Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I'm really bummed/deflated tonight. I'm too tired to even post about it but it fucking sucks. Nothing about I'm keeping it in perspective. Other worries just aren't that important anymore but, unfortunately, there's stuff I have to deal with. And it's pulled me away from Mom today....on my first day off in awhile. I'm hiring a lawyer tomorrow and shit's gonna' hit the fan. Maybe my watching Erin Brockovich two nights in a row has some's something like that but on a much lesser scale.

I'll tell you tomorrow...I just don't have it in me tonight. I cried for twenty minutes and that makes me tired. Fuck with my kids and you fuck with me. Can you tell I'm mad? I'm done.

I think I'll just go visit y'all and pretend things are ok tonight. But they're not.

(and this just in...I'm a fucking soap opera and I'm sick of it. This isn't me...I'm not a whiner. Some things are just outta' my control. A good friend of mine always says "never let the bastards grind you down". So I won't.) ;)
Matty's up to his old tricks again.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I don't like paying for PPV games when we lose. I want a refund. We got a point but, in this race, that just might not be good enough in the end - we need them all. I'll buy a point if someone's selling them. Or trade a few gaming systems. If we don't make the playoffs I'm going to egg GM Place and burn my jersey. I'm sick of that gig.

I might post later but doubt's easier and mindless so I'll probably do that instead. I'm tired because today was a long shift at work and then I drove out to Surrey. It was a gorgeous riverside drive, as usual.I'm going to take more pictures next time because it's one point you go down a huge hill and can see half the lower mainland in front of was twilight and unbelievable tonight. The colors, the lights, the mountains ...and all the buildings were silhouetted. My son and mum-in-law were freaking out at my attempt to photograph while driving and they obviously didn't appreciate my skillz, so I missed the best shots of my life. I only almost rearended one semi. It's all good.

(This isn't MY river...well it is, but this is the middle arm in Delta. This drive is awesome except at 2 in the morning when there's noone else around and no streetlights. Then it's quite scary. My car's broken down on this road 8 billion times and that's dangerous - it's narrow/shoulderless in spots and it's a major route for the truckers. But it's better than the time we broke down in the tunnel.)

This made me sad last night. As a person who frequents the races each year, I followed the Barbaro story closely...beginning long before the injury. And, although probably quite sensible, this reaction pissed me off. O.K., he's got a point...but he could've used a little sensitivity, right?

To me the horse races aren't about gambling/winning/money...I just love the entire atmosphere there. Mostly I love the horses. I've seen many a horse go down and, quite frankly, I'm a wimp...I usually cry. Racehorses (well any horses really) are beautiful, magnificent creatures. I always take treats for the lead horses...they know me when I'm there and come over after they've done their job to see what goodies I've got for them. My uncle was a trainer and I always wondered about whether I should get pleasure out of the races...they whip the horses as they drive them to the finish and shoot them full of lasix. But I think it's in their blood, that they love to race. If you've ever seen a racehorse throw his jockey, what does he do afterward? He runs like the wind. Our standing joke is whenever my son's girlfriend bets a horse...usually she bets the unruly one that pulls this prank. And usually they end up running five races, until they are stopped. They don't go over and gnaw on grass...they fly around the track.

If you could see our track at Hastings, it's beautiful - the backdrop is like no other. Surrounded by the mountains, they seem so close you could touch them. On a sunny day it's glorious and we make it a family event - we enjoy the sights, sounds (they have bands on occassion) and the smells (the food is great) - it's always a great outing. I'll tell you the story of Mom & the races sometime. Not now. Local "celebrities" are often there, sitting/mingling with the crowd. I sat and kidded with Prevail once after my son pointed him out to me...he was very nice.

But when horses die, I have a hard time returning and it sticks for awhile.
Oh my God this blogger shit is going to give me a nervous breakdown. Is anyone else experiencing problems? Or is this more of the curse that owns my life lately? FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCKKKKKKK!! There, that feels better.

Anyhow, thanks Mel for directing me to the abyss that is my email account. The place that I never go to. I saw several emails from the BC Lions there today and apparently I won a contest that I entered (before Christmas) and they've emailed me several times in order to get my info. YYYYEA! An autographed Dickenson jersey is on the way. My kids can fight over it...I have my Geroy one. I do love Dave too (I hung out with he and Geroy one afternoon last year) - we traded bad back stories. But Geroy's my main man and I'm loyal.

