Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Politics of Facebook

Are you on facebook? I am. Well, I am in a very quiet way. I have all the settings on my profile to be "friends only" including searching for me. Why? Because there are all sorts of people on facebook that I really don't want to be "friends" with never mind have them poking around my life. (Haha. Ironic this coming from a blogger.)

Who are these people? They are my DH's ex and all her friends (yes, including that army of vicious gays), my DH's sister and some extended family.

My entry into facebook started out as fun. It's fun to:
  • keep in touch with your friends and relatives you don't see often on there
  • post & look at pictures
  • play games and exchange little peeks into friends everyday lives
  • see what people from your past are up to (yes, a little voyeuristic of me but hey at least I admit it!)
It's NOT fun to:
  • be "friends" with people you don't trust
  • have your DH's sister scroll through everything on your page looking for anything damning and report your every move to your DH ("gasp...citygirl wrote on someone's wall today!")
  • have pictures posted of you from hellish events and then be made fun of by the army of vicious gays...yes it was horrible. These people don't even know that I'm on facebook so when I stumbled across these pictures I was pretty hurt to see little catty remarks being made about me. Frig, I was the bigger person to attend that stupid event in the first place.
  • see that your DH's ex and his sister are "friends". Who knows what that really means but it still hurts. Makes me feel like a complete loser. Somedays I think to myself "why am I even in this situation? Why don't I just step aside?"
Other ramblings about facebook:

At one point, I put my account on hold as "friendships" were causing some major problems with extended family. A couple was going through a divorce and it became quite a situation where "friends" were almost being asked to choose between them. I ended up "de-friending" both of them and blocking them (along with a ton of other people...I guess I'm paranoid that the privacy settings aren't strong enough. You know what they say...better to wear a belt & suspenders!)


Since then, I've almost chucked my account now & then a few times. Maybe I should just look through my friend list and weed out some people instead. I don't know exactly why I feel uneasy about it somedays. It almost feels like being back in the playground at school and being worried about being unpopular or talked about behind your back or worse yet, being out rightly picked on (oh wait, that already happened to me!).



Speaking of the playground...I wasn't terribly popular in elementary school. I was quiet and kept a few close friends. My school had 2 geographical areas, one was walking distance and the other was school-busing distance. I was part of the walking group which was considerably smaller than the bus group. Needless to say, the walking group were the outsiders. We weren't "in" with the bus group and majority ruled popularity. The bus group would all go to each other's parties and laugh about them on Monday at school. The bus group stayed at school for lunch and would party everyday while the walking people went home for lunch with their mom or nanny. The bus group bullied and picked on the walking people quite a bit. It was a really personality-defining experience for me.

So here I am again...on the playground known as facebook. I have my close friends. And I seem to have a ton of other friends. But there's also that group that makes me feel like I'm that 7-year-old girl in the schoolyard again.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Testing...testing...is anyone out there?

I've had issues with my feedjit tool since I installed it. It looks great on my blog and I can see the little map of where visitors come from but the second I click on it to see a bigger version of the map (with more detail) my internet explorer experiences an issue and closes down. I've tried reading up on this and found no solution.

I've also been poking around with Google Analytics. It seems to be able to track where my visitors are coming from too but I don't know if I've successfully installed it or not (hence there is a section at the bottom of my blog right now titled "test"). It takes a minimum of 24 hours to see if data is being tracked.

Why am I doing this? Because I find it fascinating. I LOVE seeing where visitors come from! I absolutely find it thrilling to think that people around the world read my ramblings!

Rough Day

I'm having a hard time today with it being my first birthday without my mom. Just thinking about it makes my eyes fill up with tears. I bawled this morning when my sibling called.

I've always thought birthdays were kinda like little "anniversaries" with your mom so I'm just having a tough time and I do much better if I just don't think about it and can just get through today. I'm at work today so I can keep my mind occupied (well, except for this little blog entry) and I am one of those fortunate people who have in an open style cubicle so I have no.privacy.whatsoever.

I'm also thinking about how wonderful my visit was with my mom last year (I figured out how to import a historical post...I wrote this little thing out last year before I started blogging) and how I wondered last year if it would be the last one we celebrate together.

