Tuesday, February 28, 2006

So here's the advice on my Starbucks cup:

The Way I See It #63

Our lives are inspired by the dreams we have from the earliest stages of our youth. When you combine passion and hard work, then success is always possible. While no road is ever straight, dedication and persistence will always lead you to your dream. -- Arte Moreno, Businessman

Not only a wonderful break from the psychosis of #53 and a gentle prod after the hell that was February 2006, but some badly needed wind in my hair after Physical Inventory. Inspiration, passion, hard work, a navigable crooked road. Beautiful, predictable, philosophical yet cathartic. We are gods and godesses, all. Let's go out and achieve!

After a good night's sleep. Yawn.

Monday, February 27, 2006


Aunt Flo fired her bullets but has once again left with her tail between her legs, meaning I can no longer ignore the need for Physical Inventory.

What is Physical Inventory, you ask? I'll tell you. It is standing in front of the mirror wearing just your birthday suit, solely to shitpick yourself from top to bottom, or bottom to top. Constructively! Always constructively. Don't just call yourself a cow and bawl, make sure to recognize the goods for what they are as well as the bads, and what needs to be done for the better.

So there I am, buck naked in front of my mirror (apologies to those who have recently seen me, clothed of course, and do not wish to imagine me any other way), and I have two general conclusions. The good news is, I have improved. The not so good news is, I have a lot more improving to do.

After general conclusions come specifics. Here goes.

At the bottom are my feet. Duh. They are large. Not freakishly so, but large enough that I cringe when asked my shoe size. In fact I'd rather tell you my weight, age and passport number instead of my shoe size.I have hated my feet for years and will continue to hate them for the rest of my life, but I do accept that it's not possible for a tall girl to have small feet. Really, I wouldn't be able to walk. I've also noted that I take better care of my feet in the summer then I do in the winter (sandal season), so note to self: if you're not going to get a pedicure anytime soon, pull out the foot file, shea butter and moisture socks.

My ankles. They are decent. They are also out of proportion from the infamous sprains of 2005 (see archives), but I have hope that summertime-ish, they will match once again.

Calves. Thanks Dad, for my well-built calves. I hate running and will have no love for it, ever, but my calves look like I've run several Boston marathons. They are quite shapely, if I can say so, and will look fantastic once I reach the ideal me, minimal exercise required.

Bypass knees, complete with second grade scars, and we reach my thighs. Ding ding ding! The Problem-O-Meter is on red! Now here is my second-most source of bodily embarassment, because this is where most of the weight goes. Not cottage-cheesy or dimpled in excess but man, we need work. Solution: target exercises, good eating, and it wouldn't hurt to loofah and try a celullite cream or two.

Butt, ahem, posterior, a.k.a. the bane of my existence. J-Lo ain't got nothin' on me. When I rake on pounds, my ass is where they first situate, and when I lose, it is where they are the last to leave. Because of this I lose weight trash-compactor style, meaning that it starts on my face and calves, and works down to my middle. For awhile I'll be completely off balance because my rear end is a size or two bigger than the rest of me. Go, glamour! Butt solutions: same as above. Target exercises, good eating, and move the loofah and creams north for maximum backside benefits.

Stomach. Up until a couple of years ago, I always had a flat stomach. Grant it I've never had a six-pack, but no matter how big the rest of me got, crazy weight never lived there. Enter The Pill and her buddies, 12lbs, and spare tire. I hated that tire. It wasn't a big one, but fuck, if I'm going to have an ass and thighs why the hell should I have the gut to match? On the bright side, when I said before that I'd improved, it was mostly in that area. The tire is now a junior hula hoop, and I'm confident it'll soon be gone. Solution in progress, keep doing what I'm doing and to speed things up, get Ab Fab, baby.

My chest. Sigh. I love my boobs. In my world they are perfect, a gracious B that makes lacy bras fabulous and fills out low cut tops oh so swimmingly. They don't get better than this. The bad news is, they're not here to stay. The last time I lost copious pounds I lost my chest too, demoting my breasts from lingerie model, to pre-teen gymnast. My gorgeous B's, beautiful, bouncy, bounteous, went down to, horror of horrors, an A. As in Amateur. Asinine. Acorns. I know that this is unavoidable and will happen again, but I'm not about to go down without a fight. Solution: the Miracle Bra. They don't call it "Miracle" for nothing, you know.

My arms match the rest of me: long, once lean, now a little out of shape. See above solutions. My neck is average, not short or long, and leads right to my face. Lately, she's looking a little tired, but that's nothing some sleep and meditation can't fix.

I like my face. Not to sound vain, but I think it suits me just fine. I have great lips (so I've been told), big green eyes on sunny days, and eyelashes to kill for (so I've been told). My waxer has said that of the thousands of eyebrows she's worked on, mine are the gorgeous-est (hey, I was told that too), and I've never worn braces because I have nice, straight teeth.

To end the Pretty Me party, I'm not too insane on my nose, but I think being slightly crooked gives it character. I have Oli and her right hook to thank for that, not to mention hundreds of sparring matches from the Taekwon-do lessons of our youth. And thanks again, Dad, for my right ear sticking out a tad more than my left, in the exact same way that yours do. When I was a kid I thought it kind of freaky, but now I don't mind so much.

My skin matches the rest of me. It's decent, but not radiant and glowing. Solution is definitely better eating, and some outside help never hurt either: face masks, a great cleanser and moisturizers, day and night. It will glow again.

And finally, on top of my head is my hair. Bushy and unmanageable when I was young, now my dark brown, sometimes black crowning glory of long curls. Gathered up and pinned back to not draw attention to my face, and the bone structure that's just a little hidden right now.

