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Showing posts from June, 2013

Halfway Day: A Quiet Holiday

I had an idea on Thursday: one of the better ones I've come up with recently.

Tomorrow (as of this writing) is June 30th. And at midnight on June 30th, we are officially halfway through the year.

This deserves celebrating. So I'm declaring it a holiday!!


The kind of holiday where you drink slowly in the twilight hours, on your deck, or in the yard, at the beach or around a fire. You talk with your friends about the best and worst of the year this far, and what you hope for the next six months.

No loud fanfare, no countdown to midnight or fireworks (we have the next day for that, here in Canada, or a few day wait for my American friends).

A holiday for the introverts and overthinkers among us, a chance to celebrate and regain perspective and anticipate the goodness in store.


Care to join me?

Color Me Rad: Call It Progress

Where to begin?

I am trying to do things that I may (definitely) not be good at instead of waiting until I am magically perfect before attempting any sort of anything where others may see. Example: ultimate frisbee. When I started last summer, I was by far the worst player on the team. Now I'm just mildly the worst player. Improvement! Progress! Growth!

(hurrah for me)

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One time in Vancouver, I signed up for a 5k run called the "Turkey Trot." I jogged a few times, and planned to do it with my lovely friend Wendy, and then I got a migraine the night before, and had a terrible sleep and felt ill and didn't run. Although this was disappointing, it was also a relief. It is the closest I've come to a "race" of any sort since junior high track and field, where I am fairly certain I never placed better than last.

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People often think I am athletic, because my limbs are gangly and scrawny. This is not the truth. Mostly, I have avoided sports out of insecur…

Things I've Done Recently

Once upon a time, a very thorough career/personality test told me many things about myself. Scary accurate, rather helpful, occasionally annoying. One of the suggestions it made, which I have been slow to adopt on account of how it makes me feel "needy," is that I would benefit from keeping a list of "recent successes" to encourage me in "emotionally difficult times." (I am inserting those quotes as remembered phrases, being far too lazy to walk upstairs and find the report and quote it accurately).

This week has been an unexpectedly "emotionally difficult time" for no particular reason, apart from being unemployed and impoverished. So I am sharing some phone photos of "recent successes" (things I did/made) in the hopes that it will remind me that I'm mostly awesome. And so you can also get excited and maybe do some of these things, if you're into doing things.


I bought this satchel for $2 at a garage sale. Dumped out the bird…

Reading in 2013: A Recipe for Bees, The Virgin Cure, I Remember Nothing

Folks, I'm falling behind on my book recaps, and I bet you're all desperately sad. (note: sarcasm) Here are a bunch of recent reads:

I picked up A Recipe for Bees by Gail Anderson-Dargatz because of how much I had enjoyed The Cure for Death by Lightning.

Of the two, I prefer Death by Lightning, but the Recipe for Bees is not without merit. It is, in some ways, Stone Angel-esque. The protagonist, Augusta, reflects back on her life as she ponders the meaning of a vision that seems to indicate her death is approaching. She remembers other moments of "second sight" and walks through the difficult years of her marriage. She is sharp and honest, demanding and insecure - like all of us.

I imagine that I will face my own aging and mortality, failures and insecurities much like Augusta does. What I'm not sure is whether I like her for it, and by extension, whether I will like myself. At the end of the day, it's a decent read, and my heart is soft toward Augusta, and …

Playing Frisbee in the Rain

Last night, I played ultimate frisbee in the rain.

1 hour and 45 minutes of rain.
Pouring rain.
Wind too.
Did I mention the rain?

I am a bit of a rain wimp, and as I stood shivering on the sidelines between shifts, I vacillated between two thoughts:

Thought #1: I am winning. I am amazing. I am in the rain and I am not dying.

Thought #2: Why am I doing this? Why am I shivering in this cold when I have a warm, dry home? What kind of macabre self-torture am I putting myself through?

At the one hour mark, I said to my teammates, "I don't know if I can finish this game." I said the same thing ten minutes later, and ten minutes after that, and then maybe every 30 seconds until the buzzer went. We lost by a wide margin, but I got a ride home and was grateful for the warm shower waiting for me there.

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You all know I'm prone to reflection, and I've been thinking a lot this past week about loved ones who've been sailing rough seas for quite some time. I imagine thei…

Reading in 2013: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Dang.

After my last "book report" about how beautiful I found The Winter Vault, I hesitated to start a new read; how would anything be half as good?

Then I picked up this book: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safron Foer.

I opened it knowing only that it was about a boy who lost his father in the Twin Towers, and had been made into a film that was considered not-as-good-as-the-book. And really, that is all one needs to know. 

But it is so much more than that. It is the story of three generations, of love and loss and secrets and space and the way family is intertwined, for better or worse. It is surprising and wrenching, and a little bit magical. The tension was too intense for me at times (in the best way possible), and I found myself needing to take small breaks, setting the book on my lap, reminding myself to breathe, and sipping on iced tea in the sun.

Another highly recommended read, particularly if you like inquisitive children, WWII history, the idea…