Anyhow, I've kind of neglected some old blogs I used to go to....Thought Mechanics being one of them. It's all but finished - a shame really. For those who've been there, remember how good it used to be in the old days? Alana and I met/had our first fight there. Then we were bff after that...hilarious. (I wonder where poor ol' Raoul ended up - we used to kick his ass pretty good, didn't we?). I'm sad to see it slowly dissolve into nothing and people dissipate, never to be heard from again. Theron over there got me set up on my first blog. I was reluctant, but his encouraging emails convinced me that I should give it a whirl. One of my other favorite people over there wrote one of my all time favorite posts...I don't particularly know why. It just struck me as hilarious and I went back tonight to see if I still find it funny...yep, I do. I just felt his pain and always really loved his sarcasm and dry sense of humor. Check it out for yourselves here
(mind you I think he's edited it to clean it up a bit...maybe because his wife/child arrived in town. I remember it being somewhat angrier when I originally read it)

Monday, January 29, 2007

I’m watching one of my favorite movies - Erin Brockovich (again). I watched it last night too...better add it to my profile if I like it this much. She’s my hero. And Julia Roberts was so good in it

Today at work the automatic door to the building jammed’s situated right beside the manual doors. People were “stuck” and didn’t know how to get in?! I had to rescue them by opening the manual one for them...just doin’ my job. It’s happened before...they stood out there, knocking. (Wonder if they’d call 911 if the escalator broke down?)

I’m so tired I’m just going to post pictures tonight. I parked at the fitness track to do some stuff, then walked over to the hospital from there. It was a nice walk.....

(Blogger is being an idiot and this took about 8 hours to do. I don’t want to switch because too many I know are now having problems. If it ain’t broke....?)
These used to be the only "highrises" here

Look to the horizon (65 new highrises being built in the city core)

Going against the grain again.

Thanks Mel.....

You're Compassion Fatigue!

by Susan Moeller

You used to care, but now it's just getting too difficult. You cared
about the plight of people in lands near and far, but now the media has bombarded you
with images of suffering to the point that you just don't have the energy to go on.
You've become cold and heartless, as though you'd lived in New York City for a year or
so. But you stand as a serious example to all others that they should turn off their TV
sets and start caring again.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Did this little quiz over at Mel's place...thanks sweetie, hope things are improving for you.

You'll notice I've posted like a bat out of hell lately....have a busy week scheduled so it'll slow down here. That'll keep you entertained (or lull you to sleep...hey that could be added to the list of sleep techniques. No. 11. Read Deb's blog).

Sunday, January 28, 2007

How Many Is Too Many?

My son recently added these to his "collection" of gaming systems. That brings the total to twelve (not including the dinosaurs that were mine like the Atari and the old school Sega that we still have). The only one he's missing is the PS3, which he plans on buying one day. Now, I ask you this...when is enough ENOUGH? Just how many systems can one man use?

He spends a good deal of his time out at his girlfriend's and when I just spoke to him he was playing 360, which I was unaware he'd taken out there. I said "good, can you take four more systems next time?", to which he said "no". I asked when he was going to grow out of his gaming stage and he reported that he's in his gaming "prime" and that you're never too old. Is this true?
This is my new superhero. I know, we lost last game in OT and we're behind 1-0 tonight but, my God, if it wasn't for Luongo it'd be 8-0. The guy's amazing.

I was a hard sale. I was a die hard Clouts fan and, while everyone else was throwing confetti when we acquired Roberto, I was skeptical. What an idiot I was. I knew he was a great goalie, I just didn't know if he could be great HERE. There's sometimes a missing link and being great doesn't always translate to wins here.

But this guy's here to stay.

OH, WE SCORED (Taylor Pyatt - love him too)...gottta run.

UPDATE: 3-1 WIN! First in the Northwest Division (for now).


Today I discovered some new (well, not new, just to me) music that rocked my socks off. And that's how it is with me - I love it or I hate it, there's no in between. Chances are, if it doesn't have that immediate effect on me, it just ain't gonna' happen. I bore very easily and I like what I like and that's it. That sounds limiting, but it's not - I don't mean I only like one particular kind of music. I tend to delve into all genres and am not biased....when I hear a song it either grabs me or it doesn't. And today it did. When I work, out it's gotta' be loud. Driving. Steady. Get things moving. And I found some workout stuff today so I'm happy because it will help me to kick things into overdrive. Good stuff.

See, something postive here?
DDR skit.

I was flipping through YouTube and stumbled across my little chickadee in action. Oh, to be 15 again.

I'm My Own Troll

I'm hanging around here all day and accomplishing absolutely diddly squat because I can. I need a breather and to not be on the GOGOGO! So wasting time is my gameplan today because housework is giving me a headache.