My hair wants to be free again. So do I. Solution: everything else. Inspire yourself from the inventory, and get to work.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him.
I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him.
I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him.
I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him.
I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him.
I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him. I will not call him.

Can you please explain to me why, if I was so miserable and this is all for the best, I'm constantly fighting an urge to pick up the phone?
Understand that I'm not generalizing on churches here. Oli can get married in any church she wants, just not THAT church. It's near the historic district and at first glance, looked nice enough. For a couple of seconds. Things quickly went awry when we noticed dozens of pews parked *outside* the church, next to a gazebo with a hole in the roof. The kind of hole made by a body falling through it, all kept nice and safe by a padlocked gate that looked as if it'd been rammed by a semi. This should have been enough warning for us to run, not walk, but Oli wanted to see the inside too.

Four words: Carrie White Lives Here. Think decrepit Methodist shambles for Ozzy Osbourne to perform a demonic bloodletting on goats, all crowned by a disco ball with half the mirror chips missing. Really, all it needed was the cult priest from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" ripping hearts out of slaves and screaming "Kali MAAA!!!"

I did not like it there one bit. It made my skin crawl. This wasn't a place to get married, it was a place for covens and sacrifice. What I liked even less was the hacking, animalistic cough that someone or something was doing downstairs, which Oli took as a sign to start yelling "Hello!" and walk very loudly towards the source. I, however, careened for the door. It was a full moon outside, and obviously the werewolf was resuming his natural form. Why couldn't she see this? So I went back for my sister, dug my nails into her arm and hissed, "OLI WE HAVE TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW."

Oli thought this was just the funniest thing and even wanted to go upstairs to have a look. Wonderful. Give the werewolf a head start. And what was upstairs, you ask? Destruction. Carnage. Rats. Okay, no rats, but they wouldn't have been out of place. Maybe the werewolf had killed them all.

What I wanted to do was kill Oli because she would not stop yelling "Hello!" and clomping around ungratefully in those high-heeled boots. Here I was trying to save us and she was attracting the basement beast. At this point I had no problems running my ass out of there and abandoning my sister to the dark desires of the Church, and was going to tell her so, when I smelled something.

"Oli, do you smell burnt toast?"

She took a good sniff. "Yeah. That's weird. Did you ever get around to seeing that movie 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose'?"

Who was she kidding? You don't watch religious horror films after 11 years of Catholic schooling. "No, I was too chicken. Why?"

"Before bad things happened to Emily Rose, she would smell burnt toast."

This was where I snapped. I'm not pretty when I snap. I grabbed Oli by the ear and dragged her through the room, out the doors, down the stairs and threw her in the car. Amen, Praise the Lord, Hallelujah, there would be no ritual killings today.

Before experiencing the Church I thought Wedding Planners were in such high demand because of people, like me, who have the patience span of a gerbil. This is also why they get away with charging so much, for creatures such as myself who would rather be having spa day, then planning the perfect day. I may be a collossal failure as a woman, but let me ask you what sounds more appealing: digging through 263 china patterns with your mother, or a gorgeous Eurasian stud covering you in oil and triggering pressure points? Yeah, that's what I thought.

But now, ladies and gentleman, I know the truth. Wedding planners are in vogue and more costly than aged wine, because they know how to avoid the fatality and bloodbath that is the dark underbelly of matrimony.
Weddings are expensive business. They are also a pain in the ass. I always knew this, but I have a whole new level of appreciation and disgust for the matrimonial road since my sister has been quicksanded in Bridal Everything. Still not official, and would you two get on it already?? The dress has been ordered, planner is on alert, guest list completed and centrepieces chosen. Okay, I was understanding for the first while because the ring is being custom made and isn't done just yet, but ever since you found out the stone is being flown in from India (aren't we special) and will take longer than planned, couldn't you just pop something out of a vending machine to wear for now?

Breathe. Count to ten. Not a bitter sister, not a bitter sister, not a bitter sister. Nah I'm not bitter, Oli has waited for a long time and deserves her happiness. It's just gotten to the point where when she comes home sticking her hand out, radiant in engagement bliss, we'll all just smile quietly and say, "That's nice, dear." No bombs here, cause the element of surprise is kinda sorta gone.

Oli and me have never had "The Dream" of a perfect wedding, but we always knew that we would be each others' Maids of Honour. First mate, second in command, second most glorious girl of the day. Sure wish I'd thought, at the age of six, about how much work it was going to be. Me, Ms. Maid of Honour, honourable maid to the bride, have to go everywhere and do everything with Oli. I'm getting a bit tired. It was all going to be so easy since they'd chosen their venue on the spot - a charming Inn about 30 kilometres away. A week later it was a charming Inn about 20 kilometres away. The week after that, a gorgeous old manor on the lake. Another week an art gallery, then a coffee house in the historic district, another art gallery in the historic district, a fermenting cellar in the historic district and currently, historic brewery in different historic district.

Umm, a brewery? This is the one place I haven't seen yet, so I'll just have to take her word for it. One place she definitely will not be getting married though, not if I have any say in it, is the Church.
Only freaks go to the Self-Help section. Of the few sure things in life, this is one of them. Have you ever seen that "Sex and the City" episode where Charlotte wants to get that book on second chances in love (or something like that) and decides to brave the Self-Help section of the bookstore? Yeah, it's not pretty. Someone is always crying, someone always has bad roots bedhead, and someone in sunglasses is always lurking around the Dr. Phil section to snare a copy of "Self Matters" when they think no one is watching.

