It Just SUCKS! But…

I’m sure you all have heard the phrase “The Straw That Broke The Camels Back”. And I’m fairly certain that all of us have at several times in our lives, had our backs broken over something ridiculously innocuous. Well, today was another one of those days, meaning I’m going to rant and rave. I will be using gratuitous language and am in no mood to take any prisoners. I will probably burn down the bridges that are in desperate disrepair instead of beating my head against the wall to try and fix them. I will more and likely be using way too many so called contrived sayings and anecdotes. By doing all of this, I am in no way looking for sympathy, empathy, platitudes, advice, words of wisdom, uplifting saying, or sunshine blown up my ass. This is also not a platform for anyone to make themselves feel better by using me and my situation as a charity case. Please note that whatever issue I have with people that I may mention or refer too, is between me and them. That I am not trying to recruit an army to wage war with them or turn people against them. I’m wanting to rant and be done with it.

I am angry. And I don’t want to pretend anymore that everything is OK. I’m sick of trying to find a silver lining in those rancid storm clouds. Honestly folks, that silver lining is called lightening! I am fed up with this whole …”Things will get better! You just need to believe that it will!” … Or any other related concepts … I am tired of being the one who makes up the excuse for everyone else’s despicable behaviour! “…Oh, she probably had a rough morning…” “… I caught him at a bad time …” There’s no excuse to be a bitch or a prick. Know yourself. If something is troubling you, politely let people know that it’s best to come back at another time. It’s not that you have to go into detail. “… You know love, I’m not in the best of moods right now. Can we talk later?” … I know! I know! For those of you who have read this far, your heads are probably exploding! Screaming that you can’t do that at work, or in this situation or that situation. I understand that whole heartedly and that is one of the reason why I’m on this rant! IT FUCKIN’ SUCKS!

I’ve always been dubious, rather skeptical even about things that are “meant to be” and the idea, that if you truly want something, the Universe will conspire to provide it for you. I feel that we have a bit more control and power over our lives than to leave it to fate and things meant to be. That when life goes awry, it’s a matter of circumstance & coincidence. And it’s in those times that we discover our limitations, strengths & weaknesses, we question our beliefs, our goals & aspirations or bind ourselves more adamantly to them. I suppose I’m questioning, now that I know more of my limits & weakness. …

One thing that I did … Well, maybe still do … Maybe … Is what goes around, comes around. But does it? I am struggling financially. So much so that I am on the verge of losing everything. I’m not saying this to be dramatic, it’s a matter of fact. It’s a matter of circumstance that I got into this situation, but I can’t help to think what did I do wrong? It turns over and over in my head like a hamster wheel. And you know what keeps popping up as the answer? … I was/am too fuckin’ nice …

I did everything I knew of to be kind and understanding from the beginning of the end of my last marriage through the divorce and even afterward. He was such a jerk to me that other people constantly asked “… What the hell is going on!?…” Ahhh, but the kind and understanding me came up with brilliant excuses for him and even pretended that this is what I wanted. … Again, some of you are screaming the new slogan “… You don’t need a bruise to be abused..” Believe you me, I know this! I should have listened to all those people who said that I should have sued him for every penny he had. But no, I was kind, took only what was promised. Even after all was said and done I still was too kind, and spent nearly €1000 sorting through and getting rid of all the junk he left behind. … OK, he did reimburse €40 and some change. … Ack … Maybe this whole debacle was my penance for some bad shit that I did in a past life … If there is such a thing as past lives … If Heaven forbid that I do this all over again would I have done things differently? Well of course I would have! Would I be able to be relentless and brutal? … I don’t know.  And would it have help my situation now? … Who can say?

At the end of last year. My land lady was in a desperate way financially. Both her Husband and Son lost their jobs, her car broke down and new regulations for property owner renting out their places made our current arrangement unsustainable for her and her family. When my exe left and I struggled with money, the school, and even food, she bent over backward to help me stay afloat. So when she was struggling, I wiped out my accounts to help her out. Maybe I actually had too much faith that the Universe wouldn’t leave me hanging for a good deed. I thought that I would recover quickly, but again no. I didn’t realise that I milked every last drop from my rock. There was/is no money, no savings left. Now I’m in over my head in over due room hire charges, and far enough behind on my payments to my accountant that they won’t file my bi-monthly VAT or year end taxes. Maybe I should have claimed squatter’s rights and not pay anything to my landlady? She would have had to spend more money than what it’s worth to get me out if I did that. I know I did the right thing and would probably do it again. But I question whether doing the right thing was worth it? I understand that in this case I was on the other side of Karma. I was given a good turn and it was time for me to do a good turn back. Still was it worth it?

