Tuesday, November 17, 2009

some bright morning.

Hi there. It's been a while, and I just want you to know, anyone who is out there, that I'm still here. Still trying to get to yoga, though apparently I'm not all that regular about it (I asked tonight, and I've been 26 times in the last 67 days since I began). And tonight I actually walked out. I've never done that before, but I just couldn't keep my mind in the room. So I walked out with about 15 minutes left.

Been to Seattle. It's no paradise (and certainly no San Francisco), though I did buy an AWESOME purse, and the most fantastic purple gloves. Oh, and I had a little fun at the Experience Music Project with the LP cover creator magnetic board for the special exhibit "Spaced Out: the Final Frontier in Album Covers." Though my picture hasn't made it to the website.

Anyway. It's likely to continue to be quiet for a few more days. Bit of chrysalis staging going on. I should emerge from the coccoon soon, maybe with some awesome wings.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

lycra, spandex & miracletex OH MY

I'm going away in January on my first tropical vacation since 1995 (PUERTO VALLARTA WOOHOO!!), and I'm SUPER excited. There'll be pools and palm trees and palapas in Yelapa. And zip lines and jet skis and villages with open markets. And in order to fully enjoy this great trip, I'm doing something else I haven't done in over a decade ... I'm shopping for a swimsuit.

In the past, I've needed/chosen swimsuits that are actually designed for swimming & swim-related activity - laps in the pool, playing with children at beaches, staying active while awaiting the stork's arrival by taking aquafit classes. Full coverage, athletically focused, boring, reliable, SWIM suits. They were practical, reliable and pretty darn boring.

What I'm really looking for now is more of a 'lounging by the pool, napping in the deck chair, holding hands on the beach' kind of suit. Preferrably one that is gorgeous and fashion-forward and sexier than you'd believe yet appropriate for a 42 year old mother. And by some magic of lycra, it will somehow make me look 32 pounds lighter (since those darn pounds don't seem to be going anywhere) and simultaneously hide rolls, stretch-marks, and scars while emphasizing curves and minimizing weird tan lines (don't worry, Ma, I'll wear sunscreen). It'll be feminine and flirty and something I actually look foward to putting on. Oh, and it should be safe to move in ... nobody needs a repeat of the tragic strapless malfunction of 1984.

So, for the last couple days I've been perusing swimsuit collections online. And I have to say, it's nearly as traumatizing as is trying on swimsuits in real life. If a suit makes a size 0 model look like she has a flabby belly, what chances have I got? Not to mention, I just about burst into tears of outrage yesterday when I was perusing the size chart on one designer brand's site and figured out that a Large was equal to a size 6-8. Large. Six. To. Eight.

Anyway, swimsuit shopping is high on the to-do list while we're in Seattle this weekend, and these suits below are inspirations for what I might be looking for:

1. Desire by RYGY Swimwear - the bead on the strap allows you to adjust the coverage, and there are two ties on the low back for security.

2. Marrakesh by OnDadeMar - I just love the halter top, amazing print & moderate back.

3. Lustre by Jets - OKAY - this suit is 100% old school pin up girl, with subtle side cutouts that narrow the rib cage AND an awesome sexy halter/tie back, and tummy shirring is great for hiding flaws.

4. Sanibel Surplice Tank by Miraclesuit - Miraclesuits tag line is "Look 10 lbs. lighter in 10 seconds" to which I reply, I'll take 3!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Shop & Give, all while sitting on your couch

I just received this notice from my friends who organize the local Christmas Spirit Community Dinner here in Victoria. Started in 1991 by Christina Parkhurst, this Christmas dinner last year fed almost a thousand people, as well as providing gifts for every child there, and creating a celebration for people who otherwise might not have had much to celebrate.

This year Christina and her team have a BRILLIANT fundraiser idea - you can shop Pampered Chef online OR at a giant Pampered Chef party, buy fantastic kitchen presents for the people on your list (and yourself) and raise both funds and needed kitchen supplies for the dinner.

Simply click the brochure below to start shopping. When you're ready to submit your order, enter "Victoria's Largest Pampered Chef Party" as the host's name. All proceeds - 100% - for this live/online party will go to providing the best Christmas Spirit Community Dinner Victoria has yet seen!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Timely Message

CinderRita received this message today, and for some reason it made her think of me. *blush* It is very timely, and truly hits home ...

