Monday, April 30, 2007

Eeep! Perhaps I should go into hiding?

So... poking around on facebook (honest, there's more to my life than that site, but at the moment it's the most entertaining/angstful elements, so it tends to be what I ramble about in my down time)... looking up people I used to know just to see who's on and who's not. And who do I stumble across? My old stalker.

What? Yes, boys and girls, that's right... stalker. This is someone who started out as an aquiaintance... developed a crush... and didn't have a firm enough grasp of reality to deal with "no, I'm really not interested in you like that". We're talking 25 phone calls per day (at least... the phone only recorded the past 25 calls)... appearances where he would not normally be... showing off a weapon collection (I kid you not... he thought this would impress me?!)... a 3 page written report to the campus cops (and yes, I can call them cops... at least at the time (I'm not sure if it's the case any more) they were actually a detachment of the local police force and had all the same authorities)... attempts at mediation that resulted in him being coddled and me being told I was over-reacting (this because the mediator was from the engineering faculty and one of his own couldn't possibly be that unbalanced toward women)... his own friends thinking he was going too far... and finally him being handcuffed and dragged out of class and told that if the campus cops heard from me one more time THEY'd press charges (I wouldn't even have to be involved because they had enough against him already)... and a criminal record would go poorly for him in his efforts to obtain a professional degree. And was he bright enough to leave well enough alone? No. He called my parents at their home to try to 'explain' to them.

I managed to dodge him for most of the remainder of our time sharing a campus (thankfully, not that long)... partly because I think his friends smacked him around enough to see that being within 100 metres of me was going to go badly for him. Obviously I was one of those physco chicks who'd scream at the drop of a hat (those of you who know me know that's not the case. I don't scare easy, but let me tell you, this boy scared me.)

For all that I've mostly moved on and used the experience to learn and support other people going through similar episodes (including myself for pseudo-stalker #2), I'll admit I had a brief flash of "Oh my god, I've got to go underground!". True, it's probably just a matter of time before someone makes the connection (because let's face it, bored people will inevitably look at who their friends are friends with... and inevitably somewhere along the line my circle and his circle will connect... six degrees of separation is a generous number), but my name's different now... and really, if I do that, then it's a point for the 'bad guys'... the ones who try to manipulate people (esp. women) by using fear tactics. No way, no how... not this chick. I may be insecure and shy (you can stop laughing now!), but I'm also one stubborn bitch and I really hate being made to cower in fear. So I won't do it. My profile is staying public (well, mostly), my picture is staying up, and I'll be friends with whoever I damn well please without thinking of how many people it would take to make the connection.

On to other topics...

I'm happy to say that my daffodils are finally blooming. Unfortunately, they're blooming in the middle of the lawn in the back yard because some mischevious squirrel (is the adjective really necessary?) decided to undertake some landscape redesign. Three clumps of daffodils, 7 clusters of tulips, and I think a couple of day-lillies are now on the list for relocation from the middle of the lawn to a flower bed somewhere. So much for "we're not going to do anything this year, just see what's where for now and go from there" *laugh*

Heading out to New Hamburg this weekend... hopefully going to hook up with a friend who's in Stratford who I haven't seen in far too long... possibly another in Breslau who should be blooming just about now (being slightly more than half-way through her pregnancy)... hopefully it'll be both a fun and relaxing weekend. Maybe we'll even get to take the cars out (the in-laws have a '57 Bel Aire and a '58 corvette... oh, sorry, didn't mean to drool there *laugh*).

Also on tap this week... one meeting which will delay my arrival home by rougly 80 minutes on a topic about which I am completely in the dark... one proposed post-work outing with one of our external vendors... they're talking pool-hall, so I'm pretty jazzed... one celebration of the launch of one of those projects that just seems to take over everything for months on end... possibly one lunch with a friend who is leaving her current job at the end of the week and I'm hoping will tell me all the details of why and where she's going *laugh*... ongoing work around the house on the yard and the koi "pond"... possibly the purchase of garden furniture... and if I'm really lucky, another lesson in manual transmission operation (I understand most of the theory, but haven't had much opportunity to apply the knowledge ;) ).

