Tuesday, July 31, 2012


We have these friends. They have the perfect backyard. Looking out their dining room window the other day I couldn't help but think, "there's no way you could be unhappy looking at this."

But that's the thing: only if you look.

It's one of those secrets isn't it? And yet it's not a secret at all. We seek beauty and when we don't find it then it finds us. Or we create it. I forget sometimes how just looking at something with more than my eyes helps me to hold on when life is stormy.

Go. Right now. Have a look. Have a see.

Monday, July 30, 2012

How to Sleep in a Heatwave?

Sucks more than blows.
1. Hate yourself a little. #firstworldproblems
2. Push perspective away. #beababy #whineface
3. Hate yourself for being too cheap to install air conditioning.
4. Open windows. #nopoint
5. Turn standing fan on blast.
6. Ponder crawling inside of it.
7. Turn ceiling fan on blast. #ignoreweirdnoises #beenonblastfor30days
8. Note that the bed may take flight in windstorm at any moment. #butitstillisntenough
9. Grumble.
10. Flip pillows to cool side. Lie down.
11. Sheet on.
12. Sweat.
13. Sheet off.
14. Sweat.
15. Stare at clock.
16. Grumble. #swearifyouareafarmer
17. Leg in.
18. Sweat.
19. Leg out.
20. Sweat.
21. Grumble. #swearmoreifyouareafarmer
22. Sweat. Wonder if cheese is growing in neck folds.
23. Grumble. #swearlikeneverbeforeifyouareafarmer
24. Sweat.
25. Go stand in front of open fridge. Consider dragging mattress onto front lawn. #noonewantstoseethat
26. Sheet on. Sweat. Sheet off. Sweat. Leg in. Sweat. Leg out. Sweat. Repeat #bleeeeeeeeep
27. Hate yourself a little since, let's be honest, you asked for this. #kinda #notifyouareafarmer
28. Repeat reality check because in six months: 40below-40below-40below. #thenewcountingsheep
29. Dream of snow.
30. Repeat each night. #cryifyouareafarmer #andrightlyso

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Chris Hemsworth aka probably the only guy
who should wear a wet-suit.

Two summers ago I did the unthinkable: I wore a wet-suit.

There aren’t many regular folk like me who should wear a wet-suit. If you haven’t experienced this, imagine putting on your wet swimsuit fresh from the washing machine, plus it shrunk. Better yet, imagine crawling inside a deflated yellow balloon. Or maybe imagine those toys that you can add water to and they will expand except it’s the opposite of that and then try to wear that toy as coveralls. Whoa. Anyway, despite the palpable awkwardness it was worth it because (strike another one off the bucket list), I went white-water rafting in the Rocky Mountains!

I even have fond memories. And by fond I mean dread. But good dread. Let me explain. If you haven’t experienced white-water rafting, I will start with this: the first hour is completely awful. Except for the sweat streaming down my back, I wasn’t even wet in that first hour. Heck, I wasn’t even in the raft yet. During the first hour the instructors provide extensive training. And by training I mean this:

1.      Sign this in case you die.
2.      If... [insert Scenario A here], you could die.
3.      If... [insert Scenario B here], you could die.
4.      If... [insert Scenario C here], you WILL die.
5.      Here’s your paddle.

This is not an attempt to discourage anyone. That first hour is obviously the company spiel required for insurance purposes. Sure there’s legitimate risk but as we all know with insurance nowadays, if there’s a chance one might sneeze recklessly then there’s some sort of waiver required.

Anyway, here’s the thing. Once all the death-scenario-izing is over and one’s inner monologue ceases chanting I-am-going-to-die-I-am-going-to-die, once the first set of rapids has been successfully navigated, once one realizes that this rollercoaster on rocks is actually somewhat manageable, something exhilarating happens, something in amongst those sheer blocks of granite along the river that look like they were casually tossed aside by Thor, something underneath those skyscraper cliffs six stories in the air, something in amongst the trees and caves and wildlife many humans never see, something awesome happens: inspiration. It’s like you have superpowers, like you can do anything, ANYTHING. Even wear a wet-suit in public. (But thankfully there are no pictures.)

"Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use." ~Charles Schulz

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Let's be honest (canine edition)...

Dogs can be pretty dumb. I once knew a dog that enjoyed staring at the wall. I could understand barking at the wall. But staring? Plus, that dog couldn't spell.

But this is Sophie. She's been visiting from Saskatchewan and she brought my brother and his wife with her. (Thanks for loaning them to us Sophie. You've trained them well.)

And what is Sophie doing in this photo? She's giving me five.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Let's be Honest (Teen Edition)

There’s this line. As the parent of teenagers, I am constantly skirting a line between when to speak up and when to hold back. It’s extremely challenging for me.

Long ago, it was quite easy to talk with my kids and I frequently enjoyed our discussions but now any little thing could ignite a blaze aka a debate that frankly I am occasionally too fraught to engage in. My new mantra? Pick your battles. However, despite employing the silent approach, the conversation is still raging in my mind and sometimes I just need to set those thoughts free, just push them out of the nest and let them fly or even plummet to the ground. Would you mind? Maybe some other parents of teens can relate? And if you don’t yet have teens, don’t judge me ok? I don’t claim to know any better than anyone else what I was thinking when I decided I was qualified to raise children. That said, I apologize in advance for these:

1.      You are not as cool as you think you are. Seriously.
2.      If I recorded what you just said (with such astoundingly clueless conviction) and sent it to top scholars at all the major universities they would want to study you from behind a two-way mirror.
3.      You might want to look up narcissist in the dictionary.
4.      No, I will never buy another thing for you. Ever.
5.      You are dead wrong. I assure you.
6.      Right now, in this house, in these circumstances and comparing the two of us, YES, yes indeed, I do in fact know everything. Ev. Er. Ree. Thing.
7.      Newsflash: everyone is a hypocrite. Especially you.
8.      Someday you will realize I’m not as old as you think I currently am.
9.      Something is seriously, seriously wrong with you.

Sorry but I just needed that. I can now go back to being a self-controlled, respectable grown-up who models good behaviour. Usually.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Things one should never outgrow:

If you're of a certain age you'll understand this...whenever I go swimming I like to pretend I'm the bionic man. Slow-motion running. One eyebrow raised. Lifting boulders rocks with ease. Impressing the hell out of Jaime Sommers with my cheesy slow motion sound effects. And yup, it makes me feel like six million dollars.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Kinda Perfect

What do English majors do when it's 30 degrees in Edmonton?


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012


Apparently my wife doesn't like it when I text her 7 questions in a row but I guess it's not surprising she's unfamiliar with the little-known ancient skill of martial articulation.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Things that deserve the stink-eye:

nothing good can come from this, nothing.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

This is my hood:

The aga is currently featuring
a superb Canadian artist: Alex Janvier.
I found these mirrored tombstone-like characters on the top of the Art Gallery of Alberta today. They remind me of pac-man ghosts. That's probably not exactly a stunning art critique but I'm not too worried about it since they just make me smile.

"What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art." ~Augustus Saint-Gaudens


Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The universal sign for hotel toilet-paper?
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