Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adventures at the hair salon

Tonight, at the salon where I get my hair cut (yes, make a mental note to compliment me on my hair the next time you see me – LOL), a couple of unusual things happened.

First, the dude who washed my hair totally sprayed water in both my ears. The second time it happened, I actually jumped. Dude quickly said, “Oh, I’m sorry! Are your ears ticklish?” Umm, every other time my hair has been washed by someone else, they’ve gone out of their way to avoid getting water in my ears, so I guess I was just surprised … “Yeah, I guess so,” was all that I actually said, though. Perhaps I am more passive-aggressive than I would like to believe. But seriously! Has this ever happened to any of you?

Then: another client of my stylist, left as Paul was still cutting my hair. She came over to say good-bye and tucked his tip into his pants. I wasn’t wearing my glasses, but after she left, I asked him if I had seen what I thought I’d seen. In the 15+ years he’s been cutting hair, I don’t think anyone’s ever done that to him before! We had a good laugh over how she’d tipped him as if he were a stripper. (Perhaps that’s how they tip people where she comes from??? [yes, I know I'm reaching ...]) I told him not to even expect me to do the same, even as a joke, since my coordination is so bad that god only knows where my hand might have ended up. He tried to pretend that he was disappointed. LOL

Long day today – time to curl up with a book and go to bed early. Night! :)

A little grouchy

You know what I hate? Waking up in the morning, fighting deep sleep and exhaustion because you KNOW your alarm is about to go off (or perhaps it already has?), and when you finally win over the mighty drag of sleep, you realize ... you have another two hours before your alarm is set to ring. And then you can't get back to sleep, despite how desperately tired you are - until approximately 10 minutes before the alarm obnoxiously brays next to your head.


Okay, I feel better now. :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Just too cute

Today a coworker was telling a few of us about a "Pugoween" with the Pugalug Pug Rescue that she went to this past weekend. Must. share. story:

Tons and tons of pugs (see photo here if you don't believe me!), pugs in costumes (again, see photo) and ... cake. Not for the people, but for the pugs. Don't ask me what was in it [shudder], but the pugs LOVED it.

They loved the cake so much, in fact, that the table with the cake needed two people "guards" to keep the pugs from either trying to jump up on the table (which likely would not have been too successful, considering they're pugs), or trying to pull the cake onto the floor by grabbing on the tablecloth the cake was sitting on (whoa, does that classify as an animal using a tool???)

Lordy, I wish someone had taken a video of that! :)

Do you have any pug stories, dog at Hallowe'en party stories, cake stories?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A juicy dilemma

My latest obsession, after watching Kris Carr of Crazy Sexy Cancer on Oprah on Monday, is juicing. Despite Carr’s stage four cancer, she looked fantastically vibrant, and I’m sure her commitment to juicing and raw foods, in addition to her wonderful attitude and outlook, has factored significantly in this.

I’m working on my attitude and outlook (trust me) … so what about the food?

I *could* buy juices at juice bars in the city, but I don’t live or work close to a place that would use organic produce, so that just seems a little counter-productive. Spend $6 a glass for something that has herbicides and pesticides, carefully pureed for better absorption? Umm, no thank you.

Also, there seem to be two theories on juicing: one is to get everything but the fibre by using a juicer. Fibre can produce gas and make you feel bloated. (Sorry if this discussion is becoming ... indelicate.) The theory is that juice without the fibre is easier to digest, and therefore your body can absorb the nutrients without a lot of work.

However, since I am hypoglycemic and have to watch my intake of sugars (even in juices), so I’m thinking that using a really good blender (e.g., the totally expensive Vitamix, a model of which my mom bought when I was a teenager and we used for about 6 months before it disappeared into the bowels of the pantry) might be better than a juicer, because the pulp would help me digest the sugars more slowly.

Are there any readers out there who are juicers? If so, what are your thoughts/recommendations????

Or is this just another gadget I will get that will consume storage space and not be used a year from now?

My idea of fun is a booger-flavoured jelly bean

Tonight I was at a Hallowe'en/housewarming party hosted by two friends who recently (officially) moved in together. We didn't do much but eat, drink a couple of glasses of wine or beer, and talk, but I feel so lucky all the same - what a really great group of people.

