Saturday, March 13, 2010

This blog has moved (for goodness sake!)

LADIES + GENTS ... I had to move my blog. :(

Blogger has been a royal pain in my arse and forced me to stop using my custom FTP.

This blog is now located at http://noisyroomfullofsilence.blogspot.com/.
(You can click that link or wait and be automatically redirected in 30 seconds.)

For those of you who are RSS subscribed using Google Reader (or similar), you'll have to change your feed subscription to: http://noisyroomfullofsilence.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default.

Apologies for the messiness!! Am rather unhappy with this and might be making a switch away from Blogger in the near future in which case there will be even more messiness. Hopefully with Happiness being the final result.

Will keep ya'll posted!
T.

72/365

I recently finished reading Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals. This isn't the first book I've read on the horrors of factory farming/fishing. Which is maybe why it did what it did to me.

There is so much that we Know in life that we never Do. If we put knowledge and change on a linear path of 1. Understanding of The Problem > 2. Knowledge of how to fix The Problem > 3. Acting on this knowledge and changing The Problem, there is a massive chasm between #2 and #3 called Habit (aka Unconscious Living/Fear) that can stop us from ever moving forward. Its power is ridiculous, insidious, clawing.

I have a lot of chasms to build bridges over, but this particular one, well, I've reached a point where I simply can't continue irresponsibly down a path of habit, habit that supports immense animal suffering and that sees me ingesting disease and pain into my own body. For what, the pleasure of "taste", the cheap fulfillment of "protein requirements"? For goodness sake, these are hardly even animals (ie - hardly even "food") anymore - grossly genetically modified, barely able to move, chickens locked in less than 1foot square spaces for the entirety of their lives, growing at mind-boggling abnormal speed, incapable even of reproduction, tortured at the moment of slaughter. These "animals" are nothing but commodities that pad the pockets of corporate giants who are - knowingly, in the name of greed - creating human sickness and environmental disaster. These people feed off our mass unconsciousness, our disconnect from our food/bodies/earth, our demand for Cheap Easy and Immediate. Shame. For utter shame. On us and them.

Often, moving between #2 and #3 requires a long period of attention that slowly brings about change in thinking and in actions. But sometimes, sometimes the chasm is leapt with a snap of the fingers. Or a turn of the page. I no longer have excuses, no longer have the luxury of closing my eyes, plugging my ears and singing "lalala" to drown out the screaming. I'm standing on the other side of the gap with, yes, questions remaining as to "How Now?", but no other choice left than to walk forward, awake, choosing life over death one meal at a time.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

43/365

I know I'm biased but I thought Vancouver's Olympic ceremony was beautiful. Respectful. Tasteful. Simple. Appropriate. On the now infamous "glitch", I'll leave the plethora of apropos sexual innuendos out and just say, well, 3 out of 4 ain't bad, it's pretty Canadian, the almost-but-not-quite. Not-perfect isn't not-well done I think that's something we understand. Except when it comes to hockey.

We tend not to shout very much about how we feel about this gorgeous and open-minded place we call home, it's good now and again to let people say it for us. On that front, being the word junkie I am, I love that they had the chutzpah to send a slam poet up there and the Vancouver Sun has Shane Koyczan's Yay for Canada piece in it's entirety here. We are the abandoned hesitation of all those who can't wait. Love that.

It was also a day when tragedy and celebration sat side by side holding hands, when a sobering act of finality cut through a city-wide sense of party. Nodar Kumaritashvili & family, peace. News networks, for airing that crash over and over and over again? Shame, shame.

Oh and for what it's worth I thought KD Lang took Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and made Justin Timberlake sound like a child just learning how to sing. She gave it to that performance, beautiful.

Keep safe all.
I've got to go get some sleep because the party is just getting started over here.
T

Sunday, February 07, 2010

38/365

There is a book I am reading called The Happiness Project. There are two aging cats in my care for a few days and a gorgeous red dog with a solemn face and an active spirit that I can't get out of my mind. There is an apartment to find for some day in the future, without carpet please thankyou. There is some wine to finish up. There is work ahead for next week, industrial, olympic, non-profit, and a huge world-big party that is about to start in VanCity. There are friends with goodbyes and new people with the ghost of a goodhello lingering around the edges of short term memory. There are lessons, sometimes good and sometimes the kind you want to drop-kick to the nearest curb, that are unavoidable once you've decided it's more fun in the deep end of the pool. There is damage to be undone and damage to be loved to be graced and there is work so much work to change into play to change into life into meaning into beauty. There are faces to see to stop judging to love without demeaning your self to just love whatever that means. There are assumptions that should never be made, relationship games that drain life. There are so many books to read. So many pictures to be taken. There is money to be saved because there are countries to be seen and oh my goodness there is the Eames chair still. There is dancing, laughing, hugging it out. There are so many things you can grasp for and lose, grasp for and break, grasp for and never rest with and see. There are dust bunnies. There are cars that need oil. There are parking spots somewhere out there. There is Laundry so much laundry. There are 21 kms and 26 postures and a body that is confused by the sudden movement. There are new running shoes, remember the new running shoes. There is sweat, there is nervous energy, there is the euphoric sense of accomplishment. There is conversation that makes no bloody sense or that makes perfect sense or that never happens at all. There are doors that should be closed but keep popping open, swinging on their hinges and squeaking when you wish they wouldn't. There are Facebooks and Twitters and what next maybe Flutters all through which I spy with my little eye and you spy with your little eye but wait, we never talked about what colour we're looking for and in the end You and I are Close but No Cigar, partial stories without eyes and hands, disembodied lives, but entertained, aren't we entertained, behind the singular glow of our flat-screen panel. There is a love of words, of stillness and yet a lightness of spirit an ease-ness of mind and open arms. Because. There is contentment and there is itching but there is learning to love the undeniable truth that contentment and itching sit together in tension all the time and isn't that actually beautiful.

There is a candle on my table and fingers that are going to stop typing.
Now.

Peace, friends and strangers and friends who are strangers and strangers who are friends.
T.

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The Avett Brothers and a little I And Love And You:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

26/365

Beer turns to beers at Stella's with an old old friend and it's now far past my bedtime. This, below, I scribbled earlier in the day. For those of you who are exhausted of me writing about being exhausted and who come here expecting something other, well, I don't know what to tell you except that these are my days at the moment, they're tight, bookended, focussed and I am exhausted. My body is tired and my brain has little energy to pound through something more. And while I realize that this is an exhaustion of luxury, and that due course will bring something other around, for now I am what I do and this is what I do.

From the journal, at the coffeeshop, this morning:
My body hurts. Aches. I feel as though there is an infinite amount of tiredness, an infinite amount of things inside me that can get bruised and battered and that shout at me to STOP, just STOP. But stopping isn't here, forward is the thing that is here right now. Focussing, stretching my fingers towards the ceiling and turning my head so my full profile is visible in the mirror. Running for four minutes, then running for four more. There is beauty in movement towards beauty there is the minute when I forget that I'm running the creation of new muscles when I stretch up and stretch down there is the enlargement of capacity of capability when my mind wins there is a day in the future without pain and with increase. You keep moving forward.

T.

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Nobody is like Patty Griffin. Live, and then again with the Lyrics. IN ALL CAPS, with a drop shadow. I feel minutely offended by that but again, that's an offense of luxury.



Monday, January 25, 2010

25/365

Can.Not.Stay.Awake.For.One.More.Minute.

Seriously is this normal? I'm reaching the point of non-function. Maybe I need to drink more water. Or eat more protein. Or take a rest.

I got to wake up twice this morning. First time at 5 to make my way to 6AM yoga, second time at 8 because the dear instructor unfortunately slept herself in which meant I left sans yoga-ing, came back home and took another turn on the pillow before starting work.

