Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lake Louise fun!

I went to Lake Louise yesterday in the company of 3 other actresses. Two of us went downhill skiing and two of us went ice skating at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel.w Guess which activity I went with? Yeah, the skiing would have been the adventurous choice but I'm rapidly running out of money so I chose the cheaper activity that leave me with my dignity and legs intact. It's been ages, but I strapped on a pair of skates and went skating on a frozen lake! Lily(not her real name) and I had an awesome time! Even though after 10 minutes of calm conditions, the wind started to roar across the lake picking up snow and ice pellets, eventually blasting us. Freezing! But it was also a little like para-sailing ... para-skating, er, whatever. I had to bend over at right angles, and wait out the icy blasts. I gave it up after about 45 minutes, my friend, Lily stayed out there for an hour and a half. She was deleriously happy. Her inner child was beaming. I have to say that seeing that actually made me happier.

Good news - there were lots of dogs and children - and I smiled appropriately. Okay, I oohed and ahhed more over the dogs. I also had a little cuddle with the hotel dog, Sunny, a lovable golden lab. We hung around the vast hotel, eating cheese and cookies in the restaurant. They politely turned their heads at that (come on, a $16 sandwich wrap?!!!!) and we even found a pleasant alcove with an exquisite view to have hot chocolate.

All in all, an awesome day and I slept like a rock.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cracked Open - Part 3

Having a couple days off in Banff. Have been reading blogs all morning - oh, my sisters, my heart is always with you!

Was reading WordGirl at Blood Signs and something occurred to me. She talks about making peace with the love that her stepson can offer her. Not the intensely personal mother/child bond, but another type of love. It inspired something in me. An echo.

When my sister and her family came to visit, her little boy woke up late one night and came down the hallway and snuggled with me and my husband while we watched TV. Eventually, I picked him and he wrapped his 4 year old self around me and I put him back to bed. I loved that feeling. That he was at ease with me, trusted me enough to wrap himself around me as I carried his heavy self back to bed. The hole in me seemed smaller for just a blink of an eye. So soothing to be the one who did that. But it expanded again because I yearned for that type of unconditional love for myself. The one that would silence the "you're not good enough, worthy enough, smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, accomplished enough" voice that haunted me. There's this saying we have - "Never seek the Gohonzon outside yourself". I'm sure you can find a similar quote of faith that resonates with you. That's what I was looking for. Something outside of myself.

What I had planned to happen had failed to materialize, depression and infertility had thrown me off kilter, my faith and marriage had taken a beating, and everything in the world seemed to be hellbent on reminding me of what I didn't have. It felt deeply personal and I took it personally. People kept telling me how exceptional I was, yet I was still looking for the rewards, the proof of this. If I was supposed to be happy, then why the hell wasn't I working on a wildly successful TV series and pushing my baby girl down the street with my adored Sampson by my side to meet my gorgeous husband for coffee? Expectations too high? Okay, how about just pushing my baby down the street (no series, no dog) to meet my gorgeous husband for coffee? Okay, at the moment, it's just me and my demented mother meeting my gorgeous husband for coffee.

It occurred to me that my hole that only demands unconditional love in the form of a child says more about the state of my ego than it does about an actual child itself. In a way. Do you know what I mean? I'm sure it's just a part of it, but one I'd like to touch on this. (Cause I have the luxury of time to do this.) I'll just speak for myself though, cause I don't know about anybody else. I hinted at it in my previous posts. The "winning" part of the equation. The "I win, I win!" feeling. It's called rapture in the world of Buddhism. It's short term gratification when one's desires have been achieved. It can still revert back to the world of hunger or hell. The ego craves this exhilaration. Negative pee stick. World of Hell. Positive pee stick. Rapture!

