Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Probably not a good idea

I'm not feeling 100% lately.  I have a cold, which came back to back, to another cold I had.  This time I have a cough, where as last time, I went through boxes of Kleenex and I'm sure all of my cohorts around me were sick of hearing me sniffle.

Pair that cold with the fact that I am working on an analysis report that has me stuck.  I don't exactly understand the structure, nor the value in producing said report, but nonetheless I have spent the last five hours attempting to complete the report so it's off my desk and onto someone else's.

And I have reached that point in the afternoon, where if I could be that four year old at the babysitter's again, I would actually be looking forward to nap time instead of dreading it.  I just got to the point where I fiddle with my calculator in such a way, so as to sheild my eyes from any passers-by.  And then I find myself keying less often and the sounds around me fade as I start to fall into sleep, with my head balanced in my hands.  Then I am snapped back into reality when I remember that the new neighbors that moved from downstairs can see into my cubicle.  Not that I should allow myself to doze or anything, but sometimes it is intoxicating.

Oh, what I wouldn't give to be on a beach lounge chair on vacation somewhere tropical, where my only concerns right now are if I put on enough sunblock and whether I really care if I get sand in the pages of the book I am reading. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en already?

Where did October go? I am looking at the calendar and it’s the 26th. The 26th! Only five sleeps until Hallowe’en and that’s a big deal.

Hallowe’en is my favorite day of the year. When I was growing up I always looked forward to it. I was the type of kid who would have a nightmare in June that it was Hallowe’en night and people were out getting candy and I realized that I didn’t have a costume. Then I would start thinking about what I wanted to be, and plan accordingly, because I didn’t want the dream to come true.

Those dreams also keep me on my toes now for William. I find out early what he wants to be for Hallowe’en and start planning. This year he wants to be a Smurf. Hefty Smurf to be exact, because he’s the four year old that is obsessed with most retro-cartoons. He’ll sit for hours and watch Smurfs. He’s sacrifice sleep to watch all night long. OBSESSED.

I started his costume in September. Found pants and a turtle neck at Value Village in the kids section and got a pom-pom tail and a white hat. Jaime made him a dumbbell and tattoo. And here it is the week-of and I haven’t even sewed the tail or tattoo on. Tonight has to be the night. Where did the time go?

Oh and pumpkins. I just made a mad dash to the valley yesterday to pick up some pumpkins from the farmer I always get them from. So I need to find time to gut three pumpkins so William and I can spend Friday night carving. Did I mention I have a couple of text book chapters and an assignment to complete also? (I think I just puked a little in my mouth)

Then I haven’t even given a minute’s thought to what I am going to be for Hallowe’en. Our office apparently dresses up and has a potluck (shoot, and I need to make something for the potluck), and since I have a reputation from other employers I have had, I feel the need to show this office that I don’t mess around. I go big or stay home… and I ain’t staying home on Hallowe’en.

This really is the week from Hell… (but really the only thing I am dreading is the late nights working on my assignment… not the hellish creatures running around).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cultural Disconnect

There is a little guy I work with; well he is a man, but a little man. He works in another department from me and is a manager in his department, so a smart little man, who descends from I'm guessing India. He has the appropriate accent that would bring him from that area, but depending on the cultural influences in Canada, perhaps he was born and raised here and picked it up from those influences. Either way, he's a very friendly, smart, little man.

Yesterday, I noticed him talking on a wireless headset for his cell phone as he entered the bathroom. I thought it was strange but surely he was just wrapping up the conversation as he passed my desk and entered the first door. Thankfully, the bathroom sounds do not carry to my desk, so I assume he finished his conversation before taking care of business.

Then today, I see him following his superior while carrying on a conversation. Then his boss turns to enter the bathroom and the very friendly, smart, little man continues the conversation and follows him into the bathroom. They are in there for a reasonable amount of time, and then I hear his superior coming out saying, yeah, we'll take care of it. And then he follows out a few mintues later.

