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~

Thoughtful Thursday – Laid Off


Many thoughts are running through my mind right now. I was laid off this morning. It’s not something that has ever happened to me. 
I spent the morning updating my resume and talking to people who might be able to help me get a job. I spent the afternoon and evening with good friends and we played Pokémon. 

Tomorrow’s plan is to apply for EI and make arrangements for the things I’m paying out like loans and mortgage. Oh, and clean my home.

In the interim, I have a story with a deadline looming.

Perhaps this change will be a blessing in disguise. I’ve been yearning for change anyway.

Ciao,

R~

Funky Friday: Light in the Darkness

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

Let’s face it, the world has been awful for a lot of people lately. Are mass shootings happening more frequently? In 2014, the data said no. In 2015, the data said yes. Did it really change that much in one or two years? I don’t have answers, only questions.

The thing is, we can cause ourselves pain in constantly ruminating on an issue we feel powerless to do anything about. Normally, my advice is to break something down into smaller chunks to find the pieces that can be fixed by me. The thing is, many of these issues feel too big to me. What can I do about the mass shootings in the U.S.? I’m not even a citizen of the U.S.

It’s quite like the wars overseas. I feel powerless to help them too. Indeed, a friend went over there and came to the conclusion that outside help is making the problem worse; they need empowerment to clean their own houses. Someone from outside is impartial and objective but will ignore key details that those involved require and thus fuck everything up worse.

I’m not saying it’s time to move on. I always wonder whether my signature counts when I sign a petition for another country. That’s something I can do but is it helpful? Does it matter whose names are on the petition?

I always wonder whether my signature counts when I sign a petition for another country. That’s something I can do but is it helpful? Does it matter whose names are on the petition?

I can be an ally to my friends who are emotionally affected by such tragedies. And if any want to talk, I think they know I’m available.

But what can I do to help fix the problem? Generally, one must determine the root cause to solve a problem. The thing is, we don’t know what the root cause is. So many weigh in each time tragedy strikes. On the list is upbringing, nationality, religion, insanity, stress, sexual orientation, peer pressure, bullying, PMS, jealousy, hatred, and it goes on.

But I do think something needs to be done. Maybe a “go fund me” should be set up to find the root cause of these horrible things. I have no idea how it would work. I’m completely out of my depth on this. Maybe looking at other countries that don’t have this problem will help? I know our education system here has a focus on healthy expressions of anger. I’ve always been taught to get my anger and frustration out in healthy ways like art (writing, painting, building), fitness (martial arts). and therapy. Maybe we have a larger focus on gun safety and certification that ensures users aren’t mentally unstable? What about the European countries? Again, I really have no clue.

Because I’m accepting that I don’t know any better than anyone else, I’m choosing to focus on things I can do something about. Right now, all I can really handle is cleaning my own home, writing stories, and living my life.

I really like this quote and hope it helps others through these sad times:

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

A lot of things that happened this week.

Personal

  1. Sad: My old next door neighbour passed away. I’ve known the man since I was six years old. It’s still not really real to me. He was the same age as my father. It’s father’s day weekend and his kids have no father to celebrate it with.
  2. Hurt: I managed to reinjure my neck and shoulder by sitting at a booth in a restaurant.
  3. Torn: I’m excited to see my dad this weekend for Father’s Day. I feel a little guilty about that because there are so many without fathers for whatever reason.
  4. Happy: I opened a new section of FREE Flash Fiction on my site. I hope people enjoy the little stories I put up. Feel free to comment on them. Many of them are experimentations, so please let me know what you liked and didn’t like about them.

Ottawa

  1. Hope: A life was saved. Good things can still happen in this world.
  2. Worried: Lyme disease is on the rise in the Ottawa area. As I quite enjoy geocaching, I’m worried about this. Also, the treatments for Lyme disease are inadequate.

World

  1. Hopeless: Orlando. I don’t have adequate words for this. It doesn’t make sense. These things never do. I want them to stop happening. Stop the hatred of others. Live and let live.

Well, I’m off to shower, eat lunch, and finish packing. Then it’s a car ride East and slightly North to see the folks.

Ciao,
R~

Shitty Week (so far)

This week could be better. I lost a family member due to depression. I found out about my uncle on Monday evening. My DSLR camera has been misplaced or stolen. It’s looking more like the latter. I discovered my missing camera issue yestereen (obsolete word for yesterday evening that I think should be brought back).

I didn’t know my uncle really well. The circumstances of his death have upset me though. Why isn’t there more help for people with depression? We lost Robin Williams, now my uncle, and I bet countless others. How many have to die before they figure out how to stop it? I read an article recently that there is specific gut bacteria involved. How long will it be before the necessary probiotics are available to the general public? I bet they’ll be too expensive for most people. I bet they’ll also have ridiculous requirements for getting a prescription.

Each day it seems brings a new cause in the headlines, the lion getting hunted down, Anonymous seeking vengeance for something, Harper screwing Canadians over but convincing them he’s doing something good, cops shooting someone, etc. The news is full of dark stuff. Some days I prefer to bury my head and ignore it all.

As you might imagine, prior to today I got virtually no writing or editing done. A few words here and there, but my heart wasn’t in it and I couldn’t get it to be.

Not being one to let things get me down for too long, I bought a cheap camera that does HD video, so I can start a pet project soon. I just have to figure out how many pieces I need to film, what music I want to include, etc. Oh and learn how to actually put the pieces together, what I want to say (scripts to write), etc.

Tomorrow is day one of babysitting my colleague’s project. Hopefully there are no sudden fires. I also hope I don’t have trouble parking in the garage near a pillar.

This weekend is a long weekend in Canada. Tomorrow is likely another hot day. I like warm weather, but the humidity has had it near and over 40 celsius for several days now. I expect my hydro bill will be a delight from using the air conditioner, but it can’t be helped. I really need to fix my desk so that I can live in the air conditioned room. So many things on my to-do list. Anyway, I plan to clean, play games, edit, and relax this weekend. It’s doubtful that I’ll reach my goal by the 31st, but I think it’ll be shortly thereafter.

Ciao,
R~