Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

moving forward

Someone special to me recently offered her insight into the end of relationships. She said two things about how girls cope.

1. When a guy gets over a girl, he may still come back to her. When a girl gets over a guy (and honestly gets over him), then she’ll never go back.
2. Breakups are a great motivator. Taking those lonely moments as a chance to know yourself better and move forward with your goals, makes abandoning old worlds easier.

We’ve all been the one on the other end of the connection, coaching someone dear through their fragile moments and the inevitable desperation that comes with the strangling sense of loss. We can believe in them, and their undeniable strength, but struggle to convince them that things will get better. All too often, people sacrifice their independence on the altar of commitment. It’s not wrong to depend on others, but it’s dangerous to forget how to rely on yourself.

It helps to look forward. For more insight see (image via ffffound).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

open for business

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

you won't get him, thinkin' and a prayin'

valentine's day is coming. mission: find a sweetheart.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

what would you do to save the world?

It’s no secret that Aid is a business. Most days I feel inundated by do-gooders – they’re the voices at the other end of cold calls, the hopeful faces flashing across the television screen, and the bright-smiled grads in cheaply printed cotton jerseys working the heavily trafficked pedestrian corners. They’re paid to believe that every penny counts, and they double their commissions when they convince you how a little support goes a long way.

I typically avoid them, shirk them, hang up the handset and cross the street. I curse the small way they inconvenience my day, but when the world seems to crumble, I’m thankful that there are others stepping up to the challenges.

I’ve been out of work for some time now, and up until a week ago I could hear the death rattles as my bank balance struggled to stay above the red. My first paycheck will be my saving grace, but in the wake of catastrophe, the need to hoard my earnings doesn’t seem so essential. I’m blessed that I have the means and support to survive without pinching every penny, or worrying about waking up to dry taps and an empty pantry. So when that first infusion of cash hits the bank, I plan on transferring out a day’s pay – one day of work for someone else. It’s a small commitment, but if I can afford my biweekly latte, then I should certainly be able to devote a day’s pay to the service of others. It’s my first step towards making things a little bit better. What are you doing?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

the lost chapters - creepy crawlies

If there are any benefits to being stranded just north of pleasant climates, it’s that the persistent chill keeps bug life to a minimum. Like any other country, they flourish mainly in the gentler seasons – so we are blessed that we spend so much time outside the company of pain-in-the-butt, pint-sized pests.

South of the equator was a different story. Our house was a surrogate home to any number of creepy, crawly, atomic-sized insects. The freakiest were the giant black centipedes whose jet black bodies measured 6-8 inches long and were a centimeter wide. They slunk along on thousands of ruby red tentacles, and contracted into a tight spiraled package the moment they were knocked off their path. We have them in Canada, but they’re 1/100 of the size and not nearly as spine-tinglingly peculiar.

My run-ins with cockroaches, mosquitoes, ants, and centipedes (not to mention more mobile game like rats and lizards) became as routine my morning coffee, and at some point I dropped my Western standards of hygiene and started looking the other way. This was especially the case when the bugs got between me and whatever I needed – like the sugar in my tea. Ants invaded the sugar tins. They swarmed the shelves in the pantry and it was next to impossible keep them out or avoid scooping up a straggler or two when dipping in for a teaspoon of sweetener. My strategy was to dodge as many as I could, and then carefully eye the stream as I poured the grains into my tea. They also loved to run up the legs and along the surface of the dining room table. There was a bottle of exterminating spray, but the particles would hang in the air after spraying, making it difficult to enjoy your food while choking down mouthfuls of disinfectant.

The same went for my daily layering of mosquito spray, but it was hardly something I could avoid. None of the bedrooms in the house had mosquito nets. It wasn’t much of a problem for the locals, but my blood was like the nectar of the gods to the little biters and they swarmed in through the screen-less window in my room whose shutter had fallen off it’s hinge and wouldn’t fit back into the frame. There were several make-shift attempts to resolve the problem, but in the end, bathing in insect repellent, cranking the AC and sleeping with my head under the covers was the most effective solution – my apologies to global warming.

coming soon