Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rant regarding Blogger's "free photo host"

I am so irritated right now I could just....

This ridiculous blogger has a link for "free photo hosting", and sends you to download a program (of which I refuse to mention). After going through the time and hassle of downloading, you discover (much much later, after much searching and swearing) that this function no longer exists (but is still being promoted on the "get free photo hosting" link listed in the blogger dashboard), and is still promoted in the photo host's help section.

After searching all through the damn "help" sections listed in Blogger/Google and the bloody "free photo host", you find nothing other than bloody forums for posting. So, I've posted my ridiculous comment, of which no one will respond, perhaps except to say, "what's the big deal?" And now I'm left resorting to some random rant, which means nothing to anyone but me.

Mother F&$#@! If I could find a friggin email for Google, Blogger, or the bloody photo "host", believe me I'd let my thoughts rip. ARGH! <---- which doesn't even remotely denote my true sense of anger, irritation, etc at A) such ridiculous information being inaccurately posted in many areas over many sites, and B) how inappropriate it is for companies to not have any means of contacting them regarding such complaints. I should not have to be inspector Clouseau to find out how to contact such large companies!

Adding insult to injury, I've wasted my lunch hour screwing around with all this crap--downloading, ranting, etc, only to discover how easy it was to post a photo to begin with (without the illustrious free photo host).

What else is a blog for if not to rant?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Da Vinci Code

Seriously, what's all the fuss about?

I'm a Christian, and after watching the movie--which I found very anti-climatic--I don't understand why this work of FICTION could be causing any controversy.

Even my church tried to take on the issue a few Sundays in a row (yawn), and now that I've seen the movie, I still don't know what the hell they were talking about.

So, let's say the church has lied to people the world over, and there really is a bloodline of Jesus. As a believer, does that negate His crucifixion or resurrection, which is the whole basis of Christianity? Not in my opinion.

Initially I was a little agitated there could be a considerable amount of relevant information being deliberately withheld from me as a Christian, but then I started to really think about it. Being a Christian to me means loving people as you love yourself, having a loving relationship with God, forgiving people, not coveting, lusting, stealing or murdering (and the like). At the end of my life, if I discover there is no God or heaven, what will have changed? I would have treated people with kindness and less judgment, and in the end, I would have simply been a better person as a result of being a Christian and believing in God.

So, if my faith should fail me, I've lost nothing. I've only gained a sense of peace which nothing in this life affords me, and I've been a better person. Simple.

Will I feel angry at being "duped"? I'll be dead, so what the hell difference will it make. Do I wonder if I could have a more "fun" life if I didn't believe? No. I believe that God's principles, if followed, would make us happier and healthier, and what's so awful about that?

I know there is much hypocrisy in religion, but it certainly isn't perpetuated by my understanding and practice of being a Christian. I'm not spreading hate or intolerance (though I'm far from being what anyone might consider an ideal Christian). Still, if someone is turning away from God due to the actions of a group of people, isn't that a bit ridiculous? Someone I used to know has chosen not to believe in God because pets don't go to heaven. Really? That's seriously the reason you are turning away from God and everything Christianity stands for? Well, good luck with that.

I would think atheists would do a bit of research before shutting the door on God. But, at the end of the day, engaging in a relationship with God is a very personal decision between you and God. Da Vinci Code, my opinion, and everything else be damned--the choice is always yours.

Which is exactly how God wants it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2006 Tiffy year in review

2006 rang in anti-climatically with me pining over my friend's neighbor, and being slightly depressed over my state of separation and living arrangements. Lavalife was proving to be less than lackluster, and I was feeling like my state of affairs would never improve.

Work-wise things were fine, with the beginning rumblings of a re-structuring coming down the tracks, and I had been going to church for a bit, so was at the very least feeling spiritually inspired. I joined an Alpha group to learn more about Christianity and was doing some writing for the church bulletin. In March I was so motivated spiritually I was baptised, and then threw in the church towel when it was released that the pastor was having a longstanding affair with a woman he had been counseling. Sigh. Since then, I've steadfastly avoided the church, and have been feeling more than a little resistant about re-attending, though my belief in God has not wavered.

