Thursday, 29 September 2011

Eyes Wide Open

The light is always gold this time of year. Have you noticed that? And when you look into those Midas rays, the air is alive with bees darting from sapped flower to sapped flower, hunting the last dregs of pollen; the leaves are being gently shaken from the trees like a lady ruffling her skirts; chestnuts are falling; acorns are dropping; shadows grow longer.

I hold my hand to the sun and shield my eyes, I spread my fingers wide, and let this soft gold warmth seep through my cracks and fill me with light

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Yesterday I shouldn't have.

But I did.

I woke up to the sound of every anxiety, every responsibility, every clenching worry lasciviciously whispering in my ears. Demanding I pay attention to them. Forcing me to my knees in the shower because the burden of shouldering that disquietude was too heavy that day.

So I left.

I took a day off for myself when I really couldn't afford to do such a thing.

Such a selfish thing.

But I did.

With my book and a bottle of water I headed to the one place in Bern that feels like it belongs to me. That no matter where I end up in the world, I will always be able to call forth this one location that helps my mind stop its restless wandering. In the gardens of the Muenster I stretched out on a green high-backed bench and submerged myself in that effervescent buoyancy of this autumn gold. I honked with laughter over my book, I listened to conversations around me and tried to pick out familiar words, and I closed my eyes to try and let the light tunnel through those dark places of my mind.

As I sat alone, an older man enquired in jovial French if he may share my bench with me. I can't understand French, but I imagine that's what he was asking me as he made a sweeping gesture of my seat. I nodded and pulled my knees up to my chest to allow him room on the bench, then I resumed reading my book. He removed his suit jacket and brushed the seat before carefully laying his jacket over the bench and sitting down. His laced feet tapped with a nervous rhythm and I felt irritated that he'd infringed on my needed solitude.

He began speaking again, but I shook my head to let him know that I didn't understand him. And of course, he then broke into stilted English, because don't let anyone tell you otherwise: everyone can speak English over here.

"From where are you?" his raspy voice asked.  The breeze ruffled his thinning black hair, and his tanned wrinkled hands were clasped together as his foot still tapped.

"I'm from Canada," I replied in a voice more clipped than it should have been.

"Oh! It's cold der. Der it's very cold. Yes?"

"Some places, yes," I agreed, "and some places, no."

"Yes, Canada is very cold. I have two...TWO," he shouted louder than he meant to--holding up two fingers, "coo-ZINS living in Canada. Two coo-ZINS. Yes."

"Oh." Then I averted my gaze back to my book hoping he'd leave me alone.

"Canada is big, no?"

I'm ashamed to admit that I let a sigh escape before I responded. "Yes, it is very big. Very, very big."

"Land is big, bigger than America. People is smaller."

"That's right," I acknowledged. Then he dug around in his satchel and pulled out a notebook and shuffled down the bench to show me. In his book he had recorded countries in descending order of land mass,  Russie of course being at the top of his list and Canada in second position, with land area recorded next to each country.

"Here," he said proudly, "Canada." He pointed to my country's dimensions and I was really baffled by this random list in his notebook, and looked into his brown eyes for the first time. 

"Why do you have this list?"

"Hmm?" he asked, smiling brightly. "I not understand."

"This list, are you a teacher? Are you studying geography? I'm just curious."

"I sorry, I not understand. My English, I just learning. I not teacher, I watch...watch...masker. Rolex." And then he tapped his watch to point to me that he makes watches.

I sat back against my bench and looked at this curious, curious man who apparently makes Rolex watches and carries around notebooks with random lists including (but not limited to) countries arranged by their descending order of land mass.

"You know Rolex?" he asked, confused that I didn't seem to understand.

"Oh yes," I said. "Very nice watches."

"Yes. Today I in Bern to learn." Then out of his shirt pocket he unfolded a letter on official Rolex letterhead, written entirely in French, and passed me the letter. "I learn more about watch masking today."

"Your letter is all French to me," I joked, handing it back and forgetting to be annoyed. He didn't understand the joke.

"Here, you like this Switzerland?"