I have choices. I know that I do. With all the financial difficulties that I have it’s probably best to just drop the whole thing. The school, the volunteering … everything. I’m fighting and fighting to keep it all going for what? There’s so much that I want to put in motion for the community. But I don’t have the money to get them started on my own, or if I tried to get help, I’m being ignored because I owe money and it would look bad if they had someone that owes money organizing the project. It would be a conflict of interest … I know that doesn’t make much sense. It’s not because of my inability to convey an idea or concept, it’s simply because it make absolutely no sense what’s so ever. So why bother? You can’t even do good unless you have money. I use to have faith in people that when push comes to shove that for the most part will do the best they can for themselves AND those around them. Not so much now. I’m believing more and more that when push comes to shove that people will choose the option with the most money, and then pretend that it was for the best. We are all assholes… Sure, you all are laughing. “You just now figured that out!?” No, I figured it out a long time ago. I’m just now conceding defeat. Congratulations, you won.

I’m even struggling in my fight to keep the Shaolin school running. Back to the idea of is it worth it? Three years ago, I managed to get out from under a tyrannical regime and quite literally had to start the school over again from nearly scratch. I didn’t want it to be a school that catered popular martial arts. I didn’t want it to be a day care for kids. I didn’t want to push people through belt levels to stroke their egos and to cash in on their testing fees… I put together a curriculum, and no it’s not perfect and there was a lot of trial and error. But it’s a hell of a lot better than it was before. None of the students really know what I went through to keep the school running. Going up against the tyrants and their henchmen, along with my husband (now exe) as well. So they don’t realise what it means to me when they say and do the things they do. I can’t really blame them for that. I try and maneuver around it and so far so good, but for fuck sake it still pisses me off. I’m being told that this other martial arts school has been around for so long and does all these cool things, and that I should do these things that this other martial arts school is doing and this  martial arts school has all these students and, and, and … And I’m thinking; ‘Why the hell are you even here? If all those other schools are doing all these great things that you want. Go to that school!’ …The complaining about the requirements … I put in those requirements for good reason. I put in those requirements so that they can say that they are a true martial artist under any and all conditions. Not just when the sun is shining, or indoors on a flat surface, or a particular situation. Of course there’s always going to be complaining. I even complain, but the disrespect that is mounting recently is inadmissible. Again, is it worth fighting to keep a school for this?

Now here’s me making up excuses for them … I am very open to new ideas and ways of doing things. I invite students to try other martial arts and even bring those techniques into class and try them out in sparring. It all might be a case that they don’t know how to convey this in a way that is respectful and as a suggestion, yet. The angry complaining on the other hand, is nearly punishable. I probably made the mistake of being me. I’m a silly middle aged woman who’s a bit off kilter. I probably made the mistake of being too buddy buddy with the students. So they see me as a dopy wannabe martial arts instructor that’s better at baking cookies than teaching them how to defend themselves or to throw a proper punch or kick.

Any of this worth the fight? What’s stopping me from dropping everything and disappearing?

… I do have some REMARKABLE students though. They keep showing up even though they failed their belt test for the 3rd time! They don’t complain and take on the curriculum and the training full steam ahead! … I have some INCREDIBLE friends too. Old and new. Friends that have stuck with me through thick and thin. True friends that aren’t afraid to say “Hey, you’re being a real bitch!” and put me back in my place … There is this GORGEOUSE man, this AMAZINLY INTELLIGENT man that walks and talks with me by day and sleeps and dreams with me by night. A BEAUTIFUL soul that hasn’t been harden and immune to life, that I think likes me well enough and for the moment is sticking around…

I suppose the choice is pretty clear … Meaning, the fight needs to change … My situation hasn’t changed though. I’m still going to lose it all if I don’t come up with something soon. People are assholes. Regardless of what anyone says, MONEY IS GOD! It just SUCKS! … But at least I have some REMARKABLE STUDENTS, some INCREDIBLE FRIENDS and one AWESOME GUY!

 

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I Should Have Known … But I Guess I Did …

So I wrote this some time in 2012 I suspect. September maybe? It was titled “An Email To My Husband”. I lost it somewhere deep in the RAM or ROM of the Apple. I vaguely remember leaving it by the worm eating the bug with all the bites. It’s odd reading it. Especially now that the parchments have been delivered by carrier pigeon to the demigods ordained by the immaculate rubber stamp.  I Should Have Known … But I Guess I Did …

This isn’t a “Dear John” letter. You’re names’ not john. … Ha, ha … I know, it’s stupid. I still got a giggle out of it though.

