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Showing posts from August, 2012

OOps. Only four more days.

Our flight in the can't-come-soon-enough five days (or four days?) was a big stress for Louis and I. I wanted one FUCKING thing to be settled. Will I have a job next month? Who knows. Will the public freak out and will there be protests next week? Who knows. Will we get a permit? Who knows.

WILL I GET ON A PLANE ON SEPTEMBER FOURTH? Please for the love of chocolate - I need to have this confirmed. For my sanity and the sanity of everyone around me, please, please, please, I need to have this confirmed.

I know that there is a super high probability that something will go wrong in one part of our journey, but I don't care. I'm just clinging on to the fact that I had a flight booked.

And then, Luftstansa went on strike. So I started the search, monitoring availability, for other flights. Trying to decide...when should I book another flight....should I wait...how long should I wait? Should I royally piss Louis off and book us business class (he's all, "Let's be pr…

Good Morning!

Yesterday we had to lay off a few drivers, in attempt to start to curtail costs (hate the word curtail). Not a great morale going on here.

10h04, we get a message: Protest rally going-on, please avoid downtown.

This usually means one of a  few things:
1. There are like fifty people with signs protesting
2. There are a hundred angry people protesting
3. It's actually unsafe to proceed downtown.

More often than not, it's usually the first option. These days, who knows.

Update 14h32: Our Security staff told the protestors to go home. They did. As if this place isn't confusing enough.

Well, Shit

With absolutely everything else up in the air, it would make sense that Lufstansa would go on strike, five days before we are schedule to fly back to Canada.

Here's ONE of the many, many articles.

What this means for us: We hope that the strike ends before...Sunday. If not, on Sunday night, we purchase ourselves a one-way flight from Joberg to Frankfurt. I've checked and there are at least ten different options. Since the project isn't exactly flush with funds at the moment, this may come out of our own pockets, which means this princess may be flying economy. At the moment, I don't care.

Madagascar: Sex for Survival

Antananarivo — About one in seven residents of Madagascar's main port city of Toamasina are sex workers.

In less than 20 years, the number of registered sex workers in the city of about 200,000 residents has climbed from 17,000 in 1993 to 29,000 in 2012. The increase has been driven by rising poverty levels as well as the city's proximity to the recently opened Ambatovy nickel mine.

Construction of the mine, coupled with recent improvements to the port, saw an influx of thousands of foreign workers. The billion-dollar investments also resulted in an escalation in living costs and the collapse of traditional commercial activities like the collection and sale of cloves and coffee, pushing more young women into sex work.

"Girls come from the countryside to work as maids. Then, when they have a problem with their employer, other girls from their region introduce them to prostitution," Germaine Razafindravao, the president of the local sex worker collective FIVEMITO ('Fi…

Reduction Activities of Contractors

Google Translate doesn’t always work the best, but I can’t find any articles in English.
Article Source

Google Translated version:
According to the statement from the company operating Ambatovy has not yet officially received the license to operate which will go into production. Also, the Company has decided to curtail the activities of contractors who are not directly related to the completion of commissioning and testing techniques of plant Toamasina. According to this statement, “Ambatovy notified date (note: yesterday) subcontractors and suppliers of a possible future reduction in non-core activities during the period of completion of commissioning and testing techniques. Ambatovy continues its dialogue with the Government of Madagascar for licensure. For now, regular activities continue as usual. Ambatovy not considering layoffs of employees for the time since the company expects to receive the permit as soon as possible. “

This announcement follows another statement dated August 26…

Avril in August

Every so often I hear a song that really resonates with me. I had a bizarre day, but I feel like I had so, so many lightbulb moments. I went for a very short run today, and heard this song on the way back home and every so often I just have to get that cheesy that I post a song on my blog. [Also things are good but I'm having trouble accessing my hotmail/outlook account.]

