Parsley

Parsley

I was just reading about the health benefits of parsley. This alone could almost explain why my blood work is almost always “perfect” despite the fact that I’m very overweight.

In fact, I’m obese. I found this in my medical records some years ago when I ordered copies. The doctor had never used that word with me, though. I was shocked! I had to google its definition, which was re BMI. Yes, I’m heavy because of muscle and very substantial bones – could be to do with parsley and also weightlifting formally as well as just carrying my weight around. I haven’t been inactive. I’ve sweated in the garden, turned soil and loaded mulch with a wheelbarrow. Pretty intense. But I really am fat, got lots of jelly that I have discovered does not help with belly dancing, ironically. A little jelly is fine. I’ve got so much it goes bouncing in one direction after the core of me has moved on to another direction. Kind of like a blurry echo or visual haze image. First, fairly distressing, but in the end very motivating.

But anyway, at least I’m pretty healthy.

I see some fancy recipes to get you to eat more parsley. Tabbouleh, some baked stuff, even pesto. But I’ll make it way simpler for ya: Take a big handful of parsley, like 2-3 generous branches of it. Chop it up, not too finely. Pile it on the plate, maybe on top of some chopped cuke or tomato, something it’ll stick to. Pile some other salad on top of that – maybe a bean salad, which is what I keep handy in the fridge all summer. Greek salad, whatever. And just eat it. Or for that matter, just chomp on the branches by themselves. I have never left parsley on a restaurant plate unless it looked pale or limp. Just eat it! Yum!

And by the way, if you don’t like the taste of parsley very much, grow some or get some from a veggie gardener or maybe even a farmers’ market. It tastes different from the store kind, about 10x better, as with everything else home-grown.

 

 

 

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Joy of quiet

Joy of quiet

Went outside to water my plants and noticed, as I have so often this week, people wearing t-shirts proclaiming “Canada” – today is the nation’s 150th anniversary.

I’m not attending my boss’s ginormous party, because once I calculated the hassle of transit, trying to get there and having to go through downtown Vancouver on my way home around the time the 1M of fireworks aficionados are also transitting, I realized it was all too much. Was going to get a ride with a friend, but then her ride evaporated. Just at that rate, I was kinda dreading the party. I cannot get into saying “Happy Canada Day.” I can do the fake smile thing, but only a few times. Not for four hours or whatever. I have never liked parties that much.

So, tempting as the Waldorf Hotel street party with music sounded in theory, it’s also a party with noise and lots of people, and most likely pot smoke and other obnoxious smells.

Nah, I stayed home. I’ve been so busy lately I forgot how nice that can be on a quiet day. In fact, it’s long been my habit to stay home on big holidays and long weekends, when everyone else flees the neighbourhood. I can sit with windows open and not constantly hear people walking down the street yapping loudly, be it together, with kids, or on a cellphone relentlessly. Instead, I feel I have space around me. I hear crows and other birds. This, I like.

Open windows, cool breeze, quiet. I feel energized! This is what I need more of. I need to move out of this city. That’s top priority for my well-being and motivation. So much easier to concentrate when it’s cool and calm. I shut windows, normally, to block out noise and stinks, and to maintain privacy, and then I overheat, feeling hot, sweaty, and lethargic. Today I can have a heavy-duty dance session. Yesterday I danced up a sweat when I was already starting out sweaty. Even so, dancing gave me a bit of energy, even under those unpleasant conditions. Today’s will be even better.

Under these conditions, life is tolerable. And I have hope of taking constructive action, like getting my volunteer projects finished and even applying for some jobs, eh?

Friends

Friends

Over the past year or so, I started to make the friends I should have been making during my ill-fated marriage. We had no other friends. I wanted to, but he was so clingy it was nearly impossible. I accepted that as a temporary state. I didn’t realize the marriage was also temporary.  Imagine growling sounds here.

