Monday, April 29, 2013

A Look Inside

Just a little over two years ago, as most of you know, mine and my family's world was turned upside down.  More importantly my dad's world was snuffed out.  Though that's not really what this post is about.  I feel like I've probably talked about that, my feelings, etc., enough.  That being said, I want to mention the one particular thing I really had a hard time with besides the obvious and STILL have a hard time with (I suspect the same goes for my mom, siblings and aunt and uncles as well) and that is coping with how my dad was feeling about everything in his own head.  He kept it together enough when we were around and he did his utmost to maintain positivity, but I've really struggled and felt an awful lot of guilt over not being able to ease the shit in his head. 

Lately I've been following a blog (The Art of Breast Cancer) written by an amazing woman named Carolyn.  Right now, Carolyn is battling a brutal war with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer.  It's not a huge blog, you can most certainly quickly catch up with her journey as it's based solely around this diagnosis, how she's living with it and how she's coping with the help of her family.  I guess I wanted to blog about Carolyn's journey because frankly the majority of us will face the same fate as Carolyn and have to go through what she's currently going through at some point in our life.  My biggest fear for myself is dying while my children are still young...but then I fret dying while my grandchildren are young...I'm just not sure when it's an acceptable time.  Aside from being a very well written blog, my main (and selfish) reason is because in one of her recent posts she actually writes about what mental struggles she's contended with and how she's coped with the trickery of her own mind.  Now flip back up to my struggles with what my dad went through...

 I'm so grateful to her for giving me a mere glimpse into what my dad was probably struggling with. More importantly though, she has given me a really good understanding from what she wrote in her follow up to my comment on her post.  She gave me some insight into how she struggled in those early stages and likely my dad was too.   I read her follow up comment to me and I cried.  I cried because the kindness of a stranger overwhelms me.  I cried because this woman is handling her prognosis with grace and decorum even when she's having a bad day.  I cried because this woman is being kind enough to share her story with us and sharing it all.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  I cried because I'm so very sorry she is going through all these changes.  I'm sad because things didn't work out for her the way she envisioned and she's had to change her life course.  I'm sad for her children.  I'm sad for her sister, who has been her rock through the whole ordeal.  I'm just sad that people still have to keep going through this. 

If you have an hour, please go read her blog.  Let her words not be in vain.  It's difficult to read, but her story needs to be told and she's doing a magnificent job telling it.  I have never truly been more grateful to have a stranger enter my life. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I have zero tolerance for conspiracy theorists.  I truly understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I'm running out of patience with their need to bombard social media with their views.  Call me naive but I really just can't get behind their theories or truly believe that governments and corporations would go to the extent that these theorists are speculating. 

I don't write this to start a debate because I have not a care in the world to further study and understand every nitty gritty detail behind the tragedies that are happening.  But I cannot believe, not even for a second, that the US government plotted the whole 911 saga on purpose.  Nope, I won't believe it.  Is it honestly too hard to grasp that other countries hate the States?  Is it so difficult to believe that other countries could plot against the great United States?  I have never once bought into all the ridiculous notions behind 911 except that it was a terrorist attack.  Period.  And I've wasted countless moments of my precious life watching documentaries highlighting both sides of the coin.

Now lets move on to the most recent, I don't even need to type it right?  So the theory this go around is that these two guys have been set up.  WHAT?  Un-fucking-believable.  Is it impossible to think that two brothers could resent that country enough to fuck. shit. up?  Why, why, WHY would any government agency just randomly pick two dudes to set up, then plant bombs around a beloved event and cause massive carnage?  Why is it hard to understand that shutting down Boston was in the best interest of the citizens?  I know you wouldn't catch my ass outside of my house during those long hours.  I'd be laying on the floor, on top of my children with shit piled on top of me in the rare event that a stray bullet came through a wall into my house.  All these feelings about fear mongering is killing me.  People are afraid because other people are unpredictable.  It's natural to fear things.  It even occurs in the animal kingdom for crying out loud.  I'm pretty confident in my beliefs that the government doesn't have to go out of its way to provide us with something to fear.  But then I suppose the theorists are pretty confident in their beliefs too so this could go around in circles all day long.  I would love to have access to whatever kool-aid the government fed those brothers to force them to carry gym bags into throngs of people and drop them on the ground.  How did they convince the eldest to strap a bomb around his body and confront officers leading to the shoot out?  If these guys aren't guilty why did they have access to all these illegal weapons of mass destruction?  Who forced these brothers to carjack numerous vehicles, and kill an officer?  Enough already.  There doesn't have to be a conspiracy around every single goddamn thing that takes place! 