Here's the link I'm not able to embed the video

Darlin, you're hiding in the closet once again. Start smiling...
I know you're trying, real hard not to turn your head away
Pretty darlin... Face tomorrow, tomorrow's not yesterday
Yesterday, oh oh

Pretty please, I know it's a drag
Wipe your eyes and put up your head
I wish you could be happy instead
There's nothing else I can do
Then love you the best I can

Darlin, I was there once a while I go...
I know, that it's hard to be stuck with people that you love when nobody trusts

Pretty please, I know it's a drag
Wipe your eyes and put up your h…

Today's Update

Well, things are either going to get very interesting here, or, life will be totally back to normal.
Yesterday the media/employee announcement came out. The national staff is worried. There are expected to be protests, etc, but again with those types of things my biggest problem in ME because I just can’t help but freak out whenever they happen - regardless if I’m with Louis, or in a secure camp, or that they have additional security, etc, etc.

I guess for me to be able to be less scared during protests/strikes, I need practice to conquer the fear.
Regardless of me getting a little jumpy, I’m safe. We have enough groceries to last us until we leave for vacation and we don’t have any plans to go into town. Our company charter lands on the plant site, we quickly get transfered to the Tana airport, and then we’re out.

I’ve been asked (and asked myself) if we will lose our jobs, and while it’s a possibility, it is the absolute last resort. Over six billion dollars has been invested in thi…

Trip Parts 1 to 4

For future reference (mine a well), I've divided the trip (and my future posts) into 4 different trips.
I haven't posted any of my vacation posts in order, so until I'm finished this will always be the first post you see on my blog.

Trip #1

On this part of the trip, we flew from Tamatave to Tana, had an appointment with a local jeweler and designed our own jewelry, and then flew to Morondava.

Then, wevisited Baobab Alley, spent the night at Camp Amoureux (eek). The next morning we drove to Bemaraha Park, where we spent the night at Vazimba Hotel. The next morning we took a quick tour along the Manambolo River and then finished the very long drive back to Morondava.

Trip #2

This was the adventourous part of our trip. We took a very early morning flight from Morondava to Tana, thendrive from Tana to Anstirabe and spent the night at the Royal Hotel. The next morning we took a tour of Antsirabe town and drove to Ranomafana Park. We spent the night at Setam Lodge and hiked in Ra…

The Lost Last Vacation Post

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I'm finally getting around to sort of organizing my last vacation pictures (just in time for this vacation - of which there won't be nearly as many pictures!) and I came across some from our last day.

Oh my.

I guess it all started with this.

And then...the very, very, very long day at the airport. Our flight was re-scheduled for 4pm the next day. We heard that the gunfire was over and everything was back to normal. Buhhhhhhhhhhhhhhttttt, since it's Madagascar, no one thought, "Hey! We cancelled a flight yesterday, so, we have all the people from the previous day PLUS the people from today. I wonder if we should book an extra plane?"

Yeah. That's Air Madagascar.

Another thing - Madagascar rarely respects the "Please stand in line and wait your turn". Here, we (tourists, nationals, everyone) do respect the "Please butt in line if there is more than two inches between you and the person in front of you". It wasn't pretty.

It was hot. I …

Just Another Manic Monday

Some guestimate statistics (if that even makes sense?) for this project

Average age of expatriate: 42
% of expatriates under 35: 20%
% of expat friends over 49: 80%

I have the odd expat friend that’s the same age as me, but for the most part? My friends are significantly older than me. Which isn’t a problem. And it’s to the point where most of the time, I don’t even notice it.

It was a bit different in the beginning, but now, I don’t really notice it. The main divider is MUSIC. I often catch myself saying, Oh! My dad had this record!, or Oh, my grandparents listen to this song!

Last night at our BBQ, everyone was having a good time, a few drinks, some burgers, the music is playing, and then I get my trusty iTouch and play a song I want Louis to hear.

The first song, everyone politely listened.

