Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good Things 0.1

 - So lucky to live where I do. Went to 2 gorgeous beaches to catch the wave action on Saturday.
 - Switched to broadband through CableVision - SO FAST!
 - Got to relax and e-chat to friends on Saturday night.
 - Sunday morning pancakes again and a fantastic day all around.
 - Sunday night miller chill with roses lime - just as delectable as I imagined.
 - Monday a.m. tired but made the gym. Half the battle.
 - Monday work. Not as bad as some Mondays....yeah that's as good as that got, oh well.
 - Great Cafe 4 spinach salad!
 - Monday evening, sat on Clearwater beach and watched the water as the sun went down. Saw 3 turtles! Turtles are righteous, dude.
 - Tuesday a.m. tired but made the gym and worked a little harder.
 - Work meetings with mucky mucks went well.
 - Found a great book at the library (short fantasy stories by ALL the big hitters back to Hawthorne)
 - Finished HUGE project at work.
 - Ate oats n dark chocolate granola bars by Nature's Valley, now addicted (like food crack).
 - W.T. with San, we did good!
 - Mom brought 'round some potato salad and some friends from SC.
 - Now gonna eat some naan bread pizza and maybe have a chill n roses. Sweet.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pink Dolphins sleep with one eye open

That was a subtitle in a legit article I was reading online about the boto. I found it so intriguing, I knew it would keep.

I worked at Dolphin Quest Bermuda for 6 months in 2002. 3 months longer than I could stand. I love dolphins. I know thats cheesy in a giggly girly kind of way, but that's not how I mean it. I know more about them now, than I did back then, but even then I didn't think of them as magical creatures that heal humans and rescue them from drowning. GAAA, ok, maybe a bit. I had the whole Lassen art collection thing going on in my bedroom. (And I should have broken my engagement to my nightmare of husband (now ex, thank god) the second he made me take them all down and berated me for being a dumb animal lover.) So yes, I guess I did have an idealised view of the mammal. Then I met them. And it became true love.

love song

I signed on with DQB as an reservations clerk. I was star struck by the idea of working with this company. I wasn't the wanna-be activist I am now, but I did check up and their public face is very animal concern, education driven.

WRONG, dead wrong.

I went to Dockyard for a secondary interview, to be staged at the Keep, where the dolphins live. It was early, maybe around 7 in the morning and no one was around. As I walked towards the trainers' shed, I looked into the water. All of the dolphins, 9 at the time, I think, popped their heads up to take a look at me.... and I burst into tears. I later talked myself into believing that it was the sight of them so close and THERE that overwhelmed. It was because there were so many of them in that pool. No matter what the spin is, they did not have enough space.

I got the job though, and started out enjoying the people I work with, excepting a few but that's normal. As the season rolled up I started to see the company for what it is. A money grubbing exploitation enterprise. As the demand to swim with the animals grew, so did the number of 'encounters'. They scrambled to create new programs, longer hours, just to cram in as many clueless marks as they could each day. I asked mildly once about the animals, if spending all day every day with hoards of tourists was good for them. It was made pretty clear to me what my place was in this venture. I left soon after. Not on bad terms with them on the surface, but on the worst possible terms in my head and in my heart.
love you I do
The experience was value plus. I learned who dolphins are. Yes animals. Yes magical but not in a unicorn and rainbows way. I also saw first hand how a large international company pulls the wool over the eyes of it's consumers. A lot of people buy that 'angel dolphin' crap. A lot of people just want to see them up close (dolphins are far larger than you imagine). Some people, ahemdanakroydahem, want to ride them. These animals are COMMODITIES to this company.
This is Khyber:
This is Malabar:
Both of these dolphins now 'live' at Epcot - the Sea.

I have a fond, fond space in my heart for Khyber. While I worked there, he was being excluded from encounters because of this funny little behaviour he had picked up. He would swim towards the paying guest with his mouth wide open, showing all of his many teeth, and as a very large adult male, this struck the guest as, well, scary as hell. I thought it was brilliant and I loved him for it.

We, some of the staff, stood in as guests for apprentice trainers learning the routine:
me, apprentice trainer, Caliban
Me and Caliban, dancing:
Amazing, but unnatural.
In Khyber's case, I was asked to swim with him, and NOT react when he came hurtling towards me, wicked jaws agape, biting in his eyes. Me - frozen in terror. Khyber - bummed. I just know that he enjoyed that game far more than any other lame behaviours he was fed for..

A year or so later I was corresponding with DQB as an employee of my new company. I became friendly with the office manager and one day asked, how is Khyber? No response. Nothing. As less than friendly correspondence going forward.

Now I know. He got cut. And is now performing behind glass for even greater numbers of marks.

I really want to do more for them. I guess I'm scared, and feel like a hypocrite because of my time with them. I won't lie and say it wasn't mind blowing to swim with them, be up close and personal. I know why people love them and want to see them. But there's gotta be a better way...