I have no practical experience of how a child would impact my own personal life. Though apparently, I'm on that path come hell or high water. I can imagine, I can intellectualize, I'm not an idiot, I've got eyes, I'm old enough to know that I will cease to be the centre of my demented world (which includes my demented mother). I want to do it because I believe we have a lot to offer a child of this world. I have to admit at one point, because I felt I had truly nothing else WORTHWHILE to accomplish in my life, I figured having a child would give me meaning. Hell, even my husband, at one point said that he wouldn't have brought up his dissatisfaction with me and our marriage HAD WE HAD A CHILD. Because that would have made me the MOTHER of his child. I would have had A JOB, a PURPOSE, a DIRECTION. That would have made me RESPECT WORTHY. These are my caps, not his. I felt rage and disappointment in myself and I hated his guts for a time. He was right. I didn't have any other true purpose, a direction, a passion in my life at that time. I just cruised along in automatic, waiting, waiting, waiting for my miracle to arrive. I certainly didn't have unconditional love for myself. My dog, maybe. I put all my eggs in one basket and my eggs, plenty though they were, didn't want to stick around to turn into a child. I had become a woman of a certain age, prone to depression and bloat. And while I ignored the stones hitting my back, I certainly felt the brick thrown at my head.

I knew that even had that miracle child sprung out of my loins, and he did leave me, I would still have my child. I would have had a noble purpose to cling to. Certainly more noble than taking care of myself. More important. The bond that would never be broken even if my kid grew up, rejected me and took up drugs. I'd still be a MOTHER. Like a universal "sir" or "duchess" or something. A title per se. Satisfying to the ego. And you know how well regarded that title is. Cause if you give up your job to raise your child, you sacrifice your own needs for your child cause it's the most IMPORTANT job in the world, don't ya know, then your life was worthwhile.

Unless you are the type of person voted most likely to find the cure for cancer.

You know, even if you fuck up with your kids, they still love you even if you're a piece of shit. Honestly. You know this is true.

And for those you didn't get that special title, the ego was all too quick to condemn you to the garbage dump. What would happen if I found a new way to define happiness? Would I be a better mother? A better person?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cracked Open - Part 2

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Now I know this is a nursery rhyme, though not a particulary nice one. But I have a couple of questions. Now I don't know what one expects from horses - why were they called in? What's a horse gonna do? Did the King's men bring in a bucket of water and wash all Humpty's bits away? Existential angst aside, I had felt like Humpty at one point. And like my pseudonym, I certainly felt like I had imploded like a dying star. Simultaneously dealing with my mum's stroke and dementia and trying to get knocked up at the ripe old age of 40 was a bit .... stressful. By failing to conceive and carry a child to term it felt like the universe had conspired to doom me. Now I know that's not true, I just didn't have a stellar womb and science couldn't defeat my biology. I'm certainly not unique in that experience of infertility. My pretty good life took a turn down What the Fuck? Lane. It went from heady excitement and smiles and cheer (had even picked out a name!) to grim determination in the face of infinitesimal odds of success. At a certain point during my IVF days (I'm pretty sure it was when I was in a supply closet recuperating from my first egg retrieval) that I went down the proverbial rabbit hole. I came out of it 3 years later when I used the last of my frozen embryos on the last vapours of my hope, faith and our Visa card. I got up from my knees and went about my business as best as I could, I didn't have a nervous breakdown or anything. Well ..... mmmm. Maybe I did.

