Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A lotta Christmas spirit for ya

I read the Bloggess on a semi-regular basis; I think she's hilarious.  But over on her blog there was something pretty moving going on.  A huge Christmas miracle if you will... and for those of us struggling to be in the spirit this year, I challenge you to read this entry and not be moved in some way. 

http://thebloggess.com/2010/12/my-heart-grew-three-sizes-and-now-i-have-an-enlarged-heart-worth-it/

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Do I have a hangover?

I'm one of the lucky few who, even into my thirties, have been blessed with an ability to drink my face off and wake up without a hangover.  And when I see what some folks go thru, including my ex-wife, I honestly believe that I would not drink nearly as often, cause I couldn't bear to deal with the discomfort and vomiting.

And then Friday night was my work Christmas party... during the day at work I was feeling a bit run down but was counting on the tradition that the office closed at 3pm, so I could sneak home and have a quick nap to rejuvenate myself.  No such luck, but I still took off at 4pm.  Instead of heading straight home, I headed to the mall to pick up a must buy gift for William and then had enough time to jam some tunes to life my spirits, have a shower and iron a few shirts.

Mingling started at 6:30 and since I'm single I decided to arrive 15 minutes late to ensure my friends would be there and I wouldn't be stuck talking to management and their spouses about future job aspirations.  I walked off the elevator and grabbed my drink tickets and made my way to the bar where I saw a couple of friends.  I had a gin and tonic and mingled with my friends and some other coworkers that would wait at the bar for service.  We stuck pretty close to the bar cause it was also located near the dining room and we wanted to ensure we would get to sit together.  

We sat down and enjoyed a good dinner and an amazing view of the Halifax waterfront.  I probably should have stuck to water but white wine always goes down so well but also knocks me off my feet.  Before I knew it I was explaining to the girls what it means when my teeth go numb.  We shared a lot of laughs and really enjoyed our last social event as a full group, as the next round of staff to leave is December 31st.  

Lots more drinks were consumed, including a round of shots I indirectly talked my boss into buying for us... and by us ended up being every drinking in the room (sorry Allan... I'm sure you're wife doesn't like me so much anymore).  Funny sidebar: a girlfriend of one staff member who none of us have met before was a very sweet Asian girl who was far more intoxicated than me, and when she knocked her shot glass over on the tray, she waited until the rest were gone before picking the tray up very publicly and tilting it up so she could slurp her shot out of the tray.  The crowd just stared.  Great moment!

We finished up our drink tickets and headed into the elevator (pic below) and headed out to Celtic Corner to check out the live entertainment.  The music was good and we had another round of drinks and then someone suggested dancing and before we knew it my pregnant work wife, Karen, had us loaded into her truck headed to Halifax to dance.  Again I should have stopped drinking but I apparently can't.  The crew stayed until 3am and then they headed home, but I had ran into friends and had a taxi chit so I stayed a little longer.  Long enough to realize how drunk I was, so I bought a bottle of water, found a couch and chugged it down.  I grabbed my coat and a cab and was home before 4am.  Watered the Christmas tree, only to pass-out underneath it for an hour or so.




The next morning I woke up and felt horrible.  Could I really have a hangover?  Damn this sucks.  The ex-wife and the son picked me up and we grabbed some lunch and my car, but unlike the past the fast-food didn't fix the problem.  William and I spent the rest of the day together and as the day went on I felt worse and worse until finally I was running a high fever.  Sunday morning I had Jaime come pick William up and I spent the day watching tv and realizing my glands were growing by the hour.  It hadn't been a hangover I was full on sick.  

By the time Monday arrived I called in sick for work and went to the doctor.  I was screened for the regular things and was swabbed for strep and given a blood sample requisition for mono.  I had the blood-work done and was told it would be two days for results.  The next two days were pretty terrible.  I could barely eat and by Wednesday was still rocking a fever and my voice was very distorted from the swollen glands.  Mono came back clear and I begged for antibiotics, since the strep hadn't returned yet.  I was given the prescription and went home to regularly dose myself with drugs. 


With still no answer as to what I am sick with all I can hope is since I've suffered almost a week already, I'll surely be clear for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

MashUp

I've been kinda offline cause it feels like I don't have a lot of free time lately.  So instead of an entry with one specific topic this is going to be a mash up of my last two weeks.

My interview went well with Nova Scotia Power and I left unsure if I would get a job offer.  Not that I felt like I messed any one question up, but I was very clear to the panel that I hoped to stay at my current job until the end of January (and they were hoping to fill their position within the next couple of weeks) and the guy I would be reporting to was someone I went thru grade school with and never was really friends with.  I played with the idea of whether I could work for someone I grew up with but today I got a call that they hired internally so my decision was made for me.  The HR contact was nice enough to let me know they were impressed with my interview and would contact me if another competition arose.

In relation to legal issues I have decided to drop the last issue I have with the divorce.  I spent a lot of time wondering if I would be making a big mistake but thought realistically about the money I would spend for the chance to get what I want when William will soon become more vocal about what he wants and we'll have to listen to a larger extend.  I'm not sure how quickly things will move now but we'll see.

This past weekend was a little crazy.  Let's start with Friday... I attended guerrilla gayfare.  What is guerrilla gayfare you may ask?  It's when the gay community decide to all arrive at a "non-gay" bar all wearing the same color, or ugly Christmas sweaters this month, and go out to make a few new friends.  I didn't have an ugly Christmas sweater so I attached a fabric advent calendar to my shirt and headed out with my friends.  We enjoyed some drinks, chatted to lots of people and danced to the live band... and heck, we even had a doctor buy a round of Stella for us.  Not a bad night.

Saturday I did some Christmas shopping with my Ma and had a nap in the late afternoon.  Soon the text messages were coming in asking me to head out to retro night at the Paragon.  It's probably one of my favorite events here in Halifax so I couldn't turn it down.  We danced to music we grew up on and sweated our asses off.  A new friend of mine decided to join us but sadly didn't make it until the end of retro night (2am) so we went on to Reflections to dance for a couple more hours.  This is the point where I should have gone home... but since he had made the effort I went.  We were having a great time and I ran into some friends I haven't seen in a while and around 3:30 am he started passing out on the dance floor... I tried to get him to leave and in doing so a "friend" of his joined us asking where we were going and insisting he was a boyfriend.  They had some words and things were getting very serious.  I took my friend out in the hopes of getting out before things got messy.  Once outside I asked if he would be okay and he said he thought so, we took off and about half a block later all hell broke loose.  His "friend" showed up and started yelling at him again, and got in my face at one point, before beating this poor guy.  Punching, kicking and dragging the guy into the street by his hair before throwing him to the ground.  I had no idea what to do, and I'm no a fighter so sadly I only had the option of calling 911... police statements were given and by around 4:30am I was home crawling in bed while shaking my head.  WTF is wrong with people?  


