Wednesday, October 24, 2007

106. 8 Things That Make Me Happy.

So I’m having a good week. Nothing dramatic, I just love this time of year! I’ve written before about how I kind of hate November, which I find rather funny when I think about how much I love October. To me, this is the most Canadian time of year… which doesn’t make a lot of sense, I know, but that’s the way it is. I moved to Canada as a little girl in the summer, and summer in Toronto is not that different (to a 5 year old’s eyes) than summer in Bermuda, so it wasn’t until Autumn started settling in that I began to feel the difference. This is the time of year when I am most grateful that I am not God, because I can tell you that I never would have thought of anything so crazy as having leaves change colour and turn the hills and parks into an impressionist painter’s idea of fire. It’s just amazing.

Anyway, I’ve just been in a good mood and noticing things that make me happy, so I thought I would list them.

1. Running hugs from children.

You know what this is, right? When a child runs at you with their arms open wide and then crashes into your legs, almost knocking you over, as they wrap their arms around you as tight as they can. Have I mentioned how much I’m enjoying supply teaching at a local preschool? I’ve been in there a lot and the kids love me and I love them, and I get running hugs from them on a regular basis. I don’t know that there is anything better for the ego than that.

2. Pomegranates.

I love pomegranates. And in Canada they are only around for a few months a year. I am usually very aware of when pomegranate season starts, but having recently returned from Korea, where the pomegranate season was kind of opposite to ours (and, incidentally, a lot longer!) I wasn’t paying attention. So today when I was grocery shopping and stumbled across a barrel of pomegranates in the produce section, I was barely able to contain the happy squeal that bubbled up in my throat. They are bloody expensive, but oooh… so yummy!

3. The Amazing Race.

Okay, so this one’s a little shallow… but it is one of my favourite shows. And if they ever wise up and allow Canadians on that show I will line up so fast to audition… I’ve already got a few potential partners lined up. Now, the Amazing Race isn’t on TV yet, but I just found out today that the new season is starting in November (which is good, because as I mentioned, I hate November). But here’s the thing, not only is one of my favourite shows returning to TV (again, I say ‘yay!’), but they are featuring for the first time a lesbian couple. And not just any lesbian couple, but Christian lesbians! Ministers, in fact! It’s pretty cool. (Hat tip to my beloved You can watch the promo, if you like.

4. Leaves.

Okay, so I mentioned this in my little introductory paragraph, but I love Autumn leaves. Not just the colours, though – although they are amazing. I also love the crunch of walking through leaves on the sidewalk. That sound has an almost magical effect of me. Oh, it isn’t foolproof, but it almost is. When I hear my feet crunching through leaves I usually can’t help but smile. Oh and the smell! It’s kind of gross when you analyze it, because it is the smell of rotting leaves, but it’s such a nice, Autumn, Canadian (I know that it’s not just Canada that has this, but in my head it’s very Canadian) smell. When I first moved here, it was still legal to burn piles of leaves. I’ve since learned that that is bad for the environment so I disapprove of burning leaves on principle… but I miss that smell too. Sometimes people still burn them in the country, and so you can still catch the occasional whiff of that sweet aroma sometimes.

Oh, I can’t believe I almost forgot this… piles of leaves! We swept the leaves in the yard at preschool into piles the other day and without any direction all the kids immediately knew what to do… to jump in them, bury themselves, and toss them in the air! I suppose that doesn’t seem all that remarkable, but a lot of the kids at the preschool where I’ve been working are recent immigrants to Canada, and are from countries where there is no Autumn – a lot of middle eastern and African kids. I can’t remember if I was that intuitive with the leaves… I do remember that the snow freaked me out, but that’s a different story.

5. Good conversation.

Another obvious one. I just went out for coffee with a good friend last night and really enjoyed our conversation. We talked about various things like the definition of ‘evangelical’ versus ‘fundamentalist’ and… oh man, I can’t really remember all of what we talked about, but I do remember leaving thinking “There’s another thing that makes me happy… good conversation!”

6. The old French Canadian ladies in my building.

Yes, even the ones who never seem to realize that I don’t speak French. Oooh, and I had this exchange with one of these ladies yesterday in the elevator while wearing an “I love nerds” T-shirt.
Lady: “So… are you a nerd?”
Me: “Yes, I guess so…”
Lady: after pause, “… an actual nerd?”
Me: “Uh… well, yeah, I consider myself a nerd?”
Lady: “You are a real nerd?”
Me: (now wondering if perhaps ‘nerd’ means something different in French) “Well… yes. I am a nerd.”
Lady: “Can I have your card?”
Me: “What?”
Lady: “Do you have a card?”
Me: “Uh… no…”
Lady: “Okay. Do you work for the nerds?”
Me: “Ooooh… you mean the nerds who fix computers?”
Me: “No, I am a different kind of nerd.”

I didn’t have time to explain that I actually would define those who work on computers as ‘geeks’ because the elevator had reached my floor. Oh well. Maybe next time we meet I can explain. Speaking of ‘nerds’…

7. Nerd humour

Nerd humour also makes me happy… so here’s an example of something that cracks me up!

“At least my costume has pants!” Hee!

8. Singing.

I went on a women’s retreat this past weekend, and the first night (or was it the first morning?) we sang a few songs, including the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy”. And it was awesome… all these women singing various harmonies and descants. So beautiful. And aside from the wonder of worshiping in song in a community of Christians, I just love singing in community… and hearing singing. And I do wonder if non-Christians have opportunities to sing like that. I don’t think they do, and I think that’s sad.

