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.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our Game

Our Father, who art in GM Place, hockey be thy name, thy will be done. GOLD to be WON on ICE as well as IN THE STANDS, give us this day, our hockey sticks and forgive us our penalties, as we forgive those who cross check against us. Lead us not into elimination but deliver us to victory, in the name of the fans, CANADA and the HOLY PUCK. AMEN!!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Destination Envy

It is remarkable to me how much calmer I become once I book time off. Still another 38 days away, I already feel more relaxed knowing I am taking a week off in early April.

Life is hectic enough under normal circumstances, but March is shaping up to be a killer month. With the last gasp of implementations scheduled at work where we have a fully staffed team, I am trying to jam in as much work as possible while we still have warm bodies. Add to that the usual social obligations surrounding no less than five birthdays and a wee celebration called St. Patrick's Day and I am crammed to the rafters with life stuff. Good life stuff for sure.

Deciding to take the first week of April off to do nothing but read, write and muse was a no brainer. Now that the pooches are booked in for a holiday up north, I am free as a bird to write without distractions, wander the city, hang out until the wee hours free of any schedule save what whim I fancy for a full 10 days.

A peaceful mindset descended over me the minute my vacation time was approved. Funny how that is. Just having something pleasant to look forward to somehow makes the crazy bearable. And if this week in April doesn't do the trick, I still have the visage of an Italian getaway in September to conjure up in times of chaos.

Respiri dentro. Respiri fuori.
Keep calm and carry on... til it's time to take a vacation!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

We Are More

Shane Koyczan's phenomenal poem delivered at the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics deserves thunderous praise as he strikes a chord in Canadians everywhere, inspiring pride beyond measure.

Shane, you did good!

We made it be!!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Life in February

Because I hate the idea of starting off with a whine, I will begin with recommending the past two books I have read: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. Coincidentally, both books have a precocious (in a good way) delightfully insightful and intelligent young girl as a protagonist. I enjoyed getting acquainted with Flavia DeLuce and Paloma Josse.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is essentially a murder mystery, where 11 year old Flavia DeLuce, lives in 1950’s England on a big estate with her widowed father and two clueless and narcissistic older sisters. Flavia is an odd ball - a bit of a mad scientist with a penchant for all things chemistry, especially poison. Imagine her delight when after overhearing her father and a strange man arguing over a priceless stamp, a few hours later she stumbles upon the same man dying in their cucumber patch. Being the only one present to hear the dying man’s last words, Flavia is delighted at “by far the most exciting thing that had ever happened to (her in her) life”. On her trusty bicycle Gladys, she determines to solve the mystery of the dead man’s murder and prove her father’s innocence. A smirk inducing read, I was pleased to hear that Alan Bradley has written another Flavia book called The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag. Delightfully light and perfectly suited to the kind of month I’ve been having, I liked this book immensely and look forward to more time spent with Flavia DeLuce.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a story told from the perspective of two people who reside at a posh apartment hotel in Paris. Madame Renee Michel is the concierge, an autodidact lover of art, literature and film. Inconspicuous to most of the residents in the building unless they need something from her, Madame Michel secrets away her intelligence so as to play the role of a woman of her station, fully aware though of all that is going on with her residents. Juxtaposing Madame Michel’s point of view about the residence are the musings of Paloma Josse, the youngest daughter of a diplomat father and self indulgent therapy addicted mother. Paloma, convinced of the futility of life, that it is nothing more than a meaningless taking up of space, has decided to kill herself on her thirteenth birthday. Several months away from her death, Paloma begins recording a series of “Profound Thoughts” and remarkings on the universe as she sees it. Living each with their secrets, both Madame Michel and Paloma’s lives are turned around when a mysterious and elegant Japanese man moves into the residence. Intelligently and beautifully written, at times funny and very heart warming, I particularly liked the interplay between these characters, the insights of each and as with most stories written with Paris as a backdrop, I was drawn in immediately to this very good read.

After recalling the enjoyment of getting lost with these characters the past few weeks, a whine about life seems a little bit self indulgent. Without question, work has been a political mind field. I make a conscious effort these days not to let the nonsense going on at work spill into my personal life, but it has been challenging. Blessed relief will arrive at the end of March when much of the problem will come to an end. A lesson in patience like no other is what work is now, so I will take that consolation.

At home, Mattie has been a typical 6 month old puppy replete with all the inherent mischief that comes along with that age – the chewing, testing her boundaries, the nipping, the need to be the centre of attention and even emergency trips to the vet for several stitches after an encounter with a pointy pile of sticks. I know the puppy thing will get better. But right now, when I need peace and quiet at home, it is a little bit hard to come by when Miss Matilda Mischief is awake. All that said, she is such a beauty. And, if I am being perfectly honest, I have always been drawn to those who rail against placidity and launch themselves at the world. She is all that and more.

Not surprisingly, I have had trouble finding time to write. Spotty at best would be a good description. “If writers write, then what am I?” is the thought that keeps swirling around in my head. Writing gives me joy. This is a certainty. Presently, I feel the need for the salve writing brings more than ever. So I started again last night and here I am blogging to prime the pump as much as catch up some. I am a writer I can answer today. An easily distracted and at times undisciplined one; a struggling writer… but a writer nonetheless.

Life in February chugs along, complete with barks, hard work and drama, but also chock-a-block with beauty, spunk and the constant inspiration of good books.