Thursday, October 19, 2017

Winnipeg for a week

MJ ended up taking a post-doc position in Winnipeg, so it's back to a bachelor's life for me. I helped her move last month, a couple of cold and rainy days there. I remember nearly nothing of my previous visit to Winnipeg, many years ago, on a drive to Vancouver. I didn't get to see much of the city last month either as moving and shopping took up nearly all of our time, the stress of moving stretching everyone's patience.

I went back again last week and helped out with Thanksgiving dinner, which we had with her family. This includes her sister's cat, from whom I got some nasty scratches, he being young and easily excitable. MJ and I ate really well during the days following, trying out some of the trendier eateries, racking up the calories. I also got to see a presentation given by Kent Monkman at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, which was fascinating and sobering as he meticulously unwrapped the layers behind his work. MJ was able to get me a bicycle, so we saw a fair bit of the downtown that way, the Windy City earning its alias.

The people were plenty friendly, and the traffic tame by Toronto standards -- hardly any use of car horns, though grid-lock seemed ever present. Most of the park-land was around the rivers and the Forks, a location made into a tourist area, though I saw little draw of going there -- it seemed like any other river. Sure, it's a sight to behold when immersed in autumn colours but not exceptionally so.

I have been throwing myself into work and video games, there being only the cats to keep me company in the evenings. My next surgery is quickly coming up, an event for which I wonder how ready I am. Perhaps I am just filling in the time until then, when my fears and hopes are answered in full. Though indeed whenever I think about what I've gone through I'm sent through a maddening cycle of anger and despair.


Monday, July 24, 2017

return of the hack

Alive I remain, a little slower, a lot thinner. My recovery from the pouch reversal surgery took much longer than I'd anticipated, and it has had a lasting negative effect on my daily comfort. Sometimes it's an unexpected urgency to need to use a bathroom (though in actuality there is nothing "there", so to speak), and other times it's an aching in my groin, like a raw bruising. Sitting can help with the former, but I turn to acetaminophen for the latter. During my recovery I tired surprisingly easily, and stayed home for much of May and June.

I am now back at work, and slowly does my mind seem to focus again, to clear away the fog of being away for so long. I try to pick up my daily good habits, though it is difficult, very difficult.

I do play a lot of games, mostly Hearthstone, Clash Royale, and Brawl Stars. I have gotten back into playing id's Rage, which picks up once you get past all the racing you have to do. I still marvel at the detail that went into making the characters look right, somewhere above the uncanny valley. I also reinstalled Diablo 3, but after a couple hours I think Grim Dawn was just a lot more fun, albeit more gruesome.

Shows! I've watched a few:

  • RuPaul's Drag Race Season 8. I had my doubts but this is a highly entertaining, very creative show.
  • Better Call Saul Season 2. Excellent writing, possibly better than Breaking Bad.
  • Jessica Jones. I like that it's about strategy. mind-games and wit and not (generally) about physical force.
  • Chewing Gum. Fun while it lasts.
  • The Last Kingdom. Another surprise hit. Starts off with you rolling your eyes at Uhtred's antics but he does grow with the show, which itself gets quickly better and better. Addictive.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Super fun, full of quality laughs that you'd expect from the people that made 30 Rock. Titus is superb.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter weekend

Was it Easter already? Goodness how times does fly. My reversal surgery is only ten days away! Man I have so much to prepare. Is life nothing but swimming through bureaucracy and addressing e-mails? That's the real tax on life, these micro tasks that whittle down my days.

Kites on the boardwarlk
Yeah, the surgery... I'll be in the hospital for 5-7 days as my pouch heals and they monitor my condition. I'll be pretty tired and will stay at home for a few days afterwards, I think. There is a small chance that the surgeon will decide to perform the second surgery (which is normally done some months later), in which case my recovery will be much more involved, and I'll stay at home training my new bowels for several weeks.

In any case, these are the last days of freedom. Thursday night I hung out with a couple friends at Betty's, drinking and talking about films. How the beer did flow, that familiar warmth enveloping me. The hockey game was on (Game 1 of Leafs versus Capitals) so the bar was a near constant din, my voice hoarse by the time I left.

Friday was a hunt for brunch, a difficult beast to catch on Good Friday. We settled on Dundas and Carlaw, a simple cafe/bar for some paninis. I spent the rest of the day at home, playing on the computer and keeping the cats company.

Saturday MJ and I did some chores and shopping, grabbing a bite at Square Boy and taking some of the afternoon to enjoy the mild temperatures on the boardwalk. That night we watched Stranger Than Fiction; I was so ready to like it but it fell short of being a really good movie. I feel having so many familiar faces detracted from the otherwise interesting central idea, an idea that was hardly given a chance to bloom.

Today was mostly chores: a morning run, vacuuming the rugs, changing and cleaning the bedding, replacing the kitty litter. We are attempting to train the cats to wear harnesses and leashes but it's a long, scratch-filled struggle. I also managed to squeeze in a bunch of Hearthstone games, with an unsuccessful run at Rank 10 using Dragon Priest.

How about that Trump? What a time to be alive!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mawrridge

So yeah, I got married. Months of careful, stressful planning paid off with a small ceremony at the McMichael Art Collection, out in Kleinburg. The weather graced us with snow for the day, so the outdoor pictures came out rather fine. Indeed all of our activities ran smoothly, an A+ crew making a plan come together: Having everyone polished and arriving on time, a Western ceremony, a change of garments and a Korean ceremony, another change for dinner, and finally drinks and dancing, with breaks in-between for photos.

But I don't feel all that different. Sure, it's nice to have that someone, that special someone there, and to be done with all the coordinating, all the fuss, all the business that comes with a wedding. My life has otherwise leveled out to a normal state, with work and leisure passing the hours. I've not gone back to karate or archery, and indeed my body, while mostly recuperated, is still a mild version of what it once was. Certainly my knee is still weak, and gives discomfort when pushed.

My next surgery, the J-pouch operation, is booked for April 26th. Another door to pass through, and how I shall emerge is, well, daunting to contemplate. I fairly dread the worst scenario. A long, uncomfortable recovery, that is certain, and I'll have to curb my diet.

Until then, I have enjoyed eating pretty much whatever I feel like, though I lean now towards less meat. To be sure, I went through various stages for numerous foods, mostly of the junk, high fat, high sugar variety. Having an ostomy does force one to re-experience everything one consumes in a rather graphic manner, my body a constant experiment of digestion and waste.