Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ray of Sunshine

Monday was the day I decided to jump on that roller coaster again. I wasn't even the slightest bit frightened of the twists and turns, ups and downs, or jolts out of your seat. I just hopped in the car with a big smile on my face and dropped the bar over my knees.

I went on the third blind date in a month. The second was okay but this one was different. Ray, a guy I met on, got in touch with me through looking at my profile. I remember responding back, not expecting anything special. After 20 or 30 replies back and forth, we finally exchanged phone numbers. We have been speaking to each other for two weeks on the phone and on-line. We seem to have great conversations and finally he asked if he could meet me. I agreed immediately and we met for coffee on Monday. We walked around Stanley Park, me showing the born and raised Squamish boy, around my beautiful part of the world. Of course, he lives in a very beautiful place too, but I was surprised by his wonder of the beauty of Vancouver. "The City"! We talked forever, about each others jobs, fun stories, friends, past relationships. He is a very proud father of two teenage boys, who are very successful little athletes. One is very prominent in Squamish as a mountain bike competitor, and the other is a popular football player. Both kids are independent and stay out of trouble. Good kids, which, in my eyes, are because of a great dad.

On our way back to his truck, he asked what I was doing later, and I suggested we go out and get the BowFlex he had planned on picking up for him and his kids. He was surprised but I also said I knew the city so I could direct him. Smiling he agreed, so off we went in his truck to East Van. After some trouble finding the house, he picked up the exercise equipment. He thought it might be a good idea to go for an appetizer. Then he asked me what I was doing on my day off. I had nothing planned, so we made plans to go on another date. He dropped me off at Checkers, kissing me on my cheek, and I wandered in to the bar.

I wouldn't say I was giddy, but I'm sure everyone saw it. Ray is so much of what I am looking for in a guy. He works a great job, and has many skills to keep his employment stable and various. He works three days a week! Has one of his days off on my day off. He's a great family man, making his kids number one. He has some extra time now that they are a bit older and more independent, so he has time for himself. He helps out in his community, helping neighbours fixing up their homes. He is taller than me, with large shoulders and a big barrel chest; big workman's hands and a sweet smile. He's a big teddy bear. Sweeter than chocolate and very romantic. I guess giddy was an understatement.

Tuesday morning I woke up, ready to go on a small day trip with Ray. The sun was shining and I knew nothing could go wrong. When he finally got here, after 3 road blocks on the Sea-to-Sky highway. I hopped in his truck and noticed a bump on my seat behind me. He brought his dog! Birken, a Catahoula Leopard Hound, was a new addition to his family, only 5 months old. He named him after the lake where his cabin is, Birkenhead Lake. We had to do one chore before heading out...find a car charger for his cell phone, which had died on the way to my place. After three stores we finally picked it up, and we were off to enjoy the sunshine.

We went to Horseshoe Bay, wandering around with Birken, down to the wharf, watching the boats and ferry. After a quick tour, Ray packed Birken in his kennel in the truck, and we went for lunch. Conversation was great, added to the 1/2 L of Cabernet and soup and sandwiches, we were able to learn about each other even more. A few giggles over the couple behind us, older man with a Paris-Hilton-type girl, we really began to become comfortable with each other.

We hopped back in the truck and drove up to Whytecliff Park, ready for a hike with Birken. We climbed up to the top of the rocks and enjoyed the view, watching a group of seals (aka a harem, pod, rookery, or herd...which we questioned for awhile)...there were about 14 of them! Then we wandered down to the beach and talked about more serious things. He told me he was very romantic, chivalrous, treas women like goddesses, and great guy. He was ready for a new relationship. He asked me if I was okay with him so far....I answered "Of course!" He asked me if I wanted kids, and I immediately said that my clock is almost out of batteries, being 40 years old in May. I explained I do but I think my time is up, considering it would take me a year at least to feel comfortable enough to even decide I want to change my life while ensuring the guy is still with me. I won't raise a child's not fair to the child missing a parent. He smiled, and said he "can't" have anymore. I must admit I was a bit sad but not that much. It did open my eyes to whether I really wanted kids or not, which I think I do but I doubt I will.

We went back to the car and drove back to town, and stopped at Sunset Beach for another wander around with Birken. We walked along the old Expo site, as I played tour guide, reminding him of where the pavilions were. At some point, he mentioned people he knows that moved downtown and said that they loved it in town. He even smiled and saw the attraction, and then said he loved walking around here with his sweetheart in his hand--and then he held my hand....We walked hand in hand all the way back to the truck. As I got in the truck he stole a little kiss from me, not the best kiss, as I wasn't expecting it. He drove me back to the apartment and we said our good nights. He kissed me lightly a few times as the damn van in front of us was getting mad because he wanted to back-up. Birken stuck his head in between us whimpering, and we had a good laugh. I was a bit mad because I wanted to give him a better kiss goodnight...oh well.