I know that you hate long emails. I’ve tried to talk to you but … *sigh* … you did what you always do. You want the “short version”, you grump and look very annoyed, you do the “speed it up” hand gesture, I get flustered, I try to put it in a nutshell , but I end up leaving out the important points and reasons … you jump to conclusions, and make assumptions, with the end result of you being frustrated, & angry. So I quit and obsess silently over how can I tell you so that you will understand where I’m coming from.

…That’s if we get that far. Maybe it’s because I ask? “Can we talk about this?” The hackles go up and the eyes roll. I did try a few time to just start talking about it all, but stopped when you yelled at the computer. You accidentally put yourself in check on your internet chess game. … There was one time I though I was getting somewhere, but you were staring at the computer, so I said that there was man phuc’ing a poodle out on Grand Parade. … You nodded and said “Uh-huh.”

I know that I ramble, even babble. –  I’m long winded. I want to explain, with reason. I want to have a conversation, meaning you talk too. But I don’t know how to do this with you … *sigh* … We’re broken, and I don’t know what to do …

I knew something was off that Thanksgiving so long ago. We’ve been dating for 10 months. The longest relationship you’ve had since, and you tell me that you’re going to spend Thanksgiving with your friend and her family ‘cos that’s what you always do. I was hurt and upset and I couldn’t seem to explain to you that I was. I tried to understand, but why you didn’t want to spend Thanksgiving with your girlfriend? We ended up spending the day together, but to this day I still wonder if it wasn’t because she didn’t invite you, because she knew about me.

We’ve always been very independent from each other. We weren’t “in each others pockets” as the Irish would say … or at least that’s what they say here in Cork. I reveled in the freedom, even gloated how enlightened we were not to  be bound together with rules or ultimatums. But there was always something amiss. I found myself alone more often than not. Even in times of celebration, esp. in times of celebrating my achievements albeit small. … You never danced with me … Gosh, how I miss dancing … I justified it my head, said it over and over again until it rolled of my tongue as easily as the rain rolling off leaves. “Although I would like him to be more attentive, I can’t deny the independence and freedom that I have.” … Repeat … Repeat  … Repeat … *Sigh* …

We chased a dream together, so I thought, moved to Ireland and started a business, got married … got married …

Then, not more than a year or so later, there was mutiny, a disturbance in the force, and our business was caught in the middle. We were bullied, brutally bullied. Money was so, so tight largely because of your condo that you for some reason wouldn’t let go of. You did put it up on the market but did nothing to sell it. You had to barrow money from your parents to keep up the mortgage payments. There was not a light at the end of the tunnel, there was no tunnel, not to mention the growing black mold in the our rented hovel. It stands to reason that you would spiral down into a deep depression and despise everything that brought you to that point, including me. I’m not a psychologist or a psychotherapist.  Not a mind reader either, though that would be really cool! I started a new chant “I’ll make it better, I’ll fight the war, I’ll prove that the dream is still alive.” … Repeat … Repeat  … Repeat … *Sigh* …

I was winning! … I am winning … I WON! … While I was in the trenches though, you decided to leave, … not me … just leave.

You went behind my back and contacted your old boss to see if you can get your old job back. You told me that he approached you. You wanted to go back, but you told me that you were torn so I thought there was hope. That if things were better here then the choice would be obvious.  You wanted to leave but you couldn’t tell me that because then, you wouldn’t have anything to fall back on. You strung me along, weaving your safety net. I knew that you wanted to leave but unless you actually say it, I would only be acting on assumption. For 6 months you dragged it out. For 6 months I tried to prove to you that we can still make things work here. Knowing that my efforts were futile, knowing that you were stringing me along, knowing that you wanted to leave … Well, some days …

Well they offered you your old job back and only then did you say to me that you were definitely leaving. Finally we can talk and come up with a plan … finally … finally … We weren’t going to split up, you were going to go back and get your condo and financial dilemmas  sorted and I was going to hold down the fort and make “our” business grow. It was an easy adjustment to make. We had our independence and freedom. We had space and who says that we have to live together to love and support each other? … You were so happy, and it was such a long time since I last saw you happy. … You agreed that you would come back in 3 years, … when you had absolutely no intentions of doing so. Aaahhhhh, who can blame you? I left the back door wide open.

