Thursday, July 31, 2008

The List

I finally delivered our adoption portfolios to the agency today. (They did have our initial profile, but they wanted a more complete package. We had a little hitch - we had to rewrite a few things that pertained to our dog, actually an entire page. He was one of the beings under the category of what matters to me. It feels like I've come off the fence in so many ways. Moving on.

DH asked me if I was "happily married" again. You may or may not have noticed that I removed the "happily" from the married part under my profile on the side when I got the elephant in the room talk. I told him I was. Happily married. And then the dog died and we were catapulted back into the world of grief, tears, anger, loss and depression. We've shared some tender moments, true. Amazing. We always pull together when times get rough. We can be an amazing team when we put our minds to it. It would be nice if we could look forward to a momentous occasion where there wasn't grief and loss attached to it. Do you hear that universe? We should be excited and happy and anxious to be new parents. And right now, those feelings are on hold due to extreme sadness. It's times like this when I wish we had a little one here to brighten up his day after work. And I don't mean a puppy either.

On the other hand, it seems like tragedy seems to shake us (me) out of our slow way of doing things. Well, I'll speak for myself. Miss Procrastination. Taxes are done - we're seeing the accountant tomorrow. Check that off the List of Unpleasant Things To Do. That makes me nauseous actually. I'm sure we owe, but the question is how much. Ewww. The only saving grace is that my career has been spectacularly bad these past 2 years, so my expenditures may have outpaced my earnings enough to make me not have to pay too much. But I made enough from notetaking to exceed the basic personal allowance. Or I could be seriously kidding myself. The problem with being an actress is that your earnings are so unpredictable and erratic, it's hard to save money to pay taxes as you constantly have to spend money on such things as new headshots or gas or IVF or .... food.

I have a list of pretty serious Unpleasant Things to Do list and I have noticed that things that have to do with money or numbers or massive amounts of paperwork never seem to get done in a timely fashion. I have to say that I think I have developed a neurotic aversion to such things. I always have a million excuses to avoid such tasks. Suddenly the laundry or housework or email seems more urgent. With no dog to walk and feeling energetic in the morning thanks to my happy pills, I guess I'll have more motivation to tackle the List. I hope. Next year, I have every intention of hiring a student or somebody to just tally up my expenses for me. I actually have a filing system, but I can't seem to get it done on my own without a huge amount of stress and anxiety.

And speaking of happy pills, they've made my skin break out. I'm not happy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Moving forward....

The first time I told my mum Sampson had died suddenly, she was upset as she could be but she really worked hard to comfort me. She patted my back and told me to turn the tears into joy. And to say a prayer for Sampson and she told us that he was a really good dog. She was genuinely moved by his death. I was amazed at her sensitivity. She was actually comforting me! Since her dementia, it's always me that is doing the actual caretaking and comforting. It's about her needs 24/7. Ah, the insight to motherhood!

I had to tell her a friend of hers was dead and she said, "Oh, no!" Thoughtful silence. " So where are we going?" and that was about it. She doesn't really cry at that kind of news. I don't know if it's the dementia or the drugs she's on. (I wonder if she'd share some of that stuff. "Hey, you didn't get that part you really wanted - again." "Oh, no! So what's for dinner?") We saw her again on the weekend and she seemed to forget that he had died but then remembered on her own. It was one of the few times that her and I can actually sensibly converse with one another and I'm actually getting something out of it.

Hung out with Mum last week. Had to explain to her AGAIN that the dog had died. The worst part is that she is genuinely surprised and I have to go through the whole thing again with her. Sigh. It would be funny actually if I hadn't been so depressed. We walked around and then hung out on the Starbuck's patio. We made our usual stabs at conversation and then I read the paper while she people watched. When I dropped her off back at the home, I just let her out the elevator and took it immediately back down. I don't usually do that, but I was on edge and I had to get away. I hate it when I get like that.

Hubby came home early that day and immediately set out to go biking in the Endowment Lands. It's about 10 km away and once you get over the bridge, it's all uphill. And I do mean uphill. Not one of his best ideas, but you can't tell a guy that. He survived and evidently made a stop at his buddies before returning home. I had biked a few km myself over to a district chant and by the time I got home, he was on the couch and a bit stoned. To his credit, he did BBQ some excellent steak (ala the Incredible Hulk - You wouldn't like me when I'm hungry). It always makes me feel so alone when he does that. Yeah, I know, his dog died. Can't say I blame him. I drank every day last week. Fortunately, the stagette broke my habit.

