Uncategorized

Health…

With the new year dawning on us, I know that the popular resolution is weight loss.

I would just like to remind everyone that Pizza is totally a well balanced meal according to the food pyramid I learned in elementary school. A point which I argued with my gym/health teacher, who was a failed CFL football player and told us we should replace the milk in our cereal with water.

Pyramid1999.png

You have your grains in the crust, fruit & vegetables in the sauce, cheese is dairy, and then you get your meat with the ham.

Just saying. Keep your resolutions real. #weddingdressdiet #justkidding #mychosendressisbarelyfitted

Advertisements
Standard
About Me, original writing

On death and dying…

recite-lg9tg3

My earliest memory is of a funeral. They say the constants of life are death and taxes… I spent a lot of time in funeral homes before I had even began to pay taxes.

That first funeral was my Uncle Tommy’s, my mothers brother. I remember playing in the basement of the funeral home, and being looked after by my Aunt Karen. I remember how uncomfortable the wool kilt I wore was. I was only 2 years old.

I grew up with stories of an uncle I never knew. I know that he was fiercely loved by everyone whose life he touched. Everyone says he was a lot fun . I know that he was scared to hold me as a baby. And I know that he scaled an apartment building to break in to my parents unit after my dad had locked my mother out… with me still sleeping in my crib. I’ve been told that after he died I accused him of stealing balloons and kites that flew away from me.  So much of my upbringing was coloured by his loss. My imagination runs wild when I think of the role he would have had in my life. Is it possible to miss someone you never really knew?

And then we lost more family members. I lost my grandma’s father who would chase me around the hospital in his wheelchair, and then her mother who would hid money in your purse if you paid for coffee, and who could always be counted on to sniff out a bargain or give you slippers for Christmas.

 

Our family has suffered a great amount of loss. If feels like more than any other family but I know thats not true. We have learned to face it with humour and a remembrance of all the joy that person has brought us.

There was no clearer celebration of life than my grandmothers funeral. She was an unwaveringly kind woman with a tendency to take in strays and treat them as her own. At her core she was a mother. She was as a mom to all of the Scouts in my Grandpas troop, she was a foster parent to countless kids, she insisted that all of my friends call her grandma. She was a supportive and generous friend. I know that people say a lot of kind platitudes about someone when they die but for her they were all true. She was an incredible source of strength and quiet force of nature.

I’m not to sure where I was going with this… In a fit of holiday nostalgia I was looking through photos and  I realized that although I have ever reason to be incurably sad , I’m not. Every loss has made me a stronger, more resilient person. But it has also made me more vulnerable. Something I needed to become in order to open myself up to the world. It’s given me a baseline by which to measure the worst and taught me that everything is survivable eventually.

I feel like that sounded like an inspirational quote you see over a beach landscape. Which I totally made it into …

 

Standard
Uncategorized

New Year, New Goal.

dsc_0536

It truly is a thing of beauty, don’t you think?

Hello Y’all.

This year I finally achieved my long held goal of reading 100 books in a year. I’ve been going to my goodreads on new years day and setting my reading challenge to 100 for YEARS.

With the new year drawing near I’ve begun to think about my resolutions and plans for the 2017. A lot happened in 2016 that made reaching that goal possible (Wild Fire, a month long evacuation, being unemployed) and it seems like 2017 will be filled with things that will fill up my free time (wedding, applying to creative writing workshops/courses, small renovation projects)

No matter what it is on the horizon I know that I still want to set my goal a little higher and challenge myself. But how much higher? Do I reach just a small step up and set it to 110? Or do I set my self to another number it ay take me multiple attempts to reach. It really boils down to a question of how long I want to delay gratification and how much sweeter victory tastes at the end of a long fought battle…. 130 it is… oh god I regret this already.

Wish me luck, and an easier writing process so I can read more.

 

Standard
About Me, Music, Wedding

I’ll be a Sadie…

tumblr_lzk0v4lvu31r5fsjjo1_500

I’m getting married in October. We have booked a venue, I think I found a dress. But now the hard part begins. The music. Apparently you should have 3 songs for the ceremony… the processional, the signing, and the recessional. I’ve know for a while what I’d like to walk down the aisle to, but what about the others?

I saw Max for the first time about a month before I met him. He was passing through Lake Louise and stopped in to my work to catch up with one of my co-workers.

The next time I saw him he was sitting on a bench in front of Laggens Bakery. I was behind my till when my friend poked her head into the market… she looked at him then at me and said… “you should hook up with that guy, he looks like your type.” I didn’t know I had a type, and he didn’t look like anyone I had dated before. Ho Hey was playing.

We had a party that night, to say goodbye to some friends and to welcome Max who moved in next door. I drank more Gin then was strictly necessary. We walked home from the bar holding hands, he gave me the dessert from his microwave dinner. Give Me Everything By Pitbull was on repeat.

