Archives for the month of: January, 2011

I’m not counting the flight ‘cuz I don’t sleep very well on planes.

When I went to London I was the only person awake besides the flight crew. They were really nice about it, kept offering me things and asking if I was ok.

I was ok and I didn’t want anything. Except water. And to read my book.

Complete fail to get a net book bag – the net book is a little bigger, perfect for my eyes, but bad for getting cute accessories. Instead I got a little back pack that is “theft-proof“. Ok, “anti-theft”.

Great tip, so thank you to the person who suggested it, you know who you are.

House is clean, just going to do a last-minute vacuum.

So, I think I’m taking too much stuff. It looks like a lot of stuff. I keep trying to figure out what not to take. I turn it into a game – “Survivor: The Suitcase Edition”.

Stuff ends up being this mix of gear-stuff (why I am bringing chop sticks, do I think there will be a shortage? And seriously, what is with the solar power radio/flash light/cell phone charger that is also works when you wind it up? Where do I think I’m going? What do I think I’m going to do there?) and urban stuff (I can live without my little black dress, I just don’t want to.)

And yes, yoga stuff.

Ended up getting two books to sustain the practice – pocket-sized and a “normal” sized book that has more poses and suggests movement series.

Goal – to stay healthy and strong on the journey.

And not to pull anything.

Feeling ethically compromised. I got a cell phone.

On the up side: it works and I can get the invoices emailed to me.

Down side: it is a cell phone.

Speaking of which, has anyone tried out the new WordPress post by voice thingy? I got the number and my “super secret PIN”, but I’m not sure how much people want to hear my voice.

I mean, I dislike my voice when recorded, why would anyone want to hear that?

Still…

One more sleep. Still some oddities to take care of in the am. Wondering if I can get packed before heading out for the bits and if I can catch a movie in the afternoon. There isn’t much happening around this place and now I’m afraid of making a mess…

Whoa.

I’m really.

I’m really doing this. For real.

 

 

 

 

The 3 x 5.10-s caught up with me – right shoulder a bit tender again, needs some tender loving care. Other muscles just want to relax.

Yoga was hard, hasn’t felt like this in while – anything arms left me failing and falling. Balance poses = wobbly.

Bid farewell to my yoga instructor and got some pointers about taking the practice on the road.

Promised I would bring her some rocks.

I’m meeting more and more people who are into rocks. Yeah, I still sometimes dream about them. I dream about small rocks growing into mountains and climbing them. I dream about the rock gripping me back and holding me safe.

Hope I’ll be able to find some good ones for her…

Cleaning house and packing continues. Still some odds and ends to pick-up on Monday, but, yeah, I’m pretty much done. Everything just has to go in the bags.

Friend came over and we worked on some of the world’s problems and secrets of the universe – I feel pretty confident about the path we are on.

The baby was very active – is very active. Elbow here, foot there – her tummy kept shifting about.

My only regret about leaving now is that I’m missing the baby’s arrival. It hurts to know what I’m missing, but happy that I have a vow that no matter the time, I will get a communication.

I’m so excited! I gave the baby a few things, something soft and cuddly and something colourful and artistic. I hope the baby likes them.

My friend gave me things for my Adventure! A plushie bookmark – it is pink! – an anti-water bottle – I now have two Vapur water bottles! one pink, one blue! – I should also say that I want two, the water purification tabs work when you’ve allowed any sediment to settle in the water and means that you have to decant before using the tabs.

She also gave me a paper pad, with holder and pen. With three refills!

I feel like all the people in my life are trying to keep me safe and give me very useful things. In accordance with my ethics and interests.

Turns out I’m not so mysterious.

I think I should probably add the tag “random messages from the universe” to the list. Seriously, this is what my cookie told me after lunch today. And we all know how much I respect messages from cookies.

Thanks for the message, fortune cookie! You were also quite tasty…

I’d like to get a job writing fortunes for fortune cookies.

