July, 2010

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Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Today I swam 1km.  I would say it’s been at least a year since I’ve done that.  The whole experience was very nostalgic.  I was reminded of summers past at the best swimming pool in the world.  I was also, though, reminded of over ten years of outdoor-pool swimming: the chlorine smell, the bugs, the wanting to only breath on the right but making myself breath on both.

Two days ago I biked.  Well, I BIXI-ed (BIke/taXI).  I literally cannot remember my last time on a bike.  BUT, as they say: you never forget.  Admittedly, flip-flops add a whole new dimension to the experience (as do crazy drivers, crazy jay-walkers, and a zillion other cyclists all around you).

Exercise is not the only soul food here, though.  [Which, on trip #10, is an idea I’m now well-aquainted with].   The food-food is soul-food, too.  Yesterday was one of my best meals ever.  I had mussels, and I never have mussels.  From wontons, to guacamole, to muffins, to Piknik food… I’ve been in very good hands.

Then with the addition of the most substantial soul food layer, the music and the company, I’m a whole new person.  Literally.  Already.  Completely renewed, especially when compared to my Lethbridge Self.  I’m not even really ‘that music person’ that obsesses, collects, and dives-right-in to musical experiences.  Here already though, there’s been Jazz, Piknik Electronik, getting to West African groove to actual tam-tams.

My only other quest is to steal some quiet moments for free-reading.  I think I should be able to take that on, too.

Then… when I leave… in just over a week =(… the goal is to bring some of this swimming/biking/eating/smiling/dancing/listening/reading routine back with me.

You know, spread some Montreal in YYC.  🙂

The unmeasurable. (or Piknik Kanon)

Monday, July 26th, 2010

What constitutes a picnic?  A bag of chips?  …a bag of chips with carrot sticks?  Is it the sandwich that  takes a backpack-full-of-snacks to the next level?


At what point does a picnic become a picnic for two?

At Piknic Electronik the picnic cannonical, must be explored.  Well… if you want to bring in some vino (and/or beer).

M.(/K.)S. and I  crossed our fingers and toes as our Piknic Basket was explored: two PB&J sandwiches, half a bag of carrot sticks, a full bag of fuzzy peaches and half a bag of pistachios.  Our bag searcher looked less than optimistic.  It ended coming down to the fact that we had two sandwiches AND the pistachios.

Phew we qualified.

Just barely for  two people.  We were fine.  Our beverages were fine.

Turns out: we’re not the only ones playing the game.  [Albeit a new game, up until this year, there were no food/drink stipulations.  One had beverage amnesty.].

Our perfect day was even more perfect as we danced and laughed with familiar faces.  As I shared our Piknik Qualification Standard experience to one familiar face, she smiled.  ‘Oh, I just bring in everything that’s left in the cupboard… even if it’s moldy bread.  Easy.  I learned that lesson very early on.’

Yet again, we made something much more complex than it needed to be.

No matter.  …I still feel like a Montreal expert.  [Mostly because of Internet F.A.Q.’s which already have probably come into play half-a-dozen times, and I’ve only been here for one sleep].

…and most important of all: the day was destined to be perfect no matter what.  Amazing music.  Amazing company.  Amazing weather.  …smiles everywhere as each person tried to make the most of their summers!
It’s just another perfect example of something-you’d-never-have-to-think-about if it weren’t for the best city ever.

P.S. [and perhaps MOST importantly]: we did so well, we’re famous!

to return

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

I love airports.  I’m very George-Clooney-in-Up-In-the-Air like that.

I’m in one now.  …all checked in, on free wifi, waiting to board.  Montreal-bound.

I’m a bit more undecided if I like overnight flights… but, meh: I’m on the way to [one of] my favourite place[s].

Some stats:
– This is YUL trip number 10.
– This is YUL last week of July/First week of August trip number 7.
– If it wasn’t for the graduate degree, this would be a month-excursion maybe.  2006, 2008, 2010.  BUT, not this round.

Someone, over dinner, tonight asked a really great question: What will I do this trip that I haven’t done before?
– Calypso Waterpark?
– the inside of the Biosphere?
– BIXI bikes?

– who knows??

BUT, tomorrow, I’m waking up to some familiar: some tam tams, Piknic Electronique, …music (and hopefully great weather!) to fill my Sunday.

I love airports.  I love beginnings.

I love coupons too (and don’t worry: I have a bagful).

