30 July 2006

Sweet Pickles

I tried to find a picture of Pickles as a puppy but:
the first album has 1700 pictures and the 2nd album has 1200 pictures
so the chances?

Sometimes I Forget to Mention the Good

Sunday 5:45pm 30July06

As I left to get groceries I noticed that some people were moving out. I looked on with a bit of happy jealousy imagining that people are moving into two bedroom apartments with solariums and balconies. Maybe an indoor pool and a sauna, yeah! And an apartment sized washer and dryer in their apartment that they don't have to share with anyone. I was going on along in my fantasy of the next perfect apartment and I saw that one of the people moving was one of my buddies.

I actually don't know him more than to say hi and stop and chat. But in those years of chats we've discovered that we're both artists and we root for eachother as neighbours.

I've had a few instances over the last few years that have made me come to realize that it won't be that easy to move away from this building. One thing is the give and receive system whereby if you don't want something anymore, you leave it on one of the window sills (if it's small) or in the hallway (if it's big) and someone else will take it. If it's really nice, they will leave a note on it asking if it's for the taking and leave either their phone number or apartment number.

There are a whole slew of us that have lived here for at least 15 years. More of those people have been inviting me to their apartments then ever before.

My superintendent knows how to spell both my first and last name correctly with an EY on the first name and a G not a Q on the last. When I commented on that he said, "Shelley, I've known you for 15 years!" Some of my best friends still spell my name wrong...

My Super had bypass surgery a few years ago and recently he mentioned to me that he hasn't been feeling well and he may have to go to the hospital. I worried about him the whole day and even went so far as to tell his grown son, "you better keep an eye on your Dad. He's not feeling well, we don't want anything bad to happen to him."

I've known more of the people on my floor in particular and in the building than I've ever bothered to know at some jobs. Everyone with a dog knows that I want a dog but can't get one yet and they tolerate the time I make them stop with their dogs in order for me to talk to their dogs and pat them and get my dog fill.

It's an old building and it has charm. It has the old style elevator with the door that you have to slide open. The elevator is so old it only has enough memory for one floor at a time. Once you get to that floor and close the door, only then can you punch another floor. It breaks down, not as frequently given it's age, but it's a great elevator.

Years ago, You were never allowed an animal in here and then if there was a fire alarm, you'd see most of the tenants standing outside with a pet in a carrier case. The two people that followed the rules were like, "Hey, I thought they said no pets!"
Those two people promptly went to the pet store or the Humane Society to change that miscommunication.

Yeah I want a bigger place and a balcony but I've never felt safer in my own place than living in this building. I know more faces in this building than not. I have my peace and quiet and those days when someone is blaring their music. Sometimes it's me who's blaring the music. For the most part no one complains.

I still didn't really get how much living in this building has meant to me until I found out that pickles and taters were moving away. Pickles had got hit by a car and his owner was so freaked out by it and a culmination of other things going on in her life that she decided to move away. Taters was so freaked out about it that he would bark protectively if anyone (Person or animal) came too close to Pickles. Taters was okay with me though. He knew I loved Pickles.

When I first met Pickles he sat in the old elevator and with his nose up in the air, staring at me, like I was his long lost friend. Whenever one of his owners opened their apartment door he would run to my door and scratch to come in until I let him in. If I wasn't home he would just lie in my doorway with his nose pressed up against the door. I swear he knew how much I wanted a dog and became my honorary dog. He made me laugh and stole the cat toys and gave me kisses and when I held him, he would move his head like he was showing me his cheek so I could kiss him.

As I patted the medicated Pickles after he'd been hit by a car and eyed his bandage and his owner told me they were leaving, I burst into tears. "I'm really going to miss you guys. I feel like I'm losing my family."

And that's it, in some ways there is a level of family in all these single dwelling apartments of people coming and going and making ends meet and ultimately moving to better places. But this is a great place too...

The first two pictures are just Pickles and the other two are Pickles and Taters. It's too funny because one day 'A' taped a package of pictures to my apartment door and on the back of one of the pictures she wrote the website address of pictures of the dogs, As I look through one of the albums now to choose a picture or two, there is 1078 pictures in it! And there is a slew of albums.

Now that's a person who loves her animals.


More Food Please

Sunday 4:41pm 30July06

I've recovered from my fake blogathon and feel rather chatty this late afternoon.

I just went to get groceries, late for me as I usually have that all done before 7am but I was supporting my new friend at the Shattered Prayer Blog http://noumenal.net/blogs/weblog.php?id=0 while she actually did the real blogathon. I ended up sponsoring her because mostly she made me laugh out loud with some of her postings. And also she turned me on to the blogathon and with all that she had to do with blogging for 24 hours, she still took the time out to read my Writing2Live blog. I tried to read other blogathon blogs but no one brought me the same interest as my shattered prayer friend did. It's funny, I subscribed to her blog through feedblitz and that is how I got to know about her. She lives in Georgia.

So she is my excuse for getting groceries so late. I lucked out though in that Fresh Obsessed wasn't it's normal busy self. When I shop for groceries I talk to myself. Ooh that looks good. Wow, they have corn on the cob on sale! I'm often followed by the security detail for a bit because they are positive I must be a thief or crazy. They discover that no, I'm not a thief, crazy? Depends on your perspective I guess.

I'm always nervous buying corn on the cob when it's still in the husks. I just don't know how to pick em without taking them out of the husks. But I heard once that it's actually better to cook them in the husks. Does anyone know if that's true?

I stopped and stared lovingly at the Mae West cakes from Vachon. It's a Montreal cake. Torontonians know Joe Louis but never had Mae West cakes growing up. There must be a Montrealer behind some of the choices because I'm finding more and more foods that we love in Montreal. Like actual Cott's black cherry. It was sold under the Master Choice label but every once in awhile you can get it as Cott. It's so reassuring. Now if only I could get a good smoked meat sandwich to go with my Cott's Black Cherry. sigh!

Instead of buying the Mae West cakes, of which I already have a box in my freezer, I decided to buy a Blueberry pie and whipped cream. About six years back I went through a blueberry pie craving of immense proportions. They had those Stevenson blueberry pies on sale buy one, get one free and I literally bought two blueberry pies every few days for at least a month, possibly bordering on three months. It was so out of control and I was so whacked up on blueberry pie that I was calling them 'Parker Stevenson' pies.

The scary part is that I used a whole can of whipped cream on half a pie. Yes I said it. And they put the whipped cream on sale too. Every day my friend would call me and ask me what I was doing and then she'd say, "Blueberry pie again, Shelley?" in an awed whisper. Yes blueberry pie again.

Thankfully that craving turned into blueberries and I was eating crates of blueberries. A lot healthier for the system.

I don't know what it is about cravings. What part of us do we feel is missing? I swear I'm a lot skinnier than I should be given the cravings I've endured. Mind you, you don't gain much weight if you're only eating blueberry pie.

I finally clicked in today about my need to change the furniture around in the house. I always laugh that I do it because I need a bigger place and I want to move. Also I chuckle because I inherited the changing the furniture around obsession from my mother who would change the furniture around every few months. What I clicked into was that for my mother it was her way of controlling her urge to run away from it all. The sometimes insane life she was living. The violence and crimes that she felt she had to endure.

Now I don't live in the same circumstances as an adult but my restless wanderlust is similar. So if I move the furniture around because of a restless wanderlust what is with the obsessive food cravings? It's almost like it's something I have to keep doing until I get it out of my system. What do I need to get out of my system?