Sunday morning I was up at 9am and headed out to get William from his Mom's to take him to my work kids Christmas party.  It was at Winter Wonderland, which is a huge indoor event full of bouncy castles, carnival games, Santa Claus and cookie decorating.  William had a blast and I loved watching him have such a good time with the other kids.  

And then back to work... my week has been nuts.  Deadlines are all merging together, tempers are flaring and  we are all trying to focus on the task at hand... wrapping up the company in a professional manner.  To say that the drinks at our Christmas party on Friday will go down easy will be an understatement.


Well I should take off... I'll try and get back sooner this time.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Interview #1

Tomorrow at 2:30 I will be sitting in front of two strangers while they bombard me with questions about my employment history, strengths and weaknesses all in the hopes of getting a job offer for a position I'm not 100% sure I even want.  

I consider myself lucky that I got a call, on the closing date, for an Intermediate Accountant job for Nova Scotia Power.  It's a job I am certainly qualified for, and it's our only power corporation, so that bodes well that if I get the job that I shouldn't be in this position again in two years but I have a couple of reasons to hesitate.  One is that I'm not confident that I want to continue to be an accountant for the duration of my career and two when they asked my salary expectations they said it was at the upper end of the range for the position, which means they had no intention of offering that salary.

I am going to go into the interview as if I'm convinced this is the best move for me, however if I do get a job offer I'm going to be faced with the decision of whether or not I'm ready to jump at a job offer prior to receiving my severance package and whether it truly is the best move for me professionally.  I think secretly I know that I'm holding out hope to get an interview for one of the Province of Nova Scotia jobs that I also applied for but doesn't close for another couple of weeks.

I will also be faced with the challenge of negotiating terms in relation to start date and salary which I'm not completely convinced I have the ability to do successfully.  Here's hoping I am faced with the challenge of deciding what to do...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Just a taste

Well we've had a taste of winter here in Halifax.  The ground was covered and Christmas lights were glowing so I took a chance around 11 pm that evening to take a quick walk around the Hydrostone area of my beautiful city to take a couple of pics.  This one is from my iPhone.  I love how quiet it gets when the snow is falling, traffic is almost non-existant and you can feel very alone.  I could have walked outside bundled up for hours if it wasn't a work night.  And here's a terrible self-portrait... a skill I obviously need to work on.


Strangely I am looking forward to winter this year.  Not that I hate the season, but sometimes the reduced hours of daylight can wear on a brotha... but this year I'm looking at the positives.  It's almost the start of a new year, a new job, and I want to get out skiing and spend some time sledding and building snowmen with Willsy B.  Oh and I only want it to be snowy... I don't want the bitter dry cold.  I can demand that right?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's the little things...

One thing I love about my current job, that I am hoping will be similar with my next employer is the flex time policy.  I was lucky enough to change my hours from 9-5 to 830-430 once William started to school.  This allows me to take William to the bus stop and wait with him until he boards the bus and heads to school.  

It's only a half hour change in my work day but those mornings waiting with William are some of my favorite moments lately.  Whether it's watching him become more confident around other kids, to his excitement at having the first backpack in line or even being there to wave as the bus pulls off... all memories I will share with William far into the future when he has children of his own.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Project 365

I got my iPhone 4 almost two months ago and I have to say I love it.  I guess the amount of calls I make doesn't warrant the cost of the phone, even under a contract, however all of the other uses of an iPhone made it well worth the investment.

One app in particular that I've grown rather fond of, and encourage all of my iPhone cohorts to download is Project 365.  It's an app that you are supposed to use daily to journalize your year thru photos.  You create your photo diary simply by using your camera everyday for a year... can it get any easier? 


I started mine half part way thru November and already I enjoy looking back thru the past few weeks at some of the photos and am reminded of some adventure I was on.  And in addition to reminding me of certain experiences it is also getting me in the habit of taking more photos and actually using a digital camera I'm now carrying everyday.  

Here is a sampling of some of the photos I have taken... and again I encourage you to download the app if you have an iPhone.






Wednesday, November 17, 2010

He's not heavy... he's my son

This morning on the way to work I was waiting at a stop sign and noticed a young man carrying what I assume was his son on his shoulders.  The little boy had a backpack on and looked so content being carried towards the elementary school.  I just kind of stared at them and wondered if William will someday look at the same scene and remember all the times he has travelling in the exact same way on my shoulders.

William and I have an amazing relationship.  I'm very blessed to have a young boy who is kind, polite, caring and has an amazing sense of humor... and the older he gets I realize how much more independent he has become and it makes me a little sad.  I'm blessed.  And I'll carry him as long as I physically can.

August 2008

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fork in the road

As I mentioned a while back the company that I work for was for sale.  On November 1st the $2+ billion dollar transaction took place; something that had increased our workload substantially over the summer.  And on Tuesday a town-hall meeting was called for all offices across Canada.  It would be at noon-hour meeting for us on the Atlantic coast.  Fear in the office was slightly escalated but at the same time, since we had received limited information on any restructuring, our hopes were that we would get some insight as to how our next few months would be affected.

We received an inner-office invite to merge in the conference room at 11:30 and have some lunch as we prepared for the tele-conference.  I opted to skip the pizza because I'm trying to get back on track with my eating and joined the group around 11:45.  As I walked down the hall to the conference room I noticed two of our VPs in the smaller conference room with someone I didn't recognize and instantly I felt my heart rate quicken.  

I joined the group with were all in active conversations, yet all nervously watching the door.  I sat down next to my friend Karen and soon the receptionist Karma joined us and we made idle chit chat.  Then one of the VPs came out and asked Karma to go downstairs because about 10 people would be arriving and needed to be escorted up to the board room.  My heart sunk and I knew what was coming next.

The group arrived in suits and stern faces.  Most shuffled their way thru the crowd and stood at the front of the room as the new owners started the conference call.  Most of the call I couldn't pay attention to because it was obvious that our future was negatively changing and it was out of our control.  We were told that we would each have one-on-one meetings with the members of staff from the new company to discuss our future and that for those who were not continuing on packages would be detailed.  Tears welled in my eyes.

The call lasted maybe 10 minutes but the weight on everyone's shoulders was beyond bearable.  We went back to our desks and waited out our individual turns.  We couldn't work; not only because we could not concentrate but also because all internet, including email was shut down until after meetings were held.  People who had been employed with the company long enough had a feeling we were all out of jobs immediately and started packing up their desks.  I did the same.  Taking down pictures of William and throwing out non-essential papers and gathering up the social committee petty cash and receipts and putting them in a safe with notes for whoever would deal with the funds.  It was a long three hours until my meeting.