We moved to Banff and didn’t spend a night apart until I went home for Christmas. We were broke and living in a shitty shared house on Muskrat St affectionately nicknamed “The Crackden.” At the time I thought that Danny’s Song by Loggins and Messina really suited this period of our relationship.

I took the train from Jasper to Hamilton. I did not have a return ticket. A busker played Hallelujah in the station. The plan was for Max to join me in Ontario as soon as I found a job. A job didn’t materialize so he bought me a plane ticket back to him.

The soundtrack to our relationship is not ideal. And we don’t share a common musical sensibility.  I’m all nostalgia, and he prefers music with ZERO feeling. He just discovered Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears and it is the first overlap in our tastes in a while.

The reception will be an eclectic mix of our favourite songs, but the ceremony has me stumped.

Etta James, Penny and The Quarters, The Beach Boys, Tom Waits… the options are truly overwhelming.

The photo is from Funny Girl which is where the title of this post comes from… it’s also a Gilmore Girls reference.

Standard
Movies

In a galaxy far, far away…

rogue-one-1

Growing up I had the worlds best baby sitter. Her family lived across the street from the house my mom and I shared with my grandparents. The babysitter had two boys of her own but would watch me in the mornings and after my half days at school.

It was on a rainy day at the sitters that I watched Star Wars for the first time.  From that moment on her boys and I were hooked. We would watch the movies, play with the toys, but most of all we would make believe we were the characters. As the only girl I was always Leia.

My love of Star Wars has continued well into my adulthood, despite all the less than amazing sequels.  To be honest (and I know many fans will agree) something has been missing from the franchise for a very long time. The interest I had in the story dwindled with every over animated fight sequence.  I’ve always found cartoons less believable than puppets, make up and costuming.  I  feel like Star Wars lost its humanity. It became a game of “look at this cool thing we can do now that we couldn’t do back then. Oh, and while we’re at it lets remaster and ruin the originals.” ANIMATED JABBA THE HUT IS NOT THE FUCKING SAME, ASSHOLE.

At its core it is a story about good and evil. But its also about having hope. The sequels got the first part but lost the second pretty quickly. Rogue One has brought the hope back to Star Wars. As an immediate lead up to A New Hope how could it not?  It was like the return of an old friend. My eyes were in a near constant state of watering and my cheeks hurt from smiling. It gave us an insight in to the Rebellion that was sorely missing from all the other prequels. I just have a lot of feelings about Rogue One and should stop rambling now. But I will finish with this… Rogue One recaptured all of the things  I have always loved about Star Wars. It made me a fucking believer again. May the force be with you.

 

 

 

 

 

Standard
About Me, Books

3 Generations Are Only Together For So Long

img_1848

I was deeply saddened by the news that Stuart McLean will no longer fill the CBC’s airwaves with stories of Dave and Morley. All of Canada hopes that this will not be permanent, that Stuarts heath will improve and with it the Vinyl Cafe will return.

The Vinyl Cafe is something I discovered on my own in chapters bookstore in Ancaster Ontario. I bought a 2 CD set of Christmas Stories. I hoped it would bring some holiday cheer to my long bus rides from my home on the west mountain, to my grandmother’s house on the east. I put the CDs on my ipod nano and caught the number 43 bus. And I have never laughed louder in public than I did that day. Thank goodness I was the only one on the bus and that the driver was very understanding.

I got of the bus and walked into my grandmas house. She was sitting at the table with a crappy paper back mystery, secretly smoking, and cooking something. I ignored the smoking, opened the fridge as everyone in the family does when entering her house. There was always cold sodas, or delicious leftovers to be “nuked in the microwave.” I grabbed a sprite and pulled out the cd. I put the first cd on for her and together we listened to Dave Cooks the Turkey.

From that day on every car ride to the grocery store or trip to blockbuster was soundtracked by Stuart’s stories. She loved the one about Sam and the fish head, and the one where Stephanie goes tree planting.

The year before I moved away from home my grandmother, my mom and I went to see The Vinyl Cafe Christmas Show with Hawksley Workman. It was something my grandma talked about for years after it happened. She love seeing it live and was surprised by how wonderful Hawksley Workman was.

She is gone now, but every time I listen to Stuart’s stories I miss her a little less. I feel closer to the woman who helped raise me, who supported me in everything no matter how crazy, who told me I would move away and fall in love with a boy with an accent and never move back home.

I miss spending christmas eve with her and my grandpa. I miss getting dressed up in an elf costume  and surprising all the neighbourhood kids and cousins with Santa (Grandpa).