I thought I was putting my dreams to rest and moving forward. I thought I would finally be free from the grip of the world of Hunger. You know that world. The one where you just NEED, NEED AND WANT more than you think is sane. I needed to let go because I was sinking. I decided that I was sick to death of being traumatized by blank pregnancy tests, blood labs, swollen ovaries, doctors, and fertility clinics. I was SUPREMELY PISSED. And I was not me anymore. The ascerbic but basically happy go lucky woman who believed that love conquered all, shopping cures all ills, and I know the answer to everything. I was a good person and so when, pray tell, was the good karma law going to come into effect for me? I had endured a generous amount of physical pain and discomfort, and always looked on the bright side. If I worked hard enough, endured enough, DIDN'T GIVE UP, I would be rewarded and I would get to tell my tale of how our child came into this world. Why should I care about the shitty odds? What's a number compared to my the sheer force of my will? People would applaud and wipe the tears from the eye and I would be a symbol of hope and sunshine and roses would come beaming out of my ass and oh, brother, what an EGO! I WAS A GOOD GIRL AND GOOD GIRLS GET THEIR CANDY IF THEY BEHAVE. Even DH told me once that once we started down that path, it was like HE HAD TO WIN, he had to ACHIEVE and BE NUMBER ONE! (insert waving foam finger here) GO TEAM GO, WIN, WIN, WIN!
I lost my faith. And when I stopped chanting, I lost hope. I lost joy. And for a long, long time I believed that somehow I had made a wrong decision somewhere along the line and mentally I kept going back to try and and figure it out. Which is ridiculous. I had to figure out just where I went wrong. Cause if I could figure out when, then everything would make sense, right? Ego, ego, ego was running the show. I resisted in seeing my reality in every sense of the world. Both my husband and I looked at each other and went - who the hell are you?!
Why I am still writing about all this? Cause I still feel the hole. It's been a year since our homestudy was signed, sealed and delivered and still there's a hole. I've tried to fill it. I've tried ignoring it. I definitely think it's become smaller. Like my pant size. The hole has even served me in ways I could never have imagined. It certainly has made me more compassionate. Even served with a slice of bitter betty pie, I've managed to keep my sense of humour. And the point of chanting came back to me. To have hope and joy is indeed possible. For what the hole has taught me, I am very grateful. GRATITUDE. I looked into the eyes of a dying woman and something cracked open inside of me. I'm still battling my ego, fear still whispers in my ear. I know what it is now though.

The old me is gone, may she rest in peace. I missed her, mourned her but there's no going back. Just forward. I like the hole, I've gotten used to it. Not sure I could live without it. Why would I want to be put together again, when there's such a great future ahead of me?

"... but my hope is that with deep prayer and practice, I can transform my karma, connect with the stuff of the universe and create as many stars as I can. Be a star again. And not just any old star. But a Sun. Brilliant and fierce."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Great news or is it?

A dear friend of mine just had her first shot of Menopur. Her first IVF. At the shiny new clinic. She's excited. I'm excited for her. I want success for her cause the flip side of the coin totally sucks. I am now living vicariously through her. It has occurred to me in the back of my mind, that I will feel left behind when she becomes pregnant. When my other friends were pregnant, I couldn't really be there, given the situation I was in, I just showed up after the baby was born. And then disappeared again. I can guide her through this process, but I don't know anything about what happens next. Nothing, fuck all. You know, the after the double pink line or cross or positive blood test part. I've never been pregnant. At least not in this lifetime. I want to be able to swap stories with her about this milestone and that, but I can't. That makes me sad. We've shared everything so far. I will always be her friend and I will be there whenever she needs me. I will try my best to hide my twinge of envy, and who knows, maybe I won't even feel that way. Cause I'll have more exciting things on my mind. Right? Time to put on the big girl panties and get a life.

DH just told me about an old friend of his who had recently gone off the Pill after 21 years. She's pregnant at the age of 42. I actually fell asleep last night feeling miserable and sorry for myself. I can't fucking believe it. And I felt even worse for having those feelings at all. In the midst of enjoying such good fortune and opportunity, such things still get under my skin. Was I like this when I was single and I heard a friend was getting married? Mmm, probably. And feeling that way didn't serve any purpose at all and it certainly doesn't serve a purpose now. Except to fucking annoy and torture myself. Enough.

Looking on the bright side of things, I'll be able to have my own child to raise soon. I'll focus on that. We can walk together with our prams in the park. And then I can bitch about not having any more time to whinge.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


We took a break today from our workshop to watch the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. After his speech, 3 of us walked out in the cold air to just share a hug, a couple of black women and a First Nations woman. Tears rolled down our faces. As I've said before, I just never believed I would see it in my lifetime. No matter where you stand politically, congratulations America!

A documentary to check out if you're so inclined.

Cracked Open

I posted this video because I was watching Dreamgirls the other night and it brought tears to my eyes. She sings it when she realizes it's time to step up and claim her own voice and her own life.