There was a bucket of candy in the living room, which included a box of every-flavoured jelly beans, as in the Harry Potter books. It's amazing how much entertainment value can be derived from carefully selecting a booger-flavoured jelly bean, passing it to a friend - who knows it will be bad but eats it anyway while trying to identify the flavour. Sardine- and earthworm-flavoured beans seemed to be the most revolting. I can tell you that vomit-flavoured beans did not in any way taste like vomit (thank goodness!!!). But what fun to sit around like 10-year-olds, effectively daring each other to eat booger- and earwax- flavoured beans!

However, I am not a kid anymore and therefore need to go to bed toute suite!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The top 12 produce, pesticide-wise

Interesting and good information for everyone.

Just be sure to eat your fruits and veggies!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Post 1178

Today was a hard day, but not as tough as it was for my friends Steph and Dom. They were expecting twins – boys, Tristan and Kieran. But at 25 weeks (I think – too early, anyway), Steph went into labour and neither baby survived.

It was hard to focus at work this morning after I learned the news. I couldn’t imagine how awful they must have been feeling. But tonight when a few of us went to visit them in the hospital, I had a feeling I'd be walking into something holy.

I was so impressed with Steph and Dom's maturity, emotional honesty, and grace. She cried as she told us about how both boys were born alive, how they got to hold them, and that they each passed away. They talked about how it was an emotional roller-coaster, with fatigue and pain and hormones and painkillers and lots of great support – and grief.

Dom made an interesting point about information versus answers – they could have had the babies autopsied, but it still would have been unlikely to provide any answers about why them, why their babies. Instead, they chose to accept that these questions would never be answered. They talked about the limitations of modern medicine, and how death is a part of life, despite how uncomfortable we are with it in Western culture (Dom called it “truly the last taboo of our society”). [I like hanging out with Dom because he always makes me think.] We talked about how life couldn't be truly precious if there were no death.

They spoke about their plans for a memorial for their sons.

Surprisingly, there was laughter at times. The community which they have built – of which I am proudly a part – was evident in all the visitors, calls, and flowers, and it obviously meant a great deal to them.

When I left the hospital, I still felt very sad for them, but also uplifted somehow.

I know Steph and Dom are going to be okay, but if you are the type who prays or sends positive thoughts, please think of them over the next few weeks anyway. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Crazy Sexy Cancer

So did anyone else catch Crazy Sexy Cancer on TLC tonight? I made a point of doing so, and thought it was very good. However, it was two hours instead of the single hour that I expected, so this is all I have tonight. However, I will use Kris's signoff, as I think it is very cool.

After this, NO MORE TV for me for a long time!!!! :)

Peace and veggies,


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today = Lethargy

The weekend's persistent fatigue turned into full-blown lethargy today. I felt a little woozy on my way into work, so after briefly checking in on things, I headed right back home and slept a significant part of the day away.

This is how bad things were: tonight, I actually watched Gossip Girl on TV, which I would say is probably like a "Beverly Hills, 90210", though I didn't really watch that show either. However, in my own defense, I have to say I was mesmerized by how the lead actress, Blake Lively, looks like my cousin Jennifer (actually, I think Jennifer is prettier). Well, they could be easily be sisters, anyway.

Then I got hooked into watching the show that followed, Pushing Daisies. What an original, entertaining show! And visually it is like the movie Amelie - lots of vibrant colours, especially greens, and interesting decor. Charming actors who, surprisingly enough, are not teenagers - how refreshing! Interesting premise, too - although I have no idea how they'll be able to maintain it. I rather doubt that I'll watch it once I'm feeling better, as I generally don't make time in my schedule for TV any more, but maybe the next time I need to relax and recharge, the season will be on DVD, and I'll be able to enjoy it commercial-free.

