly evaporate, we had a pre-breakfast breakfast of coffee from the Tim Hortons in whose parking lot we spent the night and glorious sweet chelsea buns from the bakery in Bancroft we had visited the previous day. Finishing up, I got tired of watching condensation evaporate (because yes, that IS as boring as it sounds) and rather unsuccessfully tried to dry it up with my t-shirt.

Pre-Breakfast Breakfast.  Tim Hortons, I want some royalties for this.
After getting on the road, our first stop for the Morning was at Cordova Falls, which is just outside of the little mining town of Cordova Mines. Cordova Falls, to date, has probably been the least Impressive of our waterfall hunting excursions, but that may be a result of it being both a dammed (as opposed to damned) waterfall and it being later in the season. I will say I was impressed seeing the pennstock for the dam. Impressed that it had not burst, as this old wooden contraption looked about 60years old and was sprouting leaks all over, some of which had been lovingly and not-at-all-half-assedly patched up with various bits of wood, some of which were jammed right into the leaky spots.

That's Reassuring.
Once we had fully explored the Upper and Middle Falls, we decided to skip the Lower Falls and head to town to see if we could actually locate THE Cordova mine. The town of Cordova Mines, Ontario is a fairly small one, almost a ghost town now. We knew the mine had to be about 4km from the dam we had just visited, as that was what the sign at the dam had told us.

If you can't trust a historical plaque, who can you trust?

One trail that we found almost took us all the way there, we discovered upon checking the maps at home. It started out near a small community hall, the type with a park and picnic benches and tables under shady trees, the type of place one could envision town picnics being held generations before. We braved the path as far as Petey would take us, at one point traversing a ground level river crossing. But beyond this we found a heavy gate with a variety of "No Tresspassing" signs. Later we would find out that what we were looking for was just on the other side.

Those aren't puddles.. that's the river creeping across the path.
...Just in case you didn't believe me.
Giving up on finding the mine, we headed to Peterborough for Actual-Breakfast and to see the Peterborough lift locks.  I can't remember all the ins and outs of how these locks actually work.. it has something to do with water displacement is all I recall.  I'm going to let the wonder that is Wikipedia fill all the dirty details in for you and just say that they were impressive and cool to watch.. we got there just as the first boat of the day was crossing.

See? Impressive.
Breakfast was had at one of GFWIHNCUWAGBA's (okay, acronyms clearly aren't an option here) favoured establishments.  Good potatoes, good eggs.. toast was a little too dark, bacon too crispy.  Good coffee and I got to find out just what in the hell 'Beaver Balls' were.

Turns out, they're basically like Beaver Tails (which I think may be known to people in other countries as Elephant Ears) but in ball form.  The More You Know.  At least they aren't some bizarre Fear-Factor inspired delicacy.  Although I still say that eating bull testicles would have been child's play had Joe Rogan just battered and deep-fried them.

However, I digress.

This was my first ever visit to Peterborough (with the possible exception of visiting my grandfather in hospital shortly before his passing, but that may have been Bancroft hospital) so he took me on a bit of a tour around the downtown and through some of the riverfront parks.  Having been up since about 6am we had made fantastic time to get to Peterborough, look around and still have time to visit my Nanny on the way home.  We got hit with the rain about 40 minutes before Nanny's house, after a weekend of otherwise lovely weather.  So that was lucky.


In other news, I'm making a concerted effort to post more.  I've missed it.  I kind of put myself on hiatus writing at Different Paths, Same Destinations when I ran out of fucks to give in regards to my weight-loss efforts. I get the feeling I'm not the only one on a break.  Hopefully the other girls will come back and start posting again.  But we all have lives, and busy ones at that.

My posts here will probably focusing on my day-to-day stuff for the next little bit as I will be saving some of my social-issues ranty type stuff for a two-week guest blogging stint at Feministe (*geekyfangirlsquee*).

Say it with me, Sally Field.  "THEY LIKE ME!"
I'm ridiculously honored to have been asked to submit.  Like, stupidly so.  Like being asked to the cool girls house for a sleepover.  Except I get to write a lot.  So look for my posts over there during the last two weeks of July.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

700km, an off-roading PT Cruiser and the faint sound of banjos part 2 (NOW WITH PICTURES!)

Wow. I'm really sucking out at this regular-blogging thing. Looking at part two of my mini-road trip post and it's been two weeks already.

I've been trying like hell to get some stuff done today and it's just not happening so I figure I'll blog a bit and completely unapologetic in my utter laziness today and then stress later when I don't have shit for time to get stuff done.

Sound like a plan? Thought so.

So after leaving Musky Bay, we got back in the car and headed for Egan Chute, which is a collection of falls in an inactive provincial park surrounded with old mines and quarries.

The area is known for a wide array of mineral deposits and the Rock Jamboree is a big thing every year. Funnily enough, tourist sites encourage rock collectors to the area but The parks department really really don't want you to do that, because of the eventual degradation of the area from people chipping away at the cliffs and caves and whatnot. It's not cool.