Should be an interesting one... albeit busy.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

World Shrinking and Invisibility

So... today is my 7th day on facebook... and I've already managed to connect two groups of people I "know". Ok, so technically I've connected a girl I haven't seen since grade 6 with one I've never actually met in person, but it's still a strange feeling after only a week on there!

Of course, truth be told, I actually connected two groups on my first or second day when I connected a girl I no longer talk to because she felt that I couldn't possibly be telling the truth, but someone who had no involvement in the situation at hand must know exactly what was going on to a guy I grew up with (different schools, but our parents were friends... still are, actually, and he was the reference I used when I found our wedding photographer since I recognized a picture in one of the show albums)... but that was her commenting on a picture he posted in a group... this morning's connection was through one posting on the other's "wall".

And, to get off the facebook topic (sorry, I'm fascinated)... I overheard someone this morning talking about "blending seamlessly into the context of the surroundings". Now, I know (because I heard the conversation) that she was talking about fitting in with whatever group/environment she was in, but it got me thinking about a peculiar talent I seem to have.

I can be invisible.

No, I don't mean I go transparent or anything bizzarro like that. I mean that I can manage to go completely unnoticed in most situations in which I find myself.

Take, for example, back in my UW Theatre days. In the Green Room there was a large, light coloured chair perfect for sprawling in. The walls of the room were also light in colour. I was a theatre tech, and as such frequently work all black (although not nearly as often as people THOUGHT I did). I'm also 6' tall (roughly... 6'1" if I'm feeling extra lively). One day I was attired in head to toe black (dark hair, black shirt, black jeans, black doc boots... pale face, though) and sprawled in said chair. I had been there for quite a while. Another girl walked in... walked right past me and started to play with the stereo which was located about 18" from where I sat. She got it set the way she wanted, rummaged in her book bag, stood up, turned around and... jumped about 2 feet into the air when she saw me. She honestly had no idea I was there. 6' of darkness planted on a light background and she hadn't seen me. Likewise, the person who 10 minutes later tried to sit on me.

I'm not sure what it is. Whether I'm a natural chameleon... or whether I'm too quiet (I know, if you only know me from dealing with me online you'll likely find that hard to believe)... or whether I'm too "still" (Among my feline qualities... I'm often comfortable in positions that don't look like they should be... and once I'm comfortable, I can be still for hours... if I want to be)... whatever it is, people find it very easy to paint me into the background... like furniture or a tree *laugh* It has its useful moments, but it has it's frustrating ones too (when I'm driving I seem to transmit the ability to my car, for example).

And yet, at the same time, I'm told I can be quite imposing and a little bit threatening (I'm convinced 90% of the attentions I've received from guys has been "fear as aphrodesiac" (or however you spell that) *laugh* It's the same way the perception of a panther often includes the description "sexy" even though it would happily rip your throat open and drink deep.)

That's probably enough rambling for one day...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yup... Facebook is definitely the devil

So... mere days since signing up on facebook I am sorry to say I think I've got an addiction brewing *laugh* Well, ok, that's an overstatement (but then, those who know me well would know that already)... but I do find myself fascinated by the site. Less than a week ago, I had no friends (so sad *sniff* *pout*)... now I've got 27 and counting! I've reconnected with girls I went to grade-school with... girls I went to highschool with... folks I was at university with... folks I knew through friends in highschool... folks I know through a chat forum I moderate... folks I know through D... folks I know through work. People I've known forever... people who drifted into and out of my life. And yes... people who told me my friendship was important and then promptly vanished from my life *laugh* I've joined groups related to my highschool, my high school grad-class, my grade school decade, my university department, that dang chat forum, groups for my cultural heritage, groups for the sheer entertainment value (80's, anyone?)... I've read the profiles of old friends who left my circle on bad terms... I've read the doings of acquaintances from my past who never got to 'friend' level. Seeing who's married... who's divorced... who's single... who's a parent... who's a crazy cat lady (oh, wait... that's me... two cats and D... he saved me at least from being the crazy lady living alone with 17 cats *laugh*)

I actually posted pictures last night. Some shots from the wedding back in '03 that I had on my laptop... some pictures we took of our '73 Bug on the weekend (we woke it from hibernation and gave it a much needed bath... so we had to take pictures of it looking all pretty!)... some pictures from a trip to Ireland and just generic pics. And, scarily, there are more I want to put on there!