Now, time to roam my apartment listlessly for a while before going to bed - again.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Day off detail

Okay, so I took today off as a vacation day. Yay!!!! I have the whole evening ahead, but I thought I'd tell you how I've spent the day so far:

  • FLAP patrol - no birds (that is a separate blog post I'm planning)
  • THREE-hour nap (somewhat drug induced, as I took a couple of muscle relaxants before I stumbled back to bed - my shoulders were incredibly painful after hauling bucket after bucket of mulch at a tree-planting event on Saturday)
  • Briefly logged in to work because I forgot to send someone an e-mail on Friday
  • Caught up on some blog reading and played far too many games of Spider on my computer (Spider is my number 1 time-waster ... gaaaaaaaaah!)
  • Did a bunch of shopping:
    • spent over $80 on booze (that will take 2 - 3 months for me to consume):
      • 4 bottles of yummy wine (great for company and gifts!)
      • 1 case of Growers apple cider (sooooo goooood!!!!)
      • 2 6-packs of Guinness (for the health benefits, dontcha know)
    • went to pet store, played with kittens up for adoption (because I'm always that cruel to myself), then spent another $80 on food for the two darlings already at home
    • miscellaneous items at Canadian Tire, including a CD called "Paris Cafe" (because who doesn't love the fantasy of being in Paris????)
    • groceries!
  • Cleaned out my fridge so I could load it up with groceries again. :)
  • Watched an amazing episode of Oprah which featured two incredible people who have cancer. The first, Kris Carr, has a documentary called Crazy Sexy Cancer that will be airing on TLC this Wednesday. Check it out - she is an extraordinary person with an inspiring message for everyone. The other, Professor Randy Pausch, has terminal pancreatic cancer, and yet, in his "last lecture" at Carnegie-Mellon University, chose to lecture on how to live. Wonderfully wise. I then went on to watch all 11 segments of his original lecture, now available on YouTube.
Now off to get more stuff done! :)


As found in the Toronto Star:

Oct 22, 2007 11:47 AM
Associated Press

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – Anxious to avoid upsetting air travelers, NASA is withholding results from an unprecedented national survey of pilots that found safety problems like near collisions and runway interference occur far more frequently than the government previously recognized.

NASA gathered the information under an $8.5 million safety project, through telephone interviews with roughly 24,000 commercial and general aviation pilots over nearly four years. Since ending the interviews at the beginning of 2005 and shutting down the project completely more than one year ago, the space agency has refused to divulge the results publicly.

Just last week, NASA ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers.

The Associated Press learned about the NASA results from one person familiar with the survey who spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to discuss them.

A senior NASA official, associate administrator Thomas S. Luedtke, said revealing the findings could damage the public's confidence in airlines and affect airline profits. Luedtke acknowledged that the survey results "present a comprehensive picture of certain aspects of the U.S. commercial aviation industry.''

Sunday, October 21, 2007

DVD Review times two

I just finished watching The Princess Bride, the first time I’ve done so since I was a teenager. I’ve owned the DVD for about two years, but for some reason I just was never motivated to watch it. But this afternoon I was feeling really tired and a bit under the weather, so I decided I’d watch it. I’m really glad I did. This movie has great heart. (My favourite characters are the soulful Inigo Montoya [whose sole purpose for twenty years has been to someday say, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”] and the grandson and grandfather, whose interactions are the framing for the telling of the fairy tale.)

The only thing that I really wish had been differently is Buttercup’s whole damsel in distress thing. That was irritating, especially when she could have clobbered that R.O.U.S. with a stick but didn’t. Well, it still was a really great movie …

Last night, my friend Melanie and I watched Knocked Up, which seems to be really popular. Again, another movie with some great heart, mostly thanks to the incredibly likeable and charming Seth Rogen. The movie did make me laugh quite a bit, often with immature gags that bothered me even as I found them humourous. However, the movie needed a FAR better editor to tidy things up significantly. As it was, I felt the makers of the film had been working under a thick fog of narcotics as that experienced by some of the movie’s characters. It was a long, big, likeable, dopey mess. Nor could I actually see a Katherine Heigl actually getting drunk with a Seth Rogen in the first place. But it was fun, and Paul Rudd was spectacular in his role as the bitter, disengaged brother-in-law. All in all, a good rental.

That’s it for now – unless you’d like to tell me about what you have been watching lately? :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Quote City

Sorry, another day full to bursting, so another quote (but it's a good one):

It is important to live as if we are always on the eve of a great discovery and prepare to welcome it as completely, intimately, and ardently as we can.
- Maeterlinck

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tobacco sheds

Originally uploaded by Noisypond.