"Yes, I like Switzerland very much. It's very beautiful."

"How you say? How you say? Bee..."

"BEE-u-TI-ful," I enunciated.

"Beez-u-tea-fil," he beamed. "I learn English, I learn English." Then from his satchel he pulled out another notebook and showed me pages and pages of handwritten grammar that he was trying to learn. He handed me a pen and the notebook, and without asking I added 'beautiful' to his language lesson.

"Tank you. Tank you." Then he stood up and carefully picked up his gray suit jacket and brushed off a fallen leaf. "Now I must go."

I looked up at him and shielded my eyes to the light. "Have a nice day," I said.

"Oh tank you! And please, you...you..must have a beez-u-tea-fil day. A beez-u-tea-fil day."

And my entire being smiled.

I felt light.

Light, in all its connotations.

A wish for a beautiful day, which really is such simple thing. I thanked him, and he returned my smile. Then he shuffled away, out of the park, and I guess back to his watch making seminar. Or where ever it is that letter was instructing him to go that day.

Beez-u-tea-fil. Beez-u-tea-fil.

I studied my hands, cupped them to receive a pooling of that flaxen glow, and spread my fingers wide. I tipped my head back and opened my eyes to the sky, to the bees, to floating leaves. The light cannot tunnel through the darkness with closed eyes. They must be open.

Because the light is beez-u-tea-fil.

And comes in so many forms.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Let The Great World Spin

The first night that my sisters and I were in Vancouver we enjoyed a three course meal at a really great restaurant, and it was a steal of a deal. Along with our main course, we also had some wine. Two glasses each.

Two generous glasses each.

But still, two glasses each.

At the end of the meal I was feeling al-riiight. The night was warm, the sky was dark, and we decided to avoid any pubs full of grubs in favour of strolling along the seawall. Meghan kindly switched shoes with me so that I could stumble along in flats instead of my teetering wedges, and we headed down to the seawall where we saw a wedding taking place, where we watched the twinkling lights of the boats bob up and down in black glassy waters, where we spied on a couple huddled together on a bench--who, for the record had more enthusiasm than their surroundings deemed appropriate--and we spent time looking at window displays in overpriced stores picking if we'd rather have this or that.

As we were getting closer to Canada Place I glanced up at the window of a tall rise and noticed that reflected in the glass was an image I had never seen before in person. In fact, unless you are crazy smart, a chimpanzee, or one those unfortunate Russian dogs, I didn't think this image was something anyone could see in the flesh without first having to be, um, out of the flesh.

Now as you'll remember I was a teeny bit pickled at this point, so staring at the reflection of something I thought I'd only ever see if I was on my way up and out really freaked the shit out of me.

This is what I saw:

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Guys, it's the EARTH.

After staring at this, the following thoughts went through my head in the space of one to two seconds:

Am I alive?


What the F-----------------------------CK!


Ahhh!!!

I'm so confused.

What does it mean?

Aliens?

It's the earth.

Earth, what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at home, in space?

If you're not home, am I home?

Aliens.

I'm not hero material. I hope no one needs saving.

How do I play this cool?

Do I ask Meg and Ais about it.....?

"So, girls. Um, I don't know if you can see this too, but what the heck is the earth doing in that window reflection? Am I right? Like, um...okay."

"Yeah Caitie, it's a reflection from the giant globe hanging in the conference centre across the street."

"The conference centre? Giant globe," just play it cool. "Yeah, of course. Wicked cool. I was like, wha??? before that. You know. But then I was like, nah. You too? Maybe?"

The answer is no, they did not think this. I believe I was the only one who thought for a second that the earth had 'left home' in order to shine in a tall rise window.

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No, I did not excel at astronomy if that's what you're wondering.

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Conference centre.

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THE EARTH.

So yeah, that's what apparently happens to me on two glasses of wine in a city of mind games.

Sorry about accusing you of leaving us, World. You do a great job, spinning around up there.

As you were.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Murphy's Law Is Always Binding

Remember my stolen ring?

How I was ranting and rolling about it?