Climbing: 6 climbs: 1 x 5.8, 2 x 5.9 and 3 x 5.10-

So, we are getting back on form. We gave a final 5.9 a try, I couldn’t swing to get a left-hand hold. My left arm kept not-swinging enough. Sometimes I can swing and sometimes I can’t…so no go.

Still.

3 x 5.10-s. Not bad. We haven’t been able to do that in a long time.

Final climb for the time being too, so we go out on a good one, many victories and one failure to keep us wanting more, wanting to try again and get it next time.

I’m taking my shoes and harness with me. You never know when an opportunity to climb something will come up.

For lunch we celebrate Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) by going to Madarin. One of my guilty pleasures. We indulge in the sin of gluttony. I stuff myself with har gow, which is easily one of my most fav foods. I am always reminded of that time my ex’s dad brought me a pile of it and they were all shaped like little bunnies!, they looked at me with their little eyes and I ate them up.

Then, MEC.

No gear this time, only travel stuff.

Ok and I still really hate shopping.

There has to be some way to grow the things we need…

Home and my brain is still a bit…wonky from the climbs. My eyelids are heavy and the shower didn’t wake up much.

Dinner with my bro, sis-in-law and niece! Yay! So very happy they had time for me before I’m off.

Colder again today, so I should probably dry my hair. Also, the curlier it is, the more my niece likes it…

Final Friday.

Critical moments, sobs over-take me. Cards, more prezzies (meaning more off my shopping list – thank you!!), phone calls, surprise visits and lovely emails.

Yeah, I cry.

If you were me, if you felt how I feel, you would cry too.

I’m leaving home, I’m leaving people who love me, love me, love me.

More importantly, I love them.

I carry them with me. With me, with me.

We go together.

Yes, stayed late at work – last-minute details, things I forgot! I forgot things. I know I’m going to wake up at 3am and need to send an email “One more thing…”

I’m going on my Next Great Adventure.

I keeping thinking, feeling, misquoting, John Guare‘s Six Degrees of Separation: “…I am Columbus. I am Magellan.  I will sail into this New World.”

It feels like I’m going into a New World.

So the Great Work begins…packing.

Books first. Four.

I leave Aristotle. Leave Foucault. Leave Freud – was there ever any question? Killing me – leaving all Vonneguts. Leave all plays. Leave both Hoffs – ouch. Take Watts,The Watercourse Way – in being true to myself I become a sterotype…Leave graphic novels, ditto all Pratchetts. Light fiction stays. Take Inquiry into the GoodNishida. Only fitting, right? Also been 3 years since the last read, so it is time for another go. Leave Nin and all cookbooks *sigh*. Take What the Buddha Taught – I am a stereotype!..Take Becoming Bamboo by Bob, you never know when you will need a friend. Leave Saul.

Create a new page based on conversations and ideas with you and you. Re: book lists. Yeah, you too.

I dither over The Mysticism of Music Sound and Word.

Remove and discard packaging from gifts – who knew that this travel stuff came with so many throw-aways?

Considering what to pack, what to carry. I have to fill carry-on containers.

Doing laundry.

Ignored the world last night and did some work on the Flickr stream and the old blog. Why are my albums not working in Flickr? How are people supposed to know when they are looking at Havana and when they are looking at London?

*sigh*

I’ll go lightly and put things down as often as I can. I’ll carry those I love with me.

Can you imagine me? Climbing Saturday, Yoga Sunday and Last Minute Stuff Monday and then…poof! I’m gone.

Magical, mystical me…I’ll stretch out time and make the nanoseconds count. I’m making the nanoseconds count.

Climbing in the am and there is so much to do!

I think. I think through this whole thing, I think my heart grew a little. It made some more space.

My heart is growing.

 

Another day, another that ended with me in tears at my desk.

Received a lovely “good-by, we’ll miss you” card from the awesome guys and gals at head office. Everyone signed it and took a moment to give me a good thought and their best wishes.

I hold good thoughts for them too.

My bags are partly packed!

Unfortunately, they are the bags under my eyes.