Three hours of watching friends go into an office and come out with swollen eyes; packing up their stuff and leaving or for some there seemed to be a contract for them to consider, which extended their employment for a predetermined amount of time.  Finally it was my time to enter.  I had watched enough of my co-workers pass by to regroup and calm my nerves.  

I entered the office and met someone from the new company in a suit and see an envelope with my name on it on the table.  I made a joke and it broke the tension.  He told me he appreciated my attitude and then went into his speech about me being identified as a key employee and hoped that I would stay with the company until the end of January as part of the transition team.  Anything else he may have said is a blur and I was shuffled down the hall to a gentleman who worked for an independent HR company who would help me transition to my next employment opportunity.

I was offered employment until the end of January at my regular salary.  If I stay until the end of the contract I will also receive a bonus as well as a generous severance package.  Of course I will accept for two reasons... 1. I am terrified to be unemployed and have responsibilities and 2. if I don't accept the offer I get nothing.

So here I am, for a second time in two years, facing unemployment due to a restructuring.  This time, thankfully, I am not also dealing with a health scare and a marriage that is falling apart.  I am at a fork in the road and am now forcing myself to analyse my life and which path I want to follow.  While I was content with my job I knew it wasn't something I would do, at least with this company, for 30 years until retirement.  

The options ahead of me right now are to either stay in the accounting field and continue my designation, or go back to school for a new path, or find alternate employment that utilizes my existing skill set but is perhaps in a different capacity.

Today I have spent the day in Starbucks drinking tea, doing some networking via email, making lists and doing some research.  And it's funny.  Initially I was scared to find out my fate, but unlike my last layoff, I'm looking forward to the change.  It's an exciting stage to be in, regardless of the unknown.  I'm going to try and embrace it this time and try and find a career that is more rewarding than things I have done in the past.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hallowe'en Party 2010

Saturday, October 30th my friends Colin and Colin hosted a party at their apartment... which also happens to be an old whore house in Halifax.  They completely converted their place and hosted a party to not be missed.  I won't go into a long drawn out post detailing the whole night but will give you some of the highlights.  If you want more specifics leave a comment and I'll be happy to expand.


Here's a few flashes of moments in my night:
 
Ex-Wife and son drive me to my friend Tori's house
 
Get into cab wearing costume which includes gold cape and green panty hose... cab driver doesn't even bat an eye.
 
At party I get groped twice by a 19 year old before I have a talk about his aggressiveness... he then begs for a hug.
 
I wrote something vulgar on a guy's tank top
 
Fog machine sets off smoke detector in apartment building... landlady freaks out cause someone is laughing as we are evacuated
 
Two early 20 something guys wearing loin-cloths are making out just for someone else to see it happen... they barely even know each other
 
Bath tub is full of blood and fingers
 
Sonny (female) and Cher (male) do a song for the crowd
 
the male Elizabeth (from The View) asks me to help him unzip his dress in the kitchen so he can change into pants for the bar... he just fully disrobes in the kitchen... I also have to help with panty hose.
 
Hop in cab with a very strong full drink to drive two blocks to the bar... he his a stop a little hard and I drop the entire drink on the floor with audible splash and limes everywhere... I tip well and act like nothing happened.
 
A "used tampon" costume wins for best costume at the bar... clearly they didn't see mine.
 
I run into a number of Robins... mine is the only home made version
 
Using the bathroom at Refs I have to hold my cup (jock version not drink) in my teeth to pee
 
Dance very close/flirt with someone - crush is developed
 
Freeze waiting for my own cab
 
Get home and take off costume to have coins fall onto floor that a leprechaun (lesbian friend) must have stuffed into my costume at some point.
 
Ahhh... Hallowe'en... that magical time of the year!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three days of Hallowe'en madness!!

Woot woot!  My favorite holiday of the year is upon us and this year it's a three day event.  

Day 1 will be our Hallowe'en party at work and a mid-day assembly at William's school which I will run to during my lunch break.  I just threw together my costume tonight and think it looks pretty darn good if I must say so myself.  A coworker had suggested that she and I go as Snooki and The Situation from Jersey Shore.  I said sure and to my knowledge at 11pm she has backed out and may not even wear a costume.  I'm hoping she's just trying to get me going but time will tell.  Here is my costume without some makeup to make me look tanned and maybe some greasy hair.


Day 2 is Saturday... I will spend the day with William but that evening I will be attending a Hallowe'en party in the south end of Halifax.  There are 34 confirmed guests and many pending or still maybes.  The party is expected to be epic... and epic is what a friend called my costume in it's first form.  This is the work in progress version I have taken a pic of.  I will hopefully finish the costume tonight or tomorrow evening.  It's not work appropriate and part of me is shocked that I am actually going to head out in public in this costume... but I figure I have to step up my game.  The crew hosting the party are known for stellar costumes and there is a contest so go big or go home... or in my case be brave or go home.  And let's face it, I'm gay and not getting any younger... no time like the present to be Robin (sidekick of Batman).


Day 3 will be October 31st.  I will be taking William trick-or-treating along with my ex-wife.  I always dress up, so I will again sport the Jersey Shore costume and we'll take a neighborhood in Sackville by storm.  William is dressing as Waldo, from Where's Waldo and I made his costume.

Let the festivities begin!!  Happy Hallowe'en Weekend y'all!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Self portrait


Onto greener pastures??

Over the course of the past year the company that I work for has put the arm of the business that I work for up for sale.  When the announcement first came down in a town hall meeting, I was here less than six months, and I looked around the office trying to survey the faces of my coworkers for the same panic that I was feeling.  I have been thru a restructuring and job loss before, with GMAC, and of course my fears might have been heightened by that but no one in the room seemed phased by the whole announcement.

Now with the sale confirmed to be taking place on November 1st our future is up in the air to some degree.  The purchase of our business is a huge undertaking for our new owners and although they work in our industry the scope of our business is overwhelming, to say the least.  That being said, their corporate office is currently in Toronto, not Halifax like my existing office.

Yesterday was a key day in the process for the group of employees that I am a member of.  There were meetings yesterday, which was basically an information gathering process, but the reality of the transaction about to take place was brought to reality for many of my coworkers.  And with that reality came a lot of fear and borderline tears for some when they thought about the fact that this new company has no ties to our currently employees and we may get left behind.  All the years of work some have put in; the unpaid overtime and personal sacrifices they thought they were making to further their career may have been for nothing.  Even our bosses are showing signs of fear.  It's terrifying. 