I bet you didn't know that after I'd gone back to the coffee shop--and it was confirmed that it wasn't there--I exited the shop and stared into space with a lost expression on my face before I wandered up to the store where I'd bought the ring in the first place; I was hoping an exact replica might exist.

One did not.

Instead I looked at some other rings that were sort of like my lost ring, but not exactly. The proprietor of the store asked when I'd lost ring:

"Oh," I sighed, "about an hour ago. Maybe it's weird that I'm in here trying to replace it so soon. This must be like when a dog dies and the person can't handle the loss so they rush out to buy a puppy."

Then the proprietor looked at me with a wrinkle in his brow before gently saying, "Um, I actually don't think it's like that at all. I'm sorry, but I don't."

"Yeah," I wistfully agreed, "you're probably right." Then I trailed out of the store lost in misery, still completely oblivious to what a dumb f-cking analogy that had been. I mean seriously: a stolen ring compared to the death of a beloved family pet?

Nice one, Caitie. You are such a wordsmith.

Then I got a couple of steps away from the store and anger seized my shoulders and shook me until my teeth rattled. SOMEONE STOLE MY RING. So I raced back to my parents' house, fired up my laptop, and let loose a very cathartic stream of conscious typing in which I liberally pulled the tab on the f-bomb and let it fly with abandon into my blog post.

I bet you didn't know that some members of my family *coughdadcough* were very disappointed with my inarticulate use of that four letter word.

I also bet you didn't know that two days after the ring was lost, I went back to the coffee shop hoping someone might have turned it in and it could be on my finger before I returned to Switzerland on Monday.

Still nothing.

So I considered it lost to the universe.

Then yesterday I opened up an email my friend had sent me titled "YOUR RING!!!" It has been found! In fact, to be accurate, it was at the coffee shop this entire time. Can you believe it? What had happened is someone turned my ring in, and the employee who accepted it stuck it in an envelope, put it in a drawer, and in the rush of the day-to-day never told her co-workers that it had been turned in. So when I immediately went back to the shop, they didn't know it was there. Then when I went back two days later, the staff still didn't know it was there.

And sometime last week, a drawer must have been opened, the ring remembered, and a sign went up in their window advertising it was found (whatever, I never left my contact details. I was traumatized, okay? And clearly, per my dead dog vs. lost ring analogy, also loosing a grip on reality). And thus we stumble across the beauty of small communities: my friend was walking by the window, saw the sign, went in and identified the ring, and Mom picked it up for me yesterday.

Oh Universe.

I still stand by my f-bomb blog post though, as everyone knows the bigger the scene you make decrying one thing, it's guaranteed that Murphy's Law will want to prove you wrong. Thank-you Murphy's Law for always being such a reliable pain in the derriere.

And thanks to you too, Universe and good Samaritan.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for proving me wrong.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Wildlife Photography v. 2.0

When young whipper snappers are your subject, the key to a successful photo shoot is bribery. Shameless, shameless, bribery. I am quite comfortable recommending this because at one point, light years ago, I too used to be a little whipper snapper and I played the bribery card game like a Vegas poker champ.

Listen Sears photographer, if you want me to crack a grin for your camera and look at that parrot hand puppet, you better deliver on your promise that there will be lollipops at the end of this day. I have places to be and trees to climb, and I don't bust out this baby-tooth smile for just anyone.

So even if my childhood was light years ago, I still distinctly remember that when pictures were concerned, the promise of tooth rotting candy, gem sticker earrings, and/or plastic jewellery was key to making me the sweetest of subjects. And oh, I could be sweet. In fact, I could have given those Toddlers and Tiara babes a run for their money if given a chance to have walked the pageant stage; fortunately, I didn't have a mother who suffered from such low self-esteem that she needed total strangers to tell her that her kid was best in show in order to feel some measure of worth.

So instead I dazzled the Sears photographer and earned lollipops and sticky earrings. Now given that I remember how key the end-of-day treat is, it's unfortunate that when I was doing the picture shoot of Jana's family I failed miserably on my bribing item of choice.

