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.



The Daily EO: January 4th, 2012

Almost a year ago, I wrote about traditions.   I told you I like them.  It makes me feel connected to the past.  And I do honour traditions.   This past Christmas, my mom told my brother and I that she didn’t need a stocking because we wouldn’t be together on Christmas morning.  Independently, both Todd and I made sure she got a stocking – she got two.  For part of Christmas lunch, we had mimosas and a pear apple (or an Asian pear) because we like them and because, well,  it’s tradition.

Each Christmas, my parents sent out a Christmas letter – like many did – to friends and family to update them on the year’s happenings.    Somewhere along the line, my Dad started writing a poem as the Christmas update – I think he started in 1967?  And so each year, he would create a poem about events in rhyming couplets.  At some point, I decided to become the Christmas poet  and take up my dad’s quill.  And for many years since – perhaps even 20 now – I have sent the family Christmas letter in poem.

E-mail and texting is changing the tradition of Christmas card – we receive very few in the mail any more.  And I feel. .felt? . . that I was defending the erosion of this tradition.  Cards are tactile objects for keeping, for rereading.   Emile and I created our own traditions – eliminate the card, instead make a postcard from one of his pictures.  It was ours, and I felt good about producing our Christmas package each year – it brought me pleasure to write and send.

And yet, this year I could not get into the mood.  I could not seem to bring my pencil to paper to create our poem, but somehow managed to squeeze out 3 stanzas.  But I needed to give myself a break.   Surely right after Christmas I’d find the spirit to complete my card and get it out before New Year’s.

But then I was robbed.  And in that backpack?  My 3 longhand stanzas on my favorite (recycled from a computer motherboard) clipboard.

It’s taken me a while to get over that theft – and I still am smarting from it.  I am pissed off, but continue to hope that perhaps something good will come from this.  A lesson, a gift.  And perhaps it is this:  the realization that I don’t want to rewrite those 3 stanzas or any other stanzas this year.

Part of me mourns the end (or the gap?) in the tradition.   Change is good, change is disconcerting.   But this year there will be no Christmas or New Year’s letter heading your way from us.  I hope you miss it a bit (like I do).

This year is just beginning, so perhaps we’ll begin a new tradition, or send greetings another way.  I don’t know, but making this decision eases the furrow on my brow.

January 4th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Taking my own advice from a year ago:  “Sometimes, you just need to move along people.”  Traditions end.  New things begin.

The sentiment remains.  To all our friends and family:  Happy Holidays via this untraditional medium.  We spent our holiday season with those who are most important to us and hope you shared precious moments with those you care about.

The Daily EO: December 31st, 2012

When I started the EO, I had 3 rules: don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, attempt to write about each day within 24 hours and write it until I didn’t feel like it.  And since I didn’t feel like it for the last couple of weeks, I decided to take a break.

On Christmas Eve, I was robbed.  Well, I wasn’t robbed, my car was robbed.  And with my black backpack and my smashed window, the thief also took some joy from my Christmas season.   First off, I was robbed.  Secondly, I didn’t handle it as effectively as I normally handle things (and that would be effectively) and third, it makes you feel like you are some how to blame (if I hadn’t have parked there, if I had taken my backpack with me, etc).

I figure the person who took my pack back (and my Kate Spade wallet, LG cell phone and a bunch of gift cards) was desperate and needed those items more than me and I should be thankful that I am not left in jeopardy because of the theft.   But that would be lying to you, because really I’m just really pissed off and saddened.   I didn’t want to speak of it to friends and family at Christmas, or write about it in the The Daily EO.  And believe me, it is hard to write of something extra-ordinary when you are wondering about what addict is selling your SIM card for drugs.

I only told those who needed to know (“Um, Susan, do you know you are missing a window?”) and even then I lied about the circumstances.   And kept my simmering anger hidden.

December – despite having a 2 week vacation at the beginning – was stressful for me.  What was stressing me out?  Nothing that in retrospect should have caused a problem.  I was worried about taking 2 weeks off after only 2 months in to my job, I didn’t have my Christmas shopping done on time, I don’t have a bed, there are so many boxes that remain on packed, etc, etc.  In the end it didn’t really matter, and I am uncertain why things that normally give me pleasure to complete, caused me high levels of anxiety.

Perhaps it is because my brain is finally catching up to my body’s geography.  Change is good, change was needed, but after 2 years of searching, deciding and frenetic action, I do not truly know where home is yet.  It feels that Emile and I – though holding on to the same life raft – are upon a vexing and fickle stormy sea waiting for our safe harbour.  We’re here, but we are doing that thing where you balance something and then hold out your hands as if to say “stay” and try to catch it when it all falls apart.

Security and the fibers of our new life will continue to grow, but I need to catch my breath.

December 31st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Getting over it already and so pleased that I got to spend Christmas with my mom and brother and my BC family.  The Daily EO is back.

The Daily EO: December 21st, 2012

The strange consistent sound drove me from my office.


Down the hall from me someone was using the heavy duty paper shredder.  She was in sales and much of her discarded documents contained confidential information, so it made sense that this sensitive stuff was destroyed before disposal.   It was a large box of paper and her buzzing continued for 20 minutes or so.

Then the next person started with their box.

grrr/buzzz…pause….grrr/buzz…pause….grrr/buzz. . .

As I moved through the office, I noticed many conversations that started with:  “I’ve got bit yet, probably about 10 minutes?” or “Hey!  Wait!  I am next!”

The 5, 6, 7, 8 full garbage bags piled up near the shredder.


Shreds of paper gathered on the carpet around the office.

December 21st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Apparently the annual shred-a-thon is a Christmas tradition – corresponding with our carpets and chairs being cleaned.  Not a pending FBI raid.


The Daily EO: December 17th, 2012

Normally by this time of the year, I walk around smug and wondering why everyone is so worried about Christmas.  By this time my gifts are wrapped, delivered and mailed, Christmas cards are done, the house is decorated, christmas get-togethers are planned, groceries are in the house, and I relax and enjoy the season.  And now, none of these things are completed and I am almost a basket case.  How do you people do this?  My god!

I just cannot get to our Christmas cards in time.  So many times I have sat down to write it, and my stress and frenetic behavior holds the words back.  And nothing comes – it’s stilted and there is no joy in it.  And I leave it, thinking I’ll find another day to get it done.

But there are no days left, no real way to get anything done on time.  My husband told me I could do them after Christmas and that would be okay.  But it doesn’t feel like it would, instead it feels likes I have failed.  Ridiculous?

December 17th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Wound a little too tight.