Thursday, May 31, 2007

better half

Shawn is in Vancouver tonight. I drove him to the airport at 7:00 and called an hour or so ago to say he had arrived. He also said he would call again in the morning before his interview. He's going to stay there until Sunday so he can visit his family. I miss him already and it's only been four hours and fifteen minutes.


Real Life Plan

Today my principal told me that he was happy with my work and that he was going to recommend me to the district office for a contract for next year. It's nice to know that if things don't work out with Vancouver that I'll be likely to have a job here.

He also gave me permission to skip "Awards Night" next week so that I can go to EB's retirement party. I haven't told her I'm planning to be there. I'm thinking a surprise is more fun. I like giving people happy surprises.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Who could hang a name on you?

Moving here in 2005 was a little bit scary. It meant giving up my "career" and taking a chance on not being able to find another one. It meant leaving behind my family and my friends trusting enough in my husband to be completely financially dependent on him.

As we stand on the brink of another big move I don't feel nearly so frightened as I did the last time. I've already proven to myself that I can start a new career. I can stay in touch with friends and family from anyplace. And it's safe to rely on Shawn.

I shouldn't be thinking like this already. Maybe he won't get the job. Maybe he won't want the job. But somehow I feel like we're already halfway to the Pacific.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Thank you

Lisa is also a Buddhist and often serves as a mouthpiece
Lisa is only flirting
Lisa is a production-rule system implemented in the Common Lisp Object System

Lisa needs braces
Lisa needs a family that can provide stability, love and structure for her
Lisa needs a tree
Lisa needs help with her vertical blinds

Lisa wishes the court case was over & that they won
Lisa wishes to be first
Lisa wishes an apology from Matty
Lisa wishes for world peace
and Lisa wishes to thank Nancy's Alterations for assistance with time and excellent quality special orders.

Lisa will be the first mission to try and detect
Lisa will be placed on October list with low priority
Lisa will be one of the most challenging
Lisa will be ready to go
Lisa will be able to tilt back and elevate her legs for venous return
Lisa will be producing a survey on this later this spring.


reminds me that I long to be

Shawn says if we move to Vancouver that it will be warm enough in the summer to have a koi pond in the yard. I guess they'd have to live inside in the winter though. I love koi fish; they're so pretty. When we unpack I'm going to paint them.


I think about some of the things I've done as being on par with sticking a knife in the toaster. It's the kind of thing everyone knows you're not supposed to do and no one ever thinks that they will do something so dumb. Except when the toast gets stuck you suddenly just do it without thinking, or if you are thinking you're just thinking, It'll be fine. I'll be careful. But most likely you're not thinking at all - and then you get zapped. Now that I recognize how dangerous it is for real, I'm less likely to do it again.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

members only

I have been called "old" by three different people in the last couple of weeks. First, one of the new teachers on staff told me that the kids respected me because I was "so much older" than she. I bit my tongue to keep from saying they don't respect her because she lets them do whatever they want, not because she's young. Hmph.

Then one of my students asked me why "old teachers" always say such 'n such (whatever I was saying at that moment). Again with how ancient I am!

And yet a third time on Friday when we went to the dealership to buy the new vehicle. The salesman assured us we would get good insurance rates because we were sooooo old. Argh.

I better start using some eye cream or something. Hehe.


I am not the kind of person who's ever cared much about cars, other than whether or not they are reliable and safe. But this has been a long time in coming. Our poor old Neon is on her last legs, though she continues to whistle merrily in the wind to show her defiance. We won't get rid of her. Just let her have some quality rest in the garage.

I expected the new vehicle plan would be about getting a new vehicle for Shawn - but he changed his mind about that. He wanted me to get mine first, probably so I won't complain as bitterly when he wastes gobs of money on things that are useless. And yet, he didn't want me to get the most basic Honda Element. I actually LIKE the basic one. But Shawn wanted the "SC" (whatever that means) because it has painted fenders and air conditioning and carpeted floors and sits lower to the ground. None of these are things that matter to me in the least. I like the black fenders just fine because I LIKE the fact that the Element looks like a Lego car. I never need AC because I'm always cold. I LIKE the plastic floors because I wouldn't be as concerned about getting mud on them from my bike. And I LIKE being up high so I can see better. At any rate, by getting the SC version of it, Shawn was well enough pleased to feel happy about the purchase and I am actually (I think for the first time in my life) excited about driving.


the Pack.