The hospital has the heat set to 112 degrees and yesterday I felt like I was suffocating in there. Maybe that's why I'm getting a little bitchy while there, who knows. But I'm going later because Sunday Mom gets all her other company.

I picked L up at 2 am this morning and she'd just seen Saw III and refused to leave my side. We had to keep all the lights on all night and sleep on the couch so she wouldn't be attacked. I was her bodyguard. I said "why the hell do you watch that stuff if it scares the hell out of you? Don't you remember the Bloody Mary stories?", to which she replied "Saw I & II didn't scare me. I didn't think this would". It did. Such is life. (The Birds was a doozey for me when I was a kid. Oh, there's a post for that too....later).

Don't say I didn't warn you...soon it'll be too late for you.
(Mr. Mentos better give me free stuff when he learns that I'm pimping his gum)
Swear to God

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I just realized I am the biggest motor mouth in North America and you'd probably do best to read my next installment in chapters or segments. A real shortcoming of mine is that I don't do short. Ironic.

He Ain't Heavy (Pt II)

I wrote another post in response to this really great one over at whitenoise's place. But, in all honesty, I'm getting tired of blowing my own horn, hearing all about me, the superhero and I'm nauseating myself so I want to talk about something else. I'm sick of me. So I'll save it and we'll see later. I sometimes need to shut myself off.

Now that my brother's coming up to a year clean, I want to relive some of how he got there. It kind of ties in to that other post, which is what got me thinking about it. And I want to document it and maybe even show it to him one day (maybe), because he remembers none of this.

A bit of history - "D" and I grew up in a pretty good family in a little fishing/farming community. Everyone knew everybody else and the parents all drank together. The kids would be thrown together in the basement to riot. We loved it.

Looking back, I don't know what happened to us all as we got older (teens). Drugs ran rampant through our crowd and several from the old neighbourhood have since died...most OD'd (some leaving children behind), two shot themselves and one hung himself. And then there was my bridge jumping friend who remains a mystery...he was found under a log boom.

I won't go into details, but mine was a very tumultuous past of which I came out unscathed. I was lucky. Let's just say I went from a straight A goody goody to a holy terror that shouldn't have ever survived my teen years. We'll leave it at that.

I always thought my brother was "the good one", "the quiet one". I certainly wasn't. But D sort of slid under the radar. Went unnoticed. When he was young he was a star athlete - captain of the lacrosse team, QB of the football team (and he was tiny) and pitcher on the baseball team. As he grew up, he was loved by all..he was so personable and had a wicked sense of humor. He was a talented artist, focusing mostly on nature and wildlife. A marksman. A dead eye pool player that could hustle anyone down at the local bar. And continued his pitching into adulthood to be a known pitcher who was always being picked up by teams to play in tournaments throughout the province. He had it all going for him. And I was the wild one. Or so I thought.

FF and D found himself a nice girlfriend, had a child and bought a little house. And things went to shit. I didn't know why - it wasn't my business...but I'd learn years later. D was an addict.

Years of denial (both on his part and ours) lead him along his path of destruction. And he and I fell out of touch a bit - not for any other reason than I was wrapped up in my own life/kids and we never seemed to have time to connect, other than the occassional football game together. But he knew I loved him. I did special things for him and always made sure I celebrated his birthdays/Christmas with him. But, eventually, D was pretty much gone out of my life other than this and I really didn't know why or how it happened. It just did.

I sometimes resented him because he wasn't there for our parents through the rough spots as they got older. He was totally wrapped up in himself. And it all came to a head a couple of years ago when we got Dad's cancer diagnosis.

I had turned into a responsible adult. Don't ask me how, but I did. I focused on my (then) husband (that's a whole other story), my kids, my dog (who had a stroke) and my parents. D apparently focused on nothing.

Dad's ordeal was traumatic - we damn near lost him. And as he lay dying (we thought), D bottomed out. Badly. As I nursed Dad through his chemo I fought D and his addiction. I was quickly learning how bad it really was. He lost his job and moved into a crackhouse with a girl he'd met there. But he'd alternate back and forth between living at home, in the parent's basement and staying at said crackhouse. And he'd drag "her" along with him.

It was stressing Dad out. Drug dealers were calling the house, threatening him. She was stealing everything that wasn't nailed down. They were running up bills/debt. Dad eventually threw them both out...tough love, as they call it. And they went to the crackhouse and probably would've finished their days there. But one day Dad called me and said, "we've gotta' get them out of there. Stuff's going down". And it was.

