Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's Funny 'Cause it's True

Not sure how to describe my sense of humour -- wry, witty, dark? I'm pretty selective with what I find funny and rarely force myself to laugh. D says that I'm just too serious and need to laugh more. I'll take that. Trouble is, I don't go looking for humour. In fact other people's attempts to be funny usually just get on my nerves (I'm mainly talking about my partner here). But every once in a while I'm struck by something that is unbearably funny -- we're talking tears, rolling on the floor, about to pee your pants funny.

Here's such an example. About 10 years ago I was living near T.O. and when I'd take the DVP to head into downtown, I remember always being stressed about what road to take next -- the Gardner or Lakeshore, Gardner or Lakeshore ... which one is backed up? oh crap, I've got to make a decision quick, Gardner or Lakeshore, fucking hell, alright -- Lakeshore it is. I'd go through this rigmarole every single time I headed downtown. And sure enough, I'd always end up taking the wrong highway -- the one that was backed up with traffic. So one day while stuck behind a parade of parked cars, I looked out my window and saw a big billboard that read "You should have taken the Gardner". Holy shit! I laughed out loud -- I remember being all alone in the car but did I ever laugh and cry and laugh. I guess I found it funny because it was true. Ah -- just reminiscing about this incident is making me laugh again, lol.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Butterfly Story

Not a bad little story here to remind me of the importance in letting people solve their own problems, especially my children. I was in a mgmt course this week and the facilitator told a short tale of a man who was observing a butterfly coming out of its cocoon. When it looked like the butterfly was having difficulty busting out, the man decided to help by carefully tearing open the cocoon. Only this did not give the butterfly an opportunity to strengthen its wings, so it fell to ground and subsequently died. Yikes.
Stop telling the kids (and my partner) what to do and instead help them realize that they already know what to do!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

He's come alive!

Spending time with his family (parents, brothers and their families) is the one thing that truly makes my partner happy. He completely comes alive when they are together. It's nice to see him so elated and at the same time I feel like time with us must feel like a death sentence for him. Maybe it's an Italian thing, that deep connection to your family. Of course when I say 'my family' I think of the kids and my partner. Getting hitched meant officially leaving my folks and starting anew. Not so with my partner.

Maybe it's because there is no real obligation with extended family, not like at home. Everyday is a struggle with three young kids. There is no real break to be had. But with extended family, they take care of you and you don't really have to give back. Maybe he just misses being a kid and likes to have someone dote on him again? I feel that way with my family. My Mom is my biggest supporter. I know that she and my Dad will never let me down. I also know that they love me unconditionally. Whereas at home, we have to earn each other's love. Yeah, I'm starting to get this now. And there's nothing wrong with loving those that love you the most. I know I can't make him that happy and that's okay.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Seething Mad

After hearing about the bail conditions placed on Alex Hundert (an alleged ring-leader of the violence that took place at the G20 demonstration in Toronto this past summer), I was overcome with anger. Telling my partner about it and seeing him react the same way just added fuel to our fire. The conditions go WAY BEYOND was is necessary to "protect public safety". No Internet communication, no expressing a political view, no talking to the media, no association with specific individuals (including his GF?)! All of this because he allegedly vandalized private property. He is clearly being made an example of in order to dissuade other activists. This is a complete abomination of his civil rights and I am utterly shocked that this can happen in Canada of all places. My partner and I decided to channel our anger into writing the Attorney General, who is being pretty tight-lipped about the whole thing.
But once again, here is the problem. I cannot write, especially when I am emotional about something. See for yourself, here was the opening of our 'letter':
"Alex Hundert's bail conditions, and overall treatment are preposterous. What country is this?"
How to write an eloquent letter of complaint that goes straight to the heart of the matter and shows that as a law-abiding (and voting) citizen you disapprove of your government and are demanding action? I need practice with this. Is there a course? Template? Help, someone!
IT-ish people just can't write. I see it all the time -- they have a deep-seated fear of writing and are too ashamed to admit it. I am obviously not ashamed to put my weaknesses out there in the blogsphere. Only I want desperately to change. Writing this blog is helping, but not fast enough (I'm all about immediate gratification, remember). Time to start taking some writing courses and finding inspiration from great writers.