Taken while driving through southwestern Ontario, after meeting my parents for lunch on Thanksgiving weekend. This was around the town of Tillsonburg, and if you've ever had to listen to Stompin' Tom Connors, you will know that your back would just hurt when you hear that word (Tillsonburg), thanks to the heavy labour that was (is?) involved in tobacco agriculture around this part of Ontario.

While I think the sheds in this photo were at one time used for drying tobacco, I should note that the actual field surrounding them is soyabeans. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The gang at Casa Loma last Sunday

Don't they look wonderful??? :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Shock Doctrine by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein

Tonight, in a local grocery, Harpers magazine caught my eye with its cover story, "Disaster Capitalism - Cashing in on Catastrophe - from Iraq and New Orleans to Your Own Hometown." I read the first few paragraphs of the article, and it rang of truth to me, so I bought the magazine. (Generally I'm not a magazine reader.)

I haven't got through it all yet, but it is FASCINATING. Check out this video to discover the premise of her article - and upcoming book.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I've got nothing to write tonight

So instead I'll share this amazing quote:

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves ... Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps, then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some days are just like that

Today, as I was sitting chatting with my boss in his office, I heard one of the directors walk down the hallway, and in a loud, aggravated tone, say, "Does anyone have an alcoholic beverage???"

Many people in the area laughed; because some days are just like that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I love voting in Canada!

Tonight I walked home from my polling station with a smirky grin.

You see, today is election day for the government of Ontario. After work (and going to the library, and buying some tortilla shells at the local grocers … hmmm dinner … phew, that’s better! Okay, now where was I?), I went to a local church with my voting card to cast my vote (having decided for sure how I would vote just an hour or so previously).

Let me tell you, elections in Ontario are well-oiled machines! Examples:

  • Your voting card tells you which polling station to go to (do churches get paid for hosting polling stations, or is that just part of the deal that comes with tax-free status???);
  • People (whom I assume to be volunteers) seem to have very clearly-defined roles and procedures, like the greeter who makes sure you’re at the right polling station (whoops … but the right church was just across the street), and the person who checks your ID and gives you your ballot;
  • Your ballot is a stiff piece of paper, obviously well-planned, folded in a particular fashion, the outside of each one initialized by an auditor (I guess so you can’t put a counterfeit ballot in the ballot box???);
  • The cardboard shields behind which you fill out your ballot;
  • The markers that tell you how far away from the voting booth you should stand while someone else is casting his/her ballot;
  • You vote using a short yellow pencil (perhaps needing some sharpening, but oh well), marking an X next to the name of your selection, rather than using some mysterious electronic voting machine with no paper trail and gaping security vulnerabilities that are produced by a company that is run by people who are clearly partisan to one political party;
  • Etc., etc. – and I can’t even begin to imagine what they do to prepare for the election and how they manage the ballot boxes afterward!

I am always incredibly impressed by the organization and foresight that goes into our elections here in Canada. So I probably would have walked home tonight from the polling station with a bit of civic pride, but that is not what put that goofy smile on my face. No, instead it was this realization: HOT GUYS ALSO VOTE! Or at least congregate outside polling stations.

Yes, as I was leaving the church/polling station, there were some very good-looking men hanging out on the sidewalk. One in particular looked like he could have been in a Gillette commercial (you know, the ones where rugged yet impossibly handsome men show off how deliciously clean-shaven they are? Are the men in Gillette commercials still rugged, or are they prettier now? Now that I think about it, the Gillette commercials are one of the few things that I miss now that I watch so little TV. But if the men are pretty these days, it’s just as well that I’m spared that disappointment.).

Anyway, I was totally unprepared to meet such handsome men, so I just walked on past. D’oh!!!!!!

So I got to thinking … maybe I could volunteer with Elections Canada? Would this be a good way to meet the hot guys in my neighbourhood whom I hadn’t even known existed??? Yes, that might mean dealing with other quirkier members of the public, like my mom who holds her nose as she votes (What? She says she does!), and it could mean long hours with no assurance that I will actually be given a babe-greeting job.