Shawn's father is leaving this afternoon. He's been with us since Thursday. We've watched movies and consumed red wine and talked and shopped and had fun. In line at the coffee shop I asked the barista for "the same as Dad". My reason for it was simply to be clear who I was speaking about - not wanting to end up with the same drink as someone else - but Shawn and his father were so delighted by this I felt I had done something exceptionally clever. He came with us while we bought the new vehicle.

I think living near him and his wife will be a good thing for us if it all works out. We've never been very family-oriented people, never living close enough to the family while feeling so inclined. We might all be in the right place to do so now.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Correlation Studies

This is my new car. It's a Honda Element and I like it because it reminds me of Lego. Also I can fit my bike in the back without taking it apart.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I bought a new dog food for Little Puppy. In its packaging it refers to domestic dogs as "urban wolves". The idea of a seven pound urban wolf strikes me absolutely hilarious. She liked the food though.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Peep Part II

He's flying to Vancouver next week for a second interview. I know there's no contract yet but I am counting one big old chicken. Anybody who meets my Shawn face to face will want to hire him, if not marry him and have his babies.


The leaves dried and the flower fell away

It was a long weekend made extra long by the fact that Shawn took Friday off to pick up his father at the airport. This was a miscalculation as his father's plane did not land until Saturday morning, but a four day weekend is a hard thing to regret too much even when it's taken in error. We slept in, we ate breakfast in cafes, we went for walks with the dogs.


His father is here but not staying with us. He is now staying with Shawn's grandparents, but he'll back to visit us on Thursday and will stay for two, maybe three, nights. I enjoy Shawn's father. He's a nice man with a similar sense of humour to Shawn's. Most of all I enjoy the way Shawn is around him, excited and happy and almost dancey. If we move to Vancouver we would be seeing Shawn's father far more often and for Shawn this would be a very good thing.

I am growing accustomed to the idea of moving again. I am mentally preparing for what feels inevitable. The only things that make moving bad are being further away from my niece and leaving behind the house we are having built. The second regret is easily remedied and also fairly minor. There are other houses. And I could be happy living in a one bedroom apartment with chicken-noodle-shag carpet anyway. As long as we're together.

The second concern, of course, is more difficult. It means I'd need to arrange for more visits. I'd need to come back more often and I'd need to bring her to me more often. This is something that can be arranged. It's not easy but it's doable.

In exchange I would have mountains again instead of this endless expanse of prairie, this great big sky. And something new. The Pacific Ocean.


I noticed, yesterday, while reorganizing the bookshelf, that I had thrown everything away except the book. I just couldn't throw away a book. I could tear out the inscription, cross it out, white it out, or pretend it was written for someone else, but I could not bring myself to throw a book in the garbage.


Friday, May 18, 2007


I may be counting our chickens before they're hatched. But I'm pretty sure he's going to get the job. I eavesdropped on his interview and in spite of my personal biases in favour, I still think he gave an excellent interview and that we'll be on our way before long. Chapter 3.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Miss Eskimo Pie

Yesterday I had to make an incident report at work about a teaching assistant pushing a student. Today he got fired. I know it wasn't my fault, and I understand there was a history with this guy, but I hate being involved in something like that.


Shawn has a phone interview tomorrow with Vancouver. I feel that having gotten this far, he will be offered the job. Then we will have to decide what to do with TWO houses.


It might be too soon to say so but I think Little Puppy's eye is getting better.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

let me get to the point

Not missing a deadline. But definitely missing a part of my brain. I've been writing since 8:00am (with a lunch break to walk the pups) and am slowly feeling a frost spread over my brain that is making it move in slow motion. I wonder why I always do this to myself. It would have been so painless to write one section each day for a week. Instead I have to do all seven on the last day.

