Aug 04

Hello from GLORIOUS BRITISH COLUMBIA!!!

*I STOLE THIS FROM MRS. BIRDMAN’S BLOG POST TODAY*

fromthedesk

Most of you know that our moving date for going out west has come and gone. I’m here to report that we made it, safe and sound. The only casualties were a long-suffering fan on a stand, and 3 out of 4 panes of glass inside our hutch. Not bad, eh?! We headed west exactly one month ago, in a converted school bus that carried the four of us, all of our stuff, our dog and our dreams for a new future. I have been thinking and preparing for the move for the past year, but I couldn’t have guessed how well our journey would go. When we told people we were moving out west in a school bus, we definitely got a lot of strange looks, but it was a fantastic journey. Our friend Dan helped us pick out the most mechanically sound bus we could find, and then we began the process of ripping out the seats and preparing it for our trip. When the seat removal was complete, we had a huge tin can on wheels, ready for our adventure. We began moving our things onto the bus in what can only be described as a real-life game of tetris. There was not much space that went unused, floor to ceiling. Eventually, the bus was packed to the roof, with a retaining wall that separated us from the stuff. We were 4 people and 1 dog on an EPIC CROSS COUNTRY ADVENTURE! The first hour was spent crying. All of us. It was a pretty miserable place for a bit, but after a good bawl, some hugs and some snacks, life seemed cheerier and we were on our way. As we drove, the scenery got more scenic, and we became settled in our spots on the bus. If you’ve ever driven from Ontario to Manitoba, you will nod knowingly when I say that Ontario is a big place. It took DAYS to get out. While we were making our way across our native province, we saw a familiar site in our side mirror.

D’OH!!!!

We drove over 4,000km in that bus, and this was the only time we got pulled over. I think we were both surprised, since we figured we’d be getting pulled over a lot. The officer was very nice, and even though I was very nervous about being stopped, we were found to be in compliance with all vehicular laws governing Cool Bus operation. Woo Hoo! Score one for the weary travelers. He gave us a souvenir of his visit. ūüôā

Officer Friendly leaves his autograph

While we traveled, we were on the hunt for any ‘Giant Stuff’ for my sister-in-law Katie, who loves all giant fruits, furniture and animals she encounters. We were not disappointed. Here’s a selection of just a few of the giant offerings. Not included are the giant snowman, groundhog, UFO, and other assorted things that didn’t make the cut.

There’s a LOT of weird, giant stuff out there…

There were a few provinces to get to after we finally made it out of Ontario. Manitoba was one of my faves, probably because I drove all day through it. I loved being the pilot on the Cool Bus. There was one small domestic that threatened to break out during my time at the wheel, but after I promised not to enter any more curves at breakneck speed (his opinion!) we were back on track. My basic impression of the provinces were that Ontario was huge, Manitoba was flat, and BC was a welcome sign to get to after 5 days.

Been there. ūüôā

At night we were treated to endless sunsets of blue, pink, purple and orange. The windows of the bus allowed a huge, technicolor display that kept us impressed, province by province. I spent most of my time in one of the two remaining seats on the bus, so I could take advantage of the scenery. If you get a chance to cross the country in a motor vehicle, I do hope it’s a cool bus, with the kind of spectacular views that I saw.

Just one of the beautiful nights on the Cool Bus

Just one of the beautiful nights on the Cool Bus

I snuck this one in here, but fellow Ingress players will appreciate the milestone I reached on our last day of travel… #vivelaresistance

Us at Kakabeka Falls, Thunder Bay Ontario <3

We made a lot of memories. The kids were amazing. They didn’t complain about the drive, or the vagabond lifestyle. We had a life-changing, family-bonding experience. I could never explain what happened to us as we moved across the provinces, but it was pretty great. Eventually we landed in beautiful HUDSON’S HOPE, BC!

It’s really, really beautiful here.

Our home is warm and cozy, and our yard is absolutely gorgeous. We have a large covered porch that runs along most of the side of the house. Our bus even fit in our driveway! After several weeks of cleaning, unpacking and sorting, we are finally home. ¬† I really like it here. It felt like home as soon as we arrived. I’m really, really happy. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† If you want to keep in touch, you can find me on Instagram ( missclicks ). Or you can email. Or text. Or send an old fashioned letter. Or hop on a plane and visit. I’ll pick you up at the airport. Cheers from glorious BC! Gerri

Apr 15

Well, I Guess I Need Therapy

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Yeah, I know it’s been a while.

More than a year, I think.

