Dancing in the Dark…

Hi Bloggers, I went to the dragon boat races today in Saskatoon. I was in a team from my work and we competed against a bunch of other teams in three different heats. It was fun and a nice warm day and a good way to mix with work colleagues and others.

As I was leaving, an iconic song came over the loudspeakers. It was Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark. It’s got such an infectious groove. I was a kid of about 10 when it came out in 1984. I remember it well. I remember hearing it on the TV or the radio. That, along with Born in the USA, and some other stuff that was getting around at that time.

Hearing it reminded me of what are really well crafted pop/rock song that it is. I watched the video too (link below). The first thing you notice is how fresh faced our Bruce looks. He was 34 years old when he recorded this. On the video you could be forgiven for thinking he was maybe 25.

He’s got that swagger, that cheeky arrogance. A handsome face and suggestive smile and a pair of snug jeans. Women no doubt were just taken by the whole thing, and why not? But that’s not all, he was kind of approachable. He had the whole blue collar down-and-out working dog kind of image that people across the US and the world could relate to, because, well, maybe he’s just like most of us….

Reading up on the net, I learned that the film clip was recorded over two nights at St Paul, Minnesota. The girl that he pulls up on stage, that’s Courtney Cox, as in Courtney Cox who later went on to star in the 90’s sitcom Friends. I had no idea!

I like how the song has a kind of double entandra with the one side of the coin being about a guy who’s kinda lonely, and just wants to have some company, while the other side of the coin hints at a lusty young man with a gun for hire…. And the dancing in the dark, is that like, actually dancing, or is this some loaded suggestion about what happens when the lights go off after bedtime????

The synth riff, and the dreamy sax solo at the end really top it off!

Anyway, enough of my bullshit, let’s allow Bruce to lay it down

Video sourced from YouTube.

A blog about the T-bird.

Hi Bloggers,

The T-bird, as I like to call her, is my wife, or ex-wife, or live in mother to my kids, or house-mate, or friend. The fact is, I don’t really know what we are any more. I know we are done being a married couple, and I’m ok with that.

I met her back in 1993. We were at a rodeo in North West Queensland, Australia. I travelled there with some friends, she travelled there with her friends, then, boom, we met. Since then, aside from the past 5 years or so, we’ve been contentedly joined at the hip.

When we met she was pretty, sweet, and sexy. Her blue eyes, pretty face, and lightly tanned complexion were the things that had many guys checking her out. She had a heart of gold, one friend of hers told me, and she was right. She had a wonderful personality. A kind of innocence, we both did, I guess, I was 19 at the time when we met.

For many years, we lived a very happy life together. Finishing apprenticeships, moving to the coast of North Queensland for a life of barrier reef island work and beaches and tropical rain and our horses. We’ve moved a bunch. To go to university, and to support my career moves and need to support a young family.

We travelled a lot, went camping, overseas trip, bought houses, made friends, lived in different towns and cities. It was a good life, all around. Kids came along, and we settled in to the things that young parents do. Cleaning up puke and shitty nappies, and sleepless nights, and also all the wonderful things that come with having kids.

At some point, I realised that things had changed. We were living on the other side of the world. The light that shone within her as a younger woman had faded. I can’t really put my finger on it. I was working long hours on the mine site. She appeared somewhat withdrawn and often cranky. I drifted off, in my own way. The contrast was that I felt like I was coming into my own – physically, career, emotionally, I had become a man in my prime, and I felt like she was in a different head space.

I realised – all the fun in our life seemed to be gone.

I checked out of the marriage. I acted like a rebellious teen. I did things married guys aren’t supposed to do. I was kind of off the rails, in terms of our marriage.

So some time has gone by. My outlook on being married has never really been the same. I still love my wife/ex-wife/housemate/friend, I still care about her. I want her to be happy. I really do. I want her to be safe, and to take care of herself and our kids. She’s been a wonderful companion and partner for many years. I am grateful for her support and friendship. I hope we can continue to be civil and respectful to each other, even though the circumstances are a bit strained.

 

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The T bird. A great friend, mother, and marriage partner. Best wishes, hon. 

 

 

Thankful, and exercising Grace … Never had so much fun!

Grace, I copied the Google definition below.