Now we live in 2 different countries on either side of the world, and I find myself alone more often than not. Even in times of celebration, esp. in times of celebrating my achievements albeit small. I find myself chanting that old line; “Although I would like him to be more attentive, I can’t deny the independence and freedom that I have.” … Repeat … Repeat  … Repeat … *Sigh* … But it doesn’t roll of the tongue so easily now. I would have thought with all the ways of staying connected that I would hear more from you. Not a constant stream on Skype watching each other sleep, but something more than and hour on a Sunday ‘coz that’s your “day for calling people”. … I can count how many times you said “I love you” without being prompted on one hand … “Although I would like him to be more attentive, I can’t deny the independence and freedom that I have.” … Repeat … Repeat  … Repeat … *Sigh* …

You still haven’t told your boss that your wife, your wife being me, is still living in Ireland. You told me that you would flip for my plane tix to your Brothers wedding, but you didn’t and I was left telling them that I couldn’t make it. You complained when I asked if I can get on your insurance. I visit you 3x a year, might as well get a Dr appointment in, but it would cost you too much money. You couldn’t even bring yourself to introduce me to your soccer teammates when I last visited. You choked when one of them asked if we were a couple. It was your Brother that did all the introductions, it was my Brother-In-Law that told everyone that I came all the way over from Ireland to watch the game.

I’ve accomplished a lot since you left. I won the war. I made a name for myself and “our” business. I have achieved more than I or anyone could have imagined.  So, in that hour of Skype’ing frenzy I tell you as precisely as I can so to avoid the “speed it up” hand gestures and “in a nutshell” demands. I tell you with all the excitement of a child winning their first race all that I accomplished, all that I’ve achieved in that week. … “Ah yeah, that’s nice.” … I post on that damn Facebook and if I’m lucky I just might get a “like” from you. It makes me sick to my stomach whenever I see a post of a husband praising his wife. … I’m so jealous … You can’t even publicly acknowledge that I’m your wife. I get sicker still when I get a message saying something like “Oh your husband must be really proud of you!” about something that I had achieved that past by you completely unnoticed. I’m completely mortified when I get messages from people questioning your support or even your existence. … “Although I would like him to be more attentive, I can’t deny the independence and freedom that I have.” … Repeat … Repeat  … Repeat … *Sigh* …

Why are you pulling this whole Jeremy McGuire act on me? Except there’s no happy ending with this. Why are blowing me off as if you want to pretend that I didn’t exist?

We All Live In A Sinking Submarine

Maxtrova

It’s not a reoccurring  dream, but it’s one that sticks in my head especially now that I’ve been ambushed and the rug pulled out from under me…

I’m sitting in the window of my apartment on the 33rd floor. The world is flooded and the water has been rising slowly for several years. I can see that the water is up to the 24th floor. I think to myself that I only have a few years left before I will drown like everyone else below me. I am safe for the moment, warm, and dry. I’m so exhausted though. I just barely made it out of a sinking submarine. Myself and several others went below to find a way to stop the flood. But our route took us too close to a building and it tore open the sub. I managed to maneuver it to the roof top of another building where everyone was able to swim to safety.

Now I sit on the window exhausted looking out on the water that is ever rising. I get a phone call on an old land line phone. “We need you to go down again. You’re the only one who can pilot the ship.” I am safe, warm and dry and I want to say no. They tell me that they’re sending school children down. I am safe, warm and dry and now I can’t say no. I’m the only one who can pilot the ship and they’re sending children down. I have to go. I have to.

I’m on the submarine and the children are playing. I’m taking them down so that we can find a way to stop the flood. They call down and say that I have to take the same rout as before. “It’s too dangerous! There’s a safer way!” I beg them. But they don’t hear me. They tell me that I have to take that rout or they will launch a missile and blow up the ship. I tell myself that I can do this, I’ve done the rout and know the dangers. I steer the ship. They launch they’re missile anyway. I maneuver the ship and just miss the missile. The blast of the missile hitting the building near us throws us into another building. We’re stuck. Water starts draining into the cabin and the children are huddled together scared and looking to me to say what to do next. I close my eyes and think that I could have been safe, warm and dry …

Let’s Talk – The Anticipated Crossroads

“Let’s Talk” is the title of his email.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew 4 years ago when he decided to leave Ireland and asked for his old job back. He didn’t tell me. He lead me to believe for 7 months that it was his old boss that asked him to come back. Considering the financial situation we were in, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when his condo was for sale and he wouldn’t come down the price. “If I did, it would mean that I didn’t care about that extra $XXXX…” He said. When it didn’t sale and the contract was up with the realtor. It sat empty.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when there was an explosion of jobs in his field from entry level to senior levels and he didn’t apply for one of them. “I haven’t been working in the industry for 3yrs. They won’t hire me.”