At Checkers later on, he called me to say he had a great time and that he would be talking to me tomorrow from work. He made me smile immediately. I'm looking forward to this "Ray of Sunshine" on my life. He has all these plans for us to do, go carting, Squamish, Sechelt, Bowen Island, Granville Island, etc. Lots of fun day trips.....So the roller coaster ride of my life looks exciting again. Hopefully this ride won't be so short.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween is Here...

Here I sit at my computer as I listen to the pops and bangs of the local teens blowing up the neighbourhood. It must be Halloween. I used to be really big on this annual event but the last two years have snuck up on me when it comes to costumes. I usually prefer the grotesque for costumes, utilizing liquid latex for almost everything. I have made scars, bullet hole wounds, gashes, peeling skin and the such with the stuff. It is very important to go to a good theatrical makeup store to buy the good stuff. That and good blood. I won a 40G iPod one year and all I spent was $20 on liquid latex, fake blood, fake flies and mice. As you can see from the picture I was pretty messy.

I had a bit of a rough sleep night the past two nights, where I was waking up every two or three hours. I haven't had much decent sleep so tonight is not gonna happen. I came up with no costume other than placing the letters P and Q (many of each) on my forehead. That's it! What am I? Minding my Ps and Qs...LOL! Well, tonight isn't really the actual day so I may still do it...We'll see.

Instead I am relaxing. I do have a date tomorrow night so I might as well stay in and stay out of trouble tonight. Everyone else is getting into it and I feel a bit jealous but at the same time, I want to be fresh tomorrow. I am meeting a guy I met on-line, so I don't want to be tired. He seems nice and I am quite excited to meet him. We talked a bit on the phone a few days ago. We had some good laughs so it seemed appropriate that we meet. I will be meeting him at Checkers, so I guess I will be a bit on show. He suggested it as he knew I work downtown and it would be easier for me after work and all. He seems okay with meeting at my "local", so that's a good sign.

On Monday I have another date with a different guy. This one I have been talking to quite extensively for the past two weeks, either on-line or on the phone. We get along really well and I am more excited about that date than the previous. He is always asking me if it is okay that he lives in Squamish and that he has kids. At first I was disappointed at the distance but I began to think that it is probably good. I am also not worried about his having kids as I would expect that from anyone my age.

So things are looking up in my life. Everyone continues to tell me I will do fine but I have to experience it for myself. And LOOK, I'm doing just that! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Is This Another Run On The Rollercoaster?

I woke up today, ready to change my life. My plan today was to change my apartment around to remove the memories of my past months. I opened my eyes to a bit of a hangover. Wine and beer is not a good mix. Eating is important, too. Well, I'm sure the monthly visitor had her way with my state, too. My loneliness has been forgotten lately with the new addition of some new people in my life. I was happy to see the emails and messages from both of them this morning. Even happier to talk to them both today. I will meet one this week at Checkers for drinks. Both seem really nice and it's fun meeting new guys.

After a long bout of reorganizing, my apartment is changed around. Sad to have no window view for my computer but the apartment is better. I have a dinner table now....if I ever use it to eat on it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How To Make A Perfectly Beautiful Day Turn Bad...

I woke up this morning with a severe headache but the sun was shining on my face, so I knew I had to get up and get outside. The headache could be cured but the sun shining in late October after weeks of rain? This was not something anyone should miss. I jumped out of bed at 8:45am and brewed some coffee...caffeine always settles a headache for me. Perhaps it may be a slight addiction I have, who knows. I jumped in the shower while the coffee brewed. After my shower I settled into the sunshine and my computer, gathering any new emails, etc. from the addictive electronic equipment I have which entertains me more than the tube. A new email from a guy I met...yipee...possible meeting for coffee....yipee. After drinking enough coffee to drown the headache, I wandered off into the sunshine.

Now, I am usually not mindless but today I was. I went to Stanley Park with my iPod and my sunglasses and soaked in the sun. A beautiful day! A phone call from another guy I met! "Nice", I thought..."this loneliness thing ain't gonna stay in my head!" So I continued on my walk. Once I made it to Lost Lagoon a few hours later, I began to get hungry. I reached in my pocket, thinking about the sushi I was going to have when...SHIT! I realized my pocket in my jacket had a hole in it and the 2 cards left were my ID and one of my credit cards! My interac and other credit card fell out of my jacket somewhere in the park. OMG if I could have kicked myself in the ass I would have.