Now, I know that women have tendency to go to the bathroom in small groups, and I assume there is talk. But I assume that talk is at the sinks, while checking makeup and washing hands, and not while their pants are down.

As for male etiquette, there is no talking to each other in the bathroom, unless you are intoxicated at a bar. I don't even want a hello. A simple nod will suffice. Perhaps I have a cultural disconnect and don't see this as behavior I would be comfortable with.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Do you let someone kill themself to be nice?

Okay, so today I am going to blog on a topic that could be looked upon as being mean spirited, but trust me when I say that I am not in that frame of mind right now.  Not to say, I don't poke fun, because I can be insensitive at times, but that is not my point today.

So in my office there is a gentleman who is obese.  If I had to venture a guess, I would say he weighs more than 300lbs.  You can literally feel the floor moving when he is walking to his desk.  He seems like a nice enough guy, although I haven't really met the guy yet.  Just that picture alone tells me that this man must have a caloric intake that is hugely inflated above what the "average sized" person would consume. 

Now, I know people can balloon up because of medications, etc, however my guess is that it is more diet and lack of exercise related.  My clue to that is the fact that the man just spend the last 15 minutes eating a bag of chips.  Not that he has any less right to eat those chips than anyone else, but I have to wonder if that is your morning snack at work, what else are you consuming in the run of the day that is maintaining this inflated weight.

I also wonder where the line in the sand is that shows members of his family and friends that they are not allowed to comment on his diet and the effect that weight must be having on his overall health.  Surely, he is feeling some sort of discomfort, or even pain from burdening his muscles and bones with the excess weight.  And is he already diabetic?  or have heart disease?  And those concerns do not address the effect on self-esteem and strain on relationships.

I am not saying that I am anywhere near perfect, but I do think that I am fairly aware of my eating habits and I do go to yoga and the gym regularly to stay physically active.  My father died at 52.  52!  And that is part of my motivation to try and avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

I look at him and wonder if it was me, if my family and friends would stand up and ask me to take better care of myself.  Or would they turn a blind eye because they don't want to offend or upset me?  My request is to call me on it.  Don't let me get to that point because it is so hard to get back and I want to live a long and fulfilling life.  Don't let me kill myself just to be nice!!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm a dancing machine

So for anyone who knows me, or even is just an acquaintance on facebook, you probably know that I like to dance. I don’t take lessons, although on two separate occasions I have, but not independently. And they weren’t hip hop classes to break it down against the West Side or anything.

To clarify, I took lessons the first time, as part of activities during a French immersion program I took immediately following high school. We had to choose an activity and since other friends from high school were taking the class I did too. And the second time I took lessons was when my ex-wife and I joined our friends (who are also divorcing) in an evening class, just to try something new. Those classes introduced me to different types of jive, the cha-cha, zydeco and polka.

Anyway, getting off track there, the thing is I have this relationship with music and the need to move my body. It probably started much younger than those lessons, but when I hear a song I like, or if I am watching someone else dance, I at times catch myself also dancing. It’s not always a conscious thing.

I usually find myself dancing at my cubicle. Especially now that I work at an office that allows you to wear headphones, I find myself jamming. And so far, I believe I have been lucky enough to not have been caught. The issue with this cubicle is that one of my walls has a partial window and my entrance faces windows…the windows of an adjacent office building. I can only imagine what kind of show they may have witnessed over the last couple of months.

At the water commission, my last job, it was so quiet and the people were so boring that I would sometimes dance to break up the boredom or relieve a bit of stress. It was full on dancing with arms and legs being completely uncoordinated. And know one knew; they just sat in their own world eating cheerios and complaining about their workload.

Oh and I should mention, my risk of being caught just increased exponentially. The reason? Our IT department just moved from downstairs to the pod directly next to me. So between me and the window to the adjacent office building now sits a girl, who will no doubt catch me. At least she seems nice enough to probably just laugh and call me on it, rather than just gossip about the weird new accountant.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Who is cracking a can this early?

