The Daily EO: February 21, 2016

My husband’s boss has the last name of “Dick”.  I know, I am not in Grade 5 any longer, so I should not snigger at it, but let’s just say I am happy with my occasionally mispronounced last name that has no meaning in the English language.  But my husband’s boss, she . . . yes, she – were you assuming she was a man? . . . anyways. . . SHE has a niece who is trying to get into the 2016 Olympics as part of the Trinidad Tobago gymnastics team.

My husband’s boss’s niece gymnast also created a new move that has been recently been recognized by the gymnastics body (I can’t do a backwards roll and you think that I know the name of the official gymnastics governing body?), and she successfully performed her new move in competition.

I cheer for her success, her ingenuity, and her talent.  Come on 2016 Rio!  I am such a sucker for Olympic stories!   But – perhaps due to my recent change in employment status and the feeling of malfeasance that lingers for now – I cheered the most for her chutzpah.  Because when you create a move, you get to name it.

February 21 2016 Extra-Ordinary:   The Dick Move

 

 

 

The Daily EO: February 16th, 2016

I just got restructured – and I don’t care what anyone tells you – business is personal.  People say otherwise, but they live in an incongruant world where they follow up “Don’t take it personally” with “Business is all about relationships”.   Business is personal, our lives are a big mixing pot.  And so being impacted in restructuring hurts you, it causes a stumble, a pause, where you wonder what’s wrong with you.

But just a pause for most, when you pick up the pieces and move forward to something better (while occasionally looking back and thinking “those bastards” and eating lots of grilled cheese sandwiches).

The worst thing about getting laid off is the telling other people.   You have to cause impact to ALL of your relationships.  Spouse, family, mentors, close friends, personal and professional suppliers, customers, colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances and strangers.  And that piece of information changes the dynamic of that relationship – you get all sorts of reactions (kind and otherwise – overt and below the surface), but always changing the other person’s perception of you and your relationship with them.

This played out yesterday when I was enjoying the new found freedom of being able to get my haircut during the day on a week day.  My stylist – who I struggle to chat with to begin with because I am intimidated by his hipness (let’s not delve into that issue within my psyche today) – asked me “So, not working today?  Day off?”.  This was his attempt to get conversation rolling – a safe bet normally.

I am sitting there getting my $80 haircut when he asked me that. Yes, I know, one does not *need* $80 haircuts, but if I have to have all of these conversations with everyone, I am going to at least look well groomed, attractive and in control.  It is bad enough I have to now forgo eyelash extensions, manicures, and facials, but I am not going to give up on my hair.  (as I write this, I am realizing the impact to the Vancouver economy my termination is causing and I apologize to my “team” for the impact to their business – Christmas is cancelled everyone.)

I hesitated when he asked, tried to get the right combination of strength/humour/wistfulness in my voice when I answered “Yes, in fact I have every day off now.  I was laid off a couple of weeks ago”.  He didn’t handle it well, he got paralyzed between showing appropriate sympathy, wondering if I am embarrassed/sad/angry and not knowing me well enough to ask further questions for details.  Further attempts at conversation for the rest of the haircut petered out pretty quickly.  Awkward silence was thankfully eventually interrupted by the blow dryer.

That went well.  Only 499 more conversations to go.

February 16, 2016 Extra-Ordinary:  I still tipped the same amount I always do – unemployed or not, I didn’t want anything to change.  Plus he does a great job – my hair is pretty dope  (do the kids still say that?)

 

The Daily EO: February 6th, 2016

I received a response from a very old friend to our Christmas letter email just yesterday. Jason is not very old I suppose, and I suspect I’m not very old either at 41, (though feeling it right about now), but he is a 20 year friend.  That’s 1/2 my life – and unless I end this friendship officially because of some “event”, it’s just going to be more and more of a percentage of my life.   So “very old” seems appropriate.