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when he’s job finally came through that he offered no solution or arrangement for our marriage, for our relationship, for us at all. He left it all to me.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when he moved back into his condo, even though “our” arrangement was  for 3 years, that he filled it up with all the luxuries of a permanent home.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when there were no “I miss you”‘s. … Not without prompting anyway, and always with a bit of disdain as if I trapped him into saying it. And the “I love you”‘s are so few and far between that I can count them on one hand.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when he wouldn’t engage in conversation in the one Skype call that he allowed a week. – I think I’ve pulled all his teeth.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when I was thrown into a desperate situation because of him. A situation that would break me with the slightest stumble and his response was that it wasn’t his problem. When I told him that the Doctor’s found cancer cells in my bloodstream. “Sorry to hear about that.” He said. I knew then too.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when I asked him when he was coming to visit me. He said that he didn’t have any plans too, and wouldn’t discuss any options other than he didn’t have any plans too.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when he couldn’t even write “I love you” in, quite literally, an 11th hour email on Valentines’ Day. How he couldn’t be bothered to call and say Happy Birthday in person per say. Instead, jumped on the Facebook Bandwagon Birthday Bomb.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when I got a Facebook message on his scheduled Skype call that he was in New York and was going to spend the week in Boston over the 4th. It was the first that I heard of it. He didn’t know when he was going to be available.

I know what he wants to talk about. I knew when I saw the roads intersect. I knew when  I stop running and walked slower and slower and slower, …  I can still see it up ahead …

I know what he wants to talk about. We Skype tonight. Just a few more steps. So here I am …crossroads41

You Keep Telling Yourself …

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How A Coyote’s New Years Resolutions Went In The Year Of The Snake

2013 Year of the Snake … Yes, this is late, in that this should have had this done at the end of the 2013 and not now in Feb of 2014. But today (4 Feb 2014) is Poo Woo, the 5th Day of Tết Nguyên Đán, the Vietnamese New Year. And like in China it’s the year 4712 Year Of The Horse! In the Vietnamese tradition on the 5th day, you stay home reflect on the past year and contemplate the up coming year. So what better day, … or excuse for me to reflect and review those New Years Resolutions of 2013.

2013 was a phenomenal year. I have seen how far a person can recede into the petty, self serving greed. I have also seen such brilliant kindness in my own hours of darkness and dooooooom. I have to say it like that for dramatic effect… So how do I proceed here? … I apologize in advance if this skips around …

Let’s start with NYR #1. Get healthy. This one went very well. I don’t know if I lost any weight, but I did lose size. With all the different brands each with their own scale for a dress size I have no idea how many dress sizes I lost or what my dress size is now. I do know that it was noticeable not just to me but to everyone else. I’m not skinny or remotely thin, but much healthier! The colour came back to my face, and the dark circles around my eyes are not so noticeable. As a bonus my grocery bill is less than €20 a week! I still have a ways to go but I’m enjoying the benefits of the challenge!

Now, NYR #2 … This is the reason why I procrastinated. I’m afraid to talk about this and I’m not sure why. It’s not that it turned out bad either. NYR #2 was to resolve the issues of my marriage. Maybe because although the issues for the most part have been taken care of  I’m not entirely happy with the result. I’m not unhappy, however it seems only a satisfactory outcome. … Ahhhh, this is so hard to start … In my fervor of getting shyte done before Tet I decided to have THE talk with my husband. I thought I could just ask; “Hey, I’d like a little more attention, particularly public displays of affection. Yah know that naughty thing that we weren’t allowed to do in high school? But we live in two different countries so throw me a bone on Facebook every once in a while. Be a little attentive & engage.” And that’s nearly almost exactly what I’m pretty sure that I said! … Seriously … I still don’t understand the can of worms that was opened up, the conversation degraded, and somehow we agreed to a divorce.

It wasn’t what I wanted. I just wanted him to say “I love you” on Facebook every now and again. I had glorious ideas of us living independently, coordinating our holidays to travel the world. Watching movies over Skype, maybe even an occasional gmail or Facebook chat when we couldn’t Skype. But no, we were getting a divorce … On a whim, about an hour after the decision, I saw that he was on Facebook and sent him a quick message; “For the record, I really do believe that this will work!” Well, that started a 6hr Facebook chat. Then 2 days later he says, “Let’s do it.” So we’re still married and everything is … *sigh* … satisfactory … Still no public shows of affection, ah well …

NYR #3 was a complete and utter failure! But I was busy! I was suppose to post on WordPress once per week and write a short story once per month. None of that happened … Not only was I working out things with my husband, I was in a financial crisis, I had to train so very hard for my test, (NYR #7) and there was a storm that brewed & hit that needed careful and meticulous management!

So how do I put this storm in a walnut shell? This storm that’s been brewing since 2009! let’s say that after 4 years of forced financial hardship, political backstabbing and scandal, it was time to leave the organization that I was apart of. Of course the tyrants that were heading the organization didn’t like this so much so there was a battle, but we won! I say we, because there were others that did the same. I witness horrific pettiness and greed … and my gawsh did it drain me, mentally, emotionally, and financially! But from the trenches came the support and brilliance of my dear friends. I was living off the good graces of the people that I owed money too, but even they had a breaking point and after 6 months back rent unpaid it was time to collect. My whole life & existence was threatened and I had nothing. But my friends pulled together and saved me. So sorry, I just didn’t have time to write.

