Thursday, July 30, 2009

You think there's not a lot going on

Good progress today in the tiling. Shawn was on a roll with the tile saw and cut a lot more pieces than I expected him to so that when we start tomorrow we'll have lots of the hard stuff done already. The learning curve was steep but I think we've done well. I actually enjoy operating the tile saw although it's noisy and I think that by the time we're ready to do the baseboards, we'll have acquired a lot of transferrable skills.

We've had no luck solving our air conditioning problem. That is, we returned the defective one and got our money back, but couldn't find another unit anywhere in the city. Apparently we're too late. The rest of the coast has beat us to the punch. In disgust, Shawn called our AC/heating/plumber guy and asked him what it would cost to install central air. There's some government incentive right now that will rebate part of the cost of a heat pump/ AC because it improves energy efficiency significantly and according to this guy, the rebates cover a good portion of the cost. Might be worthwhile, so we're looking into it. Of course that doesn't solve the current problem which is that the house is still boiling hot and stifling. But wow, should we happen to have another heat wave in September we'll be all set.

Tonight C called and let Little J down in a big way. J wanted C to come and watch her do a horseback riding demo at the camp she's been doing for the last week. C had said earlier that she would come, and J stipulated that she didn't want her to bring her creepy boyfriend, which C said was fine. Tonight she called and said no, that the boyfriend was coming. J said she was withdrawing the invitation then, and C hung up on her. I can't fathom that, how the creepy boyfriend (who C, herself, has admitted to finding rather disgusting apart from the fact he buys her cigarettes) could possibly be more important than sharing a part of J's life that she has invited her to share. It's sad.

Ugh, the heat is showing no sign of dissipating. The news promises a slight break after Monday, and when I say break I mean it goes from 35 to 28. Hard to believe that 28 would feel cool at this point, but I think it would. Our portable air conditioner crapped out the night before last. Maybe it was working too hard, maybe it just thought it would be funny to stop working on the hottest night of the year. We've been sleeping on the futon/couches in the living room for the last two nights because it's too hot to go upstairs at all.

And through all of this, the tiling project has been continuing. We're about 2/3 done now and it's taking forever. Forever and ever and ever. Little did we know when we chose these gorgeous natural stone tiles that they'd be such a bitch to install. The thicknesses and the sizes are inconsistent, they keep cracking on the tile saw because of the natural fault lines, and they're heavy heavy heavy. They're covered in silt and every tile needs to be washed under the hose before it can come in the house. I'm sunburned, I'm exhausted, I'm HOT. I can't wait until we're done, but at this point we've slowed to a crawl because it's so hot that we can barely move.


Monday, July 27, 2009

I don't care about anything that you think about anything.

Shawn and I had a fight today, which is a very rare thing in our world. Very rare. So it was particularly weird, and largely fueled, I suspect, by the fact that it was a steady 30 degrees in our house by 8:30 this morning as we were trying to lay tile. Misery. The tiling project was hijacked by this argument, and though we did manage to resolve it and make up fairly quickly, it seemed impossible to go back to the tiles and so we didn't. The tiles will wait until tomorrow morning, though it promises to be equally hot tomorrow, if not more so.

I've finished my courses now with an A+ and an A- (which aggravates me) and have some time off to become dumb again. I'm relishing that. Shawn is home for the rest of this week before he returns to work, and then I get to have August at home by myself (but with the kid). I'm praying by then the heat will have receded enough that I'll be able to do more than just move from the faucet to the ice tray.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

And how you built a tower tumbling through the trees/ In holy rattlesnakes that fell all around your feet

Home!! It's so good to be home. So so good to be home.


Facebook, a social phenomenon that I doggedly resisted for a good long time, but eventually succumbed to the pressure of, has begun to frighten me. There's a little application which takes it upon itself to inform you of other "people you may know" who use Facebook. Tell me how this works, please. I understand that a program can figure out that I know Bob and Sue and that Bob and Sue both know Mark, so there's a reasonable chance I might know Mark too. That part I can deal with. But tell me how it knows about people that DON'T share any common friends with me? How is that possible, seriously?