The second song, Louis told me that this was Claudie’s favorite song (she is 14…)

Third song, *Insert crickets chirping*

Ooohhhhhhhkaaaayyyyyyyyyy…..guess not everyone can truly appreciate Payphon…

All Growed Up

Some guestimate statistics (if that even makes sense?) for this project

Average age of expatriate: 42
% of expatriates under 35: 20%
% of expat friends over 49: 80%

I have the odd expat friend that's the same age as me, but for the most part? My friends are significantly older than me. Which isn't a problem. And it's to the point where most of the time, I don't even notice it. It was a bit different in the beginning, but now, I don't really notice it. The main divider is MUSIC. I often catch myself saying, Oh! My dad had this record!, or Oh, my grandparents listen to this song!

Last night at our BBQ, everyone was having a good time, a few drinks, some burgers, the music is playing, and then I get my trusty iTouch and play a song I want Louis to hear.

The first song, everyone politely listened.
The second song, Louis told me that this was Claudie's favorite song (she is 14...)
Third song, *Insert crickets chirping*

Ooohhhhhhhkaaaayyyyyyyyyy.....guess not everyone …

Come Dine with zzzzzzzzzzzzz

It's 21h07 on Sunday night. I'm in my pj's just about ready to (hopefully) watch a horrible reality TV show before passing out.

I went to sleep Saturday not in the fantastic of moods, had nightmares all night, woke up kind of cranky at 06h23 (hate the fact that my body clock is programmed to wake up at 05h00, which means that 06h23 is "sleeping in"), went to breakfast by myself (usual Sunday as Louis tries to catch up on sleep on Sunday - even though "they say" that this isn't possible), ate a stale peice of French toast and sort of fell back asleep, pretty much dreading the afternooon to come. It's moving day again. And I hadn't prepped anything.

By some miracle, I started packing the spare bedroom, and at that very same time Louis got a call from two of our friends offering help with the move. Direct quote, "You tell that Nicole that the box of my truck is empty and ready to haul her there granny pannies!!". We have a friend that…

It's not that bad...

I don’t want it to come off like I have a horrible life and that everything is horrible.

I am really looking forward to looking back on this time in about three months from now.

Right now, we don’t have a permit to sell in Madagascar, the government is asking for “special funds”, and I think at this point our project would be more than willing to pay, but it’s illegal.

The longer we operate without a permit, the more money we are waisting. A last resort solution is to shutdown. Not permanently, but until the permit issue is resolved.

I also have to be a little easier on myself. I am in “Week 5”. It’s been awhile since I’ve suffered the “week five” crazies, but if every anyone like, looses their mind, someone will ask, “What week is he in?”. If the answer is five, everyone nods their head sympathetically, ‘cause we’ve all been there.
The job here IS to fight and IS to push and IS frustrating. Thats why it comes with the “salary uplift”. It’s set out there right in front of everyone, “…

Work Adjustment

Yesterday was a really tough day. At one point, I did give up. While I’m struggling learning this new “just do your reports and don’t try to fix everything”, it’s going to take some time.

I’m trying to stay focused, and there are constantly things pulling me in different directions. I’m trying to finish one thing, and ninety other things are calling for me. They are just as important (or more) as the one thing I’m trying to finish. But for now, I just have to have a plan and stick with it.

Since I’m a mega-list oriented person, I’ve started using Todoist.com to track and update my tasks. The tagging function requires premium access (which is $29/year) and in the last couple of weeks that I’ve had it, it has paid for itself.

Now, this whole second blog thing is getting old. I’d like to just unblock it, and monitor the Google Analytics. I had a suggestion to start using Google +, but I’m not sure if everyone is on that bandwagon yet. I’ve thought about using a Facebook page, but I’m not…

What I did When I Grew Up

I’ve had a few people ask me just what it is a do for a living.
Politically correct version: I create a plan to audit/investigate all areas that present a high reputational risk or a high monetary risk.