NYR #4 Raise my Wei Gi (GO) rating to 13K by the Cork Go Tournament. Well I didn’t get it up there by the tournament, but I did get up to 12K on KGS GO server. I’m afraid that when I made the resolution that I didn’t fully understand how the whole rating thing worked. I have a better idea now and my rating has definitely improved. It’s not a win but maybe a good finish?

NYR #5 The never ending artsy fartsy projects! I’m down to 5. I did however finish the sweater for my Brother In Law. I waited 7 years to find the right colour yarn. I completed the sweater 3x and took it all apart because I didn’t like the design of it. Finally finished it so that he could open up the gift on Christmas. But I have 5 left, and that will be one of my 2014 NYR – To work through those 5!

NYR #6 Another utter failure! I was suppose to read 6 books! I read 2. Again, very busy.

NYR #7 Train hard so that I will pass my advancement to 5th Degree Associate Master in Shaolin. I trained, I trained hard and ROCKED THAT TEST! I am now considered a Shaolin Master! Here it is 8 months later and I’m still amazed by it! It’s hard to call myself a master in anything, let alone a Shaolin master!

NYR #8 I was suppose to go to Boston, The Grand Canyon, & The Devils Causeway. I made it Boston and it was Amazing! I got to see where my Husband grew up, where he hung out. I got to go to MIT … Ohhhh MIT, now that’s another story for another time. I got to swim in the ocean for the very first time & it was FREEZING! I had a great time and you know, I think it helped with NYR #2!

I didn’t make it to the Grand Canyon or The Devils Causeway, but I did go someplace that I’ve never gone to before – Barcelona, Spain! This was a major victory for me. I’ve always wanted to visit Spain, but all my life people told me, they jammed it down my throat that “People like you can’t…” It was force upon me like an evil mantra cursing my existence… But I did, I was there & I may go back again! I even have pictures! I was there, saw the sites, ate the food, and even spoke Spanish! So all of you who said I couldn’t, and you know who you are! Guess what I’m holding up to your faces right now!

There you have it folks, The 3rd Coyotes review of The Year Of The Snake. What a REMARKABLE year!

It’s Only One Train Car Wrecked …

Well, I couldn’t get that one wrecked car back on track and it’s probably unlikely that I will … this year. In a manner of speaking  I’m conceding defeat on my New Year’s Resolution of posting on Word Press once a week. All for good reason though. Life happened! And OH MY GOODNESS did A LOT of Life happen! …  and it’s still happening… So I will need to save the details for another time when Life isn’t happening so much and I’ll write about this INCREDIBLE year that is 2013!images

One Train Car Wrecked … Maybe …

Oh bother … my New Year’s Resolutions … Actually I haven’t done so bad. I have stuck to my diet  & schedule for the most part and am seeing results! My “fat pants” have now returned to being my “fat pants” instead of my “everyday pants”. Although we still have a ways to go, my husband and I are talking more. We’re on good road I’d say. I’ve been working on my Wei Gi (GO). Started on a new site & I think that I’m actually improving! Though my rank (rating) has gone down. I’m almost finished with one of my artsy fartsy projects that’s been 7 years in the making. I’ve finished reading “The Hitch hikers Guide To The Galaxy” and am starting on my 2nd book which I can’t remember the exact title (I’m too lazy to go upstairs and look) but it’s one of the Moomintroll books. I’ve certainly been training for my test, and I have a flight booked to Boston this June. But then there’s that one … *sigh*…

#3 on my 8 resolution list … Let me restate it for you:

“3) I want to write. I have loads of short story ideas and loads of partially written stories. This year I will post at least once a week here on WordPress. I will also complete at least one short story a month. If anyone had any ideas of where I can send them to or recommendations of how to publish or where to find info on how to publish please let me know. I’m not looking to make money out this. I just want to write and it would be nice to publish.”

Until now I have not typed a single letter in this regard. So what do I do? Give it up? I’m not one to just give up, but how do I make up for the last two months? I could start over, but how do I justify doing that? … OOoooOOOooo … I think I have an idea …

Right now we’re in the middle of Tết Nguyên Đán, the Vietnamese New Year. There are 15 days Tết Nguyên Đán. Every year I do my best to observe as many of the traditions I can. I mean, I am half Vietnamese after all? So how about this, my Tết Resolution is to do #3 of my New Years Resolutions? Wadda ya say? … Yeah? … Yeah? …

Serindipitious Noises: #A1115G00D (The Lovely Bits & Pieces To A Typical Week)

I was on my way to city centre to get my weekly groceries when I ran into a group of teenaged girls.

