"Noah was a brave man to sail in a wooden boat with two termites." - Anonymous

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Mystery of Edwin Droooooooduh

On Thursday night I was able to join my husband at the theatre for a rousing murder mystery! Vertigo Theatre in Calgary is currently presenting the "Mystery of Edwin Drood", Dickens' last work, which he passed away in the middle of writing. As no notes have been found, it truly is a mystery. What happens to young Edwin? Who perpetrates the crime? Who gets the happy ending?

Truly enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to take it in. Kudos, Congratulations and Great Job all round to the entire cast (18 in all!!!) and crew, but especially to Mr. Bellamy, Mr. McKeag and Ms. Holt (who is capable of anything in my book!)

And thank you to my mother- and father-in-law who came to look after the boys so that I could have an evening out with my sweetie. When your youngest won't take a bottle and isn't sleeping through the night yet, the date nights are few and far between!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I recently finished the book "SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless" by Steve Salerno. (SHAM actually stands for self-help and actualization movement). Mr. Salerno has experience both researching and working in various areas of the self-help industry.

Food for thought! The basic concept of the book is about how the SHAM industry not only pulls in unthinkable amounts of money every year (5.7 billion dollars US in 2000 and growing) but the deeper damage that is has done to North American society. Lawsuits and divorces that are the result of the change in thinking by those who hold tight to the teachings of Victimization, Empowerment, and Recovery. Declines in educational performance. The real story behind people like Dr. Phil, Marianne Williamson and Tony Robbins and other 'thinly credentialed "experts"'.

Don't get me wrong...I'm all for positive outlooks, believing in yourself, yada, yada. However, in an industry that claims to want to solve a problem, you would think people's lives would get better. If it worked, people would not need further help from these authors and gurus. But studies show that the effect is quite the opposite. In fact, people are more likely to buy a book about a certain self-help topic (love, money, relationships, etc.) if they'd bought a similarly themed book in the past 18 months. WHAT???!!!

I don't get it.

One of my theories is that deep down, people essentially do not want to take responsibility for themselves. They want to turn themselves over to the power of the universe. A common theme in self-help is that if you believe deeply enough in something, then it will happen. Will it? Really? The quote at the beginning of the book could not be more perfect:

"Compared to the possibilities in life, the impossibilities are vastly more numerous. What I don't like to hear adults tell people your age is that you can be president or anything else you want to be. That's not even remotely true. The truth is that you can run for president, and that's all...In our wonderfully free society, you can try to be just about anything, but your chances of success are another thing entirely." Marilyn vos Savant (who, by the way, was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for Highest IQ).

I would love to tell my boys that they can be anything they want to be. I think though, that the message will more likely by something along the lines of "If you are honest with yourself and make your contributions to society, all else will fall into place."

Or perhaps people want to place the blame for their shortcomings on someone or something else. Everything is a disease these days...shoplifting, acoholism, drug abuse. And more and more often companies, fellow employees, communities, etc. are being forced to see them as such and make allowances for it (whether they like it or not).

I don't know what to think...it's obviously not black and white, is it? I just have seen so many of my friends start on this mindset that they need someone to lead them down a path to their personal greatness. And most of that leadership is laced with fluff and vague statements ("The thing you notice about losers is, they don't win" Seriously.)

I'm not perfect, nor would I ever think to be. In my mind perfection means done and I am never done. I am always growing and learning. I have many moments of self-doubt. Am I capable of raising 2 boys into wonderful, loving, contributing adults? Am I the wife my husband thought he was marrying? Am I good at my job? But, I go on. I buckle down and I work harder at those things and I excel where I can and make no excuses when I don't. And the accolades are that much more enjoyed when they're not expected, and are hard-won. Really. If you just expect everyone to realize you are brilliant, you will be disappointed many times. You have to earn the recognition.


And now, on to my next book, "An Ordinary Man" by Paul Rusesabagina. This book inspired the movie "Hotel Rwanda". After hearing Romeo Dallaire speak about his experience in Rwanda and then reading "Shake Hands with the Devil" I've been fascinated by the events leading up to and during the 1994 genocide. I am considering becoming a "sister" to a woman in Rwanda through the Women For Women International. I would become a support for her financially and emotionally for 1 year through donations and correspondence.


Last, a late "Happy Thanksgiving" to my American neighbors. I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours was in October. And now on to the excess of the Christmas season! Eeep!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Too many things going through my head...

...I'm having trouble deciding what to post on next. I would love to share our current decluttering efforts as we prepare to develop our basement. Or perhaps the song I've discovered which really inspires me in how I deal with my boys. Maybe my thoughts on the book I've just finished reading. Or update my inspiring quote.

I find I get the urge to post at the most inopportune times. Like 5 minutes before the baby wakes up from his nap. Or just as I should be heading out the door to pick up our older son. Or when I should be making dinner.

I'm seeing this as a sign that I need to take some time to declutter my brain on a regular basis. So, in the spirit of forming a new habit, my goal is to share a bit of my thoughts at least once a week. I'm sure some weeks will be short and sweet, while others will be a virtual spewing forth of ideas and blather.

So, check back often, enjoy, or not, but be kind. :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Latte and a Good Book...

...oh yeah and that scrumptious chocolate-chunk cookie.

My absolutely fabulous husband kicked me out of the house tonight for some forced relaxation.

So, I wandered down to the local coffee shop and got my usual, a vanilla bean latte, larger than usual this time though, and a cookie and sat down with my current book.

It's been a while since I've had a chance to do this. With a 2 & 1/2-year old and a 4-month old at home, when I manage to get out of the house by myself I usually feel the need to run errands. However, tonight I had no warning...no chance to prepare for this unanticipated solitary enjoyment.

I feel I haven't had the opportunity to enjoy the coffee shop by myself in what seems like ages. And our community is so much like a small town. I parked myself at a window looking out onto the main street and watched people coming and going, to and fro, from the pub, to the pizza restaurant, from the sandwich place to the liquor store, picking up kids from dance lessons, ambling arm in arm, dogs on leashes.

In this economy and the ridiculous housing market in Calgary, we're fortunate to be able to live in a community we love. So many of my younger colleagues are having trouble entering the market...a very sad state of affairs when two professionals cannot afford a decent house in a reasonable neighbourhood!

Anyway, I digress. The whole point of this was supposed to be what a wonderful hubby I have and how much I enjoyed going for my coffee tonight (as opposed to grabbing it at the drive-thru with the kids in the car) and contemplating STUFF.