Last pic. Me and Caliban. I think we both look sad:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday night's all right

For being a bit indulgent. Of my reflective mood.

I love oceans, every nuance of their infinite incarnations.  As I gush, there are a couple of hurricanes spinning on my ocean out there (and prayers for any vessel anywhere near cat 4 Danielle). So sitting on my beach this evening means feeling the pull of vast tides, unimaginable forces. Feeling small and daunted, and very, well, mortal.

I had the same feeling whilst full moon gazing on Tuesday. I was trying to imagine Bermuda in relation to the scale of the moon to the earth. Yeah, it strained my synapses, but as worthy practices go, I humbly propose that everyone should take pause and do either of the above.

I have a big post planned on dolphins tomorrow, but for tonight, that's all folks......

small reminders of the power of a Cat 4

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You can take the grrl outta St. Davids......

Yeah ok, I'm still here. But you get it.

Riding home from training this evening (and note to anyone who works with a trainer, or plans to someday, never, ever tell them you hate something. you will be doing it twice a week for the rest of your life) I noticed a very handsome looking man running on the side of the road. He looks up, smiles big and lovely and waves! I was grinning. Those eyes, that smile.....is very familiar. I had just checked out my cousin. And first cousin, too.
I called my mother, because I can't remember what we all used to call Alan when we were kids. Bubba. The cousin that I had just checked out is called Bubba.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Last night I dreamt of...

My good friend Paul. I dreamt that he was back, and I went to visit him in the hospital where he was recovering from his trip beyond the pale. We talked about everything, about all of those difficult things between us that we had been uncomfortable talking about. There were no hurt, or hard feelings. We had already suffered the separation of death, you see, so now we knew that silly life stuff held no matter.
I dreamt that on my way out, I walked past his door where he was getting ready to go home. I was going to walk past, thinking, I will see him soon. In my dream, I made myself stop and go in, and talk to him again, we made plans for dinner as soon as he got home and settled.
I was so happy in my dream. Paul was back, and everything was okay between us, we were good friends, peas and carrots just like the good old, old days.
Today I am not so happy. I got to thinking about how many people we lose, to death or just carelessness. I'm thinking about how we let silly life stuff get in the way. How we say things we don't mean, and mean things we don't say.
How we lose or lose touch with people and always think later, I really wish I could see them one more time to say what I should have said, what I needed to say to them.

So say it, my dears. Just say it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lazy weekend

What I didn't see this weekend:

I didn't work out once, not even a swim! On Saturday I had my preliminary interview with my new life coach. I've been considering getting some help with finding some direction, and I am happy to report that I've found the right person!
It's a big step for me and a bit scary, but I've been given permission to do everything at my own pace, which for me is key. I'm the type of gal that has big plans, big ideas, and big fear. By allowing myself to take little pieces of the big picture to work on, well, maybe I'll finally get somewhere. We'll see. I'm gonna try. I will make some little changes, little steps and hopefully one day I'll look up and see I've come a long way baby.
I had some veggie sushi with a friend, and it was nice to catch up.
Came home and read 'til late, I love short stories, and the annual Best American Short Stories always has good ones and introduces me to some new authors (yes there are authors other than S. King out there, Crystal). My favourite, ironically was author Steve De Jarnatt's first published story and first fiction sent out "Rubiaux Rising". It's about an unfortunate trapped by flood in New Orleans, and it is powerful. More than once I stopped and looked up with wonder. My favourite lines; 'Salt crusts his eyes where tears should be. He has long cried out his life ration of them.'
In no way have I experienced a life as grim as this lead character, but I could identify a little with that Although I'm pretty sure I haven't yet taxed my ration, unfortunately.
And yes, I chose to stay home and read instead of taking up the invitations I was offered. That's just me, okay? At this point in my life, I just don't have the desire or need to put myself out there where I only have to put on a happy face and pretend to have the good time I'm not. Can't be bothered.
Today - SO lazy! I did a tiny bit of laundry. A tiny bit of dishes. No cooking (had pancakes made for me!). No walking. Watched movies on my laptop in the air conditioned bedroom, Paranormal Activity, will not speak of it now when dark.... Drank beer. Had pizza. It was glorious!
Of course I'm wide awake now at 9pm and will not sleep a wink tonight. And I'll be good and tired for Monday morning.
But what else is new!?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ocean therapy

Today I did what I've been threatening to do ever since the water warmed up - booked home after work, changed into my suit with my helmet still on, and rode out to the beach.

It was everything that I had dreamed. I moved just enough to stay in the same place and bobbed there with my eyes closed, facing the sun. The sound of the waves and the salt smell, while weightless in the silken water was my zen. While I zenned, all thoughts of work, health issues, personal problems went away. I thought about nothing but breathing deeply. I felt nothing but the movements of my limbs in the ocean.

I swam until I was done with swimming, and then I sat on the beach until I was done staring out to sea.