The Sunday afternoon that we picked for photos was hot. In fact, let me repeat that:

HOT, TOTALLY HOT, I SHED TEN POUNDS OF WATER WEIGHT, DID I MENTION IT WAS HOT, BECAUSE OMG IT WAS SO FREAKING HOT.

Yeah, it was warm out. And when we were driving up to the intended shoot location we were all (adults and kids alike) sticking to our seats and feeling quite uncomfortable. I tried to insert a bit of breeze into the day by telling the kids that I had a fun treat for them when we were finished taking pictures. Their excitement was palpable, and with the exception of baby Colt, I felt proud that maybe the combined efforts of Jana's treats and mine would guarantee sunny smiles.

The girls were an absolute dream--so well behaved--and I was excited to give them their treat when we were half way through the afternoon.  Well Internet, my treats for the kids were some chocolate eggs and a chocolate bar, and it wasn't even the good kind of bar like a Mars bar or Wunderbar. It was a solid bar of Swiss chocolate.

When I lifted the chocolate bar out of my bag I knew instantly that my treat was a fail. First of all, kids aren't all about the solid chocolate; that's totally an adult thing, and how could I have forgotten that?! So when I lifted out the chocolate bar the girls only looked sort of excited (Who can blame them? Chocolate! Gawd, I can't believe I've become such a lame adult!) but Camille still made a motion to investigate the bar. But then Jana announced, "Don't touch it! Don't touch it! It's way too soft, it has to go home in the freezer!"

Well, have you ever had three sets of eyes look at you in abject disappointment?

It's brutal.

Not only was my chocolate bribery treat super lame-o times a hundred, it was also liquefied by the hot desert heat and they couldn't eat it. Good thing that's why Jana's the mom and she brought a tub of jelly bugs to be eaten.

Day = Saved.

But little baby Colt, well he was another force to be reckoned with that day, and not only was he not impressed with my bribe (well, he's a bit young) it's very fair to say he was not impressed with me. Period. End of story.

You see, Colt and I unfortunately toddled off onto the wrong foot earlier that day when I got to Jana and Trent's place: Jana had to run upstairs to grab one more thing before we left, Trent was around the back getting the dog, and Colt and I were left alone on the landing. All it took was one full look at me, a quick look over his shoulder to double check that yep, he was alone with me, before his 'stranger danger' instincts kicked in and he was a sobbing wreck.

Poor Colt, but I'm used to it. You should see how people treat me when I dare enter the Globus in my hiking boots and crummy jeans.

For the rest of the day I had the most difficult time getting him to look at me; I think he believed that ignoring me meant I didn't exist, and really I had to respect his panache. I mean, how many times have you ever been to a dinner party and you ended up being seated next to someone you can't stand? Wouldn't it be great if we could all just burst into hysterical sobs and let it be known we don't like our seatmate and WE WANT TO GO HOME NOW.

Why do we have to grow out of that?

Luckily for Jana and Trent, their beautiful little family isn't growing too fast as all the kids are still in that adorable 'blunt honesty' stage, and I loved every minute of our day together.

Here's a peek.

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64122(a)

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I feel really lucky that Jana asked me, for the second year in a row, to capture this moment in her family's story. I'm not a photographer, the light changes so fast I hardly ever remember to keep up with it, and I actully don't know what I'm doing or how to direct people, I just really like taking pictures; I love being able to freeze one second for a thousand. And though the results don't due her family justice, I am grateful that for one day I got to be a part of it all: be a part of the heat, the juice boxes, the lame-o chocolate meltdown, the gummy bugs, the smiles, and the laughs.

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Because this family: they laugh.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Pictures Du'Jour

I am currently living life like a narcoleptic.

It's not as restful as one might imagine it to be, but rather sort of irritating. Since splashing literal cold water on my face has been useless in jolting me out of my stupor, today I decided to do a proverbial splashing by going on a long walk.

Instead I found a really comfortable stump to sit on and rested there for awhile with my head lolling on my knees, trying to gather the energy to make it back home.

Jetlag sucks, but this is ridiculous.

I can't muster up the enthusiasm to say anything at the moment, though I have lots to say, so here's a few very interesting pictures taken during my last days in Kamloops.