I have a lot of food stories from being the slowest eater in the house to becoming the biggest eater in the house during my 'eating years' as I like to call them. There is a level of control with eating. That's why people are anorexic or bulimic. They don't have control in their lives so they control what they eat or don't eat. So I think there is some similarity for me. I ate more than my step father as a teenager because it pissed him off. I was super active riding my bike and rollerskating 4 times a week so I knew I'd burn off the food as quickly as I ate it. And eating a whole cake and pissing my step father off was, well, icing on the proverbial cake.

But the cravings now? There is something that I still feel that I'm missing. I savor the craving and enjoy each bite. Although there is a level of nervous anxiety maybe involved. It's almost like chain smoking or some kind of obsessive compulsiveness like someone who washes their hands constantly. I haven't quite put my finger on it. It'll soon come.

I've guided my cravings more towards healthier things like cherries. And I've limited my devouring of the other odd cravings that pop up by satisfying my cravings with smaller portions. But buying that blueberry pie today triggered the questions, what am I missing and what do I need to get out of my system?

Maybe sometimes a craving is just a craving. Who knows?

I've been wondering how a Smoothie and Vodka would taste together, just as an aside...


29 July 2006

Faking it

Saturday 29July06 3:52pm

There's a blogathon today. Blogging for charity - www.blogathon.org. You post a blog entry every half hour for 24 hours.
I sort of wanted to do it but stopped myself because I didn't believe I'd get any pledges to raise some money for charity.

This morning I decided to do a fake blogathon until I leave the house for the day. I still haven't gone very far but am still posting entries on my other blog Writing2live http://www.angelfire.com/home/writing2live/EY/

It's kind of inspiring to do for a writer because you have to constantly think about things to write about before the next 30 minutes is done. I may have to do it for real next year.

Well, it's about that time...


28 July 2006

You Gotta Be and Believe You Can Fly

Friday 6:54pm 28July06

On July 1, 1997, I went to Mount Royal in Montreal with my Aunt and scattered my mother's ashes. This was what my mother wanted. I let some of her ashes scatter from my fingers so I could feel one last physical connection to my mother. My aunt and I got weepy but managed to keep our emotions together. I had always envisioned that I would do this ritual alone but after my mom died unexpectedly and my aunt gave me suggestions of what I should do then would call me back and say, "She was your mother, do what you think you should do," I knew that she would have to be there with me. She would need this closure too.

It was a beautiful sunny day. It was the type of day that reminded me of the years of summers I'd spent up at the Mountain with my mother. The times we'd played frisbee and drank Black Tower and smoked the odd joint. We were 22 years apart. We did a lot of wild things together more like sisters and less like mother and daughter. It was the perfect day to give my mother back to the Earth.

When my Aunt and I got back into the car the first song I heard was, You Gotta Be by Des'ree.
It felt appropriate. It felt like my mother, the angels, God was giving me something to hold on to.
Here is a sampling of the lyrics:

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted
Don't be ashamed to cry
You gotta be
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold
You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard
You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm
You gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day
Herald what your mother said
Read the books your father read
Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time
Some may have more cash than you
Others take a different view
My Oh my...

When the song ended I commented to my Aunt how it felt like someone sent me that advice to continue on. She agreed, turned the radio off and said, "We should probably listen to some gospel, if you don't mind."
I agreed as she slipped in the tape.

The next song we heard was, "I believe I can Fly" by R Kelly
It was my second gift. I'd never paid attention to this song before. I think it came out just on the cusp of his subsequent underage girl problems but I never think about that when I hear the song:

I used to think that I could not go on
And life was nothing but an awful song
But now I know the meaning of true love
I'm leaning on the everlasting arms

If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there's nothing to it

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

See I was on the verge of breaking down
Sometimes silence can seem so loud
There are miracles in life I must achieve
But first I know it starts inside of me, oh

If I can see it, then I can be it
If I just believe it, there's nothing to it...

I felt like that song said as a message to me that my mother could now be whoever she wanted to be - more than she ever felt she was in this life. She was transformed. I felt like that song said as a message to me that I could be whoever I wanted to be. I chose to feel a connection to my mother and God and magic and inspiration because of the two songs I heard. I chose to feel that whenever I heard either of those songs I could pretend or maybe really feel that my mother was still close by. I can't remember hearing any other songs in my aunt's car although I know she was playing a tape and that it would take more than two songs to get back to her house.

I'm coming into the tenth year of her death this December and I can still have bouts of tears. She still appears in my dreams at night especially when I'm feeling out of sorts. I've heard those two songs in some of my darkest periods and at some times almost as an extra injection of inspiration, a morning smile. Some days I say, "Hi Mom," when I hear them and others...

Christmas of 96 I was too numb for anything to penetrate my mind. Christmas of 97, I fared much better. I spent Christmas at K & B's house. I hadn't eaten anything since early morning before my friends opened all their presents and while waiting for dinner I finally had to admit out loud, "I'm so hungry it's making me sick. K, you have to give me something to munch on."
When dinner was finally ready we put our portions of food on our own plates in the kitchen and B said, "I should turn on some music." It was the radio.

The opening strains of, I Believe I can Fly, started and I murmured under my breath, "It's like she's wishing me a Merry Christmas."
B said, "what did you just say?"
I said, "I can't really repeat it because I'm about to start crying."
At the dinner table, I looked at the beautiful food on my plate. I was so damn hungry. I sobbed and sobbed hearing those lyrics and feeling my mother's presence and thanking All That Is for such a touching moment and really feeling that I was never going to spend another Christmas with my mother and yet she would always be there.

Earlier this week, Tiger Woods won his first tournament since his father passed away and he broke down, in public. I sobbed on my way to work as I walked past all those newspaper boxes with pictures of Tiger's face and those tears and that pained expression. It's those milestones that are hard after you lose a parent that you were so close to. Your life and memories get split in half between the things that happened before your parent died and the things that happened after your parent died. Tiger's tournament win was my Christmas dinner - all the shared memories that aren't going to happen. Because of Tiger, I decided to share this story. Because of Tiger I wanted to put out there to anyone who comes across this or cares that there is pain for those who are left behind after a death of a loved one but there is also magic and a continuous connection that will inspire you to tears.

And remember, you gotta be and believe you can fly.

with tears in my eyes, EY

I'm Not a Therapist

Friday 28July06 6:08pm

Seems a few of my friends are going through some dramas as of late. I'm doing a lot of thinking about how involved I choose to become. I'm doing a lot of thinking about my boundaries. I'm asking myself, "Do I really want to check in and check up on this situation?" And if the answer is no, I'm listening to that answer instead of going with obligation and what I think I should do as an empathetic person.

I'm the elephant that refuses to go over to Patsy's dead body to pay her respects.

It's funny how people disappear out of my life. They find other friends that are more exciting doing more exciting things. They find other friends with more disposable money to spend, with better ideas for activities, who drink more or less alcohol. They move out of my life which is fine. It happens, it's a part of life.

Yet when they're in crisis or have some sort of drama they always seem to reappear. It's as if they think, "Hmm! Who can I talk to about this? Oh, I'll call Shelley. She always has some good thoughts on dealing with the hardships of life or crisis or sadness or grieving. She'll help me out."

Shelley asks, no one in particular, "who is my therapist?"
Or better yet, "Who are my people that I turn to? Who are my people that find me more interesting, more exciting. Who are the people that like that I drink a little less, that I have less disposable cash (for the time being), that I'm more interested in paying my debts off rather than acting like I can live the highlife?" Acting being the operative word.

"Where are the people that don't care that I don't own a condo or a house or a car or a cottage; that I live in an apartment; that what is first and foremost in my existence is writing. Where are those people?" I ask.

