Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year

2009 has started off cold, snowy and windy. But that's nothing new for us, plus it brings us together. And not just in the sense that we have to huddle together to share body heat and keep from freezing...

It gives friends and strangers alike an instant conversation topic. People love to talk about the weather. Anywhere you go, commenting on the weather will instantly ellicit theories, facts and fables from people. If you have nothing else in common with someone, a nice weather talk can unite the most opposite personalities. Weather, and bad reality tv shows... find someone who secretly watches the same junk you do on tv and loves the same bachelorette/ survivor/ idol/ Ben Mulroney... (does anyone love him?) that you do, and it's a lifelong friendship! But that's a whole other topic.

The theories I've heard about Winnipeg weather are that the cold makes us stronger. It makes us hardy to go out in -41 degrees and have your eyelashes freeze together. I've also heard it makes us healthier. I don't know the science behind this, but sucking in that cold winter air does make me feel better. So it seems a good way to start off a new year- getting stronger, healthier, all without a gym membership. I know it makes me stay in a lot more in the evening and possibly watch some of the fine reality programming currently on. So if nothing else, it will give me some good water-cooler fodder.

Here's to a character building 2009! and may the best "True Beauty" win...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rubber bands round my soul

For Christmas one of the gifts I wanted and got (thanks Geena!) was a memoir called "Hurry Down Sunshine" by Michael Greenberg. Thanks to some car "trouble" at the lake Christmas Day I got trapped out in the wilderness (or warm cottage with a crackling fire) for an extra day (a christmas miracle, really), giving me lots of time, in between marathon games of Trivial Pursuit with the fam, to read read read.

The book is written by a 15 year old girl's father about her sudden psychosis, how it all unravelled, and how they tried to piece things back together. Mental health has always intruiged me, how someone can be ill without any outward signs. Even the experienced doctors in the book have no real answer as to why these things happen. Brain chemicals, neurotransmitters... but no one seems to know what sets things off down the road to some mental illness. It sounds like it may be a depressing book, and it kind of is, but I can't stop reading it...

As I was out for a run yesterday I went past the psych ward at St. Boniface and thought about people spending their holiday there. Personal experiences make my heart break when I think of things like this. It is a horrible feeling to love people and see them sick, yet not be able to fix it with a cast or antibiotics. At the same time I sometimes wonder what's the fine line between any of us breaking down. Ane Brun sings: "I wear rubber bands round my soul... they keep me from falling". When I think about it this way it makes me want to treat everyone with a little more kindness, a little more love, and a little more gently. A rubber band can easily snap, and although we are strong and hardy folk (to see people bustling about in -40 windchill proves this), we are also a delicate mix, our hearts pumping through hundreds of tiny vessels, keeping our souls held together.

Ane Brun: Rubber and Soul- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF92Q884ezE

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sweet Lil Gal

I know that right now I should be probably be discussing Christmas or some holiday-related topic. But between working 7 days a week and staving off a cold I haven't had a whole lot of time to get into the spirit of the season, besides the rushing around part of it all. The most Christmasy thing I did was sing in a small choir at a Christmas concert at church... Amy Grant...Breath of Heaven.. if you know who she is I needn't say more, because that moment made up for the lack of other festivities going on!

Yet I am still getting quite excited that tomorrow is Christmas eve, family gathering, swedish meatballs, family broomball showdown after dinner. Plus, the 25th is a day off... try to wrap that under the tree, Santa!

Totally off-topic, and what was on my mind when I began writing this entry was a song that made my morning. Not that I'm complaining, because I do sound like quite the whiner right now... trust me, it's all good, but I haven't had time or made the effort to crack out the Christmas cds this year either. Apart from some Elvis Christmas (which, by the way, is a fantastic album!) and Sarah McLachlan at work I haven't heard much. So this is just a song that is not related to anything, but is still wonderful, as Ryan Adams always is.

(Still trying to figure out how to link, you'll just have to copy and paste if you really care enough to hear the song).


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Popsicles on my nose

I have been a fairly neglectful blogger in the last while. Considering it's been -40something outside and my eyebrows freeze into a very attractive icicle unibrow when I spend more than ten minutes outdoors, it seems I should have lots of time to sit at the computer and share my brilliant thoughts with the 2 people who actually read this blog...

But alas, I have been taken in by season 7 of Gimore Girls on DVD. For the last week every spare minute has been taken over by my obsession with watching this show. I ignored the bank, grocery shopping, and possibly even personal hygiene. And today I finished it... hence, the reason I am sitting here typing, trying to distract myself from the gaping hole the end of the show has left in my heart.

I'm just not ready. I still have at least 3 months of winter left... I have decided the only cure for this is to find a new show I have never seen, preferably one with at least 5 solid seasons, which I will rent one by one, and watch non-stop while consuming copious amounts of banana bread and tea.

That, or I could shower and sweep the layer of dust off the floor...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

one of those days

it's one of those days... and not in a bad way.

a morning full of people i love telling me they care for me.

hugs from sweet old ladies i hardly know (i'll take a free hug anyday!) followed by hardy handshakes from their husbands.

buffet lunches full of german meat (even i can appreciate this every now and then) and a dessert to my dessert.

snow that makes me feel cozy and safe driving in the car across the city with d.

sitting in a dark apartment with my craft sale heating pad, a grey sky outside and ipod singing me the songs i love on shuffle.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Go Team Go!

The rest of the world is parked on their sofa, eyes glued to the Grey Cup, nachos, dip and beer filling the coffee table. I am sitting at home, the sound of Mark Kozelec filling the apartment, pumpkin seeds toasting in the oven, sipping tea.

Part of me wishes I was one of those people who paints their face with team colours, who jumps up, chip crumbs flying out of my mouth as I scream for the touchdown, full of wings and booze. To be part of a society which is joined by the love of one team, a football family. Tomorrow at the water cooler the plays will be dissected one by one, and I will have nothing to say. (well, there is no water cooler where we gather at my work...)

Being part of a community, whether it be football or otherwise, gives a sense of comfort. It gives me a sense of purpose, and when I feel I am active in my community and contributing to our puropse (like cheering on a team) I feel most happy. To be part of a community is to feel needed, and that you belong. I think most of us are driven by this desire. To have someone to gravitate towards when we enter a new situation, to find like-minded strangers who easily become friends through our common interest. Being accountable to a community also keeps us in line when we feel ourselves begin to flounder. Sometimes we are more involved, sometimes less, but just the act of showing up and sitting amongst people we know think the same way we do is huge for me, and can take me out of myself and see the bigger picture.

So if anyone else out there is not watching Team A kick Team B's butt tonight, maybe we can start our own little club. I've put on the kettle and I'll be waiting for your knock at the door anytime.