Misunderstanding tantrum time! Why THE HELL do they call it Self-Help? Those in marketing should know this only pushes our buttons of denial and self-loathing to the extent that we feel more worthless for even being seen near the part of the bookstore that screams, "I can't afford a shrink but I can afford what they write." It might as well be the Wailing & Whining section, or the Pathetic section for all they care. We go to Self-Help either because we can't get or don't want professional therapy, and because we don't want the whole freakin' world to know that we want help to begin with.

I think Well Being section sounds so much nicer. I also think that the Inside & Out, Reach for the Stars and Yellow Brick Road sections are very pretty too. Or how about the If You Read It, It will Come to You section? That makes me feel a little more positive and fuzzy inside, and like less of a moron for frequenting the "I'm screwed and damned" corner a couple of nights back. Yes my darlings, I was in the Self-Help section, or as you may now refer to me, Helloooo Loser! I wasn't crying, in sunglasses or in danger of bedhead, but a couple of gray hairs have come through meaning that I definitely fit into the "bad roots" category. Fuck it.

I was feeling sucky and wanted to buy a handful of "How to get over your Breakup" books, since I take huge comfort in the written word, but leafing through most of what was available I found them badly, seriously lacking. It seemed like half those books were about becoming the independent, man-twisting siren that will have your ex drooling and on his knees. Well, I don't want to concentrate on him right now, I want to concentrate on me. That's most, if not all of the reason that I feel the way that I do, and why I'm Helloooo Loser and in the Self-Help section to begin with! The selection's other half was all about hand holding and positive affirmations that will yank you out of the metaphorical cookie dough vat in 30 days instead 31. No thanks. I may feel sucky at times, but I don't need to read all about the Little Engine that Could every fucking morning to get me out of bed.

So I found one doomed relationships book that looked pretty good and seemed to tap into my heart: "It's Called a Breakup because it's Broken". Straightforward and to the point. If anything can bitch me into shape, maybe it will be this.

Then out of the blue, the strangest thing happened. I wasn't intending on buying anything else but suddenly, mystically, luckily, everything seemed to inspire me. I might have ended up with a *teensy* bit more than I expected:

The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life
French Women Don't get Fat
The Quest for Peace, Love and the 24' Waistline
You can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls
How to be Happy, Dammit: a Cynic's Guide to Spiritual Happiness

Wallet dumbells, or, I'm so Positive I'm Glowing now. With bankruptcy. Albeit I could have afforded an hour or two of Psychiatrist time with that book bill, but do I really need to hear a powersuit in an Eames chair asking, "How do you FEEL about that?" Nuh uh.

I'm just a hokey l'il loser, but I have all the hope in the world. I'm looking forward to digging in, and this journey is looking just a bit more bearable now. So let me hop along and read something.

(Oh and by the way, a massive power outage hit the bookstore while I was in the Self-Help section. Twice. A bit freaky for the freak, no?)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Men and the Boys

Dad, you are a great father and you were always there for me. Even during the tough times, and there were many, you always put your girls before yourself. We never grew up in want of anything.

But you weren't a great husband, Dad. You never hit Mom and you weren't a user or a drunk, but there are other ways to destroy a person. And all those small times you destroyed her, she took it out on us.

I can't go too deep not only because you don't know I'm writing this, but because you never agreed to share your story with anyone. This is strictly mine. But I will say that the first lessons I learned about the relationship between a man and a woman were about control, anger, fear, barriers, mistrust and disrespect.

I look at my life now and the men that have been a part of it, the men that I've truly claimed to love that is, and the pattern plays itself out over and over again. I please and I please and I please until I forget myself, and all that's left is an empty shell. I know you would want better for your daughter, Dad.

It's been a long time. I'm a big girl now and have made my peace with you, even if I've never said it. I know you tried, and I know you're just a man. But if I had to do it all over again and was given a choice, I would rather have been in a happier home with only one of my parents, than in a problematic house with both. Maybe that way I could have learned to sometimes put myself first.

I'm sorry.

Clearly, this "getting over it" thing is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I've never done this before. I've had boyfriends and I've done lots of dumping, but I'd never been with anyone longer than a year until I met Jess, and I'd definitely never lived with anyone. Boyfriend/sex roomie, that is.

My heart isn't in the best of places. Dangling over a suspension bridge and being picked apart by giant, flesh-eating birds, really, but if I want to tackle that part on my list about achieving emotional and romantic peace, if there is such a thing, I'm going to have to do better than this.

In one letter I wrote to Jess, I said that I loved him more than anything. I do, but that's not what's bothering me. What's got me ticked is when I wrote that, I actually had to stop myself from also putting down, "I'll do anything to make it better."

What the hell is that? That's not me. That's slush, melted ice cream and stepped-on sidewalk poo, but it's not me. It's not the girl I was when we met, and it's definitely not the girl I want to be. If anything is going to change, if there is any purpose to writing this down at all, I have to dig as deeply into my heart and head, as I will into my thighs & butt.

My life with men, my lives with men, evaluated and exhausted one by one. Open old wounds and make them fresh, or just maybe look at them from the eyes of an adult instead of a child. For once.

I really don't want to do this. But I really do want to be better.

Let's begin with the first and most important man of all.
Dear Jess,

It's been a week since we've spoken and so far, getting over you is the hardest thing I've ever done. We had more than our share of bad, but we had a lot of good too, especially in the beginning. My head feels like it's being crushed in a vice and I wish more than anything that this heartache will stop.

If it's meant to be, it will be; that is my comfort. So is the meteor in space that just might hit you and shake your brain around a bit, so that everything between us will be okay again.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Last night there was a United Nations summit in our living room, starring Tony Blair (Oli), Queen Beatrix (Moms), and Pope Benedict (Dad), definitely united against my going to the Middle East.