I made my way to class at 230PM instead and nearly bailed mid-way through. Today was the first time I've come close to having a panic attack in the yoga room, it was so stifling hot, the humidity past intolerable, I couldn't be in there, I seriously thought my breath was gone. So I laid out 2 postures in a row, tried to concentrate on breathing in and out, nearly started crying, tried to concentrate again and eventually calmed myself down enough to finish. Lord, that was a massive wall I hit in there. Wretched. I've never been so glad to get a gulp of fresh air as I was round about 4:05 when I was finally allowed to scramble out the door to the changeroom.

My schedule said I was supposed to get a 30 minute run in yet today. Ha, that's laughable. Tomorrow is another day and whatever, schedule/smedule, the run got itself shunted into the future.

Right. Remove clothes from drier and then yes, ladies and gents, this girl is going to sleep. At 8:30. I'm so much fun these days.

Peace all, I'm going to leave you music-less today, nighty night.

T.

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Addendum, a beautiful quote from The Elegance book:

Those who feel inspired by the greatness of small things will pursue them to the very heart of the inessential where, cloaked in everyday attire, this greatness will emerge from within a certain ordering of ordinary things and from the certainty that all is as it should be, the conviction that it is fine this way.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

24/365

Reading
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Am entranced.

Researching
Still on the dog breed sorting. Which will soon have to turn to the Finding a New Apartment / Saving Some Cash sorting if it's going to Be Made Happen. In a spirit of "look but don't touch" (because of the teeny space I live in), I think Ridgebacks and Vizslas are gorgeous creatures.

Watching
I thought Canadian TV was still shite but Being Erica proved me very wrong last year. Recent marathons of Flashpoint and Flash Forward (via ctv.ca) have had me duly entertained while I solo-work at home. Well done canadian tele.

Reality TV world? Project Runway has started again. Yay for Tim Gunn and chaotic workroom meltdowns. And The Biggest Loser. I'm a hook, line and sucker for The Biggest Loser. Every time I think I'm not capable I picture those folk and what they manage to push through and I force myself to go greet pain, albeit with a wee snarl on my face.

Oh, and if you've never watched it and are a fan of the Arrested Development genre, you really must watch Parks and Recreation. Oh my goodness, it's utterly quotable every time around.

Doing
Was frustratingly exhausted from the yoga/running this week, to the point of following Bikram's with 2 hour naps at 830 in the morning. So my "doing" has been constrained to Energy Conservation this week. Am hoping I've turned a corner of sorts, the 8km run on Saturday was actually fun for a minute. I've said before, running isn't easy on me, when I run, I'm conscious every single second that I'm running. So to forget for a moment and actually enjoy the view down at Spanish Banks, well, that's something.

Booking
The Edge to Edge Marathon Relay with 4 of my girlfriends in June. Running from Tofino to Ucluelet and I only have to knock off 8k of rolling coastal roads? What the hey, it'll be my Birthday present.

Processing
Am treading shallower water at the moment with the knowledge that the deep end isn't that far away and I'll probably wander over there at some point or another. I've noticed that Life Processing runs in cycles, sometimes it nearly bowls me over with it's shouting and incessant running about through my brain, with the need to chase it down and learn something. At other times it's quieter and lets me go about the business of daily life. I used to think that was avoidance/apathy but now I see it as a bit of grace, to be able to relax into whatever is here right now, no sense of having to stare down Thought or force existential / psychological lessons into the bones. I'm not convinced that Life Lessons happen by force anyways. More Process, Flow, Going with it.

Sunday good things to you all,
T.

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A quote:
If you want to know your future, look into your present actions. - Buddhist saying

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A departure from the sort I usually post here, but Nelly's on my running playlist and so in my ears with increasing regularity these days.

Friday, January 15, 2010

15/365

Yesterday was one and a half tasty tasty whiskey sours at The Diamond pre-Jer's gallery opening (well done sir, bytheby). Only one and a half because the last half wound up puddling on the floor and soaking my jeans with the sweet caramel smell of Maker's Mark. Flying appendages, knocking things over, I'm so graceful and coordinated. Awesomeness.

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My space heater, which I keep constantly blowing air at my feet during the day, has taken to turning off periodically. I think it's an overuse safety thing, it shuts off when it gets too warm and then turns back on again when it's re-cooled. I realize this is a good thing, preventing fires and such. But still, every time it happens I resent it and pout like a child. I've said it before, I think I'm addicted to space heaters.

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Yoga this morning was a gong show. It's like everyone in the room was a little off and itchy or something, wonder what sort of energy crept in there overnight. When the room is a gong show the mental focus lessons increase, it takes more effort to keep realigning your brain to the activity and to ignore everyone falling and fidgeting than it does to just physically hold the pose. No wonder I came back and took a nap at 830AM.

Two days off the yoga now, thankfulness.

Peace, people.
T.

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More Martin today. This song is certifiable and I love it. As the iTunes review says: "Keep It Simple is the album's real hoot: think Dr. John rapping about anything and everything that comes to mind, with a little Tuvan throat singing tossed in for laughs."

You've got to admire a man who isn't scared of his Crazy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

14/365

Lordy, I'm exhausted. Nearing the end of the second week of 6AM yoga class and I'm falling asleep right now in my lovely coffee KeepCup. I don't know how people do this, get up this early every day. Does it get easier? I suppose it gets easier. The only time I feel slightly awake is when I get to bed by 9PM but sleeping by 9PM seriously conflicts with my night-owlishness.

Balance is a tricky bird to cage.

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How about a Beagle? Or a Boston Terrier? One is a noisemaker and the other snores but they're both a little smaller and probably better suited for apartment living than the beautiful but big boisterous Boxer. Might make the homespace feel less like it's been taken over by a new and unruly roommate.

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My friend Jeremy Crowle has an art opening tonight. I'm lucky to have a small landscape of Jer's on my wall at home. If you're in VanCity you should come check it out, 8PM @ the new Woodward's building > W2 Community Media Arts, 112 West Hastings, Vancouver.

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Can't Stop Thinking About You. Here's some Martin Sexton for a rainsoaked Thursday morning. If you ever have a chance to see this man in person, run, go, he's perfect. Every live version of this on YouTube is either ruined by people singing along and screaming, or by John Mayer. So for today we'll have to settle for it canned. But go watch him perform. Genius.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

12/365

Right so it was kick at the walls or do something about it and I decided a couple days of elbow grease and a few bucks spent at IKEA was a way more manageable plan right now than moving.

I also decided in the end that the bed was better by the kitchen than by the sofa but that to make it work I needed to both get in more light and keep the kitchen spotless ALWAYS. Nothing worse than trying to fall asleep next to a stack of dirty dishes and a big ol' garbage can. Happy Dreams and the day's leftover Mess are not compatible bedmates.

I snapped some quick pics in notsotgreat lighting (below). Still in some progress but the idea is there. The kitchen has unfortunate bones, you can see a bit of what I have to deal with. Oh and there are couple-year-old home pics here.

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In light of my post-Avatar-watching comment on Friday I think this is interesting. Your response to Avatar is now becoming a psychological barometer. Heh. You know there's a pack of theses waiting to be written on this. I was utterly absorbed in the movie's pandorian utopia and can understand the longing for that kind of beauty and connection on a regular basis, we walk around with our eyes closed so much we've forgotten how to see and experience (sans chemical-enhancement) intense beauty here in Real Life on Real Earth. But response like this to a movie is nothing new, it's simply a more universally-experienced example than we've seen in a long while. Art and how we respond to it always has the capacity to highlight or reflect our own state of being, our longings, our relationship to our world. Or it should. Watch though, the term "Avatar Depression" will take on a pop-psychology life of it's own.

Tis all I think.
Peace,
T.

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Pics:

02

07

03

08

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I saw Joe Purdy at the Media Club in Vancity a few years back and developed a bit of a fancrush. Easier is one of my alltime favourites. Can't find a clear version, this'll have to suffice ...

Friday, January 08, 2010

08/365

I would like to be a tall blue person and walk around in a world where the ground lights up whenever I step and there are floaty little jellyfish things that don't sting and phosphorescent whirligigs everywhere.

I guess I'll have to settle for getting to burrow under the covers and sleep in tomorrow morning.

Pretty Dreams,
T.

