About Me

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If who we are is what we do, then like most people, I am a mixed bag of personas. Writer, bookworm, friend, are what first come to mind. Equally apt would be potty mouth, dog walker, Guinness drinker, swimmer, storyteller, political animal, baker and proud Canadian. Mostly though, I consider myself simply insanely lucky to have a small posse of near and dear ones who put up with me and my curvy, creative, curly haired, opinionated self. I started this blog several years ago with the idea to challenge myself in a myriad of ways. Years in, despite the sporadic entries, I still like to muse about the absurdity of life, what inspires surprises and angers me, books and other entertainments, my menagerie, my travels and any other notion buzzing round in my head.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Beauty Myth

I am nothing if not resilient. It’s actually, I think, one of my best qualities. That is not to say that I don’t also have many annoying and quirky things about my personality too. But, the ability to bounce back, to keep on going is most certainly a shining star in the constellation of my characteristics. Wallowing, getting mired down in a rut doesn’t suit me. Perhaps it’s the short attention span, who knows. As I strive to lose weight this is an advantage. No matter how far back I fall, I refuse to accept that I cannot drop these pounds. My last lapse pissed me off royally. I worked hard for those 6 lbs. To undo that effort in a week of socializing was more than irritating. Back on track and eerily exactly on schedule for my one pound per week goal, I have again arrived at the 6lbs I achieved a few weeks ago. I know this process will have its ups and downs. I am trying here to affect some lasting change, not just drop some weight to fit into a dress or bathing suit.

I’ve been talking with many people these past weeks about weight and body image. Motivation to lose weight is a personal thing. For me, this has nothing at all to do with how I look to myself or others, but more about how I feel about me.

Beauty, as a measure of one’s worth is an interesting concept. It is natural, I think, to be drawn to beautiful people and things. Vibrantly coloured paintings, puppies, sunsets, water lilies are all very attractive. Yet, notions of the physical beauty of people confound me. I get that some of this is carnal. I am not immune to ripped abs, a killer smile or nice round butt. But, the idea that one form of beauty is superior to another is surely flawed. Further, that one person can be considered beautiful merely by the way they look seems ridiculous.

I long ago made peace with my body in terms of what it will and won’t look like. My curly hair will always be a bit wild. My skin will never be golden or tanned, rather pale. My hips will always be curvy. I will never be tall and I will always have short fingers. Nonetheless, from my point of view, I think I am attractive and cannot imagine that image of myself changing.

Too much attention is paid I believe to the outer image of a person, missing entirely the importance of things like character, intelligence and heart. What lies within us, as Emerson said, is the stuff that matters. And in contemplating that, I come to the real motivator for my losing weight. I must do this simply because I promised myself I would. Because pushing myself to achieve something that is difficult is important for me as a person. My rubenesque body will not be whittled down into a skinny shadow of itself. (God forbid I would lose my rack!) Rather, I hope it to be trimmed slightly to a healthier version of the same old me. Still curvy, still short and still beautiful.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Review & Preview

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

“This fellow Balzac is a wizard.”

And in truth, so is Dai Sijie. His charming coming of age story of two city boys sent to the mountains for re-education during China’s Cultural Revolution was thoroughly delightful. The narrator and his pal Luo are stuck in a tiny village away from everything dear to them because their parents are deemed “enemies of the state”. Sent to toil in the rocky village on Phoenix Mountain, the boys long for home, despairing they will never be released back to civilization. A chance meeting with the young daughter of a local tailor and their friendship with this “Little Seamstress”, stirs feelings in the boys they have never experienced as both are drawn to her beauty and charm. Stumbling upon a hidden stash of contraband western literature exposes the boys to ideas about love, honour, and philosophical points of view never imagined. As Luo acts out and reads Balzac to the Little Seamstress as a means to seduce her, the narrator’s own confidence grows; inspired by the books he reads which include classics by Flaubert, Dumas, Dickens and others.

Funny and appealing, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a good read.

The Maytrees

Annie Dillard is a wonderfully talented artist. Opening up The Maytrees the other night, I was immediately struck by the mastery of this author. My absolute favourite kind of book to read – this story is full of beautifully evocative words, emotionally rich and colourfully painted scenes to sense and feel. It’s already proving difficult for me to slow my pace a bit and savour this treat. Dillard has written a moving story about the love shared between Toby Maytree and Lou Bigelow and I am hooked.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


What a bloody awesome day!

Wrote and passed my Project Management Certification exam! All hail the new PMP Queen.
Made the last payment on my longstanding loan and am now debt free - gimme an OH YAH!!!
Weighed in and have knocked 3.4 more lbs off my total, undoing a good chunk of last week's damage.

Wonderful, splendid, rapturously magnificent day.