I have been very busy with work, and when I did get some time off the last thing I was going to do was write. I had all of the best intentions, but you know how it is. I would rather power watch movies and stuff myself with junk food than actually do something productive.

I digress.

Last night I came to the¬†conclusion¬†that¬†I’m going to need help to deal with my mental issues.

The first of my help was to delete Facebook, yet again, then after I get back out west, I am going to go to the mental health place and see about some form of counselling for depression/rage issues. There is really no need for me to get so angry with people that post shit on Facebook, whether I find it mildly annoying or completely abhorrent.

Last night someone on my Facebook feed posted a political post that I agreed with in principal, but when I started reading the comments, I was filled with this seething anger that is completely inexplicable. I mean, yeah, I know why it makes me angry, but not to that extent. When they responded to my childish, and condescending comment, I quite literally felt like inflicting physical and emotional pain on them.

What the fuck?

It’s not like me to not be able to debate in a cordial manner, but there I was with so many things to say, and¬†only enough control to lash out, because I just realised that some people will never see my point.

Like I said, I can’t explain it, but it was there. I immediately unfriended them and started looking through my phone to figure out how to deactivate Facebook from it. I decided to go upstairs and use the computer to do it, when I¬†saw a message asking about the defriending. I was trying to explain that I was going through some mental troubles and saying that it was a problem that I was going to get help for, but the political debate started again, and¬†I just deactivated. It was seriously the only way that I could keep from exploding.

I tried to calm down and rationalize what was going through my head, but it was just so strong that I couldn’t focus on anything but the negative. That started to get me very frightened. I went to bed and Mrs. Birdman woke up and talked me through it, but it took a while. I could barely get words out of my mouth as fast as my mind was thinking them up, so it must have sounded like I had a speech impediment.

Luckily I have the best possible choice for my wife, and she was able to love me to a place where I could sort out my thoughts and get back to logically assessing the situation. I really am so fortunate to have her, and the rest of my family for support. They make it so easy to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.

So that’s where I am now. If you were going to get a hold of me on Facebook for anything, don’t bother. I’m not there, and if you ever see me back there for anything other than trying to swindle some Movember dollars from you, please kick my ass.

Birdman

P.S. I shut down the Reboot site, so I’m back to swearing on here.

Nov 14

Whatcha Got In That Box, Pandora?

fromthedesk

 

I have wanted to write this post for awhile, but I am always afraid of how some things will be perceived, even though what I have been thinking about is a legitimate concept from the perspective of any relationship.

I like to mouth off to others about ‘leaning into the discomfort’ of things, so here I go.

I have these friends who have a more alternative lifestyle. They are hands down some of the coolest people I know.  They have very different ideas about what constitutes love and marriage.   They are not monogamous, nor do they encourage the other to be.  In fact, they encourage each other to explore all sexual interests without prejudice.  It is an interesting idea from a theoretical viewpoint.  How can people learn to love freely and openly without jealousy or anger?  If we take out the part about not being monogamous, this is still a very legitimate question for monogamous couples.   As a theory, not as an argument for polyamory and its derivatives, the ability to love unconditionally is something that we should want to seek, regardless of our sexual choices.

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See? People have been getting their freak on since before Christ was a cowboy.

I understand that living as a non-monogamous couple does apparently have some boundaries.¬† From what I gather, if any person in the arrangement starts to have feelings, the arrangement is redefined. ¬†Feelings always indicate that someone is personally interested in the outcome of something. ¬†If any either of my friends become uncomfortable, with any part of the situation, the situation is removed. ¬†This conceivably lowers the possibility of deceit between partners. ¬†Some will argue that they could end up falling in love with someone else. ¬†I would reply that that could happen regardless. ¬†It’s a matter of personal choice as to whether or not you enter into a deceptive relationship with ¬†another person. ¬†I don’t accept the argument that things just happen. ¬†Things happen because we ignore growing feelings and allow ourselves to be in vulnerable situations, not because you have sex with people other than your spouse. ¬†This happens in marriages all the time, and the blame always falls to the outside relationship. ¬†It is more accurate to say that people will sleep with other peoples spouses without permission, far more than they will with permission, so let’s not get too judge-y here.

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What a cheeky monkey…

I imagine the technicalities of a non-monogamous relationship would bring up some interesting conversations.  I love that they can honestly and openly negotiate such a difficult arrangement.  I have so much respect for the amount of trust and love needed to understand the real nature of unconditional love. The closest most of us come is the way we feel about our children.  We love them like an extension of our own body, one that we would die to protect.  The love flows freely from one to the other with the perfect understanding of trust and love.  That is the ideal, of course, and some days we only get a moment of the ideal, and the remainder a fraction of what we glimpsed.  However, we do feel it most for our children.  Why is it so unnatural for some of us to be unguarded enough to be able to love and be loved, so freely?

