Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's time

I've been here three years, incidentally.

Time to move.

http://thesunlightthatisleft.blogspot.com/

I love Elbow. And I will stop being a sappy chick now.

So yes I guess I'm asking you to back a horse that's good for glue, and nothing else

I pulled the thing from my windshield wiper and it was a note from the RCMP advising me that I was using an anti-theft device, and that there wasn't anything worth stealing in plain view, but that I had failed to lock my car.
That's nice.
Now maybe stop strolling through London Drugs' parking lots and start busting the one person in every four fucking cars that is bombing along in the HOV lane with only one sole fucking occupant.  Sometimes?  Sometimes?  When I haven't been sleeping well and I have PMS like what I have now?  I think about pulling my car out into the HOV lane and just stopping the next numb nuts that somehow thinks his time is more valuable than mine. 
Yeah, no: it's not.  I'm pretty sure I'm the shit.  I'm pretty sure I am the most goddamn important thing in the world so you just slow that SUV with the tinted windows down and take a nice long gander at my hastily applied bumper sticker with the bubble in it that I haven't been able to smooth out and you just watch me blow you kisses in my rear view mirror.
Okay.
In things that actually did happen today...
I ate the lunch that Michael made me today.  Yeah.  Just over a week ago I'm contemplating moving in with my mother because the thought of ever returning to North Vancouver and possibly accidentally bumping into Michael anywhere is just too painful.
Now I'm happily eating a tuna salad and wondering why I don't do such a good job chopping up vegetables into nice, bite sized pieces.  The food I make is a choking hazard.  On more than one level.
Michael came over tonight to continue our nine day discussion.  He brought me Clif bars because he knows I am going to do a relay race in Whistler this weekend, and he brought me a Kinder surprise.  Guess what the surprise was?  It took me three hours to cobble that thing together, I tell ya.
So yes.  We love each other and we're trying and we're going to try.  We are going to give it a fair shake and keep the lines of communication open. 
We're both trying not to get ahead of ourselves.  A week and a half ago I thought I was in the middle of a nightmare that I couldn't wake up from.  And now I think that he's in some fugue state and he is going to wake up from it momentarily and declare that he is quite sure he hates  me.
I hope not, because he smells quite nice.
I think Sarah Harmer put it nicely when she said:

In the clatter of the afternoon
In the sunlight that is left
We can make a list of things
To forget the false starts
And the loose strings
The feelings of regret that ring
On a day when you haven't done much of anything

Monday, October 31, 2011

The RCMP left something on my windshield and I'm too tired to care what it is.

Though I'm a loquacious son of a bitch even I - apparently - have my limits.  I'm tired.  This has been a tiring week of what I would deign is a meld between confession and contractual negotiations.  I've never been good at either because... why confess or negotiate? 
Apparently blundering through life does have its downside.  I am the case in point.  I kind of knew I was pushing the proverbial envelope in this regard, but it wasn't enough to stop.  And then bam!  Life as I knew it was over.
And then we realized that we loved each other.  Like, a lot.  And that we hadn't been the best to one another.  And that resentments had piled up silently over the years and that they were about to topple and smother us.  And that we never really did effectively communicate.  When your partner of 11 years confesses that they weren't sure that you were the one?  Kinda hard to take.  But understandable?  Yes.
Maybe it's worse that I always knew that he was the one but that not only did I not work to facilitate that but instead I worked actively against it.
Anyways.  Day seven of negotiations saw Michael say "you need to write some of this down so we don't forget it".
So here are the things that I don't want to forget:
  • Michael coming to collect his keys and me having nothing defensible to say, and not being able to stand because my legs had gone out from underneath me
  • Michael crying and telling me that I had broke his heart
  • Discovering that, after 11 years, we have some resilient connection that has taken one hell of a beating, but still draws us together
  • Our history
  • That we have spoken more honestly and effectively and fluently in the past week than we have in the past 11 years
  • Po and C coming to take care of me on Monday, and then going to my mom's because I couldn't stand to be alone for even one night
  • That we never fell so far in our relationship, nor gained so much insight and understanding and appreciation of one another
Surely the horseshoe is nearly tapped out at this point, but I'm okay with that.  If the last bit of good fortune that I wring out of that thing is that I can get a second (okay, third) chance at having a happy, lasting, healthy relationship with Michael?  Then that horseshoe has been worth all the times that I set off the metal detectors at airports and all the awkward proctology exams.
It's funny, too, because tonight we discussed what an influence Michael has been on my life.  I was with him from roughly 24 years old onwards.  About a third of my life.  And he has definitely shaped some of my views and thoughts (though I'm no slouch, myself).  And so it's kind of funny that we have dealt with this so well, in that most men would have washed their hands of me but he didn't.  And when he asked what I would do if I were in his position I admitted that I wouldn't wash my hands of him either.
Love?  Idiocy?  Horseshoe?  Kindred spirits? Over exhaustion?
Time will tell.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Optics

