Into the future – one celebrity purse auction at a time!

November 27, 2009

How often do you see a well built man in his underwear lay down his purse, ever so gently, and hit the floor for a vigorous set of clap pushups? Want to get in on the action? And find out why my husband wasn’t worried? My article about the YWCA of Calgary’s first annual Open Your Purse event is now up at Calgary Fashion – The Fashion Media Collective.

Dear readers, I recently wrote about a momentous life choice. It’s incredible what can happen when you risk a front-row-center chance on your dreams. Ending up, literally, front row center is just the beginning…


Allen Iverson and the quiet gratification of semantics

November 26, 2009

Official SavingCymbria Iverson Tribute ~We'll miss you!~

The husband and I got into a heated debate last night over Allen Iverson’s retirement. I argued that ‘ego’ had to have been a factor in the gifted basketball player’s decision to leave the game. This accusation came across as cruel blasphemy to the diehard fan beside me on the couch.

“He doesn’t have an ego!” My husband was obstinate. “He’s just proud and uncompromising.”

Point. Set. Match.

Update: Way to go Philly for making this post entirely null and void

The greatest loophole in gastronomical history

November 19, 2009

This morning’s chocolate craving was fierce, unrelenting, and entirely unexpected. I’m usually the one pining for her own Ikea desktop salt-lick. But the holidays are coming, and my palate is way ahead of the Bay’s Christmas window dressers. How can I concentrate with sleigh-bells ringing in my ears and thoughts of chocolate advent calendars – dose-a-day methadone clinics for chocolate addled brains – getting in the way? No chestnuts though, roasted or otherwise. I’m allergic to tree nuts. Therein lies the problem.

What sick, discriminatory urge drove the first person to mix nuts with chocolate, business with pleasure? What a waste. What a tease. Like this morning… when, just as my craving was peaking, I discovered two boxes of chocolates on our office kitchen counter. Oh sweet relief? One was chocolate covered almonds; the other was the biggest tease of all: Turtles. Ever since that one magical Christmas long ago, when I found a stash of Peanut-Turtles hidden on the bottom shelf of a Shoppers Drug Mart in Ottawa, every ‘pecan’ box has been its own disappointment.

I didn’t panic. I just did the one thing I’ve been tempted to do ever since I can remember:  The Loophole. Yes, I nibbled, ever so delicately, around the nuts. In theory, brilliant… In practice? I’m still alive, aren’t I (touch wood). What’s a little lip tingle in the grand scheme of things? People pay thousands for Angelina Jolie’s pucker. My genetics are primed to give me one for free. Nothing like the tiniest hint of anaphylactic action to sweeten a Thursday morning.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…

November 17, 2009
click through for a closer look

The tome in all its glory ~click through for a closer look~

Which would you choose? This tome was waiting for me in the middle of my desk one recent Monday morning. I’d already been offered the promotion, but the spiral bound beast of a book made it suddenly real. Robert Frost’s poem – along with my life – flashed before my eyes. Was I really going to become a geophysical technician?

Almost everyone I surveyed pushed for “Yes!” Huge pay increase, new skill-set, broader career options… how could I say no? Not to mention give up the unprecedented honour of being the first Printing Supervisor (aka Paper Roller) to ever be given the opportunity to start training up the geophysical food chain. Flattered? Yes. Tempted? Sure.


There’s a reason why people say they “fell” into their jobs. Do I want a passive, accidental future? Do you? We live in an incredible era of choice. While it’s true that such freedom can be crippling – the studies have been done –  we may as well take advantage of our post-modern culture while we can. For the first time in human history, there is enough flexibility, in terms of our basic survival, for us to pursue our passions. There is a cost, of course. Once one takes an active roll in one’s future, there is that heavy, inescapable pressure of having to back up words with work – hard work. What to choose?

I said no.

What now? All I can do is keep listing to that little voice, the one that wants so badly. What’s yours whispering in your ear? Mine wants to write, to challenge, to design, to explore. I don’t know what happens from here, but I have faith in the future. And as long as I keep writing towards it, I’ll know I’m on the right road.

Note: Yes, that is Will Wheaton – aka Wesley Crusher from Star Trek TNG – straddling my office moisturizer. How does that intro go again? To boldly go where no one has gone before…  how apropos.

Prelude to a choice…

November 13, 2009


“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood…”

Robert Frost

The Tome

What would you do if you found this tome in the middle of your desk on a Monday morning? Stay tuned...

An immortal quote for a not so immortal moment

November 12, 2009

I found this gem of a quote in the back of The Calgary Sun:

“What you love – becomes your master.”

“Would you agree?” I asked my ever-so-wise husband.

“Oh, yes.” He smiled at me, and kept smiling until I figured out why.

A short note on the importance of context…

November 11, 2009
An inoktook in Banff

An inukshuk in Banff, Alberta - Larger than life?

How wide do you stretch your frame of reference? Not just in photography, although these Banff pics do make a snazzy allegory, but in how you see yourself. How close do you crop?

It’s really a matter of context. How much are you willing to let into the picture? One word on a page is black and white, but it’s funny how quickly the paper turns grey as you add to the story. It takes real courage to rip yourself out of a nice, cozy, swaddled reality. As we extend our frame of reference to include the motivations of other people, cultures, and histories, we are forced to surrender (albeit incrementally) the security of control – a hard sacrifice for those who prefer to direct their worlds, and be justified by them.

I’m not talking about abandoning yourself to some universal “flow”, but more about finding a way to exist as a secure self in an open, ever changing world. The first step is to allow yourself to be justified (validated) by an outside source – Gödel was onto something. I know I’m being biased here, but I highly recommend God. The next key is to give up a little of that control. Can you hear it? Yep, that’s the world, and it’s still  turning, a miracle, I know.

Get to know yourself, without judgment or regret. Just be honest for a minute, within the context of only you. Who are you? What do you really want? Ok, so maybe a minute is cutting it a bit tight, but you get the idea. This self-knowledge can take away so much of the questioning and vulnerability of “big picture” living. Once you’re ready to open your frame of reference, you’ll be amazed at how the scale of everything changes. Sure, in the grand scheme of it all, you shrink down almost to nothing, but you’ll be amazed at how many new, big, bold possibilities can squeeze into a big life.

Hmmmm... not so much!  Note: special thanks to context leg model G

Hmm... not so much. ~Special thanks to leg model G~