When we have been hurt sufficiently and learn to rebound back with our self esteem intact, and our understanding has improved, we are able to open ourselves raw to another.  We commit fully to the experience of loving and being loved, and take the chance of unexpected suffering later on, in order to take fullest advantage of our good fortune now.  The emotional and spiritual gains we earn are worth the pain we undergo.  When we look at each other with nothing but love and acceptance, we will begin to create the best partner we would ever want, and in turn create a beautiful process of self-fulfillment that will continue every day after.

"I love you unconditionally. And is that a train?"

“I love you unconditionally. And is that a train?”

There are many variables that have to be in place before a relationship like this can occur: complete trust, self-acceptance, emotional maturity, courage, physical attractiveness, mutual respect, agreement on fundamental belief systems and finally a desire for both to WANT something different.  If ALL of those variables are not met, the theory falls apart in lots of ways, and an alternative relationship will not be successful.  At any point, if one partner wants it more than the other, renegotiation is required.

Non-monogamous relationships are a hard-sell for most couples because of all of the variables that aren’t being addressed in our monogamous relationships.

Perhaps people think it’s more polite to say what someone else wants to hear, rather than risk offending. ¬†Ultimately, we can’t possibly know someone who pretends to like the things we like so we don’t get mad at them. ¬† If we aren’t being truthful with our partners in every way, then we are denying our mates the opportunity to know us intimately as people. ¬† Being honest takes out the guess work in relationships. ¬†You have to agree to be kind and fair, of course, but there is no reason anyone should be angry at anyone else for being honest about something they were asked.

Awkward-couple

I have to be honest. I’ve always hated that hat. And you.

One of the first times The Birdman asked me out, he offered to take me ***bowling. ¬†I almost said I would go, but I remembered that I didn’t want to go bowling. ¬†I would have normally said I would love to go, and just lied about hating bowling. ¬†Instead, I said I just didn’t like bowling. ¬† I took the chance that he was grown up enough not to be angry that I didn’t like something he liked. ¬†Guess what? ¬†I WAS RIGHT. ¬†The thing is, most of the time, it is okay to be honest. ¬†If it’s not okay, that is a great thing to find out early in a relationship, so you can get the hell out when you see the crazy coming at you. ¬† We have to have the emotional maturity, personal security and self-acceptance that we are not reduced to shreds every time someone doesn’t agree with us. ¬†It’s a small example, but it’s not a small idea. ¬†If you are not telling the truth about the things you love, and don’t love, you are only hurting yourself. ¬†Also, pretending to love camping might cause you to be spending 3 weeks camping every summer for the next 25 years. ¬†See if that makes you change your mind about transparency in relationships.

Some people might be angry that I blew open Pandora’s box, but I don’t really think that’s fair. ¬†I am talking about real relationship issues that just happen to deal with friends who like to go to sex clubs. ¬†If we remove the sexual deviation from the equation, it is a completely valid argument that you could have at a crowded party. ¬†I’m not saying I agree with them. ¬†It’s not an endorsement of any lifestyle over any other. ¬†However it is a fascinating study of how people relate to each other in a very grown up way. ¬†I am not afraid to talk about ideas, even if they make people uncomfortable. ¬†I’m not sorry if my ideas sometimes upset people. ¬†My ideas are for people who sometimes have ideas of their own. ¬†Why don’t you leave YOUR ideas in the comments?

Mrs. B

***I have just been informed that I remember the bowling incident as I WISH it had happened, and not as it ACTUALLY happened. ¬†Apparently, I DID make a half-assed agreement to bowl at some point in the future. ¬†I remember not wanting to bowl, and that we didn’t go bowling, so I assumed I had told him I didn’t want to. Now that I think about it, I wasn’t very much into being truthful when I met him, so I can see the irony of the bowling ‘life lesson’. ¬†Well played, Karma. ¬†Well played.

Nov 07

Therapy Thursday

newtherapythursday

Dear Therapy Thursday:

What’s crackalackin’? Haha that’s a funny saying. Okay.

I’m not accustomed to asking for advice, but I’m in a bit of a pickle.

You see, I like to party. A lot. The problem is who I party with. Every time I am taking a haul off of a doobie, or playing vodka pong, one of my buddies is snapping a pic or shooting some video. I’m sure that they would never betray me, but it still puts me on edge.¬†My brother is really worried about it, but I keep telling him I have it under control. I told him that my friends are real steady guys and would never say anything about me drinking and doing a bit of dope to take the edge off. I guess he just worries because I’m the baby and he’s seen me in action before.