I had a stab of panic that the same thing would happen to us - that he would retreat into his world and I would retreat into mine to deal with the grief. And separately we worry about one another. Yeah, I know, communication is the key. In my efforts to keep moving forward and keep frantically busy, I need to keep in mind that just because we don't have our dog, we don't have a child, we're still a family and we need one another. Compassion is the driving force behind perseverance. Okay, gotta keep that in mind.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The champagne did me in.....

Let's talk about something else for a change. WARNING: GROSS BEHAVIOUR AHEAD!

I had my friend's stagette/shower last weekend. She was completely surprised because she thought that no way would I have one for her because my dog had died. But it had been planned for a while and frankly, it kept me busy and gave me a chance to take a break from moping around. We all agreed to do a spa/dinner/dancing event. The place was decorated, while I was frantically trying to make 6 molten lava cakes to be baked after dinner. A friend arranged to have two student aestheticians come and do pedicures, and then another friend was supposed to bring dinner (salmon) for a BBQ. Unfortunately, that particular woman had been ill and didn't arrive for several hours, so dinner started a bit late, but once it was done, it was delicious. We kept ourselves busy with pedicures and a LOT of booze. Okay, let's see mango martinis, cosmopolitans, wine, champagne......

Next up a limo ride with champagne. Woohoo! When was the last time you stood up in the sunroof of a limo in the cool night air hooting like an idiot? I admit it, I howled. OMG. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I felt like a drunken teenager at prom. It was really fun, champagne was consumed and we even had a little pit stop for those who wanted to get a little "air". Not me. Then off to a club where the bride to be (dressed all in white thanks to kidnapping some of her clothes earlier that week) toddled off to get a shooter from a bartender friend. We all would have gone in with her but unfortunately, they wanted a $12 cover a piece and we were planning only on staying for 15 minutes. One disgusting drink later, we jumped back into the limo and went a club that a friend of mine had put us on a list. Unfortunately, half of the gals left for various reasons and thus it was down to the mighty trio to finish out the night! We didn't have to wait in line but we did have to pay cover. $14! What the hell? We don't live in New York! This is why my club days are long over. They make you wait in line for an hour to get in to a half empty "trendy" club, pay an outrageous cover, and watch pretentious people not have fun. People actually started to dance after we cracked the floor open.

Well, two of us danced. The other girl beat a hasty retreat before she got messy. I would have given her my keys, but the likelihood of her passing out was pretty high and we would have no way of getting in. (She did make it safely home, no thanks to my drunk ass.) Just me and my gal pal left standing. We danced, had more drinks (no, just me) and we laughed and we eventually headed back to my place to devour some delicious chocolate molten lava cake.

At that point I thought it was a good idea to have a little "air" with my gal pal - BAD IDEA! BAD!, cause suddenly the room was spinning. Aww, I knew it was a bad idea! So I decided haul my drunken ass to bed. My stomach had other plans and I..... well.... let's just say I didn't keep my delicious dinner and dessert down. Ughh. I managed to stop up my bathroom sink. Seriously. As in when I woke up the next morning, it was still plugged up. That bad. Salsa bad. Ewww. As in not even boiling water, Drano or whatever noxious liquid (notwithstanding my own) I poured in there could fix it. I had to throw out a pair of plastic gloves, people.

This is why I refrain from serious over imbibing, but at least once a year, I forget my golden rule of not mixing my drinks and going over my limit. Mind you, I don't generally do it in public, but still. I ought to know better. Aw, fuck it, I was grieving.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Keeping it together

Okay, still breathing. Had a dream about my dog last night. It was night and my husband and I were walking down a street and for some reason had to go past a deserted boarded up block. somehow we came across a dog and a raccoon. You could barely see the dog, it was so dark and he was black, but you could see the eyes of the raccoon. We started running and I called to the dog, here boy, here boy and then my husband called him. I was upset because I wanted the dog to come to me. Suddenly I felt something between my thighs - a muzzle - and I wasn't sure if it was the dog or the raccoon and I made myself wake up. Naturally, the dream was about my dog. The raccoon - fear. I think. He loved to chase raccoons and I was always discouraged it for obvious reasons. We see them here in the city a lot. I always give them respect and a wide berth. They're smart and tough and they've always got backup nearby. We had this game we used to play with Sampson. One of us would run off, usually me and my hubby would send the dog speeding off towards me - "where's your girl?" and then he would get to me and I would say - "where's daddy? go get 'im". I would always run away laughing and shrieking and when he would "tag me", he would always turn and run back to DH. Mouth open, tongue hanging, you might say he was smiling. Stanley Coren, local dog expert, said that to a dog, running free was akin to dancing to humans.