It was great fortune that GDJ didn't arrange a conference call, otherwise I would have had to crunch a lot harder to get things done by 1:00. As it stands, since L seems to knock off early and GDJ is MIA, I can finish it later tonight if my brain continues its slow shutdown. Shawn is playing hockey tonight which means I'll have some alone-time to get things finished.


Monday, May 14, 2007

getting into the spirit of the thing

On Friday night my mother called to say that she knew I couldn't make it home for Mother's Day but she just wanted to invite me to a Mother's Day breakfast that their church was hosting. She made it clear from the very start of the conversation that she was only inviting me to be polite and that she knew it was too much to spend six hours on the road on a Sunday in order to get a waffle.

I decided to go, but I didn't tell her that. I just thanked her for inviting me and then called my Dad when she wasn't home and told him to save me a seat.

Mum was at the door of church greeting people, shaking hands and giving out programs. I came through the door nonchalantly and shook her hand and she started to cry.

I think I understand my mother better than I used to.

Five years ago when I was planning my wedding, my mother said she didn't want to be one of those mothers who interferes and overrides and annoys and that she wouldn't have anything to do with the planning. And I was hurt by that. I felt like she didn't care about the wedding - and I didn't know how to plan a wedding by myself. And I relied on Kat and Shawn who both did far more of the organizing than I did. And now I think that my mother was just hoping I'd tell her that I wanted her help and that she wouldn't annoy me by being involved.

It turns out, I think, that my mother is protecting her heart even more than I have been and that instead of being hurt that she seems to be offering invitations for the sake of form, and hanging back when I want her involvement... what I need to respond with is the reassurance that I want to know her. I want her in my life. I want us to be close.

Having figured this out makes things easier. Now that I get it, it's not so hard to understand it at all. Turns out that in at least this way I am just like her.


After I talked to Shawn on Friday about going to see my mum on Sunday, the phone rang and it was J. J was not doing well. N had come by to go through their belongings and divide everything up. I don't know how you do that. Who gets the kitchen table? Who gets the couch? Who gets the bed? Who gets the pets? In all cases, it seems she does.

He'd asked her to consider marital counseling. And a trial separation. She said no. She said she doesn't want to fix it, she just wants out.

Shawn talked to him for quite awhile, then hung up feeling awful. There's so little one can say or do for a friend in this situation. Then suddenly it occurred to us that since I was driving home on Sunday to see my mum, it would be easy for him to come with me and visit J. The pieces snapped together nicely and we set out early, at 6:30am, to make sure we'd be there on time.

It all worked out well. At the church I met an old friend - a lady I'd worked with when I was teaching junior high. After the breakfast I went back to my parents' house for tea and we got time to talk. And Shawn and J got time to go for coffee, have some lunch, watch a movie, and talk about J's situation.

When I drove back to meet up with Shawn, I came in to say hi to J. He didn't look good, poor thing. Shawn and I have agreed that when our own situation is settled and we know where we'll be living, whether it be here or Vancouver, we are going to invite J to live with us rent-free for a year so he can get back on his feet and not be alone while doing it. J has already mentioned wanting to move to Vancouver since he has family there. I think if we moved there he would come with us. I don't think, however, that he'd be interested in living here. I'm not even sure we are interested in living here. He might not take us up on this offer, but we just want him to have another option.


Last Tuesday after having a positive conference call meeting with L and K, I felt inspired to get some work done. And that's the last time I have done that even though I guaranteed them that I would have that section done within a week's time. Our next meeting is tomorrow in which we will undoubtedly follow up on my work. Which I have not done.

I decided not to teach today and stay home, instead, to get myself caught up. I'm good with deadlines. I never miss one, but I tend to push them as far as they will go. Somehow I thrive on the stress of doing things under tight time lines. When I have all the time in the world I can't get started. Even now, knowing I have until tomorrow, and only seven sections to write, I am wasting time writing here instead of writing those sections.