A Bimbo Moment

I'm too shy to share this on FB but it'll make you giggle. I was having trouble with the new photo copier this morning and when a co-worked came by to pick up her print job, I explained that I kept getting blank pages after which she whispered "I think you're feeding it in upsidedown". WUPS! Good thing I left the IT world when I did!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I just learned that pedology is the study of soil and that heraldry is the profession/study of blazoning arms (as in coat of arms). These are words that I will likely never use, but I feel just a wee bit smarter every time I learn a new word. Who knows, maybe my writing will be past the Gr. 8 level by the time I'm 40!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I did a good deed

The fact that I want so badly to toot my own horn probably just negates it, but I want to type this out as a reminder to myself on how great I feel right now.

I suggested my partner spend the evening attending a political debate for city councillor. Not the most titillating event, but one I knew he'd get a charge out of. This would be the equivalent of me having my monthly Mommy night. For some reason my partner doesn't get together with his buds anymore. Team sports are also passé. So the only 'thing' he has is watching sports and managing his various pools. And now he's back, happier than a clam. The kitchen is cleaned up, lunches are made, kids are bathed and in bed. Ahhhh, I ROCK.

As far as good deeds go, this is WAAAAYY down on the Mother Theresa Scale, but I feel really good about taking care of business and giving my partner the night off. Maybe other things are also making me feel good today too? Whatever the reason, I want to do more of it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I'm disappointed in myself today for not biting my tongue. I hadn't even spent five minutes chatting to my MIL before starting to spue my judgements of her. She was telling me all about how involved she is with my 18 year old niece who is away at university this year. The girl is being coddled like nothing I've ever seen! She's driven everywhere, told to give updates on her where-abouts. She even had to get her parent's permission to stay over at a girlfriend's place? Rather than get my sympathy on just how difficult and unreliable the bus systems is on the weekends, I couldn't bear hearing another word. I blurted out that it was ridiculous to treat her like a child and that hopefully the novelty would wear off soon. Of course, my MIL was shocked to hear me contradict her so sharply. She made some weak defense about doing her duty to look out for her grand-daughter and closed the door to her car and just left. Ugh.

Why did I react so strongly? Time to look in the mirror once again. I coddle our kids. I do everything for them and constantly tell them what to do. I want to encourage their autonomy, but I keep forgetting to apply my knowledge. Reminder of my role here: my job is to prepare them to leave the nest. I don't think my niece even realizes that she is being smothered, poor thing. She'll probably never know what it feels like to think for herself, find her way or make big decisions until after she's been married with kids for 10 years.

My parents coddled me, but they also let us have our freedom when we were teenagers. I was practically living with my boyfriend by the time I was 21 -- my parents saw me on weekends when I came home to do my laundry. If we needed to get somewhere, the bus was it. We were expected to work if we wanted spending money. My folks certainly didn't know anything about what I was learning at uni. They trusted me to study and attend classes as I saw fit. I want this for my children and more. If my daughter wants to go back-packing across Europe when she's 18, then I will support her all the way. If my son wants to start his own business or go work in another country, I will not get in his way.

My mistake today was in speaking out of turn. My partner was relieved that I said something because he too has been getting annoyed with the coddling. But just because it's not my way does not mean that I have the right to tell someone else they are wrong. Gawd, years of parenting and meeting others with different lifestyles should've taught me that by now! I am grateful at the reminder though -- my kids need me yes, but they should need me a little bit less each day or I am not doing my job.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Political Speak

I know that I'll probably never go further in my career than where I am right now because I am not a bureaucrat. I can't write or speak formally. In fact I can barely comprehend this type of communication. And yet, I want to know how its done. I was in a meeting the other day with people who speak this way. Someone asks a question and the answer sounds good, "Thank you Doreen. I'm glad you asked that question because I know that the user community has a keen interest in .... and our role is to ..... and it goes on and on and then my mind starts to wander about things you should not be thinking about at work :-P. But I digress. The long-winded spiel doesn't really answer the question. It's shrouded in management double-speak and leaves you wondering 'what was just said exactly?' Yet, no one is brave enough to speak up.