One of the things that Jason updated me on is that his Dad died just before Christmas.  Jason shared with me that although their relationship had been tumultuous, over the last number of years they had repaired it and he greatly missed his dad now.

I used to live with Jason for a while and so I knew first hand that his relationship with his dad was somewhat strained, and I am glad they had been able to put aside past problems to become close again.

Jason really liked rice krispie squares, and 20 years ago, Mars Bars Rice Krispie Squares were all the thing.   People! – this was before pinterest, food blogging, and food porn being recognized as real thing that was acceptable in polite company.

(An aside here – can anyone else not say pinterest correctly?  My brother just spent 1/2 hour making fun of my inability to say this right.  I say “Pin-interest” because my brain just does not seem to think there is a word that rhymes with interest and starts with a P.  I don’t know what is wrong with me.)

Back on point . . . Jason wanted to share the joy of a Mars Bars Rice Krispie Square with me – and so therefore he WROTE down the RECIPE and GAVE it to me.   Yes, he used a PEN and a SCRAP PIECE OF PAPER and everything.

Through the years, I kept the recipe and many others that were near and dear to me – especially the ones hand written, particularly good and with stains on them.  I had actually organized my recipe collection during my last bout of unemployment – so they were all in good condition and easily located.

Many times, I looked at this passé recipe (one that was not shaped into cute caterpillars to try to one-up the mommy next door or made “healthy” with puffed quinoa) and considered throwing it out.  But it was nostalgic for me – hand-written and a throw back to another time and place.  One in which a bunch of university students procrastinated studying to either clean their houses (“I can’t possibly study in this mess.”), call home (“I don’t want to disappoint mom.”), or cook something (“I have to eat to be able to concentrate.”)  It reminded me of my relationship with a good and kind man that I only have fond thoughts of now.  And it was a small piece of paper that took up little space despite my multiple moves.  And who knows – perhaps it would be the perfect potluck item one day – everything comes back they say.

And so it stayed through 21 moves with me.  So, I have it so I can pass it back to my friend.

February 6, 2016 Extra-ordinary:  On the back of the Mars Bars Rice Krispie Square recipe was a letter that started with “Dear Jason” and ended with:

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And for those of you who want this recipe (complete with margarine and microwaves and PAM cooking spray, here it is – I will not vouch for it – afterall, I kept the recipe, I didn’t say I’ve ever made it).

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The Daily EO: March 15th, 2014

Grandpa Les  1914 – 2014

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My beloved grandpa Les has died.  I’m sad and the normal contentment in my life is darkened.  It’s hard to believe that he isn’t here to provide the foundation to our family.  His life overflowed with laughter and love but he knew loss and grief too.

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Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service on Friday, March 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm at First Memorial, Boal Chapel, 1505 Lillooet Rd. North Vancouver, BC.  Donations may be made in memory of Les to the Burnaby Hospital Foundation, himself a contributor for over 25 years.  You are welcome.

Extra-Ordinary March 15, 2014:  Grandpa’s unconditional love permeates our family.  His gift of knowing what love is passed from him and his wife to my mom and uncle.  From my mom to my Dad.  From my mom to me.

From me to my husband.

Grandpa’s love comes full circle.

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 https://thedailyeo.com/2013/06/19/the-daily-eo-june-17th-2013/

https://thedailyeo.com/2013/05/04/the-daily-eo-may-3rd-2013/

https://thedailyeo.com/2013/04/03/the-daily-eo-march-31st-2013/

https://thedailyeo.com/2013/03/06/the-daily-eo-march-3rd-2013/

https://thedailyeo.com/2013/02/20/the-daily-eo-february-17th-2013/

https://thedailyeo.com/2013/02/06/the-daily-eo-february-3rd-2013/

https://thedailyeo.com/2012/09/27/the-daily-eo-september-24th-2012/

https://thedailyeo.com/2012/08/04/the-daily-eo-august-3rd-2012/

https://thedailyeo.com/2012/07/26/the-daily-eo-july-24th-2012/

https://thedailyeo.com/2012/03/09/february-22-2012/

https://thedailyeo.com/2012/03/08/february-15-2012/

The Daily EO: February 5th, 2014

What felt like pinpricks for my husband, felt like plastic injection molding into my arms.  He went first – announced “Doesn’t hurt!” and easily slipped his shirt back on.  I am the other hand, had to hold firmly to the chair with other arm to avoid violently reacting to the cheery nurse stabbing my arms with her life saving medicine.