Oh, here's the road we had to go down to get to the chute.  Original 100 series highway.. this is proof positive that 'Paved Road' and 'Sketchy as Fuck Road' are not mutually exclusive.

"Do you hear banjos? I hear banjos."
I had made previous allusions to my vague fear of heights. I can stand at the top of the CN Tower and look straight down withougt blinking an eye, but I'm not so hot with climbing.. Especially climbing DOWN stuff. So Guy For Whom I Have Not Come Up With A Good Blog Alias™ got to be witness to me having a full on panic attack trying to scale down a loose dirt path with a steep drop on one side after stupidly trying to follow after he says "I'm going down here, you don't have to follow me.".

Because, you know, I'm a sport.

Harrowing, but totally worth it.  This is me getting my heart rate back to normal.
Got down eventually, with much whimpering and crying and shaking. Thankfully, the scenery was well worth my sheer terror and the climb back up after looking around was much easier an quicker. At the end of the chute was a pond and a small sandy beach so I was inclined to get the kit off and go for a swim. It was glorious, although I decided to come in when it was pointed out that the current was still strong enough to carry me off my path. The sand in the water was flecked with bits of what may have been fools gold but it sparkled amazingly when you stirred up the dirt.

We made a few attempts to locate some of the old mines in the area, but since we were losing light and the bugs were coming out (after I pulled about six dead deer flies from my hair) it was time to press on and find somewhere to sleep for the night. Somewhere came in the form of a Tim Horton's parking lot in Madoc. We had originally stopped for coffee in Kaladar but the only coffee we found was a gas station Country Style with a self serve carafe that looked a safe bet to have been sitting there since morning. So on to Madoc we went, drinking coffee and discussing the best part of the parking lot set Petey for for the night while we slept in the back, unnoticed by passers-by.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

700km, an off-roading PT Cruiser and the faint sound of banjos., part 1

Greetings, y'all.

So computator seems to be pooched again, which means I am back to blogging via iPad. Which is ALL SORTS OF FUN what with the typing by touchscreen, having to manually enter all HTML formatting and complete inability to add pictures unless I go into work early and upload pictures after the fact.

Have I mentioned the meddefluerking auto-correct? ALL SORTS OF FUN

So the lack of pictures means this post about weekend road trip that Guy For Whom I Have Not Come Up With A Good Blog Alias™ (yeah, about that.. I really should come up with something because that takes way too long to type) embarked upon is going to be a "use your imagination" type thing.

at least until I can add some pictures.

Basically, the agenda consisted of leaving early morning with a tank of gas, a tent and a cooler of road-snacks and heading east towards the haliburton highlands, exploring various trails and towns, and looping back next day with a stop in Peterborough for breakfast. Easy peasy. The tent was actually a backup plan since the actual plan was to sleep in the car, something I've found convenient on past long trips. I'm pretty sure he might have preferred the ground.

(aside from a stop in Orillia for groceries and gas) our first stop was Bancroft, a town I spent a lot of time in as a kid when my maternal grandparents had there house there. I had two goals here.. Buy Chelsea Buns from the local bakery, because ohmigord YUM, and seek out the Musky Bay Resort, a seasonal trailer camp that had been owned by my aunt Shirley and Uncle Stan years ago, and where I would spend two weeks with my grandparents every summer, fishing and boating and hanging out with my cousin Jaime, the only cousin my age I ever got to see with any regularity. The campground had been sold years ago, after Stan passed away. We had looked the place up and between some sketchy satellite imagery and my own fuzzy memories were able to find the place, not without overshooting the entrance at least once. I wandered in and introduced myself to a lovely Eastern European woman named Yvonna, one of the new owners who had just recently taken over. I got the impression that the previous owner had let the place go quite a bit. The grass grew wild around a number of empty trailers and around the main house. The store where Stan and Shirley sold bait and penny candy was empty. But here and there were signs of improvement... Two new docks sat at the shoreline, and Yvonna showed where they were renovating the three old rental cabins that sat at the shore adding bathrooms where previously there was only one communal shower/toilet for all three cabins.

As we walked, i pointed out where my grandparents trailer sat and where we held horseshoe tournaments and family reunions at the front of the main building. As bittersweet as it was to see the place in a state of disrepair, I felt a good deal of gratitude towards this quiet polite woman and her family for keeping the place open, and their efforts in reviving it. It's funny though. Musky Bay had the distinction of being one of the last old-fashioned, mom-and-pop run family campgrounds and as much as it pained me to see the place deteriorated, it would have pained me as much, if not more, to see it turned into some kind of posh yuppie resort.

at any rate, I thanked Yvonna for showing me around and pledge to return and see how they were coming along with the place. We got back into the car and headed back toward Bancroft and onto our next destination, Egan Chutes Provincial Park.

Like what you see?