No big plans tonight. I honnestly just want today to pass. I didn't realize how hard it would be.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Stop this ride, I want to get off!

I was reading one of my favourite blogs this morning and wrote such a long (and it turned out to be quite interesting!) comment regarding euthanasia that I thought I would share it with my readers...

Ahhh...this is tough topic but one caregivers must face. When my dad passed away 16 years ago, my mother would go on about how she wanted to die or wished she had died instead of my father. She would bawl her eyes out at the dining room table as I sat helplessly. I would let her know that I was happy she was still here and that I still needed her (I was only 17 years old at the time).

As the Alzheimers progressed, mom would sometimes bring up how she wanted to die when she was having one of those days where she was somewhat with it. On those days, I think she realized that something was wrong with her and wanted to end her own suffering and confusion. Those were really hard days. But it wasn't a person in their right mind talking. I don't ever think that an Alzheimers patient could make this decision.

On a somewhat related note...the DNR. UGH... it makes me feel like I'm going to bawl just thinking about it. Our nursing homes here require us to sign a form regarding this - you choose the level of life-saving activities that will be done if something happens. At first, we had a high level of life-saving activities.

As mom got worse over the past couple of years, (i.e. bedridden, unable to communicate, eat or stay awake for more than a few minutes) we lowered the level of activities that would take place. We consulted with doctors and my sibling is an emergency worker so he has seen a lot of people revived just to live on for years completely brain dead in a coma. So for the last couple of years, we had DNR as our request. It absolutely killed us to sign the forms but we knew it was for the best...mom was in a terrible state these last couple of years. But in a small way, I felt like we were murderers, not trying 100% till the very end.

After years of caring for sick parents and many ambulance trips, I always thought in my head "the next ambulance won't have flashing lights & sirens...it'll be a quiet drive away".

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Goodbye, M.

Somedays, I think about an old friend I used to have.

"M" and I met in early high school. We had a lot in common - we were quiet brainers who didn't hang outside the school and smoke. We had family issues. We shared a common cultural background. We could talk for hours & hours.

After high school, we kept in touch quite frequently. We went on a couple of fabulous trips. Then after university, M went away for grad school. I was proud of her.

M got sick half way through the school year abroad. She ended up coming home and she's never been the same. She was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I felt terrible and hoped that she'd be able to get treatment and get her life back on track. She didn't.

Ten years later, M is still sick and on disability. On top of her Crohn's, she has developed a million other ailments (and I'm sorry to say but I think they're mostly in her head). I know other people with the terrible disease of Crohn's and they suffer but they also keep going in life. They didn't lie down and apply for permanent disability.

And it's funny, M cannot go to school or work due to her illness but she's perfectly well to socialize, sleep, work for cash and shop her days away. I've been a good, patient friend who's always been there to listen and comfort (despite the inner voice telling me that she's a bit of a hypochondriac). We all have these friends. It takes all kinds to keep the world going. But what made me end this friendship is when she wasn't there for me on two very important days in my life and I also realized M had become a crazy bitch was no longer herself.

The first day was my wedding day. M came to the ceremony (it was a 10 minute quickie type) and then promptly grabbed me after it to say that she was leaving and going home because she wasn't feeling well. Since we were at a hotel, I offered for M to go lie down for a while in a guest room and join us for dinner (which would be in an hour or so after pictures/cocktails). M declined and left all teary-eyed. I felt bad and it weighed on my mind a bit (on top of all the other political sh*t that goes on at a wedding...don't get me started. Just elope.).

A year later, M told me the real reason she left. She left because she "was upset that I didn't ask to her to be bridesmaid and she was jealous to see me happy". Nice. I told her that I didn't ask her to be a bridesmaid because all she did was complain (regarding the pressure on her health and finances) about being a bridesmaid for another friend earlier that year. M seemed accept this and we got past this.

The second time M failed me was when my mother passed. I truly needed support and she was not there for me. Why? She says she "had a doctor's appointment" on the day of the funeral. We had arrived at the church for the funeral and M came flying across the street at me telling me she couldn't stay because she had an appointment. Really, was it for brain surgery? M left a voicemail for me later that day going on about how she had a doctor's appointment and blah blah blah.... I erased the message and haven't called her back. It's almost been 4 months and M hasn't called again.