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Here’s the google definition:

grace
ɡrās/
noun

1.
simple elegance or refinement of movement.
“she moved through the water with effortless grace”
synonyms:
elegance, poise, gracefulness, finesse; More
suppleness, agility, nimbleness, light-footedness

Ok, what’s the point? Well, um, I had to exercise some grace today. I had my work performance review. I got some feedback. Some balanced feedback to be fair. Some good, and some very challenging to accept. But it was not new, my boss is decent and he believes in no surprises when it comes to performance reviews, so I was prepared.

The reflection I had been doing on my own interactions in the world and at work, and my meditations, and recent developments all put me a good place to accept what was discussed, and I hope I did this with grace. When you get some critical feedback, going to defensive mode or lashing out isn’t really the preferred option…..

So I also had a chat with J. She has been many things to me in the past three years (mother, lover, friend, partner in crime). I love her. Things have to change, its all tied together in a work/life/family/situation matrix. I don’t think I can be what she wants me to be at this time and it would be unfair to allow her to believe that my head and heart are in the same place that they once were.

When we are faced with a need for change, and our hearts and minds are not ready to let go, the situation can become tense and even hostile. During our chat tonight, I probably got a little defensive and frustrated. I was busy protecting my ego. She may have expressed some anger and frustration too.

But what we resolved is that we want to remain friends, who support each other. We still have a value to bring to each other, and I think that’s the essence of a good relationship. The distance, the baggage, the complications, the schedules, the emotional upsets, its all too much for the current environment (or headspace?) I’m in, or creating, to be the right fit for us both now, but fuck! we had some fun! Like, really!

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For my friend J, with loving-kindness. 

 

Here’s where I give her credit. She handled it with grace. She referenced god as a being for her, that is both challenging her and supporting her – she is leaning on her spirituality and I think that is a beautiful thing. She’s a kind heart, a wonderful soul, a dedicated mother, and I love her for all that she is.

But my life is changing, and I don’t want to disappoint her, or anyone else really, so I need to give myself and her, some time and space.

J, if you are reading this, you’re a game changer, hon. Thank you, for everything….

 

Musings from a Saskatoon Café…. Changes…

Hi Bloggers,

I had a day off yesterday. I went gym, worked out (overhead press, power cleans, one hand dumbbell rows, lunges, high step ups… good workout 😉 ). I had some downtime in the afternoon. It was a warm day. Full sunshine, very little breeze. No bugs. It was approaching perfect, in the shade.

I had a problem with my bike back wheel hub, so I packed that in the car and drove down to a back street near Broadway. I took the wheel into the shop, and an enthusiastic bike repair guy took my wheel and after putting the special tool into the vice, he cranked the wheel by hand a couple of times, and tightened the nut that keeps the sprocket cassette in one piece. Awesome, job done, I can enjoy my bike again. I asked him ‘what’s the damage’ and he replied, ‘no charge’ (thank you again Bike Doctor!).

So I put the bike wheel back in my car boot, and walked on down (as in the Door’s song – but not walked on down the hall – The End…) to the main part of Broadway. In the summer the city really comes alive. There are hipsters, and bearded guys, lgbt folks, families, immigrants, couples, and all types walking the streets. Its a real parade of people.

The city allows cafes and restaurants to extend their outdoor spaces into the parking lane which makes for a nice outdoors area for the several months a year that this climate allows. Its a real treat. I walked into Museo Café and ordered a latte, and a lime cheesecake slice. I took a spot outside, in the shade. Cars drive by in the lane right next to where I was sitting and it was a little disconcerting because you want to glance up each time a bus or truck or car comes by. I thought maybe facing away from the traffic might have been a better strategy.

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The lime cheesecake was divine. I brought my books with me. I flipped through my borrowed copy of ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.’ I’m so inspired by this book I bought my boss a copy as his going away gift. I sure hope he reads it and applies some of the many simple lessons in loving-kindness and inner peace.

So I am going through some changes. We are all going through changes. Change is inevitable. Change is the only constant. One of the simple anecdotal lessons or whatever is the in the book. It says there is a Buddhist teaching (apologising to any Buddhist practitioners that I might offend by my interpretation) … it says that everything comes from something, it is made or formed, and it will return to nothing in time. For instance, a glass may be a glass now, but at some time it was sand or whatever, and in the future it will return to shattered glass, dust or maybe even be recycled to something else. The point is that everything will break, degrade and return to some other state.

