FAMILY VISIT

Life has been busy.

Any down time is a rarity these days.  Those quiet moments that I try to do at night?  Non-existent because I’m so exhausted at night that I curl up in my bed and fall asleep, screw the cleansing and calming of my mind.  For now.

I think that’s why I’ve been writing less, and I’m not talking about this blog, I’m talking about my journal writing.  I’ve been missing it, yet cannot compel myself to put pen to paper.  My mind is just not focused right now.  And, I have a lot of things I need to sort out.  I need to get focused.  Soon.

I am looking forward to next week.  I have some random days off, meaning I have a couple of days off during the week but not in a row.  My cousin and her husband are driving up from South Carolina so I want to spend a day with her.  I originally was thinking of visiting her during the Civic day long weekend, funny enough, and I had a few other places that I was contemplating, but after some thinking (damn the thinking) decided to delay it.

My cousin comes into town every few years.  Generally, she comes to stuff her face with as much Chinese food as she can without exploding.  She also shops till she drops, stuffing her car with as many Asian delicacies as is possible to pack into her vehicle.  Its quite hilarious to watch.  I remember one year she came, I think it was about 15 years ago or so when Chinese food was rare in the South and she had packed her car with so much crap it was overflowing.  She even used “secret” compartments in the van she was driving at the time to hide her food from the Customs officer. She owns a Chinese restaurant so she buys the stuff half for the restaurant and half for herself.

It’ll be good to see her.  My nephews are excited to see her too, both for the first time, so I know there will be funny moments.  It should be lots of fun, and I need this break from the norm (i.e. craziness) right now, so its a welcome change.

DIRECTIONALLY CHALLENGED

Late nights render me directionally challenged.

So, on Friday night I went out with my sister-in-law’s youngest and oldest sister (visiting from out of town).  We hit the Drake hotel, which has a lounge/restaurant on the ground level, a patio outside/upstairs and a little club down in the basement.  We tried to get into the patio, but that didn’t work after waiting for 45 minutes.  So, we went to the “Underground” in the basement where our names were on a list…I know, I felt really special.

The music was pumping.  I didn’t quite realize how pumping until I sat down about 8 feet from the speakers and my whole body started to shake from the bass.  I couldn’t hear myself think, and I had to shout when I talked. 

The music was great, we danced up a storm.  The DJ is a friend of the youngest sister, but it was just too loud and so we stayed for an hour and a half – we couldn’t take much more.  Once we left, we went down the street and stopped at a bar.  After the bar, we ended up at “Poutini’s House of Poutine” where we indulged in some, what else, poutine (for me, just fries and gravy hold the cheese) as our after 1am snack.

After eating we walked a bit and then we finally left for good.  I was pretty tired by then – haven’t had this much activity nor have I stayed up this late in a long time.  I’m used to quiet, chilled evenings with friends, this was not one of those nights.  Maybe this explains what happened next.

After dropping off one of the girls, I ended up..and I swear I drank only water….going the wrong direction on the Lakeshore trying to get onto the expressway.   That’s right – I went east on the westbound lanes.  A bit dangerous, but thankfully it was about 2am so there was no traffic (there was one car who graciously did not honk at me for being a dumbass)…otherwise I’m sure I’d be telling a different story.  I can only say in my defense that it was dark, it was late, I was tired, I only went a few meters east before realizing I was going the wrong way (I wasn’t that out of it) and I….was damn lucky there were no cops.

There is a reason why I don’t let myself out late at night. 😐

HOT WALKS

Courtesy of Globe and Mail

Courtesy of Globe and Mail

There’s a heat wave going on right now in Toronto.  After months of mediocre weather, we are now finally experiencing summer weather.  Oh, and of course we’re also in the middle of a garbage strike, so we have a hot, smelly city right now.  The last time there was a garbage strike, I believe it lasted for over a month and it was while the Pope was visiting.  Toronto city workers have great timing I tell ya.

Despite this hot weather, I’ve been taking a walk during lunch everyday this week.  I was a bit hesitant since I am not a fan of hot weather and don’t want to go back to work covered in sweat.  Not that I sweat like a pig, as the saying goes, but feeling hot and sticky is not at the top of my list.

Yesterday was super hot, reaching about 30c, but feeling like 40c instead.  I still went for my walk, but I walked slowly with my co-worker.  There are some people who can totally function in humid weather, I’m not one of them and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I know my limitations, but I still went out.  I put on my fishing hat, that I love, and slathered on lots of sunscreen.

The nice thing about these walks is that it gets me out of the office.  And, I’m guaranteed that I get my exercise for the day and some fresh air as well.  I hate being cooped up in the office all day with my ass stuck on a chair, so this is a good way to get myself out and use my lunch hour productively.

Walking with my co-worker is hilarious.  She cannot walk a straight line.  So, we’ll be walking on the sidewalk and as she keeps yapping she starts migrating towards my side of the sidewalk until I’m practically walking on the grass cause I don’t want her leaning all over me.  I’ve had to gently push her to her side many times telling her she’s crowding me.  But, I’ll take a crooked walking companion anyday if it gets me out of the office for an hour.