So.  Here I am again.
Michael has said that this has been the worst week.  Surely it has.  It has been worse for him than for me.  He said "put yourself in my shoes: what would you do?" and so I tried to work through it and it was terrible.
I don't know if it is right or wrong that we have been spending so much time together trying to resolve this.  I was the one that - ultimately - created this mess.  And I have a rather significantly vested interest in this relationship. I want it to work.  So is it fair to be with someone who is hurting so badly while at the same time having an agenda?
And yet we are talking.  And talking and talking and talking.  We have been out for dinner twice now and we have paid the bill and we just sit there and talk and talk.  We didn't do that when we were together.  It can't be a bad thing.  I just wish - we both wish - that the impetus for this gushing dialogue had been something other than what it was.
I'm exhausted.  We're both exhausted.  What a fucking clusterfuck.  What a shit storm of epic proportions.  And Michael is emailing some of his friends that are his age and they have kids that are getting married. And here we are, at 34 years old and 46 years old and we're just figuring out that honesty and open communication are key.
It's funny because I thought I was smart.  And I see people in other relationships and I can see where they might go wrong, or what looming problems they might have on the horizon.  But in my own life?  No.  Nada.  I'm an independent girl in an independent relationship and everything is set up just the way I had always imagined it.
Except no.  It wasn't.  And instead of dealing with it, and working on my relationship to try and get it to where I wanted it to be, I supplemented it and I didn't talk about things like sadness or loneliness or romance or connectedness.
And to make things more confusing, Michael kept on talking about the "optics" of it.  And I was thinking, "What?  Is this a computer peripheral thing?" and then he would bring it up again and I would be like "yeah... the... optics" and I'm going "is this his way of telling me that he has glaucoma?".
Yeah.  I just Wiki'd "optics" and I'm just kind of concerned that he has picked up on some new, hip lingo before I have.
Don't get me wrong: I'm concerned about  the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it as much as the next guy, but I'm a bit puzzled. Like, am I supposed to wear sunglasses the next time we have a conversation?
Optics aside, maybe we both weren't seeing things clearly.  Maybe we saw what we wanted to see.  Or maybe we deliberately didn't see what was glaringly obvious.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's ass

It's been five days of panic attacks, anxiety, crying, emotional emails, lack of sleep, loss of appetite, regret, remorse, sadness and hurt.
Up until Sunday night I never knew I had the capacity to wound so deeply.  So deeply that when Michael said "You broke my heart" mine started to break as well.
What happens when you so badly hurt the person that has become, over the past 11 years, as integral and essential as a family member?  The person that you talk to every day, travel with, spend all your free time with and who is your partner in life and your lover and also your best friend?
Well, you rely really heavily on your friends.  And you take a lot of melatonin to get to sleep.  You go stay with your mom because you contemplate if a fall from a 10 story balcony would kill you, or if it would just severely injure you.  You question what you're capable of and you wonder how well you actually know yourself.
The ironic thing is that the one person that I wanted to talk to, to be with during this, was Michael.  And the doors of communication did open on Tuesday with emails full of anger and vitriol that were hard to take because they were justified.  They came at odd hours and so I knew he wasn't sleeping.  He was sad and angry and hurting and he wanted to lash out at me and he wanted me to know how badly my actions had impacted his life.
They were hard to read, the emails, but I was happy that he was at least communicating with me.
Tuesday I felt like all we did was email each other all day long.  And the tone seemed to soften.  I was staying at my mom's at the time and I texted to ask if I could come and see him and he said "sure".  I left feeling quite confident I was marching to my death but instead we talked.
And we've talked - face to face - for three days now.  Things were confessed and admitted.  Feelings were expressed.  Everything was laid out on the table and it wasn't always pretty and sometimes it was sad or surprising, but it was all honest.  And we both learned a lot.
We both gave each other too much space because we thought that was what the other wanted.  We both had unmet needs but we didn't communicate them because we didn't want to pressure the other person.  And so we ended up in a stagnant, four year spiral that did have its bright points: social outings; travel; running; the weekends, but the day to day intimacy wasn't there.  And we weren't progressing.
At this point surely I am rambling due to sheer stress and upset and exhaustion, and maybe all I really wanted was to remember this night and to doff my cap to the most frank and honest conversation that Michael and I have had, possibly, in the entire duration of our relationship.
No matter the outcome, I am infinitely grateful for the incredibly intelligent, considerate, insightful, respectful conversation that we had tonight.  And for the fact that we have seen each other - one on one - more during this week than we have in years, and that's a testament to something.
Of course to really put it succintly, we need no one other than Dan the Man.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fancy meeting you here

I could continue on with the rest of my vacation, but really?  Why bother.
I fucked up my relationship rather irrevocably today because I'm an amazing asshole and so now I get to experience that wonderful part of one's life where you wake up, and for the first few moments everything is cool and then the reality of it all sinks in and you get that sick, sinking feeling in your stomach and you wonder how you are going to drag yourself through another day.
The best bit is that I orchestrated this whole shit fest on my own and am solely responsible for it.
Solely.
Guess that's going to be a key term going forward.
Michael deserves better, though.  He always has.  He has the propensity to appreciate and make the best out of everything.
Anyways.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Post race