Today we have to try and get back to regular business and keep pushing thru and hope that our meetings had a positive impact on our future operations.  I'm hoping I am not back on the job hunt again.  I was never one who liked change and since March 2008 I have already had four jobs.  The anxiety of being potentially unemployed is building within me and I don't know what to do.  BUT, I am a HUGE believer that things happen for a reason and this may be a change in the path that I need to undertake in order to be more fulfilled.  Perhaps this is when I will go back to school and start over; something I have been thinking of for some time.  Here's hoping if my office is shut down I'm moving onto something better.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It Gets Better Project

There are some sad statistics recently involving teenagers and children who have committed suicide recently due to being bullied for being gay and there has been a lot of media attention given to these lives.  And these are only the few that we have heard about.  Dan Savage, of Savage Love, has stepped up and created the It Gets Better Project where individuals are invited to use the power of youtube to share a story of survival and provide some inspiration to those struggling with surviving another day, to keep pushing forward and become the happy and healthy adults these kids deserve to be.

I'm 33 and I still struggle with my sexuality and being open about it with everyone in my life.  In fact, I was even hesitant to post this entry because I don't even know the scope of who reads this blog or what their stance may be on sexuality.  But then I think about the long road I took to get to where I am today and realize that I need to post this entry because the message is bigger than me.  I'm not one who really wants to label myself but I'm gay and that's okay.

I haven't decided yet whether or not I will post a video to youtube but I thought I would share the fact that I realize why these teenagers feel like they are at a low place that they cannot climb out of.  I have been bullied about my sexuality as far back as early elementary.  I remember times throughout school, even into grade 11 where I have had someone ask me if I was a girl.  I have never looked much like a girl; I have never worn my hair long but that question has always hurt.  I have endured jerks spitting on my locker.  I have been called the worst names and I even wonder if part of why my father and I never got along was because he thought I was gay.  But the ultimate act, which still kind of haunts me to this day, was when I was in high school and riding the bus home.  I was already insecure enough, but this particular day some guys a year ahead of me stood up, just before getting off at their stop to make sure the majority of the bus was their audience.  And they announced that they had made me something in woodshop.  It was a piece of wood in the shape of a penis.  People were laughing and I wanted to shrink into a ball an disappear.  They proceeded to drop it into my lap and get off of the bus.  All the while, people are watching my reaction, including the bus driver, who lived on my street but did nothing.  I was speechless and fighting tears and then thankfully two girls named Alexandra and Shanna came to my rescue and called the guys out for the jerks that they were.  

This could have been a day where a teenager would have taken their own life, but something inside me didn't let that happen.  I feared from that day forward taking the bus or even going to school but I found the strength.  I hope more kids in this situation find the strength to keep pushing thru the hard years.  It gets better!  

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sometimes it feels so abnormally normal...

It's strange how being two plus years into a seperation that two people can still feel so confused and lost about the whole thing.  I sometimes wonder where my ex-wife's head is in relation to the whole thing but will never ask because I'm afraid I will remind her if she's in a period of peace about it.  But then some days, like today I get this in an email:

"I’m having a bad being-divorced-day today. A not-understanding-even-though-I-know day."

 and I'm struck in the chest with the reality of how she is feeling.  And that even though we both know it's the right thing to do, I am probably safe to assume that neither of us really want it to be happening.  All I can do is apologize for pain and explain that I am feeling some of the same things.

There is so much I want to say to her, to try and help her get thru all of this, but I wait.  I wait because thru the process I was accused of manipulating her, when in reality I was just trying to maintain my relationship with my son.  Instead, I have started writing a letter in my head, that I will eventually put on paper and give her once the divorce is finalized. 

It's hard to be seperated from someone who has been my best friend for so many years and that even though things got pretty bad I still love and want the best for, and want to be in their life everyday... so I try and block it all out and just get thru the days, weeks and months.  Hoping one day it will all make sense for everyone.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Get ready to itch!

Last Saturday, after the first week of school was completed, I get a frantic message from my ex-wife that our son may have LICE!  She was at Walmart (some things never change) and noticed a small insect moving on William's hair.  She grabbed it and put it inside a pill bottle she had in her purse and immediately freaked out.  She called me and I quickly googled lice and treatments and we spoke about what we were going to do.

She got a chemical treatment and daily William goes thru extensive screening to ensure that any nits are removed before they can develop into a louse.  It is a long process and we are very blessed that William is obsessed with books and so well behaved, otherwise we might just decide to shave all our heads and pour bleach over the remaining stubble... okay I exaggerate slightly.

On Monday, since he only had had nits he went back to school, as is recommended by the department of health.  We informed the school and asked that they ensure that the children in William's class are screened, as we didn't want William to be re-infected.  The secretary informed Jaime that protocol had changed and the principal would call her back to discuss what would be done.  No call.  


Tuesday I spoke with the secretary and was informed that she had screened William Monday afternoon and did not see any nits, and that for the record she had never in her career ever seen one on a boy.  Flash forward to my ex-mother-in-law checking him upon return from school and she finds some and flash forward again to Monday evening when I spend an hour scanning his head removing many nits.  How qualified can this secretary truly be for screening students?  Anyway, back to Tuesday, I tell the secretary that I need the principal to call me back to let me know what is going to be done, because William will not be returning to class until we are confident that the children have been screened.  She tells me that she will send a letter home to the primary parents, even though she didn't have the principal's permission.  WTF?  Permission to inform parents about lice?  You have got to be kidding me.  A few hours later I get a call from the principal and he said that he will speak to the public health nurse assigned to our school and have students screened.  


I speak to the principal again Wednesday to find out how the process went and ensure it was safe to send William back to class.  He informs me that no screening would take place; the letter was sent home and parents will screen their kids.  But in that same conversation he said that newsletters are ineffective with some parents and most parents cannot identify nits or locate lice.  I'm holding myself back and ask him where the logic is in this situation where we have a public health nurse employed by our school who can identify lice, since parents are not qualified.  He can't answer that other than to say their role has changed to be more educators and perhaps they should send out some diagrams.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

I then go on to warn him that William will be returning to class, since he is free of lice and nits, HOWEVER if William becomes re-infected he will have two VERY UPSET parents on his hands.  And I for one will be going to every bus stop and speak with every parent I see to explain that the principal is not willing to have our students screened and then I will move onto the school board if nothing is done.  And he basically wraps up the conversation and I thank him for his time.    

So he's been back to class for two days and we continue to screen him every evening.  So far so good.  But come on people it's 2010.  Lice should not exist and plans should be in place to screen students when a parent calls reporting an outbreak. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Self-Improvement

Separation is obviously never an easy thing to deal with.  Your life, schedule and routines suddenly are thrown up in the air and you try your best to juggle all the things that used to seemingly fit perfectly together.  In that struggle to find a new balance I was faced with one task that I never thought would ever be an issue in life.  Eating alone.  