When at home, Sampson preferred to have the both of us in the same room. In our place now, he would have to go back and forth from room to room. If a door was shut, he'd butt it open. I remember one time in our old place, we'd had an argument and I went off in the bedroom and I'd slam the door. Sampson eventually came and butt it open (it never closed properly) and he just stared at me and then he'd go back into the living room and stare at hubby and he'd continue butting the door open as many times as I closed it. We ended up laughing and talking to each other again.


Taking the day off bootcamp. I hurt inside and out. I still have a lump below my ankle bone which I have a hot water on at the moment and I tweaked a muscle underneath my shoulder blade doing rollover side planks. I'm tired. But that's not unusual. Yes, I went back to the doctor. My other blood tests (thyroid, liver) came back normal. Which means I have no bloody excuse for my lack of energy and malaise. Yes, I know, my dog died, but I had made the appointment before that happened. I'm aware that grieving is a separate process that doesn't require intervention, but she did say I had all the symptoms of depression. No surprise there. You all mentioned it, I didn't want to whisper the dreaded word but having been through it before, I suspected it. I just had very concrete reasons before and this time it didn't seem so apparent. What was going on beneath the surface? I was looking for a catalyst, but the doctor says there doesn't need to be one. Mmmm. Not sure I believe that, but whatever. I know me. When I stopped losing weight, I got really frustrated with myself. I was doing all the right things and I had plateaued and I was not happy about it. It felt like a setback and I think that was it. Or I could be completely bullshitting myself. I haven't worked in the industry for a while and all the other auditions, came up nada. I don't know. I don't suppose any of my reasoning matters at this point. She said I was doing all the right things for myself, staying active, keeping busy with Buddhist activities - chanting always helps, and I feel grateful for that. Going to meetings always feels like drinking a glass of cool, clear water on a hot day. Just what you need even if you didn't think you were thirsty.

So whether or not I'm too impatient to slog through a summer feeling like I'm dragging around a fridge on my back or scared of swimming too long in the pity pool, I took a prescription for Wellbutrin XL. I had used it years ago and it worked without most of the pesky side effects, like vertigo or no sex drive. I don't have a libido now, no point in making it worse. She told me I would be on it for at least 3 - 6 months, but the last time, I managed to cut it down much sooner. I just feel like a need a springboard out of this funk. As for the grief, I know how to do that. I know how it goes. Been there, done that, it doesn't kill you, it just is what it is for as long as it takes.

Though worldly troubles may arise, never let them disturb you. No one can
avoid problems, not even sages or worthies.

Drink sake only at home with your wife, and chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both
suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy
of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever.

- Nichiren Daishonin

I'm watching the high fructose (it's everywhere!) and the coffee. I've got hubby leaving me notes and calling or IMing several times, but I tell him that I haven't hung myself yet. Frankly, he's pretty mopey himself. He is not sleeping well because he stirs at every noise during the night. He still has half an ear out for the dog I think. Or taking over the dog's job, I don't know which. I've got a get a dress made for my friend's wedding. And then there's my hair. See? Lots to do. Oh, yeah, and I now have to remove reference to my beloved Baby Bear from our renovated adoption profile. Sigh. Lots of room in our life now for a little one.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


First of all, thank you all so much for your kind words of compassion. I've been reading some of them to my husband and it REALLY MEANS A LOT!!!! I've been on the phone for hours just talking to my friends and those who knew and loved Sampson. He had a lot of admirers. He welcomed all who came to our home over the years.

We've been in shock the past couple of days. My husband's boss told him to come back to work when he's ready. He's been my shadow for the past few days. Apparently he doesn't want me out of his sight. We've both been on separate and combined crying jags, walking around in a daze looking for him, aching for his return. We're fine for a while and then we see a tuft of hair (his hair is EVERYWHERE) or we hear sirens (being that we live downtown we hear them quite frequently) and we start bawling again cause he would always howl when he heard a firetruck. We drove around for hours yesterday just so we could stay out of the apartment. We cleaned up his things, packed away his towels and leashes, vaccumed and swept. We have programmed our lives around this animal and now there is this huge vaccum in this place. His mighty tail that would knock over drinks placed too close to the edge of the coffee table; the silent brown eyed stares at 8pm every single night that beckoned for his nighttime treat; the pounding of his tail against the door that preceded his tumbling arrival; closed doors were opened with his heavy snout, his prescence in his bed in front of the patio doors.