“EEAAY” says the taller, blondie one. “Ye da new garl, comin da end oda yer like?”

Just like in the movies I look behind me, around me, then back at them with a confused look.

“Yeah, yeah, ye da new garl?”

My middle aged self wanted to say; “Why yes! I am that new 15 year old girl at the Precipitation Immaculate Constipation all girl Catholic School just down the road!” (… or whatever it was called) … Instead, I said; “No, no, sorry.”

“Aah yeah, she’s not American so.” Says the one of the shorter blondie girl to the taller blondie girl … eh’hem … “garl”.

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I was down at the best chocolate store in the whole wide world! – O’Conaill’s!  (… http://www.westcorkaplaceapart.com/food/confectionary/o-conaill-chocolates/ …) And it’s right here in Cork! I’ve always been a fan of the Belgian chocolate until I had a taste of the glorious Irish chocolate! My goodness! Ecstasy I tell yah! Pure Ecstasy! … Don’t get me wrong, Belgian chocolate is still fantastic, but the Irish? *Whew!* WOW!

So, I was there picking up some truffles to send back to my Sister in Law who’s birthday passed me by. There were only 2 boxes left, and they were a bit dusty. I didn’t care too much about the dust and bought one of them. As I was leaving the shop assistant hands me the other box and says; “Take dis away wit ye so. No one will buy it all by itself.”

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As I was on my way home from the O’Connaill’s, I came upon a gentle silver hair reaching over a stone wall breaking the brilliant purple flowers from a gianormous bush. As I approached him, he quickly hid the bouquet behind his back and stared innocently at the ground. I thought to have a bit of fun and said to him; “Are you stealing those?” A devilish smile grows on his chin as he brings his finger to his lips.

“Shhhhhhhh … It’s m’garl’s ‘n me 50th, ‘an I’d stole dees vury flaw’rs when I proposed!”

“Oh!” I said; “I guess you’ll need these as well!” I pull the extra box of truffles out of my bag and gave them to him. With a huge grin and a cackling laugh he scurries around the corner yelling back “Tank Ye! Tank Ye!”

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What a beautiful warm and sunny day! Taking my usual short cut through Tory Top Park! The wonderful smell of freshly cut grass! 

*GASP* … The City Council changed the flower beds. The red so spectacular that not even a photo can capture it’s magnificence!

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There’s a group of silver hairs that gather at Tory Top Park every day rain or shine! We’ve very lovingly deem them “The Grumpy Old Men”. They walk around the park always talking about “Fookin’ ” this and “Fookin’ ” that, with a Jack Russell, or another sort in tow. Between their walks around the park they all sit on the bench next to the flower beds in quiet contemplation  – for the most part. I wave a fond hello to them every time I walk by, and they tease me about who my next boyfriend is going to be. This time I decided to take a photo of them, being that they were all there and a bright sunny afternoon to boot! I ask if I can.

“Oh! Yeah, Yeah! Work away! Work away!” Says the one with the metal cane.

I take the photo and show it to them.

“Whoa look! She shows tah Kevin furst!” Says another “Guess who’s ‘er fav!” And then punches Kevin in the arm!

“Ar’ye married?” Says yet another.

“I’m afraid so.”

“Ye be comin’ ta m’place den lader so?” A round of cackling and punching insues.

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I have a couple of stray cats that I feed. 2 black cats. One I call “Blue Toothless” or just “Blue” for short. She arrive with a frayed blue collar to distinguish her from the other black stray I call “Red”. Just “Red”, because he was wearing a tattered red flea collar. Blue managed to get all her bottom teeth knocked out some how, so she went from just “Blue” to “Blue Toothless”. Thought it was a cute cheeky pun none the less. Without any bottom teeth she has trouble keeping her tongue in and you would often find her sitting on the table looking through the kitchen window as if to go “THHLLLLLPT!” One of these days I’ll manage to get a photo of it, but right now I just can’t get it coordinated!

“Red” is my stray cat. I go back and forth on whether to bring him in and turn him into a domestic. It always comes down to, “no, no, I just can’t” I don’t know if I am justifying, rationalizing, making excuses or what, but I figure that if he want’s to stay with me he will. Well, after spending some time in the bathroom I find Red in the middle of my kitchen floor. He got in through an open window.  I put down a plate of food for him and he eats. He then goes and jumps on the couch and falls asleep for  the rest of the night.