I can't understand what appointment could not be moved on an emergency basis. You really can't help when funerals are held. But then what really bothered me was that M didn't show for any of the visitations either. Surely, in 3 days worth of events, she could have showed for something? Even a visitation. If you really couldn't be there for the funeral, then a visitation would have sufficed. Actually, the visitations allow for much more interaction/support anyways.

Another thing about M... I noticed in the past few years, she became a crazy bitch quite evil. M was/continues to be "the ex that won't go away" in someone's life. She knows all about my situation and how it hurts to have your SO's ex lurking around. She laughs and delights in her "small victories" against the current girlfriend. It's horrible to listen to. It makes me sick. The last I heard, she had basically driven such a wedge in her ex's current relationship that his girlfriend left him (even after they had bought a house together!). M moved in (because her ex was drowning in bills and needed a roommate) but she was hoping romance would bloom again with him. How horrible is that?

It was horrible enough that I realized it was time to say goodbye to my friend. M was no longer the person I used to be friends with. She had become someone else. Goodbye, M.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Keeping in touch...with an ex

I'm here to rant today about my DH keeping in touch with his ex. WHY WHY WHY??? WHY do people keep in touch with their exes? I can see the occasional friendly email between exes...I even have that. I can see keeping in touch very often if you have children together. But otherwise that's it. That's where I draw the line in my mind.

It's an issue that my DH and I have been dealing with for our entire relationship. He knows it bothers me so he's "cut down" their contact. But even the mere mention of it makes me fuming.

Perhaps I should give you a little more to work with. My DH and this person had somewhat of a bad breakup. There were thoughts that she cheated on him and honnestly, everything points to that (including little love letters she had stashed away from her new guy!). But she denies it to this day. After a few months, things apparently didn't work out with her new guy and she came crawling back but my DH had already met me and told her that he didn't want to get back together with her. She cried. She called & called & called. She kept in contact with his family (more often than when they were together!). She gave the "ok, let's just be friends" routine. This person was determined to stay afloat!

After my DH bought a house and moved in together, I was cleaning out an overloaded closet one day when I came across letters from her pleading her case to get back together (the letters were dated way after we had started dating...even after we had bought our house). DH said he always told her he didn't want to get back together but they could be friends.

Fast forward years later and here we are. They're not in contact as much anymore and she's FINALLY started dating someone. But they're still in touch and it still bothers me. It hurts. It still boggles my mind how my DH can't just cut her off. Especially after her attempted home-wrecking.

Am I crazy? Am I overly jealous? Please chime in my readers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Run over the car. YES. Run over the car.

There's no typo in the title. I meant to type "run over the car".

This is exactly what this child did to our car on the weekend. Remember him?

While visiting on the weekend, our car was assaulted many times by the hands and feet/shoes of two 6-year-old boys. I am still stunned at the idea.

The children were playing in a large backyard/parking/garage area of their grandparents house. There were 5 cars parked in the driveway. The children & their parents walked over to a local fair after dinner so we decided to pop out for some coffee.

We get in the car and DH looks in his rear-view and absolutely freaks. There are hand prints all over the back window. He gets out of the car and it becomes quite clear that the kids have been literally running OVER the car MANY times. Their SHOE marks are on the back bumper, onto the trunk...hand/shoe prints up the rear window....across the roof of the car, down the front windshield and across the front hood. There are so many prints it looks like hundreds of kids ran across the car. There are noticeable deep scratches in the paint and dents. DH WAS PED!!!! His dad notices him looking at the car and comes outside and freaks too. His mom comes out and says "well, how do you know who it was". Well, let's see, the car is parked in your driveway/in your backyard and was not like this when it arrived hours ago. Hmmm...let's see....

DH was so furious that he opted for us to leave and go home before the kids/etc got back from the local fair out of fear that he might strangle them be very angry with them.

