Friday, August 28, 2009


why oh why can blogger not remedy their photo uploading issues so i can post this nicely formatted with photos prettily placed throughout the text?

moving on...

hot air ballooning is amazing. i had been once before (when i was in egypt and all hyped up on generic egyptian anti-malarial drugs to treat the malaria that i contracted on the coast of kenya) and had thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of floating weightlessly in the winds.

this time was no different. i woke up at 5am (which is about 5 hours earlier than i normally do. just kidding! sort of) and made myself some coffee in my go mug to drink while i waited for the pilot in a random parking lot in east calgary. (i feel it is important to mention this because somehow, someway my mini bladder did not scream at me as i was stuck in a basket with 7 other adults).

after meeting up with our pilot and fellow air ballooners, we got to 'help' set up the giant size balloon (7 stories high!) and watch science at work as it inflated with warm air. after jumping in the basket and releasing the rope tying us to the truck on the ground, we quickly ascended, leaving the streets of calgary behind to see the city with a bird's eye view.

we had taken off (do air balloons really 'take off'?) from a field in west hillhurst and the day couldn't have been more perfect for a morning of floating in alberta - there was not a cloud in the sky, the sun was bright and shiny, and there was the slight crispness of autumn in the air.

apparently, they said we were very lucky in that we had a great flightpath. the thing with floating above the city is that you really are at the mercy of the winds and you can only move in the direction that the winds take you (although you can move up and down to enter different zones of wind to change your direction). we got to fly past downtown, over mount royal, above the river, across the industrial area, over rush hour traffic, and residential neighbourhoods and golf courses.

the best part of a hot air balloon is how peaceful everything seems at that altitude. and the perspective that you see things at cannot be beat (except for perhaps if you were in a helicopter, but i honestly don't think there would be another way). it puts a different spin on existential ideas like privacy and space and it was nice to be lost in my thoughts with that view on a thursday morning.

and to think, this was for work! i still think someone better pinch me, because it just shouldn't be this easy!

view from above

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

getting some thoughts unstuck

i've been lost in my own thoughts lately and haven't been able to clearly articulate things to myself or others, but i am trying to get back on top of it. and with that, a post.

i signed the legal documents for my new nest and although it was sort of scary to think that i now have this responsibility to pay to live every month after living for free for nearly a year, i was very excited and even took a trip round the nest this weekend and reconfirmed that i will be living in one of the best neighbourhoods of this city.

yesterday i had a meeting with my bosses and it seems that although i had tucked a project away for a hiatus this summer, i still need to revisit it as much as i had hoped it would be forgotten. but the feedback i received from them in general was glowing and that put a spring in my step.

AND, in other work-related news, i have been offered a colleague's spot on a hot air balloon this week! i have been hot air ballooning once before and it ranks up there with riding in a helicopter of one of my favourite things so i am really hoping that the weather this thursday cooperates however weather must cooperate to allow for safe and happy air ballooning. and i'd also like to think that this opportunity is a result of the relationships that i have developed outside of my immediate working group and common ground found with a variety of different people around my office. so, yay me.

after a week off from running, i went back at it with a vengeance and had a great run last night. my knee feels fine today and although my hip now has a twinge, i am going to happily stay active and be thankful my knee pain didn't turn into anything more detrimental.

here is a very theoretical question i would like to put out to the universe: where is the line drawn between compromise and sacrifice? i fear that i no longer have the ability to judge this best for myself and that while i used to feel i knew, i am now wondering what fits into which category. and when does a compromise becomes a sacrifice that breeds resentment and ill feelings? i'd love a little food for thought on this one as i remain stuck in my head for at least a few more days. and because i am not exactly the world's best compromiser or sacrificer.

and, while i am at it, another question for the universe: how, if at all, do you uninvite someone to a committee that is technically open to the public?? i am struggling with this in one of my jobs and i keep coming to the ethical dilemma of whether or not it is within my role to cut someone out of a group who i feel misguides and misdirects conversations towards topics that we are not set up to address. a very cryptic description, and i realise that you probably have no clue what i am even on about here, but i am really curious with this one and i've been rolling it around in my head with all the other thoughts stuck up there, with no obvious resolution.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

paraphrased, slightly

me: i really need to start putting a full 40 hours of work in each week.

friend with great sensibility: oh no! all you must do is figure out what output people at work expect from a 40 hour work week.

me: oh yes, then do just that.

fwgs: no, you just slightly exceed that amount of work and everyone is wildly impressed, it is about outputs, not inputs!

me: of course!

a steal of a (yoga/running) deal!

one of the things that irritates me about running (and yoga, for that matter) is the ridiculously priced clothing that comes along with it. i am not sure why a simple sports bra made of a synthetic fiber costs up to $75 or why a pair of shorts can easily be over $50.

today i stumbled upon the shop called Yoga Gateway on 33rd avenue sw in calgary (near globefish sushi - delicious!) and it seems they are having a sale of all their merchandise. and it seemed that i needed a new pair of chocolate brown yoga capris with fuscia roll down waist (as if that wasn't clear from the outset of this post) so i picked up a pair for $25 and noticed that ALL their shorts are on sale for $19. i love a deal so i might just head back to pick up a few other things to go along with my intentions to get back into yoga.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

muffin top prevention

the indicator pants are back!

and they are not indicating as i wish they would. it is not really a problem because i had to purchase all new pants last year when i lost (too much) weight. and not on purpose.