Her Majesty Queen Beatrix feels it's not 100% safe for her subject to venture off to parts of the world where her other subjects dare not go. Prime Minister Blair makes the adamant case (insert fist on table) of the citizen possibly being "seduced" and "brainwashed" by foreign cultures, while the Pope keeps referring to religious warfare.

Needless to say, even though Jordan is most definitely out of the limelight, the situation is not helped by suicide bombings and uproar over Mohammed cartoons. I understand they are my family and concerned for my safety, but the only fears I have are from their asking, "Aren't you scared? Aren't you scared?" every five seconds to the point where I *am* scared because I'm forced to rethink my thinking all the time!

I would like them to understand the wildness in my heart. I want to experience something new, something delicious and refreshing that I've never seen before, away from what I'm used to and after this last week, away from the pain in my soul. I want an adventure with sun and spices, and I really can't wait to sink my feet into the desert sand.

This is my main justification, followed by two more: first, if I was a hard core journalist, I would practically be living in places far more dangerous. And second... that's one reason I'm not ready to let go of, just yet. Be a little patient with me though, and I promise it will come.

Me: So what's on the agenda today, munchkins?

Raj: Today is your day, honey. You are broken hearted and we must ease that with coffee and chocolate.

Me: My favourite drugs. After you two, of course.

James: (snorts)

Me: Do you think I'll meet a nice man someday?

Raj: Yes darling, you'll meet a wonderful man who appreciates you and loves you very much.


(car swerves)

Me: Darling don't take this the wrong way but I thought we agreed that next time James would drive.

James: Yeah, I thought we agreed that next time James would drive.

Raj: Darlings we all know I'm the better driver. And considering I grew up in a different part of the world I think I'm doing very well.

James: Yes we forgot you lived in a tent in the desert before this. You sold your camel to rent this car for the month. WATCH OUT.

(car swerves)

Me: (rubbing my head) When I get a car in a few months I'm the official driver for us three.

Raj: Honey, how do you expect James to fit in a Mini Cooper?

James: (snorts)
I had a dream last night that I was trying on sexy, strappy sandals in a well-lit, impossibly shiny store. Lo and behold I found a gorgeous pair that fit me (an impossibility in my daily life since I have huge feet) and flattered my legs to the tee. Joyful and ecstatic, I whipped out the plastic with flair, and sashayed my way to the cash.

This is the part where the dream became a nightmare, because Billy the simian stockboy had by then thrown every single shoe in the entire store into a gigantic pile on the floor. Mine included.

Apparently when I'm asleep I still know how hard it is to find sexy sandals (which is shitty because I should at least be able to have smaller feet in my subconscious), and went berserk. With employees la-dee-da ing and picking their noses, by dream's end I was frantically elbows up in a mountain of shoes, throwing them in every which direction, trying to locate the pair that I wanted.

Clearly, we have conflict. Let's get a second opinion.

Sigmund Freud: "This dream is an acute example of childhood sexual trauma. The shoes are rape, Billy the simian stockboy is the rapist, and the despair with the shoe mountain is frustration, anger and helplesness."

Nope. Moving along.

Carl Gustav Jung: "Our daily lives manifest themselves as symbolis in dreams. The shoes are symbolic of something you want that was taken away, and that is what you are desperately trying to get back."

Better. The shoes are something I want. The shoes are something that is in reach, but I don't own. I found what I wanted, tried it on and admired the perfect fit. I stupidly trusted others to ring it through, but instead all was lost. Now I'm elbows up trying to find what I want, panicking that I will never see it again.

Makes so much sense it's scary. I found my dream, I lost my dream, I'm frantically whipping around other dreams in the form of shoes, spotlight on me, while others wander around completely oblivious to my misfortune.

But really, I needn't worry so much. I'm already in the store, I've tried them on and they fit. No one has stolen anything; they were just temporarily misplaced. If I stick to my guns and keep digging, I'll get to the bottom of the pile. I will find my shoes, get back to the cash, and then take them home.

And really, I needn't over-analyze all the time either. It could just be that the spring collections are out, and I'm really overdue for sexy sandals.
Okay, enough dwelling, sulking and pouting. The general suck-fest is over, and it's time for Inventory.

Inventory is analyzing myself, physically and emotionally, shitpicking apart everything that needs to be changed, and putting together a plan to make it better. How can I be happy if I'm not happy with myself?

Being all gung ho about the matter is really nice and I'd normally get *right to it* if only Aunt Flo hadn't set up base camp this morning. The bitch is firing her cannons at my abdomen and laughing hysterically at my waistline, which never fails to expand once a month, vowing her revenge for my succesful victory just a few weeks back. What can I say, we have no love for each other, and it's a vicious cycle. At the very least, it's an excuse to get high on Ibuprofen and laze on the couch for an extra couple of days.

Fashion Fat Tip #5: Comfortably tight lycra undies for that time of the month are a must, both for fashion and function. If you haven't figured this out yet, you are either pre-teen, male, or just clueless.

Fat Sanity Tip #1: For heaven's sake woman, never weigh yourself during your period. If you're a water sucker like me you'll just be six to nine pounds heavier for no reason, which will lead to a depressing cry and a piece of chocolate (or the entire cheesecake). Hide the scale, wait it out and most importantly, sweat it off before welcoming the numbers drama back into your life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

No, I don't want him back. I don't want to sweat and starve back to my old model self and parade around him, all tempting and sexy.

I don't want revenge, either. It sounds great, I won't lie, but at the end of the day I'll still have myself to deal with.

