Monday, June 06, 2011

I can see your tool shed

So something happened at the gym today which brought me back to the blog.  In fact, even as it was happening I was thinking: "I'm totally blogging this."  Ha!

So, today I went to swim laps at the pool because I ate and drank all weekend and felt guilty about it.  After my swim I was standing at the industrial strength dryers when a woman stepped out of the change room. She was wearing only her bra and a white coton skirt.  The skirt was COMPLETELY see through.  Like, she was wearing a grey thong see-through.  Like, I read the tag and she wears medium sized La Senza underwear see-through.

I stood there wondering if I should say something.  She went into a change room to change out of her swim suit so she's obviously relatively modest.  She was wearing a conservative business-wear top with her skirt and those ugly but super comfortable-type shoes.  This was not a woman who wanted people to see her La Senzas, as far as I could tell. 

I felt sick thinking that she had spent her entire day wearing this skirt without knowing that she was a walking peepshow.  She walked around at her office in this skirt.  She went to the food court for lunch in this skirt.  Pervy Doug who works in accounting took mental pictures of her in this skirt.  (I may have exaggerated a little in my mind).  But you get the picture, I had serious second-hand embarassment for this poor woman.

Now, I'm not really that person to just strike up a conversation with a stranger but I figured she deserved to know.  But I just stood there, I didn't know what to say.  First of all, how do you approach a woman getting dressed at the pool without seeming like a freak.  Secondly, what if I told her and she told me to mind my own business or worse yet, what if she was completely humiliated?  I tried to imagine how I'd react in this situation and realized I had no idea how I would react to a total stranger telling me that they could see my front bum.

I walked towards her once she was fully dressed (well, as fully dressed as you can be in a see-through skirt). I was really hesitant and when she looked up with a sour, unpleasant look on her face, I caved and walked away.  I just couldn't do it.  Maybe I'm a horrible, awful person, but I just couldn't. 

And now for our "The More You Know...." moment:

Ladies.  Please.  Wear a slip.

Friday, December 17, 2010


I can't express to you how depressing it has been for me to be injured. 

I have been running off and on for about 8 years.  I've done countless 5K runs but nothing longer.  I started a half-marathon clinic but couldn't finish.  Up until this past fall the longest had ever run was 12K; the last run before I quit the clinic.  Looking back I'm so disapointed in myself that I quit, and it was because I talked myself out of it.  It was a clinic where no other person was a first time half-marathoner.  Everyone else was a seasoned runner with more than half the class taking the clinic with a personal best goal in mind.  So I was always at the back of the pack, literally.  And it was difficult.  So I just quit.  It bothered me for a long time because I usually start what I finish.  But I didn't, and I make no excuses, I just quit.

I continued to run, sporadically at best.  A 5k here and there but nothing serious.  I did a mini-triathlon, twice, but felt pretty unfulfilled as far as running went.

Last spring I started running with a friend who was training for a half marathon.  She was dedicated and regimented and I joined her bandwagon and appropriated her enthusiasm. She pushed me to run my first ever 10K race and I seriously considered registering for a half-marathon with her in January.  But that was weeks ago.

I felt soreness in my heel for a while but one morning I woke up and literally couldn't walk.  I started to feel better the more I moved around but when I felt a snap in my foot while playing basketball I knew something was seriously wrong.

I have tissue damage in my foot related to a bone spur.  Nothing serious, but recovery can take up to a year.  I went from running 3 times a week and playing basketball and volleyball weekly to barely being able to stand for an entire work day.

It's getting better, excrutiatingly, incrementally, slowly, improving.  But the worst part is knowing I was so close to a long-held goal and not being able to finish.  I didn't want to quit.  And I'm worried I won't be able to get back where I was.  I worry that I don't have the commitment or the stamina or the drive to do it all over again.  I'm worried that my foot will hurt forever and I won't be able to play basketball anymore, or run, or even walk without a limp.  I worry and wait for it to get better, but I'm impatient and worrying is not helping matters much.  It's not productive but then again, neither am I these days.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 09 - This is just a sham at this point.

Ok, the whole one post a day plan is pretty much in the toilet so this will be the last "Day" themed post.  Although I'll probably still steal some post ideas because I never have any of my own.

So remember when I said that I spend a ridiculous amount of time worrying that I've offended someone?  Well, I've done it again.  Yesterday on the radio the were discussing leaving your child's Christmas concert before it was finished.  The morning show hosts were kind of making light of it and one very ignorant woman phoned in to say that Christmas concerts were "painful" and that she changes her work shift each year so she has an excuse not to go.