I was actually surprisingly sore after the race.  Not sure what that was about as it was a flat course and I have felt better coming off of other courses that were equally or more challenging.
Regardless, we set out to see the city the next day.  We checked out the John Hancock building (we were on the 94th floor, or something equally ridiculous). 
We went to the help desk there and the gentleman had run the Vancouver marathon in his day and was very happy to help us figure out a good boat tour to take, which we did and imbibed much architecture.
I like architecture.  I have a good eye for it.  I might've been good at it, except that it requires clients and I would likely have clients that would want me to design pink stucco houses and I would probably knock the plans out of their hands and say "less is more" and die bankrupt.  I love Howard Roark.
The architectural boat tour was excellent.  We took in tonnes of amazing buildings and I wish I had somehow recorded the commentary but the buildings do speak for themselves.
It was a bit like visiting an art gallery with all the buildings on display.  Modernism.  Post modernism.  Classicism.  Prairie style.  A little Art Nouveau.  I love Art Nouveau.
Then we went for a random dinner and beers at a place called Rock Bottom.
Insert lifestyle joke here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Race day

Michael and I were both relatively calm considering: a) we were running one of the Big Five marathons and that b) it was going to be the largest we'd ever participated in.
We were seeded in Corral B and we got there a little too late and I swear we made it into that corral with maybe five minutes to spare before the gun went off.  People were shoving me.  It reminded me of the Vancouver Sun Run, except all these bastards were about to run 26.2 miles.  I looked behind me and all I could see was a sea of people forever.  I can't imagine would it would be like to be in the general registration area.  It was just intense.  We could see the start line and were pretty nicely situated, but it still took maybe two minutes just to get to the start line.
It was hot (or for me, at least).  We counted down and I kissed Michael and wished him good luck and we were off.  I kept up with him for a while but it was hard to stick together with the crowd being so dense and Michael is faster than me and I actually did hold back a bit because I tend to go out too fast and because it was hot.  I was sweating within the first mile.
It was nuts.  It reminded me of Boston with the streets lined with people screaming the runners on.  Blaring music.  Bleachers.  Signs.  Flags.  It was amazing and overwhelming.  For the second time I regretted not having my name on my shirt because these people wanted to know you, to cheer for you, to encourage you.  It was incredible. 
The aid stations were massive. They were carpeted in discarded Gatorade and water cups and they seemed to last forever.  The volunteers were excellent.
During our Saturday afternoon run we saw everyone working to put up tents and fencing and tables and I don't know what it takes to orchestrate the accommodation of 40+ thousand runners, but the Chicago marathon pulled it off seamlessly.  It was meticulously and perfectly run and I am just so incredibly grateful to all the people that worked so hard and tirelessly to make it such a streamlined and well-organized event.  I ran out of water after about an hour and I relied on the aid stations and the impromptu garden hoses for the duration. 
And the crowds.  We ran through different neighbourhoods and there were bands and fans and spectators and just when you thought there was a bit of a lull you would turn a corner and people were peering over overpasses and standing on the cross sections of bridges.  It was phenomenal.
Some guy behind me said "Go Canada!" and I turned back and said thanks and he was from Wisconsin and it was just random. I was wearing a shirt that was pretty subtle, but had maple leafs on it and I think it said "Canada" on one of the short sleeves.  A couple of Canadians passed me and said hey, and I tried to acknowledge everyone that cheered for me/Canada on the course.  One woman even wished me a happy Thanksgiving which was pretty awesome because I can't remember the last Thanksgiving that I've spent with my family since I'm always running that weekend.
The heat was a bit problematic for me.  I think I also under trained a bit.  But overall I was satisfied with my time.
Came around the final corner on the course and saw a couple of people that were in distress but were receiving help.  I later found out that a fireman roughly my age died near the finish and I'm quite sure I ran past him.  It's a weird scene.  You don't know.  Maybe you've got a heart problem.  Maybe you were pushing too hard at the end.
After the race was done I just kept thinking about this guy's family.  Waiting for him to cross.  Waiting for him at their designated meeting area.  It was sad and it cast a pall on the day.  You never want to see or hear that, but it's statistically likely to happen with that many people.
I crossed the finish.  Grabbed a medal and some food and a beer (seriously: they were handing them out) and met up with some fellow NSAers and Michael.
I did my usual 3:39 and change.  Michael was 3:13.  It wasn't a PB for either of us, but we both enjoyed it and it was nice to see some North Van faces at the end.
I got a sunburn.
Then we tried to nap but couldn't.  And then went for coffee. And then met up with a bunch of North Shore people for dinner.