Last night I cut up a giant pile of vegetables and presented Shawn with veggies, dip, crackers and cheese for dinner. This is my kind of eating. I love eating party food. And I love raw vegetables. Shawn was taken aback, I think, by the lack of dead animals on the plate but conceded this was a healthier meal than his standard desire for burgers or pizza. I keep promising myself I will feed him more vegetables and then getting lazy. He's not a picky person. He just eats whatever is put in front of him. If I cut up vegetables he eats them. If I don't feed him he orders a pizza. (You can see why we need fancy smart stainless steel appliances.)


Little Puppy and I are going to the vet again this afternoon to see if we can figure out why her eye is so pink. This has been going on for months now and I am growing increasingly frustrated. I hate it when there's something wrong that I cannot fix.


Running into an old friend yesterday was a happy mistake. I was wanting to talk to her anyway about the program she took at the university because it is similar to the one I'd started to pursue my last year there. I'm thinking there must be something comparable either here or in Vancouver. Shawn thinks we can afford for me to go to school full time if I want to. Something to consider.


The work that looms ahead is keeping me typing here furiously. I see that L has already arrived in the online workspace and is probably asking himself why I haven't contributed anything since last Tuesday and wondering how it's possible that I am going to come up with seven sections of writing before 1:30 tomorrow afternoon. I am wondering the same thing, but unlike him I know I will manage it. He doesn't know me well enough, yet, to know that while I always slide things in at the last possible second, I never miss a deadline.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

with added glucosamine and chondroitin

The men who delivered our bed frame brought it in several large pieces. I suppose there was no other way, it being too large to fit through the doors once assembled, not to mention too heavy to lift. The problem was that when they cut through the tape and were faced with all those pieces, bolts, pegs, and washers, they were stymied. And no instructions. How could that be? I wonder how a furniture store can possibly send out their delivery guys without instructions for building the furniture they are responsible to put together.

They puzzled over it awhile. They called their manager, who kindly emailed me a photograph of the assembled bed for them to look at (it was useless) and then finally had to tell me that they didn't know what to do. Meanwhile, I had provided them with ice water, the use of my computer, given one of them a pair of coconut shell earrings that hurt my ears but he seemed enchanted by when he spotted them on my dresser, and a decent tip. They smelled terrible but they were nice men.

Shawn arrived as they were leaving and we built the bed together. It took nearly three hours. With instructions I feel certain it would have taken half an hour. In all its fully built glory, I love the bed in my house just as much (maybe more) than I loved it in the furniture showroom, and now I feel inspired make the bed once in awhile. Maybe.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

My feet is my only carriage/ so I've got to push on through

Tonight Shawn got a phone call from a global recruiter who wanted to talk to him about potential for working in Vancouver. There are a lot of companies in Vancouver that do what he does. It was a strange experience listening to him talk, explaining what he does currently and explaining where he would like his career to go. It was interesting because it showed me more of the man I have chosen to spend my life with, more of him that I simply don't know very well.

When he talks about what he does and what he wants to do, I don't really understand him. It's almost like I'm listening to a language being spoken that I don't know very well. I pick up the simple joining words but big concepts are missing from my vocabulary.

Likewise, listening to him negotiate about salary was fascinating because I have never seen him in a situation like this. He didn't barter. He just said he was an honest person asking for a fair salary and that he expected the kind of company that he would work for would want to respond with an honest offer. And the fact that he could say something like that without seeming naive was really rather awe-inspiring. The world doesn't teem with men like my husband, but it really should.

I'm feeling ambivalence about the idea of moving as our new house is getting closer to being finished. I was looking forward to living in that house. And yet, I like the idea of living somewhere that isn't buried in snow seven months a year, too.


The furniture store called today with a "time window" to let us know when our new bedframe (finally!) would be delivered. Strangely enough, the automated voice announced that the frame would be delivered at.... and then it repeated my address. Peculiar. I phoned back to speak to real person who said the window was between 3:00 and 7:00 which made a little more sense. I look forward to seeing if we like our bed as much as we thought we would.


