Warrior Wednesday – Lost Battles

rest-in-peaceToday is a sad day as many around the country and world mourn the loss of Gord Downie. I was never really into The Tragically Hip, so I can’t say much about that.

Besides, I’m still mourning someone I lost eight years ago to Leukemia.

Before I tell you more about that, I want to take a moment to say FUCK CANCER!!!

I was chatting with a friend earlier today about how much money goes into things like sex toy development and if we spent even half that much on a cure maybe we could stop talking about how shitty cancer is and people dying from it could become a rare event. His thought was that short of a sex toy that cures cancer, it’s unlikely to ever happen. He’s probably right.

red-dragonfly-2494570_1280Leslie was a friend I had in high school. We ended up in college together in the Social Service Worker program at Canadore College in 2000. Neither of us knew we were taking the same thing until we saw each other there along with another friend also named Leslie.

She loved dragonflies.

As we grew older, Leslie met a cousin of mine and she became part of my family.

She was one of the kindest humans I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, but not in that overly wholesome way. She was very real and that was one of the things I loved about her.

Her social work career took her to some rough places. She did some work up north on reserves helping kids stay away from things like huffing gasoline. She did work at a place with troubled teens who got physically violent at times as well, but she just shrugged that off and kept showing them she cared.

We didn’t see each other much in those years. Her schedule sucked when she was back in the same city as me.

When there finally was time, she had very little left. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She was damn determined to fight her hardest though. She kept a blog in those days to update people. We messaged a lot when she was in the hospital. Sometimes it was about things like white blood cell counts and others it was about happier topics.

Unfortunately, she had the worst kind of Leukemia one can get and it won.

I miss the times we had chatting at family barbecues and the days in school. We bought a lot of scratch tickets in those days just because we could.

I miss my friend.

I know people are sad about Gord Downie, but for me October 18th will always be the day I lost my friend.

R~

Warrior Wednesday – Crazy Busy Life

So, I definitely meant to post something yesterday. It didn’t happen. When I got up, I didn’t have anything to say. Later, when I did, I fell asleep. Between school and martial arts, I was exhausted. 
I’m glad I managed to make it to iaido yesterday. Swinging my sword about was exactly what I needed. It’s been a tough week. I learned a former member of my high school drama club, who became a sweet and beautiful woman, died suddenly due to a suspected Fentanyl overdose. And my s.o. and I decided to take a break for now. We’re both too busy to be there for each other at this time, so despite how we feel about each other, we’re just doing the friend thing for now. All of that sucks.

It looks like everything is in order for the seminar this weekend. I’m looking forward to training and hanging with iaido folks. I’m happy the weather is getting a little more seasonal. That’ll make training better. Some big things have happened in the iai world in Canada as one of our main sensei has decided to retire. This has meant changes to the grading panel and I don’t know what else yet, but it’s exciting. I need to decide if I’m going to challenge nidan rank again. If I do, I know I won’t do the seminar before it. It made me extra nervous and I want to go in feeling confident. 

 Class was tiring but also really fun yesterday. We grouped up as if in a writers room and came up with TV show ideas for our network. Once we found the idea the upper management liked, we had a ball coming up with storylines. I don’t know if we’ll be continuing that, but we wanted to actually write the show after. It was awkward at first trying to feel out the new group members, but it wasn’t too long before we found a rhythym and got things going. 

I have a meeting before school today, but the person I’m meeting seems to be running late…

Off to start my day.

Guid cheerio the nou,

R~

Symphonic Saturday – RIP Chester Bennington

rest-in-peaceI can’t begin to express how sad I am about the loss of Chester Bennington. Music helped me tremendously when I was going through my divorce and Numb was one of the songs that resonated with me the most.

I listened to it and sobbed. I listened to other songs and sobbed some more.

All I can hope is that he and Chris Cornell are up in heaven together giving everyone a great rock show.

We need to do something to stop this suicide epidemic. Suicide rates among men are higher than women around the world in most countries despite women being more susceptible to depression. We need to find out why. Are they Vitamin D deficient? Have they all suffered as much as Chester did as a child?