My problem is that I have a pretty important job that requires a lot of critical thinking and the people that I rule¬†oversee don’t really like me very much, so I’ve been really hitting it hard for the past year or so. We’ve been able to turn people’s heads by deflecting attention and the occasional white lie, but they are really starting to watch me now.

Okay, I might have smoked something a bit stronger than hash on a video, and it may or may not have been leaked and stolen. It looks like I might lose my job, but I really really don’t want to. It’s super easy and I can do it mostly from my cell phone in the car. (Don’t worry, I’m getting a bluetooth soon.) I just wish people would leave me alone for one more year. I really don’t know why, but my bro says that we need it to fulfil our agenda. Whatever the fuck that is.

What was I talking about again? Oh yeah. I don’t want to quit my job or apologize for anything, but I also don’t want to get any help, because I really love getting hammered. It’s such a great feeling to be staggering along Danforth, sampling all kinds of different food. You know, those foreigners really can cook a mean souvlaki.

Oh yeah, the advice thing. I’m getting a lot of media attention now, and I’m well known for some of the most unflattering photos on the internet. What I need advice on is how to look a bit better in photographs. I’m what my doctor calls morbidly obese, but my¬†friend “Al” says I’m cuddly. I’m pretty sure that I would trust a friend over a doctor any day, so please tell me how a cuddly guy should pose better for pictures.

Cracky McStuperton

Birdman

Dear Cracky:

I’m going to come out and address the elephant in the room.

You have a substance abuse problem. Really.

It also sounds like you should take a break from whatever it is that you do and maybe go see a doctor, yogi, or whatever other person can get you healthy. You need to get your head clear before making any decisions that could affect other people’s lives. That’s just the decent thing to do.

You want to do the right thing, don’t you?

I’m sure you do, but in your booze addled brain, you just keep digging your hole deeper. Don’t you want to be free?

If you just tell everyone the truth, with heartfelt humility, people will forgive you. They won’t probably want you in their lives, but at least they will be able to view you as more than just a lying piece of dog shit. You can rebuild from there, but only if you’re totally honest.

You will feel like two thousand pounds was lifted from your shoulders.

Anyhow, I’m going to refer you to Mrs. Birdman for the photo thing. It’s kind of what she does.

Trouble ahead, trouble behind, and you know that notion just crossed my mind,

Birdman

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Dear Cracky,

I understand your panicky interest in being photographed in an unflattering manner. ¬†If you are like most men, you have never actually been photographed in a flattering light, so it’s curious that you care all of a sudden. ¬†Regardless, I am going to give you a few tips.

CaptureLets start with clothing.  Avoid white shirts with belted pants if you are paunchy,  that transition never goes well. A smart jacket over everything will make you feel at least a few pounds lighter, even if it does add to your considerable (I suspect) bulk.

Another thing to remember is that you should always try to avoid being photographed from unflattering angles. The only way to play it safe is to fall to the ground every time a camera approaches. ¬†This way you will always be ‘looking up’ into the cameras lens, offering your slimmest angle. ¬†Unfortunately you will also seem to have some sort of problem remaining upright, which may not be as beneficial for your career or work place productivity. ¬†It’s really your call here.

Finally, try to remain as happy and pleasant with people as possible so you are always photographed with a lovely expression. ¬†Considering the amount of narcotics you seem to consume, this shouldn’t be very challenging.

Good luck out there.  It sounds like you will need it.  :S

Mrs. B

SmartyTalks

My friend Baby Doc texted me to bring some friends down to Haiti and he will let us stay with him if we help him with a coup. He must have a bunch of chickens running wild at his place or something. I met him in Quebec I think. I don’t know, people were smoking and talking French, but it did seem like a long plane ride. He was always surrounded by broads and he had the best blow, so I was like “Chickens and coke? I’m already there. Let’s get this party jumping”

Dude, you should totally come with.

Smarty

P.S. I know you’ve heard it before, but we are doing the Movember thing, so if you could stop by and have a look at our band of miscreants, we would love it. ūüôā

Aug 29

Therapy Thursday

newtherapythursday

Dear Therapy Thursday,

I am a magnet for the wrong type of guy! ¬†I want to break free from the string of losers that I’ve dated and slept with. Are all men looking for the same thing? ¬†Is it really about having a great body, big boobs, a fat ass and pretty face? ¬†Doesn’t it matter that I have a name? ¬†An opinion? ¬†I think therefore I am? ¬†I want someone who listens! ¬†I want someone to hold me! I want someone to tell me I am pretty! ¬†I want someone to notice when I change my hair color or nail polish! I want someone to LOVE ME!! ¬†What is wrong with all the men??

