Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Pterygoidal Torturist

Her name is Allison.

She is my massage therapist.

The other day she introduced me to muscles above and along my jaw that I had no idea existed. I'm sure that the Pterygoid's sole purpose is to provide an outlet for inflicting pain. You can find it if you place your index finger behind your earlobe and against your cheek. The outter Pterygoidal muscle runs along your jaw. I've never known such excruciating pain in my life as for the several minutes Allison spent working on my jaw.

Everyone carries stress in different parts of their body. It would appear that I've found where my stress is harboured!

At chiro, Dr. Mike suggested a few simple stretches, and THESE are ones I rarely forget to do!

Turns out that the world is indeed a small place. Allison's Mom is living in the same extended care facility as my Mom -- and, they know each other.

Yesterday's massage therapy was cancelled because Allison had a conference to attend.

Ah, spared...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The system of things

This in by email - thought it was pretty amusing:

A Christian Democrat:
You have two cows. You keep one and give one to your neighbor. Then you covet it.

A Socialist (or a Canadian New Democrat):
You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his.

A Republican (or a Canadian Conservative):
You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So what?

A Democrat (or a Canadian Liberal):
You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. You vote people into office who tax your cows, forcing you to sell one to raise money to pay the tax. The people you voted for then take the tax money and buy a cow and give it to your neighbor. You feel righteous.

A Communist:
You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk. You wait in line for hours to get it. It is expensive and sour.

A Fascist:
You have two cows. The government seizes both and sells you the milk. You join the underground and start a campaign of sabotage, which ultimately blows up the cows.

Democracy, American Style:
You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.

Capitalism, American Style:
You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

Bureaucracy, American Style:
You have two cows. The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, then pours the milk down the drain.

An American Corporation:
You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one. You force the 2 cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts that you have reduced your expenses. Your stock goes up.

A French Corporation:
You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. You go to lunch. Life is good.

A Japanese Corporation:
You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains. Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

A German Corporation:
You have two cows. You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
You have two cows. You reengineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

An Italian Corporation:
You have two cows but you don't know where they are. While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman. You break for lunch. Life is good.

A Russian Corporation:
You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You have some more vodka. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka. You produce your 10th, 5-year plan in the last 3 months. The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

A Mexican Corporation:
You think you have two cows, but you don't know what a cow looks like. You take a nap.

A Swiss Corporation:
You have 5000 cows, none of which belongs to you. You charge for storing them for others. If they give milk, you tell no one.

A Brazilian Corporation:
You have two cows. You enter into a partnership with an American corporation. Soon you have 1000 cows and the American corporation declares bankruptcy.

An Indian Corporation:
You have two cows. You worship them.

A Taliban Corporation:
You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which is two. You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts. At night when no one is looking, you milk both of them. Then you kill them and claim a US bomb blew them up while they were in the hospital.

A Polish Corporation:
You have two bulls. Several people are killed while attempting to milk them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

All the questions come at 5:00 in the morning

...like, "Why the hell am I up... now???" It doesn't matter what the answer is, as long as it satisfies the question:

*Your Dad died and you're clearly not at peace with it.

*Your relationship fell apart, and all you can come up with right now are more questions, not answers.

*In a purely reactive move, you layed a whole bunch of stress on a good friend and now you wish you could press rewind... or apologize, or put that shell to good use.

*You're struggling to find the balance between what to share and what to keep to yourself.

or likely,

*You drank too much coffee yesterday, dummy...

...speaking of coffee, my Mom called yesterday. She invited me down for coffee and cookies. The coffee they serve at Mom's is exceptionally average, so on the way I stopped at the neighbourhood coffee shop for some Cochrane Coffee Traders coffee... it truly gives Timmies a run... and the best part? It too, is Canadian.

We talked about Dad, his absence, his presence, his love and his grace. We talked about who he is - not as a result of his Dementia, not as a result of the worldly factors of stress and social pressure that change or stifle who you really are, but exactly that: who he really is.