Examples:
Reputational: Department X deals with the local community. I’ve heard that Department X has many corrupt staff with serious conflicts of interest. I have interviews, I research, I look over supporting documentation (or the lack of), I look to see that processes are followed, and then make a lovely report.
Monetary Risk: Inventory kept on the plantsite isn’t tracked or counted properly. Therefore, the project doesn’t have the inventory when its needed, and they have to buy more to replace the inventory that is somewhere where they can’t find it or because it was stolen.

These are two basic examples. In many cases the procedure was never formally set up so it is a freaking party!!

ANYWHERE in the world, there is a lot of fraudulant activity. In Madagascar, there is A LOT A LOT…

I can't freaking wait until Sunday

What a shitty, shitty, shitty day.

I know that there are good parts of my job but today they certainly were not highlighted.

In 10 days, I’ll be on a flight to Tana, Joberg, Frankfurt, and then Montreal. Ten freaking days. The flight to Tana sucks because it’s on the smallest airplane and it’s often turbulent. The flight to Joberg sucks because it’s three hours of boringness, followed by one hour of customs. The flight to Frankfurt is wonderful. First, they always think I’m German (Bosch + my giantness) so they talk to me in German and I have no clue what they are saying but I respond in such a way that it looks like I sort of know.

Second, still think the German language is one of the funniest things I hear. I mean no disrespect,  but when the flight safety annoucements come on, I cannot keep a straight face. Then, they serve us sort of good food, and then I passout for a good ten hours. Frankfurt kinda goes a bit overboard on the security, and Louis ALWAYS gets pulled aside into a…

More complaining

This weekend we are moving back to our old “villa”.

If I haven’t explained how our oh-so-fancy “villas” work, they are a large duplex. Each side has been divided into four private rooms and one common area. The common area has a couch, loveseat, coffee table, dining table, sink, cubbords, fridge, and water cooler. We aren’t supposed to cook, but in the very first villa I lived in I had we had purchased our own microwave. Each private room has a desk, bed, and bathroom.

Louis and I lived seperately until late 2010 when we got the chance to move into the village for “a few months”. The village is made up of large houses and duplexes. We had our own duplex, which looks like a real house. We ended up staying there over a year, which was awesome, and then we got moved back to the camp. We knew it was a temporary thing, so we were just happy that we got to live there for so long.

Since we’ve moved back to the camp, we keep having this carrot dangling in front of us. “Maybe” we’ll be moved …

TGIF

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It's 07h21 and my day is off to the right start. A co-worker came back from vacation so he gave us each a chocolate (It's like the rule here that when you leave on vacation, you have to come back with a gift for everyone. I'm sure the spelling is off but in Malagasy it's called vondalana).

And, I got sent this picture of a recent cow sacrifice. Each province has different reasons for sacrificing zebus. Marriage, completion of construction of a house, a death, and so forth. One area I visited sacrifices zebu when there is a circumcision and incest. My jaw kind of dropped when I heard about the incest part...but when you live in such a small village...well...I guess it happens.

The sacrifice was to celebrate the production of first Nickel. I think this project kicked off in 2007, so the production of first Nickel is a big idea. The same night of the sacrifice, an expat's villa was broken into and his passport/credit cards/ipad/ipod/big screen TV, etc, etc, etc, etc…

It's all politics...but I'm on Ravalomanana's side

South Africa: Allegations Are False -RavalomananaJohannesburg — Exiled Malagasy president Marc Ravalomanana on Tuesday dismissed as false allegations that he committed crimes against humanity. South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority had told him it was common cause that he "did not himself participate in any of the incidents", Ravalomanana said in a statement.
The NPA is required by law to investigate the allegations.
"A purposeful attempt is being made to mislead South Africans into thinking that I am guilty of a crime and this is simply untrue," Ravalomanana said.
Andry Rajoelina ousted Ravalomanana in March 2009 in a military-backed coup, precipitating a political crisis. Ravalomanana was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for the killing of 40 peaceful protesters by his presidential guard in protests shortly before his overthrow.
He blamed the regime in Madagascar, and said it was trying to prevent his return to contest elections.
The Southern African …

Here we go again

Although I have some good moments, work morale for me at the moment is low. When I was getting ready this morning, I thought, If I had this job and I was in Canada, would I be looking for a different job?