Lavalife got a bit better until I faced a bit of a "good" guy versus "evil" guy crisis mid-March, with the "good" guy winning out only to discover what a jackass he really was when we "broke up" over a disagreement. In reality, I accused him of being "just not that into me" (instigated from my page-a-day calendar of the same name) and he thought we shouldn't be having "these kinds of problems so early on". Thank God, because the day after that happened, my sweet Robert "smiled" at me and so began a romance that has lasted beyond the year (with me hoping it will never end). : )

My baseball season opened with an injury to my right quad--requiring physio not covered by benefits (sigh). I was still playing for A-Channel (now City TV) and I also joined the baseball team from my church (before the scandal) only to feel first hand the hypocrisy that is religion when I was reprimanded subtlely in a "cope don't curse" email sent to the entire team (which was really directed at me, as my cursing had been addressed on more than one occasion--including by the opposing team, "You've been warned three times!"). As the season wore on, I dreaded going to the games more and more, and finally was a no-show at our seasonender potluck, feeling fairly confident I a) would not be invited back next year, being the heathen that I am, and b) don't think I can play for a team so hard core and judgmental.

The half way point of 2006 was marked by a George Strait concert which my Robert invited me to (it was fabulous). Every time after that when I heard the song "run", I thought of Rob, and I was listening to it the day I realized I loved him. We were taking two-step lessons at Ranchmans, and after one of them I met a friend of his from out of town. On my drive home alone I had "run" on and that's when it hit me. Nicely enough, we have a photo of us from that evening in Ranchman's, which is still my favorite couple photo to date.

Mid 2006 was also marked by attending a close friend's wedding (Amanda and Warren) and the finalization of my divorce (yet another true to life cliche). After three long years of turmoil, it was a big sigh of relief to put the final nail in the coffin of what will always feel like the biggest mistake of my life. Even now, I am surprised I've been married and divorced by 33 (which probably occurs to me everytime I open the door to my parent's house and head downstairs to my bedroom). Divorce often leaves an aftermath of debt.

Work was taking a big turn by July when I was rehired into a new position at the University, which required intense training and team building for a restructuring of substantial proportions within Student Services. Our entire team struggled for the remainder of the year in the new positions, facing crunch times with students and a learning curve bent on choking the spirit out of all of us (if it weren't for how fabulous each of our team members are, and how well we all work together).

The Calgary Stampede came, with much anticipation from Rob, and I took part in more Stampede events than ever before due to his influence--he declares the Calgary Stampede as his "Christmas", and my mom as Santa Claus, because she works for the Stampede board in accounting. Not to mention he grew his hair out for the annual event along with a fu man chu (ugh).

I also met Rob's parent's briefly for the first time, and his Mom stayed on for the entire month of July. This stifled opportunities for sleepovers, much to my dismay, but with Christmas looming, and an outstanding invite to accompany Rob to his parent's timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, there would be plenty of time for sleep. ; ) The December trip would also provide an extended opportunity to get to know his parent's, as they would be in Mexico (next room, in fact) during the entire trip. (!)

Fall quickly came and went, as it always does in Calgary, with Halloween being very chilly. I was a slutty witch at my friend Jorge's house party, and a sexy seniorita for my other friend's second annual potluck. Rob was his standby "disco Stu", or something or other, in a full on afro wig and baby blue leisure suit (which he has worn for many a jack o lantern celebration). In Mexico he bought a Rey Mysterio wrestling mask, so I'm sure I now have that costume to look forward to (sigh).

For the rest of the year, work dragged on through a swamp of cross training and painful growth spurts in our department, as we continued to struggle under the new pressures. With Mexico right around the corner, my physical stamina was waning bit by bit and I faced what felt like one cold and flu after another. I joined a gym with the intention of getting more into shape for the trip (and bathing suit opportunities), but really just maintained for a few months leading up to it. Meanwhile, Rob actually lost weight for the trip, only to be asked by his parent's, "Why are you letting yourself go?" : )

The trip itself, however, was absolute heaven. We started in San Diego with a Chargers versus Broncos NFL game, where Ladanian Tomlinson broke a scoring record. Then it was off to Cabo where I couldn't have asked for anything to be better or different, as we basked in the sun by the pool, wandered the beach, had dinners with his parents, and just generally soaked it all in.

The trip was by far the best way to end any year, and provided motivation for the start of the next. Rob and I got along very well, and we even spent Christmas with his family in Castlegar, BC, which was also fantastic. I didn't think I could love Rob any more than I already did, until I went on vacation with him. I'm afraid I'm head over heels and I'm always gonna be (to quote Blue Rodeo, one of Rob's favorite bands). : )

The only real sad note was the passing of my Dad's mother early in December. This made my family understandably emotional, and I think they felt the absence of me at the Christmas dinner table a little more than normal.

Aside from that, 2006 was a pretty good year indeed.