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Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues take on some Amazing Grace.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

07/365

On Day Seven God apparently looked around and said It Is Good.

On Day Seven I'm looking around but all I can think is:
yoga run yoga yoga run yoga yoga run rest repeat

Hello, tunnel, nice to meet you but you're sort of impairing my vision.

I have nothing else today. Or rather, I do, my head isn't utterly void, but I don't have the wherewithal to spend time pondering and churning back out to the interworld.

Alas, this post is probably what you'd call a waste of a good <body></body> tag.

I'm off, will hopefully get to see the sunrise again today, yesterday's was glorious.

Cheerio,
T.

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Maybe a little live Andrew Bird to accompany your eggs this morning? Yummy.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

06/365

I can tell it's January. Gracious, but I have itchy feet. I'm old enough to know that dissatisfaction comes and goes and that sometimes it's just a matter of riding the wave of impatience and need-for-stimulation, a matter of reminding yourself that life is full and that it is moving forward and there is change and new things and that even if there weren't, it's good as is, my people are good, my home is enough for today, I'm healthier than ever and I have enough work to do that supports everything else. Sometimes dissatisfaction is just a "Scared-of-routine, Grass-is-always-greener, But-I-Want-I-Waaaaant" little voice that needs to be gently taught how to shut the hell up. To content-ify itself with the quotidian and the beauty that lies in it.

Of course sometimes dissatisfaction, particularly of the extended-never-really-goes-away kind, means you really ought to get up off your hiney and go do something about it. I listened to that kind this past fall, still am. But learning the difference between the two sorts of feelings is a necessary part of becoming Old and I know that right now I need to have a chat with that little impatient voice and remind it that a) there is quite enough change on our plate at the moment missy, and b) damn, sister, blessings, count them.

I must go find my chariot and get to the studio. Tis Wednesday ... happy middle day people.
peaceishness,
T.

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City and Colour, Sleeping Sickness. I am not here, in this place that they sing of, thank goodness, but you go, try to find me someone who hasn't felt this way at one time or another, it's isolating but such an everyone feeling, the worry, the fear, the wanting to be saved. Sometimes we just have to hold on tight and in the words of Bruce Cockburn, "kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight".

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

05/365

x and o's scribbled on the wall, in chalk, in lead, old pictures torn in half, a bowl full of cameras and clocks that stopped working decades ago. this is my office.

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i challenged myself to write this year maybe you've already figured that out there's been more writing in five days than in months. but i wish i could explain the conundrum i feel over this blog space, it feels representative of a much larger conundrum there is a great big tug of war going on over here in my head in my fingers that are typing. back and forth type and erase type and erase, there is something i don't want can't shake don't want. i don't know yet if this is a challenge i know how to take on.

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6AM yoga this morning dragged my ass from the bed to the car by 530 a little whiny pre-coffee but having that finished before the train starts rolling and the day runs away is Better Than.

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Imagine making something that so many people love and claim as their own and then sing back to you:

Monday, January 04, 2010

04/365

Big deep breath the whirlwind begins.

In November I did a 30-day Bikram hot yoga challenge with a friend. I'd taken a few classes four years ago and I knew what sort of energy it required of me so I decided to reduce my work for the month, leave the Internet alone, give myself a breather and just go at it. It was one of the hardest things I've done, to go into that yoga studio every day and face myself. But in terms of mental challenge, physical change and creating a space of focus and positivity? Hands down one of the smartest decisions of life. All that movement and sweating in a 112ish degree room had my skin feeling newborn again, did wonders for the waistline and changed the way I look at myself.

Then came the holidays and routine just flew out the door. Twas all good, Christmas and New Years were so very enjoyable and I didn't feel much like censoring myself.

But today. Today started a somewhat less insane but longer-term stint: 5-6 days a week for 90 days. I plan to take that one week at a time, my schedule is still flexible enough that it should be doable barring unforeseen catastrophe. Was good to get back in there ... how to explain the feeling I have when I walk out of the studio dripping wet ... it's empowerment, balance, the sense that I've just subjugated Matter to Mind for 90 minutes. It's pretty much the same feeling that I get when I hike something torturous like the Grouse Grind. Using the mind to push the body when all it wants to do is quit. It creates self respect and that just feels good.

The thing being, however, that somewhere in the whole mix I committed in fall to try for a half marathon in May. Which means run training on top of the yoga-ing. Running is not something that comes naturally to me, it's brutish hard work, I much prefer short term pain to endurance sport. But I'll try, try to not get myself injured and see if 21km doesn't kill me. It begins today too, the running schedule. Oy, lordy.

But I'm having fun. Seriously. Talk to me in a few weeks, I likely will be groaning, but right now, this is a sort of craziness that makes me smile. The only place to start change is in your own bones, your own mind (queue the strings and MJ's Man in the Mirror). Sometimes change looks like slowing down or moving on and sometimes it simply means pushing beyond what you think you are capable of to see what's on the other side of pain and discomfort. Good times. :)

Cheers to you all.
T.

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Might as well :) This video is 100% Rockstar worship. Crazytown. Michael Jackson was a remarkable artist but still, Crazytown.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

03/365

My sister phoned on Friday for the sole purpose of telling me that I had written 01/356, not once but twice in my post a couple days ago. She figured, had I only done it once that it would be a typo but two times? Did I really think that there were 356 days in a year? I received Mockery of the kind only an older sibling knows how to dole out and, properly schooled, promptly fixed the errors. I knew there were 365 days in the year. Sheesh. It was a typing error, my fingers' fault. Damn Dyslexic Fingers. Good to know that the family has my back on the editing front though :-)

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It's good that life will be routinizing itself again tomorrow. Holidays are Vunderbar but there is something right now that craves a box, walls, borders. I am currently in active gestation and have schedules in place that are leading to hard work down the way. The next week will be an effort to reset the internal sleep/wake clock and purge the body of Holiday Toxins. I'm itching to get the show back on the road.

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I want one.

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Time for Cheap Beer and Pizza Sunday with the city family.
Cheerio all,
T.

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iPhone, Today.
Wandering around Spanish Banks / UBC Endowment Lands:

IMG_2393

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Yes, go ahead, I allow you to mock me all you want, but I just cannot stop dancing around my apartment to this:

Saturday, January 02, 2010

02/365

Living in a studio apartment is beginning to wear thin. Yes, it's a pretty little space, it's a beautiful old building, and it's really ample room for one person. But there is something that feels Not Very Grown Up about sleeping in your living room on a teeny bed that you had to borrow because it's all that would fit while you store your beautiful big QueenSized wonder at your parents. Yes yes, wah wah wah, Wealthy Country Problems. But, le sigh.

For the first 2 years I solved the living room issue by putting the wee bed in my eating nook. Which made it sort of feel like a bedroom, at least it had 3 walls. Except that I stared into the kitchen at night, the fridge screaming at me in sleeplessness. And the bedding started to smell like Cooking. Sleeping in the kitchen was just very odd and sometimes made entertaining interesting: Come, make yourself comfortable on my bed while I make dinner.

So now the bed is in the living room. Which makes the kitchen business easier to navigate but unveils a whole other set of not-quite-rights. Like decorating a bed to not feel like a bed when really, c'mon it's a bed. In the living room. And there's the It Feels Like a Sleepover problem. Having friends stay on the sofa (giving shelter is a non-negotiable to me) makes me feel like we might as well put Grease on the telly, dance around in our PJ's and paint each other's nails cotton-candy pink. And, since I had no choice but to turn my eating-nook-bedroom into an "I Work From Home" office, gone is a dining table of any sort. Which turns dinner parties into eat-on-your-lap parties, and all that to say, I find myself not knowing how to operate in my space anymore with other people here.

Which is so very not the point of a home, to only feel ok when you're in it alone. No, no, no (she says with a pout and a wrinkle on her brow).

So, conundrum. I'm slow as molasses when it comes to making moves and besides that the rent is decent and most importantly, I have good friends who live at the end of my hall. But I might start poking around the neighborhood regardless, crunch some budgetary shiznit and see what comes of it all.

