the_vulture: (tvhead)
a romantic asexual

"When are you going to get married?"

asked the unintentionally cruel aunt
like she does every time she visits
too occasionally to explain
the lonely sorrow that is being
a romantic asexual

"When are you going to get married?"

the answer is always an awkward mutter
those who truly know me never ask
it's an unvoiced understanding
they know about, but never speak of
a romantic asexual

"When are you going to get married?"

the words cut a savage reminder
of all the things I'll never have
a wife, kids, the love that comes with them
all lost to me, as no one wants
a romantic asexual

"When are you going to get married?"

a prison sentence pronounced as a question
invisible bars of loneliness between me
and the joy I see everyone else share
half a life of heartache, and half a life to go, as
a romantic asexual
the_vulture: (Man/Vulture)
Okay, granted the Canada Day fireworks I went to see on Sunday night were not worth the mosquito bites I suffered for it. I'm not sure if it was a matter of cutting back on the budget, but it was kinda lacking. However, the afternoon preceding was quite pleasant. I spent it with my folks, first going to a rather nice brunch buffet at the casino and then sitting outdoors at a pub on Main Street, enjoying a pint and watching the interesting characters gathered to celebrate Canada Day. Of course, in amongst all that was a bunch of Canada Day related spamming on AVEN and Facebook.  In particular, I shared my thoughts from this post I wrote two years ago, which still hold true for me.

Yesterday, I finally got out to a local beach and spent the afternoon embracing the Ocean and Sun (and then enjoying a chicken poutine, afterwards). It was a very restful and relaxing day, good for the spirit. Today (yes, a long weekend), I've got nothing on the agenda but doing some cooking in the kitchen and perhaps going to Kung Fu, if my shoulder is up to it (I injured it last week and it's still quite sore).

the_vulture: (Default)
It might be considered ironic that, whilst a number of folk have suggested a period of isolation to help me find my path, it was actually through many conversations, here and elsewhere, that I found my way. I suppose that shouldn't surprise me: by nature, I'm pretty damn introspective, so if I'm getting lost looking in, clearly the logical path would be to get some outside opinions... and that worked.

The end result is that, for now, I'll be focussing on deepening my connection to Irish Maritime culture. In my discussions, my grandfather's fiddle was brought up numerous times. It has become quite clear to me that, for me to really begin feeling connected to the traditions of my forefathers, I need to learn how to play a fiddle, too. And I shall!

I've hit one stumbling block already, though. Music lessons are frackin' EXPENSIVE! How expensive, you ask? I'm currently looking between $15 and $25 per HALF hour.  *eyes goggle in astonishment*  

Naturally, this means I need to learn as much as I can outside of these lessons. Fortunately, there IS a number of things I can study by myself first. I even already have the instrument and learning material for it. My year-and-a-day challenge, as my first step towards learning the fiddle, is to learn how read music and learn to play the penny whistle sufficiently to perform one of my favourite Maritime songs Farewell To Nova Scotia.

Here is one of my favourite renditions, as performed by The Irish Rovers, (though one of my uncles plays an astounding instrumental version on the mandolin, complete with complex embelishments):

My thanks to all who offered me their ear and their wisdom. 
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Okay, okay, so it's not like Hurricane Bill actually presented any real threat where I am living, 'cept maybe a drowning risk to snobs, but, hey, I managed to book four days off, so I'm using 'em to visit some relatives I haven't seen in a while.
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My return to Canada has been good to me. Yes, as I did in England, I've had a few reversals in fortune. But here, they have not been as frequent or as large. 'Course, it may simply be that my perception of them has been skewed by all the good stuff that's come up in my life, like a solid, stress-free job, where appreciation of my services is often demonstrated with bonuses and free use of a Crackberry Curve, and my really fab flat. It may even simply that things seem much easier to bear now that I'm home.

And that means a lot...


Practically speaking, it means I no longer have to worry as much about the consequences of losing my job, should that happen: being able to claim unemployment is a far cry from getting kicked out of a country!  :D

But there's more to it than that, far more...