We spent most of yesterday driving around on pointless errands, just trying to stay busy. I went back to the clinic to get the blanket we had brought him in on. They had washed it and it was warm from the dryer. I had to make my husband eat something, and we made phone calls and emails to friends and family. Coincidentally, my MIL had to put down her dog Monday evening. Her beloved dog had been ailing for a while and they knew it was coming. So it was a doubly sad time for all of us.

I went to bootcamp again today. I didn't tell anyone. It's not a real chatty class anyway. I just needed a grueling workout to keep my mind blank. We did something called the "gauntlet" which involved a lot of stairs and a lot of drill style exercises. Too busy heaving my guts out to think much about anything than putting one foot in front of the other. Usually, after class, I rush back home to walk the dog, but not today. Hubby came to meet me and we hung out at a cafe and talked. I bumped into an acting colleague of mine, dog in tow, but it was nice petting her affectionate dog.

As we biked back home, I remarked that when we were trying to get pregnant, it seemed as if there were babies everywhere. And now, we had a similar problem, except everywhere we looked, there were happy dogs being walked by their owners. In truth, we live in a city full of strollers and dogs. And coffee shops.

We prepared to busy our day with more errands and the phone call while I was in the shower. When I got out, I heard my husband sobbing. Sampson was ready to be picked up. Eventually, we got to the vet clinic and we were presented with his ashes in a lovely urn and that poem about dogs leaving footprints on your heart and rainbow bridge and all that. They also took his pawprint in purple ink. That got me. They also signed a pet sympathy card. I left them a card as well with a couple of Sampson pics thanking them for their efforts. We cried some more. When we got home, I chanted daimoku for Samps, my husband by my side.

I went to spin class and when I came home, I found DH once again in tears. He alternates between tears and raging. I alternate between drinking, chanting and then tears. I hope that no one tells him that "he was just a dog". Seriously, that person will regret it. Seriously.

I know it will get easier, but right now, it's not. Right now, he's feeling seriously bitchslapped by life, once again, andwondering who the fuck sucked up all the good luck in the world and left us with the booby prize. Hubby likes to ask, why? I say, why not? I don't ask why anymore. The answer is not really important. It's not even relevant. Suck it up, buttercup, it's all just part of life. Nothing personal. Good people and good dogs die every fucking day. It could have been a lot worse. We were protected from watch him suffer through a long, painful inevitable death. It was quick and we were both there for him. As I swore I'd do. (Though at times it feels as if there's a time limit on our ability to stay trauma free.)

And now Baby Boy is back home with his pack where he belongs.

Once again, thank you for the e-cards and comments. They have been an enormous comfort.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rest in Peace, Dear Sampson

Today, my dog died. He was laying in the back office, when I heard his nails skittering on the hardwood. I went to find out what he was up to, fully expecting to find him trying to catch a fly or something. He was spread out on the floor, rapidly breathing, eyes dilated and not seeing me. I called my husband immediately. I had no idea what to do. I quickly cleaned up a bit of dog poo, I thought he had had a seizure of some sort, and then I tried to rouse him from his stupor. He was not responding. I called my husband and told him to hurry. I placed him on a blanket and dragged him to the elevator. My husband arrived shortly, he ran all the way home. We took him to the veterinary hospital, they took him right away and eventually the vet told us that he most likely had a cancerous tumour that had burst on his spleen. Internal bleeding. The x-rays confirmed this and we were left to decide as to what measures to take next. Stabilize him by transfusion and then surgery at a specialist's office in Burnaby. My husband went to call his friend to have him bring his dog down as there was no blood available at the dog blood bank. Two minutes later, the vet rushed back in and said that Sampson was not going to make it. We ran in to his side. I put my hand on his neck and he placed his paw around my wrist, gasping for air. We made the decision to euthanize and that was that. We spoke to him, nuzzled him and told him that mummy and daddy loved him so much, he was a good dog. I chanted as much as I could. And then he was gone. I had to be dragged away from him. I collapsed outside, sobbing.

We are numb. We've been crying all afternoon. I can't believe he's gone. I can't believe he's gone. He was gone within an hour. My big bear. He had a lot of nicknames. Baby Bear, Baby Boy, Big Boy, Hammers (as in dumb as a sack of hammers), Papa, etc. I knew that this day would come. But not today. Not today. He had a good walk this morning and now he's gone. A part of my family has died today. My husband is walking around in a daze.