Here's the lyrics if you want to know. That song has been on my mind since I've decided that this is the year I start living large. I think I'm still feeling the ripples of D's death. It cracked me open. I didn't want to be just this childless housewife waiting for my life to begin when I was approaching the half century mark. At times, it's like treading water. I've got dense bones, people, I sink. Waiting for a child, waiting for a gig, waiting for a project to direct, waiting for the cheque in the mail, waiting to be skinnier. It's like going to medical school, learning all the theory of medicine, going out and buying all the gear and then doing surgery a couple times a year and being an orderly the rest of the year.

On the list of things to do better, was my relationship with DH. I've noticed that due to stress he's really been on my case about a lot of things and I've also noticed my lack of desire to put up with it. After Sampson died, there was this huge hole in our lives and grief was once again sitting in our living room. I think I was smothering the poor guy. So I was either going to have to repress my emotions and end up miserable or learn to communicate with love. So I sat down and chanted with my all of my heart. Then when he came home, I was ready to let him know how I felt about some things. And I was as bone tired of not being listened to as he was. We had one of those aha moments. At my request, he even read a chapter of Eckhard Tolle's A New Earth. The chapter on the pain body. He was also open to doing "homework". Not entirely sure what that's going to be, but we'll figure it out. I don't think we need counselling, we just need to truly hear and have compassion for one another. We've both had to readjust our identities and our expectations quite a bit over the past few years. He expressed his confidence in our marriage and our ability to overcome adversity. I felt like I had found my best friend again. And it even occurred to me that I had to become my own best friend.

Something is shifting inside of me and I can't not speak. I will be heard.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm not the only one!

This is probably the first gathering of women I've been in where I don't feel awkward for not being a mother. Yes, I've been asked a couple of times if I have children, but then when I said no, they just changed the subject. The other woman changed the subject, not me! I've even had conversations with a couple of women about their pets, and though I never asked, I just know they don't have their own children because like typical crazy dog/kitty people they just went on and on about their dogs. We actually talk about our work, our passion as filmmakers and artists. How wonderful it was to step out of daily lives to attend this workshop. Imagine that! The mentor director, though a mother, talked bringing her children with her when she travelled for work, but being a mother was not the sole reason for her being. Her passion for her work was what she talked about. Wow, okay, gotta run!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Banff shots

Just a few shots of my views as I go for meals. They are constructing another building for more facilities at this artist centre. More later.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh Deer!

When they say Banff is smack dab in the middle of wild life - they're not kidding. Almost ran into this cute creature on my way back to my room.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do it already - it's not a haiku!

I found that 100 word exercise easier to do in Word format because there's a word count. I wrote and then I went back and cut words out. And I changed it about 10 times.

Monday, January 12, 2009

100 words - instructions included!

Born wanting to speak. Chatted my way through nap time in kindergarten. Wanting to be heard and understood. Tried to interpret the silent and seething emotions at home. I was the middle child, the peacemaker, the smart and social one. I pretended that my real family was coming to get me one day. I daydreamed and I wrote. And instead of choosing a respectable profession, I became an actress. I struggled, I endured, I waited for me to notice myself. Couldn’t find the map. Then I found love. And daimoku. Grief created a new me. I wonder who she’ll be.

(Teendoc challenged me to this exercise. Damn, it's harder than you think.) Who wants to try?

Describe your entire life in a single paragraph of 100 words. No more than 100 and no less than 100. It must be exactly 100 words

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Someone please explain to me how I get twitter updates on my blog.