It's the sense of 'belonging', that I am where I'm supposed to be. Where I am amongst friends and family. Where my accent isn't the subject of curiousity ("Sir, say 'tomato,'" "Sir, are you from America?" "Of course not, he's from Australia!"). Where there are far more places to roam to free. Where I am surrounded by the beauty of my homeland.

Where my heart always belonged.

I am home...
the_vulture: (Man/Vulture)

Yeah, I'm feeling pretty mellow at the mo'...

It's late night and I've been dancing and sipping wine with the Mother Goddess. Yes, my spirituality takes me places sometimes...

It's been good to just move and groove to music and candlelight and I must say I've been long overdue for embracing my spirituality in such a fashion.

In other news, life seems to be on an upswing: with the Spring seems to have come with a number of bounties, including a generous raise, lotsa lovin', the location of a cheap futon frame to replace the one that bit the dust after less than two months of use, the revelation (courtesy of finally getting the nerve to call Revenue Canada) that I need not worry about declaring any of my income from the UK for last year's taxes, the subsequent discovery that I'm due a pretty mondo tax return (if I just get off my ass to file it), a new baby cousin, the purchase of a couple more didges, an enjoyable addiction to the Magic the Gathering card game, the news of my parents' departure on their easterly migration to here, the completion of applications for both supply teaching and a couple of full time positions next year, and an overall growth in my general well being.

Yeah, life is good...   : )

(PS: my apartment by candlelight is just... so... mmmmm.....)

the_vulture: (tvhead)
Recently, I followed a link, presented by [ profile] fayanora, to a discussion titled How kids in England are smeared in the press, and what to do about it. The following is a reitteration of the thoughts I presented in response to her blog entry:

Upon reading the discsussion couldn't help but reflect on my experiences teaching in England and what I observed of the children (and their parents) there.

Two general themes seemed to run through the comments, the first being a discussion of the idea that thuggery amongst British youth is worse than most other nations because of a lack of any serious consequence for poor behaviour or even proper parenting, whilst the second revolved around the ethical ramifications of corporal punishment (spanking).

Unfortunately, these discussions tended to be really simplified and only touched superficially on some of the major issues that affect British youth. Read more... )

What are your thoughts on the controversy surrounding the issues presented here?
the_vulture: (Default)
Alas, due to circumstances beyond my control, I've been once again reduced to a Subway Turkey Breast Sub as my sole source of turkey this Thanksgiving. You can read about previous such episodes here:

In this case, much like my first Thanksgiving in the UK, it was simply a matter that I was unable to locate a restaurant that was serving turkey. (Ah, the parallels!) This is rather sad, though, as not only is Thanksgiving celebrated here, but I had actually scouted out a restaurant serving turkey the previous evening. Was this restaurant open tonight? Of course not. Such is my luck sometimes.

I've taken one bite of the sub, thus far. That'll probably be all I'll manage for tonight. That's mostly on account of my decision, in lieu of a proper turkey dinner, stuffing my face with some awesome Mexican cuisine at a restaurant I had been meaning to return to for quite some time. This evening's fare consisted of one well prepared and generously stuffed beef chimichanga, along with rice and refried beans, with a small appetizer of truly decent tortilla chips and salsa. Gaps were filled in with some truly delicious churros with butterscotch sauce. Muy bueno! And all that was washed back with a brace of double frozen margaritas, one banana, one mango, both freakin' YUMMM. I may follow that up with some peach schnapps I happen to have kicking around.

As for Thanksgiving, I'm first and foremost glad to be celebrating it back in Canada! I'm also grateful for a wonderful girlfriend and great friends and family for having seen me through thus far. The decent job and great apartment are further reasons to be thankful to the Universe.

On Thanksgiving, though, I also try to be mindful of my food, offering thanks to those animals and plants whose lives have ended so that mine can continue. To them, I offer my thanks for the gift of their life and I renew my vow to make my life worthy of their sacrifice.