but now (now!) i am not feeling too comfortable with the tautness of my denim and i am really adverse to the idea of buying new pants as soon as the autumn returns in full force (or when it dips down under 10 degrees in august!! which is totally normal.... seriously, canada).

i have picked up my running again and can safely and (relatively) comfortably head out for a 8km without concern, but this past week i felt a twinge in my knee. and anyone who runs knows that a twinge in the knee is the last thing you want to feel. and it has continued to get worse and after an examination by a certified medical professional, it seems that i need to strengthen the muscles around my joints and do a lot more stretching. having to stay away from the running has meant that i have taken my bike out and will need to diversify my fitness activities.

as i have always believed that september long weekend is the true new year, i am planning on starting (or revisiting, as it were) some other activities that will do well to keep me healthy and with any luck, prevent me from having to go out and buy new jeans...

i am prepared to find and start attending a yoga class in my new neighbourhood and have the number of a trainer that i will call with my inquiries about how it all works, including how much motivation costs. gyms have never really been my thing, but maybe i can still get those killer arms that i have always wanted with a little support from the professionals.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

found out?

i am working from home today and i am giving my laptop a run for her money, but i am happy to report that she is performing splendidly (even though her battery doesn't last nearly as long as it used to).

and in my productivity, i keep having the thought that one day i will be found out that my job isn't supposed to be this good, my supervisors aren't supposed to be this flexible, and the people i work with aren't supposed to be this awesome.

the nice thing about being at home is that i have not only made a dent in my professional to do list, but my personal to do list as well. i have put my name on a waiting list for a photography class, called my dad and left him a message so he does not think i have forgotten him, caught up on a lot of cbc podcasts, made dinner reservations for saturday night, and reorganised my running playlist. and all this while also staying abrest of my work commitments!

i think i should work from home at least once a week!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

some of my current favs

i have been meaning to write product reviews of a few items i have found and been using recently.

the first is clinique's full potential lip gloss. i have it in sugarplump and i first found out about it when a trial size was included in the spring clinique bonus set. i am not one to spend a lot of money on make-up, but i loved the way this gloss made my lips look shiny and more full than normal, so i went back and bought the full size version. love it.

when i was in thailand, travelling with my japanese canadian friend, he introduced me to gatsby oil clear sheets, thin blue sheets that come in a handy little paper case that can be used to remove the oil from your face after long days at the office, shopping in bangkok, or just the general grease and oil your face produces when you wish it wouldn't. i have yet to find them in canada (but haven't searched much, to be fair) and i have heard that there are some north american brands that do the same thing, but i bet you won't find them for the same price point as i did in thailand...

i love to floss my teeth (and have been known to do it at my desk if i don't think anyone will be looking) and crest glide comfort plus floss. the unflavoured stuff is my favourite and i feel that it gets my teeth clean, doesn't shred, and doesn't make my gums bleed like some others.

i have been encouraging my hair to curl this summer (because it is easier than straightening it and it is beginning to get long enough that it could potentially look cute with some controlled body) and i picked up a new hair care product in thailand and was happy to find it here at the drug store the other day. l'oreal's studio line extreme dirty clean paste helps my hair look less flighty and feathery the first day after i wash it, weighing down my mop top and helping it to form chunks that curl(ish).

Monday, August 10, 2009

juggling the balls

not those kind of balls, you pervert!

the kind that represent all the people that i have in my life, including a lot of friends, old and new.

i am never sure what the best way is to manage a busy social schedule and although i am not complaining, i wish knew what to say yes to, what to say no to, and how to best prioritise my time. do i set aside time for running and being active and then set aside specific time for socialising, meeting in coffee shops, going to dinner, and just catching up with friends? i fear if i were to do that, i would not be able to fit them all in. but on the other hand, if i don't start doing that, i am not sure how i will fit in all the things that i need to do for myself. and moving into the new nest might even complicate matters when grocery shopping, ironing, and more cleaning need to be done!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

from mypod to the stage

have you given Greg Laswell a listen? i have had him in my pod all afternoon at work today and i am really, really enjoying him. i have his cds Through Toledo and Three Flights from Alto Nido and i must recommend them if you enjoy other artists like Ray LaMontagne or Joshua Radin, as i do.

and another thing, do you or anyone you know have 2 tickets to the Kings of Leon show in calgary next thursday that you want to get rid of? i would be interested in taking those off your hands for a reasonable price. and maybe even a copy of one of the cds mentioned above!

time to grow up

after a wild weekend of houseboating with 17 other women in various states of career, relationship, and sobriety i feel ready to do a little growing up and put my recent past of dating, drinking, and debauchery behind me while i switch my focus to nesting, operation get fit (phase iii!), and other forms of maturity.

a year ago i was in a very similar place, but for a very different reason and it has been a rather hectic, tumultuous, and exciting year to get back here. i know you are supposed to say that you learn so much by overcoming challenges and that you are better for it, and i do believe this wholeheartedly, but if you had said that to me before last february, i would have supressed every urge to kick you right in the shins.

the truth is, i have made it here and that having a little fun along the way would not have made it nearly as enjoyable or as rewarding. and i am not about to turn into 'no fun lu' but i do think that this last kick at the can of an august long weekend might be the turning point towards heading back to where i thought i wanted to be a year ago.

maybe the universe was just telling me that i had a little more i needed to get out of my system.

and you just never do know, there might be more left in me in the future.