I borrowed my neighbour's van and we headed over there. As we approached the driveway, a dude came out and behind him limped a dog, paw bleeding. I immediately asked what happened and he said there'd been a "showdown" the night before and it was ugly. That the guys would be back and they were all clearing out. Another guy came from out back and I knew him from the old neighbourhood. He'd also been in the treatment centre I'd worked in and he obviously had relapsed. He told me guns and baseball bats would be involved. No more info was needed - the broken windows and pandemonium convinced us to hustle out of there. I remember that she was taking hits inside as we were tying stuff onto the roof of the van and ready to leave....D was calling her and telling her to get her ass out there or we were leaving. She stumbled out and we flew out of there. I was driving/crying over the dog that I'd wanted to take with us. There wasn't room.

D and she found their own place and not much changed. Different address, same shit. Getting worse each day.

Again them "running" and eventually coming back to Mom and Dad's. Dad was still involved in chemo and was having some complications. And D was a fucking nightmare.

Without the details, I threw him out when Dad returned to hosptal for a stint. He was supposed to be "helping" me care for Mom and I was having to care for them instead...they were a mess. He was defensive, belligerent and completely wasted. It was a really traumatic scene, the day I had him taken out of Mom and Dad's house. But it had to be done. Literally, I was finished after that for awhile. Done. Deflated, sad and angry. He was my brother and I loved him but he was killing us. And himself.

He didn't want help so we couldn't do a thing...that's how it works. We had to cut ties (Mom never could). But somehow, over time, he still managed to work his way back in and come home in a pinch. And the dealers always knew to call/threaten him when he was at Dad's. They easily tracked him down there. Several times Dad (and I - he didn't know that I followed him in my car to make sure he was alright) went and paid them off in dark alleys. And told them to stay the hell away from us, that it was the last payment they'd get out of him. The last interaction like this I remember all too well - it was right up the street from their place and I sat in the parking lot at the DQ across the street, crying in my car and thinking how awful it was that my Dad had to do this. A 70 year old man who'd done chemo that day, standing in a dark back alley, waiting to pay off crack dealers. Bullshit, that's what it was.

Life was very confrontational at that point. Dad and I were the glue that held each other together. Mom - well you know her situation. But she never judged/turned on D. She'd never do the tough love shit. That was her son, matter what. She handed him money and pleaded with him to quit and he'd make her laugh then head out the door to get high with her cash. When I'd say "Mom, why do you give him money, he's killing himself?" she'd say "well I know that if he doesn't have it (the drugs) he probably will. He's my son". She's always been completely devoted to her kids, no matter what. In my insanity she stood by me and although we'd battle it out, she never desserted me. She'd cry and plead but never turn on me (us).

I got tired of hearing stories of D through people he'd been friends with. I didn't want to know anymore - I just needed to know that he was alive. I knew he was bad but I didn't want all the details. They'd all left his side and he was with his "other" friends, the ones he owed money to.

I'd pretty much resorted to the fact that my brother would be gone and I could do nothing to change that. And then something happened. A crisis in his girlfriend's life made her eventually go straight. She got into a program that worked for her and cleaned up and told D he was history..."g'bye". Moved out on her own, close to where she'd received treatment. He chased her around and tried to "hide" his using from her but hey, she'd been an addict. He wasn't fooling her.

And then his son's mother decided it was time to pull the plug and deny access. So he was losing it all. He'd already lost us. Now everyone else was following. And he dropped.

So, here we are now and D's been clean (seriously - no halfways here) a year in May. Not the "clean" like before - where he'd run out of money and supply for a few days. Or try it on his own and fail. Clean all the way. Working some kind of programs (and fully commited to them). Meetings every night...but he loves them - it's not a "I HAVE to go" thing, he wants to go. He sits up at the dyke and pours his heart out in a journal. Draws again. Hunts again (not like the drug hunting - where he and his buddy would ditch Dad and go kneel down in the long grass to get high). Fishes. It took a few months to convince us that he was really in this, that it wasn't just to win back his g/f. But he is - I see it. We talk of some of the incidents that he obviously has no recollection of and he shakes his head and says "was I that bad?". He swears he never wants to be like that again.

But it's never a "done deal" - it's an ongoing thing. And we're quite prepared for the fact that he could relapse some day. But I think we'll know how to right his ship again if he does. For now though, he's just so happy to have his life back - his "real" life. He disconnected from that whole other world and cut every tie - he had to. No turning back. And, at his new job, he's just been promoted to foreman and is raking in the dough. He's happy as shit and has befriended his boss and a couple of other guys there. He's buying himself nice stuff (just bought an HD entertainment system) and he laughs and says "yeah and I'm KEEPING this stuff", meaning he won't pawn it like his other stuff. He's even gone to the pawn shop and got back some of his treasures that were still there. Things can change. And, while we're going through all this stuff with Mom, one of the positives I take out of each day is that I have my brother back!