Don't be a bag

We took the subway downtown and got off in a rather shady area.  We're lugging our stuff around and it's dark and late and I don't know where we are and so we go into a McDonald's to use the facilities and we're pulling out maps and I'm thinking we look a little like easy marks with our pasty white faces and our overall stunned appearance and then I see this guy who looks like he walked straight off the Law and Order television set.  Black, built, jeans, diamond earrings, cop badge on a chain around his neck.  I gotta talk to this guy. 
I ask him if he knows where the Fairmont is and he takes one look at us and kind of laughs and says he'll get us to the Fairmont.  Leads us out onto the street, stops and directs traffic, gets us a cab, tells the cabbie to get us to the Fairmont and basically says "welcome to Chicago".  It was awesome.  I'm sure he's got a million other things to do than to deal with a couple of wayward tourists but it was just the quintessential greeting and he was so bloody nice.  I'll never forget it.
They track Michael's bag down and deliver it to our hotel room at like 1am in the morning or some damn thing.  It was a good thing, though, because all his running gear was in his suitcase and we were already making plans to try and replace it all, but running a marathon with all new gear?  Not a great idea.
The Fairmont was nice, but what is it with luxe hotels nickel and dimeing you to death?  $15 a day for WiFi.  What?  I'm already paying $200 a night for the room.  It was kind of weird in that regard, but on the plus side it was close to the start line and it was really quiet and we slept brilliantly when we were there.
Slept in until "noon" the next day, which was really only 10am our time.  Putzed around a bit and then hopped the shuttle out to the package pick up.  It was hot.  I had packed more for my Montreal/Ottawa leg of the trip and it was sunny and I was wearing jeans and did I mention it was hot and I was tired and cranky. 
I could have been less of a bitch on that Saturday.  I admit that.

It was windy

We were in a cab shortly after 4am on October 7th.  Because we booked our flights separately (Michael was going round trip, I was not) we were flying with different carriers.  His flight had a layover in Phoenix and mine in Portland.  The Portland airport is nice!  It was a really nice and seamless trip until I arrived at O'Hare and my baggage seemingly didn't make it.
There was one lone bag on the baggage carousel, going round and round and I kept waiting for another one to come and it didn't so I was glad that I had all my running gear in my carry on.  I went over to the Alaska Airlines baggage rep and told her my bag was missing and she started asking me what it looked like and I pointed at the lonely suitcase making its way past us and I said "it looks like that, but it's red.  It's Swiss Army".  So she types some stuff into the system and scans my baggage code and tells me that it looks like my bag was mis-tagged and she pulls the lone suitcase off the carousel and I look at it and then I notice my handwriting on the bag tag and I say "oh, that's my bag".
Yeah.
It seems that at one point I had borrowed my mom's red luggage to go somewhere.  And it's ingrained in my tiny pea head that my luggage is red now.  It's not.  It's grey with orange goddamn trim.  It was my bag that had been circling the carousel ceaselessly while I fretted about how I would have to buy a whole new wardrobe in Chicago.
It gets better, though.
Seems there are five terminals at O'Hare.  Didn't know that.  Took a while (and a train) to make it over to where Michael was once he landed.  I'm half kicking myself and half laughing about the whole ridiculous baggage incident and I finally find Michael.  And?  They've lost his luggage.
For real, like.

But I guess driving for a week or two puts words in your mouth.

I'm home now.  Got up in Ottawa at 2:15am PST and now it's past 8pm and I tried to lie down a few hours ago but I got happy feet and now I'm overtired and exhausted and kind of keyed up.  Fun!
Now to try and remember the last two weeks in the correct sequence and get down some of the memorable things that I'd like to look back on fondly.
I'll probably fall asleep on my keyboard.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Still no pants

Took the high speed bullet train from Montreal to Ottawa today.  Trains are a nice way to travel.  The trees on the east coast are beautiful this time of year: yellow, orange, green, red and brown.
Ottawa.  Hmmm... I don't want to critique anything just yet.  Hoping to get the lay of the land tomorrow.  Plus a tour of the Parliament buildings.  I wonder what the likelihood of getting a tour of the White House is these days.
Also planning to go to the National Gallery on Thursday as it's calling for rain.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I need pants

So I have depleted most of my clothing and was not successful finding a laundromat in Chicago and so I have bought some new clothes, but am having the damnedest time trying to find pants in Montreal.  Apparently they don't wear pants here: they wear leggings.  And the pants that they do wear are slim fit with tapered legs and I just absolutely hate those.  Oh, and it appears pleats might be coming back in. 
Jesus.
Anyways, hand washed my cargo pants in the sink this morning.
Off to see the Biosphere.  Or maybe the Biodome.  Je n'est ce pas.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Whee!