So I have various friends. And I have also started to cultivate connections with people in my field. The dreaded “networking.” Or as I learned from a course on Lynda.com by Lauren Bacon, “building community and connecting with others” rather than “networking.” It’s about meeting different people, not just people like oneself. But it’s about being authentic, real, genuine. Of course the conferences I went to probably had some facade-ish aspects to them – or my behaviour did. But I’m gonna keep trying. My networking is turbo-charged and it’s gonna be a lifelong habit. No more will I rely on who or what I have, not like I stupidly did in my marriage.

But in some ways, a facade is needed even in friendships. One in particular is a relatively new friend that seems to really like me, or so she has said more than once in the few months she’s known me. She wants me to come to her place, she says. I have been twice. I’m not crazy about going there or being there, even though she has a cat, and I love cats. I liked our conversations at first, when they were kind of intense, but now she’s relaxed into prattling about mundane things that are of no interest to me, and she doesn’t see that. I mention things of interest to me, and she never ever delves into them. She moves on to another mundane thing. What does one do in this situation? I don’t know! The facade is needed because I donno what to do with my frustration when that happens. It’s a mismatch.

I realized it was a mismatch one time when I really needed someone to talk to and my truth got too intense for  her. I’m sorry, but I have lived a dark life and I can’t say “Yeehah!” to your platitudes. Basically the implication is to hide the darkness, don’t acknowledge it, so she can prattle on about how wonderful all the mundane things are, like typical landscaping and so on. She’s told me more than once to lower my standards, as she has. That is not my way.

This is going nowhere, because we are going in different directions. I want a new career and she just wants to enjoy her retirement as much as possible. Her brain has slowed down, and I am honing mine to compete in a new career, in a job market full of mostly younger people. Or maybe really it’s nowhere because I don’t want to listen to what she wants to talk about and she apparently is the same way about what I want to talk about.

We are taking a dance class together. I’m not crazy about the dance class. The teacher is a bit disorganized. She gives instructions and then doesn’t follow what she said, so we can’t follow here. And when she’s winging it, she doesn’t have a method that allows you to follow. I liked the other dance teacher, the Latin one, much more high energy. An actual workout. This one is bellydance, and she spends way too long on one isolation, and I tend to feel cramped in whatever area we’re working on. Twenty minutes or a third of the class on one isolation is too much. More than 10 sets of 8 beats of just chest slides or hip drops is too much. Especially when followed by another 10.

This friend has another friend with a hobby farm, something I would dearly love to have, at least half an acre, preferably four acres. And this friend gave my friend some composted manure, and she offered it to me, since I’m a rabid gardener.  I appreciate it very much. Very thoughtful and apropos to my interests. I feel like a bit of a jerk that I don’t want to go to her place and that I am bored of her, but I accepted her gift. I don’t like playing board games unless there is really good conversation to go along with it.

And I really don’t like the smell of spilled wine gone mouldy and cat pee. I guess she can’t smell it, but I can. The compost had no particular smell, but she was suspicious about it, as if it was dirty. “It hasn’t been processed” and “I don’t really know what composting is.” Well, JFGI. There were worms living in it. It was basically very broken down and soil-like, with some bits of straw or grass fibres left.

I hope her health problems work out for the best and she enjoys her retirement, but she’s too low energy and unthinking for me to really connect with. How to ease out of it without burning bridges.

airhead bnb

airhead bnb

I’ve been outta town taking some courses. I stayed with family for part of it, but for one night I had to stay in a bnb. Hotels were expensive, and my friend said she uses airbnb. I was really short on time and got caught up in the registration process with airbnb. As someone else said about registering for Save-On Foods delivery from online ordering, “I’d rather stick needles in my eyes for an hour.” But somehow I managed it, and then I got an email “You will receive a reply within 24 hours.” Great – I needed it within one hour, because I had to drive to the next outta town location.  The reservation confirmation arrived just in time, so I didn’t cancel it. Glad, because it would have been a long nasty drive home in the dark, otherwise.

So I get to this crazy place, narrow driveway behind a Tim Hortons. Smooth old fir floors, not too badly maintained. Crusty and stained old ornamental mouldings and crusty and stained ceiling tiles. I only saw one silverfish in the bathroom.

On the door, “An old bear lives here with his honey.” I liked that. The old guy, a Scotsman and former logger, was quite pleasant. Quizzed me about breakfast, which I don’t eat, but it’s a bnb thing, so I took away a couple boiled eggs for lunch.

