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Sunday, 22 July 2012

It's that time of year again...

This is my 4th Ramadan. Gets better every year. No I do not fast, but I have a lot of emotional issues tied with Ramadan. Seriously, the first year, my bf and I had been dating for about 6 months and he's like, so in about a week I'm not going to be able to see you for 30 days. I was like, what now? He said, ya, Ramadan is coming and I fast from sun up to sun down. I laughed. I'm not going to lie, I totally laughed. I thought he was joking! Then I had to google it and found out that in Islam they fast for a frickin month every year. News to me. What was also news to me is that during daylight hours, there is absolutely no touching between members of the opposite sex. He even wanted to go as far as just not see me for that month. After looking into it I argued back that it says touching...I can go without touching for 12 hours when we're together (once Iftar, or breaking of the fast, happens, you can touch again). So I didn't get banished for 30 days. But he slept in the living room. For fear of cuddling me after sunrise while he was still asleep. Believe me, on a single bed that's difficult!

And the whole no touching thing?? Ya, totally harder than expected. You try it. You try going an entire day without touching the person you're with. See how hard it is. No hand holding, no brushing away a piece of hair, and definitely no kissing or anything of that sort (and DEFINITELY no, ahem, you know). Now when you think about it, usually the only time you abstain from touching is when you're fighting. To me it felt like 30 days of fighting. No affection. No intimacy. It was really difficult. Since that first Ramadan he's mellowed a bit. He'll even hug me during the day. He'll allow me to kiss the top of his head (that's the way that Moroccan parents and children kiss each other). He'll allow me to scratch his back. To just be able to touch him is a big comfort for me. He'll even now briefly touch me during the day. Nothing sexual, just affection. Took 4 years to get to this point, but I'll take it. The emotional issues I alluded to before come with this feeling of isolation and lack of intimacy and affection that comes with Ramadan. But, I've gotten better, and he's gotten better, so it doesn't feel so bad this year. one area. Because his parents are here, apparently he is adhering to ALL of the rules of Ramadan. Now, I don't know if this is a rule of Ramadan, cause honestly I think it's a rule of Islam in general, but he's just choosing to follow it more strictly during Ramadan than he obviously does during the rest of the year. This has to do with the behind closed doors intimacy (or, you know, in a public space if you're into that). In previous Ramadans, once Iftar happens, it's fair game. We hold hands, we kiss, etc. etc. (emphasis on the etc., cause apparently I'm a prude, lol). But this year? Yes, kissing and hand holding fine, but he WON'T put out! Apparently I am now celibate for the next, let's see, 28 days? News flash to me. If I had known that, I wouldn't have brushed him off the last night before Ramadan started, lol. I thought it would be like previous years. His parents like to walk around after dinner, so that's really the only time we have to be "together". But I tried last night and he shot me down. It's Ramadan he said. Since when has that stopped us before? To be honest, I'm gonna see how long this lasts. In our first Ramadan he tried this as well. He lasted a week. I didn't initiate anything. I can respect his beliefs, so I'm not going to go after it. He came to me. So we'll see. In the meantime, I think this is gonna be a much longer 30 days than I anticipated!

On the health side of things. Because I can't eat in front of them, I have no choice but to pack my snacks and stuff and take them with me when I go places. Then I can't snack at home. I'm also calling the gym my second home, because that's where I'll be until Iftar every night. Yesterday I was able to be out of the house for 7 hours. Couple of those at the gym, the other few shopping for a baby gift for my best friend. Right now I'm fricking hungry and thinking of how I can smuggle my protein shake into my bedroom, lol. They're napping right now, so I think I should jump on the opportunity! Here's hoping this has the effect I hope it will on my weight loss!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


Not food or exercise. Good to go there. Meaning more this is an off-track post? Maybe that's more accurate. So as I posted earlier I got a new job at George Brown College. Full-time. Permanent. Pension. Benefits. 35 hour work week. Union. The whole shebang. I'm officially a grown up with a grown up job with an employer taking 13 bloody percent of my gross income per pay period for a pension....le sigh. Anyway...I've been there 4 weeks now (as of this week) and I really like it. Duties are good, manager good, co-workers good (most of the time). So why does this seem like it's leading somewhere? There's gotta be a "but" in there somewhere right?