Getting back to turkeys, you can read interesting stuff about them here:

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Okay, despite cranking the volume on my phone and placing it right by my bed, I still managed to sleep through all attempts by my parents to contact me before they left. As such, I literally slept through the last opportunity to see them before they leave NB for five or six months. *sigh*

Of course, that may not have been entirely my fault; I have reason to suspect that my phone isn't ringing as it should be. I shall have to actually test it, which means putting money on my pay-as-you-go. Blech. A call has to go to tech support anyhow, as I'm getting long distance charges on calls that should've been free as they should've gone through wi-fi. Grrrr....

The suckage continued as my back was still too buggered to go to martial arts class, but, if given lemons, I attempted to make lemon juice and finally made it to the Farmer's Market. At first i was still pretty glum about the whole morning thus far and I wasn't really taking in any of the energetic atmosphere of the market fair. As I cast further and further about for the pagan friendly stand that [ profile] karibu  had told me about, but wasn't finding, I began thinking that I was going to leave the market with nothing in hand save more disappointment. Fortunately, I did finally find the stand in the furthest portion of the mall and made very pleasant acquaintance with the proprietress who was not only able to offer a variety of pagan oriented offerings (I purchased some incence, essential oil, and an oil burner with pentacle designs), but also provide some muchly desired information on local pagan associations, as well as the current whereabouts of a pagan friendly store that I thought had permanently disappeared. Afterwards, I was much cheered up and indulged in odd bits of food, including a honey and garlic sausage bun and purchased what was promised to be a close resemblance to scrumpy jack. Sadly, I am stymied by the lack of a %$#*ing bottle opener and will have to dig the cork out with a knife or somesuch (yerg!). I even got a bead on where I could get some pottery lessons and, more importantly, access to a pottery studio!

So, all in all, today has had a rough start, but seems to be getting much better. (Yay!)
the_vulture: (Default)

I've had a recent spate of suckage. This has included:

  • Fighting off a cold for much of the week
  • Dealing with the fact that my folks are soon to be headed back across the country for likely six months
  • Discovering that the three days off I've been anticipating, with the intention of spending Thanksgiving with my relatives, has been completely buggered by a schedule change that will, in theory, have me working six days next week - ARGH!!!
  • And, finally, fracking my back up quite nicely whilst helping my father put the home made, plywood canopy back up on the truck in preparation for the trip back to BC

There are other bits of suckage here and there, but those are the big ones.


the_vulture: (Default)

... I counted my last truck. Yay!

'Tis the long weekend after which I begin my job as a technical support rep. Yep. I'z soon to begin my call centre monkey training. I probably would be looking forward to it more if it wasn't going to be from 4:30 PM to 1:00 AM, but I knew I'd have to get used to those hours eventually, anyhow. I'm not entirely thrilled with the idea of biking home at 1 in the morning, but I'll manage.

At some point within the next few months, I'll have to do one of two things, either purchase a car or move into an apartment that's within walking distance of my workplace. Said simply, bikes don't ride so well in the midst of a full on Canadian winter. (This ain't the south of England anymore, me buckies!)

Meanwhile, it has been a very active week, all truck counting aside. The household has undergone successive waves of invasion by assorted relatives from both sides of the family. Being the introvert that I am, this has strained my social muscles some, and it ain't over yet! Still, we've been enjoying the company, especially my mother. I had a blast whilst my favourite aunt with her two teens showed up; it was a riot! All three have a wicked sense of humour that I appreciate immensely. The presence of my two younger cousins also provided sufficient excuse to do activities such as: visit tourist attractions, wandered through a zoo, watched 'Wanted' (NOT recommended for the faint of heart, btw), did a bit of go-carting (though that was a bit disappointing as I found the farm's utility jeep to have much more speed), indulged in some video games, and even engaged in a bit of shopping. Lots of fun all around!

Last night was especially hedonistic as we had BBQd steak for dinner. Not just any steak, mind you, but a ginormous Angus beef steak from BC, cooked to just the right level of rare. It was perfect. *bliss* Said steak, of course, was accompanied by a lovely red and many other tasty food items, including baked potatoes and my mother's baby carrots sweetened with maple syrup (very yummm!).

