Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
But I've discovered the answer! The timer! Ceramic might have flaws, but being able to set the timer AND HAVE THE BURNER TURN ITSELF OFF rocks.
I'm a runner now. Seriously! I'm slow, it's true, I only run just under an 8 minute km, but I finished my C25K program in September and have continued running at least 5 k a week. I know, it's nuts. Running is a funny thing. I want to say I love it, but really what I ought to say is I love *after* it. Just this morning my ankles were creaking and my neck was sore and ugh, I really didn't want to run. But my cleaning lady was at the flat so I had to be out and f*ck it, why ever not? I ran my little heart out and in no time at all it was over and I was picking up a lovely cappuccino from my favourite Israeli chain...
This fall is a quiet time for travel. After completely blowing the bank this summer and also booking a ticket home for xmas (I need to renew my driver's license) I decided to have a stay-cation for fall break. It's been a fantastic time so far, so no regrets there!
A few weeks ago I was in Moscow for a meeting, which was really exciting! I was raised during the Cold War era, so you can imagine my surprise on arriving in Moscow and finding supermarkets full of groceries, no one standing in line and frankly, nothing much (except for the Kremlin) to distinguish it from many other cities in Eastern Europe. The Kremlin *was* cool. The incredibly small (in both ways) Faberge egg collection is fascinating. The dead Czars not so much. The dresses of Czarinas stuffed to ACTUAL size was interesting. I was surprised to discover that the church in the Red Square is NOT in fact in the Kremlin. Hmmm, maybe I should post some photos.
I'm off to Lisbon next month for more meetings (jealous of my life yet? I am!). My sister has wrangled herself into the same meetings, so that's pretty exciting! I expect to be sipping port and eating custard with her to a ridiculous extent - which I can because did I mention I'm a runner now?
I've been a reading maniac, too. Latest book was REAMDE by Neal Stephenson. Yet another awesome book by one of my favourite writers. Earlier this fall I read The Hunger Games Trilogy - holy cow that was two weekends gone! I read the whole series and then turned around and read it again. Even writing that sentence I'm thinking maybe I need to read it again. It's hard to imagine how I could be so enthralled with something in the "teen lit" category but there you are, they're FASCINATING and ENGAGING novels.
We have a whole slew of new people at work - all are fantastic. None single. I might just have to start scouring the city for a man who showers. Seriously, showering and deodorant are not a high priority for the men in this country. But then I suppose if I did like the look of one, I could probably talk him into bathing - after all, I have a clean 14 year old!
Ahh, yes, the G. He's a giant. He has a deep manly voice and shaves. Sometimes I run into him at the bar. No seriously, the drinking age here is pretty much non-existant, so he can go to bars. I had the unfortunate experience last weekend of walking into the same one as him - of course the well-behaved lad that he is, he wandered over right away to confess his sins and declare he ought to go home right away. I think it might have been his first bar experience so no doubt now he'll think I'll be at any bar he goes to! Luckily he still prefers his xbox to pretty much anything else....
So there's an update!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Couch to 5k is something that people have been talking about a lot over this past year. Basically it's a simple interval training program to help non-runners become runners. I had worried I wouldn't be able to do it as I've been pretty devoutly against running since forever. But with the app, it's SO easy! No thinking or negotiating, "Michael" tells me when to run and when to walk. My own music plays and the gps on my phone tracks distance and pace. I don't even hate "Michael" as much as I thought I might, his voice is gently commanding and really, when he says run you just do, is all.
I've just finished the first week of ten. That has me actually running only about 8 minutes of the thirty minute workout, but that's 8 minutes more than I've run in any interval.
What's interesting is that I love it. Well, the first ten minutes or so is rough, but the endorphins kick in after that and I genuinely enjoy the rest. I got me thinking that endorphins are the body's way of saying thank you and encouraging me to keep going. I'm also beginning to suspect that running feeds a primal need so basic I can't even put words to it. With each workout I enjoy it more and what's really interesting is that the feeling lasts all day - long after the endorphins have left my bloodstream. What other than satisfying a primal need could that be?
If you have been thinking about picking up running or if you have been scared off running from a lifetime of failed jogs staggering for air, I highly recommend giving it a try - you won't look back.
All Canadian girls read Anne- it's a rite of passage. As I went through and read the books, I was amazed at how well I remembered them (these days I can read a book and then a few months later pick up the same book and not realize I've already read it until I'm halfway through!). I was also amazed to find how much of my own identity is tied up with Anne's. In You've Got Mail, Meg Ryan's character says, "When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does." and she couldn't have been more right!