I want Me back. When Jess and I met, I was a star. Not Hollywood star, but bright on the path of the life I'd chosen. I was in Journalism school and was going to travel the world. From thousands of applicants for an Eastern Europe internship program, I was among the few chosen. I was a size seven. I made my way down the street with confidence and pride, head a-curly, facing the world straight in the eye. Heads turned when I walked. I loved life, and I loved myself.

What am I now? The girl with the hair tied back, trudging off to a dead end job, eyes on the sidewalk, scared to sprain her ankle again. The girl who is a size 13, avoids mirrors and disappears into the crowd. The sacrificial lamb in the relationship from hell. I may have said the parting "I'm breaking up with you," but I let him hammer me into that, over and over again, for years. I let him bully me and treat me like shit, until I was backed into a corner and had to force myself to crawl out.

It's not easy to admit you've become a doormat. It's not what I set out to be, and it's not what I want to be. But if a doormat spends its life sitting on its ass, the only direction it can look is up, right?

I may have crawled out, but at least I got out. I'll just have to take that as a first step. The rest, I'm hoping, will come to me.

If an infant can pick itself up one day and walk, I can too. It will take practice and falls and more disappointments when I really don't think I can handle anymore of them at all, but this is my life.

Baby girl, it's time.

The Breakup cont'd cont'd

I was doing fine. Everything was peachy. Valentine's day morning, I was the gold medalist of how freshly broken up people should act. I was happy, I was confident, I had goals to achieve and a smile on my face.

Then he started calling. And texting. Sending messages, cards and songs through e-mail. I love you, let's talk. We're in a relationship and have been through a lot. Don't be like this. You've never been anything but loving to me and I want to change my ways. I want to hear your voice. I want you to hear me out. I want I want I want.

I ignored his calls, texted back to leave me the hell alone, didn't respond to the e-mail. He didn't let up, so I asked Oli to fend him off. Maybe that was gutless, but by this point I'd been reduced to a crying, shivering mess. And just like when I was in kindergarten, OIi rose to the occasion with a tactful telling off, and hung up.

Enter the fatal mistake: signing onto messenger simply to ask him to respect my wishes, and leave me alone. He said he would - if I heard him out first.

I should've run like hell. But I wanted my few weeks to months of alone time, and so I listened. He was sorry for treating me in the way that he had. I was the best, in fact, he didn't know how someone like me ever fell for him to begin with. He'd thanked his lucky stars night after night to have me. Everything about me was wonderful, amazing, perfect. Except for one thing.

Physically, I don't appeal to him anymore.

Now it's time for him to work on himself. He wants to be a BETTER PERSON, see. If he was a better person he would stick around and help me find my way back, but he just can't do that. He wants me to be happy, though, and hopes I find what I'm looking for. Close off with "I'll never forget what you did for me and I hope we can be friends," I said goodbye, and now I have all the time in the world.

To wish I was dead.

It's a fine option. After all, what a fantastic way to close off a major chapter of my life. "You did everything for me and I really appreciate and love you, but while running ragged trying to provide and make me happy you wasted yourself and you're just not pretty anymore." Amazing. How can someone concentrate on being happy after hearing this, that even though you did your best and went to hell for it, you're still not good enough?

Up until five minutes ago, wishing I was dead seemed like a great thing to do. I was planning on going home, getting under the covers with lots of tissue and crying my poor little heart out. I'm not good enough, I can't be good enough, no one will ever think I'm good enough, and no one will ever want me. That every single time I meet someone new from now on, this mantra will be running through my head and my life will be ruined because of it.

But then I thought of an Option B, which is snapping me out of my zone and seems the far more appealing way to go.

Prove the bastard wrong.
It's amazing what anxiety, depression and rage can do for your body. Two days single, two days in zombie status and barely eating anything, and this morning saw me hunting for a belt.

Yes I know this is the wrong way to lose weight. It's not that this is how I want to do it, it's that if I put anything but water and the bare essentials in my mouth right now, I'll just throw it right back up.

I don't have an eating disorder, I know I'll eventually get over all of this, but right now my stomach is in knots. I just want to sleep.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Breakup cont'd

Six years come and gone. Six years of my life spent with the same man, trying to "make it all better." Six years ignoring the bullshit and hoping for a better tomorrow. Six years wasted.

Then there's Oli's way of looking at it, or as she told me, "Better six years than seven."

I am blessed with a wonderful family. I'm not tearing up now for the loss of a boyfriend, but for the way my parents, sister and friends really pulled together and became my comfort zone. I can be all Wonder Woman about it now, but the fact is that yesterday when it was still fresh, I crumbled, and needed help standing on my own two feet.

After working for ten hours and looking forward to some chill time, Oli made a U-turn on the highway when she picked up the tearful message from her kid sister. I wasn't intending to tell my parents until moms came downstairs and I was crying so hard I couldn't turn to face her. Dad, who has Parkinson's Disease and can barely walk on a good day, shuffled down to my basement so he could kiss me on the forehead, and let me lean up against him to sob for a little while. Corey, my future (still not official) brother-in-law sent me a text message that read, "Sorry about what has happened, but you deserve someone who will treat you with respect. Hang in there."

Bluetooth, my four-legged sunshine, licked all the tears from my cheeks and brought me his toy frog. Pinky sent me an e-card with a phoner date, and Janey stayed up to talk. Alfred congratulated me on the removal of my 195lb tumour and let me bitch all I wanted to, even though it was his birthday. Kahuna, my surfer friend who is going through his own personal relationship hell that make mine look like candy, listened to my ranting and declared me his honorary valentine. James baked me a batch of cookies shaped like broken hearts, and Raj consoled me in the way that only Raj can. "Don't worry, honey. Now you can fuck around in Jordan."