It looks as though the school I've been teaching at two days a week is going to offer something full time for next school year. I'm feeling hesitant about that. Even with the future more certain in terms of location, I'm not convinced I want to be at this school any more time than I already am. It's a difficult place to be and I'm not sure it's what I want. Some changes are refreshing and some are exhausting and some are both. This has been some of each.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Salmon and Elk Part II

My meeting with Einstein was good. Sometimes he is easily appeased and sometimes he has questions that I cannot answer. Today he was easily appeased. He suggested when the project is over I might like to come and work for him facilitating workshops for executives. Interesting. Corporate World Beckons to Public Servant Numero Uno.

Finally there was enough eyebrow waggling (and a bit of carrot dangling), enough so to convince me to become productive again and therefore I completed writing the first lesson in the module. I am now on a lesson-a-day schedule in order to meet a deadline of next Tuesday for this section. I'm relieved to have a schedule. It makes it so much easier to start.

Tenacious D wants to type with his tongue. Go D Go. (Once granted permission he loses interest, of course.)

On Friday our new bed frame will finally be delivered. It's been so long since we ordered it that I can barely remember what it looks like.


Salmon and Elk

Chronology - (I asked them to strive for depth of response rather than sequences of events. But I listed my own experiences. Do as I say, not as I do.)

Friday - "Welcome welcome". The children said this like robots when they were being watched but when they were alone with me they became more like normal kids. Better.
Saturday - Spiderman - could not eat popcorn at 9:00am but found it a better time for movies than evenings when I am likely to fall asleep. Afternoon - selection of window coverings for the new house. Ended up with things I had not anticipated. Evening - stood up another time by realtor K - cemented decision to rent out house. Nervous but pleased.
Sunday - an endless fiesta of eating. When I was a vegetarian I was far too thin. My mother worried that I had stopped eating (I had not). I enjoy food far too much to ever be anorexic.
Monday - rain, a little hail in the morning. Complaints from girls about straight hair becoming curly. Heartless responses. Afternoon sunshine. Complaints from girls about heat. Heartless responses.
Tuesday - morning - a reunion. It takes so little time for them to get over the novelty of *me*. Afternoon - awaiting a conference call with Einstein.


My bunny rabbit has moved to the house diagonal from us and I feel sad that he has decided to stop visiting us even though I can still see him when he's in their yard. Once the fences are up I fear he won't come back to visit anymore at all.

I think we need to build a deck in the backyard.


Friday, May 04, 2007

scratch and dent

"I choose to experience my wellness from anxiety by vibrating in harmony with the number 51."

Sometimes when I feel anxious I think about that. Though I don't think the number fifty-one does much to make me experience my wellness in and of itself, that expression does sometimes make me feel like laughing. Maybe that's the point of numerology. Generally numbers increase my anxiety because I don't understand them. I suppose it is in self defense that I want to dislike that which I do not understand. It's satisfying to find fifty-ones amusing now whenever I should happen across one.

I have decided to teach Physical Education this afternoon on a day when I really ought to be at home writing. The writing is something I tend to accomplish in bursts (punctuated by anxiety) because I can't seem to be motivated by the thought of being finished. I require external motivation like a child. A deadline, a boss, a client, whomever. It requires someone to waggle his eyebrows disapprovingly.

The rain has been torrential and the grass is finally turning green in spite of the fact the temperature hasn't gotten very warm. The fat white bunny who comes to my back door every morning has turned brown. I wish he could know how much I like him, how pleased I am to see him.

The rain means that Phys. Ed. will be an indoor thing today. Sometimes rain makes me feel good when it doesn't last forever and when my basement stays above the waterline.

Later this morning before going to teach, I will go to the dentist to have my new "bite guard" fitted. This time I'm going to try harder to wear it every night so I can stop grinding my teeth down to dust. I'm also going to try harder to make sure the dogs don't eat it.

Tomorrow morning we are going to a private screening of Spiderman 3 for Shawn's company. I fail to understand why they are having this screening, what the movie has to do with their business, but it's still a nice treat. When I think of how (foolishly) frightened I am by spiders it seems weird to imagine a man who is part spider looking as angelic as Tobey Maguire.

This morning I'm going to try and do some writing... and figure out how to rent out our house too.