Also, why when I'm being super-efficient does the universe laugh at me? Yesterday, the mall accountant calls me to tell me he's missing some T4 slip and without it, she'll end up owing the government and how precisely does a dementia patient end up owing taxes and of course, I can't find it anywhere which means my mum's taxes can't get done before I leave and then I have to call her insurance company to send a reprint which should take over a week and then I have to get dressed to go to an audition but first I have to go all the way over to West Van to see my girlfriend for coaching and I'm waaaaay late and then I have to leave and then I almost run out of gas on the Upper Level Highway and then I go the wrong way and then I turn around and then have to go ass backwards to my audition cause it's Friday and you never attempt to cross the Lion's Gate bridge on a Friday afternoon in a hurry which means I drive miles out of my way to get to the downtown east side so I can discover they've blocked off another shortcut to my audition place. And then I audition and it's .... good. I think. And when I call to tell hubby to put a frozen pizza in the oven cause I haven't eaten since early morning cause I had a dentist appointment in which they scaled and scraped my teeth because the hygienist's water thingy machine stopped working and now he tells me to wait and we'll talk about food when I get in. Bad. Very Bad. But then it goes good, cause when I get in, I'm ready to kill someone and so cold cause I'm so hungry and he's had the good sense to actually put a frozen pizza in the oven because he knows how I get when I'm hungry and then it's in my tummy and then I crack open some shiraz. And the first sip is - ahhhh. Peace.

This was dedicated to Chicklet.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Twitter on!

Never mind, I, uh, joined Twitter with a different name and apparently I'm on it already. Now I just have to figure out the phone part. Ahem, at least I'm pretty. Hehehe.

What the Twitter?

I still can't make this Twitter thing work! What the **** is going on? How many times do I have to type in the capture words?!!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Paperwork causes me physical pain

As you may or may not be aware - I HATE PAPERWORK! I hate doing my taxes, I hate filling out forms with numbers. I shiver when I see a stack of white papers with black squiggly things all over them that demand I fill out blank boxes or lines. I have years of practice in denial/avoidance techniques that would make you gasp. This has served me in no way at all. I only manage to postpone the pain. I have paid thousands in dollars in tax penalties, avoided looking at past due notices and generally make myself ill and tense at the very thought of tackling said paperwork. Credit card companies love people like me. They keep raising the limits because they make money off of me.

And I have yet again, done the same thing with filing my mother's summary of accounts paperwork with the provincial body that oversees such things. Becoming my mother's committee (which is actually stronger than power of attorney I'm told) required dealing with a lawyer, legal fees, masses of paperwork, sorting through her incredibly disorganized papers (and due to her state of mind hardly anything was how it should be) and because she had become incapacitated without benefit of a power of attorney and will, I am now legally bound to declare her financial assets and management of her person to a governmental bureaucracy. Now, it all makes sense. They are there to protect those people who would otherwise be taken advantage of by unscrupulous people or relatives. I totally get it. But I am totally inept at dealing with that type of thing. It's been years since I actually filed my taxes in a timely manner.

WHY do I do this to myself? Mmmm, well, I could give you all sorts of psychological/emotional reasons. But it doesn't matter anymore, cause I've decided that I need to overhaul my financial karma and STOP IT! In order to prosper, I MUST overcome my fear of all things financial. So under threat of legal action (and yeah, it got my attention), I am undertaking my mum's summary of accounts. So I shot off an email and left an after hours message pleading for an extension. Luckily, the case officer, after telling me off, took pity on me and gave me one FINAL and FOREVER extension. The man was right, I admitted it and I have a million and one excuses as to why I didn't get to it. But I really didn't want to list depression, grief, and hidden object games as my excuses, so I just pulled the ole' my friend died of breast cancer and he gave in.

Now the good news is that they have finally streamlined the process and it doesn't involve me making up 2 dozen Excel spreadsheets (err,my husband) like I did the first time. There were 2 1 inch books full of guidelines and rules explaining everything. My head ached. my stomach churned, my jaws clenched. Now the forms aren't long at all and TODAY I spent several hours organizing everything and labelling and I'm almost done. Ahem, I just forgot to file HER taxes for 2 years. So I'm going to an accountant tomorrow. I could get an accountant to do her summary of accounts but the last time I tried that this one guy had no idea of how to do them and the government office couldn't recommend one. So, later for that. Luckily, I do have a habit of filing everything in accordion boxes so at least my packrat tendencies have come in handy. With any luck, I may have this crap organized before I go away.