Moms said it was for the best, and I deserved better. Dad told me they were bloody lessons to learn, but I'd learned them and that things would be okay from now on. He reminded me that everyone was behind me all the way, and I would never have to worry.

Oli did what sisters do best. She listened, let me wallow, and built me up again. She didn't remind me of it but I knew we were both thinking of the same day, five years ago, when she walked into the apartment we shared with arms full of bags and engagement ring gone. She'd just broken up with her fiance, and was a mess too. I hugged her and didn't let it show how relieved I was, or that in my head was my own Munchkin Land theme, "Ding Dong the Prick is dead." Her ex-fiance had been such an ass, and I could never understand how she didn't see it, because it was all so clear to me.

How ironic. Someday I'll have to ask Oli what her song for me was.

So this is the Beginning. Six years of being an Us, and now I'm just Me again. It's an interesting picture. I will have my bad days, especially at first, where I'll just want to listen to sad music and cry, or not even get out of bed. Maybe I should start training Bluetooth to bring me kleenex.

I have wounds, but I also have knowledge. That, at least, is the prize coming out of this. And maybe once I get over all the hurt and anger that's already leaving me, I'll have more room for the one thought that's becoming bigger and better with each passing hour.

I'm free.

The Breakup

Dear Jess,

Do you love me?
Do you want to see me sometime soon?
Do you still consider me your girlfriend?

To you they were my issues and my neediness, what you never had time for and as you say, always pissed you off. To me they were questions you didn't have the balls to answer. I could feel you slipping away a long time ago, and I even knew there was someone else. I'm not an idiot.

My friends have been listening to my trauma since "the beginning of the end", and I finally know what they meant in telling me over and over that when the time came, I would know what to do. So when I sarcastically asked you if you'd gotten me anything for Valentine's day and your answer was, in all seriousness, "What the hell for?", I knew I'd had enough.

I suggested we be friends.You said we might as well be penpals now since WE have been drifting apart for a long time. Don't you dare pin that on me. I was always willing to try, and should never have to convince someone they love me. I'm better than that.

And then the insults began. You never needed me. You put up with so much of my shit. I was lousy in bed. I was so unattractive that jerking off gave you more pleasure. I'm so fat I cut off the blood circulation in your legs while you slept. I'll lose weight and then blow up again when I get a new boyfriend. After all, that's my "way."

I'm really sure you never needed me, especially when I was paying the rent. Funny, I never saw you over exert yourself to get a job. Yeah I fell apart and cried a lot, I'll admit that. Mostly after you started yelling your head off for no good reason.

Lousy in bed, tsk tsk. Not once did you lack for climax, while I cap off my orgasms, after five years of sleeping with you, at a baker's dozen. And that's being generous. I always found you sexy, especially those many times you were sitting at your computer, shirt off, plumber's butt, knotty hair greasy and stinking from not showering in three days, all four spare tires spilling out over your waistline while you sucked on your bong.
What a turn on.

I'm so fat I cut off the circulation in your legs? News flash bastard, a slice of bread resting on your shin could cut off circulation. That's what you get for having calves thinner than my wrists. I'd look into implants.

As for blowing up again when I get a new man, I don't think so, darling. See, he won't be you.

The prize of it all though, the crowning glory and icing on the cake was when you hinted you'd be "willing" to fuck me when I lost weight. Here's a movie quote pretty much summarizing my feelings on that: I don't fuck losers.

If I was younger, if this had happened at any other time, what you said would have just about killed me. But the more crap that came out of your mouth, the better I felt. Over and over in my head I kept hearing, this is why you're breaking up with him, this is why you don't need him, this is why you're better off.

I will miss some things, I won't lie. When you weren't being a dick you were great to pal around with. And I'll really miss your family. It was wonderful to have grandparents again, and teenage girl cousins to talk clothes and nailpolish.

But this is the way it is, and this is the way it has to be. Unfortunately we have some business agreements together and you'll have to be in my life a little longer, but I highly doubt that will go beyond some brief chats. And when all is said and done, when accounts have been settled and laid to rest, I will disappear from your life forever.

Part of me wants to think that you'll miss me, you'll never find a girl as good as me, you'll realize what you had and lost. Maybe you will, maybe you won't. I'm not going to dwell on that anymore. There are more important things for me to think about now, and you're just not on that list.

Goodbye, Jess. And after everything you said to me yesterday, good fucking riddance.

PS: For all three years we lived together, you were such an asshole when you smoked up I got into the habit of flushing your weed down the toilet a bit at a time. When we lived in Europe and you were trying to "grow your own," the plants didn't die from bad lighting, they died because I was watering them with sink cleaner. The seeds you've been saving went down the sewer, and remember that pipe you thought was lost? I threw it off the balcony. Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Well, it's official. I'm single.

This has been a long time coming, and in the end will be for the best.

Still, I don't feel like talking right now.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I need to drink more Green Tea. While I still need black to mule kick me awake in the morning, the "dietary benefits of green tea for responsible, healthy individuals" are hard to ignore.

Green Tea is full of antioxidants. It's good for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, impaired immune function and cardiovascular disease. And studies have also shown that "green tea extracts are capable of reducing fat digestion by inhibiting digestive enzymes. Others have shown thermogenic properties of green tea (probably brought on by the interaction between its caffeine content, and catechin polyphenols). Thermogenesis is the process of the body burning fuel (fat) without making chemical energy (the calories are released as heat)."

Scientific diarrhea. Point made though, there's just so much great stuff in a little cup of green that not drinking it will make my life suck. If only it didn't taste like liquid hay. It makes me a lot more active in all the wrong ways too, or to paraphrase Robin Williams as the immortal Mrs. Doubtfire after s/he downed a few too many scotches: "I had to piss like a racehorse."