And don't even get me started on all the gun control posts that keep bombarding my damn news feed!  I've had to 'hide' so many friends lately.  That's a lot of work ya know???  It's safer that way.  I refuse to inundate people with my beliefs on those subjects every single time I see a posting and frankly I don't really want to poke holes in my eyes with forks.  So it's just best to remove them from my news feed, for now.  

And exhale.  Done rant. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

The New Men In My Life

About a month ago, I started seeing two other men.  I didn't run it past Eric but after it officially started I did confess to him.  He seems OK with my decision.  *Where's the winking face emoticon?*

So since the middle of March I've been going to a chiropractor 3 times a week.  My neck and lower back just seemed to hurt continuously, so I did a little research and actually learned some other stuff too.  Turns out your brain controls everything through your spinal column and if one of your nerves is pinched then what that particular nerve controls is unhealthy right?  Like d'uh!  Makes sense.  **I really did know that already, sometimes it helps to really hear it though.

So upon my initial consultation I was sent for a full spine x-ray so they could see if I had any sublexations in my spine (a popped out vertebrae) and if my spine was properly shaped in a lovely "S" from the side view and straight up and down from the front view.  I'll have you know, they even commented on how wonderful my posture is overall, but I knew that already.  So while they were walking me through their diagnosis while inspecting my actual film, I couldn't concentrate on what he was saying because all I could stare at were the gross ghostly images of my floppy boobs that were much, MUCH clearer in the x-ray than I ever imagined they would be!  I kind of thought just the calcium stuff in your body showed up!  WRONG!  Awkward.  I wanted to stop him mid lecture to inform him that my boobs look, in fact, much more appealing and not as "low hanging" in real life than in this damn image that I simply couldn't look away from.  I'm still kind of hung up on it if you can't tell.  Is it possible for even x-ray films to add 10 lbs???  The good news is my spine is perfectly straight from the front view.  However, from the side view my neck is ramrod straight when it should be curved like a "C".  Yikes.  Might explain all my headaches (though lack of water and improper nutrition may also play a teeny tiny role), since the cushiony spaces between my vertebrae (disks) are deteriorating with all the friction.  And all this jackhammering that occurs when I walk from my head onto my spine would be causing my lower back pain. 

So, upon these discoveries I was told I'm in pretty decent shape and it's repairable.  Adjustments we shall start!  After the first two adjustments on my lower back I literally feel no pain.  No for reals, no pain.  I used to wake up every single morning and complain about my lower back hurting, but I haven't for the past month.  So something is working.  My neck is taking a little longer, but they said that was expected because of the deterioration in my disks and the need to slowly bend it back into a permanent "C" shape again.  I have, however, consciously noticed that I can now turn my neck side to side with much greater ease than I have been able to recently.  So there you go, more progress I suppose. 

I'm still getting used to the grabbing hold of my head and yanking it like they're trying to rip it off my neck and the popping sounds and feelings that accompany it (it's not that bad, I exaggerate a little - but not much).   Next week they are going to re-access me to see if my condition is getting better and they're going to examine my feet/walk to see how hard or improper I carry myself.  I'm not buying orthopedic shoes though.  I'm only just coming to terms with being too old to hang out in clubs, I couldn't tolerate or humour the idea that I might need air cushioned soles with arch support.  Next will be those pressure socks and a hearing aid!   

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Overstayed Welcome?