Initially on those nights I didn't have William I would come home from work and walk around the kitchen thinking of things to make for supper but then putting it off until around 9pm and by then I was starving and would eat just about anything.  That led me to eat easy things that wouldn't create any left overs and  were higher calorie foods.  And I easily put on weight.

Finally in the spring of this year, I had had enough.  I knew that for no one other than myself and my self esteem I needed to get my eating back on track and lose the excess weight.  I needed to feel better about myself because I was healing in other areas and needed to be the best Jeff I could be right now.


And what did I turn to?  A diet.  Not a don't eat carb, only eat meat diet, but specifically "The Abs Diet" from David Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health Magazine.  I had seen things online about this diet before and decided that I was going to give it an honest try.  And it's not really a diet, it's more guidelines of what to eat, and workout plans to help you get real results in 6 weeks.  

The "diet" basically has you eating from twelve power food groups six times a day.  This way you're constantly fueling the fire and the exercise plans combine ab workouts, weight training workouts and interval cardio training.  That all sounds like a lot but you only have to commit to 3 workouts a week and really anyone can do that.  And the only real equipment you need is a set of simple weights, actually, it even provides alternatives that don't require weights for most exercises.


I committed to the six weeks.  I did a minimum of three workouts a week and ate the power foods, except for my cheat meal on weekends and within six weeks I lost 15lbs.  Fast forward thru the summer, and I kept up most of the eating habits and tried to get in my three workouts but without complete success and I'm happy to report I'm down a total of 25lbs.  Basically, I currently weight at 33 what I did when I was 23.  Never thought I could say that but it's true.

Now I still don't have abs and realistically never will, but I definitely lost a lot of belly fat, I have some definition in my arms and little things like having clearer skin were all benefits of this "diet".  And now that it's September and life will slow down a bit I plan on getting back to it hard core for another six weeks and see what new level I can reach... plus knowing that I'm heading south in the spring and will be dating are good motivators as well.


Before (nice double-chin action)

Skinnier yet slightly older version

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And the lack of communication begins

Here's a conversation William and I had Friday afternoon while out for a walk in the city... if this is how it starts, what will it be like when I ask about finals in university?  Ha!

Me:  So William, what did you do at school today?

William:  Nothing.

M:  Nothing?  Did you color? 

W: No.

M: Play with blocks?

W: No.

M: Did your teacher read you a book?

W: No.

M: Did you have fun playing on the playground?

W: Grrrrr

M: What's wrong?

W: I don't remember Daddio.

M:  What did you have for lunch?

W: Nothing.

M: Nothing?  Did MomMom forget to pack your lunchbag?

W:  Yes.

M: Well you must be starving.  I can't believe you had to go all day without anything to eat.  I should call MomMom and ask why she forgot.

W: I had a sandwich.  Can we go to the playground now?

Friday, September 3, 2010

33

So just under a month ago I turned 33.  And when I say that number I feel like I should feel older and have more accomplished in my life but for some reason I embrassed turning 33 this year even though maybe it doesn't feel like the number that truly represents my age.

If I had to look at my life and assign it an age I'd either be 28 or 19.  I say 28 because I feel like that's the stage of responsibility that I am at.  I have a career that still needs some development to reach the final plateau.  I have a son and maintain a home.  I am very active and am constantly striving to improve my health because I know what the future can hold.  And because I dress and resemble someone in their late twenties.  And I say 19 because lets face it, I have drank and partied more this summer than I have in many years.  I have a circle of friends who are constantly planning the next event; to the point that we now have a private facebook group exclusive to our group that we post things in, so we're all always up to date on pending events.  Yeah, we're that cool.  Ha!

So what did I actually do on my birthday, you may ask?  Well I spent the day with my Mom and William.  We kind of had a slow easy start to the day at home, not really doing all that much.  Then in the afternoon we went on a little adventure that William decided on.  He's wanted to go on the Harbour Hopper for a long time and we decided that Daddio's birthday was probably a great time to go.  Sadly, William fell asleep five minutes into the ride and was disappointed that he missed the water portion of the tour (and being the good Dad I am, we went a second time about a week later).  While on the tour I started getting texts from my friend Ashley asking what my evening plans were.  I told her none, since it was a Tuesday, and none of my other friends were on vacation like I was. 

Mom, William and I then met up with a girl I grew up with, Kelly, who is more like a younger sister than friend and we all went for Chinese food at May Garden.  We enjoyed a quiet dinner and made plans to go visit her later in the week at her home on a lake, near where we grew up.  Then we just went back to my house to blow out some candles, cut a cake and open a few presents.  It was a great day.

But then, my friend Ashley asked if I wanted to go for a drink on one of the many great patios in our city.  We ended up at the Bitter End, which are known for their assortment of martinis.  I accepted the offer and made my way for around 8pm.  To my surprise Ashley was not alone.  She had arranged and secured 12 of our friends for a last minute meeting.  We sat on the patio and shared drinks, nachos and stories and laughed for a couple of hours.  I got a few cards, many hugs and well wishes to the next year of my life.

To say that I'm a lucky man is an understatement.  I have an amazing family that support me.  I have an amazing circle of friends, most of which I have only known for a year.  And I have my health and a future that is mine to decide.  So bring on 33 and all the new experiences!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First day of grade primary


Today is the first day of grade school for my son.  It was a day that I dreaded for the last six months or so, because I had to admit to myself that he was a big boy.  As the day approached I felt the anxiety surge and I had some fear that on his first day there would be tears for him, my ex-wife and myself, but I'm happy to report it was all dry eyes today (not that I have any issue expression emotion).

Another concern for me was that William didn't want to go to "big school"; he made that clear for weeks and during supper Monday evening when I tried to upsell school he was at the point of ignoring the conversation all together.  Luckily, one of my ex's sisters is an elementary school teacher and suggested that he go for another visit at the school in hopes of turning his resistance into a bit of excitement.

On Tuesday his grandmother took him to the school and both of his teachers (yes, we just found out this week that there is going to be a split in teaching between two teachers... WHAT?) were there.  He was able to have a personal tour of the school, see where his desk was and play with some of the things in class and finally he began to have a bit of excitement.  We didn't want to jinx ourselves so we held our breath and today I am happy to report William had a great day and called me at work when he got home to tell me some of what he did.

But knowing William, tomorrow could be a whole different ball game.

PS.  Sorry about the slacking on my blog... I'm going to try and do some catch-up entries to fill you in on my summer.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Let's just screw Christmas this year.