So, the beautiful day ended by me walking swiftly home to call to cancel both cards. Unfortunately the card left has hardly any money on it. I called work to do the tips so I could have some money, but no one is there right now to open the safe for me to count the cash. I have to wait until 5pm or 6pm. I will have to wait until tomorrow to get a new bank card...I have no way of getting money except the kitchen tips which are due to be done today...

So my day had a little hiccup...oh well...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What Came First? The ....

...sadness or the loneliness. I believe the two are entities in themselves. I have been lonely but not sad. Being alone or feeling out of sorts can make one sad but, in my case, it does not apply. If you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, the sadness is fleeting, while the loneliness can be rectified by calling friends and just being in the presence of people who care about you.

Simple and short....I am not sad. I am a bit lonely but that will change...soon!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

On Loneliness....


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Loneliness is an emotional state in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptinessisolation. Loneliness is more than just the feeling of wanting company or wanting to do something with another person. Loneliness is a feeling of being cut off, disconnected and alienated from other people. The lonely person may find it difficult or even impossible to have any form of meaningful human contact. Lonely people often experience a subjective sense of inner emptiness or hollowness, with feelings of separation or isolation from the world.

So it's Saturday night, I'm here in front of my computer about to settle in for the evening. Although I am financially disabled at the moment, I have decided to stay in, regardless of easily finding money in hiding spots amongst my assets. Although I have chosen to be away from the crowd, I know it is not from mere selection but rather from an overwhelming feeling I can't seem to avoid. I know that any of you who know me would think I was being melodramatic; that I am a strong, independent, beautiful woman who could never be lonely just because it doesn't fit into my personality traits. "Impossible!" Well, SURPRISE!

I am sipping my Earl Grey tea, nibbling on cinnamon sugar toast, and wondering how I could be lonely? Is this a latent reaction to my decision to become single once again? Is it the remnants of the pain induced by a recent lost friend? Is it a natural, and BETTER, reaction to PMS, rather than the uncontrollable anger and indecisiveness I usually experience monthly? Could it be the nasty gray and rainy weather we have had for far too long--isn't it Vitamin D for lack of sunshine? Am I on the brink of a bout of depression? Is my age catching up with me, and all the things I never did?

If I had to choose an answer from the above selection, it would have to be a touch of ALL OF THE ABOVE. I have been feeling a bit separate from the gang down at the bar...not even sure why. At work, I've been there, doing my job, but not anything out of the ordinary. I'm there in body but not in mind. I feel slightly uneasy as if my Sous Chef is undermining me , but not begrudgingly, just to better the kitchen and menu, and probably himself. The funny thing?--I am not worried. Somehow I'm not insecure about the situation. As a matter of fact, it may be the fire I have needed under my ass for quite awhile. This time the improvement would be for me, not for whomever is near me at the time.

I was watching the last episode of ER and the character Abby said she "especially hated doing this alone" and her friend said "you're not alone". That triggered this line of thought in my case. Maybe I never realized that I have been alone for quite awhile because I always kept busy to avoid any signs of weakness. I haven't had a "best" friend--someone I can share anything with--forever. In the past these people either hurt me in a way that the hatchet couldn't be buried deep enough, or they simply disapear. I somehow move on with my life and my friends seem to drift away. Well, I know I should actually say, I drift away. Why is that? Have I always felt separate from everyone?

Well, to combat my loneliness I have managed to spend too much money hanging out at the bar with my bar-mates. I have become a "contestant" on the love on-line Olympics, and am known to chat with pals all over the world that I have met through a chat board on mirc. Am I just too scared to be alone? Do I have to stay busy to get over this weird feeling? I feel like a stamp or sticker that is starting to peel away from the surface to which it is adhered.

Well, if I don't get pulled into cyber-world, chatting with my new pal on-line, I will venture out for a nice walk. It may be dark out, but it is not raining...FINALLY... Perhaps some fresh air will make me feel better....


PS Sorry about the lack of my humorous pics but there is a problem with the blogger site and it is currently being dealt with....."my blog is so NAKED and LONELY"...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is This Ride Just Beginning or Ending?

A carnival has rides and strange people like fire-eaters and palm readers. I had my palm read and what she said was not what I wanted to hear. I wonder if every choice I made in the past had to do with what her future telling abilities. As you all well know, my track record with men has been a roller coaster ride, with many sharp turns, deep plunges and dips that threw me right out of my seat. When I look back at all the boys and men in my life, I wonder when I will meet the one that will hold my hand on that carnival ride.

