Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Upcoming documentary airing on HBO in November - Dying to be Thin

I think this will be very important. Wish we had access to HBO up here.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

What have you done?

Amy at Amy Loves Books just posted this list, and I fell in love with it - it puts changing a baby's diaper on the level of climbing all of the stairs in the Tower of Pisa - it brought back so many memories of things I've done - I'd love to read yours too!

What have you done? (things I've done are in bold)

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive (well, it was my boss's Maserati)
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - never killed - but prepared... ick!
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life - tried, but he drown...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Vanna needs some bling!

Our '87 Volvo Vanna (called that because I constantly referred to the "van" we used to drive instead of the station wagon we now drive) is in need of some serious car bling. Aren't these incredible???

Blik Autographic

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

(Red)emption Junkie??

My good friend Mike @ Waving Or Drowning and virtual friend Robert have a brilliant idea that thrills this junkie's soul!!

The RED concept from Bono is a brilliant way to introduce the consumer driven world to the good that small amounts of money can do in the world - but Mike & Robert want to take out the middle man:
I’ve come to the conclusion that I love this program. And I hate it. Let me try to explain why.

The love part is easy. I love it because it will provide funds for saving lives. What’s not to love about that?

Here’s the part with which I’m having trouble. I hate it because it’s a sad commentary, a mirror if you will, reflecting the reality of our culture back to us. The currency of the Kingdom is love. The currency of this material, self-centered culture is “stuff.” Bono is brilliant as he has realized this, and knows we will not give out of love. HIV/AIDS is killing people in numbers too horrible to give voice to. And while this troubles us, it apparently doesn’t trouble us enough to give out of love. The brilliance of Product (Red) is that it will get the money out of us anyway. No love? Fine, then we’ll appeal to your need for the other currency, for stuff. Want a new Gap shirt, and a trendy one at that? Great. Here you go, and by the way, a couple of bucks will go to life-saving drugs.

In short, I long for a world that operates on Kingdom currency. It’s coming… just not fast enough. In the meantime, I will grit my teeth, smile, and promote the Product (RED) campaign. Heck, I’ll probably end up wearing a red t-shirt. Hypocritical? Maybe. Paradoxical? Definitely.

Now for the challenge. Robert and I have been discussing for some time the need for us to start another campaign to raise some funds here at WorD.

We’ve been looking at the (RED) iPod specifically. When you spend $200 US on the iPod, Apple will contribute $10 to the Global Fund. (Robert has changed his mind about Christmas, BTW, so don’t bother emailing his wife.)

I don’t have a clue what the profit margins are like on the iPod, but $10 doesn’t strike me as a lot of money. Let’s be realistic. It’s not. Here’s the choice: You can lay out $200, get a new iPod, and contribute $10 to a good cause. Or, you can just contribute the $10. We believe we can get 1000 people to donate $10 each. We’d like $10 from everyone in the developed world, but we’ll settle for you, and everyone you know. And when we’re done, we’ll pass the money--all of it--along to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Donation $10.00 CDN HERE

East Coasters Watch the sky tonight!

I just received this in an email and thought if you're on the east coast you might benefit from this too:

A Natural Wonder: Tuesday, October 24, at twilight--about 30 minutes after sunset, scan the southwest horizon for Mercury and Jupiter to the right of the thin waxing crescent Moon, and the star, Antares to the left of the moon and slightly above. Quite an arrangement. (Binoculars helpful!)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Color Like No Other

I personally liked the first video much better (the one with the balls flying down the hills of San Francisco) but this one is still incredible:

Sony Bravia - Color Like No Other

Monday, October 16, 2006

Not your mother's pyrex bowl set!

Aren't these breath-takingly beautiful?? How simple yet so dramatic.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Conjunction Junction How's that Function??

Next to Mr. Rogers & Sesame Street the School House Rock singers were the most formative influences of my childhood. No, seriously. Pretty sad, eh?

I loved this article tracking down where they are now.
Why is it I can't remember ten things from four years of a pretty good liberal arts college, but I can recite every word of the preamble? A degree in Anthropology (don't laugh) and I still get the Incas mixed up with the Aztecs, but I know all there is to know about naughty, nasty, mean old number nine. I mean...how sad is that?

It was home schooling before it became the in thing to do. Because my Saturday morning were spent glued to a television, I now know that and, but and or will get me pretty far, and that interjections are generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point, or by a comma when the feeling's not as strong. So, all things considered, I think I came out ahead.

So, who do I have to thank for this wealth of information. Who are the people attached to these voices inside my head, and are they still around today? Turns out, they are. And they're all still singing away. There are four main singers (jazz musicians, actually)responsible for almost all of the Schoolhouse Rock videos, with a few guest appearances here and there (Verb! That's what's happening!) So, let's take a look at some heroes from my youth...the Schoolhouse Rock Singers.
You can read the rest of the article here: Where Are They Now - The Schoolhouse Rock Singers

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm getting older too...

This time of year makes me very nostalgic. Fall has a way of slowing me down inside, pondering, reflecting and watching. It's also a time of celebration. Thanksgivings - both of them, Canadian & American bring tucking in times with family and friends. It's also the season I grow up. This birthday is bringing much emotion and internalization this year. 41. Wow. 41.

40 didn't phase really me - I looked at it like I was beginning something new - and that is still here, but this feels different somehow. It's not the age or getting old part of this I feel, this just that 41 feels so real somehow. 41.

My mother Bobbie died at 43, so much of life left unlived somehow. 2 years. I can't imagine what that would mean to me to only have two years left. To struggle with sickness, facing death and separation from Keith and my children. Two years? I know that's not reality, but most children who's parents die young face this benchmark with a bit of fear and loathing. There is still so much left I long to do.