So a few weeks ago I got a message from Lesley asking if Eric and I wanted to go see Andrew WK at a small venue in Hamilton on what would be this past Sunday.  I said sure for three reasons: 
1.  Eric likes Andrew WK
2.  I do too but more importantly unlike Eric I haven't had the chance to see him live yet, and
3.  It was $15.00 a ticket.  (What concert can you go to where it only costs 15 bones now a days?)

Then, Sunday rolled around.  After a busy week/weekend it was getting increasingly more difficult for me (and Eric) to get the motivation to get dressed and drive to Hamilton (being Hamilton is enough reason, trust me) at 9 p.m. knowing full well I had to work at 8:30 the next day.  We tried our hardest to get out of it with Lesley but no dice.  She really wanted to go.  Groan. 

Worst vibe ever.  It was a Scenester's paradise up there.  I exaggerate not!  Every god for saken form of hipster was present.  Now I'm a lover of guys in skinny jeans and at first I thought that might be the saving factor for the evening, but even that got old.  There were mustaches everywhere.  And I'm sorry but a mustache just can't be awesome.  Beards yes, mustaches no.  At one point after Eric and Lesley left me holding our seats I was punished incessantly by an Ellen Degeneres lesbian look alike who didn't seem to take the "I'm not interested" seriously and kept touching my arm and knee and leaning into my lap when she talked to me.  Not fun. 

So after a 45 minute delay Andrew finally graced us with his presence on stage.  And what a fiasco that was.  No band, just him and a keyboard with the worst sound possible and an open invitation for every loser to join him on stage for this party.  Ugh.

We tolerated it for only three songs, but during those songs I questioned if I would be enjoying it if I was 20.  Would I be one of those people on stage screaming into the microphone?  Would I be that hipster girl in the club with her sunglasses on and the most inappropriate shoes?  Was I hating on this show because I'm rounding up on 40 now?  Am I seriously getting too old for this scene?  Don't answer that.  I just kept sitting there thinking in 3 more years Gage could be at this exact show with me.  There were definitely people who were older than me there, but I'm starting to think their kids were in the opening bands. 

I think I'm beginning to accept that I'm becoming an old person.  Those people I loathed at 20 and made fun of when I saw them at clubs and shows.  It's interesting because the last time we did a girls night of dancing in Toronto we asked ourselves when we should be hanging up our dancing shoes.  I suggested the night we were not hit on would be the night we retired as dancers.  I can't even use that excuse as a reason not to go to club shows with tons of scenesters because I was hit on!

I really do like being in my bed by 9 p.m.  I don't have to be sleeping, lounging is fine.  I should probably buy some velour lounge wear a la Mrs. Roper (Three's Company).  See even my comparison ages me. 

Make that closer to 40 and it really applies to me.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Eric's a Birthday Boy!

I wanted to do a post the other day with some of this material but quickly lost interest.  Today is Eric's birthday and since the subject matter somewhat applies to him (in my case) I thought what better way to blend two posts!  Yup, lazy like that. 

Over the past few weeks I kept stumbling across those pictures with quotes on them.  You know the ones inundating your news feed on Facebook, day in and day out?   Ya those.  They seem to be haunting me wherever I turn...Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit...  Anywho's there were a couple in particular that made me stop to ponder.  I don't remember what exactly they said, so I'll ad-lib.  It insinuated that a good relationship takes hard work and the desire to keep on trying, or something like that.  I actually read a few of these over time before I broached a conversation with Eric about it. 

I mentioned what they said and then promptly followed up with how much I disagreed with that statement.  FUCK that noise.  If a relationship is hard work then you probably aren't with the right person.  My thought is you shouldn't have to keep trying or work hard to have a good relationship.  It SHOULD be easy and come naturally if you are with the right person for you.  You shouldn't be shedding tons of tears over your mate, unless of course they are happy tears or mutual tears because you, as a couple, are going through a difficult situation.  You shouldn't regularly shed tears because of something your mate has done to hurt you, be it physically, mentally or emotionally.  I call complete and utter bullshit on those particular photo/quotes. 

So now I'll segue into my Eric's birthday part.  So the point of me mentioning the above and my disbelief in those statements is because I don't find my relationship very hard or even the slightest bit hard with Eric.   And maybe you believe me or maybe you don't as no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors with a couple, but it's really that simple. 

