Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What I am Reading Wednesday

I finished Committed. As much as I have decided I don't really like Elizabeth Gilbert, I did learn some things about relationships and the nature of marriage from this novel. For example, the idea that society doesn't create the rules, but the two people in the relationship do sticks with me. I think I often get lost in what I think society expects out of my relationships instead of just focusing on what works for me and how to make a stronger relationship based on what works for me.

I am now reading Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Here is a side note, when I was a child I thought Ann-Marie was the most beautiful name in the universe. Every doll I owned, every character I played was named Ann-Marie. I think it's because the little girl in All Dogs go to Heaven has that name? And everything about that character was fascinating to me. I digress.

So Fall on Your Knees is living up to it's reputation so far. I have finished the first part and I couldn't put it down. In fact, I would rather be reading it then writing, but don't want to get into anything that I won't be able to walk away from. This book is on the 1001 books you should read before you die list. And I am super stoked that the author is Canadian AND the novel takes place in Nova Scotia! Yeah Canada!

This book was also part of Oprah's book club and she too endorsed it with rave reviews (or someone on her staff did and Oprah merely regurgitated the well-read staff member's opinions). I haven't read any fiction lately that has been as absorbing as this. I recommend this. Hurry up and read it and then comment here so we can talk about it! Or if you are in Calgary, this is the GirlTalk Event's Food and Fiction selection this month. So you could sign up and talk with me in person about it at the end of the month.

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday Stealing on a Monday

Sunday Stealing: The 35 Questions X 2 Meme: Part One

1. How far away is the last person you kissed? It feels like an entire universe away

2. Has someone ever told you they would be with you forever? Yes. I am composing a letter to Webster’s about having the defined meaning of forever altered to reflect exactly what it appears to mean

3. Last person you were in a car with? A lady from Books and Brunch. I drove her to 58th Ave

4. Any plans for tomorrow? Writing an exam in the morning. Diving in to organizing my house in the afternoon

5. How long does it take for you to take a shower? Around 10 minutes. Longer if I am feeling chilled

6. Best friend or close friends? Best Friends

7. Is tomorrow going to be a good day? I can only have faith that it will

8. Did you kiss anyone friday? no

9. Ever thrown up in public? yes

10. What's on your mind RIGHT NOW? Thoughts about question 8.

11. Who was the last person you talked to? Audra or Shley

12. What is the WORST subject they teach at school? I really enjoyed everything they taught and/or teach. There is nothing wrong with expanding one’s mind

13. Have you seen anyone lately that you don't get along with? No.

14. What is your favourite colour top to wear? Black? I don’t know.

15. Have you ever been in a car accident? Yes.

16. What's the closest thing to you that's green? The plant from the homeshow that I should water

17. Where would you like to be right now? At home.

18. Write down some lyrics to the song you're listening to? Not listening to anything

19. How many dogs do you have? 1

20. Is anything bugging you right now? Yes. But I don’t want to talk about it

21. Is life going right for you now? It has its challenges. But it has to end up okay…right?

22. Is there someone you care about more than yourself? Yes…and this seems to be the core reason for all issues. I need to start caring more about myself I think

23. What made you laugh today? At lunch, Shley was telling me a story about a fight she tried breaking up at the pizza join in St. Albert on Friday. I love my little super hero

24. What was the last movie you watched? Heavy metal

25. Whats the last conversation you had about? The Ride to Conquer Cancer fundraising efforts

26. What were you doing at 7:00 this morning? Getting out of bed to join the working masses

27. Do you like your hair long or short? Long…growing it out.

28. Do you want to see somebody right now? Yes.

29. Do you like the rain? Yes.

30. Did you have a valentine this year? No…I tried to fool myself though

31. The last person you kissed needs you at 3 am, would you go? Absolutely. The question is would he?

32. Would you honestly say you'd risk your life for someone else? I think so. If I saw someone in danger, I wouldn’t think before I rushed out to help save him or her

33. Honestly, if you could go back 1 month and change something would you? Lots. But at the same time, nothing. I don’t know. If I knew the answers I wouldn’t be in this headspace.

34. How do you feel about boys smoking? Whatevs...I feel people can choose how to live their lives however they want. But FYI boys? it's gross. :)

35. Could you see yourself with someone forever? I do and I have, but I’m possibly not his forever. It sucks.forever?

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My first sign of Spring

A couple of years ago I joined this little networking site called Myspace. I have always loved social networking going all the way back to friendster, hi5 and bebo. On myspace I received a friend request from a girl in Calgary because we seemed to have similar interests. This girl I "met" (although I have never actually met her in person -- yet) worked for The Canadian Cancer Society and put out a note looking for volunteers to sell Daffodils. I signed up, it was my first volunteer experience and it was the perfect start to a long life of giving back (for me).