I am watching a Matthew Good concert on Bravo! in a hotel in Montreal while my hips start to recover from the beating they endured after running the Chicago Marathon.
Obviously there is a lot to write about it, but instead here is a picture of the cathedral at Notre Dame.  Cause I'm such a god fearing Canuck, don't you know.
Oh, funny story: running the marathon there were a couple of guys behind me and they were talking about a third guy that they knew who was running up ahead and they said "he's wearing a white singlet" and "he has grey hair" and "he doesn't like Canadians" (I was wearing a shirt emblazoned with maple leafs on it) and so I turned around and smiled and he smiled at me and I said "everyone likes Canadians".  It was funny.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I wonder how windy it will be.

Number 9. 
Go go gadget hip!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My so called life

I've mentioned that I have some pretty amazing friends.  I went for an overdue coffee with one of them downtown today.  Two hours later my throat was sore from talking so much and my perception had changed.  There are few people in life that impact me the way L does.
We went to Trees Coffee on Granville.  When I worked on Granville back in the day when I was called "Boots" I would walk by and always see this guy with white hair and a beard sitting outside the coffee shop.  When Michael and I did our "tourist in our own hometown" thing a while ago we walked by and he was there.  And he was there again today. He must be there every day.
I don't know what to make of him. He doesn't talk to anyone or hassle them.  He just sits there for hours and uses their bathroom occasionally.
And then I think: me and L come here every couple of months and we have different variations of the same conversation.
What do I want.  What do I want.
Bachelor life.
I sit here tonight and I am king.  I get whatever I want whenever I want it.  It loses its lustre. 
Maybe that's why I run marathons.  It's not a given.  You have to work hard to get it.
Anyways.  Between us, Michael and I have three bikes.  I have a 620 square foot apartment. 
I looked up bike storage options on the net today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Safeway has STILL not responded to my petulant email and also I have PMS.

If there's something I like (besides food, wine, coffee, eating out, travelling, reading and sleeping) it's music.  I listen to music pretty much every minute that I'm awake.  One thing that disturbs me is going for dinner at someone's place and they don't have any music on.  Like: what is that about?  It doesn't have to be loud, but a little jazz in the background is rather paramount.  I will take it so far as to say that I don't trust people that don't listen to music a lot.  I also don't trust people that drink Budweiser.
At any rate, I was listening to KCSM some weeks ago (as I am right now) and the music was just tremendous (I will make it to Yoshi's.  I will.) and they were asking for money and I've been listening to them for a couple of years and I've never given them anything and so I donated $50.  $50 gets you a cloth bag with the KSCM logo on it.  I do admit that I didn't want to give them just cash, I wanted something for it - but not because I like things, but because I like to advertise for organizations that I love which is why my clothing doesn't have any discernible logos.  I have a SomaFM shirt because I donated to them.  And a CBC shirt because I love them.  And a funny shirt with Obama on it because I like him a lot.  I have a shirt with a tree on it, and another with a bicycle on it, both of which I bought from a local street vendor and it works well because I like local things and I also like trees and bicycles.
Long story short, I made my donation and waited for the bag to come.  And waited.  And waited.  And then I resolved it was lost in the cross border mail and I thought about emailing them but then I thought whatever, the point was to donate to them and I did and so I hope someone deserving ended up with my KCSM bag.
And then.  Today.  I come in from my run and check my mail and lo!  The bag is there!  And it's not just some run of the mill bag.  It's made from 9 recycled bottles.  And it is slick.  I'm now torn between doing my grocery shopping with it, or with my Powell's Books bag.  You see my dilemma.  Clearly.  Also enclosed was a bumper sticker which is now affixed to my laptop.  It made my week.  If you like jazz, please check out KCSM and consider donating and possibly going to Yoshi's with me.
The other thing that I did today was become addicted to another television show (as I have watched all three seasons of "The IT Crowd" currently proffered on Netflix).  This show would be "Rescue Me".  And what can I say?  I love and have always loved Denis Leary.  He actually sings my own personal anthem. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Yep. Time for another "Greenberg" plug.

Safeway angry letter

I do so love writing angry letters.  Here is the most recent edition.  And yes, I understand that I bear no small similarity to Roger Greenberg from the movie "Greenberg" and I am okay with that.

To Whom it May Concern,

I live in North Vancouver.  I have quite studiously avoided shopping at your stores because of your incredibly uncompetitive prices and your rather hit-and-miss customer service.  Until recently I have done my shopping almost exclusively at Extra Foods on Lonsdale because it’s affordable, and because I have had an almost perfect seller/customer relationship with them.  Today’s incident, however, does bear mention and I thought I would share it with you, as I will also be sharing it with my friends and family. 
I stopped into your store at 13th and Lonsdale today to pick up some dairy products.  I got in line after a woman that was seemingly an off-duty Safeway cashier given the dialogue that she had struck up with the current cashier regarding shift schedules.  As I waited to have my items rung through I noticed the cashier was only ringing through approximately 50 – 70% of the items of her co-worker.  No small portion of items skipped the scanner and were placed into the “customer’s” bag.  As though this wasn’t enough, the customer then advised the cashier “Can you please make it around $50?”, which I interpreted to mean that the cashier was to adjust the bill accordingly.