Aside from picking up another aunt from the airport tomorrow (and sorting out a new bank account into which to deposit my pay), I'm not yet sure what this weekend holds. At least another movie, I suspect... *grin*

Life is good!

the_vulture: (Default)
I had a great weekend! Saturday, aside from a good run, was quite relaxing. I spent much of the day lazing in front of the computer. Sunday, I took a bike ride into town (yep, being active). One of these days, I'm going to have to actually figure out how much distance I cover doing that. Later that day, I went with my 'new best friend' D., the cousin I had met the previous weekend, to see Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D. The film required some serious suspension of belief (and understanding of science) but was good fun. Besides, I got a free pair of 3D glasses! *silly grin* Afterwards, we took a trip to a nearby town to watch some fireworks and then came home. All of this was interspersed with much great conversation (especially given that she, too, is a teacher).

All in all, a good weekend!
the_vulture: (Default)

Yes, I finally got to a beach this summer! I don't recall the name of this one; it was one that my uncle led us to, but it was a reasonably pleasant beach, if a bit too warm for my taste. I even got to dunk myself in the ocean, though, sadly, I didn't stay in long as it's kinda hard to relax and float there when you realize that you have to be on the lookout for roaming jellyfish. Still, it was a pleasant and relaxing day.

In other news, I finally made it to the third (and final) temple in Zuma after many repeated attempts (made very frustrating by coming 'this close' multiple times). Yay me!

Sadly, tomorrow will be spent counting trucks. Ugh.

PS: I apologize for the crappy quality of the photo; it was shot with my phone. Shots taken with it also sometimes include my finger (which this one appears to have the tip of). I used the phone because I wanted to text the photo to a bunch of my friends in the UK, but alas, I just don't have stable enough coverage to transmit the photo. Silly phone network.

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Yoinked from [profile] campybear  :

You are The Magician

Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, depending on dignity.

Eleoquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing, you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.

The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Usually with such quizzes (, I score the Empress. The Magician is a new one for me, but it does reflect a few changes in things I place more value on, like friends and family over knowledge.

the_vulture: (tvhead)

No steak, no BBQ, no cider, NO PARTY. I've celebrated Canada Day better in the UK than I did my first one back! Bloody hell! The folks and I WERE invited out, by my uncle, to a party at a riverside cabin. THAT would've been entertaining, but Mom refused on grounds I've still yet to understand. So we had pizza; that's okay. Now, though, everyone else is watching TV.


If I had bloody access to a bloody vehicle, I could have gone out and ensured that we had the required BBQ stuff (along with sufficient booze) to at least have had a decent BBQ. But I can only carry so much on a bicycle, especially given it's a half hour ride through hot weather from town to home.

My folks don't seem to realize that it's important for me to celebrate these kind of things. To them, it was just another day with very little important to it. *sigh*

To me, having spent nearly four years away in a land where I endured so many hardships, Canada Day had extra special significance and I couldn't celebrate that as I truly wanted to. 

Well, I've got one hard lemonade left. I may as well go drink it.

Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canucks!

I hope your celebrations go better than mine.

the_vulture: (Default)

Yesterday, at 3:00 PM, Prime Minister Steven Harper made a historical speech which affects the lives of thousands of First People in Canada. In this speech, he, on behalf of the Canadian government, took responsibility and apologized for the shameful era in Canadian history when thousands of Native American children were taken from their families in placed in residential schools in what was a blatant attempt to assimilate them into European culture by forcibly detaching them from their own. 

More about that here: /servlet/story/RTGAM.20080611. wapologymain0611/BNStory/Natio nal/home

I watched his speech, and much of many others that day. It brought up a lot of feelings.

Naturally, as empathic as I am, I was near to tears as I saw the effect of Harper's words upon the members of the First Nations as their pain was finally properly acknowledged by the Canadian government. It was clearly something that many of them had waited a long, long time to hear.

I also felt, stupidly enough, more White guilt. It's sometimes kinda hard being of European origin at such times as that, even though I know, rationally, that I cannot, in any way, hold myself responsible for what happened in the past. Still, that guilt is there.