Daffodil days sells bunches of Daffodils for $6. You can buy them opened or closed. The greatest thing about buying them closed is that you put them in a vase of water and overnight they open right up, greeting you in the morning with their bright, yellow disposition.

Every year since then I have volunteered with Daffodil Days. I have met some fantastic people who I was partnered up to sell with --each person bringing new outlooks to life as we sell together in little kiosks and community tables in the mall. And the euphoric feelings from helping out is a great way to start a day.
Who would have known that joining a little site called myspace would help light the spark of my passion to raise money for cancer research as well as providing me with an activity to define the beginning of Spring.

What activity do you partake in that gives you the sense that Spring has finally arrived?

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wasting Time in the Waiting Line

I am in Edmonton for work again. I actually came up on Wednesday and I am leaving today after my shift at the Home and Garden show. Yesterday I picked up these tea bag things that you put in your house plants and they are supposed to deposit nutrients or something. It was free schwag so I took them. Yesterday was also opening night, so it was really quiet at the show, today is Mommy day so I am guessing lots of little kids will be in attendance too.

I am just sitting in my hotel room right now. Check out is 11 and I don't have to be at work till noon. May as well chill here. And looking out the window I am watching the snow fall with dread. I really don't want to drive on the highway in snowy conditions to get back to Calgary.

My bridesmaid dress arrived and I picked it up at the UPS depot on my way out of town on Wednesday. I was really worried it wasn't going to fit and be too small. BUT, thankfully, it fits perfectly. I may have to get the chest taken in a little bit, but I am in the biggest loser contest at work and have been working out every day for the last couple of weeks. I may wait till the middle or late April to see if it needs to be taken in anywhere else. I also bought shoes for the wedding yesterday too. Now all I need is jewellery and I am good to go.

Also, my status on facebook this week was about whoever helped me reach my March fundraising goal for The Ride to Conquer Cancer won a prize. Canadian Saver at Saving for Later sponsored me and was the one that helped me reach (and exceed) my goal (even though she had no idea that my status was promoting a prize). I sent her something yesterday in the mail.

Tomorrow I am volunteering for the Canadian Cancer Society's Daffodil Days selling daffodils in the mall. It's one of my favorite volunteer jobs. Then Chuckles is taking me to a wine tasting at the liquor store.

This snow is really coming down. *sigh* I wish sunny spring weather would stay here already.

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What I am Reading Wednesday

So, I am still reading Committed. And I actually think this book was just another excuse for Elizabeth Gilbert to travel around the world (mostly East Asia) for another year and how coincidental it's because she is waiting to see if she can get married.

How to write an Elizabeth Gilbert Memoir
1. have a situation where life is "soooo unfair" because you don't like the rules
2. have the ability to pack up and jet set somewhere to deal with the issue instead of head on, at home
3. write a book about it

This is a totally unfair report I know. I just find that Elizabeth does a lot of whining about her life and I do too except no one is paying for me to jet around the world writing about it. One could say I am jealous. That person is right.

Right now she has been spying on monks. Young monk boys to be exact and "accidentally" read (over his shoulder) a love letter and is now hypothesizing about a monk's love life. How come in this year of figuring out marriage, she isn't just basking in her own love life? Writing her own love letters to Felipe? She is trying to figure out how they are going to get married, but I barely hear about the guy.

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Sunday Morning Bike Ride

The 5 other girls that are on my team for The Ride and I got together yesterday for a bike ride around the reservoir. I am very lucky and there are many park pathways (I think you can ride your bike from one end of the city to the other using a pathway system) in Calgary. And although yesterday was slightly over cast, it was around 10 degrees, so perfect biking weather. The Pathway is just under 20 km if you do the full loop (which we did). There was one scary part where the snow and ice hadn't melted yet and it was at the bottom of a steep hill. We walked our bikes over that part as did many of the people using the pathway. I am a little bit sore today, but still managed to put myself on the stationary bicycle at the gym over my lunch break. I am looking forward to more Sunday rides.

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I have caved....

...and joined the thousands of people who were tired of trying to keep warm and be able to use their hands. But it wasn't me that was frustrated. I could see that Molly was tired of not being able to do things while keeping the chill off. So I invested. And now we are all happy and, most importantly, warm. I am comforted knowing that Molly has her paws free without risking losing body heat. That's right, she is a proud (?) owner of her very own Snuggie!

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What I am Reading Wednesday

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Hope everyone is enjoying the Luck o' the Irish.