I can count on one hand how many 'fights' we've had in our four years together and those were mainly during the learning curve and had to do with the boys and Eric's inexperience with having kids.  Don't get me wrong, I've been in a relationship where it was hard, fucking hard if I'm being totally blunt.  Hard to bite my tongue, hard to restrain my resentment, hard to love him, hard to even like him at times, hard to feel content in my relationship.  I most certainly wasn't and I stayed in it FAR too long and had I read some of those quotes back then I likely would have thought that was normal and my destiny.   Mae West said it best, "All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else."  Respect yourself enough to know you deserve the very best.

Anyway, back to Eric because that's where I'm supposed to be, literally and figuratively.   He is very different from me, yet similar - if that makes any sense.  We abhor each others taste in music for the most part, but luckily have a few favourite bands/musicians in common to keep us from killing each other on road trips.  He likes running, I want to splash runners with my car.  His crafty projects don't interest me and mine don't terribly interest him.  But we seem to really appreciate each other's finished product and efforts.  He's handy dandy, I have a house!  He has a very low tolerance for stupid people, I am water off my back.  He is nit picky with the boys, I'm the coolest parent ever! (Jeez, kidding).   He's a pothead, I am not.  Sometimes I like to go out drinking, he's my designated driver because he doesn't.  I watched Dr. Who with him, he watched Ru Paul's Drag Race with me.  Even when I'm rolling my eyes, he makes me laugh.  We trust each other completely.  There really are so many other great things I could mention about the Eric and Holly combination (in my eyes).  I don't normally feel the need to post mushy gushy stuff about Eric, because I'm content in how I feel about him.  I don't need to share it with the world day in and day out.  I don't look to the future and know he won't be with me, like my last relationship.  I genuinely see him beside me for the long haul. 

I did see this one quote posted on Pinterest that made me immediately think about Eric and our relationship.  It really does sum us up in a nutshell and it made me smile. 

Anyway, today is his birthday.  Another year celebrating it with me.  We don't do much for our birthdays but we do know we'll be spending it together and eventually later in the evening, with the boys.  We like each others company, we enjoy spending our time together.  I'm glad he has chosen to celebrate another milestone with me by his side.  I've been very lucky to have him in my life.  To me, a successful relationship is all about falling in love with the SAME person over and over again.  He is my person. 

Happy Birthday Eric.  Each year I love you more and more.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Another Year...

My father died two years ago today, and yet when something special happens to me, I talk to him secretly not really knowing whether he hears, but it makes me feel better to half believe it. 

I'm going to try my damnedest today to focus on all the amazing things he was to me.  I'm going to think about everything he gave me and taught me.  I'm going to remember the feel of his hand in mine when I was just a little girl with pigtails.  I'm going to focus on all the times he made me laugh, even if he wasn't trying.  I'm going to remember the exuberant smile on his face when he held my boys for the first time.   I'm going to briefly relive the feeling I felt when it was just me and him for that few moments before he walked me down the aisle.  I'm going to let my head swim around in all the good memories I have of him.  I'm going to picture his smile in my mind throughout the day.  I'm really going to try hard to push the tears to the back of my eyes but I won't be surprised if one of them breaks the threshold. 

I will force myself to recognize that he isn't in any pain anymore.  I'm going to find the silver lining in the fact that he didn't suffer for too long, that he didn't waste away, that things could have been so much worse.  Today I'm going to focus on the positive things regardless of the end result.  My trying to be positive won't take away my underlying sadness, but I'm pretty certain he would dismiss my behaviour if I wallowed in it all day long.  He'd tell me to remember the good times. 

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.  And if he didn't, he was a really good liar!   

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Small Vision...A Huge Impact

I want to write a post about something that happened a few weeks ago, but it's just a vast subject for me I'm not terribly sure where to even begin.  I'm just going to start typing and see what becomes of the gobble of goo in my head.  I feel like essentially this could be two posts...One about a guy and one about my thoughts on suicide.  Maybe it will turn into just that.  We'll see.