We loved him so much.

Clearing out the closet

I quickly gave my a closet a once over and decided I could get rid of a few things. I didn't do a complete overhaul as that would have required sifting through too much and then I'd have to refold and that seemed too big a task. These pants, neatly folded in a drawer, jumped into my mind. They are extra large drawstring cotton pants. I got them at the Roots warehouse. I'm no longer extra large, though I'm sure they would still fit if I pulled the drawstring tight, but I don't need them anymore. I bought them during my very first, shiny IVF cycle. I thought they would be perfect for pregnancy.

If you're anything like me, you associate clothes with different periods of your life or certain memories. The special occasion you bought something for or the day you were really sad and you needed some retail therapy. Now I've been known to shop for hours on my own or with a partner. During vacations, it's something I just gotta do. As I've gotten older and wiser, I'm much more selective. I tend to clutter, so I really have to think twice before I get something and one of my rules is that if it doesn't have a purpose (i.e. vase, bowl), then it's just a knickknack waiting to get dusty. I love shopping, generally speaking. I like shopping for other people as well. Even when I got FAT, and shopping for clothes become a fucking nightmare, I still liked to shop for shoes or purses or housewares. Sometimes, when I have extra money, I buy something and squirrel it away, waiting for the right occasion to bring it out.

These pants were something like that. They didn't scream maternity wear, though I did wander through that section of the store, quite surprised that a Roots warehouse would even have that section. It was more like a whisper. A secret. I waited in the long queue with my secret hope that I'd be wearing these pants in just a couple of months.

I might have eagerly worn one pair, I think, when I was quite swollen after an egg retrieval. I guess when we moved downtown 2 years ago, I thoughtlessly included them. Every now and again, when I had to go rooting for workout clothes, I would catch a glimpse of them, and I'd quickly push their purpose out of my mind. I have a few things left that remind me of that rollercoaster period of my life, I just love souvenirs, but when I'm feeling heavy, I just gotta wonder why I like to cling to reminders of the past. The "unproductive" past specifically.

So in an effort to let go of sadness and malaise, I'm going to start divesting myself of things, root out the crap, so I can see more clearly. I attended a young women's general meeting yesterday afternoon and they talked about the unlimited potential of your life. And then I went to an awesome study meeting later on, and I felt so much better. Everyone struggles. Everyone questions, but as long as one continues to seek with an open heart, there is hope. And wine. :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

What is going on with me?

I am so tired it's not funny. I seriously have to get to the blood clinic today for a test. I feel my energy is low, I'm craving sugar like an addict, I'm exercising my ass off and no weight is coming off, which is probably due to the serious cheating I'm doing - it's almost like an unconscious thing - I bought a icing laden cinnamon roll at Safeway the other day cause it was 99 cents! - what the hell was I thinking??!!! Oh, it couldn't hurt, I'm doing all this working out - well apparently it does. If I could just count my bloody points and stay off the crack (i.e. sugar) I will be fine.
My mood is also quite low - as in nothing is as fun as it used to be. I've got a great bike that all of sudden I don't want to ride anymore. I basically force myself to take it to the gym. I'm short on patience these days. It's hard to spend time with my mum, my husband's compulsive chewing on his friggin fingers all night long is driving me insane and it takes everything in me not to cave his skull in. I'd rather stay home and play Scrabulous all day. I'm so dramatic.
I went to Seattle for a day of shopping with my betrothed friend. No, I had fun, don't get me wrong, but I wish we were looking for shoes instead. Well maybe not, my right ankle is still fat. But I still love shoes. She's hilarious and silly and she's as bright and energetic as a beam of light. But my mood was flattened somewhat by the fact that I knew I would try on a lot of dresses that would not suit me or fit me and my self esteem would take a battering. Which it did. Bless my dear size 2 friend who kept bugging me to get the smaller size and she was so kind and so complimentary and so patient.