This struck a nerve because I have some experiences with Christmas concerts, so I wrote a letter.  Which I don't ever do.  But here it is...(oh, and this same dumb broad said that her teacher friends told her that they judge the kids because their parents are rude and leave early...which may be true but I'm sure no one would admit it...)

I am so disheartened by the conversation I heard on the radio this morning that I feel compelled to respond. 

It is ridiculous that there is even a conversation questioning whether it is rude to leave a concert early.  It’s not only rude and inconsiderate it’s just WRONG.  Teachers and students work for weeks preparing a concert for the COMMUNITY, because that’s what the community asks of them.  Teachers and schools are trying to instil values such as common courtesy and respect so what message are these parents sending when they can’t even devote an hour or two over the course of an entire school year to their children and the school community? 

I’m sure teachers aren’t judging their students by the parents’ behaviour, they would understand that students are children who are still learning social courtesies, but an adult should know better.  A school Christmas concert is not a Broadway production, and it’s too bad that parents find them “painful”, but what’s really painful is when a student looks into the crowd during their performance only to see people walking out, or worse yet, a nearly empty auditorium.  That message speaks volumes.  And how selfish and sad that a parent would choose to change their shift rather than spend time with their child, especially at Christmastime.

It’s a sad commentary on our society today that this rude behaviour can be rationalized because people seem to think that they’re too busy or (apparently) too important and that the rules of civility don’t apply to them.  If you don’t have any common sense or a modicum of respect for the professional teaching your child, the other families in attendance or your own child for that matter, you should probably just stay home.  REDACTED, it’s your choice to leave early from your child’s concert but please don’t be so discourteous to our hardworking educational professionals and the children and families in our community as to encourage others to follow your example.  Common courtesy should be the rule, not the exception.

I received a reply from the host thanking me for my feedback and letting me know that they would be reading my letter on-air because I had made some good points (obvs.).  So in typical Tee fashion I worried about this all night, and figured I'd get in trouble at work or at the very least come across like a crazy person.  Anyways, the boy heard it on the radio but I didn't hear it at anti-climactic.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 08 - Short Term Goals for the Month

Honestly, my goal for the month is to make it to the end of the month.  I'm already exhausted with minor family emergencies, Christmas parties and events, babysitting duties and the general hustle and bustle of the holidays, oh, and the flu.

And I know that everyone feels the crunch at this time of year so I can be patient with the guy who cuts me off in traffic, or the person ahead of me in line at the grocery store who takes a million years counting out their pennies.  We're all stressed out,  so my goal is to slow down during the holidays, that way I won't kill anyone.  I think that's a pretty reasonable goal.
My other goal for the month is to be able to run again.  I've been on the bench for the last month or so and it's been really hard watching my buddy train for a half marathon without me, and my basketball team take a beating while I sit on the sidelines.  So I've been stretching and physio therapy-ing and wearing sneakers with dress pants for ever and I'm hoping to give that up for January 1st, but we'll see.  It's been a very frustrating process where it feels like every step forward is followed by another step backward. Sigh.  But it has reminded me how much I enjoy swimming and rekindled my love for the lap lanes.  So I'm going to keep that up and maybe think about another mini-triathlon in the spring.  But walking without a limp is priority one right now, so I'm trying not to get ahead of myself (which is working out really well obviously).

And on a completely unrelated note, here's a picture of Bailey visiting Santa today.  It was a shitshow I tells ya.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 07 - Better Late than Never

Ok, so I kind of blew my goal by like, a month, but whatever. And I'm not writing about today's assigned topic because I just don't like it. So there.

Instead I'm going to write about today's adventures in babysitting...the actual kind that do not include Elizabeth Shue. (Side bar: I love Elizabeth Shue, she should totally be in more things, and how great was she in Hamlet II playing herself? Answer: SO GREAT!)

So the boy's niece and nephew are spending the night. At the moment they are curled up on the couch watching a movie. The boy meanwhile, is passed out on the couch, literally snoring. Lightweight.

I have to say, we make the most awesome babysitters. We played Wii, baked cookies, went for a walk in the snow with the dog, ate nachos and cheese, took hilarious pictures and sent them to grandma and grandpa, put on our pjs and watched a movie. All in all, a super-fun time. Also, this is about 150% more effort/activity than we would ever have accomplished or even attempted on our own. Tomorrow will require naps.

Being an "aunt" totally rocks. The kids show up excited to be here because they know we're going to show them a good time. They're at the perfect age where we can do fun things like go to the Imax or to the Science Center, they're old enough to enjoy it but not so old that they're too cool for it yet. And we don't have to say no to anything so when they come visit, they eat garbage and stay up too late.