Maybe they're only in my imagination.

Don't mind me if I'm not quite as attentive to your crises and drama's. That I'm not quite as sensitive to your pains with 24-7 devotion. If you are only calling me to tell me your troubles, this is the maximum I can give you. I'm not a therapist, you see.

Being an empathetic person is akin in value to being a teacher. We don't value our teachers. We don't pay our teachers well enough. Our society still treats teachers like they're a dime a dozen, easily replaceable. Teachers do a lot of their job on their own time but they're not really compensated for. It's not like you can get rich being a great teacher, providing our most valuable resource - our children - with their most valuable tool - an education.

A great teacher isn't given more than the teacher who follows the curriculum by rote. There's no financial reward by making their classrooms more stimulating than the by rote teacher. Yes Yes the reward is the odd student that comes back years later with a Thanks. The reward is turning out thousands of children to be good citizens. But sometimes, just once in a while, you want something concrete. You want something tangible.

You can almost understand why a great teacher goes bad. You can almost understand the empathetic that gives up, arms thrown in the air combined with the statement, "They don't appreciate my value."

I went to see, "I'm not a Dinner Mint, the crap women swallow to stay in a relationship." last weekend. I assumed when I went to see it that they meant male/female relationships but they actually meant all relationships: lovers, friendships, employers... the works. In a relationship, a dinner mint is the little bit that a person gives you after they've enjoyed their meal (their life) elsewhere.

I squirmed a bit as I watched the show because I realized that I have been the dinner mint. I have hoped that some of the people in my life could see my value beyond being an after thought. Not every one is going to see that, I understand. Not every one is going to give me that concrete, tangible something. And as I whittle away at the people I surround myself with, I set boundaries, I ask numerous questions and the group gets smaller.


27 July 2006

Dead Television Report 4

27July06 Thursday 8:48pm

Well it's been more than a week now without the television. Who said that?
I'm loving it like an old soul record. I went to see, I'm not a dinner mint on Saturday at Harbourfront Centre and enjoyed a pint or three on the patio. I marveled during intermission how many people had to check their cell phones to see if they'd received any calls. Wow, how lucky that you are so popular? I guess if I actually gave out my cell phone number... Oh yeah no one calls me at home anyway, why would they call my cell if they had the number?

Anyway, I finished backing up all my music from my laptop (over 200 CD's) and then went off on a whole tangent. I was backing up 2Pac's greatest hits and I decided to see what they had written about him on www.wikipedia.org. For what ever reason the entry sparked my imagination and I was furiously writing notes for a black fable. Then I was sorting through my books for research for said fable. 20 Books in total. I'm pretty excited about that idea. So I've got to get cracking on my current WIP's in order to get to that one.

I sat in the park where all the dog owners bring their dogs to socialize and giggled for hours.

I finished the book: Dreamhealer - his name is Adam. www.dreamhealer.com
A Part of me wonders if some adults wrote the book for him, is he really that smart? Can he really heal? And the other part of me believes that we have capabilities that we haven't tapped. At least I want to believe. Why do we fly in our dreams? How do we meet dead people in our dreams and communicate with them? How does cancer just disappear?
Any how Adam gave me some ideas for a book 10 of my WIP Dreamweaver.

I was saying today to one of my work mates that with a television it can take me a month to read a book, without the television it can take me a week including all the other activities I participate in.

There's been other stuff that I've been doing, I should have kept notes.

But over all I feel less like I'm allowing my life to waste away and less bombarded by advertising. Commercials! The same commercial over and over in the breaks of an hour long show. Commercials that are much louder than the actual show you are watching. Commercials that show people pulling one over on somebody else, embarrassing somebody or some other kind of stupid thing. Commercials that all say the same thing. I thought advertising was a creative field? Who was the first person that said thinking outside the box? Now every one says it. If you're saying it you're not thinking outside the box. If you are thinking outside the box it means you're creating something outside of the norm. If you really thought outside the box, you'd find another way to say it. Okay commercials make me rant, clearly...

Maybe I can make it until the next Olympics before I get another television... Just a thought! Thinking outside the television screen. Whoopee!


Patsy the Elephant

This image is from The Toronto Star - www.thestar.com

The death of Patsy the elephant was actually front page news in the Toronto Star yesterday. She was 40 years old and had to be put down primarily because of arthritis caused injuries that she'd suffered from fights with another elephant. In the article, they discuss how the zoo keepers left Patsy in the pen in order for the other elephants to know that she wasn't coming back and pay their respects by touching her with their trunks and tusks and feet.

I started to fall in love with elephants when I heard two things. One was a description of Muhammad Ali, "he's like a sleeping elephant. You can do anything to an elephant but when it finally gets mad it tramples everything in it's path. " I love that image. I can relate to it. Keep pushing me and then whatever I do to you is your own fault.

The other thing that made me love elephants was finding out through a documentary that all the women elephants take care of the babies. I always believed that if my mother and all my aunts continued to live on the same street like they did when all of us children were little, they would have had an easier time raising us. When we all lived on Decarie Boulevard in Montreal, if one of our aunts caught us doing bad, that aunt would discipline us. They were beatings in those days, mind you, but we all knew the street had eyes.

I most recently watched another elephant documentary on angry elephant attacks. Elephants around the world have either been attacking their trainers or in India, I believe it was, come running down a path and trample a man to death. As they got more into depth about the elephant attacks, you learn that just like with other animals, we are encroaching on their space. We're killing their babies for eating our gardens or coming in our back yards. And the adults are retaliating. In this documentary as well they discussed how elephants will touch the carcass of an elephant and mourn its death. It was beautiful. It was about their connection to each other. The kind of connection humans are supposed to have. The kind of connection all living things are supposed to have.

What inspired me about the article is that it is one instance of showing people that animals have their place here too. We are not the rulers of this planet. We have to find a way to share it with the animals. We have to pay attention to bear attacks and foxes running down the street and elephants needing to mourn in their special way.

It's funny how the discussions have been about how human like the elephants are. We want to humanize the animals when maybe we need to realize that we do things like animals.

The latest thing that I love about elephants is that the two elephants that had altercations with Patsy did not go over to her to pay their respects because they still had hard feelings. No bullshit like humans. No pretending that Patsy was a proud elephant, she was a great elephant, like humans say about people who've died that they hated. Instead their attitude was, "we fought with her and we're still mad at her."

Okay I had to humanize them myself!

My friend told me recently, after I shared my anecdotes about all that I've heard about elephants, that if you blow into an elephants trunk it will remember you for a life time. How inspiring is that?


Oh No, Not Floyd!

27July06 Thursday 7:33pm

Apparently Floyd Landis, the winner of the Tour de France, tested positive for too much testosterone in his system (probably from anabolic steroids). Sounds like he's about to be stripped of his win. Here we go again.