We were looking for an orange formal dress - it's her wedding scheme colour - of which we found 3 and of course, they were either not in my size or they looked like shit - designer shit, but despite my stunning beauty, I don't look good in everything, but I do look good in orange. And there are lots of orange casual dresses around, just not what I'm looking for. We also looked at black and white dresses. I have a tiny, short waist and a bit of a tummy, long, thick legs, long thick arms, great shoulders, and a pear shape. Ohmigod, I just made myself sound like a freak, didn't I? Which means A line silhouettes are good as long as they have empire waists, but no pleats or ruching on the stomach ..... well the point is most dresses don't suit me. That's why I only have a few and they're generally long. Like most women, I am smaller on the top than the bottom. Between Macy's and Nordstrom's and every boutique we could find, I found two formal dresses that looked good. Two. Well, in the colours we looked at. We were like mercenaries seeking out the enemy. The perfect dress.

I finally bought one of them. A long black gown with a plunging neckline highlighted by rhinestones in the cleavage. It was the first dress I put on that I actually thought I looked good in right away. The other one was a Jones New York dress, sheath like, white top, black bottom, should have been strapless but it had straps. Of course, I didn't get it, didn't think I could afford two dresses, but now I think I should have bought it. It kind of accentuated my child bearing (hah!) hips with the pleats which made me feel a tad self conscious. The long, black gown, I could wear at the night time reception, I guess and I'm sure I can get more use out of it. I still need a daytime formal dress though. Arrgh! I will get one made I think. This guerilla shopping for the perfect dress is nuts. Even for my own wedding, I had a gown made. Saved me a ton of grief and time. Do you think I should have one made,with maybe cream on top and dark orange on the bottom?
By the time we finished shopping, we were in serious need of a drink. We stopped at the Cheesecake Factory and I had a glass of wine, a salad (I only ate a 1/4 of it) and wait for it - a big honking piece of apple caramel cheesecake! I have no idea how many calories were in it and I don't want to know. Well, it had fruit, so that's good right? Honestly, who was I kidding with salad, I should have gone straight through to the dessert. It was soooo good and freaking worth it after pounding the pavement for 8 hours. I would have walked across glass for it.
Anyway, I'm off to take a blood test to find out what's what. Honestly, if anyone has any suggestions of vitamins or something that will give my mind and body a boost let me know.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Kiddie time! Drink time!

I now interrupt my perfectly blissful Buddhahood state to slide back into the world of Hell.

Things I dislike doing:

  • getting my bikini area waxed

  • doing my taxes

  • going to one year old's birthday parties

And yet, what did I do yesterday? The last one. It was combined with a housewarming. Why did I go? Well, it's my husband's godchild. Remember, the one he took to for his circumcision because the dad was out of the country on business? They had done an extensive renovation on their new home as well. Well, the place was gorgeous, as was the little one. Did I mention they were oops pregnant again? And from what I hear she wasn't happy about it? I guess I could understand that - if I had given birth several months ago. But I haven't. So I don't.

We walked into a gathering, that is quite familiar in this city - what my husband and I have dubbed the Zebra Club. Most of the couples there were interracial, black men with white women in this particular venue (other times, it's Asian and Caucasian); we came in and reversed it. Seriously, we should have ID cards. Hence, there were a lot of beautiful mixed children running around. Add two baby bumps into the mix. I know for a fact that we could not have been there a year ago. My husband even asked me before we left how long we were going to stay. Lucky for me, I had ended up talking mainly with two women who were not mothers and the guys who never, ever talk about personal stuff.

We also reacquainted ourselves with one of the mothers-to-be again. Years ago, she was the girlfriend of one of my hubby's sports buddies. Now she was a wife and on her way to a 2nd child. And you guessed it, she said, "Do you have any kids?" "No." (Just a simple no. No need to tell her we're adopting and open up that can of worms for public consumption.) "Well, you two have been together for a long time". "Yes, we've been together since 1854." And then other people interject with other lines of conversation and she either picks up my subtle mind control or she remains puzzled as to how that could possibly happen. Either way, it's another trip to the curried meatballs and wine for me. And hubby wonders why I gained so much weight.

I did interact quite a lot with the children. I couldn't help but think that they all looked like what our (dearly departed) imagined child would. I also enjoyed the company of a young boy who was visiting his father for the summer. He had actually seen me on TV, and was young enough to be impressed by this. He had that innocence that pre-teens have before they get all snarly and know-it-all. I gave him a big hug before I left. I still have that maternal feeling.

This explains my sullen mood this morning. A little guilty about the meatballs, chocolate brownies and wine. We're also seeing some other friends (just had their 2nd) today. I keep thinking this is all good, this is all good. Because when we get our child, we'll appreciate their friendship. Let's get it all done this weekend. Bring it on!