I have a Dream Space in my head, surely someone is just waiting to give it to me for nearly nothing, oui? Righto, off I go to hunt down that quickly discarded copy of The Secret, what's that Ms. Byrne said about visualization and taping your dreams to the ceiling? Surely she's not totally full of idea plagiarism and shite.

I suspect this all sounds whiny, but I'm not feeling whiny, I feel lucky with just a bit of itchy feet syndrome :)
Peace all!
T.

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Photo, today.
Two pictures of The Problem:

IMG_3873B

IMG_3874B

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Listening to some old David Gray this morning ...

Friday, January 01, 2010

01/365

Ladies and Gents, it's Twenty Ten.

I remember thinking, back when Vancouver was bidding to be host city for the 2010 Winter Olympics, that I was going to be absolutely ANCIENT then. Well now here we are. I guess that makes me an Old Woman, excuse me while I go blindly stumble over to feed my 10 cats and take care of that wee problem I've developed with incontinence ... sheesh, perspective, "old", contrary to my younger-self's predictions, feels pretty damn good.

It's a new dawn, a new day, a new life, folks. 01 of 365. Anything is possible. I won't rattle off a prosaic list of resolutions, even though like most humans I admit I have a few to-do's scribbled down. I got smart this year, jump started the whole Change Game by burrowing in and beginning some new things in November instead of January, it's the reason for my blog-world silence and I'm thankful for having had the space in life for it. I realize I'm lucky, not everyone gets to slow down for a solid chunk of time and give things their whole focus. It was transformative for me, I'll save the hows and whys for another time. But on top of that, it leaves the 2010 To-Do List now, of course, completely reasonable, I have it narrowed to only 10 Big Things and oh about 15ish little ones. Easy Peasy. Should have that all taken care of by next week.

So, no "This Is What I'm Doing" list for public consumption, let's see how she goes. Instead I'll leave this teeny bit of inaugural New Decade writing with a theme for the year, a mantra I adopted the last few months and will carry over with me. It's been teaching me patience and sticktoit-ness and youcantalwaysseewhatsgoingon-ness:

Trust the Process.

Peace on your New Day, all. My Parentals are, at this moment, making their way into the BigCity to bring me leftover holiday meat ... must go clean things. Two more days of True Carnivore Happiness until I embark on a "Raw til Dinner" experiment. Most Excellent. Maybe.

T.

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iPhone, today.
Granville + 12th, Vancouver. It's a rainy start to a new decade.

01/356


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Is there a better song to start a new year than Nina Simone's Feeling Good? My newest favourite cover is from My Brightest Diamond. Live and recorded versions below :)



Saturday, October 17, 2009

I think they call it Radio Silence

Friends and strangers, I am having to pack things up for the next few months. Will hopefully be back and running toandfro on the InterWebs early in the New Year. In the meantime there'll be a good dose of stockpiling, of words, thoughts, etceteras.

I must just say, even though I haven't met the near half of you, I so very much value the time you take to stop and read what is sometimes utter nonsense, and I'm humbled by the messages that you often send, words that I know I'm beyond negligent in responding to. I will keep prayers and encouraging energy going your way, I'd be grateful if you could send them back this direction if there is space and time.

Until later then, I'll just leave these. Two near perfect bits of song by a beautifully crazy Canadian boy named Patrick Watson.

Peace all. Go at 'er, chase something down and don't let go, unless of course letting go is the point.

Be well.
T.

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The Great Escape




Drifters



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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mildly daft

I need to start thinking about sleep because the bell will ring at 5:45 and it will feel early early early. But it's only 9:30 and this night owl fights sleep with jedi tricks of the mind and besides I need to do my invoicing, I don't get paid without invoicing, though lordy, I really don't like bookkeeping I might even use early sleep as an excuse to avoid it. Just FYI, I'm taking applications for a manservant who can keep books and doesn't mind giving the occasional head massage and can run about and buy new technology when things like modems die in the middle of the day - like today, fiddlesticks. Interested? You can click here and here and here for more details on various duties.

Today was a Wednesday that felt like a Tuesday except there are in fact only 2 workdays left instead of 3 so I guess I can't trust my feelings after all. I'm currently sitting in a ridiculous position, feet up on the table, hands nearly in the air, keyboard perched precariously somewhere in the middle. No reason except I was bored of normal sitting. Like an audition for an entry into the Ministry of Silly Walks except, umm, for Silly Sits (you should really click that link and watch it. really).

I don't have much in my head today. Only a nod to a good few days. Days when there is perspective and a strong capacity for understanding, when the Something More of life seems not so hidden from view and I have a proper outlet for energy, like Spinning, an activity which makes me fling sweat everywhere (luv) and which I can do because after weeks of sickness my energy is back at full throttle hallelujah. This makes for good days, I'm not really that hard to please.

Perhaps it helps that today I could finally open my windows, that after 2 weeks of Roofers and Window Fixer Men peering in my home and breathing and cursing in Russian and Spanish and Neanderthal a mere 2 feet away on the other side of my blinds I could finally go about my business voyeur-free. Thanks to the good ol' BC Rain that kept them out of the workforce. I am not a girl who is made to live in a windowless home. I need a view even if the view is a brokendown bank parking lot and a parade of angry people who are having financial difficulties.

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Here's a quote from Mr. Cesar Millan aka the Dog Whisperer: "When you discipline you don't feel drained. When you punish you feel drained."

Sure he was talking about dogs but that works just as well when you think about your relationship with yourself or your kids or anyone else in your life for that matter. Punishment is a bitch that puts bad energy out in the world and sucks the life out of both giver and receiver. There is no kindness in punishment and it certainly doesn't encourage change. Discipline on the other hand, rather essential to growth, contains within it respect for both the process and receiver.

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Righto. Today tips over on the trivial side of the scale but the trivial is 3/4 of life so it deserves a fair shake really.

Peace, people.
t.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

today.

i have a bruise all up and down my left arm. there are 73 days left until december 12th. i have lost my voice. hudsonsbay and hockeycanada paid for my october. money is helpful. no further comment. i am supposed to run a race. can't breathe right. liquid drugs help at night. i wore boat boots and a wool coat today. goodness. cleaning. i cracked my mirror. whispering it's all for the best. life without my girls would be no good. ungrounded. strong voices, honorable, life-filled. i am solid. mornings are early now. silent, flying, my feet hit cold floorboards thinking of coffee and finishing fast. not weary, yet. it's all for the best. questioning. it's enough. it's not new, not mine, it's bigger, it's ours, all of ours, these small things between you and me, we need to see that, infective, affective. i have charged up my old nokia phone. am ready to move. this is something more. this.

today it hailed and then the sun came out.

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thom yorke. someone else's words. repeat:



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Friday, September 18, 2009

Soiree de poche

Something beautiful for a Friday that really needs it. Andrew Bird and St Vincent. Enjoy.






Thursday, August 27, 2009

just a song

I've had Sigur Ros' Untitled 3 and 8 on repeat for so long that I forgot about the rest of the album. This, Untitled 6, I rediscovered yesterday while sitting on a rock down by the ocean. It was one of those moments where a song took over, removed Me, opened something I needed. Grace, maybe. It floored me.

Grace hurts my head. Probably because it can turn over my insides. Those kinds of things are always the hardest to intellectualize and define. But grace, at its heart, seems to me to involve either a meaningful (when giving grace) or sudden (when receiving grace) retreat of "I, me, mine". It's dispossessing, removing Me to create space for other, it's the opposite of ego. It's not mindless, it's just less full of self. Or more fully self, depending on your view of things. At least maybe that's it. What I do think is that grace (or the vehicle of grace at least) can be a piece of music that takes you outside your mental chatter for a few minutes. Or a piece of art, or literature, or whatever.

So, here then. If you have headphones, put them on, close your eyes, listen, let the sound run around in your head and try letting go for just a bit.

peace all,
t.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

opposites, paradoxes, layered things

Cessation, or in this particular case silence, has layers.