And then I developed a plan: first, pray for a minority government that quickly collapses, requiring another election. Then, doll up on election day, and be prepared to linger or walk around the block a couple of times so I can pretend I’m just voting or coming from voting. But, la pièce de resistance, have a button prepared that I can wear that will read, “Kiss me – I just voted!”

And that, my friends, is the thought that made me smirk as I walked home from the polling station. :)

Killings reopen debate on rights of fetuses

Click here for an article worth reading.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

If you need to smile

Today I was feeling down. It doesn't matter why, I just was. So I went to one of the best websites on the Internet (if only they would get away from the annoying text, but whatever): www.cuteoverload.com. And watched this video. I defy you to not smile or at least not feel lighter inside for watching it. Actually, I take that back. If this video doesn't make you feel just a bit happier, there is something really wrong with you, and I would urgently suggest counselling.

Now, for your pleasure:

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sad thought for the day

I was walking past a bookstore today and had to sigh to myself, because I realized: I will never get to read the Harry Potter books for the first time again.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

On public washrooms

Okay, I’m probably just ignorant of other considerations, but I have a bone to pick with architects of many public buildings.

We’ve known about the value of hand-washing and all that good stuff for a long time, right? So why is it that when you go into a public washroom, you can often push the door open with a shoulder or hip, but in order to leave the washroom, you must place your freshly-pristine hands on the door handle – which has god knows how many colonies of bacteria????

I would like to give a virtual high-five to the genious architects who have designed public washrooms without doors at all. You know, the ones where you just have to walk around a wall that provides privacy to those in the washroom from the prying eyes of those outside. There should be more of those! Do I hear an “Amen!”?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Intriguing quote

"Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you."

- David Whyte

Friday, October 05, 2007

On power

A few years ago, I used to work with someone who was really proud of his acute perception of others. More than once, he boasted of his ability to say the exact thing that would make someone cry or blow his stack. Hmmm …

I was reminded of him recently when someone assured me that he could handle situations for me, because he knew how to be mean. Again, said with a pride (thinly veiled as humour) that I actually found disturbing.

Both these people are people whom I actually deeply appreciate for their other qualities. But, oh, I think, how hard it must be for the people who love them.

This week I had a confrontation with someone at the opposite end of the scale: an amazingly smart and talented woman who continually sacrifices her own well-being and goals through misplaced trust and bad judgment. Hey, if being a victim is what you do best, by all means master it. Just don’t expect me to be another casualty, because I’m simply not that self-destructive. But oh, how hard and frustrating it is to watch you …

Power. It’s a loaded word. But I think we all have the potential for self-sovereignty that commands respect and generates kindness and compassion for others as well as oneself. I’ve gone through many years of not knowing I had this power, but these days it feels amazing to become more and more familiar with it and confident of it.

I suppose there is the thrill of subjugating another person to one’s own will, of utterly dominating or conquering someone. And the commitment to something or someone without regard for oneself can feel so frigging passionate and noble (boy have I been there!). But no matter what direction you come from, at the end of the day you're left with just yourself, and if you can't love and respect yourself and trust your place in the world, there's just no escape from that hell.

But my heart leaps in the aspiration to be an enlightened warrior, applying my strength to peace, beauty, love, and truth. I’m excited by my own potential (by everyone’s potential, really) and the joyous and amazing ways it could be manifested through focus, hard work, respect, communication, humility, and a lot of grace. No, I realize I will never “arrive”, and I have so much yet to learn, but I’m digging the journey tremendously. :)

There’s a saying that the truth is somewhere in the middle. Ugh, “middle”. How boring, lame, weak does that sound? But I feel that as with many truths, the extremes meet in the centre and are powerfully transformed and balanced to something far more rewarding than either of the polar opposites.

I am posting this not because I feel I’ve mastered this and always live in my own personal power, but I want to hold myself accountable to live in it more often.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Originally uploaded by Rob Millenaar.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Help in unlikely places

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” - Rumi

Sometimes what you love surprises you. Like writing organisational documents and designing process improvements. Who would have thunk?

This discovery - actually it's a regeneration after a nasty wound - has saved me a little this past month.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Line-up to the beer tent

Thirsty students at the Head of the Trent rowing regatta ... Though I don't think these people really cared much about the rowing, as that was taking place on the other side of the building seen at the left .... LOL