Oh, that I could be one of those people who doesn’t have fear or doubt and to whom things come easily.

I’m not one of those people.

The change is painful, the Becoming is painful. I know, I know – perseverance, right?

I think of the Zen Buddhist monk who said to me “Perhaps your lesson is to learn perseverance?” I agreed then, I agree now.

Have to laugh a bit too, when I think of that – I was the only one he suggested I had something to learn from the pain of sitting. Everyone else, he nodded and said “Yes. It is painful.” Me – I have something to learn from the pain.

Ok, ok, I become someone who learns perseverance.

My brain is still downloading. The knowledge coming out it…hurts. Next time I need to download some knowledge, I’m just plugging in via the port to my brain.

I don’t have a port to my brain.

I should probably get one. I could download all sorts of things!

You could get one too and then we wouldn’t even have to talk to have a conversation.

Only.

I like talking.

So never mind.

The Last Day – Friday.

When I have a Last Day at work, usually I like to make a little speech.

Here is my speech:

Look, I hate good-byes and you hate good-byes. Everyone hates good-byes. They suck rocks. So instead of saying good-bye, lets just pretend that today is an ordinary day at work and not say good-bye at all. At the end of the day, I will leave and, as always, say “Have a great week-end! See you Monday!” but we will really know that we won’t see each other Monday. We can meet at the bar and have some drinks and pretend like it is just like every other time we get together and have drinks. I want to leave smiling. I want to see you smiling. No matter how we are both breaking up inside. Ok?

Not sure how common it is to love the people you work with. Me, I don’t want to be around people I don’t love. I love the people I work with – they are funny, interesting, intelligent, filled with awesome ideas, have solutions to problems, creative, funny*, witty, lift me up when I’m feeling down, they create space for me to be the person I am and welcome me with open arms. They are tolerant of my quirks and return my emails and phone calls promptly. They have amazing taste and have opened my eyes to so much. They have helped me in times of trouble, allowed me to lean on them when I’ve stumbled, picked me up when I’ve fallen, helped me through my failures and doubts. They “get” me. They encouraged me in my inquiries and encouraged my passions. And so much more.

They have changed me. I like how they’ve changed me.

I’m lucky, I’ve been very lucky to have these people in my life.

Lucky too, ‘cuz I carry them with me. Where ever I wander, where ever I roam**.

*Yes, I realized I listed “funny” twice – I work with a lot of people who make me laugh.

**And, yeah, I totally and shamelessly ripped off a Disney song for that last sentence there. I expect to be hearing from Disney’s lawyers anytime now…

 

 

Coincidence: I am “ok to bend” too!

Knitted water bottle holder for me in the package.

It is beautiful – my friend chose a lovely purpley-pink colour, I think of raspberries. I love it, it is soft and strong and fits perfectly across my shoulder. It was completely handy for toting my water bottle from climb to climb tonight.

Getting something knitted in the mail makes me feel so very loved – my gram used to send me knitted things in the mail and a few times, so did my mum.

I don’t feel that my friend is either acting as gram or mum to me – it just makes me loved and so very secure and this is the best way to explain.

Business idea: Let’s sell made to order knitted water bottle holders.

I don’t knit, so I will take care of the sending stuff, you can knit.

Yay!

Of course, if I were a smarter person who was less tired, I would take a pic and put it up on the new Flickr account. I’m pretty dumb and very tired, so we have to wait – you will love it when you see it.

Incredible Useful on The Adventure.

Climbing: 6 routes = 2 x 5.8, 2 x 5.9 and 2 x 5.10-

Both 5.10-s = best ever (for me) – couple of rest stops, but no big falls, my feet were working tonight and did the cross-overs smoothly and the fingers were gripping just right.

I’m giving off “Talk to me” vibes.

Today, in the lunch line, everyone wanted to tell me things, ask me things and discuss things. Fun things, funny things.

Tonight everyone said “hello”, one person recognized me from one of our regular brunch places so much I was asked if I go there – I do – it was our fav waitress! She climbs! How cool is that? I knew I liked her for a reason.

