• the anomaly that is me

    the first six decades of 2020

    Face it. We’ve likely all aged about 60 years since January 1st. I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to be counting each month as a decade right now. So here I am, on the final day of June 2070, writing things down so I can look back on this time and remember… wait. Do I even want to remember any of this? I knew change was coming in the near future, I simply wasn’t expecting it to all happen at the same time. We have history books dedicated to entire centuries, but 2020 is going to end up as some sort of Time Life Encyclopedia Set of history books. Maybe the rest of the 20s will be quiet and uneventful. Man, I hope so. Like many people right now, I find myself torn between needing to stay informed, and needing to unplug and back away from all the heavy, negative news out there. I’m not shying away from what really matters, but it’s so overwhelming that my already anxious, and sensitive system isn’t digesting things well. There’s just so much wrong with the world at the moment. The world is breaking apart, to be reborn a-new. The cracks that have been forming through the years have suddenly fallen apart and the lava underneath it all has found its way to the surface. And besides all the worldly upheaval, my own personal battles are still waging. Everything builds and builds and weighs me down. I’m overwhelmed, anxious, exhausted, sad, angry, restless, and…

  • holiday fun

    christmas 2017

    Once there was an evil grinch who decided to try to steal Christmas from us, and possibly many others. That evil grinch should rot in hell. Finding out at 9pm on the 22nd of December that your bank account has been hacked and all your money stolen, is not the way you want to start the Christmas festivities. Trust me, I know first hand. I have to thank both gentlemen I spoke with, while trying to not break down,  as I was in  the car, in the parking  lot at work. Both the bank call-centre guy, and the credit card call-centre guy, we calm, helpful, and kind. I also need to thank the bank teller, and bank manager,  from one of the handful of branches that are open on a Saturday, for being calm, helpful, and kind. Because realizing this happened on a Friday night, when nothing bank-related is  open again for another 5 days, and having no access to your bank account, or credit card, AND having all money drained from your accounts, is NOT even close to Feeling Festive. We won’t find anything out with regards to the fraud claims until who knows when – because nothing will be  looked at until December 27, but the people I spoke with Friday  night, and Saturday morning, did their best to get the ball rolling. I would just like the money put back in our accounts before the  mortgage is due. And of course we keep having snow storms. Which…

  • Uncategorised

    living with a cat

    My entire life has been, “I have dogs, but I love cats, too! I’m just allergic!” And I meant it. I was certain I was as much as cat person as a dog person. The cats I have known throughout my life have been quiet, purring, calm creatures. I briefly lived with a cat I rescued back in 2000-and..er..something. 2001? 2000? It was when I lived with Kewpie, my first Finnish Lapphund. He was a kitten, and then he wasn’t, and I suddenly could not breathe after I got home from a week away. The friend who was cat-sitting said he wasn’t going to give the cat back because he loved him. Well, that worked out fine, because as much as I didn’t want to say goodbye to Taliesin (now Danny), I legit couldn’t breathe from the cat fur. It was bad. Bad enough that I let him live with my friend. (And he’s still alive today! The cat, I mean. Well, the friend too. They are both alive. So yay all around.) Enter Abigail. I have learned a lot in the 6 months she’s lived with us. I have learned that I have trouble handling animals that do not listen and/or obey commands. I have learned that cats can sound an awful lot like whining, crying, small children and that sound brings out a very strong rage within me. It’s a nails-on-chalkboard sort of reaction. I can’t stand it. I have learned that cats do not listen when you…

  • Uncategorised

    the ever-changing world

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how excited my grandmother was when the year changed from 1999 to 2000. It was so important to her to watch the ball drop in NYC at midnight as the century changed from the 1900s to the 2000s. I think she stayed up watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve that night, and had an alarm set so my grandfather would wake up and celebrate the change in years with her. I am sure he was excited as well, but he wouldn’t admit it. Poppop liked to grump about things like that more than he liked to admit he was excited. July 12, 1942 I remember my grandmother saying that she and my grandfather never thought they’d see a new century. My Nana was born in 1918, my Poppop was born in 1912. They lived into their 90s, and being alive to see a new century begin was amazing to them. This was during the time the younger crowd was freaking out about the end of the world, and computers not working, and Y2K DOOM, and whatnot. My grandparents just wanted to see a year that didn’t begin with 19. They saw so much change in their lives. So many discoveries in medicine, technology, media. Cars were invented, and evolved. Television was invented, and evolved. Cures for diseases were discovered and worked. Men travelled to the moon. Computers were created and shrank in size so that they could be brought into your own home.…