Finally, though, I had to reflect on what happened to many of these people. Could I truly comprehend all that has happened as a result of this forced assimilation. In many ways, no. I was never totally separated from family, though my father was often away for great periods of time. I cannot relate to the sexual abuse that happened in many of the reserve schools, although I can relate to the physical and psychological abuse at the hands of my so-called peers. What I do understand, to some extent, is what it's like to be detached from one's heritage.

Now it's not the fault of any particular person or group of people, not like what happened in the residential schools, but I don't know what it's like to be anything more than 'generic Whitey'. Though my grandfather clearly identifies as Irish, I know nothing of what it means to be Irish; I can't speak Gaelic, I don't play any instruments (kind of a hingepin for Irish culture), I have never fully explored Celtic art, I know only general bits of Irish history, I know little of the important days and traditions of my forefathers, I can't even stand to drink Guiness (or any other beer, for that matter). There is a rich body of cultural heritage that I should be a part of, that I perhaps even need to be a part of, but I am completely alien from. I have no attachment to my ancestors, my heritage, my cultural past. It leaves me feeling lost, unsettled and perhaps even abandoned. It leaves me without an important element of identity that I will likely never be able to regain. 

I wonder if I share, at all, similar sorts of feelings to those First People who were ripped from their cultures.

the_vulture: (Default)
Okay, tracks, actually. Tomorrow morning, I'll be leaving my aunt and uncle's place in Ontario and beginning a day long train journey to New Brunswick. For the next few days, internet contact will be patchy, especially as I'll be staying with my grandad, who has no computer and there isn't an internet cafe in the town he lives in.  


I'm looking forward to the train journey, though. It will be nice, relaxing and a pleasant way to get some private space for a while (I'm getting a bit over socialized). Besides, travelling by train is one of the few things I'm going to miss about living in the UK.

And, hey! I'll get a few hours stop over in Montreal! Tres cool, non?

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 I finally did it! I booked my flights for a 5 day trip to Germany during the spring break. Yay me! *big grin*  

That's pretty much the singular bright point in my day, which was elsewise filled with sorting out coursework at school and sorting through paper at home. My flat still looks like the epicentre of some form of natural disaster, but I did wade through a LOT of paper.

At least there were no kids and I started off the morning right with an email from my Beloved. *dreamy smile*

The weekend wasn't the grandest; it was too windy, wet, and nippy to really go out and explore the countryside, though I made a brave effort to do a photo-tour of my neighbourhood. (I guess I should post those at some point...) I spent most of the weekend sorting through stuff.

Much of that effort left me in a bit of an emotional turmoil. I kept coming across things like letters from my ex and the handmade Christmas card from a child that, had things gone just a bit differently, nearly became a daughter to me. Of course, the whole preparing to leave my comfort zone is not a calming thing, either. Yep, I spent a fair amount of time on the phone with my Beloved, some friends, my mother, etc., in order to ablate a desperate need for human contact that I was often feeling.

Deep blue funks suck.

Ah well, at least I only have 8 days of school till the spring break and a mere 5 after that before I depart for home. *sigh full of longing*


Jan. 29th, 2008 09:17 am
the_vulture: (Default)
The definition of 'home' has been problematic for me. Much of that I attribute to a lot of wandering. My father has been an industrial electrician for most of his life. As such, my childhood has been one of constant relocation, moving from one project to the next, rarely spending more than a year in any one place.  

And those places? They consist of pretty much every one horse town in central British Columbia and a few beyond. Perhaps part of the reason I took to the small living space of my flat in the UK so readily is because much of my childhood was spent living in trailers (larger caravans, for you Brits), mobile homes, townhouses, and even hotel rooms. I don't remember exactly when we actually moved into my parents' home in Prince George. I think it may have been when I was around 10 or so. However, we never stayed in it much, as Dad's job kept pulling us elsewhere and everywhere. The house served more as a 'base camp' to which we would return to on weekends and between jobs. It was only after my first year of high school (a psychologically disastrous one for me) that my mother insisted that she, my brother and I had to remain in PG.