The cashier then proceeded to ring my items through and they were, as usual, overpriced.  She did not ask for my Safeway Card and I had to prompt her.  Oddly, none of my items mysteriously jumped over the scanner and landed into my bag.  She gave me my adjusted total and I paid with a credit card.  During this interaction the cashier said next to nothing to me.  I inserted my card into the slot, retrieved it and waited for the typical “have a good afternoon Ms. R-“ and even that wasn’t forthcoming.  I took my receipt and put it in my bag and paused, and it was after this prolonged period that she wished me a good afternoon.

Undoubtedly you can see that no small amount of transgressions occurred here.  And I understand (and agree) that employees and their families receive a discount on their purchases.  But one would think that that would be a percentage taken off the total bill, and not a plan in which one was able to pick and choose what they paid for.  And furthermore: I don’t care if your employees are ripping you off as a way to get back at you for unfriendly labour practices.  But your prices are high (just Wiki yourself) and it really does rather rot my socks when your employees are getting a five fingered discount while I get bent over the check out scanner.

I look forward to your response.

I miss my cheap chick peas

The Extra Foods that was a 90 second walk from my apartment has closed.  It is going to be torn down and then rebuilt: but with an amazing amount of condominiums on top of it, and some townhouses too.  Basically I will never be able to sell my place ever, and I am going to be a bachelor until sometime in my mid-fifties.  Ha ha, who I am kidding?  I should start stockpiling cats now.
Anyways, I hate Safeway because they're bastards.  I get vigorously rogered every time I go into that sodding store and so I've taken to shopping at the local fruit and veg place and am routinely kicking myself for not doing this sooner.  I bought three huge bags of produce there last weekend for $22 and I'm still trying to get through it all.  I do, however, have to buy my dairy at Safeway and so I went in there today to do just that and here is what happened.  And yes, I realize that this would be but a minor nuisance to someone with a 50 hour work week that had to get in and out and get dinner on the table for a family of four, but because I live the life of Riley I was able to soak it all in and drink wine and blog about it later.  As one does.
So, I clearly pick the wrong line up.  It's something I'm rather adept at.  The woman in front of me is maybe in her early forties.  The ridden hard and put away wet kind, but I spied wedding rings and so there's likely a lucky Mr. in the picture that she was going home to.  At any rate, she's jawing off to the cashier in such a manner that I'm guessing that she's actually a cashier at Safeway as well.  The woman ringing her through was a bit rough around the edges as well, and really didn't seem to be in much of hurry, conversing with her mate as she flipped through the latest offering of "US" or "In Touch" or something equally intellectual. 
Am I being judgemental?   Yes.  It's what I do.
And this is what started to happen. I'm watching the cashier scan her coworkers' items through and she has a failure rate between 30 and 50%.  A couple of items made it across the scanner, and then it was one made it, and one skipped it, and one made it, and one went into the bag.
I will interject here that at one time, being a Safeway cashier was somewhat lucrative.  Perhaps they were unionized?  I'm not sure, but the pay and the benefits were good and then management busted them all down to part time to get around paying extended health care and all the other brilliant things that corporations do to increase their bottom line.  I get it.  I used to work for Maersk and one of their logos was "Our equipment is our number one asset" or something to that extent.  Well, the fucking shipping containers weren't working overtime every day - unpaid - to get the financial statements out on time now, were they?
Back to the story.
As though the lackadaisical way in which this cashier rang her mate through wasn't generous enough, the woman actually said to her "Could you make it around $50?".
Yeah.  I'm standing three feet from her.  Um, could you make mine around $10?  I get that you don't get paid a lot and that you don't have any loyalty to your company but heretofore I thought that I was getting heinously abused because maybe... Safeway donated a lot to charity.  Or perhaps they had a magnificent gain sharing program.  Not so much.  It appears that people that work there get to eat for half price.  Neat trick.
And again: I understand if you're trying to right a perceived wrong in your mind by doing this?  But when I right my perceived wrongs?  I do it surreptitiously.  I hide my apathy and my bitter mistrust.  No one's the wiser.  Good mornings to everyone!
When you give your buddy a 50% discount as I watch you're not just fucking Safeway, you're fucking me.
And nobody fucks with the Jesus.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

But mostly... I'm just mad that I didn't make it to Dan Mangan this afternoon.