So I'm sitting at work, just getting into my morning routine, when I hear that distinct sound that can only be one thing.  The cracking of the metal seal of a pop can, followed by the hiss of carbon dioxide escaping the can.  I look at my clock and it's 9:11am.

I get why people like soda pop.  I enjoy the taste myself and try and ignore the calories and sugar, and probably some toxins that I am ingesting when I drink pop.  In fact, I feel a little guilty at times for drinking it in front of friends, because I don't drink diet pop.  But I cannot say that I crave it at 9am.

I guess it isn't necessarily any worse than those people who drink a triple triple, eat sugary donuts, or egg mcmuffins.  They are all unhealthy choices first thing in the morning, but those things are somehow more acceptable in our society.  Although, really, do you need to go through drive-thru on the way to work?  Do you not have the minute thirty seconds to nuke a bowl of oatmeal, or the couple of minutes to make a piece of toast?  You must, because drive-thrus take longer and cost more money than it would be to make something yourself.

Anyway... pop... 9am... I don't get it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm no spring chicken

Okay, obviously I know I'm not a chicken of any kind, but as the saying goes... I'm no spring chicken.  And by saying that I am admitting to the world that I am not as young as I used to be.  I don't feel like I expected to feel as a 32 year old man, but I am also not as resiliant as the university student I once was.

I remember those days in the late nineties when I was at Dalhousie University and I lived the stage in my university career where sleep was for losers.  It would start with a week jam-packed with course material and a part time job.  Endless chapter readings and lab reports keeping me up until 2 or 3am.  Then Thursday night would roll around and I would find myself being driven over to Sherriff Hall to drink with Amy and her dorm-mates.  Then we would head to JJ's for cheap drinks.  That place was legendary.  Lord knows what time I would finally creep into bed.  Then up for physics Friday mornings, get through the day of classes then off to work.  While at work, plans would be put together for Friday night drinks.  Probably the Dome, or Merrills, and there'd be another late night.  Back up for work Saturday and then Saturday evening I would be picked up from work.  I would get home, mix a drink and hop in the shower.  Drinking while in the shower made up for lost time.  While in the shower the girls would be in the kitchen putting final touches on the makeup and putting curlers in their hair, while listening to favorite tunes.  Then one of the parents would stuff us all into one car and drive us to the Dome.  Round the night off at Pizza Corner or Subway and the birds would be chirping on our way home. 

Fast forward to this week where I am balancing a career with a 40 hour work week, a shared custody agreement, taking a university level CGA course.  Wednesday night I was up until 2:30am doing an assignment and last night I was up until 2:30am because I decided to check out the MellowTones at the Seahorse.  They were amazing, BTW, but two nights out late like that makes it hard to concentrate at work and the alarm to be my worst enemy. 

I think back to university and wonder... how did I ever function on such little sleep?  what would my grades have been like if I slept even 7 hours a night?  how the hell did I afford that?

Thursday, October 15, 2009


There are a few things in life I wish I could have a big reset button that I could press and it would take me back to a certain point in my life so I could take a different direction, or make a different decision.  Just like nintendo games back in the day.  If you started off a game and made a bad move and missed out on scoring an extra life, you would just hit reset and start over, rather than play the rest of your game at some sort of disadvantage.

Now, I say that I want this button, and it would open up the whole idea about what one change in history would do to the rest of your existance, because of interactions with other people, etc.  But I say I want that option, but interactions with others I would want to stay the same.  I wouldn't change relationships I have had, and I would never do anything to change having William, but I sure wish I had a do-over for my education and career choice.

When I graduated high school I thought the direction in my life was to go to university, get a BSc then move on to dentistry.  Come on!  What was I thinking?  I was in no way prepared for the reality that was Dalhousie University.  I am sure as I progressed and aged I would have faired okay, but did I really want to scrape plaque from someone's mouth who never flosses?  Really?  Is it worth the money?

Being the 32 year old that I am now, I look back and wish that I had thought long and hard about the BEd program.  Sure, at the time I was lacking some of the confidence I have now, well a lot of the confidence I have now.  But I think I would make a great teacher.  I would probably end up in a junior high or high school setting teaching science, math or french, but I would have liked it.