I even arranged to automatically debit my account for my Visa bill. I may decide to grow up and get a grip this year after all.

Monday, January 5, 2009

To Twitter or NOT

I've been trying to join twitter, but no matter how many times I enter the damn letters, it won't accept it and I tried about....45 times in a row!!!!

This is what I wanted to say: You CAN have apple pie for breakfast!!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Guess who I had coffee with on Friday? Luna! With her lovely husband the Amazing M. They are both so incredibly warm and loving - it was like seeing a long lost friend. I can't tell you what they look like, but I will tell you that Luna just glows, she's one of the people that makes you feel SEEN. Know what I mean? The one weird thing about meeting a fellow blogger in person is that you both know so much about each other and yet it's still hard to find the right words to express the gratitude you feel of making a connection with them. Saying thanks for being there sounds so trite. And jumping up an down and squealing like a 14 year old girl is tempting but creepy. I would love to meet you all at least once in my lifetime just to put a face to the blog and say thank you in person. So you know that there's a real live person on the other side of the page who cares to reach out and give you more than a virtual hug.

And then the next day, I woke up with a raging head cold (thanks DH) that I thought I had escaped. But you know what happens when you've been fighting it for a while and just when you get through all the holiday brouhaha, WHAM! Bah! So, I'm boing to dwink my appwe ciwwamon Meo Citwan and dwink Nyquil now. I am so smuffed up. Forgive me if I made you sick Luna. Hack!

Luna and her man are totally wonderful and are going to make AMAZING parents!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A new year - finally!

Goodbye 2008, you can kiss my big, black ass goodbye!

I have to say that this holiday season was the least stressful ever! Not only did I enjoy a lovely time in Edmonton with my in-laws (good food, good drink, good presents!), our travel plans went so smoothly! We managed to fly there and back with minimal delay. You may have heard that Air Canada cancelled a ton of flights due to snowstorms across the country, but we had booked West Jet and had no problems at all. Well, besides waiting a long time to get de-iced on our departure. Came back home on Boxing Day and proceeded to make another Christmas dinner for my mum. More good food! What was missing? There were no BFN's lingering around to spoil the mood, no more TTC schemes, no adoption home studies, no marital breakdowns, etc. We're just waiting....and hoping.

And then we decided to have a New Year's Eve party. We didn't invite many people, but I did want to spend more time with my guests. I cooked up food ahead of time, baked an apple pie and made cupcakes, and hubby stayed in the kitchen to turn out the drinks and horse doovers. It turned out great! We rang in the New Year with a toast to Big Boy and my friend, D, with delicious bubbly! My New Year's determination is to find a child to raise! I still have a life to lead, one full of creativity and purpose. It's funny, how after all this heartache having to do with children, I still want to have one. We had invited two sets of friends who had children to come early, but due to one thing or another, they couldn't make it.

It occurred to me that of all the people we know with children, no one seems to have consider using a babysitter. What's up with that? I mean, it's New Year's Eve, people, maybe now would be a good time to splurge a little. For a couple of hours maybe? It just doesn't seem to be an option anymore. I don't know if it's a money or sitter availability issue. When I was a kid, my parents didn't really go out together very much, but my eldest sister did take care of us from time to time. And when I was an adult, I babysat regularly for friends of mine. Of course, no one asked if you had certification or first aid training. Mmmm, and now when I think about it, I never see those people WITHOUT their children in tow.

I think times have changed a lot, there are a lot more child friendly places to bring your family, and parenting attitudes have changed. When I was a kid, I was to be seen and not heard. And going to a fancy coffee shop for a $3 hot chocolate was out of the question. I guess I have a lot to learn, eh? Families are so spread out - grandma and grandpa don't live next door and in the big city, you never know who you can trust. And for so many years, it was PAINFUL for me to be around young children so my friends certainly couldn't ask me to babysit. And plus, I think people really enjoy spending time with their children. Enjoying spending time with children. Now that's a whole new concept to wrap my head around.