No. I still want this job. At this location. While the job is incredibly frustrating, it’s a challenge that makes me learn, which overall makes me happy, but essentially I’m back to square one.
What I had to learn while in my first role here - forget everything you think you know, do not assume anything or anyone is applying basic logic, and DO NOT try to solve problems. Take on the very, very top…say 2 problems…and go from there.

I’m having to re-learn that process of forgetting common sense, etc. It’s been a challenge
I recently got my job description (after six months in the role) and had to laugh when I saw this, “The role may challenge and tax emotions and stamina”. Ha! At least everyone else knows it too.
So I started my morning with a different attitude. I’m here to do my job…

15 > 0

I don’t care about what anyone says (except I care enough to write this under my password protected blog), but today I am very hopeful.

My friend with cancer was getting tests to see if he qualified to get a new drug for treatment. He had a less than a 15% chance that he would be able to take this new drug.

I’ve tried to not read Facebook updates lately because I can’t handle them. We have about 10-15 mutual friends and I can’t handle thinking about him right now. Not sure why I checked the updates today, but I am so happy that I did. He found out that he can get the new drugs.
Many more things have to happen before he’s healthy or even out of the woods. For right now, this small event seems like a big victory. inutes. Day officially ruined.

Long Overdue Post

Alright. Maybe I’ll be able to actually put on paper in a someone legible sense what it is that I’ve been trying to explain to myself. and Louis. But mostly myself.

I’m freaked out. I have moments of fear and I can’t (or couldn’t) figure out what was going on in this mess of hormones, chemicals, and neuron-receptors or whatever.

I guess I’ve always been slightly sensitive since the first weird strike/protest that I experienced. In my world, your work and home was safe, and the thought of anything otherwise made me uneasy. If I’d hear what sounds like a loud group of people, usually in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “Oh, crap. Is this a protest?”. And then, not really on purpose, I kind of beat myself up for being scared of something so petty. I mean, strikes happen here all the time. Like 95…no 97% of those strikes/protests are more than likely peaceful. But the “threat” of what can happen, in a split second, is becoming a bigger issue for me…without me even realizing it.

It’s no …

Long overdue post

Alright. Maybe I’ll be able to actually put on paper in a someone legible sense what it is that I’ve been trying to explain to myself. and Louis. But mostly myself.

I’m freaked out. I have moments of fear and I can’t (or couldn’t) figure out what was going on in this mess of hormones, chemicals, and neuron-receptors or whatever.

I guess I’ve always been slightly sensitive since the first weird strike/protest that I experienced. In my world, your work and home was safe, and the thought of anything otherwise made me uneasy.

If I’d hear what sounds like a loud group of people, usually in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “Oh, crap. Is this a protest?”. And then, not really on purpose, I kind of beat myself up for being scared of something so petty. I mean, strikes happen here all the time. Like 95…no 97% of those strikes/protests are more than likely peaceful. But the “threat” of what can happen, in a split second, is becoming a bigger issue for me…without me even realizing it.

It’s no …

Africa leaders mull Madagascar vote without two rivals

MAPUTO — Southern African leaders were Saturday mulling presidential elections in Madagascar that would exclude the two main rivals, strongman Andry Rajoelina and ousted Marc Ravalomanana, a mediator said.

Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adams told AFP that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit was discussing the proposal to end a standoff between the two rivals that has stalled elections in the troubled country.

"The idea that neither of them present themselves was considered with attention by the summit," Adam said at the two-day summit that began Friday in the Mozambican capital Maputo.