So the day in court ended up being just a money grab for the lawyers.  The Ex and I each met our respective lawyers in the lobby and they talked a bit of game to each other and then we filed into the court room.  Jaime and I made minimal eye contact and didn't even so much as say hi.  I was simply trying to keep my shit together and not cry in front of the judge, and I suspect the same was true for her as well.

The took turns standing up and addressing the judge, basically asking that our final issue be decided on by judge and at that time divorce papers would also be signed.  To say I was disappointed that nothing got done was an understatement.  I don't like wasting money, taking time off work or dealing with any of this, let alone letting it continue to drag on.

The court date is now December 14th.  That's right DECEMBER 14th.  Well as if Christmas wouldn't be hard enough this year since he'll wake up at her house, divorce will be finalized, my sister won't be home and it will be almost a year since Grammie passed away.  Needless to say I'm looking into my Mom and I (and now I'm really starting to sound like someone who should have 10 cats) going to NYC for a few days during the holidays to get away from reality.  Either that or I'll need to get a 40 of gin and as many limes as one can buy at the local Superstore.

My next post will be upbeat... PROMISE!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Deadline reached?

Tomorrow may possibly be the day the divorce is final.

We have some sort of meeting where Jaime and I sit down with our lawyers and a judge, and from what I understand if everything can be worked out in this half hour then this is it.  Now it's not a meeting that we have to be present for, since our lawyers have the ability to act on our behalf, but I'm going.  Not sure if the ex will be there or not.  I didn't have the heart to ask her today, because I'm sure this day is just as hard for her.

This meeting has been weighing on my mind for weeks, but especially today.  I don't know what to expect and I fear the finality of it all.  The true end to a huge chapter of my life.  I went to hot yoga tonight to try and clear my mind but now that I'm home and alone with no one to distract me it's eating me alive.  I just hope sleep comes quickly.

In all honesty, when I proposed to Jaime in May 2002 I never ever dreamed that our relationship would ever end in divorce.  I pictured us having kids, at least one of which would be adopted.  I pictured us settling into a home that our children would bring their children home to and that we would build so many happy memories that we'd never run out of things to talk about.

But I will try and focus on the fact that possibly the nightmare will end and Jaime (and hopefully myself as well) will have some peace and find our new normal.  My heart aches.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A portion of the crew...

Who do we think we are?

I just had the most epic weekend of my life. 

A group of fourteen of my friends went to Moncton, New Brunswick as a mini road trip.  We met at Colins' place at 7:45 am Saturday morning to load into a few vehicles and hit the road.  Of course that was delayed, because really it's Saturday morning and some of the friends decided to drink Friday night and have as little as one hour of sleep.

We headed straight to Magic Mountain and spent the day riding water slides, the lazy river, swimming in the wave pool and lounging poolside in the sun.  All and all a great summer day.  Then around 4pm we left the water park and checked into four hotel rooms and got ready for supper.  Supper was at an Irish pub called The Old Triangle.  We all got a good and hearty meal and then headed for the liquor store to get ready for the evening festivities.

Earlier in the day, while preparing for dinner, Colin called and organized for us to travel in style when we went downtown.  At 9:30 our stretch Cadillac Escalade arrived and picked us up for a two our cruise around Moncton.  We popped champagne (and followed with many other bottles of alcohol), took a ton of pictures and sang along to an amazing mix of music on one of our iPods.  To be rolling in that kind of style it's easy to see why celebrities live lives of excess.

And finally at 11:30 our ride ended at the club.  The drive parked out front, rolled out a red carpet and we all got out.  During which time, Ashley became red carpet road kill, falling down (on purpose) on the red carpet and Tori walked over her for an amazing photo op.

We headed inside and danced our asses off.  We were definitely a group that got noticed and probably mainly for the fact that we were new faces in the community.  There are so many funny stories that came out of that evening but for me there is one that stands out.


There was a man, with his group of friends, dancing in a mesh tank top.  MESH!  Where does one even find a mesh tank top??  Other than that I don't think he was that bad of a looking guy.  I guess fashion in Moncton is ahead?? or behind that of Halifax.  Anyway, he noticed me dancing and came over and asked me to have a dance off.  Me, feeling drunkenly confident in my dancing accept.  We start a battle in the centre of the dance floor and before I know it he grabs my shirt and rips it up and over my head.   

Clearly the lesson is to NEVER TRUST A MAN IN A MESH TANK TOP!


All in all I had an amazing weekend.  My group of friends never cease to amaze me.  We have never all traveled before but all went well and we had a ton of laughs over breakfast this morning bringing up all of the experiences from the night before.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Always Connected

I sometimes sit at my desk and wonder how previous generations stayed connected.  Today it's so easy to be in contact with anyone.  My friends and family are only a phone call, text message or email away, but for the majority of my Mom's working career there wasn't even email.  And let's not even mention that there were party lines instead of multi line phones and call waiting.


I am sure work has been drastically effected by diminished output because of our ability to be constantly connected.  Within my circle of friends alone, we have streams of emails in facebook, that the majority of us reach via our cell phones during work hours.  And text messages are sure to always get someone's attention when a matter is more urgent.  These two forms of communication have become my default, because I don't have to use any of my employers resources.  Thereby diminishing any fear that my VP of Financial Reporting tried to instill in us for using work systems for private use.


Who knows what is around the corner... perhaps I should seek out the technology that would render cell phones ability to send/receive texts or an Internet connection and sell that technology to businesses to ensure their staff can't access these systems and therefore force employees to work harder.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fountain of Youth

There was a span of time, like say the last 5 years where I could fall asleep at the drop of a dime.  Didn't matter what I was doing just before laying down... could be a late night 6km run... could be watching TV... anything and it didn't matter.  As soon as I'd lay down I would be asleep.  And I needed that sleep.  If I wasn't getting it, I was no good at work and fighting to keep my eyes awake at 2pm.

But I think I found the fountain of youth and I'm going to share it with you, under the understanding that you will share this information wisely.  Bombay Sapphire Gin.  Something about this liquid has transformed me in the last few months into someone in their early twenties.  Here's an example...

My sister flies in Wednesday night.  I pick her up at the airport, we come home, I get my son settled for bed and I get ready to meet up with my friends at karaoke night.  I'm tired because it's halfway thru a work week and it's pushing 11pm, but that feeling won't last long.  By 12:30 I am at the Palace with a double G & T and I'm rock solid.  We hop bars because the place is empty but I still dance the night away until 4am.  Not to mention that while walking by Venus Pizza, while I'm surrounded by 4 or 5 other guys, a girl comes up to me points her finger into my chest and says "You're sexy".  Hello... I'm the oldest in the group but I still got the attention.