My first boyfriend was in kindergarten, according to my Mom. His name was Ralph, a German boy living in Lahr while my family and I were stationed there. My father signed up to be a high school teacher for the army brats on the base, a good gig considering the vacation time and you're smack dab in the middle of Europe! We all got to travel Europe every vacation, from the British Isles to Cypress! Ralph was in my grade and used to tell me of his dreams of visiting Canada. If I had a picture of him I would remember what he looked like but it seems that most of my memory of that time has been lost in the subconscious mind of my dreams.

My next actual boyfriend, after a million crushes, was Teddy in grade 12. Yes I was a late bloomer when it came to boyfriends. This relationship was a bit forced as all my friends were hooking up in our final year and one night he kissed me, or rather slobbered all over me, so I guessed it was as good a time as ever. This relationship didn't last as we were pals really and nothing much more. I don't remember if it ended badly or if it even lasted very long.

After that came my clubbing years where I met many guys. My first sexual experience was with a guy in a truck. The cops even knocked on the window in the middle of the act and told us to move along. It was not that great and I did it to get it over with. I guess Walt Disney never embedded in my mind that the first time would be the most magical moment with bluebirds and shining stars floating around, my feet always firmly planted on the ground. Why wait for my Knight in Shining Armour? What a waste of a perfectly good time! Then there was Bill, a Hispanic guy I met in the dance club I frequented. He followed me around like a puppy dog until I gave in and patted his head. Next thing you know a little affection ended in a relationship! Not too long, about 4 months, until he got quite possessive. I sent him on his way. Then there was a guy from Somalia, Ahmed I think, and he was nice. We hung out a bit...nothing to write home about. This is when my parents started to think I was part of the UN.

Then there was Danny. A younger guy who, again, stalked me in a way, like Bill. He worked in the market where I worked and drove the Aquabus. Again I petted his head, and told him of how I liked my freedom and meeting many guys. This was to deter him but it didn't work and we were a couple soon enough. Four years younger than me, and underage at the time we started going out, Danny was quite the gentleman. He was very well behaved, cute and I actually fell in love with this guy for awhile. We moved in together and moved to 3 different apartments. We worked together in Granville Island Market, so we saw each other constantly. Eventually that broke down after 4 years and I caught him cheating on me, well potentially cheating on me--letters from a an admirer, not well hidden while he was away for a weekend, in the midst of moving again. I called my friend and he helped me move my stuff back home before Danny got home.
Now this friend that helped me has been my Harry, while I am Sally. We had known each other for years and the sexual tension was there through college and after, although, like the movie, either he was in a relationship, or I was and there never was a time where we could explore our feelings. Mark, was the crush of a lifetime I guess. After I moved back home, we went out on one date, and the pressure was so intense we both stumbled over ourselves. It never worked, sad to say, and now he is married with kids. I have to say I was heartbroken when I saw him and his fiancee in the mall selecting items for their wedding registry. I knew my chance for happiness had been lost forever.

After Danny, were few guys. One that broke up a friendship, as one of my friends slept with the guy of the season. Another, Adrian, wasn't so much a lover, but rather a chance meeting. He was a British bloke from Reading, England, and I met him in the local pub one day. We clicked in a second and hung out every single day of his stay in Vancouver. He was here for a month, and we met 2 weeks in. I ended up letting him stay in my apartment for the last 4 days so he didn't have to pay for the crappy hotel he was in. We snuggled a bit and "snogged" but that was it. I took him to the airport and our goodbye was like any you see on TV or in the movies. We wrote back and forth for months. Then it just dwindled out, like a candle burnt down to the end of the wick.

George, was my next endeavour and probably the biggest wrong turn I could have ever made. He was a big guy, 6'4", 280lbs, and he never had a steady job. He was one of the guys that hung out at the pub, playing pool, watching the game, etc. We got along like brother and sister until one day when we were drunk, it went too far. We were a couple and it was fun but not for my wallet as I was always out of money. Paid for the bill many times and realized too far in that his money was going up his nose--NOTE: coke is a bad thing everyone. He even proposed to me and I said I'm not sure. He had a job offer in Winnipeg, went to check it out. I was seriously considering moving there (remember I was not high!), when he called me collect to say he met someone else! I was devastated, not by his infidelity, but by the sudden abandonment. The stuff he had stored at my apartment, was instantly thrown down the garbage chute.