I don't think Toast Masters will help me with this one. Maybe I should spend time listening to CPAC or Meet the Press? Media training? I'm direct and cut straight through the bullshit which I think is a rare and beautiful thing (not so great in personal relationships though). But it wouldn't hurt if I could conduct myself in a more professional manner.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fake Boobs

I've often fantasized about getting my breasts done but never really thought I'd go through with it until recently. I half-jokingly suggested it to my partner the other night and he was all over it. Within five minutes he was on the net doing 'research'. Saline vs silicone, what are the advantages of each? what feels and looks more natural? what about the cost? Ugh. I'm really torn about this. On the one hand I miss my breasts. Five and a half years (and still counting) of breast feeding and losing 35 lbs have really wreaked havoc on my poor little breasts. I love my girls, but I can't accept them as they are. I want to restore them to their former glory. I'm not talking about blowing them up to mammoth porn-sized knockers, just respectable C-cups.
The other part of me feels like a complete fraud for wanting this. Surely the money can be put to a nobler cause! How will it feel not being 100% me? Will I really like my body more with alien implants floating on my chest? What will I tell my daughter (or anyone else for that matter)?
Lastly, there's my partner. He's a little too enthusiastic about it. I appreciate his support, but what about loving me as I am? Hell, he would've made the appointment for me last night, had I suggested it. Ugh -- I can just picture his greedy paws all over my fake breasts. The boy is already insatiable. The fake breasts will turn him into a crazed pervert. And how will I look when I'm 80 years old with stacked tits?

I don't know. The fantasy is nice... But I've got some pretty kick ass padded bras, so why do I really want to do this? My partner will be devastated if I tell him that I've had a change of heart. Although I'll probably change my mind a hundred times and he'll just have to live with whatever I decide. Right now, I'm still the 'milk lady', so the boob-job will have to wait. xx

Sunday, October 10, 2010


K - I still haven't logged off but I needed to rant just a little bit more while I have a buzz (this after having just posted a promise to not complain for three weeks which is nullified if alcohol is at play btw).
I'm startng to have i-Phone envy thanks to all the buzz about apps I'm exposed to like this one for finding recipes.
I used to love to gnaff at ppl who'd spend upwards of $100 for their cell phones each month to call whom exactly? I have a cell phone and I never use it. I don't text, I just don't feel the need to stay in touch when I am on the road. I like not being reachable. Freedom, baby. I'm never away for more than an hour and I do let the people who need me know where I'll be. It's just fun now and then to be able to pretend that I have no responsibilities.

But now I feel like I'm missing something. Arg! However cool these apps are, it's still not worth the expense, right? Financial independence. I can't forget that. Say no to the toys D. Just say no.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Refuse to complain for 3 weeks. When you catch yourself begin your 3 weeks over again. You will find that you complain about the same thing repeatedly

More uplifting advice here. I'm drawn to this in particular because I have a heavy heart. I find myself repeating the same patterns of complaining, blaming, judging at work ... making excuses instead of just making the best of it. This is not how I want to live.
Didn't I promise to check my storm cloud at the door once I was back at work? My partner recently told me that he hates having to listen to things he has zero interest in. No kidding! My work is my thing and I shouldn't bore him to death with the politics of my office. He certainly doesn't subject me to it. But come on, I'm female and I need to talk in order to feel better. Talking is one thing, but complaining ALL THE TIME is pathetic and when I really think about it, complaining just makes me feel worse instead of better. Change, leave or accept D.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Culture of insubordination

I think I've finally figured out why things are so dysfunctional at work. We survive in a culture of insubordination. No one respects authority, there's really no accountability. As my friend says, "the cheques just keep coming in no matter how much or how little we do." So nobody cares and it's contagious as all hell.