We are all temporary, all our belongings are temporary, nothing is absolutely permanent. This provides us with a way of coming to terms with the changes in our lives. I copied the lyrics to David Bowie’s ‘Changes’ because I think that might sum up the situation pretty good right now.

I am grateful for those who have helped me, and continue to help me in my journey. I am remorseful for any harm I have done in any of my actions. I have some work to do as an individual, I am not yet fully developed in some aspects of life.

Hugs to all. Hands to heart centre. The light in me honours the light in you. Namaste.

saskatoon cafe 15 Jul 2017

Source MetroLyrics http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/davidbowie/changes.html

“Changes” David Bowie

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
And every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace
I’m going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

Today’s Workout, and some words of compassion…

8 jul 2017 2

Hi Bloggers,

Today’s workout:

Squats

Calf raises

Alternating dumbbell curls

ezy bar bicep curls

Cross over (Zane) curls.

I had a really good work out.

Be kind, be kind to yourself, be kind to others. Do one act of kindness. Let someone know how much you mean to them, even if the situation has been challenging. 

Be yourself, don’t compromise who you are, and allow others to adjust to the person that you are becoming, if you are going through changes. 

Love and hugs. Namaste.

8 jul 2017

The Story of the Good Ship ‘Lollipop’

So last week I was camping. It was pretty cool. We drove to a lake. It was several hours from Saskatoon, so by the time I picked up the package from the airport and drove north it was about 2 am when we rolled into the campsite. I had never been there before so it was a whole new experience.

The ride up was kind of nice. We were on provincial back roads. Almost no traffic at all at that time of night. We caught glimpses of northern lights – a green curtain of misty fog that dances slowly in the sky. It was also almost permanent twilight with the summer solstice just the day before. It never gets completely dark at this latitude and time of year, its as if the sun has gone down and won’t go away completely. It’s quite nice.

At the lake we did some crazy shit. Found a private dock thing to lay out in the sun. On the way back to the main camp area we traversed the lake ‘shore’ but it became a bit of a battle of sticks and wire and other obstacles because the lake water level was very high. I had found a paddle on the lake shore earlier in the day, and I scored another one up in the tangle of branches on the obstacle course getting back.

The good ship lollipop – she was a bit of a wreck. Half submerged and covered in sand and other lake debris. It looked like a hopeless case. Like us really. We tipped the crap out of it and bailed a bunch of water out. There were leaches in there and we had to scrape a shitload of what looked like fish eggs off the inside.

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She was in poor shape when we found her, with no captain or crew.

 

Once we got that done we realised, we had righted the ship, and she appeared seaworthy! We came back loaded up with towels and bags, and snacks and sunscreen. I was wearing my black man thong, because really, there’s no need to overdress for something like this. We took off and did a sort of oar paddle and peddle (because she is a paddle boat with peddles).  It was fairly efficient but she was lacking seats so my arse slid back a lot and sometimes she went in circles.

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But it did provide a fairly stable and even relaxing floating platform on which we could enjoy the lake!

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Lets go sailing!

 

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Out on the lake late at night it was so still, so serene.

 

 

Today’s workout, and other wisdom shared… Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!

 Bloggers, here is the work out I did today. I really enjoyed it but I felt a tweak in my right knee when bending and flexing, so I’ll be paying attention to that so it doesn’t become a long term injury, fingers crossed!

July 6

Combo lat raises with overhead press dumbbell
Wide grip chin up
Cable cross over chest pulls
Bent over rows
Push ups with feet on bench

Ok, now for the wisdom part…

I got a book from the library called ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.’ I highly recommend it. One chapter in the book described a really good concept.

Imagine that everyone else in your life is perfectly enlightened, and you, are not enlightened at all…..

Take a moment to let that sink in. You know what it does? It helps you to listen, to ask questions, and to refrain from jumping in and telling other people how it is, which is what we spend a lot of time doing. The net effect is that all of your interactions are less adversarial, and you will see the tension disappear from your conversations and conflicts. Plus, its humbling as anything, you just have to take a back seat, and sometimes that is refreshing.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean that you relinquish power, or compromise your values, you just spend more time trying to understand, rather than being understood.

Try it out – today!!!!!

Peace, and Namaste.

 

Happy 150th Birthday Canada, doing Moose Jaw in a Man Thong and Hula Skirt….