I finished Three Cups of Tea and was totally inspired to find even more ways to give back to society. The part in the story when Greg visits Mother Teresa's body during her wake was an awakening moment for me. I remember being in grade ten social studies when it was announced over the loud speaker that Mother Teresa had passed away (I went to a Catholic School). I didn't really think much of it then, but realize now how much that little woman impacted the world. All by opening her heart and helping those in need. I am going to start opening my heart even more and helping those that need me even more.
I am now reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, her follow up to her memoir Eat, Pray, Love. I enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love immensely the first time I picked it up. I was in a place in my life where I wanted to escape and find myself and here was a woman sharing her story about escaping her life, living amazing adventures in three different countries and finding peace within herself. I can see how many people might find Elizabeth Gilbert whiny and annoying now in that book, and I know that running away is not always the most logical solution. I borrowed her second book from a friend to see if it would shed any light on how I can build a better relationship with someone I love.

I just started it last night, and Elizabeth and Felipe have been informed that in order for him to live in her country, they will have to get married. Can i just say something here? How come she expects him to move to her country, because her family and life are there. What about his family? His life? There is something about Elizabeth Gilbert I don't think I like.

What are you reading this week?
I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fighting Cancer

So obviously this bicycle ride I am preparing for is about raising money to help research cures for cancer. And yes, it can be fun to organize ways to raise money, and train with team mates, but I should reflect for a minute about why I am doing this.
I remember the first time I "learned" about cancer. I was 8 and a boy in my class was battling cancer. I don't know what kind and all I remember learning was that he would be away from school a lot, he didn't have any hair because of his treatment and that we couldn't catch anything from being his friend. I'm sure it wasn't any easy thing to teach 8 year olds about a disease that still makes no sense to me 20 years later. The boy had to stay behind that year due to missing so much time and my classmates and I went on to grade three. That following year, cancer won and he never made past the second grade.
My parents had a good friend in the neighbourhood and she battled cancer as well. I was 12 or 13 when she passed away I think. It was the first time I ever went to a funeral. It was also the first time I ever saw her in peace. She didn't look tired or ill anymore, she looked peaceful. I wish she could have had that feeling to enjoy life.
In September of 2008, my best friend lost her mom to cancer. There is nothing worse in the world then seeing your best friend's heart shattered and not having a way to fix it. Her mom had courageously fought cancer for years. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to lose your mom so young.
I am doing this ride for the children, the moms and everyone else out there that has been affected by this cruel, unprejudiced disease that takes life from all of us. I dream of a day when I have children and they won't have to watch friends or family battling, suffering, or dying.

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What I Am Reading Wednesdays

Sorry this is a day late. Yesterday was my birthday and I spent most of the day reading birthday cards and facebook wall posts.

I am still reading Three Cups of Tea. The school in Korphe is completed and now Greg Mortenson is director of Central Asia Institute and looking for off beat places in Central Asia to build another school. He chose a very remote part of Pakistan that was isolated from the modern world. I have to edit this when I get my book at home as I can't remember how to spell the name of the area. Anyway, he doesn't speak the language, the people are wary of Americans and Greg ends up spending 11 days locked up as the people figure out if they are going to kill him or not. I was worried, but because it is a memoir, you kind of know he isn't going to die which takes away from the suspense. Greg is also now married with a daughter and spends his time going back and forth between his American life and his Pakistan life.

I am hoping to finish this book by the weekend. What are you reading?

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Good Karma Present Arrived :)

So, as I previously mentioned, I participated in Kaileen Elise's Good Karma Gift Swap. Suzy at 30 before 30 List sent me an amazing Karma Gift.

Let's look at what Suzy sent me, shall we?
A beautiful butterfly day planner with post it notes and blank calender pages so I can keep organized
A cake cook book! I am so excited to use this...I may even try a recipe tonight!
An air freshener that smells like fresh cut grass...bring on summer smells into my house :)
And two mini bottles of rye for celebration!

This gift arrived the day before my birthday which makes it even more exciting. I am seriously going to make one of the cakes to share at work tomorrow. And maybe even crack open some rye while I am doing it.

Thank you so very much Suzy for an amazing present! I wish there were gift swaps every month. Picking out my present for CityGirl was so much fun and receiving a present from Suzy was even more fun! Thank you Kaileen Elise for organizing this amazing activity.

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here


Today I read a post from Thinking out Loud that resonated with me (to be honest, most of her posts lately have resonated with me), and in the comments was the following quote:

"Fear is created out of love by your own mind to protect you from pain.

Fear pretends to protect us from harm when it is actually robbing us of our passion for life.

Freedom doesn't mean having no fear. It means acting in spite of your fear.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

I am not sure who wrote this quote or what book the commenter found it. I just know that as soon as I read it I realized that in many ways I am waiting in fear and nothing I want is magically going to happen if I am too afraid to take a leap. Today I am taking a leap. Maybe I will feel worse, hopefully better, but at least I will feel something different. And I want to feel something different.