But the best, best part is that babysitting gives us an excuse to do all those things that we would feel silly doing on our own. Playing at the Science Center, trying on costumes in the store, making snow angels in the park...all of these things require children in order to lessen the creepiness factor. (Preferably children who know you because "stranger" children do nothing to make you appear less of a freak show).

But kids are also exhausting, as every mom and anyone who's ever been to a mall food court will tell you, so it will also be great when they go home tomorrow and leave us to enjoy the peace and quiet.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 07ish...

I went to a friend's wedding last night and I didn't get home until 1:30AM so I took the day off... and it's my blog so I say that's ok.

Day 06- Favourite super hero and why

I'm not answering this. It's stupid. I'm not a 12 year old boy or a Star Wars fan so there's no way you're going to learn anything about me from my answering this question.

I don't even really know any super heros, beyond the obvious of course. And does it really say something about my psyche if I have to choose between Spiderman and Batman?

No. No it doesn't.

So I'm not going to. Except to say that I like Christian Bale better than Tobey Maguire. So, Batman I guess.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 05 - A Picture of Somewhere You Have Been To

Last week the boy and I were walking through the toy department of Wal-Mart (don't judge) and I pointed to a puzzle and said to him, "I've been here."  He kind of grunted and kept walking.  I, on the other had, thought it was kind of cool to have been to a place so beautiful.

Riomaggiore, Italy.  It is a beautiful small town I visited about 7 summers ago with a sort of friend, Tiffany. The actual-friend I was supposed to travel with became ill right before we had to leave and so Tiffany and I lost our common bond, and the buffer.  It was kind of an awkward trip, we definitely were not compatible travelers but we were extremely polite.  So, we each suffered in silence and by the end of the trip I'm sure she wanted to kill me as much as I wanted to kill her.  (i.e. I speak French and so she wouldn't speak to anyone in any French speaking country, that was my "job", insert eye roll here.) 

Anyways, Riomaggiore is part of a chain of 5 towns: Cinque Terre.  The towns are connected by a hiking trail as well as a train system.  The hiking trails get more difficult the farther you travel so Tiffany and I decided to take the train to the last town and travel back, that way it would be easiest at the end of the day. 

I couldn't possibly describe how beautiful this place is.  It is a beyond-picturesque hike through mountain-side citrus orchards with amazing ocean views.  It was a difficult hike though, almost entirely uphill to the next town and the path was very "rustic", often you would be looking down a sheer drop off a cliff straight into the ocean; it was treacherous to say the least.  But we were prepared: we had water bottles and backpacks, proper footwear, hats and lots of sun screen.  By the time we reached Volastra, the next town, we were exhausted and sweaty.  We took a break, had lunch and went back on the trail.

I don't know if you remember the summer of 2003 but it was the year that flip flops with heels were all the rage (apparently that was also the year that common sense was out of fashion).  I only mention this because as we traveled this next part of the trail we came across an Italian man and his wife.  What we saw defied all logic and sense and unfortunately lived up to every Italian stereotype.  The man was a portly fellow wearing a white dress shirt, unbuttoned to the waist, hairy chest covered in gold chains, speaking Italian at a rapid fire pace.  Following was (I presume) his wife.  Tall, brunette, olive skin, too much makeup and wearing (now we're hiking remember...) a bathing suit, sheer sarong tied around her waist, large sunglasses and heeled flip flops.  We were almost at the town and I figured they'd just started out and had no idea what they were in for. (Later on, we met up with some travellers who passed them later on that day and the Italian couple was just finishing the trail, so bravo to them I guess).  Those cultural differences: a Canadian needs $200 worth of MEC equipment to do what an Italian woman can do in a bathing suit and high heels.

We only made it to the second last town that day, the heat and exhaustion drove us to pack it in early.  We took the train back to Riomaggiore where we shared a big seafood meal with a girl we'd met earlier that week (actually the restaurant can be seen in the picture, about halfway up on the left side there's a brick semi-circle and that's the patio of the restaurant where we ate).  We decided that we would finish the trail the next day and to find the trail head after dinner.  We walked towards where it should have been but the sidewalk didn't end.  We continued on for about 15 minutes on the paved sidewalk, looking for the trail when we approached a group of cafes.  We asked a local where the path started and learned that we had just walked from Riomaggiore to Manarola, the second town.  The path was paved that entire section of the trail and we could have just finished it that afternoon if we weren't such wussies. 

This is listed as one of the 1000 places to see before you die and it's true.  It's so beautiful here, it's one of my favourite travel memories and one of the places I would like to see again before I die.