I'm amazed, too, at the number of people I was sure would have forgotten me who remember... and in at least one case actually SEARCHED for me on there! THAT's a nice boost for the ego, let me tell you *grin*

I will say this, though.. trying to catch people up on the pertinent info for the past 10+ years is a challenge!

Must remember to look up some interesting quotes tonight and put something in the general info section of my profile....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Is it Friday yet?

I know, I know... it's only Tuesday, it's a bit early to be asking whether it's Friday yet or not, but it's been ... interesting.

Yesterday went decently well... until roughly the time I got home. Pulled onto the driveway at 4:50 and it looked like it was 8:30... deepening twilight. Except with an ugly green tinge. And the wind was picking up. *shudder* Not good signs. So I went inside, closed the blinds and shutters on the main floor and upstairs, and parked myself in front of the TV in our family room (60% below grade) to pretend the outside world didn't exist. It worked pretty well... for about 10 minutes. Then the rain started... and the wind picked up... and the noises got interesting (non-thunder rumblings... like a low-flying jet).... then the light show started with it's accompanying thunder crashes (judging purely by the light/sound combos, I'd say it was 2 or 3 systems converging... something about one flash of lightning that spawns 3 crashes of thunder spaced out over about 45 seconds... very odd. And then 30 minutes later it was bright and sunny and the birds were singing. Did I mention very odd?

Walked out the front door later to make sure everything was still where it should be... found the top of the light that's on the wall beside our front door ON the front doorstep. But it looks like that was the only real damage we saw at home.

Poor D at work didn't get off so easily. In fact, the poor boy didn't get home until 9:30 last night. Officially he was done work at 5:00, but they went into disaster recovery mode and he took on a leadership role in that (growing up in tornado country (kind of), extensive camping experience, and having gone through 2 floods and 2 car crashes in the past 4 years tend to increase your ability to think on your feet, I guess *laugh*). Apparently it sounded and looked like a twister had gone through their property... noise of a fast-moving freight train... mature (like 80+ year old) trees uprooted and dumped all over the place... power poles toppled... live wires resting on the main gate (apparently the paint has been cooked right off them)... sky-lights ripped off buildings... construction debris everywhere. And, of course, a high-profile event on-site today. Luckily, due to the timing and some sheer luck, there were no injuries ('most everyone had left already for the day) or significant damage (well, apart from the trees, skylights, and the hydro issues which they can't do anything about anyway). But, after working 4 extra hours last night, poor D had to go in early this morning to document the damage (with his DSLR, last night all they had was a crap-tastic point-and-shoot of the very old and low-res variety), do the paperwork... and before that, relieve the security guard who had to be there all night since they couldn't close the gates. He's going to be a mess by the time he gets home tonight :(

I'm not having a great morning, myself. Getting out of bed was a challenge... neither of us wanted to get up... and the cats didn't want us to get up either *laugh*. D was still recovering from going full-speed until he fell into bed last night... I didn't sleep well. No, not strictly true... I slept. But had one of those dream nights where you wake up dead tired. Dreamt about someone who died quite a while ago... that was odd. Dreamt of the most abusive of my exes (thank god I wised up on that one!)... that was unpleasant. Did my usual trick of dreaming of places I've never been. I'm told it's impossible, but somehow I keep managing it. *shrug*

