Saturday, August 19, 2006

4 things

Ok, because I'm in full procrastinating mode, here is a post I started months ago but never got around to finishing. It is inspired and requested by Queena's list of 7 things and I was reminded by Jocelyn's list of 4 things to revisit and finish my list. I've combined both of their lists and taken Joc's cue for 4 instead of 7 (it was hard enough coming up with 4 for each!). Here they are, starting with the easiest to answer progressing to the most difficult to answer...

4 places/provinces I've lived:
  1. Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Regina)
  2. Ontario (Ottawa, Toronto, Guelph)
  3. British Columbia (Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam)
  4. Alberta (Calgary)
4 places I've been on vacation:
  1. New York City
  2. Vietnam
  3. Mexico
  4. Spain/UK
4 places I still want to see:
  1. Africa
  2. France
  3. Nunavut
  4. Israel
4 favourite foods:
  1. Sushi (especially alaska rolls from Sushi Garden!)
  2. ok this is terrible, I can't think of anything else that ranks high enough, so I'm going to specify my favourite sushi rolls for the remaining three on this list (because sashimi goes without saying!)... so #2 is chopped scallop roll
  3. a good barbequed eel roll
  4. pretty standard house roll (crab, avocado, tamago, tuna and salmon)
4 TV shows I like to watch:
  1. CSI (most often Miami, but also the other two)
  2. Grey's Anatomy
  3. Law and Order
  4. The Apprentice
4 movies I could watch over and over:
  1. Finding Nemo
  2. Matrix (the first one)
  3. Lord of the Rings (all of them)
  4. Ocean's Eleven
4 jobs I've had (I'll list my favourite ones):
  1. Parliamentary Page (aka Glorified Gopher and PR program for the Government of Canada... check out if you can spot me in the goofy group photo I found online)
  2. Graphic Designer and Customer Service at a print shop in Calgary (worked with the most amazing family who owned the shop)
  3. Employee Communications at Campbell Soup (the best cafeteria and cheap Godiva chocolates around)
  4. My current job I love, but don't have an accurate title to describe it :) I like it because I get to work with ideas and people for a God that I love
4 things I want to do before I die:
  1. Travel from one end of Canada to the other
  2. Learn to consistently live out a Sabbath-keeping life, or else I will die sooner with my natural pace of life!
  3. More officially develop and launch a line of inventive wedding invitations
  4. Get married (gasp! dare I utter it aloud? anyone who knows me well would recognize this as a miracle that God is working in my heart...)
4 things I cannot do:
  1. Look at a document without considering its visual appearance/design and/or making a subconscious note about its usage of fonts
  2. Sing harmony without the help of a strong voice beside me
  3. Travel to a city and not call everyone I may know there
  4. Eat without doing something else at the same time (read, talk with someone, watch tv...)
4 books that resonate most with my life:
  1. Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace
  2. What Color Is Your Parachute?
  3. Life Inside the Thin Cage
  4. The Bible
4 things I say often:
  1. "in the sense that..."
  2. absolutely!
  3. no worries
  4. can't think of a fourth... you tell me what I say the most! :)
4 things that attract me to a guy:
  1. Self-awareness that fuels their own continual growth as a person
  2. Other-awareness that translates into caring for others and for creation
  3. God-awareness that recognizes, seeks out, follows and surrenders to the Divine
  4. Walking on a similar path, headed in a similar direction (i.e. complementary calling in life)
Tag, you're it (people I want to see do this, should you feel the urge to procrastinate):
  1. Florence
  2. Shannon
  3. Hengz
  4. Matthea

deep cove kayaking

Went kayaking with Amy at Deep Cove... fun as usual. Different than out at Jericho. Beautiful in a different way. Much more enclosed, surrounded by forest-clad islands.

Amazing how many waves one motorboat can produce. Couldn't help but think of the parallel to one person making waves in the world around them. Reminds me of the quote by Margaret Mead on the side of that cafe on Main Street: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

stuck again

Two posts in a day? Must mean I'm procrastinating again... or on the road to burnout. I haven't taken any formal breaks this summer, but then again I haven't been going at a very fast pace either.

My biggest struggle has been predominantly feeling like I haven't been producing anything tangible all summer. I hate that feeling. I hate it because it means that I'm putting too much stock on and giving too much power to the idol of "tangible productivity" in my life. That means deep down I'm really living on the belief that I can't be happy and I don't have meaning until I feel like I am tangibly productive.

Rather, it's been a season of thinking and discussing ideas-in-formulation with various colleagues. The discussions continue as people come back from holidays, but finally I think I am supposed to be entering the harvest stage where I should theoretically be able to produce some tangibles. Yet somehow, everytime I sit down to work, the itch to procrastinate and do everything else but write/design kicks in full gear.

Sigh. I don't know how to get unstuck other than allowing the pressure of external deadlines to push me. The day after the wedding I woke up in time to crank out some last minute documents for two days of meetings... and I wasn't even on time for the meeting. Why can't I work to get things done ahead of time instead of cutting things so close to the wire?