Another climber chose tonight to ask me all about how the climbs went.

Chatty cat = me.

Second last day of work coming up. Killing me to leave – I feel like I’m just about to have a couple of really good ideas…this is problem, yes, letting go of things we care about to do something else we care about = dilemma.

On the upside: I’m so tired right now that I’m forgetting to be afraid.

Another upside: It is nice to have a break from the fear.

Also an upside: It is almost sleepy time!

At this rate, I will have no brain left.

People keep dropping by, inviting me to meetings, asking me for answers and generally requesting to “pick my brain”.

It is quite flattering.

And kind of worrisome. I mean, I use my brain almost daily for stuff!

I like to think of myself – ok, I don’t actually like to think of myself, allow me to rephrase…I like to think that I am the kind of human who readily shares information and ideas. There is something interesting about someone who gives knowledge freely and ideas to others – to make connections between people.

Leaving gives a different perspective.

Re-introduce people who may have lost touch or never been given a formal introduction. Give some ideas that I’ve waited to ripen. People, suddenly, have extra time for me, time to sit down, hear what I have to say, listen to a few new ideas and be re-connected.

Am I most valuable as I walk out the door?

Is this willingness to show urgency a fault of mine in not sharing more information and solutions and making those re-introductions as I go?

I think I do this, I like to do this. Exciting things happen when people get together.

An hour at the gym and organized putting the membership on hold. Today is a day where I’m charming – the gentleman helping me put the membership on hold for longer than he allowed. Go me and thanks very much!

Tried my best to convince my yoga-buddy to make it to Sunday’s class – we are both flying out on the same day! She is going somewhere warm. I am going somewhere. Our flights are hours apart, so no change of bumping into each other. I’m charged as a messenger if she doesn’t make it to class.

Shopping after the gym – I have things in the house to eat! (Beside Bonus Cookies – did I tell you I found more Bonus Cookies – seriously, there must be an inter-dimensional portal where they keep coming in.) I was getting down to the nitty-gritty. Even got some soy milk – water is great in the mornings, but I missed the soy.

Is it a faux pas to wear a red and white polka-dotted underwear and bra set with a white and black houndstooth dress? Or just a fashion crime?

This bothered me all day long.

(I feel very Canadian when I wear red and white.)

(Stop imagining me in my underwear.)

In other news – something odd is going on with the political landscape of Alberta. The Premier is stepping down and isn’t running in the next election – he is afraid that some ultra-right-wing party may personally attack him and take power.

I laughed my brain to bits when I heard him say that.

‘Cuz like…he is a member of “some ultra-right-wing party”!

Just – there are parties that are further right than his!

Man, Alberta, I shake my curls at you in disbelief. You have one of the strangest political landscapes around this place. No party should be in power for 40 years. Not one that is “democratically elected”.

I do miss the mountains, though.

Not the bears, but, yeah, the mountains.

You know, I feel like a bit of fraud. (I have a few things to tell you about fraud – all over the news yesterday, more on that another time.) All these people keep telling me how brave I am and how smart and whatever.

And I’m not.

I’m just me.

Trying to do my best at this thing.

Failing sometimes.

Other times failing not quite so badly.

This thing about the trip – it isn’t brave. Brave would have been to do earlier, when I originally planned. Doing it now is…weird. I mean, I feel weird about it. I leaving a lot of things – friends, family, job I love etc. etc.

What am I thinking?

I’m thinking – I don’t want to let fear stop me from doing things, fear doesn’t control my life. I’m human, I have free will, I can choose. I exercise my free will and make my choice.

Ok.

See, how I talk myself through that? Clever, yeah?

As I’m getting self-congratulatory I know it must be bed time.

Wednesday – plenty to do and then fighting gravity. Gravity always wins, but the fighting it is fun.

Hey – I wonder if there is a way to vote new words into the WordPress dictionary so they don’t come up as spelling errors. If someone could design an ap for this, we could sell it to WordPress for like…some amount to be determined later. I get 15% ‘cuz it is my idea.