Today Facebook told me I might know a woman I used to work with, very briefly, in another city about three years ago. Someone with whom I share no common friends. Someone I barely know, really. So how does Facebook know???

Today Facebook also suggested I might know a girl whose teaching practicum I supervised - again, several years ago, in another city. No common friends, no common threads. How is this possible?

It's really freaking me out.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tonight my Dad showed me a fortune cookie paper that he saved from when he was eighteen. Sometimes my Dad is so cute.

My courses are done. I have to write the exam still, which frightens me a little, but I have to get it done fairly quickly upon arriving home. Obviously tomorrow isn't the day to do it after twelve hours of driving, but I'm hoping Saturday will work. Sunday at the latest.

I'm so excited about going home. I wish we were flying instead.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Two more days of class. I'm so excited about going home. I've finished the last assignment now, including the video analysis and I'm so ready to be done. I've absolutely had enough and I miss my family so so much.

Shawn has another week off work when I get home (yay) during which we are planning to tile our kitchen floor which has been plywood for a very very long time. I hope we're talented enough to do a good job of it.

Tomorrow there's a guest speaker in the morning class and a movie in the afternoon. I'm glad for that, having had just way too much of the talking, sharing, caring, reflecting and all that crap lately. I just want to sit back and keep a chair warm; that's all I want to do.

My (over)sensitivity has potential to be a problem for me in counselling clients. Yesterday I listened to a woman in my class talk about how the death of her dog reawakened her feelings of loss around losing a child a few years before. I wasn't the counsellor in this session, I was the person whose job it is to code the counselling skills and report them to the counsellor afterward. And even in this somewhat removed role, I was awash with emotion. The woman held herself together in a way that told me either she's already been counselled half-to-death about this, or that she has a much tighter reign on her emotions than I ever could have. I was somewhat surprised that she came to class with this issue to talk about today, particularly in light of some of the other non-emotional stuff we've been discussing. (I talked about how hard it is to keep my house clean.) I felt like a bit of a boob getting all teary while she held strong. I wonder how I'm going to manage this career sometimes.


Monday, July 20, 2009

You're at your best when you've got the guns turned 180 degrees

I think I've made up for the strange awkwardness with the guy who asked me to the football game. At least, I really tried to. And he seems normal again, not uncomfortable or anything. Whatever it was, it seems to be alright now.

This morning we had an oral exam and I think we did just fine with it, my group, at covering all the bases. That just leaves the final exam in that class. In the other class my partner and I finished our final video interview after class, so I just need to type up a quick analysis of if, and then that course is finished too. Hallelujah!

I am so eager to get home, I can hardly stand it.


Last night I was visited and it was the most warming thing that's happened in a long time. It's nearly impossible to explain that kind of love.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Five days left. Six, sort of, if I count to arrival instead of departure. Two assignments left. Four days of classes. Twelve hours of driving. I miss home enormously. I've been more sociable while here, and more brave, in some ways, than I've been in a very long time. All these things extend me. What if I end up somewhere unexpected?


We practice (malpractice) therapy on one another in the afternoons. On Friday I was paired with someone with someone I haven't worked with yet and she asked me some questions I'd not really been expecting about my career and dream jobs. And I was startled a bit by my own answers. I'm not sure if what I said matters or if it's just stuff I was spouting off so she would be able to talk me through something. I'm learning that sometimes things come up that no one was expecting. Also that talking about oneself after spending so much time listening to others can be surprisingly empowering. Maybe what I'm learning is not how to be a psychologist, but that I really ought to go into therapy.


Friday, July 17, 2009

This morning a guy in one of my classes asked me to go to a football game with him tonight. It took me completely off guard and I'm still not sure if he was asking me on a date or if he was just making a friendly gesture. It was awkward and I fumbled around with it a bit sort of trying to find a way out and after a bit of that he kind of withdrew the invitation, which made me feel bad, as though I'd rejected him, which is something I'm not supposed to have to do anymore now that I'm old and married. And then another part of me thinks he must know I'm married and he was really just looking for a friend to hang out with in which case I'm a total ass for making it so weird. Sometimes it's so diificult getting through social interactions.

