Monday, March 28, 2011

vote compass

i am sure there will be detractors somewhere that will say that this is unscientific or overly simplified, but i think that the vote compass on the cbc website is one of many tools that we can use during this election season to figure out who we are going to vote for.  if we didn't know before.

i did the questionnaire and wasn't terribly surprised with the results, but what i loved was that you can go through your answers and see where you compare to each of the 5 federal political parties.

there were a few of the questions that i had no opinion on and a few that would have more weight in my final decision, but i think that this is a great tool, especially if you are wondering who will get your vote this may!

let's get voting!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

getting serious?

not sure what my globe and mail horoscope refers to, apart from the person i am semi-stalking on twitter!

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 - Feb. 19):
You seem unable to decide whether to get serious about a relationship or whether to keep it at arm’s length. You will have to decide one way or the other by the end of the week, but for now just keep thinking.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

what a weekend

with weekends like the past two i have had in calgary, i could be convinced never to leave the city.

my weekend started a little early with a shopping trip that ended with new sweaters, a dress i can wear to a stampede festivity this july, tights that remind me eerily of my figure skating days, new fashionable belts, a few little things for my future niece, and a feather for my hair.

i got to try out the new kol3 in kensington for vietnamese crepes and iced coffees with a good friend i met through my current job.  and we followed it up with a cold beer at molly malone's to continue our conversation about all things relationships, career directions, house shopping, women's rights, office gossip...  not sure that we solved the world's problems, but we certainly had a great time catching up.

saturday morning was chillier than i had hoped, with spring shyly poking its head around the corner this past week, so after running back into my house to add a layer, i headed out for a lovely morning run.  even though there was some pesky ice on the pathways, i had a great run paired with non-stop chatting with a dear friend facing some pretty daunting challenges at the moment.  more listening than talking on my part, but that was just fine.

i headed out to my neighbourhood pub on saturday evening with a new chum from work to see a local band play.  the band was pretty medium, but the company and laughs were pretty awesome.  getting a taxi home at the end of the night when the snow started falling, not so awesome.

and today, a day of phone calls and catching up with friends far away and family nearby was followed by some comfort cooking.  after stirring and stirring and adding and adding liquid, i created a most delicious risotto paired with homemade pesto that i whipped up in my food processor (without cutting my finger this time).  i needed some time in the kitchen to relax and forget momentarily about the state of the world, which was weighing heavily on my shoulders after following the stories of cote d'ivoire, japan, libya, yemen, bahrain, and haiti on twitter and the news this past week.  sometimes having a constant stream of information can work against your sanity and sense of contentment and if there is a silver lining in this cloud it is that i am getting better at recognising when that is happening to me so i can take a step back.  and that is what i did tonight with fantastic results and a lot of leftovers!

the need for distance and perspective is at the heart of my intentions in giving up impatience for lent.  it has been a good practice thus far and i have not only recognised when i begin to get antsy or worrisome about my future, but have reminded myself not to allow that anxiety to creep in and that if i really want to worry, i can do it in a few short weeks.  reshaping my thinking around my future and how i can get so anxious about it has also helped me appreciate what i do have.  the grass might be greener for me elsewhere, but it is pretty damn green where i am right now as well.  and having a weekend full of pretty wonderful friends is part of that.

Monday, March 14, 2011

wherein i use a few caps

ever since i woke up on january 1, 2011, i have felt a change a'coming.  i have no idea what it will be nor when it will come, but i feel ready for it.

going to new york inspired me to get my arse in gear to get out into the world again and find something else to to for a little while.  to not be afraid to leave the comforts of my home town again and to explore a little more, knowing that there is a whole lot of awesome to come home to anytime i choose.  the beauty of an economy fuelled by a commodity-driven industry that is on the up once again, i suppose.

i cleaned out my closets, giving away a bunch of stuff and consigning some others (wherein i chose not to consign my clothes at one shop because they give all the unsold merchandise to an 'orphanage in africa' and couldn't answer me which of the 50+ countries they were referring to nor why they made the orphanage pay for the shipping of the clothes to their magical unnamable part of the continent).  i updated my vaccines, passing out in the process, so that if i feed the urge to up and leave to a yellow feverish place, i will be covered (in fact, the reason i am up right now, even though it is midnight and i have a week full of early morning and it is the day of the year that daylight savings kicks your ass is because i forgot i have to take a live typhoid vaccine on an empty stomach and well, my stomach is not empty.

i have also decided to give up impatience and self doubt for lent.  yes, i know this is not in the typical spirit of lent, but i needed a time frame and well, it was conveniently timely (is saying conveniently timely redundant??).  i am reminding myself that everything has worked out thus far and will continue to do so, in a time frame that is never going to end or stop and as i have always said, there is no finish line and the whole success is not a destination thing (i think you can find some lame quote from me on the interwebs about that, actually).

i am trying to remember that an opportunity will come my way.  no sense in worrying or fretting that time is passing me by (I AM GETTING OLDER, OH MY GOD, I AM BEHIND... you get the idea).  if the past two years are any indication, opportunities find me and i do my best to put myself right in their path as best i can.  i feel as though i have done that now and so now i just wait.

but waiting is not so bad.  last week i braved the -20* temperatures and went to the joshua radin, cary brothers, laura jansen show and it was amazing.  as i said on twitter, it made me want to fall in love and break up again and again.  well, not really, but they sure did make it sound poetic and romantic and wonderful and heart wrenching.  and a concert at the former silver dollar action centre?  not so bad, especially if you like a little greasy pizza with your handsome singer/songwriters.

i followed that up with so many pints, breakfasts, coffees, and dinners with so many inspiring, intelligent, and hilarious people this past week that i was pleasantly reminded that i am surrounded by a community of people and i have a few greatest fans out there, which is always a nice boost to the confidence.

oh, and i ate at boxwood, which was a chorizon/polenta delight, had breakfast at wake in kensington, where they brew a strong cup of coffee and make mean eggs benedict, and had a perfectly poured latte at vendome cafe.  so if you are in the city, go try those newcomers to the ever expanding culinary/coffeehouse scene around these parts.