I planned my fall travels for ministry reporting and personal visits to Ontario and Saskatchewan -- alas, but only because there was a deadline on the West Jet seat sale. I am looking forward to it, but it's all the way in November. In the meantime, I hope I can make it until then. Looking to the fall overwhelms me. Thank God for Mary's prayer retreat coming up in a couple of weeks. Without it I don't know if I could slow myself down enough.

The busy-ness with the wedding and finishing up design projects for friends has knocked a bit of wind out of my spiritual sails which I'm trying to gain again. It feels like I haven't journaled in awhile. I haven't been feeding consistently on my spiritual Bread. It's been more touch and go desperate immediate prayer, though I am finding the Psalms are a natural place to pick up from that resonate with my current soul state. I think the saving grace has been others praying with and for me. Thank God my fluctuating feelings (or my productivity or lack of productivity) don't change the way He thinks and feels about me.

a beautiful day

Well, I survived the wedding... I heard mostly negative things about the experience of being a bridesmaid from other friends, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But I am quite pleased to say it was a positive experience.
As would be expected, we were up late the night before with last minute preparations and heart-to-heart talks. So after not much sleep, the day began with a few hours of getting ready for the ladies. As we hung out at the salon getting our makeup and hair ready, I couldn't help but think how much more work it is to be a girl. Blah. We were running late due to a miscommunication with the makeup lady and also due to how thick my hair was to dry and straigthen. They kept suggesting I volunteer my hair to be in a hair ad. Now if I could get paid for it, I may have a new side business....hmmm....I also mentionned I wanted to retry dying my hair into the bright purple streaks again, but it was met with protests. Gotta think some more about that....

Anyway, after quickly getting dressed, we were on our way in a vintage Rolls Royce chauffered by the owner of the car, a cute little old man named Alf. We took the quickest route which happened to be quite scenic (all the way through Stanley Park) and made it to the photo shoot only about 20 minutes late. A beautiful day to shoot photos at Kits beach overall.

Then off to Grouse Mountain we went. The ceremony was simple and beautiful. Viv and Graham both got a little teary-eyed. The visiting was fun. The food was divine. The cake was the best wedding cake I've ever tasted (custom designed, it was white chocolate blueberry key lime). The sugared blueberries had the texture of the perfect cookie -- crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Even the chocolate party favours were colour coordinated to the theme colours of blue and dark brown. Leave it to Viv to throw such a coordinated and pretty party.

My toast to Viv tributed her for her deep loyalty and commitment to her friends and to celebrating. Relationships and celebrations are the intangible and invaluable priorities of life that make it worth living and fun along the way. From her I learned how to throw a party to mix all my friends together for a good time of celebration to value people and laughter. I'm thankful for the gift of being able to spend this day with her.

Friday, August 04, 2006

summing the summer in images (so far)

Ok, so as is evident from the absence of any recent posts, I have not been in much of a blogging mood as of late. I'm still not too inspired to write anything, so I thought I would post a few photos to help me remember at a later date what this summer's been about so far.

It's been perfect to just stay in the city and catch up with friends mostly. Really enjoyed the rare treat of catching up with my close girlfriends when Shermeen was in town.

And then of course there is all the catching up with old friends at the inevitable summer weddings . It should be interesting from another perspective this week as I'll be in my first wedding and throwing my first shower for a friend this weekend.

And of course, finally, the kayaking in this city is breathtaking. Ann and I went out to Jericho beach this time and we took our time paddling around and didn't try to bust it out to the extreme. (That's Ann in the photo). What a great way to catch up with a friend on the water. I forgot how green this city is. I didn't get the shots I wanted of the sunset on the cityline... I'll have to wait until a little later this summer when the sun sets earlier.

In between all that I'm not taking any official holidays this summer so have been busy on work stuff and design projects for friends. Glad to have mostly finished some book promo stuff for a self-published friend, the usual wedding design projects and great fun working with my sister to design her business card as a soon-to-be-fresh-grad. Anyone know someone who could use a bright, organized Library Scientist and Information Specialist with a sharp ability to research and write? Preferably in Vancouver so she can be close to her sister :) She is now the third most degreed person in our family! (behind Aunt Paulina and Dad)

Free movie previews seems to be a gift that I have been given this summer, which is unusual for me but a welcome treat. Ann treated me to Superman Returns, and then Mary let me in on free passes for World Trade Center. I love how movies make me think and see life in a different way.

And, a simple pleasure I have missed and caught up on this season is reading!

Fireworks finale of the Celebration of Lights -- combined with a birthday party at Ann's beautiful apartment by English Bay so we don't have to battle the crowds on the beach tomorrow night. We'll see if we get any good shots. Or I may end up subbing in my sister's photos of fireworks from Canada Day in Ottawa -- she has a slick digital SLR and the ability to be creative with it.

I just noticed that I have a tendency to focus on events... to counteract it a wee bit, I will add that there has been a lot of activity in the heart department, shall we say. God continues to take his flashlight into the dark parts of my heart and is consistently doing spiritual heart surgery in there. Growth is good, despite the pain that comes. The surgery is worth it especially when there is better life on the other side of it :)

Overall, good times, good friends, good weather, gorgeous surroundings...I know that I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (as I am reminded in the book of Ephesians) but I can truly say I am also blessed with every blessing in the earthly realms this summer as well. God is so good!