Hi Bloggers,

Yesterday, Canada turned 150 years old, so it was a big one. I also had a reason to celebrate – I became a Canadian in this year too, back in March.

So, how does a guy  celebrate such an epic milestone that encompasses both the national significance, as well as a great personal development journey that I am currently experiencing? Well, conventional wisdom would suggest that you do something mature, something cultured, perhaps have a dinner party, or enjoy the fireworks display from a multi storey building where there is a cocktail party being held.

Well, that’s not me! Fuck that. The only thing I could think of was to go to the dollar store, and create an outfit made almost entirely of Canada day decorations, or other novelty materials that you can buy there. So the search began.

We went to one cheap outlet in Moose Jaw. They didn’t have much but I did pick up a hat and a Canada towel in the form of a flag. This could be termed a tolag, or a fowel if you prefer. Anyway, that was the start of the ensemble. We got some directions from a lady who told us to go to the Dollar Store. We headed back to our camp and jumped in the car to go find it.

I imagined an outfit made of happy Canada day tape or ribbons, or those flags on a string kind of thing. I ended up with a red hula skirt, a couple of key ring maple leaf/Canada flag things, and a thing you put around your neck to hold them, and a red and a white plastic lay for around my neck. This was topped off with a silly Canada cap that had moose horns coming out of it.

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I already had my red man thong in my bag so that was the natural choice for underwear. I was pretty nervous when I got into this thing to realise that the hula skirt was um, not providing too much coverage. More of a teaser really and you could see my arse no trouble at all! I think it was the perfect length too! Kinda short. I felt just a bit slutty. The whole deal was sealed with a few strategically placed Canada type tattoo transfers you get from the store. I was ready to rock-it! How did it feel? Breezy, light, and um, very bare! 

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So we drove to the main park where the festivities were happening. There was a band playing and there were lots and lots of people there and I was quite nervous getting out of the car and walking on the foot path up the street to the park. Pretty much as soon as I got out of the car, a few people had already tooted their horns! But this is not the sort of thing you can half-do, so I continued on, feigning an air of confidence.

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So there were some reactions! Some people smirked, some laughed, some people just looked in (horror/amazement/unbridled lust?). I  had people fist pump the air and I had people come up and say hi and shake my hand and chat. One lady came up to talk to me with her husband and wanted to see if I had anything underneath my hula skirt. I was able to demonstrate that no equipment was going to be displayed that should not be in such a setting.

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We settled in for a bit. We played Frisbee, grooved to a band, and watched the overhead jets make three passes of the park. It was a fun day and certainly outside my normal ‘comfort level’ activity (disclaimer, that’s a pretty wide berth right there, because there is a lot of shit that I would do that others would probably not attempt). 

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Generally speaking, it was a bit of fun, and that’s how people reacted, a mix of amusement and general curiosity. But then, that’s what Canada is all about – being free to be yourself.

Happy Canada day!

 

Changing the channel….

Hi Bloggers,

So I’m changing things up. Its been a fairly interesting time with the changing situation in my domestic life. It’s just not working. I don’t need to get into details or disrespect anyone, I just need to say that my life is changing, and I’m ok with it.

There’s a ton of stuff to work through, but it will all happen in good time. Meanwhile, I am very grateful for the people who have emerged in my life in a challenging time to be there to support me, to listen, and to provide some good feedback.

This week, I’m going camping. A chance to get away from all the stuff that is going on, and to just chill. When I get back, I will be moving to another place to live. Probably a house share deal or something like that. My immediate family will be heading back to Australia in December. I will miss my kids, and I hope things work out well for my wife.

I’ll probably be out of the loop for a week or so, unless I can find a terminal or laptop or something.

And, don’t worry, I feel great!

Image result for waskesiu camping
Source Flickr

 

1000 likes. That’s pretty cool! I’m having fun with this!!!!!!!!!!!

WP community, this little gem popped up in my notifications today. I know this is probably humble beginnings, but it gives me hope. I spend lots of time and effort on my blogs, and its nice to know that there are people out there who appreciate my quirky view of the world enough to stop by and like what I’m doing.

Thank you. So I took a picture of the flower in my garden to share with you all. Peace, hugs, Namaste.

 

Congratulations on getting 1,000 total likes on The Random Blog of Irreverent Thoughts.
Your current tally is 1,001.

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