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Dog in water.

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Dog shaking off water.

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Bird in tree.

I'm off to get the mail now.

There are three flights of stairs I have to traverse. I think I better tie a rope to my waist leaving one end tied to my door knob, so that when I collapse under the mailboxes some kindly Samaritan will know which door I belong to and will drag me home.

At least, I hope they will.

It would be so embarrassing to fall asleep under the mailboxes with a rope tied to my waist, and no one does anything about it.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Truth About Travel

So I'm back in Switzerland, but you didn't think I'd make it here without a story or two to tell, did you? Because that's just not possible with me for I am the human equivalent of an ant trap: irresistible to problem pests.

It's true. How else do you think we ended up with Cosmo?

The travel day I just had was exactly twenty-four hours long as that's how long it took from when I boarded my plane in Kamloops until I finally opened our apartment door in Bern. The travel time is normally supposed to be sixteen to eighteen hours, including layovers, so needless to say when I got home I was essentially a cesspool of gross; in fact, I warned Dan that I was so gross he may not want to give me a hug or kiss. He proceeded with caution, but then basically tossed me under the shower in full agreement that yes, I wasn't at my best.

I should have known that the day wasn't going to go as planned when on my flight from Kamloops to Vancouver one of my fellow passengers said just loudly enough that in 'x' hours he would be lying butt cheek naked on the beaches of southern France. Oh yes he did. And he wanted everyone within the vicinity of 5A to 6D to know about his holiday plans because he mentioned this tidbit about three times before we took off. He was a nudist! Though obviously at that moment he was a fully clothed nudist. Yet it wasn't the idea of his nudey holiday that I found the most cringe worthy: it's how lame he was. Oh great, you're holidaying in the nude so that means you probably don't have to worry about suitcase weight restrictions like the rest of us; how fab that you don't have to spend time planning what outfits you're going to wear. Good for you. But in the meantime, do us all a favour and just be cool about your plans because a plane full of strangers really doesn't care that you're going to be nude in France (isn't Europe just one giant nudist colony anyhow?), the fact is we're just embarrassed by your social awkwardness: we've all seen HBO dude, none of us care you're going to be naked on a beach. Stop trying to shock us. It's weird.

So yes, Neil the Nudey was an interesting way to start the day, but the guy on my Toronto flight who told my seatmate to pee her pants because he wasn't going to get up to let us into the aisle was the real charmer. The girl and I exchanged a glance and whispers of "whaaaat?" before I rested my forehead on the window and felt a wave of exhaustion roll over me. Where have all the normal people gone? I know you travel because I've met you before, but why are you never sitting next to me on planes?

Why?

When I landed in Toronto I had to book it to my connecting gate, but the trouble with trying to book it through a Canadian airport is it's full of Canadians:

"Oh gosh, go ahead. Please, I insist."

"Oh I couldn't, you go ahead please. It's alright, I can wait."

"Are you sure? I don't mind, please go ahead."

"Really?"

SHE'S SURE. SOMEONE JUST MOVE OR LET ME THROUGH.

By the time I reached my Zurich departing gate, I was a sweaty and late mess. Good thing the plane was just being announced as delayed by an hour. Then that hour came and went, and we were allowed on the plane.

Then we sat in the plane for an hour and a half.

Then we had to get off.

At this point it was 11 p.m. in Toronto, and we were delayed three hours while they tried to fix a circuiting issue with the plane. In an effort to keep us passengers from loosing our mother effing minds, the airline told us to present our boarding passes at Tim Hortons to get ten dollars worth of food.

How nice.

An entire jet load of people standing in a line-up waiting to be served at a restaurant chain notorious for its extravagantly slow customer service. I stood in that line for two hours, and I was lucky to have even been served. A lot of my fellow passengers never even got any Timmy's before they were calling us at 2 a.m. to reboard the plane.

By the time we boarded, I was done.

Originally I was supposed to be seated in the middle of the plane next to a family of three, but I spied two unoccupied seats and like a wolf snarling over a kill, I snapped at the ankles of anyone who was eyeing up those seats and claimed them as my own. Then like a total a-hole I stretched out and kicked off my shoes.