I stand by my last post

So, fundamentally, after $84,000 of therapy I'm talking to my mom on the phone the other day and she intimates that I'm never content.  I'm restless.
I work out six days a week.
I change jobs - on average - every four years.
I've lived in six different places in fifteen years.
In the last month I've slept in four other beds, not including my own.
I've already booked my hotel room for Boston next year.
I'm not sure what that means.  It could be a chemical imbalance.  I often wonder when I discuss things in therapy if they are things that I need to change or if they are what they are and they make up the fundamental structure of who I am and so, by altering them, I would alter my personality.
Now let's throw in the fact that I'm very independent and that I'm beholden to no one and lo, we have a shit storm on our hands.  We have a restless girl with opportunities and resources who refuses to answer to anyone that wants to do what she wants when she wants, and she can't understand why anyone would stand in her way as she careens through life.
I have a four day, 32 hour work week with a pension.  I have a boyfriend who made an amazing spread for me last night with all my favourite foods just because he loves it when I come over.  I have the means and the ability to routinely run 26.2 miles in various cities on the continent.  I have friends that love me and, even when a few weeks go by and we haven't connected because our lives are catastrophic whirlwinds?  They haven't forgotten me even though I always fear that they will. 
I have tons of family that hug and fuss over me.  People that read my blog send me music and hand knit socks!?!  I even have an ex boyfriend (who still talks to me!) who is happy to take me out and about town on a Saturday night (I have another ex boyfriend that I've attempted to be friendly with but it didn't take, namely because I think the "breast feeding" comments I made might not have been just in my head, but that's okay because they're funny and true).
So.
The restlessness.
Maybe there's an app for that.
Or maybe it's time to challenge myself in other way.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Seriously?

I registered for Boston at 7am today.  Still haven't heard back.
WTF.
It's day three of the registration.  It's for people that have beat their qualifying times by over ten minutes.  Dude: I won the marathon than I'm trying to qualify with.
On the form it asked what my position overall was.  I was TWELFTH.  Eleven guys crossed and then me.
Come on.

Monday, September 12, 2011

On setting off metal detectors because of the horseshoe situation

This weekend Michael was in the RBC Granfondo. This is a 120 kilometre ride that starts downtown Vancouver and ends up in Whistler.
I went up on the Friday night as the race is on the Saturday and I didn't want to deal with the clusterfuck that would be people trying to make their way up to Whistler with half of the highway closed on Saturday.  I entertained myself quite adeptly on Friday night, as one does, and then made it to the finish line whereupon I promptly missed Michael coming across the finish line.  God.  Damn.  It.  I hate missing him but it all works out in the great karmic sense as he missed me winning the Edge to Edge in June.
Even though I didn't see him finish it was very exciting to see all the riders coming across with huge grins on their faces after having biked for four and five hours to get up there.  Michael completed it in just over 4.5 hours which is bloody amazing considering it took me two hours to drive there in my car.
He looked and felt great afterwards and didn't even want a nap so we wandered around and - total serendipity - caught Jim Cuddy and Barney Bentall playing an impromptu concert in their biking gear since they had ridden up from Vancouver as well.  It was fucking phenomenal.  I was maybe 20 feet away from them, front of the stage and they rocked: playing some Blue Rodeo, some Barney Bentall, some Bob Dylan.  Oh my god were they good.
Relaxed a bit in the hotel and met some friends for dinner before heading over to see the free 54.40 concert which was also totally awesome.  They are so good live.  I have one of their albums and I've never been a huge fan, but seeing them live (and again, super close to the stage) was just spectacular.  I had a blast.
Went for post concert drinks with our friends, crashed at the hotel.  Had a gigantic breakfast the next morning and headed out.  Arrived home with just enough time to unpack and do some laundry and meet up with more friends for dinner.
Made myself sleep until noon today.  Yet another condo showing (still no bites) and then met a friend for dinner and illuminating conversation.
Clearly I haven't fucked up my life, which is nice.
I'm going to think less and do more.
I'm going to try and register for Boston on Wednesday.
I'm going to Europe in the spring if I have to go by my goddamned self.
The Extra Foods next to me is closed until 2013.  Still trying to get over that, but I do think I shall survive.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Reprieves

True to form, I have been adeptly and stealthily working at ways to destroy my life because... because... I'm not sure.  That's the $64,000 question.  Ironically, that's what I've spent on therapy year to date.
I'm not stupid.
I'm logical.
But there's this innate sense of restlessness that I can't shake.  I should be so exorbitantly happy.  I have a four day work week.  I'm not a slave to the man. My car turns over every time I start it.  I won a marathon once, for chrissakes.  I flail around and gesticulate wildly and weep uncontrollably and my partner of 11 years says "yes, I still love you.  Yes, we can make it work".  Anything I've ever wanted I've gotten.
My mom says I've been like that from the get go.  Maybe it's a part of my fibre.  Maybe there's an app for that.
I hate whinging blogs that are all self-absorbed and all-encompassing.  This is that blog.

Went to Shipbuilders' Square again on Friday night and caught even more great music and bought another album.  Went to the Gull after for more live music and an animated discussion about the global economy.  It's always lighthearted with me.
Saturday was a ten miler followed by a BBQ at Po's place.  God she has a nice place.  I'm thinking house swapping might be in order so I can sleep nights sometimes (as I write this house sitting just up the road).
Sunday was a 19 mile run and, given the issues I've been working through (in physio this time), it went freakishly well.  Little lie down (and burn) in the sun after.  Then sushi and Sunday night cartoons and explosive arguments.
As exercising is more important than talking, the arguments were put on hold to do the BCMC this morning - holy fucking technical, Batman - and then we saw the beautiful grizzly bears at the top of the mountain.  Took the tram down.  Had dinner in the park.  Argued some more.
Essentially arrived at the point we always arrive at: I'm spastic.  And blessed, apparently.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Paolo Nutini

He's so good.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Portage and Main

Thank you for taking me back. Let's never fight again. I love you. You look sexy in that dress.