My writing silence is layered with intention but also a sudden disturbing absence of proper sentence-formulation-skills, layered with a feeling of lack but paradoxically with abundance, with a touch of confusion but also an understanding that words will unfold as they need to. It is silence that is formed out of what feels very very noisy.

Truffle comes to mind (not the expensive fungus kind, the messy, layered dessert kind). This blogspace is like a veritable truffle of silence. Or maybe more like a mexi-dip.

I have days in a row where I attempt to say something.
But then I stop and ask myself Why and that's as far as I get.

Like now, for example. Why write. I went back and read THIS and was left feeling inadequate in the light of former thoughts and expressions of things. I can't write like that anymore. Now all I can manage to eke out are unreadable scribbles every morning. Fodder better fit for lining the gerbil cage. Except even there the penmarks would rapidly turn it into a soggy mess of blueink/gerbil urine. So not even suitable for the gerbils then. I attempted to re-read bits the other day because I know there is a bigger picture in the scratches but I'd forgotten my reading glasses and got concerned by the squinting, I'm too old for squinting, every squint is a new wrinkle. And then I got a headache so I stopped. Gosh, the human mind has the capacity to mask the profound in a skin of "blah blah blah" sometimes. We are so very full of opposites.

But I think I'll press publish on this one.
With no response to the Why.
And let questions be answers.
Or whatever.

I seem to be using the word whatever a lot these days. Always on the heels of a meaning-filled conversation. It's meant to say No Big Deal when really it's just the opposite. Again with the opposites.

Blergh.

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Uhhuh, all, have grace for yourself. This, here now life, this is both the little and the More. Breathe it, allow the good and the bad in your bones and try not to run from either. From neither the pleasure or the pain that inevitably shows up when you throw your arms wide and gather in. Staying with things as they come, quietly or thunderously, feels better and hurts less than running even though that sounds like cliche bullshit. I know.

Peace tonight to you from a slightly disheveled version of me.
t.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

the things that happen

an iPhone, a 12 foot drop into a hole, 4 smart & persistent chicks, 3 drunk strangers, 4 poles, 3 rolls of tape, only 1 small puncture wound and 2 hours later ... heh, to think i was planning to write tonight instead. that's a better story and i don't even have to stretch the truth to make it good.

so any sort of thoughts on any sort of things that have any sort of otherness will have to wait while i go alcohol the heck out of my hand and take my tired ass self to bed.

tomorrow maybe. i don't know. i've been keeping words inside the last bit. or scribbled like the ramblings of a crazyperson in the moleskine over morning coffee. but there are things. so maybe i can organize them into coherence and share the little that is fit for public consumption.

right uhhuh, to sleep with me.

peace all, go chase down some joy, or just let yourself notice that it's already here maybe.
t.

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This is the best MY iPhone could do in terms of rescue operation documentation:

IMG_1547

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Don't Judge This

Today I am a mass of scribbles on a piece of paper. Like there was some writing there and then someone didn't want it seen so they scratched like mad over top of it with their pen and now the word / thought / declaration is buried beneath a mess of illegibility. I'm like that.

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But also today I got a text message that said:
"OMG YOU ARE THE AWESOMEST OF LIFE!!"

This was in response to a surprise mail package I sent to someone with a container of homemade cookies.

Being told that you are the Awesomest of Life is Awesome. I should send out a container of cookies every day.

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Road Trip, in T minus about 36 hours. Will be attempting to avoid a meet and greet with local cougars and bears. Stories / Pictures / Various Other Digitable Memorabilia to follow.

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T-shirts that need to be made:
1. Impermanence is a Bitch (via Kelly)
2. Don't Judge This
3. Ambiguity Bites

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THESE ARE INCREDIBLE. I'd never heard of William Wegman before today. Clearly my photographic history education is shamefully lacking.

Picture 4

Picture 5

Picture 6

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Yeah, because I luv them always and forever. Bon Iver freestyle in a hallway in Paris:



T.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

tis a beauty

I toss high level words around a lot. Words like Grace, Beauty, Change, words that can mean a lot of things or mean absolutely nothing. I do it sometimes to keep things simple, and I do it sometimes to be vague enough so I can say something without saying too much. This is the interweb after all, one has to know the rules and boundaries.

But definitions are ok sometimes, even for a circle-goer like yourstruly.

I've had this phrase on the Facebooker for the last year that says "stumbling into awkwardness, stumbling into beauty". Truth, when I wrote it, like often when I write things, it wasn't a super thought-out statement, it just came from somewhere and decided it wanted to be written. So I let it. But what.

Well, there's the issue of Beauty. To me beauty is honest. It's a makeup-bare face, or a man's face not cleanly shaven, it's something that rusted naturally outside in the rain, flowers on the verge of dying, it's torn and tattered books, banged up wood, belly laughing, mutual silence, it's scuffed shoes, weeds, honest to goodness industrial buildings, broken things, wrinkled skin, scars, a proper hug, good conversation.

It's a nearly unending list of things with one thing in common: they're not hiding what they really are.

So Beauty is honesty ... and then there's the awkward. Because the thing about honesty is that it can be really rather discomfiting. It's often not easy. It feels like it might hurt us, or hurt someone else. And sometimes, looking at something As Is, it can seem ugly, and wrong, and weird, at first glance. But have you ever sat with something like that, looked at it long enough and realized that there was actually something engaging, maybe even breathtaking about it? Or stumbled into an uncomfortable conversation and realized that the end result, whatever it was, was actually something close to comfort?

It's often through the awkward that we reach honesty and it's always through the honest that we reach beauty.

Blame the artist in me, but while I duck my head from discomfort as much as anyone else, I'm learning to be ok with it, to stumble into it if nothing else ... because one thing I'm certain of, I'll never stop whispering that Beauty, however hard to reach, is indeed something worth beholding.

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Went "running" this morning. Haven't ran for over a month. My back felt good, which was good news, better than good news. The rest of me however? Lord almighty, the rest of me has rapidly gotten reacquainted with inactivity and loudly protested the push back towards strength again.

I don't relish feeling weak and unable to do something. And I certainly don't relish the feeling of gravity pulling my body down like a ten tonne weight. Nor the feeling that months of hard (enjoyable but hard) work have been negated.

Changes. Starting with the running, of course, and with letting go of Beer. Ouch. It's summer, that almost equates to insanity. But alas. Its just beer. Surely there is an alternative.

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Not certain why, maybe I've had a hankering for vocal harmony and singing along lately, but this has been popping up repeatedly on iTunes:



And a couple contrasting somethings I saw on an alley-walk yesterday:

2009-07-14 07:39:15 -0700 iPhone

2009-07-14 12:50:26 -0700 iPhone

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Peace all,
t.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Now

READING:
For the 1st time - The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
Am swimming a bit in oldish english translated from oldish french and it's a massively long book but am giving it everything i got

For the 10th time - Morning Light, Jean Sulivan
Quote 1: According to Konrad Lorenz, even the wolf doesn't attack another wolf that bares its throat.
Quote 2: As long as we base everything on closed intelligence, starting with inherited words that are not our own, we may believe we are masters of our thinking when in fact it is inhabited by death.
Quote 3: Jesus, who constantly shifts from the intangible and the contingent to the absolute, doesn't seem to know what is reasonable and drags us toward the impossible.
Quote 4: What is shocking is to make use of God's humility and discretion in order to control things by means of power.

WRITING:
- well, this, I suppose
- questions
- fake-believe
- the word "gosh" alot, followed by "gah", "wtf", "damn". yes, my vocabulary is currently lame.

DRINKING:
An Argentinean Malbec, the only affordable really good red at the neighborhood liquor store

RECOVERING FROM:
6 hours of cycling on Saturday. My bottom did not take kindly to hard flat surfaces for days. But lordy, it was glorious to bike around this gorgeous city of ours. Forgot how much I like bikes. And speed. And wind. Helmets, whatever.