(This picture was taken at his place on my last birthday....he'd surprised me with a whole bunch of stuff, including this football jersey/team hat that he knew I really wanted. I was completely overwhelmed and I commented to Dad that D had really spoiled me and asked him why he'd bought so much. Dad said he'd told him that he was making up for lost time and for all those years I'd stood by him and never missed his birthday - that it was all the presents he didn't give me. I cried my little heart out. But the best present was having him back)

People Pleaser

O.K., I've come to notice a bit of a problem here. Because I've been extra nice to some people in the hospital (the fellow sharing Mom's room, for one), they've kind of "invaded" my space when I'm there. And Miss Nicey Nice doesn't quite know how to handle it.

The other night it was that volunteer who is such a sweetheart. Trouble is this - I was having a quiet moment with Mom...standing beside her in the dark holding her hand and stroking her hair. It relaxes her and she was drifting off. And S came bounding in, bubbly and chirpy. She pulled up a chair and stayed for the duration of the time I was there. It was nice of her, but I needed my alone time with Mom. I may not have much. And she was interacting with me as if we were out for coffee somewhere...leaving Mom confused. Mom's having trouble connecting the dots and having someone in there who she doesn't really know just adds to her struggle. It agitates her when she's overloaded with info. And that's what happened.

Same thing happend last night, but with a nurse I've befriended over Canuck small talk in the hallways. Mom and I had the game on with very little sound and she had noticed. I told her I'd give her updates, meaning I'd come to her at the nursing station to do so. Well I'll be damned if she didn't spend the entire game in and out of Mom's little bedside area, loudly questioning "who scored", etc.

Both times I had Mom's light out and the curtain pulled, almost completely around her bed. And both times, although I'd exchanged a few thoughts and some small talk with these very nice people, I didn't want to make a party out of it. When I'm there, it's deep. I need to reflect and to comfort. I don't need to entertain others who are focused on me instead of on Mom. Sounds ungrateful and bitchy but, honestly, they should understand that. And they don't. Once would be o.k., but it's starting to happen on a regular basis and I'm going to have to address it soon because my quiet time with Mom is important to me.

Last night the young nurse was really bad. She's quite young and obviously very inexperienced....the head nurse was guiding her through things and she didn't seem to have much of a clue how to interact with the patients - so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. But the last time she came in for an update, the game was long over, we were in the dark and Mom was sleeping. I'd muted the TV and I sat with only the glow of it so I wouldn't disturb her. And this nurse came bounding in, threw back the curtain and loudly said "oh damn, it's over....who won?". And it woke Mom up, damn it. It also confused her because she's in a very "worried" state right now and keeps questioning "who's there". I'd just convinced her she was safe and that only I was at her side and she could rest. Once she's agitated/worried, it starts her entire stream of questioning of "who's there?", which it did. Hmm.

The last little problem is the fellow in Mom's room. He's a doll and, although his wife stays at his side all day, he has noone there at night. And, because I've befriended him, he calls out to me. "Deb, can you come here for a minute?" is becoming quite routine and the poor fellow just wants some company. But, again, in another situation I'd be more than glad to divert mine to him but my focus right now needs to be on my Mom. Each time I go over and sit with him I'm leaving her side and she becomes disoriented and afraid and calls out for me. So it's creating a bit of a problem here. I usually go over and give him a quick reassurance, but he's starting to want to draw that out into longer and longer interactions...poor guy, he needs someone there.

The last time the volunteer S was there, I kind of "redirected" her to him, thinking that would be a good solution. Mom and I don't need her with us and he obviously does. This fellow J cries when he talks of his son and daughter who apparently both live in the area. Yet I haven't seen them at all.

Right now I'm wearing thin and, although I've decided that down the road I will invest some time volunteering there, for now all of my attention needs to go to my Mom. *sighs*

(Picture by Jill Greenberg)
I know, I know....whiner.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Poker Face

So it's an absolutely gorgeous morning here already...the kind that reminds me of why I stay in this city. And I really want to get out on my bike but I have to go to the fucking laundromat. You can tell how thrilled I am about that. Hhhhmm, let's see here - fresh air, exercise, glorious views while I clear my mind of shit or a dark, stuffy, overcrowded sweat shop of a facility with people's skidmarked underwear as my only entertainment. Oh well, such is life.

