Oh Adele, we could have had it all… but then Monday joined the party

June 27, 2011

“There’s a fire starting…”

The last snooze timed out and Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ jolted me out of doze mode. The beat found me under the covers and grabbed me by the foot. Next thing I knew I was rocking out an impromptu Rolling Stone photo shoot. I went for it with full-on Lindsay Lohan abandon – sheets flying back arching hair tossing lips pouting hands on hips…etc. For my glorious finale I swept back my hair, flashed a dashing smile to the invisible camera, and swung my legs (toes pointed) gracefully over the side of the bed – my left ankle bone lining up perfectly with the corner of the bedside table…

<SMACK>”… you played it to the beat…”

I spent the last few bars of the song curled up in fetal position nursing my injury. Thank you Monday, thank you very much.

What do you do when Monday steals your glamour? You take it back! When I got to work I found Adele’s song online, shut my office door, and proceeded to rock out hard core, with full-on Cymbria abandon – arms flailing hips swinging hair flying knees bobbing face grinning…etc. Even tethered to the computer by headphones, I gave it my all. Was anyone watching from behind the half-closed retirement home blinds outside my window? Who cares! You know what, I hope they were watching! And I hope they felt my joy. We only get one life, may as well live it dancing!


After eight years of marriage… caught in the act!

May 30, 2011

Oh the shame. I know we all do it. It’s natural, oh so satisfying, and perfectly healthy. But I managed to go eight long years before my husband ever caught me in the act. I could have sworn I heard the door shut after him on his way to work. I was so sure I was alone…

Then the shower curtain tweaked open and there was his rosy cheeked face looking up at me all innocent and questioning, as if seeing me for the very first time…

“Were you…?” he asked, his smile gleeful as he peeled back the last layer of his wife’s nakedness. “Were you really singing in the shower?”


Born in a Walmart parking lot… The Urban Yoke

March 1, 2011

Ever notice how a shopping cart is almost exactly the size of a car’s trunk? Both can comfortably fit a body and/or the spoils of a Sunday morning mission to Walmart. This revelation came too late for yours truly, who recently found herself stranded in the middle of a snowy Walmart parking lot with a cart’s worth pile of loot heaped at her feet, but no car, no trunk, and no options – and stubbornness can only take a girl so far.

Behold... The Urban Yoke (and delightful shadow angel - who watches over those of us foolish enough to buy more than we can carry)Just then, a small sedan pulled up out of nowhere. The driver opened his door and leaned out. “Are you ok? Do you need a hand there?”

Now, I’m a great believer in chivalry; I take an opened door with all due grace and appreciation. But I draw the line at accepting rides – however fortuitous – from strange men in Walmart parking lots, men who quite possibly spend their Sunday mornings trolling said parking lots for bodies to fit snugly into their trunks.

“No thanks,” I said, with all due grace and appreciation, “I’m fine. It’s just a question of logistics.”


Now, I’m also a great believer in creative problem solving. I took a fresh look at all my available resources (excluding the man who gave me a weird look before driving off). Eureka! And the ‘Urban Yoke’ was born! Note toilet paper back padding. After a joyous stroll home (ok I’ll be honest here, it was still one heck of a trudge) I pulled the hubby out of bed to come take a picture of my genius. He also gave me a weird look, especially when I described my vision for an ergonomically molded, carbon fiber version for Mountain Equipment Coop. I guess some of us are just ahead of our time….and other people don’t buy more than they can carry, sigh.


Harvard Medical School’s FIVE Keys To Happiness

January 13, 2011

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Whether you’re determined to shed that extra turkey weight or change careers, the end goal is always the same… to increase your happiness. One current scientific theory, substantiated by reams of research, is that we are all born with a genetic happiness ‘set point’. But just because you were a gnarly teen, or mopey twentysomething, it doesn’t mean you’re condemned to live out the rest of your life in emo purgatory. According to Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D., assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, there are five key lifestyle tweaks we all can make to maximize our happiness:

1. Practice using our strengths, particularly our virtues (ie: curiousity, compassion)

2. Practice internal and external gratitude for what we have, and towards the people who show us love and generousity

3. Savour the moment by practicing mindfulness (seriously, have you ever truly experienced an orange? Its intricacies of form and flavour will blow your mind)

4. Engage in the process (ie: feeling ‘in the zone’ while writing, or heck, even knitting)

5. Live meaningfully by serving others rather than our own egos (my own ego is pouting in a corner over this one, but no amount of whining can refute the piles of evidence supporting #5)

So go forth and be happy! Not buying it? Ok, ok, so go forth and be happier! I just can’t believe that Harvard hasn’t caught on to #6. But whatever path or key you choose, don’t forget that the rollercoaster is what drives the magic. So go forth and click out of this embarrassingly Oprah-atic post and get back to surfing this grand ol’ distraction from mortality we call the web. I suggest Youtube, because you never know when you’ll click your way into a wee spot of wisdom.


A sure sign it’s time to do the dishes…

November 26, 2010

“Can you get me a plate?” called hubby from the living room.

“Um… there are no plates,” I answered from the kitchen.

He didn’t skip a beat. “Or something plate-like then?”

With all due pomp and circumstance, I presented my man with a Tupperware lid.

In the years since the renegotiation of THE (infamous) DEAL – a politically charged, highly controversial, bit of newlywed legislation – we’ve held a long running Mexican Standoff over the dishes. And, much like the World War II era housewives who fashioned ball gowns out of mattress ticking, we weather each long siege (before the inevitable dish soap blitz) with resourcefulness and creativity. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but in our Calgary apartment, invention’s maternal grandparents go by the names ‘stubbornness’ and ‘procrastination’.


Burning The Ugly Pants: Join a 2010 personal style makeover (Update V)

November 18, 2010

Ok Mother Nature, you win this round

After all my highfalutin’ about spectrums and experimentation, ol’ Mother Nature has offered up a rather poignant reminder of how much influence our environment, be it cultural, political, or meteorological, has over our outward expression of self. However, we must not allow these restrictions to thwart us in our personal style journey – note jaunty angle of scarf. From hemmed school kilts to stylish hijabs, there is always room for personalization. Plus, fogged glasses grant a person total freedom from outside judgment – although it might be nice to bloody well see where I’m going!

Need to catch up on this Saving Cymbria blog serial?

Nothing says Canadian glam like socks over pants


Comforting the dreaded pedestrian ‘Walk of Shame’

November 12, 2010

“BE CAREFUL!” yelled an irate driver through his open passenger window, rolled down, I assume, for the express purpose of berating my curb-mate. The unlucky fellow had stepped into the crosswalk prematurely, trying to beat the light, and had nearly been mowed down at 7:50am on a Friday – what a way to start the weekend!

But the driver who balled him out was three cars behind the action. He had no reason to get involved, and I felt for the poor victim. Calgary drivers aren’t so careful themselves, and I’ve reamed out more than a few while hiking this concrete jungle. But while it’s easy to slink away unknown in your glassed-in Cavalier, it’s much harder to keep your head up when you have to walk down the street step-in-step with the witness to your humiliation.

He was a small man, with scuffed shoes and a shabby, beat-up briefcase. His shoulders slumped down further after the attack. He hung his head as we crossed the street together. My heart went out to him and I tried to think of something to say to ease his embarrassment. But, really, what can you say?

So instead, I did something. I gave him a knowing half-smile, then made a jaywalker’s mad dash across all four lanes of 7th Avenue.

There are many ways to let a man know that he is not alone.

(image source)