RATHER ENJOYING:
> Rain. Walked home from Gastown today, decided I'd rather get soaked than use the umbrella I had in hand. It was lovely, there were rivers of water running down my face. Then I thought I might be hypothermic. So I spent $1.50 to put my clothes in the dryer so I could put warm jeans back on. Have I mentioned that I love the process of warming up? Much better than the process of cooling down. When I say this to people I almost ALWAYS get contrary opinions. Interesting. Which is currently the vaguest word in the English language but still, interesting.

> Coffee conversation with a brand new-to-me fellow designer who is just about to take the giant leap from Firm > Freelance. Yay! Undoing the safety clasp, good stuff. Amanda, if you read this, blessings as you go sister. To be utterly but truthfully cliche, there are no mistakes, only things not tried.

RATHER ANTICIPATING:
> I know it's a month away still but I've put the Kings of Leon on repeat when I walk into town and it's got me round about ready for the concert to be, like, tomorrow.

> The possibility, though still in babythought stages, of vacating the local for the other-side-of-the-world for a wee chunk of time. Here's to dreaming, scheming, jobs that you can do from anywhere and place-to-stay offers from good souls.

FEELING:
> Like a bit of a freak to tell the truth. Which is ironic in light of that last post. Human, we are all learning and I cast as many judgments from a place of Not Really Knowing You as the next person. Even truths divorced from experience will always dwell in the realm of doubt no matter how much we allow our judgments to convince us.

> That one shouldn't drink and blog. Bad.

Ok, Crawl just came on (audio in video clothing below), going to dance now thank you very much.

r.e.s.p.e.c.t.

yours in real things,
t

Thursday, July 02, 2009

especial

Greetings from the Other Side.
I logged 212 hours of work this month.
I have learned a few things about how I work/life function.
Not all of them are gold-star worthy.
I need to do things differently.

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I've been watching lately.

Our need to be/feel/beseen as special, unique, different. Whether a shiny version or a dark version of different. Or whether it's as simple as being Noticed.

It's pervasive, unconscious.

We grasp and control, we demand attention. Sometimes with silence or on a very small scale, but still we demand. It ostracizes us from each other.

The fear of Same. The fear of not being Thought Of.

There is a normalcy that we feel inside too soon after the high of doing something Spectacular, Special, Unique, Different has worn off. Whether that something is finishing a marathon or having an illness.

Gah, we hate the normalcy. We have to be seen, to be big or small Special, big or small Noticed. So we move repeatedly to the thing that makes us feel that way. Until it doesn't anymore, make us feel Noticed. And then we have to find something else. Someone else. Something else shiny or dark, positive or negative.

We are blind to the fact that washing the dishes and having our face on a big screen are exactly the same thing.

That my words are not more special if 1,000,000 people read them than if no one ever does.

That winning an award is no different than planting a seed in a pot.

That working 212 hours is no different than not having work to do.

That being right is no different than being wrong, being healthy no different than being broken, being popular no different than being alone.

We are not special because someone declares that they love us.

Or because we birth a child or are somehow deemed beautiful, hard-nosed, a go-getter, genius, sweet, witty, intelligent.

Or because of our job, our car, our friends, our ability to paint a portrait, express a thought, develop an idea, sit in silent meditation, or because we give every waking minute of our lives to helping other people.

No one is Special.

Every day every human on earth does the same beautiful thing.

They get up, breathe, think, move. They get 86,400 seconds of life, if they're lucky.

We get so tied up in separating ourselves, waiting or begging for people or God to Notice Us, that we don't see the beauty of simple existence, of our sameness, we miss the profound awareness of recognizing ourselves in each other.

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I don't mean we should stop doing, creating, changing, loving, praying, speaking.

I just mean, we should stop DOING, CREATING, CHANGING, LOVING, PRAYING, SPEAKING.

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Heard the song below, Weighty Ghost, by Wintersleep in the great little Canadian flick One Week:



Sunshine is good.
peace all.
t.

Friday, June 26, 2009

respecting

I think I'm going to start measuring design projects in pounds gained.

I may have made a boat load of cash this month but every penny brought along a friend named ExtraCell that has wound up camped and partying on my backside.

This happens. Because of this problem of Tunnel Vision. I get consumed in a project and forget little things. Like moving. Or that vegetables are good for me. And sometimes at hour 9 of a 13 hour day the only thing that makes it tolerable is wine. And at hour 10. 11. 12. And chocolate.

You'd never know, when I'm in the throes of Busy, that I live a pretty balanced life when things are less consuming.

Awhile back I decided that it wasn't really What I Do that I want to define my life, it's How I Live my days. And while the definition of that is always shifting, my list of important things to include in every day right now is:

Beauty (which can be as simple as living in a clean home, or taking a photo, or listening to a piece of music that is More Than)

Organization (washing the dishes, doing the laundry, having a To Do list that I actually use)

Conversation (a real one, with someone, not just the morning coffee-exchange or a work conference call ... you'd be surprised, living and working alone, how often a day goes by without an actual real chat about real things)

Exercise (and walking to the grocery store or to get coffee Does Not count)

Solitude (which doesn't mean even more being alone. It means Being Alone with focus, consciousness, intentionality, purpose. Writing, walking, praying, meditating, reading ... something that is simultaneously Big and Small)

This last month, I forgot everything on that list. The list did not exist. If the list entered my mind I ran away from it like it was a burning thing. It was so very not helpful in the Tunnel.

Which is of course ass-backward Wrong. It would have been the Most Helpful thing to have along in the tunnel.

So yeah, I'm being challenged to find balance in the Busy too. As long as I'm running my own business I realize that things will often be Feast or Famine. It's the nature of it all. But there's no good reason why I need to be sitting at a banquet table in the center lane, in the dark, with cars whooshing by. It should never stop life.

To honor values and priorities - always - outside the ever-arcing pendulum of work. That's Balance. When you live alone it's insidiously easy to give in to the swinging and just let it happen. There is no one tugging on your apron strings or coming in at the end of the workday with their own agenda that you need to stop and respect.

Except there should be. The respect I mean. So you learn to let Beauty or Organization or Conversation, Exercise, Solitude walk on over, take the mouse from your hand and force you to stop.

Or damn if the party on your backside won't just get noisier and more rambunctious. Or you enter enough Tunnels in a row that you start to lose the Important Things.

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Love the white walls, bookshelves, amber lamp and random graffiti on an interior wall!

10927

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Must return to the work. But first, I will blast a little of MJ's The Way You Make Me Feel and bust a Rest In Peace dance around the apartment. Well, a My-Back-Is-Still-Broken kind of dance, but I'll give 'er the old college try.

Peace all. T.

Monday, June 15, 2009

ow

Holy Mother of Inconvenient Pain.

My back seems to have lost its footing. I did nothing wrong. I got up from the Machine, put on the shoes, walked 6 blocks to the camera shop to buy a cold shoe, paid for cold shoe (I can't blame it, it's not something big, weight inconsequential, like a pen), walked back up hill and then poof, my back stopped working. I cannot sit I cannot lie I cannot stand in one place.

There is currently an ice pack stuffed into my waistband and I am waiting for the Advil to become Wonderous. I still have 9 hours of work today, I cannot not sit in a chair today.

Fiddlesticks.

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This week it is my birthday.

I continue to turn Old. But old is ok. Not to get all Forrest Gump but life is like wine, it really does taste better with age. Or maybe the senses just get less dulled by chaotic drama and external stimuli, you slow down the speed of drinking, pair it with some fine food and you start to appreciate it more.

Things look Nothing what like I thought they would look at this age. Which I find intriguing. We have no idea what's coming around the corner. None. Try as we might the future is utterly unpredictable. And people think they need to jump off a cliff to experience risk and adventure. Huh. Try just letting go of your death grip on tomorrow and see if you don't get a buzz.

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Ok. I've been typing this bent over the table, that's the only thing that feels ok. But I have to get to work. Going now to try sitting. Advil, I love you desperately, please return the sentiment, thank you.


Peace, merriment and good back health to you all.
T

Thursday, June 11, 2009

today

Hi.

That is all I can muster.