What do I do about people who inspire me when their whole source of inspiration is a falsehood? I feel like the kid that said to Shoeless Joe, "say it ain't so Joe, say it ain't so!"
I was so excited when Floyd Landis won even though I didn't actually get to see him win. It was funny that reading the articles on the internet and in the newspapers was just as exciting to me. When he won I actually highlighted inspiring lines from one of the articles I'd read:
Lance Armstrong's key principles to win:
1 - forget pain
2- overcome mishap
3- Crush self doubt
4 - focus only on your victory

Floyd Landis' key principles to win:
1- Keep fighting, never stop believing
2 - spend 100% percent of time and energy believing it is possible to win
3- take the risk and place everything on one project (in the race it's one rider). It's the best way
4- Make your mind and your will your strength
5- Turn humiliation into triumph
6 - Head straight, mouth closed, eyes fixed, move with relentless conviction
7 - Never say die attitude
8 - Be modest

I printed those little bad boys up and added it to my folder with my morning prayers. So inspiring, Lance who fought back from life threatening Cancer and then Floyd taking his place and working through the pain of an essentially dead hip. Is that why Floyd was so modest?
I really hope his back up sample doesn't test positive. I love believing in inspiring people.
It brings me back to 1988, Ben Johnson, the Seoul Olympics. Back then the letters to the editor in the Toronto Star were about people bitching about how much attention Ben Johnson got in the Canadian media. Why don't you mention other Canadian athletes? People asked. But Ben was our hopeful for Canada who rarely fares well in the Summer Olympics. We've been embarrassed by the States and Germany and China and Russia who had the superior athletes, who walked away with medals in the double digits. If we got a gold medal we would rejoice in the streets. Ben gave us that gold medal.

I refused to believe it. I wanted to wait until he said something, anything. Ben went from being a Canadian to Jamaican born Johnson. It was heart breaking. I can remember the cover of the Toronto Sun a huge colored picture of Ben with super large letters, WHY BEN? I couldn't bear it. I still have friends who say that they haven't watched the Olympics since Ben. Oh!
We've never heard from Ben again, not in any substantial way as an athlete. We loved Donovan Bailey mind you but with a cautious heart. He soothed some of the Ben scars. I still remember the quick newscast showing Carl Lewis skinning and grinning when he got Ben's stripped gold. I swear at the time I thought Carl Lewis looked like the devil. It was such high emotion.

I love to watch sports. I love the Olympics and the Tour de France. I love to watch some one do something beyond their apparent capabilities. I am inspired by the agony of victory. Yes I know it's the agony of defeat but there is agony in victory too. It's so disheartening to have to acquiesce and say that maybe they do all cheat.

I have to believe that some of them really don't cheat. I have to believe because I gain so much inspiration from watching.
The alternative is to have one more thing in our sphere that tells us that we can't believe in each other and that just plain sucks the big one.


My Morning Prayers 2

27July06 Thursday 6:49pm

Here are some more of the morning prayers that I read on a pseudo daily basis...

I am my writing business. I'm the boss, the morale committee, the production line, the billing and receiving department. I have to make it come true. -- Shirley Jump

Look Up
If you're down look up
If you can look up, you can get up
If you can get up, you can succeed.

I trust that the universe's will handle all of the details, including: Will I be published? Will the critics approve? Will my book be a best seller? Will my family approve?
The fact that writing excites me is all that I've ever needed to know. When I follow that thought and stay with it, I conclude that I have the ability and the talent. -- Wayne Dyer

What I desire which is aligned with spirit is on its way -- Wayne Dyer

Hours to develop a skill:
1000 hours to become competent
5000 hours to master skill
25,000 to 35,000 hours to become world class
from www.earlytorise.com

The hours to develop a skill really makes you think about getting on with practicing whatever art or talent you have...

I have had these quotes for years and can't remember where I got it from:
By using only 50% of our total mental capacity, we could easily learn 40 languages and memorize a 24 volume encyclopedia.
When you make a commitment the universe conspires to help you achieve it.

More Affirmations:
Publishers happily pay me top dollar for my writing.
I turn fear into fuel to attain fulfillment.
The universe supports my action steps.

St. Francis of Assisi Prayer
as sung by Skye Dyer

Make me a channel of your peace
where there is hatred let me bring your love
where there is injury, your pardon love
where there is doubt, true faith in you

Make me a channel of your peace
where there is despair in life, let me bring your hope
where there is darkness, only light
where there is sadness, ever joy

Ask to grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love with all my soul

Make me a channel of your peace
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned love
in giving of ourselves that we receive
and in dying we are born to eternal life.

St. Theresa's Prayer:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you
May you be content knowing you are a child of God
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

This quote from Rumi, Wayne Dyer mentions in Inspiration. It's about how you'll wake up at the same extra early time each morning like 3:11am. Basically it's about using that time to let inspiration strike:

The morning breeze has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep. --Rumi

The test before us as a people is not whether our commitments match our will and our courage; but whether we have the will and courage to match our commitments -- Lyndon B. Johnson (Speech, 3 Aug 1967)

"This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must," then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse."
--Rainer Maria Rilke

"The path of compassion does not obligate you to love everyone regardless of how they act or who they are. It is a path of seeing the truth of who they are, acknowledging all their parts. It is the path of looking at people and asking is there anything you can do to heal, assist, or bring them in touch with their higher vision? If there is not, then you are pulling down your own energy by spending time with them." -- Living with Joy, Sanaya Roman

Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great. -- Mark Twain

Quotes, prayers and affirmations that inspire me

21 July 2006

Dead Television Report 3

Friday 21July06 9:01pm

I had plans to go see a show tonight. I was originally going to buy tickets because they were cheap, it's in previews. I was convinced that I could get comp tickets instead so I didn't buy the tickets. Turns out I didn't get the comps, the show is sold out and I no longer have plans. *sigh*

Thought I'd rent a couple DVD's since I have no television. Slipped on a few tunes while I decided. The grooves were feeling so good I decided against the DVD's and opted for music instead. Been burning CD's ever since. I raided my best friend and his girlfriend's CD collection when I was in Montreal and I'm finally backing everything up by burning them. Mind you I've been backing them up off and on for weeks. Got a boat load of CD's, it's out of control but it makes me as happy as my cat Quincy staring out the window.

Did a quick load of laundry. That's my new thing, throw in a load here and there through out the week and I'm not stuck with being the laundry maid on the weekends.

It was the first day at work without my work partner. He is on holidays for two weeks. He's the kind of man that looks for the joke in every situation so it's a little less happy at work without him.

Other than that, I've been reading, Dreamhealer His Name is Adam. It's a non fiction book about a teen-aged boy that sees peoples auras and can heal people. It's interesting and coming in handy for research for one of my WIP's. It's also making me interested in reading on Quantum physics. Did I just say that?

Maybe no television will make me smart...


19 July 2006

Dead Television Report 2

9:22pm 19July06 Wednesday

Okay so the only thing that I'm missing from having no television is the Tour de France. Yesterday Floyd Landis wore the yellow jersey and after today's stage he is 8 minutes behind the lead. He's demoralized and saying that he has lost his chance to win the tour. Sucks big time.

It's not like I have anywhere to go to watch it either. No one really cares about the Tour. They say it's boring. But they don't get it. I watched every stage last year (when everyone I knew said they were only going to watch the last stage - anticlimactic) because it was Lance Armstrong's last year and I had just finished reading his book , it's not about the bike. His cancer tale was horrifying. His biking info was darn interesting.

I was inspired watching the Tour because if you really pay attention and you are watching a great, you get it.

In the time trials he pushed his ass as hard as he could. In the team timed whereby your time would be based on the last rider that made it across the line, you had to be a team player. You had to be a leader when needed, tell people or show people how to use their energy for optimum results. How many times do you have an abundance of energy and then blow your load on one thing because you think you are invincible? The Tour teaches you that if you use your energy wisely you can have everything your heart desires. In the general stages where it's about points, Lance would relax and let others win the stages but be very mindful of his points and what he needed to maintain his points and push it if he needed to worry about his points. Patience. It's nice to win a stage but it's not only about one stage it's about the whole race. I compare that to Life. It's not about one incident, It's about living your whole life.