  • Uncategorised

    stuff in my head while i’m trying to fall asleep

    Why do we have zoos? I have been to many a zoo in my lifetime. School trips. Trips with friends. Trips as a kid. Trips as an adult. And though I can recall being excited, “Yay! Going to the zoo!” I also recall feeling awkward once there, watching animals pace in small spaces, or animals who look a little worse-for-wear. And zoos aren’t something I tend to think about often, or at all. Not even while I am visiting one, and looking at the sleeping creatures on the other side of the glass. Nope. I think, “yay, zoo!” and then I think, “those animals look out of sorts”, and then I just forget about it all. But zoos have been on my mind recently. Zoos have been in the news for various reasons – births, deaths, escaped R.O.U.S., and so on. And I’m suddenly wondering – why do we even have zoos? Is it not strange to round up various creatures from all over the world and stick them in one location for humans to come gawk at? We don’t do this for hospitals, senior homes, or jails. We don’t say, “hey! Let’s go look at all the different old people, confined to beds and wheelchairs, today! What fun!” We don’t organize school field trips to jails to ogle the men and women behind bars in their jumpsuits. So why do we do this with animals? Why do we plunk animals out of their natural habitats and ship them to habitats…

  • memories

    when the flame goes out

    I was sitting at my desk yesterday, counting down the minutes until it was time to go home, when a friend came over, in tears,  to see me. Bad news is never expected. Bad news comes out of nowhere and punches you in the gut. A mutual friend of ours, someone I had worked with myself and adored, collapsed at work that afternoon and passed away. Sudden. I couldn’t breathe. As I made my way home, I began to shake. I was numb. In shock. I haven’t worked with Shane in 10 years. But when I was at the bookstore, he was one of my favourite people. He was one of My Shippers. I loved the men in the shipping department. They were my gang of protectors. They came to my wedding. They joined me for my Birthday Bowling Extravaganzas. Every time I’d see them at a union meeting, I’d always go over for hugs and gossip. Shane was always someone I could count on to make me laugh. He was never a doom and gloom guy. Not a chipper, cheerleader fellow, but someone with a sharp wit and sarcastic streak, and someone who always had a joke, or comment to make me laugh. He lived hard. He played hard. He was Shane. I always thought of him as The Fonz of the group. He was the Cool Guy. Listening to the rock station (always on in the shipping department). He always put a smile on my face. I went looking…

  • after the fire,  the anomaly that is me

    missing: me, myself, and I

    Sometimes a lyric deeply resonates with you. You hear it and your entire world stops. The only thing you know is, “This. This is exactly what I feel but I couldn’t put words to it.” And it’s amazing how much can change in a decade. And it’s strange what dates we cling to as we keep track of time. Some people have said I should let go of these dates, but I can’t. I don’t want to. They are a reminder of how much of the battle I have fought, and not lost. ——- Ten years ago today, I was 30. I had just been offered a new job a couple of days prior. Our apartment burned down in the evening. Ten years ago. So much has happened since then. So many changes. I’m still in the same job I had just been offered. I’m now 40. I own a house. We didn’t lose anything important in the fire. Shawn was home when the flat above us went up in flames. He was able to get out with the dogs. I came home early from work. We watched firefighters battle the blaze for over 4 hours. We didn’t know where we’d live. But it worked out. We survived. We got stronger. ——- Three years ago today, the sky came crashing down.  It has taken me a long time to realize that my trauma from this event isn’t just seeing a life end in front of me, in one of the most…