Last night I fell asleep on the sofa at 2AM with my wireless keyboard in hand.

Poopy.

But I am having a modicum of fun.

Making money is ok.

Right now They say Jump and I say How High. They are good to me so I am doing a lot of Jumping.

It's better than having to decide between doing my laundry or buying coffee.

Well, next month. A 30-day return on invoices = delayed sustenance. But so in 30-days it's party time and I will have clean clothes.

Sometimes 30-days has turned into 130-days and then apparently it = I Work For Free. And then I'm told that I'm supposed to harass people except that I think that that is bullshit. And then people tell me, well that is just business, and I tell them that I think that that is still bullshit. You ask, I do, then you do. It's not really that complicated. If you can't do you don't ask. Where's the complication.

Truth I have more grace than that, my 130-day people know I have more grace than that. Lord knows I'm not a perfect human being. I'm sounding very black and white, but behind the grace is still The Principle of Respect and the Whole Thing and my 130-day people know that too.

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Ohio Kelly arrives in a few hours. Oh Happy Day. Somehow however 10-hour workdays need to still happen in the presence of another person maneuvering around in my teeny tiny flat. How do coupled people do it. I'm spoiled by my isolation. And that is neither an inadvertent or paradoxical oxymoron.

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Pattern makes me happy even though I'd never have the courage sense or know-how to do it like this:

3-20-09 mix 2

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Views

What you can't see in this photo is that it was "choose your seats" day for people buying season's tickets to the new Abbotsford AHL team. Which meant bodies were wandering all over the place checking out the views.

In an arena covered with people, here, there was an empty quiet bit. I am always drawn to the empty quiet bits, to the waiting things.

Five seconds later and people wandered into this shot-frame from all sides. Lucky happenstance :)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

just

This morning I hiked 1.8 miles up 2,800 feet, otherwise known in Vancouver as the Grouse Grind. Joy and I are penciling in a climb up a mountain every weekend for the purpose of working our asses off, literally.

So I'm tuckered out. But a good kind of tired and the fact that my body isn't sore outside of an infernal headache is good news. The run last weekend sort of did my hip in which has left me not super active the past week. Obviously she's on the mend, thankfulness.

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I had some mini-lighting equipment on the weekend so I took some pictures of me for practice. I think I've finally figured out the flash-power to aperture relationship. Takes me a while, my brain can be highly resistant sometimes. Maybe it's time to buy some mini-lighting equipment, it makes portrait-picture-taking tonnes more interesting.


that glass ring is 10 years old



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Crazy insane week. Work isn't letting up one little bit but I have large chunks of pre-scheduled Other time that I can't and won't give up. Which means 50 hours of work needs to happen in way less time than last week. Which means the only thing I can let go of is sleep. Which means, argh, well.

Shit.

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My grandma is in the hospital and things look none so good for her. If you're the praying kind, offer up a little one of Peace for a beautiful woman named Agnes, please?

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Love and beauty all.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Feast or Famine

Right, so I'm a freelance web designer in case you aren't up to speed.

Last month I logged about 40 hours of work. This is SO not enough to live on but it made for a pretty lovely and enjoyable month of Doing Whatever the Heck I Wanted.

This month it is only the 3rd day, only Wednesday. But so far this week I have logged 31 hours of work. This is MORE than enough to live on. But it's only the 3rd day, the 3rd day in what I am promised is a few weeks of insane overflow work coming my way via a company that I Love. I think I am already Losing My Mind. I'm not complaining, work must happen, just somehow, with this kind work it's so very frequently all or nothing and that is Challenging.

I hope I don't lose my mind. I also hope that my ass doesn't get stuck to the chair or that I turn into a hunchback or that all the muscles except the ones in my fingers atrophy or that I grow even huger wrinkles between my eyebrows from my habit of still squinting at the monitor even though it's now Huge or that I forget how to talk to any other real people besides my coffee suppliers.

Lord have mercy.

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Am writing this by way of needing a workbreak in a day where I needed plenty of mini workbreaks because this particular part of designing a website - creating the Info Architecture and Wireframing it out - makes my head spin in counterclockwise circles. It can be incredibly satisfying to channel copious amounts of content into Easy Accessibility, but when the deadline is Yesterday it can be a little overwhelming.

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I took some super quick pictures of these talented men last week. Tough job but someone had to do it. Listen to their beautiful voices here.





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Ok, got to go figure out another Puzzle.

Til I need another break, I hope you all are living in the same kind of sunshine we are over here in Vancity. Happiness.

Monday, June 01, 2009

in support of life

I ran. I have run. Running was done by me.

Or rather, gasping as I propelled myself across the finish line with every ounce of strength I had left inside, begging for water.

Holy cow was it hot in Abbotsford Sunday morning as we gathered for the 2nd annual Run for Water 10k. For the frequent runners in the crowd the heat was probably no more irritating and difficult to overcome than a mosquito buzzing about your ear.

But I am not a frequent outdoor runner. I usually "run" (I always use airquotes when I talk about myself running because I'm not sure 5.2mph is called "running") in the luxury of temperature-controlled gyms, on treadmills. I have never before in my life run in heat and was utterly unprepared for it. I should have brought water. The inconvenience of carrying a bottle of water would have been nothing compared to the mothball-mouth I endured for the last half of the race. Had I had my way there would have been water stations at every single kilometer marking and I would have stopped and made a leisurely trip out of it all.

I managed to finish in 1:12 which is a 7-minute improvement over the 1:19 from the Sun Run. Still near the back of the 10K pack in the grand scheme of things but I never ran before 4 months ago and am not exactly size 4. So I will grab it as an achievement and just try to do better next time.

Which, speaking of, the next 10k on the plate is a crazy crazy run called The Underwear Affair happening in Vancity on July 11. We're trying to gather a group together so if you're interested let me know!

My friend Janis (pronounced Yawnis, not Janice, he's Latvian, forgive him the inconvenient spelling) and I at the completion of the SweatFest:

IMG_0180

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Work is not Life, work supports Life. This is the view from where I sit because of who I am and what I like to spend my time on. I realize not everyone thinks this way, nor should they. Some people are meant to make work their life and love every minute of doing it. God Bless them.

But I like to (scratch that, need to) read and walk and converse and take my time with other things. So work is something that supports this Life and gives me space and financial backing to do it.

Alas, this month requires me to make Work my Life so that next month there is more freedom. A temporary exchange for a future benefit. So I am taking a deep breath and becoming OK with that.

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I have a fan blowing to stay cool which means even if June 21st is a few weeks off, summer has officially landed. The sunshine around these parts is brilliant right now.

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Cheerio all!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Weekending

Will run away down to Seattle this weekend.

Forgot it was Memorial Day when we planned this.

Whatever.

Beautiful friend-people who haven't been seen in too many months trump hideous border lineups.

Must remember to put oil in car so as to prevent car combustion.

And to empty car trunk of 5 full garbage bags of clothes that don't fit in my teeny home in case Border Guard decides to search for contraband. Do Not Feel Like Explaining that I find it impossibly tiresome to sort the Good from the Bad and actually take the Bad away to the Recyclers. Rather let it all get damp and moldy and smelly. And constantly be dragging it in and out of my house when I take people and their mounds of luggage to the airport. Or go for a simple drive over the border. So Much More Fun to do that then to make the 5 minute drive to Sally Ann.


-----

It's been a very slow work week. From the perspective of a Go Go Go Must Work Make Money Progress! Produce! mentality this should concern me.

I did not have that mentality this week. Because this week the sun came out and chased away all the capitalistic demons and left me breathing sweet and easy. Today there is enough to pay bills and buy me coffee. And I know there will be more work coming. Somedays that isn't enough but this week it felt like plenty.

-----

Am typing this on the iPhone from the corner window at Chapters, feet up on the windowsill getting warmed by the sun, looking down with a birdseye view onto the corner of Granville and West 10th. This is one of my favourite places. The smell of books, cup of coffee, the other people who are clearly "Chapters Regulars", half watching/half reading, I've made my way through a dozen books in their entirety without paying for them, oh so carefully making sure their spines remain unbroken so that my pleasure brings no harm to their Future.