"While the summit recognises the right of each individual to present themselves to elections, they have taken note ... that if both presidents were not to stand, then that would facilitate the whole process of appeasement leading to peaceful elections," he said.

Neither side has yet reacted to the SADC proposals.

The 15-nation bloc suspended Madagascar from it…

Resting In Peace

Unfortunately, I got more updates about the people that were in a car accident last night. There were five of them, driving back from the wedding in the RN2 (a road I avoid in the daytime), and the three passengers in the back died. A co-worker, her husband, and an ex-co-worker, who was pregnant, are all dead. The people in the front are injured.

I had to go into HR to drop off my in-country visa for renewal, and I didn’t want to go. Usually I’d hand it to her. She’s very nice and smiley. No one is at her desk. I’m kind of numb. Like, I feel sick in my stomach and I feel like I have heartburn, but I just feel totally un-sad about it. Maybe this is how I’m dealing with it.

I thought everyone else at the office would be devastated. But if everyone got upset everytime someone died around here, no one would ever be happy.

I’m very sad to have lost a co-worker. I just haven’t started feeling it yet.

Job Status: Employed

Although this “permit” thing has everything up in the air, I still have a job. And, if the permit thing doesn’t come through, it’s most likely to effect me next rotation, not this one.

ASSUMING the worst, most likely, I will come back from vacation, continue to work, and it will be in October or November that the job “temporary holds” will start for me.

Since I am essentially the biggest spazz in the world, you’d think that I would be freaking out? But…I’m not really. All I can freak out about is the five days until I’m on a plane to Frankfurt. I love Frankfurt.
And when I come back, there may be a chance that I will have an extended holiday. I already have my flight and trip for China paid for in November, so I will most likely stay here, do the China thing, and then instead of flying back to Canada from Hong Kong, I’ll fly back to Canada. Again, this is all just a guestimation. It’s totally possible that we’ll get the permit. This is just…my non-spazztic back-up plan.
Meanwhile, w…

Ambatovy and the Malagasy government - NEWS ARTICLE

Again, this is Google translated. Not able to find English news articles. Original source Quite a lot of the “facts” are not true….but that’s Malagasy media for you….


Verification of the impacts of “Ambatovy” cunning of central government or shift?
An urgent appeal “For Repair Damage and Human and Environmental Accountability for Increased Society Sherritt Ambatovy”, initiated by the Collective TANY had been sent by many people to high authorities and officers of Sherritt-Ambatovy May 2012.
No concrete action has been taken neither one side nor the other. Instead, the central government had issued a provisional operating license for six months. Why six months? If there was any doubt, why not have readily applied the precautionary principle?In recent days, the authorities announced that they will issue the operating permit - “license to operate” - according to survey findings that international consulting firm perform on “impact on people and the environment” and a “budget should be devo…

It's been like this before

I KNOW I’ve had rotations like this. I KNOW that I am in a pretty stressful environment at the moment and I KNOW that it’s temporary. I KNOW that I need to try and be a little bit more patient. The next five days are probably going to suck. Or large portions of them. The only thing I can do is try to have as much patience and love for Louis, go to work, and just wait it out. Life is not so difficult. It feels like it is right now because I’m tired, I’m in week six, and I’ve had a really rocky rotation. I have to remember when I’d have multiple rocky rotations. Maybe I have been having multiple rocky rotations and I haven’t peiced it together, but I’m not ready to leave.

Tonight Louis has band practice (love saying that, it makes me think we’re in junior high) so hopefully I’ll be able to sit in bed and play around on this thing called www.mixbook.com. As a Christmas gift to the girls I’m planning on making them an on-line scrapbook of our trip to Madagascar. I’ve had great success wi…

Take Two

Ok. So I've tried to set this up a second time. I was really looking for something that I could just assign a password to and people wouldn't have to log in. The first attempt at making a new blog sucked because everytime I clicked "save" on the people that could read it, an entire new email went out, I know I tried it with my work email and I ended up getting like six or seven.