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Got this membership to the pool. I’m feeling all 41 of my years. I’m feeling flabby and lethargic. My cardio is non existent, and so are my knees. Running and even biking are out of the question so yeah!  Swimming! That’s the answer and I sign on! I’m there on my first day trying to be brave, sucking in my stomach, getting to know the lay of the land. I pop into the pool and do a few laps. What? There’s a class and I have to move to another lane? Well, OK. I get out and before I reach the other side of the pool, a well conditioned life guard intercepts.

“Ye ‘ave excellent technique! Ar’ye on de UCC swim team?” … Believe you me, I was all a blush!

“Uh… uhmn … Uh, Thank You! And no, no I’m not, … uhmn … I’m not, uh, on the UCC women’s swim team.”

“Ore’rite! Ar’ye swimin’ ear often then so?”

“Well, yeah … I, uh, I just got started though … with a membership …”

“Ore’rite! Ore’rite then! I see ye round so?”

“Yeah! Yeah! You’ll see me around.”

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I can’t wait ’til next week!

Hagridden

I’ve been hagridden. With the same one. Well I say the same in that it falls along the same lines. There are no monsters, killings, tortours, rape, ghost or demons. And yes, yes, I’m talking about about nightmares. This re-occuring nightmare is simply me walking though a door, or waking up, or looking away… I’ve had it since I was a teen, long before Star Trek, Next Generation’s; “Inner Light”… It’s a nightmare that wakes me gasping and bewildered, begging to fall fast asleep again in hopes to regain all that I lost. I spend the next several days weary of every doorway, cautious when I turn my head, fearful to sleep at night for what I may wake up too…

The heaviness, the weight, the desperation that constricts my breath, my every thought eventually fades.  Then a few months will pass and in my sleep I dream of a life that is full of joy & happiness, full of love and contentment, full of mystery and adventure. Always, there’s that one person, some times male, some times female, that I share it all with. I don’t remember much, a large cable spool table that we used for the kitchen table, milk crates with homemade pillows on them. A mattress that laid on a throw rug with a handmade quilt in the corner of a studio apartment. We were poor. Dirt poor! We didn’t care… I was always in school working on one degree or another, they were always working some blue collar job. We scrimped, scrapped & saved, we took great joy in the simplest things and more often than not we preferred them over the decadence of what’s normally recommended… We loved each other, …*sigh*… oh, did we love each other… They would call to me from the hallway to help them bring in the groceries, or a noise, a sound would catch my attention and I look away. I can see them in the hallway and I walk through the door … I glance away …

…There I stand in a posh new condo with all new shinny appliances, and furniture. An unattentive partner hunched in front of a 72” screen, and the keys of a brand new Boxstar Spyder in my hand. I panic, I run through the door, but it’s all the same. I squeeze my eyes shut and open them again, still it’s all the same. I look at my partner in front of the screen … nothing, a stranger. … I can’t go back … It’s all gone, ‘they’ are gone … I wake up …

One of the more recent times I had this nightmare, I was asleep on that mattress. In this dream it was a ‘he’ that came to wake me up to give me a cup of tea. He gently shook my shoulder but I didn’t wake. I didn’t want to. I knew that if I woke that all of it would be gone. In my mind I begged him not to wake me up. I told him that I won’t remember anything about him if I did. He kept shaking my shoulder and I kept begging. When I felt myself waking up I did everything I could to remember everything about him. All I could wake up with was that he was younger than me, had curly black hair and deep blue eyes…

I had this nightmare again a few days ago. A few days earlier I was head hunted for a job. It was a managers position of a whole department, in an industry that I never wanted to work for again. The kicker, however, was that it paid 65K a year. I probably could have negotiated up to 75K. I was good at that line of work, really good! And I hated myself for it. I knew just how stick that knife in without them even knowing it and get a whole array of desired effects. I could even twist it and have them believing that they were getting a deep back message. I could find the slightest loophole and spin anything in any direction imaginable… I still had principals, a code per say. I was fired from 2 jobs because I wasn’t willing to amend them.

I’m scrapping by being self employed right now. Other than a pesky student loan of some too many years, I owe nothing. I don’t own property or a car. I’m not famous but I’m known in the community and they support me and what I do… And I love what I do! LOVE what I do … I have a roof over my head, in a country I’ve always dreamed of living in. I have a bed to sleep in, food for the table, and clothes to wear. My time is my own and with a bit of careful planing and saving I can travel and experience world! … I am poor, and to introduce another component, my husband is, well, not around. But despite my lack of money and husband I do so enjoy my monastic life!

I take this job and all of this is gone. I can’t do both and there’s no going back. I will, however have 75K a year. I may even gain some respect from my husband? Maybe he won’t be so embarrassed by me, or resent me? He may even be proud of me. … Is it worth it? … I have a couple of short comings but I have a treasure chest of nearly everything I’ve ever wanted. So, do I walk through that door, do I look away, wake up to 75K a year?