It would satisify part of my career that is missing, the desire to give something back in my work.  It would also give me the flexibility of having summers and holidays off when William is on break from school.  And I just think I would have a level of satisfaction that I don't currently have.

Every once in a while I play with the idea of becoming a teacher.  In fact last night I bought a lotto ticket wishing I would win just $50,000.  It would be enough to pay off my debt and support William and I for a while, so I could go back to school.

I know I am old and I should settle into a rythmn until retirement, but when I think about having 33ish years left I can't help but think it would be worth the switch at this point in my life.  And I would be willing to work in any school.  I know teachers in the past have feared certain areas of the city, because of the rough neighborhoods, but those would probably be the most rewarding years.

So if anyone has a do-over button... can I press it... just this once?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Is it just me, my whole generation, or everyone?  I don't know what the problem is but I am severely unmotivated to work.  I find it hard to get up in the morning, no matter how much sleep I have had.  I find it hard to get to work on time (not that I'm habitually late).  And once I am at my desk I find it hard to concentrate at the task at hand.  I'm constantly wanting to check out celebrity gossip, email accounts, favorite blogs.  All these distractions.  And there are times when I finish one part of a task, and logically should move onto the next step, but realize my hand has seized the mouse and is back on the internet looking to see if something is upated somewhere, or maybe this time I will check CNN.  Why?  I don't really like the news, but maybe, just maybe something is happening in the world that I have to be the first to know about.

And here I am in a job that I like, learning a ton of new things, and have only been here a couple of months, so there is no way I should be tired of the job yet, but I'm already fighting the urge to look for something new.  Actually, who am I kidding?  I just emailed a recruitment office for more information on a job with the federal government.  Seriously, what is my problem?  Am I missing a certain nutrient in my diet that controls my ability to focus?  And I am doing this on company time.  I am screwed up.

I used to be very driven to prove myself.  I loved learning every aspect of my job, and of the people who worked around me.  I wanted to know it all, and be more efficient at it, so I could climb the latter of the corporate world to the corner office. 

Maybe I need that piece of meat hanging in front of my face, saying that promotion is possible.  Maybe I need an incentive of a pending raise.  Maybe I need a kick in the ass.  But I think maybe I realized life is short and that our society has it all wrong and I am rebelling against the establishment. 

Surely, our forefathers did not work their bodies to the bone for all of our advancements just so I could sit at a desk for 35 hours a week.  In fact, my guess is they worked so hard so that we could have an easier life.  That perhaps we could spend more time with our families, enjoying the simple life, than we do working outside the home.

I certainly hope that my son has it easier than me.  I want him to enjoy life more and work less.  I'm not talking being lazy, but maybe having more vacation, seeing more of the world, and building a ton of memories.

Friday, October 9, 2009

No Smoking

So I'm on my way back to work after lunch and I notice a pudgy arm hanging out of someone's car, who is driving through the intersection in front of me.  It's the driver's arm, not some random, unattached arm lurking about, but at the end of it is a burning cigarette.

Here is what I don't understand, if you are a smoker, why are you hanging your arm out the window when you are not taking a drag of your cigarette?  You don't want to stink like smoke?  Here's an idea... DON'T SMOKE!  It's not a hard concept.

And don't fool yourself into thinking that just because between puffs you aren't sitting in a cloud of smoke it doesn't stick to every strand of your hair or the fabric of your clothing, because it does.  And rainy days are the worst.  The moisture in the air makes it sink into your clothes and skin and even if I'm sitting a cubicle or two away, I can still smell it (based on previous workplaces).

Oh, and what is the rationale in throwing your butts out the window?  Are you hiding it from your wife that you smoke?  Or your kids?  Or is it that you don't want to dirty your car's ash tray?  Cause really, instead of only dirtying up your own vehicular world, you are dirtying all of our world.  Besides the toxins that you are fully aware are contained in each of the lovely cancer sticks.