Then there was the bartender, Jim I think? He was also and powder addicted creep. He insisted at one point that I had given him chlamydia. I got tested immediately to prove it wasn't me, which I threw in his face....he was cheating on me! So that ended quickly. Then I met Ed, another British-accented bloke, from the Isle of Man. He was an ex-Rugby player, now a forensic accountant for Price-Waterhouse, Coopers. A catch you think, as did I. He was hilarious, loud, crazy, fun, exciting, and and alcoholic if you ever saw one. He made these excuses that sounded like fun stories. In London, you had to be able to hold your own during a business meeting, drinking profusely the whole time. If you didn't have the stamina, you didn't fit the mold. He was a lot of fun, and very intelligent, but unfortunately not the greatest lover. A bit boring at times, enjoying the History channel a bit too much, where if the movie was about pirates, he would make rum his theme drink of the evening. He did show me that I could mingle with the richest of them, like at his Christmas staff party at the Pan Pacific. I small talked with the best of them....We end it amicably and he disappeared probably off to another city to work.

Then a few more guys before my 6 year relationship with Peter. My next love of my life so far. He would just sit next to me after work and hardly talk until finally he asked me out. I said yes....and the rest is kinda history in my past blogs.

Just recently single again, and looking back on all of these men in my life, I wonder if I have ever really have a fully passionate, intensely deep and meaningful relationship. Those steep hills that I climbed after the previous dip in my love life, seem to be endless at times and why do I ride the same ride, over and over again? My most recent experience was almost identical to the powdered-George relationship, only more condensed. Yes, I saw the signs earlier and quickly jumped out of the coaster car leaving pieces of me still in the car. I know I should be single for awhile now just to get to know me again, the Jen not attached to one person. The Jen of the Granville Island days, where I enjoyed the entourage of guys and played hard to get just for fun. Riding the roller coaster alone is no fun though. I guess I will always want to hold the hand of another while twisting and turning through the ups and downs of my love life. I still curse that palm reader 20 years ago. She looked at my palm and said I would never be married, and have no children. I would live a long life with many men in my life. Looks like she was right?

Dragonflies are Amazing

I think I have found the perfect picture of a dragonfly for my first tattoo. I have always wanted a tattoo and I have been looking through many pictures of these amazing insects. I am making this short as it is really late, but I am pretty excited on figuring out what I want finally and where. I want the tattoo on the back of my neck. Not huge! Just about 2 inches square.

In Japan they symbolize strength, courage and happiness. I just have always loved them....Here is a picture of the tattoo I want ...yes, if you are an expert, it is a damselfly,
but hey, it's awesome anyways...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Shmog

Too sleepy to blog today...This doesn't mean I've got nothing to say but I just haven't got the energy after a busy weekend at work to gather my thoughts on a page.

Stay tuned....Monday is approaching and I'm sure I'll have corralled my thoughts into a neat little witty ditty for y'all!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

No Blog Day!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is OFFICIAL NO BLOG DAY. I have nothing to say really. Got a nice email back from the blind date last night. Ummmmmmm work nothing to note but I loved cooking with my old pal during brunch today. Ummmmmmmmmm walked around Stanley Park after work. Want a this one maybe on the back of my neck...

That's it....Ok I guess I blogged.....

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blind Date and Cucumber Cafe

Kampei! Well, I'm home at 8:45pm after my first blind date. I was off work early again, which I can't really afford to do anymore, but in this case it was probably a good idea. I went home and changed what I was wearing, as I had decided late last night after trying on numerous casual outfits. I messengered him saying we can meet earlier since we need to have dinner by 8pm according to the invites. He told me that 5:30pm would be good, so I ventured out by foot to the Broadway and Laurel Earl's and got there a half hour early. No problem because I'm always early and I could read my Bourdain book while having a beer.

A half hour passed and he walked in. Recognized me right away and sat down. We shared small talk and it seemed he was a bit uncomfortable but the conversation was good. Hard to hear because of the loud bar at Earl's, with the hockey game crowd coming in to watch the game. The banter was not what I expected as it was on the phone, friendly though and not bad. After a couple of beers, we hopped in his "burple" truck, Barney, and he drove by the hospital where he showed off his handy work where he had spent a good portion of his past 10 years, building the new buildings. After a long drive out to Richmond, and stories of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos, we finally pulled up to the Cucumber Cafe.

Now he invited me because he wanted to meet me and also because of my restaurant background. I guess he thought it would be interesting as I scrutinized the newest Gilardi creation that he had worked on for quite awhile. We were greeted by our server with Mimosas (I'm absolutely sure there was no champagne in them) and some information about the restaurant happenings of the evening. The lighting in the dining area was shockingly bright for a restaurant, similar to Denny's times 100! Whether it was to show off the decor or the food was questionable but certainly not restaurant dining. The manager then appeared and we had to pull our selection of entree out of a basket. We didn't get a choice from the actual menu which was on the table to peruse. No alcohol was being served either, just coffee, tea, pop or juice. I chose a breakfast item, and secretly giggled to myself as I know cooks hate slinging out breakfast after dark---Crepes Lorraine. He chose an Italian Panini. While we waited and told more stories, giggling about the lighting, orange micro-suede booths and gaudy wallpaper, the server came by with a plate of freshly in-house baked muffins with Butter...a very important focal point of the letter left on each table, as if other places serve margarine. Why highlight the butter when the muffins were the important part?

