Sunday, August 27, 2006

Summer Hedonism

You thought that last week has been bad? Prepare for far worse...I'm going camping for ten days...with no access to the computer. So no blogging and no emails. There are quite a few emails that need to be written and blog comments to be posted so I've decided to take the lazy man's generic Christmas letter to a whole new level:

Justin: You're home! I can't believe it has been more than two years. Still reading your blog and still loving it - no worries. Any plans to come visit this year or will we have to wait?

Vernelle: He's home! He's home! Hope you're enjoying every minute of it.

Linda: Congrats on sounds like you're enjoying law school already. I'm interested to see how it develops and how it differs from hubby's experience here.

Stephen: When are you ever going to learn? Either bulk up our troops with foreign involvement or get out of Afghanistan. How many times have we had this discussion...they're dying over there!

Craig & Ian: I love you and I hope to see you soon.

Greg: If you're reading this...get back to work! :-)

Matt: Got your email and loved it. I wasn't trying to goad you into a debate, just thought you might miss the opportunity to have those types of conversations. Point well taken.

Bobbi: Where are you? I miss my lovely lady friend...

I think that's it for now...please don't be offended if you weren't mentioned. In fact, be relieved, be very relieved.

Off to the Okanagan to gorge myself on fruit, wine and skinny dipping.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Please watch this video...I don't know what I'm in awe of more, how articulate she is, what a wonderful feminist and atheist she is or how much I agree with what she has to say.
I'm home today with a wasp sting. I can't put any weight on my swollen stump of a foot. I hate that wasp.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Pardon me, Excuse me...leper coming through...

On Saturday we went to the Korean Festival here in Calgary. We braved the rain and the possibility that we might feel like unwanted foreign invaders all for a taste of galbi and dukbogi. Now, dukbogi is a street food and not one of the Korean foods I ever thought I would encounter again, but we relished every chewy cabbage-covered bite of it.

Koreans use the word waygook to describe, well, everyone who isn't Korean. American soldiers are waygooks, so are white people, and Chinese and Japanese and probably those of Korean descent who live in other countries. The Korean ability to categorize others so easily is a perfect example of their xenophobic and insular approach to the world. Here's a better example: they were still calling us waygooks here in Calgary! The festival, advertised in English, was obviously geared for Koreans since the entire festival was in Korean (and Chinese for some reason) and the signs were in hangul. This was another thing we encountered a lot of in Korea...a map or a pamphlet with an English title or introduction and then nothing else. I can't tell you how many times we picked up an English booklet only to find the inside entirely in Korean. What a pump-fake. Anyway, we got such a kick out of the fact that they were still referring to us as "foreigners" in our home country...I guess it's all a matter of perspective and some people's perspectives never change.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Some Before and After Shots...

The living room when we first looked at the house...not our furniture...


When we were finished. New floors, new colours, new baseboards...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Heads in the Clouds

The idea of an after life has got to be the most manipulative and powerful concept ever invented by mankind. It has made poor people complacent about their status in life by promising them eternal rewards. The meek are told that they will one day inherit the earth. It's untestable promises have kept slaves in bondage in Jerusalem, in Africa, the Asias, in the Americas and across countless generations. The fear of punishment after death has led to the denial of sexual desire, repression of science, intelligence, progress and intellectual debate. It has lauded obedience above reason and mildness over justice. It has given power to those who don't deserve it and can't handle it and made sacrifices of the week, impoverished and uneducated. It has made sinners out of babies who weren't splashed with water soon enough after birth. Behind its trail it has left a wake of complacency, acceptance, fear and abuse. And today it creates an atmosphere where blowing people to smithereens is okay because you will be rewarded with virgins and martyred in the name of God. It has allowed the infestation of incivility to fester and become more than acceptable, it has mutated into righteousness. Christians can rest easy because gays will reside in Hell and perverted old men can have sex with altar boys because they yield the promise of eternal salvation as easily as they do their dicks.

What would this world look like if the concept of eternal life had never been? How would we act if we knew this is all we reward and no punishment, just the direct results of our actions. If personal accountability dictated how we treated others as opposed to their skin colour, religion or status? What if someone asked us to blow up a plane and we knew that if we did that it would be the end. No virgins, no respect, no reward - just death.

How much have we lost by allowing our humanity to reside in the clouds rather than on the earth?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Shirts and Skins

I spent Monday and Tuesday out in Banff at the Telus Skins Golf Game. I was working with Making the Connection (which Heart & Stroke is a part of) and got the chance to meet a bunch of famous golfers...who I didn't actually know or recognize. I knew who Jack Nicklaus was, but only because I used to see him in the Sears catalogue as a young girl. There was also Sergio Garcia, John Daly, Greg Norman and Stephen Ames. it was nice to be treated like royalty and as VIP's we had access to all the hospitality tents etc. It was fun and I really enjoyed meeting Pat Quinn - what a nice guy. More than that I enjoyed getting paid to hang out in Banff with famous people...even if I didn't know they were famous.