But I have this strange feeling of being protected – like getting a power up on a video game – a little glowing shield all around me.  Ha ha! Hepatitis A!  Watch me walk right through you!  I can engaged in risky behaviors – like eating food from a street cart in Costa Rica without repercussion!!  (Though I’ll admit the traveller’s diarrhea could get me  – I couldn’t stomach the $85 for a 67% reduction in chance)

From time to time I reflect on the great gift that we have been given in Canada and North America.  Few families have to watch their children die from what seemed a cold or fever at first.  Rubella, Whopping Cough, Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Influenza – we don’t need to worry about our children (or ourselves) catching these diseases.

Or do we?  For some reason – despite the risk to society – some parents choose not to vaccinate their children.  And while this may on the surface appear to be a decision that affects only that child – it doesn’t.  It increases disease prevalence, and creates a situation where other children – who may be only 97% protected due to their vaccination – could catch something that could maim or kill them.  Suddenly – historical sounding diseases are showing up again because selfishly some families want to impugn the rights of others to impose the minority opinion on the rest of us.

Yeah, I know – I’m opinionated on this topic.  And I don’t even get a flu shot.  So you could say the same about me risking others with my flu-y self.  But seriously!  Come on!

February 5th, 2014 Extra-Ordinary:   I secretly like my smallpox vaccination scar.

 

 

The Daily EO: February 1st, 2014

Does Acupuncture hurt? 

I’ve always wanted to know the answer to that question.  Well, Always might be a bit of a strong sentiment.  My first word was not acupuncture.  Or ac-cue.   Hmmm.  Actually, I don’t know what my first word was. 

Anyways, that is not my point.

It always seemed a strange thing to do – sick needles in your skin for healing.  I’ve had enough experience as a kid playing with a pin knowing that it is possible to stick it in your hand – right on the edge of the skin and you can freak others out including your kid brother – without pain.  So I understood the concept.

And since my benefits plan and my husband’s benefit plan covers acupuncture, it is free for me, so why not try it?   Interestingly, my benefits will pay for $500/year and my husbands will also pay  for $500/year.  They will only pay $200/every second year for vision correction for my -.75 and -.50 eyeballs.   I know it is the insurance scam – give you a big list of benefits that very few people will partake in and limit the benefits that most will need.  But seriously, people – between contacts and needles, it is an easy choice.  One of them helps me get to work in the morning – it’s time to adjust the $200/year thing so people can afford vision correction!

Wow… off point today (no pun intended).

Regardless, I have now visited the acupuncturist 3 times.  The experience of having needles inserted is a briefly painful experience that leaves me feeling almost paralyzed when the needles are in.  Mentally paralyzed, guys, not really paralyzed – like I cannot move until they are removed.  The first experience made my legs feel heavy and pinned down.  When the needles went in, it was like a little stab of pain that instantly subsided.

After the insertion, you lay quietly and let the energy flow – don’t fight it.  You lay there snug on a massage table with a heat lamp warming you gently, not a care in the world.  And I drift, fall asleep, and relax. 

After a dampness diagnosis based on tongue, pulse and described symptoms, it is recommended to avoid alcohol, dairy, wheat, raw vegetables and any fried foods.  Seriously?  That is my entire diet.  (well, except the alcohol part – I tend to stay sober most of the time.)  What the heck?!  I’m losing weight because I don’t have any food in the house to eat!

February 1st, 2014 Extra-Ordinary:  Dying for a grilled cheese sandwich.