It has been a lovely gift to run into preadolescent me and to get to know her again. I highly recommend it.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
In Antwerp, it's a bit like living in Vancouver. People are a little more fashionable although err on the side of comfortable. Lots more bikes, but the same pro-fitness views prevail. Amazing food. My gym is pretty typical.
It is making a nice break from the harshness of Kiev - things here are just softer and easier. People understand English or I can explain in French. Life is simple and I love it.
Friday, July 01, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
I watch a few Ted talks a month and I've seen some incredible ones. This one is worth watching.
It struck a particular chord with me because over the past year or so I've come to realise that as nice as having hair would be, I wouldn't trade it for the experience of losing it. I've learned more about myself and come to understand more about my own power from the experience than I ever would have imagined. I'm more me because of it and I like being me!
Sunday, May 29, 2011
I got both!!
On the work front I had an amazing year full of interesting challenges and best of all, got the promotion I'd hoped for. Next year holds new challenges and a great team to work with.
On the travel front, I've been to Antwerp, Paris, Nice, Prague, Singapore, Frankfurt, Rome, and Venice. Quite a bit more travel than I expected! Next year looks to be Antwerp, Vancouver, Thailand and Tanzania!
There were some surprises, too. I've spent three holidays with my sister, who is notoriously busy. I know it sounds a little cheesy, but reconnecting with her has probably been the highlight of my year!
The G turned into a man this year. It has not been an easy road, but being the mother of a 6'4" shaving deep-voiced gentleman has certainly made me realize I really can do anything I set my mind to.
So there you have it - jumping off the deep end to change your career and live in a very foreign country where you know nary a soul can indeed turn out to be the very best thing you can do!!
Friday, May 20, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
In this case, it will be us, sans children! Sans spouse! We have not spent a weekend alone together in more than a decade!
Of course, I am presenting at the conference, so this weekend it will be nose to the grindstone in preparation....
Monday, March 14, 2011
trouble pulling away from the terrible news from Japan.
So much sadness at the earthquake and devastating tsunami. So much
anger at the idiocy of building dangerous power plants on that most
exposed spot. So much worry that the radiation will end up riding the
jet stream and infecting my beautiful home country.
And then there's all the unrest in the middle east and wait, a volcano
erupting in southern Japan...
This is why I usually don't watch the news!!!!
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Over the past year or so I've had the nugget of an idea floating around. It all started when I was reading A Most Dangerus Animal. It is about war, but actually what I got out of it was one simple idea: that man has only become powerful because of community. That before we worked together, man was mostly a tiger and bear snack. When that fully trickled down in my brain, I thought about how much of my life had been about my own path and how little of it had much of a foundation in community, which, if you think about it, really doesn't make any sense. If we are only powerful together, why would my life goal be to stand apart?
It changed my life. I stopped thinking about where I was going and started trying to figure out how I could surround myself with community. Of course that led me to realize that as much as I enjoyed the companionship of some of my friends where I was living, it just wasn't the community for me. My people are nomads and these people, lovely though they are, prefer property over planes.
This past week, this idea grew a little clearer. Where before it was just something I was thinking about as a concept, I saw an amazing speaker who took it a step further (here he is on YouTube). He said if you are truly yourself, you will attract like-minded people. Not a mind-blowing concept, right? Except here's the thing: he also pointed out that if you are not your authentic self, you will attract people like what you're being, which in my mind means at THE very least, liars.
So if I told you my ex was a big liar, what would that tell you about who I was then? Inauthentic, at the very least. The reason why this was such revelation to me was that I've never really thought about keeping your own deepest most personal self to yourself as being a bad thing. I mean really, what's wrong with that? To be fair to me, I don't think I really realized what I was doing - I hardly understood what it meant to be me, let alone that I was being inauthentic.
But that very relationship did force me to begin to see myself, as has my alopecia and being a lone parent to my son. Every day my own authentic self becomes clearer and as it does and as I choose to really be in my own skin and true to it, I can feel myself finding more kindred spirits out in the world.
Putting the two pieces together, I had this wonderful ah-ha moment where I realized that I need to always be putting my most me, me out there so that I can build myself a community of people who share my passions. That's really different from just finding people to hang out with, which is just how I WAS living my life.
Friday, March 04, 2011
This combination of events is so quintessentially Asia.