My London funk shoes, which are still extremely funky.

But I did not give a damn. I was tired, homesick, and my heart was racing from having consumed a large iced cappuccino in under three minutes. I spent the entire flight reclining my seats, putting them in the upright position, reclining them again, tossing and turning like an alligator in the throes of a death roll, and kicking around my blankets and punching down the provided miniature pillows, hoping to make them comfortable. To put it mildly I was totally annoying and I think the people behind me hated me.

Then when I hit Bern it was to discover I was arriving in the midst of rush hour traffic, but do you think I paused a moment to take a breath and try and behave like a normal human being? I did not. I wheeled my suitcase over people if they got in my way, I wouldn't move for a mother pushing a baby carriage, and when I got off the bus at my stop I straight up pushed my through a pack of teens who were loitering around and were probably up to no good anyhow.

I was one of them.

I was a sweaty, stinky, socially deranged freakshow.

Everyone says travel opens up your mind. That it makes you a better a person. Those are all lies. I think holidaying does the above, but travel does not. The only thing that travel does is make you extremely annoyed with your fellow man, and likewise extremely annoying, and the problem is when you short circuit, you can't take a three hour delay where spa technicians get to massage the problem away.

You have to keep moving.

But people in front of you won't want to keep moving.

And people behind you won't get served any Timmy's.

And your seatmate would rather you pee your pants than have to stand up.

And someone in your vicinity will just want to be nude.

And you just want to be at home.

And you won't be able to take it anymore.

So you short circuit and just think, "Whatever, I DON'T CARE ANYMORE. I won't see these people again. I'm going to be a d-bag who hogs seats and lets her stinky feet hang out, gassing everyone around me. I'm going to be a jerk who has two suitcases so thinks it's okay to not move out of the way of a mother pushing a baby stroller. I. don't. care."

And then your fellow passengers will go home and write in their diaries or on their blogs about the insane woman with the gross feet who was in the seat in front of them, who whipped her chair into the reclined position while they were still eating dinner. Damn it! Where are all the normal travellers? Where? And why are they never seating in front of them on planes?

And the person beside that person will go home and tell her grandkids about how loudly the guy beside her played his music through his headphones and she doesn't understand why people need to listen to music that loudly. Isn't he worried about going deaf? Where are all the normal travellers?

Etcetera, etcetera.

The truth?

There are no normal travellers.

Only pissed off pilgrims just trying to get where we need to go.

We'll be nicer tomorrow when we're lounging by the pool sipping pina coladas or after we've woken up in our own beds.

It's best if you get to know us then.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Temporary Local

This past Labour Day long weekend, my sisters and I took a break from all that labouring we do (toiling in the fields, milling our own flour, scrubbing floors with bars of lye, beating out carpets with rolling pins) and headed to Vancouver for a couple of days of fun in the ocean sun. As I leave fair Canada on Monday, this weekend was also one last jubilee of good times before we have to part for an unknown period of time.

Let's not even dwell on that subject.

Because I already have, and I may or may not have cried. Then phoned Dan, and he may or may not have been worried and made me enter into a verbal contract wherein I promised that yes I would board all flights that are to carry me to Zurich next Monday.

But back to Vancouver. Have you ever been? Isn't it beautiful? And does anyone but me note that its population is a bunch of healthy hippies? Because Vancouver is probably the only city in the entire world where you will ever go to a hot dog cart, ask for a casing of unidentifiable meat slapped on a mediocre bun with a squirt of mustard, and you automatically receive a whole wheat bun with the option to have seaweed served over your organic dog.

Seaweed on a hot dog is weird.

Also, are 'organic' hot dogs even possible? Does that mean that the hot dog I just ate is comprised of discarded meats that have been tossed into gold buckets instead of scraped up off a factory floor? And then organic fairies sprinkled marketing dust all over those meat scraps, kissed them for luck, and sent them into the world?