Just do your best to keep yourself in balance. One of the first things that causes Energy misalignment [whatever that means], is asking or demanding too much of yourself in terms of time and effort. In other words, you just cannot burn the candle at both ends, so that you are physically tired, and then expect yourself to have a cheerful attitude. So, the rule of thumb has to be: "I'm going to be very, very, very happy, and then do everything I have time to do after that." --- Abraham Hicks

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Schindler's Ark: Review

I've had Thomas Keneally's Schindler's Ark on my must-read list for quite a while, and I finally found a great copy at one of my beloved local used book stores. It took another month or two for it to make it's way to the top of the pile - I was saving it, waiting for the opportunity to savour reading it, and it was truly worth the wait. Schindler's Ark is a book to be read slowly, to be thought about, to be understood - not just devoured. It is good in every way.

View on Amazon
Granted, I have a bias in favour of survivor stories of the Jewish holocaust of WW 2. I seek them out, in movie and prose form. And in that circle of favourites, Oskar Schindler's story is a stand-out. But what makes the tale of Oskar Schindler particularly riveting is how flawed and human a hero he was. Schindler was no saint, no embodiment of goodness, and certainly not a man you'd want to be married to. And he spent years of his life, seemingy boundless energy, and mountains in cash and goods to save, protect and improve the lives of Polish Jews throughout a period of unimaginable horror.

Those who have seen the movie Schindler's List (the adaptation of Keneally's book) know much of the plot of the story. But where Keneally's tale shines is in the balanced and full characters. There are few angels here, and only the devils you would expect. And that makes the heroism of Schindler and those like him all the more remarkable. Of course, the humanity of many of the Nazi characters in the story is as chilling as Schindler's is encouraging, but boundless good and boundless evil seem to be equal human options.

I was distracted several times by the fact that Keneally's book is considered a novel. It is clearly VERY well-researched (I particularly appreciate the first-hand accounts) historically accurate. I guess this is yet another case when the lines of genre are blended - Keneally surely filled in the blanks creatively. Apparently the same concern hounded the Man Booker award committee, as when the book won the award in 1982 there was some hew and cry about the fact that the Man Booker is an award for fiction. And if the Man Booker committee couldn't sort out the non-ending genre conversation, far be it from me to presume.

And really, the issue of genre is irrelevant to the success of the story. I loved reading Schindler's Ark. It made me want to see Schindler's List again (not that it takes much inspiration for me to want to watch a movie with Liam Neeson AND Ralph Fiennes in it). And it reminded me of the inherent goodness in people, and that we can never know what circumstance will pull someone forward to express that goodness.


Latent Luddite Leanings

Contrary to the alliterative title of this post, I don’t generally consider myself an old-fashioned girl. I prefer electric washing machines to a washboard, I enjoy a good combustion engine to get me places, and I’ve been known to enjoy the company of a portable music player for nigh on 30 years. But I REALLY don’t like cell phones.

I don’t know what it is about cell phones that make people so insane. Since when is anyone so important that leaving a message to be returned later is not acceptable? I’m a busy woman with a full life – I have family, friends, clients, employers, and a Cowboy who all sometimes talk to me – but I don’t know of anyone except the BB’s whose life may depend on my answering my cell phone. In fact, some of you may be surprised to even hear that I have a cell phone, and those of you who do know certainly don’t depend on reaching me on it.

Granted, I am not someone who considers being accessible 24/7 a plus. One of my favourite modern conveniences is Caller ID, followed closely by voice mail. Unless I gave birth to you, it’s okay with me if we have a little space so I can get back to you when I’m done whatever it is I’m doing. Yes, it’s anti-social and a little bit control freaking. Love me or leave me alone - ha. But self-sequestering aside, there’s something very odd about people’s behaviour with cell phones.
And yet it’s common place that people answer their phones in absolutely any circumstance – making plans while driving (duh!), doing business in a restaurant, discussing last night’s sexcapades in the grocery story, and (my LEAST favourite!) interrupting a conversation with a present person to talk to someone on the phone. Trust me, people, you’re not that important, and your conversation is not so interesting that I want to be subjected to it.

As I write this post, I am enjoying the supposed quiet of BC Ferries’ SeaWest Lounge, a supposed quiet that Cowboy has paid $20 for us to have access to. And one of the three other people in this CLEARLY posted cell-phone free/quiet zone has been on his cell-phone for at least 35 of the 45 minutes we’ve been on the boat thus far. There are nicely worded ‘no cell-phone’ postings on the door, the snack table, and every table in the lounge. Yet this man – who I’m sure is perfectly nice otherwise – feels it’s necessary to continue his conversations. And, it’s not bad enough that I have to listen to that, but I also get to placate a disgruntled Cowboy, who mutters about passive-aggressive retaliation, but so far the grumblings have come to naught except one more thing for me to ignore.

So there you go. People with cell phones are rude. Cowboy’s grumbling. And I’m ranting about it all. I guess maybe there’s enough anti-social fingers to go around.
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