Actually speaking of the retreat, I have some thoughts stemming from the retreat that relate to this blog, but they need to be processed more before I post about them. But I figure that if I mention that fact that I will be more likely to actually write the post instead of having it just mill about in my head.

Anyway, I’ll end this here. It’s been a happy week. I’m enjoying it… November’s closing in fast.

Monday, October 08, 2007

105. Thanksgiving Tag

First of all, I’d like to say to all of my Canadian readers – Happy Thanksgiving, eh? I didn't have much of a traditional Thanksgiving this year, I didn’t even head up to Algonquin park for my mom’s annual ‘look at the foliage’ outing. I do love foliage, but I’ve spent so much time driving back and forth between Ottawa and Toronto for doctor’s stuff (and I’ll be driving out there again today) that I just didn’t want to leave my home to go look at leaves. We get plenty of nice leaves here in our great Dominion’s capitol, thank you very much.

Anyway, it has come to my attention that I have been tagged by Just Me. Which is nice, because it gives me stuff to blog about. So… here goes.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?

10 years ago I was in University (University of Ottawa, to be specific). I think I would have been in my 2nd or 3rd year. Either way I was horribly depressed. At some point around here I was put on anti-depressants, which I stopped taking about 4 weeks into it because they made me feel really weird – I felt like I was in slow motion all the time, it actually felt dangerous, like I had really poor reaction time. I was kind of afraid I was going to do something stupid like walk into traffic and not be able to move quick enough to get out of the way. I started going to professional therapy sometime around here, which was very helpful (although, it did not end up making me straight, as I secretly hoped it would).

In other news, around here I discovered Tori Amos, Sarah Maclachlan and Alanis Morrisette, which was fun. Ellen Degeneres came out of the closet, which really had nothing to do with me, except I had started watching her sitcom about 3 weeks before the now landmark “Puppy Episode”, and so it threw me for a bit of an emotional loop when that happened. I stopped watching after that. Hit at little too close to home.

2. What were you doing 1 year ago?

I was in Korea, teaching English to kids ranging in age from 4 to 13. The kids were great, but at this time last year, I was hating it very, very much; and was telling anyone who would listen how much I hated Korea and would never return. It would be about a month or two before I was able to separate my boss and work situation from the country of Korea and realize that the country itself isn’t half bad, I just worked for a dimwit, misogynistic idiot.

3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy?

Smartfood, movie popcorn with sour cream and onion topping (which is similar, I know, to Smartfood, but different enough that I think it qualifies), oatmeal raison cookies, Humpty Dumpty cheese sticks (which I have recently learned are only available in Canada, how about that, eh?), and grapes (thought I’d add something healthy).

4. What are 5 songs you know the lyrics too?
I’m going to skip all church songs, because there are just too many. And I’m just going to go with the first 5 that come to my mind.
a) God is a DJ by Pink
b) Space Cowboy by The Steve Miller Band
c) I’m Scared by Burton Cummings
d) Movin’ on Up – the themesong to the Jeffersons
e) Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls

Don’t ask why those 5 came to mind, I have no answers for you.

5. Five things you would do if you were a millionaire.

a) Pay off my mortgage
b) College funds for my sisters
c) Tithe (that should be first, I know… but I know it wouldn’t come first in my head)
d) Savings
e) Travel… I mean, more than I normally do… oooh, I could finally go and teach somewhere where they don’t pay you. I mean, I could do that again, cause I’ve done that once, but I didn’t have a mortgage then.

6. Five bad habits.

Okay, now that’s just a mean one.

a) Over-processing. I’ve heard that this is a lesbian trait. Not sure if that’s true of all lesbians, but it is certainly true of me.
b) Messiness. Not sure how to word that better as a bad habit. But I’m messy.
c) Interrupting. Both myself and other people.
d) Procrastinating.
e) Avoiding problems. Not quite a habit, but I definitely do this all the time.

7. Five things you like to do.

a) Travel.
b) Be with kids… they are just eternally interesting.
c) Read
d) Write
e) Watch movies/TV… it may not be deep, but I do enjoy pop culture.

8. Five things you would never wear.

I will qualify this, as “Five things I would never wear except under extreme duress, like if I was a bridesmaid in a wedding or to a funeral or something like that.”

a)Dress/skirt. I hate wearing them. And I haven’t worn them since… well, since I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding.
b) Stilettos. They are just stupid. Although, I must admit, sometimes they look hot. But on other people. Not me. Never, ever me.
c) Earrings. Although, I occasionally wear clipons because my mom really wants me to, but they hurt. This is not because I don’t like earrings, it’s because the holes in my ears closed years ago. I could repierce them, I suppose, but why?
d) Bikini. Why do this to myself?
e) Um… fake nails. Not that I have ever worn them, or even really care about them, I just can’t think of anything else.

9. Five favourite toys.

a) Tivo – I just got one. It’s fun!
b) Digital camera
c) Computer, I know it’s way more than a toy, but I do play with it.
d) My ice shaver… I love shaved ice… I put it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon and it makes me happy.
e) Ipod… although I haven’t used it much since I’ve been home, it was endlessly useful while I was traveling.

10. Five things you hate to do.

a) Confront. Anything, really.
b) See the doctor (which has made these last several months so much fun… I’ve had more doctor’s appointments in the last 5 months than in the last oh… 3 years, this is crazy).
c) Clean. This is a problem when you’re messy like me.
d) Wake up. It’s not like I want to be asleep all the time, it’s just that the act of waking up is usually unpleasant.
e) Be touched by people I don’t like. I hate that so much.

Okay, so that’s that… Now, it’s my turn to tag. Only 3? And Just Me already Tagged Liadan so... okay. I will tag Eric, E, and the Marauder.

Have fun! And give thanks.