Oh Vancouver, you are pretentious in the best way possible. Because let's face it, all cities have something about them that shouts "I'm better than you" and the voice of Vancouver just happens to say, "I drink wheat grass, abhore gluten, and only eat foods produced within a 100 mile radius of my composting toilet." And you will be powerless to that voice and you will love that voice, because Vancouver is a rare diva who is beautiful both inside and out.

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And if you can, you should visit.

Vancouver is a city of people who wear athletic gear under their power suits, so if you go try to become a local: take a shot of trendy wheat grass, eat the seafood, try that free yoga class in the park (let me know how it goes), and take more than a minute to meditate and let your lungs fill with ocean air.

But don't, for the love of processed food, eat seaweed on your hot dog.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Ranting and Rolling

Listen, I am pissed off right now and I'm so mad that I'm not even going to try and clean up my language. My beef isn't with a telephone agent, my blood isn't boiling because I feel I didn't get decent customer service, and I'm not simmering because of some in-a-rush-asshole who cut me off in traffic; what I'm seething over is a question about what is happening to basic fucking human morality.

Why the line between right and wrong has been kicked to shit in the sand and people are dancing all over it with absolutely no regard for their neighbours; their community; the strangers who've they've never met hence aren't important.

Fuck 'em.

Because isn't that what everybody says when they can't see the face of the person who's getting that sand kicked in their face?

This morning I was downtown with my parents at a local coffee shop. I used the washroom while I was there, and when I washed my hands I removed a ring that I was wearing and set it next to the sink. Do you see where I'm going with this?

About an hour and a half later I remembered that I'd forgotten to put the ring back on. I rushed to the coffee shop hoping that my ring was either (a) still in the bathroom, or (b) someone had turned it in. Unfortunately I ended up with option (c) some inconsiderate piece of morally questionable trash pocketed my ring instead of doing the right thing and leaving it where I left it or turning it over the counter.

That ring was something I had saved up to buy before moving to Switzerland; it was a statement ring that I had kept one eye on for months and absolutely loved, and I am heartbroken right now that someone kept it. That they saw my ring sitting on the counter and decided finders keepers losers weepers.

This isn't me moaning that I dropped my ring in the street, and who knows where it is. I know exactly what I did with it, I know exactly where I left it, and deep down when I was going back to the coffee shop I knew that my chances of option (c) being a reality were far greater than (a) or (b). The coffee barista was bothered when I told him that I had not held out a lot of hope for someone turning the ring in.

"It's unfortunate you felt that way."

"Actually, what's unfortunate is I was proven right."

I know everyone reading this is thinking I would have turned that ring in. I would have. So do it. The next time you find something that doesn't belong to you, prove me wrong. Don't pick option (c).

It would be really fucking nice to be proven wrong.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Home, Home On The Range

Since I have been posting, it's obvious that dear Jana did not kick me into next week despite my shameful complaining about not being able to sleep in past 9 a.m. on a Saturday. Let's be honest though, when we met up on Sunday to take pictures of her gorgeous family, it was far too hot to exert any sort of effort beyond reaching for the ice tea (wherein I mistakingly downed Trent's instead of my own, and accidentally said a bad word in front of the kidlets when I realized my mistake), and I maintain that might be the only reason I'm here in the present.

But that could all change, you see last night I got a very desperate email from my fair friend demanding that I get my act together and send her some pictures of our Sunday family photo shoot. Never one to deny a friend, I managed to send her two whole pictures before the little elves that deliver emails went on strike and refused to pass on my other messages.

I was very stressed about this.

So Jana, this one's for you. Here's one more picture from our Sunday photo shoot.

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I know, I'm so generous (and terribly mean). Now you really have to let me stay in the present if you want the rest of your pictures.

See you Tuesday.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Communication

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Dan and I have had a lot of experience spending big chunks of time apart. It's not easy, it's not ideal, but we power through because it's the only option. And the key to making time apart work, is honest communication.

Exhibit A: 

"Sweets, when do you get back?"

"Aw Dan, you miss me."

"Do I ever, I'm starving. Last night I ate a tin of white beans for dinner."

"So to clarify what you actually miss is...my cooking!"

"Umm...."

We're making it work people, one honest conversation at a time.