Tuesday, October 25, 2005


My life, the RollerCoaster.

Crazy times... I'll alternate the good and the bad, just to keep it from getting too tangled in the pits..

Good: Hooping. Hooping is always good, but especially when the hooping.org film festival finally gets posted (I have an entry! Woo!) AND when I have an interview in a couple days, to talk to a recreation programmer at the Roundhouse about teaching hoop classes for them! AND, the Vancouver Hoopers Tribe is slowly growing, and it sounds like a bunch of us will get together on a Saturday afternoon in the nearish future to meet and hoop in a lovely studio at the Scotiabank Dance Centre (it is the place in the background of my video, which can be seen at www.hooping.org or www.christagiles.com).

Bad: Work, or at least part of it. Patron (let's call her ... no, lets not.) and patron's partner subjected me to 15 minutes of verbal abuse, while I was trapped on the outdoor pool deck (can't leave, while responsible for guarding the swimmers in the pool), a month ago, after I had tried to direct them to speak to my manager about a problem they continued to have, following the directions of the staff at the pool. The last month has been a challenging mixture of trying to make my manager understand what is reasonable, or not, for me to face at my workplace, and of waiting for something to be done to keep this person away from me and my coworkers. Some days off, on stress leave, some days leaving (or being sent home) after becoming a hysterical mess, and some days of working my full shift, fairly peacefully, as a result of the support of my coworkers. While away from work, I've been having difficulty sleeping, or having nightmares, or daymares, or chest pains, or nausea, or multiple combinations of the above, plus guilt about not being able to put it in perspective, shake it off, and get back to a normal life. I've just taken another three days off on stress leave, had a mediocre counselling experience last week with a work-benefit-company counsellor, and have an appointment with a friend-recommended psychologist tomorrow, which I have higher hopes for. Interesting update: this evening, the patron came to the pool, didn't stop for the Campus Security staff trying to talk to her, wouldn't respond to my supervisor's requests for her to leave, acknowledged that she'd received the letter from us (contained a banning statement) but hadn't opened the envelope, and refused to follow the RCMP's instructions to leave until they got to the point of putting on their gloves and giving her 30 seconds before they bodily removed her. Nice, eh? My daymares frequently involve running into her in locations away from the pool, where I don't actually have the protection of a lockable office or coworkers to make phonecalls for backup on my behalf... so I'm going to talk to the RCMP (again, weren't very helpful the first time around, a month back) and ask if there is anything that can be done NOW, since they've seen her irrationality. (my NIGHTmares, on the other hand, include things like me standing on the seat of the lifeguard chair, with patron and partner standing on the deck yelling up at me, like a cat treed by barking dogs. Guh.) But, enough... I *think* I have a decent vision of the steps I need to take to heal... and from past experience, I am somewhat accepting that this might take a bit of time.

Good: had our housewarming party on Saturday night, and had a houseful of pretty cool people.. Phil's got awesome friends (Lindsay's were more of the hang-in-the-kitchen-and-talk-to-each-other type) and lots of people gathered in the living room for snowflake-making, and a really decent jam-session! I spent some time on piano, guitar, and djembe (drum) and..... BAGPIPE! Yes, someone brought a mini-pipe to the party.. had the bag, the chanter (part with finger-holes, I think) but just had a small reed, not the big fan of 'em that normally sits over the piper's shoulder.... SO MUCH FUN! I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard... literally, the whole dead-animal sound REALLY comes to mind when listening to a beginner (yup, ME) just trying to keep the bag inflated and get a steady drone... WHEEZE-Ahahahahaha-WHEEZE-hahahaha-GRONK--WHEEEZE-hahahahahahaha . I got the hang of it, a little tiny bit, when I realized it was similar to learning to do circular breathing (inhale, exhale mostly, finish exhaling air in mouth by using cheek muscles WHILE inhaling with lung muscles via the nose...) but didn't manage to get enough pressure to actually play any melody. ANYWAY, was serious fun, and still makes me smile when I think about it.

So-so: not sure what I'm doing for a Halloween costume. Have two "events", one being the Odd Ball (oddball.blogspot.com, might need "the" in front) which is hoop-able dancing, so my costume needs to be hoop-functional.. and then the second is just my regular work shift on Halloween, which needs to be swim-able in an emergency, but should look cool and impressive :) I'm thinking wings, with some sort of quick-release buckles so I can ditch them in a hurry, in a sort of Angel-Of-Alternative-Folk-Music sort of way (check out Jason Webley, prob jasonwebley.com or something, to find a picture of his winged-creature-with-accordian thingy).. cause I'm reading way too many newspaper articles about Halloween being an excuse for women to dress slutty, and I kinda agree, so I figure I'm gonna do something a bit different this year.

Hm... anyway, so life is reasonably balanced at the moment... heh, Christmas present-making is starting to loom in my head, so I need to get on that, but that should be a mentally good thing, right? :)

Weather: wet, grey, Vancouver in the fall. Still have some new flowers growing at the front door, though, and have some winter Lenten Roses I need to plant...

Chai's so far: One, before teaching knitting class this morning, then had some yummy Earl Grey tea tonight that Sherry gave me for my birthday!

Water: went for a brief hot-tub/swim-out-the-tension-kinks/more-hot-tub before I left the pool today, after I got all my shifts covered. My plans for the next few days include heading out to the pool during the two-hour break in the afternoon when I can dodge public, to keep up with exercise and keeping my shoulders and hips loose with hot-tub stretching, along with going to polo practices prior to the tourney in Victoria this weekend. My polo coach is cool, he was understanding of the fact that I was going to try to participate in practice even though I was really upset about something else, and was willing to pass with me while I finished crying... nice guy.

Wardrobe: I'm actually at home, on Phil's computer, so I'm wearing jammy-ish stuff: orange long-sleeve Levi's shirt I've had for years, and blue mud-cloth print pants I made, also years ago, and cozied under a nice deep red blanky from IKEA. All very comforting, while kicking back in a big cozy chair that I grew up with... :)

Craft in progress: haven't actually finished the hoop sweater, OR the dreadlocks for Claire (though I made her a wool toque for her shaved head), but I've knitted and felted/fulled an attempt to make a better-fitting cat hat, which is now WAAY too tight around the face and neck for me, but might actually fit Claire if I can get the crown/top section to shrink a bit more... and I've just started a triangular/pyramid shaped bag to add to the patterns that can be taught in the felting class I'm going to teach at Urban Yarns. Of course, I've done about an hour of work on it and have already come up with a couple design changes that would look better, but would mean I'd have to rip out what I've done so far.... uber annoying. Ah well, c'est la vie!


(Hah, that's for Kimberly... read her blog, she's funny... link via her comment on my last post) Oh, and it appears that I can't do my regular style-edits when I'm on Phil's Mac.. ah well. I'm sure y'all can cope!

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