Friday, December 21, 2007

Thanks to Faye and Charlie Brown

As I sit here at 4:19 at work, after a day of receiving holiday cheer (some of it quite yummy... limoncello rocks!), it is nice to remember what is really important in life. This came to me from Faye, limoncello maker extraordinaire and sender of good comics:

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. They are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are NOT the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My kind of place

Every day I drive home through our "infamous" neighbourhood known as the poorest postal code in Canada. 90210 it is not.

Every day I am confronted by one of my favourite buildings smack dab in the middle of it all. 380 Main Street.

Bruce Erikson Place is a residential building built as a tribute to Erikson, a long-time community activist, city councillor and downtown eastside resident.

From what I know, the building has 35 residents for low-income singles and there is a roof top garden where residents can grow their own food.

But the reason I love this building is its face. The concrete facade on the front is a life-sized, inspirational poem, with a single word etched into each balcony facing the street.






As I drive by I can't help but think this building has to be inspiring for the neighbours who live on the street, sleep on the street, work on the street. It is inspiring for me, even with all my fortunes, for my life has been very fortunate.

I am reminded by a woman I met who had the word "STRENGTH" (yes - all in bold caps)tattooed on her back as a constant remind of her inner strength and abilities.



The Erikson building is public art, creature comforts, nourishment, home and hope for many.



What a legacy indeed. Pure poetry.

Now I've really screwed him up

I came home yesterday to my youngest son.

"Merry Christmas Mommy," he said.

"Christmas was yesterday," I said, "and next week. So today is boxing day and there are still 7 more days until Christmas."

That's the trouble when you disrupt the natural order of things. So far, we have had two Christmas dinners and there is one more next week. I guess you could say that would be the real one... sort of.

Oh, but that night we will be having roast beef and yorkshire pudding.

Chaos I tell you, absolute madness.

I love it!

Friday, December 14, 2007

New BC Blog

As you know, I work for British Columbia Magazine, a great publication with a great new editors' blog. Check it out!

In case you want to know what kind of nutballs I work with, check out their profiles on the right - who likes fact-checking? Hee hee.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My Report Card

Further to my last post, I just checked my "Resolution Book" to see how I have been doing this year with my New Years Resolutions. Thankfully, I have been doing okay as there is only a mere three weeks of the year left to tackle any gaps. Not enough time to make a significant effort.

Needless to say, I won't be hitting my healthy weight goal this year. Unless I stuff the turkey down the toilet and ring in the new year in the hospital after a day of cosmetic surgery. No problem, I've had happy days over the last year saying "yes" to another glass of wine with friends. (And don't even get me started on the chocolate - yum!!)

Usually, I hit about 80% of my goals. This year, I have hit 10 of the 12, missing the healthy weight and the goal of hiring a cleaning lady. Oddly enough though, the house has been cleaner, in our creative clutter kinda way.

What did I achieve?

My writing goal: over 157 blog posts on tunicate, and many more at work. I joined a writers group and would have had a story published if the diving magazine didn't decide to shut down and get out of Dodge.

My photography goal: finished a course at Emily Carr, 4 photos published in magazines, more published on the web, photo books and most importantly, a vast collection of family photos I love. The best part of the year was making a family photo book for my mom and dad.

Go on a trip by myself, for myself: okay, so speed-touring through the Kootenay Rockies with 7 of my co-workers might not be going by myself, but the end result was the same - a little adventure, a lot of fun.

Ride bike to work at least once: thankfully I added at least once, as I made it twice. Whew!

And my personal favourite, spend good quality time with the kids and Tony: checked last night, they still like us and still think we are fun, exciting parents. Yah!!

I won't bore you with the rest. But if there is anything in life you want to do, but just can't find the time or inclination to get started, I urge you to write the goal down. There is something about writing something down and sharing it with a friend or loved one, that eventually leads you to getting it done.

Comments to myself: Good effort and achievement. Good enough for this year!

Fully Meeting Expectations

I always loved getting report cards. There is something very satisfying about getting feedback and showing progress. I still have all my report cards from elementary school, thanks to my mom for keeping mementos.

Well, we just got the first report cards of the year from the kids - both excellent. Paris got 97% in Business Ed, no surprise there. And the little guy (who is fast becoming not such a little guy anymore, even wearing his brothers jacket from last year) got a bunch of "fully meeting expectations" and "exceeding expectations."

But as a parent, it is the comments that I love best, and I take them to heart as a report card of how I have been doing as a parent:

  • Interacts cooperatively with others - is friendly, kind, and helpful
  • Follows safety rules and displays proper behaviour in class
  • Stays on task when working independently
  • Identifies foods that contribute to healthy living
  • Describes the difference between individual needs and wants

As for Paris (not as many comments for the high schoolers, sad but understandable):
  • Words hard and has a good attitude
  • A pleasant and positive participant in class
  • Excellent effort and achievement
  • Homework has not always been completed (oops, maybe I need to start asking about homework again).
Words to make any parent proud, regardless of marks.

Friday, December 7, 2007


So, mere months after Paris and Michael stopped blogging on Funnymunny, they finally received their first $100 paycheck from Google (not an easy task), and wouldn't you know it, decided to start up a new blog.

This one is called Hands&Feet, and I must admit I like the content better, so far.

Arguments about McDonald's, discussions on trans fat, Facebook, Spice Girls, and even a blog about a $7 million Rolls Royce, for those of you liked the Ritchie Rich side of Munnybagz.

I like this line from their first post: "But sometimes while I'm walking, I can almost hear my feet saying, give me a voice!"

So there you go.

Let's see if they can keep on walking this time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Stress Break

I just read this and kinda like it:

Take stress seriously.
Take a break.

In this case, a blog break.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Friends in need

Last night, at 11:15 pm, I came home from a great Christmas party to a message from a few friends who needed help moving today. After multiple trips to their public storage locker yesterday, they realized they just weren't going to get everything done in time without a large van, which we just happen to have.

Of course I could help, but I hesitated for a few minutes. It's pretty late, I thought. Should I call and wake them up? My husband assured me that they would be awake, and he was right. (Moving kinda screws up the sleep schedule.)

So today, after dropping off the first load, returning the cooperative network car, feeding her baby, and packing up the second load, my girlfriend and I had a chat about friends helping friends. Turns out both of us have friends that don't want to call us to help because they think we are too busy, which drives both of us nuts.

The reason you call people friends is because you get along and because you help each other out . I want to help my friends. It makes me happy. Call it Mother Theresa syndrome if you must, but helping people with their lives helps me fulfill mine.

So, to all my friends out there, if you ever want help, even if it means you want a friend to help go for a walk, or drink a bottle of wine, or bake cookies, or babysit the kids, or mark tests, or paint walls, or fly to Vegas, or cry on my shoulder, or drive boxes to your storage locker, or talk until 3 am, or go dancing, or whatever, please call!

I'm not as busy as you think.