Alrighty then. Black tea every morning to wake up, green tea every night to purify, cleanse, and not panic because there's always a bathroom nearby. Ohm. I feel better already.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

How do you follow up being bad? Being worse.

I was bad two days in a row and darlings, I loved it. First the coffee and yesterday, a Russian diner in the middle of nowhere with my Queens.

Coles Notes version: Raj & James bought a house, needs work, contractors acquired, James chef, professional kitchen equipment necessary, dealers/stores not in the city, rented a car, picked me up and out we went into the wild blue yonder.

Raj doesn't let James drive. He says it's because James is a bad driver. I took his word for it until Raj ignored our directions ten thousand times and we ended up taking the long way. The really really long way. As in what should have been a 15 minute drive took three hours. And then we got lost. Really really lost. It was a bad film made worse when we started getting hungry.


James: "So where do you want to eat?"

Raj: "I don't care, wherever you want."

James: "Let's have shawarma"

Raj: "Ick honey no, I had shawarma yesterday."

Me: "But we didn't have shawarma yesterday."

James: "Yeah, we didn't have shawarma yesterday."

Raj: (dramatic fluttering of hands) "Oh for fuck's sakes we'll have whatever you want, I just don't want shawarma!"


James: "Hey look, there's Wimpy's Burgers. I could really use a burger right now."

Raj: "Ick honey no, I dont want to go to Wimpy's."

James: "What's wrong with Wimpy's?"

Raj: I had a birthday party there when I was a kid. It was terrible and I get nightmares from it."

Me: "They have Wimpy's in the Middle East?"

James: "Get over it, let's have a burger."

Raj: "I don't fucking want Wimpy's!"

Me: "You're such a liar, they don't have Wimpy's in the Middle East."

Raj: (squealing) "They do they do and I am NOT going to Wimpy's or I'll just DIE."

Me: "You're lying and you are so not going to die!"

James: "Sure he will, he's already threatened to die 12 times today."


Me: "Hey! A tacky Russian Diner! And it's called Russian Diner! Let's go!"

Raj: "Ick honey no, I'm not going to the Russian Diner. It looks dirty."

James: "But we want to go to the Russian Diner!"

Raj: "NO!"

Me: (wrapping my hands around Raj's neck from the backseat) "Alright look bitch, you have a choice. Taste of Israel is up ahead..."

James: "...or you can U-turn back to the Russian Diner..."

Me: "...or we strangle you."

Russian Diner it was. Sure Raj sulked and shitpicked, but he got over it. And you know, I didn't feel guilty. I've been good, and I've never been to a Russian Diner, much less one in the middle of nowehere amidst trauma and threats of strangulation. It was every bit as cheesy as I thought it would be, too: gold walls, a disco ball, fat women with blue hair, head cheese, perogies, borscht, potato salad and lox decorated with black olives from the jar.

Sure my glass had lipstick marks on it from the last person that'd used it, and it took the waitress a half-hour to explain everything to us in broken English, but we still had a fabulous time.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It is early in the morning, and I am at work without my cup of drugs. Go figure there's some kind of major gas leak in the subway pipes which slowed down service to a snail's pace, making me so late I had to bypass tea altogether.

As a direct result I am pale, grumpy and fighting with the last inch of my soul to keep my eyes open. No matter how badly I want to nap, and let me tell you the urge is *really bad*, I don't think it would reflect well on my job performance if I was caught resting my head on the desk. Even for just a sec.

Kinsmen, I caved, and spent the better part of my break standing in line for a Tim Horton's double double. For those of you without that knowledge, that's a big ole COFFEE full of SUGAR and CREAM, the wickedly wicked evils of life I have set out to avoid!

Lecture me, scold me, laugh at me and beat me. I'm so tired I don't fucking care. I have all day tomorrow to ponder the errors of my ways, but for now I just want to sit back and wait for The Power that is caffeine to tingle my fingers and rejuvenate the pathetic, fatigued mess that is my body. Booyah.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Dear Jess,

I love you more than anything.
Dear Jess,

You're taps, baby. Hot and cold. When you're good, you're so so good. But when you're bad, you're awful.

Why can't it just be warm?
Dear Jess,

I can't stand you. Every time you yell, every time you overreact, insult me, degrade me and push me away, I want to scream and shake you. What are you doing? Can't you see all we've been through, and can't you see what you mean to me?

I have stood by you and I have stood by you and I was there every single time you needed me. No matter how hard it was and the sacrificing that needed to be done, I did it. And I'm proud of that.

Whenever I need you, I'm in the way. Not now. You don't have time for this. You're not sure if you want a girlfriend at all.

It's hard to love someone when the only person you love is yourself. I guess the bottom line is that

Comfort food's a kicker. You eat it for those fuzzy & warm familiar feelings, but most of the time comfort foods of choice aren't all that good for you.

My comfort foods have changed over the years. When I was a kid it was junk food. Chips, chocolate, a trick-or-treat bagful of halloween bliss. We weren't allowed junk food for years, so whenever I got some, you'd better believe I enjoyed it.

Towards the end of grade school, that morphed into smoothies. Mostly bananas with milk all blended up, and some strawberries if they were in season. In the early days of high school came the revolution that was microwave popcorn, so that was my better. University, cereal, especially Corn Pops. I'd get the econo pack from Price Club and it would last me a week at three meals per day.

After graduation and during my internship in Europe, cheese. The French grocery giant Carrefour had a deli counter bordering on the galactic, importing all the best stuff that in North America would either be illegal, or cost an arm and a leg. Heaven.