Anyway... got to the GO station for my train and realized I didn't have my book. Great. 30 minutes on a crowded train with nothing to distract my brain from the music being funnelled into my ears. That's the sort of thing that leads to embarrassing singing. Not that my singing in itself is embarrassing... but singing along to something the rest of the world can't hear? Not good. And knowing my tendancies, not just singing along to something the rest of the world can't hear, but HARMONIZING with something the rest of the world can't hear. Double not good. Luckily, with great focus, I managed to restrain myself. An interesting mix on the iPod, though... some Supertramp... some Red Hot Chili Peppers... some Evanescence... some Depeche Mode... Tool... Bif Naked... Disturbed... Simon & Garfunkle... 80s tunes... the Tea Party... the Rolling Stones... to say my tastes are a little eclectic seems somehow an understatement *laugh*

But if I hadn't forgotten my book, I wouldn't have seen the deer grazing beside the train tracks. Very cute. Very unexpected (how the hell did it get there? The nearest ravine/treed area is isolated from where it was by 10' high fences... man, them deers is agile! *laugh*)

Now if only I could find an up-side to having forgotten my building pass, too *sigh*

Monday, April 23, 2007

Some people shouldn't be allowed to drive...

Why, in the name of all that is holy, would you pull out into traffic right in front of a car doing the limit, and proceed to drive 25 km/h slower? Why? Please, won't somebody tell me why?

Sadly... not an isolated occurrance... it happened to me no fewer than 4 times yesterday alone! *sigh* The really stupid thing about it? (as opposed to the merely annoying bits) IN ALL 4 CASES THERE WAS NOBODY BEHIND ME!!!!!

I remember when is was getting my licence (long, long ago... in a galaxy far... no wait, that was something else) people used to occasionally fail their test. Actually, it happened fairly frequently. Indeed, impeding the flow of traffic lost you significant points in the scoring.

Now, looking at the drivers in 93% of these occurrances (ok, so the stats are random, but still... it's a disturbingly high percentage, although not all cases)... prompts a question I'm almost afraid to voice (wouldn't want to be accused of being politically incorrect or bigotted).... Are there different standards for licencing people who may have been licenced in another country? Ok... I don't actually mean that in quite the negative way it sounds. In no way am I "anti-immigrant"... heck, if it weren't for immigrants, I wouldn't be here today... I'd be working my butt off in Ireland with no hope of ever owning my own home (good grief housing prices there are insane!!!)... I've just noticed that a high percentage of the drivers who tend to do this sort of idiotic, self-involved, dangerous thing share certain demographic similarities that would TEND to put them in the category of "I was licenced in another country and they just commuted the qualification when I came here without making me re-test", or in some cases "what do you mean 'test'?" ( I say this because some of them are my parents' age... When my parents got their licences in Ireland, there was no test involved.... a licence to drive was purchased... just like a fishing licence is here).

Anyway... that's my rant for yesterday... there may well be another later today *laugh* (I did warn you that this was where I'd RANT, rave, and ramble ;) )

Saturday, April 21, 2007

5 years... wow....

So yesterday was a pretty significant day. Well, ok, not in the grand scheme of things, but still...

Yesterday marked 5 years since D and I decided to give "us" a shot. The rest, as they say, is history. ;)

5 years ago I agreed to risk the best friendship of my life... I'd say it worked out pretty well. We built on 5 years of friendship, raised a few eyebrows when Mr. "I'm never going to get married" went and got himself engaged to me after a mere 3.5 months (remember... 5 years of history already... we already had a pretty good idea of the highs and lows and who we both were)... got married (and I like to believe our friends and families enjoyed the event in the end... although some of them had their doubts in the planning process)... met some new friends, kept some old ones... survived 2 floods, two car crashes, a move, several jobs... good times, not so good times.... and we haven't killed each other yet!

Now, D's got a lousy memory for dates.... and even if he didn't, really what's a dating anniversary when you've already eclipsed it with an engagement and a wedding? But I felt the date warranted some recognition. Happy anniversary D... it's been a wild 5 years.... here's to 50 more! *cuddle*

Friday, April 20, 2007

Facebook is the devil

Well... I've gone and done it now.