Our entrees appeared, they were mediocre and nothing special. We ate without any enthusiasm for the chef, while I studied the menu for any ideas for my own work. We both wondered why the Gilardi Group would make a restaurant chain with this concept as there was nothing to do with cucumbers and the focus was Denny's food without the "Gran Slam" in-your-face trademark. It was as if they were attempting to make Denny's into Cactus club or Earl's without the decor and atmosphere of a fun party. Overall, the experience was disappointing as the lights seem to get brighter by the minute.

He drove me all the way home, very nice of him, since driving in and out of the city is quite chore on any night never mind Friday. As we drove up to my apartment he patted me on the back of my head and told me not to work too hard. He was sorry but he was tired from work. I felt no really physical attraction to him but a nice man none the less. I will go out again with him, if he asks to seem me again, and hopefully the banter will pick-up like our fun phone conversation the other night.

Was I a bit disappointed? Perhaps, but hey, ...

You cant hurry love No, you just have to wait She said love dont come easy Its a game of give and take You cant hurry love No, you just have to wait You got to trust, give it time No matter how long it takes

Now I am home sipping sake and smokin' a cigarette. Lookin' to go out to my "livingroom" to have some real fun....:)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Blind Date Eve...

So I decided to go on a blind date on Friday. Being a bit lonely now I casually signed up for a singles site and after a few days this guy contacted me through it. We exchanged hotmail addys and talked for about 2 hours earlier this week. At first I was a bit leery about the whole thing, not really knowing who he is and wondering if I was getting in over my head. Then I thought, baby steps....will never get me anywhere! We have fun conversation and why not? No pressure just drinks at Earl's and then he said if I feel okay with it we can go for dinner at this new restaurant that he did some work for, which they had invited him to try out for free. Cheap yeah but if we hate it we don't pay anyways! Look at Jen jumping outside of the box!!!! Are y'all proud of me?

We'll see what happens.....I'll fill yah in after the date!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Good Music, a Walk In the Rain and Sake

After writing my first blog in months, yesterday, I decided to avoid any house work and laundry and get outside. It took me until 4pm to get out of the apartment, but with my trusty iPod nano, my most recent reading material (Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential) and a rain jacket, I ventured out into the rain showers. Not so cold and not raining hard, i thought.

I have been walking for years and more frequently for months. I did try to change my lifestyle a touch and walk every night after dinner, as I usually pass out after eating my usual single meal. So much so that I have managed to lose quite a bit of weight which was needed. I had plumped up to a jolly 165 lbs while stagnant with Peter, my ex. I shed the weight also from avoiding pop. No more bottles of Coca cola or pink grapefruit juice soda. I have been taking in water and that's about it for beverages. I mean I am drinking beer and such, but at work and home I only have water. I have even stopped drinking juice and prefer naturally flavoured water.

Well, I digress as usual....So out in the rain and clouds, walking around Coal Harbour and then Stanley Park, I had my playlist singing in my ears. I realized immediately that, although most of this music was brought into my life by Lance, the deleted friend, my music preferences have always been there and it really was my playlist. It used to be named "Lance" and now it is simply named my music. I actually enjoyed the lyrics and music I was listening to, rather than connect each and every word to a horrible summer. Even with the dreary weather, the walk around the park was enlightening.

As I rounded 2nd Beach I got this craving for none other than sake...I disregarded it and wandered into my livingroom outside of my home...Checkers. Sat at the bar and opened my book, reading through the entertaining banter of Bourdain as he described my life in extremes. Every cook lives the same life and has addictions, whether it be booze, nicotine, coke, pot, et al. Every cook has something in their personality that pulls them into the hot hell fires of a kitchen, whether they go to school or not. Although Bourdain goes into detail about the extremes of the lifestyle, I still can relate to the stories, as I continuously grin, every recognizable experience Bourdain splays out on the paper. I enjoyed a half Caesar and escargot, easier than cooking, and wandered off home. EXCEPT the craving pulled me into the liquor store...and the sake was in my hand in seconds.