The parents/kids return from the fair and the grandparents let them know what's happened. The parents call us at home and go on about how they are sorry/can't believe the kids did this. DH asks what their punishment is. Get this - no hot-tubbing last night before bed. Ooooohh... AND grounded for 2 weeks. WTF? The kids are 6 yrs old. Where would they normally go? What difference does "grounding" make to them? UGH!!!

The parents insist on putting the the boys on the phone to say sorry.

Conversation goes like this:

Kid: I'm sorry (how robotic!)
DH: Well, I want you to think about something next time you think of damaging something. Think of your favourite toy...maybe your little bike that you love so much. Think of someone ripping a handle-bar off it. How would that make you feel?
Kid: Well, that wouldn't really matter. I can still ride it without handlebars.
DH: Ok...so you aren't really sorry for what you did to my car, are you?
Kid: No, not really.
DH: Put your mom back on.

Friday, September 5, 2008

What your doctor doesn't tell you

A couple of months ago, I went off the Pill because after a million years of being on it, it had started to reek havoc on my blood pressure. This was no small decision. My doctor & I have been monitoring my blood pressure since April and it was way too high for someone my age and build. There was a suggestion that I go on blood pressure meds but that was not something I want to do so off the Pill I go!

What my doctor didn't tell me is that I'd gain 5-8 pounds INSTANTLY and feel like I'm 100 years old.

In the past couple of months, I've gained 7 pounds even though I'm going to the gym and eating the same or less than I used to. I also noticed that I'm grumpier than usual, lethargic, wanting to sleep more than normal and overall, not the social organizer that I usually am. Sure, I've had a rough summer but I thought I was losing my mind with the way things were going. I've never had a weight issue in my life and suddenly I can't fit into half of my clothes. I've always been the social organizer and suddenly I have become a hermit. WTF?!?!

So I started thinking... besides a rough summer, what else happened? I went off the Pill. Could this be factor? Surely, my doctor would have forewarned me. Nope. I looked into it online and found a ton of women going through this & this! THANK G*D!! I'm not losing my mind!

Hopefully my body will sort itself out in the next few months. I guess after a million years of having my hormones falsely levelled, it takes a while to get back to nature. Until then, please bear me with me!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Regrets

Do you ever have an argument or situation with someone and then feel so guilty after? I know I do.

There are situations and arguments that happened in the past few years where I look back and feel really guilty and second-guess myself. At the same time, I can still justify what I did or said so I feel quite torn.

Things would have been much easier if I had not started the argument/argued back or if I had just let things go. But then, things would not be right (being a Libra, this would mean things are not balanced and that is something I can't deal with!). Some of these situations were huge and if I had not stood up to them, I would have ultimately paid the price.

Who were these situations with? They were with my DH, his family, my family and friends. Overall, I think I'm a nice, easy-to-get-along-with person. Sometimes, I think people mistake that for a push-over or someone they can treat as they wish. It was quite a shocker for some people to hear me roar when I was pushed too far (trust me, I shocked myself somedays!).

I'm not going to get into specifics of the situations but the bottom line in most cases was the person was not respecting me and/or our relationship. Some situations I ended up in were just absolutely ridiculous. I took action at the time and now, I am full of regrets somedays. But if you don't stand up for yourself, who will?

I'm okay

Hey, I thought I'd post to let you know that I'm okay. I had a couple of good chats with good friends this past week.

One friend, who is a social worker, pointed out to me that what I've been through in the past 16 years has been very traumatic and exhausting so it's only normal that I still have bad days now and then. She said it's like having post-traumatic stress. Thank goodness I have such great friends.

My DH, on the other hand, is not as sensitive or understanding. He doesn't seem to get it somedays. This weekend, he said that I'm more "hormonal" and sensitive lately. I shot back that he's more INsensitive and snippy lately. Yep, it was a lovely long weekend...ha ha.

However, I did admit in my blog that I've been grumpier than normal. But wouldn't it be nice and ideal if my DH would notice this and say "hey, do you want to talk about how you're doing? I know you've been through a lot this summmer. Is there anything I can do to help you?" But as I've accepted and said before, my DH is a guy's guy and there's a better chance of h#ll freezing over.