This years race is just as interesting because Lance isn't in it. There has been no clear leader throughout. It really is any man's race. And that man will be known as the first man to win since Lance retired. That will be a trivia question alongside all the Lance Armstrong questions. Everyone knows that it's their race to win or lose and that's damn exciting. When Lance raced his last race the anxiety was over, what if he wipes out, what if the other racers get organized enough to keep him behind. The anxiety was never about whether he could do it. For me, the only disappointment was that I'd never watched the tour before. I would have loved to have seen the race when Lance gave Jan Ullrich the look on the mountains. The look said I'm going are you coming and Jan ate Lance's dust and watched him disappear like a balloon in the sky. Oh I can see it. Oh it's gone behind the clouds.

So yeah, no television is great. Got my laundry done, cooked a nice dinner, bought some shoes... But the Tour? I'm hurtin' for certain...


What a Difference a Shoe Makes

Wednesday 8:03p.m. 19July06

Some days things just go my way and I have to remember this for those days when things don't and I tell myself that I'm doomed and am destined to follow the bad luck path.

I started off my day with two appointments. One - to get my feet x-rayed and Two - to go to the foot clinic for a foot assessment and gait analysis. I was dreading both because I just knew that I'd have to wait and wait. That's the way it always goes. I got to the X-ray suite and there were already 15 people sitting in the waiting room. I sighed. I handed in my doctor's sheet, sat down and pulled out a book. I kept hearing the receptionist tell everyone after me, "It's going to be at least an hour."

I sighed some more.

The doctor came out and called a set of names then called my name as the fourth person. I jumped out of my seat and followed them behind the door. He told each person either, "strip from the waist down" or "strip from the waist up."
Me, he told, "wait over at that door for me."
Yes the cosmos were smiling, I was going first. Didn't have to take my clothes off. I was only getting my feet x-rayed.

I left there feeling chipper knowing that I had a five minute walk and the Foot Clinic didn't open for a half hour.
At the foot clinic I wasn't paying attention and didn't grab a numbered patient form until after 2 others had. Well number 3 couldn't be that bad. We were ushered into the foot clinic's suite and told to sit down. The chiropodist came out and called number 1 and walked away with her as he looked at her sheet then turned right back around explaining that the casting so and so was still occupied so she'd have to wait. Turns out number 2 was also needing the casting so and so... I, lucky again, became number 1 and followed the quite cute chiropodist and had my assessment and analysis. Armed with some instructions on how to alleviate the crippling pain my poor feet have been suffering with, I went to work.

After work I dropped off my luggage (I carry far too much stuff) at home and promptly left again to go to the shoe store. I decided on the stand alone Foot Locker instead of going to the mall and traipsing around there paining my feet more and feeling irritated. The main thing the chiropodist said was, "just make sure some kid that doesn't know anything about shoe widths doesn't serve you."

I checked out the styles of runners for a couple pairs that I liked and as I held them in my hands my luck ran out. Some kid came up to me and asked me if he could get me shoes. Well we can't have everything go our way!

He brought me back the shoes, size 8 instead of 8 and a half and I tried them on dutifully just in case. Hurt like hell. He asked me, "How's your day going?"
"Well, I had to go to the foot doctor this morning because my feet are killing me so I need to get a couple pairs of running shoes."

Doesn't he kick into over drive? He finds out where my pain is, recommends wider shoes that have better support, even has me try on a pair with gel insoles. He's so attentive I ask him,"Do you like your job?"
"I don't mind it, I've only been here for about 2 1/2 weeks to keep my mother happy because she doesn't want me lazing around all day. I'm really into music and I spend all my spare time focused on doing my music and writing."

Gett Outt!

I tell him he's got a good face for rap. Baby faced charming cute. And I hope he keeps at it.

He goes off and gets me two more pairs of shoes. I try them both on and love love love them.
"How is it that you know so much about shoes and you've been doing this for barely 3 weeks?" I ask
I love running shoes. I like to know what makes this pair different from that pair. And I believe in good customer service.

For all you people who have made fun of black kids that spend all their money on nice running shoes, this is the guy to shut you up but quick.
When I went to pay for the shoes I told the cashier which turns out to be his boss, "that guy is good. My foot doctor told me not to let some kid serve me that didn't know anything about shoe widths and I got this charming kid that is a great salesman and damn interesting to boot."
"Yeah I know, that's why he's on my team."

I gave the kid my card and told him to email me and let me know what he's up to with his music and when I could see him perform. And check out my blog and see what I'm all about. Maybe something I've said will inspire him to continue on with his dream, not that he needs it. Maybe something I said will inspire his music.

Blake, What a great inspiring experience meeting you. You made me remember what it was like when the passion was all consuming. You have a great attitude about making the best of passing the time at a job. If you have to work it doesn't have to be agony. I know you're really not a kid it's just what us so-called grown folks say.

Turns out some things do go my way.


18 July 2006

Dead Television Report 1

Tuesday 9:49pm 18July06

Well I'm about ready to go to bed and the Dead Television situation has gone on swimmingly. I posted a couple entries on both blogs. I was falling a little behind on my once a week postings.
It's better to go to bed feeling like I accomplished something than berating myself for the bad shows I just couldn't pull my eyes away from. Plus I listened to some music. I kinda like LL Cool J's new CD. He's mixing with a lot of R&B singers which gives it a nice edge. Sorry but I'm a fickle rap listener. I want it to feel like R&B more. Rap-lite perhaps? I'm from the Soul generation, rap has to sound good first and foremost for me.

I've got my 6 fans blowing my hair off because I admit I cater to my cats. Quincy has a thing about hanging out in the window all day, everyday and she was looking bitter every time she jumped up to find the window closed because I had the air conditioning on. She was stomping away with her head down. So I'm using my portable AC as a fan. Sounds crazy doesn't it? The cat doesn't ask for anything, she just wants to sit in the window, my kind of people. As they used to say.

I less wasted day behind me...


My Morning Prayers

Tuesday 16July06 7:18pm

As I may have mentioned in one of my postings, I suffer from depression. It hasn't been problematic for a number of years because I've taken a proactive stance and continually look for ways to feel better. This blog is one of those ways, sharing what I think of life and looking for inspiration. Another practice is keeping a book of prayers, affirmations and quotes to read on a daily basis to kickstart my thoughts in the feel good direction. I thought I'd share some of those and either provide links to sites where I got the prayers/quotes. Some of the longer pieces I will post on to my own website (ahh there is still a use for my website!) and provide the links for those as well

Statement of Purpose - I got this from the Inward Bound Seminar - http://www.getavibrantlife.com

My Statement of Purpose reads:
I, Shelley-Lynne Domingue hereby declare before myself and God that my primary purpose is to be creative and inspired, loving of myself and others.
I do this with my writing ability. I transform loving memories that people have of each other into Poetic Pieces. I write inspiring novels and books and create from my work savings and financial abundance beyond my wildest dreams.
I'm a creative genius and I apply my wisdom. I am a loving partner, sister and loyal friend. I am inspired by my relationships and see the perfection in my interactions. I am present to myself and maintain contact with my inner knowing and intuition through meditation and dream work. I have a fulfilling life with love, gratitude and balance.

Some Affirmations
I am a silent warrior and I am not going to turn my back on the battlefield.

I'm gonna ride this motherfucker till the wheels fall off - Martin Lawrence (on Inside the Actor's studio)

I contemplate myself as surrounded by the conditions which I want to produce - Wayne Dyer (The Power of Intention)

Success is my only mother-fucking option, failure's not - Eminem (8 Mile)

Wayne Dyer gives some good ones - From The Power of Intention - CD series:

Today I arise with a knowing that my writing will complete what I have already envisioned in the contemplations of my imagination. The writing flows from intentions manifest abundance. I am urged to read a particular book or to talk to a unique individual and I know that it's all working in perfect abundant unity. The phone rings and I know that just what I needed to hear is resonating in my ear. I get up to get a glass of water and my eyes fall on a book that has been sitting on my shelf for twenty years but this time I'm propelled to pick it up. I open it and I've once again been directed by spirits willingness to assist and guide me as long as I stay in harmony with it. It goes on and on and on and I'm reminded to stay in that place where I am receptive to all.