Boiling water in a pot, filling a 12 oz tea pot with sake, I settled in for something special. Once it was ready, I took a sip of the hot rice wine and was immediately satisfied. I haven't had sake in months it seemed. The last time, with Lance, at my favourite sushi spot...which of course I paid for. So this time was much better. I was also popping out of my routine with different booze. Wow baby steps I guess. What made it enjoyable was that I was having a chat with a new person which I met on line. The conversation was a bit choppy but good, and this made me enjoy the sake more. I looked at the bottle and realized it was 14.6% by the time I had finished half a bottle. I also had made a tentative date possibly on Friday with this new guy....Hmmmm I guess alcohol can make me jump out of the routine rather that take baby steps. I ended the conversation with my new on-line guy and wandered back to the bar.

It was dead but 99% of the patrons were my pals. My ex, the NTN freak, the actor, the karaoke master, the quiet hotel guy, leafs fan and pal of Lance, front desk hotel guy and the bartender and waitress. I had fun asking the actor how he was feeling after he cooked an orphan Thanksgiving Dinner for his fellow cast, as he remembered being loaded and pulling me close to him whispering nothing in my ear, while flitting his tongue across my ear. I listened to my ex's long survival story of his trip to the island with his brother while almost being washed away by the rains. All great people. I had fun, considering I had a bit more alcohol in me than I wanted.I did slip up again but I'm sure it is all for the affirmation that I am not crazy. Cold turkey ain't so easy but my pals always make me feel better.

I woke up this morning, well almost, and decided laundry was a must and vacuuming. So now it's sunny and I'm stuck here doing house work. Guess I got the days mixed up....or maybe I didn't.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Upon Reaching 40...

As I continue to age day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, I realize that when I was a little girl, 40 years old was OLD. Ancient! I have been alive for 40 years already and reaching that milestone scares the hell outta me. What have I accomplished over that time? What haven't I accomplished? All of this introspective can make someone dizzy if not depressed. Maybe that's why I have been down lately?

The past year has been quite a change of the old routine I was used to living day in and day out. After 6 years, I ended my relationship with my then partner. I ended this partnership mainly because I was turning 39 years old and it was going nowhere. To me it was like having another pet during the worst times and having a teddy bear during the better times. There was little passion, just boring routine. No real future visible ahead. Dreams were made of the future we could live but as the time passed, that dream turned out just to be a dream. The thought of leaving my city to live in a quaint little town, raise kids and try the same

Perhaps I'm selfish, spoiled, self-centered. Maybe I have a lifestyle I enjoy and have no desire to have that altered by a baby or a change of scenery. Or, more likely, maybe I am scared of change, being uncomfortable in new surroundings and experiences. Like mother like daughter. My mom was whom I learnt that from. Whether it is learned or taught, I am just like her. She was a woman of daily routine...Coffee, shopping, bingo, shopping, dinner, etc. She rarely travelled and if she did it was discussed in great detail, exactly what was on the itinerary. I'm amazed how hard it is to break the habit of a learned characteristic, that you watched daily and chastised every time viewing it.

On my birthday, I decided that this was my first day of freedom and cut the cord. The oblivious shocked reaction of my mate showed me how out if it we were as a couple. Considered the "happiest couple" at the bar, we were far from the title. I guess Academy
Award nominations are pointless for best actor and actress, as we would sweep the trophies. On the break up, I was instantly filled with energy, happiness, desire to do anything and everything. I made sure to continue to frequent "our" bar, not to mess up my comfortable "couch" although as I rested my behind in the cushions they seemed a bit out of place. I avoided him at all costs and hung out with our mutual friends. Thus, the introduction of the person whom has caused my most recent bout of introspection.

During my newly found single life, there were many suitors. Getting laid was not a problem, as many came to fill that void. Although I had various guys banging down my cell phone, only 2 got in. At least 2 so far...I did witness the strangest change in atmosphere in the bar weeks after I chose single hood. The testosterone level rose a few notches and the spotlight was burning a hole through me! For a local pub where there isn't a chance in hell any guy would be considered more than a pub-mate, suitors seemed to come out of the woodwork! And this is where I made my first wrong turn on the road to 40.

When you frequent a pub regularly, there are others you meet, that are also regulars, and you may like them or not. My main friend basis is from the pub. One person in particular was quite a pest and every time he rolled in, my eyes would roll into the back of my head. I quietly hoped he wouldn't sit near us or I made sure I would avoid him when popping out to the smoking deck so as to avoid any unnecessary conflict. On occasional nights, when I felt feisty, I would purposely look for him, just to release some pent up "men are idiots" stress. He was an arrogant, pushy, Americanized Canadian, who served in the US Army. His stories either entertained the masses or riled them up, all putting a Cheshire cat grin on his Alfred E. Newman-Esque face.