But after some friendly quizzing about the geology course I was taking, he found his opening to share his apparently-creationist pamphlet with me. I felt a little steamed, as I came here to bathe and sleep, not to have more of this crap pushed at me. Someone leaves it around my apartment building: the lobby, the laundry room. I always take it and recycle it.

So, I figured it was time to quiz him about something in their bnb ad, the queer fact that the place is “not suitable for persons with alternative lifestyle.” Immediately I thought of the man I saw on the ferry from Victoria the other day. He was about 40 years old or so, with massive dreadlocks and a tie-dye t-shirt, and two teenaged boys with 1950s style clean-cut hair-do’s. I asked him what the statement in their ad meant, because I wasn’t sure.

“Me either. Ya know, when I came over from Scotland in my 20s, I didn’t know what homosexuality was. We had never heard of it.” Well, Oscar Wilde had heard of it over 100 years ago, but if you haven’t heard of Oscar Wilde, you’re at a disadvantage, I suppose. Don’t expect his books were that popular in the logging camps. “I didn’t even know about pregnancy.” Well, no need to base your life on your ignorance, I thought. Why not overcome it? But I just said, “That’s dangerous.”

Cut to the chase, before I recycled the pamphlet I found out the key point – Jehova’s Witnesses do not consider themselves fundamentalist Christians, because they do not believe the world was created in some short number of years but rather that the x number of days for creation would not have been days as we understand them, periods of 24 hours. But I doubt the pamphlet explained Oscar Wilde or pregnancy.

That morning, in the Jehova’s Witness’s home, I took extra pleasure in listening to the wholesome 1950s song “Mr. Sandman” by the Chordettes and watching my favourite male bellydancer playfully dancing to it. Pretty sure he’s gay because of how he talks, not that it’s my business, but it did give the moment that extra zest and a big smile for me.

Shame/Fail

The best thing that happened today didn’t. I didn’t get in a car accident, I didn’t totally lose a friend, and I didn’t shit myself during my dance class or any other time.

The dance teacher had a sore right upper trap and so I offered some massage. She also has fibromyalgia, she said, so I said if anything hurts, you must tell me to stop. At the end of the class she thanked me for this massage. At the beginning, she complimented my weird fashion belt, hand-me-down from my mother, which I use to hold in the bulge above the belly button. The diastasis/hernia bulge. I hate that bulge.

I hate all the bulges, the square ones on my hips that make them like a pumpkin ready to burst. The waist roll that makes all the hip movements look like nothing, as they are buried in fat. My face is a puffy moon, too. Eyes lost in a shapeless pool of jelly.

I have nothing. I have no joy, no solace, no refuge, no purpose. Well, my job search is a purpose, but rather than a soothing one, it’s anxiety-provoking. Hence the need for cider for soothing. Not that high in calories, but displacing my nutrition.

Ashamed of my life, my body, my fail.

My dance-class buddy sounded so relaxed when talking about the conference. Sounded excited that it would be a great opportunity. But I doubt myself, as I suck with people. If it’s about “fit” and people hiring you because they like you, then fuck it I am doomed. People DON’T like me, probably because I fear and thus don’t like them, overall. I mean I could like them in a way, as individuals, but it’s not like with an animal. With an animal, I like them all from the start. If I don’t like one as an individual, I probably like them more than people. I start with good will, with animals. With people, I start with fear.

So much for filling my evenings with learning. Worked for a couple days. Lately I’m very stressed from the conference push. The other day, when I started this post, I had cider and burned my mouth on pizza! I felt ashamed, and almost ready to blush even now, but on the other hand I can credit myself that I am exercising more, generally eating well, and feel my body getting firmer, not larger. Just sometimes I feel the grossness of it all and it overwhelms me for a while.

The conference starts in the morning. I’ve prepared as best I can to be calm, professional, curious, and to make my requests and mention my various intentions to as many people as possible, but in an appropriate way that feels right. So, up to now it’s shame/fail, and I am going to keep marching through my fear, as usual.