 

 

Coincidence: Commenter noted that as I have camera now, I have “no excuses” not to take pics while I’m away. (Hi Nicole!) I also received, at  exactly the same time, an email Re: No excuses

Is the universe trying to tell me something? If so, why is it sending me emails? And how did it get my email addy?

I just think that if the universe had something to say to me, it would call me up and explain, you know, give me an opportunity to ask some questions, get more detail, that sort of thing.

Except my number is unlisted, so perhaps that explains that.

Ok, so, “no excuses”.

Excuse me.

Climbing, climbing, climbing. 5 routes = 2 x 5.8, 2 x 5.9 and 1 x 5.10-

5.10- took me forever and three days. Wrong-footed all the way up. Ugly. But I got up and back down.

Decided enough was enough and it was time to perform some miracles – no more good-byes. I turn the “good-byes” into “drinks when I’m backs” which is far, far better. I like drinks. I like friends. So, friends with drinks – is there anything better?

Plans when I get back also helps me feel less…disorganized about the whole thing. I mean, how disorganized can I be if I have plans for when I’m back?

Things that make my future bright.

Perhaps I should have a “Welcome, I’m home” party.

Happy that I’m not losing touch.

News: more snow. I don’t have an outside window where I work, so imagine my surprise when I had to clear the car! Also, I don’t work where I live, so the weather is different (some say “lake effect”, I say “aliens”.) More snow where I live compared to where I work.

No time to shovel – there are walls to climb!

Between climbing, shoveling and yoga my arms are killing me.

What I need is someone to hire, put on retainer like, to come along and shovel the snow for me.

Ok, what I really need is someone with superpower-heat-beams to come along and melt the snow for me.

Alright, alright, what I absolutely, totally need is someone who has the superpower of controlling the weather to come along and make it spring for me.

I am willing to pay a small fee.

What happened: After climbing, had to scurry home to shovel (hurry up and shovel, what are things coming to?). My train = delayed. 25 minutes. Ok, ok, remain calm – it will be here eventually, there is somewhere not as cold to wait, there is light, I have water with me. My crossword puzzle is done, but that is a-ok, I can re-read one of the articles, keep my mind alert so hypothermia doesn’t set into my little brain cells.

Train arrives, we go one stop and – you guessed it – express to a train station far, far beyond my destination.

I’m starving. End up buying a giant pretzel and sandwich for dinner. Nope, no greens happening here, sorry. Do you know how hard it is to find broccoli stems for sale at a train station?

Perhaps this is a good business idea for someone. I’d call it “Greens on the Go

I get a 15% profit share for the idea and name. Thanks.

Home an hour late. There is still the drive to shovel.

So I begin. Say hello to a neighbour and he makes a remark about me shoveling. I ignore, I’m doing some serious shoveling here, no time for chit-chat!

He comes back and helps me shovel the rest of my drive.

I have the best neighbours. If not for this kind soul, I would still be out there, in the cold, snowy land, shoveling my little heart out.

Thanks neighbour, you rock my socks. And your little toddler is super cute.

Upside: It is supposed to get warmer on Tuesday!

Downside: It will still be winter.

Upside: Today someone on the radio said “snow eater” – this is one of my favourite phrases in the Canadian language.

Hey, someone on the radio just said “high brilliancy”. I have no idea what that means, but I’m going to try to work it into a Tuesday conversation.

 

 

 

Ongoing preparations for the trip – today, lists and setting up the netbook with bookmarks, preferred software etc.

This is my first post using the new netbook-friend. Still don’t know the password for the home wireless, so using the traditional hook-up. Oh well, as long as it works.

Yoga as Sunday always – what a class! Very difficult but felt great. Yes, that was me saying I wanted to work “everything”, mentioned that the climbing was good yesterday and – there is always this funny moment of silence when you say “climbing”. Ok, when I say “Climbing” – I think it because I give the impression that there is a lot of things that I do, but climbing isn’t one of them. Perhaps I don’t give the impression that I like struggling against gravity?