Hopi Prophesy Excerpt

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

“This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

Follow the Breath …in 3.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010
In no particular order.
  1. Yesterday I went to yoga the yoga studio solo.  The only downside to this, is that there is occasionally partner-work.  It’s a bit of a vulnerable feeling being in a hot yoga studio (wondering if your mat is stinking up the room, sweating to the nth degree, being one of a few guys) and partnering up with a random girl.  At the end of our partner-work which wasn’t balance work (phew!) but instead some cueing/release-work.  Upon the end, our instructor asked us to shake hands and return to our own mats.  Instead of a handshake, I got a hug, [a sturdy, sweaty, grateful hug] and it made me really smile.  I think I forget that the majority of yogis are joyful, non-judging, well-rounded people.  Thanks, in part to her, maybe my next four sessions (before YUL), I won’t be so worried/self-conscious about how bendy I look… and instead just do my best.
  2. I had one of my most lucid, vivid dreams ever last night.  I was giving C.P.R. to someone who fell down a cliff and into water.  It was insanely real.  Insanely, insanely real.  The smells, the lighting, the feeling, the sounds: all of it.  Wonder what that could mean?  I’ve never actually given C.P.R. but in my lifeguarding days, I’ve come very close.  Strange dream to have out of the blue like that.
  3. I am on holidays!  Today’s the first day it seems totally real.  I got a haircut.  I made a fragrance purchase at my favourite [downtown] Bay.  I tried to get some sun.  A few e-mails and Facebook messages are making me feel like the upcoming Montreal trip is right on track!  I’ve had so many opportunities today to just *sigh* and smile and be very, very glad.  My biggest decisions coming up will be what [books and clothes] to bring poolside to my favourite city!


Friday, July 9th, 2010

Today was a perfect day for reflection.

Between class and an evening of homework, I had an appointment with my internship liaison at the university.  We were meeting to discuss potential internship options.  At one point, he looked up and asked what my overarching goal was–as far as what I planned to do with this graduate degree–so that my internship could reflect that goal and be a noteworthy experience to that end.

I looked at him and said I wasn’t quite sure.  It wasn’t one of those job interview moments where I responded either stuck or stunned, it was a moment of honesty.  I described what I wasn’t looking for and the general parameters of where my career thinking has been lately.

He didn’t judge or act caught of guard.  In fact, he seemed to understand.  In fact, he shed some light and provided some guidance.

Later on this evening, I extended the question. I thought of more overarching goals–not just related to studies, or career potential–but in a much broader sense.  Then, I devoted some time to some writing and thought (and snacking) to that end.

Who knows if the answers I jotted down will come of something?  At least a few members of my cohort seem to think these sorts of moments have some value; the accredit these moments to much of what they have so far.

Where am I headed?  What do I want?  Well…… my July 9th documents folder, alongside my project work, has some reflections within it to that end.

Today, here in Lethbridge, was the perfect day for refection.

And I have to wonder… is 300KM of travel a necessary catalyst?   …or is the 3000KM to my usual destination, Montreal?  Meh, I’m grateful to have both/either under my belt.

Change is as good as a rest…

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

It’s probably a GOOD thing when I have too much of a life to write about it at any great length.

  1. I have a new job in the fall??!!  I know I’ve jotted some thoughts about this already…..but I don’t know if it’s sunk in.  I was more sentimental at the good-byes than I’d even imagined (and I’d imagined quite a bit of sentiment).  As much as I feel fairly well-positioned for ‘change’, this is still a big one!
  2. I’m in Lethbridge!  Summer two of three for graduate studies.  I’m definitely less fearful of the unknown than I was round one… this round I’m doing the residence thing.  We’re two days into it.  I have done a SCWACK of work already, including a seminar today, but it’s all gone well AND now I kind of have only a manageable amount of tasks left ahead of me which I’m kind of loving.  My cohort is amazing.  We’ve already found time to eat, commune, scheme, and laugh… and I could not be more grateful.  I tend to find such incredible people in my adventures!
  3. YUL (Montreal).  It’s coming together!  YAY!  You wouldn’t guess it, because, I operate quite often with many loose ends, but when it comes to any type of travel… I really do like it when the travel-related stuff is pretty together well in advance of everything–maybe so I can look forward to it all more, especially as I’m typing/reading/planning/A.P.A.ing…
  4. I made it to our beloved rodeo.  I had to behave because of all the homework/moving/early-summer-chaos.  This is twice now grad. studies have messed with sacred times of the year–first, teachers’ convention; now, this.
  5. I’m welcoming some time off soon.  I feel like I could use a bit of a rest, and breather.  haha… when did I become so dispositioned to fill every waking hour??!