  • after the fire

    surreal

    There’s a major, major fire happening down the street from us. I first noticed the smoke out of the corner of my eye through the back door around 4:30pm this afternoon. At first I thought it was a dark storm cloud but then it moved super fast and got bigger. So we went out, around the corner and tried to find the source. It was all just SMOKE. Huge, dense clouds of smoke, yet we couldn’t smell anything. Not a thing. We couldn’t get far because the sidewalks still aren’t ploughed from the snowstorm this weekend and we couldn’t walk in the street because of the traffic. The cops and firetrucks were blocking off the street. We stopped where we were and you could see the orange light of the flames reflecting off the clouds of smoke every so often. We came home and I searched the internet and posted on facebook about it. We weren’t sure what was on fire. I was praying it wasn’t the gas station not too far from us. Turns out it was an apartment complex down the street. The fire was in the roof. The emergency vehicles are still blocking off the road near our corner and it’s 5 hours later. I have seen photos on local news sites and the fire looked bad. The fire was in the roof. It reminded us of that time our place burned down in 2006. The fire ended up being in the roof then, too. When the…

  • Uncategorised

    how to process

    Yesterday I found out that an author whom I’d gotten to know over the years has died. Then I found out he took his own life. This is a man who was very passionate about educating people, mostly kids, about mental illness and suicide prevention. He was 32. He has a wife and a two-year old. That he died had me in shock. That he took his own life… just added to that shock. Today I found out that he took his own life by jumping off the roof of his parents’ building. I can’t even process this. I can’t. Losing someone you respected and connected with is one thing. Losing someone through suicide is a completely different thing. Adding this incident on top of what I am already dealing with is just brain overload. I am home from work until the end of January because I am still trying to heal from the trauma of having a man jump off a 50-floor building and land in front of me back in March. I already can’t seem to process THAT day. I thought I’d been doing ok, but obviously the break down in November was a clear sign that I wasn’t as ok as I thought. I’m having nightmares and night sweats and anxiety attacks over anything at random times of the day. I am not hungry, I am angry, I am crying over nothing. I am lost. And I was feeling a little better. And now I have this…

  • Uncategorised

    broken

    I’m supposed to write about this. Write it down and get it out of my head. Write it down and change the memory. Make the memory more safe and less jarring, sharp edges that slice me open every time I close my eyes. I’m supposed to feel safe, and comforted as I re-live an event that I thought I had managed to overcome but is apparently still with me and is trying to claw its way out. Turns out delayed onset of PTSD is a thing. Who knew? I didn’t. I thought everything I did to help myself get over the shock and horror of the jumper guy back in March was enough. I thought I was ok. I thought I had dealt with it and moved on. But I’m not ok. At least, not right now. Right now I am a broken mess. I am pieces of a person I don’t even recognize anymore. Nothing I see has colour or sparkle – even the glitter ornaments I just made this weekend. I am a shadow of myself. I am grey and bland. I wasn’t just not dealing with November for any old reason though. That’s sort of nice to know. By the end of the month I was so broken I didn’t think I could be repaired. I couldn’t cope with anything – I still can’t, although I think I am very slowly on the mend. I had a breakdown in my boss’s office and I knew, just knew,…

  • the anomaly that is me

    i have never moved on moving day

    It’s Canada Day today! I’m sitting on the couch wearing my Canada tank top that I bought in Disney World (of all places) back in 2004. It was from the Canada pavilion in Epcot. It was the nicest Canada shirt I have seen and I live in a city full of tourist shops. (the actual point of this post is under a brief explanation/expression of frustration over politics in my province.) Unfortunately in my province, Canada Day isn’t really a holiday that the local politicians and many of my provincial neighbours like to celebrate. The language tensions between the French and English are absolutely ridiculous and these days, downright racist (on both sides.) I am a proud Canadian and I am also very proud to be bilingual. Why the entire country can’t just adopt bilingualism is beyond me. ANYHOW… In Montreal, July 1st is more than just Canada Day. It’s also a traditional moving day for most people since most apartment leases are up June 30. You can’t rent a moving truck to save your life today. You have to book months in advance, unless you want to pay through the nose to get even a small trailer to haul your fridge, stove, couch and bed off to a new abode. With language and politics being really hot topics in my province, often stores will tailor their weekly circulars (ads) to make them more local. Many of the big stores hardly announce Canada Day on their sales in Quebec. This year, Best Buy did…