If that's not the perfect way to end the day, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Training Day

This is my trainer's new gym:

And this is my trainer:
He's funny, and full of energy and oh yeah, fine as hell. Also, and more importantly of course!, he kicks butt. Ours.

Sandra and I have been training with Rupe for 2 years. One year of once a week, one year of twice a week. We started out in his garage gym, and now he has this wicked new place.

We don't always want to go, but we've been faithful, and usually actually work hard. He's an excellent trainer, and by god, we are seeing results! I thought I saw a rib the other day (I didn't), but I truly have seen the shadow of abs and can feel my hip bones for the first time in ages.

I'll be honest and say that there are two big reasons I've stuck with this, this long. Uh, Rupert :) and Sandra. Training with a buddy is the way to go, we don't want to let each other down by skipping. He makes it fun, there's a lot of teasing and name calling (San is Mugzilla, and I am Slackasaurus), there is also a lot of tough and varied workouts. He gives us weights that we would never pick up on our own and makes us do things we hate, like anything that involves jumping.

I've also started to throw some jogging in the mix. I hate jogging. Hate. It. But apparently interval cardio training is the fast track to weight loss.

I just had a friend comment on my muscles in the grocery store parking lot. Even came up to give them a squeeze. Maybe he was being fresh, but I was still all shiny about it.

Muscles, I has them.

check out that shoulder!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Colour me Blue

Monday Blue

If we had three day weekends, would Tuesday then suck?

Man, what a crappy day! I really did not want to get up, knowing what was waiting for me at the office (spreadsheet hell).
I got to the gym and felt SO sorry for myself I was in tears on my way to the elliptical machine. Not a great workout. I couldn't even muster up much of a smile for my gym partner, who usually pretty much guarantees one.
Had a shower, hair's crap, make-up does not help, dress is old and played out.
I can feel my boss radiating urgency as I walk to my desk, but because he's cool, he waits until the first coffee gets down. From then on though, off to the races. Almost all of my least favourite job functions, all in one day.
And WAA! my girl is leaving...my school, work, life, soul buddy. And, she won't be the last. I'm all sad.
I'm going to eat a big ol' (vegan) bbq chix sandwich. Heavy on the veganaise. And pathos.
Gin and tonic for dessert.
Did I say that I would try to keep this positive? Damn you Monday - you win again!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Yesterday was definitely better. That wasn't a stretch, but still, I'm grateful.
Lunch here, with some old friends from New Jersey:
The Black Horse Tavern, St. David's
The flat tire was fixed on my bike - freedom restored. This is he, my best buddy, at home on my back patio:

He's a Vespa, and yes, I know I'm too old to be naming things :)

Then off to the beach, for a glorious afternoon swim. I spent the rest of the day in my bathing suit and that always brings back happy childhood memories. We used to suit up in the morning and stay that way until bedtime. Living on an island has meant a lifetime of beach days, and of course I'm biased, on the most beautiful beaches in the world.

So that was Saturday. Today meant my usual Sunday walk. I'm breaking in some new Skechers shape-ups, and while they take some getting used to, I must admit that they work my legs a bit harder than my regular running shoes.

Taking my little Coolpix with me is forcing me to look more closely at my surroundings, and is renewing my love of nature.
Sunday walk
After the walk, a much needed, greatly appreciated visit from a most favoured person.

Now the question is, will my happy weekend glow carry me through the Monday blues?
I sure hope so....
lovely cliche

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Today is the first day....

Of my posting here.

If you've by happenstance stumbled upon this, I promise that the pictures will always be pretty, but the posts, not so much.

I try to be positive, but it is tough. And I don't really expect anyone to read this, so it's kinda like me talking out loud to myself.

Yesterday, Friday the 13th was such a terrible day, I can only hope that today will be even the slightest bit better. (I'll let you know tomorrow)

Work issues, guy issues, x-rays, thyroid screen, sad goodbye, flat tire, drinks alone on my lovely porch.
Kinda day when you go to bed wondering if you want to wake up. I did, obviously, so will make the best of this one.

I feel like a malcontent. The truth is, from the outside, I have it pretty good. Stable job, lovely friends, wonderful home, native to the most beautiful Island in the world.
My front porch
Still, here I am, griping about how hard I have it (gives self mental slap).

If anything, maybe posting will give me better perspective on life. Maybe not.

My sister lives overseas, as will my best friend soon. I wanted to set something up for them to check in on what's happening in Bermyland. They know me well enough not to expect butterflies and rainbows.

me and my gorgeous sister at her wedding

Also, my new(ish) big thing is honesty. I have no respect for people who put up a false front to the world, for everyone to look at them and say 'aw, look how great their life is'.  Not that I think we should all walk around with a billboard advertising our issues, I'm just saying be real people. Live real. If I have one goal for this stage of my life, that's it.

So in that spirit - here's me now. End of day, barely made up, bad lighting, etc..... Hi :)

If you have stumbled upon, thanks for dropping by.