I close my eyes and paint my future and the rest takes care of itself - Dawson's Creek

I get off the couch and into my possibility - Nip/Tuck

Sometimes those dreaded chain emails that others send have a few good gems like this:
God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the ONE I can, and the wisdom to know it's me.

The Reiki Affirmation:
Just for today:
I will not worry
I will not be angry
I will do my work honestly
I will give thanks for my many blessings
I will be kind to my neighbors and all living things.

My life deserves my best effort
My writing is the gold growing in front of me
I make time everyday to work on my writing projects
I love what I do, I do what I love.

I've just spent a couple hours going through old emails trying to find the author of the writer's prayer. She took the St. Francis of Assisi prayer and reworked it for writers. It is beautiful and would love to share it. I'm going to keep looking and send emails to a few people to see if I can get permission to post it on my blog...

More prayers another day. I have forty pages of them


Dead Television - an Opportunity

Tuesday 5:24pm 18July06

Last night after I'd gone on all my journeys... run to crappy tire to purchase a couple new fans, ran to Fresh Obsessed to buy chicken wings (been craving insane amounts of chicken for months)...I turned on my television while I did the odd thing around the house and cooked my chicken wings and didn't my converter die on me. I tried every little trick, well, tried plugging it into another outlet, but to no avail. Scared to unhook the converter because I won't know how to hook up the new one once I buy it and put the cable straight into my t.v. I decided to do without a t.v. for awhile. Sounds crazy doesn't it? But I'm looking at it as an opportunity to do other things, like, say, write.

Once I got over the shock of missing out on the rest of the Tour de France sans Lance Armstrong and with the controversial ousting of Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich and deciding that I wanted Floyd Landis to win since this could possibly be his last race, I knew that the t.v. loss is for the best. Sometimes I have to be forced to quit before I quit. I watch too much television. I can find any excuse to watch stupidness. There used to be a time when I was more discriminating about what I watched but I can't even say that any more. Okay so I don't watch Jerry Springer but I've watched, the Surreal Life, Flavor of Love (Can Flavor Flav be the ugliest man in the world? And what are those women thinking letting him sleep with them? I loved Hoopz but was being with Flavor Flav really a win?), the Princes of Beverly Hills or bell Air or whatever it's called ( with David Foster and his two step sons who are really cute, spoiled and out of control). Who knew David Foster swears like a truck driver (no offense to truck drivers that don't swear). Who knew that he was married to Bruce Jenner's ex-wife? Sigh! But I digress...

Okay those shows are the height of my bad television watching but still bad t.v. no matter how you slice it. I've watched re-runs of the Gilmore Girls, I've seen each season about 5 times. Pathetic.

So in my new t.v. less world I'm going to have a little contest with myself and see how much more writing I do. This is the true, t.v. fast. I may even add the odd dispatch or better yet the odd dead television report. We'll see how that goes. There really isn't many ways to procrastinate without a television. Even now, I'd usually watch Miss Match (which took over for the Gilmore Girls) and Law and Order Criminal Intent ( I would marry Vincent D'Onofrio if he asked me). That's two hours I blasted away on television when I could be writing instead. And instead today I'm sitting at my desk, typing on my laptop and submitting a blog entry and it's not even 6p.m.


I had to listen to the radio this morning to get the weather forecast. I couldn't remember any radio stations or their call numbers to set my stereo to except easy rock. Too funny! I remember why I stopped listening to Canadian radio.

For anyone in Toronto who wants to see a funny show go see, Desperate Housepets. It was in the Toronto Fringe Festival this year and was one of the shows voted to be part of the best of the fringe. All the info is below. Keep an eye out for the Goldfish who asks, "got any two's?" He's gonna be somebody!


Desperate Housepets was chosen to be part of THE BEST OF THE FRINGE, and has received an extended run at the Diesel Playhouse (the old Second City theatre at 56 Blue Jays Way).
So let your friends and family know they still have ONE LAST CHANCE to see the show theƂ  Toronto Star called "A Fringe Triumph"!


Wednesday July 19 @ 9pm
Thursday July 20 @ 7pm
Friday July 21 @ 9pm
Saturday July 22 @ 7pm
Sunday July 23 @ 9pm

Phone 416 971 - 5656 for ticket info.

I'll add the Toronto Star review of it here by Richard Ouzounian:

If you want an example of the kind of thing that the Fringe does really well, then take yourself down to the Robert Gill Theatre to meet the exceptionally funny critters lurking in Robert Watson's inspired piece of insanity called Desperate Housepets.

This smart and sassy comedy is actually three playlets in one, each treating a different facet of human behaviour as seen through the eyes of our furry and finny friends. There are inter-species relationships, the search for meaning in life, and a life-and-death struggle.

The themes may sound serious but Watson and his director, Andrew Lamb, know how to work their concept for maximum hilarity.

In the first section, a flighty rabbit, played in superb camp style by Watson, tries to rekindle his relationship with a body-building hamster. Alan Lee is a masterpiece of butch confusion as the wheel-obsessed rodent and the whole sequence has a deft, comic touch.

In the second, three goldfish of unequal intelligence share an aquarium. Adrian Proszowski and Leah Wahl are content to gulp air and gobble fish food, but Watson plays a questing philosopher who scribbles Descartes on a blackboard and tries to instruct his hapless chums in the finer nuances of Kierkegaard. It's witty, intellectual stuff — sort of underwater Stoppard.

Finally, we're in the pound on "death row," where two dogs and a cat will meet their maker unless someone adopts them. Lee is a wonderfully mangy Rover, Proszowski a befuddled Fido and Wahl a scene-stealing malevolent feline. It's hilarious, yet touching as well.

Linking all three episodes is delectably plummy narration by Rachel Marks, which sounds just like the kind you hear on Desperate Housewives. But in this season of TV repeats, you're far better off with Desperate Housepets. Richard Ouzounian

08 July 2006

Morning Pages

10:09am Saturday 8July06

I've been up for about an hour and I'm still grogged out. Went to bed after 3am. I'm used to seeing that time the other way around, getting up not just going to bed. The thing was that I was so wide awake I couldn't believe that I would even fall asleep. I was like that as a kid, I never wanted to go to bed and my brother would play a game, he'd say, "Go lie down for 5 minutes and if you're still awake when I come in your room you can get back up." I was always asleep in two.

I decided to call this Morning Pages because I feel like talk typing but don't have any particular direction. I'm just trying to wake up really. Julie Cameron (the Artist's Way) made morning pages famous but Dorothea Brande (If you want to write) was probably the person who came up with the idea. Henrietta Klauser also gives it as an assignment in her book, Writing on both sides of the brain.

My fast went well last week. My system finally feels like it's functioning as it should. I'm making it more of a point to eat right and stay away from the junk that stops me up. It's funny that the healthier I eat the less my body can tolerate the junk. When I was deep into following fit for life, I couldn't do sugar because it would conk me right out. I make it a point to veer away from people who bring me down, I have to be more mindful of what I put into my system too. I'm not in my 20's anymore. sigh!