I crawl into bed at 5ish, up at 9:30 and spend the entire day out in the sun celebrating Canada day, catch the fire works and up early Friday morning to drop William off to his Mom before heading to work.  Work all day, come home do work around the house until 2am, crash and up at 8am to do more work around the house.  Have more family arrive in town... take them shopping around the city before cracking my 40 oz gin I got at duty free.  I'm easily smashed by 4pm.  At this point it's looking like any plans to go out will be a write off... cause I don't think I can still party with the young ins at 32.  But hold up... got the jams pumping, little bit of supper and a few more shots and I'm heading to the Lower Deck.  The family is getting a bit lame but I run into friends.  We're dancing to Signal Hill on the patio.  I'm making new friends, drinking doubles and shooting Jager Bombs with my friend's boyfriend.  Cut to an hour later and I'm en route to the Paragon for retro night.  Of course my friends are leaving the dance floor to do shots of Jager.  I'm not one to be left out... but then I also do a shot of tequila with another friend and then of course follow with Gin.  We close that place... must be 1pm.  A friend and I grab a cab to Reflections, while the other fools walk.  And once inside grab a gin and hit the dance floor until 4am closing.

We walk to Pizza corner and suddenly one of the guys has a ride for us.  I decline at first until I realize they are heading my way.  On the ride I am convinced that I should go swimming with them.  Somehow I'm convinced and am on the shore of lake bannook.  Probably half an hour of swimming, sun is very much on it's way up before crashing at a buddy's place.  Awake and doing the walk of shame by 10am for another family filled day.  Even to the point that I work on an assignment, have dinner with family, see my sister off to TO, take a 20 minute nap, go for a walk on the waterfront and crash at 11pm.

I know it's going to take it's toll... but I've had a couple of rough summers, this one is starting out pretty grand.  I'm not going to let it fly by without me.  I can always catch up on sleep... but can't catch up on memories.

Raise a glass of youth, my friends!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Starting Over

I have probably mentioned this before, but during my relationship with my wife a lot of the friends I had were our friends.  They were really my friend by default because Jaime and Jeff were this package deal, and accordingly when we split I realized that I was relatively alone on the friend front. 

Luckily, I had become close to a couple of friends who became key players in my mental stability over the last two years.  And along the way I was introduced to Jacob Owens, the maker of Conscript, who I have spoken about before.  Jacob played a key part in my life over the last year, and might not really even realize the significance he has played.  Thru being involved in that one weekend filming his movie, I met a group of people who have become my circle of friends.  


It was probably a few months after making that film that I got my first invitation to come out with the group of friends and at first the shy and insecure Jeff wasn't going to go.  I have never been one to enjoy uncomfortable situations but this was a really great group of people and they only knew me for me, so I took the chance.  And I haven't looked back.

Never before as an adult, have I had a circle of friends that like me for me and not who I am dating or married to.  And never before have I felt like I didn't have to hide a certain portion of who I was because of the fear of being judged.  

Sidenote:  I just scanned my pics trying to find a group shot and realize that I don't really have one... I need to work on that!

And this circle of friends is unlike most circles of friends I have been a part of or witnessed before.  They are all great people and great genuine friends.  They don't talk behind each other's backs.  They don't judge each other.  They truly love and support each other and know how to have a good time.

I'm feeling quite blessed that I have met this crew.  They came into my life at a point when I truly needed them and for that I will always be grateful.  I just hope that some day I can articulate how much they mean to me and that they register my sincerity.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dilemma of the day (Monday)

Everything in life can be linked back to facebook.  You heard it here first people... cause even the people I met this weekend I have creeped at one point or another on facebook.  Yeah, I know I probably have a problem, but until it makes me late for work, it's not a problem ... never mind.  Moral of this paragraph: it's all linked back to facebook.

Back to my dilemma... do I email or not.

Back story:

 I met someone, who I have previously creeped on facebook.  It's a friend of a guy I occasionally hang out with that just got back from Australia.  He came to a party and out to Tribeca and Reflections with us Saturday night and I got to know them enough to develop a crush.  


At the end of the night thru some convenient circumstances I found myself walking alone with said individual.  Since they were given keys from a friend but wasn't exactly sure where they lived, I offered to walk them to our friend's apartment.  Once we got there we continued to talk for a little while.  It's probably 4am and we sit on the front step talking and then I get an offer to come upstairs.  I decline the offer but upon the second time being asked I agree.  Upstairs we sit and have a glass of water and continue to talk.  It was great.  Since it was so late I decide to leave and am offered a chance to crash... and I knew immediately I would kick myself for not accepting the offer, but I declined.  At the door I get a hug and then there was a moment when there is intense eye contact and glancing at the lips and again I know I'll regret it, but I don't take a chance and go with the moment.  

My thought was that I don't want to get hurt by being rejected if I am mis-reading the situation, because this person is so charismatic and likable that they are probably truly out of my league for dating.  And I also don't want to ruin potential, if there is any, that I am seen as someone worth dating because I so easily gave into temptation to just hookup.  


I walked away that night slightly disappointed but also proud of myself for maintaining a reputation and for guarding my heart a little bit.

So on Sunday and into Monday I was a tad giddy that I met someone and there seemed to be a mutual interest.  My dilemma was then whether or not to put myself out there and make contact.  After talking to a couple friends I decided to email and mention how nice it was to meet them and express a desire to hang out again, once they are settled back in Halifax.

Sadly, it's now Thursday and I haven't gotten a response.  We're friends on facebook (which happened pre-email) but I haven't gotten a word back.  I'm a tad disappointed but at the same time, I'm very proud of myself for putting myself out there with someone I consider potentially a little out of my league... especially considering I never really lived the dating world before.

Ambitious project

I apologize for neglecting my blog but this photography course is a larger time commitment than I had anticipated but I'm loving every minute of it.  It's now winding down and I think there are four weeks left.  We are now at the point where we have to submit a artists proposal for our final assignments which we will work on for the duration of the course.


Since I have a competitive streak, and my photos consistently seem to be within the top five of the class, I want my project to stand out.  I debated a few different ideas and finally settled.  Below I will paste the project that I submitted and in speaking with a friend in the class apparently someone gasped at the idea when I was reading it out loud to the class.  Now I just have to pull it off... a little more ambitious than I could have done but I think I will learn more if I push myself.  



Split Personalities
It has been said that perception is reality, and accordingly there are members of society that prefer to control that perception.  The life they lead in public may not be fully aligned with the person they truly are.  This collection will explore alternate personalities that make up the individuals in the portraits and cause the audience to wonder what secrets the others in the room might be hiding behind their polished exterior.