Funny how I somehow decided that he was the one to hang out with after the break-up. Did I need a bad guy? Did I need to shock the bar patrons? Did I need to hurt my ex even more by purposely hanging out with an obvious enemy? Was there something there in this arrogant jackass that attracted me? I believe the answer is yes to all of the above. So we began hangin' out. Talking and listening to music. I was still seeing others when I wasn't with him. We talked about everything, listened to music--amazingly a common ground for both of us, having the same tastes in music--and introduced new music to our repertoire, walked for hours about the city, touring the places I would never feel comfortable alone. The bad guy in him was something I thought I could take on, especially since I felt like I was this new woman able to conquer anything. I even convinced everyone of his good side and people began to tolerate him.

Usage is a word that I learnt outright, years ago with a guy who had a cocaine problem. I was duped by him and it ended very badly. Thank God I didn't marry him and move to Winnipeg....YIKES! But, as I tend to live my life in circles, probably due to the comfort level I
enjoy in repeated, recognizable situations, I made a big mistake for the sake of routine. My new found friend, formerly a man who made me cringe in his presence, had some major problems with addiction. Smoking, alcohol, cocaine, pretty much anything presented to him, he would do. Did I walk away, seeing the open road ahead, filled with downed trees, crashed cars, injured friends, etc? No, I can save this guy! He's now part of my routine and comfort zone, at my apartment every other day, on the phone, calling or texting me day in and day out. I can't just throw out this ferile cat, even if he may only be crawling through my window because I fed him a couple of times.

Needless to say, this relationship was doomed from the beginning. To avoid anymore details, I followed a rule with him---3 strikes your out! I've seen people fall off the wagon but never dive headfirst into the gutter. It seemed like he purposely sabotaged anything we had built as friends. Sure it drifted over into really crappy sex, but the focus of our friendship was simply that. Friendship. He may see it differently and think I was getting emotionally involved. I was, AS A FRIEND. I saw no real future in the other route down lovers lane with him.

Unfortunately, as the 3rd strike was called, I began to realize the self-destructiveness of his personality. I also came to see how his addicted manipulation had changed me in 2 simple months. I changed from a confident newly single woman to a self-conscious girl with low self esteem. His continuous projection of his faults on to me got through the fine lines in my face, those lines I refuse to hide as they tell the world of a life lived. When I realized what I had turned into, I wanted to throw myself off of a building. I would never be an abused woman! I always was confident that no man would manipulate me into feeling insecure and weak. Guess what? I fell into the trap and although I lifted the snap bar of the mouse trap off of my neck, the pain of the mistake I made is still there.

Where is he now? Does it matter? Well, not residing in the city, although rehab has not stationed him away constantly. He has new prey and I have spotted them a few times. Rehab has apparently been good to him, although I don't know as I have cut the ties with him. I sure wish I used a freshly honed chef knife as opposed to the crappy steak knife found in most homes. The ties are frayed and there are loose ends everywhere. I even see that one frayed piece still attached and I've tried to cut it but it's like getting that damn hair that is floating in front of your eye! You can never quite get a hold of it as it bothers the shit out of you for hours! His last message to me sent me into a spin downward. His denial of our relationship, even as friends, made my stomach churn. His apparent angel-like newly rejuvenated happiness for himself made me look like the devil. He made me the reason for all his troubles, I was the crazy one and I need to seek help. Once again projecting his negativity on me. That's when I got that fucking hair in my eye and ripped out of my view so it would stop bothering me. I simply deleted him from my contact discussion at the waiting for a response on Facebook..."DELETE FRIEND". I realized how addicted I had become to him.

Quitting cold turkey is hard and yes I've slipped up here and there. But that is expected...I have friends around to help me. Those very friends that I saw in that road downed with trees and smashed up cars with the street sign with his name and the danger sign below it. Those friends are great. Each and every one of them had the chance to say "I told you so", but not one of them has. I guess watching a friend make a mistake and being there to help them pickup the pieces is part of the friendship curve. I should know that being Mom for almost everyone I know. I have the hugest dustpan! Now, if any of you friends out there reading this, is the time to get your dustpan out. I am the Van Gogh of painting a happy mask on this woman's face. Well, I wore makeup 2 days in a row, and I now have this insane dry rash by my eye from removing the war paint. It looks like I have been crying for days.

Yes this blog is embellished with over dramatic cliches and such. But dammit it made me feel better to get it all off my chest. I will come out of this okay and the road to 40 is looking like Stanley Park. The storm that blew through it is slowly being cleaned up. Soon all the downed trees will be removed, roads repaired, supporting walls rebuilt and new roads created to different views of the always beautiful greenery of this beloved jewel of a city. My road will be just the same and 40 years old won't look so bad. I guess I just needed the same kinda weeding out and repairs, too.