I had an exceptionally fantastic day at work yesterday. The bunch of us were in silly moods and shared many a moment dropping crude comments and cracking each other up. I love my guys. They drive me crazy and make me laugh and really accept me as I am despite sometimes thinking that I'm a little strange. I am a lot strange. Eccentric? Probably. I'm okay with that.

Someone that I've never met and do not know left a comment on my blog yesterday. It was thrilling because his comment (about being a nurse not be a lesser goal) was enlightening. It's good to see what impression people get from my writing and that when I mean something it doesn't always translate. I didn't mean that Nursing was a lesser goal because it's darn hard with all the studying involved. I meant that people try to come up with a reasonable goal when you say, "I want to be a ..." They want you to go after something that with education and some serious hitting of the books you can achieve. And that it wasn't an inspiring goal for me. I almost wanted to revise my piece but decided against it. It's a good learning experience to weigh my words with more care. Not to the point of stunting myself mind you. But being more mindful.

I realize that I haven't had one of my, 'me, myself and I' parties in a long time. I wonder why that is? Possibly because I'm happier. Who knows. In my parties I would play music as loud as possible and dance and sing and have a few glasses of wine. Once it got late and I'd slow down, I would inevitably turn to Cat Stevens and play his music for an hour and stare at his picture on his album cover and contemplate how deep he was and how gorgeous. ha ha. It's my thing.

Well, apparently I'm all talked out now. Going to make myself a bit to eat and apparently I'm going rollerblading today, so I've told myself anyway...


What would you do in the name of Survival?

8July06 Saturday 12:12am

When I left Montreal at 18 years old to live in Toronto I knew nobody. I came to Toronto because it was English and I figured I'd always be able to get a job. I always have. I left Montreal because I knew that the only way I would be respected in my family was if I moved out on my own, not down the street, but on my own where I couldn't easily be rescued.

One of the reasons I have always had a job is that I was always willing to take any job to build my resume and to survive. Going back home was never an option to me. My motto has always been, "If I have to clean toilets I'll do it. It's not like I'll have to do it forever." Some people do and I respect them for it.

I've worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken, in retail, cleaned houses for seniors, worked as a waitress, a bartender, a ticket seller, Assistant theatre manager, a busperson, an usher, a data entry clerk, a child and youth worker, a personal assistant, a receptionist and now my current gig as the service centre coordinator working with tenants in building operations. I love my job but I've worked some doozies...

When I worked in sponsorship I was also working at the Science Centre. In sponsorship I was the only original employee because all of my bosses and their assistants didn't last over a year before they quit. In 1999, my new boss offered me the assistant position but I turned it down because I knew that there was a high turn over for a reason. Plus the Science Centre paid me better. My boss, who was new to the corporation, confided in me. She told me about the daily threats and abuses of her boss. Every other week her boss was going to shut down the program and fire us because we were incompetent.

At the Science Centre the Union was in the process of sending us on strike. I was the walking stressed and didn't know if I was coming, going or just breathing heavy. I was going to lose two jobs in one fell swoop and it was January, not exactly a prime job seeking month.

Strike talks went on for two months and were finally averted. My boss in sponsorship finally quit to start her own freelance business and I was back to being the only person in our wing of sponsorship (individual giving). My next boss (my fourth) had no respect for me, had no management experience and refused to let me do some of my work from home (something I set up while I was sole employee). But then of course when I was off sick, he'd call me at home and tell me that since I was off I could do some work at home and he would bring it to. Like I was on vacation. I never did.

We butted heads at every opportunity until he told me that I'd have to write up a daily account of all that I'd accomplished each day and I'd have to train him on the fundraising software (something I'd repeatedly refused to do because they wouldn't pay me extra to train my boss when we had an IT department to do that). I walked out of his office having agreed to everything with a smile on my face, thinking, "I know I'm not going to do it, so I guess I know what I have to do."

He no doubt was sure that he had the upper hand and had won the war.
I worked the rest of my shift, packed up all my work up in a box and stuck a hand written letter of resignation on it...

"Due to an intolerable work situation and circumstances beyond my control, I must resign immediately."
I plunked the box on his desk while he was gone on his lunch and I walked out of the building.

To really piss in his corn flakes, I got re-hired in another department in the corporation. He tried everything possible to stop that from happening and was shown my evaluations over all the years I'd worked there and told, "Nobody has ever had a problem with Shelley except you. She's coming back, get over it."

He ended up getting fired two years later. Well, laid off...

That experience taught me that there's no need to be that stressed out in a job. If you let them, people will walk over you. My boss was like a date rapist that wouldn't take no for an answer.

When I left the Science Centre, after four years, I started applying for jobs that were short-term, seasonal or contract. My first contract job was what was to become my current job four years later. After I completed my second contract there I got a job with a Life Coach as her personal assistant. It was a position with lots of potential but too much work for the part time hours expected and not enough money for all my responsibilities.

The other people that worked at the 'health centre' were invited up to the Life coach's cottage for a weekend. It was a lovely time. In our conversation about people and expectations and what people will accept, The Life Coach said, "I've always been able to find people who will work for me for less money than they should be paid and they'll be grateful for it."
We all stared at her satisfied smile in silence. I was stung and stunned. I knew I couldn't continue to work for her. Within two weeks, she flipped out on me for a situation that she set herself up to have happen.

Basically she hadn't registered to have business garbage removal because it was too expensive. Instead she had me put out the garbage with the residents. She was fined heavily when she got caught and blamed me. So I quit.

She backtracked trying to get me to change my mind but once I make a decision I will not change my mind. She leaned across her desk in anger, pointed her finger at me and hissed, "That's your stuff, that's your stuff, that's your stuff."

I gave her two more weeks and even trained the next person she hired. It was a karma thing, I knew that I was going back to my old contract job in a permanent full time position, getting paid what I'd asked. I told her clients who asked why I was leaving that I was going to pursue my writing.

I would still take any job to survive today if I had to. Working more than one job always gave me a safe place to fall should I come across some of the crazy times I'd faced in a few jobs. There was always still some money coming in to tide me over and I always knew that if one job was too unreasonable, I could just walk away.

Jobs have been easy to find because I've always been willing to work. I had to go through a lot of jobs before I found the right one like the princess who kisses a lot of frogs until she finds her Prince. I've learned that I should always ask for what I want.

The worst anyone can ever say is no.

Reflecting on the past.

07 July 2006


Friday 7July06 9:16pm

What a great summer this has become. The weather has been warm during the days and cooler in the evenings so it's easy enough to sleep.

I like that more places are mindful of energy conservation and aren't cranking up the air conditioning to the point where you need to wear polar fleece. I never did get that.

It's funny though how they design condos in Toronto. The majority of them don't have balconies and they have the tiniest windows. Getting any air through them is impossible. The silent implication is that if you want to cool off you either leave your condo (because you have no balcony) or you turn on your air conditioning. Yet the city is asking you to conserve energy. It's ridiculous! And what is with the lack of balconies anyway? Does no one spend time at home?

We work in cubicles all day and go home to boxes at night and wonder why people are filled with rage. We're squashed on streetcars and subways and stand in endless lines for groceries. We've become inconsiderate of others, talk in movie theatres and too loudly on our cell phones in public places. We put our feet up on chairs that don't belong to us. What's going on people?

I've made walking my reprieve purely by misfortune. When I worked in Daycare I was broke. A friend of mine owed me money, which would have been enough to get me through until pay day but he refused to drive down to my apartment to pay me back. I had no money for public transit to get to and from work. So I had to walk.