Happy 4th to my American friends!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

10th anniversary as a Buddhist

Today is my 10th anniversary of my Buddhist practise. Happy Buddhist Birthday to me. I have a picture of me (holding a piece of cake naturally) and I have a big smile on my face. It was a great day for me. I didn't know too many people at the culture centre, one Japanese family who always ran to hug me when they saw me, my district leaders (a couple who have been through so many challenges it's crazy and they're still together) and my bemused husband(boyfriend at the time) who came along to see what the hell I was doing with my life. He didn't really want to be there, I think, but he wanted to support me. I remember being so happy, my face hurt from smiling. I was so excited when my boxed Gohonzon and scarf was placed in my hands. There was a special ceremony where the Vancouver director read out what was on the membership certificate and then placed the Gohonzon in my hands as if it were precious gold. I was told that it represented my life and that I should always treasure it. Pictures were taken, excitement was in the air, everyone applauded. I had no idea that it was such an occasion! Later, my district leaders came to our place to enshrine the Gohonzon. They made jokes to put hubby at ease as they put papers in their mouths (so as to not accidently spit on it), proceeded to unroll it and hang it in the butsudan while we chanted. The butsudan is what holds the scroll and it can be very simple or very ornate.

So what can I say about being a Buddhist for a decade? What enlightenment have I received? Well, this Buddhism sounds so simple and it's quite easy to start. But like an onion, it has many layers and when you think you finally get something, you can just as easily realize you don't understand anything. It's been a lot of fun, I have a lot of happy memories with my fellow Buddhists as we've produced exhibits and events in the city. United, we chant to achieve what a lot of people think is a waste of time - world peace.

I've learned that I'm a lot stronger than I thought. I don't cut and run from difficult situations anymore. I stand and fight. My practise has helped me to cycle through therapy in half the time. I've learned that I get a lot more from people when I give more. You can gain compassion through suffering, but you have seek true, unshakeable happiness.

I've lost faith. I've found it again. Slowly, gradually. Infertility can make you question your worth as a woman, your self identity. How many times have we asked, why me? Why can't I be like everyone else?

You don't have to practise a particular religion or philosophy to have faith, but you do need to nurture it. I like ritual but I hate dogma. Ten years ago, I had no idea of just how connected people on this planet are to one another. I've gained a certain level of equanimity. Just a tiny, tiny fraction. I've found happiness not in flat screen TVs, but in nature, in moments in time, in great parking spots. To believe in myself is one of the hardest tasks that I have in this lifetime. I don't think it's an accident that I picked the worst career in the world to try and accomplish this. I've learned the difference between what you do and what your mission is.

I am grateful. And occasionally, fleetingly, when I am in rhythm with the universe, I get the flash that I am not who my mind says I am, I am something so much more. It's those moments when I don't feel fear.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pain/no pain

Leave it up to my subconscious to get me out of bootcamp class. I biked up there, fancy pants me, did the warmup and then as I was jogging back to my mat, I slipped, my ankle folded over and crunch! OW!OW!OW!on the ground rolling in pain. Now I didn't see stars and I didn't hear a snap, so I figured it wasn't broken just strained. The instructor did the first aid thing perfectly, compress the foot, elevate and ice. So I lay there on the bench while the class proceeded. Feeling like a moron. Why do people always feel so embarrassed when they fall down? It's not like I was attempting some crazy stunt, I was just jogging back to my mat and I probably stepped on one of the metal plates they HIDE in the grass. So looking up at the blue sky, I chanted for a speedy recovery, got up eventually and rode back home. You don't really need a good ankle to ride a bike surprisingly. It felt pretty good after the icing, so I swallowed some Advil took the dog out for a walk and then my cell phone rang. I was late for acting class. Ooops, I had forgotten all about it. So we went back home, and I rode to my class, puffy ankle and all. Then I went to see my mum as I had not seen her yesterday. We shopped at Gap Kids for my nephew and then hung out at Starbucks and people watched. Have I complained about being dog tired yet? Yes, gotta check my iron levels. I thought exercise was supposed to give you energy. But I still made it to spin class last night.