Bennington was a tortured soul much like Robin Williams. Yeah, I’m not over that one yet either. What happened to Bennington as a child, there’s no excuse for. I wonder if Chester could’ve gotten the help he needed if Chris hadn’t killed himself.

Linkin Park’s performance on Jimmy Kimmel says more than I can.

I care too.

R~

Merry Monday – Ghosts and Deadlines

rest-in-peaceOn Saturday, I awoke around 7:00 AM without an alarm. I went on Facebook and for some reason, my aunt showed up in my suggested friends list. This was strange to me as last year I had tried to find her and some of my other relatives online without any success. Three hours later, my brother texted me to let me know my aunt had passed away. It would simply be a strange occurrence, if this type of thing hadn’t happened to me on two other occasions. On those other occasions, before finding out that friend’s fathers had died, I saw someone that looked exactly like them in a public place. Before I could say hi, the strangers disappeared.

Yeah, I know what that sounds like.

One of my aunts is a registered clairvoyant. She’s helped police solve cases.

I know what that sounds like too.

I also know scientists say there’s no way ghosts can exist.

My grandma died in our house when I was 6. One day shortly after, I don’t know exactly how many days after, both my brother and I heard our grandma open the china cabinet to get a tea cup as she always had, so we both rushed to the kitchen. He was in the basement, and I upstairs. We didn’t see her, but it doesn’t change that two of us heard the same sound at the same time.

My personal experience tells me that there is stuff out there that science cannot yet explain. In fact, science will currently say that the existence of ghosts is impossible while also holding to a model that suggests the same amount of energy is always around. I’m fully aware that others have different experiences and I have no right to impose my own beliefs on them.

The rest of Saturday was split between crying and trying to distract myself. I couldn’t eat all of my supper because choking led to throwing up part of it. I was pretty scared and wondering if I was going to be done in by a piece of steak and some red wine. Later, I made a cookie and dropped half of it on the floor. I said screw it and picked up the wayward pieces of cookie and ate them anyway. Then, I watched TV because it was the safest course of action given how the rest of the day had played out.

What followed next was an editor letting me know that my proposal for an article was accepted. This was wonderful news despite having fewer days to write it because the email got lost somewhere in the cyber cosmos. I have much of it done, though the last two sections are difficult as they involve elements I’m not confident I’ve fully grasped myself, so who am I to be writing about such things. Ah, the imposter syndrome. What would any artist be without it?

At any rate, it’s close to finished. Going to sleep on it and see if anything comes to mind tomorrow.

I wasn’t looking forward to French today. I had hardly practiced during our week away, I was tired, and the whole reason I took French was because the last time I saw my aunt and that part of my family I could barely communicate with them. Now my aunt is gone and I guess part of me feels like what is the point of it now. Yes, I know I live in Ottawa and being able to speak French is a good thing for future jobs, but I felt like giving up today and that isn’t something I do. We get another break around the 13th. I’m hoping to catch up on the homework soon.

Anyway, I need sleep. Maybe everything will look a little bit better tomorrow.

Salut,
R~

Fortifying Friday – Rhyme or Reason

bringit

Is there any rhyme or reason to being laid off twice in the same year from two different companies? Is this just because it’s 2016 and it has been a challenging year for many? I’m still not over the loss of Alan Rickman. But many lost far more this year such as family members.

Most likely, it’s the economy and there’s nothing much to be done about it. As more and more automation happens, there will be less jobs available. This is why it’s so fabulous that PEI is piloting a basic income project. Basic income is the future. With it, we shouldn’t need many of the social programs that are currently in place. With it, people who are barely surviving now will be able to put time toward other things like helping solve bigger problems like cancer.

There’s a small chance there is some cosmic force directing me to where I’m meant to be and I’ll meet the love of my life and birds will sing and blah blah. Sure. It’s possible.

I have a few irons in the fire right now, so we’ll see what happens. I missed a call by a recruiter yesterday about a potential job match. I’ve applied to a part time job at the city. I’m poised at the ready to return to the job agency if needed. I’m also ready to reactivate my employment insurance claim if the phone is ever not busy.