PS:  Happy Chinese New Year All!

The Daily EO: January 14th, 2014

It’s a miracle.

Yesterday when I sat up in bed, I lost my lunch.  Well, I guess that would be the previous night’s dinner.  But nonetheless, you get the picture.  I felt bad lying down, but it got much worse when I was not prone.

I had the flu, and in moments like this I think my stark refusal to have a flu shot may not be a well founded as I think it is.  But this was much much worse.

You see, I signed up for 3 race that are pending imminently – the 8k Spring Run Off, the 10K Vancouver Sun Run and the 10K Eastside run. (well, that’s not until September).  Anyways, I then decided to start at the beginning of a training regimen because I have been lazy and focused on other things.  So, I downloaded a free app – because why pay – and started a 10K training plan.  Saturday was Week 1, Run 2. Sunday was Week 1, Run 3.   At this point, you are running a little and walking a lot.  So much walking that I thought doing some extra ab work and some squats were warranted.  Sunday I was a bit stiff, but hey, not too bad.

But then the dreaded day 2 hit.  You know – when you can’t move 2 days after working out.  And this was in conjunction with the flu – an aching body flu.   I managed to stand up and shuffle off to the bathroom with a mind to get into the bathtub to soothe my combined flu aches and day 2 stiffness.  As I managed to get the water running, I stood in the tub and realized that I could not sit down.

I could not sit down in the tub.  What am I going to do?

I managed to awkwardly get myself on to one knee by hanging weakly on the edge of the tub, and trusting that I couldn’t hurt myself more than I already did.  At that point, when I put one knee on the bottom of the tub, I found that my feet hadn’t appropriately warned my knees about the temperature of the water.  But there was no going back.

I hoped for the best and threw myself into the tub with the hope the water would break my fall – and it did.  It broke it.  And splashed the whole bathroom.

And here I am unable to even pick up a towel.   I thought these baths were supposed to be relaxing!   Now I don’t even know how I am going to get out of this tub.  I’ll just laid there a long while.

Fortunately, the hot water soothed my muscles enough that I could bend, and I dragged myself to bed with 3 Advil and went to sleep.

And my day was a repeat of that (just sometimes it was Nyquil instead of Advil).

January 14th, 2014 Extra-Ordinary:  Today, it’s like I wasn’t even sick.  And I can walk again.  Maybe it is really Monday today and it was just a bad dream.

The Daily EO: January 5th, 2014

For Christmas, Emile gave me a 1 kg Dairy Milk Chocolate bar.

I know – that is not real chocolate to chocolate connoisseurs, is it?  Real chocolate has to have limited sugar, no milk, etc.  I don’t particularly like “real chocolate”, in fact, often when I spend more money on expensive milk chocolate, I am disappointed in the lack of creaminess.  But, too cheap of chocolate – especially that stuff that turns white – makes my teeth ache.  (Actually, a lot makes my teeth ache these days, but that is more about an unconscious decision to delay my trip to the dentist due to dental anxiety).

Anyways, Emile and I – as always it seems we are – are trying to be more healthy.  We are heading to Costa Rica in March and would rather look fit and free of 1 kg chocolate in our belly (and other areas).

Nonetheless, this large chocolate bar remains in constant sight, but unopened.   But it is touched a lot, looked at and last night discovered to have a small opening where the chocolate can be smelled.  I – suffering from the last remnants of a cold – do not enjoy this as much as Emile does, but it nice to know in a couple of days time, it will be as wonderous as he seems to think it is.

But Emile and I both know the truth – the minute this chocolate bar is cracked, there is no turning back.  Neither of us are people who take one small piece, savour, then come back later to enjoy another small piece.  Well, I guess we are that kind of people, but the spaces between “come back later” are greatly diminished.   In our house, 1 kg of chocolate will last 48 hours – and that would working days where we are out of the house for a large portion of the day.

January 5th, 2014 Extra-Ordinary:  Anticipation is killing us.