Having heard about 7 references to facebook in the space of about 3 days, my innate feline curiosity got the better of me and I've now (finally) signed up.

As of this moment, I have no friends. Oh wait... that's nearly true in any case *laugh* Seriously, though... I haven't really tried to track anyone down yet. A quick glance did show me several people from my class in highschool... and one or two folks I knew at Waterloo.

Actually, the first familiar face I found was a UW alum I dated briefly. It probably wasn't the best decision either of us made... we were much better as friends and sadly once we broke up we lost touch. My brother kept in touch with him for a while... even went to his wedding out in BC. Hmmm.. perhaps this is an opportunity to re-establish contact. Then again, perhaps it's better to leave well enough alone. He might not want to hear from me, and really, it just plan sucks when you try to reconnect with people who don't want to reconnect with you.

And so begins the insanity... the wondering "Should I try to make contact? I mean, they're on facebook, they've got to expect that people will try to get in touch, right? But what if they don't want to get in touch with me? Can I handle that kind of rejection? But they haven't been in my life for years, would the rejection really be that bad?" Gah! *laugh*

Thursday, April 19, 2007

And so it begins....

Wel, this is it. I've finally caved. After months of dithering and resisting I've given up and accepted that I'm hardly ever online at home and since my employer blocked the site I've been blogging on since 2002, I've made my way to blogger. If you care to read what went before, it's linked in my "people and places" section.

This is the spot where I'll rant, rave and ramble about things that make me happy, things that boggle my mind, and probably with disturbing frequency the things that just irk me beyond belief. Yes, irk. There are a number of policies I'm trying to employ... not naming names generally, trying to keep it clean (meaning, I'll do my best to keep profanity to a minimum, and if I do go that direction, I'll be using subsitutions in the words or alternate spellings)... that said, I'm no saint ;)

Now... a little bit more about me:
- I'm Irish by heritage. By that, unlike a significant number of 'Irish' here, I mean that my parents immigrated to this country shortly before I made my appearance. Very shortly. Mere months, indeed. I don't go back 3 or 4 generations in this country and all my relatives apart from immediate family are "across the pond".
- I married D in 2003. People who ask how long we dated before we got engaged almost always raise their eyebrows. We like to believe we got all the dating akwardness out of the way over the course of the 5 year friendship that went before our 3.5 month courtship.
- We've got 2 cats... Grim (Grimalkin) who's been part of my life since before D came on the scene (he's going to be 11 this year) and Chloe who we adopted together (we think she's about 5... she's a rescued stray and on the small side, so it's hard to know for sure).
- We've also got a classic VW SuperBeetle (1973) which became ours on the day we got married. We call it Li'l Beastie (because all our cars have names... it's easier to beg them to behave that way *laugh*)
- While planning my wedding I got involved in a site called in their planning forums. I became a moderator there a few months before the wedding and I can honestly say that I've met some wonderful people through the site. I've also met some people who really weren't worth the time I invested in them... and some who aren't even worth the time I didn't invest in them.
- I'm one of those people who will go to the ends of the earth and beyond for her friends... heck, will go farther than most for acquaintances. But over the years I've come to the conclusion that I don't need to spend time with the people who just take advantage of that characteristic when it suits them. I give people two chances... three if I really care about them... after that, I just don't need the poisonous personalities in my life *shrug* Perhaps that sounds hard, bitter, and jaded. I prefer to think of it as endowed with uncommon wisdom. But then, I like to tell myself I'm a much better person than I probably am, too *laugh*
- I have an unusual sense of humour. Wry, dark, just plain odd, call it what you like.
- I've been through a lot in life. I like to believe that's helped me give comfort, support, and assistance to more than a few people I've encountered. Unfortunately, sometimes I can get a bit 'preachy' and forget that just because I went through a similar situation doesn't mean anyone else feels or deals the same way.

Ok... that's enough for now. I'm already convinced I'll bore anyone who stumbles across my corner of the blogosphere to death before they have a chance to nav away. But maybe someone out there will prove me wrong :)