During the span of seven to ten days, portraits of six individuals will be taken.  During each photo session wardrobe and prop changes will be used in conjunction with body language in order to show case two distinct personalities.   Through photo editing, over the span of two weeks, portraits of each of the individual’s personalities will be combined into one photo per individual.

The collection will be printed in color on 8” X 10” matte finished paper, in order to highlight the fact that you are seeing the unpolished version of the individual, not just the control perception they may wish to portray.  The portraits will be mounted on the wall in simple frames and the glass in each frame will be cracked strategically to show the split personalities.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

In our interim custody agreement there is a provision that I get William for part of father's day, even if it's not my scheduled time.  Originally Jaime had asked if perhaps we could go to see Toy Story 3 as a family on father's day and then I would keep him into the evening.  This morning I got a call from William wishing me a happy father's day and Jaime backed out; it was going to be too hard emotionally.  I understood.

So I hopped out of bed and grabbed a shower.  I was exhausted because I was out partying until 5am but with 4 hours of sleep under my belt I started a great father's day.  I picked William up and he was very excited to have me open my presents right away.  A Buzz Lightyear plush toy and a Where's Waldo book.  They were completely his idea and I loved them.  We grabbed some lunch and headed to the movie.  

He snuggled into my lap during the previews and was there most of the movie.  It was a good third part in the series but of course the lack of sleep and some residual gin being in my bloodstream made a few scenes a little more emotional than it should have been.  It's strange how a cartoon can make you realize how fast kids grow up. 


From the movie we swung by the house to grab a sweat shirt and headed down to the ferry terminal and caught a ferry across the harbour.  We walked the waterfront and sat on a park bench at one point watching the sailboats and looking for Waldo in the new book.  Then we grabbed some supper and I took him back to his Mom's.  

All in all it was a great day.  I have no complaints.  Sure in a perfect world he would live with me and have woken me up this morning in person, but I'm very blessed and that technicality is not something I have the least bit of focus on today.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Birds of a feather... compare notes

It's strange when you seperate from a spouse because initially you feel so alone and isolated from everyone.  Even if you have a strong support system, you really don't think they can possibly understand what you are going thru and for the most part that is probably true.  And as time goes by you find yourself seeking sources to increase your knowledge base, if for nothing else, just to know what to expect in the coming weeks, months and years.

It seems that lately friends of mine are seperating like I have just set the newest trend.  That suddenly single and divorcing is the new black and all the cool people are doing it.  In the last couple of months I have had three friends contact me to talk about their seperation.  People that I didn't know were even on that path in their relationship.  And I am more than happy to be their shoulder to cry on or their pillar of support.  I have ridden the hardest part of the wave and hope that even the slightest amount of my experience can make their path easier. 

This apparent trend also makes me wonder a couple of things.  (A)  Is our society too quick to walk away from a relationship when things aren't easy?  and (B)  What is our society going to look like when I'm a senior citizen.  Will there be marriages that have stood the test of time and reached those mile stones of 50 and 60 years?  And if so, will those relationships seem abnormal and sacred?  Will anyone have only been married once?  Will people even still get married? 

I know everyone's path is different.  I understand pain.  And I believe that everyone should truly be happy, but I also wonder if there are a lot of people out there who are just giving up because sometimes that is easier than doing the work to stay together.  Marriage is not easy, but I think getting back to the basics of the relationship is even harder once one person has already let go.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spare Change??

Panhandling is becoming more common in Halifax.  You see the squeegee kids on some street corners, people with empty coffee cups, or the ones with the signs about being a moneyless traveler seeking assistance.  Or like one method that has become more popular in this city is the person looking for a bus ticket and when you don't have bus tickets they ask for change for the bus.  I guess it's at least a bit of creativity.

Back in the day, I shared the same opinion as one of my friends, in relation to panhandlers.  Her opinion was, sure I'll give you money but do something to earn it.  Instead of sitting on the sidewalk begging, pick up a few pieces of trash around you and I'll hand you my spare change.

But something has changed in me in the last couple of years.  It might be age or it might be being a Dad.  Either way I now look at these people and wonder how they got to this place and how alone they must be to have to resort to begging all day and being refused for the large portion of those attempts.

I know there is a large portion of those individuals who are making a lot of easy cash, however what about those individuals who really are in need of that financial support.  What about those kids who had a home life that may have been abusive or unaccepting and they had to run away without any thought as to how they would survive.

For the couple of dollars that they might get out of my pocket (and I should also mention it's rare I actually have cash on me cause I use debit for everything), I over look what a possible scam artist they may be and look at the desperation it would take for me to be begging strangers for money.  And I like to think that the change I provide them will no go to a substance for them to abuse and instead will nourish them for at least part of their day.  They are some one's family member who needs some help and I am in no way going into the poor house for giving them a few quarters.

Just a thought.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Indulge Me

I've been tagged by Jody at jojoscrazylife with a meme (my first) so here goes:

1. Do you prefer watching movies or reading books? 
If I had the time I would prefer reading books, because I love the escape of entering this new world and I can control how long the journey lasts.  But I do love movies because it can be a quick and dirty two hour escape and I get to see the interpretation of the setting thru someone else's eyes.  

2. What is the earliest memory you have?
My first memory that I have is being in my crib, so I'm guessing I was around two-ish.  I remember that on the wall in my parent's bedroom where my crib was situated there was wall paper that would have been in a nursery and none of the other walls had any.  I also remember distinctly wearing feety pajamas, standing up in my crib and flipping my leg up over the side and climbing down out of the crib and jumping into my parent's bed on my Mom's side.  


3. What is your most favourite alcoholic drink of all time (if you had to chose just one)?

My favorite alcoholic drink of all time would be Gin and Tonic with fresh lime.  It's my drink of choice right now, so that's probably a big part of the influence but I really think I would have drank this since I was 19 if I had trying it back in the day.



4. What do you think the best television series you've ever seen is?

The best television series ever, in my opinion is Three's Company.  I love the timeless humor in the show, I love the characters and the comedic timing.  It's a show I watched when I was very young getting ready for supper and it's a show I can still pop into the DVD player and get completely lost in.  I don't think there is an episode that doesn't make me laugh out loud.


5. What do you like the best about where you live? (I've copied this one, but I like it :)
What I like best about Halifax, Nova Scotia... hmm.  I think I love most that I feel like I belong in this city.  It's where I was born and essentially raised.  I know all the ins and outs of the city.  In fact today, after running errands, I grabbed my book and found a spot in the grass on the side of Citedal Hill and read my book in the sun along with the other hippies from the city.  I love that I'm close to the ocean and can smell the salt water in the air on a foggy day.  I love that my city has so much history and so many Canadians can trace their families to our port city.