Good.

-----

In the continual quest to redecorate my space for notsomuchmoney, am thinking about buying one of these two things. The Melltorp bookshelf goes with the new Melltorp dining table. I'm not really into Matching Things nor am I sure I want an open shelf. But it's cheeeeaapish, so. The PS cabinet, well I've just wanted one of those for longer than I can remember.

Maybe better to get what you want. Conundrum.

0094453_PE232324_S4

54252_PE158403_S4

----

Righto. I have 6.2 miles of running to go tackle, wish me Stamina please.

Peace all. Go mess about and behave like eleven year-olds.
T.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

twitter request / coveting

This makes me unduly happy. Of course he has no idea who I am amongst the 14,000+ people he follows but still, happiness. He is a beautiful human being.



Of course, Kelly right below him also makes me happy. But she's a frequent visitor, so.

People are getting right tired of hearing me talk about the Dog Whisperer. I will stop. It's just, I have a penchant for people with big hearts who have figured out life beyond the immediately visible. It's not really about the dogs. Watching him inspires me.

---

From some Japanese architect ... I really need to learn to remember where / reference these things I find. Alas. I love this home. Covet this home. If I truly believed in the Law of Attraction I'd print these pictures and tape them to the ceiling above my bed, and then one day it would be Mine.

JAPAN
-----

And some other things I love:

LOVE

---

Shot with the G9 yesterday:



grey

Friday, October 31, 2008

Seven Black Notebooks

You ever go through old writing with the aim of reading it one last time before letting it go, tearing it up, burning it evenmaybe?

I've gone through seven black notebooks tonight.

They're only each half-full, mostly written while sitting on uncomfortable stools at coffee shop windows. Scribbled in crazy messy handwriting, littered with lists and quotes. And with the same thoughts cycling around in wayward circles. Good thoughts, necessary thoughts, thoughts that came from somewhere, that meant something, were significant. But past. I've realized they've shifted, I hadn't realized they'd shifted, it startled me, I was wrapped so deep in their comforting madness. So I'm going to do what I have the habit of periodically doing and send five of the seven black notebooks on their merry way to the Paper Shredder en route to a Happy Place of Reincarnation ... as, oh, maybe Starbuck's coffee cups or something. Two I will keep for awhile longer, Because.

I loathe to lose everything to the Recycling Gods, below are bits and bobs from my pen that are edible for public consumption. So much else I will squirrel away. Questions, mysteries, guffaws, epiphanies, angerballs, tantrums, prayers, dreams, "what the fuck / holy shit / hot damns" and pages and pages of Thankfulness. I will save these, inside this container I call my body, kept in the Story of Me and only let out, maybe, FacetoFace with you.

Warning, what follows is a long post of possible drivel. So tackle it in pieces, or if you're in the mood, grab a warm drink (or a stiff drink) and make yourself comfortable. I'm drinking whisky and will be up for awhile.

Peace and Openness all.
If I go away from this digital space I will come back.
I'm looking at
some Analogue Shoring Up.
And some Dancing.
On Rooftops.
Under Stars.


*********************************

There is a space inbetween thought and actuality that can stretch out for miles. It can trip you up, suck you in, cause you to stumble. Sometimes you want to jump over it, it doesn't seem so far actually. But when you take your foot off one ledge the other ledge pulls farther away and it's all you can do to right yourself and keep from falling head over heels into a hole with no ending.

*****

Sometimes I think I'm one step out of synch with the Universe. One step too late. Hesitation has consequences. It's like someone else is living my life, one moment ahead of me, doing/being/getting what I want. I want to catch up and tell them to Stop Stealing.

*****

I've got a crazy sappy song in my ears. I have no idea who it is. Came off a CD someone burned for me, imported into iTunes as "Track 03". I have about 12 "Track 03s" in my iTunes library. Confusing as hell. Maybe I'll make an album of 33 Track 03s, like a grab bag of musical psychosis ensconced in Prime Number Perfection.

*****

Do you ever feel like your eyes just need to cry? Not because you're emotional about something, there's no reason to cry. Just that the sensation of tears welling up and running over your eyeballs feels Really Really Good.

*****

Sometimes I break into a Conversation With God that seems audible. Weird how it always happens when I'm standing at the middle of the Granville Street Bridge, staring at Aquabuses, caught in the wind. Maybe there's some sort of wacky doorway Vortex there.

*****

Every person you encounter is another soul. Another Life Being Lived. They are not a reflection of you. They are not a hologram that you're projecting on a wall. They don't perform actions because you ask them to. They don't perform actions as a result of thoughts that you have. You are not writing the story of Their life. And you're not looking at the face of Your Past or Your Future. You're looking at Someone.

*****

This moment is about the Space inbetween the words Goodbye and Hello.

There is a fan spinning in the screen of my iPod.

*****

Jonathan Franzen in The Discomfort Zone:

I was cocooned in cocoons that were themselves cocooned.

*****

Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Go.

*****

You will find it by observing reality around you. And you will find it by observing reality within you. Anything beyond that, anything that smacks just a little of violence, that carries even a suspicion of untruth, that wounds or has a trace of deception, these are ... Blah Blah Blah. Just copying from an old page I wrote, I have no patience for all of that right now. All I want to do is decorate my apartment and now here this is my pen, babbling to fill up space, babbling Nothingness to fill up 4 more lines in this freaking stupid book.

*****

I am eating an egg sandwich. "Hungry Eyes" is on the coffee shop radio. Hello 1987, feathered earrings, shaved hair, plaid stirrup pants.

"The Great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for". I don't remember who wrote that.

*****

There is tension in the midst of knowledge and action. There is a question of courage required and courage shown. There is the attraction to Other just because it is Other. There is understanding that you ask too many questions and that it is the questions that stop you, that freeze you from motion, that glue your feet. Questions that are full of asking and empty of answers.

There is Acceptance of Self, and Remembering of Self. There is something you've been told, is it really truth. There's the taking off of a coat that never really fit, it's too slow though, one stitch at a time, just painstakingly erodes away. There is the word Indoctrinated that stabs your head with feelings of Injustice. There's the question, Why This? Why not Something Else?

*****

Your wanting is wishing. And wishing has no substance because it requires no action. Wanting needs an action, needs exploration to give it Definition.

You make stories around what might be real. Instead of breathing into the story that is real. Take your head out of the Fiction and Listen. Stories become Walls that hide Truth from Experience.

*****

I'm not sitting where I want to be sitting today.

*****

It rained steady in Vancouver today, sometimes just a misting, sometimes near enough to drown you. So, logically, what a person should do on a day like today is go for a Six Hour Walk. Which is what I did. I can't feel my legs anymore and here are holes in my shoes.

*****

Frederich Buechner:

We fail a friend, or a friend fails us, and we are appalled at the capacity we all of us have for estranging the very people in our lives we need the most.

*****

There is no rainfall the same as the rain that fell before. Live in Vancouver long enough and you begin to disseminate rain the same way the eskimos disseminate snow.

*****

You go you come you feel failure and sometimes this thing that might be joy. You look in the face of every person who walks past and you wonder Do they feel this, Is there a question in their veins. You pass and you get taken up in the Idea of so many people with so many thoughts but are they really any different?

*****

Wants can be Shape Shifters that take on the form of a person. In truth, the person may not be the same as the Want at all.

*****

Our state of mind is our responsibility. Whether we experience peace or conflict is determined by the choice we make in how we see people and situations, whether we see them as worthy of love or as justifying our fear. I don't remember who said that. Maybe that cartoon guy.

*****

You sit with a word, chew it, peek around its edges and you wonder if it is the Right Word to write. Then you wonder if any word will ever be Right. There is no word better than looking into a person's eye and gathering in truth. Not even a really great word like Epiphany or Peripheral or Farcical.

*****

Someone in the coffee shop just asked me what I was writing in this here book and I told them, it's The Story of My Mental Chaos.