Take today for example, I heard my bosses' boss say that he wanted us to meet to develop a work plan that clearly showed what the priorities, time frames and persons accountable would be for each item listed in our Audit Action Plan. But my manager had her own plans. She wanted us to talk about a work plan she had consultants create for us two years ago. Yes, it was a good plan but OMG, this is not what your boss wanted!! Our priorities are his priorities! Of course, I am one to talk. I question everything that I am told to do because I know it will change like the wind and go no where. I remember a couple years ago I complained to a co-worked -- "why should I do that?" "Because she is your manager" was his response. It dawned on me then that I too had absorbed the culture of insubordination of my workplace.

Well, we've got to change. And it starts with me. I WILL step it up and help my manager develop this work plan dammit. I WILL take her requests seriously and live up to my commitments, no matter how frivolous I think they are. Like this classification project I've been bitching about. No, I do not believe in it. But who cares? That's not what they are paying me for. I've got to just follow my orders and stop faffing about. Bloody hell, I will NOT continue to contribute to the dysfunction. I will not.

When we fight

Thankfully, it's not often that my partner and I fight, but when we do, it can last days. The silent treatment is our favourite. We're both too old to yell and say mean things to each other (at least initially). Here's our pattern.

1. He does something to upset me. Remember my rejection post from a few days ago? Well he was not there for me when I needed him the most and it really hurt. So I told him that he let me down (in the most direct and honest way possible).

Mistake #1: Letting my partner know that he has disappointed me is the absolute worse thing I could've said. For us, it's the equivalent of telling a man his dick is small. Seriously. It goes straight to the heart -- he feels like a failure. He feels completely unloved and thinks that I feel he ALWAYS disappoints (which is not true).

2. He gets defensive and explains why I should not be upset. He makes perfectly logical excuses for himself and expects everything to be fine.

Mistake #2: I'm already feeling hurt and not cared for, invalidating my feelings more makes me even more upset. I need him to listen, understand my pain, give me a hug, show me that I matter to him.

3. He feels my disapproval even more now and blames me for upsetting him and expects an apology from me.

Mistake #3: I am now even more pissed off than before and there's no way in fucking hell I am apologizing. Now the gloves are off. Forget about enlightenment and biting my tongue. Anything that's pissed me off in the last month is about to come out. This is war.

On my bike ride in this morning I was thinking about how all of this could have been avoided if I had just lowered my expectations of him. Empathy is not his forte (he's even worse than me). He shows support through service -- taking care of the kids and our home and he does it very well. I have to keep reminding myself that I can't expect my partner to fulfill all of my needs. This is why I have my Mom and my girlfriends to turn to. They are not obligated to make me feel better and because of that I do not get upset if they are not available; they have their own loved ones that need them.

My partner wants to be my hero by fixing my problems. He's a bloody engineer! Like yesterday, I had to go downtown but didn't want to ride my bike in heavy traffic. So my partner suggested I bike halfway, bus it in and then bike back which was a brilliant idea. He was so proud of himself and I was genuinely grateful for his advice. I know this is a small example, but that's where his comfort zone is. Growing up with two brothers and a cold father hasn't taught him to be sensitive to women. In fact when I think back to when we were dating I remember him telling me what a relief it was to be with someone who wasn't emotional! He doesn't want to be my shoulder to cry on and I should stop wanting to change him.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Probably the number one thing that keeps me out of trouble. Thank Gawd for Karma. When I contemplate doing something wrong, I immediately say "this is going to bite me in the ass -- is it really worth it?" And the best thing about Karma is that it won't hit you where you expect it -- it will be get you back ten fold and will affect something very dear to you. So the temptation is rarely worth the risk. It also works for little things. For example, lately I've noticed myself sneaking food -- a few cookies here, a few morsels of chocolate there. No one will notice. Who am I kidding? My waistline will notice and it already has. Karma baby. You can't get away with anything. You just can't. And I both hate it and love it at the same time.