I'm really tired because I couldn't get to sleep so I played online poker. My Mom was an excellent poker player and she played her entire life - she had a bank account of her winnings. She taught Gino Odjick (ex enforcer on the Vancouver Canucks) how to play years ago and she sat all night playing (blackjack, not poker) with Sammy Davis Jr. She was good.

And I'm kind of following in her footsteps, carrying the torch so to say. I play online though and, as of yet, haven't had to invest any of my own money - just in the initial deposit to get me going. I play mostly freerolls, which are tourneys that don't cost anything....and I've won a few. But, since the Americans can no longer play for money online, the site's changed and it sucks. The only consolation is that instead of 4+ hour tourneys with close to 1,000 people in them, now they average about 300 entrants and take 2-3 hours. Now when I win I get a "ticket" up to the next level and eventually the tourney's start paying. But I have to work hard to get there. I'm in a $1,000 one in March that I had to win four stages to get to. I was in one last month...nothing but bad beats. My mind wasn't there anyhow. But normally winning in those four stages would've meant a cheque in the mail already. Not for much, but it adds up. My fantasy is to play in the WPT - honestly, I'm working to get there one day. For today, my win meant I move up to stage 2 in this one and get no coin. But I have fun doing it - guess that's what it's all about. Later.

This little shithead, #6 - ArrogantKid, annoyed the hell out of me all night. One of the things I really like about poker is the banter back and forth/social aspect and I had to make quick work out of this guy because he was stressing me out. I knocked him out on this hand. ;)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

MItch Hedberg

It's been, I wish he wasn't gone. He always made me laugh.

I'm going through old family photos. The sun didn't come out and it got bloody cold, meaning ride postponed. This is one of my favorites, my brother's birthday party.

Raymismom had some old family photos posted and I really enjoyed them. It prompted me to steal the idea.

And The Sun Came Up

I've regrouped (thanks Barb, little things mean a lot). The sun actually is coming out here again, meaning the river/my bike's calling me before work. I have to find my stupid walkman first because a bike ride without my music is like a massage with clothes on.

It'll be a long day out/work/hospital. And laundry needs to be done (my washer's screwed so it's the laundromat for me - kill me now).

Oh and if you d/l PJ's new cover of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me"'s porn. Or at least that's what I got.

Some more pics from yesterday:

This is near the start of my ride. I head south and this road ends at the Mount Baker view/dyke trail. Then West along the trail (which skirts the entire island) until I hit Garry Point. I sometimes go further, making it to Dad's in Steveston. But I usually get sidetracked there and then am really late getting back, so I usually skip's a 15 or so mile ride so time factors in. (and I should tell you I was riding while taking this, explaining it being off kilter. I like it like that).

This is the monstrosity that they've been building since last year's bike rides. I have no idea what it's going to be? Ideas?

Rush hour. You get cars passing tractors all the time here. Makes it interesting for us bike riders, who have no shoulder on the west side of the road. The guy in the tractor is my buddy, "Tom's Dad". That's how I've known him for years (and I'm Lindsay's Mom). He laughed as he passed because I'm back on the other side of the road, the shoulderless side, nearly getting nailed by cars as I try and take pictures. I laughed because he had a joint in his mouth. (I took the pic from afar because I didn't want it to be too obvious I was taking his pic).
This is a house I took pics of last year - they're still not quite done. It's right on the river, by the boat launch and one day I'm going to live on the river. But then I probably wouldn't bike ride, would I? Hhhmm.
The house on the right used to be two doors down from my Grandma's, about two miles away from here. I used to play there. They moved it over on a huge barge (I watched them - no camera then) and then restored it, as a heritage house. You'd think, with these gorgeous big houses, they'd leave a little "breathing room"?
This gorgeous creature was the pic that got away. Right after this, he flew up and swooped around right in front of me, only to be followed by his mate, who I hadn't seen. They had massive wingspans. Shit. Gone. And that car almost frickin hit me.

Well, that's all for now folks. Stuff to do. As Linds would say, peace out

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sorry I'm not a good liar. I did the bike ride in an attempt to work out some of what I'm feeling today. I woke up with this immense sadness this morning and one of the "waves" hit before I went to work. The realization, the guilt, the questions...all of it. No need to respond. It's just that I'm faking it today. I feel like shit, opened the wine after the bike ride, drank two glasses and didn't even go to the hospital. I'm going to bed now because I am exhausted. Dad and I even had a "moment" on the phone - it's weighing heavy now on both of us. And usually when Dad and I have a moment, I'd call Mom and we'd end up laughing in the end.