And you'd be right. I have one issue with the whole environment. That's the union. Or maybe not the union, but the way people working as part of a union behave. Now please do not lambast me with stories on power to the people and the purpose behind unions. I get the purpose behind unions. I think in theory (as with a lot of things) that unions are very good entities that make sure the employees don't get screwed over by "the man". However, what it also causes is what I see as laziness (extreme laziness in some regards). Some people I've spoken with have made quite vocal complaints about their working situation and how they do so much work and get nothing in return. HAH! Try working for a private international language school and THEN you'll really feel what it's like to work your ass off for a$$holes who don't care about your or the company and pay you peanuts to boot. I'm sorry, but unless you're like maintenance or something else requiring manual labour, your job is pretty cushy. Especially if you're in the middle section of the college (aka, not a manager of a super busy, stressful department). If you're like most of us in a support staff role, you're making 40-50K per year (or more depending on how long you're been there), working 35 hours per week, full benefits, etc. for doing not a heck of a lot. What do you have to complain about?? Then you push it further by going to the "bathroom" and disappearing for 20 minutes (several times a day), or ignoring students (who were there for, btw) just because you can't be bothered to get up out of your chair. Seriously...I saw this today. Student's hand was up in the exam lab...the proctor was on facebook.

I'm not saying I've never checked my facebook or email or sent some text messages during working hours. But I sure as hell don't do it when I'm busy, or when there's work to be done. There's a time and a place for everything people.

I think the job security, as crazy as it sounds, is the key factor here. I've never had job security. Ever. I've always had to watch my back. Not necessarily for my performance, once I entered my particular field I did fairly well...consistant good reviews from students and employers alike. However, I always had to be on the look out for budget cuts, seasonal changes, pissy coordinators etc. So this is new territory for me. But what this job security seems to be doing is creating this laziness and sense of entitlement in the union workers (I guess now I'm one of them, but beside the point). Not wanting to do anything beyond your job description, and a lot of times not wanting to do things WITHIN your job description that you just don't like. That's what's crazy to me. In this environment, if you are a permanent union employee, it is pretty much near impossible to fire you. And what kills me, is as I mentioned above, it's a CUSHY job! It is not difficult. Why don't people want to push themselves? Why don't people want to not just do their jobs, but do their jobs WELL? Why coast? That's not cool to me.

Am I the abnormal one? Honestly, I'm not a johnny do gooder, but I do want to do my job and do it well and advance eventually. I don't want to coast. I'm not interested in that.

Anyway....this whole thing is new to me. All that I hope is that I don't fall into the same feeling as the rest of them. I never want to take my job for granted, and I never want to coast.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Been awhile...

It's been awhile since I've posted. That normally means I've been off-track. And truthfully, I have. Feel kind of bad considering my last post. The one good thing that's come out of this is that my in-laws arrived and it's really not as bad as I was imagining. However, it's only been two weeks out of 3 months and there's still Ramadan to contend with.

In an update on my running...I think I'm not cut out for long distance running. I don't like it. Short distances are ok. Sprinting intervals are ok. But distances? Nope, don't like them. For a long time now I've wanted to do some sort of kickboxing/boxing thing. That and spinning. I'm still trying to adapt to my new schedule. I finish work at 5:30, with a 40 minute commute, and not one of my gym's locations is "on the way". I'd have to go slightly out of my way. That's dangerous for me. I'm still looking for a form of exercise that I truly truly enjoy. I thought that it would be running. Not so much. I don't actually mind running on the treadmill. When I am constant with it, I quite enjoy it. But running outside? I never really got the love of that. And I have a beautiful area to run in. Right on the lake. But I don't like it.

My next step is to find something I do enjoy. Next stop is spinning at my gym. Anyone try this? Like it? Wanna come and join me at the Goodlife at Yonge/Bloor?? lol.

Nutrition is the only thing I'm doing ok on. Quite sensible except for my snacks. I've been so busy dealing with marauding Moroccan inlaws that I haven't done my traditional weekly plan and shop and my snacks (and therefore me) are paying for it. I think they've been too small because by the time I get home I'm STARVING and therefore any plan to workout are thrown out the window as I try to eat as soon as humanly possible. NEED to go grocery shopping so I have some fibre rich, protein packed, healthy snacks so I don't come home and tear into a french baguette (on the elevator trip) I impulse bought from Sobeys. This is also necessary if I'm going to be going slightly out of my way to hit the gym before work. Seeing how Ramadan starts next week, I see no better time to avoid cranky fasters by hitting the gym.

Doing versus trying is back on track!