And please don't misunderstand me, readers, I am not angry.  I really don't care if people choose to smoke.  I would prefer they not, because of the fatal effects it can have on themselves and their loved ones... I just wanted to put it out there as one of those abnormalities in human behaviour... to be a smoker, but not want it around you. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Christmas is only around the corner

So maybe I'm a little crazy to think this could work, but I have had Christmas on my mind for weeks now.  Trying to figure out how to make things work out for everyone in my family... and most importantly William.

I think about last Christmas and how horrible it felt.  It was six months into my seperation and everyone was feeling a bit down.  Since we had already dealt with custody in court, we already had a plan in place where William would be shuffled (and I say shuffled because really he probably wasn't the happiest about being moved around at Christmas) between homes.  I had him Christmas Eve until supper time.  Then I got him back at noonish on Christmas Day until noonish on Boxing Day.  That schedule will flip every year until we feel it necessary to change things.

I woke up that morning in my old bedroom at my Mom's place and couldn't contain my feelings.  I was completely depressed and wouldn't leave my room to open gifts with my Mom or Grandmother, or even eat breakfast for that matter.  And once William did arrive he didn't want to open gifts again.  It was hard.  I did my best to hold it together.

I know we all put so many expectations on what Christmas should feel like.  How it should be picture perfect and years from now you should look back and marvel at how great Christmas was.  I am one of the offenders that I want things to be perfect.  I want that for William more than myself.  I want him to feel family all around him and that he had everything he wanted and not moved from one part of his family to another, based on an hour on a clock.

So, I am really putting myself out there and going to take the chance to discuss with William's mother, whether she would be open to the idea of sharing Christmas with us.  To forget the court agreed schedule and blur the lines between seperated parents and give William at least one more Chirstmas with his Mom and Dad, in one house.

I did some research on kijiji and found a loft that is within the HRM that is available for rent.  It is in Eastern Passage and has a beautiful view of the water.  It's not a loft above someone's garage and not in someone's back yard, so it might work.  In my inquirying I found out it's a minimum two night rental.  At first, I thought about the additional cost, but then I thought about the fact that it might be for the best.  I am thinking I will rent it on December 23 and vacate December 25th.  This will allow us time on December 23rd to get a tree of some sort and a few decorations in the place.  And bring presents and a few groceries into the place, so that on the 24th when we are there it's all in place and we can just enjoy Christmas.

William's Mom and I are in a more stable place right now.  Things tended to get heated mainly when legal issues were being dealt with.  I know that Christmas is a huge marker and will be emotional just like last year, but I have to think that the parents feeling and dealing with emotions will be more beneficial to everyone than for us to spend the time shuffling our son around.

He's four and Christmas only comes once a year.  We have to see each other and feel those feelings anyway, so wouldn't it be better for us both to see him wake up and be excited to see what Santa Claus brought.  For him to open his presents with both parents and play with his toys while breakfast is being made?

I know a big part of all of this is selfish.  And I know it's probably me holding onto the dream of a perfect Christmas a little too tightly, but he's only a child for so long.  The magic is only there for so many years... neither of us should miss out.

William has strong parents and I know I can hold it together for his sake, and my own.  I just hoping it's not too soon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Where to start...

Hello Folks

I was a loyal blogger for a few years, recording the experiences of my young family as my then wife and I awaited our first child, and then chronicled our life as a family of three.  Our life as a family then took a substantial turn and now I am living back at my parents home with a shared custody arrangement.  It took me over a year to get to the place I am now.  A place where I feel fairly stable and am trying to rebuild a life for myself and most importantly my son. 

I want him to grow up happy and fulfilled and to never feel gypped because his parents decided to get divorced.  I want him to have great memories with both his Mom-Mom and Daddio and for him to feel like he is the most loved child in the world.

I want this blog to be a tool for me to look back at my time and remember the great times.  And because I enjoy the humor in things, it will also include some random thoughts and observations I make in the world around me.

I hope you will come to be a regular reader of my blog and enjoy my point of view.  And I welcome all comments...