I am participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you would like to sponsor me, click here

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Whirl Wind of a Weekend

On Thursday, my friend and I signed up for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. This is a 200 km bike ride that takes place over 2 days (June 26 – 27 this year). Each rider has to raise a minimum of $2500 in order to participate. We start training this week and I am looking for a spin class to sign up for as well as I will be taking my bike out of storage to start riding every where I go (probably even to spin class).

Thursday night was First Thursday which is an event in Calgary where the art district stays open later, there are discounts and many free events, and it’s a great way to see what’s new in the art community. I had two girl friends meet me at Fashion Central where we checked out the new venue that hosts local, Canadian and hard to find designers. We enjoyed a glass of vino in the cafĂ© then walked down the street to Art Central where we met up with two other girlfriends for another glass of wine in the Bistro. Two of the girls had to go home, but three of us decided to continue on to beat Niq which is this great basement jazz club. There another girl friend of mine joined us for some live jazz. It was the Sneak-a-peek to my Birth-Week celebration!

To continue on with Birth Week Celebrating, Chuckles and I headed up to Edmonton on Friday night where we shopped, dined, danced and had a great girl’s get away. Driving home on Saturday wasn’t too bad considering how much fun we had the night before.

Yesterday was my final snowboarding lesson. We learned how to turn from heel side to toe side down the hill. I practiced after my lesson for a couple of hours and today I am feeling it. My knees are a beautiful purple colour, I have ice burn on my right fore arm, my thigh is also coloured and my entire body is stiff. It was worth it though, because now with practice, I can tackle a mountain! I think next season I will sign up for another 3 week clinic to work on smaller turning as well as keeping my body more centred.

My birthday is on Wednesday, so I am sure there will be more nights out this week alongside my beginning to train for The Ride.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What I am Reading Wednesday

I was blog hopping (or lurking you might say )this afternoon and discovered Lola's Girl's blog. She just started a feature today called What I am Reading Wednesday where she shares her literary adventures with the world on (you guessed it!) Wednesdays. I love to read. I am in two book clubs and working on a degree in English for the fact that it allows me to read with a valid excuse (for example: sorry, I can't do the dishes, I have to read this novel for my class). So I let Jozen know (author of Lola's girl) that I am borrowing her idea.

Right now I am in the midst of Three Cups of Tea. It is the selection for this month's GirlTalk Events Book and Brunch. The synopsis is that Greg Mortenson wanted to climb to the top of K2, one of the world's highest and most difficult mountains. He never made it to the top, but did discover a town (Korphe) where he was inspired to build the townspeople a school. I am only halfway, but really enjoying it. I feel inspired to find some sort of cause or start a project where I am really giving back. I felt this way too after I read Push a couple of weeks ago. As there is only signs from the Universe that could be described as coincidence, maybe my inner voice is screaming at me to get out there and start giving back. I just don't know what project or cause to help which is paralyzing me in a sense (I know, bad excuse).

Anyway, every Wednesday I will be updating you on What I am Reading. Play along, leave comments, and visit Jozen's blog who inspired this series.

Also, City Girl received my Good Karma Present from Kaileen Elise's Good Karma Gift Swap and blogged about it! Check it out! I check my mail box every day in delightful anticipation and wonder who had my name.... :)

Hello March

Gretchen at The Happiness Project wrote about Aiming High this month. This is my intention for the month. I plan on achieving all of my scholastic goals and then some. I plan on using my time more appropriately (which means I am cutting my facebooking down to half an hour at most the entire day ---could mean 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there). I plan on working hard on my fitness goals.

Speaking of which, I joined the Biggest Loser competition at work. Everyone paid $20 and who ever loses the most (percentage wise) by the end of May wins 2/3s of the pot. Second place wins 1/3. I don’t have a lot of pounds to lose (maybe 10), but I am worried about the bridesmaid dress I ordered online not fitting. I would much rather have to take it in, then not be able to zip it up. I have committed to walking to and from work every day (20 minutes each way), giving up cafeteria and fast food (therefore bringing my own lunch) and hitting up the employee gym 3 times a week. This weekend I am going to Edmonton to shop, so will look into purchasing cute work out clothes.

Finally, March hosts my birthday. On the 10th, I will be 28 (!!!). I am excited to start a new year in life and make better choices towards the person I want to be. While I was snowboarding last Sunday, I realized that going down the slope was a lot like life. I am going to fall on my face (and butt), but the only thing I can do is get back up and continue boarding down the hill. No one else is going to pick me up; we are all too busy navigating our own boards. With this idea, I feel stronger and more in control of my life and my future.

I hope everyone has a great month.