Last year, yogurt. Thick, plain Balkan-style yogurt with some crushed walnuts and Egyptian honey on top. For further comfort I kept telling myself those are "good" fats, and it made my skin look fantastic.

Nowadays it's caramelized onions. And no, that's not onions and caramel together. I first made them a couple of years ago and was amazed at how easy it was. After all, there are only five ingredients: onions, oil, salt, heat and a pan. I was even more amazed when a couple of weeks ago I was coming home from work, listening to my stomach growl and thinking, I really want caramelized onions.

We've been in love ever since. I've been going through onions like mad, thankful for their healthy properties, and that I don't have to kiss anyone. And overall, feeling pretty damn cocky. I mean, my first comfort foods came from Hostess and Pez. This one comes from the earth.

So in honour of my bulb-based happiness and wanting to do better, I whipped up a little somethin' somethin' with caramelized onion, from scratch, and will be including it in my Cookbook.

But first, it's going out to all of you. As soon as I figure out how to put pictures up here.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I told Oli about my dream, and she reminded me that just a few hours before I'd gone to sleep that night I'd been madly plunging a toilet at Starbucks. It's not in my nature to clean up toilet mess in public but I was absolutely dying to pee, and go figure the yuppy bastard in front of me had used the entire roll and naturally, tried to flush away the evidence. When there is a line of people waiting to use the bathroom why would you not clean up after yourself?? In fact, why would you not clean up after yourself at all?? And the worst of it was that he'd used *so much* toilet paper the damn thing wouldn't unclog after a couple of tries. Fantastic way to spend an afternoon, hands on a plunger and one foot on the bowl, pelting out fuckers, motherfuckers, assholes and stupid dicks one after the other. I think stupid dick got the jist, and the earful, because by the time I'd gotten out, mad as hell, he was gone.

Signs be damned. I must learn to panic less. And Starbucks redeemed itself too, when I noticed that my grande paper tea cup had a different number, and a different saying:

The Way I See It #63

Our lives are inspired by the dreams we have from the earliest stages of our youth. When you combine passion and hard work, then success is always possible. While no road is ever straight, dedication and persistence will always lead you to your dreams.

That makes me feel a little less pressure about having #53 for two weeks running, and still being fuzzy on my unique donation to humankind. After all, the road will go where it goes.

It made me feel good about this whole thing, too. The road is never straight, but all the right elements are there and I'm positive I'll get to where I have to go.

That made me feel better.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I had the craziest dream last night. I was living with Raj and James, and they broke the john. Yeah, you got that right. In my dream I went to the bathroom only to find that James had seriously clogged the toilet and Raj, not knowing how to plunge, had stuffed a trunkload's worth of towels into the bowl.

My sister always tells me I have the most whacked out dreams, but I have this insane little notion it's a sign of things to come. In Jordan, I will be sharing an apartment with James. I adore the guy, but he's not exactly the neatest person on earth. And Raj, my powdery little princess, ain't all that adept at... repairs. I don't expect to have massive plumbing problems in the Middle East (hope it stays that way), but then what if something out of the ordinary happens and Raj, trying to fix it, just makes things worse?

Okay, plain English. Raj's parents don't know he's gay and he doesn't want them to know, but he does want his family to meet his fiancee. Even under disguises, which is the whole purpose of this trip. I am the token female that in their eyes, one of the boys is bound to end up with.

SURPRISE! I'm fucked! And being a total travel bug I am actually willing to put myself in line of fire to go where no one has gone before! Okay, where I've never gone before, that "no one" thing just sounded good.

Two tension filled vacation weeks in a desert city trying to convince a muslim family that they are not looking at a pair of queens, and that I find them sexually appealing. I smell a challenge.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Jess and I have agreed to have an "Open Relationship." That means we're still together but since we live long distance, will now be sleeping with other people. To tide over our sexual needs, see. After all, sex and love can be two very different things.

This all came about last night after yet another disastrous talk. I told him I missed him, and he lost it cause "he can't do anything about it." He's confused and he needs to think about a lot of things, translation, "I'm not so sure I want to be with you."

I'd really love to smack him upside the head sometimes, just for being a jerk. Then I'd like to get my head checked, since I obviously do not speak Male. Our Christmas time together went relatively well and we got a lot of issues out on the table and when he left, I truly thought we'd reached some kind of new place. Honesty, appreciation, realization, and a little more growing up on both our parts. But then like always, he goes home, lives his life and gets mad at me for not being, looking or acting in the way that he wants. So I brought up the Open Relationship idea.

Surprised it was me? I am too. It's usually such a testosterone loaded option. I just started thinking, maybe it's unfair of me to expect total faithfulness when we're not going to be in the same time zone for awhile. We're young, and we have needs. It's just sex, not love. I am still his heart.

Part of me thinks I'm being totally modern and understanding, and is open to a new experience or two. The other part just wants to crawl under the bed and rot.

Why do I have no spine when it comes to this man? I am well educated, well spoken, and I travel the world. In my everyday life I'm known as the girl that doesn't take crap. I was nicknamed "Shooter" at a paper I used to be at, for constantly shooting off my mouth and my pen. I almost got arrested for telling off the manager of a movie theater. I have made a superintendent cry. I was a News Editor when I was twenty and believe me, I fired at will. I've eaten alligator, ostrich and sea urchin for the hell of it, and I emceed a wedding with a whip.

But he says or does just one small thing without the best of intentions, and I become an emotional wreck without even a penny's worth of common sense.

I keep thinking about this open relationship deal and telling myself over and over that if you love something set it free, bla bla. I know if we're meant to be together we'll see this through, but in the meantime, why does it have to hurt so much?