I spent a lovely Canada Day at Spanish Banks (at the end there's a grassy part where dogs are allowed) with a gaggle of friends. Sitting in my double chair, with umbrella, with my non drinking husband (apparently, he has developed an allergy to alcohol - has anyone heard of that?) and my happy dog, with a pomegranate Mike's Hard discretely poured into my plastic cup. I say discretely because drinking openly on a beach is illegal here, though EVERYONE does it, you have to be cool about it and hide it from the cops who occasionally drive around on ATVs.
At this end of the park, there was a lot of young, good looking people, hanging and playing frisbee, bacci ball, and assorted games, and there aren't that many families. A few but not many. There was even a live band playing. One of the people in our group brought his little daughter and I actually called someone a jackass (lovingly) in front of her. Yes, I did tell her that it wasn't a word that I should have said and I was wrong to use it. I'm pretty sure she's going to use that word at daycare this week. I didn't have that kicked in the stomach feeling anymore. I was totally in the nostalgic vibe when we used to come down here on sunny weekends with our friends and dogs and we would BBQ and drink (responsibly of course) and just chill out. Before the kids, before ttc and treatments and BFNs and demented mothers.
And though there were lots of young girls in bikinis, I didn't feel pangs of jealousy or even feeling out of place. That's what young people do, they hang out at beaches, and play soccer on the grass and pose and flirt with one another. I was just feeling good, digging the music and enjoying the warmth. Feeling no pain.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!

It falls on a Tuesday this year, which is a bit awkward for those folks who had to work on Monday and then get Tuesday off and then back to work on Wednesday. But I'm an unemployed actress, so it's all the same to me.
I did have a great audition for a feature film on the weekend with an out of town casting director. It was for a lead so it was great fun preparing for it. Real character work for a change. Not just - "he went that way, sir." The casting director complimented me, telling me how talented I was. That's so nice, but being a veteran of this business, I take it with a grain of salt. I've heard that before but the validating part comes when you win the role. So give me the part, dammit!
Speaking of getting parts, my husband just got an actor role on Supernatural. Did I tell you he wanted to get into the business at one point? Well, he's with my agent, but he hardly ever goes out because he has a real job and is often quite busy or out of town. But when he does go out, he has a good booking rate. He had an audition, rather a meet and greet with the casting director and director, and now he gets a part playing a short order cook. He has no lines but he has to wear prosthetics (like demon eyes) or something. And it pays really well. Isn't that great? Grrr. He actually came home and bragged he was a shoo-in. I was on the show as a bus clerk a couple of years ago and I had a few lines, but I had to audition against half a dozen women! He gets a meet and greet with 2 other guys. I have to chant for hours, sacrifice a baby goat and send flat screen TVs to the casting director to get a part and he just shows up. Ah, that's show business for ya. Well, I'll just have to pick out a very expensive dress to get for the wedding in Europe. Oh, come here, WALLET, I mean sweetie.

I joined a bootcamp program for the next 4 weeks. I stopped going to Weight Watchers and took the money I would have used for that and put it towards physical activities. Now I know WW does really work, you count your points and do the program, but I think I just got tired of counting points and I just wanted to eat whatever I wanted. Which meant of course, that I stopped losing weight and even gained a few pounds. This means that I was not getting it - it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle. As much as I would like to eat cinnamon roles and candy every day and wash it down with a pint of booze, I can't. I am not like my hollow legged size 2 friends. Time to bump it up. I also bought a scale. Fuck. I've never owned a scale. Now I know why. You get one at one point and it's yay time and then you get on later and it's uh-oh. What the fuck?

I've been to 2 classes so far. Every part of my body hurts, I ache all over. Do you know what a bear crawl is? A seriously fucked up way to move the human body along ledges. I was late the first day and the class had to do 10 pushups. They love me. I can only do the knee ones, but I volunteered to do an extra 10 for the older lady. She really didn't need any further pity, as she left me in the dust. I ended being the straggler of the group. It was like, what are we doing now? Wait, wait, go backwards???

My lovely hubby also bought us bikes this weekend. The bike is my birthday present.

Gorgeous, eh? (that's Samps near the bottom of the frame, moving out of camera range.) No, it's not one of those very popular cruiser types. No nancy bike for me, folks! They're nice, but it's like riding in a chair with wheels. I prefer hybrid bikes. I like the real dangerous, fast ones, there's a possibility that your brakes could throw you over the handlebars, the pedals can rip up the back of your legs if your foot slips off, grrrrr. Of course the downside is your ass is not too comfortable on those seats. All the spinning prepared me, though, I still swapped out for a cushier gel seat. My ass would have liked the big comfort seats but it didn't match the edgy bike. We already gone around the Stanley Park seawall twice. It's 10km, people. I haven't done that since 19mumblesomething.

It was lovely actually, the sunset was great, the crowds are out, the gelato store is open late .... oops, this isn't going to be easy.