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.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Jeff Show

There is a movie that came out in the late 90s that is forever etched in my mind.  It's not a movie with an epic storyline or probably even won an award, but it will always stand out for me.  It's The Truman Show.  That movie where Jim Carrey's character, Truman Burbank's whole life has been created by studio executives in order to entertain the viewing audiences around the world.  And Truman has no idea that he's on this reality show and that everyone in his life is just a character.

I love this movie.  I had owned a copy, at least up until the last move, and it's one of the rare movies I could watch over and over.  I like how you can imagine network executives putting profit in front of some one's ability to have a real life, and how creative they are in keeping Truman from leaving this make believe world. 

But immediately when I watched this movie I wondered if there was a chance that I was actually watching a parody of my own life.  Could all of this I experience in life be somewhat fabricated for the world around me?  There have been times when I have looked around wondering if there are cameras all around me.  There are times when I am doing mundane chores like washing dishes, where I wonder if the director is queuing music and playing a flashback sequence, to give audiences a potential sneak peak into my thoughts. 

Part of me would like to think my life is a semi-scripted reality.  That certain things have happened to influence thoughts and experiences in a way that would be more entertaining and thought provoking to the millions of people sitting at home in front of their televisions right now.  And if it's true... someone please give me a sign.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Catch up

Holy crap... how long has it been since I last blogged.  I feel like it's been forever.  So I'll do a little explaining why it's been so long.

Work has gotten a little crazy.  A woman, who has worked for the company for years, was fired on a Monday at 5pm.  I don't know specifics but during a department meeting the following week one of the VPs took the time to discuss professional conduct and included things like... anything you do on your work computer is accessed by the company and we have every right to see everything you do on that computer.  It can ruin your career and embarrass you.  Think about what you do on your computer and whether you would want your boss to read it.  Would you be embarrassed?  I immediately thought about the time I spend on the Internet and having read over the years I know it's reasonable that one can lose a job over a blog.  And my adult rated webcam show might not go over so well either.  So paying for future tuition has changed my cam scenes from business setting to a dark damp basement.  Don't judge me.

And then there was a week long vacation I took.  A family vacation of sorts to visit my sister in Toronto.  Mom, William and I got a smoking deal on a flight, especially considering we left on the Saturday morning of a long weekend.  Well Annette lives in Georgetown, not Toronto.  It's really a tease to be that close to the city and not be able to enjoy it.  We spent a couple of days south of the border in Buffalo, NY shopping, and then took in the Toronto Zoo and Canada's Wonderland and then on Friday night I took an almost two hour bus ride into the city to get my party on.  I rented a room in an Inn, that was probably better described as a hostel and was below my standards, but seeing as I didn't get in until 5 am and was up and out of the room by 10 am it fit it's purpose.

I feel bad that my sister doesn't take better advantage of living where she does.  She's over worked and hasn't made any real friends to speak of, so I think she spends the majority of her limited free time alone.  If it was me I'd (a) be applying for a job with realistic hours, (b) find a circle of friends who have similar interest and (c) I would know TO like the back of my hand. 

One trait of my father's that I inherited was the ability to speak my mind, and not always as sensitively as I should.  We had a talk last summer around a camp fire where I questioned whether she was happy.  I didn't feel I did it in a mean way but more in a concerned brother's way but it upset her, and I hate to upset any woman in my life.  I just want her to be happy and if you're not happy and fulfilled living in the big city and if you miss your family and wish you didn't miss so much of your nephew's growth then move the hell home.  I could go on and on but I've probably already said more than I should.  Moral of my story... life is short at least try and make yourself happy!

And back to my distractions from blogging... I have also started a photography course at NSCAD which is eating up lots of my time (and I LOVE IT!!), I started a new fitness plan that had me lose 15 lbs in three weeks and has started to change my body in ways I'm very happy about, my son had grade primary orientation, started little league baseball and just this Thursday graduated from preschool.

So I've had a lot on my plate... most of it has been very positive but of course there are a few bumps with the divorce, trying to become debt free and the realization that my baby is going to big school and I probably won't ever have a child that young again. 

And now to get back into routine!