The other day I shared with a friend a spiritual experience I had a while back in which Dad's spirit - the essence of who he is - was with me. It was one of those life experiences that would likely have one committed if the details were leaked too freely. Simply put, my Dad and I spent some quality time together. He was free of all the encumbrances of the world, and it has me thinking what life might be like if we all strived to live free while we're here. There seem to be so many petty things that become major life intrusions that, after consulting with Dad (the part that could have me committed, yes?) has me re-prioritising a few important bits.

Sir William has just arrived to remind me that feeding the cat is good stewardship... of the cat. Therefore, I shall tend to Sir William and will write more later.

Turtle out.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Cats are good therapy

As I make my way through this rather exhaustive week, I'm acutely aware of how I'm feeling emotionally, physically and intellectually.

The most obvious of all is my physical being. I'm a wreck. All that work I've done with yoga, chiro and massage seems to have been for not this week... or is that "knot"? (sorry, bad massage humour!) I was saying to a friend today that I really must get on the physical fitness bandwagon big-time, because look at what a few simple downturns has done to me! His response?

"Dave, there are four things that are rated the top most stressful events in a person's life: A breakup or divorce, loss of a loved one, moving and changing jobs. You've had three of these in the last two months... you're entitled to be a wreck for a while!"

Doesn't change the fact that I feel "less-than" physically right now, and a little focus on my well-being is certainly in order. I'm also spending less time with my business these days: putting in half-days, not covering all bases, and in general looking for ways to get other people to do the work. OK, that last part is a fundamental of business in general, but for a guy who's "done it all" most of his working career, it provides for a dynamic shift in daily ops.

Emotionally, I'm a lot more stable than I had anticipated. Over the last number of years I've chosen to look at what I have rather than what I do not, and what's really great rather than what's going wrong. I think that this shift has been paramount in my ability to deal with all of life's little stresses as of late.

Intellectually, well, I'm surveying the whole thing in my mind a lot more than perhaps is necessary, but also looking at all of this with an open mind and a view to a learning experience like no other. It's no secret that things like a death in the family or a breakup will bring friends and family closer together, and indeed it has. In the last two weeks I've spent more time socializing with my closest friends and family than I have in a long, long time. That's something, considering I'm a pretty social guy on a regular day anyway!

So time will pass, pain will diminish and life will carry on.

I was working away on the sound system at the church the other day, and as is my custom, I throw in a cd to have on in the background while I'm there. My copy of Compadres "Buddy Where You Been?" has taken up residence in the sound rack there, and as I was listening away (while drilling holes in the pulpit... who gets to do THAT and get away with it, I ask you!?) these words caught my ear:

Mother and Father are both now gone;
Brothers and Sisters they are carrying on:
Try their ores in different waters,
Looking out for their sons and daughters.

It's all about carrying on, really.

What does this have to do with cats? Nothing. As the title of this post suggests, they are indeed, good therapy.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Blog Therapy

I haven't blogged seriously in ages, mostly because I've been so busy with life as it happens that there's been no time to document it.

Over the last six or eight weeks, the stressors in my life have been mounting. Each on its own is completely handleable, but as they continue to add up in a seemingly short period of time, I'm noticing a physical change in my body, lowered energy levels and an emotional unwellness akin to lonliness, heartache and depression.

The biggies are:
Tiki went out in a rainstorm back in July and hasn't returned.
My Dad passed away on September 14.
Nathalie returned to Quebec on September 26.

Each of these probably deserves a novel of a post each, but suffice it to say I'm really not up for that, and it's probably best to keep most of it out of the public realm.

As the last four or five days have gone, my sleep pattern has evolved into something of an 11PM to 5AM cycle with a frenzied sense of "I gotta do it all, and now!" in between.

Today, however, I slept in to the point of missing my 7:30 Chiropractic appointment. Two hours later, I was in his office, ready for a much-needed adjustment.

I then found myself in Chapters killing time before an eye exam at 11:40, wandering around aimlessly looking at books for no apparent reason, sucking back a half-coffee-half-whole cream pick-me-up. Then it was off to COSTCO for some kitty liter because...

I returned home to find a new resident feline in the window:

Meet Sir William. He hails from the Hanna SPCA, and he's the sweetest guy!
(the orange paper in the window is to keep the birds from cracking their wee beaks... Sir William would be happy about that, I'm sure!)

About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.