I've been given a couple of other ideas to try, but in the meantime this seems to work out. Password has been posted on my Facebook wall (visible to anyone I know that I think reads my blog. If you don't have Facebook, send me an email and I'll send you the password).

Thanks for everyone's patience while I try to figure out what works. For now:

http://nb-in-mg.tumblr.com/

Shocked

I was writing a post about my Sunday. How I’m battling any crankiness with the gym (this is a miracle). How I’m so appreciative that I have Louis. How I can’t imagine what it would be like without us and how I’m worried that he’ll get cancer. Like always, I’ve been Googling grief (I’m so much better when I understand the stuff going on in my head that I can’t understand) and I guess this is a natural process.
Then I got a message. At least 2 people from HR died in a car crash yesterday. I knew one of them. I’m just completely stunned.

Fish Curry To The Rescue

It’s Saturday afternoon. In less than 24 hours it will be Sunday and then the start of a new week. Thank freaking goodness because I need a new week.

Yesterday was a good day, today has been iffy. I got mad a lot today. They are doing construction in my office and it’s loud. And on top of it, Louis had the nerve to start a msn chat with me telling me half a story and then got called away from work and I had to wait like ten minutes before he came back to finish telling me the story.

Even worse at lunch, they didn’t have sliced cucumbers. Cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots is the only stable thing I know here. I sure hate them when I’m back in Canada but here, they are eaten usually twice a day. While I was telling Louis that they didn’t have sliced cucumbers, I could feel the tears welling up. Yeah, great. A table full of like six or seven guys, and I’m about to cry over cucumbers. Louis sees what’s about to go down and tries to save the day by giving me his cherry from on top of his jell…

Good Ol' Country

And just when I think that this place is going to chew me up and spit me out, I have a great day at work, I find the time to get groceries, I listen to the driver's Dolly Parton and Allan Jackson CD's, and we exchange stories and talk about our families, and he tells me why he and his girlfriend broke up.

[Her dad didn't like him and she was always out of town].

I said just this week (on a very, very tearful call to my mom) that however bad I feel sometimes here, I just know that I don't want to leave yet.

August's First Good Day

Seriously now that I have this little mistress blog I can’t get enough of it. I didn’t realize how much I missed writing about what goes on in this crazy mess of mine until I stopped doing it. I could have always just kept an ol’ fashioned journal, but in this social-media generation….that just seems stupid.

I had my first good day today in a long time. Maybe it hasn’t actually been so long, but it seems so long, because this week has been so, so, so bad. Louis is having probably the worst week of his life at work. Problem after emergency after problem after emergency…working until midnight in the rain…I’m not sure how he’s holding it together. Truth be told I’m not sure how WE are holding it together. In the past, if either of us have been stressed out it’s caused tension in our relationship. No, let me rephrase that, it hasn’t caused tension, it’s caused a ridiculous amount of fighting about a RIDICULOUS amount of nonsense. This entire rotation has been a complete ridiculousness of t…

Crappy Massage and I'm so special

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This week hasn't been a good one for me or Louis, so last night we decided to to go this new-ish hotel for a massage. We've been going there for a year or so and it's great that they have a clean(ish) spa(ish) place. The massages have generally been going downhill lately, I find myself wishing they were over...but I thought I'd give it one last chance.

Usually the massages are full body. By full body I mean everything but about 5 centimeters of your body. I'm less prudish than I once was, but I still usually ask for no b00b massage. Anyway, last night I asked for just a back and neck massage.

Which meant that the masseuse, who has only been trained to do a full body massage, has NO IDEA WHAT TO DO AND IS SCARED SH1TLESS TO MAKE A MISTAKE. So she rubs my back up and down, really crappy, but I keep thinking that it will get better. If we were anywhere else, I would ask her specifically what to do, but it is clear that she's very new, very timid, and very scared t…