In the afternoon we practiced psychodrama and no one would volunteer to be the client. So I agreed to do it, and it was weird and emotionally trying, and sort of cathartic at the same time. Afterward the instructor put on a hypnotherapy CD and read a relaxation script that I didn't hear a word of because I was dozing off. This experience has been kind of surreal.

I've been arriving at the college at 7:30 each morning which gives me a half hour to sip coffee and read email and wake up. Some would say I should wake up prior to getting on the causeway but I don't see how that's possible. I'm getting up much earlier for this program than I do when I'm working, and I'm getting tired. Run down. If I could only sleep in on the weekends it would be better, but my mother's habit of getting up at 4:30am make that nearly impossible. I've been drinking absurd amounts of coffee while staying here.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Time is my own and I feel so alive and I feel so alone

I talked to Jesse for an hour tonight when I got home from school. I'm astounded by the details he remembers about things I forgot such a long time ago. I'm troubled by his troubles, by the ways in which he's allowed himself to be taken advantage of. And I'm troubled by how fast he talks and how innocent he's allowed himself to remain in spite of how much hard living he's been through. Simply, I don't stop caring or appreciating how much he protected me from and I don't stop being concerned about what he might bring into my life. He's moving to the west coast soon and proposing all kinds of wholesome fun. Business and artistic ventures with me and with Shawn. All of it so wildly idealistic and beautiful. If someone had bothered to raise Jesse I think he might be someone entirely different.


I got my interview assignment back today with a grade of 100%. There's still one more interview due next Wednesday (which my partner and I have decided to do tomorrow) and then this course is essentially done. I'm getting a ridiculously good mark in this class and I don't really like the course at all. The other class, the one in which I attempt to dominate the world, is such a better class, but that's the one I'm more concerned about as far as marks go.


I really really really really miss Shawn and the puppies.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Laugh hard, it's a long way to the bank

I met two old friends for dinner tonight, which was really nice. It's interesting to me how it's so easy to pick right up where we've left off with some people, and with others it just can't be done. It's rarely the way I expect it, too.


On the first day of class my instructor teased me about having control issues because I mentioned liking online schooling because I could control when and under what circumstances I would participate in discussions. And from there I've watched myself grow fangs and embark on a full-scale control-freak fantasy. I'm so suggestible. And now it's a running joke and I feel almost obligated to say outrageous things once in awhile just to derail the academic discussion and control everyone around me. This morning they were rolling because I said I would like to be in charge of an involuntary sterilization project. Why would I say something so demonic out loud in a masters level psychology class? Because the instructor gave me a character to play on day one. I can't believe I'm thirty-five years old and still playing class clown.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm irritated with this little iPhone as a means of writing. Like an overzealous therapist it attempts to anticipate where I'm going, what I'll say next. Tries, even, to finish my words. When I tell it NO, that I was not trying to say SWIPE, a word I seldom employ, it just ignores me, overrides what i write. Bastard.

Tried to call Jesse today but he wasn't there.


Monday, July 13, 2009

But you're real enough to me

Week two is underway and I've finished both group projects that are due this week. I tried to choose people who seemed proactive and motivated when picking partners. I think it was mostly successful. Of corse it'll be swipe before we get marks back but I'm satisfied that we've done reasonably well.

I still haven't called Jesse though I've promised to do so tomorrow. I've been making it all too big in my head so tomorrow I'm just going to stop being a fool and talk to him. Use my newfound skill of choosing to opt out of subjects I don't want to talk about if necessary.

RM invited me to a party but I think I'm too antisocial to go.

Jenny wants to get together again before I go back. That I want to do. And I've arranged dinner with 2 friends from where I used to teach. What I should do is call Dodo but I probably won't.