Few of my memories of any of these places are at all fond. As the perpetual new kid, along with sporting glasses and being a butterball, I quickly developed a strong distaste for local populations of rednecks early on in my schooling. By the time we truly settled in PG, what social development I had was pretty much stunted by nearly a decade of intense bullying. I may have spent more of my life there than in any other one location, and, indeed, it is even the city of my birth, but it ceased being 'home' for me long ago and, instead, became a prison from which to escape. 

That escape took place in my early twenties when I left for Victoria, BC, to attend art school. Victoria was a whole new world for me, filled with wonder, beauty, and culture. Surrounded by Mother Ocean and filled with many hidden treasures, I felt an immediate and deep connection to this place. The move to Victoria reflected more than just a change of geography, it also marked my transformation from bitter ex-Catholic to a life-reaffirming Wiccan, as well as the first steps towards becoming a teacher. It was Victorian soil that saw me blossom spiritually, educationally and socially. 

In part, being separated from the only place I ever truly considered 'home' was one of the reasons why my first year teaching in the UK was so traumatic. (Of course, the sheer wretchedness of my first pupils played a MUCH greater part.) The irony that I was moving from place to place following the work, as my father had done (and still does), did not escape me. 

For all the trials of teaching here, all the tears, all the trauma, the UK has seen a lot of my development, professionally, emotionally, and even physically, albeit much of that in a 'sink or swim' capacity. I've even come to enjoy the last year of my existence in my cozy little flat, the only place I've ever occupied entirely by myself. I will miss it, and the farms, and the trails along which I run. I will also miss the wonders of London and other amazing parts of Britain that I have, and yet to have, explored. 

I'm certain my journey through life will take me through many other incredible places. Aside from the UK, it has already seen both coasts of Canada, a couple of stays in Toronto, visits to Washington State and California, and even two months in South Australia. Along the way, my fascination with problem of personal connection to space has manifested in an astounding collection of photos, some of which are the only thing that can say "I have been here." I'm certain I will add many, many more photos to that collection (and to that of my heart shaped stones) before I finally come to 'home.'

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Today is the first day of Christmas Holidays! Woohoo! Needless to say, I slept in quite late! It's a good thing, too. I desperately need the rest; I've been fighting off a bug for a week now and I'd actually like to finish the damn thing off before it does the same for me. I have to say, though, that the last week and a bit actually went a fair bit easier than anticipated. The last two and a half days in particular were quite easy to manage, actually. I could say this is in spite of all the 'unfortuitous' events that occurred, but, really, it's actually because of 'em. Between the head of department and her right hand woman going off ill, repairmen showing up unexpectedly to fix the window that had broken last week, discovering (only minutes before the class I needed them for) that worksheets haven't been photocopied because BOTH photocopiers went down, a change of last day scheduling substituting my last year 10 class for an extended registeration period, and a good chunk of staff joining the aforemention head of department in the 'dropping like flies' category, it became very easy to justify spending much of the 2 and half days playing Miyazaki's 'Spirited Away' to keep the hyper little wretches mesmerized and in their seats. And hey, some real work did get done Monday!  

This week has really sucked in the health and fitness department. I have done zip for training in the last week and a bit; there's been just too much going on and fighting this bug has NOT been helping. There won't be much serious running for a while yet, either, as my lungs are feeling pretty congested. Ugh. I might do a bit of yoga today, though.

Other than that, I'm pretty much relaxing and doing my best to pretend that the holiday season doesn't exist. No, I'm not depressed or anything, but this will be my second Christmas away from family and I don't really have anyone to spend the holidays with. I'm also trying very hard to save up so I have the money to return to Canada and start afresh. Because of this, I'm also denied the joy of shopping for weird and wonderful presents (saves a lot of hassle, though!). As such, I'm just sorta treating this as a double length midterm break and trying to enjoy it that way. 

Finally, the film 'Curse of the Golden Flower' is not really worth watching. It can most easily be described as a Chinese historical drama coarsely ground together with 'Eastenders.' The occasional bit of Hong Kong wire flying action is thrown in to jolt the audience out of its stupor when things get too boring. The only thing going for this film is brilliant cinematography and great set decoration.


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