My father didn't think he'd live past his father's age when he died. The celebration that marked that year he did was great. I know that pretending I don't feel it at all doesn't make it go away. So being present to the emotion it brings up within me is something I can learn from, something that can bring life, instead of death.

October 13th is my birthday, but I also celebrate the 14th as it marks an anniversary of my abstinence and recovery. It has been 7 years of one day at a time linked together to bring me to where I am today. For that I am truly grateful and hopeful and filled with wonder.

Seven years ago today my life was at it's lowest place possible. It seems like two lifetimes ago. It really was somehow.

One of the gifts that I've been given this past week is the lyrics to a song that was important to me long ago. I was searching iTunes for Songbird, by Fleetwood Mac and remembered Landslide - I'm sorry, but the Dixie Chicks version was nice, but not nearly as moving as the original. While looking I saw that Stevie released a later acoustic version on AOL Sessions in 2003 and her voice is gritty and aged and it's richer and deeper and speaks to the journey I have been on too since that song originally touched my heart.

The imagery in the lyrics means so much more now - the child within, the ocean tides, the seasons of my life. Each of those speaks to where I have come the farthest on this 40 year journey called my life. What a gift. As I cooked turkey and chopped potatos this weekend I just kept listening to a short playlist I had put together, tears streaming down my face. Feeling the deep emotion that this season of my life is brining up within me. Yes, I'm getting older too.

Landslide, Stevie Nicks

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life

Well, I've been afraid of changing
cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older too

Oh, take my love, take it down
Climb a mountain and turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down

If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well maybe the landslide will bring it down

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Giving Thanks

This being Thanksgiving weekend in Canada my good friend Dan Wilt is one thing I'm giving thanks for. He's posted a sneak peek to the talk he's preparing for church tomorrow.

I promise I'll post the link here when they upload it - but here is some of the beauty:
“Sweet flower” is what her name means. Grandma also told us it was the name of an ancient Armenian princess. Grandma’s first name was Siranouche. My wife’s middle name is Siranouche. My daughter’s middle name is Siranouche. “Sweet flower.” So appropriate in each life it adorns.

As my children encircled her feet, Grandma would tell the old stories. On one occasion, I taped an hour of those stories, and the harder questions were asked. “Grandma,” queried my daughter, “How did your mommy and daddy die?” I interrupted, telling Grandma she didn’t need to answer that question if she didn’t want to. Her response was matter-of-fact. “They must know, honey. They must know such things.”

At 95 years old, Siranouche was one of the last living survivors of the Armenian death marches under the Ottoman Turks at the turn of the 20th century. A mass genocide that the world ignored, Adolph Hitler is infamous for a statement made to a German commander: “Who remembers the Armenians; who will remember the Jews?”

Siranouche and her family lived in a small Armenian village called Orphah. She recalls the beauty that was once her family’s estate. “I remember playing among the fruit trees in the orchard,” she says with a smile. At 14, young Siranouche and her family were awakened in the middle of the night by Turkish soldiers. She, her mother and siblings stood and watched as the fathers and husbands were huddled into their small Armenian churches – which were then burned to the ground. The screams still haunted her now aged mind.

She remembers the death marches through the Syrian Desert. How her mother would spread her skirt over her five children in the desert’s cool, night air to keep them warm as they slept. She remembers the Syrian women lining the march, hoping to help save some of the children by taking them as their own. Though the youngest died along the march, Siranouche’s mother (my wife’s great grandmother) gave away the rest of her children in one day – such a horrible joy for her – to know they might live, but that she would die soon, far away from her precious jewels.

Her new Syrian family treated her well, though she was a servant. One night, she had a dream. In her dream, Jesus came to her with outstretched arms. Using no words, she could see in his eyes that everything would be alright. From that point on, she knew she worshipped a different God than those around her, and she knew that someone was taking care of her.

Despite her life of hardship, Grandma ‘Anouche was known to her family as one of the most grateful human beings they had ever known. It seemed as though every breath she took marked another moment to be celebrated. Her great pain as a young girl had taught her the “art of appreciation” – the capacity to look deep into every moment, person, place or thing she encountered, and to find something worthy of celebration.
You can read the rest of the post here: Cultivating A Grateful Heart

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Moby - Everything is Complicated Podcast

sojo has a brilliant interview with moby

Everything Is Complicated

The View Out My Kitchen Window

Isn't this lovely? It's the view out my kitchen window. Far better than the next door neighbor's kitchen I used to see in Pennsylvania! I remember she used to hang a light up Santa Claus in her window from November 1st - January 1st - this is much better!

We're high enough up here to see the clouds and the spire of the Catholic church just two doors down. Much better motivation to do those dishes!

Marko is a marketing genius!

Did you ever play the "ungame" as a kid? That quasi-christian, quasi-counselling kind of game where you had to answer deep, meaningful question with your parent? It was so 70's.

Marko has a very funny post on his favorite versions of wanna-be christian games here:

Christian Board Games You've Missed

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stephen Wiltshire - The Human Camera

This is absolutely incredible - God bless the people who gave this young man a pencil and honored his gift:

ht to DRAWN!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Spiritual Chatter and Pious Words

From today's Inward & Outward

Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sunday, October 01, 2006

If I had a Million Dollars!

5th grade project in full swing here. Alinea is spending $1,000,000,000 for math class - so we're all sitting here listening to the Barenaked Ladies song and printing out lots of really cool things for her to buy. This is quite the project in dreaming - but I tell you what - I wouldn't trade one moment of THIS for one dollar of THAT!