Why did I just tell you all that? I guess because sometimes I feel like a big fraud. I tried, but today it just wasn't happening for me. I went through the motions but it wouldn't go away. And, as today wears on, it gets worse instead of better. I did have a good day or two, but I'm afraid this black cloud's gonna' follow me for awhile and I don't know that you guys need to hold the umbrella for me.

Maybe tomorrow will be another good day. I just know today was not, that when I woke up and heard an old voice message from Mom, it killed me. Then, when I went to the river, I sat and thought about the time she almost drowned there trying to learn to swim. She had nine lives, that pussycat.

I am a mess and am all over the board. I'll be o.k., I just don't think I am right now.

No sympathy necessary - seriously, that's not what I'm after. This roller coaster I'm on is just part of the deal that I have to go through, avoidance of it isn't possible. I just have to buckle down for the ride. And there is no easy way to post when you're experiencing death. Especially when it's the death of your best friend.

I've never been this "unbalanced"....I'm always the strong one who keeps things in check when everyone else falls apart. I've been doing it for years now. I guess now it's my turn. I just don't want to lose you guys here. And I'm afraid if I go away, you all will too. Hang in, I'll have a better day tomorrow. I hope.
My neighbour in our complex drives this limo and keeps it here so it's handy when we have an "event". I rented it out for Ty and his girlfriend on his boat cruise and also for a few hours on Lindsay's birthday. It had always been her dream to ride in a limo, so I let her pick up 7 of her friends and go terrorize Vancouver. I didn't go - I thought it would cramp their style. One mistake B made before he took them out - he left all the booze in the back.

Me, My Bike & I

Again my head is full of stuff I want to blog about but so little time....worked, then went for a very much needed bike ride. Only problem - I couldn't find my walkman (YES I STILL USE A WALKMAN AND I'M NOT GOING TO QUIT UNTIL IT DOES). It's the Sony Sports model and I've had it since about '85. It's my workout one and has been dropped in lakes and kicked down stairs and I think I even dropped a 10 lb free weight on it once and it didn't even flinch. I love it. It's my best friend.

(And, ftr, I have an MP3 player and it's a wuss)

I get really bitchy if I have no music on my ride - I don't EVER recall riding before today without some because I can just barely pedal without it. So it kinda sucked and I didn't quite put the energy into it that I usually do. I usually ride like a maniac and almost wipe out and stuff. Because in my head I'm 17. That may change.

So I have to decide which route to take...I have limited time here. I want to post my ride pics and tell stories about them because there are stories for every one. Remember last year when I got my camera and that's all I did. I want to do it again. So, we'll see. Remind me of the mega million dollar bowling alley house one, k? It's important in my development.

I also want to "compare" some from last year and this year from the same spots, to see what's new/different.

And I still need to do that little project I wanted to do last year, which is show you the very weird/diverse street I live on. On the same mile and a half stretch of road we have: A Chinese Music School across the street from a dairy cow barn/farm. A broken down piece of crap barn with the roof caving in wedged right in between mutimillion dollar homes. Also an old mobile home with tons of antique farm equipment. A dog kennel/training facility. That big huge fortress that they're building that I still can't make out what the hell it is...remember, I blogged it last year and said if we were attacked, I was running down the street to hide at that place? Well the damn things still not finished - it's massive. That pic will be later. So, to continue with "the street", there's one of the finest horse stables around, where world class jumping events are held (for free...oh, remember, I blogged from there too?). Another thoroughbred stable where my favorite racehorses live. I go bribe them before I go to the track and bet them. I really do...I take them apples and stuff (they love granola bars) and then I give them the eye as they parade to post at Hastings. Mind control.

Anyhow, it's like the street can't make up it's mind. It's part 1930's farms mixed with a little brand new canine, equestrian stuff. Some multi million dollar mansions with bowling alleys in them, a golf course/country club (where the Canucks go sometimes), churches, music schools and mobile homes, ducks, coyotes, Mercedes, Jags, tractors...throw 'em all together and wadda' ya get? Fuck if I know. Confusedville.

Last thing - I still suck at photography. It's the fish that got away syndrome....I snap a picture of something mediocre right before something really astonishing happens (that I miss). It happened today. I'm sure I've missed a UFO shot.

For now, I'm going to do none of this because I have to cook dinner and it's late. So here are some pics from today and I'll try and blog later because this stuff's gonna be good. Enjoy.