Caught Portage and Main rather randomly at Shipbuilders' Square today: excellent. I went home and bought the album. Great perfomance, super talented group: check 'em out.

Green Couch Session PORTAGE AND MAIN from Green Couch on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Stupid shit people say

"Money doesn't buy happiness". Well, if it's not buying you happiness, then give it to me.

"They have nothing there, but they're always so happy". Really? You must not think them that happy, otherwise you would give away all your money to reach their level of supposed nirvana.

I became debt free today. And I can go out and buy the car that I covet. And I can rationalize it by saying that I spend a fair amount of time in rush hour traffic, so why not do it in comfort?
Unfortunately that's not my style. Actually, I have no style to speak of, so... that's happening.
Busy weekend. Dinners, coffees, runs, Bard on the Beach, a bike ride, a late night phone call. Ack.
My therapist gave me the gears on Monday. Intimated that maybe my running was more than "running". Hey, if you pack enough into each day, into each weekend? It leaves you very little time to do the things that you know you ought to do, but are scared to try.
She gives homework, and my homework currently is to write half an hour a day. And to leave the Saboteur out of it. The Saboteur is my nemesis. And for some reason when I think of the Saboteur, I think of Edith Rimmington's "The Oneiroscopist" for no other reason that there is a surrealism exhibit showing at the Vancouver Art Gallery and that is the picture that's been plastered everywhere.
I think I will like the exhibit.
My book is about wine consumption and ennui.
I think there's a huge market for that, don't you, Saboteur?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yawn

Last night I dreamed that a contractor had taken my stainless steel fridge and replaced it with an antiquated icebox and a small Picasso. Distressed, I summoned him to a meeting wherein he subtly hit on me and said he admired my taste in music which I thought was odd since most of music isn't visible as it's on my laptop.
I left the meeting, naked and wrapped in the blue blanket that I sling over my leather love seat, eating a gigantic piece of ham.
And of all the wildly interesting dreams I have had, I can actually deconstruct this one:


  • I am currently reading "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" by Gertrude Stein who was a friend of Picasso.


  • Last night I borrowed Michael's shuffle charger as mine is seemingly broken and I can't stand to run long distances (or any distance, really) without my music.


  • I realized, last night, that I haven't eaten any meat since Monday and that my diet these days seems to consist of an inordinate amount of quinoa and lentils. I am okay with this.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ah!

Blogging is stressful.

No small amount of things have occurred lately.

We went to see my brother for his thirtieth birthday in Abbotsford.

My mom and Michael and I went to see the Vancouver Canadians.

I was attacked, during a 14 miler, by horseflies. I HATE HORSEFLIES.

I've been riding my bike around. And getting lost.

I'm fat.

I need new shoes.

And a bunch of other stuff.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

High ideals

Moderation.

Not something I've ever been supremely adept at.

I'm trying, though.

I ate too much sushi tonight, but then ran 4 miles after. And then watched 1.5 episodes of "Castle". But did my physio exercises and worked the foam roller for at least 20 minutes. But then... and then.

And then?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Horseshoe extravaganza

Additionally, the dinner tonight went well. I made a butternut squash curry, with quinoa and spinach salad on the side. Everyone had seconds. Michael brought two pies: mixed berry; and cherry. And also some macaroons.

J, sitting next to me on the couch, noticed that I hadn't eaten my macaroon and said she would take it off my hands for me. I said that no, I was just pacing myself and so Michael got her another one. She can be pretty aggressive given she's like 5 inches shorter than me and very soft spoken.

G ran the Knee Knacker last week and J was in charge of all the aid stations for the race. Early on in the evening we all congratulated one another: G for completing the Knee Knacker; J for being the 1st female in her age category and the 2nd female overall for Elk Lake 50 miler; Michael for placing 2nd in his age category at the Edge to Edge Half marathon; and to me for placing first in my age category and first overall female for the Edge to Edge marathon.

We chatted. We ate. We drank. And then it was hugs all around and we said "hope to see you soon" and "feel better" as we have two hamstring issues, an IT band problem and a rotated hip betwixt us. Seriously. After Chicago, Boston and Big Sur? No more marathons.

Oh, and because I knew I'd be kind of tired and hungover tomorrow I emailed my therapist earlier in the week to see if she had anything later than our usual 9:10am appointment and she said no, but then late tonight she said she had a cancellation and so I get to sleep in an extra hour.

And also I scored two free tickets to Bard on the Beach including a salmon barbeque and seating for the fireworks that night because... horseshoe.

Seriously. How cool is that?