It took me an hour to walk to work. I walked back and forth for a week. Two hours a day. When I got paid I didn't bother getting a bus pass realizing that I enjoyed the walk. I found the walk relaxing. On the way to work I found the walk pumped up my energy level and gave me the stamina for the daily challenge of child care and better yet the politics forced by my co-workers. On the way home, I found that I left any stresses of the day at Spadina, a half hour into my walk. Plus it was a great work out - 2 hours a day. I added stretches after both walks and I was laughing.

I haven't stopped walking since. When I worked at the Science Centre I walked half the distance to work since it was a two hour walk and took the bus the rest of the way. I walked the two hour trek home most times. And now my current job is only a half hour walk. It makes a huge difference finding ways to get out of doing the salmon run, swimming upstream with all the other fish.

I've got a 24 hour grocery store in my neighbourhood and I buy my groceries at 6 a.m. I avoid the line ups and the people who insist on searching for that elusive exact change that's never at the ready. I stay away from the crowds as much as possible or get places way early so I don't feel rushed or slowed down by the crowds. I do not need to have that same rage, anger, frustration that many people exhibit. If I feel like I have a reprieve from the craziness of life I can tolerate the frustrations that inevitably will come up and enjoy the good things like this great summer weather and all the flowers I seem to be able to smell more than ever this year. And did I mention that I have a friend who has cherry trees in her backyard that are overwhelmed with cherries? I'm getting free cherries!

Where do you find your reprieve?

Living in inspired reprieve...

04 July 2006

Baby Steps - Dreams

I've decided I have multiple personalities:

I'm living my life like a 20 year old starting out for the first time.
I never quite got myself organized enough when I was in my twenties but
I've learned a lot over those two decades. So I've decided on a do

Financially, I'm a 20 year old that had the kind of parents that gave
strong, sound advice on what to do as in save the maximum amount
allowed into RRSP's (Registered Retirement Savings Plans for my
American readers), save up for your purchases, donate 10% to charity.
For those of you who don't do this, it really does make a difference in
your peace of mind. When you can give, you open yourself to receive.
When you save, you know you're taken care of. When you save up for your
purchases, you appreciate what you have.

In love, I may still be a teenager - the teenage virgin who isn't ready
to go all the way. The teenage virgin who wants to take her time, who
wants a boyfriend that understands that she's a virgin so he won't rush
her. She wants the kind of boyfriend who will wait 8 months if he has
to without mentioning it, asking for it, pushing for it. A boyfriend
who by his silence lets her know that it has to be her decision when it
happens. She has to be the one to say, to announce, "I'm ready."

It's about giving her "precious" self to the right boyfriend not to any
boyfriend. That's the concept of having a do over. Clearly I'm not a
teenage virgin nor do I sleep around but I am picking and choosing what
it is that works for me. Instead of beating myself up for not achieving
the milestones that "normal" people my age have reached.
In love, it's waiting before I give over my preciousness ( my heart, my
self, my body) to someone.

A man with patience is sexier than one who coerces, or makes you feel
obligated or makes you feel guilty. Sexiness is in the patience,
knowing that it doesn't come easy and that the wanting is more than
just sexual. It's just so much better after the anticipation, I think.

In my writing, I'm going back to beginner's mind. I'm going back to
where everything about your new interest is fascinating and you look in
all areas to learn, reading voraciously, making people that you meet
characters, looking for the story in every incident.

When you see people as potential characters you find them fascinating,
you want to know what makes them tick, what's their back-story. How did
they become who they are now, what drives them? With beginner's mind,
every aspect of life becomes interesting because every aspect of life
pushes you to investigate more out of curiosity and relates back to the

I have the imagination of a child with unreasonable dreams. I am able
to imagine being a Billionaire writer if I want to. A child's dreams
are unreasonable only to adults because the child is far removed from
the realization of that dream but with baby steps all things are
possible. With a child's imagination we are taken out further than what
seems possible right now but that's how dreams begin right? The
unreasonableness of belief is based on your current reality and makes
it impossible for anyone to ever see that it can become what you want
it to become. That's why people, adults, friends tell you, "Don't dream
so big. Why don't you try a lesser goal? Why don't you become a nurse
instead they need nurses more than writers. Are you sure you can deal
with the rejection? Are you sure you can handle that?"

With baby steps, persistence, an unwavering belief and a multiple
personality, all things are possible.


Living an Inspired Life

02 July 2006


"If you want to be inspired, you must be willing to offer inspiration." Wayne Dyer, pg 176. Inspiration. Your Ultimate Calling.

2July06 Sunday 1:05pm

It's funny how when I think of something in a off-handed way I often get a wish fulfillment.

Two little wishes were fulfilled yesterday. I live in the type of apartment building that is all about giving and receiving. If you don't want something any more you leave it on one of the window sills in the building and someone who wants it will take it. From that system, I've picked up a couple of shelving units, a matching desk and table set, a big arts drawer even some CD's and books. I've left boots, roller blades, carpet, clothing and other odds and sods that I never use anymore.

Recently when I got a chair that someone discarded. I cleaned and painted it, I thought off handedly, "now all I need is a small table that I can work on when I'm in this lovely chair." I was thinking of a TV table but something a little funkier. It turns out that yesterday someone discarded just that. I can adjust the sides and make the table longer and the table is on wheels. It fits perfectly with my lovely chair.

"What I desire which is aligned with Spirit is already on it's way." -- Wayne Dyer

As I roller bladed yesterday, I debated on whether I'd skate all the way to the beaches because this one part of the trek has a bridge that has padding on it that you can't really skate on. At the bottom of the hill, after the bridge, are train tracks. You've got to be prepared to slow down really quick otherwise you'll wipe out. I've never wiped out mind you but I'm always so nerve wracked that it wasn't something I was in the mood for.

I decided I'd follow another bike path and see where it led me until I got bored. It turns out I could go along the Lakeshore instead of taking that scary bridge with the treacherous train tracks. I was stoked.

I rode out to Woodbine Park and watched these dogs jumping into the man-made pond swimming after the ball that the owners kept throwing in. They were a bunch of joyful children. I swear if the dogs could laugh out loud they would. One of the dogs I watched stuck his head in the water and seemed to stay down for at least a minute with his butt and tail sticking up.

He was diving for a rock and sliding it with his feet until he brought it back to shore. He'd look up at the people waiting for someone to throw it back in and he'd start all over again.

It was a wonderfully inspiring time. It takes so little to find things to make us laugh, make us feel inspired, if we choose to look for them. In my indecisiveness at the bridge yesterday, I got in the way of a few cyclists. One guy grumbled and swore at me. I was amused. "Buddy, relax, we're all out here to enjoy ourselves. Leave the rage behind."

How many times do we get set off when we're supposedly out to enjoy ourselves? That's part of what I have to let go of. The EY Page - Living an Inspired Life: What Am I Not Letting Go Of?

I've been noticing that more strangers are smiling at me on the street. People are saying Hi. I'm feeling like I live in a friendlier world despite what the news reports tell me. My focus is changing. Because I want to be happy I gravitate towards what makes me happy. I choose to enjoy every wish fulfillment and every magical coincidence. Lord knows next week something will set me off and have me bitching. But my focus is changing. When things rile me up I find that I can get out of it quicker than ever.

"Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change." Wayne Dyer. The Power of Intention.

When I suffered from depression I wanted to spend all my time alone. I had no motivation to be around others. I had no motivation to do anything. It's funny because the changes, my changes, have been subtle. I still want to spend a large portion of my time alone but now it's about well-being and balance. I only like being around others when I've had ample time to myself. I choose the people I share my time with. I choose what I want to focus my thoughts on. I choose to believe that whatever I wish for I can have. Why the heck not?