  • Uncategorised

    my first ever ambulance ride

    * The story I am about to tell is not for the faint of heart, but I need to tell it to get it out of my head.* Long story short: On the walk to work this morning a man jumped off a building and landed right in front of me. Short story long: When my alarm clock went off at 6:45 a.m. this morning, I grumpily got out of bed, annoyed that I had to go into the office so early to set up and minute a meeting. The first part of the meeting was something I worked hard to get together and it was about to fall apart yesterday. I made my boss pull the “I’m the Boss” card and get things back in line, but I still wasn’t happy about having to be in early to get things ready (that I couldn’t finish last night). Shawn left early with me and once we split ways and I left him at his office, I went outside to walk to mine, following the traffic lights (rather than waste time by waiting at them, I just go with the green and get to work in a zig-zag fashion.) It was supposed to rain all day today, but at 8am it was still sunny, if a little cool. I have been feeling rather down and lost in my head these days, so I had my comfort album (The Other Size of Zero by Elizabeth and the Catapult) on repeat as I…

  • Uncategorised

    missing the point

    I woke up from a dream that I was writing this post. I was so passionate in the dream as I wrote. It felt so real. I don’t think I can quite capture what I had in the dream right now, in real life, but obviously this is something that means something to me if I was dreaming about it. I don’t even know how to express this other than, I am tired of the way people over-react incorrectly to things. With social media and instant colliding of information and reaction, this is happening so often and it’s starting to wear me down. It’s true that you can’t win, you can’t please everyone all the time. So when bad things happen, people will complain about something trivial rather than the main event. When good things happen, people will pick on the one flaw they can find, my guess is because of jealousy. It seems you can’t just be unhappy or happy anymore. There’s always got to be emotional swag accompanying it. I was annoyed by reactions to the shooting in Colorado  – that weren’t about the shooting itself. But what made me start dreaming about this was the reaction to the US Women’s Gymnastic’s team gold medal win. More specifically in regards to the strange attacks against Gabby Douglas and her hairstyle (or lack thereof). For the love of god, people. First of all, this girl is 16 years old. SIXTEEN. And she’s made it to the Olympics. The OLYMPICS, people. Not…

  • Uncategorised

    holiday in canada… except quebec… except for me!

    Take that, Quebec! I’m pretending to be Canadian by having Monday off as well! Muahahahaha! Or should I be saying, Take that, Canada! So the rest of my country has a long weekend this weekend. Bank Holiday or something like that. We don’t get it in Quebec, because heaven forbid Quebec associate with the rest of the country more than it has to (I mean, it has to celebrate Canada Day on July 1! And Victoria Day on May 24! (Only they don’t call it Victoria Day here, they found a French person to celebrate.)) Used to be that I didn’t mind this because we DO get June 24 off for Quebec’s National holiday, and the rest of Canada doesn’t. So fine, let them have the first Monday in August. But then… Provinces started adding days off that Quebec doesn’t do. Like Family Day. Which is celebrated by most Provinces, though I don’t think all of them have it at the same time of year. I could look that up, but really, I don’t care enough to. I always forget about the August holiday for my country, but today I got a Kobo newsletter and they’re having a sale for the long weekend in Canada. Right. Long weekend. I’m in Canada, just a snooty part of it that doesn’t like to admit that it’s in Canada. I am Canadian. Je suis aussi bilingue. I am also about to start my second week of vacation next week so technically I ALSO…

  • life with dogs

    someone get these kids a book about real dogs

    We hardly had any kids pass by the house on Halloween. I don’t know where the bazillion kids from the day time go, but they don’t come down my street for candy. I had to flag kids down. The one time the doorbell rang, it took us all by surprise. Both dogs were super excited that someone came to the door. Shawn went to open the door, I cut him off and he then corralled the dogs away from the door so I could give out *handfulls* of candy. The conversation was in French, which I will translate for those of you who don’t read it. Me: Sorry about that.. we had to hold back the dogs. (The door sort of closed over on them before I could get the candy out.) Kid #1 (excitedly): Are they chihuahuas?!? Kid #2: *big excited eyes* Me: Um.. no.. they are big… like Huskies. (ok, so Finnish Lapphunds aren’t as big as huskies, but I wasn’t about to try to explain “Finnish Lapphund” in French to two kids under the age of 10. And when we go walking around the neighbourhood we are often asked if our dogs are a Husky mix.) Kids: Oh,ok. *scamper off* My point is this though: ARE THEY CHIHUAHUAS?!? Seriously? Is that what today’s young person thinks of IMMEDIATELY when they hear the word DOG? CHIHUAHUA? Come on now. When did tiny, yappy dogs become the standard dog image? When I was a kid we’d picture Retrievers or…