Anyway.

Lists are lovely – I’ve made a little booklet, so I can flip through it to the list I want.

Hmm.

Yesterday’s shoveling happened today – my shoulders could use a rub. So if you see a masseuse looking lost, please send them my way.

Not much else happening. The keyboard is about 85%, so getting used to the new size – lucky for me, my fingers are small.

I mean, if you need small fingers, then I’m lucky. Had a bit of trouble initially with set-up, kept adding French characters instead of punctuation marks, no worries, fixed it! Sometimes it helps to click on buttons.

Haven’t done either dinner nor ironing tonight. Must be slipping.

My toes are still cold from shoveling earlier. Why would any human want to live somewhere where it can be -20?

 

It isn’t powdered sugar.

It is snow.

Again.

What happened here?

It snowed.

Climbing – 6 routes. 3 x 5.9, 2 x 5.9 and 1 x 5.10-

Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Made clearing the car off very interesting, especially reaching up to clear the roof – ow. In the am I will shovel the drive, again. And then off to yoga.

Shoveling is killing my climbs and yoga. I’m going to start a petition to demand this weather stop. Immediately.

I’m not sure where to send it.

Man, Canadians are just not happy unless we are talking about the weather. Sorry for living down to the stereotype.

Brunch at our fav sushi place – yumyum – excellent and super friendly as always. Free soy beans too. They didn’t even let us order, the waitress smiled and said “I know what you want.” We agreed and said “Miso soup too please!”

Oh yum.

After, visit with two of my fav humans.

What an incredible afternoon-evening. These friends are a couple of my fav people to spend time with. Always learn a few things, always get calm perspectives, always laugh and feel good. That we are all so lucky to have friends like my friends. I wish everyone in the world to have friends like mine.

You can’t have mine. Find your own.

More tears – got some gifts from friends from work who are in other locations. I think someone must have ESP or can read my mind or at least read my shopping list…received a few things that I needed to pick up for the Adventure! Four less things to buy!

Wow.

Did I tell you today how incredibly lucky I am?

We split some new bubbles, so it looks as though that resolution is back on track. I really should write down the names of the bubbles – I can’t remember what they were…hmm. Nope.

Late lunch/super early dinner at…some really awesome restaurant. What was the name? I don’t know! It was excellent. We split some grilled calamari – yum! Is calamari aliens? It looks a little like aliens. I don’t mind, just if I’m eating aliens I’d like to know.

I have the Calabrese Salad ‘cuz I’m still working on eating more tomatoes and cheese, another resolution. I had greens on the side, before you ask.

Main – duck with a side of risotto. Oh, heaven. The duck was  perfect medium rare, why was I asked how I wanted it cooked? Don’t you always have duck medium rare? That confused me, but, you know, nice to be asked. The risotto was lovely, excellent that it kept the warm the way a risotto should.

Risotto. Risotto. Risotto.

I just like saying it. Risotto.

My friends both had fish – she, the halibut – he, the red snapper. Took me a moment to figure out which of the three I liked best – we all had a bite of the other’s.  Seriously Good Fish, perfectly done on both counts and seasoned just right.

Ok, I liked the duck best. I don’t get it very often. Feels decadent.

Used “I climbed this morning” as a good enough excuse to have desert. Strawberry something or other – not the real name, sorry. Lovely. Light, light white sponge cake with some strawberries and creamy filling. Perfect way to end.

I forgot my scarf at the restaurant!

I found my scarf at the restaurant! It was waiting very patiently for me to return to collect it. I have lost/forgotten this scarf ten times now and every single time it comes back/waits patiently for me to find it. Quite incredible. This scarf is one of my best friends. I think it may be an alien.

Would’ve loved to stay there to finish off another bottle and sleep in the guest room. Yoga in the am prevents this kind of behaviour. Too bad for me. One of these days I will. When I get back.

So.

Can’t wait to see them when I’m home!