I read Girl, Interrupted on Sunday. I wasn't impressed at all. Not sure if it's the DSM-V that makes me want to call bullshit or if it's just my own experiences in dealing with a BPD patient. Maybe both. I just want to say that the unreliable narrator is far less cool as a literary technique when the narrator is actually a wingnut. The author, that is. Maybe I'm just tired of being jerked around by someone else's diagnosis.

Anyway. Real enough to me.


Saturday, July 11, 2009


Today my parents took us to see Don Quixote, which was really well done. Sometimes I feel like I got ripped off by taking my theatre training in a way that allowed me to focus so much on acting at the expense of other aspects of theatre that might really come in handy in real life. Now. But it wasn't the program with which I should honestly find fault. It was my own choices. It's not that I no longer like acting, it's that I no longer like actors.

I'm missing home a lot. I don't miss home by crying about it or having a bad time here. It's just that sometimes I feel angry as though I'm being held captive. This is all in my imagination.

Still haven't called Jesse. I don't know how to talk to him now. Of course I'm assuming he hasn't changed although I have, so much, and this might be the most self- absorbed thing a person could even say. Or think.

There's homework assignments coming due next week for me and I'm really feeling crabby about the groupwork thing even though I see its purpose. Sometimes the caring and sharing just becomes too much.

I've pecked this all out on Shawn's iPhone. How's that for weird?


Friday, July 10, 2009

1. Oh my god ... Jesse found me.

Yes, that Jesse, the one about whom I've wondered and written so much. He's here still, where I left him last when I found myself not strong enough to be a friend to him.

2. And he is moving West just as I did. He said three weeks.

3. I've been putting off calling him since he emailed me his phone number. Part of me is afraid to revisit that era, with it's incredible betrayals and inconsistencies and all of the deaths and tragedies we were so ill equipped to handle them. And of course there is the other part that becomes overwhelmed with nostalgia, and longs to sew some old injuries back up for both of us.


intrigue on the prairies

There's a man in one of my classes whose head is so big he looks like a giant Tweety Bird. He wears the same khaki pants every day with pink satin-lined back pockets and his name is Skylar. I'd like to take him for Show & Tell because he fascinates me.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Now you are here

Three days down, fifteen more to go. Of course I should be, and actually am in spite of how I sound to myself, grateful for having a place to stay.

But other things stand as barriers to being fully content. Missing Shawn, mostly, and the pups. But also the fact that my mother gets up at 4:00 and rattles around while I'm here trying to sleep on this damn pull out couch.

And there are memories here that have surprised me with their strength and sharpness. I am finding that unexpectedly hard.

On the positive side, I got my most recent paper back with a grade of 29/30, which was a whole lot better than I anticipated. And tomorrow I am going to see Jenny and her new baby so I am excited about that.

Strangely, I've been feeling like not connecting with one old friend in particular because I feel rather like there's no longer anything in common.

Now that the painful two day orientation is over, classes are becoming interesting. Still... I really want to go home.

Friday, July 03, 2009

a life about to start

One day more (another day, another destiny). One day filled with laundry and packing and cleaning the vehicle and mapping a route and printing school workbooks and other things that are supposed to make things easier at the other end. The thought of living with my parents for three weeks is making me ill. I don't know why. I love them a lot, I truly do. The last year of our lives as a small patchwork family has opened my eyes more and more to who they really are. And still, I almost can't stomach it, just the idea.

Yesterday we went to see Les Miserables, which was beautiful. I'm such a sucker for good live theatre, even common corporate seat-filling populars like Les Mis. It was lovely. I was in love with Enjolras who was a show stealer more so than I've ever seen that part played. Bravo.

And tonight we went to Shawn's Dad's house for summer wine. I like being close to his family. They're easier to be close to than mine.

Oh yeah, and the hummingbirds came back. Happy!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

going going gone

Two more days before I hit the road. Friday, Saturday. I wish I could stay home! At the same time as I'm excited about the courses, about learning, I'm not at all pleased about being away from Shawn for so long. Or spending nearly half the summer living with my parents. Who I love. But should never ever ever ever live with.