UNPLEASANT THINGS IN LIFE

Confronting the enemy is always unpleasant.  But, when you have to confront a child molester, it is the hardest thing I will ever do in my life.  Just the thought of it makes my skin crawl.  It is the most unpleasant thing I’ll probably ever have to do in my life.

So, my friend’s bastard soon to be ex-husband is out of jail.  I wish he had rotted in there, but that’s not how the justice system works unfortunately.  In fact, I believe he got out for good behaviour…how fucking ironic.  And, now, he’s requested to see his two sons.  So, my friend told her boys and the oldest boy was hesitant, but I believe he is going because the youngest son wants to see his father.  Therefore, there needs to be someone there to supervise the visit and my friend has not been able to get her shit together to contact Children’s Aid and get them involved, which they should be.  That’s another bone of contention amongst all the friends, a lack of initiative by our friend to get things going and making sure she’s got herself covered.

My other friend asked me if I would do a shift of supervising for one of the visits and I said I would.  Then I suggested we should do a shift together, since she had agreed but as she doesn’t have a car and can’t drive up north she told our friend it would be as a last resort.  I figured if the two of us were together, at least one of us will be rational enough to stop the other from beating this bastard for destroying his family.  I am not a violent person, but this whole situation just makes my blood boil.  I just feel so….I can’t even begin to describe it.

I am not looking forward to supervising these visits, and I wish I didn’t have to see the asshole, but for the sake of the children, I’m doing it.  No other reason.  Such is life.  😐

DEATH

I haven’t felt compelled to write lately.

My aunt, my mom’s oldest sister, and her husband, have both been in healthcare facilities in Hong Kong for over 15 years.  My aunt went first into the facility, having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about 20 years ago.  My uncle became ill a few years after his wife and went into the same facility but in different rooms.

I never got a chance to visit either of them when they fell ill.  I regret that.  Before my aunt got sick, she always made a point to invite me to her home to see her when I was visiting.  I remember those visits vividly because my aunt was a loud character, always generous even though she didn’t have much.  She was a taller version of my mom.  My uncle, he was a gentle soul, always quiet and treated my aunt with great care, especially when she fell ill.  You could almost say he worshipped her.  They had 6 children together.

My mom called me last Friday morning to tell me that my aunt had died in her sleep overnight.  I was sad, but also relieved, because my aunt had suffered for a long time.  Then my mom called me about an hour later and told me that my uncle died as well…wow.  My mom told me that when one of the sons visited him (shortly after my aunt died), my uncle was teary, like he knew, even though they had not told him anything.  My uncle has been in a vegetative state for awhile, so the tears were unusual.  They think because he sensed my aunt had died, his will to live just dissipated.  He passed away while sleeping as well, I think shortly after the son visited.

They were together for over 60 years…..and I believe he wanted to be with his wife that’s why he died so quickly after she went.  I don’t care how sappy or unreal this sounds, but I believe it.  I feel so bad for my cousin, who now lives in Toronto and had just come back from a visit to Hong Kong only a week and a half ago – but at least he was able to see his parents one last time before they both passed away.

This reminds me, again, to never take anything for granted.

FRESH AIR

IMG00097-20090524-1608

The weather was fabulous over the weekend.  My friend and I took advantage of this great weather and decided to go on a short hike followed by shaded downtime in the park with a book.  The ducks, as you see above, decided to join us as well.

Fresh air and a good walk always calms the nerves.  I’ve been trying to get my friend to do things for herself, activities that will relax her since she’s been so stressed out by all the crap going on right now in her family.  I’ve been really worried about her because she’s already had one meltdown in front of me and I certainly don’t want a repeat.  So, I’ve been advocating that she absolutely needs to take time out for herself.  I’m a firm believer that if you don’t take care of yourself then you’re no good to the people around you.

I’m guilty of it myself, taking on too much without thought to myself and how it’ll impact me.  Its been a long process, but I’m learning to say “no” and not feeling guilty about it.  There’s responsibility and then there’s living your life – blending the two are difficult, but finding the balance to them is important.  You do what you can do, but don’t kill yourself in the process.  I’m finding that balance, its hard to maintain, but I try my best and I know my friend will get there eventually.

LAUGH FOR THE DAY

I was checking my Blackberry at the mall as both of my parents were in the washroom.  My dad comes out and he starts marveling at my new gadget.  Then my mom comes out and she notices it too.  I’ve had this thing for over two months now and they are just now noticing it…funny.

But, my laugh for the day came in the form of my mother asking me about the Blackberry:

Mom: Is that your new phone?
Me: Yeah
Mom: How long have you had it?
Me: Two months
Mom: Was it expensive?
Me: Yeah, it was.
(note most of the conversation is in Cantonese except for below where its mixed)
Mom: Is it a Blueberry?
Me: (laughing my ass off) Blueberry???!!!! You mean “Blackberry”?
Mom: (laughs) Oh…B l a c k b e r r y  (said with a Chinese accent)

Blueberry..that’s a first.  I may just have to call it that from now on instead of a crackberry.  Too funny.  God bless my Mom, I needed that chuckle.