Monday, March 07, 2011

ready for this

apart from a really kick ass trip to an amazing city, my visit to new york was actually for another reason entirely and i just appended my own fun to the end of a 5 day training session.  as these things often do, it certainly had its ups and its downs, but my overall impression was a positive one and i felt that i walked away with practical skills and a pocket full of contacts that could potentially be helpful for future professional gigs.

i prepared myself before going that i would likely be the odd one out, the one who is not currently based 'in the field' and who doesn't have scathes of emergency experience, but has been selected just like everyone else to attend.  surprisingly, this didn't feel like an impediment throughout the time and i am not sure if that was because i was ready for it, i am more confident now than when i was last in one of these situations, or the other participants and facilitators weren't dickheads.  i think it was a little from columns a, b and c.

the best part of it all was that at a few different points, i thought to myself, i can do this.  and not only can i do this, i think i could do it well.  as someone who regularly battles with self doubt, internal criticisms, obsessive thinking, and anxiety, this was good, very good.

the best part of the entire experience was a few days after it finished and i was wandering my way around new york city (rather than long island, where we had been holed up for the training), when i got an email telling me that i was an asset to the training and asking if i was interested in potential positions that could come up.  with a resounding yes, i politely responded and there was a little back and forth.  i suspect it all comes down to waiting on funding, but i was happy to be considered after what felt like a 5 day job interview.  i guess i passed.

but.  of course there is a but!  but, now i haven't head for a few weeks and i am terrified that all this momentum is going to come to a screeching halt and i will be Stuck.  with a capital S.  and that is the terrifying part.  i have spent the better part of the past 2 years rebuilding, settling and repairing.  and now i am ready to head back out into the big, bad world.

last year i thought that i wasn't strong enough or interested enough or something enough to start again in a new city or a new country alone.  for a long time, i had in my head that i would only ever being doing that with someone.  well, that someone isn't around and hasn't been for a few years now, but it took me awhile to feel strong enough and excited enough to uproot again and start a new job and build a new life in a new place.  and now that i feel that i am there, i am scared that an opportunity is not going to come my way.  i will keep applying for things that interest me, but the anxiety is creeping in.

and this after i had some serious conversations with myself about what i would be giving up if i left calgary now.  the stability, the money, the closeness with my family, the familiarity, the nest...  and although i am still not sure how i would manage all that change, i feel like i would figure it out.  but now i just need the opportunity to allow me the chance to figure it out.


and there you have it, interwebs, that is what has been on my mind for the past few weeks since returning from new york.  i needed a shake up, but i am also feeling impatient and just want to get on with things now that i have made a decision.  so, universe, are you listening?

a nyc success

hello internet!

yes, i am still around and apparently still have a blog.  i have been spending a lot of my internetting time on twitter lately, so if you haven't already found me there, go on and do it now.  it feels a bit like the lazy person's blog, but i also sort of love it, especially as i had been on a bit of a soap box with all my sharing links and it is a great platform for that.

let's get back to that trip i took to new york city though.  and how amazing it was.  i felt quite at home in a way, in a city where it seems everyone belongs, which i hadn't felt in some time.  and i just enjoyed it.  the along time to sit and think and walk and think and just be and think was much needed.

it was a little chilly for me, but i managed to bundle up and hit the pavement.  i did a few touristy things that i suppose someone out there would say that you 'have to do' like thetop of the rock, which was over priced, but did offer a good view of the city at sunset.  one of my favourite things was the greenwich village food tour operated by foods of new york.  not only delicious, but really interesting and well worth the money.  i also went on a walking tour with the lower east side history project, also fascinating.  and it all was made more relevant because, like the dork i am, i was reading the historical fiction creatively titled new york that covered the various periods of the city and historical events that shaped the city and its communities.  a good historical account of the city, if not a little long.

i also had the opportunity to meet up with friends and friends (and in one case, an ex girlfriend of a friend) and although it could have felt like an awkward blind date, each of the three women i met up with for a day of sightseeing and photo-adventuring, coffee in midtown, or dinner and drinks in the village were absolutely delightful.  it was with these awesome canadians abroad that i rode the staten island ferry to see the statue of liberty (she's so tiny!), got the perspective of a student and a lawyer working in the city, and ate at the most delightful french bistro whose name i have forgotten, but really wanted to link so i will try and recall it in the coming days and update this.

new york is certainly a place that i could imagine living one day and one that was not nearly as intimidating as i had thought it would be.  i even made friends with an eye doctor and his staff as we bonded over the edmonton oilers (even though i am decidedly not a fan and he certainly is) and got a brand new pair of specs that just arrived in the mail last week.

my apologies for the disjointed post, but i wanted to have some sort of documentation that i in fact did go to new york, did love it, and can't wait to go back.

and here i had hoped blogger would've made it easier to upload and format photos, sheesh.  they are all over the place!