 Loser Magnet

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Dear Loser Magnet,

I have to take issue with your last sentence.

“What is wrong with all the men??”

I would like to pose the question to you: What is wrong with all the women? Why do they keep signing up for relationships with men who fall far short of the goal? At what point in a new relationship do you decide that you have hooked a loser?

I have a theory. If a woman knows her worth, she no longer puts up with less than she desires. If she DOES put up with less, she does it with the full understanding that this new relationship does not meet the acceptable standards, and she can no longer complain about the man OR the relationship. I believe people show us exactly who they are early on in a relationship. I remember the man who let me know he wasn’t into being very demonstrative with his feelings (dated him anyway), and the one afraid of commitment (dated him anyway), and the one who seemed to like men better than women (didn’t date him very long at all!). In hindsight, I can clearly see that there were problems almost from the very start that I ignored or minimized in the hope that this fresh candidate was THE ONE.

That brings us to the crux of the issue, in my humble opinion. Women (and men too for that matter) must really like, and feel confident about who THEY are, to be able to find and BE the kind of mate they are looking for. If you find yourself in one unsatisfactory relationship after another, the problem might not be the man. I don’t say this to be hurtful, or to cast blame, but to give you a point of view that you may not have considered. It’s easy to pay lip service to the idea that you like who you are, but do you really? Are you strong enough to do and say what you really want to? Do you feel certain enough about your ideas and desires that you are willing to hold on to them, even if they do not mesh with those of your partners?

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” I recently read that in a great book called “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” and I believe it speaks to the heart of the issue. Until we are strong enough to insist on what we want, we will not likely get it. Sometimes we get lucky and get it by accident. Life becomes simpler when we are allowed to be exactly who we are, and we allow our partners the same luxury. This comes with practise, but it starts with understanding that people need to be accepted for exactly who they are, with no expectation to change for someone else.

It’s a slippery slope trying to merge your life with someone else’s. There will always be things that don’t completely match up. You have to quickly know what you can, and CANNOT live with in another person. Since you are currently single, I am going to make a suggestion. I want you to write a list of ‘must haves’ for your future mate. These are non-negotiables for you. Then, create a list of ‘NO WAY’s’, which are things you cannot accept about someone. A third list of qualities which would be desirable, but not essential would round out the lists. When you meet someone, start looking at your list and assess the qualities this person has with whatever information you have. You are searching for someone who will complement your life, not turn you into a maid, a trophy or a carbon-copy of someone he used to know. Because you will be 100% Team You, you can start looking at the behaviour you see with a realistic eye, and not a hopeful heart.

One final thought: Is it essential that he notice your hair colour? Nail polish? Remember that some things only seem like a deal breaker. If a man loves you and treats you beautifully, the fact that he misses your new haircut may not be grounds for immediate dismissal. Let’s be flexible here… )

Mrs. Birdman

mindofbirdman
Dear Loser:
I think we need to look at this in a broken down format, because it will make it easier for my man brain to handle.
  1. I am a magnet for the wrong type of guy! That’s great! It takes all kinds of people to make this crazy world go around, and if it weren’t for girls like you, I would never have gotten laid in high school.
  2. ¬†I want to break free from the string of losers that I’ve dated and slept with. Why? That is very selfish of you to exclude such a huge group of people from your breeding pool.
  3. Are all men looking for the same thing? You mean the blow job while you whistle Roger Whittaker through the dried boogers in your nose thing? Yep.
  4. Is it really about having a great body, big boobs, a fat ass and pretty face? No, sometimes we like to bang scrawny, homely women to remind us of that time we went to Burma.
  5. Doesn’t it matter that I have a name? ¬†An opinion? ¬†I think therefore I am? Not really. I’m probably just going to call you Babe or Pickletits. God I love pickles.
  6. I want someone who listens!  I want someone to hold me! I want someone to tell me I am pretty!  I want someone to notice when I change my hair color or nail polish! I want someone to LOVE ME!! Holy shit, you are one needy motherfucker. Get yourself a dog and a male prostitute. I hear The Six-Fingered Monkey is cheap.
  7. What is wrong with all the men?? Same thing that’s wrong with all of the women. We don’t get enough fibre in our diet.

The world don’t move to the beat of just one drum, what might be right for you, might not be right for some,

Birdman
P.S. I rarely notice hair and/or nails. That shit doesn’t matter to me.