Because the bad things of this year have been so well covered on social media, I think many of the good things have been overlooked. Here is a list of 99 Good Things that Happened in 2016.

Whatever comes next, I’ll keep on working toward my goals. Speaking of which, I have writing to do.

Ciao,
R~

Fortifying Friday – Tired

I’m tired of so many things of late. My phone gets updates that purport they will be improvements, yet swype is now not working properly. Amazingly, the Facebook app is working just fine. Usually it breaks with every update. But lately Facebook makes me sick. It is filled with people who lash out at others for having a different viewpoint than they do. One point lately has been on palm oil. Don’t buy the candy that has that in it. There’s never a thought that that candy bar might be one of the only options for someone with food sensitivities and a necessary gluten free diet. Also never a thought to those products perhaps being the only ones affordable for someone.

I’m tired of people who spend their days attacking people online in some sort of perceived social advocacy effort while they could instead be organizing with others to get real change to happen through parliamentary process. I feel like too many have chosen educating others on social issues as their method of involvement and not enough are taking real actions that make a difference in the lives of others. This may just be my perception. A person’s perception is their reality though. Quite often, this might be based more on feelings and past experience than factual data from a larger sampling. Still, I know several people who are on the ground level taking an active role in making a difference for homeless persons and for first nations youths, to name a few. Actions speak louder.

Scientifically, it’s illogical that I react to things that have chlorine in them because it’s everywhere. That doesn’t change the fact that I react to it.

Science doesn’t have the answer for everything. Many medical tests result in misdiagnosis. The blood test for gluten is one such test. They don’t know how much gluten needs to be in your system for it to show a positive result. As such, the biopsy is still the only way to confirm Celiac’s disease. The trouble now is that many doctors refuse to send patients to see the internist if the blood test is negative. The same medical testing issues exist for a wide range of conditions especially in the autoimmune arena.

In case it wasn’t clear, I’m saying that the answers aren’t always found in the data.

November is a hard month for me. Not only is it often raining and gloomy, but it marks a sad event in my life. It’s the fifth anniversary sometime this month. Why don’t I remember the actual date? I was too distraught to process it. I wrote a poem about it in hopes of it helping me heal. You can read it here.

This is another thing that they don’t really have an answer for. There must have been a “problem”. It’s an incredibly common occurrence. Not that it’s lack of rarity makes anyone who has experienced it feel any better.

I’m sorry this post probably seems like a mess. I’m feeling emotional today. Life is often a struggle for me and I feel this most in November. A year after that awful thing, my marriage ended. In November. See? Awful month. The saddest day of the year is in January though, so factually speaking, November is probably not awful for other people.

Like always, everything I have going on is this month. My martial arts grading happens two days before my French exam. NaNoWriMo is all month, but that is a nice escape from everything else.

Anyway, I have 20 hours of online French I need to get through.

Ciao,
R~

Sad News

A friend of the family passed away. He was found in his garage. Given that he was a man who liked to putter, it was probably the best place he could have chosen for his last moments.
It was on his riding lawnmower that I had my first driving lessons. A large red beast that my friend and I used to ride together, taking turns driving. 

That year, she and I got in trouble for letting some fish out of a cage in the pond nearby. Oops. We thought we were doing a good thing. The bait shop owner wasn’t happy.

Now, this man was a very nice man, but also very unlucky. One year, his dog ate his false teeth while he was sleeping. Another? He accidentally set his garage on fire. In the north, it’s not uncommon for us to have fun by shoveling our snow into a pile to jump into from a height. My brother and I did it often as kids with no problems. Well, this man was shoveling off his roof and now and again his shovel would follow the snow and he would jump down and retrieve it. One of the times he jumped down, he missed the snow pile. It is a 2-storey house. He didn’t immediately notice he had broken his leg and finished the shoveling. 

Most recently, he hadn’t been living really. He was hunched over, barely mobile, and in a lot of pain. 

Rest in peace, Ed.

R~