This year that boy with the accent and I are finally in our own home, with our own little family. We’re making our own traditions, but the most important tradition that we’ll carry on is listening to Stuart McLean’s Christmas Show…

“play a christmas album
the elvis christmas album
three generations sing blue christmas
all at once
and light another candle
come sit near the piano
three generations sing together
all at once.” – Hawksley Workman,  3 Generations

 

 

 

Standard
About Me

Writing…Urg

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. But I have always had a hard time keeping up with it, with making the time, with talking myself out of it. I’m not sure why, but it has always been this way. As I find myself unemployed at the moment, and I’ve read above my reading goal for the year (Hurray!) I’ve begun reading books and articles about writing in the hopes that I can develop some tools that will help me write more. I will try a few out and see where things go.

img_1845

My 100th book this year was Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham. In her memoir she writes about her struggles with writing. We have a lot in common in that particular area… and in her book she says that Don Roos (co-creater of Web Therapy, screenwriter of Marley and Me) told her his version of the Pomodoro Technique and that it changed the way she writes! So I will be trying to use Don Roos “Kitchen Timer” method and see what comes of it.

Here are the details:

KITCHEN TIMER

The principle of Kitchen Timer is that every writer deserves a definite and do-able way of being and feeling successful every day.

To do this, we learn to judge ourselves on behavior rather than content. (We leave content to our unconscious; experience will teach us to trust that.) We set up a goal for ourselves as writers which is easy, measurable, free of anxiety, and fail-proof, because everyone can sit, and an hour will always pass.

Here’s how it works:

  • Buy a kitchen timer, one that goes to 60 minutes.
  • We decide on Monday how many hours of writing we will do Tuesday. When in doubt or under pressure or self-attack, we choose fewer hours rather than more.A good, strong beginning is one hour a day.
  • The Kitchen Timer Hour:
  • No phones. No listening to the machine to see who it is. We turn ringers off if possible. It is our life; we are entitled to one hour without interruption, particularly from loved ones. We ask for their support. “I was on an hour” is something they learn to understand. But they will not respect it unless we do first.
  • No music with words, unless it’s a language we don’t understand.
  • No internet, absolutely.
  • No reading.
  • No “desk re-design/landscaping”, no pencil-sharpening.
  • Immediately upon beginning the hour, we open two documents: our journal, and the project we are working on. If we don’t have a project we’re actively working on, we just open our journal.
  • An hour consists of TIME SPENT keeping our writing appointment. We don’t have to write at all, if we are happy to stare at the screen. Nor do we have to write a single word on our current project; we may spend the entire hour writing in our journal. Anything we write in our journal is fine; ideas for future projects, complaints about loved ones, even “I hate writing” typed four hundred times.
  • When we wish or if we wish, we pop over to the current project document and write for as long as we like. When we get tired or want a break, we pop back to the journal.
  • The point is, when disgust or fatigue with the current project arises, we don’t take a break by getting up from our desk. We take a break by returning to the comforting arms of our journal, until that in turn bores us. Then we are ready to write on our project again, and so on. We use our boredom in this way.
  • IT IS ALWAYS OKAY TO WRITE EXCLUSIVELY IN OUR JOURNAL. In practice it will rarely occur that we spend the full hour in our journal, but it’s fine, good, and right that we do when we feel like it. It is just as good a writing day as one spent entirely in our current project.
  • It is infinitely better to write fewer hours every day, than many hours one day and none the next. If we have a crowded weekend, we choose a half-hour as our time, put in that time, and go on with our day. We are always trying to minimize our resistance, and beginning an hour on Monday after two days off is a challenge.
  • When the hour is up, we stop, even if we’re in the middle of a sentence. If we have scheduled another hour, we give ourselves a break before beginning again — to read, eat, go on errands. We are not trying to create a cocoon we must stay in between hours; the “I’m sorry I can’t see anyone or leave my house, I’m on a deadline” method. Rather, inside the hour is the inviolate time.
  • If we fail to make our hours for the day, we have probably scheduled too many. Four hours a day is an enormous amount of time spent in this manner, for example. If on Wednesday we planned to write three hours and didn’t make it, we subtract the time we didn’t write from our schedule for the next day. If we fail to make a one-hour commitment, we make a one-hour or a half-hour appointment for the next day.WE REALIZE WE CANNOT MAKE UP HOURS, and that continuing to fail to meet our commitment will result in the extinguishing of our voice.
  • When we have fulfilled our commitment, we make sure we credit ourselves for doing so. We have satisfied our obligation to ourselves, and the rest of the day is ours to do with as we wish.
  • A word about content: This may seem to be all about form, but the knowledge that we have satisfied our commitment to ourselves, the freedom from anxiety and resistance, and the stilling of that hectoring voice inside of us which used to yell at us that we weren’t writing enough — all this opens us up creatively.
Standard