About 10 years ago (just a little over frankly but who's relishing?) I found myself single again.  Single with two kids and my parents temporarily moving into my basement.  Despite having two small boys and basically being a single parent, my life was in fact starting over again.  Thankfully I have an amazing best friend who understood my dire need to tag along every other weekend (and sometimes even the odd ones in between too if my parents were feeling kind) with her and her boyfriend in whatever shenanigans they happened to be getting up to.  What initially started out as a way to get out of my head and house turned into amazing friendships with people I probably would not have met otherwise.  

Around the same time one of my most cherished friends returned back from a working/living stint in Los Angeles and with him came an entirely other group of people.  He introduced us to an online world comparative in nature to what Facebook is today.  It was an on-line forum that combined individual blogs as each person had their own moniker and 'page' where they could write down their thoughts, post their pictures and videos, share friends lists, etc.  There was also a chat function connected to our pages that allowed us to instant message our physical and online friends.  This was all when Facebook was still a mere concept for Zuckerberg.  The catch to this online world was that it was only accessible to people with some sort of body modification.  From something as mainstream as a tattoo or piercing to people who did implants, amputations, alterations, and extreme modifications to their own bodies.  This was a community of peers who supported each other in a safe environment and taught us that being different was completely OK.  This environment was created by a man named Shannon Larratt who, like him or don't, changed the world's (or some of it any way) opinion about body mods for the better.  He was a very close friend of my LA friend, thus the connection. 

When I first joined BME it was mainly to keep in touch throughout the week with my weekend friends.  It was cool because in a social setting on a Friday or Saturday night we always had so much fun but I wasn't really getting to know the newish people I was hanging out with. This was a way for me to have more insight into who these people were and why I wanted to associate myself with them.  It was also a way for them to get to know me as a person as well.  I'm always so much better at expressing my feelings in writing than verbally.  I'm a little bummed that I didn't keep a copy of my BME blog/diary from all those years.  I spent an awful lot of time perusing BME and sometimes even commenting on random people's posts and photos.   Again, braver on line than in person I think.  Needless to say these acts lead me to me a large group of people I otherwise would have never met outside the walls of my house and city.  It made the world a much smaller place for me yet bigger at the same time if that makes any sense. I'm sure it does now that most people are on Facebook.  I find Facebook does the same thing for me except I'm less inclined to talk to randoms on Facebook than I was on BME.  See my legal name wasn't on there for all to see.  We had screen names protecting our identities unless we wanted to be made known.  BME was safe to me. 

Anyway, the reason I'm bothering to blog about this time of my life is because if it wasn't for a vision Mr. Larratt (funny since he was only a year or two older than me)saw in his head about how to bring like minded people together I would not have all the friends I have today.  Because of a man I've just heard stories about and only met twice I am the person I am (sort of!).  I am richer because of a stranger; a stranger who magically with the use of science and math linked a whole bunch of us together.   This man passed away a couple of weeks ago.  He was almost 40 years old.  He left behind a wife, a daughter and an amazing legacy.  He has suffered from a degenerative disorder for years now that has cause an enormous amount of pain and suffering for him with no clear end in sight.  After years of suffering and trying to get results, he made the conscious decision to end his own life.  His wife was aware and whether she liked it or not, she supported his decision and agreed to follow through with his wishes of how he wanted to die.  He died like he lived, on his own terms.  You can read his final note to his friends and community here.   There likely won't be a funeral and it's redundant to me, I likely wouldn't have attended because we were not real friends.  But I felt like his impact on my life, so to speak, warrants a moment or several moments of my time.  I feel like without him and his vision my life would be very different, so I wanted the cyber world to know about the influence this man had on others-the ability he had to create a community where people finally felt like they belonged.  He brought so many like minded and unlike minded people together.  He unknowingly taught an entire group of people to be less judgemental and gave us a strong desire to want the world to be less judgemental.  In an unhanded way he handed me an amazing group of friends that I wouldn't have without him. 

Thank you beyond words, Shannon.  I will be forever grateful.  Wherever you are now, Stay Gold.