Sunday, March 27, 2011

Alternate career

I want to run away and join an animal sanctuary. I can feed baby elephants whose mothers have been killed. I can clean lion pens. Groom camels.

I want to be a documentary filmmaker and travel the world recording everything from the mating habits of the dung beetle to the effect of granola bars on the global economy. I want to study big issues, and small ones.

I want to be a dancer - to glide across the floor with beauty and grace.

I want to be an accomplished piano player. Someone who can change the mood of a room with the stroke of a key.

I want to be a marine biologist and study narwhals. Or squid. Or plankton.

There are so many things I'd like to do with my life that I have neither talent nor training to do. That's why reading books and watching documentaries are so wonderful. They can take me to those worlds, put me in those jobs or lifestyles. They expand my narrow view of the world. And sometimes I learn something new to keep with me in this life I currently live.

What skill or talent do you wish you had?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Good Thing

My laptop had the dreaded Blue Screen of Death so I replaced it. There`s nothing on this new system, apart from some games that are a minor distraction. It`s strange not to have all of my photographs at my fingertips. I had backed documents up to my online accounts so that`s all accessible.

I like the shiny white newness of it all. I literally have a blank slate. A fresh start.

There are endless opportunities and possibilities just waiting for me to jump in there. With all that`s going on in the world these days, disasters and tragedies, loss and devastation, it seems frivolous to be so pleased with a new toy. I`ve had a few sleepless nights lately so it`s easy to please me right now.

I`m determined to find One Good Thing every single day and rejoice in all that life has to offer. By focusing on on that instead of all the horror is a good coping skill. It also reminds us why we should pick up the pieces and carry on.

One Good Thing. One a day. Try it. It`s a small thing with a huge potential

Sunday, March 13, 2011


So many of the photos coming out of Japan remind me of this picture I took of my friend's son's cars.

That's just wrong. Please donate to the organization of your choice. And let's not forget the people of Haiti and Pakistan who are still recovering from their respective earthquakes as well. Empathy and compassion can help rebuild communities.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


It's a difficult genre to master. A lot of books about specific sports focus on a particular team or player. Sometimes they're about one race, one game, one title or the difference one year made in that sport's history.

It's all too easy to fall into a litany of statistics and brilliant moves. I always struggled with the balance between describing play-by-play action and capturing the essence of the game when I wrote about the team for the local paper.

In all of the sport books and articles I've read over the years, it's been the rare author who captures the spirit of the book with their writing style. Speed, skill, colour and grace explode/dance/thunder down the pages on a variety of subjects.

Right now, I'm reading The World is a ball. If you're one of those people who thinks watching soccer is like watching paint dry - give this book a read. John Doyle is able to capture the beauty, brilliance and excitement of soccer and describe it in such a way that has me reaching for the television remote. I want to immerse myself in the sport after reading three pages.

I read along at a slow pace, absorbing every word, considering all the nuance and complexities revealed. I stop after a few pages just to think about what he's described - the sea of orange that flows through all the streets, alleys and doorways ahead of the Dutch team. The brilliance and spectacle of the Brazilian supporters. The organization and dedication of the Korean fans.

He conveys not just the mood and atmosphere of the World Cup but the significance of team movement, of supporter reaction and how everything all melds together to create a magnificent insight into national identities and international relationships.

If you love soccer, or love someone who does, read this book. It will expand your knowledge and appreciation for "the beautiful game".