(and again, I'm bragging about living in the most beautiful place in the world. Nananananaaaana. Mel, wasn't the view Mountabulous today?...the first picture's Baker though, it doesn't belong to us. It belongs to the Amercians, but I want it because it matches our set).

(Even though I layered up, I forgot gloves and it got really cold so I will take the rest of the pics on the next sunny day. This will include the barn that's held up by about two 2X4's and the little mobile home that's owned/lived in by the people who own almost all the land on the entire street.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Where To Begin?

I have a kazillion things in my head that I want to post about. This could be long but I'll try and condense it.

First of all, I'm quite excited because I'm meeting some really great people here. Not just here, but other places too (like Flickr). I'm always so excited when I have mail and someone's added me as a contact. It's like opening a present. Today it was a guy from MG's blog (The Cooperation) who really is a sweetheart. He's been through the ringer lately (try getting hit by a car) and we've shared some stories. Reality - half the people I "meet" here could be giving me a big line of bullshit and are serial rapists and baby killers - but I like them. O.K., that's part one.

I'm not scared of much. I'm mouthy at times and have been told I'm a little firecracker but that is my defense mechanism in the world because I'm alone and have to fight my own battles. Therefore, I've learned not to be scared. But I must say, lately when I take the long walk back to the car after visiting Mom, a lot of "what if's" cross my mind.It's a pretty isolated lot and mine is usually one of the very few cars parked there. I still don't get scared, just more aware of the fact that I am quite vulnerable and need to watch my back. Richmond's getting really ugly crime wise and about two minutes away from this parking lot (that I park in every night) some guys with knives were robbing people out on the street the other night. I thought about it tonight. But, guess what. As I got to my car it wasn't three guys, it was Rocky frickin' raccoon at my car. I didn't get a picture because I was keeping my distance and he was lurking in the dark corners. I know a guy who had a raccoon for a pet once and the thing used to like to raid my purse and eat things out of it (lipstick). And once, when I tried to grab it away, he went Helter Skelter on my ass. So I was preparing for the showdown....bring it raccoon. He went away. I was uninteresting and not food.

Oh, why I park in this lot...the hospital charges $2.50 an hour, with no "in and out" privileges.And that doesn't seem like a lot until you're parking there everyday for 3-6 hours a day. Then it starts to hurt a little. The lot I park in is across the street and has a flat rate - $6.00 all day or $2.00 for a portion. Much better. I'll fight raccoons and thugs for that.

Now, you may be thinking it strange that I'm so "chipper" all of a sudden and here's why. Although I know it's the drugs, Mom's really "at peace" right now. Compared to a few days ago, when she was extremely agitated and getting violent, she's now very relaxed. She's laughing and is relatively pain free. Our conversations are bizarre mind you - she's obviously heavily medicated, but I run with it. I just jump right in like it's all making sense and we have pretty good ones at that...just not relative to anything that's really going on in life. It's her world and I go along with's comforting to see her at ease instead of struggling. Even if she's not connecting. Tonight we were "at the casino". And she was betting roulette and playing blackjack. And the weirdest thing happened...made me shiver. I said, "o.k. Mom, what number do you want to bet" and she said "17". Then I sat quietly and pondered what I should do next - keep the roulette game going or shift gears to a new subject. I thought "if she's still on this track I'll tell her what number came up - 34". And just as I thought that she said "and 34" precisely at that very moment. Wow. She's good. She always was.

Part II - I have connected with a real sweetheart/volunteer named Sharon. She visits patients regularly and the night that we had all the horrific stuff go down, she and I met and cried together in the "quiet room" for 2 hours. I'd left Mom's room completely distraught and went in there, without even realizing anyone was there. I "let go" and cried quietly until I felt a hand on my shoulder. I was so embarrassed, but it was okay. She was so sweet. She shared the story of her father, who'd passed two years earlier in a similar fashion. We poured our hearts out - two total strangers. And now I feel like she's been my friend for life - she was there tonight and after Mom fell asleep we went around to some of the patients without family and visited with them. It was like a history lesson...some very interesting stories. And she's a doll.

What I'm learning here is that it doesn't all have to be completely negative...this dying thing. That, if we allow it to happen, some good can come to us throughout it all. Seems somewhat selfish and sometimes involves a bit of guilt...afterall, should I be sharing? Laughing? Making friends? But I think it helps both Mom and I if I'm strong and carry on with a stiff upper lip. That's what I'm trying to do.

This is too fucking long already. I'll post more tomorrow. I have eight more paragraphs in my brain.

(oh, and remind me that I'm going to clean up my potty mouth soon.)


I seriously do think I have ADD.